UnDeadwood Part I: Stay Close, Reverend

UnDeadwood Part I: Stay Close, Reverend


(dramatic western music) BRIAN: (clearing throat) Welcome friends, to the weird west. Nestled deep in the Black Hills of the Dakota territory, sits the not-so-sleepy town of Deadwood, built by people who wanted no part, or were indifferent to the United States. It’s a lawless town, a mining town, that attracts a certain type of individual, one with high constitution, many with low intelligence. Many trying to escape the law, previous lives, certain events in town, certain events outside of town. People come here for a myriad of reasons. The locals have formed a semblance of order, keeps the town from going off the rails, but there is no law. Warrants are not honored here. You are likely to get shot for asking someone where they’re from. A lot of people keep to themselves, a lot of people get in other people’s business. Those who run the town have agreed upon rules, that keep things somewhat in order despite the fact there’s no law. These people were smart. They’re not freezing their balls off in the creek. They wait for the miners to come back to town, to take their money, in games of chance, farrow, whiskey, women, pretty much anything goes. You lot have gathered around the church at the edge of town. As you can see, it suffered a fire in recent weeks. The Reverend Mason has come to Deadwood in an attempt to rebuild the church, and is having a gathering on the front steps of the church. Now a crowd begets a crowd. So you will find yourself holed around with the other Deadwood residents, as Reverend Mason is delivering a speech at the church fundraiser. My children, gather near. I bring you glad tidings of joy, of hope, of forgiveness. I see weariness in your eyes. I see forlorn despair, and it need not be that way. I know this might seem like a godless town, but I bring you glad tidings. There is hope for all of us, a chance to begin anew each day, just as the sun rises. I would only ask that you all join me here, once a week, but I am here any time that you may need. No matter where you come from, no matter what walk of life you have found yourself in before, you have a chance to start new, a chance at rebirth, here in Deadwood. I know the previous reverend was driven out by some energetic celebrations. He was perhaps not right for this town. I am not afraid. I am not afraid of you or what you bring with you. Each day and night I will be here to listen, and I hope you will join me in helping to rebuild this beautiful chapel, for our Lord, and your savior. I am one of his, and I hope to minister to all of you in whatever way that I can. So come, morning or night, I will be here, with a patient ear, and I will hear whatever it is that may weigh heavy on your heart. I hope you’ll join me. I’ll place a hat here each morning. If you find yourselves in the giving mood, and an inspiration to help rebuild this place of love and hope, please give whatever you can. I promise you it will be put to good use. We will rebuild this church of Deadwood. Thank you, I hope to see all of your faces again. As he puts the hat down, a few people sort of walk up, toss a couple of coins into the hat. One of the drunken hoopleheads just sort of spits into the hat and walks away. As the Reverend Mason finishes his speech, there’s a couple of people that sort of clap. In the back someone yells out, “Suck my dick!” Well, that’s uncalled for. Pretty typical behavior. As you are gathered around and people are sort of mingling and sort of discussing what the reverend just said, and some are very intrigued by it, some are, this is pointless. Some of you that have been in town for a few days or weeks might recognize Johnny, one of the barkeeps at the Gem Saloon. He’s sort of making his way through the crowd, and he comes up to your character, Angeli, Miriam, and says, “Mister Swearengen would like to see you at the Gem, “now, preferably.” Moves along, moves over to Mister Fogg, says, “Mister Swearengen would like to see you “at the Gem Saloon, sooner rather than later.” Looks at you, Arabella, same thing. “Mister Swearengen wants to talk to you.” Looks at you, Clayton, “Mister Swearengen wants to talk to you.” It doesn’t appear that he has gone up to anyone else and told them. Lastly, he climbs the steps where Reverend Mason is standing stoically, and says, “Mister Swearengen would like to see you, “sooner rather than later.” I follow behind Johnny, and I take a five-dollar bill, and I put in the hat in front of Mister Mason. Bless you, my child. Thank you, Reverend. Moving speech. Thank you. How’d I do? It was all right. I could tell you’re nervous. Just a bit. I kind of like the church burned. It gives it character. We’ll take that into our future design plans. You’re following Johnny. Does anybody else want to follow Johnny, or you want to do your own thing? Or what are you feeling? What is– After I see the conversation between the two of them, I walk up to the hat and I look gingerly at Reverend Mason, and I put a few coins in the hat, and just move on and follow Arabella. I thank you. Peace be with you. I keep an eye on the reverend there, and these other individuals that were apparently contacted by Johnny, and just quietly wait at the back of the crowd for them to make their way. I step forward slowly, I’ve got a bit of a hitch in my gait. My right leg is turned toward the inside pretty hard. I just nod towards the Reverend. How are you my son? I get along just fine. Of course. Is there anything that’s weighing on your heart? No, I’ll be all right. Very well. Think maybe I’ll go get a drink, make my way toward the saloon. Okay. The same. The three of you would be about, I would say halfway down the thoroughfare on the way to the Gem. It’s not far, it’s 50 yards. I’m just keeping my head down, trying not to draw attention, even though I know it’s moot. It’s about midday right now, so the thoroughfare is bustling. There’s people selling whiskey shots on the street. There is a dentist on the street. There’s obviously these house merchants, but throughout the camp there’s tons of shit happening in the thoroughfare. There’s all kinds of different trades, people trying to thieve other people. It’s pretty busy, there’s a lot of stuff happening, so you could go through without anybody really paying too much attention. Does it look like anyone else is approaching the hat, or the front steps? A few people toss some coins in. Someone probably tries to take the hat. Someone else nudges him and tells him like, might be a little overboard. So do you want to say there, do you want to collect your hat? I’ll collect my hat, thank the others that are there, remind them Sundays, bright and early, sunrise. And start to make my way towards. The Gem Saloon.
Mm-hmm. Once the reverend goes ahead and picks his hat and makes his way in that direction, glance around and see if anybody else is paying attention, when all the rest of the bustling is happening. I just keep about 20 feet behind him. The rest of you enter the Gem Saloon. It’s a saloon. There’s two stories. Upstairs are the whores’ chambers, downstairs, the bar, the tables. Johnny leads most of you in. You see Dan behind the bar, polishing his shotgun. He’s got whiskey there, he’s got a shotgun. He’s polishing his guns, he looks at you. He’s not surprised to see you, but he looks you all up and down just the same. And Johnny comes in, he says, “Hey, I brought the– “I brought all the, I brought most of the “people you wanted me to go fetch for Al.” Dan says, “You know how to count to five, Johnny?” (laughter) Johnny says, “Most of the time, yeah, I think so.” “Do you see five people here?” “I told the guys, “I told all of them.” You guys can come in if you want to sit at the bar, if you want to sit at one of the tables, whatever you guys want to do, as you walk into the Gem, and we’re still waiting for Clayton, who is straggling behind with the rest of you. I’ll sit at that table. Okay. Yeah. I’m looking around, trying to see if there are any other, are there any other tables where any women are seated, besides women of the house? Not right now. You see some of the women of the house up on the balcony. They’re checking some of you out. Some of you look a little bit different than the type of people they’re used to in this establishment. Not really used to seeing a man of the cloth walk into a place like this very frequently either, so they’re whispering to themselves, and they’re like, looking at the girls, looking at the guys, just like talking to each other, some of them are giggling. I’m going to sit at the table, but diagonal from Arabella. Like the farthest seat that I can but acknowledging. I give a nod. I have a seat at the table and spit on the floor. Okay. Ladies. I’ll go in and say hello to Mister Dougherty, and I will sidle up to the bar. He pours you a shot. You drink reverend? This early, yes. Absolutely. Sun’s up isn’t it? Yes. Yes. Then it ain’t too early for a drink. Very well. Pours you a whiskey, walks over to the table. Whiskey friends? Sure, why not? When in Rome. I never let a woman drink alone. He pours your whiskey, and he leaves you be. Him and Johnny return to the bar.
How about you? You buyin’ me a drink? Seems like an appropriate thing to do. One please. Dan leaves the bottle on the table, heads back to the bar. Him and Johnny go behind there and start whispering to each other. About this time I entered the establishment and case everyone’s positioning. There’s my usual corner table, abandoned or at least. It’s empty. It’s not very busy, not a very busy day at the Gem. I go ahead and take a seat, back to the wall, just to keep an eye on the central space. Johnny looks over at Dan and says, “Do you want to take him a drink, “because that fella gives me the creeps.” (laughter) Dan says, “Who the fuck couldn’t that be said about?” He walks over with a bottle and a shot glass. “Whiskey sir? “The usual?” Pours you a shot, leaves the bottle, walks back behind the bar. To new friends. Did you say to no friends or to new friends? Because I think both is appropriate. She is. Arabella, you’ve been in town for a couple of weeks. You’ve been in town for a couple of weeks, Miriam. Reverend, you’ve been in town a little bit. Clayton, you’ve kind of been in town. Fogg, you were new to town. You came in on the stagecoach rather recently. As you’re sitting there drinking your whiskey, you hear from the balcony a door open extremely quickly and a figure comes out to the railing. Those of you that have been in town know that this is the unofficial head cop of this town. (laughter) The owner, pimp, proprietor, of the Gem Saloon, Al Swearengen, and he bustles out of his office onto the balcony, and he says, “Johnny, bring them the fuck up! “Bring the whiskey.” Johnny runs over, you’ve all got to go upstairs right now. You all got to go upstairs, and he grabs the whiskey bottles for you and the shot glasses. You guys want to make your way upstairs? Everyone makes their way upstairs to Al’s office. Johnny and Dan are in tow behind him. You get into the office, and Al’s sitting behind his desk. He’s got papers in front of him, whiskey. His glasses, some different types of important-looking documents, some scribbles, some different stuff. It’s sort of a mess. He’s been sitting there trying to crack something for a while, you get the sense. You guys walk in, there’s five seats right in front of Al’s desk, and he says, “Have a seat if you please.” You guys want to sit down? Just wish I could sit right in the center. I wait for someone, for one of the gentlemen to pull out a chair. I’ll pull that chair out. Thank you. Thank you for the drink. Cheers. As soon as you guys are seated, give shot glasses appear before you. Dan pours five shots. Why the fuck did I pay for that? Another one. Al’s looking everybody up and down. This is a motley fucking crew. The fact that all of you would be in the same room at the same time is a little odd, considering they way you all look, and they way you all sort of conduct yourselves. Al says, “Please have a seat, oh and, “sorry to hear about your sister.” By all accounts she was, and he looks at Johnny and Dan, and Dan nudges Johnny, and Johnny says, “She was a lovely bird.” And Al says, “A lovely bird.” Yes, and Reverend, we have not had occasion to meet yet. But, one of your predecessors, Reverend Smith, was like a brother to me. Sorry to hear about Crames but, he made bad waves in this town, I don’t think you’ll make the same mistake. Your genuine condolences is appreciated. I didn’t have occasion to meet your sister either but, she was pretty well known around town, kept to herself, didn’t really make a lot of waves. She was smart. And you? Oh I would like to think that I’ve learned something from her, just a little bit. Runs in the family, which I guess could bring me to the question of what you have interest in us for? You haven’t heard? I certainly haven’t. Notwithstanding my usual hesitation in working with strangers, I find myself in need of some help. My road agents have reported mining on the outskirts of town where it’s strictly forbidden. We live by a fucking code, and the only way this thing stays together, is if the fucking code is followed. And someone’s breaking the fucking code. To me it smells like that George Hearst, or the motherfucking Pinkertons, and they all need to die. But I want you to ride out, find out what you can. I can’t use my normal guys for this. Many of them are dead, or their cover’s blown. Discretion is important. Each of you, minus you Mister Fogg, have been watched closely since you’ve been in town, and