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Trail Guide:

South o’ the Border


Trail Guide:
South o’ the Border
Savage Worlds by Shane Lacy Hensley

Credits & Acknowledgements

by Matthew Cutter
Additional Material: Steven S. Long
Editing: Joel Kinstle, Piotr Korys
Typesetting and Layout: Joel Kinstle
Artwork: Richard Timothy Broadstreet, Paul Carrick,
Jim Crabtree, Tom Fowler, Dan Frazier,
Paul (Prof.) Herbert, Jeff Menges,
William O’Connor, Jordan Peacock,
Ellym Sirac
Maps: Aaron Acevedo

© 2010 Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Savage Worlds, Deadlands: the Weird West,
and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Pinnacle
Entertainment Group. All rights reserved.

Produced under license by Studio 2 Publishing, Inc. The Studio 2 logo is a


trademark of Studio 2 Publishing, Inc. © 2010. All rights reserved.
Contents

The Tombstone Epitaph 1 3. Audience with the Emperor������33


4. City o’ Death ����������������������������36
5. Cipactli’s Place��������������������������40
Marshal’s Handbook 7
Setting Rules��������������������������������� 7 Savage Tales 47
Rumblings of War������������������������� 8
The Bat God���������������������������������47
Death Hunt ����������������������������������51
Strange Locales 12 Deserter’s Delight��������������������������53
Camarón����������������������������������������13 El Noche del Bufón����������������������56
Chihuahua ������������������������������������15 At the Zoo������������������������������������57
Colima������������������������������������������16 Lake o’ Sorrow������������������������������57
Copper Canyon������������������������������16 Lost Treasures������������������������������58
Guadalajara����������������������������������18 The Massacre Spirit����������������������60
Matamoros������������������������������������19 The Obispado Curse����������������������61
Mexico City����������������������������������19
Monterrey��������������������������������������22 Encounters 63
Veracruz����������������������������������������24
Creepy Critters������������������������������63
Humans����������������������������������������71
Knives in the Dark 27 Lords of the Obsidian Blade����������74
1. Border Crossing������������������������27 Famous Folks ������������������������������78
2. Wheels Within Wheels��������������30
The Tombstone Epitaph
Special Travel Edition Vol. 1, No. 1 Sunday, May 23, 1880

Author’s Note world traveler and sometime author,


was last seen in March of 1879, as he
departed Tombstone to investigate
Things are changing fast in the
unexplained murders in the coastal
Weird West.
city of Veracruz. No one has heard
The Rail Barons’ marathon race from him since, and most presume him
of 1878–79 officially ended with the dead. We ask our readership to report
catastrophic Battle of Lost Angels, a any information about Mr. Bascomb’s
clash whose blows resonated across whereabouts to the Tombstone Epitaph
all of North America, as far north as office in Tombstone, Arizona Territory,
icebound Alaska and down into the CSA, care of the Editor.
emerald jungles of southern Mexico.
Regards,
It could be that we’ve not yet seen the
full scope of the consequences, and Phineas P. Gage
some disasters have yet to unfold.
Now, with Santa Anna’s Californian
adventure and stunning defeat, the
future seems as wide open as it is
fraught with uncertainty. In this trail
guide I hope to illuminate some of
those uncertainties, and make the
myriad possibilities a little more plain.
My name is Phineas P. Gage. A
railroad agent by trade, I have been
employed by every major Rail Baron
at one time or another, and some
other railroad companies besides. In
my day I’ve personally secured over
100 rights-of-way. In my spare time
I have been known to scratch out a
traveler’s guidebook or two, and it is
for this reason I was tapped by Editor
John Clum to take up the mantle
of Mexican correspondent for the
Tombstone Epitaph.
It is also my sad duty to inform our
readership of the former Mexican
correspondent’s disappearance and
probable demise. Charles Bascomb,
The Tombstone Epitaph
Special Travel Edition Vol. 1, No. 1 Sunday, May 23, 1880

Santa Anna’s Anna and his Mexican Army upon


Lost Angels played out like a verse
from Revelation come to life. They
Last Stand say the dead got up and walked by
the hundreds of thousands. Others
Until recently, any treatise on the claim in their rapture that angels of
perils and places of Mexico was focused vengeance stood stalwart and proud
first and foremost on General Santa upon the city’s walls. Again and again
Anna and his so-called Army of the the angry dead crashed against the
Night—or Army of the Dead, depending gates, like a surging, unclean tide.
on who you talk to. The topic was well- The black-frocked Reverend Grimme
justified, to be sure, given that any visit appeared upon the walls with a host
to Mexico requires passing through of his minions, and the tenor of the
the Mojave or Sonoran Desert, where battle changed swiftly. First Grimme
one was almost sure to meet up with called down a clap of thunder from the
Ol’ One-Leg’s many patrols. heavens that slew scores of Mexican
With the so-called California Inva­ soldiers and instantly obliterated the
sion of 1880, such considerations have dead. Then the angelic figures waded
been shattered, blown to smithereens into the fray, terrible swift swords
as surely as a railroad trestle packed gleaming in the last rays of daylight,
with nitro. If the words of witnesses cutting down invaders and routing
can be believed, the march of Santa the few living soldiers on the field.
Guide to Old Mexico
Special Travel Edition Vol. 1, No. 1 Sunday, May 23, 1880

Grimme’s loyal servants called down


their own, lesser miracles to smite the The “Other”
foe.
To be fair, the “trustworthy wit­
nesses” to date are all loyal mem­bers
Civil War
of the Church of Lost Angels, which No matter what you’re thinking, it’s
makes their reliability more than Maximillian, the Emperor of Mexico,
a little suspect in our eyes. No who still wields the power to utterly
doubt something odd—maybe even change the face of the Southwest.
uncanny—happened on that battlefield, He’s got a fleet superior to that of the
but no conflicting accounts have yet Bluebellies or the Rebs, and an army ten
arisen. times the size of anything the North or
South could assemble on short notice.
What we can tell you for sure, Dear
Problem is, he’s about to be standing
Reader, is that the northern arm of the
at the center of a full-blown civil war
Mexican Army is no more. General
of his own.
Santa Anna himself is said to have
gone missing somewhere in the far With the failure of Santa Anna to
Maze, on a secret mission with his take Lost Angels, dominoes have
most elite troops. Only one account of begun to fall. Attacks upon Mexican
Santa Anna’s fate has surfaced so far, Army supply lines in the south by
and that from the owner of a bait shop, rebel Porfiriatistas have increased, and
Stanley Fish, whose establishment the north has seen countless hit-and-
stands on a lonely, seaswept mesa. run attacks by Juaristas of the People’s
[The tales of Stanley Fish, while colorful, Government upon the Legion’s border
have been deemed gravely unreliable, and forts. Maximillian is reportedly eager
his account therefore redacted. –Editor] to begin campaigns to suppress the
rebellion, but other informants—who
Practically speaking, what this
shall remain nameless in order to
means for Mexico-bound travelers is
protect their lives—claim that Maxi­
a lot less fretting about running into
millian’s closest advisors, like Field
Mexican troops. That doesn’t mean
Marshal Achille Bazain, have been
one should forget the French Foreign
warning him of some other, greater
Legion, the Juaristas, or the stealthy
threat.
and vicious predators that stalk the
border regions by night, and by day. For now the Porfiriatistas and Juar­
Take it from us—you don’t want to istas are primary dangers, since both
head south o’ the border unless you’ve factions used to rule Mexico and both
got a little salt to you. of them want it back. In the north Benito
Juárez’s government-in-exile hides,
For all you greenhorns, we hear Fort
while in the south General Porfirio
Lincoln is nice this time of year.
Diaz leads an army of guerillas.
The Tombstone Epitaph
Special Travel Edition Vol. 1, No. 1 Sunday, May 23, 1880

Geography is mountainous, but almost all of it


is covered by green, steamy jungles,
especially the Yucatán Peninsula.
Mexico confronts travelers with a
The Phantom General, Porfirio Diaz,
lot of different climates and terrain, so
claims southern Mexico as his own,
let’s take a few moments to sort them
but some whisper that its true rulers
out.
are hidden behind acres of trees and
The mighty Rio Grande River forms vines. The Old Gods, say the folk tales,
about half of Mexico’s border with the remain in the forgotten places of the
CSA. The rest of the border stretches Maya and Aztecs, waiting for their
across the Mojave Desert to touch the time to come round again at last.
Pacific Ocean between San Diego and
Mexicali. Camarón
The northern third of Mexico consists The village of Camarón, where a
of the Sonoran Desert, a southern whole company of the French Foreign
continuation of the Majove. Full of red Legion was destroyed by Mexican
rock, scrub brush, cacti, and canyons, soldiers during the French invasion,
it also hosts several border garrisons of remains abandoned even today. It lies
the French Foreign Legion, placed here about halfway between Matamoros
to hunt down the Juaristas. The Legion, and Veracruz, north of the rail line.
as they’re known around these parts, Hardly anyone goes there, for they say
are not lightly messed with. Northern the spirits of dead Legionnaires haunt
Mexico is a harsh land, home to wild the trails all around it.
and hungry predators of all kinds.
Despite the Legion’s presence, it is still Chihuahua
considered the domain of the Juaristas. Chihuahua’s name derives from
The central, mountainous section of an ancient language, and means
Mexico is far more temperate and cool, “between two waters.” It is a relatively
and is known as the Valley of Mexico. green grotto in the middle of northern
“Valley” is a deceptive term, since Mexico’s Sonoran Desert, and serves
most of the region is over 7,000 feet as the de facto seat of Benito Juárez’
in elevation. It remains warm most government-in-exile. The town was
of the time, but there’s more water founded in 1709 by a Spanish explorer
and a slightly longer growing season. named Antonio Deza y Ulloa. In
Most of Mexico’s population dwells the 171 years since then, Chihuahua
here, where the French Empire and has grown from a meeting place
Maximillian’s armies hold sway. for missionaries to a major center
Southern Mexico tends to be warm of Mexican industry, and a seat of
and humid, unpleasantly so for government for the presidencies of
“northerners” from the Great Maze, Benito Juárez and Porfirio Diaz.
Arizona, and Texas. Much of the area
Guide to Old Mexico
Special Travel Edition Vol. 1, No. 1 Sunday, May 23, 1880

Colima
Colima is one of the oldest cities
in Mexico, founded on the site of a
former Aztec city. It has the greatest
concentration of Zapotec Indians and
pureblood Aztecs of any region in
Mexico.

Copper Canyon
Copper Canyon is one of the northern
desert’s most prominent features. It’s
not really one canyon, but actually a
massive series of gorges stretching
from Los Mochis, on the northern
coast of Sinaloa, almost to the city of
Chihuahua. In some spots it’s bigger small town is home to a large garrison
and more impressive than the Grand of Mexican regulars and Legionnaires.
Canyon…and more dangerous too!
Mexico City
Guadalajara Cortés founded Mexico City on the
Founded in 1532, Guadalajara site of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan,
be­came wealthy and powerful thanks after he ordered the lagoons filled
to the farms and silver mines of the with earth. Using Aztec slave labor,
region. Because it was far away from he built the city in a European style,
the political centers of Veracruz and but along the old Aztec grid pattern.
Mexico City, it developed an inde­ The Aztec ceremonial (and sacrificial)
pen­dent streak still evident in the center became a public square ten
city’s population, who are known acres across, known as the Zócalo,
as Tapatíos. Cross them or try to boss paved with stones from the Aztecs’
them around, and visitors learn pretty primary temple. Now the city serves
quick that such behavior simply isn’t as the seat of power for Maximillian’s
tolerated here. French Empire.
Mexico City is located in the heart of
Matamoros the nation’s central uplands. A railroad
A small waystop on the rail line line accesses the city from Veracruz on
between Veracruz and Mexico City, the eastern coast, and many roads and
Matamoros has traditionally been a trails lead to it overland. The nearby
farming and ranching community. volcanoes Popocatépetl and Itzacíhuatl
These days the rail depot is used to are prominent landmarks.
export goods to the coast, and the
The Tombstone Epitaph
Special Travel Edition Vol. 1, No. 1 Sunday, May 23, 1880

Monterrey de­nuded of lucre, and left for dead.


The biggest and most important city I was taken in by a family—father,
of northern Mexico, and undoubtedly mother, grandmother, and five child­
the primary target for any initial strike ren. They bandaged me and gave me
the CSA might muster, is Monterrey. a place to sleep. The next day they fed
The city is capital of the state of Nuevo me, and we shared stories in pidgin
León. Founded in 1596, it’s known to English. Without any request for
the Mexicans as El Sultán del Norte repay­ment, they sent me on my way.
(Sultan of the North) because of its Never count on such good fortune,
profitable industries and hellraising Reader, but be aware that it exists.
atmosphere.

Veracruz
The other major city of central Unexplained
Mexico, and the other end of the axis of
French-controlled Mexico, is Veracruz. Events
Founded by Cortés, it’s served as a
Although word out of Mexico has
gateway to Mexico for invaders ever
been limited due to the civil war,
since.
there persist tales of encounters with
terrifying, fiery beings on the slopes

La Gente
of Mexico’s biggest volcanoes. Lately
I’ve heard of new towns springing up
in isolated valleys throughout Mexico,
If you have the opporunity to travel where the gates are always closed and
in Mexico, you’ll find a land not no travelers are permitted inside.
untouched by the famine, death, war,
Everywhere society is strained by
and disease that plague so many other
relations between those descended
places. The rampant misery in Mexico
from the native Aztecs, and those
fuels the growing fires of discontent,
whose forefathers were Spaniards.
and the civil war rapidly comes to a
Different political views are just about
boil.
to rip the country into three bloody
But under all the political machi­ pieces. Everywhere a dull patina of fear
nations you’ll find a nation of gracious colors every perspective, and leaves
and welcoming people, if you look folks ready to commit desperate acts
hard enough. After an unfortunate in defense of their lives. Mexico seems
encounter with knife-happy banditos now more than ever like a powder keg
west of Chihuahua, this intrepid about to blow.
re­porter ended up gut-stabbed,
Marshal’s
Handbook

Now that we’ve given them pesky Whenever an Aztec sorcerer-priest


players somethin’ to chew on, let’s get uses a Black Magic power that causes
right down to brass tacks, Marshal. damage, add the local Fear Level to the
Behind its shifting political alliances and damage roll. Likewise, when using any
warring factions, behind the pastoral power that calls for an opposed roll, the
ve­neer of its countryside, Mexico is sorcerer gains a bonus to his roll equal to
clutched in the grip of malevolent powers the Fear Level.
and dwells under a cloud of dread. In practical terms, this means Xitlan
Though the Reckoners have ultimate and his allies are exceedingly dangerous
influence in the lands south o’ the border, on their own turf—yet another reason
without a doubt the reigning fearmonger why heroes should be of Legendary
is an ancient, ornery varmint called Rank (or close to it) before they head
Cipactli, who’s been around since the down Mexico way.
days of the Aztecs. We’ll tell you more
about her and her ilk later on. Sacred Wells
The cenotes (seh-NO-tays), or Mayan
Setting Rules sacred wells, usually appeal to travelers
as a source of fresh water or ancient
The following Setting Rules hold sway treasures. People down the ages have
over all of Mexico, making life a little thrown precious objects into the
easier for the bad guys—and pure Hell mirror-​smooth pools as offerings to the
for your heroes. gods. The posse with a mind to begin
a salvage operation is almost certain to
Fear’s Touch recover items of jade, silver, and gold,
not to mention the occasional priceless
The power of Fear is more palpable artifact. Trouble is, the locals rarely take
in Mexico than anywhere else on earth. a kindly stance toward gringos who try
Since the Lords of the Obsidian Blade to plunder their ancient sites of power.
(more about them below) ultimately
At a cenote, the barrier between
serve the Reckoners, high levels of Fear
the world of the living and the world
help them and hinder their enemies.
of spirits is thin. Arcane casters who
After fostering so much Fear, the Lords
physically touch the cenote’s sur­face
have been rewarded by the Reckoners
(usually with one’s fingers) gain +2 on
for their dread loyalty.
rolls to enact exorcism, detect/​conceal

7
D eadlands T rail G uides

arcana, mind rider, sanctify, vision quest,


or any other power used to contact the Rumblings
spirit world. Additionally, these powers of War
cost half as many Power Points as usual
(round up), but the typical amount to Mexico is a land divided between
maintain. If the caster stops touching three powers, and their relationship has
the cenote’s surface, the Power Point cost never been more contentious. In 1862 the
returns to normal. French invaded Mexico in an attempt to
Rarely, cenotes are actually portals recoup their war debts, thus creating the
into the shadowy Hunting Grounds. French Empire of Mexico—as personified
Some re­quire a certain action or word to by Emperor Maximillian in Mexico
function, some are only open at certain City—which still rules over the middle
times of day or night, and still others regions of the country. The People’s
remain open at all times. In all cases, Government-in-exile, or Juaristas, led by
a body has to dive into the depths to Benito Juárez, claims most of Mexico’s
eventually surface on the other side. northwest. The rebel Porfiriatistas own
Manitous and other malevolent beings the far south, under the command of
tend to lurk near cenotes, hoping to snag their Phantom General, Porfirio Diaz.
unwary swimmers between the worlds.
The Imperial Government
Emperor Maximillian rules Mexico
with the Em­press Carlota at his side. He
receives advice from an Imperial Council

8
S ou th o ’ the B order
made up of several ministers and other
important officials. They meet at the
The People’s Government
Emperor’s behest to discuss various Benito Juárez is a Zapotec Indian
issues, but they have no real authority as by birth, who served as President of
a body. Mexico from 1855 until 1862. During that
The “first among equals” in the Council time, his actions on behalf of Mexico’s
is, by all accounts, Arturo Balthazar de campesinos—or peasant class—led to the
Morelos, the Minister of Justice. He’s War of the Reform, which culminated
responsible for overseeing the court in the French invasion of Mexico City in
system and the Policia Federal—better 1862. Juárez fled to the exile of northwest
known as the Rurales. There is also a Mexico with his trusted followers.
Minister of Trade, a Minister of War, and Taking a page out of the Apaches’
the Emperor’s close friend Jesús Flores book, he adopted the life of the outlaw.
y Maceda serves as a Minister without Rather than fighting costly battles,
Portfolio. Most suspect him of being a his ragtag forces conduct night raids
“fixer” for the Emperor’s more thorny and live off the land. There’s a simple
problems. reason why Juárez became the People’s
Now that the Mexican Army’s northern Rebel—he’s a good man, and people like
arm has broken itself on the shoals of him. Recently he’s been trying to disrupt
Lost Angels, control of the military has Mexican supply lines to the Legion’s
ceded to Field Marshal Achille Bazain, border forts, and though he has no great
supposedly one of Napoleon III’s oldest love for Americanos he would be likely to
and dearest friends. Bazain is a crusty ally with heroes looking to take down
old bird who travels around with a few Xitlan.
bodyguards and runs the army with
the help of second-in-command Colonel The Rebels
Philippe Castelnau and his aide-de- In most ways, the Porfiriatistas of
camp Corporal Willette, who was once Mexico’s far south are the exact opposite
a Legionnaire but somehow impressed of Juárez’s faction. They claim to be
Bazain enough to be appointed to run “protecting” the people of Mexico,
his staff. but in return they take whatever they
The Mexican Army is composed of want, when they want it. In general, the
native troops, imported French soldiers, campesinos of southern Mexico know that
and about 8,000 members of the French to defy the Porfiriatistas means torture
Foreign Legion—none of whom are and death.
actually French, by the way. The rebels number around 3,600 men,
Bazain has been warning the Emperor under the command of the dreaded
about Xitlan for years, but Santa Anna’s Phantom General, Porfirio Diaz. Diaz
defeat and the growing unrest have has been around Mexican politics for
distracted Maximillian’s attention. as long as Juárez, but where Juárez’s
Mean­while, Xitlan makes the final experiences kindled within him a sym­
prepa­rations to complete his master pathy for Mexico’s people, Diaz’s military
plan. Bazain, for his part, searches career only hardened his cruelty and
desperately for someone of influence selfishness. When the French invaded
in the CSA or US who will take action in ’62, Diaz took his forces and vanished
against the Secret Empire. into the jungles of the Yucatán Peninsula,

9
D eadlands T rail G uides
where he’s been hiding out and running focused the terrible might of the Secret
raids ever since. Empire upon Bayou Vermilion. These
The Phantom General is a bit of a attacks have cost LaCroix countless
prickly pear, but even he might serve tons of rolling stock and resulted in
as an ally to heroes working in Mexico. the kidnapping and bloody sacrifice of
Since the Great Quake, Diaz has become hundreds of Bayou Vermilion employees.
aware of some other presence in the Until recently LaCroix was hesitant
jungles, one that hovers like ghosts to go after Xitlan, even though he
around the old Aztec and Mayan ruins. was certain Santa Anna’s advisor was
The peasants know of it too, an ancient ultimately responsible for the attacks.
being returned to the earth to cause With Santa Anna’s fall, Baron LaCroix
suffering for all of humanity—they call would like nothing more than to see
it Cipactli. Xitlan destroyed. He has only just
Diaz doesn’t believe in old señoritas’ begun his investigations (both arcane
tales of monsters in the jungle; he wants and mundane) and not yet hired any
to kill whatever it is just for challenging freelancers or sent his own troops after
his rulership. the elusive sorcerer. That’s certain to
change, and soon.
Bayou Vermilion & Mexico
One of the devil’s bargains Santa The Secret Empire
Anna made during his most recent Xitlan’s an Aztec shaman, all right,
tour was with Baron Simone LaCroix, and he was born centuries ago. He
owner of the Bayou Vermilion railroad witnessed firsthand the destruction
and practitioner of the darkest voodoo of his civilization by whites. Now he’s
magics. Santa Anna came to believe that sworn revenge against the white man,
all Xitlan’s powers somehow came from and works tirelessly toward that end.
Baron LaCroix. The general figured he Until recently, he provided Santa
could cut out the middle man and go Anna with the legions of walkin’ dead
straight to the source for his revenant that comprised his Ejército de los Muertos.
dead soldiers. He kept them under control by feeding
He got nowhere with that, but he was them meat containing a special herbal
able to strike a different sort of deal with mixture called plantagrito—a crop grown
LaCroix. In return for Bayou Vermilion on only one plantation, near Mexico City
ferrying Mexican soldiers all over the in the ruins of Teotihuacán.
Southwest, the general agreed not to Since Santa Anna’s fall, the Lords of
damage any Bayou Vermilion property the Obsidian Blade, also called the Secret
as they laid track toward the City of Empire, have stepped up their timetable.
Lost Angels. In the end the deal wasn’t Xitlan maintains an extensive network
much good for either party—it didn’t of pureblood Aztecs, almost all of whom
help Santa Anna in his final battle, and have worked their way into positions of
it didn’t help LaCroix win the Great Rail power, or at least positions that would
Wars. allow for an easy assassination. For
What it did was make Xitlan an example, one of the Emperor’s personal
undying enemy of B.V. Fearing a threat servants at Chapultepec Castle is an
to his own influence and power, Xitlan Aztec who serves Xitlan. With a mere

10
S ou th o ’ the B order
word from the ancient sorcerer, the one of these caves collapses, a natural
servant will turn a knife upon his well is formed whose bottom can only be
masters. guessed.
Xitlan has also been building his own Precious objects were thrown into
little army in the ruins of Teotihuacán. cenotes by the Mayans to pacify the
Fearsome jaguar warriors train for spirits and ensure good luck, things
their return to power in an ancient city like rubber balls, dolls, small pieces of
patrolled by legions of the dead and jewelry, jade or gold, even pottery and
even more fearsome things. other mundane tools. Some cenotes were
Santa Anna got his chance to invade thought to be gateways into Xibalbá, the
the Great Maze, but it didn’t put him Mayan underworld. They were much
back in power like he hoped. So Xitlan worse than that.
makes preparations to release his The great earth monster of Aztec
zombie army from the City of the Dead, myth is called Cipactli, a horrible cross
conduct an apocalyptic ritual on the between crocodile and toad, covered
slopes of Popocatépetl, and call upon with hundreds of short, sharp spines
his Aztec followers to rise up across the and long, whiplike tentacles. Back when
land. Then, it is said, fire will ooze out of Raven was figuring out how to use the
the earth and burn away the white man’s West Coast’s network of petroglyphs
taint forever. to set off the Great Quake, he found
Even Xitlan doesn’t know what hap­ Cipactli. She was trapped in a ruined
pens after that. Aztec city, stuck halfway between earth
Xitlan was “inspired” long ago by and the Hunting Grounds by ritual
Raven himself to set off a chain of bindings. This place was only accessible
volcanic eruptions that will destroy by swimming down into one of the
Mexico City and supposedly put the cenotes the ancient Maya avoided.
Lords of the Obsidian Blade in power First Raven helped Cipactli’s “children”
forever, returning Mexico to its former escape into the Yucatán jungles—as
glory. That’s almost true, but it’s still not one might guess, they’re miniature
the whole story. versions of Cipactli and extraordinarily
Xitlan’s plan will put him in power, but dangerous. Next he promised to devise
it will also release one of the Reckoners’ a plan that would free the earth monster
greatest evils—Cipactli—upon the earth, from its ancient trap. When Xitlan’s
and likely turn all of Mexico into a volcanic eruptions have run their course,
blasted Deadland. Cipactli will be freed and more power­ful
than ever…unless the heroes do some­
thing about it.
Cipactli’s Brood
The Savage Tales in this trail guide
Some of the most obvious relics of make up a mini-Plot Point to take your
the Maya civilization are the “sacrificial posse through encounters with all of
wells,” called cenotes, scattered all across Mexico’s major factions, and finally to
the Yucatán. The earth is riddled with a showdown with Cipactli herself. Just
limestone, which has been dissolved by make sure your heroes are salty, gritty,
water over the years to form a labyrinth and well-seasoned before they go too far
of submerged caves spanning all of south.
southern Mexico. When the earth over

11
Strange
Locales

Here’s where we dig into the details The overall Fear Level is 2 in Mexico,
of Mexico’s eerie geography. Each major which isn’t so bad. Specific locations
loca­tion starts off with a short intro­ have their own ratings, though—
duction, followed by some suggestions almost always higher—as listed below.
on how a posse might get there, then Consult Deadlands Reloaded for general
what they’ll see as they wander around descriptions of how different Fear Levels
town, and finally a list of the Savage Tales affect the landscape. Those, along with
set in that particular location (along with the entries here, should give you some
a handy page reference for each, so you ideas for spooky descriptions.
don’t drive yourself loco trying to find
’em!).

