Deadlands Noir Session 4 Notes

We started this session off right where we ended the last session, with everyone standing over Casper Brinck’s body. There was much discussion on what to do with the body, should they leave it here, should they take it away and dispose of it, what would the repercussions be to the camp if it was found here, etc. After much back and forth, Katarina drops Casper’s wallet back on the body and leaving it there, they head off to their cars.

When they get back to the cars, they send Stefanie1 to take one of the cars to get cleaned up so it will no longer be identifiable as a car belonging to someone else while they go off to search Casper’s house.

When they arrived in the two cars, they parked each car at opposite ends of the street and approached the house quietly. The first investigated the garage which did have a car in it that did not look like it got much use. They did check to see if it had been driven recently, which it hadn’t. After that they opened the back door of the house with Casper’s keys and everyone but Adelaide quietly moved inside. As they started searching the kitchen and pantry area of the house, Katarina not paying attention to where she was going managed to walk into the ice box, hitting hard enough to knock it over breaking contents and spilling them all over the floor2. Everyone froze, waiting to see if the commotion attracted any attention, and after a couple of minutes passed Adelaide quickly checked the rest of the house to make sure it was empty and that there was no one hiding after having called the authorities. They then searched the house focusing on the master bedroom and the office. The master bedroom didn’t have much of anything of interest, but the office had a diary. Quickly skimming through the diary they found these passages of interest.

Jan 27, 1930

I received a note to meet with a man named Theodore Sedgwick tomorrow for a business proposition at the club. After asking around, I found out he is a moderately well of man who used to be in the employ of a local patent scientist. I will go to see what he wants.

Jan 28, 1930

I met with Theodore Sedgwick and a man named Roscoe Molloy. Theodore told us that his former employer disappeared without an heir, and he wants to, with our help get Mr. Hawke declared dead and to purchase the Hawke’s home and furnishings to gain control of the machine he built. He then took us to the house and showed us what the machine was capable of. It allowed him to capture a slug like creature, he called specimen 19, and pull it from outside of the world into this one. After turning it on, he then pulled two of the creatures out of the chest of a homeless person restrained in the room and pushed them into our chests.

It felt beyond amazing, I do not know how to describe it other than it felt better than anything else ever had. We were told that the creature if placed inside someone absorbed something from its host, and if it was subsequently removed and placed in another person, released some of what it absorbed. This had the effect of making the second person extremely fortunate in all things.

Shortly after that, he removed them from us, warning us that if they stay in too long, they will start feeding on us like they have the homeless man. He then gave us two days to think it over and give him a decision.

Jan 29, 1930

Today has been astounding. First off for the difficult case that I have been trying, the witness I was cross-examining on the stand just gave the perfect testimony validating my points sinking the prosecution’s case.

Later I got news that some of my investments that had been languishing during this bad economy, turned around and increased in value ten times.

Tomorrow I am going to meet with Sedgwick and accept his offer.

March 30, 1932

It has started getting more difficult to get homeless people to serve as a food source for the specimen 19. So we have decided to bring on some muscle and use the Hooverville in Jefferson Parish as a source. So we are going to meet with a Alex Rossetti and try to bring him into the fold.

Jan 2, 1935

Mr. Rossetti brought in an unconscious, but well dressed man to use as the subject (Harold Priestly). He captured and put far more of the creatures inside of this man than we have ever done at one time. When I asked him about this man, he just told me to mind my own business. I am starting to get nervous about this who mess. As I start to look closer at the people that we use these things on, they seem to be getting sicker all the time.

Jan 8, 1935

Mr. Rossetti’s victim, because I can only think of him as a victim at this point is no longer in the washroom where we store the hosts for specimen 19 before we use them. I shudder to think what might have happened to him.

Jan 9, 1935

The containment around the device failed. There were sparks and small fires everywhere. The house shuddered and we fled leaving everything behind even the two kids with specimen 19s in them.

After reading this, the group investigates the Hawke’s house finding out where it is and heads on out there to find out what is going on. Ada after hearing the contents of the diary spends even more time than normal talking excitedly about these extra dimensions where the power of ghost rock comes from and is looking forward to examining the machine when they arrive.

When they arrive at the Hawke’s house, they find that it is a large house surrounded by a seven-foot stone wall and set well back from the road. Katarina quickly picks the lock on the gate and they drive onto the property stopping about a hundred feet or so from the house.

The grounds of the house had been badly neglected with semi-wild bushes, places where trees have sprouted and started growing wild and tall weeds. Adelaide decides that this is a job for the tommy guns, so she pulls one out of the car’s trunk for herself and the other one for Katarina.

While this is going on, they hear some moaning out in the field and Jake, Greyson, and Ada decide to go investigate. They find that the plat life is covered with a sticky, slimy, clear substance as they push through the undergrowth. They eventual get to the source of the moans and find a vagabond lying on the ground his flesh bulging oddly. As they watch a slug like creature pushes out of his eye, temporarily displacing it, slithers down his face and then goes into his nose. This creature leaves no wounds that can be seen, and watching this stuns Ada, and completely freaks out Jake giving him a streak of white hair3. The man who was in obvious pain, asked for help, and gave a little bit of information to them saying he was just looking for a warm place to sleep. Greyson ultimately puts the vagabond out of his misery shooting him in the head. At this point a large number of the slug creatures start leaving the body causing everyone to back away. Ada shoots the body with her patent science gun to try to kill any of the slugs still inside, and those slugs that made it out scatter into the underbrush. They then rush back to Adelaide and Katrina on the drive.

