I’ve spent thirteen years searching for a man I doubt I’ll ever find. Long, hard years lifting up the kinda rocks a creature like Severn might hide under to see what scuttled away from the light. It used to be vengeance that kept me in the saddle, kept me moving from town to town, kept me scouring the empty miles in between. Now? Now even that has been worn down to dust. I keep moving because there just isn't anything else left I can do with the shattered remains of what was once my life.
I often dream of a grey horse that I follow but can never catch, its rider slumped in the saddle, head lolling as wearily as his mount’s. When I first started having the dream, I thought it was Severn I was chasing. That I couldn't even be free of him in my sleep. Took me a good long while to work out it wasn't that evil bastard at all.
I suspect if I ever catch up with that rider, he’ll twist in the saddle, slow as old bones, to peer down at me with pitiless black eyes half hidden in the shadows of his soiled hat. You see, Severn never rode a grey horse. But Death does. Death rides a pale horse and he wants to keep me moving, not settling, not resting, and never, ever stopping.
After all, Death gave me a talent and he expects me to use it.
Severn and his men left me on the threshold between this world and the next, but Death didn't pull me into his realm. Instead, he sent me back to the land of the living with the gift of reading souls to remember him by. A gift to go with my good eye and my fast hand, for there is no shortage of flesh in need of lead in these last wretched days of the world.
There’s plenty of dark work for Amos the Gunslinger, so I’ve trailed that pale horse and the Thin Rider slumped upon its back all these years, doing what I needed to do as I looked for someone who’s probably been rotting in a dusty unmarked grave for a decade. Taking any man’s coin for whatever dark work they wanted done, anything that let me keep moving on and searching for the monster who butchered my wife.
Now I’ve followed that horseman across this great grass sea, along a road going nowhere, to a small town a long, long way from anywhere. It sits ahead of me, blurred by veils of rain shimmering upon the whim of a spiteful wind. It squats atop the back of a low-slung hill, the only landmark I’ve seen for days. Somewhere to rest my head and buy provisions. I won’t be staying long. I never do.
Hawker’s Drift - A Peaceable Town, the sign says. We’ll see, but I'll be keeping my hand close to the worn sandalwood grip of my gun all the same.
If there’s one thing my years as a travelin' man have taught me, it’s that there’s no such thing as a peaceable town…