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S ou th o ’ the B order

Encounters Camarón
Each day the posse spends traveling
in Mexico, draw a card from your Action Fear Level: 4
Deck. If you draw a face card, roll on the The village of Camarón, where a
appropriate encounter table to see what whole company of Legionnaires was
the posse stumbles into. If you draw a destroyed by Mexican soldiers during
Joker, the posse’s in double trouble: roll the French invasion, remains abandoned
twice on the appropriate encounter table even today—and with good reason. The
and combine the results. Reshuffle the remains of the dead Legionnaires still
deck after every encounter. stalk the area, hoping to get revenge
on the Mexicans who killed them and
Northern Mexico Encounters
stole the gold they were guarding. They
d20 Encounter
also take gleeful revenge on just about
1–2 2d8 Legionnaires everybody else who passes through.
3–4 2d6 San Patricio Battalion
(50% chance of one Harrowed Getting There
among them)
Camarón is located between Mexico
5 Serpente Sangrienta
City and Veracruz, about 40 miles east
6 1d6 Wall Crawlers of Matamoros. A disused dirt road leads
7–8 2d8 Juaristas about 20 miles from the Emperor’s rail
9 Piedra Gemira line to the ruined town. Which means
10–14 Giant Vinegaroon travelers who want to visit have to figure
15 Rurale out how to get there on their own. Horses
are a good bet, though a steam wagon or
16–17 Barranca Prowler
other vehicle could also negotiate the
18–19 2d8 Banditos road with ease.
20 2d6 Veteran Legionnaires But why go to Camarón? It’s a damn
good question, Marshal. After all, we’re
Southern Mexico Encounters
talking about a near-forgotten ruin of
d20 Encounter
a town, that’s located pretty far from
1–2 2d6 Aztecs (50% chance that one the beaten path, around which swirl
is an Aztec Sorcerer) constant rumors of evil and death. Why
3–4 2d8 Porfiriatistas would any sodbuster in his right mind
5 Cihuateteo go to such a place?
6 Brimstone Man The answer is to use Camarón as the
7–8 1d4 Feathered Serpents location of your adventure, but construct
9 Mictlan Owl a tale that involves a goal and some
enemies. Then the undead Legionnaires
10–14 2d8 Mexican Soldiers
of Camarón become an environmental
15 Rurale hazard, rather than the whole point.
16–17 Barranca Prowler An obvious choice is Danjou’s Hand,
18–19 2d8 Banditos the relic described in the nearby sidebar.
20 Obsidian Knife Spirit Scholarly types might come across some
mention of it in a Legionnaire’s old

13
D eadlands T rail G uides
journal. A treasure hunter or collector of
historical objects might hire the heroes
Relic: to go looking for it in Camarón. Or the

Danjou’s Hand posse might get wind of other folks—


not-so-nice folks, preferably—who are
Captain Danjou, who led the after the relic.
doomed company, had lost his Maybe the sought-after treasure isn’t
left hand some time before the the Hand, but some other precious relic,
battle and replaced it with a carved treasure, or item of magic. Maybe the
wooden prosthetic. That hand was gold those undead Legionnaires are so
lost during the battle, and has since
keen to regain has been hidden right
been imbued with the dark magic of
there in Camarón for all these years.
the Reckoning.
Whatever the goal, make sure to
Power give the posse some competitors. A
If attached to an arm without a hand, small cadre of Aztec warriors and their
it bonds instantly with that person’s sorcerer leader, El Escorpión (see page 80)
flesh and begins functioning as a and his men following a stolen treasure
normal, albeit wooden, hand. The map, the hired guns of a rival treasure
hand has Strength d12 or its owner’s hunter, or even a detachment of Bayou
Strength (whichever is better) and is Vermilion rail warriors from north o’ the
considered to have Armor +2 versus border make great foes.
all forms of attack except fire.
The hand’s prodigious might can
only be applied to tasks that a hand Points of Interest
can reasonably do on its own. So the Since most of the town has fallen into
owner of Danjou’s Hand could use its disrepair and the former fort of the
strength to crush a small object, but Legion is a crumbling ruin, we might
not to swing a sword or lift a barrel. as well concentrate on the remaining
In those cases the owner’s Strength inhabitants—the dead.
die is used instead. A punch from
the hand does Str+d4+1 damage. About 25 Legionnaires are more or
less intact and lurk here as walkin’ dead.
Taint They can’t tolerate sunlight, however, so
The wearer of the hand gains the they only emerge at night or on overcast
Mean Hindrance, and over a period days. Only a few of the Legionnaires
of months the hombre’s wrist, have working firearms—most use clubs,
forearm, elbow, bicep, and so forth, knives, or their claws. They maintain
also turn to wood. This has no game a dark sense of humor about their fate,
effect, but is sure to drive a player though they’re pretty ornery around
batty. The only way the Hand can be strangers.
removed is to hack it off. In combat
There were also a good number of
this requires a Called Shot to the
Legionnaires who were so shot up their
wrist (–2) and an Incapacitating
blow. bodies literally fell to pieces. For a while
those revolting parts crawled, walked,
or slithered around the ruins, until even
they rotted away and were consumed
by scavengers. What managed to stick
around were the hands—and now those

14
S ou th o ’ the B order
crafty, cunning, idle hands are the Getting There
Devil’s playground. To go directly to Chihuahua, one has
The numbers listed below are the to travel over miles and miles of rough
total found in all of Camarón. Draw an desert, deep canyons, and badlands. A
action card for an encounter every hour safer route involves taking the Ghost
the posse wanders the ruins, using the Trail east, and then cutting south on the
usual system for determining whether Rio Grande Trail. Following one of the
one occurs (see Encounters on page 13). Rio Grande’s tributaries into Mexico will
For each encounter, assume the posse also lead travelers to their destination.
meets up with 2d8 walkin’ dead or 2d6
animate hands (Marshal’s choice, or flip Points of Interest
a coin). A Joker means some of each! Chihuahua is divided into several
• Walkin’ Dead Legionnaires (25): colonias, or neighborhoods. Residential,
Extras. Use the Veteran Legionnaire commercial, industrial, and educational
stats on page 71, but add the Undead activities each have their own designated
Special Ability (Toughness +2, +2 to colonia.
recover from Shaken, no additional Chihuahua has the greatest population
damage from Called Shots, immune of mad scientists in Mexico, so its skies
to disease and poison). They also have are frequently filled with auto-gyros
the Vow (Recover their stolen gold, kill and other flying machines. A scientific
Mexican soldiers) Hindrance. commune at the north end of town
• Animate Hands (40): See Deadlands produces practical gizmos for use in
Reloaded. local factories. They are known to sell
various Infernal Devices (at the prices
listed in Deadlands Reloaded), which are
Chihuahua imported from Smith & Robards in Salt
Lake City.
Fear Level: 3 Support for Juarez and his men is spread
Chihuahua’s name derives from an throughout town and the surrounding
ancient language, and means “between region, but one establishment is known
two waters.” It is a relatively green as their unofficial point of contact. If one
grotto in the middle of northern Mexico’s needs to get in touch with the People’s
Sonoran Desert and serves as the de Government, the searcher visits the
facto seat of Benito Juárez’ government- Grinning Skull Cantina. There one finds
in-exile. the usual fare—tequila, soiled doves,
The town was founded in 1709 by a and gambling. A guerilla known only
Spanish explorer named Antonio Deza as El Capitán frequents the place and can
y Ulloa. In the 171 years since then, arrange meetings with Juarez.
Chihuahua has grown from a meeting
place for missionaries to a major center Savage Tales
of Mexican industry and a seat of
• Border Crossing (page 27): While
govern­ment for the presidencies of
attempting to cross the Copper Canyon
Benito Juárez and Porfirio Diaz.
region and avoid Legionnaires, the
Popular support for the Juaristas posse has a chance encounter with
is very strong around Chihuahua, Marshal Bazain’s steam wagon.
meaning Juárez’ guerillas can always
find sanctuary here if they need to.

15
D eadlands T rail G uides
• Wheels Within Wheels (page 30): The
Mexican Army’s Marshal Bazain,
Points of Interest
acting against the duplicitous Xitlan, The architecture of Colima is modern,
puts the posse in contact with the mixed with the ruins of the Aztecs. The
Juaristas. city is perched on a high shelf ringed
on three sides by mountains, the fourth
looking out onto the Pacific Ocean and
Colima small coastal villages below. Inland
there is only the great green mass of
Fear Level: 3 the jungle, like a thick leafy blanket
Colima is one of the oldest cities covering thousands of square miles. The
in Mexico, founded on the site of a jungle seems almost alive, but dark with
former Aztec city. It has the greatest mystery.
concentration of Zapotec Indians and Colima’s nickname is the City of
pureblood Aztecs—and members of the Palms. Visitors without a lot of stress on
Lords of the Obsidian Blade—of any their minds can have a wonderful time
region in Mexico. in the local cantinas and markets.
Porfirio Diaz, the Phantom General
and leader of the rebel Porfiriatistas, has Savage Tales
attempted to wrest control of Colima’s • Cipactli’s Place (page 40): Following
black market and criminal sector Xitlan’s map, the posse hits a dead end
from the Secret Empire, but has been and needs the help of the Phantom
unsuccessful so far. Diaz hasn’t even General.
been able to discover the identities of
those who thwart his agents.
Copper Canyon
Getting There
Colima being way down in southern Fear Level: 3
Mexico, the easiest way to get there is Copper Canyon is one of the northern
by ship. That said, there’s always an desert’s most prominent features. It’s not
overland trail for those who can track really one canyon, but actually a series
or have the cash to hire native guides. of gorges stretching from Los Mochis, on
More often than not, those guides the northern coast of Sinaloa, almost to
are informers and spies for the Secret the city of Chihuahua.
Empire. The region is neither pleasant nor
Heroes have no trouble getting into safe. People still live there because
Colima, but as soon as they do, the Lords there’s silver to be mined, but the real
of the Obsidian Blade are aware of them mining consists of a mother lode of pure
and send Aztec warriors and sorcerers to Fear, raked in by the evil spirits of the
offer a suitable welcome—preferably one Reckoning.
that ends with the heroes’ hearts ripped
out. This assumes the posse sticks out Getting There
like a sore thumb; if they’re natives, Copper Canyon is easy to get into,
or suitably disguised, they might slip as it’s near the national border and
beneath the Secret Empire’s notice. accessible from all sides. Getting out
alive is the tough part.

16
S ou th o ’ the B order

Points of Interest
In places Copper Canyon is about a
mile deep and a mile wide. A few spots
are deeper still, going farther into the
earth than even the Grand Canyon. The
peaks rise as high as 8,000 feet. It’s a
beautiful and desolate country.
Spanish colonists discovered this
place and its inhabitants, the peaceful
and semi-nomadic Tarahumara Indians,
early on. More to the point, they
discovered that the canyon’s many caves
contained silver. Before long there were
scores of mines, and the Aztecs and
Tarahumaras were laboring side by side
in slavery to pull it out of the ground.
Countless slaves died due to overwork,
abuse, and disease, and their collective These fallen Apache fled into the
suffering has found new life in the Copper Canyon region, where they
piedras gemiras (see page 68). soon encountered the Tarahumara.
Today there are still plenty of silver Most Tarahumara were as disgusted
mines in the area, but many have been by them as their Apache brethren,
played out or abandoned. Banditos but they swayed a few bands to their
some­times use the latter as hideouts, and side. Eventually the groups interbred,
a few serve as lairs for abominations. creating a tribe called the Taracha.
The cliff sides and peaks of the Today the Taracha, a deeply inbred
barrancas (canyons) are a perfect habi­ and malevolent group of Indians, still
tat for wall crawlers (see Deadlands stalk the canyons, kidnapping and
Reloaded), and plenty of them lurk here. eating children. The Tarahumara and
Barranca prowlers (see page 63) are also local residents fear them so much they
an everpresent concern. won’t even speak the tribe’s name. Their
The Taracha: Many years ago, the war shamans, including their powerful
chiefs of the Apache drove from their chief Heart Like Fire, use the Black
people a degenerate group of tribesmen Magic version of Arcane Background
who were discovered to be performing (Shamanism). They use children’s blood
rituals in which children captured from as war paint and to create cave paintings.
other tribes were sacrificed and eaten. Another important Taracha ritual
Supposedly, these Indians believed that centers around the drinking tesguino,
such children represented the soul of a fermented corn beverage. Taracha
a people, and that by sacrificing and warriors consume it before going into
eating them they could destroy that soul, battle, and the effect of the “corn beer,”
and thus triumph over their enemies. combined with the frenzy of the ritual,
Apaches fight hard and give their gives them a boost of one die type to
enemies no quarter, but they considered Strength and Vigor for about an hour.
such practices abhorrent and cast the The Temple of Mictlantecuhtli: Built
offenders out. in an isolated box canyon that’s guarded

17
D eadlands T rail G uides
constantly by Jaguar and Eagle knights,
this nine-level temple serves as the chief
Points of Interest
focus of the Secret Empire’s worship of The people of Guadalajara had the
Mictlantecuhtli, god of the dead. Each good sense to pick the toughest-minded,
of its nine levels represent one of the most stubborn cuss in town to serve as
nine levels of Mictlan that the spirits of their alcalde, or mayor. Ramón Alphonso
dead Aztecs pass through on their way Delpaiz y Turino is better known as El
to their final rest. Inside each level of the Toro, “the Bull.” They say Delpaiz used
ziggurat, traps fashioned to resemble to wrestle steers to the ground with his
that stage on the journey through the bare hands. To look at him one can see
underworld destroy any intruders who how that might be true. He’s not big, by
try to reach the final, inner sanctum— any means, but his shoulders are broad
where the Aztecs store their treasure. as a barn, and he seems as strong as a
Many Aztec sorcerers and warriors team of oxen.
dwell here, along with a few Aztec El Toro runs the town, and everyone
mummies (see Deadlands Reloaded), and knows it. If anyone wants to start a
Seven Vulture himself (see page 77). business, or if one’s business brings them
to town, they’ll need a permit from the
man in charge. They’ll end up paying a
Guadalajara kickback at some point too. Anyone who
doesn’t like it ends up dangling from a
Fear Level: 2 rope. Locals call the city hall El Castillo
Founded in 1532, Guadalajara became (“the Castle”) because of the heavy-
wealthy and powerful thanks to the handed way El Toro runs things.
farms and silver mines of the region. Catedral: Guadalajara gets a lot of
Because it was far away from the political religious pilgrims each year, mainly
centers of Veracruz and Mexico City, it to visit two important churches. The
developed an independent streak still Catedral, consecrated in 1618, is the
evident in the city’s population, known centerpiece of the town. It has 11
as Tapatíos. Cross them or try to boss magnificent altars—10 made of silver
them around, and visitors learn pretty (gifts of King Ferndando VII of Spain)
quick that such behavior simply isn’t and one carved from Italian white
tolerated here. marble. The altar pieces and other works
of art housed here are of immense value.
Getting There An elite squad of guards, hand-picked
Situated northwest of Mexico City by the archbishop, protects the Catedral
in the state of Jalisco, Guadalajara has at all times.
always been isolated by its location in the In fact, the white altar was carved in
mile-high Antemajac Valley in the Sierra the same year the Reckoning began, by
Madres. It has cliffs on three sides, and a deranged—and manitou-ridden—artist
the 2,000-foot deep Oblatos Canyon on named Paolo Tarrucelli. The supposedly
the other, making it generally a difficult religious carvings on the altar con­
place to get to. tain cleverly disguised occult and
The Oblatos Canyon is known to be blas­phemous symbols which prevent
infested with wall crawlers and barranca the Catedral from having the same effects
prowlers, who don’t hesitate to try to as the Basilica, below. The sanctify power
make a meal of travelin’ heroes.

18
S ou th o ’ the B order
can never be successfully used inside the goods to the coast, and the small town
Catedral until the white altar is removed. is home to a large garrison of Mexican
Basilica: Most visitors make a beeline regulars and Legionnaires.
for the Basilica de la Virgen de Zapopan. It’s
Getting There
the home of La Zapoponita, “Our Lady
of Zapopan.” Our Lady is a 10-inch-tall, From Mexico City or Veracruz it’s
corn paste statue of the Virgin Mary a two-day train ride to Matamoros.
that has been known to cause miracles— As with most other places in remote,
spontaneous healings of deformities, mountainous regions of Mexico, one can
sight for the blind, and so forth. From get here by foot or horse, but rails are the
May to October, Our Lady tours the fastest means.
entire state, visiting every single parish Points of Interest
church. An enormous street festival and
Not far from town is the Casa de Lebron,
celebration greets her return on October
the deceased General Santa Anna’s
12 each year.
ancestral hacienda (or “estate”). Santa
La Zapoponita actually sanctifies the Anna’s family has lived on this land, one
church in which she resides. She cancels of the largest and wealthiest ranches in
the effects of the area’s Fear Level for Mexico, for centuries. The place has got
anyone inside the building. Faith rolls for dozens of servants, covers hundreds of
all blessed miracles within the basilica acres, and holds more cattle and horses
are made with a +2 bonus. than a body can count in a week. It’s
Lake Chapala: Not far from Guada­ well-guarded, too, by Mexican regulars.
lajara is a vast lake, Lake Chapala. Ringed
by towering mountains, it’s always been
a popular place for swimming, fishing, Mexico City
or just taking in the spectacular view.
Guadalajarans often row out to the Fear Level: 3
islands in the lake, such as Isla de los Cortés founded Mexico City on the
Alacranes (Scorpion Island) and Isla de site of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan,
Mezcala, to picnic. after he ordered the lagoons filled with
earth. Using Aztec slave labor, he built
Savage Tales the city in a European style, but along
• Lake o’ Sorrow (page 57): Several the old Aztec grid pattern. The Aztec
picnickers have drowned in Lake ceremonial (and sacrificial) center
Chapala recently, and El Toro is became a public square 10 acres across,
looking for some freelancers to investi­ known as the Zócalo, paved with stones
gate what might be foul play. from the Aztecs’ primary temple.
Many of the buildings Cortés put up
are made of tezontle, a volcanic rock with
Matamoros a color disturbingly similar to that of
Fear Level: 2 dried blood. It’s a fitting tribute to all
the Aztecs’ sacrificial victims and all the
A small waystop on the rail line
Indians Cortés butchered and enslaved.
between Veracruz and Mexico City,
Matamoros has traditionally been a Visitors to Mexico City from north o’
farming and ranching community. These the border who don’t know not to drink
days the rail depot is used to export the water will find out soon enough.

19
D eadlands T rail G uides

Before Cortés killed Montezuma, the afternoon strolls, to political rallies, to


Aztec king cursed the valley forever. military parades. Plenty of important
Now northerners need to worry about buildings line its edges. A massive
the interesting condition known as stone building on the south side is the
“Montezuma’s Revenge” (see Deadlands: Ayuntamiento, or city hall.
The Flood for the icky details). Cathedral of Mexico: The grand
Cathedral of Mexico dominates the
Getting There northern side of the Zócalo. It took about
Mexico City is located in heart of the three centuries to build, but it was worth
nation’s central uplands. A railroad line the wait. It features five altars and 14
accesses the city from Veracruz on the chapels, mostly done in an elaborate,
eastern coast, and many roads and trails Spanish baroque style. Gold and jewels
lead to it overland. The nearby volcanoes encrust much of the décor. Even the non-
Popocatépetl and Itzacíhuatl are prominent religious can’t help but be awed.
landmarks. A holy place sanctified by generations
of worshipers and saintly men, the
Points of Interest Cathedral of Mexico offers refuge to the
fearful multitudes who have fallen afoul
The center of Mexico City’s civic life of the Reckoners’ influences. It cancels
is the Zócalo (meaning “pedestal,” and the effects of the area’s Fear Level for
named for the bottom part of a statue anyone inside it. In fact, all Guts rolls
Santa Anna began building but never made while within its walls receive a +1
finished back in 1843). It’s big enough bonus. Furthermore, Faith rolls for all
for everything from pleasant Sunday

20
S ou th o ’ the B order
blessed miracles within the Cathedral most of the city. An Aztec palace
are made with a +2 bonus. once occupied the spot, followed by a
National Palace: The entire north gunpowder plant and a military school
side of the Zócalo is occupied by the where a famous battle of the Mexican-
enormous National Palace, a two-story American War was fought. The guards
building that serves as the seat of the here are chosen from the most elite of the
Empire of Mexico—at least formally. Legionnaires.
The Empress doesn’t like it much, so Buildings o’ Blood: The tezontle stone
Maximillian and Carlota spend most in Cortes-era buildings sometimes does
of their time at Chapultepec Castle (see more than resemble dried blood—it
below). actually oozes real blood! This doesn’t
When formal state occasions call happen often, and the blood doesn’t
for it, such as the elaborate balls the gush out—it‘s a subtle effect that only
Empress likes to throw, they are held at some characters are likely to notice.
the National Palace. Many government Anyone who does has to make a Guts roll
offices are located here as well. Because (–2). Any Phobia Hindrance developed
of the country’s unstable political situa­ because of the roll is hematophobia, the
tion, the Palace is guarded tighter than fear of blood.
a drum, and even tighter when the House of the Painting of Books:
Emperor is around. Within Mexico City, the Secret Empire
The Zoo: The Aztecs’ Emperor Monte­ has managed to create several hiding
zuma used to have a zoo that was the places where it can hold minor rituals
envy of other chiefs and astonished even and perform other functions, such as
Cortés and his conquistadors. Where processing plantagrito. One of these
his used to be is now located the state’s “hideouts” is the House of the Painting
Zoological Gardens—the Jardín Zoológica. of Books, where Aztec scholars create
It has creatures not only from Mexico, the elaborate painted “codices” that
but also Europe, Africa, and the Orient. record Aztec history and lore.
It’s one of the Empress Carlota’s favorite Anyone who infiltrates or breaks into
places to go. the house (located in a secret basement
Bullfights: One of the main forms of of a building owned by a mestizo friendly
entertainment in Mexico City, and in to the Secret Empire’s cause) finds a
many other cities throughout the land, is combination scriptorium and library
el corrida—the bullfight. The bullfighting where he can “read” all about the history
season typically runs from November and plans of the Secret Empire. Since
to March, and the biggest and best the writing consists of elaborate, often
fights are held on Saturday and Sunday symbolic pictograms, only characters
afternoons. In Mexico City, these fights with the Knowledge (Aztec Language)
take place at the Plaza Méjico, where skill may attempt it. The house is
the country’s largest plaza de toros, or guarded by 10 Aztec warriors and an
bullring, is located. Olé! Aztec sorcerer at all times.
Chapultepec Castle: Surrounded by City of the Dead: One of the most
1,500-acre grounds said to be the most interesting features of central Mexico is
beautiful in all of Mexico, Chapultepec located in a valley just a short distance
Castle is the imperial residence. It sits in from Mexico City. It’s the ruin of an
Cerro de Chapulín (“Grasshopper Hill”), enormous city called Teotihuacán that
and from that vantage point overlooks dates from pre-Aztec times. The Aztec

