1/20/2011

Published on 1/20/2011 Written by 0 comments

The Four Gunmen

This is a write-up I did a while back for a steampunk/old west styled campaign that I ran. It's the story (much-abridged) of the four most powerful gunsmiths in the world. They have an absolute monopoly on firearms and no interest in sharing. They are also bitter enemies, and share a dark secret.

The Four Gunmen...

There are four gunsmiths that maintain an almost absolute monopoly in the Republic. Their weapons are at the vanguard of technology, and their names are respected if not outright feared by almost everyone.

The first and most famous of the smiths is Jericho Key. The Key family were for many generations the chief weapons engineers of the empire, and when the empire went into decline they became a private business. Jericho was born during the height of his families power, and he learned his trade directly from his father Anders.

The primary difference between the senior key and his son was that Jericho was a progressive and his father a traditionalist. Anders believed that if it worked why fix it, while Jericho, always looking to the future, firmly believed that without innovation the business was doomed to stagnation. In all likelihood things would have remained the same for Key Weapons if Anders had not been tragically struck down with fever and later succumbed to an untimely death - leaving a very young, very ambitious Jericho Key to take over the family business. It is whispered in some circles that the death may not have been the hand of fate.

Jericho quickly took the reins and under his guidance the business was grew more prosperous than ever before. But he wanted more. He began innovating existing guns but met with little success. Though he was great businessman, he sorely lacked the skills of an inventor. That was until he met Arden Graves. 

Graves, an inventor and engineer by trade had been working on an idea to create a repeating rifle that could carry several rounds of ammunition at once. Jericho, far from viewing his idea as crazy embraced it. Soon things were set in motion. Two other great inventors were called into work on the secret project, Silas Crow and Lucius Black, both geniuses in there own right. Working with Graves and Key, progress was finally made. The four became fast friends, and soon they were the toast of the Republic, traveling everywhere together. After five years they had a prototype and were ready to go public.

No one knows for sure what happened, greed perhaps, or a desire for power, but these four friends became the bitterest of enemies. They went there separate ways, each with full knowledge of their shared secrets, and each man sought investment for their new weapons.

Jericho now no longer had his absolute monopoly but had to share with his three former associates. The irony being that Jericho, having paid them so well and introducing them to so many captains of industry, had in the end sealed his own fate.

Now these four men control all the gun trade in the Republic. The only thing that they despise more than each other is any gunsmith other than themselves. For it's better to have a monopoly with enemies than to have to compete with lesser men.

Game Details
Although the guns are of the same technological make-up, being revolvers and rifles they differ stylistically in accordance to the gunsmith. Feel free to create logos and unique gun designs for each gunsmith.

- Key is most famous for a six-shot revolver.

- Graves is most famous for a small short range 4-shot revolver.

- Crow is most famous for long range repeating rifle.

- Black is most famous for a short range extremely powerful shotgun.

I never actually decided what the "dark secret" these guys shared was, but it most likely had something to do with pan-dimensional horrors and alien technology. The campaign never really got going, but we did have several kick ass gun fights. It's also where this story comes from.

Who else out there loves steampunk and the old west?

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