LEW DANG – The Asian Ponchero, late-30s, his name is a play on the Sino-Vietnamese word for “ruffian,” although most strangers who come across his path expect a deferential Chinaman.  This stereotype paired with his unique skills as rider and gunman, saves him from the hangman’s noose and earns him the job of integration czar for Guachiman Territory. He views the Governor GEORGE HOMINY’s grand vision as a bastardized Poncherismo, an ideology that extols diversity, cooperation, and equality.  He goes about his duties dispassionately, while trying to plot the return of Los Poncheros.

TURBIN CORBETT – El Colorado Ponchero, late-30s, fiery and hard-headed, he is Vladimir Lenin to LEW DANG’S Leon Trotsky.  Both are crucial to the Bat Colony Republic and the return of Poncherismo, but remain distrustful of each other’s motives and vision for the group’s future.  In present day Guachiman Territory, Corbett is on the brink of a complete mental malfunction, when he is pulled back into action by a scheming Black businessman named MOSES RUFF.  

CHARLIE DART – The Black Ponchero, early-40s, wise and steadfast, he is the de facto captain of the often excitable Los Poncheros.  His demeanor allows him to take liberties with stories and still maintain credibility – like the time he said he was kidnapped by Crow Indians, only to be saved when his Indian father recognized him.  By charm or threat, he has to convince his Black neighbors to move off their lands in order to save his son all the while being harassed by WHODUNIT HARRY and his cowboys.

RESPECTS NOTHING – The Apache Ponchero, mid-40s, the biggest Indian with the biggest mustache in the Western territories.  His secret to a robust mustache – beaver anus oil. He roams around the Southwest and Mexico, raiding with a small band of Chiricahua Apaches.  He is pulled into MOSES RUFF’s scheme to liberate the Buffalo Men and the Red Men of Guachiman Territory, although his heart still lies in Ponchería, aka the Bat Colony Republic.  

BAT GIRL – Multilingual teenage Indian girl of mysterious origins who can see bullets before they fly.  She wanders the West quietly searching for her sister. In her search, she comes across countless genízaras, young Native American slave girls, who she cleverly helps free from captivity.  The Navajo believe she is the daughter of their protector goddess Spider Woman. She crosses paths with Lew Dang and eventually becomes his sidekick and protector.  Groomed by multiple Poncheros, she will become the first lady Ponchera and perhaps the ultimate one.

LUCIEN DUVALL- The Creole Ponchero, early-30s, young and idealistic, he is often broody and love sick.  A skilled fisherman and cook, he is able to impress the locals with his ability to turn ordinary game meat into fine dining with the help of his menagerie of Southern spices.  

RUSH FOX – The Quaker Ponchero, mid-30s, deserted the Confederate Army after his fellow soldiers forced him to kill a prisoner of war.  Unable to return home to his wife and children, he stumbles upon and then joins Los Poncheros, who end up testing his covenant to pacifism.  In Copper City, he tries to grow the Quaker Society of Friends, but encounters competition from another religion that is more in tune with the new American spirit.  

LEV KUSHNIRENKO – The Russian Ponchero, mid-40s, a former soldier of fortune who was a warlord in Mexico until he was deposed by a rival.  Useful for his knowledge of Mexican customs and terrain, he joined Los Poncheros in their missions to hunt down bandits in the Sierra Madre of Mexico.  

SERAPIO LA VACA – Son of the original Mexican Ponchero, mid-20s, he desperately wants to live up to his father’s exploits.  His father, ANCELMO LA VACA, was a leathery vaquero who chewed tobacco like a cow and taught the young Poncheros much about the West. Ancelmo is an expert rider, lancer, and a wizard with the lasso in the Californio tradition, but just needs a situation in which to use them.   


BRAVE BONITA –  A revered Navajo Woman of Two Spirits, late-30s, she rides and fights alongside the men, but is also maternal and an expert weaver.  She has given up having a family in order to fight for her tribe’s survival, where her skillful riding and supernatural ability to avoid capture are most needed.  She is LEW DANG’S preferred poncho weaver and unrequited love.