21
D eadlands T rail G uides
priests who used it for rituals believed courtyard) were excavated by Riley and
that their gods met there in a previous his crew before their untimely deaths.
age, before they ignited the Fifth Sun and Now these are haunted by scores of
the current age began. Covering almost malevolent dead raised by the Obsidian
ten square miles, Teotihuacán was the Blade, eager to rip the hearts from
center of a vast network of trade routes innocents.
and had enormous cultural influence on The Aztecs guard the fields near
the Zapotecs, Mayans, and other tribes. Teotihuacán just as heavily as they do
Teotihuacán is one of the most their necropolis. Those hidden fields are
important sacred sites of the Secret where the Lords of the Obsidian Blade
Empire, and as such they guard it grow plantagrito, the Reckoning-spawned
fiercely. Characters approaching it are plant that allows them to control Santa
certain to be waylaid by Jaguar and Anna’s Army of the Dead. Plantagrito
Eagle warriors and Aztec sorcerers. The screams like a terrified child when it’s
Aztecs tolerated the presence of white harvested, so the Lords take care of that
scientists excavating the ruins for a few chore at night when locals are less likely
years. When Xitlan judged that enough to notice.
of the city had been uncovered, Professor
Riley and his fellow archaeologists were Savage Tales
seized and sacrificed in a bloody ritual.
• Audience With the Emperor (page
Then the valley was sealed from any
33): The posse attends one of Empress
further intrusion.
Carlota’s masquerade balls and tries to
Since then Xitlan and his fellow warn the Emperor of the threat posed
sorcerers have used their powers to raise by Xitlan.
hundreds of undead abominations to
• City o’ Death (page 36): The heroes
populate Teotihuacán, now known to the
show up in Mexico City hell-bent on
Lords of the Obsidian Blade as La Ciudad
wrecking Xitlan’s operation, but the
de los Muertos, the City of the Dead. The
ancient sorcerer is one step ahead of
city’s dark influence is such that Aztec
them.
sorcerers’ powers are magnified within
its boundaries. • At the Zoo (page 57): A huge silver­back
gorilla—something no cowpoke is
The centerpiece of Teotihuacán is a
likely to have seen before—breaks out
long paved street called Miccaotli—the
of the city zoo and goes on a rampage.
Avenue of the Dead—that connects a
large pyramid, the Pyramid of the Moon,
with an area known as the Ciudadela, the Monterrey
Citadel, which includes the Temple of
Quetzalcoatl. About a third of the way Fear Level: 2
down the avenue from the Pyramid of the The biggest and most important city
Moon sits another pyramid, the Pyramid of northern Mexico, and undoubtedly
of the Sun. Both of the stone structures the primary target for any initial strike
have astronomical significance; they the CSA might muster, is Monterrey.
align with the rising of the sun or certain The city is capital of the state of Nuevo
stars on particular days of the year. León. Founded in 1596, it’s known to the
Many other buildings that appear to Mexicans as El Sultán del Norte (Sultan
be house compounds (series of rooms in of the North) because of its profitable
a roughly square shape around a central indutries and hellraising atmosphere.

22
S ou th o ’ the B order
Despite the presence of a large
cathedral and a Catholic bishop, there’s
Points of Interest
something unholy about Monterrey. Monterrey has a booming economy
Many residents seem to scurry around based on several different industries.
furtively, afraid of drawing attention It’s a center for silversmithing, with
to themselves. Others, including the relatively easy access to ore from Copper
Legionnaires and those who cavort with Canyon mines. Everything from silver
them, seem intent on eating, drinking, jewelry to fancy eating utensils to silver-
and generally whoopin’ it up, as if sheer plated guns is available for sale in local
excess will stave off the lurking darkness. shops and outdoor markets.
Glassmakers and crystal-makers also
Getting There do a booming business, though a lot of
what they produce is carefully packed
Situated amidst towering mountains,
up and shipped by mule or wagon train
Monterrey makes for a difficult military
to Mexico City, or even Texas. Several
target. General Taylor discovered this
different brewers produce the famous
back in the Mexican-American War
Monterrey cerveza.
when it took him four days to force the
Mexican defenders to surrender. And Monterrey is full of cantinas serving
it’s not as if the CSA can just go around the local beer, along with sangria, tequila,
Monterrey to strike more appealing mezcal, and pulque. The latter three are
targets; their supply lines would be types of fermented cactus juice that folks
obliterated by Mexican soldiers.

23
D eadlands T rail G uides
in Mexico have been drinking since the
days of the Aztecs. Veracruz
Observant heroes note, after spending Fear Level: 2
a little time in the city, that there don’t
The other major city of central Mexico,
seem to be very many children around
and the other end of the axis of French-
anywhere. Most Mexican towns have a
controlled Mexico, is Veracruz. Founded
lot of children playing in the streets, but
by Cortés, it’s served as a gateway to
Monterrey has none—the few they see
Mexico for invaders ever since.
are always accompanied by parents who
hurry them away before any “strangers” Veracruz has a very different feel
can get a close look at them. The residents from Mexico City. An influx of Cuban
of the town are mostly unwilling to talk and African slaves early in its history
to outsiders about their plight. has given it a more diverse culture.
For example, a form of music called
Monterrey Cathedral: The heart of the
Son jarocho, characterized by its strong
city, geographically speaking, is a large
African influence and performed by
cathedral built of pale yellowish stone.
trios of street guitarists, is unique to
The early Monterreyans began building
Varacruz. There are also sprawling
it in 1600, but didn’t finish it until about
neighborhoods of poor mine workers
thirty years ago. On Sundays you can find
nestled up against the inland side of the
just about everyone in town attending
city, filled with folks doing their best to
services, except the Legionnaires and
survive.
the sorts of folks who cater to them.
However, the French are just as
The Obispado: Located not far from
prevalent here as in Mexico City. In
the cathedral is the Obispado, a large
order to keep the route to the sea open
residence where the Bishop of Monterrey
for French trade, the Legion has several
used to live. Since they ejected him
companies here, and several more
and his staff, it serves as the Legion’s
stationed along the railroad line that
local headquarters. The 2nd Regiment,
runs from Veracruz, through Matamoros
3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade of the French
to Mexico City in the mountainous
Foreign Legion is based here, under the
regions above. Veracruz is packed with
command of Major Kazimierz Zawicki,
French and Mexican regulars to support
a Pole by birth. Unlike the usually lean
the Legionnaires.
and mean Legionnaire, he’s a big, surly,
slightly overweight fellow, possessed of
a jovial bravado. Getting There
Veracruz sits on the Gulf of Mexico,
Savage Tales at the lower southeast corner of what’s
generally considered French Mexico.
• The Massacre Spirit (page 60): Passing
Trade ships from Europe and steamers
through Santa Isabella, the posse
from Back East drop anchor continuously
hears the undying echo of hundreds of
at Veracruz.
victims’ rage.
From the Great Maze it’s a long haul
• The Obispado Curse (page 61): The
to Veracruz, no matter what route one
posse discovers, to their horror, what
takes. There’s the overland option, across
has become of Monterrey’s children.
the Sonoran Desert, eluding Legionnaire

24
S ou th o ’ the B order
patrols and Rurales, not to mention inmates die here every day. Santa Anna
dangerous fauna. Then it’s a climb over once imprisoned Benito Juarez there, but
mountainous regions to Mexico City, was stymied when the great leader of the
and a train ride down to Veracruz on the people survived his experience.
east coast. The Fort is a maze of cellars, catacombs,
It’s also possible to get to Veracruz by ramparts, tunnels, towers, moats, and
ship. Note we said “possible,” and not drawbridges. Veracruzanos say that
“easy as pie.” Vessels either put into port even if an inmate could escape from
at Colima, forcing passengers to hike his cell—which has never happened, to
across hundreds of jungle-covered miles anyone’s knowledge—he’d never be able
to reach the city, or they make the trip to find his way off the island. While
around Cape Horn, a stretch of ocean that’s not exactly true, heroes who whip
that plays host to some of the worst up trouble in the city bad enough to get
weather on earth. them thrown in here will have a devil of
a time getting out.
Points of Interest The evil out here is of the purely
Veracruz is a hot, humid place. It gets human variety: jailers torturing inmates,
drenched by rain just about every day prisoners killing each other for scraps
during some parts of the year, so visitors of food, and other brutality. We’ll leave
should be prepared for Gulf storms. Even the details to you, Marshal, but make
worse is what’s called a “norther,” a fierce sure any escape attempt involves a
northern wind strong enough to capsize Lockpicking roll (–4), multiple Stealth
ships or run them aground, and at times rolls, and encounters with the many elite
rip houses right off their foundations. Legionnaires who stand guard.
No wonder the nearby Aztec ruins of The Fort currently has one relatively
Zempoala were built around a circular famous inmate, though few would
temple to Ehécatl, the Aztec god of wind. recognize him behind the tattered rags
Veracruz was once the chief Spanish and scraggly beard he wears. Charles
port in Mexico—the one that exported Bascomb ended up here a few years
all the gold and silver their Indian slaves back, after an encounter with Phineas P.
dug out of the ground. Naturally enough, Gage in Veracruz. The vengeful railroad
this sort of activity attracted pirates. agent found Bascomb’s comments and
More than once, all of Veracruz’s citizens general demeanor so distasteful he filed
were herded onto ships and taken to a false report with the local authorities
nearby islands by well-armed pirates, that Bascomb was a Confederate spy.
so they could ransack the town in peace. Though he was found guilty of
Eventually the Spanish got tired of this espionage, Bascomb’s death sentence was
treatment and built fortifications along commuted by a sympathetic judge, who
the coast: Fort San Juan de Ulúa and the had him clapped in irons and tossed into
Baluarte Santiago. The Fort to rot. To add insult to injury
The Fort: Fort San Juan de Ulúa—or (and because it amused him to no end),
simply “The Fort”—stands on an island Gage returned to Tombstone, Arizona,
in the bay. Today it not only guards the and claimed the now-vacant position of
bay, but also serves as the worst prison Mexican correspondent to the Tombstone
in all of Mexico. On average, a dozen Epitaph.

25
D eadlands T rail G uides
Baluarte Santiago: The Baluarte the French aren’t looking they still run
Santiago, located on the mainland, is a “protection” schemes, rustle cattle, steal
forbidding series of forts connected by from shopkeepers, rough up anybody
a long wall that runs along the coast. whose face they don’t like, and generally
The wall shields the entire waterfront, raise ever-lovin’ hell without any regrets.
and after all these years it’s a little run Los Hermanos are run by an ugly
down. The commander of the city’s little man with the handle Efraín Alejo-
garrison, Colonel August Dupuis, seems Esparza. He’s not the sort one would
to fear a seaborne invasion by either expect to lead a gang of legbreakers and
the Confederacy or the Union and is cutthroats; most of his fellow Hermanos
determined to thwart it by shoring up stand at least six inches taller than he.
the Baluarte’s fortifications. But Efraín is meaner and crueler than
Carnaval: Veracruz isn’t all oppressive any six of them put together, and he’s
weather and old forts. Once a body the Devil himself with a knife in his
gets past the French show of force, it’s hand. The biggest, baddest bruisers of
a pretty vibrant and exciting place. The Los Hermanos speak to Efraín with
biggest celebration is Carnaval, which deference and respect.
takes place every year before Lent and Felina’s Cantina: Los Hermanos tend
sees the entire city erupt into jubilation. to polish their pistols at a little cantina
Street parades, block parties, outlandish called Felina’s, near the waterfront. The
costumes, music, and singing all jostle Legion raids the place every once in a
for space in the biggest party this side while, but Felina and her staff warn the
of the Rio Grande. Any gringo who brothers of any threats so they have time
doesn’t know Carnaval from a hole in to clear out the back. Travelers who go to
the ground and wakes up in the middle Felina’s—especially gringos—had better
of it is going to be mighty confused. be ready to kowtow to them. They don’t
In the past few years, the Carnaval has take any lip from strangers in their own
been marred by fights breaking out. And place. Even around town Los Hermanos
once the festivities die down, it’s become are likely to start trouble; they don’t put
common to discover a few bodies with up with anything their macho natures
their throats slit in back alleys. would consider an insult, and that
Los Hermanos: Some believe Los Her­ includes most anything.
manos (“The Brothers”) are responsible
for the dust-ups taking place during Savage Tales
Carnaval. These ne’er-do-wells and • El Noche del Bufón (page 56): During
thugs have been making trouble in Carnaval’s merriment, the posse meets
Veracruz since there’s been a settlement. a secretive—and initially hilarious—
They tread a little more softly since the murderer face-to-face.
Legion took up residence, but when

26
Knives in
the Dark

The five linked adventures in this might be forced to cross the border to
chapter form a short campaign—a mini- escape Texas Rangers hot on their trail.
Plot Point, if you will—but they’re far (Of course, the Texas Rangers don’t stop
more linear than you’d find in other Plot at the border either!) A hero with the
Point books. That’s intentional, so a posse Enemy Hindrance might hear rumors
that wants a quick tour of Mexico can that her nemesis has fled south. Mexico
head down south, take care of business, is a fantastic place for breathless chases
and then skedaddle for northern climes. and steely eyed showdowns.
That said, you can stretch things out
a bit if the group wants to extend their
“vacation.” Give them some extra time 1. Border Crossing
between adventures to explore and
Run this adventure when you’re
run into your own creations or some of
ready to send your group south o’ the
the Savage Tales provided in the next
border. You might want to wait until
chapter.
they’re at least Veteran or even Heroic
Rank, on account of the enemies being
The Setup so numerous and, at times, pretty darn
There are plenty of ways to get your powerful.
posse involved in the Mexican Civil War.
Most of them involve being hired by Stirring the Pot
some organization with interests south Santa Anna might be gone, but
of the border—the Explorer’s Society several organizations whose business
(as a proxy for the Twilight Legion), a it is to know about such things haven’t
cabal of powerful Arizona businessmen forgotten about the General’s top
represented by James Rogers (see Don’t advisor, Xitlan. The Agency and Texas
Drink the Water), or even the United Rangers—and that’s just for starters—
States or Confederate government. noticed his sudden disappearance from
Considering how eager Baron LaCroix is California when things went awry for
to see Xitlan dethroned (see page 10), he’d the Mexican invaders. In fact, a good
also pay large sums of money to those number of individuals think the current
cowpokes willing to do his dirty work. unrest south o’ the border might be all
The best setup involves the back­ Xitlan’s doing.
grounds of your particular heroes. If That’s where the heroes come in—your
any of the heroes are Wanted, they group. Suffice to say they are contracted

27
D eadlands T rail G uides
for sensitive work and good pay, and
allowed to negotiate their own fee
Campaign Summary (give ’em what you feel is reasonable,
Marshal). The mission is simply stated:
Here’s a rough outline of what
happens in the essential chapters get to Mexico City, secure a personal
of Knives in the Dark. The first four audience with Emperor Maximillian,
parts are mostly linear, but heroes and warn him about the threat posed by
have plenty of time to travel and get a fellow who goes by the name of Xitlan.
in all sorts of trouble before the final Taking Xitlan out of the picture would
chapter rolls around. be icing on the cake.

1. Border Crossing What Do We Know?


The posse has to cross the Mexican A few years back, Xitlan trapped and
border, travel through the Copper exterminated a posse of brave heroes
Canyon region avoiding critters and who’d been hired to spy on him. Before
Legionnaires, and eventually meet they went on to their eternal reward—
up with Marshal Achille Bazain and service in the Army of the Dead—they
his entourage. The Secret Empire got word to whatever employers you’re
learns of the heroes’ plans.
using, Marshal. That information
2. Wheels Within in­cludes the following facts:
• Xitlan is an honest-to-badness sorcerer,
Wheels and much older than he appears.
Marshal Bazain puts the travelers
• Xitlan harvests some kind of plant to
in touch with the revolutionary
Juaristas, emphasizing that the control his undead hordes. No one
threat posed by Xitlan is of concern knows where it comes from.
to all factions of the civil war. The • Xitlan maintains a far-reaching net­
heroes meet Benito Juarez and ride work of spies in Mexico, many (but not
an underground train to Mexico all) of them of Aztec descent.
City, hounded by terrible spirits all They don’t mention it unless they’re
the way.
pressed on the matter, but the heroes’
3. Audience with the employers have also made contact with
Marshal Achille Bazain, who related
Emperor his suspicion that Xitlan’s network is to
In Mexico City the diplomats blame for the recent surge in fighting.
dodge an assassination attempt by Bazain fears Xitlan has something even
Aztecs, then try to talk their way worse than war in mind. Associations
into one of the Empress’s costumed
with Mexican military personnel are
extravaganzas at the National
fairly taboo in the US and CSA, so mum’s
Palace. Once inside, they have to
get the Emperor alone and convince the word on that score.
him that the threat of Xitlan is real. In any case, the heroes’ employers
Maximillian puts it all together, feel the above information about
and directs the posse toward Xitlan should certainly be enough to
Teotihuacán. shake Emperor Maximillian out of his
paralysis. The trick is getting in and
making the damn fool listen to reason.

28
S ou th o ’ the B order

On the Ghost Trail


When the Ghost Trail forks, travelers
into Mexico from California take the
Campaign Summary
southern route, called the Rio Grande
Trail, which passes through Mexicali.
(Continued)
Crossing the border from Arizona,
New Mexico, or Texas means traveling
4. City o’ Death
across the trackless wastes of the Mojave Making their way into the ruined
and Sonora farther east. Even with an city of Teotihuacán—the ancient
necropolis near Mexico City—the
experienced tracker, the Copper Canyon
heroes encounter walkin’ dead
region is dangerous country. and worse, hear the hair-raising,
Draw for encounters as usual along the shrieking plantagrito fields with
trip south, and use the Wild Southwest their own ears, and race to interrupt
table (see Deadlands Reloaded). South of Xitlan’s crowning act of evil upon the
the border, use the Northern Mexico slopes of the volcano Popocatépetl.
encounter table found on page 13.
5. Cipactli’s Place
Red Canyons Traveling to the southern jungles
A few days into Mexico, the posse of Mexico, the posse follows an
is traveling through rough land, and enigmatic map to the source of
if they didn’t bring enough supplies Mexico’s woes. A Lord of the
(notably water) they’re likely to be feelin’ Obsidian Blade moves to destroy
the pain. Or at least the intense thirst the pesky posse once and for all. A
short trek with the Phantom General
(consult the Savage Worlds rules).
and his Porfiriatistas takes the
As the party passes through a narrow cowpokes to an ancient cenote, the
gap, read the following passage. entrance to the world of the Earth
Reddish canyon walls rise up on Monster, Cipactli. Time to choose
either side of the trail, dauntingly steep. between death or glory, amigos!
Suddenly there’s a clattering of rocks
up ahead on the trail, as though they’d
fallen from above. But there’s nothing
around that you can see. What do you
do?
Any character who really scrutinizes
the canyon walls can make an opposed
Notice roll to catch sight of the barranca
prowler clinging to the rock up ahead
(about 6” ahead on a battlemap, and 4”
up). This specimen is particularly old,
tough, and wily. It’s also famished.
• Barranca Prowler (1): See page 63.
After the fight is over, another group
approaches, drawn by the sound of fire­
arms or the prowler’s frenzied screaming
as it dies. Unfortunately for the heroes,

29
D eadlands T rail G uides
it’s a large group of Legionnaires on is either working with the American
horseback! faction or has some damn good spies.
These troops are tough as nails and The Marshal has two bodyguards who
meaner than wildcats, and they fight ride with him in the steam wagon, but
until victory or death. They don’t take say nothing. In fact, they accompany
kindly to Californios attempting to ride him everywhere he goes. One is a
into Mexico during a time of war. Legionnaire named Corporal duMont,
• Legionnaires (2 per hero): See page 71. and the other is an Indian known only
• Captain Prucha: Wild Card. Use the as Juan.
Veteran Legionnaire stats on page 71. • Steam Wagon Crew (4): The crew is
made up of loyal French soldiers. Use
Enter Bazain the Veteran Soldier stats in Deadlands
Whether the Legion or the posse is Reloaded.
victorious, their battle draws yet more • Marshal Achille Bazain: Wild Card.
attention. See page 79.
As the smoke clears and wounds are • Corporal duMont: Wild Card. See
tended to, there’s a far-off chugging and page 80.
clanking noise, getting louder by the • Juan: Wild Card. See page 77.
second. To all ears it sounds like a ghost
When the posse gets into Bazain’s
rock boiler on overdrive. An armor-
steam wagon and speeds south, go on to
plated steam wagon speeds into sight at
the next chapter.
the far end of the canyon. It rolls up to
you and screeches to a halt. The boiler
hisses and pumps steam and black smoke 2. Wheels Within
from its stack.
The rear door slams open, and an Wheels
impressive figure steps out of the vehicle.
The Juaristas—loyal followers of Benito
He’s a crusty old bird with a monocle and
Juarez—are said to gather in Chihuahua
a drooping moustache. His blue uniform,
at the Grinning Skull Cantina. They say
gold epaulets, and cavalry saber are all
if you can find El Capitán, you can find
impeccable. He mops at his forehead with
Juarez. But can you trust him?
a handkerchief and approaches.
“Bonjour, Monsieurs. I am Marshal The Only Way to Travel
Achille Bazain, Commander of His While traveling with Marshal Achille
Majesty Maximillian’s Army of Mexico. Bazain in his enclosed steam wagon, the
I have been in contact with your officer offers the heroes water and food,
superiors. You should come with me then says,
now.” You seem surprised to find an ally
If the posse happens to be in the here. Believe it or not, there are many of
custody of the Legionnaires, Bazain us. What you must understand is that
dismisses the troops with a few words. If Mexico is a divided land. His Majesty
the posse is reluctant to go with Bazain, Maximillian rules the middle part of
the marshal begins reciting details about Mexico in the name of the French, while
their employers and the purpose of their Benito Juarez—leader of the Juaristas—
mission. Pretty soon it’s clear that Bazain rules the northern part. He is the man I
am going to put you in contact with.

