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Marston, John

John Marston

Red Dead Redemption
If you ever find yourself in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging.


Played by Locque

Fandom: Red Dead Redemption
Age: 26 Years Old
Species: Human
Gender/Pronouns: Male | He/Him
Canon Point: Red Dead Redemption 2 - End of Chapter Six
NPC Companions: Jack Marston -- Four year old son of John and Abigail Roberts. Small child and cute as a button. Shall simply state here that Jack has no abilities or skills above that of a normal, human four year old. He's simply a child.


Survival SkillsJohn has lived rough most of his life. He knows how to survive in the wilderness. He can hunt, fish, field dress an animal. Put up a tent, start a fire, cook food. He knows a fair bit about native (where he's from anyway) plants and their uses as well as how to make tonics from them. He can certainly survive in the worst conditions but lets not talk about the wolves...

Combat/FightingJohn has some very informal training (thanks to the gang) in firing guns, using knives and hand to hand combat. However, he'd probably say he knows how to shoot people and can handle himself in a bar fight. No matter the wording, he's got some skills. He has a very nice hunting knife and his prized cattleman revolver with him for anyone who needs/wants to see those skills in action.

Horseback RidingWith horses being the mode to get around in the old west, John has some serious skills. There are many hours in the saddle to his name and he can handle many a different type of horse. Their general care is also known including farrier work.

Reading & WritingJohn is among the lucky ones in his era to be able to read and write. Taught by Dutch and Hosea, he has no problem with either activity. However, he's not really a read for fun sort of guy. He'd rather widdle something.

  • Cattleman Revolver Firearm. Perhaps useful as long as he can find bullets for it. John's a skilled shot and doesn't travel anywhere without it.
  • Hunting Knife. Exactly what it sounds like. It's a strong, sharp knife which is used to field dress animals and things of that nature. It had been used to stab someone or slit a throat, however. These days though he's hoping that particular use is behind him.
  • Satchel. A small bag worn on the body and used to carry odds and ends. This one is rather fancy and made from leather, fur and animal tooth. It technically was not his until shortly before his arrival to Pandora. It contains odds and ends from Arthur's life, making it rather precious. He will obviously continue to use it once he's gone through and sorted things.

Simply HumanJohn, of course, is human and that comes with many weaknesses. He's strong but no more than the average man who's lived an active outdoor life. He can't pick up a car for example (not that he even knows what a car is). There are so many different ways a human could die, it's impossible to list them. However, it's safe to say that he requires food and water. Air to breathe. He could freeze to death or die from heat stroke. There's always getting mauled to death by an animal too. Ask him about the wolves.

Can't SwimTo further his weaknesses, John cannot swim. For whatever reason, he can't seem to learn. If water is too deep, he can drowned and die. He very much so doesn't want to do that so he's careful about staying in a boat rather than falling out of one.


John is a man who tries, for the most part. He's not a perfect man and nor does he give everything his best but he's trying to be a better man. He's known for being a bit rash at times. Not always thinking things through the way he should and that can and has backfired on him. Nonetheless, he's a forward thinker. Very stubborn and always onto the next thing. Just because the past haunts you doesn't mean you have to look at it.

To some people he might appear closed off but to those he considers a friend, he's not. It's all a matter of trust. He has feelings just like anyone else and has known all the different ones in his day. He can get frustrated easily if he doesn't quite know what to do about something. Like when Abigail starts her nagging, he tends to go straight to considering her unreasonable. He's working on that. He does love Abigail though, do not think for a second that he does not, it's just complicated like everything else in the world.

John can get rather caught up in himself if allowed to. When trying to avoid the whole parenting thing, he was doing all he could to not seem like the father of Jack while giving anyone who did a hard time about it. He's trying to learn the parenting thing now, however, but that too is a work in progress. He doesn't always know what to do with Jack. How to handle the boy. This does cause him to come off as a bit irresponsible.

Something which bleeds over into other aspects. If there's a problem, he wants to fix it and not always in the best way there is. The right way, the wrong way, and the John Marston way is certain a very real thing. But he does get things done, it just might not be the way someone wants. He's not a stupid man by any means however nor is he a sheep. Loyalty is one thing but after what happened with the gang, he's not such a fool these days nor will he risk his family in such a game.

Equally, he knows what anger is and can get properly angry. Although, it's not without some measure of control. He can see red and still knows that murdering a whole town is a bad idea. That doesn't mean he wouldn't punch someone if they needed punching. He very much so has a moral code he follows in that regard even if he has the ability to be at odds with someone elses. He's a pretty normal man that still has some more growing up to do despite being in his twenties.


John's life has always been one of survival. He started out at the bottom of society and has done his best to better himself as he can. Born to a prostitute, his mother not surviving his birth, he was left from the beginning to only having a father. A man who, well, in his own way tried (though John doesn't quite believe that or think on it much these days) but he fell short. Life at the bottom wasn't easy and people fell prey to drink so often. John's father was blinded in a barfight and life got more challenging from there.

