For the Director Only!
This is someone who lives to learn, to uncover, to discover, and then pass that knowledge on to others. They are old school, preferring putting pen to paper and chalk to board to write down their thought processes, and lecture face to face rather than via screens. They shepherd knowledge and learners, while being ever open to learning themselves.
Learning and teaching, that's what's important. You will never know even a fraction of everything there is to know, and that inspires you to try. Teaching others makes you happiest of all.
Shaitan, the Wasteland Devil, is a Scavenger, the last of her group, the Far-Seekers. The group was known for scavenging further than any other groups, looking for new places and things to loot well beyond the picked-over known places. The group met their demise past the edges of the known Wasteland, encountering something terrible, when Shaitan was 23. She was the sole survivor, and refuses to talk about what happened. Whatever it was, it visits her in nightmares, and she loathes and avoids sleeping,if she can.
She has been on her own for five years now and, without her tribe of Scavengers she struggled to be allowed into the Sanctuary to trade. It was Vishys that made her a deal, he'd get her a Scav trading spot in the Capital in exchange for gettinng first pick of her salvage, and 20% of the Lux she earned from the rest. Sometimes he forgoes that picking in exchange for maps, or being read to, as he is illiterate.
She's known for mapping the Wasteland areas she goes to, being very sharp-witted, tactical, fierce, and clever, which has been the key to her survival out there. She drives a battered and chunked together vehicle which has a small hauling compartment in the rear for salvage. Her constant companion is a crow she simply calls "Bird".
Ethan Drake (Isle of Dread)
You were a history nerd as a kid, playing with plastic Roman legions and WWII board games, but switched to cultural anthropology as field of study to get out in the field and get your hands dirty. Being a historian would've been too stuffy, stuck behind a desk all day, reading and writing dry, boring texts. You're smart, but you're a doer, not a scholar. You got into teaching because you love sharing and spreading knowledge.
Unfortunately, you also like sleeping with your students. Hailey, your current girlfriend, is half your age but a grad student, so she's not technically as scandalous as others have been. Her family is rich, and she bought you both tickets to this festival at $10k a pop, so you had no choice but to go or you'd be an asshole. It's not that bad, though - a month on a tropical island with Hailey (and many other gorgeous young women) in bikinis? You can handle that. Plus there are some ruins on the island you'd love to check out if the opportunity arises.
Declan Riordan (Alien Mutation)
You've been working space stations for most of your adult life. You met your wife on a station. You moved to work together on Sevastopol and had a daughter. Life was good. Then Sevastopol went to hell. You and the kid made it out. Your wife did not. A decade later and you take the job as Overseer of Tenochtitlan to put you back in the system where she died, hoping to find out what happened. Your daughter, now grown up, has done the same. All you want is closure.
You're basically a dictator - that's what your position essentially is - but you're a benevolent dictator. Penumbra treats its employees better than a lot of companies, and you do the best by yours. You're a teacher, a father figure, and a friend. Your crew know they can trust you and that you trust them.
Nolan McTavish (Prosperity's Price)
The firstborn son of Robert McTavish inherited his father’s sharp mind, but his interest turned more to the supernatural and spiritual aspects of town and world history. He might have been something more physical had he not contracted tuberculosis in his teen years. He left Prosperity at 18 for his higher education (and to get more advanced medical treatment than he could in the West) and, after earning his undergraduate in Ancient History and languages, he attended the School of Library Economy at Columbia in New York City for his master’s degree in Library Sciences. This, he believed, was a key to being able to bring books in, on all topics, from all countries, and allow him to delve deeper into the mysteries of the occult without raising too many eyebrows. He returned in 1898 and established the Prosperity Library. His father betrothed him to new arrival Delia Edison, not of the blood but coming with wealth, but he had no desire to marry and have to explain his secret work. He was also involved with another individual who knew his true scholarly purpose, to end the curse. Delia discovered his infidelity and committed suicide. With her dying breath she cursed Nolan and became a shade that haunts him. He is an enigma to many, as his body begins to show the signs of his illness.
Ethan Drake (Slasher)
Ethan was a nerd growing up - he loved history, played with miniatures and toy armies, and re-enacted famous historical moments. Then high school came along, hormones took over, and he decided that being cool and getting laid were more important. His grades dipped and his attention to school slacked off as all his time went into his after school job that was paying for the restoration of his 'bitchin Camaro'. It was a chick magnet.
