Deadlands Reloaded - Back in Town
After they learned the location of the lost Klickitat tribe from War Eagle the posse took stock of their supplies and realized they were running too low to make the trip to Northern Oregon on a direct route. So they decided to head back to Seattle, resupply there and take a steam boat to Portland, which was much closer to the destination. Toni (the Muckraker) was especially keen on this because it would give her a chance to publish her Bigfoot photographs.
On the way back north to North Bend the posse caught up with Lotus Blossom Wen, her ogre guardian Bu and Angry Mouse. Although not all were happy about it, the posse joined their erstwhile opponents for the trip home. They learned quite a bit about Kang and about Wen's ambition to learn magic independent from him. Apparently that was her motivation to learn the secrets of the Klickitat people. The failure on War Eagle Mountain seemed to have ended Wen's current quest thought. She told the posse she had to return to Seattle to take charge of her business again - meaning the Lotus Triad, a gang beholden to Kang's Lion's Roar Triad.
The trip back to Seattle was uneventful and Wen invited the posse to take lodging at her "Green Dragon Guesthouse". They were pretty sure the invitation was not without hidden motives but still accepted, remembering their rather unfriendly lodgings during their first stay. Toni hastened to send here photographs by mail to the Tombstone Epitaph while also publishing them along with an article in the Seattle Times. At the newspaper's office she encountered Agent Black, the Agency's station chief in Seattle, obviously back in town. As it later turned out, he censored the publication of her article and prevented the Seattle Times from printing the photos.
Meanwhile a crowd gathered in front of the Green Dragon Guesthouse, as the posse's exploits had already been covered in the Seattle Time - by Meriwether Anderson, Jr. the young wannabe reporter they had met at Mount Si. Taking advantage of their celebrity status, they scheduled a story-telling hour for the evening where they would tell of their adventure and answer any questions. This quickly made the rounds by way of mouth-to-mouth propaganda and people flocked to the Chinese guesthouse for the event.
Unbeknownst to the others, Hunter (the Bounty Hunter) earlier had a scary encounter. After he had sold their mules he ran into someone he knew: mayor Pete Flanagan of Harvest Feast. The man didn't look to good, which was no surprise, as Hunter had helped to dig the man's grave and put him in, just a few days ago. Badly rattled Hunter ran from the man and at first didn't tell the others.
The story-telling event went perfectly and Toni really inspired the crowd with her tale (bringing down the Fear Level a notch). But as they finished, events took a dramatic turn. First Mayor Flanagan showed up, hell-bent on revenge for the death of his wife (and his own). He specifically targeted Matt (the Huckers) and Gus (the Blessed), the former because he actually killed Flanagan's wife and the latter because he failed to exorcise the hunger spirit. The posse had big trouble bringing down the freshly risen corpse - what finally tipped the balance was Toni's appeal to some of the cowering townspeople to help.
[Lesson learned: Harrowed are tough. I was expecting this to be more of a warm up encounter than a serious battle. But the posse had to pull all the stops to overcome him and was pretty exhausted afterward.]
If that wasn't enough, after Flanagan was put down (again) Agent Black showed up with two of his henchmen. He took charge of the corpse and urged the posse to keep quiet about all these supernatural events - and not in a friendly manner. Instead he came across as bullying and arrogant. When the posse didn't seem exactly likely to follow his directions, he pulled out a mnemonizer and "suggested" that everything had been something better not discussed publicly.
He also took Tyler aside (the ex-Agent) and offered him a deal: Instead of arresting and deporting him back east, he would let him go and hold a protective hand over him - for a price. $100 of Tyler's monthly allowance ($150) would from now on go to Agent Black instead. Tyler would have until next morning to think it over, as Black told him to bring the necessary papers to the F.W.Morse shipping office near the railway depot the next morning.
Tyler wrestled with this for a while but finally decided to let the humiliation pass for now and accept to Black's deal. His revenge would come later. He delivered the requested bank order and quietly took Black's barbed insults. Then the posse boarded the steamer to Portland.
[As you can see from the picture and the floorplan below, I was prepared for the posse taking on Black and his goons at the shipping office. But after the tougher-than-expected fight against the harrowed Flanagan, caution prevailed and the posse took the safer path to pay off Black for the moment. But the conflict is not canceled, only postponed.
The paper building is from Eric Hotz' excellent Whitewash city line of paper models. It comes with a matching floorplan, I only had to add a secret underground level to make it a nice location for a dramatic encounter ... which didn't happen. Click the link below to get a scaled pdf of the underground floorplan.]