Supporting Cast

Job, Undead Historian

by Jesse Lowe

Art by andi jones

Supporting Cast: Job, Undead Historian ST: 17 DX: 12 Speed: 7.25
IQ: 12 HT: 15/20 Move: 7
Damage: Thrust 2d-1 Swing 3d-1
Dodge: 7 Block: n/a Parry: 5
No armor; no encumbrance

Advantages: High Pain Threshold [10]; Immunity to Disease [10]; Literacy [0]; Reputation [5] (+3 from thanatologists & historians, but only from his writing, not in person); Wealthy [20]; Contacts [20] (Knows many scholars, especially in the fields of thanatology, history and occultism. He keeps regular correspondence with a few noted figures in each discipline (5 total). These contacts are usually reliable.); Extra Hit Points (5) [25]; Doesn't Breathe [20]; Immunity to Poison [15]; Infravision [15]; Slow Regeneration [10]; Unaging [15].

Disadvantages: Appearance: Horrific [-30]; Bad Smell [-10]; Sterile [-3]; Frightens animals [-5]; No Body Heat [-5]; [Unusual Biochemistry [-5].

Quirks: Regards mortal laws as frivolous [-1]; Avid collector of antiques [-1]; Mutters in Hebrew when agitated [-1]; Always contacts people by mail before meeting them in person [-1]; Uses an old fountain pen to write his books [-1].

Skills: Photography-12 [2], Writing-14 [6], Brawling-15 [8], Knife-13 [2], Carpentry-12 [1], Hebrew-13 [4], German-12 [2], Latin-12 [2], Greek-11 [1], Physician-11 [2], Archaeology-12 [4], History-13 [6], Occultism-14 [6], Thanatology-14 [8], Gardening-12 [1], Animal Handling-12 [4].

Job is 6' 4" and weighs about 230 lbs. He is very heavily muscled, and has grayish skin patched with animal hide and fur, all stitched together. He usually wears a loose robe over a shirt and pair of trousers; he doesn't wear shoes much. The robe helps conceal him from casual view.

Job was created in the very late 1800s, just before the turn of the century. His creator was Dr. Einschwitz, a Prussian with an interest in death and a penchant for chemicals and biology. Dr. Einschwitz had moved to the north of England, almost on Hadrian's Wall, for a little privacy in conducting his experiments, and he needed a decent servant type to fetch and carry, and possibly defend him against marauding villagers.

Therefore, he took the body of a recently deceased burly miner, replaced a lot of the musculature with that of oxen, bears and other strong animals, and performed a few other modifications. Dr. Einschwitz's inspiration and manual was a document he'd received from a correspondent in the Carpathians who was experienced in the reanimating business.

Job was Dr. Einschwitz's first reanimate, and while the good doctor later created other, often much more attractive reanimates, none were as mentally stable as Job. These later experiments all had to be destroyed, eventually, for one reason or another, usually gibbering insanity. Job was Dr. Einschwitz's favored servant, if not companion, until the doctor died after the Great War.

Dr. Einschwitz wasn't a terrible man; he had the decency to tell Job what he was in life (a rather cruel and stupid miner named Alfred Boffle) and permitted Job a small amount of time and resources to do as he pleased. He also instilled in Job a very strong sense of fairness and justice, as well as a condescending attitude towards mortal laws ("They simply do not understand enlightened creatures such as myself, or those whom they cannot imagine, such as yourself," he would sometimes say to Job after the local constable dropped by for a cup of tea.)

Job "lived" with Dr. Einschwitz until the doctor died of old age in early May, 1921. Respecting the doctor's wishes, Job buried him on the grounds of their home and burnt the lab to the ground, after mailing the doctor's copious notes to one of his colleagues in Paris. Then he struck out on his own.

Job had discovered, working for the doctor, a love of history and antiquities. He moved to London, setting up a home in the sewers under the capitol city. From there he was able to raid libraries and government offices with consummate ease, reading and copying documents.

After several years, he published, discreetly, a slim historical volume entitled A History of Thanatology. Among the few who were interested in the subject, the book became an instant classic. (The book can be found in most major libraries, but is no longer in print.)

In 1939, fearing the onslaught of the Second World War and the effect it would have on his large collection of antiquities, Job moved his collection and himself to the United States. After a brief transitional period, he found a suitable den in some unused areas of the Washington, DC sewers and subways.

During the war, Job aided the Allied cause in subtle and, above all, inconspicuous ways. Most often, he worked as an unofficial counter-intelligence agent, collecting evidence on Axis spies he found in the Washington area and then depositing it with the local authorities.

Since the war ended, Job has been working on his latest project, a very complete study of the impact of the occult on government, both in terms of secret societies and policy-making, as well as popular impressions. So far, he has written about five volumes, and is preparing to publish within the next few years. He has established a business that he manipulates from the shadows, both to support him and to let him publish in anonymity.

Job looks like a human male, six feet four inches tall, heavily muscled, covered in gray skin and rotting fur. He emanates a smell of death and decay, and has strange patches on his limbs that let him crawl up walls and across ceilings. He can only pass for human in heavy robes that mask his entire body and cover up much of the smell. He spends most of his time in his lair in Washington, and is a prolific letter writer.

Letters and packages are delivered care of his business, an antique shop that also functions as a clearing house for oddities. The business itself is managed by a middle-aged Jewish couple, Joshua and Irene Goldberg who are both expert antiquarians. They know who, and what, Job is, and they are quite fond of him. The Goldbergs live in an apartment near the shop.

Adventure Ideas

Job makes a useful mysterious contact, as well as a source of employment for the characters. His current project, occult influences in the government, entails a great deal of shady research -- something PC's are usually good at. Job can also be a formidable antagonist.

Article publication date: May 14, 1999

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