To be in power, you don't need guns, or money, or even numbers... You just need the will to do what the other guy won't.
Yeah. I used to ride. What of it? A lot of us did.
Understand here, there’s three kinds of people where I come from. Three lots in life. You rule, you toil, or you ride. Couldn’t do the first, didn’t want the second. So here I am.
It’s not like my lot was particularly bad, mind you. Da was a mason and engineer by trade. We weren’t for lacking anything, money was okay. Comfortable, surely. Not exciting, but safe. Can’t ever please the youth, though…
Taught me to read, he did. Got me all kinds a books on history, and philosophy and the science too. Hell, I apprenticed with him for two years before I got the stupid idea in my head.
Never got to tell him how much that meant to me.
I had a good life waiting, I really did. Wasn’t flashy or nothin’, but it woulda been fine. Coulda moved to the city, found me plenty of work. But I was bound and determined to get out, and come hell or high water I was going to do it and ruin everything I ever had doing it.
I left in the middle of the night. I didn’t want him trying to stop me. I wish he had, now. Never saw him again. Fever took him the next year. I didn’t find out for months.
I told myself I’d meander my way back home one day to visit. Did it too late, I guess.
Fell in with some riders after that. It wasn’t half as glamorous as I’d hoped, but it did pay.
I don’t like thinking about it too much. I did some bad things to a lot of people who didn’t deserve it. Wasn’t always violence, but it wasn’t ever nice. I still see some of their faces when I sleep.
Found my way in a different line of work after a while, with a ‘better’ class of criminal… more tolerable work, the clean stuff. Extortion, shakedowns, racketeering, blackmail, spying… the well-heeled stuff. I mean, it was still bad, but nobody died, at least. I was glad to be sleeping in a real bed most nights, to be honest. I was about sick of that ‘highwayman’ routine.
Long story short, I eventually endear myself into the services of one Samiel Blacksand. Big name from back home. Shipping magnate. Real important fella. Fancied himself some sort of provocateur crime boss, he did. Everything was always real theatrical with him. He had a bunch of us he preferred for legwork, his “Sinners” he called us. Had us a whole fuckin’ kit we used. Matching outfits, masks, code names, black horses… the works. Wasn’t ever my preference, but it worked. We were mainly there to intimidate, muscle on the landowners and trade barons Samiel dealt with. Easy work. I kind of miss it.
So Samiel rounds us up one day and tells us we’re going to hit a caravan, right? It’s days away, so we’re to go out and meet it and ambush it and secure it’s contents. Negotiations had broken down between hims and this trader from Alkenstar, and apparently we were just going to take the merchandise off their hands for them. So we ride, we scout the wagons, we set an ambush. Typical stuff, we’d all done this a million times before against harder targets with less talent and preparation. Didn’t work out like we’d expected.
This shipment was apparently full of some very experimental weaponry. Weaponry Samiel didn’t think they’d use on us. Damn fool.
It was a bloodbath. We were fighting uphill the whole way. We were good and we had the drop on them, yeah, but these bastards had these damn hand cannons. Everybody lost a lot of people. I don’t like to think about it. I shouldn’t have made it out.
All bets were off at that point. I wasn’t going to get myself killed for that son of a bitch. I’d run away before, and I’d run away again.
I’m knee deep in bodies, smoke’s choking my lungs, and all around me the sounds of a dying battle play out. The contents of this cart are spilled out before me, and I’ve starting to get an inkling of the stakes here. Fuck this, I said to myself. I’m not going to be anybody’s lapdog again, ever. So I grab one of these hand cannon things, tuck a bundle of parchments under my arm and decided to disappear. I threw my coat and hat and weapons onto the first body that could reasonably pass as mine and clubbed the poor soul’s face in so the Sinners would think I fell in the melee. Scrounged some coin and a sack from the wagon, grabbed the first horse I saw and beat feet.
So I rode. I rode, and I rode, and I cleared the border, and kept on riding. I rode until the horse wouldn’t any longer. Only then did my flight stop. I walked until I hit a road, and bartered my way into a wagon headed for the nearest little hamlet. Laid as low as I could for the night and tried to figure out my next move. Couldn’t go back, that was for sure. Blacksand would want the papers, and I’d be damned before I went back to that man; this dumb bastard who’d send his own men into clusterfuck to die like that. He’d think I doublecrossed him. It was the least he was owed, he’s the one who crossed us! The Alkenstar’s goons would be looking for payback too, so employment conflicts aside, my position as a Sinner marked me from outside the organization as well. No, I had to break clean and start over again.
I had seen what these strange mechanisms could do to a man, and that was proof enough about the importance of these things… but I had little idea what they actually were and how they actually worked. So I read, read long into the night. And by that next morning, I knew something. I knew, I knew that in the ever-fickle graces of Lady Luck, I had hit paydirt. I knew that these pages held the key to a powerful and novel technology that would change the world as I knew it.
I just had to survive long enough to see it through, and I knew just the place to go.
The Stolen Lands.
|Miss %||Damage Red.||Spell Res.|
|CMB||Base Att.||Str Mod||Size|
|Total||Base Attack Bonus||Abil. Mod||Size||Misc|
|Name||Attack Bonus||Damage||Critical||Range||Type||Special Qualities|
|Name||Type||Bonus||Max Dex||Check Penalty||Spell Failure||Max Speed||Special Qualities|
|Name||Type||Bonus||Check Penalty||Spell Failure||Special Qualities|
Ring / Amulet / Etc.
|Name||Type||Bonus||Special Qualities||Name||Type||Bonus||Special Qualities|
|Sleight of Hand||Dex|
|Use Magic Device||Cha|
Special Abilities+ Add
|Light Load||Medium Load||Heavy Load||Lift Over Head||Push/Drag|