30
S ou th o ’ the B order

I told the Emperor many times that Go seek out El Capitán, Juarez’s
Santa Anna couldn’t be trusted, that we lieutenant, at the Grinning Skull
should remove him from power. Thanks Cantina. It’s a tough place, but you look
to this wondrous traveling machine, I like you can handle yourselves.
inspected his forces at Mexicali. I saw his You’ll excuse us for not coming with
unholy army of dead men, and the plant you—the Juaristas would not take kindly
he used to control them. And though he to our presence, I do not think. Au revoir!
is gone, his advisor Xitlan is up to even Soon after the heroes leave Bazain’s
more evil than I know of—I’m sure of it! company, Juan (aka Eight Rabbit) sends
But so far my pleas to the emperor have a message to Xitlan at Teotihuacán,
fallen on deaf ears. Maximillian needs to telling the ancient sorcerer of the posse’s
hear this from someone else, not me. It meeting with Bazain, their alliance with
will have to be you. Your employers told Juarez, and their imminent arrival in
me a little of your past exploits—I believe Mexico City.
you should be able to reach Mexico City,
especially with the help of the Juaristas. Grinning Skulls
A few hours later the steam wagon The Grinning Skull Cantina is deco­
pulls up just outside Chihuahua, Mexico, rated with at least a hundred of its
a relatively green oasis in the middle of name­sake. Paintings, embroidered
the Sonoran Desert. Marshal Bazain cur­tains, animal skulls hanging on the
opens a door and tells the heroes, walls, and other knick-knacks radiate
respect for the dead without seeming

31
D eadlands T rail G uides
like a shrine. It’s a fine line, but the the tracks is a shining locomotive with
Cantina manages to walk it. coal tender, two passenger cars, and a
The place is full of outlaws loyal to caboose. Apparently Dr. Hellstromme
Benito Juarez, including El Capitán. wasn’t the only one to hatch the idea of
Unless there’s a Mexicano in the posse, burrowing a railroad line through the
things have the potential to get ugly earth.
real fast. It’s up to the posse to convince At the bottom of a huge flight of steps,
these hombres that it’s a necessity they the posse is taken before the man who
speak with Juarez. If they mention seems to be giving the orders—Benito
Bazain’s involvement (which, on it’s face, Juarez. He’s a Zapotec Indian, short and
sounds pretty dumb), the banditos are portly, dressed in a black suit. He radiates
intrigued enough that the posse adds a keen inner strength, and everyone here
+2 to Persuasion, Intimidation, or Taunt would willingly die for him.
rolls to effect a meeting with Juarez. • Benito Juarez: Wild Card. See page 81.
• Outlaws (10): Use the stats in Deadlands • Juaristas (47): See page 71.
Reloaded. Juarez listens to what the heroes have
• El Capitán: Wild Card. Use the Outlaw to say about their goals and reasons for
stats in Deadlands Reloaded. being here. Surrounded by over 45 of
Once the Juaristas are convinced—one his men, he’s not worried about anyone
way or another—to take the posse to trying anything. Once they’ve stated
their leader, they go over to the corner their case, one smooth talker needs to
of the room and move some tables out succeed on a Persuasion roll.
of the way. They pull up a large section If the roll is failed, Juarez isn’t
of floorboards, and revealed is a flight convinced. He asks the posse to help
of adobe stairs descending in a square him out with “a few other matters” until
spiral into pitch darkness. The Juaristas he’s sure of their intentions. Use a few
light torches and lanterns, laughing at Savage Tales so the heroes can prove
any heroes who seem hesitant. They jibe, their mettle.
Vamanos, gringos! Are you afraid of If they succeed, Juarez nods thought­
the dark? fully and says,
The People’s Railroad Hard to believe that Bazain would put
you in contact with me, Señores, unless
Fear Level: 4
I have seriously misjudged the man. No
Escorted down a long tunnel carved matter—you are here now, you have seen
from the surrounding rock, the party the People’s Railroad, and I accept your
steps onto a high ledge overlooking a story. I can tell when a man is lying to
massive underground chamber. It is me.
apparently still under construction, for
This tunnel stretches hundreds of
hundreds of campesinos are working
miles underground, all the way to the
everywhere, building supports, chipping
city of Querétaro, which is only a few
and moving rock in mine carts and
days’ north of Mexico City. From there
wheelbarrows. The scale of the project is
you should be able to find your way to
amazing.
the capital city and the Emperor’s palace.
The hall below is bisected by a rail line,
Getting in? Ha! That’s your problem,
which disappears into a yawning tunnel
Señores.
at one end of the chamber. Sitting on

32
S ou th o ’ the B order
One thing to watch out for—the ones in your lives. Their green eyes gleam
known as the Secret Empire. That’s all hungrily. They bare their teeth and
I know, they’re so secret, except that growl.
they’re almost all Aztecs, and they’re The demons can assume animal
everywhere. They serve Xitlan in the shape, and they do it mostly to get foes to
shadows, waiting to strike. Anyone underestimate them. Once they assume
could be one of their agents. their gruesome true forms, call for Guts
Whenever the posse’s ready, they checks (–2).
board the train with Juarez and 20 of • Tzitzimime (2): Wild Cards. See page
his men. Slowly the engine begins to 69.
pull into the darkness, then picks up
speed. Soon the train is whipping along Arrival at Querétaro
through pitch blackness, in a tunnel After another day’s travel the train
Juarez claims was dug by thousands of reaches another underground station,
campesinos over the years, by hand. It’s this one beneath Querétaro. Juarez bids
almost inconceivable that anyone could the posse farewell, wishes them luck, and
recreate Hellstromme’s feat without the offers the use of the People’s Railroad for
aid of a Hellbore (see Deadlands: The their return journey. He also warns them
Flood), but here it is before the posse’s not to be too surprised if the French
eyes. Emperor rebuffs them; he’s not exactly
known for listening to reason.
Demons in the Dark There are still a few days of travel
Unfortunately for the heroes, a pair of ahead of the intrepid ambassadors.
the Reckoners’ servants have taken up Draw for encounters as usual, or insert
residence in the secret railroad tunnel. a Savage Tale or adventure of your own,
They wander along its length searching and go on to Audience with the Emperor
for workers or lone travelers, since when the heroes reach Mexico City.
campesinos and other allies of Juarez
sometimes use the tunnel to travel by
foot. This has caused the Fear Level to 3. Audience with
rise all along the tunnel’s length.
the Emperor
These demons, called tzitzimime (from
the Aztec, “those who fell head-first”), Run this adventure when the posse
love nothing more than to torture and arrives in Mexico City, intent on warning
kill human beings, feeding on their the Emperor about Xitlan’s evil deeds.
delectable flesh. It’s either a simple matter of attending
Two days into the journey, read the a party, or a very difficult matter of
following out loud. the posse getting rowdy and thrown in
As the locomotive chugs along beneath prison by French soldiers. The tale leaves
the earth, the passenger cars give a it up to them.
sudden jolt, and the electric lights go Unfortunately, before they can do
out for a few moments. When they either one, Xitlan sends a few of his
flicker back on, you feel like icewater just trusted servants to eliminate Our
drenched you. Heroes. He received a telegram from
Standing silently in the aisle at the Eight Rabbit, and with his plan so close
end of the car, hackles raised, are the two to fruition he’s not taking any risks
largest black wolves you’ve ever seen (especially after what happened to Santa

33
D eadlands T rail G uides

Anna). The Aztec assassins strike just The Masquerade


after midnight. The Empress Carlota favors opulent
• Aztec Warriors (2 per hero): See page costume balls held at the National Palace
78. in Mexico City. Anyone wishing to speak
• Aztec Sorcerer: Wild Card. See page 78. to Maximillian should probably gain
entry to one of these events.

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S ou th o ’ the B order
A successful Streetwise roll (at –2 if Maximillian Arrives
the questioner doesn’t speak Spanish) After about an hour of hob-nobbing,
gleans the date of Empress Carlota’s next the party is called to attention and
costumed extravaganza—and it’s only informed that His Majesty the Emperor
four days away. As usual, it’s to be held and Her Majesty the Empress have
at the National Palace, and the guest list arrived. To the applause of their guests,
is more exclusive than most. If you don’t Maximillian and Carlota stride to the
have the Connections, Noble, or Rich top of the great staircase, dressed in
Edge, forget about it, hoss. their capes and smiling broadly. Then
Unfortunately for our heroes, they they put on their masks with a flourish
can’t forget about it. They need to warn and descend to join the party.
the Emperor about Xitlan’s towering Maximillian is typically watched
evil. That means figuring out how to get by four bodyguards, all elite French
into the masquerade. soldiers. They’re here, but they wear
Best Laid Plans fancy suits, capes, and masks and thus
blend right into the crowd.
Let the players decide whether to use
sheer Persuasive talent, disguise (easy • Bodyguards (4): Use the Veteran
where a masquerade is concerned), Soldier stats in Deadlands Reloaded.
or some other kind of subterfuge to When the heroes approach the Emperor
gain entry. Let the group exercise its and say anything, they immediately need
ingenuity, and use your best judgment to succeed at a Persuasion roll—apply
as to what sorts of rolls they need to a –2 to the roll if the heroes approach
make to succeed. in a sudden, threatening, or impolite
It goes without saying that fighting manner. On the other hand, the posse
one’s way in isn’t really an option. Even gains a +2 to the roll if they state right
if the posse gets in the doors, they’re off the bat that Marshal Achille Bazain
swarmed by French soldiers before they sent them. They might also gain other
can say “Bonjour,” and they won’t even bonuses or penalties at your discretion,
get close to Maximillian or Carlota. Marshal. Be sure to apply the speaker’s
Charisma modifier to the roll.
Each ground-floor entrance is guarded
by five French soldiers, alert to possible With a success, the Emperor excuses
threats. himself and accompanies the heroes to
a nearby library to hear what they have
• French Guards (5): Use the Veteran
to say.
Soldier stats in Deadlands Reloaded.
The party is more sumptuous than Maximillian’s Tale
anything the posse has seen lately, if If the posse lays it all out for Max—
ever. Especially after the poverty of Xitlan’s Secret Empire, and their
Chihuahua and even Querétaro, the intention to betray the Emperor and
conspicuous consumption on display France—there’s no need for a Persuasion
would be remarkable if the heroes weren’t roll. As Marshal Bazain said, he’s been
so busy stuffing ther hungry mouths telling the Emperor most of these things
and drinking fine wine. Getting too for a while now. He just needed to hear
exuberant might just garner unwanted it from a third party. Not to mention
attention from the everpresent guards. several details of the posse’s tale strike

35
D eadlands T rail G uides
the Emperor as significant in light of his money, but various gear, ammunition,
own recent observations. trail rations, and even dynamite are
After the posse wraps up their story, all possible, if the posse asks for them.
the Emperor nods thoughtfully, and says When they depart for Teotihuacán, go on
with a faint German accent, to City o’ Death.
Yes, I know what you say is true. I
suppose I have suspected for some time,
but failed to properly face the facts. And
4. City o’ Death
I fear my inaction may have permitted The Secret Empire has closed
things to go too far. Teotihuacán in final preparations for a
A few years ago, a scientist named terrible ritual. Regulators are needed to
Professor Riley came to Mexico City put a stop to Xitlan’s maneuvering!
with his entourage of archaeologists from It’s only a few hours’ hike out to the
Salt Lake City, in the United States. City of the Dead from Mexico City—see
They told me of their grand plans to page 19 for more information on the
excavate the Aztec city of Teotihuacán, ancient city.
and of course I approved them.
They worked for a long time, and The Stars Are Right!
uncovered several of the Aztecs’ temples One of the reasons Teotihuacán is so
and pyramids. It was quite exciting to be important to Xitlan and the Secret Empire
on the cusp of scientific discovery. We is that Aztec blood magic ceremonies
would have long discussions regarding performed there, on the appropriate
the artifacts he recovered. pyramid on days or nights when the stars
About a month ago I stopped receiving align with it, are particularly powerful.
visits. Riley is gone, they say. The former Aztec sorcerers (and mummies!)
advisor of Santa Anna, Xitlan, he comes receive a +2 to all Spellcasting and Faith
and goes from Teotihuacán, but Professor rolls made within the valley. Xitlan
Riley and his crew just departed? Saying receives the bonus to his Spellcasting
nothing? It is very strange. as well as his Undead Mastery power—
I sent a small platoon of Legionnaires within the city he can even control 16
to inspect the valley where Teotihuacán undead instead of 14. As always, Xitlan
stands, but they were repulsed by and his crew gain the benefits of Fear’s
fearsome native warriors, and—they Touch (see page 7).
said—dead things that walked. Heroes with any sort of astronomical
Nonsense! I thought, and sent three or astrological knowledge who study
times as many soldiers to investigate. the night sky are certain that a major
That was five days ago. We have had no alignment of planets and stars is in the
word from them yet. offing. With a raise, the character knows
Will you go to the valley of Teotihuacán that an alignment of this magnitude
and survey the situation? Discover what probably hasn’t occurred in over 5,000
became of my friend Professor Riley if years.
you can. The time is right for the spirits of fire
The Emperor grants the heroes to be freed from Mexico’s volcanoes, and
anything they might need to help them for Cipactli’s realm to be birthed fully
in their mission to Teotihuacán. That into the world. The posse is going to
doesn’t mean he showers them with have to work fast to prevent it.

36
S ou th o ’ the B order

Green Feather Emperor including Raven, think that he’s simply


The leader of the Secret Empire, and a priest who came back from the dead
the driving force behind it from the Harrowed. While he does superficially
very beginning, is the Aztec sorcerer- resemble a Harrowed (and, for that
priest Xitlan. Many who know of him, matter, a walkin’ dead) in some ways,

37
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he’s not. He’s been up and around and Teotihuacán Encounters
moving since long before Raven was d20 Encounter
born or the Reckoning conceived of,
1–2 Bone Fiend
courtesy of the Aztec god of the dead.
He doesn’t have to fight any manitou 3–4 1d4 Nosferatu
for control of his body and mind. He‘s 5 Cihuateteo
undead, not Harrowed. 6 Walkin’ Fossil
Furthermore, his state makes him 7–8 2d6 Aztec Warriors
a master of lesser undead, including 9–14 2d8 Walkin’ Dead
Harrowed and walkin’ dead. He can 15 ‘Glom
create them, control them, or destroy
16–18 Aztec Sorcerer + 2d6 Aztec
them as he wishes. He’s what the
Warriors
Germans would call a liche.
19 1d4 Obsidian Knife Spirits
Into the Ruins 20 Aztec Mummy (roll twice more
The heroes have to sneak past the many for its escorts)
patrols that guard the valley, unless they Pyramid of the Moon
want to raise an alarm and bring the At the city’s biggest pyramid, the
might of Xitlan’s forces down upon them. heroes must succeed at a Guts check (–2)
If a pitched battle results, you might opt or suffer extreme nausea and sickness
to have some of Maximillian’s soldiers— (Fear/Nausea). The steps of the pyramid
helpfully sent along to observe—pull the are drenched in tacky gore, and at the
heroes’ fat out of the fire. bottom of them is a huge pile of headless
Patrols consist of eight Aztec warriors and heartless corpses—some showing a
dressed in jaguar skins and carrying few weeks’ decomposition, most of them
heavy obsidian swords. They’re con­ killed within the past week.
sidered active guards, and the posse In any case, it’s clear that they were
will have to avoid at least one of their killed at the top of the pyramid, decapi­
pickets on the way in. If any scuffle goes tated and eviscerated there, and then
on too long (more than three rounds or the lifeless bodies allowed to tumble to
so), it draws the attention of all the city’s the bottom of steps and rot. On closer
guardians. inspection, the corpses are almost all
• Guards (8): Use the Aztec Warrior Legionnaires.
stats on page 78. The Killing Field
If the heroes are sneaking around
Teotihuacán
the ruins at night, call for Notice
Fear Level: 4 rolls (+2) when they pass close to the
If the heroes are wise, they keep a camouflaged fields. They hear what
low profile and get the lay of the land. sounds like children screaming as they
Xitlan is nowhere to be found, but the are slaughtered by the hundreds. With
ruins are rife with repulsive undead. heavy hearts, the heroes can creep closer.
Every half-hour the cowpokes spend in The chilling sound alone provokes a
the ruins, draw a card for an encounter Guts check from anyone who hears it.
per the usual procedure, and use the The fields are shielded from view by
Teotihuacán Encounters table for any tall bordering trees and camouflaged
unexpected meetings that result. netting strung over parts of the crop.
Lanterns hang at intervals, providing

38
S ou th o ’ the B order
light to the Aztec warriors and sorcerers Now there’s a new rumbling in the
who move among the strange, bright earth that continues to grow. You don’t
green plants with scythes. Every time think you have many hours before the
the harvesters grab a stalk and slash it volcano blows its top and takes Mexico
free from its roots, the plant lets out a City with it.
dying, bone-chilling wail. Xitlan and his most trusted servants
Any hombres who were listening are halfway up Popocatépetl, performing
closely when they were hired realize Raven’s ritual. With the benefit of a
that this must be what Santa Anna used spyglass, the heroes can see it clearly. It’s
to control his undead army. They might designed to cause volcanic eruptions all
try to torch the fields themselves, which across the Mexican Peninsula and bring
is most exciting, but if they opt to report Cipactli’s realm into our own. If the
the fields’ location to Maximillian, the heroes set out immediately, they can be
Emperor strikes with a full company of there in six hours. Grabbing some horses
soldiers and Legionnaires the next day. cuts the time in half.
They overrun the fields and put them to If the heroes don’t scale Popocatépetl
the torch. for whatever reason (fear of lava, and
so forth), Xitlan completes the ritual.
The Grand Ritual
He, his servants, the City of the Dead,
When the posse completes their survey and Mexico City are all completely
of the City of the Dead, the sun is rising obliterated by glowing rivers of lava. The
(if they went at night) or the last rays on surge of fear and flood of souls into the
sunlight are dying in the west (if their Hunting Grounds provides the power
raid was a daytime operation). Read the Cipactli needs to enter our world. Within
following to the heroes: a week, most of Mexico has a Fear Level
As you make your way along a high of 5, and when one gets close to Cipactli’s
ridgeline overlooking the valley of death, jungle cenote it rises to 6. At your
and Mexico City to the north, the earth discretion, the heroes might eventually
seems to shudder. For a second you think restore Mexico by killing Cipactli (but
maybe you imagined it. remember that the earth spirit can’t be
Then another jolt goes through the permanently destroyed in this world).
earth, sharp enough to stagger you. In short, failure to stop Xitlan’s
A distant BOOM! echoes across the ritual signals a major change in your
region, fading into the distance. It’s campaign’s direction. If you’re unwilling
now that you realize Xitlan’s plans were to go that route—and your players are
bigger than anyone knew. slow to realize the threat—it’s time to
A thick column of smoke and ash rises drop a few hints!
from the peak of the volcano Popocatépetl,
where the explosion issued from. Not Showdown with Xitlan
only that—even from this distance of four Xitlan is halfway up the mountain
or five miles, you see a large number of with a gaggle of his most trusted
people in brightly-colored robes gathered servants, busily making sacrifices out
on the mountainside. They’re no more of their many bound prisoners. Unless
than specks from this distance, but the heroes attempt to use Stealth, or
you’ve got a sneaking suspicion they’re approach from a direction not easily
servants of the Secret Empire. observed, the Aztecs see them coming

39
D eadlands T rail G uides
from their high vantage and prepare for Aftermath
battle. If the heroes prevail against the
In a frenzy of devotion to his Aztec Aztecs, the ritual is incomplete. During
gods, Xitlan laughs maniacally and urges the next few hours the volcano rumbles
his servants to rip out the characters’ a few times, and subtle tremors shake
still-beating hearts. He doesn’t think Mexico City. But then the great mountain
there’s any way he can fail now. While returns to its dormant state, and Mexico
six of his sorcerers continue the ritual, rejoices.
Xitlan and the rest deal with intruders. The burning of the plantagrito fields
The stakes are high, Marshal. If also has a dramatic effect—within
the posse doesn’t prevail here, or the a week, Xitlan’s unholy army at
sorcerers are allowed to keep chanting Teotihuacán is completely out of control
and murdering sacrificial victims for and rampaging through the valley. Soon
more than 13 rounds, the pact is sealed. after, Maximillian’s forces concentrate
All the terrible things we mentioned their military might (that is, artillery)
earlier come raining down on everyone’s upon the valley until it’s little more than
heads, and any hero who can’t fly or a series of smoking craters. The posse
otherwise skedaddle gets incinerated might even want to join in on the raid on
by red hot magma. That’d be a cryin’ Teotihuacán!
shame, now wouldn’t it?
• Aztec Warriors (2 per hero): See page
78. 5. Cipactli’s Place
• Aztec Sorcerers (6): Extras. These ugly
The Secret Empire’s back is broken
so-and-sos are busy conducting the
and the ancient sorcerer Xitlan is a pile
ritual, so they don’t fight unless they’re
of dust at the summit of Popocatépetl.
attacked in melee. See page 78.
Optimistic heroes might be ready to kick
• Aztec Mummy (1): Wild Card. Use the up their boots, buy a shot o’ rye whiskey,
stats in Deadlands Reloaded. and set a spell, thinking, Nothing can top
• Brimstone Men (2): See page 63. that!
• Walkin’ Dead (1 per hero): Use the Not yet, hombre. Not yet.
stats in Deadlands Reloaded.
• Xitlan: Wild Card. See page 74. Mystery Map
In Xitlan’s robes there’s a ragged old
Xitlan’s Curse piece of sheepskin with a crude map
If he’s defeated, Xitlan falls to the scrawled on it (in what looks like blood).
ground and shudders with cold, cold It shows a coastline, some mountains,
laughter. As he crumbles away to dust a city called Colima, and a dotted line
he mocks, going east from Colima to a big X.
You still lose, you accursed Spaniards. Beside the X is that word again, Cipactli
Raven wins. Cipactli wins. (pronounced Kih-PACT-lee).
And that should give any hero pause, If any hero does some Investigation
no matter how much Grit he’s got. A or uses Streetwise to learn more about
search of Xitlan turns up an odd map Cipactli, a successful roll uncovers the
tucked into his robes. You can learn more following:
about it in the next chapter, Cipactli’s Legends say Cipactli was a dreadful
Place. beast who shook the ground when she

40
S ou th o ’ the B order

walked and had tough, gnarled skin The emerald green jungle is full of
like a crocodile. A titanic creature of wildlife, colorful birds, and millions of
Aztec myth, she is said to have bitten insects. The howls and cries of the many
off Tezcatlipoca’s foot before time began. beasts in the jungle are almost deafening
In retaliation, Tezcatlipoca tore off at times. Buzzing and biting mosquitos
Cipactli’s lower jaw and flung it down, are everpresent, as are the stifling heat
where it became the earth. and humidity and meaty stench of
decomposition. You soldier on, drenched
Journey to Colima in sweat.
Colima lies a good 200 miles west- Lingering Jaguars
southwest of Mexico City, across rugged With a successful Tracking or Notice
mountains, volcanic ridges, and steamy (–2) roll, our heroes pick up the trail
jungles. Muddy trails are the best the shown on their map east of Colima. Each
posse can hope for, and there’s no attempt takes four hours.
stagecoach line running the rough road
After five days slogging through knee-
ahead. Horses, if the posse can afford
deep mud, they might want to drop in
them, are the best bet—on horseback the
and grab a few tequilas (or recover from
heroes average 40 miles from sunup to
wounds sustained along the way!). They
sundown and reach Colima in five days.
find the cantinas of the so-called “City of
Draw for encounters as usual along Palms” quite welcoming.
the way, using the Southern Mexico
Remember we mentioned how the
Encounters table on page 13. Feel free to
Obsidian Blade Lords’ back was broken
use the Fatigue rules for Heat if it pleases
by Xitlan’s death? More like their head
you; the temperature easily reaches 100
was lopped off. And now, well…they’re
degrees Fahrenheit.
runnin’ around like a chicken with its
head cut off.

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Panicked, trying to figure out what’s As the heroes search the area, call for
happened, the remaining leadership of Notice rolls. Success means a hero sees
the Secret Empire is gathered in Colima the leaves and vines rustling a bit at the
to plot their next move. Chief among bottom of the huge hole. Once everyone’s
those leaders is Four Jaguar, the Lords’ attention is drawn, a shikka-shikka like
war leader. the sound of a rattlesnake’s tail is heard
When word gets to Four Jaguar that from below.
a gang of gringos just showed up out Deal out initiative now, Marshal. On
of Mexico City matching an earlier its card, the Brood of Cipactli hiding
description sent around by Xitlan, well… in the cenote springs out to attack the
it’s a safe bet the Aztec chieftain isn’t closest compadres. Everyone with a line
going to be cheerful. In fact he’s fit to be of sight needs to make a Guts check as
tied. That night, after the characters have soon as the big, weird, pissed-off thing
had their shots and cervezas, Four Jaguar pops into view, squealing unnaturally
and his warriors drop in on whatever and chattering like a rattler.
accomodations the heroes have made. • Cipactli’s Brood (1): Wild Card. See
Deal initiative as the door busts in, page 65.
Marshal. Four Jaguar and his boys are
swingin’ obsidian blades, as wrathy as The Phantom General
you please. In other words, that’s one hell When the fight is over, read the
of a headless chicken. following passage.
• Aztec Warriors (3 per hero): See page Whatever the hell it is, it’s dead.
78. You look up to see you’re completely
• Four Jaguar: Wild Card. See page 75. surrounded by a ragtag band of soldiers
well over 100 strong. They might not
The Evil Brood have any uniforms, but they have one
When Four Jaguar and his warriors thing in common—every single one
are defeated, the posse is left alone for of them is armed and on horseback. A
the rest of their stay in Colima. Run this regal figure emerges from the jungle on
section when they’re healed, rested, and his own horse, sitting tall in the saddle,
ready to hit the trail again. It’s only a half dressed in a Mexican army uniform. He
day’s travel to the spot marked X on the regards you with an expression of mild
map; it’s up to you whether you draw distaste.
for an encounter. Either way, the posse Then he surveys the dead creature and
feels the hairs standing up on the backs shrugs, mildly impressed.
of their necks the closer they get. There’s This is Porfirio Diaz, the so-called
something definitely not right about this Phantom General, and approximately
jungle. After a while they figure it out: 150 of his men. General Diaz is a feared
there’s almost no noise, and no wildlife, man (the Fear Level of any region
except for insects. where’s he’s active jumps by 1), and
None that they can hear, at least. hated by much of Mexico’s population.
At the spot marked X, the posse Diaz has no love for northerners, who
finds what was once a cenote, but is he always calls gringos, but he’s more
now collapsed and dried up. A huge troubled by the evil that’s been stalking
hole remains, its edges and bottom the land lately, in the form of the thing
completely cloaked in vegetation. Our Heroes just pulped.

