Deadlands - Beast of Fire

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  BEAST OFFIRE LEG1350 A DIME NOVEL ADVENTURE FOR DEADLANDS  CREDITS & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  Written by Bob Geis BEAST OF FIRE LEG1350 Published by First Published 2005  TM Legion Publishing, the Legion Publishing logo, Active Ebooks, Legionnaire, and all related characters and elements are trademarks of Legion Publishing. Wildstar Digital Arts and its logo are trademarks of Wildstar Digital Arts.Snake Eyes Studio and its logo are trademarks of Snake Eyes Studio. Illustrations by Dan HardingDeadlands created by Shane Lacy Hensley Graphic DesignRobin Elliott Additional Material, Cartography & EditingRob Clayton Jones 'd20 System' and the 'd20 System' logo are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used according to the terms of thed20 System License version 4.0. A copy of this License can be found at of Product Identity  All material, other than material already considered Open Gaming Content is considered Product Identity as described in Section 1(e) of the Open GamingLicense v1.0a. This includes but is not limited to Mission Manuals and all significant characters, names, creatures, spells, events, plots, logos, trade dress,product names, product lines, places, items, art and text. These are also ©2004 Legion Publishing. All Rights Reserved, except where otherwise noted. Theuse of another company's trademark should not be construed as a challenge to that trademark. Reproduction of non-Open Game Content from this work by any means without the express written consent of Legion Publishing is prohibited.Deadlands is a trademark of Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Inc., 2004, and is used under license.Typeset on QuarkXpress 4.1Set in Garamond 10.5 pt on 11.5 ptTrim size 8.5” x 11”  DIMENOVEL - BEASTOFFIRE3 PROLOGUE  Ages ago, before the Old Ones fought their  valiant battle in the Hunting Grounds, in the woods of northern Wisconsin a war was waged.Though waged on a lesser scale this conflict haddire consequences for those involved. TheMenominee Indians were being threatened by theappearance of a terrible manitou that lurked in the woods in which they lived. They called this fiendHe Who Stalks the Pines. It would snatch women,children and braves alike as they walked in the woods. None were safe from its grasp and its graspmeant death. Nothing would appease the manitouand its hunger increased with each victim. The peo-ple grew desperate and prayed for deliverance.Finally, a young woman named Nesaepet wassent a dream that contained a vision showing how to imprison the manitou. She and eleven others would have to sacrifice themselves and serve aseternal guardians. This troubled many but it wasknown that the Menominee would perish if He Who Stalks the Pines was not stopped. Sevenother women and four men joined Nesaepet.Each wore a garment that contained powerful wards woven in patterns revealed to Nesaepet inher dream. They went out and encircled the woods and walked towards the center. The wardsthe beast from escaping and forced him to retreattowards the center of the woods. The braveIndians pushed forward coming closer and closer together. When they converged on the enragedmanitou they began to follow Nesaepet in a chanttaught to her in her dream.Far away, the rest of the Menominee heard thechanting and the horrible, angry screams of themanitou’s impotent rage. This terrible cacophony continued until dawn broke when it abruptly ceased. Several days passed before any would venture into the woods. Eventually when thecuriosity became insatiable and a young braveentered the woods. When he returned he saidthat he found no bodies, instead he found 12 young saplings growing in a circle. Each sapling’sbark had markings identical to the patterns in thegarments worn by those who left to contain themanitou. The young brave said that he had takena step inside the circle, but he had felt a greatdread and had withdrawn immediately. The mes-sage was clear to the Menominee- He Who Stalksthe Pines was contained not destroyed.Now it is 1877. The Reckoners have been ban-ished and returned once again since braveNesaepet and her companions sacrificed them-selves. Many other changes have taken place andthe grove which has stood containing He WhoStalks the Pines for centuries is threatened by thegreed of two timber companies, the personalambitions of two mad scientists and the misguid-ed vision of a self proclaimed prophet. MARSHALL’S INTRODUCTION In the Spring of 1876, a crew of lumberjacksemployed by the Holt & Balcom Logging compa-ny ventured deep into the woods of OcontoCounty, Wisconsin. Their task was to identify tracts of prime timber for operations that were tobegin later that year. Their labors carried themdeep into the center of the forest to an ancientplace seldom visited by man.This place was a