Monday, July 7, 2014

Dr. Sandorius and the Resurrection Men: Characters

This is a narrative of a Savage Worlds campaign we started. It takes place in Ruritania in 1832, 20 years after the action in Dr. Sandorius and the White Death.

Main Characters:

Johannes Sandorius is one of Europe’s greatest living alchemists and sorcerers. Born Ivo Szandor in Transylvania in 1555 to a family of minor nobility. He studied magic and alchemy at the University of Hermanstadt in the Carpathians. In 1580, he began an affair with Countess Erzbeth Bathory who used him to gain his occult knowledge and then betrayed him. This began a centuries long struggle with the “Blood Countess.” He ultimately began an association with John Dee when the great sorcerer was in Prague who cast a spell of long-life on his apprentice. Sandorius assisted in the Siege of Vienna and the liberation of Ruritania by Prince Vladislav Radziwill.

In the early 1800s, from his refuge in Ruritania, he learned that Bathory, who was a vampire by that time, had gained influence over the Tsar of Russia. Sandorius encouraged the Ruritanian regent, Prince Leopold, to join Napoleon’s attack in 1812, in the hope of destroying Bathory. Sandorius barely escaped with his life from Russia but did rescue an infant girl who he raised as a daughter.

Seeking to escape from Bathory, he went into hiding with his new daughter. He had left behind in Ruritania his extensive hidden library of magical texts and feared that Bathory would someday find it. In 1826, believing that Bathory had given up the search, he returned to Ruritania under the assumed identity of alchemist Joao Mercurio. He was given a position at the University of Strelzov’s College of Alchemy and Thaumaturgy, ultimately becoming Dean of that College. He has lived quietly there since then.

However, after nearly twenty years of occupation, unrest is growing in Ruritania, made worse by Russian arrogance after their recent victory over the Ottoman Turks.

Jan Milna was born in 1812, the son of an impoverished Polish nobleman serving in the army of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. His father died the next year in the invasion of Russia. His widowed mother received funds from an anonymous benefactor. With that she was able to see he educated and, shortly before her death, was able to enter him in the Royal Military Academy at Warsaw. There he participated in the November Insurrection (1830) and fought heroically in the subsequent Russo-Polish War. Despite several incredible victories, the Poles were ultimately swamped by superior Russian numbers. Milna was wounded and evacuated over the border into the German states. He ultimately went to Rome, hoping to gain a spot in the Papal Army but was unsuccessful. Fortunately, he was offered enrollment with an honorarium at the Radziwillian University in Strelzov, Kingdom of Ruritania. With the last of his money he set off for Ruritania, still believing the hope of a freer, more democratic society.

Lady Euphemia “Effie” Dalhousie was born Euphemia MacGillacutty in India in 1809. Her father, the Reverend Angus MacGillacutty, was a missionary. Her father was never a good or enthusiastic minister and rather spent most of his free time hunting. Effie was forced at an early age to take charge of the household and has never gotten over the frugal habits she acquired from her mother who died in 1822.

Effie often accompanied her father hunting and learned to ride and shoot from an early age; she even knows how to control elephants. On one hunting expedition, the pair discovered an ancient ruined temple wherein they found a huge treasure in jewels. She wears the greatest treasure, a large ruby called the Blood of Chandra, in a necklace - it is here only remembrance of her father.

With that treasure, the Reverend sent Effie back to Britain to attend a very exclusive girls’ finishing school in 1824. Her father was killed a year later in India, it is not clear whether it was by bandits or an angry mob. At age 17, her betrothal to Lord Dalhousie was arranged by her Uncle Anstruther who was her guardian. The young Lord, a gambler and ne’er-do-well, hoped to trade on his title to marry a rich heiress. He charmed Effie and they were wed when she turned 18.

For the next 5 years, he rapidly went through Effie’s fortune until all that remains is the estate at Cranliarch and a single large ruby called the Blood of Chandra that she wears in a necklace. They have been estranged for almost a year. Six months ago, he left from London claiming that he had a business opportunity on the continent that would retrieve all their fortune and likely make them one of the foremost families in the United Kingdom. The last word she had of him was that he disappeared from his lodgings in the University of Strelzov in the capital of the Kingdom of Ruritania. His debtors are seeking to have him declared dead so that they may lay claim to the estate. Effie has decided to travel to Ruritania to find out what happened to him.

Tsura Pusomori - Born in 1806 to a gypsy family in eastern Europe, her family has been living in Ruritania for the past few years. Famed as a dancer, singer, and fortune-teller, she was also feared for her skill with curse magic. The Gypsies, also known as Romany, Rom, or Roma, inhabit many Eastern European countries. Although many see them as servants of the Devil, the gypsies have been fighting evil far longer than any group, including the Church. Her people have discovered that an ancient relic has come into Ruritania and it may be in the possession of Lady Dalhousie. The Lady has appeared in Ruritania in search of her missing husband who perhaps has been taken by the Thuggi. Tsura has volunteered to act as a servant and guide for the frugal lady and hopes to keep the artifact from falling into the wrong hands.