42
S ou th o ’ the B order
• Veteran Soldiers (150): Use the stats They should be so afraid of me! The
in Deadlands Reloaded…but only if Phantom General should inspire their
necessary! nightmares, not some toothy beast!
• General Porfirio Diaz, aka The That is why I will take you to Cipactli,
Phantom General: Wild Card. See Señores.
page 83. We leave at dawn.
Diaz invites the posse to join his Diaz stands and goes to his tent
Porfiriatistas and make a camp for the without uttering another word.
night. Once the fire is burning brightly But the Phantom General is a man of
and what meager food they’ve got has his word. The next morning at dawn
been shared out, the Phantom General he takes the posse to another location
sits by the fire to speak to the posse. The about 25 miles south of their camp. The
flickering flames cast shadows that leap Porfiriatistas ride in a long column, with
and cavort like imps, as General Diaz Diaz and the posse right out in front.
gives the posse a stark reminder of who
they’re giving Mexico back to if they The Ruins of Yanhuitlan
manage to defeat Cipactli. Fear Level: 4
I rule this land, Señores. As sunset approaches, titanic statues
Once I ruled all of Mexico, and one are seen in the thick jungle growth. Vines
day—if God wills it—I will rule it again. and leafy foliage cover everything, but
But for now…this is the land that I rule. with a successful Notice roll Our Heroes
My name is whispered in the hope no one realize that the strangely shaped hills
overhears. No one dares call me General surrounding them are actually ancient
Diaz. They call me Phantom General, ziggurats. Massive Olmec heads stand
and los campesinos—the peasants—they here and there, some of them rolled on
cross themselves and bar the doors when their sides or cracked in half. A feeling of
they hear I am about. immense antiquity seems to hang over
Evil abounds in this world. That evil this place, as well as an aura of fear.
things multiply…does this surprise you? At the center of the ruins is a huge
I expect it. One cannot expect evil to act cenote, nearly 40 feet across, and nearly
otherwise. filled with crystal clear water. Under the
Since el Grande Temblor—the Big surface a dark cave yawns into unseen
Quake—evil has grown by leaps and depths. It’s not unlike standing above
bounds. A dark presence has come the mouth of some enormous beast, like
to infest these jungles. Still, I am not a whale.
particularly troubled by this. It keeps The General explains,
los campesinos in line, eh? Ha! Ha! You The natives used to think this pool was
know what I mean. a gateway to Xibalbá, the Underworld.
Do you know what truly enrages me? What do you think?
The fear. The terror these simple people Ha! Ha! It’s all nonsense of course.
feel in their villages, just knowing that I don’t know about the Underworld,
these unholy creatures are out there, Señores, but that is where the evil things
unseen, stalking the jungles of the night. come from. That is Cipactli.
They pray to God to deliver them. They And this is where we leave you. Buena
shiver and hide from the moon. suerte, Señores, and may God walk
beside you.

43
D eadlands T rail G uides
The Porfiriatistas and their Phantom With a successful Swimming roll, the
General fade into the jungle and are swim­mer’s equi­librium rights itself,
gone. and she can rise to the surface. She
The posse can figure it out on their finds herself drawing breath in a place
own (with Smarts checks as a last resort), com­pletely different from the one she
but a swimmer needs to descend into just left. If the roll is failed, consult the
the pool until she hits the point where Drowning rules in Savage Worlds.
the fresh water hits the ocean brine. The
Cipactli’s Lair
two sides actually don’t mix; they form
a shimmering sort of barrier. This was Fear Level: 5
what the ancient peoples thought of as On the other side of the gateway is
a gateway, and in the case of Yanhuitlan, a large clearing much like the one the
they were right. No roll is required to heroes left, but obviously not the same
descend to the gate—it’s quite easy to one.
sink to it. At that point the hero feels You break the surface and draw
disoriented and loses all sense of up and breath—air that’s acrid and foul and
down. burns your lungs. For a second you
think you’re in the same
clearing. Then you notice
that the trees grow more
thickly around the edges
of the clearing, diseased-
looking and draped with
repulsive brownish moss.
A stagnant, muddy mire
fills the area—you surfaced
through a relatively clear
spring at the center.
At the far end of the
pool looms a huge, omi­
nous Olmec zig­gurat.
Every­thing’s utterly
quiet here—no insects
even—and you feel an
un­reas­on­able terror in
your guts that’s worse
than any you’ve known.

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S ou th o ’ the B order
It’s possible for heroes to swim in leave this place, but her brood pursue
and out again, telling others of what anyone who swims back out through the
they’ve seen. Nothing is stop­ping them cenote.
(and it might be a good idea to make a • Cipactli’s Brood (3): Extras. See page
waterproofed-dynamite run, if no one 65. Deal initiative cards to them at the
thought to tote it along). But as soon beginning of round five.
as anyone sets foot on the ziggurat or
touches it in any way (even indirectly), Cipactli, the Earth Monster
read the following. Cipactli resembles a cross between
The muddy mire starts to churn and an enormous crocodile and a toad, though
bubble to one side of the spring. Slowly, she shows more of her crocodilian side.
what looks like a slimy, muddy island She’s covered with thousands of short,
covered with spines rises up out of the sharp spines, each capable of delivering
swamp. But then the “island” rolls over, a painful prick. Lacking a jaw, Cipactli
opens a huge mouth full of jagged teeth, can only smash her bony upper teeth
and belts out a blood-curdling roar! onto prey. At each of the hideous thing’s
Cipactli is awake, and she doesn’t take joints is a mouth, filled with sharp teeth,
kindly to trespassers. constantly dripping blood and snapping
at anything close by.
Call for Guts checks immediately, and
then deal initiative. Three of Cipactli’s Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit
Brood are in the immediate vicinity; they d10, Strength d12+8, Vigor d12+8
arrive during the fifth round of combat Skills: Fighting d12, Intimidation
(and luckily for the posse, they’re not d12+4, Notice d8, Swimming d12
Wild Cards). Characters in the area of Pace: 12; Parry: 8; Toughness: 24 (4)
clean water flowing up from the cenote Special Abilities:
must swim to stay afloat, while the • Armor +4: Cipactli is protected by a
muddy mire itself is considered Difficult tough, crocodilian hide.
Ground.
• Bite: Str+d10. Cipactli smashes down
Cipactli and her brood try to slaughter on foes with her massive upper jaw.
everyone who intrudes upon their
• Fear –2: The sight of Cipactli causes
sickly realm, which is trapped halfway
Guts rolls (–2).
between the Hunting Grounds and our
world. Xitlan’s ritual on Popocatépetl • Huge: Attackers add +4 to attacks.
was supposed to free the Earth Monster • Ring o’ Mouths: Str. Every round
and pull her lair fully into the real as a free action, Cipactli makes a
world, creating the seed of an enormous single Fighting roll and applies it to
Deadland in the middle of the Yucatán all adjacent enemies. Figure damage
jungle. separately for each foe.
Since that didn’t quite pan out, • Size +8: Cipactli is easily as big as a
Cipactli is going to have to wait for whale.
another opportunity. In the meantime, • Spines: Anyone punching, brushing
she certainly isn’t offering any tea and against, or touching Cipactli suffers
biscuits—she’s pissed as all get out. Since 2d6 damage from her spiny growths.
the big ritual failed Cipactli still can’t • Swimming: Pace 18.

45
D eadlands T rail G uides

Rewards
If Cipactli is slain in her own realm, wore in life. Once Cipactli is destroyed,
she is forever dead. Killing the great the curse (as the Power) upon this gold
earth monster immediately lowers the is lifted—in all, it’s worth about $10,000
local Fear Rating (in the real world) by 3. stateside. If the gold is somehow taken
Inside Cipactli’s pyramid are a number without killing Cipactli, anyone who
of open tombs packed with mummies of participates is automatically affected
ancient sorcerers and shamans, draped by the curse, which can be lifted by the
with the gold and jade jewelry they usual means, or by returning the gold to
where it came from.

46
Savage
Tales

If your posse rides the trails (or • An obvious reason to go to Monté


the rails) all across Mexico, huntin’ Alban is treasure; tales of undiscovered
down Lords of the Obsidian Blade and tombs circulate constantly. The
preventin’ geological disasters every Zapotecs favored precious jewelry
which where they go, it’s likely you’re fashioned of gold and jade.
going to need a few adventures on the • Maybe some banditos have taken up
side. In this chapter you’ll find a fine residence there, and the heroes are
herd of short Savage Tales to keep those hired to drive them off. Better yet, the
cowboys nice and busy, along with a heroes could be looking to even the
passel of short encounters to drop into score with the bandits who robbed
your adventures when the time is right. them, or doggedly on the trail of some
other, personal enemy.
• If the heroes are actively fighting the
The Bat God Lords of the Obsidian Blade, stories
Location: Oaxaca about explorers and treasure seekers
who have vanished at Monté Alban
The ruins of Monté Alban can be seen
over the years might draw their
atop their mountainous perch from all
attention.
over the Oaxaca Valley. It’s here that
the Zapotecs ruled, their civilization • Sheer curiosity! Any cowpoke with
dominating the region until about 700 the Curious Hindrance should be hell-
A.D. The Zapotecs are known for their bent on seeing Monté Alban up close,
underground tombs—only a few of once he spies those distant ruins upon
which have been found—and the pottery the hill.
urns they created, which depict spirits
such as Rain God, Maize God, Bat God, Monté Alban
and many others. Fear Level: 4
Something about this place ain’t right.
The Setup The extensive ruins are as still as the
The reason your group goes to Monté tombs they enclose, the only movement
Alban is best tailored to each individual and sounds the rustling of dry grasses
posse. But don’t get your britches that grow among the rocks. Occasionally
twisted, Marshal—we won’t leave you in a bird’s lonesome cry breaks the silence.
the lurch without a few ideas. The carvings and bas-reliefs upon the
ancient buildings contain a disturbing

47
D eadlands T rail G uides
amount of what appear to be bats.
The site is littered with slabs of stone,
with intricate carvings depicting
strange and twisted beings.
As the sun begins to set, the
lengthening shadows resemble bats’
wings overstretching the ruins.
Explorers think they hear voices
in the rustling of the grass, and
straining they can almost make out
words in an unintelligible language.
As dusk sets in, from the corner
of the eye one can see shadows flit
between the buildings—a trick of the
dying light, no doubt.
Any hero with the requisite
Knowledge (Archaeology, History,
or suchlike) may, with a successful
roll and a few hours’ investigation,
determine that the Zapotecs who
dwelled here worshipped a spirit
called the Bat God. The slabs of stone
depict various enemies who were
vanquished in combat, or captured
and sacrificed.

Pokin’ Around
One thing’s for sure—if the posse
came here on someone’s trail, that
hombre’s nowhere to be found. The
heroes find the remains of a camp,
a trampled fire, and a few random
items scattered about the site.
Whether the quarry is dead or just
moved on to some safer locale is up
to you.
If the posse is here looking for
riches, assume the camp belonged to
the last group of explorers—whose
bones now rest in a dark cavern
deep below the mountain. Various
supplies and broken surveying
tools are thrown all over the place.
If you’re feeling generous, those
supplies might include a large coil of
rope, along with block and tackle.

48
S ou th o ’ the B order
Heroes who mount a full search of the the shaft descends into the heart of the
ruins (which takes about four hours to mountain, where an ancient cavern
complete) and succeed on a Tracking or waits. It is approximately 800 feet from
Notice (–2) roll find several spatters of the top of the well to the floor of the
what looks like blood, along with some cavern below (with the cavern’s ceiling
deep furrows dug into the grassy earth, about 200 feet high)—the explorers better
in the area of the North Platform. If a have a lot of rope!
tracker scores a raise, he spies a bloody The cavern itself is nearly 300 feet
handprint on the inside edge of a well at across, and its floor is littered with
the center of the pavilion (see Down to countless precious items of gold and
the Well, below). jade dropped into the well as offerings
to the Bat God over the centuries. How
After Dark much the heroes are able to recover in
The posse that camps out in the ruins a full-scale salvage operation is up to
should be expecting trouble, and they you, Marshal, but if they can kill off all
get it. About an hour after dark, call for the devil bats there might be as much
a Notice roll from any cowpoke who’s as $5,000 American at stake. The main
awake. Success means the hero hears a problem is the aforementioned devil
leathery, fluttering sound from the north bats.
end of the ruins. A raise means the hero • Devil Bats (80): See Deadlands Reloaded.
can hear almost imperceptible clicks and This colony is truly massive. Needless
high-pitched bursts of sound. Read the to say, if your posse is the kind to climb
following out loud. down any smelly old hole in the ground
For a second, you strain your ears they find, there could be big trouble.
to hear more of that odd, high-pitched Devil bats that wake up to find intruders
squaking. Seconds later the moonlit sky inside their den are almost always very,
is thick with batlike silhouettes bigger very angry. When they’re angry, devil
than men, descending toward you, red bats get downright bitey.
eyes burning like embers in the dark! There’s an upside, however. The well is
These devil bats are hungry, and they the only way in or out for the devil bats,
don’t take kindly to visitors (unless the so it’s possible to seal off their cavern
visitors are willing to be lunch). Heroes with a big enough chunk of stone, or
seized by the devil bats’ Death From other obstacle. That way the heroes can
Above ability are dropped into the fumigate the well with some poisonous
North Platform’s well if at all possible substance, or just leave the well capped
(see Down to the Well, below). If the until the devil bats starve to death (a
first flock is driven off or killed, an equal cruel but efficient process that takes
number arrives every hour thereafter. about four or five days). Once the bats
• Devil Bats (3 per hero): See Deadlands are dealt with, the cavern is open for
Reloaded. exploration.

Down to the Well Temple of the Bat


If the heroes decide to investigate the Against one wall of the cavern is a
well’s depths (or get dropped into it like large, open doorway partially covered
a nugget down a coal chute) they soon by fallen rubble. The “door” is made of
discover that it holds no water. Instead, two fifteen-foot-tall slabs of stone, with

49
D eadlands T rail G uides
a third massive slab laid across the top. Pace: 4; Parry: 8; Toughness: 14
However, it’s impossible to find out what Special Abilities:
treasures lie beyond until the rubble is • Claws: Str+d6.
cleared.
• Death From Above: If the Bat God hits
This process requires each participant with a raise, it causes damage as usual.
to make a Strength roll (–4) for each hour In addition, the thing grasps its prey
of work. The tunnel is wide enough in its claws and swoops into the air,
for up to a dozen men to work side-by- moving the remainder of its flight pace.
side. Characters can repeat the attempt The next round the creature drops its
as many times as it takes, but each roll prey to the ground (see falling damage
requires another hour of hard work. in Savage Worlds). Characters on Hold
Diggers with mining tools add +2 to or who have not yet taken their action
their rolls. may attempt to hold on by making an
Failure on the roll means the digger opposed Strength roll. If successful,
gains a level of Fatigue (removed after the prey continues to struggle. With
an hour of rest). Once the digging crew a raise, the victim forces the creature
has accumulated 13 successes and raises close enough to a landing spot to jump
on their rolls, the tunnel is cleared— free without taking damage.
opening the way to the ancient Temple of • Fear (–2): The Bat God is truly terrible
the Bat God. to behold, and causes a Guts check (–2)
The Bat God is an enormous devil from all who do.
bat that the Zapotecs worshiped and • Flight: Pace 24”.
propitiated with human sacrifice and
• Hellishly Quick: The Bat God discards
many valuable objects. For centuries it
action cards of 10 or lower.
has slept in this cavern far beneath the
hill, which is marked by the ruins of the • Large: Due to the Bat God’s great size,
great temples the Zapotecs built to honor all attacks against it are made with a
it. +2 bonus.
As soon as the rubble is cleared, the • Screech: As an action, the Bat God can
Bat God awakens and attacks. Though utter an ear piercing screech. Place a
it can squeeze through the doorway into Large Burst Template adjacent to the
the cavern, the well is far too small for creature (a 6” area of effect). Every
the Bat God to negotiate. creature within the template must
roll Vigor (–2) or be Shaken for 1d6
The Bat God rounds, after which they can attempt
The God of Bats—known by a to recover.
variety of names among ancient Mexican • Size +6: The Bat God is about as big
peoples and in folklore—appears as as a bull elephant, with a 30-foot
a gigantic devil bat (see Deadlands wingspan.
Reloaded). The membranes of the Bat • Weakness (Sonar): The Bat God sees
God’s ears and wings are tinged a deep, by sonar. It must subtract 4 from
blood red. attack rolls if its prey stands stock still
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d10, (assuming the prey are detected before
Spirit d10, Strength d12+4, Vigor d12 they “freeze”). Standing still when the
Skills: Fighting d12+1, Guts d12, Bat God is sweeping down on you
Intimidation d12+1, Notice d12, Stealth requires a Guts check (–2). Failure
d12+4

50
S ou th o ’ the B order
means the victim flinches or moves, and suchlike, the old man answers
allowing the Bat God to “see” him. shrewdly,
Wall crawlers, barranca prowlers,
whatever you call them, they all creep on
Death Hunt the canyon walls, Señor! And sometimes
you don’t see them coming until too late.
Location: Guadalajara
So be watchful. The prowlers hunt like
Passing by Mayor Delpaiz’s office, a cats, and the crawlers more like reptiles…
posse looking for quick cash notices a of a kind. You will see for yourself, if you
poster offering a bounty of 2,500 pesos— go to the Oblatos Canyon. Ha! Ha! Good
no small amount of dinero. Any chica luck, Señores!
who makes a successful Knowledge
According to the old man or any
(Spanish) roll can read the rest. If none
other source of information, the two-
of the heroes speak the language (for
thousand-foot deep Oblatos Canyon is
shame, gringos!), a toothless old man in a
less than an hour’s ride north of town,
rickety chair on the front porch helpfully
but only rough, tough miners go there.
translates.
Them, and anybody too desperately
REWARD! 2,500 pesos for each poor to fear what lurks there.
wall crawler or canyon prowler head
delivered to the office of Mayor Delpaiz.
Oblatos Canyon is infested. Experienced
Barranca de Oblatos
hunters only! Oblatos Canyon opens onto the north
The rewards are apparently paid out side of Guadalajara, for all intents and
by a saturnine clerk stationed at a desk purposes, beckoning explorers into its
in the lobby. He and his safe are watched shadowy depths. Its twisting, multi-
over by a trio of armed men. Sure enough, pronged reaches hold regions of forest,
they pay the full advertised price for any jungle, raging rivers, and a distinctive
heads the posse brings in. horseshoe-shaped waterfall. There’s a
huge variety of wildlife to be found, but
• Clerk: Use Townsfolk stats in Deadlands
two predators sit comfortably at the top
Reloaded.
of the food chain: the barranca prowler
• Guards: Use Veteran Gunman stats and the wall crawler.
in Deadlands Reloaded. These hombres
are packing Colt revolving shotguns
(12/24/48, 1–3d6, RoF 1, Shots 5, Min.
The Mining Camp
Str d6, Shooting +2) and Bowie knives Fear Level: 3
(Str+d4+1, AP 1). Those supposedly rough and tough
A bounty hunter who knows a thing miners the heroes heard about in
or two about Mayor Ramón Alphonso town are anything but. Mostly they’re
Delpaiz y Turino—better known as El desperately trying to pick and hew
Toro, “The Bull”—knows that it’s best to a living out of the rock, while their
avoid bothering the man. The clerk says numbers keep dwindling due to the
as much, if asked. El Toro is probably canyon’s odd predators. Many of them
busy, what with the civil war and all. have their families along, so the tent
Anyhow, it’s much quicker to talk to city at the canyon mouth has grown
the old man on the front porch. If asked quite large. Still, just enough gold and
about wall crawlers, canyon prowlers, silver are found to make the enterprise
profitable.

51
D eadlands T rail G uides
At the center of the makeshift town sit They are silent before they strike,
a general store geared toward mining Señores. The barranca prowler, they
supplies, a livery stable and blacksmith, say it can bite through a rifle barrel—
and a ramshackle cantina. They get their crack!—with one snap of its jaws. The
water from the river flowing out of the wall crawler is a thing you do not wish
canyon. to meet unprepared, as it combines
A successful Streetwise roll among the worst of scorpion and rattlesnake.
the miners (+2 if the hero buys them a Always watch the cliffs, for they hang
drink first) gains the hero an account there and wait like spiders. Bless you,
of the beasts they’re hunting. Strangely Señores. The more of them you kill, the
enough, the miners consider them odd, better my family will sleep at night.
but perfectly natural creatures. Doesn’t • Miners (44): Use Townsfolk stats in
mean they’re not scared of ’em! Deadlands Reloaded.

52
S ou th o ’ the B order

Hunt ’Em Down Deserter’s


If there are trackers or scouts among Delight
the posse members, by all means
encourage them to make use of their Location: Copper Canyon
skills. A successful roll indicates the Run this odd little tale of revenge any
tracker has found the spoor of a single time your posse is moseying through the
specimen (roll a d6; 1–4 means the trail Copper Canyon area. Whether they get
belongs to a wall crawler, 5–6 indicates past the first scene depends upon your
a barranca prowler). A raise means posse’s temperament—some won’t even
the hunters are on the trail of 2d6 wall listen to Karl Katau’s tale before they fill
crawlers, or 1d8 barranca prowlers. him full o’ lead.
Simply hiking into the canyon is a fine
method for finding the critters as well. The Story So Far
Eventually they’ll come looking for fresh,
Discipline in the French Foreign
tasty heroes to devour. In this case draw
Legion is notoriously harsh. It’s nothing
a card from the action deck each day, as
compared to the lengths the Legion will
you would for any random encounter.
go to bring back deserters and punish
If the card drawn is between deuce and
them. Several years after the French
five, nothing is encountered that day.
arrived in Mexico (circa 1867), one
A card between six and ten means the
Legionnaire—a German fellow by the
posse meets one wall crawler or barranca
name of Karl Katau—decided he’d had
prowler (determined as above). A face
about enough.
card means 2d6 wall crawlers or 1d8
barranca prowlers. A Joker is the same as Stealing away in the night, he fled
a face card, only double the total. Good north across the desert to El Paso, Texas.
luck, hombres! From there he made his way to St. Louis,
where he landed a job with the Kansas
Barranca prowlers are masters of
City-Little Rock Railroad and married a
camouflage, and wall crawlers use their
local girl. Things went just fine for about
prodigious speed to rush out of hiding
10 years, until the Legion got wind of
before they can be spotted. They always
Katau’s whereabouts.
use these qualities to their greatest
advantage, and they know the mazelike A squad of Legionnaires disguised as
canyon very well. rail warriors made their way to St. Louis
and ambushed Katau in the night. They
Make sure the heroes realize they
clapped him in chains and dragged him
are being stalked before the predators
all the way back to Mexico City. There
show themselves, so they have time
Katau was tried, put in front of a firing
to imagine all sorts of horrible fates. A
squad, and his lifeless body tossed
faint skittering of claws on rock, or a low
outside the city for the coyotes.
growl echoing off the canyon walls, is
better than leading off with a straight-up As we all know, sometimes death ain’t
fight. Let the tension build for a spell more than an obstacle in the Weird West.
before you deal out the action cards. Katau didn’t much like being dragged
away from his home and family to pay
• Wall Crawlers (1 or 2d6): See Deadlands
for a 10-year-old crime. The Reckoners
Reloaded.
sent him back Harrowed, fueled by his
• Barranca Prowlers (1 or 1d8): See page thirst for vengeance and desire to return
63.

