As Doomtown: Reloaded continues, so does the story. DTR’s launch grounded the storyline in 1878, and the current Deadlands Universe timeline occurs during 1883 per Good Intentions. Nevertheless, there are many opportunities for Savage Tales to be told within this time frame. While PBE has announced the story accompanying Tales From the Epitaph will be a Prequel, we look forward to exploring the rich milieu of the Weird West and the canon of greater Deadlands. PBE plans on starting off our Fall Series of events by moving the story in a direction partially determined by you, the players. As previously announced, we will follow the faction most represented by players throughout the Epitaph Series events, to a city in the Weird West selected by the winner (and Marshall) of tomorrow's 2017 European Championship event! Once again, we summarize the options and the Servitor domain of the associated region. So let's start by exploring what the Servitors are.
A cardinal rule in the world of Deadlands is that evil is never forced upon a mortal soul. It must be chosen. Actually becoming evil must be a conscious choice. While the Reckoners (War, Death, Famine, Pestilence) intend to create Hell on Earth, they can't directly take action in the physical world. Instead, their Servitors, those that chose evil in exchange for some of the Reckoners' power, do their bidding. The four major Servitors: Jasper Stone, Dr. Darious Hellstrome, Raven, and Reverend Ezekiah Grimme, are the most powerful of these agents of evil. Ivor Hawley of the Fourth Ring, was in fact a Servitor of Pestilence. From Gomorra, we will move to the Domain of another Reckoner, as chosen by the UK European Champion. Here are some details on these cities, as represented in Deadlands. The following information is taken from the Servitor Series supplements for the Deadlands role-playing game:
Dodge City (War)
For years Dodge has been a city divided, and nothing has happened yet to change that. If anything the situation has gotten worse since Wasatch won the race to Lost Angels. As the Rail Barons fight over the rights-of-way in Kansas, Dodge City is once again standing at the middle of a battleground.
As a result of Custer’s rash invasion of the Sioux Nations, there have been rumblings in the South over the possibility of making a similar incursion—one that puts the Confederate Army in control of Dodge City. Few believe such a move is imminent, but with all the bickering and shooting between the Rail Barons it seems like any catastrophe is possible. After two years the rumors of Joshua Chamberlain and Mina Devlin’s sordid affair have ceased once and for all. And to think it only took a few bloody skirmishes between Union Blue and Black River—with high body counts—to finally put them to rest. In the wake of the Great Flood of 1880 the alliance between Mina Devlin and Joshua Chamberlain was fraying at the edges, and has finally blown apart at the seams. While they might not do their fighting in the streets of Dodge, Union Blue and Black River agents are looking for ways to hit the other where it hurts the most.
All this new fighting hasn’t done any good for the residents of Dodge. Long-simmering resentments between Northern and Southern loyalists have begun boiling over into bloody murders. The depredations of night riders have produced incidents of appalling cruelty—innocent men, women, and children murdered, and worse—in the name of patriotism. Indian raids have grown more common and more violent, and in response the buffalo hunters have armed themselves with rifles, shotguns, and dynamite. Behind the scenes, Ravenites work to tip the scales toward all-out war. Though it remains a prosperous center for cattle shipping, Dodge City is a powder keg about to blow.
They say Tombstone eats a man for breakfast each morning. That ain’t too far from the truth, amigo, and it’s getting worse with every meal. When last we visited the boomtown, it served as Bayou Vermilion’s western railhead—as well as a prime destination for ghost-rock-laden mule trains from the Great Maze. The Cowboys were a persistent nuisance, but Hank Ketchum and his Texas Ranger posse held them at bay, and Marshal Fred White was able to keep the peace with his deputies’ help.
Things started going bad in 1880, in the wake of the Battle of Lost Angels. The Bayou Vermilion line already ran as far as Railhead, California, where LaCroix’s bid to win the Rail Wars ended—violently. That’s when BV upped the ante and started laying track all up and down the San Pedro River valley, linking all the towns and gold, silver, copper, and ghost rock mines north and south of Tombstone. They brought the Cowboys to heel by officially hiring them as rail enforcers. In October, Curly Bill Brocius shot Marshal Fred White to death...a killing that Wells Spicer’s court ruled accidental. Ketchum rode in with his posse, as always,and kept the peace, but he couldn’t arrest the Cowboys—especially not with them on the BV payroll. When Wyatt Earp and his brothers arrived in town, Virgil Earp was soon appointed Marshal.
Ketchum’s disappearance and the Earps’ smoldering feud with the Cowboys have set the stage for an epic conflagration. Everyone in Tombstone waits for the other shoe to drop.
Lost Angels (Famine)
The Free and Holy City of Lost Angels stands guard at the Great Maze’s gates. The only channel deep enough to allow access from the Pacific to the interior of the Maze lies due west of Prosperity Bay, which is why the rail barons fought over it, and why Wasatch ultimately built their western terminus here. From his great cathedral at the center of town, Reverend Grimme hands down edicts and proclamations
and holds the populace under his thumb. That’s made the city a target of plenty of ire over the years, a trend that isn’t likely to change. Fact is, Reverend Grimme doesn’t care much. As far as he’s concerned, nobody on this Earth can lay a finger on him. Nor would they dare to if they could.
The Battle of Lost Angels
After Hellstromme’s Ghostfire Bombs wiped out most of the rail barons’ gathered might and demolished Ghost Town, Reverend Grimme agreed to a cease-fire. Over the next few days, the railroads sat around licking their wounds and preparing for what they thought would be the Second Battle of Lost Angels. Local Mazers were left to deal with other, unforeseen consequences of the three deadly blasts—the aftermath of a tidal surge that wiped out Floater’s Folly and a dozen smaller settlements, the fact that the entire town of Manitou Bluff vanished only seconds after the explosion, and that little problem with Ghost Town and its fires that won’t go out. Those itching for a fight were disappointed, for on the third day after the battle news spread that an agreement had been reached. Grimme unilaterally granted Hellstromme right-of-way and signed an alliance with Wasatch against any who would interfere—at least within the church’s reach of around 75 miles. A month after the bombs fell, the ports are now walled off and accessible only to the Wasatch company (which can sub-lease to other firms or individuals as it desires). Reverend Grimme runs the city with an iron hand. After the end of the First Great Rail War, Lost Angels is a walled city run and inhabited entirely by its adherents. Anyone who owned a home or business here before is given two choices—join the church or leave with whatever he can carry. Needless to say, most everyone stays. A few quietly packed up and moved out for Perdition when they had a little more time to organize, but most just agreed to attend church and pay Grimme his 10% tithe on all income. Those who stayed serve Grimme’s needs all too well. They get a lasting and satisfying feast at least once a week—sometimes more—and Grimme gets a population of around 30,000 who regularly eat of human flesh and bring the world just a little bit closer to Hell on Earth with every succulent bite. Only about 100 in the inner circle—and a few miserable miscreants who do the “preparation”—actually know that, but even those who believe in Grimme’s word certainly have a nagging suspicion that something’s not quite right in Lost Angels.