Deadlands Reloaded: The Weird West
Walt of Wheeling
Ex-Soldier turned Postman
Rank: Heroic XP: 71
Agility: d10 Smarts: d8 Spirit: d8 Strength: d6 Vigor: d8
Pace: 6 Parry: 7 Toughness: 6 Charisma: -1 Grit: +5
Marksman (2 shooting), Awareness (2 notice), Woodsman (2 survival, tracking, stealth), Combat Reflexes (2 to recover from shaken), Improved Frenzy (Second Melee Attack), Marked for Death (Prevent Soaking Rolls), Rock & Roll! (Fire on full auto with no penalty)
Vengeful (Major), Walt is fiercely protective of his friends, and swears revenge on any who try to kill him or them; Loyal (Minor), Walt is loyal to the Union and the ideals it represents to him (such as the value of friendship and honesty); Delusional (Minor), after an incident where ex-Confederates tried to steal his mailbag, Walt believes the Dixies are out to capture it – he is also a little delusional about the character of Confederates, thinking them turncoats, liars, and traitors
Mark of Fear (Minor), Walt witnessed an act of cannibalism and became so enraged that he thrashed around the cage he was captured in so violently that he bludgeoned his nose badly against the bars. His reward for his anger is a scar across the nose (-1 Charisma)
Harrowed, Walt was killed while distracting a pursuer for his friends, gunned down in the streets of Seattle. Something survived, and Walt clawed his way out of the grave, miraculously surviving his own funeral. That said, Walt now has an extra passenger…
Fighting d10, Guts d6, Notice d6, Riding d6, Shooting d10, Survival d8, Swimming d4, Tracking d8
Personal Gear: Carried: 38 Max Weight: 30
Gatling Rifle w/Owl Eye Scope, Silencer (Range: 24/48/96 Damage: 2d8 RoF: 2 Weight: 15 Chainsaw (Range: Melee Damage: 2d6+4 RoF: 1 Weight: 20), Sawed-Off Shotgun (Range: 12/24/48, Damage: 3d6 RoF: 2 Weight: 5), Gas Mask (Protects against vapors) (Weight: 2)
Mundane Gear: None
My name is Walt. I am a Postal Service professional serving these great United States of America. Now, I ain’t some highborn, silver spoon-licking feller from the city. I was born and raised out in the country, in the great State of what is now called West Virginia – true to the Union. Back then we was the “Restored State of Virginia,” but West Virginia is just shorter and easier for us to remember. Back when I was a short stack running around the backwoods, it was still just the Commonwealth of Virginia, but them characters down in Richmond figured themselves better than belonging to the great nation of these United States, and sided themselves with the traitors in the Confederacy. Us simple folk out here in Monogaghela, New River Gorge, and Charleston? We may not be big shots like those fellers out in Richmond, but we’re good, patriotic Virginians, and we are true to our word. So, when old Rob Lee’s army of traitors and turncoats came a-knocking, we stepped up for Uncle Sam.
I wasn’t always serving our great country by delivering her mail, you see. During the so-called “Civil” War, I was a gun-toting Soldier in General McClellan’s Army when we drove the Dixies out of West Virginia. There wasn’t many of us there at the great Battle of Cheat Mountain, but we beat back them turncoats sure as shooting. I followed along to the West to tighten Scott’s Anaconda plan, keeping the Confederates from getting supplies. Unfortunately, not all parts of that there plan went as smooth.
Shenandoah Valley wasn’t kind to us, and under that German feller, General Sigel, we had a little more than our fair share of losses. After the Union took Shiloh we were mighty optimistic, but all your friends dying has a habit of taking away those high hopes. We had our ups and downs; we cleaned that turncoat General Van Dorn’s clock at the Battle of Pea Ridge, and once that Sigel ignoramus was replaced after the Battle of New Market, we took the fight to the Confederates, and gave as good as we got. We found the false Virginia Military Institute and burned it to the ground, spat on the ruins, and kicked the rocks over before we marched south. I may not boast of much in life, but it was my bullet that found its way to the traitor General “Grumble” Jones at the Battle of Piedmont. When I saw him down the barrel of my rifle, chargin’ his cavalry against us even though we outnumbered him, well, I put a bullet in that man’s skull. I don’t much give a damn what other folks think about that.