I get the sense you’ve all kept so discreet this mission won’t be too impossible for you. I offer you 500 gold, 250 now, 250 upon the return of successful information that helps me bring down whoever the fuck is doing this. Dan will get you outfitted with directions. It’s about a half a day’s ride. I’m sorry Mister Swearengen, did you mean 500 gold each? Or to split between the five of us? 500 gold each. 250 now, 250 upon my discretion of successful information that I can use to take down whoever’s doing this. I could put that gold to excellent use at the church. Mister Swearengen, forgive my curiosity here, but what would make you think that someone of our delicate sensibilities might be suited to this particular mission of sorts? After all, we are the fairer, weaker sex. We need to be outfitted with a different kind of equipment to be considered safe in this particular circumstance and, I just don’t know if, I don’t know what makes you think we’d be up to the task. That derringer attached to your thigh tells me you’re up to the task. Oh you do have a keen eye don’t you? Well, I didn’t have you sit down for nothing. Your delicate sensibilities may not be as delicate as you think. I need you because you’re strangers. I need you because I don’t trust you. I need you because I think every single one of you, including you Reverend, are fucking killers. I don’t mind taking your money sir. I do mind working with other people that I ain’t never met before. Who’s vouching for these people? Their actions. Well can you tell me something I don’t know? I’m going out in the dark with four people I ain’t never met before. Perhaps some introductions? By all means. I am the Reverend Matt Matthew. I’m new-ish from Rapid City, South Dakota. I’m very pleased to meet all of you, and be able to help however I can. How’d you get that scar? Or is that too forward? No, not at all. Shaving accident. Were it such an innocent tale. I’m afraid I come from rough cities myself. Rapid City is filled with the forlorn and discouraged from Deadwood. Tales of hope and joy are not always well received in the late hours of the night. So you spend your days going from burnt church to burnt church asking for money? It does appear that way doesn’t it? Seems so. Yes, I haven’t had much luck spreading the good word but I’m hoping that Deadwood could be a new start myself. What a good heart you must have. Oh I don’t know if it’s good, but I try to stay in the light. What a good man. I’d ask you to produce one testicle so we could verify its size, but other things need tending to. Church in Deadwood. I guess I’ll go next. I’m Arabella, Arabella Whitlock. Recently Missus Arabella Whitlock, married to Mister Eugene Whitlock. I just came in from Atlanta not that long ago. I’m not entirely sure what Mister Swearengen thinks he can get out of a woman with my standards and financial background but, I’m assuming that’ll reveal itself in time. Oh I know you don’t need the money. No. I know you need something else. And what, pray tell, do you assume that I need, Mister Swearengen? I think you may find it along the way. By the way, your husband’s a bit of a fucking dude. A little bit of a recluse, not really seen about town like yourself. I know how to use that to my advantage. Oh I’m sure you do. Should that fortune ever dry up and you need a place to work, my door is always open. What about you, man of so few words? I just tend to only speak when it’s necessary. I’m Clayton Sharpe. Hired security, whenever jobs are available. Otherwise I’m here drinkin’. Not much else to me. Pleasure to make your acquaintance. Are you guarding anyone in particular, Mister Sharpe? Based on today, and this pay that Mister Swearengen is putting down in front of me, guarding this possible outside claim. That’s about it. So you’re not wanting to raise suspicion, but you hired this guy? He knows how to keep quiet. I would definitely rather have you on my side, than on the other. My name is Missus Miriam Landesman. My husband Harrison and I came out from Chicago. He stayed behind in Cheyenne to set up business and sent me on forward to do a little bit of research on Deadwood and the prospects for us here. What type of research? I’m a bit of a scholar myself. Oh, nothing particularly scholarly I’m afraid. More just finding out what the needs of this particular settlement might be, and whether or not we might fulfill them. How wonderful. What type of business are you in? We like to consider ourselves purveyors of goods needed. Whatever you might need to find, we can find it for you. This is good to know. A reputation befitting the task, but also an inconspicuous group, perhaps minus you Mister Sharpe. Well sir, to be perfectly honest, I’m a little surprised you brought me in on this particular mission. For that reason alone I prefer to keep to my own, but the pay is good. Well, not committing to the fact these are tenderfoots, but in your shadow, it would seem the case. Fair enough. Mister Fogg, was it? You can call me Ally. Ally? My mother named me Aloysius. A sin I hope you’ve forgiven her for. (coughing) Thank you. What brings you to Deadwood? I’m an interpreter, a tracker of things. These days I’m looking not be found so much. It seemed like a good spot to land. Yet we got word you were imminent. Yes you did. Your reputation precedes you, Mister Fogg. Fortunately and unfortunately. So people are terrible at minding their own damn business. Well, now we’ve all spent some time getting acquainted. All I’m asking is to investigate the mining site, and report back what you’ve found. If information you provide me allows me to shut down whatever thieving operation they’ve got on the hill, it protects our fucking interests here. And, if any of you plan to stay in the camp, we’ll protect your interests, I guarantee you. If someone’s breaking the rules, for whatever they think is up there, and it ain’t gold, these are dangerous people, and this close to town, this type behavior, makes me fucking nervous. Sounds thrilling. Indeed, unless you have other business, it’s best we get to this as soon as possible, right? What time of day is this right now? It’s midday, it’s a little after midday. And Al looks around to each of you, sensing you’re still a little trepidatious says, “Johnny, the gold.” In front of each of you, Johnny dumps a sack of 250 gold on Al’s desk, right in front of you. Now says, verify the contents, or get the fuck out. Grab the gold, finish the shot, without a word get up and leave. I won’t mind verifying, just because I haven’t seen a bag with 250 gold in it. Is it coin, nuggets? This would be 250 gold in gold. Wow. Yes, weighted in gold. Spendable anywhere, but yeah it’s gold gold. Lord bless you and keep you Mister Swearengen, and I’ll follow Mister Clayton out. Or Mister Sharpe out, too. I’ll verify, after seeing that he did. Absolutely, you see what you would assume is 250 gold. It’s a heavy fucking bag of gold. Thank you, Mister Swearengen. I don’t mind this heavy a load when it’s made of such substance. I take a look at my bag. All right then. Mind topspin’ off a lady for the road? Without a doubt. Pours you a double. I take the bag, I do not verify, and I leave. As you all make your way downstairs, back to the floor of the Gem Saloon, Dan has returned to the bar and Al yells over the balcony to him, “Dan, secure for these individuals “whatever means they need to accomplish this.” Give them directions out to the site. Then he looks at each of you and he says, “Also, “help yourself to any of the ladies on your way out, “should you need to. “That goes for you too, girls.” Let’s just say this ain’t the type place where that kind of behavior is frowned upon. He goes back into the office and slams the door. You’re now downstairs at the bar, where Dan and Johnny are. What an ostentatious man. Indeed, let me take this opportunity, Miss Arabella, to have a few words with you. I’ve seen you around town, and I’m sorry that up until this moment I haven’t made any kind of effort to tell you how sorry I am, how sorry I am about your sister, and also, about the womanly state that you find yourself in, having to marry under such circumstances. Well, I’m sure you understand Miss Miriam that, being an object for men is nothing that we can be a stranger to. Nothing that we can be a stranger to but, we definitely have our own power. It’s just a matter of knowing how to use it. Ain’t that the damn truth? It’s a shame, I’m sorry about that. Dan, you said there was women available? Absolutely. Take your pick. Then he says, “Girls!” Girls come filing out of a couple of the rooms and line up on the balcony. They’re used to this sort of presentation. And Dan says, “Al said have your pick.” I do love a green dress. The girl in the green dress sort of winks at you and, just looking you up and down, and checking you out. Kind of giving you one of these. She also sees the fucking sack of gold in your hand. It’s literally a fucking sack of gold. All right, I shouldn’t be there long. Don’t look up. To embracing a situation you’re fucking handed. Amen to that. Amen to that. Have fun Aloysius. As Fogg gets up the stairs, and grabs the girl in the green dress by the hand and walks into one of the rooms, right before the door closes, two of the other girls scurry into the room with her. Damn. I love this town. (laughter) I scootch over to the Reverend. You’re trembling, you all right? Yes, I admit, I try to stay clear of such things, but in a town such as this, it is a sight I am becoming more and more used to, I’m afraid. I poke my head out the door. Reverend, I got three of them in here, you sure? No, I have my own three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. (laughter) I’m going to church him. Yeah. Reverend your strength is impressive even to me. Suit yourself biddy, you sit and watch. (laughter) What are you doing, Clayton? I’m going to get the bar and lean towards Dan, just get his attention and say, Mister Swearengen says he’s been keeping an eye on me for a while, is that you? I keep an eye on everybody Mister Swearengen wants me to keep an eye on, and I keep an eye on everybody else, too. It’s good to hear that. I just want to say that if we’re looking to build a relationship here between your boss upstairs, and the people of my skill set, it’d be wise to keep an eye on anyone also asking and snooping around. Oh people snoop around all the time. I’m sure they do, and if any of that snooping starts snooping in my corner, you just go ahead and let me know, and I toss him five of the gold pieces. He takes it, he looks at it, and tosses it back at you. He says, you ain’t caused no trouble here, ain’t heard of no trouble you caused in town. Fellas like yourself, we like to have on our side. Much obliged. Pours you a shot, and then you hear the familiar door open again. Al comes out from the balcony. “What the fuck is happening Dan? “I told you to outfit them and send them on their way–” He notices that Fogg is missing, and he looks at the room down the hall from his office and says, “Forgive me. “Take your time. “I’ll be sequestered figuring out “by what position I’d like to be fucked in the next stage.” (laughter) He goes back into his office, and shuts the door. You all need directions out to the mining site? I do. Plus picking up maybe a few supplies necessary for a road trip. Looks like most of us here are wandering kind of light. You won’t want to camp in this area. You’ll want to ride out, about half a day’s ride, see what you can find, spend your time there, come back. There are rumors, weird shit happening in the hills, and I’m not privy to most of this because I don’t have the intelligence to maintain this kind of information, but Al tells us what we need to know. We’ve heard rumors. Is there any specific information beyond the word rumor, you’d like to share maybe? A little bit above my pay grade to share. I’d say you see what you see, you come back and report it. I appreciate you being extremely helpful in this endeavor. We’re going to find ourselves out in the thoroughfare, pick up what we need and be on our way. If you need horses you see Garret at the livery. If you need guns, you see that motherfucker Tolliver, at the Bella Union, if you can find him. If I might ask, you said a half day’s ride, but do not camp out there? I wouldn’t camp out there. So we will return each night, or are we to keep an eye out, with the moon above us? According to Al, it ain’t a big site. But they’re digging for something. Shouldn’t take you more than probably a couple of hours to see what’s going on out there and make your way back. Would I happen to know where we’re at in the moon cycle? What? Yes you would, yes you would. Is it like full moon, waning moon, no moon? It’s going to be close, it’s going to be about three quarters. It’s going to be pretty close to a full moon. Yeah, you would definitely know that. We’ll have plenty of light to get back by. I certainly wouldn’t mind returning to town upon the evening. I have no interest in spending any more time outside than necessary. Agreed, so I guess while we’re waiting on Mister Fogg to finish his business, we should tend to some of ours. Anything we need? Well I think I saw a pistol at Mister Foggs side, was that correct? I saw one too. I’m assuming these folks have a tendency towards the dangerous side. You’ve been in Deadwood long enough. I would hope you’d understand that most everyone here tends toward the dangerous side. If you don’t carry a piece on you Father, we’ll go ahead and get you fitted. That might be nice, maybe something where accuracy isn’t in play. Perhaps a shotgun? Well, with