Inspector Anton Smelchak was born in the cosmopolitan city of Zenda in the Kingdom of Ruritania in 1795, he is too young to remember the Revolution of 1796 but grew up in a strongly pro-republican household, his father being an attorney and sometimes member of the tricameral Diet as a member of the Constitutionalist party. Like his father, he studied law at the University of Zenda, beginning in 1812. He served briefly in the Student’s Battalion during the 1814 campaign in which Russian and Austrian armies overran Napoleon’s Ruritanian ally, fighting at the disastrous Battle of Tarlinsk. Upon receiving his degree, he obtained a position as a legal clerk with the Ministry of Police and proved himself to be an excellent administrator and even better detective. He is absolutely incorruptible. As a result, since 1827, he has been the Chief Inspector of the impoverished and dangerous Saint Methodius (Sankta Methodi) District of the capital, Strelzov. In that role he has solved many crimes but also came into conflict with the notorious Ruritanian secret police force, the Royal Postal Service. He hates the postmen and the fact that they currently act as puppets for the Russian occupiers.

Ratko Fisztic was born in the slums of Strelzov, Ruritania in 1782. Joined the 1797 revolution led by Duke Leopold. Served in the Ruritanian Army during entire Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the few survivors of the Russian campaign of 1812. Following the destruction of the constitutional government in Ruritania and the joint occupation by Russia and Austria, he took up a life of crime, including burglary, fencing, pickpocketing, smuggling, even grave robbing. He joined several gangs, trying to use them surreptitiously for the revolutionary cause. Arrested in 1817, he opted to become an informant for the police, making enemies of several gang leaders. Two years ago, he purchased the position of Factotum at the School of Alchemy and Thaumaturgy in the University of Strelzov. As Factotum, he is responsible for all of the administrative and logistical activities for the School and regularly embezzles money and supplies intended for the students. Recently, he has taken to renting out rooms to non-students since the School is so sparsely attended.

Nikolina “Nikolushka” Mukczusz (Mookchoosh) - Born in the slums of Strelzov in 1813 to an unwed prostitute and sometimes army camp follower, her mother always claimed that her father was a certain Sergeant Fisztic. Her mother died when Nikolina was 14. She grew up on the streets, learning to steal from an early age. When she was 17, she was taken under the protection of Beppo, a younger son of the dread brigand, Hozzenko who hoped to make her his mistress. She resisted this and is struggling, both in and out of jail. Despite her background, she has grown up as something of a romantic, acquired from attending too many of the cheap romantic operettas in the lower class variety theatres. She spends her free time day-dreaming about some handsome prince who will find her and rescue her from the life of poverty and crime. She has also been a willing assistant to some of the student revolutionary groups, acting as a courier and deliverer of revolutionary tracts. Her claim that her supposed father works for the University, with its’ special legal jurisdiction has often gotten her out of scrapes with the police. Fisztic is less than enthusiastic about acknowledging her as his daughter.

Giedrias Topisz (Topish) - Born in 1810, the son of an impoverished gentry family in the Duchy of Leutonia, the poorest and most backward region in Ruritania. A brilliant student (quite the rarity in Leutonia), he obtained entrance into the University of Stelzov. He hoped to study engineering to develop ways to improve the lot of the Leutonian peasant. While at the University, he fully embraced the views of the revolutionary constitutionalist who desire to limit royal power and end the occupation imposed after Ruritania’s defeat in the Napoleonic Wars. His life changed about one year ago when he witnessed an attack on a beggar by a ghoul one night. Realizing that there was a far more profound danger to mankind, he took up the study of the occult and the methods for fighting the supernatural, transferring into the College of Alchemy and Thaumaturgy. There he applied his engineering skills to create devices for fighting evil. He still believes in fighting more mundane evil and is still heavily involved in revolutionary politics. He was delighted to hear that a young Polish officer will be enrolled in the University, having an experienced soldier would certainly help the Revolution. He has volunteered to take the young man, Jan Milna under his wing. He has also been approached by some miners from the Grebnach Salt Mines, members of the Leutonian Diaspora, to help find several of their comrades who have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Sensing that there might be supernatural forces at work, he has asked the legendary Bobo Drko to help investigate.

Anabale Sufflay - The somewhat excitable son of a composer, born in 1809, in the former Venetian colony of Sylvania, now a province of the Austrian Empire. Having enraged his father by refusing to go into music, he furthered the breech by getting a housemaid pregnant. He was hurried off to the neighboring country of Ruritania and enrolled in the University of Strelzov, the only slot available being in the College of Alchemy. He likes to pose as a revolutionary but that has been mainly to get girls.

Bobo Drko was born Polycarp Dymny, son of a peasant mink-herder in the Duchy of Leutonia, Kingdom of Ruritania, in 1787, youngest of 13 children. Sent to the Saints Boris and Gleb Seminary in Miknoritsin, Leutonia in 1808. He was ordained in 1814. He served as a leader of the People’s Militia during the 1814 campaign in which Russian and Austrian armies overran Napoleon’s Ruritanian ally, leading peasant partisans against the occupiers. Captured, he spent five years in Siberia before being allowed to return to Ruritania in 1820. He was personally selected by the Grand Presbyter of Strelzov for service with the Holy Office of Exorcists, the branch of the Ruritanian Church charged with defense against the occult. Since that time he has fought every sort of evil creature in the kingdom. Lately he has been working to protect the members of the Leutonian Diaspora working under harsh conditions in Western Ruritania.

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