Now, I won’t bore you with the tired and drawn-out stories of an old Soldier, fighting a losing battle, another small part of ourselves dying each day. That’s an ugly story I’d rather take to my grave. That said, you don’t truly know Walt if you don’t know what happened at my last battle of the war, in a little place called Kennesaw Mountain. It didn’t take a smart man to see that we was going to lose, but General Sherman was a firebrand at heart, and he led us on that frontal assault against the mountain. It’s too bad we were outnumbered, outgunned, and soon most of us were dead. I remember a lot of smoke, a lot of screaming, and losing track of my friends.
They was all beside me at once point or another, but before long, I was running alone. I knew I’d die if I kept running, and I was scared. I was more scared than I’d ever been in my whole life. My heart was beatin’ so fast, my lungs hurt, the air smelt like death, and I couldn’t figure out what to look at. It wasn’t what I was trained to do, but I started calling out their names, and I swear to whatever is still holy I could feel the soul of every friend I knew slipping up into the sky. I saw them, one after another, surprised expressions on their faces, like they was accusing me of something, like I should ‘a saved them. Those faces still haunt my dreams; they still tell me I wasn’t strong enough to save them. They still remind me that the Dixies want us dead. I’m not sure how much I screamed, and how much I cried, and how much I was begging for help, but the last person I found was my best bud, Kenneth. He was bleeding bad, a bullet from some Confederate has cut clean through his chest. There was so much blood, I couldn’t get it off him, I could hardly touch him without being covered in blood, and here was my best friend, reaching out for me, he just wanted to be close to someone when he died. I cried like nobody’s business, and I ain’t ashamed of it. I pulled my friend up on my lap and I cursed every god and every devil and every Soldier in the Confederate Army. Kenneth was never much a man for cursing, he had him a family back home in West Virginia, a place outside Wheeling on a farm, no, he didn’t curse, but with blood spilling out his mouth, he wanted a promise from me.
I held his hand there, on the side of that filthy mountain, and while he still breathed, I swore I’d deliver a letter to his son, Tommy. He made me swear to leave this field and keep our honor clean, and live a life of peace as best I could. I can’t say I’ve always been worthy of Kenneth’s memory, but like I said: To us, promises mean something.
When I returned to the Union camp, I had little to say to General Sherman, to the others who had retreated, or anybody. It took exactly one look from me to Sherman, looking at me covered in mud, blood, sweat, and tears, and he shook my hand, and told me to go home. “I know you had no hand in the making of this war,” he said to me, “and I know you’ve made more sacrifices than anyone to secure peace.” I wasn’t in much shape to talk; I just looked at him, like I wanted to remember the look on his face when he talked to me, to see what kind of man he was. “Go home, Walt” he said, “The scenes on this field would have cured anybody of war.” It’s a funny thing when people talk to you, and they get the words right, and they look at you all sincere-like, but inside you’re all just broken glass and blood. I turned around and I walked home.
First thing I wanted to do was deliver this blood-stained letter to Tommy, but the war had lasted a long time, and Kenneth and me was old war dogs. By the time I reached that little farm outside Wheeling, Tommy had grown up and become a man, and he had left his family farm. I guess I can’t blame him for wanting to find a place away from the war for his family. Kenneth’s wife nearly died from grief when I told her, but I couldn’t leave the letter with her. After I told her the story, and we both dried our tears, I had to go. I swore I’d deliver it to Tommy, and if I die trying, I will.
That’s the long story of how I ended up in the United States Pony Express. I swapped one uniform for another, and they even gave me a horse. They told me his name was “Kemosabe,” which is some Indian word for scout or some such. I figure it’s a good enough name as long as he listens to it.
Between the two of us, it’s been a long, hard voyage from West Virginia on the way to California, but being a mailman was never supposed to be easy work. It’s honest work, and honest work makes an honest man. If I can find Tommy somehow and give him his father’s letter, well, that’s all I ask from life.
We had us a run-in along the rail line, somewhere in the west of these United States. Kemosabe didn’t make it, I’m sorry to say, but at least I’m in one piece. The train got run off, and I met some new fellers named Russ Brown and Max “Doc” Cunningham. They’re good folks, I figure, and we bonded pretty good over the firefight we had with some Natives who figured we would be easy prey, being just thrown off a train and all. We didn’t have much luck getting them off their darned horses, but they left in the end.
