Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thurston Howell I

Thurston Howell I - Wild Card Nouveau-Riche Industrialist/Dilettante Traveller - Dave

Ag d4, Sm d8, Sp d10, St d6, Vg d8,
Pace 6, Parry 6 (7), Toughness 6
Skills: Fighting d8, Shooting d8, Notice d6, Stealth d4, Intimidate d12, Throwing d6, Riding d6, Gambling d6
Edges: Filthy Rich, Strong Willed, Snob
Hindrances: Stubborn, Jingoistic, Overconfident
Gear: Sword Cane (Str+d4), Revolver (Range: 5/10/20, ROF 1, Damage: 2d6, AP: 1)
Languages: English!

Matthew Howell, our hero's father, was a classic Industrial Revolution success story, turning his back-breaking beginnings on a coal shovel into a vast enterprise in the emerging steamship business. As a nouveau-riche industrialist, Matthew was very proud of his wealth, and celebrated it at every opportunity. His desire for the best of everything won him the hand of the very lovely Lovelia, whom he married in 1847.

On March 14, 1849, Matthew and Lovelia welcomed young Thurston Howell into the world at their estate outside London. The regrettably shallow Lovey showered little Thursty Kins with unconditional affection and praise. His messiest scribble was the greatest art; his shortest recitation was the noblest poetry; the simplest toss of a ball was the greatest athletic achievement. The proud Matthew showered little Thurston with whatever his heart desired, for no son of Matthew Howell would ever know want. This was not to be true for Matthew though, as little Thursty Kins became the center of Lovey's world, and she no longer had time or interest for Matthew. Needless to say, it got a little weird, and Thurston would remain an only child.

Thurston grew accustomed to getting his way, at home, at school, at everything he put his mind to. Thurston always seemed to end up on top - academically, athletically, and socially. He was actually quite smart and capable, but where that left off, blustering and bullying always seemed to get results. Little did he know that, at Lovelia's urging, daddy's very significant "donations" were an ever-present force, paving a very smooth path for little Thursty to tread. But, whatever the reasons, Thurston experienced unbelievable success in everything he put his mind to.

International travel on daddy's steamships exposed Thurston to many adventures, with Lovelia praising his every move, and well-paid servants working in the background to assure little Thursty Kins' success. Despite Lovelia's constant attention, an increasing series of uncomfortable incidents with strangers led to some slivers of self-doubt in young Thursty Kins minds, but Lovelia always wrote it off to "unreasonable and disrespectful foreigners" and Thurston quickly grew completely intolerant and unforgiving of anyone not of pure British stock.

In 1868, on a trip to America, Matthew's business connections found the family spending a few days outside Boston, as witnesses to Thomas Edison's launch of a prototype ether flyer. When the device's inaugural trip to the moon proved a success, Matthew Howell saw the opportunity and immediately made arrangements to finance further development. He also positioned his firm as the supplier of choice for the design and manufacture of the ether ships and for the complicated solar steam boilers that would be required.
The vast steamship enterprise of Matthew Howell would now extend into the conquest of space, adding millions of pounds to the Thurston family's already considerable wealth.

In 1882, the explosion of an experimental boiler tragically took the life of Matthew Howell, leaving Thurston the heir to the vast industrial empire. Lovelia scarcely seemed to notice her husband's death, and continued to dote on young (thirty-three year old) Thurston, who still lived at home. He had never had much luck with the ladies, and had not yet found a girl that Lovelia felt was a "suitable candidate."

In running the family's industrial empire, Thurston's bold and confident approach to business proved surprisingly effective, and he found that he could always get his way in the business world as well. (It seems that vast wealth, combined with stubborn, unwavering confidence, is surprisingly effective at convincing people to do what you want!)

In 1885, after three years at the helm, he decided one day to sell it all. Within a month, he had liquidated all the family business assets and tidied his affairs.

So, as we start our adventure, in 1889, forty-year old Thursty Kins has left his mother Lovelia at home, and has set out, full of unwavering confidence, to sample the mysteries of the world, the mysteries of women, and the mysteries of outer space. Surely nothing can stop him!

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