53
D eadlands T rail G uides
home. And he’ll do it, too—as soon as he A fellow so slim he’s almost skeletal
murders every last Legionnaire who was emerges from the rocks. He stops about
part of the firing squad that killed him. a dozen paces away. Clothes hanging in
There’s only one of ’em left… tatters, he has a long duster draped over
his spindly frame and a Winchester rifle
The Setup in one emaciated hand.
A wide-brimmed hat shades his face,
This adventure works best if the heroes
but his eyes gleam with a hunger for
are looking to attack, infiltrate, or avenge
something else besides vittles. “Howdy,
themselves upon a fort the Legionnaires
strangers,” he says in a gravelly voice.
call Le Tombeau (“The Tomb”), which
“I wonder if you’d be so kind as to lend
lies roughly 100 miles southwest of El
me a hand?”
Paso. It’s also possible the heroes are just
passing through, and trying to avoid any Count on your players to start jawing
face-to-face meetings with Legionnaires. about whether this hombre’s alive,
lickety-split. Don’t fret, Marshal. The
Either way, while traveling or sitting
fact that Karl Katau is stone dead ain’t
around the campfire they are observed
no secret—a simple Healing or Notice
by a lone stranger. Give the heroes
(–2) roll after observing him for a spell
a Notice roll every hour or so, until
reveals that fact. The smell alone forces
someone realizes the posse isn’t alone.
anyone downwind to make a Guts check
When somebody calls out or confronts
(–2) against Fear/Nausea.
the stranger, read the following.

54
S ou th o ’ the B order
Assuming the heroes let this ghoulish a total of 46 Legionnaires, as well-armed
dude say his piece, he sits down on a as they are ill-tempered.
rock and intones, • Legionnaires (45): See page 71.
My name is Karl Katau. I used to be in • Corporal Thaddeus Grieves: Wild
the Legion, believe it or not. That was a Card. Use the Veteran Legionnaire
long time ago. Now I’m just trying to get stats on page 71.
home, back to my sweet Abigail Emma At some point during this scene (choose
in St. Louis. But first I’ve got a score to the worst possible time for your heroes,
settle with my former compatriots. Marshal), Katau’s manitou makes a play
I’m going to kill the bastard that killed for Dominion. If the spirit manages to
me. Then I aim to burn down the fort. grab the reins, Katau’s goal switches from
And if you help me, you can have the taking out Grieves to getting as many
loot. It’s all yours. heroes killed as possible, preferably in a
If the posse has further questions, seemingly accidental fashion.
Katau tells them whatever they want
to know (see The Story So Far, above). Karl Katau, the Deserter
He’s honest about his motivations, and If Karl ever gets back home, he ain’t
in truth he’s still got Dominion over likely to get the reception he’s hoping
his manitou (although that’s bound to for. While he was still lying out in the
change). His target is Corporal Thaddeus desert, coyotes and vultures bit off
Grieves, after all these years stationed at several pieces of him (including one of
Le Tombeau. his eyes). Between that and the skeletal
look he’s taken on over the past 13 years,
he doesn’t exactly resemble himself
Doom o’ the Tomb
anymore. A generous and clever posse
Lying east of the Copper Canyon may find some way to help the deserter
region, Le Tombeau consists of three find redemption, but his story’s fairly
adobe structures, built atop a low mesa likely to end in tragedy.
and surrounded by a tall wood stockade
Attributes: Agility d12+1, Smarts d6,
and eight watch towers. A single trail,
Spirit d8, Strength d10, Vigor d6
wide enough for a wagon, winds around
the mesa’s sheer sides to the top, where it Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d10,
arrives at the gatehouse. The gatehouse Gambling d6, Guts d8, Intimidation
holds eight Legionnaires, and each tower d10, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Knowledge
is manned by one soldier. (Carpentry) d6, Knowledge (English)
d6, Knowledge (French) d6, Notice d6,
Inside the stockade are three stout
Shooting d10, Stealth d10, Survival d6,
adobe buildings—the barracks (which
Taunt d6
also serves as mess hall), armory (where
numerous weapons, several crates of Charisma: –6; Grit: 3; Pace: 8; Parry: 7;
dynamite, and $1,586 in gold coin payroll Toughness: 6
are stored), and officers’ quarters, where Hindrances: Grim Servant o’ Death,
Corporal Grieves is usually found. Mean, One Eye, Ugly, Vengeful (Major),
If they’ve chosen to help out the Vow (Kill firing squad, return home,
deserter Katau, let the posse make up protect deserters)
their own plan for taking out The Tomb, Edges: Brawny, Fleet-Footed, Strong
be it trickery, fire, frontal assault, or Willed, Supernatural Attribute (Agility)
some other crafty gambit. The fort holds

55
D eadlands T rail G uides
Gear: Tattered clothes, duster, saber Clownin’ Around
(Str+d6), Bowie knife (Str+d4+1, AP 1). The reason so many people have been
Special Abilities: dying or disappearing during Carnaval
• Harrowed: Katau’s current Dominion isn’t Los Hermanos (see page 26)—it’s
is –3. Grit +1. Needs 1d6 hours of something far more sinister. Never
sleep per night. Only a head-shot can ones to miss the chance to turn a good
kill. “Death” only puts the Harrowed time bad, the Reckoners have let loose
down for 1d6 days. Immune to poison a fiendish abomination called El Bufón
and disease. (The Clown).
Able to appear as either a handsome
Aftermath
man or a gorgeous woman, El Bufón
If Karl survives the clash with Corporal always wears the most festive and exotic
Grieves and his men, he lives up to his Carnaval garb. With his good looks, and
word and relinquishes whatever loot, charming, sexy personality, he lures
weapons, or other equipment the heroes partygoers away from the crowds, then
wish to claim. Katau has no use for it, tortures them and drinks their blood
after all. If he’s left to his own devices, until they die. His appearance changes
the deserter heads northeast toward each time, so witnesses’ descriptions are
El Paso with nary a word, and is never useless.
heard from again.
El Bufón
The clown’s true form is of a man
El Noche del in a traditional clown suit—red-and-
Bufón white pantaloons and shirt, pointy red
nose with a white conical hat. The face
Location: Veracruz beneath the festive clothing is wrinkled
Run this encounter when the group and gray, with orange-red eyes and a
goes to Veracruz, for Carnaval or other drooling mouth filled with jagged yellow
purposes. teeth and a black tongue.
Veracruz’s annual Carnaval is the Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit
biggest party in the Weird West. If you d6, Strength d12+2, Vigor d12
go, be sure to pack your tequila…and Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d8,
your six-gun! Lately Carnaval-goers Intimidation d6, Notice d8
have been turning up dead. Pace: 8; Parry: 6; Toughness: 10
Carnaval’s bizarre costumes and Special Abilities:
behavior can be a little unnerving
• Blood Strength: For every level of
on their own. With the Reckoning’s
Fatigue El Bufón inflicts with the Feast
effects added, they can be downright
of Blood power, his Strength increases
intimidating. Any hero with the Yellow
by 1 step. This effect lasts for 24 hours.
Hindrance must make a Guts check
when first exposed to the sights and • Claws: Str+d4. In its true form, El
sounds of Carnaval. Failure means the Bufón can cause its fingers to elongate
hero suffers –1 on all Trait rolls until the into claws as a free action.
festival ends, or the coward heads for the • Fear: The true form of El Bufón causes
hills. Guts checks in all who see him.

56
S ou th o ’ the B order
• Feast of Blood: If El Bufón hits with and sadly, shooting it down is the only
a raise on a Fighting roll, he has also way to end its rampage (unless the
Grappled his foe. On this next action, heroes can come up with another way to
he latches onto the victim’s neck and capture it!).
starts sucking blood. This causes 1
level of Fatigue per round until death. Silverback Gorilla
The victim must break El Bufón’s Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts
Grapple to survive. d6 (A), Spirit d8, Strength d12+2, Vigor
• Lure of Beauty: As a free action, El d12+2
Bufón can alter its form to appear as a Skills: Climbing d12, Fighting d10, Guts
suave hombre or fetching señorita. In d8, Notice d10
this guise it has Charisma +6. Pace: 8; Parry: 7; Toughness: 13 (1)
• Undead: Toughness +2. +2 to recover Special Abilities
from Shaken. No additional damage • Armor +1: The gorilla has thick fur
from Called Shots. Immune to disease and skin, providing protection from
and poison. Does not suffer wound attacks.
penalties. • Bite: Str+d6.
• Fists: Str. The gorilla has the Two-
At the Zoo Fisted and Improved Sweep Edges.
• Hardy: A second Shaken result on the
Location: Mexico City gorilla doesn’t cause a wound.
The National Zoo in Mexico City is • Size +3: A silverback gorilla stands
said to hold all manner of wondrous and eight feet tall and weighs upwards of
mythical beasts—some never seen in the 800 lbs.
Americas before!

Monkey Business Lake o’ Sorrow


While the cowpokes are touring
the sights in Mexico City, they hear Location: Guadalajara
screaming and commotion from just When they’re in Guadalajara, all the
around the corner. If they run in that talk heard by the posse revolves around
direction, read the following out loud. some recent disappearances. Several
You round the corner just in time to picknickers at Lake Chapala have
see an entire fruit cart thrown into the drowned, but no bodies were found.
air. It smashes down in a shower of The locals want to know if it’s a case of
bananas and oranges. Standing in the murder…or something worse. Heroes
middle of the street is a huge, black- are offered 100 pesos each by the local
skinned beast covered with thick fur. A padre to get to the bottom of the mystery.
silvery-white stripe goes down its back,
and it’s covered in slabs of muscle. It Lake Chapala
raises itself to a height of over eight feet Fear Level: 3
on its hind legs, beating both fists against
Out at Lake Chapala, there’s not much
its chest and bellowing in rage!
to be found. Take the opportunity to
The silverback gorilla—something generate some suspense by describing
none of the heroes are likely to have seen the lonely, mountainous countryside,
before—has gone completely berserk, and the stiff breeze that blows ripples

57
D eadlands T rail G uides
across the lake and provides the only
sound. Perhaps the searchers come upon
The Proposition
a recent picnic site, where only a checked Just outside a cantina near the docks,
blanket and a child’s broken doll remain. the heroes are approached by a Mexican
Maybe one investigator thinks he hears man—a mestizo—who is all smiles as he
someone calling for help, while the gestures to the posse.
others are sure it’s just the wind. Best of Eh, gringos! Come over here and
all, use elements of your group’s Worst talk with me, eh? I have a business
Nightmares to really get their hearts proposition for you. I’ve been watching
pounding. you, and I am convinced there are no
When things have gotten strange better partners in Veracruz than you, for
enough for your taste, the lurker in the what I have in mind. A fortune in gold.
lake becomes aware of the new arrivals You only need to know where to look,
and starts stalking them. At nightfall it Señores. And I know exactly where to
makes the first attack, attempting to pick look.
off a lone hero and drag her into the lake If the heroes express interest and buy
before anyone else is the wiser. Later it him a drink, the hombre introduces
returns for more meat… himself as Abelardo Guzmán. He tells
an intriguing tale, to say the least.
The Brood You know of the prison in the bay, Fort
Not too long ago, one of Cipactli’s San Juan de Ulúa, yes? Well, something
children took up residence in Lake happened there a long time ago, in
Chapala. The people who disappeared 1568. The famous English pirates, John
became its meals. However, they haven’t Hawkins and Francis Drake, limped into
done much to sate its hunger. Soon it will Veracruz with their five vessels. They
be forced to eat more people, or even to had been battered by storms, and needed
slither on down to Guadalajara and snap a safe harbor, which they were promised.
up a few unsuspecting Tapatfos—which
But then they were ambushed by
is sure to send the area’s Fear Level sky­
the Spanish fleet, most of their men
rocketing.
slaughtered, and three of their ships
• Cipactli’s Brood (1): Wild Card. See sunk. Two of them—the Swallow and the
page 65. Angel—were never recovered. But with
your help, and financing, we can salvage
a fortune in gold from the bottom of the
Lost Treasures bay. I know exactly where the wrecks lie.
Location: Veracruz Guzmán doesn’t even have a boat, but
When the posse is kicking around he says he knows the precise locations of
Veracruz, they catch wind of a treasure the wrecks, and what dangers to beware
beyond belief, ripe for the taking. One when exploring them. He learned the
only needs to know where to look. information from a deepwater diver
who has since vanished without a trace.
Guzmán suggests the posse charter a
steam launch and a diving suit, at the
very least.
• Abelardo Guzmán: Use the Gunman
stats in Deadlands Reloaded.

58
S ou th o ’ the B order

Salvagin’ Some Shinies


As elsewhere, the daily cost to charter Steam Launch
a boat is 1% of the ship’s purchase price Cost: $2,000
(just take away two zeroes). Good These are lifeboat-sized craft
skippers ask up to twice this price, powered by a small steam engine
and certain lesser captains might offer (think African Queen). They
“bargains,” but they’re rarely worth are extremely common around
it. Diving suits may also be chartered. Veracruz’s waters, used as fishing
Guzmán assures the heroes time and boats as well as French patrol craft.
Many larger ships carry one as a
time again that the treasure is worth far
lifeboat, and the majority of the
more than the paltry cost of a vessel.
ferry services also use these useful
Sure enough, the wrecks are exactly little boats.
where Guzmán said they would be, in Common Weapons: Usually only
the relatively shallow waters off The the personal weapons carried by
Fort’s docks. The problem is avoiding crew and passengers. In a pinch, you
the many French ironclads and could fit a Gatling in the bow.
gunboats patrolling the waters around Acc/Top Speed: 4/10; Toughness:
the prison. Would-be salvagers need 8 (2); Crew: 1+7; Cost: $2,000; Notes:
to work by night, create some kind of Travels 40 miles per pound of ghost
lasting diversion, or come up with a rock.
dang good cover story, if they want to
avoid any Imperial entanglements. At
Diving Suit
the very least, this requires a successful Cost: $2,000
Persuasion roll when the first French A diving suit provides a diver
gunboat drops in. with fresh air and allows him to stay
submerged for long periods of time.
Under forty feet of water, the Swallow When using the diving suit with an
and the Angel lie half-buried in the reefs air pump or tanks, you can explore
and sediment of the bay. Threats include beneath the sea indefinitely.
sharks and other large sea creatures, For $2,000 you get the suit,
along with the ever-present chance of metal helmet, an assortment of
a diving suit Malfunction (Deadlands ballast weights, and all the fittings
Reloaded and Deadlands: The Flood contain necessary to attach air hoses and
a whole school of sea critters you might tanks. Air tanks cost $250 each, and
toss at your sailors). a deluxe, steam-powered air pump
costs $900.
A successful Notice roll (–4) is
Malfunction: If a 1 is rolled on
re­quired to locate the treasure cache in
the user’s Boating or Swimming die
each wreck. Once they’ve been found,
(either can be used to operate the
it’s only a matter of time before all that suit), regardless of the Wild Die,
pirate gold can be hauled up to the steam the suit’s air hose becomes clogged
launch. After four days’ (or nights’) or tangled and stops functioning
work, the entire haul is safely tucked into (but may be repaired). On a result of
the cargo hold—approximately $23,000 snake eyes, the helmet bursts, doing
in gold coins, jewelry, gemstones, and 2d6 damage to the wearer. In either
other valuables. case, consult the Drowning rules in
Savage Worlds.

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seas to Corpus Christi or Houston, Texas.
Stabbed in the Back If the treasure is loaded into steamer
In truth, Guzmán is a willing disciple trunks (for overland or rail travel), it fills
of the Lords of the Obsidian Blade and eight of them.
the ways of the Aztecs. The deep-water If at any point the salvagers are forced
diver vanished because Guzmán’s bud­ to grab whatever they can stuff into their
dies cut his throat and sacrificed him to pockets and flee, allow them to roll 1d20
The Flayed One, ensuring he wouldn’t for every round they spend gathering
tell anyone else about the shipwrecks he treasure (up to a maximum of five, at
discovered while diving for pearls. which point their pouches and pockets
Guzmán waits patiently for the posse are full). Add up the total from all the
to finish their work. On the last night, rolls and multiply it by 10—that’s the
his “friends” silently approach the steam amount in dollars the hero gets away
launch in two long canoes, then board with.
the vessel and attempt to slay everyone
they find, including the ship’s captain
and Guzmán too. He was only a pawn, The Massacre
and even he’s destined to become a
sacrifice to the Aztec gods.
Spirit
• Aztec Warriors (2 per hero): See page Location: Santa Isabella
78. The little town of Santa Isabella, near
• Aztec Sorcerer (1): Wild Card. See Monterrey, was a thriving village until
page 78. a brutal clash between Juaristas and
Legionnaires in ’72. Now it’s rumored to
Here’s Where the Fun Begins be haunted.
If a whole bunch of shots are fired
Santa Isabella is located west of
during the battle, someone of the French
Monterrey, in the state of Coahuila.
persuasion at The Fort is going to get wind
Most Mexicans remember it fondly as
of the salvagers’ presence. Even if the
the place where the Juaristas ambushed
fight is largely silent, maybe a prisoner in
a company of Legionnaires back in
The Fort has been spying on the salvage
1872 and massacred every single one of
operation all along, and tells his captors
them—nearly a hundred men—except
about it in return for his freedom. Maybe
for one Frenchman who lived to tell the
Los Hermanos hear about the salvage
tale.
operation from the charter captain (who
enjoys the protection of Los Hermanos Folks who go there don’t like the “feel”
for a nominal monthly fee). of the place, and claim that spooks lurk
there. In fact, it’s one big spook made up
The possibilities are endless. Suffice
of all the victims.
to say, Marshal, that even though the
heroes have $23,000 worth of treasure, The Massacre Spirit, composed of
getting it back home and spent requires the collective enraged souls of the
a series of tales all its own. They’ll have slaughtered Legionnaires, attacks any­
to smuggle or fight their way out of one who comes to town and stays too
Veracruz, then sail north through rough long.

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Massacre Spirit • Size +2: The Spirit stands about seven


The Massacre Spirit looks like a feet tall, and three feet wide.
huge, bloodied, bullet-riddled soldier • Undead: Toughness +2. +2 to recover
dressed in the tattered remains of a from Shaken. No additional damage
Legionnaire’s uniform. Its eyes glow from Called Shots. Immune to disease
with with supernatural anger, and its and poison. Does not suffer wound
features are twisted in rage. Many other, penalties.
smaller bodies seem to writhe within its • Weapons: Musket (10/20/40, 2d8, RoF
pale skin. 1, Shots 1, Reload 2 actions), heavy
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, saber (2d8). These weapons work
Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8 normally against most opponents, but
Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d10, deal double damage to Mexicans.
Shooting d10, Stealth d12, Taunt d10
Pace: 10; Parry: 7; Toughness: 10 The Obispado
Special Abilities:
Curse
• Battle Terror: The Massacre Spirit
can inspire in its foes the terror of Location: Monterrey
being ambushed and slaughtered. Most towns have plenty of children—
If the Spirit gets a Shaken result on underfoot, playing in the streets, running
an opponent in a Test of Will, that about. But not Monterrey. Those families
character loses 1 die type from all his that do keep their children close, and
Agility-linked skills for 1d6+1 rounds. hustle them indoors if strangers show
He is frantic with the fear of his own up.
death. This effect may only be used
When the Legionnaires kicked the
once on any given character in a single
Bishop out of the Obispado so they could
fight with the Massacre Spirit.
use it as a military headquarters, there
• Fear ­–2: The mere sight of the Massacre was a lot of anxiety and fear among
Spirit provokes Guts checks (–2) in all the faithful over the Legionnaires’
witnesses. desecration of the holy building. That
• Improved Dodge: Due to the Spirit’s fear was like porridge to the Reckoners—
wily quickness, all ranged attacks they lapped it up, and sent it back to
against it suffer a –2 penalty. Monterrey’s residents in the form of a
• Quick Draw: The Massacre Spirit terrible curse.
ignores the multi-action penalty for Ever since the Obispado incident,
drawing and firing a weapon in the all children born in the city have been
same round. malformed and sickly. They often don’t
even live beyond their sixth birthday;

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those who do become ugly in body
and soul. These obispiños are pure evil,
Aftermath
courtesy of the Reckoners. If any of the children are taken alive
and questioned, they hiss and snap like
animals. But they are children after all,
Wild Youth
and a successful Persuasion roll or Test
When they’re walking the streets of of Wills forces them to spill their guts.
Monterrey, the posse finds themselves They—or the evil spirits that possess
surrounded by a pack of dirty, fiendishly them—know plenty about how to lift the
deformed children wielding rusty Obispado Curse.
knives, cleavers, hooks, and other make­
The only way to lift it, they say, is to get
shift weapons. They hiss and snarl, then
the French Foreign Legion to apologize
rush to attack!
to the bishop sincerely and ask his for­
Obispiños (2 per hero) give­ness, give him back his residence,
Obispiños are wickedly malformed, and leave Monterrey altogether.
dirty little children with a look of pure Maybe your group enjoys a challenge;
demented joy about them. They’re hap­ maybe they chalk this one up and move
piest when they’re killing someone. on. It’s up to them to devise a way to
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit trick or convince the Legion to do what’s
d4, Strength d6, Vigor d6 required. It certainly shouldn’t be easy.
Although if the Emperor Maximillian
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d8,
owed them a favor for some reason…
Intimidation d4, Notice d6, Stealth d10
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5
Special Abilities:
• Bite: Str+d4.
• Fear: The sight of an obispiño is
unnerving and prompts a Guts check.
• Rusty Weapons: Str+d4+2. The
obispiños’ weapons are jagged and
rusty.

62
Encounters

The lands south o’ the border are no Bounties of $25–$50 (American) are
place for the faint of heart, but even often posted for prowler hides, and
wanderers with some grit to ’em might almost as often the would-be hunters
meet their maker if they don’t watch their don’t come back.
step. The abominations spawned from Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6 (A),
the legends of the Aztecs, the fireside Spirit d4, Strength d12, Vigor d8
tales of mestizos, and the collective fears Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d10,
of a nation ravaged by civil war are some Intimidation d6, Notice d6, Stealth d12
of the most fearsome ever to walk the
Pace: 10; Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (2)
earth.
Special Abilities:
• Armor +2: The barranca prowler has a
Creepy Critters scabrous, rocky hide.
• Bite/Claws: Str+d6, AP 2. The prowler
Barranca Prowler has razor-sharp, rock-hard teeth and
Travelers who’ve been lucky enough claws.
to survive a trip to northern Mexico’s • Camouflage: Ruddy, crusty growths
Copper Canyon area describe encounters cover the prowler from tip to tail, and
with a creature they call el gato del diablo— bits of canyon rock become embedded
the Devil’s cat. This fearsome beast looks in them over time, providing almost
like an emaciated, hairless, sabertooth perfect camouflage. The prowler gains
tiger, but one that’s covered from head +4 to Stealth rolls in its natural habitat
to tail with scabrous red growths exactly of Copper Canyon and environs.
resembling the cavern walls. Its favorite • Wall Walker: The barranca prowler
food, much to everbody’s dismay, is is rightly feared for its ability to easily
people. traverse Copper Canyon’s treacherous
The barranca prowler is a quiet and cliffs and trails. This ability works
quick hunter, using its appearance to only when the prowler is situated on
blend into the everpresent red rocks. Its solid rock—not wood, soil, or anything
formidable claws allow it to climb like a else.
mountain goat, in some cases scrabbling
right up the side of a sheer cliff face. Brimstone Man
The prowler’s favored tactic is to crouch Brimstone men (or hombres de azufre)
motionless until unsuspecting folks are black, humanoid creatures made of
get too close, snatch one in its claws, molten rock, covered with a network
and ascend the rock to a hidey-hole the of lava-oozing cracks. They attack with
victim’s friends can’t easily reach. Then their fiery touch, drawing people and
it’s lunchtime.

