From the Depths of Despair

From the Depths of Despair

The City of Lost Angels was laid waste by the Flood. But as the waters receded, bands of survivors began to pick up the pieces. Chief among these survivors was a young woman by the name of Sister Judith Prosperi. She had never been in the inner circle of Grimme’s church, being only a lay follower, and was ministering to the sick when the Flood came. When she saw the great city destroyed she wept, and it is said that where her tears fell, the ground split open and a salt river sprang forth. Clearly Judith had been touched by the hand of the Almighty.

In the aftermath Judith, dubbed the Angel of Mercy, gathered everyone she could to aid the survivors, treat them, and provide as much food and shelter as possible in the days to come. Together they resisted starvation, the elements, an attack by the Mexican Army, and numerous other untold trials and tribulations.

The faithful and the faithless separated after a while, with the flock laying the foundations of a new cathedral and radial city inland. The agnostics settled on a promontory overlooking the ruins called “Perdition.” Judith and her followers concentrated on permanent structures that would withstand the next disaster. Perdition remained more transient, figuring they’d just have to rebuild everything after the next flood, earthquake, or invasion anyway.

As stability returned, immigrants once again streamed to Lost Angels. Very few wanted the diligent, reserved life of the flock, so Perdition swelled in months, spilled off the high ground, and surrounded the city proper in just a few years. Most of the transients were less than law-abiding. They had come to the Maze to get rich quick, either from ghost rock or from those who had already found it.

Fearful they would be overwhelmed, Judith and her followers built a wall around the cathedral and the wards radiating out from it. Despite resistance and some sporadic violence, the quick work paid off. The flock could control the growing hordes surrounding them and more importantly, the railheads. This gave Judith control of the food supply and the ability to tax all imports and exports—including ghost rock brought in from the Maze.

In time, the area within the enclosure was officially called the Holy City, with the entire settlement— essentially a city-state—once again called Lost Angels. By 1888, the makeshift walls were replaced by 40’ tall obsidian and grand gates—a powerful sign the Church of Lost Angels was regaining its former prominence.

From the Depths of Despair

Deadlands Noir: Sweet L.A. Jaakkosakari