Going Weird

The dark man in the leather coat comes over to your side of the bar. He sits down, and places his glass of rot-gut whiskey in front of him on the counter, studying it intently.
“You’re Calvin Dumas,” he says after a long silence.
“What’s it to you?”
“Nothing. Names don’t matter.”
He dips his finger in his whiskey and draws something on the stained countertop. A cross. “I hear Mortdecay Bozeman doesn’t like you. I’d say you’re a dead man walking.”
You shrug. Twelve gunfights, and still kicking. “I can help myself.” The gears in your prosthetic right arm hum as you slap your six shooter on the counter top. “In fact, this here Peacemaker’s for hire.”
The stranger is amused. “It won’t help you in this fight. You’ve got no idea.”
A spark of anger rises in your chest. “Get to the point, man.”
He thumbs five dollars off a wad of notes and places them next to the Colt. “I need a body guard. Will that cover tonight?”
“I thought you said guns won’t help,” you say as you pick up the notes and count them.
He shrugs and gets up.
“If there’s a fight, you’ll owe me twenty.”
“Only if you help.” He turns and walks out the bat-wing doors.
You swear, and follow him out into the cold night, crossing the street to the Colorado Saloon.
Bad piano music and a woman’s laughter spill out the front door. For a moment you think that’s where he’s heading, but then he makes a sharp right turn and slips into the alley next door to the undertaker’s.  He stops, and backs into a shadow.
“We wait here,” he whispers and pulls you in beside him.
Minutes pass.
Then a woman screams behind the Colorado.
The stranger leaps over a barrel and races around the corner. You run after him, the butt of your Peacemaker firmly in your right hand.
Light spills from the Colorado’s scullery door, illuminating someone stooping over a fallen body. It’s a woman, her long black hair cascading down her back.
The stranger stops. “Get away from her,” he growls.
She gets up and stands with her back to the stranger. When she speaks, it is like honey.
“Why Obadiah. You found me at last.”
“Step away from her. Now!”
She turns and flies at him with animal ferocity, her eyes blazing with hellfire and her lips curled back to reveal impossible fangs. Fresh blood drips from her chin onto her white dress.
Your response to the horror of the demon’s face is instant, a survival reflex: You fire. Three bullets rip into her left breast, flinging her back against the wall. But then she snarls and leaps forward at Obadiah, clawing at his throat.
He sidesteps and grabs her by the throat with his right hand.
“Tell Mortdecay I am coming for him. His time is up. Then go kill yourself, before I find you again and make you wish you did.”
She screams in fury as he shoves her away. Then she turns and runs, disappearing into the night.
Obadiah kneels next to the body lying in the dust. He gently turns it over. It is a young girl, one of Bullshit Mary’s new recruits.
Her throat is ripped out.

Cowboy World Weird is an homage to the weird tales and pulp fiction of the first half of the previous century. It combines the cowboy genre with weird horror and steampunk.

Enter a world of vampires, skinwalkers, demons, ghosts, empty men, elder gods and steampunk gadgets. The land itself is blighted by wandering spirits. Evil reigns. Characters have a Sanity stat, if it is reduced to 0, they go insane and are removed from the game.

“Horror” is a feeling of overwhelming despair because of seemingly invincible evil forces hunting you. At first your only hope of survival is to run. Then you realize that your only chance is to turn, face the evil, and fight. But the odds are stacked against you.

The things that go “bump” in the night really are going to eat you.

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