Saturday, March 12, 2011

Daffyd "y Gordd" Thomas

The first of our new characters for a Space:1889 Campaign (which we we be playing occasionally -interspersed between Cthulhu and occasional East Front Adventures)

Daffyd "y Gordd" Thomas - Wild Card Pugilist - Chris

Ag d10, Sm d4, Sp d6, St d8, Vg d8,
Pace 6, Parry 7, Toughness 7
Skills: Fighting d10, Shooting d4, Notice d4, Stealth d6, Intimidate d6, Throwing d4, Repair d6, Streetwise d4, Climbing d6, Survival d4, Piloting d4, Boating d4
Edges: Brawny, Martial Arts, Pugilist,
Hindrances: Arrogant, Vengeful and Minor Enemy (the Farrellys)
Gear: Clothes, Knife (Range: 3/6/12, ROF1, Damage:Str+d4), Satchel, Bedroll, Sundry Items…
Languages: Welsh, English

Daffyd "y Gordd" Thomas is a deceptively thin, wiry man of average size, but he possesses unusual agility, strength, and stamina. Now working as a steam engine mechanic, Dafydd has a colourful past as a bare-knuckles boxer, and has never been truly defeated in the ring, due to his speed, heavy punches, and sheer unwillingness to admit defeat. He is very prideful, has a great belief in his own toughness and ability to overcome, and is quick to take offense to any perceived slight. If the situation permits, this will be redressed immediately by a barrage of punches, but Dafydd is willing to wait if heavily outnumbered, or if trouble with the police would be in the offing.

It is fair to say that there have been two major influences on the life of Dafydd Thomas. The first was his father, and the second the coal mine.

Dafydd was born in the northeastern Welsh coal mining village of Rhosllannerchrugog (Rhos) in on Jan 15 1863, the fourth child of Caradoc and Meredith Thomas. There were eight children, but only four survived past the age of three, all brothers. Like all the men in his family, Caradoc Thomas was and is a miner, and the older boys, Gareth (b. 1860), and Hywel (b. 1862), along with Dafydd, went to work in the mine when they were five, first working opening and closing ventilation doors 12 hours a day, then graduating to moving tubs of coal back from the coalface to collection points, then eventually to working the face itself with pick, shovel, and hammer. Caradoc was always a harsh father, ever quick with the fists whenever his wife or children fell out of line, to the point that relatives at several points attempted to remove Meredith and the children, to no avail. There was also muttered talk about the deaths of the other four Thomas children, but nothing was ever proven, and the rest of the immediate family never breathed a word.

The poor treatment at the hands of Caradoc intensified in 1870, when Hywel, Dafydd and the youngest brother, William (b.1865), were forced to attend school, which had became mandatory for children aged five to ten in that year. The loss of three wages in the family placed great stress on Caradoc, who responded by becoming even more of a drunk, and beating the children even more for trying to become "craff", or clever. This influenced Dafydd in several ways. First, he got good at taking a beating, even trying to fight back on occasion. Second, he spent as little time at home as possible, and thus spent a lot of time in the village getting into trouble and fighting with other youth. As well, watching his mother take repeated beatings has given him a low tolerance for those who threaten or strike a woman - Dafydd will always take such behaviour as an insult, and seek redress, although, paradoxically, he will deal swiftly and brutally with any woman who threatens or attacks him personally.

After only a year at school, Dafydd, now 10, went back to the mine, spending two years pushing coal tubs before moving to working the face. This has made him very strong for his size, although people often underestimate his strength and toughness due to his build and stature. One would think that his treatment at the hands of his father would have improved, but Dafydd's extracurricular activities (fighting, small scale theft, etc.) convinced Caradoc that his sons were sinners who would only be saved by having the devil beaten out of them. This all changed in 1880, when William, having left school in 1875, was killed in a mining accident. Daffydd was 17, and his brother's death convinced him that he had to escape the mine, his father, and Rhos itself. Already a feared local scrapper, Dafydd's opportunity came when a traveling fair visited the town. The fair included a boxing challenge, and Dafydd, egged on by his cronies, was unsurprised when he was able to defeat the professional pugilist. Taking his meager winnings, Dafydd decided to strike out for the big city (in this case Cardiff) and become a prize fighter. He enjoyed some success, developing his skills, and moved to London, where the boxing world is controlled by the criminal elements, but his unwillingness to cooperate and take a dive meant that he was never able to move up in the sport, nor make much money doing it.

In 1884 he decided to try and apprentice as a mechanic, which despite his age he was able to do for a year before he got in enough trouble to have to give it up and go back to the world of boxing, although he displayed a talent for it that was surprising given his lack of education and extremely limited upbringing. But he had had to call in a few favours in order to get the apprenticeship, and his return to boxing was with the understanding that he would cooperate with the 'fixers' when told to do so. Dafydd found himself under the thumb of John and Terence Farrelly, gangsters who controlled a tidy slice of South London and its criminal trade. He spent some time winning as the Farrellys groomed him as an "up and comer", but in early 1887 he was told he had to throw a match. He did it, but swore to himself afterward that he would never do so again. Saving his money, he had a friend bet on him in his next big match, which he was supposed to throw. He won, and, making a quick escape from the Farrellys and their enforcers, he decided to use the winnings to get out of London for a while - where better than a whole planet away?

Since then, he has been working as a screw boat mechanic in Syrtis Major, although this is starting to pale, and his quick temper and even quicker fists get him in increasing trouble. As well, he could have sworn that he saw a man by the name of William Davis outside the pub the other day. This is troubling, because the last time Dafydd saw William Davis, he was having a rather hurried conversation ringside with a certain Terence Farrelly. In short, he is looking for a change of pace and of scenery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Savage Timmy! Nice paint job on those Mini's. Have just started a space: 1889 facebook page, please check it out.!/RafmMiniaturesSpace1889
I see you have many RAFM Miniature pictures. We would be interested in using some for promo stuff on the web. Let me know your thoughts.