Character Name: Clay, jus' Clay
Clay is a big, burly sonuvagun with a chest as broad as a barn, square jaw, and feet almost too big to find boots for. He stands darn near 7 feet tall with long, messy brown hair, green eyes, and a shy smile. Half the time you'll find him without a shirt, just working in his jeans and boots. Based on the scars across his chest and back, he's had a rough life with at least three gunshot scars and two long gashes marring his tanned flesh. When not workin', he wears a simple cotton tunic left unlaced at the neck, and an old, tattered duster that was made by stitchin two different dusters together to make one big enough for him.
Clay is often considered a bit slow. He moves slowly and deliberately, as if he's worried that he might break the world around him, and he doesn't tend to talk a whole lot, being shy and not, apparently having much to say. Between his size, shyness, and deliberateness, don't take much for folks to think he's touched in the head.
'Course, Clay ain't touched in the head. He's just cautious. His pa raised him to be respectful, well mannered, and mindful of others. He was taught to be careful, 'cause with his size and strength, it don't take much clumsiness to hurt someone or break something. And, Clay had a secret. Despite his size, he's fast. Faster than a rattlesnake, because he was born a 'slinger. His pa knew, being one himself, and taught Clay to respect life and hard work, long before the boy ever fired a gun. He's slow to anger, but once his fuse is lit, look out. The man had a lot of rage hidden deep down in his guts, and if that rage ignites, it'll be destructive.
Faction/Ranking: The Wastelands - Slinger - Deputy of Redemption
While dressed, Clay always wears a gun belt around his waist with a old, battered, single action revolver on his side. The gun's nothing much to look at, in fact, it looks like it's sooner backfire than anything else, but it fires straight and true and is carefully maintained by Clay. He also carries a large hunting knife on his hip, but more as a tool than a weapon. No one's ever seen him draw his knife in anger, or at least, no one's lived to tell the tale. Generally, Clay uses whatever's handy and has a personal preference for axe handles. More than a few drunks have been clubbed unconscious after getting unruly by the big deputy.
Odds are that in any given room, Clay's gonna be the strongest and toughest guy there. He's known for his strength and if a wagon breaks a wheel, people will come find him to help lift it up to do repairs, without even bothering to unload the damn thing. He's a beast in close combat, but doesn't have any real formal training, just excellent instincts, incredible physical gifts, and experience honed from breaking up bar fights.
As a Slinger, his skills are formidable, although perhaps not as honed as a man who tries to live by his guns. Clay has sworn only to resort to his gun if he has no other choice. In his mind, you draw a gun when you want another person dead, and he's not a murderous sort.
Clay's mother, who died giving birth to the huge baby, was a Slinger who'd fallen in love with a dirt farmer in a little outpost about two weeks ride south of Salvation. His pa knew his mother's bloody history, and could see her green eyes in little baby Clay's face. Suspecting the boy was a born Slinger, he raised him to work with his hands, to take advantage of his strength doing honest labor. And he also kept all gun away from Clay, teaching him that guns could only destroy. 'You can't birth a calf or plant beans with a pistol, boy.'
Clay was a good natured boy, who soaked it all in and grew like a weed. By 13, he was the biggest man in the town, and by 17 was engaged to a sweet little girl. Whenever they'd go courting, he'd hold her tiny hand in his and wonder how anything could be so delicate and perfect.
Then, the raiders came. The peaceful outpost tried to put up a fight, but they were shot, beaten, and burned. Clay himself was shot three times and slashed with a saber before falling down. The following morning, after they'd raped, pillaged, and killed almost everyone in town, one of the raiders noticed Clay dragging himself across the bloody mud toward a fallen rifle. 'Would you look at that shit? Big dum' sonuvabitch is still alive.' The raiders gathered up and began taunting Clay. 'Better hurry up, boy. You're bleedin' faster 'n your crawling.' They took pot shots at the dirt around him, trying to scare him, but he just kept crawling, dragging himself forward with the one arm that still worked right.
'Shee-it... I'm getting bored. After all that, boy deserves to die with a gun in his hand. Get ready.' The raiders all took aim as their leader took a revolver off his belt and tossed it over toward Clay. They were all intent on gunning the young man down when he grabbed the weapon, their idea of a noble death or something. Imagine thier surprise when Clay rolled onto his side, snatched the pistol neatly out of the air, and drilled all six of those murderin' bastards right between the eyes.
Revenge didn't bring back his father or fiance' though, and as tears streaked across his muddy cheeks, Clay closed his eyes and laid down to die.
Not that fate was ready for him to pack in jus' yet. A traveling salesman came into town later that day, drawn by all the smoke, and found Clay still breathing... just. Taking pity on the man, he used some Shining Kingdom medicines to nurse Clay back to health, then took him to Salvation so he could find a new home.
And he has. Clay's built himself a nice little shack on the outskirts of town, and works as manual labor for whomever wants to pay him most of the time, and as a Deputy for the sheriff when he's needed. It's a quiet life, but a good enough one. Probably not as good as the life that had been stolen from him, but like his pa would say when he'd ask about his mother, 'Boy, ain't no point in starin' at the past. You play the cards your dealt and make the best of things. It's what she would have wanted for you.'