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Demons of Eden

Modified on 2012/04/25 23:06 by Kerrick Categorized as Books, Deathlands
   Nothing lives long.
   Only the earth and the mountains.

   Death song of White Antelope,
   Cheyenne war chief

   As the story begins, the companions are scouting a camp belonging to a group of Red Cadre. The pirates have a couple prisoners, one of whom is still alive, so Ryan decides to ride down, kill them all, and free her. After doing so, they find out the woman, Felicity, is from Amicus, which is where they're going. Along with the spoils, they find a map written in French pointing to someplace in Yellowstone.
   More pirates show up, so they take the prairie schooner because it's faster than the horses, but when the wind dies, they're forced to flee on foot. They make it to Amicus safely, where they meet Mose Autry, the local innkeeper and defacto mayor. He puts them up for the night.
   The next morning, the Red Cadre have blocked off the only access to Amicus, and Hatchet Jack, the leader demands a meeting with Ryan. He proposes an exchange - the body of Felicity's husband, which the companions left behind on the schooner, for Jack's map. Ryan refuses; Jack tries to kill him, but he's forced to flee when Ryan's friends show up.
   After that, it's war - Jack won't rest until Ryan is dead and the map is back in his hands. He lays siege to the town. The Cadre outnumber the townsfolk by a large margin, but Ryan comes up with an idea - he takes the town's stores of black powder and places them at the top of the pass; when the Cadre attacks, he lights the fuse and blows the loose rocks, burying the pass and most of the Cadre. The rest flee, but they're caught and killed by the Lakota and Cheyenne.
   A couple days later, an old acquaintance of theirs shows up - Touch-the-Sky. He needs the companions' help in defeating some enemies who have taken over the valley of Ti-Ra'-Wa, and he's willing to pay them in gold. They decide, after some discussion, to go along.
   Around sunset, Ryan goes for a walk. He runs into a Lakota woman named Sisoka and her wolf Blood-Sniffer. She warns him that he's serving the wrong person, then sics the wolf on him. She calls it off before it can do much damage, however, and they vanish into the night. Ryan returns to the inn and tells the others what happened; Joe reveals that Sisoka is the leader of the enemies, another faction called the Wolf Brothers.
   The next morning, they all head out toward Ti-Ra'-Wa. The journey takes four days; when they get there, they have to fight their way through a group of Wolf Soldiers. Ryan wounds Blood-Sniffer, and Joe takes the wolf prisoner.
   Later, they learn that the gold Joe promised them is in a cavern guarded by the Wolf Soldiers; the cavern is also the supposed place where all life began. Joe wants to use it to heal the earth, so they agree to help him.
   They get Blood-Sniffer to sneak Ryan, JB, and Joe into the Wolf Soldier camp and grab Sisoka. The wolf leads them into a series of tunnels near the cavern, then abandons them to the Wolf Soldiers. JB and Joe get away, but Ryan is captured. He's put on trial and found guilty for his transgressions, whereupon he's forced to fight Blood-Sniffer in single combat. They're so evenly matched that neither can win, so they stop by mutual consent and declare a draw. Ryan is inducted into the clan.
   Meanwhile, Joe takes the rest of the companions prisoner and confiscates their weapons to use himself. One of his people helps them escape, and they flee with Ryan back to the cavern. Joe lights a forest fire to drive ahead of his army, and they attack the Wolf Soldiers. The companions, along with Sisoka, retreat into the cavern with Joe hot on their heels. They have a final confrontation in the cavern of light itself, where Ryan kills Joe.

DEATHLANDS, OUTLANDERS, EARTH BLOOD, and JAMES AXLER are all the property of Gold Eagle / Worldwide Library, and are used here strictly under Fair Use guidelines.
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