Somewhere along the way he decided college wasn't for him, his family wasn't rich and his grades weren't great anyway. He got a job at the lodge, over 90 miles from home, living on the premises and doing grounds and maintenance work. It was great bachelor living, and he was always sleeping with tourists so relationships didn't drag him down, but he's started to realize that he has no actual future. What's he doing with his life? Is he going to trim trees and fix toilets forever? And deep down he never stopped being a history nerd with a fascination with people. Maybe he should have studied more, got better grades. Maybe it's too late, now. It feels like his years are being wasted and he is losing a grip on his frustration.
Coming To America
We were here before the Spaniards, the English, the French. We were here before everyone except the Native Americans. Leif, the son of Erik the Red, brought us to the continent shortly after the turn of the millennium. The first millennium that is. Vinland was founded in the valley of the gulf of St. Lawrence, and a ship repair station was built at L’Anse aux Meadows. They populated Leifsbudir, Straumfjǫrðr, and Hóp, and over time began moving southwards into what would become America centuries later, for trade or war with the skrælingjar.
We were almost forgotten, until Columbus made a big to-do about the New World, and ships began arriving. With them came some of our people, from Greenland, Iceland, and Scandinavia. Many remembered, in their bones and their fiery blood, the old gods. They woke us from our slumber once more, drawing us down from Vinland with beliefs in Odin and his sons: Thor, Baldr and Hodr, and the adopted Loki. The told their children the tales of the Valkyries, the Jotunn, and the threat of Ragnarok, and left their offerings to us in the woods. Only the indigenous gods of the Native Americans have walked this soil longer than we have. But we were never as strong here as they were.
And we would be weaker still, when the onslaught of Christianity would dub us gods of paganism, make us criminal to worship, put our people at risk of death or ostracism should they raise their faces to the summer sun and thank Baldr the Beautiful for it’s light. We withered, and still do. Only a smattering of our people still think of us as more than stories or myth. We needed to find a new source of worship.
The Unbreakable Man
Baldr's memory is spotty when the last century or so is concerned. So much of the knowledge of the Norse gods, their lives, and their rich mythology has faded from this land. His wife, Nanni, and his son, Forsetti, have already been forgotten, and so they are no longer in his memory. This has caused a strange situation for the once loving and high living god. He believes he has no family, no love, because he is Baldr the Pure, and thus he is chaste. If he stops being chaste, he will cease to have powers.
Odin and Thor and Loki are still well known thanks to literature and art in the modern day, but many of their kin have faded or are on the cusp of it. Baldr and Hodr are especially vulnerable, having only appeared in the Prose Edda, a level of scholarly literature few in the Depression can find, let alone read. They joined the Carnival at its inception, desperate to find some form of worship.
Some time ago, Loki tricked Hodr into serving Baldr a cup of tea steeped in mistletoe, the one thing that his mother did not get to swear not to harm him. It destroyed his voice. Since then, he's carried a slate, like those used by school children, on a chain on his belt and a piece of chalk on a string around his neck, to write out what he needs to. He also knows some sign language, but not many of the Carnival workers do. Lars Holmgren does, though, and acts as his voice in most situations. He has also compiled a notebook of instructions regarding the Carnival's set up and take down, the building and running of the various rides, etc, which he uses to teach new roustabouts.
Baldr typically hides his true form from all but the Carnival members. He most often takes the form of Logan Odinson, the oddly young Head Roustabout who works hard, and teaches new people the ropes of setting up and taking down the show, and operating the rides.
Baldr occasionally takes his true form and performs on the midway as the Unbreakable Man. Rubes can pay money to throw things at him and watch them bounce off. This act is usually only performed on the final night in a town, because it has the risk of starting a riot among the bible-clutching folk who see an impossibly beautiful man who cannot be hurt. He's been mistaken for Jesus, or Satan, equally, and both are equally bad for the show.
Father Kellan Riordan (Project Icarus)
Father Kellan Riordan is the great grandson of former Penumbra executive Declan Riordan, thanks to Declan's daughter escaping from the ill-fated Tenotchitlan Station. Hannah Riordan went on to marry and have a large family, keeping her last name and passing it on to her children and grandchildren.
Unlike most of the family, who went into Engineering in some form or another, Kellan went into a seminary to study Theology, then focused on Comparative Religion,Religious History, ad Theological Anthropology.
Among his own priesthood he is known as "The Devil's Advocate", debunking miracles and saints, and finding the real attributions of historical artifacts and relics to their origins rather than letting them be co-opted wholesale by Christianity.
He also chain smokes, drinks, and curses.
Ian Thistle (Bonds of Blood)
Nancy and Ray's younger sibling. History Teacher at the highschool. Husband of (TBD), highschool Drama teacher. Father of (Coward).