[community profile] boomtown app

Nov. 30th, 2014 12:11 am
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[personal profile] cthulhu_ficcer
Player's Name: Ref
Are you over 16? Yes
Characters Played Here: Kazutaka Muraki

Character: H.P. Lovecraft
Series/Canon: Necronomicon: Book of the Dead
From When? After the events of the movie

History:
Born in the city of Providence, Rhode Island in the late 1800s, young Howard lived a sequestered and unsettled childhood. His father died in an insane asylum, driven mad by things he had stumbled upon by accident while the boy was a youngster, and his overprotective mother kept him close to her, attempting to shield him from the dark things in the world, her own sanity gradually unraveling as well. His grandfather Whipple let the young lad loose in the family library, and among the books of creepy stories shelved alongside the classics of literature, young Howard found fleeting references to a mysterious book containing dark secrets and hidden lore regarding dark things from within and beyond the known universe, the Necronomicon penned by the Mad Arab, Abdul Al-Hazared. During his brief years in high school, following his grandfather's death and a shift in the family fortune, his fixation on dark things and on the science that might explain their nature, and his fascination with science and astronomy in particular made him somewhat of an outlier among his classmate (if it were a modern high school, he'd have been one of the geeks).

Seeking a complete copy of the Necronomicon became something of a quest for him as an older teen and into adulthood, in between the more pressing matter of developing his craft as a writer of weird fiction and cultivating his written correspondence with a growing circle of amateur and semi-professional writers in the same field. Somewhere along the line, he's Taken a Level in Badass and learned to use a swordcane to defend himself (Robert E. Howard had a hand in that after Howie-Phil was mugged one time too many whilst living in a less than pleasant part of Brooklyn). His fixation on finding the Necromicon became so intense that it wound up as the final strain on his awkward and brief marriage to Sonia Green, a fellow author of weird fiction who had pursued him romantically and managed somehow to win his cool but conscientious affections. He continued to write and seek his unholy prize, but as the Roaring Twenties collapsed into the Great Depression, he soon found the periods of creative dryness that plagued him as a journeyman writer had started to occur again, not a healthy situation since he relied entirely on his writing to support himself.

And then the events of the movie happen.... The keepers of the Necronomicon warn him that he'll pay for his theft and for unwittingly unsealing an extra-dimensional portal: his troubles may have just gotten worse...

Personality: Look up "introverted" in an encyclopedia, and you'll likely find a picture of this jut-jawed fellow looking back at you. He'd be the first to admit he's most likely to be found with his nose in a book or crouched over a typewriter clacking out his latest creation, but he knows he can't let his comfort zone become an ivory tower. His straightened fortunes and his shaky financial status as writer have taught him to do without and to subsist on as little as possible: he's the type to live on ramen so he could afford books and typing paper. He's paranoid in a cautious way: his sequestered upbringing as well as his own high strung nature have left him a little less than well-equipped to navigate a fast-paced and, in his day, rapidly-changing modern world. Also, he's learned firsthand that there are things in the universe that don't care much for humans and would willingly wipe them out as casually as a human would brush aside an anthill. The world at hand and the cosmos beyond are full of horrors knowable and unknowable, and he has a keen awareness to this, to man's very tiny place in the universe. This has even colored his views of good and evil: in his mind, there's more shades of grey to morality than clearly defined right and wrong. And for all his well-placed fear, he still has a semblance of hope: there's plenty in the universe for us to discover and learn about, and that curiosity keeps him from giving in to despair. He can also seem abrasive at times (albeit in a genteel way) and is a bit lacking in a brain to mouth filter, as well as using five dollar words when a two dollar one will do: chalk that up to his sequestered childhood as well as reading a lot of eighteenth and early nineteenth century literature.

For all his nihilism, he still has a sense of humor, albeit one as dry as dust; he's given on occasion to trolling people or snarking about things in a way that makes it very hard to tell if he's serious or joking, or a blend of the two. This extends to himself and his own writing, in a self-deprecating way: he's penned a few subtle self-parodies and isn't above the odd clever prank when the notion presents itself. He also possesses a sense of wonder, albeit one that's taken on a certain coldness: gazing up at the stars, wondering what's in the vast expanses of space will cool ones blood.

It might take a little while for him to warm up to a person and he can seem a bit stand-offish as a result, but when a friendship starts to develop, he reveals himself as a loyal, devoted companion and a good listener, someone who might deeply disagree with ones opinions and be critical on some points, but who won't let that get in the way of a good friendship or tarnish the things they can agree on. His friends tend to become the family that he's gradually lost over time, and while for all his wordsmithing, he might have a hard time articulating it, the feelings of fondness and attachment are there.

Why do you think your character would work in this setting? He'll be fluxing in purely by accident (unless the people-suited Old Ones he stole a Necronomicon from had a hand in it...), and as such, he'll be highly annoyed at being pulled out of his world, and a bit freaked out should he find out that aliens had a hand in it. However, his curiosity as an author and as someone deeply interested in science and the workings of the cosmos will get the better of him, and he'll linger to see what happens next, what this world involves, what's going on in this new corner of the universe, what it has to offer by way of strange new things to be studied and wondered over (and turned into grist for the weird tales...)