Following that little fight, we got held up by a few folks with big guns. Me and Doc had enough sense to throw down our weapons once they popped up, but Russ had a little bee in his hive and decided he wanted to test their mettle. Well, test him they did, and he got himself in a misunderstanding with a flamethrower. It would have been pretty ugly if we hadn’t had Doc with us, but that’s the way luck comes down sometimes.
Alone the way we got ourselves acquainted with some fine folk working for Dr. Hellstromme. He seemed an alright kind of character, but I have my doubts about him. He seems a little driven and ambitious, and in my experience driven and ambitious folk always end up trampling somebody underfoot. We’ll see how it works out.
Ran into a few insects down here. I wonder if there’s more of those kinds of creatures or if it’s just all black, wet, and dead down here.
We got to talking to Dr. Hellstromme, and he offered us some assistance getting to Lost Angels, and some money too, in exchange for protecting the train as it’s traveling across the Mojave desert. I’ve got some experience defending things, and shooting things, so I can’t say the idea was foreign to me. Still, I wonder inside if this is what Kenny would have wanted for me, and what else I’m going to do now to get that letter to Tommy. I’m not a religious sort, but seems to me that all this killing’s putting me in a bad way.
There was some strange attackers on a train like I’ve never seen before. I saw me a flying chair with guns on it buzzing through the sky like a bird, and a ten foot tall green man from China. All of them got a particular weakness to bullets, though, and between all of us we managed to bring them down. Before too long we were right on track to get ourselves to Lost Angels, and California. It’s not the Union to which I belong, but I hope that for Tommy at least, it’s safe.
There’s not a lot of things that put a scar on your heart. I happen to be acquainted with a few of them, but they aren’t many, thank goodness. One of them I saw today. I pray no one has to see such a thing ever again. There must have been ten thousand Soldiers on that field, standing ready to do battle, the fear of death in their eyes – I’ve been there, I know that look, I’ve felt it. For good or ill, they were going to fight for something, maybe die for something, but by all that’s holy, let it never happen like this again.
All I saw was a blinding light, a sound like a scream from hell itself, and a rising cloud of smoke and ash. Every single soul on that battlefield, good or evil, right or wrong, snuffed out of existence like a thousand candles in a storm. No ceremony, no battle, no reason, just Hellstromme and his bomb. No one should have that kind of power, not if it were Sodom or Gomorrah, not for our worst enemies. There’s not a lot of things that put a scar on your heart, but by heaven above that put a scar on mine. I fear ever having to see such a thing again.
We got out of there quick and easy, making our way towards Lost Angels. There were some folks in strange clothes who were dragging people from their homes, killing them in the streets, taking them to god knows where. Now, that I cannot abide.
We made our way to the town of Perdition, and I have a feeling we’ll be here for a while. There’s a darkness about this town that seems to encroach the longer we stay, and the more we try to stem the tide, the more it gains on us. It didn’t take long after we arrived for Lacy O’Malley to rope us into another hare-brained scheme. He wants us to help keep the elections fair in this city, and in the process has made me Marshal and Doc the Mayor. I suppose I’m the best suited for the work, being as I have some experience shooting guns, upholding what’s right, and giving orders, but I became a postman so I wouldn’t have to do this sort of thing no more. Maybe this is fate’s way of telling me something about destiny or something, but sure as my name’s Walt, I won’t let nothing bad happen to this town as long as they trust me to be the Marshal.
It’s been a rough few days in Perdition. They got a baker’s dozen problems and not a lot of solutions. The boss-man Masheck Kurtz runs the ghost rock refinery in town, and he’s been treating his folks worse and worse lately. Turns out he wants his son Gransville Kurtz to be mayor of this here town – and there ain’t much in the way of family resemblance. There’s another feller by the name of Luke Watson – folks around here call him Joker, – whom Mr. O’Malley wants to win. I get a bad feeling about Masheck, but other than that, I guess my job’s keeping the law in this town, and I plan on doing just that.
Maybe I could have picked a better way of going about keeping the peace than shooting my gun in the air to quiet down the crowd when Doc was giving his speech, but I didn’t see one at the time. Plus, seems they got the idea I wasn’t in the mood for their nonsense and I hardly had to touch leather the second time.
We got a good lead on some bounty in the city of Progress. Ol’ Russ seems very much at home here, but I’m a little leery. It’s been nothing but explosions, fire, and other kinds of nonsense all around town. We got us a nice place to stay, but for an old war dog like me, explosions usually mean somebody’s trying to kill you.
