“I can shoot the eyes out of the damned at 100 yards. How’s that for accurate?” — John Brimstone.
In 1866, John Adam Stone was a sheriff in Maddison County, California whose wife, Mathilda, was raped. He tracked down and arrested the offender, Aaron Pinsky, who was, thanks to technicalities, cleared of the charges. Furious, Stone then murdered Pinsky by making it look like a suicide. Two months later, Stone was shot and killed in the line of duty and went to Hell for Pinsky death, not because of the murder, but the fact he took pleasure in it. Stone died the most decorated Sheriff in America up to that point in history.
115 years later, a breakout from Hell occurred, led by a 4000-year-old Canaanite priestess named Ashura Radaktu. The Devil explained to Stone that, over the centuries, a few souls have escaped (and presumably been returned) to Hell, but nothing of this magnitude, which includes 113 souls. Because the Devil is largely powerless on Earth, he makes a deal with Stone: Stone will be returned to Earth to track down these 113 escapees, and if he can return all of them to Hell (before one of them kills him), he will earn a second chance at life on Earth (and thus, possibly, Heaven). The Devil seems to hinder Stone’s work almost as much as he helps it, however, divulging some information but withholding crucial facts or giving only cryptic clues to where Stone will find an escapee, apparently delighting in watching him become more irritable with his interference. Now called “Brimstone” by heroes, villains, angles, and the damned, Stone wears the name and pictographs of the 113 souls as tattoos on his body. As each soul is sent back, their corresponding tattoo disappears in a burning fashion, causing Stone considerable pain. When the players encounter Stone, he has already sent 37 damned souls back to hell.
Both Stone and his quarry have superhuman powers related to the amount of time each individual had spent in Hell. Being deceased, immortal souls, both Stone and the escapees he chases do not display many of the same physical limitations and weaknesses as the living. Both Stone and various escapees are unharmed by traditionally fatal encounters with fire or falling from great heights. They have maximum human speed, strength, and senses. They do not require food, drink, or sleep. They do not bleed, nor do they have a heartbeat. They can see perfectly in the dark, and are immune to all kinds of mind control and charm spells, poison and drugs, and exhaustion. The souls cannot be killed, and injuries can only be inflicted to their eyes. As the Devil explained to Stone, the eyes are the “windows to the soul”. Of course, Stone has the same weakness, and if he fails in his mission then he will face eternity in Hell himself. Even with the relatively restricted ways in which a soul can be harmed, they can only feel pain if it is inflicted by another damned soul. Also Stone is not inherently evil, so while he shares all the immunities and damage resistance of the undead, he is not affected by holy water, holy/unholy symbols, or other religious paraphernalia, and he has no vulnerability to regular sunlight, silver bullets, or other specific undead-destroying methods. He cannot be turned by priests, nor raised or resurrected. Some escapees have preternatural powers. The Devil explained to Stone that the longer one spends in Hell, the more Hell becomes a part of them.
Each morning the souls – including Stone – wake up in the clothing they were wearing at their time of death. Any material items they had in their pockets when they died continuously regenerate each morning. In Stone’s case, this means he awakens to find his badge, his fully loaded revolver, and $136.27 – the amount of money he was carrying when he was murdered – on his person. Fortunately, for Stone, the devil has added a few items and touches of his own to Stone’s abilities and possessions to make him more formidable than your average human.
Will John Stone succeed and earn his second chance at salvation. Only time will tell.