Deadlands Reloaded: Lost in the Maze
The Southern Maze
The immediate vicinity of Lost Angels is one of the busiest places in the Maze. Amongst the neverending parade of freighters and ironclads steaming back and forth from the Pacific, there are a number of strange attractions within a days’ travel from Lost Angels.
The city of Progress, located due north of the city, is run entirely by “new scientists.” A few months back one Hiram J. McGillicuddy founded a “steamboat safari” business that allows paying customers to shoot varmints out in the Maze from the safety of an ironclad vessel.
So far there have been no casualties (except for critters), and the trip has received glowing reviews from hombres who fancy themselves big-game hunters. Flushed with success, Hiram McGillicuddy is looking for investors—and a suitable town near the Mojave Desert—for an expansion into the “steam wagon safari” business.
Van Horn’s Light
Van Horn’s Light, an old lighthouse situated on a mesa top due west of Progress, has been the site of repeated odd events. Built by one Maarten Van Horn back in 1870, the lighthouse still functions erratically, as it seems to be rigged with some sort of timer. Some nights it lights up, and others not at all.
These days the mining town named for the lighthouse is the mesa’s main attraction, as Van Horn died penniless in ’74. Rumors persist that the lighthouse shelters a ghostly presence, but if there is one it failed to manifest for this reporter.
Make sure you charter a boat out to Serpent Cove for the day. The town of Dragonhold (formerly Pete’s Perch) is where you buy tickets for one of the area’s oddest attractions—a captive Maze dragon. These massive, serpent-like creatures inhabit the channels of the Maze, and are accepted as natural (if a little dangerous). At Serpent Cove they’ve got a real live Maze dragon on display! For $1 a head you can sail right into the creature’s lair and toss fish into the toothy maw of this “Misunderstood Leviathan of the Deep.”
The ruins of San Diego, sunk under thirty feet of water by the Great Quake, are less than a day south of Lost Angels. Salvagers are always active there—most notably Wang Mo Salvage and Blumquist Recovery, Ltd.—dredging valuable relics out of the old city on a regular basis. Some of them hire freelancers for protection, and they pay well for those services.
Take great care when traveling this region, and take stock of the risks before you hire on with a salvage company. The Mexican Navy uses the area as a rendezvous and resupply point, so its Maze runners and gunboats are constantly on the prowl. To the south a pall of smoke stains the sky over Mexicali, where factories are hard at work manufacturing weapons for Santa Anna’s army.
Worst of all, salvagers and soldiers alike have reported recent encounters with “fish men.” These scaly, razortoothed, web-footed beasts are said to swarm up from the undersides of ships, dragging hapless sailors into the churning water. The horrors give away their presence with a pungent stench like rotten fish and ammonia.