The Battle of Lost Angels
December 15th, 1879
As the battle between four factions raged out on the plains in front of Lost Angels, the posse and Lacy O’Malley skirted the edges of the fighting to get down to the city. An artillery shell nearly landed on the group, but was deflected in time due to a miraculous dodge by Black Rabbit.
They group made their way in through Ghost Town as the battle raged behind them. Ghost Town was a shanty town, where all those who failed in California wound up, trying to scrape up a shell of a living at the edge of the most prosperous city in the Maze, a place where food was harder to come by than gold. They stopped to chat with a few members of the Lion’s Roar Triad, but ultimately decided to press on towards Lost Angels.
There were no guards at the edge of the city, it seems the bulk of Reverend Grimme’s forces were out on the battlefield. Inside, there were a few patrols, but the group either evaded or talked their way past them.
One stuck out though. They saw a group of Grimme’s Soldiers on their way back from the battle, walking wounded and near death, who ran into a larger group of Guardian Angels, being led by a nun and escorting a wagon. The soldiers initially addressed her as Sister Andrea, expecting her to help, but instead, she and the other Guardian Angels brutally clubbed them to the ground, and threw them into the wagon, which appeared to be full of bodies, despite their pleas ‘Don’t take us there, anywhere but there!’
Deciding to take things slow, they made their way to a hotel and purchased some rooms to rent. The rooms were overpriced, the food was sparse and the service non-existent. A fine welcoming to the city.
Just before bed time, the battle of the Rail Barons ended, when a zeppelin bearing the markings of Hellstromme Industries appeared over the mountains. It flew over the battlefield, and dropped three barrel sized objects, that detonated into massive, skull shaped explosions, wiping the battlefield clean of life. However, one of the ghost rock bombs missed its target and landed in the middle of ghost town, turning the whole slum into a raging inferno.
December 16th, 1879
The next morning, the group gathered up, and went out to investigate the missing Sam Hellman. Acting casually, and convincing a curious group of Guardian Angels that they were members of the faithful, they went over to the boarding house Lacy said he was staying at.
The man at the front desk was happy to help them find Sam’s room, and directed them on up. Unfortunately, when they investigated the room, they found that it hadn’t been lived in in months. They found signs of a struggle, and when they looked out the window, they found the building being surrounded by Guardian Angels.
A desperate chase erupted, with the posse escaping over the rooftops in the neighborhood, trading the occasional shot with their pursuers and using distractions to trick and mislead them. At one point, the leader of the raiders summoned what appeared to be a dingy looking angel to strike the posse down. But then the black marble chunk that Doc McGee was carrying around warmed up, and the angel was briefly revealed to be an animated skeleton with fiery blood pouring out of its skull.
Either way, angel or skeleton, it didn’t survive with a chunk of lead, about .45 inches in diameter, punched through its forehead.
After managing to evade their pursuers. Lacy thanked the party for their help. He was going to look into Sam’s disappearance, and said he’d be in touch. He also said that he was a member of a sort of Gentleman’s Club, the Explorer’s Society. A group devoted to tracking down, exposing and destroying the darker elements of the world that had been popping up in the west. He said that there was a brit named Roderic Pennington-Smythe in Shan Fan who could tell them more. He then bid the group adieu, and went their separate ways.
After all this, the group decided it was team to beat feet and get out of the city. Retrieving their horses and luggage from the hotel, they tried to figure out the best way to evade Grimme’s men. They would need a boat to get to Shan Fan or anywhere else in the Maze, and there were boats aplenty at the docks. But it would also be heavily patrolled. Instead, the group decided to quit town via the smoldering remnants of Ghost Town and make their way up to the town of Progress to acquire a vessel there.
Ghost Town’s name was more fitting now. The Ghost Rock bomb had done something strange to the buildings, and they all still burned without burning down. Pits of fire were present, smoke and ash was everywhere. It was a horrific journey. And then the dead rose from the grave.
Zombies, the walkin’ dead, tormented and tortured by fires that wouldn’t go out, charged at the group from every direction. A fierce battle erupted, and the creatures took a copious amount of lead before they went down. The central crater itself was surrounded by hundreds of them and even more dangerous beasts.
They were pursued out of Ghost Town, but fortunately, the creatures seem uninclined to leave the boundaries of the flaming slum. With that particular hell behind them, they spurred on their horses and headed north towards Progress…