site of a mythic battle betweenthe Menominee and a dire manitou. It wasmarked by an obviously ancient stand of 12 trees.Unbeknownst to them these trees served as a ward. They kept the terrible manitou bound.Unaware of the threat the lumberjacks campedthere and that evening their minds were poisonedby horrible nightmares. These dreams were sostrong that the men were driven to a state of mad-ness. They took up their axes and went at eachother. In the end only one man, Pierre Bûcheronsurvived.He was badly injured and fled the cursed grove,taking shelter beneath a bank. His damaged mind,understood on some level what had happened andthe threat the grove posed, but it refused to graspthe dark and horrible truth. Instead he blamed thedeaths of his companions on the avarice of the log-ging industry. He has since taken up a crusadeagainst all logging operations.Calling himself the Prophet, Bûcheron plays atbeing a messenger from God spreading a gospelthat decries logging. In the past months he had visited both the Oconto Company and Holt &Balcom camps and preached against the evils of the industry. His appearance was markedly differ-ent than before and he went unrecognized. Hismessage fell on deaf ears. He was either laughedat or ignored. The only person who listened wasHoke Beecham.  Active Ebook TM Choose your preferred rules system!  DIMENOVEL - BEASTOFFIRE4  After recruiting Beecham, Bûcheron learned of the efforts each company was undertaking to cre-ate powerful steam saws. Understanding thatthese machines would vastly accelerate the defor-estation he discontinued his recruitment effortsand decided upon a more direct approach. UsingBeecham as a tool, Bûcheron devised a plan tosabotage the saws and prevent the destruction of the grove.The bulk of the action in this Dime Novel takesplace in Oconto County, Wisconsin. The Heroesinvolvement comes when they are hired to escort Wesley Tucker, an employee of the Holt & Balcomlogging company. Tucker needs to make sure thata specially constructed valve for one of thesemachines reaches the logging camp undamaged.The game can begin in any city on a rail line. PART ONE: FETCH AND CARRY The Heroes are contacted by Wesley Tucker.Tucker is an employee of the Holt & BalcomCompany charged with procuring a specially cus-tomized valve. He has arranged for the construc-tion of the valve, but while waiting for it to becompleted he has grown increasingly uneasy. Hefears that other parties may attempt to prevent the valve from getting to its destination. Therefore, hehires the Heroes to provide some protection andto ensure that the valve arrives on schedule. Theactual location can be any city on a rail line in thecontinental US.Tucker offers the Heroes fifty dollars to escorthim to Lakewood, Wisconsin. An additional $5 per person will be paid, providing that the valve gets tothe site in working order. Tucker is quite open indiscussing his fear that he might be the victim of some violent attempt to seize the valve. He wishesfor the Heroes to accompany him to the workshopto pick up the valve in the morning and then pro-ceed to the train for the journey to Lakewood.Buford Coleman operates the workshop, calledthe Coleman Valve Works. Coleman is a skilledmachinist, and designer. His shop is small but heenjoys a thriving mail order business, owing to hisunblemished reputation for quality and reliability.Gerald Cribbs has been hired by HowardMudd, an employee of the rival logging company,to prevent the valve from reaching Holt &Balcom. His first step will be to have a couple of his men try to steal the valve from the workshop.If this fails, he has his men try to track down who-ever has the valve and accost them. Should thisalso prove unsuccessful he confronts the Heroesand Wesley Tucker at the train station.  T  HE B REAK  - IN Cribbs has a couple of local outlaws, Randal Weeks and Frankie Dangerfield, to stake out the workshop where the valve is being constructed.Mudd provided Cribbs with a rough descriptionof the valve and he has, in turn, given this to hisassociates. Their orders are to wait until the workers have left for the night and then break in.Once inside they ransack the place in an attemptto locate the valve. If the Characters are watchingthe shop they will be able to stop the crime (SeeMap 1). Otherwise see the following section. Weeks and Dangerfield aren’t the brightest of criminals. It is possible that even if the Heroesdon’t intervene that they fail to locate the valve.They search for 5 minutes before they flee thescene. The miscreants have to make a Search RollTN 7 and then have to make an appropriate skillcheck at TN 11 to open it. The valve rests inside.The pair only works for 10-20 minutes on the safebefore they leave. As they flee a preacher, John Jones, spots them. Jones summons the Sheriff andgives a description of the pair.
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