Deadlands Reloaded: The Righteous, The Rough, and The Clever
The Reverend Ezekiah Grimme was the first to start sorting people out after the Great Quake, and a movement grew up around him until finally it became a full-blown church. A mighty settlement was begun, and it grew into the most influential burg in the Great Maze—the city of Lost Angels.
The city was built in concentric circles according to Grimme’s heavenly inspiration, and situated at the convergence of the three major channels of the Maze with the Pacific Ocean—a location of enormous strategic importance and prime real estate for a rail depot. Add to that a fanatically loyal population of true believers, and you’ve got a recipe for pure power. Grimme’s never been shy about flexing his muscles.
Lost Angels is by far the Maze’s most active port, shipping over half of the fundament that leaves the region annually and taxing it heavily. Yet despite its prosperity, and the fact that its inhabitants are undoubtedly better off than the rest of the Maze where sustenance is concerned, there’s an aura of sin and debauchery that clings to Lost Angels like a tick to warm skin.
Perhaps it’s the odd set of laws, which allow murder and require residents to be members of the Church of Lost Angels, but what should be a beacon of hope feels more like a prison. Visitors are wise to mind their Ps and Qs, lest they receive a visit from the Guardian Angels, the city’s red-robed police force.
Cross the Church of Lost Angels and you might get hauled before one of the Archangels—that’s what they call judges. Make a real nuisance of yourself and you could end up in a cell in Rock Island Prison, the city’s maximum security jail in Prosperity Bay. Nobody comes back from The Rock.
Some Brothers and Sisters of the Church tell tales of actual angels in their midst. The heavenly entities appear somewhat shabby but penitent, and are said to have joined Grimme’s holy crusade in an attempt to redeem themselves. Far be it from this publication to exhibit skepticism, but no one has yet been found who will testify to having seen an angel with his own eyes.
The Angel of Death’s existence, on the other hand, is a proven fact. The mysterious leader of the Guardian Angels is the only one who wears a black cowl and robes, and his presence earns immediate respect from all Brothers and Sisters of the Church—even Grimme himself. The story is often told of how the Angel of Death once sprouted black wings to carry a sinner into the night sky, and a red rain of blood fell on the believers below.
The biggest thing Lost Angels gives its flock is sustenance. Every Sunday there’s a feast at the cathedral, all the church’s faithful get their bellies filled with stew, and they chalk it up to Grimme’s generosity and good works. That’s a pretty powerful statement in a land racked with hunger, and the people are willing to put up with a lot in return for the promise of regular meals. (The Tombstone Epitaph Vol. 1 No. 24 Sept. 5th 1879)