Nothin' means more to me than this gang. I would kill for it. I would happily die for it. I wish things were different... But it weren't us who changed.
— Arthur Morgan

Arthur Morgan is the main character of Red Dead Redemption 2. When he was a teenager he was taken in by a pair of outlaws, Dutch van der Linde and Hosea Matthews, who found him living on the streets after his father was arrested. They acted as father figures to him, raising him in their philosophy of living a life free of civilisation and the rule of law. Naturally this lead to the formation of an outlaw gang, of which Arthur was a founding member as well as it's most loyal and effective enforcer.

After a botched ferry heist in Blackwater, Arthur and the rest of the gang are forced to flee north and hide in the mountains before slowly beginning to move south again into new lands. In every place they stop there is peace for a time until the gang causes too much trouble and they are forced to flee. Along the way many members of the gang are killed in botched robberies and ambushes and Arthur's loyalty slowly begins to waver as he begins to realise that Dutch may not have the gang's best interests at heart.

Arthur eventually contracts tuberculosis, which he caught from a man he was collecting money from for the gang. Knowing he does not have long to live and seeing the gang is close to collapse, Arthur's priorities shift and his focus becomes helping John Marston, a fellow gang member and one of his oldest friends, to escape with his family.

Battle vs The Man with No Name (by Wassboss)

It was a sunny spring morning when Arthur Morgan pushed through the doors to the Old Light Saloon. A few of the patrons look up from their drinks at the new arrival but most ignore him as he walks over to the bar. “What’ll it be fella?” the Bartender asks.

“I’ll have a whisky,” Arthur replies, sitting down on the stool furthest from the door. The bartender pours the drink out for him as Arthur slides over a fifty cent coin. As he takes the glass the doors swing open again as another patron walks in. Arthur pays him little attention as he walks up to the bar, beckoning over the bartender with his finger.

“Can I get you a drink?” he asks.

“Not today. Have you heard the name Arthur Morgan round these parts?” Arthur stiffens as he hears his name but his face remains passive as he glances up from his drink. The man at the bar is taller than him, leaner too and his face is hard. He can feel the danger radiating off him but he gives none nothing away as he watches him.

“Can’t say that I have,” the bartender. “A lot of people come through here and not many care to give their names.” Arthur watches as the man reaches into his jacket and starts to pull out a crumpled up piece of paper, which he instantly recognises as a wanted poster. Arthur slowly moves his right hand to his revolver as the Man lays it out on the bar.

“In which case do you recognise this man?” he asks. Arthur notices the four-digit reward underneath his mugshot and makes his decision.

“Oh. Well fella he’s actually sat right…” the Bartender begins but before he can finish Arthur has already stood up from his seat, unholstering his revolver and thumbing back the hammer. An unnatural silence falls over the bar as the patrons look on in trepidation. “Woah there fella, let’s not do anything stupid now,” the Bartender says nervously.

“Just who the hell are you,” Arthur says ignoring the bartender’s statement.

“I could ask you the same question partner,” the Man says, seemingly unfazed by the gun levelled at his chest. “Not many men have four thousand dollars on their head.”

“What can I say, I’m a popular man,” Arthur says gruffly.

“I would like to point out the wanted poster says dead or alive,” the Man says. “So, you don’t have to die here.” Arthur laughs but it is bitter and lacking in warmth.

“That’s mighty confident talk for a man with a gun pointed at him,” he replies.

“Now that is true. Which would’ve been a problem. If that is, I’d come alone.” Arthur sees movement out of the corner of his eye and his gaze flickers over. With him momentarily distracted the Man ducks down suddenly with Arthur responding instinctively by firing. The Man rises, his own revolver drawn and it is Arthur’s turn to duck down behind the cover of the bar. He looks around, trying to see if there is anybody trying to shoot him but all the other patrons are flooding out of the bar, not wanting to be caught in the crossfire.

Cursing himself for falling for such a simple trick, Arthur dives out from behind the bar to the cover of an overturned table, knocked over by somebody eager to get out. He hears the bullets whistling past him but luckily none of them connect as he puts the solid slab of wood between him and his opponent, the last bullet punching a hole through it just above his head. It becomes a race between the pair as to who can load their gun up first and Arthur is the one to win the contest, peering over the table and opening fire on the Man.

He abandons loading up the rest of the bullets, snapping the chamber back into place with a click and returning fire. Naturally he runs out of bullets first and Arthur presses this advantage, standing up fully so he can aim his shots better. The Man tries to duck down behind cover but a bullet snags his shoulder, knocking him to the ground. Arthur strides over to him, pointing the barrel at his head and pulling the trigger only to hear the click of an empty chamber. “Just ain’t my day today is it,” he mutters as the Man gets back to his feet. Drawing his knife from his belt, Arthur advances on him. He goes for a stab but the Man grabs his arm, stopping the blade. Arthur responds with a punch to his face which sends him reeling and he stumbles through the saloon doors.

