In the American Wild West, there was a legend. The legend was of a man named Stanton Creed. It was said that Creed had made a deal with the Devil himself, to become the most dangerous man in the entire West. No one knows for sure what it was Creed offered the Devil. Was it his soul? Was it his service? The truth is anyone's guess. What is clear from the legend however is that Creed was given five guns, each with their own unique qualities. With his new arsenal, the Deadman's Hand, Creed went on an inhuman spree, bringing justice to more than a thousand outlaws.
Indeed, it seemed there was nothing that Stanton Creed couldn't accomplish, no horizon too far. It was all cut short by a freak stage coach accident, which finally brought an end to the man. The Deadman's Hand disappeared for several years. Nearly five years went by after Stanton's death, when five people appeared claiming to be Creed. These individuals each sought each other out, and set to slaying one another for ownership of their weapons. The trend has continued to this day, and the phenomena has caught the interest of Science.
'Creed' has been classified as a form of Memetic Infection, which overwrites the personality of it's host. Infections appear to occur instantly upon physical contact with a piece of the Deadman's Hand.
Upon infection, the subject begins to take a keen interest in Wild West history, followed by acquisition of a wide-brimmed hat, and some form of duster or trenchcoat. Any time two hosts encounter one another, they will immediately engage in a duel to determine ownership of their pieces of the Deadman's Hand.
In addition, Creed hosts become formidable gunslingers, even if they were not familiar with the usage of firearms before infection. It appears that the infection benefits skilled gunmen considerably more, as the infection can take a skilled man and make him almost superhuman. Hosts also seem to possess some unnatural ability to detect incoming gunfire, and a sort of mental third eye which allows them to quickly engage their targets.
There is currently no known cure for the Creed infection, other than death.