Stepping through the portal, the posse found themselves within the Hunting Grounds. However, the strange twisting of reality common to the spirit world resulted in the posse seeing visions of a potential future, and their very real past.
The Hunting Grounds
The Watcher in the Darkness
President Andrew Bates
Sir Montague Bertram Ignatius Farlington
• Immediately after stepping through the portal, the posse found themselves in a blasted wasteland near a strange auto-gyro. A dying Southern soldier identified himself as Francis Martin Teller, and explained it was the year 2081. The soldiers with him had intended to raid a nearby bunker to prevent devices called “Ghost Rock Nukes” being launched. Unable to locate Jordrava, the posse decided to try and complete the soldier’s mission. Assaulting the base, the posse came under fire from an undead soldier who had replaced most of his body with metallic parts. Through the use of dynamite and heavy weaponry, the posse succeeded in downing the soldier, but not before Jeb had died. The posse continued further into the complex, but further attacks left only Sonny standing. He managed to reach the control centre where he encountered the President, Andrew “A-Bomb Andy” Bates, who revealed himself to be one of the same race of shapechangers who had replaced President Jefferson Davis in the past. Sonny managed to defeat the creature but was unable to prevent the Ghost Rock Nukes from launching, starting a global war.
• As nuclear fire consumed the bunker, the posse awoke to find themselves in a desert, uninjured by their visions of the future. A short distance away they found a small town and learned they were having trouble with a group of bandits. The posse drew plans to fortify the town, and organised the townsfolk to form a militia and awaited the bandit’s arrival. Their plans were successful, but the scene quickly shifted to that of the town of Osceola, and the posse realised they were fighting alongside the Kansas Redlegs slaughtering the townsfolk. Walks-in-Two-Worlds and Sonny both encountered the spirits of their loved ones; Don McCoy forgave his adopted son for killing him, and encouraged him not to seek revenge on those who had wronged him; Sonny’s wife Sally revealed that they had a daughter named Alice who may have survived the massacre of Osceola. Walks-in-Two-Worlds also encountered a spirit raven called Askuwheteau, the Watcher in the Darkness, who explained he was his Guardian Spirit. He agreed to lead the posse to Jordrava and provided advice to help them navigate through the Hunting Grounds.
• In their search for Jordrava, the posse arrived at the Cathedral of Pines, a sacred location within the Hunting Grounds able to show someone their past or future. Each member of the posse looked into the pool at the centre of the grove of trees and saw a vision:
Martha: A vision of the Confederate camp the night before Gettysburg. Martha encountered Nate and embraced her husband before they enjoyed each other’s company one last time. However, Mr Smith’s blackened eyes and altered shadow revealed him to be some sort of demonic creature. Mrs Smith indicated this event had happened, if not with a demonic Nate, and she had later found herself with child.
Sonny: There was a brief vision of a saloon before the pool clouded with darkness.
Jeb: A vision of the man who raised him, The Bear, and a group of hooded men standing around a raging bonfire. The robed men chanted in a strange language and it appeared as if they were initiating The Bear into their group.
Walks-in-Two-Worlds: A vision of Don McCoy fighting the Kansas Redlegs. One of the dead soldiers rose from the grave, possessed by the Eternal Warrior. He claimed that Walks-in-Two-Worlds was his, and that no one would love him like his mother. Before the vision could end, the Eternal Warrior looked directly at Walks-in-Two-Worlds and screamed that this was not how it was supposed to be and began smashing everything in the room. It was speculated that this referred to Walks-in-Two-World’s training to become a shaman.
Doc Peabody: A vision of the Doc holding a man to a table with tremendous strength. He pulled out a scalpel and began cutting off the other man’s face before placing it over his own, while someone from outside the room beat on the door. Doc Peabody confirmed the room looked like the asylum he had spent time at.
• After a brief encounter with a sentient bridge called Sir Montague Bertram Ignatius Farlington, the posse found Jordrava trapped by a Greater Manitou called Hex. Sonny engaged Hex in a magical battle while the rest of the posse rescued Jordrava and fought off smaller manitou. With Hex defeated, Jordrava was able to regain his strength and explained that the posse needed to find his medicine rock and tomahawk if they hoped to defeat the threats to the Sioux Nations. He also explained that killing Raven would not end the threat, he advised it would be better to undo his evil works and break the relationship between him and War. Healing the posse’s wounds, Jordrava opened a portal allowing them to return home.
Based on ‘Vision Quest’ from The Last Sons published by Pinnacle Entertainment.