Arthur follows him out, ignoring the horrified looks of the locals. As he moves in the Man throws himself at him, grabbing onto him and trapping the knife to his body. He then drives several punches into Arthur’s stomach and he doubles over. The Man then wrestles the knife from his grip, jabbing at him wildly with it. Arthur shouts in pain as it pierces through his side, thankfully missing anything vital but nevertheless a painful experience. He headbutts the Man, feeling his nose crunch under the blow. The Man crashes to the ground and Arthur straddles him, punching him repeatedly in the head until he is dazed.

Satisfied he is out for the count, Arthur hobbles over to his horse and slides out Carbine. Cocking it back he turns back to where he left the Man, only to find that he has disappeared. Arthur looks around to see where he has gone but cannot see him anywhere. “Goddamn slippery bastard,” he says angrily. Deciding to cut his losses he mounts up, giving the reins a sharp tug to get the horse to go. As it starts to move, he keeps looking around for his opponent with his rifle clutched tightly in case he shows himself. As he reaches the outskirts of Van Horn Trading post, he starts to relax a bit, lowering his rifle and urging his horse into a canter.

As he turns the bend, obscuring his view of the town, a shot rings out and his horse bucks up in pain. Arthur is thrown painfully to the ground and the horse bolts. Looking up he sees the Man, mounted on his own horse, rifle in hand. He rushes for his rifle which has fallen nearby but before he can grab it, it is smashed to pieces by two shots from the Man’s rifle. Arthur sighs in defeat and looks up at his opponent. “Don’t suppose you could take me in alive?” he says sarcastically.

“Sorry partner, that offer is now rescinded,” the Man says, shooting him once through the heart, killing him stone dead.

Epilogue

When he died, Arthur Morgan always figured he would be spending eternity in brimstone and fire, being poked at by horned devils as punishment for his sins. And yet, as he watched the sun rising in the east, his body shutting down as his infliction finally claimed his life, he found himself not in hell. Or at least not the hell he’d been expecting. When he awoke and found himself lying in a hospital bed, he’d been confused to say the least. The doctor had told him that he was in some place called DFederal but everything after that had just sounded like a load of nonsense. Apparently, he had a house here and even though he’d never even heard of this city let alone been to it he felt as if he knew exactly where this said house was supposed to be.

So, caught up in his thoughts he almost doesn’t notice as a man steps out of the shadows in front of him. He barks something at him in a language he doesn’t understand and Arthur senses more men closing in around him. Glancing around he can see most of them are armed with tridents although several of them are also carrying nets as well. The man repeats the phase, thrusting out his hand aggressively and Arthur doesn’t need to understand him to know what he wants. “Now look fellas, I don’t have anything on me right now, I just got here,” he says, hoping that they at least understand him. The man looks at him angrily before drawing a knife and pressing it into his neck, repeating the phrase for the third time even more aggressively than the last.

“Hey! Leave that guy alone,” a voice calls out from behind. The men whirl around, looking at the stranger and start shouting something in their language. A gunshot rings out and the men jump back, scuttling back into the alleyways. The knife wielder too flees and Arthur rubs his neck in the place the steel blade was pressed against it.

“Thanks mister,” he says turning to thank his saviour and his mouth drops open in surprise at a man he knows well. “John?” he says.

“Arthur Morgan,” Marston says, just as surprised “I never figured I’d see you again.” Holstering his gun, he takes Arthur’s hand warmly, clapping him on the shoulder.

“I hope you managed to make a good life for yourself, Abigail and Jack.”

“I did, I did. Or well for a while at least. You know better than anyone a man can never truly escape his past. Speaking of past, you know Dutch, he’s in this place as well.”

“Really? Even in death I can’t escape him,” Arthur says. A thought strikes him and he frowns. “He hasn’t reeled you back in has he?”

“No. Not again, not this time. Not that he would need me anyway. There are plenty of angry young men in this city who need something to believe in. He’s even got them wearing these silly masks…” Arthur holds up his hand to stop him.

“You know what John; I don’t care what he’s doing anymore.”

“Fair enough. You know I was going out for a drink before I rang into you. Fancy joining me?”

“I’d like that,” Arthur says smiling. “What about that place,” he continues. John follows his gaze to the neon flashing sign which says ‘The Closet’.

“Uh. Well you see Arthur that isn’t a place for guys like us,” he says sheepishly. “It’s more Bill’s kind of place.” Arthur looks at him blankly until it sinks in what he is implying.

“Oh. Right. Well then wherever you suggest then,” he says chuckling. As the pair walk off a group of three men pass them, stopping outside the Closet.

“You sure this is the place you want Boss?” one of the men asks.  

“We need a proper base of operations. I can’t keep conducting business out of your apartment. It sets the wrong idea, that we’re only small time. This’ll give people the right idea” comes the reply from the shortest of the group. Scratching the plaster on the back of his head, he pushes open the door to the bar, his two associates following closely behind.

Winner: The Man With No Name

Expert's Opinion

The Man with No Name won this battle for a couple of reasons. He had the superior firearms for one, not by much granted but enough to give him an advantage. His skill with said firearms was the major reason for his victory however as he was undoubtedly the better gunslinger of the two. Arthur was no slouch in this department but the Man was simply faster on the draw and has showcased better aiming and tactical cunning.

To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.

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