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animals into their form, where they are Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (2)
swiftly killed by the intense heat. Special Abilities:
Spawned by the fear of volcanic • Armor +2: The brimstone man’s form
eruptions near Mexico City, these beings of molten rock grants protection
have long stalked the slopes of the against all attacks.
volcanoes Popocatépetl and Itzacíhuatl, • Fear –2: The sight of a crackling,
terrorizing sulfur miners, shepherds, smoking brimstone man is terrifying.
and villagers. Aztec sorcerers call these
• Fiery Touch: Str+2d10, AP 4. Anyone
beings the Warriors of Xiuhtecuhtli, and
hit by a brimstone man’s fists must
have perfected methods of summoning
immediately roll a d6, and catches fire
them into the “cold world” to do the
on anything but a 1.
sorcerers’ bidding.
• Lava Form: The brimstone man’s
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit
form is constantly burning, giving
d6, Strength d10, Vigor d8
off poisonous chemicals and smoke.
Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation Anyone fighting the creature in a
d8, Notice d8, Stealth d10, Taunt d8, confined space must make a Vigor roll
Tracking d8

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S ou th o ’ the B order
each round or take 1 level of Fatigue. gonna fail the Guts check and wet his
A wet cloth over the mouth and nose trousers.
adds +2 to the roll. • Flight: Pace 15. Cihuateteo remain
• Weakness (Water): A brimstone man on their feet until their true nature
takes 3d8 damage for each canteen is revealed, then they start swoopin’
full of water that’s thrown on him. around and caterwaulin’ something
A bucket full of water increases the fierce.
damage to 3d12+2. Anyone adjacent • Inflict Disease/Deformity: On a
to the brimstone man when he gets successful Fighting roll, the cihuateteo
dunked takes 2d6 damage from can inflict a disease or deformity.
superheated steam. Unless the victim succeeds on a Spirit
• Coup: A deader who absorbs the roll (–2), roll a d6 to see which Hindrance
essence of the hombre de azufre gains she receives: 1 = Ailin’ (Minor), 2 = Bad
the Hell Fire Edge. Eyes, 3 = Hard of Hearing (Minor), 4 =
Ugly, 5 = One Eye, 6 = Lame. The only
Cihuateteo way to remove such a curse is to be
Cihuateteo resemble wan young sanctified by a blessed whose momma
women with long black hair, in head­ truly loved him.
dresses and long skirts. The hair pulls • Undead: Toughness +2. +2 to recover
aside to reveal a skull’s face with gaping from Shaken. No additional damage
black pits where eyes should be. The from Called Shots. Immune to disease
spirit’s flesh has the pallor and stink and poison.
of the grave, with horrifically sagging
• Weakness (Propitiation): Cihuateteo
breasts and prominent rib bones.
suffer –4 on Fighting rolls to harm
The spirits of women who died in those who have offered prayers to
childbirth, cihuateteo seek vengeance on them within the past 24 hours.
mankind. Filled with envy and hatred,
they try to harm humans, particularly Cipactli’s Brood
children and handsome men. They have The children of Cipactli, an Aztec
the power to inflict curses upon their myth brought to life by the Reckoning,
victims—diseases and deformities such resemble their parent but aren’t nearly as
as stroke, palsy, cataracts, deafness, fearsome (see page 45 for details of Cipactli
harelip, clubfoot, spasms, and similar herself). An aggressive abomination,
maladies. To keep them at bay, shrines to the brood are encountered across the
the cihuateteo dot the Mexican country­ southern half of Mexico—anywhere
side. People offer prayers to the spirits at there’s a stagnant lake or swamp.
these shrines, or at any crossroads, and Cipactli’s brood resemble a cross
thus placate the ghosts’ anger. between an extremely large crocodile
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, and a toad, though they show more of
Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8 their crocodilian side. Thousands of
Skills: Fighting d10, Notice d6 short, sharp spines, capable of delivering
Pace: 8; Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 a painful prick, cover much of their
Special Abilities: bodies. Lacking lower jaws, Cipactli’s
brood can only smash their bony upper
• Fear –2: Once a cihuateteo shows
teeth onto prey rather than bite them.
its face, you can bet some hombre’s
At each of the hideous thing’s joints is
a mouth, filled with sharp teeth, that

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constantly drips blood. Anyone close to Feathered serpents are accomplished
the creature is at risk of getting bitten by fliers. They use this ability to swoop
these hungry, snapping maws. down on prey (including humans) and
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit bite them with their poisonous fangs.
d8, Strength d12+4, Vigor d8 Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6 (A),
Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d12, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Notice d4, Swimming d8 Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 12 (2) Pace: 8; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6
Special Abilities: Special Abilities:
• Armor +2: Cipactli’s brood are pro­ • Bite: Str+d4.
tected by a tough, crocodilian hide. • Fear: A feathered serpent screeching
• Bite: Str+d10. from the sky is a shocking sight,
• Fear –2: Cipactli’s brood are huge and forcing a Guts check.
fearsome enough to inspire a Guts • Flight: Pace 10.
check. • Venom: Anyone bitten by a feathered
• Large: Attackers add +2 to attacks. serpent must immediately make a
• Ring o’ Mouths: Str. Vigor roll (–2), or take an additional
Every round as a free 2d6 damage each round for 5 rounds
action, the brood of from the creature’s deadly poison.
Cipactli makes a single
Fighting roll and applies
it to all adjacent enemies.
Figure damage separately for
each foe.
• Size +4: Cipactli’s brood are easily as
big as rhinos.
• Spines: Anyone punching,
brushing against, or touching
one of Cipactli’s brood (which
includes getting grap­pled by
one) suffers 1d6 damage per
round from the thing’s spiny
growths.
• Swimming: Pace 10.

Feathered Serpent
This fabulous beast of Mexico, the
nahualli of Quetzalcoatl, is a snake with Mictlan Owl
feathers. Along its head and spine, it has One of the reasons
blue-green feathers similar to those of the Aztecs regarded owls
the quetzal bird, for which it’s named. as incredibly bad omens and
The feathers taper down to a long tail. asso­ci­ated them with the god of death is
Along its underside it sports burnished, this creature. It looks like an unnaturally
reddish scales. large owl, its jet-black feathers tipped

66
S ou th o ’ the B order
with red, with a demonic gleam in its Stealthy as a whisper and quick
large yellow eyes. as lightning, these terrible spectres,
Its razor-sharp beak and claws are known as obsidian knife spirits, haunt
fear­some weapons in their own right, areas where sacrifices took place often
but the screech of the mictlan owl can (primarily Mexico City) and prey on
strike dead anyone who hears it! Luckily, people, especially those of Aztec descent.
there aren’t many of these creatures They only hunt at night, as sunlight is
around, and when they’re encountered the bane to their hateful existence.
they’re almost always alone. An obsidian knife spirit has a vaguely
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit humanoid shape, with oddly elongated
d4, Strength d6, Vigor d6 arms and legs that trail away into vapors
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d4, Stealth d6 and mist. It looks black and glassy, like
the obsidian knife that took its life, and
Pace: 2; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
its fingers are long, wickedly sharp, and
Special Abilities: made of the same material. Its eyes and
• Beak/Talons: Str+d6. mouth are barely visible depressions in
• Fear: There’s something just not right its otherwise featureless face.
about an owl that big, so anybody who Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6,
sees one had best roll Guts. Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
• Flight: Pace 10. Skills: Fighting d12, Intimidation d10,
• Low Light Vision: Mictlan owls are Notice d4, Stealth d12
nocturnal creatures. They ignore pen­ Pace: 10; Parry: 8; Toughness: 7
alties for Dim and Dark lighting. Special Abilities:
• Screech: Once every three rounds the • Aztec Death: Obsidian knife spirits
mictlan owl can loose a soul-rending get +1 on all Trait rolls made against
screech. Anyone within earshot must Aztec characters.
make a Vigor roll (–2). Those who
• Claws: Str+d6.
succeed take 2d6 damage, and those
who fail take 4d6 damage. • Fear –2: The knife spirit is a terrifying
foe and forces a Guts check.
• Weakness (Light): Bright light, even
that of a single lantern, disturbs • Flight: Pace 10.
and disorients mictlan owls. They’ll • Ethereal: Obsidian knife spirits are
usually flee such lights, but if extremely immaterial and can only be harmed by
hungry or cornered they can fight on magical attacks. They are able to pass
at –2 to all Trait rolls. through walls, sink into the ground,
and pass right through an hombre to
Obsidian Knife Spirit scare him.
Aztec tradition was always strongly • Undead: Toughness +2. +2 to recover
based on ritual sacrifice. Not all victims from Shaken. No additional damage
of the sacrificial knife went peacefully to from Called Shots. Immune to disease
the Aztec heavens. Some died promising and poison.
vengeance, with rage in their hearts. • Weakness (Aztec Fundaments):
Since the Reckoning, their phantoms Obsidian knife spirits can be harmed
have returned to plague the living, by weapons made of substances the
wishing to steal from men what was ancient Aztecs held dear: flint, gold,
taken from them so long ago. and jade.

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Piedras Gemiras Pace: 0; Parry: 2; Toughness: 15/20 (5)


Early Spanish settlers used Indian Special Abilities:
esclavos (slaves) to work their claims. In • Embedded: Armor +5. Some piedras
some places, you could pratically carpet gemiras are embedded in the sur­
the canyon floor with the bones of the rounding rock, some aren’t. Those that
Indians who’d died working the nearby are gain the extra protection against
silver mines. When the Reckoning damage.
began, the immense suffering that had • Emotional Onslaught: The terrible
seeped into the rocks was given a cruel psychic backlash of the moanin’ stones
form of life. The phenomenon is known affects any white folk within six yards
as piedras gemiras (“moanin’ stones”). (3”). Each round, the stone and the
Piedras gemiras are like emotional victim make an opposed Spirit roll.
quicksand—anyone who gets too close For every success and raise on the roll
runs the risk of being sucked into a scored by the stones, the victim suffers
quagmire of long-forgotten human a level of Fatigue. A victim who stuffs
misery and torment. The spirits of the his ears with cotton, wax, or a similar
Indians who died here in such despair substance gains +2 on the Spirit roll.
have been given a voice, and with it Victims Incapacitated by the onslaught
they lure victims with whom they fall unconscious for 2d6 hours. As
temporarily slake an unquenchable rage. soon as the victim begins to awaken,
Thing is, their powers only affect white the attack occurs again. Those unable
men, never Indians. to escape eventually die of starvation
Moanin’ stones do exactly that—emit a (see Savage Worlds).
sound like a man in agony. Anyone who • Size +3: Free-standing moanin’ stones
doesn’t know better is sure to investigate. are about the size of a large tree trunk,
Once that person gets within about six and ten feet tall.
yards of the rocks, an emotional backlash • Weakness (Dynamite): Piedras
hits him full-force. His mind is assaulted gemiras, while extremely tough,
by images of the esclavos’ suffering, tend to shatter when explosive force
almost like suffering it himself. is applied. Dynamite inflicts double
Some enterprising banditos have damage against moanin’ stones.
learned to take advantage of the stones’ • Weakness (Exorcism): A successful
powers. They plug their ears with wax, exorcism frees the tormented Indian
then wait near the moanin’ stones for souls from the stone.
curious victims to approach. Once the
poor sods fall unconscious, they rob and Serpiente Sangrienta
kill them. The waters and banks of the Rio
Piedras gemiras don’t have “stats,” Grande are stalked by an abomination
per se, but we’ve included the relevant that most folks can’t even describe—a
details below in a format that’s familiar cross between a boa constrictor, a lam­
to you. A significant amount of dynamite prey, and the Lernean hydra from Greek
is probably the most efficient way to deal mythology. Locals call it the serpiente
with piedras gemiras. sangrienta, and they avoid it like the
Attributes: Agility N/A, Smarts N/A, plague.
Spirit d12+2, Strength N/A, Vigor d12+8 Your average serpiente sangrienta has
Skills: — anywhere from two to 12 “tentacles,” each

68
S ou th o ’ the B order
up to six feet long and as thick around • Tentacle Swarm: A serpiente san­g ri­
as a man’s forearm. Each tentacle ends enta has 2d6 tentacles. It can bite with
in a lamprey-like mouth that can latch all of them each round, with no multi-
onto a victim, bore through his tender action penalty. Each tentacle has Reach
flesh, and suck blood. The tentacles all 1.
come together at one end to form a ropy,
pulsating body reminiscent of a snake’s, Tzitzimime
which is at least three feet long and holds These demons are some of the
the thing’s heart and brain. most horrible things an hombre will
Serpiente sangrientas prefer large be unlucky enough to set eyes upon.
prey—people, cattle, horses, or other They are skeletal humans with bloody
large animals—since they need a whole scraps of flesh still clinging to them, like
lot of blood to survive. They tend to hunt corpses half-devoured by vultures, but
at dawn and dusk, when animals come at every joint they have a tiny skeletal
to the river to drink. Victims drained of mouth and eyes. Their limbs end in
their precious bodily fluids are discarded fearsome claws, they have rattlesnakes
on the riverbank, where the ravages of for private parts, and they wear human
vultures and other scavengers make the hands for earrings. A glistening necklace
death appear accidental. Anyone who of alternating human hearts and hands
inspects a victim and succeeds on a completes the gruesome picture.
Healing roll knows better. According to Aztec legends, the
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, tzitzimime (“those who fell head-first”)
Spirit d4, Strength d10, Vigor d6 are female star-demons who will
descend to earth during the chaos of the
Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d6,
apocalypse to feast on all of mankind.
Notice d8, Swimming d12
Some tzitzimime took the Reckoning as
Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 5 an invitation to begin the feasting a little
Special Abilities: early. The Lords of the Obsidian Blade
• Aquatic: Swim 12. (see page 74) know special ceremonies
• Bite: d6, AP 2. If it hits with a raise, the and rituals to summon the tzitzimime
mouth latches on (treat as a Grapple) and loose them on the Lords’ hated
and begins draining blood. Each foes. Independent tzitzimime wander
round the mouth draws blood, the the earth looking to spread terror and
victim must roll Vigor (–2) or suffer collect human hearts—activities that
a level of Fatigue. A victim who is truly complement each other.
Incapacitated by this attack and suffers Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d8,
another Fatigue level dies. With bed Spirit d10, Strength d10, Vigor d10
rest, Fatigue levels due to blood loss Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d10,
are recovered at the rate of 1 per day. Notice d10, Stealth d8
• Constriction: The abomination’s ten­ Pace: 10; Parry: 7; Toughness: 7
tacles may be used to Grapple as well Special Abilities:
as bite, if the serpiente just wants to
• Claws: Str+d6.
crush a victim or hold her at bay.
• Fear –2: For sheer gruesomeness, the
• Fear: Serpiente sangrientas are
tzitzimime can’t be surpassed. Any­
un­natural and powerful creepy,
body who looks at one has got to roll
provoking a Guts check.
Guts (–2).

69
D eadlands T rail G uides
• Rattlesnake Privates: The rattlesnake • Skeletal Eyes: Thanks to its many sets
dangling between the demon’s legs of unblinking eyes, a tzitzimime can
can attack each round, biting for d4 see in all directions at once. It receives
damage, with no multi-action penalty. a +4 on Notice rolls.
The snake’s bite injects a deadly
poison. Victims must roll Vigor (–2) or Vinegaroon, Giant
fall into a coma that results in death in Ordinary scorpions can be painful
1d4 days. A Healing roll (–2) stops the pests, and sometimes deadly. The giant
poison’s progress. vinegaroon scorpions of northern
• Shapechanger: Tzitzimime can assume Mexico are always deadly, far too
the shape of any common animal as an dangerous to be considered pests, and
action. The transformation takes one always best avoided. Truly monstrous
round to complete. in size, and decidedly mean in spirit,
giant vinegaroons are fearless. They kill
• Skeletal Mouths: Str. In addition to
any men or animals they come across,
attacking with its claws, the tzitzimime
dragging them off to devour the meat in
may make one Fighting attack for its
enormous subterranean burrows.
tiny mouths against
each adjacent Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d4 (A),
foe, ignoring Spirit d4, Strength d12+4, Vigor d8
penalties. Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d6,
Notice d6
Pace: 8; Parry: 7; Toughness: 13 (2)
Special Abilities:
• Armor +2: The giant vinegaroon’s
thick carapace grants protection.
• Claws: Str+d8. A giant vinegaroon
typically uses its claws to Grapple
a victim, then follows up with a jab
of the stinger (Fighting +2 against a
Grappled enemy).

70
S ou th o ’ the B order
• Fearless: Too stupid to be afraid or marching, a red and blue kepi (brimmed
anything or anyone, giant vinegaroons cap) with a white puggaree (headcloth)
are immune to Fear and Intimidation. dangling from behind to keep the sun off
• Large: Attack rolls to hit a giant vine­ the head. In Mexico, many Legionnaires
garoon are made at +2. have adopted local garb, abandoning the
• Size +5: The giant vinegaroon grows greatcoat and exchanging the kepi for a
as large as a rhino. broad-brimmed sombrero.
• Sting: Str+d4. Anyone wounded by Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit
the vinegaroon’s sting must make a d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Vigor roll (–2) or immediately become Skills: Fighting d8, Gambling d6, Guts
Incapacitated (death follows in 1d4 d8, Intimidation d6, Knowledge (French,
minutes). A successful roll means Spanish) d4, Notice d8, Shooting d8,
the affected location is paralyzed Stealth d6
for 1d6 days (paralysis of the Guts or Charisma: –2; Pace: 6; Parry: 7;
Head means unconsciousness for the Toughness: 6
duration). Hindrances: Outsider (Foreign Legion),
Vow (Serve the Legion, protect France)
Edges: Block, Combat Reflexes,
Humans Marksman, Soldier
Gear: Minie rifle (24/48/96, 2d8,
Juarista RoF 1, Shots 2, AP 2), 50 rounds of
The Juaristas are a motley band of ammunition, uniform, canteen.
ex-farmers, bandits, and a rare soldier or
two who’ve joined the fight for Mexican Legionnaire, Veteran
freedom. They have no “uniform,” All Legionnaires are fearsome foes
instead wearing their old work clothes and cunning soldiers, but those who
or bits and pieces of uniforms they’ve have survived multiple campaigns are a
scrounged during raids. For the most cut above the rest. If ordered to by their
part they’re a rowdy lot, fond of drinking commanding officers, these men will
and partying. suffer any privations imaginable to come
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit out on top in a conflict. If you take away
d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6 their arms, they keep on fightin’ with
Skills: Fighting d6, Guts d6, Notice d6, their teeth.
Riding d6, Shooting d6, Tracking d6 Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; d10, Strength d8, Vigor d10
Toughness: 5 Skills: Fighting d10, Gambling d6,
Hindrances: Wanted (Minor) Guts d10, Intimidation d8, Knowledge
(French, Spanish) d6, Notice d8,
Edges: —
Shooting d10, Stealth d8, Survival d6
Gear: Spencer carbine .56 (20/40/80,
Charisma: –2; Grit: 4; Pace: 6; Parry: 9;
2d8, RoF 1, Shots 7, AP 2), 25 rounds of
Toughness: 7
ammunition, clothing, rations, canteen.
Hindrances: Outsider (Foreign Legion),
Legionnaire Vow (Serve the Legion, protect France)
The standard uniform of the French Edges: Combat Reflexes, Hard to Kill,
Foreign Legion is a blue greatcoat, with Improved Block, Marksman, Soldier,
the skirts usually buttoned back for True Grit

71
D eadlands T rail G uides
Gear: Minie rifle (24/48/96, 2d8, RoF 1, They just get in the way when you’re
Shots 2, AP 2), Bowie knife (Str+d4+1, riding through the jungles of the
AP 1), saber (Str+d6), 50 rounds of Yucatán. Instead, they have Tracking d6.
ammunition, uniform, canteen. Some old grunts might use the Veteran
Soldier profile in Deadlands Reloaded.
Mexican Soldier
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit
The French Foreign Legion only d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
accounts for about half of Mexico’s
Skills: Fighting d6, Guts d6, Notice d6,
military might. The other half of the
Shooting d6
picture are the homegrown soldados
Mejicanos. Thanks to Maximillian’s Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5;
prodigious wealth, Mexican soldiers are Toughness: 5
well-equipped, usually with American- Hindrances: Vow (Serve the Emperor)
made rifles. Mexican cavalry also carry Edges: Soldier
spear-like lances on horseback. Their Gear: Winchester ’73 (24/48/96, 2d8,
uniforms tend to be elaborate (bordering RoF 1, Shots 15, AP 2), lance (treat as
on gaudy), with different color patterns spear, only carried when mounted),
denoting particular battalions, com­pa­ 50 rounds of ammunition, uniform,
nies, or squads. rations, canteen, horse.
The rebel Porfiriatistas of southern
Mexico use the Mexican Soldier profile
too, but they almost never use lances.

72
S ou th o ’ the B order

Rurale San Patricio Battalion


The Policía Federal (Federal Police), Not all Americans fought the
more commonly know as “Rurales” for Mexicans loyally during the war. A
all the time they spend in the wilds, are group of them, about half of whom were
Mexico’s answer to the Texas Rangers. Irish, defected to the Mexican side and
Unlike their counterparts, until recently were formed into the San Patricio (St.
the Rurales didn’t know much about the Patrick) Battalion. After the war they
Reckoning and didn’t much care, since were captured and court-martialed for
no one specifically charged them with desertion. Those who were not shot or
seeking out abominations. Furthermore, hung were whipped, branded with a D,
Aztec conspirators close to the Emperor and turned loose.
used their influence to discourage These survivors now roam the bad­
Rurales from investigating any strange lands of the Confederacy and the
claims. With Emperor Maximillian’s northern half of Mexico, and Confederate
foundation of power fracturing by the attention to the War Between the States
day, curious Rurales are learning more has prevented anyone from going after
about the terrifying phenomena all them in force. Substantial rewards are
around them. offered for them, though.
A Rurale typically wears a large Mexi­ Although most of the San Patricios
can hat, a decorated jacket, and black are getting old, they’re tough from
pants with silver orn­a­ments along the years of living a life of banditry in the
sides. As dogged as any Texas Ranger, a wilderness. A few who died have come
Rurale makes a good ally or rival for a back Harrowed.
posse from up north. Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6,
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8 Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d10, Guts
Skills: Climbing d8, Fighting d8, d6, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Texas)
Guts d6, Intimidation d8, Knowledge d6, Notice d6, Riding d10, Shooting d10,
(English) d6, Knowledge (Mexico) d6, Tracking d6
Notice d6, Riding d8, Shooting d8, Charisma: –2; Grit: 3; Pace: 6; Parry: 7;
Stealth d8, Streetwise d6, Survival d6, Toughness: 6
Tracking d6
Hindrances: Outsider, Wanted
Charisma: +2; Grit: 4; Pace: 6; Parry: 6;
Edges: Combat Reflexes, Duelist, Nerves
Toughness: 7
of Steel, Quick Draw, True Grit.
Hindrances: Quirk (Intolerant of
Gear: Double barrel shotgun (12/24/48,
Texans), Vengeful (Minor), Vow (Enforce
1–3d6, RoF 1–2, Shots 2, Shooting +2),
the law in all of Mexico)
knife (Str+d4), Colt Army (12/24/48,
Edges: Connections (Mexican 2d6+1, RoF 1, Shots 6, AP 1).
Government), Dodge, Nerves of Steel,
Noble (Lawman), Quick Draw, Tough as Village Priest
Nails, True Grit In the majority of villages and towns,
Gear: Minie rifle (24/48/96, 2d8, RoF 1, the most influential person one’s likely
Shots 2, AP 2), Bowie knife (Str+d4+1, to meet is the local priest or friar. Look
AP 1), saber (Str+d6), 50 rounds of hard enough and you’ll find many a
ammunition, uniform, canteen. corrupt or apologist priest out there,
but for the most part a town’s padre is

73
D eadlands T rail G uides
a simple, devout man who believes in beings force nature spirits to power the
God and wants nothing more than to sorcerer’s unholy rites. Nature spirits
help his flock through the travails of life. used in this way are usually corrupted
Priests wield considerable influence and into new manitous or destroyed. Since
connections all over Mexico; your posse their powers are (indirectly) provided
couldn’t ask for a better ally—or worse by nature spirits, Aztecs may only use
enemy. (For padres who are honest-to- powers to which shamans normally have
goodness blessed, use the Blessed stats access (Xitlan being the conspicuous
found in Deadlands Reloaded.) exception).
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit
Xitlan
d10, Strength d6, Vigor d6
His people refer to Xitlan as the
Skills: Climbing d8, Guts d10,
Green Feather Emperor—a decidedly
Intimidation d6, Knowledge (Latin) d6,
gentle and artistic-sounding title for
Knowledge (Theology) d6, Notice d6,
one so versed in the arts of black magic,
Persuasion d6, Riding d8, Shooting d8,
sorcery, violence, and death.
Swimming d8
Xitlan has the skin tone and typical
Charisma: +2; Pace: 6; Parry: 2;
facial structure of a pure-blooded
Toughness: 5
Aztec of early middle age, yet he gives
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Pacifist the impression of being older than he
(Minor), Vow (Minister to his flock) seems. His whole body appears dry and
Edges: Charismatic, Noble (Priest), Tale dessicated close up, but not so withered
Teller that anyone would recognize Xitlan as
Gear: Crucifix, Bible, prayer beads. not entirely alive. However, anyone who
watches him closely for a few minutes
may notice that he doesn’t seem to
Lords of the breathe.
Obsidian Blade He usually wears the simple garb of a
lowly Aztec priest.
Xitlan and his followers in the Secret Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit
Empire have infiltrated every level d12+2, Strength d10, Vigor d10
of Mexican society as servants. His Skills: Climbing d8, Fighting d8, Guts
power now encompasses not only the d10, Healing d12+2, Intimidation d12,
thousands of pure-bloded Aztecs living Knowledge (Battle, Occult) d12+2,
in hidden valleys throughout Mexico, but Notice d10, Persuasion d10, Shooting
also a passel of well-placed spies. Xitlan, d8, Stealth d10, Survival d10, Taunt
three of the most prominent Lords, and d8, Throwing d10, Tracking d8, Tribal
other members of his secretive cabal are Medicine d12+2
detailed below.
Charisma: +2; Grit: 5; Pace: 6; Parry: 6;
Aztec sorcerers use the black magic Toughness: 11
equivalent of Arcane Background
Hindrances: Arrogant, Charismatic,
(Shamanism). This means they don’t
Intolerance (“Spaniards”), Vengeful
get their powers directly from the Aztec
(Major), Vow (Retake Mexico for the
“gods” (which are extremely potent
Aztecs)
nature spirits). Instead the Aztecs
call upon manitous, and those evil

74
S ou th o ’ the B order
Edges: Command, Connections
(Secret Empire), Fervor,
Followers, Hold the Line!,
Improved Tough as Nails,
Inspire, Knack (Seventh Son),
Master (Healing, Knowledges,
Spirit, Tribal Medicine), Natural
Leader, No Mercy, Reputation,
Snakeoil Salesman, Strong
Willed, Unholy Warrior
Special Abilities:
• Black Magic: Xitlan knows
every power in Deadlands
Reloaded. Power Points: 50
• Fearless: Xitlan banished his
own dread long ago. He is
immune to Fear and Intimi­
dation.
• Mastery of the Undead:
Xitlan can create, control, and
destroy undead. He creates
them with his zombie power,
but he can use that power to
create other types of undead
than walkin’ dead—he can
make a corpse come back
Harrowed or as a walkin’ dead
or nosferatu (see Deadlands
Reloaded), for example. He
can exert absolute control and
dominance over a number of
undead equal to his Spirit (i.e.,
14). Others he must control
through powers, persuasion,
or force. Harrowed heroes can
make an opposed Spirit roll
to resist control, but Xitlan
receives +4 on the roll. Xitlan’s
bolt power does base 2d10
damage to undead (rather Four Jaguar
than 2d6), or 3d10 for double Power Four Jaguar is the most physically
Points. powerful of the Lords, and he’s a
• Undead: Toughness +2. +2 to recover huge bear of a man. Ruler of an Aztec
from Shaken. No additional damage community located in a valley in
from Called Shots. Immune to disease western Mexico, Four Jaguar is a chief,
and poison. Does not suffer wound and he’s the son of chiefs who came
penalties.

