AFTERMATH! - Cities in Dust
“Big"' Bill Rowland
As his name suggests, Rowland is a large man and never lets anyone forget it. Standing 6’ 4" in his stocking feet and tipping the scales at 260 lbs, Rowland would be truly intimidating if it wasn’t for his weak chin and that weaselly look in his eyes. Rowland wears simple homespun shirts and patched overalls, but his favorite article of clothing is the “he-man” studded leather wristband he wears on his right arm. Big Bill always has at least three knives and a straight razor on him; despite his buffoonish nature, Rowland is capable of slitting a man’s throat before he can blink.
In times of crisis, Big Bill will wear a heavy leather jacket that’s a might too small for him, soft leather pants he can barely move in, and an old motorcycle helmet that pinches his ears. He will carry a pump shotgun (with the three remaining shells he owns) and a fire axe for melee combat.
Big Bill Rowland was a worker at the grain mill with a propensity for trouble and an utter disdain for authority. Matty Jarman figured the best cure for that was to give Bill a position of responsibility in the hopes that it would teach him respect for others and the need for rules and order. She asked the rest of the town council to appoint Rowland as a deputy Regulator.
It was one of her few mistakes.
Big Bill abused the power of his position and became an even worse bully than before. He drew a circle of like-minded layabouts and troublemakers to him; they supported him in his dealings with the Council of Elders and he made sure that none of them had to paid the price for their misbehavior. Rowland’s power was growing, and the good citizens of Pingberra grew uneasy.
When the chief Regulator, Colm Taylor, died from an infection, Rowland made a play for the spot. The only man in town who was willing to stand up to Big Bill was Michael “Naz” Nazerath, a newcomer to Pingberra. Naz was duly elected chief Regulator, and his first act in office was to show Rowland the door. Rowland went back to his job at the mill, but even though he kept his head down, it was pretty obvious he held a grudge against Naz and wanted back in with the Regulators.
He got his chance when one of the deputies, Charlie Johnson, was killed by raiders and Naz proposed to raise a posse and set out after the murderers. The Council of Elders was firmly against Naz’ plan as the loss of manpower would seriously deplete Pingberra’s defenses. They announced their intention to make Rowland chief Regulator in an attempt to guilt Naz into staying, but when he left anyway they were stuck with their decision.
Luckily for everyone except Rowland, Naz and his posse were successful in their mission and came back (mostly) whole and (undeservedly) hearty. Though suffering from a serious crossbow wound, Naz was still able to browbeat Rowland into stepping down as chief. However, Rowland’s supporters raised enough of a ruckus that Naz and the Council let Rowland stay on as a deputy.
Most folks figure it’s only a matter of time before things come to a head between Big Bill and Naz. It promises to be bloody.