the gold in your hand right there, I think you’d very much procure yourself such a tool. That is true. I will buy a shotgun. I’ll come with you, because I’m real curious to see you meet Mister Tolliver. Do you all think that a derringer would suffice? Because I happen to have one. That’s good to keep at your side. I would say that’s more of a surprise maneuver, but where we’re going I don’t think the delicate exterior and presentation will be as absolutely necessary. If anyone fucking gets in your way, you want a one-shot at your disposal, or something with some true firepower? Then that’s what both of us will have. Very well. Then I think we have ourselves a little group meeting there at the Bella Union. As you guys are talking, Dan says, “By the way, I’d keep this business “to myself if I were you. “Weird shit going on in this town, lots of secrets, “and my usual sources aren’t talking. “I’d be very careful about who you talk to about this.” That was widely assumed, right? There’s no reason that two ladies wouldn’t avail themselves of the help of several gentlemen to check on the prospecting possibilities in the area, of course. Well let’s say perhaps there was a mutual friend of ours immediately bereft of his immortal soul, and we require the father here to find the proper place of burial. Even better. Yes, and I could even perhaps be trying to secure funds for the rebuilding of the church amongst these mining folks. I’ll leave the stories up to you. I think that’s probably for the best, Father. While they’re down here talking shop. Please describe what that means? (laughter) In great detail. No no, I was just, I have three ladies upstairs, so three pairs of ears, and three mouths so, so somebody’s using them to different degrees or whatever. So maybe somebody they’re interested in me where I come from. I’m not going to say much, but maybe they have some things to say to me about the propriety of the establishment, what he may or may not need, what’s been making him anxious. Clever trousers. After talking to one of the girls about it, she looks in, she says, “Oh I like you.” He heard about you coming to town ahead of time. Now did he darling, what’s your name? My name’s Anna. Anna? That’s a beautiful name. It’s not my real one. I’ll give you my real one for 50 dollars. Oh my goodness, well you know what? I say we build this relationship slowly. (laughter) She looks at you, she likes you. She says, “Well, it’s Annabelle.” I knew an Annabelle back home. Yeah? Absolutely. Was she prettier than me? Not even close. If this fuck weren’t free, it is now. (laughter) Well, does the owner of the place usually not like folk? Is he a hard man to get to know? You seem like you know people very well. I would say he’s trusting to a point. But, if you all are here, you all ain’t the usual type people go doing business for him. He must want this very discreet. There’s some fucking reverend down there, in the bar! Weird shit’s happening. I’ve heard from some of the girls at some of the other places that, a lot of mysterious things have been happening around town, but nobody has details, nobody knows. I think Al thinks wherever he’s sending you all is connected to it. That’s just our gossip. Well that’s good to know. I don’t know, it seems like she doesn’t have much more information. But nothing a bottle of whiskey couldn’t fix. I open up the door. Dan, why don’t you send up a bottle of whiskey? I’m not going to drink it so much. I like to watch. Okay. Dan looks over at Johnny, and goes. Johnny grabs a bottle of whiskey, starts running up the stairs, trips, breaks it. God, fuck. (laughter) Runs back down, Dan puts another fucking bottle of whiskey on the bar. Johnny runs upstairs and he hands it to you. They both seem pretty eager to give you guys whatever you really want or need that they can provide. I think he’s going to be a little bit more than just a few minutes. Let’s go ahead and visit the Bella Union, and get stuff taken care of. Mister Fogg? Mm-hmm. Meet us at the Bella Union. Mm-hmm. All right, I think he got our message. Discretion, wasn’t that highly advised? It was. Seems he was temporarily muffled. (laughter) Make our way to the Bella Union. Right before you guys leave, Dan slides over a piece of paper to you with a shoddy drawn map of how to get up out of town over to where the mining site is, as relayed to them by Al’s road agent. So four of you make your way back out into the muddy and noisy thoroughfare, and make your way down the street to the Bella Union Saloon. As we’re walking, I’m going to talk with the Reverend. Correspondence that I received before I left Atlanta, said that you were the one doing the burial at my sister’s funeral, doing the sermon? I was. Well, I guess I just wanted to extend a thank you personally. My condolences, I wish I had known her better. I’d only been in town a short while. It was a lovely service. Quite a few folks showed up, and with the frequency of those services, I can tell you that was a rare sight, even in the small amount of time I’ve been here. She had a way with people, that’s for sure. Thank you, nonetheless. I quicken my step to catch up with the two of them. Do either of you know anything more about the Clayton fella? Mister Sharpe? Yes, just curious. He bothers me. He intrigues me. Don’t be scared, darlin’. Best to have faith. He may show himself to be quite the asset in our little adventure. Sure. I assume that Mister Sharpe has been leading the way to the Bella Union? Have you, Mister Sharpe? I’ve been leading them but not bee-lining, I’ve been strolling, and keeping a close watch on the thoroughfare as we progress, and make it to the front door, I hold it open. Anyone in particular watching us come out of the Gem Saloon, and head towards the Bella Union? Make a notice check for me. (oohing) Let’s get this warmed up you all. Did you de-glove to roll? Well yeah, I can’t like break the connection. (laughter) Wow, really? Double ones? Oh no. What happens if that happens? You’ll find out. Because we had the first roll of the game, these are poker chips. These will serve as fake chips for you. At the top of your character sheet you’ll see what purpose they have. I want you each to blindly draw three chips from the bag. Double ones, fuck. They can be used to re-roll, they can be used– One? Three. Three. Should you get stumped, should you need a hint or some insight, or some general information, or if you just need a refill, you can take your chip to the bartender. The bartender, maybe he’ll tell you what you need to know. Maybe he’ll tell you what you won. (laughter) Fogg, so I’m aware, are you going to plow through all these chicks? (laughter) Actually I was just thinking that, as I hear them leave on the outside, I take a look out the window and watch them walk across to the other place and just notice the goings on. Okay. As the four of you file into the Bella Union Saloon, it’s quite bustling, it’s a busy day, there’s people playing craps, there’s people playing poker, there’s people drinking. There’s people flirting with the girls, the girls are flirting back. You notice that the place is a little run down. There’s only a few employees but, lots of customers. As you walk in, the bartender’s sort of polishing the glass, and he’s checking you out up and down. It’s possible he’s seen some of you before. Obviously Foggs not there. It’s possible he’s seen some of you before. He has a look of recognition, definitely at Arabella, and maybe a little bit at you, Miriam. Everyone pretty much knows you, Reverend, or knows that you’re in town. Then he looks Clayton up and down. What do you guys do? Go up to the bartender. Bartender looks at you and goes, yeah? I loop arms with Miriam. You here to work or are you here to play? We’re here to drink. Oh. I’d say that constitutes as both, wouldn’t you? Absolutely. You got the coin? I do. He pours two whiskeys. As that’s happening I look at Clayton, and I hope that he understands that what I’m saying is, go ahead and take of outfitting us if you can while we distract this man. Okay. Now is there a particular preference that we may have discussed of what you’re looking to outfit yourselves with, or am I just taking a smorgasbord stab at this? I’m trusting in your expertise. Yeah, you’re the gun guy. I know what you want, Reverend. I tell the Reverend it may be best to best to not conspicuously involve yourself in the purchasing of such fine irons, as that is a very suspicious scenario. Of course, you have my funds. I would be happy to compensate you for whatever the cost of what my protection might be. Wonderful, go ahead and pay for the immortal souls of all these poor sons of bitches here, losing the rest of their life savings. Let me go ahead, I don’t have much experience, I’ve avoided the Bella Union for the most part. It just doesn’t smell right to me. But I am looking for this Mister Tolliver, which I have heard a little bit about. Are you asking the bartender for Mister Tolliver? Yeah, I sidle up, trying to pass along the idea that I’m not directly relating with them. What can I get you, fella? I’m looking to buy some equipment, outfit some firearms. I was told this would be the place to come. Who told you that? I have friends in camp. Do you have friends in camp? Friends with a higher emphasis on parenthetical, not really friends. I got friends in camp. You came here to buy guns from Mister Tolliver. For what purpose? Does it fucking matter? It does to us. If you take over our fucking joint. Do you think one man could possibly step in here and take over the Bella Union with a couple of guns he buys from it? Would that be a smart thing to do? I hear this conversation, and I roll my eyes, and I turn around and I say, excuse me darling. Yes? Can I count on your discretion? Do you have the coin? Yes. Sure. You know that I recently came from out of town to do a little bit of prospecting. We’ve had this conversation before. Yes yes yes, I recall you. Would this lovely gentleman has agreed to help protect me as a I go. Oh. Now you wouldn’t want something awful to happen to me while I was out, with my delicate sensibilities, would you? Looks at the rest of you and goes, “Definitely don’t want anything happening to you.” Of course. So would you do me a favor, and connect this gentleman with Mister Tolliver right quick, before any other eyes see the actions that are happening here. He looks at you, just enraptured, and says, “I’ll be right back.” Thank you, darling. He nudges the other bartender to sort of take over, and the bartender slides right into his spot. I loop my arm right back into Arabella’s, and I say, Bella Bella. The bartender goes upstairs, and disappears from view into one of the rooms for a few moments. Fogg, how you doing? I’m good. (laughter) He’s doing real good. You staying hydrated? Yeah, I’m staying hydrated. I feel like even after I guess lubricating, oh God. (laughter) Please, continue. Continue. Please. So you know, three ladies, with drinks. I guess I haven’t procured any more pertinent information or have I? She’s told you pretty much all she seems to know. It’s a small joint. They talk, they gossip. The girls that work at the Gem Saloon almost never leave the Gem Saloon. Right right. So they overhear things, but Al is pretty discreet, but he does have a tendency to give some of his favorite girls a little bit more information. But you get the sense from Annabelle, she’s told you about all she knows. All right, well I guess I get reacquainted with my clothing, and head downstairs. What’s the bill? It’s on the house. It’s on the house? Yeah, Al said it was on the house. I love this town. So I think I’m going to set up shop on the porch outside the Gem Saloon, rather than walk to meet them. Yeah, when you walk out, Dan says, “Your friends went to the Bella Union, “to pick up weapons.” Much obliged. Maybe I should just make sure that everythings cool as far as outside of the Bella Union, and then perhaps make my way to the livery? Absolutely. The livery is going to be on this end of town. Yeah yeah, so if they’re taking care of that business, maybe I can take care of the horses, and we can be on our way, seeing as I may have put us behind the eight-ball as it were. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Right on time. I was waiting for any sort of confirmation of Mister Tolliver at all. I’m just going to take a very very keen sweep of the chamber to make sure no one’s eyeing us, for any sort of untoward interest. Okay. As you guys are standing at the bar waiting for the bartender to come back, or to fetch Mister Tolliver, make a notice check for me. That would be a four. Success, I believe. If it’s based on at least. You see two individuals who walked into the bar, a couple of moments after you guys did, and just immediately went and sat down at one of the corner tables, and they’re both looking at the Reverend, and no one else. Shit. They’re not looking at him with necessarily any sort of hostility, but they’re just looking at him. Right, just keep an eye on them, and just carefully keep my coat open. Okay. Not an uncommon thing in this town. It doesn’t really draw any attention. Everybody at a moment’s notice is ready for anything basically in this place. As you guys are standing there at the bar, you see a door upstairs open, and out of it comes the bartender and he rushes down and he says, “Come with me, come with me.” He takes you back to Sy Tolliver’s office. All four of us come in for this one. No. If you want to. If you want to go on behalf of everybody, you absolutely can. I can join you if you need me. That feels very suspicious, I think, a reverend going back to talk to him. (crosstalk) Miriam, since you’re closest to me, I’ll probably give you a look and say, “Keep an eye on the Reverend,” and I point out the table towards her, the two gentlemen. I’ll be back. I’ll just keep leisurely walking around the table, peace, the Lord be with you. (laughter) How’s your morning? Blessed, amazing. So you’re going in alone? Or you’re going in too? I’ll stay down.
