“We’re thieves, in a world that don’t want us no more.” – Red Dead Redemption 2
The rooster always crows at the same time, every morning, just as the sun comes up. As if the rooster wasn’t enough, your blinds are open just enough to let a sliver of the sun sneak right in, covering your face. The next day begins for you, Sheriff.
You pull the covers off and climb out of bed. Your vision is blurry and you feel a loud ringing in your ears. A blistering headache comes on, reminding you of how much you drank last night. You reach down, feeling around for yesterday’s pants. Your hands knocked over glass bottles which clang together, loudly.
“Dang it!”, you growl.
Finally your vision returns and you see the disheveled bedroom before you. Clothes laying everywhere. Clutter and documents scatter across tables. You clothe yourself and move over to the table, where your badge and pistol lay.
You pick up your pistol, check the ammo, and attach it and its holster to your waist. Then you reach down and pick up your badge. A sensation takes over you for a second. You see flashbacks fly across your mind, of a time before your duty, of a time before your Oath.
– – –
“Get us out of here Willie!… Willie! Where’d you learn to drive!… Willie, look out!”
This was it, your big score with the Sundown Gang. You’ve been with these boys and girls for many moons and this job was supposed to be your last. You were raised a smuggler and, so, you used your “talents” to move contraband from one location to the next; one town to another. You went where you were told and didn’t ask questions.
You knew you wanted to get out of the gang. Just because you were raised a criminal didn’t mean you wanted to die a criminal. If you could do one last job, one final score, then you’d have enough coin to leave and start a whole new life. You could go start a family and live a life of quiet means.
This last job called for you to sneak into the Draconit Estate and burn down their farm. The Draconits’ were a threat to the Sundown Gang. They had large investments in the towns, controlled the police force and the government officials. Margery, the Sundown Gang leader, demanded that action be taken against the Draconit family, before they expanded too much in the Sundown territory.
Your job was to sneak in and set the fires. Willie was the getaway driver and Dillie was the muscle. It was a simple job that began after the sun went down. You moved in, quietly. Canteens of oil emptied across the fields. Your job was almost done. You moved back to your group, ready to light the match and be finished, but then you saw it, movement. There was someone out in the distance, in the fields.
“Light it! Light it and let’s go!”, Dillie demanded.
But you couldn’t do it. If you lit the fields, that person would die. They were innocent. This was not a job that called for death. You were done with killing. You couldn’t stomach it anymore. That person had nothing to do with this job and you couldn’t discern if they were even an adult. What if it was a child?
So, you hesitated. You waited a moment.
A cigarrette bud flew past your eyes, hitting the grass at your feet. It ignited with a flair.
“Now let’s get out of here!”, Dillie yelled.
Fire filled the fields faster than you could even think. You ran around the fields, avoiding the burning grass.
“Get out of there! RUN!”, You cried. Continuing on, you ran the perimeter of the fields.
“What was that?!”, calls from one direction.
“You there, stop!… FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!”, another one calls.
You try to keep up with the spreading fire, but the flames are too fast for you. A wave of flame ignites through the field, burning through crops and brush.
“AGHHHHH!”, you hear cry from the brush. Arms wave through the air, covered in fire. The screams continue for, what felt like, an eternity. Then they finally stop. Whoever, whatever that person was, died.
Reality sets back in. You remember the estate has now been alerted to your presence. You turn and run, as fast, as you can back to your group. You hear gunshots fired. As you get closer you see Dillie standing there firing her weapon at a guard who’s approaching.
“C’mon!”, Willie cries to you.
You run and jump onto the cart. Dillie turns to follow you, but a bullet pierces her leg. She falls down. You leap down and help her up onto the cart. Bullets fly around you. You both get onboard and Willie commands the horses to run. They take off, like the devil escaping hell. Blood pours from Dillie’s leg. You remove your belt and fashion it into a tourniquet to try and stop the bleeding. Gunfire continues, as another carriage appears in the distance, coming right for you, from the right.
“Willie, get us out of here!”, Dillie yells.
“I’m working on it boss!”, Willie answers.
Another carriage of enemies appears from the left. The air is filled with the sound of gunfire, as bullets penetrate your carriage. Willie is struck in the arm. He begins to lose control of the carriage.
Dillie continues calling for Willie to get you all out of there, but he loses blood quickly, and so loses the reins of the horses. The carriage overturns and you all fall out, taking serious injuries. The guards carriages approach and halt close to you. You’ve suffered some serious lacerations, but no broken bones. Both Dillie and Willie survive, as well.
The guards take you into town and you’re all brought to jail, injuries and all. As time goes on, you discover that the person in the field was Draconits’ daughter, who was out there looking for their lost dog. The guards accuse you all of murder. Two days pass and Willie succumbs to the infection of his wounds. Now it came down to just you and Dillie in prison, waiting to be sentenced for murder.
The trial finally came and it was revealed that it was Dillie who threw the cigarette into the field, igniting the fire. The judge finds Dillie guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to death. You were found guilty of aiding in the manslaughter, but, instead of a death sentence, you were sentenced to 13 years in prison. The Sundown Gang did not try to intervene in Dillie’s execution. Margery abandoned you and Dillie, leaving you to your fate. Dillie died three days after the trial by hanging.
You spent 13 long years sitting in a jail cell, waiting and learning. You read every book you could get your hands on. As time went on, you realized that you must atone for your sins. When you were released, you didn’t run away or flee into the wilderness, you stayed in town. You enrolled in the local law enforcement office as a volunteer, unpaid. You owned nothing. You weren’t allowed to carry a gun. You didn’t have a place to call home. You slept in your old cell every night. It was the most you could do, serve the town as penance for your crimes. It helped you sleep at night.
– – –
Time passed and the town began to rely on you for assistance. People began to forgive you and learned to appreciate you. You helped people heal. You stood against tyranny. Eventually, you even became sheriff, yourself.
You may not have found the quiet life you always wanted, or settled down to have a family, but instead, you found a new calling in life – serving others.
You put the badge on your shirt and you wear it proudly, always remembering where you’ve come from and that there’s always a brighter tomorrow.
– – –
The Gunslinger Paladin uses elements from the Gunslinger Fighter Subclass from Matt Mercer. This build begins at level 6, as you need 3 levels in Fighter and 3 levels in Paladin to make this build work. It’s a very strong build, based in damage output and face mechanics. This character’s story begins here, but where it ends it up to you.
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