The explanation on the Strange Man and his role when it comes to Armadillo and Herbert Moon generally accepted on this sub, largely misses the mark in my opinion. The notion that the Strange Man caused the Armadillo plague and magically extended Herbert Moon's life through some Faustian deal, conflicts heavily with what we know about the Strange Man through other interactions. As such, I believe the generally accepted canon (e.g. as mentioned by popular RDR content creators) regarding this subject is wrong.
This is my interpretation of the events and clues surrounding the Armadillo plague, Herbert Moon and the Strange Man. This post was inspired by discussion on whether the Strange Man has active power over worldly events in the world of RDR, in the recent post on this sub about archetypes.
Before I dive into my theory regarding what happened to Moon, I should make this general statement about my interpretation of the Strange Man. Unlike many commenters in the post I mentioned above, I believe the Strange Man has no power over events other than the ability to share certain knowledge, in order to provide the recipient with a moral dilemma, which may in turn allow the recipient to influence the world through personal choice. This explanation is most in line with the Strange Man's interactions with Arthur and John we've seen throughout the games. The notion that the Strange Man caused a plague, or gave Herbert Moon and his family magical powers, is not at all in line with his other interactions with the RDR world. Through sharing certain knowledge with John in RDR1, the Strange Man provided John and those John interacted with with a moral dilemma and a chance at redemption. Regarding the Strange Man's connection with Arthur, it's likely that he did the same with Jimmy Brooks. It seems logical to conclude that he did something similar with Herbert Moon.
A Faustian deal does not line up with this MO at all.
If a Faustian deal is out of the question, how are we to take the clues surrounding Herbert Moon and Armadillo? I think I've found the most reasonable explanation. I'll try and elaborate by quoting the relevant clues.
>The water is black with venom
Most take this to refer to Blackwater exclusively. I think there may be a different explanation.... keep reading on reddit ➡
Montreal (Lucario) Armadillo wins 3-2 against Ned (PokemonTrainer) after a down-to-the-wire game 5. Ned misinputted uptilt, committed to a Smash attack, and got Fsmashed by high rage/aura Lucario at low %.