You’re going to stay, and you’re going to go alone. Okay, so the bartender leads you into Sy Tolliver’s office. As that is happening, and I see the Reverend awkwardly walking around trying to get some positive reinforcement from people, I put my hand on Arabella and I step away, and I walk up to Reverend, and I link my arm in his, and say Reverend, would you please come talk to me because I have a deep weight on my soul. Would you please come over here to the bar and help me understand what I might do to alleviate some of this concern that I have, and as I say that, I’m looking directly at those gentlemen, and I bring him over with me. Of course my job. As you do that, the gentlemen notice you looking and scurrying away the Reverend, and they both get up and walk out of the bar. Yes, well what can I help you with? You can stay close, Reverend, and try not to incur any more people’s wrath in this town. I’m afraid you may not realize that while God is welcome in your heart, He’s not necessarily welcome in all of the hearts of the parties here in Deadwood. Yes, I don’t want to be an impediment to our– Not an impediment. Your good heart shines through. I just want you to be safe so your good heart keeps beating. Yes, keep the heart beating. Thank you, for keeping an eye out. So nice. (laughter) I just try to continue keeping him in conversation, while also keeping my eyes open, but just keep in very light, leisurely conversation. And now I’m very nervous. That’s why I’m trying. Understandable. Easy, easy, it’s okay, you’re pretty. (laughter) What are you doing, Arabella? I am going to remain at the bar, waiting for the bartender to come back, and then chat him up when he returns. So, the bartender, Tim, has led you into Sy Tolliver’s office, and said, wait here. He’ll probably send you to me when he’s done, but wait here. Inside the chamber, how is it arranged? The place is a mess. There’s a desk, a chair, no chair for you to sit in, papers, nothings clean, dust, probably half an inch of dust on everything. It looks like no one’s even using this office anymore. The door creaks open, and in a red robe, very disheveled, like he’d just been woken up for this, walks in, Sy Tolliver. Then he walks around, gives you a look up and down, sits at his desk. “What can I do for you?” Thank you for making the time Mister Tolliver, I mean not to take too much of your daily rest from you, but I have been hired to keep safe some relatively interested parties, for a venture beyond the city, and would like to procure some armaments, to keep us all safe for our journey. I was told that you would be the individual to talk to, should we be willing to pay some fine yellow gold. And who told you this? Well, you’re a man about town, people know about your name. You don’t think the people would want to send more opportunity in business your way? Only a handful of people in this town know I sell guns. Who told you? I glance over towards the doorway. I can guarantee you sir, it’s not somebody with interests against yours. And I like to keep my friends, as I’m sure you do as well, under privileged information. I give him a real intense eye, of don’t push it. He seems to sort of, not warm up, but loosen up a little bit, post you giving him that eye. It’s a language he also speaks. He says to you, “These people you’re supposed to protect, “what are you protecting them from?” Who knows? You know there’s many different dangers that make their way out in these mountains, and best to be ready than not. Also, I’ve been hearing some weird shit’s happened around these places, too. I ain’t going to leave anything to chance. Everyone’s hearing weird shit’s happening. He thinks to himself for a second, he says, “Go see Tim. “You’ve got the gold? “Produce it.” I go and reach and just take a little handful. He says, “You go tell Tim to come see me, “and you wait at the bar. “I’ll get you taken care of.” Much obliged. Tip my hat once more, and then make my way down at the bar. He stays seated. You walk out to the bar, and you tell Tim Sy Tolliver would like to see him. Mm-hmm. Tim rushes into the room. Comes back out. He says, follow me. Takes you around the bar, out to a backroom. Inside of it, a fuck-ton of weapons. He says, “You got money to pay for all this?” I do sir, don’t you worry yourself about that. I also give him, once again not showing the volume, but just a handful of gold at the ready. Okay, it’s time to purchase some fucking guns. Yeah. (laughter) Woo. Get some guns. So, Clayton, you are in the weapons cache hidden behind the bar of the Bella Union with Tim. You have secured weapons for the protection needed for the people that you are going to be protecting. Indeed, quite a cache. You pay Tim. He hands you a large bag full of these weapons, says, “Shapes notwithstanding, “most people are going to know what this is. “I’d not brandish many of these higher-powered weapons “out in the street if I were you.” Don’t intend to sir, appreciate your concern. Some of these dummies take that kind of thing as a challenge. Understood, you got like a, like a fucking rug or something I could buy as well? What color you like? Blue. Stand by one second. He opens the door, he says, “Larry?” This other bartender comes around, he’s this really nervous-looking dude. He says, “We got a blue rug back there? “I’m color-blind.” (laughter) And Larry’s like, “Hold on a second.” He comes back in with this rug and it smells like whiskey and dirt, and got a few sets of footprints in it. Probably was the rug they were standing on behind the bar. He rolls it up and he hands it to you, and Tim says, “Fucking, I’d give you a dollar “to get rid of that goddamn thing.” He just hands it to you. I wrap it over my arm and the bag, so it obfuscates the look. It does that quite well. It’s not super-heavy. You exit the room, head back out to the bar, where your friends are still there. I’ll wait, I won’t leave until I see him leave and then I’ll follow a few paces back. I’ll stick with Miriam. So you’re going to walk out the front. A few paces back, the two of you. Reverend, I’m going to suggest that you leave the bar ahead of us ladies, and the two of us hang behind you, to keep any unsavories away from you. Ah, clandestine activities. I like it. I’ll be leaving now. (laughter) Peace of the Lord be with you. As you exit the Bella Union saloon, standing in the thoroughfare, are the two men who were looking at you in the Bella Union. One of them nods at the other, and the other says, “Ha, new reverend’s a fucking drunk. “Two saloons back-to-back, huh? “Were you nervous about that sermon you delivered?” We are hot on his heels, and I step forward and quite loudly say, thank you again Reverend, your conversation has strengthened my soul, I will indeed spend less time in these establishments after your kind concern. Thank you for coming to speak to me in those places. Gentlemen. My pleasure, ma’am. The two men look at each other, the Reverend up and down, start walking away. They said their piece. Fogg? From down the road. You are down here. I’ve holstered my revolving rifle at the scene. And then his other revolving rifle. (laughter) As you all make your way out of the Bella Union. Ready to fire four at least. (laughter) You guys make your way out of the Bella Union to the right side of the thoroughfare, and at the end of the street you can see your friend Fogg, who has a sort of aura about him that he’s recently experienced some sort of relief. If I had longer hair I’d shake it. (laughter) He’s standing there with Garret, who runs the livery. Garret’s a young fellow, he’s pretty dirty. He’s scrawny, he’s a little nervous. It’s just kind of his personality, but you pay for the five horses to borrow them for the day, and you guys walk out and you see Fogg there standing with five horses. I like Napoleon Dynamite. I saw these sweet horses. (laughter) Now it’s getting a little late in the day, by the way. If you want to make it up before nightfall, I would say you guys would want to start riding out of town. Whoever, one of you, I think it was you who has the map. Do we want to go at nightfall, or do we want to go when the light is out? Is that a thing? If you’re investigating something. You certainly want to have the sun up. It might be better to have some light, more than just the moon. I feel like if it’s already late in the day, at how close are we to sundown? It’s about two o’clock in the afternoon. It’s going to take you about probably three hours to get there, so there’ll still be about an hour left of sunlight by the time you guys get up there. So we have time to probably investigate for a bit, and then come back at that point. It’s probably a better time to be out. We said three quarters of the moon was full, yes? Yes. Has been recently. Clear night? We don’t know yet. Is it a clear day? It’s a clear fall day. Fall day, okay. Also the sun’s going down a little bit earlier. Will torches be in order? Yes, that’s a good fucking call. Or a lantern. I have a lantern back at the church for just such an occasion. How convenient. You guys are actually going to be riding out of town this way. The church would be on your way out, if you did want to stop and grab a lantern. I would say if that’s the only one you want to grab, fine. There’s also fucking lanterns hanging around town. (crosstalk) Can I just grab one? You can do a stealth check for me please. Okay. Some of the wooden posts in town will have two or three oil lanterns. Yeah, just as I’m walking by one, I’m just going to, boop, and keep goin’. It’s a four. That’s a success. You grab the lantern, and one of the hoopleheads nearby nudges his friend, and he says, “Hey, that new hot lady “just stole one of those things.” The other guy says, “I know she’s even hotter now.” (laughter) I suggest you keep your eyes and your comments to yourself. Your words can carry on the wind, as long as your breath can as well. They both sort of just like shudder, and go back down to themselves. There’s not a lot of people in Deadwood that look like you, or have the air of– I just chuckle myself because I like you more and more by the minute. Miss Whitlock, we’ll be returning those yeah? Returning the lanterns once we’re done with them? Sure Reverend, yeah. Do we have time to, like do I have time to run up to my room at the hotel? What would you like to get? I’m just going to grab a lamp from the room, and my small snuff box. Sure, absolutely. You grab that stuff. Anybody else need to hit anything before you go out of town, as you’re passing through? I will purchase legally an oil lantern from the equipment store. Okay, you can get that at the Bullock Hotel and Hardware Store. All right. Get this purchased, and while they’re finishing up their purchases, I’m going to go ahead and take some rope that I also purchased from it, and fix the rolled up carpet to the back of the horse. BRIAN: Fantastic.
MATT: I’m not distributing it until we are out of town. Fantastic, great idea. Are we popping by the church? Yeah, I’m grabbing my lantern, my 50 feet of rope as well, some matches, some extra lantern oil. Just make sure we have whatever we need. While he’s gathering stuff at the church, can I investigate and see if I can figure out where this fire started? Yeah, you want to like walk around the outside, and you’re surveying the thing? Check it out. Yeah, go ahead and give me an investigation check. Where in town would the cemetery be? The cemetery is going to be up one of the foothills, just about I would say like a 10-minute walk from the church up about this area. I would say if this is north, it would be about northwest, up in the foothills. Seven. Seven? You can tell that this was intentionally burned, and that it started inside the church, on the right side it’s exposed. You can see that there’s a center part of the church that is extremely black, almost like there was an explosion, and then a fire. There’s sort of like a medium-size hole in the center of what would technically be the sanctuary of the church. Reverend, did they try to convince you that this was an accident? No, that was not my understanding at all. As they like to say, celebrations go awry very often in Deadwood. It seems like it was just one wild night. With the reverend inside it, made it out of course, but didn’t want to stay too long after that. Whatever was used to start this seems more than just a tipped-over candle, or a broken lantern. It took a decent amount of power to burn this, this way. How do you know that? Well, I mean look at it. You can tell the blast radius, and also I’m a little bit fascinated with chemistry, and alchemy, and the sciences of the world. That’s amazing, you are truly gifted, blessed by God. Oh I’m blessed with money, and money can pay for a lot of things, including an education. Anyway, let’s go. You guys have your lanterns? You have your soiled blue rug attached to the back of a healthy horse. You each mount up on the horses. Ride out of town. I never go inside the church. You don’t? No.
