The twenty-four or so townsfolk lay flat on the ground with their hands on the backs of their heads in the middle of what passed for a town square in these parts. The Black Sand Sinners stepped among them, making sure none of them made any sudden movements. In the shop across the way lay two cooling bodies of young men who had decided that bandits raiding their town didn’t sit too well with them. Denvol and Lidre had shot them dead.
Standing right in the middle of the square, in the shade of the temple, was Pelsal Hundred Sins. At his feet were sacks of loot found in the meager shops and homes surrounding the square. Pelsal stood with his gun at his side. Although he had never fired it once during this raid, the threat was clear enough. He scanned the citizens as Denvol brought the last of the loot forward, tossing it into the pile. Pelsal counted up all twelve of his members, the loot and finally the townsfolk. His men gave each other looks, fear creeping over their faces. They knew what came next.
“Now I mighty well thank you for all these wonderful valuables. They’ll be put to good use getting food in me and my boys’ bellies” A nervous chuckle ran through the Sinners.
“The problem is, we’ve done you all bad, we’ve sinned and for that we must be punished.” Pelsal holstered the gun he was wearing and then drew another one. The gun he had put away had been bright metal; the one he replaced it with was so dark it seemed to absorb the sun’s rays.
“This is Greedsinger.” he moved the gun about, showing it off to the crowd. “She decides if what we’ve done today is acceptable or not and metes out justice appropriately.” His eyes settled on Denvol, who was trying his hardest not to shake like a leaf. “We’ll start with you, Denvol.”
Pelsal snapped open the chamber of the gun. “Denvol, you are arrogant in thinking you could attack this town. Your greed is what drove you to come here and you murdered a poor boy who was only trying to defend his home.” As he spoke each sin, Pelsal placed a bullet in a chamber. Half the chambers were now full. “If I’m leaving out any sins, speak up.”
Denvol remained silent.
“Greedsinger will judge.” He spun the chamber and clicked it back into position. He aimed the gun, pulled the hammer back and fired. Nothing happened. A grin spread across Pelsal’s face and Denvol was visibly relieved. “Good. I like you Denvol, and today, so does the universe.”
He looked at Lidre, spun the chamber and said “The same sins apply to you.” He pointed, aimed and shot. A crack rolled out over the town and Lidre’s meat hit the ground. Pelsal nodded solemnly.
This ritual was repeated nine more times. The rest of the Sinners were judged with two bullets, greed and arrogance. By the end, three bodies lay on the ground. The wind swept through the square and the townspeople didn’t even flinch after each shot.
“Greedsinger, you’ve done well, but now I must be judged. I was arrogant, greedy, and have killed.” He snapped the chamber open and placed in five rounds. He spun the chamber and clicked it back into place, placing it at his temple and pulling back the hammer. “If I have sinned so grievously then may the Greedsinger take my life”
He pulled the trigger.
Of the twelve Black Sand Sinners that rode into town that day, nine left. Pelsal Hundred Sins rode at the front.
Pelsal gave most of the loot to his men. He usually did. To be a Black Sand Sinner was to be pretty well off, just so long as the Greedsinger never called your name.
About The Author
Majdi Badri is a Chicago-area game developer, and junior at DePaul University.
This vignette is the first crafted by a FAR WEST fan — one of our Kickstarter backers, and serves as a preview of the fan participation in the FAR WEST setting that will be coming soon.