Las Confesiones de Sor Teresa

I’ve been charged with writing up last night’s session — the one where the GM was, quite literally, on the floor laughing — but it’s easier said than done. Mental mistakes were made, and it’s difficult for me (the person who made them) to quite reconstruct why. However, I’ll do my best.

We were looking for one last artifact: a pistol with a medallion embedded in it that belonged to one Colonel Beauregard. We’d been sent to a rather unfortunate moment in the past, however — the past self of one of our party, James Jadwin, had just knocked over a bank with his partners. Beauregard was hot on their trail. We could hear the hounds baying in the distance. We were going to have a hard time explaining our presence in that snowy field at midnight, so we took to our heels and ran.

Jadwin urged us not to hide the same place as his younger self, fearing that we might lead the posse there. I told him that if the posse caught us and thought he was himself (so to speak) we could say, “No, no, this isn’t James Jadwin. The *real* James Jadwin is hidden in the tanner’s shed!” Jadwin thought this was a bad idea.

We came to an apparently abandoned barn. But when Jackie “Fingers” McGuire opened the door, someone shot at us. Using a hitherto undemonstrated power, Fingers was able to let the bullet pass through his body without harming him.

“Stop shooting!” he shouted. “We don’t want to hurt you!”

But the fellow in the barn (one of Jadwin’s gang, presumably) shot at us again. So Jackie blew his face off. That boy always was hot-headed.

Of course, the posse heard the shots and came to investigate. Jackie tried to explain, but was stumbling through it, so I took over. I told the posse we’d been weathering the storm in the barn when this bandito came upon us and shot at us. In self defense we blew off his face. The deputy sheriff looked through his stack of wanted posters, and I identified the man we’d killed as “James Jadwin”. There was a $500 reward for Jadwin, and we were all set to collect it the next day.

It wasn’t Jadwin, of course, and *our* Jadwin, 24 years older than the one they were looking for, was just laying low and trying not to attract attention. He was trying to look as old as possible. I identified him as my nephew Alfonso, at one point, which caused a bit of confusion.

I asked the deputy sheriff a few questions about Beauregard and the army, and was starting to feel quite at ease. This is where I get a little hazy. I believe our Jadwin expressed relief at not having been caught. He didn’t say it in language the deputy sheriff would understand, however, but said something like “Boy, I’m not going to get any sleep tonight!”

Aaaaand… that’s when Sor Teresa had her astounding brain fart. Completely forgetting that the deputy sheriff was standing RIGHT THERE, she says loudly, “Yeah, JAMES JADWIN is going to need some clean pants!”

And that just about did in our GM. He laughed. He laughed until his face turned red and tears streamed down his face and he ended up sitting on the floor HOWLING. We were all laughing, even me (although I punctuated it with “Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!!)(Sor Teresa has Tourette’s, apparently).

Josh let us off easy. He shouldn’t have, but he was so out of breath he didn’t have the will to look up all the fiddly Deadlands combat procedures. The deputy sheriff was astute enough to realize that the dead man wasn’t Jadwin — his hair was the wrong color — but he didn’t realize Jadwin was in our party. We got $100 instead of $500, and Scott took back my MVP award (which he’d given me for convincing the guy that Jadwin was dead).

Now I will say, I had the power to spend a blue chip and become an avenging angel of death, and I would’ve done it if the posse had really gotten wise to us and tried to do us harm. It would’ve been completely my fault, so I owed it to the party to fix it. However, anyone who looked upon me would’ve had to make a sanity roll, I was that terrifying, and even if I had warned everybody to close their eyes, I don’t think anybody would’ve done it (unless *maybe* Doug — he has pretty strong self-preservation instincts).

So then the whole party would’ve been insane. But, as Josh might say: “This is different, *how*???”

James Jadwin – 1840-1886. RIP.

OK, maybe I shouldn’t be have been surprised.

Last night my Deadlands character James Jadwin was struck dead by God. Frankly, I’m surprised that God had the balls to do it.

In our continuing quest to put back together the universe that we had so blithely destroyed, our party had acquired the last of three artifacts: an obsidian knife, a medallion-adorned pistol, and a jeweled crucifix. Orders from God, relayed through Sor Teresa, were that we were to place these around the canyon where our characters previously shattered time, and so contain the explosion.