I understand. Do we notice? Fogg like he’s keeping a wide berth? I would say you were preoccupied with the church. He’s seeing to the horses, and helping people get on the horse. You’re an experienced, you’ve ridden a horse before, right? Once or twice. Once or twice. So you’re helping everybody get situated. I would say, you wouldn’t pay much attention to the fact he didn’t go in. In a place like this, it’s not unusual for people to not want to go into a church. It’s more unusual if they walk into one. As you’re right at the foothills outside of town, making your way through the Black Hills, you arrive at a narrow canyon. What? (laughter) Before we get too far out of town. Uh huh. I do want to wave everyone to stop for a moment, dismount, I’m going to distribute the equipment that was purchased. I would like to do that before we get too far into the wild. See what happens out of the fucking rug. Once you guys clear the graveyard. This fucking rug, the emphasis is important. Once you guys clear, I would say, the graveyard to the northwest of town, and you crest over that hill, start heading into the Black Hills, but nobody from the town would be able to see you up there, I think that would be a great spot to do it. Great, pull of the side there, get off the horse, unravel the rug, and pass out, say a Bowie knife to you, you seem to have already your firearm situated for you. For you, I’m going to go ahead and give you the Winchester 76, 45 caliber rifle. You, you said you wanted something handy, so I’ll give you a Colt Army, it’s my personal preference there. Take that and keep that at your side. These come with gun-belts as well, at least for you. You just got to straddle over the shoulder. Although, would you want a rifle boot, I would say? Would that be practical with my outerwear? Nope, here’s a rifle. (laughter) You said you wanted something a little more close-range, and keeping it easy. Why don’t you Reverend take yourself a double-barrel shotgun. Excellent. (laughter) Yeah I’d take a moment and instruct him how to not shoot his own fucking head off. When he’s done with the rifle I actually toss him a leather coat and be like: Don’t want to get your cloth too dusty. This is very nice, heavy, heavy made. How do I look? Anyway, everyone get yourself together, now that we’ve had our equipment distributed. We make the rest of our way towards a narrow pass. As you guys are now armed up, on your horses, make your way through the Black Hills, and you arrive at a narrow canyon. It’s wide enough for probably like, for your five horses and probably two or three more, if you guys were all riding side-by-side, but not that much more wide, it’s pretty narrow. As you guys start to trot your way through the canyon, the ground begins to shake, strong enough for you to feel it on horseback, and you see the mountains to the side of you, small and large and medium-sized rocks are starting to fall down into the canyon. As you pick up your pace a little bit, the shaking gets stronger, and you start to hear this sort of thundering sound, and from around the side of the crest, comes a stampede of horses. Oh God. And they are on your ass. I need you all to roll riding. Oh shit, a riding check! (yelling) Oh God. If you’re unskilled, and you do not have a point in riding, at all, it’s unskilled, you’re going to take away two. I rolled a six. Oh, and I explode. Roll it again. I rolled a five.
One. Great. Seven. Five, total. Oh yeah, because you’re minus. If I roll a four on a four does it explode, do I go again? A four on a D-four, yes. Another two. Six. Six, fantastic. Reverend? Three. Three, fantastic. Clayton? I’m very experienced riding, I’ve been on horseback most of my life, especially as a Texan. I rolled a two. Fantastic. Fogg, where are you? Let’s see, I rolled a five and a four. Fantastic. I rolled a four on a D-four. Go ahead and re-roll it. Two. Fantastic. The horses swarm up behind you, and start rushing through you. They are there going way faster than you, and these are much faster horses. They also don’t have large people with large weapons bogging them down. The three of you sort of group together in the center, and are riding in tandem, going through, trying to match whatever you can the pace of the horses. The other two of you have been left on the flanks, and as you guys get about halfway through the canyon, one of the horses just turns as hard as he can, and sort of pit-maneuvers your horse, Clayton, and you fall off it and hit the side of the mountain. Ohh! Moments later, the Reverend sees this, and he turns around and tries to yell something out at you, and two horses slam into the back of his horse at the same time. You go flying off, and somersault up far enough, close enough, to the side of the mountain, to where you’re not getting trampled, but you two need to get up, and you need to start running. Hell yeah. The three of you– We make eye contact immediately. The three of you have no choice, you are in the flow of traffic at this point. But, you’re still on your horses. Both of you, your horses are dead. Oh shit! Oh buddy. You each suffer one wound. Oh man, okay. Now, the wounds work in a weird way for our game, is that right? Bartender? If you have a wound, and if you don’t get to it, in a couple of hours, it could turn into an injury, at some point. I have natural healing in order to take care of yourself as things go by. But walking around with a wound, well, it sucks. If you suffer a wound, you take a shot. If you take three shots, you’re incapacitated. You two can mark on your sheet that you’ve suffered a wound, and you can take your shot. One shot, two shot, three shot. I’m going to keep that on the side, and throw in a benny. I ain’t going to take a wound from no goddamn fucking horse. That shit hurt. So make a vigor roll. So look at your vigor there. Make a vigor roll. Your vigor is good though. It is. Seven. Fantastic. Your one wound is removed. The bartender now gets to take it. Hey bartender. Reverend Mason, are you? I’m hurt. You’re hurt. Okay. I want to get to safety first though, before I try to, is the fucking stampede still a-thundering by? The stampede by this point has passed the two of you. They’re still caught up in it. If you guys want to try and run, it’s only about I would say 50 more yards to the end of the canyon. As you guys can see from your vantage point, and you guys can, too, as you reach the end of the canyon, and the narrowness is gone, the horses just sort of, take off and continue their way across the Black Hills. I see the Reverend struggling, but I’ll go over and grab his arm and help him along. We both run in tandem. Thank you my son. Do you guys want to sort of pull over and wait for them? Yeah, absolutely, absolutely, in fact, if it’s safe enough to double back, once the horses pass, I’d like to ride back and double back. You absolutely can. There’s going to be a lot of dust and dirt and some rocks you’ll have to watch out for, but you can make your way back. Yeah, I’m not going to go nuts on it. I’m just going to get to them so they don’t have to run as far. Reverend are you? I don’t need to ask, you are hurt. Yeah. That hurt, that hurt pretty good. Can we put him on my horse? Let’s do that. Would it hurt more to ride, or to walk, is the question? I figure in the interest of time, we’ll have to push through, we’ll have to ride. I agree. All right, let’s go ahead and get him on your horse. Go ahead and help the Reverend back to riding tandem. Now you’re a big man. Hold on, but not too tight. If you fall off I don’t want you taking me with you. Um, I understand. (laughter) You’re on foot, Clayton? Well if we’re having– Hey Clayton, you can hop on my horse. Just, where’s that rug? (laughter) I should probably put it between us, I don’t want my husband finding out. The rugs long gone. Oh shit.
I got to coat, you’re fine. Looking at how she’s riding the horse, is she an accomplished rider, does she seem to have a fair amount of control? Arabella?
Yeah. Are you an accomplished rider? I’m good at riding side-saddle, and taking very fancy pictures. Why don’t you go ahead and get behind me, and I’ll go ahead and take this horse to stead. No offense. Can I still ride side-saddle, or do I need to straddle one leg around your body? Miss Whitlock, the choice is yours. I don’t really honestly give a shit. So be it, it’s your tailbone, hiyah. God damn, this is painful to watch. (laughter) We’re going to have to collect the rope and lantern and supplies, from around my dead horse’s, but not hers. You can’t, one of the lanterns is broken. Shit! But could still be functional if you want to take it with you. Yeah I’ll take it. Let’s do it. Your rope is fine, your horse is not. So you’re all together now? The two of you are doubled up, the two of you are doubled up. Fogg, for the first time today is not doubled up. (laughter) We need to give him a little bit of a break. He may be riding but it isn’t comfortable, I’m sure. Get some of that chafing space. He could be walking even funnier tomorrow. As you guys crest the final hill on your way to the mining area you were sent to investigate, you notice a smokestack, coming about a hundred yards away from where you are. As you cautiously ride toward it, you begin to smell the source of the smoke. It’s not wood burning, it’s something else, something that smells old, rotten, almost like a darkness caught fire. Once you reach the clearing, you see smoke coming from a large pit in the ground. Surrounding the pit lay several bodies. From this distance, can I peer and see any details as to the bodies’ current status. How close do you guys want to be to the pit and to the smoke? I want to keep as much distance as possible before I can assess if these are recently deceased or not. Give me an investigation check please. Investigation check. I take my handkerchief and I cover around my face. Okay. I’m blocking smoke. Wonderful. That’s a, 11. Minus two, technically. These are human corpses. They’re fucking dead. Smoke is coming from the middle of the pit. From the distance that you can see, the pit looks to be definitely deeper than about five feet, from where you can see into it, and then you can’t see anymore. But you see the corpses laid around, and you smell, you smell rotting flesh. You smell burning, rotting flesh. You can also see, there is no one else, and nothing else out here at this scene. It’s you guys, these dead bodies, this pit and smoke coming from it. Checking the map we got from Dan, is this like is this nearing, or close to the vicinity of where we’re supposed to be heading? Based on the shitty trees that he drew that were marking this sort of clearing, this is the only clearing anywhere near where Dan had drawn, this must be it. Well it looks like we found our quarry, apparently. Does the earth look like it’s been disturbed, burned, singed, exploded? Go ahead and make an investigation check for me. Fuck, three. Three? You can tell the ground has been disturbed, by someone making a large pit out of it. (laughter) Have the bodies been burned, or is it just he earth? That’s what I’m trying to figure out from this distance. We have to get a bit closer to really figure that out. I’ll hop off the horse, and start walking closer. The same, don’t want to be anywhere near the possible space where the horse gets spooked and we’re on back of it. Would you guys like to tie up your horses, and do you want to leave them there? Let’s hitch them, is there somewhere to hitch them nearby? Many many different trees that are around. Would it be a good idea for some of us to walk down and investigate. I’ve got a long rifle to– To watch. To watch over. It’s up to you guys, it’s up to you. I’ll watch over as well. I’ll go down, I’ll go down in the front. You two staying back, the three of you are going to do down? All right. Take it easy, Reverend. Be gentle. I will. (laughter) Someone make sure he doesn’t shoot his own face off. I swear to God. (laughter) Go ahead and make an investigation check for me, since the two of you already did, and since you’re going to walk up there. Six three. I’m keeping my coat open on both sides. Oh, shit, across the board, four? I still succeeded, but four. Okay, that’s great. You notice surveying equipment on the ground. Okay. Mining equipment and surveying equipment. Some of it’s been burned, a lot of it’s just busted up. Some of it’s still intact. It’s sort of strewn around the area, amidst the corpses. Does it look like the corpses came from the center of this hole? Or can we see drag marks that there were bodies being tossed in? You don’t see any drag marks, but all the bodies are sort of on the outside of the pit, that you can see. There’s probably I would say seven or eight bodies outside the pit, just strewn in various different areas, and the mining equipment, and stuff like that behind them. As you get closer, because of your super-high investigation check, you look down on the ground next to one of the bodies, and you pick up a letter, and you open the letter, and it’s written in Gaelic. Oh shit. Which probably tells you that these miners were Irishmen. Irishmen. Do you guys want to approach the pit, see what’s inside of it? Do you want to search the bodies. I would like to search the bodies, and inspect for the means of actual death. There you go. I’ll inspect the pit to see if I can ascertain the cause of the fire. As you walk up to the pit first. Covering my mouth. You look down over the side, the smoke has sort of started to subside a little bit, and you’re able to see, a few dozen more corpses inside the pit, along with thousands and thousands of snake-like bodies, but they don’t look like any snakes you’ve ever seen, and they’re all dead. Did you say thousands? Thousands. This pit is filled with burnt snake-looking creatures, and bones, and bodies of Irish miners. I panic and run back to the Reverend and Mister Sharpe. It’s a nightmare. What do you mean, what did you see? Whatever, whatever demonic entity, or being, or whatever, has caused this, it’s some sort of, it’s like a scene from hell. There are snakes, thousands of snakes. What are you talking about? Go see for yourself. We’ll go make our way. I go ahead and draw one of my Colt Armies, and carefully approach the edge of the pit. From afar, we can see her run back to them, right? You can, you can’t hear what she’s saying to them, but you can– I say Ally, I think we’d better be exceptionally at the ready. Yeah, you can see that she’s appeared distressed, from what you could tell from her body language, because her face was covered, but yeah you could see that definitely something was up. I’m drawn. Fantastic. I’ve been drawn, but I’m definitely more aware, definitely more aware of the surroundings. Have there been any clues as to what killed the people who are on the outside of the pit? If you want to get close enough and start like looking at one of the bodies, you can do that. Make me a notice check, if you can please. Ew. Yeah, do that again. 10.
