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Moriarty Cross

A fast thinking gambler and underground Huckster.

0 · 154 views · located in The Drifter

a character in “Deadlands: The Twisting Maze”, as played by Eisenhorn


Moriarty is a lean and not very imposing fellow. Hanging around five foot nine, five foot ten if you feel generous, the man has the look of being in his mid thirties, most likely thirty six. He has a rather average facial set up, his eyes being not too wide, but not too compressed, while the dull blue eyes stare out at the world around him. He has slight tan, having spent many a day traveling, but not one that was obviously following along the kind of work that was outdoors. He has a rough outcropping of brown hair, usually hidden under a moderately sized hat, black in color. Otherwise, he usually wears a button up, checkered shirt with a semi long brown duster over it. He wears dark brown slacks as well, with a wider leather belt, while a pair of boots end the ensemble well enough.


Moriarty is a very calm, smooth, and confident man. Some of his old associates believed he could stare down the devil and get away with it, at least long enough to get clear or retribution. This calm, unbroken outlook on life and all the downright weird events has kept him stable. His tone of voice seems made to defuse hostilities and dangerous situations, both of which he prefers to avoid. Easy going when around folks he approves of or generally likes, Moriarty is much easier going than he displays originally, but still holds a reserved feel about him. When it comes down to a stand or flee scenario, he will hold his ground, for he has a confidence in his talents, both the god given of a man and the not quite god given of the huckster, though he isn't fond of fighting and will rarely start a brawl, sometimes even if it is to his benefit.


As a wandering gambler of the West, Moriarty has four items that never leave his possession. The first, and possibly most important, is his Single Action Army revolver. The second is his knife, which is nothing special and used mainly for labor. The last is his deck of cards, standard and free of tampering by the most discerning of examinations, due to the fact it has not been tampered with at all. Lastly, he carries an old copy of Hoyle's Book of Games.

The real 'muscle' , if that is the term, of what Moriarty does are his hexes, the spells that a Huckster can weave. He has focused on three, and depending on the strength of his poker hand, he gains greater effect and power.

Missed me!: This hex forces the spirits (Referred to as Jokers by hucksters, and manitou by the Native Americans) to deflect incoming bullets and hostile hexes. Granted, Moriarty must be actively trying to avoid being shot for this to have any real appreciable affect, but it helps.

Phantom Fingers: A nifty trick, the manitou is forced to lift an item of varying weight and size and manipulate it to his bidding. Depending on the hand strength, he can lift a baseball, to snatching a revolver from a hostile's holster, to even slowing a train sized object (On a royal flush, and this drains him severely).

Soul Blast: The heart of his powers, this release an invisible, to most mortal eyes, stream of power that slams into a target with the same force as a bullet. He still can miss, but range doesn't affect the impact. A miss, the blast dissipates, while the strength of the hand decides the power of the blast on impact.

The risk, as with any gamble, is two fold. First, folks are none too fond of witchcraft, and perceive Hucksters as such. So, to conceal the fact a hand of cards appears in his hand, and he must glance at them for the hex to take affect, he poses as a gambler and took to being near brilliant with his sleight of hand. The second is that the manitou are mean, and try to trick Moriarty into letting them in uncontrolled, for they have to use him as a foci for doing as they are commanded. He must play games, poker by his choice, and this takes place in their realm. These games, in his mind, can take days, but in reality are near instant or mere seconds. Joker cards run the risk of either amplifying the spell, if a white joker, or allowing the manitou in uncontrolled, a black joker. Uncontrolled manitou usually do something that causes the most trouble, whether this be rendering the powder in everyone's firearms useless, or causing them to all discharge at once. Huckster powers are a gamble, but Moriarty is slick, and knows when to hedge his bets and throw away a hand.


Moriarty was born on a train bound for the West, under the ever so tender care of some inexperienced doctor and snake oil salesman. The salesman had something going for him, however, that his snake oil wasn't all just a way to part fools from their money. It managed to preserve his life, when he would have died otherwise. There was a unexpected side effect, however. Moriarty had problems with seeing manitou, the malicious spirits of the otherworld, as a child and went nearly mad. That is, until he unearthed a copy of Hoyle's Book of Games. He immediately recognized the hidden meaning in the book, beyond just the games, and whether this was by the manitou tampering, or his own slickness, was beside the point. Moriarty Cross became a gambling man, rapidly learning the tools of the trade, so to speak, and swindling many a good folk out of their money. This made him less than popular, so he drifted further east, making use of what he had puzzled out of the book. He nearly was burned in a town after his first successful use of Huckster skills, the hand of cards scaring the townsfolk. He fled rather quickly, and learned how to hide this using sleight of hand tricks. He also kept his hands jammed in his pockets when engaging a manitou in a mental game, so when the hand appeared, he could choose to pull out cards. He appeared unstable doing this, but he always had a deck of cards on him, and could simply explain away it as a habit, randomly drawing cards to keep his luck fresh. He ran into some trouble near Dodge City, with a preacher man claiming he was the devils spawn, and decided skipping town was a good idea. He bartered passage onto a ship, the Drifter, and decided to ride along to where they had some cargo to drop off, and see what he couldn't do there.

So begins...

Moriarty Cross's Story