In this story, when Ryan and his companions emerge from a jump at a gateway, they quickly realize that they are not too far from Front Royal, Ryan's birthplace.

Spurred by Kristy, who thinks that it's time for him to face up to the ghosts of his past, Ryan decides to pay a visit to his evil brother, whom he hasn't seen in nearly twenty years.

Flashback -- Ryan was the youngest of three Cawdor brothers. Morgan, the eldest was handsome and "everything good that a man can be" Harvey, a hunchback was vicious and greedy, as for little Ryan, he mainly tried to stay out of Harvey's way. One day, Harvey murdered Morgan and tried to pin the crime on Ryan. Realizing that their father, baron Cawdor did not quite believe Ryan could do such a thing, he, then set out to kill Ryan as well. After a terrible fight, he succeeded in blinding his brother in one eye, but 15 yrs old Ryan managed to escape. After their father's death, from sorrow, Harvey married his widow Lady Rachel, who was even worse than him. Together they became the rulers of the powerful ville of Front Royal-- End of flashback.

The companions steal a wag to cover the distance to Front Royal. As they travel nearer, they witness the evidence of Harvey's rule : The land is desolate and the inhabitants are clearly living in fear.

They meet a handsome young man named Nathan Freeman who shows an unusual interest in Ryan. He tells them more about the tyranny of Harvey and his wife the Great B--ch, Lady Rachel Cawdor who tortures and slaughters people for her amusement.

As they arrived in Front Royal, the are met by the Cawdor sec men and "invited" to join the baron for supper. Outlanders are rare in Deathlands, and if they happen to be as superbly armed as this group, they are definitly noteworthy. The castle displays conspicuous, if a bit faded, wealth, it is just like Ryan remembers it. and the table the baron keeps is superb.

Harvey has become immensely fat, Rachel is still very beautiful and elegant in a gothic way. Their son Jabez Pendragon Cawdor is an arrogant and somewhat swishy youth who seems to have an unatural relationship with his mother (leaving it to your imagination). The dinner goes uneventfully until an old servant recognizes Ryan and falls to his knees, babbling that he has returned to save them all.

When Harvey gets over his shock to find out his brother has returned, he has Ryan and the companions thrown into the dungeon. During the night Ryan, strapped spread eagle unto a table is visited by Rachel, mad with hate, stoned on jolt. She does things to him... that they probably wont show in the movie, and assures him that he will suffer a death befitting his rank.

The next day, Harvey has decided what to do with his prodigal brother, something kinky to accomodate both his passion for hunting and the satisfation of his jaleous hatred: He will set the companions as prey for his weekly hunt.

The hunt is on. On one side Harvey and some twenty sec men with horses, blaster and giant muties dogs, on the other, Ryan, Kristy, Jak and JB, unarmed, on foot, yet, unbeknownst to Harvey, formidable hunter, themselves... It doesnt take them long to dispose of the dogs (hopefully there should be some very camera worthy scenes of close combat with the huge dogs) Then they back track and blow up the Front Royal fuel station (nice fireworks, again I hope this will be shown in the movie) They make their way back to the ville, to overthrow Harvey.

In the finale, Ryan pay back his brother for what he has done-- I wont say just how, but there are some pigs involved, yes poetically enough, old Harv had a strong affection for his pigs. And of course Rachel is also disposed of.

Once more the companions have cleaned up the place they visited, Front Royale is free again. Ryan could stay as baron but there are too many horrible memories attached to the place. It turns out the Nathan Freeman is Ryan's cousin, son of Morgan and a doomie woman. Nathan, something of a seer, himself, had recognized Ryan and had helped the companions retake Front Royal. He will become the next baron Cawdor, as Ryan and his friends make for the gateway for another jump.

By Tara Gardner, 3-14-03

The Companions

RYAN CAWDOR : He is the son of a powerful baron from the east coast. Hisbrother tried to kill him and cut out his eye. Ryan escaped and wandered the Deathlands until he met Trader and his travelling show. With him, Ryan learned military discipline and developped his skills as a warrior, also learned a good deal of homespun wisdom. Then Trader died (At least we think he died) and just about that time Ryan met Krysty and Doc Tanner and he struck out on his own with a few others. Now Ryan travels the Deathlands with the help of the mat-trans gateways, in search of a better place , a better life. Wherever they go, they try to leave things a little bit better than they found them. Ryan is six feet two, and about 200 lb, most of it muscle. He has curly black hair, one baby blue, and a black leather patch where the other one used to be, also on the other side, he has a scar that goes from the corner of his eye to the corner of his mouth. I wish to emphasize that morality in the Deathlands is light years away from the bourgeois notion of right and wrong we entertain today. By our standards, Ryan is no choir boy. Even if he chills enormous numbers of very sick puppies, He's also been known to dispatch people just becausehHe found then annoying. He has a fierce temper and to get on his bad side would be triple stupe; even Krysty who carries a lot of weight with him know when it is time to retreat.

