WIERD WILD WEST
A Half-elf Rogue
Hunter of bounty and booty with equal measure, Wilhelm finds himself in the new world of America, after one of his quarries fled from his native Europe.
Not adverse to shooting a man in the back, so long as it’s the right man. Or woman. Or non-man. But always with a smile.
Wilhelm came to the American West because of the terrible state of his home country: the Prussian Empire in the north threatens to absorb all the Germanic states into its money-run politics; meanwhile, the dozens of royal families in the Southern Germanic states attempt to stitch themselves together by marriage, treaties, and war.
Such a chaotic political climate usually means booming business for a bounty hunter such as Wilhelm—and certainly, business is not slow—however, when royal political bounties are involved, the hunters of said bounties usually end up on the other end of a bounty themselves. Much better to be the hunter, than the hunted.
When a bounty came up that would have Wilhelm traveling to America to seek his quarry, he jumped at the opportunity to seek greener pastures. Political freedom, a plethora of bounties, and no royals? Natürlich.
“You can’t possibly be zerious,” Wilhelm deadpanned, his words marked by a still-there German accent.
The threadbare old man shouldered next to him at the bar wrung his hands feverishly, “‘tis true as a whore’s tits it is! I swears ye – chunks o’ gold the size o’ yer shits jess’ sittin’ there in the river all quiet like… jess waitin’ to be picked up. The damned-ist thing I e’er saw!”
Wilhelm took a measured breath as he eyed his empty whiskey glass. “Und vhy, good zir, vould you be zo kind as to tell me zis thing?” He gave the dusty traveler a sidelong glance. “Vhy not keep all zhese golds für yourzelf, yes?”
The old man scratched his head at the words; clearly confused by the accent. The bartender, a slender fellow with a crooked nose, approached and refilled Wilhelm’s glass. Seeing the old man still working out what was said, the bartender leaned in to Wilhelm — “You know, ah wouldin’ lissen too closely to ol’ Sammy here. Man’s been afield in the bush for far too long.” He motioned with his hand, waving it behind his head, “been out West where all them injuns and such like. I’s afeared he came back a bit touched in the head, yessir. Gold jess lyin’ in the river?” He shook his head, clucking his tongue. “Well, perhaps they got rubies and emeralds growin’ in trees too! Ha!” He took Wilhelm’s money from the bar and walked away, chortling to himself.
Sammy looked askance at Wilhelm “So.. you uh, was yous askin’ me summat, stranger?”
“Don’t vorry about it; I vas jess passing through. I’m headed zat vay, you know. Out Vest. I’ll be sure to look für zhese golden shits auf yours.” He slid Sammy the whiskey, “to your health, zir.” Patting the old man on the shoulder, Wilhelm turned and left the bar counter, noting the two men in the corner of the room that had been keeping their steely-eyes on him the whole time. Throwing a broad smile, Wilhelm tipped his hat in their direction. “Zuch shiny stars on your chests, gentlemen! Haff ein güt evening, marshals.”
Stepping into the evening starlight, Wilhelm immediately turned left and sauntered down the street, easing his gun in it’s holster while walking. Up another four streets he turned right into a muddy alley located between a smithy and a tannery – even at this hour the smells of the furnace and leather was strong enough to make his eyes water. He quietly whistled a low, up-swinging note. The man ahead of him, who had turned down the alley moments before Wilhelm, spun in alarm at the short whistle.
“Ah, zhere you are! You are qvite a zlippery little eel, Mr. Creedle. Do know zat I vill be enjoying your bounty vith ze ladies down ze street.”
The bandit named Creedle and Wilhelm both drew pistols, one with a smile on his face and one with a grimace of a man who knew he was about to die.