~ a western horror RPG setting.
It is 1877, the wide frontier of the American west stretches before mankind. The land rush is on with the newly-formed territories being claimed and fought over. Opportunists like you strike out into the new world in search of their dreams, seeking prosperity, fortune and glory. Square-jawed adventurers, itinerant gamblers, gunslingers for hire, wild eyed scientists, fervent clerics and brutal cattle thieves head into the vastness of the unknown seeking to carve out a life from this undiscovered and fearsome land.
With faith, science and the railroad it seems to many like the west is slowly being tamed. Ancient lands are being wrenched from grasp of superstitious Native American traditions, their holy sites tilled-over for pastureland. The white man believes the wild mustang that is the spirit of North America has been saddled and all mankind must do is break it to his will.
But this is not a horse that man can tame with with lead, gold and iron. Not at all. America has always been a wild land, unfettered, raw, naked and unyielding since the dawn of time. Now some say the land stirs and seeks to drive out the interlopers. There have been rumours that the end times are at hand, portents of the apocalypse have been witnessed, stone angels cry blood, dogs are born with two heads, harvests wither and die in the soil. Out in the streets, crazed preachers scream at the boiling sky that the lord has called forth the final days, that the time of Judgement has come, that His wrath has come to cleanse the land of it’s impure occupants.
The dead stir, they rise from their graves and seek the flesh of the living. Wild things from the uncharted forests howl and hunt the unwary, shifting from wolf to man. There have been reports from El Paso that corpses have been found there drained of blood and the terrified Mexican villagers drive thick hickory stakes through their hearts to prevent them returning to life. They behead and burn these unfortunates at lonely crossroads by the light of day. But by night, wherever folk gather, they light witch-candles on porches to keep the evil at bay and stay huddled near fireplaces shivering in fear that the dark will once again seek out new victims.
Some say the lord has forgotten mankind and that this is his just punishment for our lack of virtue, others that we have stolen a land which was not ours to seize and that the ancestor spirits of the Native Americans have become angry and has cursed the invaders, seeking only our doom.
Whatever the cause, the west has become truly wild.