HORSEMEN OF THE WEST
Here, there is no location other than west. There is no date other than now, no home other than horse. No food unless there's money, no money unless it's stolen. For these cowboys, there's nothing for them unless a job comes around. Jobs, often offered by rivaling gangs or shady politicians, could include anything from a train heist to a town raid. That was how these horsemen survived; earning the smallest sliver of a deal from powerful people was enough to sustain themselves until another job could arise.
Soon, there were more cowboys than jobs due to the crackdown by the law. With the sudden lack of work and expenses to cover, the thin-stretched riders took matters into their own hands. They grouped together, built themselves a reliable camp, and called it home. There was finally a permanent, though also nomadic, town for these horsemen. With a full society with children and old ones alike, it is easy for this town of criminals to get along so easily with the law. Any sheriff to step on their grounds is welcomed, spoken to as though it was any normal settlement. No eyebrows were raised, questions harbored. It would stay this way for them, as long as they kept their mouths shut.
Thieves, outcasts, killers alike are all welcomed into the settlement. As long as they work for their stay, they are a member. Work can include a variety of jobs, some being as simple as cooking and cleaning while others are more dangerous - train heists are the horsemen's specialty. Any capable cowboy can participate as long as they have a role in the plan. Keeping the law away from their jobs stands as the most important role. As a staple, the riders paint their faces in elaborate painting, a trade from the Natives, to conceal their identities more effectively. A select few higher ranks have been tattooed on their faces to mark their roles.
Perhaps the most involved members of each job are the horses. A wide variety, some stolen racehorses and others mustangs tamed from their lands, serve as an important piece in each raid. The powerful beasts must be reliable and steady in order to bring success and riches to their riders. Any dangerous or old steed will be released and untouched by the town members. Horses are frequently swapped during jobs to maintain that anonymity. Riders will trade mounts or have multiple horses to avoid being identified.
To these horsemen of the west, secrecy is key. They will not name their gang or single out any one job type. They don't refer to themselves as a gang but instead a community of mismatched people. Avoiding the law is a priority; should any officer be nearby, the group has two options - conceal themselves, or remove the problem, regardless of what that might entail.
A general reference of the whole settlement, the ground is any land that has been settled upon for the time being. It is currently a narrow valley covered in sparse prairie grass and red sands. Large bluffs surrounding three-fourths of the location ensure no attackers can surround them, but they can easily become trapped. Just to the west of the grounds by three miles is a busy train station and town of around eighty people. The settlement, built unusually during this time as a circle, is divided into rings as thirds.
The horsemen's favorite location, the kitchen is run by anyone who is free at the moment and a good cook. Meals are made for whoever is present. The kitchen itself is not very large and very open, just covered with a net to prevent flies from bothering the lunchers. The dining hall is attached to the kitchen and built out of whatever wood and hide was available at the time of settling. The kitchen is snugly located in the center of most homes.
THE PAINT HOUSE.
Considered the most important building, and covered in various paints and art inside and out. With the use of different soils and plants, colors safe for the body are used to conceal members during jobs. In order to be tattooed by the painter who resides here, one must hold a high position or be considered honorable enough to the painter. Located in the outer ring.
Called the household, this is the meeting point located in the dead center of the settlement. Any member can attend in this wide, circular hide tent during any dispute or decision. In the center is a roundtable, where maps can be plotted or jobs written in word. Each member present at the household during job discussions are automatically assumed in the job, unless dismissed.
Considered the location of most, if not all, homes. These homes are divided in three rings; the innermost, nearest the kitchen and household, being mostly child-bearing and old one homes. The middle and largest ring hosts the majority of working people. The Head is located in this ring. The outermost and thinnest ring holds The Watch and stablehands.
Horses, an important member of the settlement, are loose to freely roam the surrounding grounds. Few stray far, and stablehands are ready at all times to keep the herd from disappearing. A stream or well source is always available for the horses; a well in their current establishment keeps the horses well maintained. Along with horses, there is a small collection of cattle for meat.
Where prisoners and disruptive members are held on the outskirts of the settlement. Since prisoners are considered stablehands, this building is located near an outlying well with the horses. Prisoners are held in individual cells, but trusted ones can be moved to open and unsupervised holds when acting as stablehand. Tack and hay is stored in the jail.
The law of the town, in a sense. Takes command over all plans, finalizes decisions, can promote or demote anyone at will. While there are no specific laws, what they say cannot be questioned. They can call off jobs before and during, and are the second-highest respected member of the group.
Bo Reid, 24, Male
These are four patrollers, often on the outskirts of the town and only involved when convenient. Very highly respected and considered the law enforcers of the ground. Often watch prisoners and subdue disruptive members. The only members who can kill without being questioned. They can be demoted by the Head, or challenged by other members to a display of strength to obtain their position.
Jessie Parker, 25, Female
A well-practiced medic for the settlement. They can be involved in jobs, but tend to stay on the sidelines to treat wounds. Since they are a peaceful member, they do not need their face concealed, but often do just to avoid any accidental arrests.
reserved until tues night.
An artist, usually native, that takes influence from the natives in the area to learn tattooing and painting to both conceal members during jobs and recognize the powers of higher positions. Extremely intelligent, knowing various languages and cultural divisions, frequently used during interactions with nearby towns and tribes. The most respected member of the group, but often peaceful.
Mani, 23, Female
The general members, of all ages. They do the bulk of the heavy, less desirable work. These riders can be told to cook and clean off duty, and during jobs are valuable for preventing the law from getting involved. Some are killers, others former gang members, most just looking for work. Various ethnicities and capabilities; anyone is welcomed to the settlement as long as they can work.
Sierra Smith, 20, Female
Innocent prisoners taken from jobs. They are usually held for ransom or just to keep their mouths shut. They're treated fair and well unless they get on anyone's nerves. They are often used as stablehands if they are capable of riding.
Uninvolved from the gang, unless they cause a problem. Consist of townspeople, sheriffs, politicians. Some can be friendly and helpful, others should be avoided.
The laws of the settlement, not those of the west. Can be changed or cut by the Head when given permission by other high ranks.
1.) Stealing from members is a jail-worthy offense.
2.) Murder, rape, and assault against other members are executable offenses.
3.) Natives are to be respected and given valuable trades.
4.) Members participating in a job must be concealed under paint.
5.) Abandoning a job or member in danger is an executable offense.
6.) No member may leave the settlement unless given permission and occupied by two others.
7.) Orders should be followed, but can be questioned upfront.
8.) Rape is an executable offense; no member should partake in the assault of an outsider.
9.) Murder of an outsider must be reasonably caused and explained.
10.) Horses should be released if unable to perform; killing a horse unless it's injured is a jail-worthy offense.
11.) Should a member be caught by the law, the horsemen must leave them to sort it out. Should they return, they will be welcomed.
1.) A two paragraph minimum must be maintained throughout and for each character.
2.) All ethnicities can be used, just understand racism and sexism will be prevalent among outside characters.
3.) High ranking reservations will only last 24 hours.
4.) Paints and tattoos should be natural colors and minimal patterns - no dandelions or birds.
5.) Horses are a vital part, make sure your character has one.
6.) Stay mature. Gore, violence, killings, it's all going to be involved in this thread.
7.) You may have any age, just know kids will not always be included. Faceclaims required.
8.) Offer up plot ideas and interact with one another! A plotting thread will be made.
9.) This is the old west; it's hot, there's deserts and prairies all over, dangers everywhere. Go as wild as you'd like.
10.) Names should be of the time and reflective of ethnicity. There probably weren't many Rebeccas back then.
11.) Other animals can be included, but relevant to the environment and time period.