So we have the artifacts, and we travel back in time to the canyon. Who should we see going into the canyon but ourselves, on our way to the Nevadan silver mine where it all started?

Suddenly it hits me … we could either put God’s plan into action, deploying the artifacts around the cavern, or else we could try something much easier—just warn ourselves not to shoot that damned Clock!

Thoughts race through my mind. Do we really want to put God’s plan into action, when God has bungled things so badly already? How do we know that this really is God’s plan? We only had Sor Teresa’s word to go by, and you can imagine what that’s worth! Why waste these cool occult artifacts on a containment field, when a simple holler would do just as well?

Then the metaphysical worries kick in … is it actually possible to alter the past? If I shout at the party of adventurers below, will they hear me, and heed my warning? Of course it must be possible to change the past—isn’t that exactly what we’re trying to do here? I figure that there’s actually little to lose—if it is possible to change the past, then I will be able to shout, and stop the tragedy of the exploding universe before it starts. If it’s not possib le, then I will somehow fail to give a warning.

So I shout “Hey! Don’t shoot the clock!” It was really the only option. Suddenly, before the words can come out of my mouth, I’m stricken dead. Technically speaking, it might have been a heart attack, or maybe a stroke. But no matter. We all know that really I was struck down by the hand of God.

I’ve been pondering why. At first I thought it was obvious—God killed me so my actions wouldn’t alter the past, and destroy the timeline, and wreak havoc upon the world a second time. (I refuse to comment as to whether this was what I was really hoping to accomplish in the first place.) But upon further reflection, that doesn’t make any sense—the whole purpose of our mission was to alter the past, and prevent the universe from being destroyed. So altering the past clearly couldn’t create some kind of catastrophic failure. So we were definitely supposed to alter the past.

The problem is, of course, that I came up with a simpler and better way to save the universe than God did. I made him look bad. So the bitch slapped me down. Hard. Vindictive bitch.

There was a happy ending of sorts … my dying prayer was to be saved by the beautiful goddess Althea. My prayer was granted, as I found myself in Her universe for my afterlife. James Jadwin has successfully emigrated from this universe to enter paradise, thereby making a lie of Sor Teresa’s predictions that he would go to hell.

Clockstoppers Quotes

“Well, hell, I’ve got the clap!” – Cal
“The corn grows as high as the vampire bat flies…” – Scott
“I can make any of jou dead at any time.” – Sor. Theresa

“My suggestion is, if they come and catch us, we all strip.” – Sor. Theresa
“You will report to the stripping angel of death” – Doug

“All of our quotes involve sex or death” – Wendy
“That’s because that’s what you guys think is funny.” – Joshua

“We are all nephews under God” – Sor. Theresa

“It always comes back to the hot nun nooky.” – Paul

Wendy’s character Fingers is made to split the bounty money with the rest of the party, which makes Wendy start sputtering in outrage…
“God says you have to share–” – Sor. Theresa
“–and stop making noises like a parrot.” – God
“…and God says spend it now, because it will be worthless when we get back” – Sor. Theresa

“Perhaps I can offer my services to the entire army…then he won’t be suspicious” – Sor. Theresa
“That’s it! A special blessing for his special pistol!” – Fingers

“Nobody plays bagpipes that loudly unless they’re raping their aunt” – Rachel

“Oooh-kay, you’re standing knee-deep in sh-now” – Joshua
“That’s not where I thought he was going with that” – Rachel

“That’s God’s whore, thank you very much.” – Paul

“Jou can explain jour slave-holding ass to God when the time comes.” – Sor. Theresa

Thoughts on World Destroying

The Deadlands Adventurer’s group will forever be known as the party that destroyed the universe. Really. Here I intend to explore some of the theological ramifications of this turn of events.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping track, our Sunday night Deadlands campaign took a nasty turn when we discovered that an Evildoer(tm) was building some kind of doomsday clock that would destroy the world. As we were led to understand, if the clock ran down, the world would end.

