Deadlands-A Fistful of Ghost Rock
"Honest" Merchant of España
Raul Viento was born on a ship destined for the Americas. His family had been ousted from their native country. For decades the large clan had traveled the Spanish countryside attempting to improve the lives of the people. Their unorthodox and mostly questionable methods earned them a fair share of infamy.
Hoping to start anew, the Vientos traveled to Mexico. It didn’t take long for them to fall back on their old ways. Soon they were performing elaborate and distracting feats, selling tonics and miracle remedies, and pocketing anything that wouldn’t be immediately missed. Young Raul learned the tricks of the trade as their family moved from town to town to avoid trouble. He didn’t have much of a penchant for performance or thievery, but he was blessed with a silver tongue.
Raul joined the con-game very early, and managed to acquire a particular book of games from a mysterious traveler. When he read the book, he discovered that there was more to it than it seemed. After a couple years of pouring over the text, he learned some incredible supernatural abilities. He also learned a thing or two about gambling, or more accurately, cheating. His new skills brought great wealth to his family until the Gettysburg incident in 1863.
After that, things in Mexico changed. The people became paranoid, making their money and possessions harder to acquire. The authorities became ruthless, forcing the Vientos to tread lightly more than ever. No one could quite place it, but there was something dark hanging over the whole nation. This was having terrible effects on Raul’s family. Without much deliberation they decided to leave Mexico and start again, again, in The States.
As they traveled further north they discovered that the Country had truly been ruined. Some dark power had taken over Mexico. Something with more power and wealth than the people could resist. Leaving wasn’t going to be easy, but they had no choice. On their way out, they passed by one of the dark monuments.
They set up camp a safe distance away, but the damnable thing still gave them chills. All but Raul’s father wanted nothing to do with these Dark Powers. The night before they were to finally cross the border he snuck away. When he returned in the morning, he pressured them all to leave as quickly as possible. Behind him were some sort of otherworldly pursuers. The Vientos panicked and fled across the border.
They ran for several days before resting. Their pursuers had seemed to have been lost. They found a nearby town, and couldn’t help but get back to their old tricks. But after only 2 days, their pursuers found them. They fled once more, and realized that they may be hunted forever.
Raul’s father explained that he had stolen something from Mexico. Something of great importance. He believed it was necessary for him to steal it away. The Vientos realized that their way of life would be impossible with such an aggravated pursuit. They opted to split apart, hoping that their shadows wouldn’t be able to follow all of them.
Raul watched sadly as his family parted ways. Dozens of relations spreading to the far corners of America. Left only with his horse, Incognito, and a Wagon, he rode through the desert alone. He continued his family trade in the towns he visited on his way to nowhere. It was a quiet couple of years, and Raul believed his pursuers had gone after the others. Though this wasn’t the best of news, he was happy that he could wander at a more leisurely pace.
Raul quickly learned that the real money in America came in the form of a mysterious fuel: Ghost Rock. The value of this substance was greater than anything he had ever seen. He schemed about gaining control of this little gold mine. Unfortunately it was rare, and a bit dangerous to mine. There had to be a way to get it without digging for it…
Soon news spread to Raul of large amounts of ghost rock in California. In addition to that there was a preacher there who may actually be the real deal. Though religious folk and Raul didn’t particularly get along, he wagered that the dark forced pursuing him were probably not welcome in their presence. This sounded like the perfect place to lay low and start building his fortune.