Returning to Devil’s Gulch following the gun fight at the Watt’s ranch, the posse noticed that a travelling medicine show had arrived in town. The following morning the posse discovered that the family of Polly Garrett, a young girl, had been murderer during the night and evidence at the scene suggested something with sharp claws was responsible. Further deaths around town and the disappearance of Dr. Farnam’s show led the posse to follow their trail to a cave a few miles away. There they discovered that Farnam had been plotting revenge against the town for their past actions and had developed a potion that allowed the drinker to take on the form of an innocent. They also found Polly Garret chained to a wall and learned that Farnam had been using her form to cover for his murders. The posse returned to Devil’s Gulch and confronted Farnam, who turned into a beast of nightmarish proportions, forcing them to kill him to save the town.
Devil’s Gulch, California
Dr. Gabriel Benjamin Farnam (Father Joshua Farnam)
Marshal Henry Bishop
• The main attraction of Farnam’s show was a potion called Dr. Farnam’s Astounding Restoration Elixir that promised to heal all ailments. It was initially feared that the potion was turning townsfolk into murderous beasts, but this was quickly discounted.
• As well as the Garrett family, evidence of the creature’s attacks were found in two other locations: Lester Alton and his wife were found dead in bed, their faces ripped off. A bloody claw mark was found at the Empire Hotel and the room of Horus Brown had been broken into, but no sign of Horus could be found. Each of the locations had a strange symbol painted on the wall with grease paint. Adam Rothschild later confirmed that it was the alchemical symbol for mercury. Horus was later found hiding in the livery having run from the creature trying to kill him.
• After defeating Farnam’s followers, the posse found his journal and learned that Farnam used to be the preacher of Devil’s Gulch. The Garrett family had brought Polly to Farnam after she started having fits, hoping he could exorcise the “demon” within her. Farnam agreed and it seemed to work for a short time but, when the fits returned, the townsfolk declared he was a charlatan and tarred and feathered him. Chased out of town, Faram wandered for a while before meeting Lucien Cheval and joined his cult. Over the next few years, Farnam learned alchemy and began plotting his revenge against the town.
Based on ‘The Medicine Show’ from Devil’s Gulch published by Chaosium.