|First Appearance||PDSH, 2009|
The Night Raiders, aka The Dark Rangers and The Chamberlain Three, were a coalition of gunslingers who fought crime throughout the 1870s. While membership changes where quite frequent, the three core members of the group included Captain John Faraway (The Pistoleer), Ezra Slade Jnr (The Chamberlain Kid), Phoenix Summerdale (The Six Shooter); later joined by the enigmatic Deathspeaker, scourge of the underworld. While each had operated as solo vigilantes during the latter years of the 19th century, fate brought them together in 1868 to combat demonic forces infesting the Westside of Chamberlain City. The Raiders fought as a band for three years until the Great Fire of 1871 brought a climactic end to their union.
Captain John Faraway founded the group in 1868 following a vicious shootout at The Longhorn Tavern. Initially comprised of Faraway, Slade and Summerdale, the team gradually expanded to include four other members who served on a rotating roster. Their collective abilities were put to the test when supernatural forces began to overwhelm Chamberlain (a series of events referred to as The Season of Darkness).
Enter: The DeathspeakerEdit
With the re-emergence of The Deathspeaker in 1868, Senator Earl Makepeace petitioned Sheriff John Faraway to track down and apprehend the elusive vigilante. Although Faraway considered the Deathspeaker nothing more than an old wives' tale, he nonetheless decided to investigate rumors of skullduggery out on The Westside. According to his informants, women and children had been disappearing off the streets, suggesting the presence of a major kidnapping ring. Suspecting he'd need back up for this particular mission, Faraway called on his two most trusted lieutenants, and The Night Raiders rode for Gallows Hill.
Their investigation led to Willowgrove Cemetery, where they were suddenly ambushed by a gang of maverick veterans - twenty-three gaunt figures in tattered grey uniforms. Despite clearly overwhelming odds, the Raiders opened fire on the advancing mob, and were astonished to discover that their weapons had absolutely no effect. In the ensuing struggle, The Kid suffered critical injuries and The Shooter was crippled by a slug through the thigh. Realizing they were now in serious trouble, Faraway ordered retreat to a ruined mausoleum, where they found themselves surrounded by hostiles on all sides. With their backs literally against the wall, the Raiders prepared to go out with all barrels blazing.
At that moment, The Deathspeaker materialized out of the darkness, twin flintlocks thundering in the night.
As the Raiders watched in mute disbelief, the Speaker cut down the enemy with fire and steel, leaving their bullet-riddled corpses scattered throughout the tombstones. The man they'd been ordered to capture had just saved their lives, then - without even a glance in their direction - vanished back into the shadows. All three were momentarily rendered speechless: everything they'd just witnessed defied all rational explanation.
The Pistoleer: Captain John Faraway, acting sheriff of Radcliffe Precinct and de facto leader of the Night Raiders. Dry, bitter and disillusioned after the bloodshed of the Civil War, he finds a new lease on life after taking up the mantle of a vigilante.
The Chamberlain Kid: Ezra Slade Jr, a good-natured, fun-loving trickshot with a heart of gold. Despite his naive, up-country manner, Slade is highly intelligent and resourceful, ear-marked as the group's strategist by Captain Faraway.
The Six Shooter: Phoenix J. Summerdale, the hot-tempered, trigger-happy hell-raiser of the team, always the first into battle and the last to retreat. Has a passion for "cigareets and whisky and wild, wild women", all of which he indulges in prodigious amounts. Best friends with The Chamberlain Kid, who is constantly called upon to bail him out of trouble.
Hurricane Lucy: a hard-drinking, hard-riding female gunslinger from Greentowne, Illinois. As proprietor of The Longhorn Tavern, she joined The Night Raiders after a group of ex-confederate mercenaries murdered several of her working girls. A formidable crack-shot in her own right, she frequently cuts the Six Shooter down to size whenever he gets too fresh.
Professor Flaxman Lowe: a British paranormal psychologist on sabbatical from Oxford University, investigating reports of supernatural phenomena in Chamberlain's Gallows Hill. His unpublished memoirs contain the only existing first-hand description of the Night Raiders' activities.
The Padre: Reverend Father James Fitzpatrick Byrne, ordained minister in charge of the Chamberlain City Mission. Genuinely respected by all of the Night Raiders, this gun-toting priest frequently serves as emergency medic for the team during their most lethal expeditions.