The group then walks up the driveway to where they can get a good view of the house and sees that there is a big house, a large shed off to the side and a small shed. They decide to explore the large shed first, and after Katarina picks the lock find the device mentioned in the diary. Ada starts examining it as Greyson starts searching the room for any clues. Ada quickly realizes that this machine weakens the barriers between dimensions. She also finds that there are two cables leaving the machine. One heads to the small shed and the other goes into the house. Greyson finds out that someone has been working to understand how the machine works, but they are trying to keep the fact that they are doing this hidden from anyone else that enters the room.

Ada decides to explore the small shed next and asks Katarina to pick the lock on its door. Unfortunately Katarina can’t get it unlocked4. So Ada and Greyson and Ada get a crowbar from the large shed and break open the shed. Inside they find four 50 gallon barrels of diesel, a generator, and five bodies stashed in the back of the shed. When Ada and Greyson investigate the bodies, they find no sign of the disease that is sweeping through the Hooverville, but each of the corpses has a black tongue. Greyson remembers hearing about this new drug called “The Black” that has started showing up in New Orleans that turns the users tongues black. This attracts Katarina’s attention. After a little more poking around, they decide to explore the house.

They enter the house examining the floor, ceiling, and walls making sure that the structure is sound. They find a clean sitting room that was obviously recently used, a ball room which is where the cable from the large shed went. The cable entered through a window, and split after it was on the floor forming a ten to twelve-foot loop. Unfortunately it looks like the cable burned out so the loop was no longer complete. Looking around the rest of the house, they find what was a library, but time and elements had done a number on it, a dinning room with a large table, a kitchen with a large oven, a walk-in pantry, an area for the servants quarters, and a wash room where Nancy, Billy, and Esther (the missing people) where chained up. They un-chain them and tell them to go out the front door and wait by the cars. From the kids, they learn that Mr. Sedgewick brought Nancy in, but they don’t know where he is.

Katarina and Adelaide leave while the victims are being released, and realize that in the kitchen, there are no pistachio shells which Greyson has been trailing through the house. As they start looking around, Adelaide feels a tongue lick the back of her upper arm despite the fact that it was covered with a jacket. Adelaide freaks out and turns around to see a blank wall is all that was behind her. Pulling off her jacket, she sees where she was licked, and wipes it off, and puts her jacket back on leaving the room for the dinning room. After everyone else joins her in the dinning room, she then throws a handful of Greyson’s pistachios on to the floor, and they watch them with their flashlights. While the nuts have light on them, they remain, but as soon as the light leaves them, they start disappearing.

At this point, they decide to leave the house, and when they get to the main hall, Adelaide and Greyson saw an eye in the wall, but before anyone else noticed it, the eye closed and disappeared and the front door slammed shut. Katarina decided to smash out the window by the door with the but of her tommy gun, and when she reared back to strike, an eye opened right in front of her. Suppressing her fear, she struck the eye with the but of the gun instead of the window causing it to close, and roar of pain came from the kitchen area. In response to this Ada called out is that you Theodore Sedgewick?

And we ended it here.

Notes

I expected to finish this case with this session, but the group spent more time worrying about Casper Brinck’s body than I expected. Either way they should finish things up next week only having to decide what to do about the house, the device and the kids. I have also started sprinkling some hints of things to come and I know that Katarina wants to dig into Alex Rossetti some more even though there are clues that Theodore Sedgewick is quite possibly on the grounds somewhere now. Now to figure out how to get Stefanie back to the group for the next session.

The group has made some connections as to the inspiration for this case, but they haven’t quite gotten it yet which is good.

I have also made some tweaks to the diary information here to fix some errors that were spotted during play and after, and to make some things clearer that I did during the session. Functionally though the information is all the same.

The last thing for this post is that I am really happy with the response that I got from the players when Adelaide got licked.


  1. Stefanie’s player was not available for this session so this got her out of the story for the night, now I just need to figure out how we are going to get her back in for next week. 
  2. This happened because Katarina rolled a critical failure and because of the setting rules, could not use a benny to re-roll the result. 
  3. This is the second time that I have rolled a natural 20 on the Fright Table. If I had used the Fear Level of the location as a bonus to the Fright Table roll, Jake would have had a heart attack on the spot. 
  4. Katarina actually succeed on her wild die, but rolled a 1 on the skill die, so she spent a benny to re-roll the check and failed. I then gave her the option of unlocking the door, but breaking her lock picks (she did that in session 1), or fail to unlock the door and not break the lock picks. She choose to fail, because she didn’t want to have to buy replacements. 
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Author: Hours without Sleep

I am a professional software tester, who has an interest in programming, computers, role-playing games, history, and reading in general. This is my third attempt at keeping a blog, and I am going to try putting all of my thoughts in one place, and see how it goes.

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