POKEBERRY PETE – Bombastic dwarf Quaker in his 50s, he gets his name from the bladder full of pokeberry juice he stabs to rail against slavery and inequality.  He is recruited by LEW DANG to bring Quakers and their teachings to the Bat Colony Republic in order to help unite its citizens under meditative silence.  
MIRIAM MOTT – Wife of POKEBERRY PETE, the cool breeze to his fire-breathing.  In her late-40s, she is a fine orator in her own right, her role is to uplift audiences to take action against slavery after her husband gets thrown out for his pokeberry-infused theatrics.  She effectively advocates for women’s rights in the Bat Colony Republic and takes action against abuses to women.

JOHN STEELE – A former member of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, who has turned spy.  In his mid-30s, his mission is to prevent the spread of the Bat Colony Republic and their ideas into the newly created Confederation of Canada.  Mission creep and vainglory lead him to try to overthrow Los Poncheros and annex the lands for himself and his band of Canadians with the help of the Bonecrushers, a feared seafaring tribe.

TEWA, THE FLYING SQUIRREL – The leader of a small Cherokee band who fled Oklahoma after killing BLOODY CROW, a feared seven-foot Osage Chief.  In his early-30s, he imports his love of stickball to the Bat Colony Republic and the game unexpectedly helps to relieve conflicts among the various tribes through competition.  

JOE TOKTOK – Leader of the native Squamish people on the Salish Sea, early-50s, he brokers the sale of two thousand acres to Los Poncheros on his land, provided they help defend his people against attack from the feared Bonecrusher Tribe.  A jovial man who teaches his new neighbors the Squamish traditions of potlatches, where people would feast and give away worldly positions to strengthen social bonds.

MUCIO THE SEA BEAST – Fierce warrior of the Bonecrusher Tribe, a militant seafaring people who terrorize the areas around Vancouver Island and Salish coastal communities.  In his late-30s and built like a mature tuna, he was given the name by a Spanish priest who witnessed Mucio melt his own hand in order to hold a missionary’s head into a blazing campfire.  

SERENA ASK ETHEL – Charismatic and alluring, late-20s, she founds the Indian Dancer Church, where members, filled with a spirit animal, dance, jump, whirl, and chant for hours to heal their bodies and minds of sickness and depravity.  The Church is devoted to gender equality with prospective husbands and wives having to work together to complete the Holy Trinity, three feats of increasing difficulty.

SERGEANT AGUARDIENTE – A former French-Canadian fur trapper turned spirits maker in his mid-50s, who lives in the Canadian wilderness with his métis (half-breed) community in a hedonistic commune.  His fire water distilling and trading operation causes conflicts with the local tribes and eventually with the Bat Colonists.


MOSES RUFF – Black entrepreneur in his late-30s, who is the proprietor of a tiscal (a special blend of corn and agave liquor) distillery and infamous saloon in the Black community of Quivira. A consummate schemer and charmer, he desires to be more than a backcountry tycoon. His master plan is to provoke White flight in the boomtown of Copper City by ratcheting up Indian raids and the Black presence in the all-White settlement.

GOVERNOR GEORGE HOMINY – The Governor of Guachiman in his mid-50s, he is paternalistic and owl-like with broad-shoulders and bushy brows. He hires Lew Dang to be his Integration Czar and help him become “The Moses of All the Races.” His high-minded ideals are tested when his free-spirited daughter falls in with the wrong crowd.

HARLEY HOMINY – Beautiful and flirty in her early-20s, she is the daughter of GOVERNOR GEORGE HOMINY. She is a spoiled young woman filled with aristocratic pretensions and romantic wanderlust. When she begins hanging around BABY TEN, the Governor sends her off to do missionary work on a Navajo reservation, only for her to fall in with a brazen Navajo warrior.

PAPPY CUSS – A vulture of a man in his late-40s, his social correctness (he admonishes his underlings to refrain from racial slurs) masks his insatiable avarice. He kidnaps DIZZY DART in order to force his father, CHARLIE DART, into his machinations of buying up Black land for cheap in order to access rich silver ore that lies underneath.