75
D eadlands T rail G uides
before. Since his earliest days his family especially the lesser Lord Nine Lizard. It
has filled his head with tales of the brave inspired in him a jealous, overpowering
deeds of his ancestors, and the cruelty of hatred.
the Spaniards who slaughtered them. He After years of plotting, Nine Lizard’s
has been raised to hate white men with a machinations resulted in the bloody
passion, and he always looks forward to sacrifice of his rival in 1879. Given
the next opportunity to kill a few of them. that Xitlan himself distrusted Twelve
He yearns for the day when he can meet Motion’s popularity, it should come
the Spaniards in open battle and split as no surprise that the Green Feather
their bodies in two with his enormous Emperor’s bodyguards delivered the
two-handed macahuitl (obsidian sword). killing blows.
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d6, Nine Lizard is now ruler of his Aztec
Spirit d10, Strength d12+1, Vigor d8 farming community, which is hidden in
Skills: Fighting d12+1, Guts d10, the forests of a remote stretch of coast
Intimidation d10, Knowledge (Occult) near Guadalajara. He serves Xipe Totec,
d6, Knowledge (Poison) d6, Notice d6, the Flayed One, the Aztec god of spring
Persuasion d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d12, and renewal. His people also venerate
Streetwise d6, Tribal Medicine d8 Xipe and engage in rituals to satiate
Charisma: –4; Grit: 5; Pace: 6; Parry: 10; him. The villagers capture a few hapless
Toughness: 9 travelers each month, and then flay them
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, alive as sacrifices.
Overconfident, Quirk (Intolerant of Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8,
“Spaniards”), Vow (Retake Mexico for Spirit d12, Strength d8, Vigor d8
the Aztecs) Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d10,
Edges: Arcane Background (Black Guts d12, Intimidation d8, Knowledge
Magic), Brawny, Combat Reflexes, (English) d6, Knowledge (Farming) d8,
Command, Fervor, First Strike, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Knowledge
Improved Block, Improved Tough as (Spanish) d6, Notice d8, Persuasion
Nails, Level Headed, Natural Leader, d10, Stealth d10, Throwing d10, Tribal
New Powers, Power Points, Professional Medicine d12
(Fighting) Charisma: +2; Grit: 5; Pace: 6; Parry: 7;
Powers: Armor (cloak of evil), beast Toughness: 6
friend, boost/lower trait (blood sacrifice), Hindrances: Enemy (Major, Priests
fear, smite, speed (jaguar’s swiftness), of Quetzalcoatl), Quirk (Intolerant of
vision quest. Power Points: 20 “Spaniards”), Vow (Retake Mexico for
Gear: Two-handed obsidian sword the Aztecs)
(Str+d10), knife (Str+d4). Edges: Arcane Background (Black
Magic), Charismatic, Command, Danger
Nine Lizard Sense, Dodge, New Powers, Power
Nine Lizard’s predecessor, a Points, Snakeoil Salesman
Lord named Twelve Motion, was tall, Powers: Armor, beast friend, boost/lower
strong, knowledgable, and wise—so trait, quickness, speed, wilderness walk.
much so he was routinely compared to Power Points: 25
Nezahualcoyotl, a philosopher-king of
Gear: Nine Lizard normally wears a
old. Needless to say Twelve Motion’s
simple cotton loincloth, with just a few
magnificence was an inspiration to all,
other items indicating his status as

76
S ou th o ’ the B order
priest and ruler. After a sacrifice to the Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10,
Flayed One, he wears a bloody human Spirit d12, Strength d6, Vigor d6
skin as a head-to-toe garment until it Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d6,
rots away. Guts d12, Intimidation d8, Knowledge
(Aztecs) d8, Knowledge (Occult) d10,
Seven Vulture
Knowledge (Spanish) d8, Notice d10,
Seven Vulture is a scrawny, crafty Stealth d8, Survival d8, Taunt d6,
old man who’s seen more years than Throwing d8, Tribal Medicine d12
any Aztec save Xitlan himself. He and
Charisma: +2; Grit: 5; Pace: 6; Parry: 5;
his people, many of whom are skilled
Toughness: 5
craftsmen and obsidian workers, live
in Chicometlacalli, a network of caves Hindrances: Arrogant, Enemy
in an almost inaccessible canyon in the (Major, Priests of Quetzalcoatl), Quirk
northwestern part of the central plateau (Intolerant of “Spaniards”), Quirk
of Mexico. (Yearns to cheat death)
Seven Vulture’s patron god is Edges: Arcane Background (Black
Mictlantecuhtli, god of the dead (in Magic), Charismatic, Command,
actuality the Reckoner known as Death). Damned, New Powers, Power Points,
The priest serves as chief of all major Reputation, Strong Willed
ceremonies at the hidden temple of Powers: Aim, armor, boost/lower trait,
Mictlantecuhtli, which the Secret Empire burrow, deflection, detect/conceal arcana,
maintains in the northern desert. Death dispel, environmental protection, exorcism,
and dying obsess Seven Vulture, so he fear, healing, mind rider, sanctify, shape
siezes any opportunity to study them. It change (all Ranks), smite, speed, teleport,
would comfort him greatly to know that vision quest, windstorm. Power Points: 35
Death plans to return him Harrowed Gear: Ceremonial robes, dagger
after his demise. (Str+d4).
Though he’s a skilled priest and
devout worshipper of Mictlantecuhtli, Juan, aka Eight Rabbit
Seven Vulture only pays lip service Marshal Achille Bazain chose
to the notion and goals of the Secret Juan as a bodyguard not only for his
Empire. To his pragmatic mind, the idea intimidating size and demeanor, but
of taking on the Spaniards is folly, and also because he speaks Spanish and
will only lead to more suffering among Indian languages. He often translates
the Aztecs. He’s content to remain where for the Marshal. In addition, he helps
he is, ruling his own little domain with Bazain keep tabs on Santa Anna’s
as little regard for the outside world as advisor Xitlan—or so Bazain thinks. In
possible. fact, Juan’s real name is Eight Rabbit,
an Aztec warrior devoted to the cause
Seven Vulture lives up to his name—
of the Lords of the Obsidian Blade. He
he looks like a scrawny old vulture all
spies on Bazain for the Lords and feeds
dressed up to go to a costume party. He’s
the marshal false information.
bald, with pale skin from years of living
in a cave. He wears the elaborate robes Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d6,
of an Aztec ruler, or the skull-and-bones Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
regalia of Mictlantecuhtli, depending Skills: Climbing d12, Fighting d12+1,
upon the venue. Guts d6, Intimidation d8, Notice d10,

77
D eadlands T rail G uides
Riding d12, Shooting d10, Stealth d12+1, Powers: Boost/lower trait, deflection, smite.
Survival d6, Swimming d10, Taunt d6 Power Points: 10.
Charisma: –4; Grit: 4; Pace: 8; Parry: 8; Gear: Ceremonial knife (Str+d4).
Toughness: 7
Aztec Warrior
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Quirk
(Intolerant of non-Aztecs), Vow (Retake Aztec warriors do whatever it takes to
Mexico for the Aztecs) get the job done, and the job is usually
killin’. These fierce fighters are found
Edges: Alertness, Brawny, Dodge, Fleet-
in hidden Aztec villages throughout
Footed, Harder to Kill, Strong Willed,
Mexico, or hiding in plain sight as
Tough as Nails
servants and other members of the lower
Gear: Bow (12/24/48, 2d6, RoF 1, Shots social classes.
1), 15 arrows, knife (Str+d4).
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit
Aztec Sorcerer d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
In his plot to subjugate all of Skills: Fighting d10, Guts d6,
Mexico, Xitlan uses only the most Intimidation d6, Knowledge (Poison) d6,
ruthless, highly-trained killers as his Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Shooting d8,
most trusted bodyguards and assassins. Stealth d8, Streetwise d6
These servants receive extensive martial Charisma: –4; Pace: 6; Parry: 7;
training, and are taught underhanded Toughness: 6
techniques to blend into Mexican society Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Vow (Retake
until they are needed. Not only that, their Mexico for the Aztecs)
descent gives them innate resistance Edges: Arcane Resistance, Level
to arcane powers. Many of them have Headed, Two-Fisted
been placed at critical positions in the Gear: Ceremonial knife (Str+d4),
Mexican government’s hierarchy, so obsidian sword (Str+d6).
that Xitlan’s eventual coup will go off
without a hitch.
Aztec sorcerers use their wits to trick Famous Folks
enemies into undoing themselves. If that
fails, they cut loose with lethal black Charles Bascomb
magic.
Former Mexican correspondent
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, for the Tombstone Epitaph Charles
Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6 Bascomb is, in his own words, “a man
Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d6, of no real profession or qualification.”
Intimidation d4, Knowledge (Poison) The heir of affluent Bostonites (and a
d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d8, Shooting former school chum of Lacy O’Malley),
d6, Stealth d8, Streetwise d8, Tribal Charles Bascomb spent years traveling
Medicine d8 the world as a dilettante with his
Charisma: –4; Grit: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; manservant, Henson, amassing a wealth
Toughness: 5 of knowledge concerning far-flung
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Vow (Retake locales. He also learned the secret art of
Mexico for the Aztecs) hucksterism, as handed down in Hoyle’s
Edges: Arcane Background (Black Book of Games. The history, customs, and
Magic), Improved Arcane Resistance, culture of Mexico occupy a special place
Level Headed in his heart, making it his home away

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S ou th o ’ the B order
from home. Since he was thrown into Gear: Colt Revolving Rifle .56 (24/48/96,
The Fort at Veracruz (see page 25), it’s his 2d8, RoF 1, Shots 5, AP 2, Reload 2),
permanent residence. cavalry saber (Str+d6), Colt Navy .36
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, (12/24/48, 2d6, RoF 1, Shots 6, AP 1), 20
Spirit d8, Strength d4, Vigor d6 rounds for each gun, dress uniform.
Skills: Gambling d6, Guts d6, “One-Eyed Rafael” Velasco-
Knowledge (Aztecs) d6, Knowledge
Burgos
(Mexico) d8, Knowledge (Occult) d6,
The bullet that took Rafael Velasco-
Notice d6, Spellcasting d10, Shooting d4,
Burgos’ eye did more than that—it killed
Taunt d6
him. But not for long! The flying lead
Charisma: –1; Grit: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 2; didn’t tear up his thinker too much, so
Toughness: 5 after a few days of nighmarish visions
Hindrances: Curious, Habit (Shuffles he came back Harrowed. The way he
cards constantly), Wanted (Minor) tells the story, he woke up after the battle
Edges: Arcane Background (Magic), and stumbled into a village where the
Filthy Rich, Power Points campesinos nursed him back to health.
Powers: Bolt, boost/lower trait, deflection. Sadly, the village was “destroyed by the
Power Points: 15. French” shortly after he left. (In reality,
Gear: Usually Hoyle’s Book of Games, and Velasco-Burgos killed every man,
some playing cards. Currently none. woman, and child, then burned the
town so no one would ever speak of his
Marshal Achille Bazain return.) Unfortunately for him, he didn’t
A Frenchman, Achille Bazain may finish the job, and some of the survivors
dress like a court dandy but underneath are still looking for revenge.
he’s made of iron and vinegar. Although Velasco-Burgos and his manitou get
he’s over 60 and has spent much of his life along just fine. He doesn’t mind going
in the field leading troops, the Marshal along with the ideas it whispers in his
has barely slowed down. He brooks no mind from time to time. He plans to
disrespect or disobedience and doesn’t stick close to General Díaz until he feels
give ground to anyone but the Emperor the time is ripe, then kill him and take
Maximillian. Bazain’s biggest soft spot is over his position as el jefe.
his devotion to his young wife, Soledad, Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit
who he left back in Paris. d8, Strength d12, Vigor d12
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d10,
Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6 Gambling d6, Guts d8, Intimidation
Skills: Fighting d10, Guts d6, d10, Knowledge (Battle) d8, Knowledge
Intimidation d12, Knowledge (Battle) (English) d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d8,
d6, Notice d10, Persuasion d10, Shooting Shooting d10, Stealth d10, Survival d6,
d10, Swimming d10, Taunt d6 Swimming d10, Taunt d6, Throwing d8,
Charisma: +2; Grit: 3; Pace: 5; Parry: 7; Tracking d8
Toughness: 5 Charisma: –2; Grit: 6; Pace: 6; Parry: 7;
Hindrances: Elderly, Outsider, Quirk Toughness: 11
(Intolerant of Mexicans), Vow (to the Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Enemy
Emperor) (Major, massacre survivors), Grim
Edges: Charismatic, Command, Dodge, Servant o’ Death, Mean, Vengeful
Inspire, Strong-Willed, True Grit (Major)

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D eadlands T rail G uides
Edges: Berserk, Brawny, Command, Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6,
Implacable, Improved Tough as Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Nails, Nerves of Steel, Strong Willed, Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d12, Guts
Supernatural Attribute (Vigor), Tale d8, Intimidation d12, Knowledge (Battle)
Teller d6, Notice d10, Shooting d12, Stealth
Gear: Winchester ’73 (24/48/96, 2d8, d10, Streetwise d6, Survival d6
RoF 1, Shots 15, AP 2), Colt Dragoon Charisma: 0; Grit: 5; Pace: 8; Parry: 8;
(12/24/48, 2d6+1, RoF 1, Shots 6, AP 1), Toughness: 7
Bowie knife (Str+d4+1, AP 1), 30 rounds Hindrances: Loyal, Outsider, Quirk
of ammunition for each gun, 50 feet of (Intolerant of Mexicans), Vow (to protect
rope. the Marshal)
Special Abilities: Edges: Combat Reflexes, Fleet-Footed,
• Harrowed: Grit +1. Needs 1d6 hours of Harder to Kill, Improved Dodge, Level-
sleep per night. Only a head-shot can Headed, Tough as Nails, True Grit
kill. “Death” only puts the Harrowed Gear: Colt Peacemaker single-action
down for 1d6 days. Immune to poison (12/24/48, 2d6+1, RoF 1, Shots 6, AP 1),
and disease. knife (Str+d4), 20 rounds ammunition,
Corporal duMont uniform.
DuMont is a veteran of the French El Escorpión
Foreign Legion. He’s got the scars to The feared bandit leader El
prove he’s been in plenty of fights, and Escorpión is the scourge of the northern
his skin has the sunburned, rawhide deserts. He adopted the scorpion as his
look of a man who’s used to the great namesake due to an encounter he once
outdoors. had with a giant vinegaroon. He claims

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S ou th o ’ the B order
the beast stung him repeatedly, but he Charisma: +2; Grit: 3; Pace: 6; Parry: 2;
was immune to its venom. He even has Toughness: 5
the scars to prove it! Hindrances: Enemy (the French, Santa
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d6, Anna), Heroic, Vow (Free Mexico from
Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d10 invaders)
Skills: Fighting d12, Gambling d6, Edges: Command, Connections, Dodge,
Guts d6, Intimidation d10, Knowledge Fervor, Natural Leader, Reputation
(English) d6, Knowledge (Northern Gear: Winchester ‘73 (24/48/96, 2d8,
Mexico) d6, Riding d12, Shooting d12+1, RoF 1, Shots 15, AP 2), Colt Peacemaker
Stealth d12, Survival d8, Swimming d12, double-action (12/24/48, 2d6+1, RoF 1,
Taunt d6, Throwing d12, Tracking d8 Shots 6, AP 1), 50 rounds ammo for each
Charisma: –4; Grit: 3; Pace: 8; Parry: 8; gun, riding horse.
Toughness: 8
Minister Jesús Flores y
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Vengeful
(Major), Wanted (Major) Maceda
Jesús Flores y Maceda serves Emperor
Edges: Fleet-Footed, Nerves of Steel,
Maximillian as a troubleshooter and
Quick Draw, Professional (Shooting),
spy. These days he spends most of his
Strong Willed, Tough as Nails
time scouting rebel forces and troop
Gear: Bullard Express rifle (24/48/96, movements, as well as keeping a close
2d10, RoF 1, Shots 11, AP 2, Min. Str eye on the Confederate border. He uses a
d8), Colt Frontier (12/24/48, 2d6, RoF steam wagon to get around quickly.
1, Shots 6, AP 1), 40 rounds for each
Flores y Maceda has been investigating
weapon, knife (Str+d4), rope, horse.
Xitlan and his activities for several years
Benito Juarez now. He still lacks any hard evidence of
Juarez is just about the only hero the sorcerer’s activities, but has spoken
in Mexico these days. He’s not a foreign to enough witnesses to know Xitlan is up
invader, like Maximillian arid his French to no good. He’d make a great ally for a
soldiers; he’s not a potential demagogue posse in dire need of friends.
harboring dreams of revenge, like Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8,
the oft-deposed Santa Anna; he’s not Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
seeking power for its own sake, like Skills: Climbing d8, Driving d10,
Diaz. He’s just a man with a vision of Fighting d10, Gambling d8, Guts d6,
equal treatment for everyone, high and Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle)
low alike, in a modern and democratic d12, Knowledge (French, Spanish)
Mexico. He’s tired of seeing his people d6, Knowledge (Mexico, Southern
trod upon by foreign invaders, the California) d6, Notice d12, Persuasion
wealthy, and other exploiters. d8, Riding d10, Shooting d10, Streetwise
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Survival d8, Throwing d8, Tracking
d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6 d12
Skills: Climbing d8, Guts d8, Charisma: 0; Grit: 4; Pace: 8; Parry: 7;
Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Law) d8, Toughness: 6
Knowledge (Mexico) d8, Notice d8, Hindrances: Cautious, Curious, Quirk
Persuasion d10, Riding d8, Shooting d8, (Intolerant of Texans), Vengeful (Minor)
Stealth d8, Survival d10, Tracking d8

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D eadlands T rail G uides
Edges: Command, Dodge, Fleet-Footed, to the Reckoners’ service. Anticipating
Level Headed, Marksman, Nerves of Mexican attacks on the Confederacy as
Steel, Rich, Scout, Wilderness Man a result of the current unrest, the Court
Gear: Winchester ’73 (24/48/96, 2d8, has advised Willette to stay exactly
RoF 1, Shots 15, AP 2), double-action where he is—in Bazain’s inner circle,
Colt Peacemaker (12/24/48, 2d6, RoF 1, gathering information on French and
Shots 6, AP 1), 50 rounds for each gun, Mexican intentions.
Bowie knife (Str+d4+1, AP 1), rope, Willette has long suspected that
steam wagon, two weeks’ rations, 128 “Juan,” the Marshal’s bodyguard, is
pesos, $78 Union scrip, $157 Confederate more than he appears to be. He remains
scrip. suspicious of Xitlan. Kept busy by his
cover job, his mission for the Court,
Corporal Willette and the renewed civil war, he has been
Marshal Achille Bazain’s aide- unable to investigate either of these men
de-camp is named Willette, though more closely.
no one knows his first name. A former Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10,
Legionnaire, Willette is a quiet and sober Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8
man called “the Padre” by the soldiers
Skills: Climbing d8, Fighting d8,
because he looks just like a Mexican friar.
Gambling d10, Guts d8, Knowledge
Unknown to Marshal Bazain, the ever- (Battle) d10, Knowledge (French) d10,
efficient Corporal Willette has loyalties Knowledge (Occult) d10, Knowledge
other than France. Specifically, he is an (Spanish) d10, Persuasion d10, Riding
eighth level initiate of the Royal Court, d8, Shooting d8, Spellcasting d10,
a secretive group of hucksters devoted Stealth d8

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S ou th o ’ the B order
Charisma: 0; Grit: 5; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Charisma: –2; Grit: 5; Pace: 8; Parry: 8;
Toughness: 6 Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Cautious, Greedy (Minor), Hindrances: Mean, Vengeful (Major),
Quirk (Randy) Vow (Major, conquer all of Mexico)
Edges: Arcane Background (Magic), Edges: Combat Reflexes, Command,
Card Sharp, Connections (Royal Court), Fleet Footed, Improved Hip-Shooting,
Dealer’s Choice, Dodge, Improved High Inspire, Marksman, Quick Draw,
Roller, New Powers, Old Hand, Power Reputation, Speed Load, Steady Hands,
Points, Quick, Quick Draw, Snakeoil True Grit
Salesman Gear: Winchester ‘73 (24/48/96, 2d8,
Powers: Boost/lower trait, bolt, healing, RoF 1, Shots 15, AP 2), Colt Peacemaker
hunch, mind rider, telekinesis, trinkets. single-action (12/24/48, 2d6+1, RoF 1,
Power Points: 20 Shots 6, AP 1), cavalry saber (Str+d6),
Gear: Winchester ’73 (24/48/96, 2d8, RoF Mexican army uniform, riding horse.
1, Shots 15, AP 2), Derringer (5/10/20,
2d6, RoF 1, Shots 2, AP 1), 10 extra
rounds for each weapon, friar’s robes,
Hoyle’s Book of Games.

General Porfirio Diaz, “The


Phantom General”
Diaz himself has been around Mexican
politics as long as Benito Juarez. He’s
a mestizo who was born in Oaxaca way
back in 1830. Like Juarez, he first studied
in the seminary, then left it to attend
law school. However, unlike the Juarista
leader he never completed his legal
training, instead opting for a military
career.
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6,
Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d12, Guts d6,
Intimidation d12, Knowledge (Battle)
d8, Notice d8, Riding d12+1, Shooting
d10, Stealth d12, Survival d8, Swimming
d12, Taunt d6, Tracking d8

83