Wind’s Bride, Part Two: On The Trail
For the first time since the tale of Merit two years ago, we’re presenting a multi-part vignette. Click here for Part One of the story of Wind’s Bride, written by FAR WEST afficianado Marco Mueller, and join us tomorrow for the conclusion:
On The Trail
Her work was neat as ever. You had to give her that.
She hadn’t used a gun this time. Instead she had killed the three bandits with their own swords: clean cut across the throat, from one ear to another.
Three men –perhaps kicked out from a bandit army –had harassed the town of Little Sparrow for months, selling protection to the shop owners (but never giving any) and generally taking what they wanted.
Their ill-gotten valuables and horses were now gone along with their breath, including whatever bits and half-bits they had liberated from the shop owners in Little Sparrow during their last visit. The girl had a sense or practicability. Why haggle over a hero’s salary with town merchants if you could just as well take it where you find it?
Neat. And frightening.
After their encounter in Birds Bridge, the girl had become somewhat of a obsession for Adebar Jade. He followed her trail knowing full well that he invited disaster.
That was what cousin Seventy-Two-Faces Jade had nicknamed her.
Winds Bride, because the winds were where she cast the souls of those who tried to harm her. She never provoked a fight — but she never avoided one — and when the dust cleared, the girl walked away while someone else did not. She took no prisoners and she never needed a second bullet.
A year ago, Seventy-Two-Faces had met her on a train to Sedoa. She had walked up to a gambler and told him plainly that he was cheating. The Steel Dragons were unhappy about the mess that ensued, but Winds Bride had been right. The gambler had been a cheat — a very dead cheat, by the time the Dragons stopped the train in the middle of nowhere to let her off.
The well-informed Jade Family had no clue who she was, who had taught her, and why nobody ever got a second chance with her — and so Seventy-Two-Faces’ tale had spread, and the name — all they had — had stuck. The reputation of Wind’s Bride began to spread. She became known as a traveling gun, faster than the lightning of the gods, as unfailing as fate itself, and just as final.
Soon, two types of people became interested in her. First, the ones who thought they could draw faster and shoot straighter. Second, those who wanted to solve a problem with a clean shot.
There was never a shortage of either.
Wind’s Bride did not show much interest in her reputation. She never made a big show out of her killings, or bragged about them. She didn’t even leave a name for a witnesses. It was almost as if her daily routine was written: wake up in the morning, eat at noon, kill a man, and go to bed. It took a clan of professional information peddlers to connect the line of bloody red dots.
Three nagging questions and no answers made Adebar Jade follow her wherever she went:
Why? Why did she do what she did?
How? How did she become like this?
What? What would she become in two, five or ten years?
At times, Adebar thought that he really did not want an answer to that last question.
Maybe it was the heat and monotone rumbling of the wheels that lulled Adebar into half-sleep. Maybe he was too deeply entrenched in his gloomy thoughts about a beast in the making.
Anyway, he never saw her coming.
She jumped off a rocky canyon wall to his left from thirty feet above. Her Flying Shadowless Kick whipped him off of his seat on the caravan, and his world went black before he even hit the ground.
Continued in Part Three…
This vignette was crafted by a FAR WEST fan, and serves as a preview of the fan participation in the FAR WEST setting that is available to members of the Far West Society.
About The Author
A resident of Germany, Marco Mueller has been playing tabletop RPGs since the mid-eighties and writing in several PBEMs–most notably Star Trek and Vampire.The Masquerade–since the late nineties. This is his first official contribution to a published setting.