This article originally appeared in Pyramid #15
by Rajan Kanna
Rufus St. John-Smythe
Great White Hunter for Castle Falkenstein
Appearance : Rufus St. John-Smythe (pronounced SINjun-SMITHE) is a rugged-looking man in his early thirties. He stands a little over six feet tall and has a muscular build. He has blond hair, blue eyes and a neatly trimmed and waxed moustache. He usually wears a khaki-colored, short-sleeved shirt and khaki trousers Ð typical safari garb. He also wears his lucky light blue scarf around his neck.
Personality: Rufus is an arrogant person. He knows that he is one of the best marksmen in New Europa and expects everyone to recognize this and treat him with respect. If anyone challenges his ability or questions it, Rufus will most likely take offense. His typical strategy is to respond with an outrageous insult, forcing the other person to challenge Rufus to a duel. As a result, Rufus gets the choice of weapons and will invariably choose a gun. This scheme usually results in Rufus getting his way.
Rufus' main concern is the hunt. Little else matters to him. He will use anyone and anything to fuel that need. Rufus drives himself to the next challenge, always seeking to surpass what he has accomplished already. Any obstacles to his activities will be dealt with by the swiftest and most permanent means possible. His wealth often comes in handy for covering up his illegal activities.
Background: Rufus St. John-Smythe was born to a wealthy family in London, Britain. As a youth, his family sent him to the Danforth Academy, one of Britain's most prestigious boarding schools. While he was there, he was an average student, but excelled at sports. It was at the Academy that he first took up shooting. He seemed to have a natural flair for the rifle. He took first place in all of the Academy marksmanship contests and soon had his share of hunting trophies.
After leaving school, Rufus travelled extensively throughout New Europa, hunting wild game, before arriving in the British colony of India. He was enthralled by the new wildlife that inhabited that part of the world. In India he found new beasts to pit his skill against, new challenges to be overcome. He spent a few years there hunting wild tigers and elephants, honing his hunting skills and making a name for himself. Soon, however, even India held no challenge for him.
He left India for the savannahs of Africa. There he hunted lions and other animals, but soon, again, these provided no challenge. It was only after he returned to England that he found a new target for his hunting skills. In London, Rufus ran afoul of a renegade faerie. Rufus was walking along the dark London streets when the faerie spotted him. He thought that it would be a merry chase, having had quite some sport with a rich gentleman a week before. The faerie started chasing Rufus down a dark alley until he realized that Rufus had begun to chase him, armed with a loaded revolver. Rufus hunted the faerie through the maze of streets until he maneuvered him into a dead end and killed him. It was the most fun he had had in years. He soon became obsessed with the idea of hunting faerie creatures.
He started out hunting Bogeys, mostly Redcaps. Some might call that a public service, but soon he selected other prey. Next it was faerie animals, and then Fauns and Satyrs. Rufus seeks to add to his trophy collection creatures such as Trolls, Ogres, Vampires, and even mythological beasts such as Unicorns and Manticora. Needless to say, Rufus keeps his faerie-hunting activities secret. He has a special hidden room in his London townhouse in which he stores his "unusual" trophies.
Campaign Use: While Rufus has disposed of some truly undesirable faeries, he makes no moral distinctions between different members of the faerie race. Many members of society would disagree with his current activities, even against the Unseelie Court faeries, if they were known. He will go after any faerie that he feels would give him a good hunt. His recent practice has been to waylay the faerie, bring it to his estate, and then to release it, hunting it down afterward. In rare occasions he will hunt the faerie in its "natural habitat." Player characters or their friends could become Rufus' new prey. Keep in mind that Rufus isn't stupid. He will not choose to hunt well-known or politically powerful faerie for fear of the repercussions and the obligatory investigation. He always plans out his activities and hasn't been caught yet.
Rufus also could be used as a "hired gun." Since he derives pleasure from the hunt itself, he wouldn't mind the excuse to use his skills on another person's behalf, for a small fee of course. It would also save him the trouble of having to deal with all the messy details himself. As long as the employer curtailed to Rufus' ego, Rufus would be quite willing to follow his or her lead.
Article publication date: October 1, 1995
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