Night Falls in the Town of Sunset…
…And something stirs in the mountains.
The people of Sunset have always been a hearty bunch – homesteaders and frontiersmen, settled in one of the harshest lands that the Wild West has to offer: Arizona Territory. Sunset was their own little corner of the Earth, cut off from the nearest city (Phoenix) by the Superstition Mountains, and from the nearest railroad stop (Flagstaff) by the winding trails of Diablo Canyon. Simple, stalwart folks, who have eked out their meager existence with stoic determination since the town’s founding, ten years ago.
But then something started picking them off in the night. It began with little Haley Miller, old Jeb’s youngest, never coming in from the fields one night. George Patterson, the closest thing the town had to a sheriff, got together some of the town’s menfolk to go looking in the mountains, to see if she’d gotten lost or fallen down … but they didn’t come back. That afternoon, gunshots echoed through Diablo Canyon – then screams. Then, a deathly silence that held until sundown.
As night settled in, something emerged from the canyon – something that looked and sounded like men on horses, but their faces were … wrong. Malicious. Evil. Demonic. Old Jeb shot one off his horse with his 12-gauge, but the guy just got back up, laughing, and shot Jeb dead in the street. And then they tore him apart, hollering, laughing, and drinking his blood. After that, the rest of them (there must have been a dozen or more) emptied their guns at Old Jeb’s house … it seemed they couldn’t get into the townsfolk’s homes, but they had no problem shooting through the wooden walls, seldom hitting anyone, but keeping it up all the same.
For days, the horsemen came – always at night, always riding up and down through town, shooting aimlessly at the houses, dragging off anyone they could catch outside. Anyone who tried to make off through the canyon by day, where some winding passages never see light even at high noon, could be heard screaming as the demons set on them.
Until the night that the other thing came. The remaining townsfolk could hear everything, huddled in their shacks: a great, unearthly bellowing, followed by the splintering of wood (which they came to find, in the morning, was their neighbors’ shacks being torn down), and then screaming, always more screaming. In the morning, the few left alive found over half of their town in ruin, and nothing but bloody messes left of most of their friends and neighbors.
That was last night. And now, as the surviving townsfolk prepare to huddle down for the night and pray for dawn, the sun sets in Sunset.
Tales of the Slayer: Superstitions is a speculative peek into the history of Joss Whedon’s Slayer-verse – a yarn of vampires and demons in the Wild West, and the one girl in all the world chosen by destiny to destroy them. Well, the one girl and her band of demon-hunting desperadoes. The ruleset is GURPS, 4th Edition, using a modification of rules and templates presented in the Monster Hunters series, and other sources and supplements. Can the Slayer and her gang stop the evil rising in the Arizona Territory?