What will your character do for work? He'd do well in the library, though he might need some convincing, since he'll likely have it in his head that he can go on trying to support himself with his writing.

Inventory: He'll be arriving armed with a swordstick and with the clothes on his back, a notepad, a cartridge-type fountain pen, and a membership card from the Providence, Rhode Island Athenaeum (sort of like a library cum club room) bearing his name, also one dollar and eighty-nine cents in late 1920s coins. Sorry, folks, but the Necronomicon he stole is going to get lost on the way while he was fluxing in. Maybe the Elder Gods or the Old Ones had that in mind....

Samples:

Third-Person Sample:

He had felt like an outsider here, almost from the moment he had felt the grit of the streets under his boots, a feeling that had walked with him for most of his life. Even Providence, for all the history that he had there, did not always feel like the most welcoming place. And yet, he had found a home here, in this strange new settlement on a strange new world, or at least a place that reminded him of his own space where he felt at ease. This place, this colony on the edge of the cosmos was possessed of a library, a haven from the hustle and bustle that clamored and cluttered the streets, a blessing that made his days bearable, as he counted them down till the day when his unwitting hosts, the Achamarians, could retrace the path that had pulled him out of orbit and deposited him on this sphere and so return him to where this journey had started. Here, he found refuge among the stacks and along the shelves, a shelter stocked with volumes both familiar and unfamiliar that invited exploration, the air rich with the scents of paper of varying weights and weaves, the earthy smell of bindings and covers. He could hardly resist reaching out to run his fingertips over the spines, relishing the smoothness of the cellophane covers shielding the dust jackets, the rich and ridged textures of the odd leather bound volumes, the warp and weft of the cloth bound and the smooth surfaces of the paperbacks.

"Are you gonna read those books or just feel them up?" Another patron asked, eying him as he perambulated the stacks.

He glanced from the interloper to shelf before them. "I must confess, the scent and feel of a book is as much a delight to my mind and spirit as reading the texts which they contain," Phillips admitted.

"Whatever floats your boat. It'd be easier if all this stuff got scanned and put online. It'd be a lot easier to get what you want to read, and you don't have to bring them back on time or pay a library fine if you don't."

"Your latter argument, about avoiding fines, is a quite sound one. But as to the former, I cannot help thinking one loses something in exchange for this convenience. It puts a veritable library of Alexandria at one's fingertips, but those fingertips are denied the tactile pleasures of handling a book, nourishing the senses as well as the mind."

"Eh, whatever. Anyone ever tell you you sound like a book?"

Phillips could not hold back a dry chuckle. "As a matter of fact, someone has accused me of that crime on more than one occasion."

First-Person Sample:

Journal in letter form of Howard P. Lovecraft, Day Three, addressed to Frank Bellknap Long

Dear Frank,

I doubt that your gaze will ever fall upon these lines that I put to paper, but I feel the necessity of addressing them to you, as some means of reinforcing what tenuous hold that I have upon my place in our world, on Earth, third planet from Sol.

You would think me mad or making clever fabrications to reinforce the credibility of my narratives in which I have spoken at length regarding beings from beyond the stars in Gaea's skies, when I state that which I am about to reveal. I have, through some misadventures involving devices beyond our familiarity, engines capable of summoning a person, usual through intent and then by their permitting, arrived on another planet distant from Earth and found myself placed in a colony on its surface, in a town that looks like some setting for a tale of cattle wranglers. Derleth might like it, but the clime feels dry and gritty, at least to my senses so keenly attuned to New England's cool and moist atmosphere.

I find myself in a motley company of settlers, from all a manner of worlds and walks of life, from worlds whose names I had not heard before, a true melting pot the like of which I have not seen since my days in Brooklyn, and yet there is an order to this place. For all its rough-hewn structures and its place on the frontier of a strange new planet, the dwellers of this town quit themselves well, giving it warmth and life. And yet, for all this camaraderie and sense of community, I cannot help feeling concern, for I am told this place has its watchers, entities who summon people to this place, usually offering them a dwelling and a livelihood. But at times, some are summoned with neither a formal invitation nor a contract. I am become one of those summoned unwillingly. These watchers claim that they can return me to my proper home on Gaea's soil and under her skies, but it shall take time for them to calibrate the place and time from which their devices took me by accident. Perhaps I shall find myself fortunate and you shall soon read these words and look into my face as I relate these adventures. Though I fear that this prove impossible and I shall live out my days here. Or worse, that you would think I had succumbed to the madness that dogs my heels.

If indeed, I am walking the face of this planet, and it is not some elaborate scheme. I wonder now if the Mi-go were truly mere fabrications of my imagination, and if my brain lies sustained in some cylinder equipped with some elaborate means of tricking the sensory layers into thinking that it is experiencing the sights and sensations of an alien world... I hope that this assessment proves incorrect.

As always, I remain yours,

Howard P. Lovecraft

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Howard P. Lovecraft

June 2016

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