MADELYN MISENPLACE – The most captivating prostitute in the territory in her late-20s, she is sought after not for her looks, but rather her exotic je ne sais quoi and her ability to deconstruct a man at his weak points and build him back up again.

BABY TEN – In his mid-20s, he aspires to be the first Black Poet Laureate. He comes out West for romance and adventure, but finds that it can be grating against his East Coast sensibilities. He becomes MOSES RUFF’s hired gun and the poetic chronicler of the bloody events that transpire.

BO BRYAN – Wild-haired Democratic populist in his mid-50s, he runs for office against incumbent GEORGE HOMINY. His inflammatory and racist remarks gain him new followers locally and supporters in Washington. He antagonizes the incumbent for his bleeding heart and bible thumping.

SHERIFF MUSK OX MUSKOGEE – A massive loaf of a man, who leavens with heat and anger. A former Texas Ranger now in his early-40s, he holds an eternal animus towards Los Poncheros for their deadly skirmish with his former comrades. Often checks his badge at the door to the highest bidder.

JONAS “CHIPPER” WOKUM – A young charismatic Mormon in his late-20s, who is known as the most chipper man in the Territory. He is sent as a missionary/spy to the Bat Colony Republic and then to Guachiman Territory, much to the irritation of Rush Fox, his spiritual rival. He is a gifted recruiter of souls to the Mormon Church.

WHODUNIT HARRY – A dead-eyed cowboy with a cadaverous soul in his mid-30s, he is an expert cattle rustler and horse thief. As PAPPY CUSS’ hired gun, he often has to be reigned in from his grisly excesses.

TURNDOG – One of WHODUNIT HARRY’S oafish henchmen in his late-30s, he has an ogre’s strength with sheepish intelligence.

VIOLA DART – Wife of CHARLIE DART in her early-40s, she tries to raise her children while constantly on the move with her wandering husband. She chronicles life in the new Bat Colony Republic and then Guachiman Territory for East Coast newspapers and magazines, focusing on the lives of women much to the chagrin of the vainglorious men.

DIZZY DART – Adopted teenage son of CHARLIE DART, a prodigy equestrian and headstrong, he is kidnapped and ransomed by SHERIFF MUSK OX at the behest of PAPPY CUSS.

OLD MAN TUBA – Largest Black landholder and farmer in Quivira in his early-60s, he has old man strength, which is only outdone by his old man wisdom. His lands support a great many Black families, but the largest silver veins also run under his claim.

PAUL MORRISON – In his early-50s, weary and frail from his trials and tribulations out West, he is the owner of the finest establishments in Copper City. However, he is willing to give it all up to the person that returns his kidnapped daughter.

FRANCISCO VEGA – Roman Catholic priest in his early 50s, he offers spiritual guidance and business direction to the territorial elites, including PAPPY CUSS. He enters into a kind of perverse Faustian bargain with depraved individuals, not for monetary gain, but simply to have male company.


ZEBULON MORDECHAI – Jewish Cavalry Captain assigned to expel Los Poncheros and all Indians from the unwelcome and unrecognized Bat Colony Republic. In his mid-30s, he is an experienced Indian fighter and is sympathetic to their cause, but is fully committed and capable of accomplishing his mission.

CHIEF PINO ALTO – Historically an anarchical and matriarchal society, he is designated chief of a Navajo clan by the U.S. Government to expedite diplomacy. In his mid-40s, he is prideful and sensitive to critics of his new role. He represents a growing shift in Navajo society towards something more White and male dominant.

QUANNAH PARKER – A Comanche Chief in his late-30s, who is feared on the Great Plains. He is the bitter enemy of the Apache RESPECTS NOTHING. They both take pleasure at meting out death and suffering on each other’s tribes.

MIANTAN NU – Her name is Mandarin for “Stone Cold Face.” In her early-40s, she is a traveling gambler who always finds an advantage to win. She takes her nine children with her from town to town clearing out the gambling parlors.

GYORGY ZIGA – A former Gypsy gymnast for the Austrian Royal Court in his early-60s. He left for America decades earlier to escape persecution. He creates a popular traveling circus that captivates audiences all across the American West and Mexico. LEW DANG often performs in his shows and is like a son to him.

Share this legend