“And I heard, as it were, a noise of thunder. One of the four beasts saying ‘Come and see’ and I saw. And behold, a white horse.”
“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts. And I looked and behold, a pale horse, and it’s name that sat on him was Death. And Hell followed with him.”
Revelations 6: 7-8
This was a verse I used in the original writing of Black Mask & Pale Rider, and I want to use it again as a way that the public begins to see Shani and Pania. They’re elves, they use magic, they have magical companions in a pixie and a pseudo dragon. So the general populace may indeed foresee them as the coming of the four riders. Pania is identified as Death, and Shani becomes identified as War.
But those who meet and come to know the pair find something completely different. They are merely adventurers and explorers.
It’s going to be a continuous theme to try and bring about until Shani and Pania finally meet up and take down a vampire. Then, their legend changes in another way.
While the musical influences that began the first writing of Black Mask & Pale Rider leaned more towards Big & Rich and Nightwish, Johnny Cash’s storytelling style has really sparked new life and new ideas for the rewrite.
At one time I wanted the story to have a lot of spaghetti western tropes and play off of cliches, however that’s changed a great deal as I want to focus more on a story about two women (yes, elves, but still women) who meet a variety of people.
So this story will have people of colour, and I hope that I treat them well, and not as a stereotype. One of the first to be met will be Slowhand Johnson, a former slave who earned his freedom and became a gunslinger. Interesting fact, most gunslingers in the United States at that time (mid 1800’s) were black. Either freed slaves who needed a way to survive, were protecting their new found freedom, or escaped slaves trying to make their way in a nation that saw them as no better than cattle.
Clayton Johnson will help Shani a great deal, but by the same token Shani will also help Clayton.
From Pania’s side, we’ll meet Cassidy del Ray, a former slave who was freed by Aurela Dorchester, and decided she could do with helping to free more. While Aurela fronts her operation as a brothel, neither Aurela nor Cassidy are common whores. Cassidy is Aurela’s right hand, so to speak, and she and Pania will form a friendship as the elven songstress stays in the boarding house in Chicago.
- Let the madness begin! (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- The Faces of Black Mask & Pale Rider (taholtorf.wordpress.com)