So after careful investigative work (which my character James Jadwin predominantly did at the local whorehouse), we tracked down the Evildoer and her clock to an abandoned mine. There’s the clock—sitting still except for one whirring gear. You might as well have painted a bullseye on it, Josh!

I am relieved to say that I didn’t fire the fatal shot. Which is not to say that I wouldn’t have, perhaps. Our Mormon character Cal (played by Paul) took aim, tossed in his blue chip for good luck, and fired before we could do much of anything. My first inclination had actually been to shoot at the Evildoer and her minions, figuring that the clock itself could wait. But Cal’s shot was true, and the clock stopped, destroying the entire universe.

Now, hindsight is 20/20, but when I think about it, I still don’t think that Cal’s actions were all that unreasonable. The threat as we understood it was if the clock were to run down. What better way to prevent the clock from running down than from stopping it prematurely. Think about it—the ticking clock cliche is that when the clock reaches a fixed time, something explodes. The way to prevent this is to stop the clock, or pull the wire to the detonator, or something equally silly. This is best done with one second to spare. But in general, you WANT to stop the clock one way or another. Cal and the rest of us can hardly be held culpable for assuming that the Doomsday Clock would work this way.

After the End-Of-The-World-As-We-Know-It, our party found ourselves in another universe, which we eventually discovered was ruled by a goddess named Althea. All of us except Sor Teresa, that is, who wound up going to Christian Heaven. Here’s where things get weird. First, Althea actually appears to us—something the Christian god in the universe we just destroyed had never bothered to do, even when we were on the brink of destroying all of creation. Then she’s afraid that we will destroy her world as well, and we are politely ejected from this universe.

Next thing you know, Sor Teresa is back from heaven as an Avenging Angel or some other weird shit, telling us that God is giving us a second chance, and wants us to reconstitute his universe. We’re given time-travelling clocks to make the job easier. Although the full mechanics aren’t clear to me yet, it sounds as if we we’re supposed to be gathering occult artifacts which we will use to make a barrier around the abandoned mine, containing the explosion.

A whole slew of nasty theological questions has arisen:
1) What kind of God would make a universe that is so easily destrotyed by a .22 slug?
2) Having destroyed said universe, why would this God trust the very people who destroyed it to put it back together?
3) Why does God need us to put the universe back together? Can’t God just do it himself?
4) Why are we playing along with God’s plan? God clearly isn’t who he claimed to be—not the only god, apparently, not omnipotent, and definitely not very wise.

My character James Jadwin was never a very pious fellow to begin with. However, I find his attitudes taking a strange turn. Now on the one hand he knows that there really is a God. On the other, God is a bumbler, and not very awe-inspiring. Should we succeed in putting the universe back together, I wonder if we can have a final showdown with the Big Guy himself.

Parenthetical note: Did I mention that in the course of recovering one of the artifacts (an obsidian blade), our party accidentally committed a human sacrifice on one of the natives? And that this allowed us to recover the artifact in a very straightforward manner? But that is a story for a different time.

Notable Quotes

Tell me I’m going to hell – James Jadwin, requesting a bit of roleplaying on the part of the working girl at the local cathouse, whom he’s first had dress in a nun’s habit…

Jou are goin’ to hell, jou know – Sor. Theresa’s favorite phrase

Demons always operate without a permit – Sor. Theresa

Freakin’ Benjamin Franklin shit! – Paul

You’ll find me at the bar, engaged in a round of “Scrub the poop-deck, you drunken Darbi” – Zobar

Touch my substance! – Magmar

The trunk is booby-trapped, and despite my nimbleness, I appear to be a booby. – “Fingers”

You can have some Raspberry Death Twist – Rachel

We should let evil people do what they want – Doug

Yes, but I can’t steal, so someone else will have to take these things – Sor. Theresa

I want to offer those sailors my services – Amos the Greater

As the only person in this room likely to actually invent a time machine… – Scott

This is the 4th or 5th time tonight that the phrase “Everybody did” or “Everybody does” can be translated as “Doug did” – Scott

Well, generally there’s violence involved…and then some sailing – Seth the Lesser

I actual have a 4 in camping skill, so bite my ass! – Rachel