Okay. You can tell that this person, this corpse in particular, that you are examining, has been dead probably only in the last few hours. You can see that his mouth is wide open, and you see a bunch of tearing and bleeding inside of his mouth. Some of his teeth are missing, it looks like rather recently, and all you can tell is that the inside of his mouth looks like it’s been mutilated. And most of his tongue is missing, and some of his teeth. There’s blood coming out of his eye sockets. There’s blood coming out of his ears. Wow. I turn back as I’m approaching the pit, and from just the body. Whatever caused this, and I say it with a little bit of volume, so maybe they can catch it as well. Whatever caused this seems to have been relatively recent, probably within hours and, Reverend, by whatever holiness holds you, something mighty foul has taken the inside of this poor fucker’s mouth. Mister Sharpe don’t turn your back on the pit. You’re making me nervous. I don’t turn my back on anything. I look back towards the pit and just double-confirm the interior. Okay. Have we seen anything like these snake-like bodies before? Never, never. You said about a dozen other human corpses in there as well? Yeah, six or seven outside the pit, about a dozen or so inside. About in the same shape as they are on the outside, or have they been? They’ve been burned. It appears that they have been burned. Does it have any walkway, or any other means of climbing into it? Not anymore. All the ropes, ladders, and mining equipment in the pit, were burned. And, you can tell because you keep rolling fucking high-ass investigation, but this was an oil fire. Someone lit this, and burned this. What do you make of those creatures? I was hoping to ask you the same thing. Haven’t seen anything like it in my days. I haven’t seen anything on this Earth like that. How much more investigating do we got to do to get our other 250 and get the fuck out of here? Gentlemen? Let’s rejoin with the others. I said to Sharpe and the Reverend. Hold on just a second, is there any, how close is the nearest corpse to one of this snake creatures? The pit goes down about 10, 15 feet, and it is full of this rotting flesh, bones, they’re in various different states of decay and destruction. You would have to, either use your rope, to go down there, or fucking jump. I’ll do that. Reverend, hold the half of this rope if you don’t mind, just anchor me for a moment. I go ahead and turn around and put my gun in there, and slowly lower myself down, rappelling just to get within range to grab one or two of these snake-like things, and toss it up over the edge of the pit. Okay. I say, be mindful, incoming, and lob it up. Then, climb my way back up. The snake corpse lands sort of at the feet of Reverend Mason, who is holding you at the rope. Reverend Mason you look down at this snake-like creature, and you can tell in the state that it’s in, that it has almost these small tentacles around either its mouth or its tail, you’re not sure. This corpse is about three feet long. As you’re looking down at it, after Clayton threw it up at the top of the pit where you’re standing, the ground where the snake-corpse is laying begins to, sort of, you see the dirt begin to crumble, and you see it start to sort of collapse into itself, as the snake-corpse disappears into the sand. A little help here! Hold on son, just don’t let me go. Help! I hear him yelling, and I gallop forward. Okay. Aloysius! Miriam! Let’s go. You guys are making your way down. As you do, Clayton, why don’t you go ahead and give me an athletics check for climbing back up the pit. You got it. While you’re doing that, yeah go ahead. I’m off my horse, I’m just running down. (laughter) Absolutely, you guys get there in about 20 seconds. Do you have a problem? Two. Two? As you’re running down, and as you’re attempting to climb, you’re holding onto the rope just fine. Reverend Mason, who’s holding on to his end of the rope, is frightened by what he’s seeing in the ground, and as you see that snake-like creature’s corpse disappear, the gap in the ground remains, and out of it comes a perfectly healthy one of these creatures, who wraps itself around your leg, (yelling) and pulls you to the ground behind you. Fuck! And we need you to make a survival check. Oh no no no. Okay okay. Please don’t fuck me. Four! Well wait, I have a wound, does that mean minus one to that? No. Oh thank God. No, no no, you’re fine. Don’t ask him questions like that. We got to go with it. You fall to the ground, and maintain control of the rope. You, as you’re climbing halfway up, with your sexy-ass gloves on, climbing halfway up the hill, you start to hear him screaming and freaking out. You don’t know what’s going on, the rope sort of gives a pull, but you stay still. You’re sort of grabbing at the sides of this pit at the wall, to sort of stabilize yourself, and as you do you see down at your feet, out from the bottom of the pit, come about four or five of these other creatures. They are three feet long. God damn it. Their mouths have several tongues, several tentacles around them. Their tail has sharp pointers on the end of it. These are no snakes you’ve ever seen. They’re about this thick, and about three feet wide. It’s time to deal your cards. (yelling) In this game, in this game you do not roll initiative. Initiative is dealt to you. (laughter) Let’s see what fate has decided. Come on Vegas. Travis. Angeli. Khary. Marisha. Matt. Now, Matt you have the Joker card, which means in the initiative order, you can go whenever the fuck you want, even in the middle of someone else’s turn, and even in the middle of an enemy’s turn. The rest of you, we will go in order. And because it’s Ally’s face on there, does that mean he dies instantly? No. That means he’s my god damn savior. It’s going to go, ace is 11, all the way down. So highest to lowest. Highest to lowest. If there’s two cards of the same denomination, like we have here, we have a six of diamonds, and a six of hearts, the six of hearts is going to go first because it’s reverse alphabetical order. Up first, one of the snake creatures is going to try and attack you, Clayton. I will take my turn immediately before it goes up. Time to scramble my ass out of that pit. Okay, go ahead and make another athletics check for me. Come on. There you go, it’s a five. You want to climb out? I’m just climbing out. You’re still holding onto the rope, you are on the ground, but you’re stabilized. You have your feet, yeah, you have your feet dug in, whatever you’re doing. Yeah, you make your way up to the top of the thing, and you are now out of range of the creature from below the pit that was trying to strike you. You’re god damn right I am. Now, you guys can see from out of various parts of the ground surrounding the pit, and out of the pit, after he has cleared it, come slithering about seven or eight of these creatures, and they’re looking at you, and they’re looking around, and they’re seeing how you’re grouped together, and they seem to be just sort of like taking it in, as they sway back and forth, and they’re looking at you. I don’t know if to wait until my turn, but also to just draw my guns. Yes you can. All right, pull aside and grab both my Colts and just like start backing away, facing towards the ground and the pit. Absolutely. You had doubles? Yeah. Arabella? I’m going to fumble a little bit and get the Colt that Mister Sharpe just got me, and I’m going to hit the one that we pulled out of the pit, that’s right next to the Reverend. Is it on my leg? No no no, it wrapped around your leg, pulled you down, and then circled back around behind you. It was waiting for the others. It’s not on your leg anymore. It’s not attacking, and attached to him. None of them are attacking at the moment. One tried to attack him obviously, but they are looking at you, they’re hostile as fuck, and they’re looking at you, but nobody has bit at anyone yet. They’ve just taken him down, and tried to attack him. But that one, after bringing him down, scurried away back a few feet, and waited for a few other ones to appear out of the ground. Hold off on this shooting part, and I’m just suggesting in your brain, somehow magically. Who wants to back away? I will definitely back away. You want to back away, do you want to back away? Since I’ve got the long-range, I’m going to start to back away slowly, but still obviously keep trained on whatever’s closest to our compadres. As the two of you sort of back away a few feet, two of the snake-like creatures make their way towards both of you. They’re not attacking, but they are moving, they are slithering towards you. It’s your turn, Arabella. Do you want to do anything else besides back up? Smoke that fucking thing! As soon as I see them start to head towards us, I fire. Okay. You go ahead and make a– It’s a shooting.
Yep. Make a shoot. (laughter) Oh no, oh no! Double ones. Yes! As you, which gun are you using? My Colt. As you aim down the sights at one of the snake-like creatures, and go to fire it, the weapon backfires, and you can see the round actually shoot behind you and get stuck in a tree, and the gun all of a sudden becomes extremely hot and you drop it. The second it hits the ground, one of the other snake-like creatures comes and grabs it and drags it into the pit. What? I just bought that gun. (laughter) These things are far too clever.
Up next is Reverend Mason. Yeah, I’m going to crab walk back with my double-barreled shotgun, and the one that’s closest to me, I’m going to aim and try and remove it from this plane of existence. Go ahead. Six, explode to eight. That hits. Oh damage, right. You got it right there, yeah you got it. Okay, and I’m within 12 feet of it? Yes. Four, 10. 10 points of damage. Do you want to fire both rounds at once? Or one round at a time? I think I’d panic and I’ll pull both triggers at the same time. Fantastic. Are they slugs, or is it buckshot? I have a spread, so like buckshot. Okay cool, as you do, you see immediately the creature who is sort of half of it up on its belly, in attack mode, just gets sprayed with buckshot, that you aimed perfectly, and it backs away a little bit, and two of the other healthy ones sort of come in to almost guard it, and protect it. It’s bleeding a little bit, but it’s still hostile, and it still wants to eat at you. Any movement, or would you like to? Yeah, I’m crab-walking backwards, just trying to get back as far as I can. As you walk backwards, the two snakes guarding the other one, sort of stay where they are. They’re a little bit cautious, it looks like they’re still checking everything out. Fogg? I thought he said fuck. Me too. I’ll say fuck. (laughter) Just to reassess, we still have the two that were coming up on Arabella and myself. You’re just a little bit, maybe ahead of us, is that where we are? I’m way ahead of all you guys, just getting out of the pit. He’s just getting out of the pit? So we still have these two chasing us-ish. Do I have a lantern on me? Yeah. Everything was burned before. In the pit. If I take the light from the lantern and just wave it just to see, yeah, ward them off. To see how that does. Yeah, go ahead and make an intimidation check. Good luck. Let me see, a six. Is that? Was it a D six? If so, do it again. So reroll add. Two? Fantastic, so eight. Which ones are you waving the lantern at? I suppose the– There’s a few by the pit, that came out after he did, that are chilling towards the edge of the pit. There’s the two with them, and there’s three sort of near where Reverend Mason is. The three towards the Reverend. If you walk over there, and start sort of waving, I would say you’d be within about four or five feet from them, as you sort of like waving it back and forth, you see the creatures sort of like, back away a little bit, they’re not leaving, but they definitely back away, and they definitely close in closer to try and protect that wounded one. All right. So Reverend, these things don’t seem to like fire, but you got some kind of Bible shit you can get a load of maybe? Mm-hmm. Bible shit would work real good right now, I feel like. (laughter) The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not walk– Talk about fire. For he burns fucking serpents with fire. (laughter) Yeah, why don’t we just make it up as we go along? Obviously, they haven’t read the good book, you can make it up as you go along. Speak through me Lord. (laughter) I play the preachers who made