KRYSTY WROTH : Ryan's Lady. She is a tall athletic, red headed beauty. She grew up in Harmony Colorado and her mother taught her about the ways of nature and to pray to the Earth Goddess Gaia. Kristy is part mutie, in this that she has very sharp sense of hearing and uncanny intuition. She is interesting to watch with her hair that reacts to her moods and states of mind by moving gently around her face. She has the ability to call on the power of Gaia to give her superhuman strength although she seldom uses it since it wipes out her energy for hours afterward. Kristy is a sexy woman who brings a much needed sense of peace and calm in Ryan's turbulent life.

J.B DIX a.k.a THE ARMORER : He knows everything there is to know about weapons. He is quite small and skinny, wears wire framed glasses and an old beat-up fedora. He is Ryan's oldest friend from the time when he rode with the legendary and powerful Trader and his war wags. JB doesn't speak much except when talking about firearms and then he can become downright lyrical.

Dr THEOPHILUS ALGERNON TANNERa.k.a DOC: Is tall and very thin with disheveled white hair and wears strange victorian clothes. He is about 250 years old, doesn't look a day over seventy and is in reality about thirtyeight. Let me explain: Back in the predark times there were some very strange research going on. One of these was called Operation Chronos to explore time travel. Doc Tanner was Operation Chronos' only success. He was rudely plucked from his happy life in 19th century America and tranported a century later. Once there, rather than being grateful, he made such a nuisance of himself that the white-coats sent him another century into the future... where eventually he came to meet Ryan. He is invaluable to the companions because he knows about the mat-trans units which he observed being built in the predark times. He is brilliant, a great scholar but the rigors of his life have taken their toll on his physical appearance. His friends agree that he is just a little bit crazy, and once in a while he need a thump on the head to bring him back to reality. As a warrior his main advantage is that it is so easy to underestimate this decrepit old man. He carries a cane with a sword inside and really knows how to use it.

JAK LAUREN : Raised in the Louisiana bayou, Jak is a true albino with long dazzling white hair and ruby red eyes. He is only fifteen years old, about five foot five and little over a hundred pounds, but he is a deadly hand to hand fighter who has killed many men twice his age and size He is also a cunning hunter, expert knife thrower, and an amazing acrobat. His speech is even more brief and concise that JB'b if that's at all possible.

MILDRED WYETH : Millie is a black woman from the 20th century; born in 1964, she was a doctor who specialyzed in cryogenics. Shortly before the nukestorm she went in for routine operation that went badly so she was frozen and stayed put until Ryan and his companions thawed her out. She is a stocky lady with hair separated in corn rows and braided with beads. She was once a champion marks person and can shoot out the eye of a newt at a quarter mile Like Doc, she is the holder of arcane knowledge about the past, which often comes in handy and as a doctor she more than earns her way: This group would never make it without the help of a trained medic. Over time she develops a close relationship with JB

Deathlandese Language Lexicon

TO CHILL : To kill, there is a lot of chilling going on in the Deathlands.

RAD : Radiation as in "rad blasted"

CHEM : Chemical as in "chem poisoning, chem cloud, chem rain"

JACK : Money or some kind of a bartering credit.

JOLT : A popular drug (abused by Rachel Cawdor) mix of cocaine and mescaline

BLASTERS : Generic term for all fire arms; the universal language

GREN : Grenade, another popular mode of self-expression.

KLICKS : I think it means "kilometers", which goes to show you that it took the end of the world
for americans to finally adopt the metric system.

WAG : A vehicle of some kind, it might be a truck, a jeep, a humvee or a light armored vehicle
The trader and his crew traveled in war wags, awesome, armored machines, possibly tanks

NORMS : People that are not mutated. Just because they have no visible abnormalities, doesn't
mean they are exactly a 100%, many are insane monsters, vicious serial murderes and rapists, all in
all the milk of human kindness has pretty close to run dry in Deathlands.

MUTIE: A mutated creature, may be human or animal.

STICKIE: A (human?) mutie with gelatinous skin and suckers at the end of its fingers. They are
hateful, murderous guys, very hard to chill and truly repugnant

DOOMIE: A mutie with psychic and seeing abilities. Kristi Roth and Jak Lauren have some
doomie characteristics

STUPE :Stupid. There are nuances such as your basic stupe, but also, double and even
triple stupe for the really dim.

SEC : Security stuff: Sec men are some sort of armed guards, personal army to the barons,
protecting the villes or redoubts.

RECCE : To explore or recognize an area. Before settling in a place, it should be recced
and secced, get it ?

VILLE : Deathlands' term for a community, a town or a fort, usually run by a local baron.
Ryan's birth ville was Front Royal in (what once was) Virginia.

GAUDY : Or gaudy house, a place of entertainment with plenty of ladies, wiskey and cards
and where a lot of jack gets passed around

REDOUBT : A military secure place left over from the predark (preNuke) times. it is often burried
underground, and is where Ryan and company find their cool stuff, and it is also where the
mat-trans units can be found.

MAT-TRANS : Matter transport unit. Pretty neat gadget: basically it breaks you down into molecules
and transports you elsewhere, except that Ryan and his crew can't find the instruction booklet and they
have no control over where they end up. It is an exemple of gonzo thechnology left behind by the
white-coats (or techs) from the predark era.