Pastor Law had decided he wanted to expose the missionaries for what they were, and plans were drawn up accordingly.
They planned to make their move near the beginning of the sermon that evening. They found that they had to check weapons at the door, but this was not a concern for most of the group, although Miss Dupree decided lurk at the back. Positioning themselves carefully throughout the congregation, they awaited their cue from the Pastor. Hawkeye sat the situation out since he didn’t really have an opinion on which flavour of religion the white man wanted.
He wasted no time at the appropriate juncture, launching a challenge and tirade at the preacher, George Washington Woolbright, as he began to get into the swing of his own presentation. Folden and Hampden readied their own non-firearm weaponry and Dupree got up and backed for the weapons table.
Law’s speech was merely a distraction, as Folden jumped to his feet and approached the lectern, intending to use his skills to demolish both the cult’s version of the bible and its enchantment. Unfortunately, his approach was spotted and a number of Church guardians, cloaked in monkish robes and positioned around the walls of the tent, went for their (hidden) guns and opened fire at the martial artist.
Elements of the congregation began heading for the exits, hampering Hampden’s attempts to reach a good vantage point, while others diver for cover. Dupree crawled behind a table to avoid being shot at before she could rearm. She decided the best option was to leave the tent, circle to the weapons table and come back in again under the tent wall.
The following firefight got very confusing. Dupree wound up trying to help congregation members escape, while Hampden picked off the cult’s guardians. Folden reached the lectern and began demolishing the book, eventually realising the spell was actually on the lectern itself.
Law and Woolbright exchanged imprecations and even a few blessings (or spells?), with little actual effect. As Folden, began to demolish the lectern, the true extent of the darkness present became more clear as the illusion covering the effects of Woolbright’s spells dispersed. Folden began to turn his attention to Woolbright, and was rewarded by a sudden explosion as the corrupt preacher vanished in a greasy column of smoke.
Dupree and Hampden rounded up the rest of the cultists and got them charged with disturbing the peace, on the basis that they fired first… They were carted off shortly afterwards by a posse of men in black dusters, claiming to work for the Federal government.
Following the Sunday battle, the town quietened down for a bit as spring developed. The main news was that the Robineau mine began recruiting trouble-shooters. Following the problems with tunnel critters the previous year, the owners needed people with guns to ensure nothing else was lurking in the galleries. The PCs were among those that volunteered and they spent several happy days shooting things in the dark…
Then rumours arrived of a mysterious creature haunting Satan’s Garden, dripping blood. In their role as unofficial monster hunters, the group opted to investigate.
Approaching the screeching flames, they finally caught sight of the creature, which appeared to be humanoid. Drawing closer, they could see it appeared to be a human with no skin, and wailing in pain.
Carefully, they approached and realised it wasn’t hostile. As they made out more detail, they suddenly noticed what appeared to be a bullet wound in its chest – a would that would be fatal for a normal human. Remembering what Eddie Garrett had told them about his “death”, they realised that’s who they were looking at.
They tried to talk to him, but his pain made him incomprehensible, so Hawkeye, remembering that the Harrowed can heal injuries by eating fresh meat, hunted down some rabbits.
It wasn’t long before he began regrowing skin, but he wasn’t recognisable as Garrett, or anyone else. The face was bland and completely unmemorable and he had no memory of his identity. Nothing they did seemed to prod him.
They then realised they were looking at another victim of the naagloshi, who had presumably assumed Garrett’s identity, but when? Garrett’s unusual status had helped him survive the attack, but he had lost everything that made him Garrett.
Having seen Garrett mere hours before, they knew where their next target lay.