Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ivan Jozevich Trotsky

Ivan Jozevich Trotsky (Dave)
Ag d6, Sm d8, Sp d10, St d6, Vg d6,
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 5
Skills: Fighting d6, Shooting d6, Notice d8, Stealth d6, Knowledge (Antiquities) d10, Persuasion d10, Streetwise d8, Driving d6, Boating d6
Edges: Luck, Alertness, hard to Kill, Connections (Russian Mob)
Hindrances: hard of Hearing, Caution, Greedy (Major)
Languages: Russian, Ukrainian, English, Arabic
Gear:Pistol (Range: 6/12/24, ROF1, Damage: 2d6, AP:1), Sawed off Shotgun (Range: 5/10/20, ROF1-2, Damage: 1-3d6, AP: 0)

Ivan was born on August 20, 1890 to Jozef and Paraskevia Trotsky. Third oldest of an eventual brood of six surviving children, Ivan was the first boy-child and became Jozef's pride and joy. After considerable financial struggle, Jozef finally got a good position as a prison guard Odessa prison when Ivan was three. As Ivan grew, Jozef would take him to see the prisoners and to show his son how important a man his father was. Jozef openly enjoyed the power of being a guard, and enjoyed extracting bribes and information from the criminals in his charge. The information proved more valuable than the bribes and he developed extensive connections to the Russian underworld that helped pad the family income. Ivan would sit with his father and hear the secrets the prisoners would whisper in exchange for a little extra food, or a little easier work detail. He would often be enlisted to help turn those secrets into money and food for the family, learning how to work the locals for information, whether through calculated banter or deliberate intimidation. Always armed, and always alert, Ivan thrived in the underworld of crime and political intrigue.

The most notorious prisoner in Odessa over the years was Lev Davidovich Bronstein who was a political prisoner at the jail in 1898. Eight-year-old Ivan loved to hear Bronstein talk; he stirred the spirit of the other men in the prison, at least until he was sentenced to Siberia in 1900. When Bronstein escaped from Siberia in 1902, he evidently took the Trotsky name for his own, becoming Leon Trotsky, a leader of the Russian Revolution and second only to Lenin in the Bolshevik army. Ivan grew up and married Katerina in the spring of 1912, and after many miscarriages, Katerina finally gave birth to a healthy boy, Boris Ivanovich Trotsky on July 15, 1918 during the height of the Russian Civil War.

Complications during childbirth prevented Katerina from having further children, so Boris ended up as Ivan's only child. Though proud of his son, Ivan has had little to do with him, and enjoyed the challenge and intrigue of business much more than family life. Katerina raised Boris on her own. Ivan leveraged his father's connections to develop a most-satisfactory career as an international smuggler/black marketer. He traveled extensively, both overland and by ship from the busy port city of Odessa, and gained a reputation as a man who could get what you needed. Ivan dealt with both sides during the Russian Civil War, securing suppliers and even personnel as needed. One unfortunate accident with a shipment of explosives in early 1919 burst his eardrums and permanently damaged his hearing. Travelling extensively, Ivan developed a lucrative knowledge of antiquities. There were always buyers for fantastic artifacts both archaic and arcane and this line of work proved satisfyingly profitable. A singular collection of otherworldly grotesques from the African sub-continent led him to a lasting friendship, both professional and conspiratorial, with the Russian Occultist Alexsey Borsokovski. Soon after Alexsey emigrated to England to escape some awkward troubles, Ivan soon followed and from then on he spent most of his time abroad.

Ivan established quarters at the Ormonde House Hotel, in close proximity to the recently completed King George V docks in East London. Ivan corresponded regularly with his wife Katerina and his father Jozef, who both remained actively involved with the business. While Ivan was abroad, Katerina received many visitors, mostly men, some with coloured skin and exotic accents.

Through his regular contact with Alexsey, Ivan became drawn into the activities of an eclectic group of self-proclaimed cultist-hunters. His knowledge of antiquities impressed them, of course, and he was sure to prove himself most effective and useful in their adventures. Though skeptical of the otherworldly stories, caution dictated an assumption of grave danger, even if only half of what they said was true. Though very confident in his discretion and certain that the group had little knowledge of his driving motivations, Ivan's primary interest was to secure obscure and valuable articles for sale to his international clientele.

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