this shit up. Amazing. Fantastic. You want to do any more movement, or are you okay? Maybe I take the Reverend with me and just back us away, as I continue to, and let them know, everybody, they don’t seem to like fire. Maybe we should light up. And that is what I do. Okay, yes. I light up. Okay, as you do, do you get behind her? I 100% do. As you get behind her, the two snake-like creatures also file into single-file, and they slither back about a foot from you as you’re waving the lantern. Fuckers. No id. Why’d you have to lose that alcohol-soaked rug? (laughter) I mean we can go back and get it. Up next, one of the snake-like creatures, that’s guarding the one that was wounded by you, Reverend Mason, is going to try and attack you with its bite. It’s going to slither up to you and try to bite you. As it approaches you, it catches a glimpse, a little bit closer of the lantern that Miriam is waving, and it almost has this moment of, and looks at it, and then decides, he backs away, back into file, protecting that other wounded snake. That’s right, be gone Satan. Mister Sharpe? It’s now your turn. You have successfully made it out of the pit. I have. You have two snakes, a little bit hot on your heels. I do, and I have not seen a god damn thing you all have been doing. (laughter) There’s something else, so as I’m backing away, I’m just going to, just double shot towards the one that’s nearest to me. Okay, go ahead and give me a shooting. All righty. As to the first one, it’s going to be, it’s going to be a five. The second one is going to be, a three. Okay, as you fire both of those rounds, the first one hits the dirt next to one of the snakes. The second one hits the snake, go ahead and roll damage. All righty. That’s five points of damage. Okay. I’m just beginning to back up, and I’m shouting like, “What the fuck are these things?” After the first shot, the snake lunges towards you, and you sort of get your aim on perfectly, and you’re able to fire a round straight down the snake’s mouth, exploding out the back of it, and it flops down onto the ground, completely still. And, after you do that, the other rattlers start to dig into the ground, and disappear, the few that were around you with the lanterns, several go into the ground. One of the ones by you grabs the wounded one, drags it into the snake pit. After they all disappear, the ground sort of just like, the dirt is still as it was before, almost as if these things can activate quicksand and make the dirt sort of do what it wants. The others scurry away. As you guys stand there around the snake pit, you start to suddenly see small black spots appearing in your vision, that seem to grow larger and larger and larger, and as you’re, as you’re standing there, beginning to feel yourselves losing your vision, your breath starts to slow down, you get very dizzy, the black spots are getting larger and larger and larger, and all of you fall unconscious, to the ground. Now, as you’re unconscious, you see nothing, you hear nothing for a few moments. It’s completely still. You’re not aware of your surroundings, in any way shape or form. In the void of light and consciousness, you feel in your mind, a figure approaching you. It’s long, narrow, and massive. You don’t see it but you sense its presence, and it speaks to you in your mind’s eye. It says, “This land is poisoned with the stench of greed. “It’s in the air, “it’s in the dirt, “it’s in the water and the fire. “Give unto me your souls, and I will grant you power. “The dealer will see you now.” Suddenly you see flashes of white against the darkness, pulsating, after several beats of this, a silhouette of a dealer appears before you. His face has no features, it’s blank. You see his face and you see his hands and nothing else. Can we see each other? You cannot see each other, and it’s not a visual, it’s sort of in your mind’s eye. You see the dealer deals out five cards in front of you. He lifts one up to you, Arabella, and you see this. Fogg, you see this. Clayton, you see this. Reverend Mason, you see this. Miriam, you see this. He shuffles the cards. You hear the familiar voice again, come back and say, “You decide the fate of this land.” It says nothing else. The image of the dealer and the cards fades from your minds’ eye, as you awake back to consciousness. Reverend Mason? While you were unconscious, beside the vision that you saw, what did you dream about? I saw a stampede of horses, I saw some men astride those horses, wounded, bleeding. I saw the moon above as I thundered through the night on my own horse. I saw the wilderness and barren townscapes, as I move through them. And I saw a chapel with a preacher in front of it. Arabella, what did you dream about. I saw thick, black smoke, billowing out from the train, skeletal figures in the smoke, being overcome by disease, eating other flesh. The smoke from the train turns to smoke from the church. Visions of my sister’s eyes, blow the decay away. Miriam? What did you dream about? I dreamt about a small makeshift encampment, it was like a shed, a tiny shed, that suddenly burst into flames. I began running from the fire, even though it felt like it was right behind me. At one point I turned behind me and I stopped and I saw that it was a church on fire instead, a church all aflame. Absolutely. Fogg? A bolt of lightning. Screaming from a burning church. Screaming or singing. I couldn’t tell which. There’s a person inside, singing or screaming, I can’t tell which. But a burning church. Clayton, what did you dream about? I dreamt of the ravenator, unfamiliar city, walking through a main street, as every person in the town turns at once to face me. All eyes on me. Unrelenting, unblinking. Wherever I try to hide, they follow, and they point. As I try and free the town, there he stands. As you all come back to consciousness, there are no snakes around you. The fire has gone out completely. It’s now the middle of the night. Oh shit. Fuck. The scene is still and quiet, much more than when you got there, and much more than when you fell asleep. Those whose horses survived the stampede, are still tied up by the trees. As you look down at your feet, as you come to consciousness, you see your gun that was thrown into the pit back at your feet, and the cap on it is no longer burned. What do you guys want to do? Can we relight the lanterns? Absolutely. I immediately relight my lantern. Absolutely. Is everyone all right? Define all right. That’s a real good question, I have no idea what just happened. How long has it been? I look at the moon, how far in the sky is it? Can I deduce what time it might be in the middle of the night? I would say for the purposes of this, it’s high moon. (laughter) I knew I got one. That’s all you get. I’m in this outfit. How could you not? I would say the moon is high and it’s nearly full. It’s got to be midnight, judging by how far it is off the horizon, and being this close to the equinox. I pull open my kit, and I pull out some sage, and I light it and I start burning it, and in the dust I grab a stick nearby and I start drawing out the all-seeing eye. What the hell is that? I’m just, any type of additional protection. Don’t get me wrong, Reverend. I’m sure the good Lord is in our good favor, but. But we can use all the help we can get. Exactly. The Lord is our shepherd, but I have never seen anything like those things. What were they? Can we get back to the city? To the town? We can certainly backtrack, we’ll be traveling. Hours away at night. Well if you double up you’ve got enough horses for everybody to ride. Are we sure any of that actually happened? I mean it, my gun, it got pulled into the pit. And it’s here. I’m pretty sure we all had the exact same vision. Something happened. The question is, is that we’ve been given a second chance? I mean whatever it is knocked us out and left us here, and now we’re fine. What did that thing say to you? It said that we had something to do with this land being– Poisoned.
Poisoned. By greed. But that we had something to do with the land’s salvation, was that not right? So we all had the same dream. I saw a dealer. Did anyone else see a dealer? I did too. Seemed like it. This is some fucked up shit, and I just go ahead and like toss out the two expended shells, and replace them to load the guns, and walk aggressively towards the edge of the pit, not too close, but just to look back in, and see with whatever lantern is available, and try and see if what we saw originally is still within there. It is, some of the bodies are more charred than before, because there was still some under-fire going on there, and just the heat and everything. But everything else looks the same. Well whatever it was wasn’t entirely a vision. These things are still there. So take solace in the knowledge that that fuckery’s still around. Can I try and heal myself, spend a chip to get rid of this wound? Because it’s the middle of the fucking night. You can. And we’re going to have to go somewhere to get rid of it. For my high moon joke sir. (laughter) What do I do with the shot glass, just put it to the side? You are no longer wounded, the bartender will come pick that up. Okay, good deal. Your horses, as you can see, you start to hear them neighing, and you can see the horses are getting a little bit restless, tied up at the trees. I’d really like to get back, or at least get on these horses and get out of here. I concur. Well what are we going to tell Mister Swearengen? I have a feeling he was looking for a tangible reason for the issues of this mine. Are we going to tell them that demonic snake creatures is the reason? I mean there’s no sign of any of these creatures, the one that was shot, corpses anywhere around? We could take a corpse back. Yeah, what happened last time I tried to do that, though. That’s what’s making me a little fucking nervous. We can figure out our story as soon as we get out of here. I would just as soon be as far away from these creatures and closer to town. You don’t want to throw a body over the back of a horse, for our ride in. It’ll go a lot further than just our word. I’ll tell you what, are the human bodies still around? Yeah, the corpses that are on the outside of the pit are still there. Let me take out my Bowie knife, I’m going to carve off the head of the man whose inside of his mouth was destroyed. Oh my. Oh Clayton. You cut off the head, and you now have a dead miner’s head. How long is his hair? He’s got short hair. All right. It’ll be longer hair. He’s got short hair. He’s got short hair, and he’s clean shaven. I really would’ve preferred– You want to grab one of them snakes? Be my guest, I ain’t goin’ back in there. Here let me, are there any snake carcasses around? The only snake carcasses that remain are inside the pit. Are in the pit. Any other ones that were outside the pit, the live ones disappeared back into the ground, taking with them any dead or wounded. I feel like that head is all the evidence we need. That’ll serve. I’ll toss it in the sack with the guns, where it originally leading me to, and just toss it over the back of the horse. Sorry. Can I ride with you? Hop on lady. All right. This time I don’t care, I wrap my legs around him. (crosstalk) The storm be fucking damned. (laughter) Are you two double up on a horse again? We are, we have good riding skill, or do you just have one. It’s decent, it’s a D four again. Okay, we’re in the same boat. You two are doubled up, and you are doubled up with the head of a dead Irishmen. I am. As you guys leave this terrifying scene, start to make your way back through, you decide to circumvent the narrow canyon this time. Great idea. You have a very peaceful, quite trip back. Once you crest the final hill, over where the graveyard is, and you can see the town of Deadwood, you see something unusual, which is most of the street lanterns, that haven’t been stolen, are lit. In the distance you see, all this light coming from the town. It seems odd, for those of you who have spent some time there. Usually there’s just one or two, but the town’s lit up like there’s, like there’s something happening. As you get closer, you start to hear the familiar crackling sound of gunfire, start to echo up the hills at you. What? Fuck no. God damn it. As you get closer, you start to feel faint again, but not seeing the spots. You just start to slow down. Your horses sense something happening and your horses slow down. As you sort of group up together and you’re each sort of sensing the same thing, your vision goes black, and you hear the voice once more tell you, “How do you want to dispel your hate?” You have access to power. Let’s play a game. Your vision comes back to you. Suddenly, within you, you start to feel this arcane energy pulsating through your blood, your heart, your brain. You look at each other, and everyone sort of looks like they’ve just taken five cups of coffee and everyone looks amped. You can see, glowing around each of you, this blue-green sort of hue, it’s faint, it’s not lighting up the valley, but you can see it around each of the other one’s of you, and as you try to take each other in, and you’re feeling this sort of tingling sensation, you look down at your hands, and you can see light going through each of your fingers, as if there was ink going through each of your veins, translucently, and you can feel within you some sort of strength that you didn’t have before. As you look at each other and notice that everyone’s having this same exact reaction to whatever this thing said to you, that’s where we’re going to end our first session. (exclaiming) Oh shit, all right. All righty.