Looks like there’s a bounty on the Hensworth Gang, a band of outlaws led by Randall Hensworth and Jack “Cookie” Pennebacker. I’m thinking we can learn more about them in the town of Junction, and since both Doc and Russ have business here in Progress, I figure I’ll polish my walkin’ shoes and make my way to Junction to see what I can find.
I got a handle on some city hall folks who have records of the Hensworth Gang and I’ve gotten their descriptions and names, and where they was last seen. It should help, but for now I’m stuck in Junction. The next ship sails in a few days.
Junction’s a lonely town most times. There’s only really anybody here two days out of the month, when there’s market days, but otherwise there’s maybe a dozen people in town. I took in at a nice hotel, and the owner’s basically give me the run of the place since I’m the only customer. It’s a pretty nice, but lonely place. I’ve taken to enjoying my libations by the fire, lookin’ out over the Great Maze. It’s enough to make you think. I’ve been with Doc and Russ now for some time, and maybe I delivered some mail here and there, but whether or not I think it’s right, it sure has been fun. I’m darn excited about the idea of tracking these outlaws and making sure justice is served. Maybe it’s violent, dirty, horrible even, but we got us a nice little posse, and I’m doing something good with my life. Maybe all I’m good for is tracking and killing, but part of me thinks, well, shucks… maybe that’s enough?
We got ourselves to Perdition, last known location of the Hensworth Gang. Turns out Gransville Kurtz ain’t such a bad egg after all, and I’m glad, but I’ll never have the heart to tell him we killed his old man. Seeing him standing up for himself in his own way, though, I’m starting to think it was a necessary evil.
Good ol’ Wild Turkey has gone and become Marshal. I have the highest faith in that boy, and I hope he does me proud now and in the future. He’s got a good heart, and that goes a long way for a lawman. Ain’t too long ago I caught him heckling over horses, now he’s wearing a star. It’s a shame about Creek Johnson, though. I still wish we could ’a killed off that monster on the roof of the building.
I caught the trail, and we made our way out into the badlands of California, deep in the forest where folks are prospectin’ for gold. Goldnose Slim is out here somewhere, held by that nefarious Hensworth Gang, and we aim to bring him home safe. Doesn’t hurt there’s a $1,000 retainer comes with him, and I’m hoping we can all split that money between us soon.
Turns out there’s plenty of wildlife in California that you don’t expect. Some kind of vampire came and attacked us last night. Some kind of cotton-pickin’, low-down, blood-suckin’, Confederate honkey-tonk little wisp that tried to kill me a dozen times. I threw my fist at him, the butt of my gun, but in the end it was my pistol that saved my life.
If it hadn’t been for Doc healing me every step of the way – praise be – then I would have surely died out in the godforsaken California wilderness, and Tommy would die never knowin’ what kind of man his father was. I can’t have that, so I put a bullet in that creature and watched it die.
We came upon the Hensworth Gang, and we was real careful scouting them out and gettin’ the lay of the land. There was a creek, and a little mining outpost, and there was a cabin not too far off where we found the gang. They was sending folks down to the creek to mine for gold two at a time. Didn’t take us long to get a plan out of that.
Once they walked out to the creek we put bullets in their heads and kept that going until we had two bodies and two hostages. Russ got them all tied up with some bombs for company. That’s when it happened, and I swear, as long as I breathe it will never happen again.
They came from the water. Some kinda ghoul and Randall and Cookie. They came shootin’, injured me, Doc, and Russ all. We barely got rid of the ghoul when Randall, Cookie, and the last two folks from the gang had us at their mercy. I was hurt bad, so was Doc, and they was all yellin’ for me to run. I may be a lot of things, but I ain’t no coward. I stayed there and fought ’til they finally got Russ, poor son of a gun. Then Doc and me started running, running as fast as our legs could carry us. We got some ways when we heard the explosion, and then we was just silent.
I still have this bowie knife Russ made me; he made it out of part of his leg. It helps me remember him. Only good thing came out of this is Randall and Cookie are dead as a doornail, and Goldnose Slim is safe. We rested in the cabin and headed out the next day, got the money from the miners in Junction, and made our way north to Shan Fan.
En route to Shan Fan we ran into a curious sort name of Ontario Jackson. We told him about our travels and he seemed eager to join. I’m not sure what his business is, one way or the other, but he’s a good Union man, working for Uncle Sam. That makes him trustworthy in my book.