John took to crime easily. He had to do something to survive and that became more and more true. Upon his father's eventual death -- at the age of eight, he was placed in an orphanage which he didn't take to. Then again, that was no better than living as he was before. After a few years, he simply stole a few things and left that place. It was better, in his mind, to live on his own and by his wits than suffer and have to conform at the same time. He didn't see any other escape from that orphanage. Like anyone actually got adopted... Of course, that was simply his opinion.

He continued to do the best that he could. Survival on the streets. A continuation of petty crime. Whatever it took to survive. Everything though comes to an end. His thieving hands were caught by some angry homesteaders in time. People who were very apt to take the law into their own hands and string up the twelve year old boy they caught pinching things from them. Or so they had planned until Dutch Van Der Linde intervened, saving John's life.

From that point life got a little better, though no more honest. John was given structure, a purpose and an education by those in the Van Der Linde gang. It suited him and from that place in Illinois he traveled with them westward, doing what any gang does best. This was the case for many a year. I shall not bore you with the knowledge of every crime committed, what matters is that John grew up, he became something even if that was an outlaw.

What mattered most was when he met Abigail. Another of the lost souls Dutch found and brought to their little safe haven. Love really is a funny thing. Not quite expected but it happened nonetheless. A union that eventually led to the creation of Jack -- although even that's not so simple -- maybe even John had been more of a grown up rather than a boy playing outlaw he would have been better about it all. For so very long, he hadn't wanted to believe the child was even his. Caring for the boy, yes but no more than anyone else was in the gang.

Although there was that missing year. Not that it was missing, John had simply up and left. The gang, Abigail, and Jack for a whole year. Something that was not easily forgiven by certain members of the gang and events of which John doesn't care to speak about. Still, he returned to the familiar of the Van Der Linde gang. His family. Literal and adopted. It didn't make him a better father. Attempts at such came later.

Life in the gang though, did not remain good. Things, so many things were changing. A world not suited for the freedom of the outlaw. Crimes were not forgotten and the small group became on the run more than not. Moving further east rather than west as was hoped. A slow, chaotic slide. Death plaguing them. Yet within that, there had been a point where John did grow up, a little, trying hard to. Among the gang's dealings was a feuding family, one side of which angered by the double dealing discovered, had Jack kidnapped.

For the first time in his life, John knew that kind of fear and was very much so the angry father. It didn't make him a good one, of course, but he was trying from that point on. His family mattering. Looking beyond himself. Things with the gang, however, did not improve. They were being hunted down like dogs. Their ranks slowly being culled. One crime after the other supposed to be the last. For John, there was. A train robbery... he was shot and left to die.

In pain, anger and time, John made it back to what was left of the gang and their camp. Abigail and Jack gone. In one final fight, he and Arthur fled the Pinkertons. Arthur, his brother in so many ways, telling him where Abigail and Jack were before using himself to give John time to get away. A kindness John has never forgotten. How he was given a chance to be with his family, to live a different life. Except something happened he still doesn't understand but he neither died nor made it to that train station. Apparently even this wasn't that simple.


Every muscle in John's body screamed but he had to keep moving. Arthur had given him the chance to get to Abigail and Jack and he wasn't going to let that be in vain. He could still hear the occasional shot, growing more distant with every rock he clambered over. Was that Arthur still putting up a fight or someone else. He paused just long enough to sigh. Arthur... there were a dozen times now he could name he wished he'd have treated the man who became like an older brother to him better. John readjusted the hat on his head when it threatened to slip. That and the satchel were such great gifts.

But right now, he couldn't stop, he couldn't think. He just had to get to Emerald Station. Poor Abigail, she thought he was dead. The one time he hadn't wanted to disappear and he'd done just that. It was just a shame he hadn't been successful in his shot aimed at Dutch. The man had left him to die and had brought the very wrath of hell upon them. Maybe that was a tad dramatic. Hosea'd probably like the word choice though. Another lost soul in their cause for money. There weren't many of them left and John could imagine one fewer with every shot heard.

He just kept moving. The darkness was working in his favour, hiding among the rocks as he was but dawn was coming. A dawn on a new world that didn't contain outlaws. John ducked behind a large rock, pressing against the cold stone at the sound of voices. Pinkertons. They sure as hell were everywhere and still looking. Just great. He needed to get off this mountain. They'd never expect anyone to make it to the open grasslands around Emerald Ranch and the station there. He just had to keep his head and keep moving. Which he did once the voices had died along with the clop of hoof beats.

John kept going and going. Pausing when he thought he heard something. The sky growing brighter and brighter. A sign for peace? He dared to look back the way he'd come. "Thank you, Arthur." He'd said those words before and thought them a few times already. The ground was sloping easier now as the hard rock was giving way to lush grass. The few trees that dotted the space before him, too few in number to be called a forest or even a woods. His heart felt as though it was going to jump out of his chest at seeing the tracks in the distance. Not far from the station now. He looked around, listened, all was quiet now. He had not been followed.

Holstering his gun, he set off across the grass, ignoring the burning in his shoulder that was coming more and more to mind as he felt the freedom of getting away wash over him. Not too long and he'd be with Abigail and Jack again and they could go somewhere, anywhere. Just away from there. Maybe they'd head north. Happy thoughts. Good things were coming. But something had seized his legs, jerking him to the ground. The single glance he managed to get told him this was not human. He screamed and was pulled effortlessly into the ground.

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