100 thoughts on “UnDeadwood Part I: Stay Close, Reverend

  1. HEY, there might be some SPOILERS under the thing

    1:00 Episode Starts

    3:10 Reverend Mason’s sermon/offertory

    7:20 Marisha’s southern accent is fantastic

    13:10 Fogg is smooth as hell

    14:55 The Head Cock, Al Swearingen

    15:55 I ship Fogg and Arabella

    17:55 The job

    21:30 Reverend Mason intro

    22:45 Brian asks Travis to do this every day

    23:00 Arabella Whitlock intro

    24:25 Clayton Sharpe intro

    25:10 Miriam Landsiman intro

    26:40 Aloysius Fogg intro

    30:30 Miriam and Arabella

    31:20 Fogg takes advantage of the hospitality

    33:05 Reverend has his own three

    34:45 Swearingen is making a plan

    39:30 Fogg avails himself of 3 mouths (and 6 ears?)

    42:45 Fogg is muffled

    43:35 Arrabella and Reverend Mason

    45:25 First roll

    46:45 Again, Brian asks Khary this all the time

    49:55 Clayton has parenthetical friends

    50:55 Miriam flexes her power

    51:55 Fogg is doing alright

    56:25 Miriam saves the Reverend

    58:35 Clayton ain’t no snitch

    1:04:20 Miriam protects the Reverend’s reputation

    1:05:30 Fogg’s revolving rifle

    1:08:25 Arabella is a bad girl

    1:12:50 Clayton unwraps the rug

    1:14:25 The reverend needs to learn gun safety

    1:15:55 The stampede

    1:18:25 The bartender explains how to not die

    1:21:30 Marisha and Matt straddle each other

    1:22:45 Fogg is riding solo

    1:26:25 Reverend Mason is taking it easy

    1:28:20 In the pit

    1:33:40 There’s officially something weird going on

    1:36:25 Time to deal the cards

    1:37:30 Battle begins

    1:43:50 Improvising some Bible

    1:48:25 The Dealer

    1:50:30 What Reverend Mason saw

    1:51:25 What Arabella saw

    1:52:15 What Miriam saw

    1:52:55 What Fogg saw

    1:53:30 What Clayton saw

    1:55:25 HIGH MOON

    1:59:25 Collecting evidence

    2:02:05 Power up

    2:03:25 Episode Ends

    The in-game start date for the episode was the late 1870’s in South Dakota.

    Thank you, Brian, this was a fantastic birthday present. It looks great, everyone’s acting is incredible, and the ramp of tension was beautiful. I’ve never tolerated you more.

    Any moments I missed? Feel free to post them here. Is it Thursday yet?

  2. Man I would love Deadlands as a long term campaign. One of my favorite game worlds and systems. Thanks for sharing this awesome world with all of us!

  3. Holy Hades on a hot Tuesday… I love the complete difference between DM Matt and Player Matt. Such a talented gem.

  4. What the hell is this set, this looks crazy amazing! Tho I do find it really strange when people do RPGs in costumes. I like the relaxed feel for normal CR. This is still awesome though.

  5. OMG this made me so happy! because my first thought was i could never play in this game because there is no way for me to play the old west without being grungy and i know matt doesn't like profanity then he screamed suck my dick and i was so full of joy!

  6. Did they seriously set up a fan just to blow Matt's hair?

    Oh my goodness, the level of extra I aspire to be, tbh.

  7. If I could only pick one reason to love this it would be that we get to experience Matt as a player. It's great seeing him on the other side of the screen.

  8. subs on 51:48 say 'bella bella' and girls are actually saying '-power – power' in reference at Miriam telling Arabella women have power just moments before

  9. 1:18:24 The moment when the bartender (Ivan) suddenly pipes up and explains injuries while staying in character and serving drinks. What an amazing mechanic, brought up at the perfect time in an awesome way.
    Also, the Rev is adorable. I like him so much. But Miriam was the MVP.

  10. damn the intro gave me chills! Not only superb animation and themes but the song sounded like of one the song clues from the cicada 3301 movement hahaha. AMAZING campaign !

  11. i have a horrible habit of getting excited and commenting before i've watched a whole crit role video, but man, this intro is top tier. good job, brian.

  12. Two best parts for part 1….
    1. The bartender laughing in the background to Travis's Father, Son, and Holy Ghost quip
    2. Everyone's awe when their vision fades for the first time, and Matt is sitting there calculating what DM sorcery is going on

  13. The look the girls gave each other after "I never let a woman drink alone."
    UGH I love these girls I'll protect them with my life omfg send help I'm dying. That little smile and nod has killed me. Girls support girls, I love this show so much I'm gonna cry.

  14. I'm a sucker for westerns myself. seeing it in a D and D session is a first! And with all the new characters and the feel of Deadwood, I am going to very much enjoy this series.

  15. What's with Matthew's eyes? One pupil is bigger than other. Is he ok? I'm just worried…
    – 1:00:13 (for example)

    Edit: At first I thought it was the lighting issue. But it can't be, right?

  16. I'm adoring Travis playing more social roles between the reverend and Fjord. Also every part of the production is fantastic, outfits, background, lighting, the board. Beautiful!

  17. Do we have any clue as to "classes" yet? I mean I know that Deadwood doesn't exactly do traditional classes but are there any out of the ordinary things?

    Its safe to assume the reverend is a blessed and Marisha is a mad scientist or something of the sort, but I can't get a read on anyone else.

  18. Does anyone else think Matt Mercer actually looked annoyed when Brian said "High Moon". I don't know it might just be me.

  19. Jesus Christ the acting chops in this mini-series. This is high high quality role play (and Brian is an incredible GM!)

  20. Well! I am very impressed by the acting in this. Tremendous improv from the cast, saying the right thing at the right time. Also, whomever did the subtitles for this did a top notch job, they are spot on.

  21. so, are higher numbers better or is it the opposite? because I know in Outbreak:Undead low numbers are better, but I have no clue what game they are playing and what the rules are

  22. This ain't Critical Role, and I'm happy it isn't. The way that they use the camera in this show is completely different, using different cuts to show the dynamic between the players and for some awesome comedic effect too.

  23. Man the captions on this are… not good. I feel like ever since CR switched to paid professional captioners the quality has gone horribly downhill. I almost feel like I'd do better to turn on the auto generated ones. It's not a great look for pros to do a worse job than the volunteer fan team…

  24. I might be violating some rules but in the theme of Deadwood…

    Now that was some fucking amazing role-playing and game mastering! Amazing! Were you guys running Savage Worlds and the Deadlands book?

  25. Holy production values, guys! I think I counted like 7 or 8 cameras? A fully dressed set and mini town? Costumes, makeup, props? And I'm only halfway through. Super impressive, CR crew! Kudos to the whole team.

  26. Watching Critical Role tends to get my creative wheels turning, and with both campaigns I've imagined my own characters alongside them… well, with Undeadwood I've just come up with Former Doctor Nathanial Cobb, who is as good a killer as he is a surgeon, and adheres to a mostly moral code (don't start shit, don't kill folks who ain't done nothing to you, don't kill folks who asked you to keep them alive either, same for mutilating, and don't do any other kinds of fucked-up shit to a person at all) but is also a stone-cold bastard who can and will "take care of" anyone who gets on his bad side

    Also, he flirts with/at the Reverend

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