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Old 12-27-2018, 12:54 PM   #1
Icelander
 
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default [MH] Caribbean by Night

In a world outwardly like our own, where occult tides and otherworldly incursions threaten humanity, rough men must stand ready to bar the gates of reality and live and die to protect a society which remains in blissful ignorance about the stakes. These are their stories.

The PCs are funded by a mysterious and eccentric billionaire, J.R. Kessler of Galveston, Texas. Along with a loose network of academics, reporters and various contacts, as well as teams composed of former policemen, special operators and intelligence personnel, the PCs confront preternatural threats that either originate from outside our reality or pose a risk of opening a way for other realities. Their area of operations is concentrated in and around the Bermuda Triangle, one of twelve Vile Vortices that Kessler believes represent areas where the fabric of reality is especially weak.

Kessler himself is a colourful character, having been born almost a hundred years ago to poor immigrants in Galveston and achieved great wealth through somewhat murky methods, before discovering, in the twilight of an adventurous, if immoral existence, that the world he knew was threatened by insidious influences which rendered all old certainties moot.

If one were to believe Kessler's own tales, he spent his formative childhood years as a rumrunner deck hand during Prohibition, knew every thug and racketeer of 1930s Galveston by name, fought in WWII with the French Foreign Legion, was initiated into several occult societies in Egypt and Morocco*, knocked out Hemingway once during an epic drinking bout, ran a casino in Cuba until Castro's rebellion, invested racketeering profits in oil and natural gas and rapaciously despoiled former European colonies in Africa and Asia of mineral and petrochemical wealth.

Kessler holds a US citizenship by birth, a French one by blood and Domincian (Commonwealth of Domincia) and St. Lucian ones by investment. It's entirely possible that Kessler actually holds more citizenships in exotic nations with 'understanding' immigration regulations, but simply chooses not to reveal this fact to others.

Kessler employs a host of accountants, tax lawyers and financial managers, mostly, it seems, to ensure that no one can ever gain an accurate picture of his true holdings, with layers of offshore companies surrounding even the simplest of his investments. Kessler pays a fair bit of taxes in the US, but has fought the IRS for decades to ensure that this is kept to a minimum, registering everything he can in St. Lucia or other Caribbean island nations, not to mention owning a network of offshore companies in, it seems, every tax haven in the Caribbean.

By now, the ancient Kessler lives on his yacht, the Penemue, which is ca 220'-280' long and was built in the 1960s as a very fast super yacht, though nowadays she's distinctly small for a billionaire's plaything, let alone home of record.

In this thread, I'll be asking forumites for advice, opinions and assistance with all sorts of things. For instance, I'll need help to portray the Gulf Coast of the United States accurately, never mind the Caribbean islands (I've visited neither place as yet).

To start with, I'll need to name and describe the crew of the yacht Penemue. Kessler has owned the yacht since the 1960s and has lived on it continuously since the early 1980s. The crew of the Penemue are exposed to some strange sights and need to be absolutely loyal. As a result, they are highly paid and, ideally, have been with him for a very long time, perhaps having a familial connection to prior employees. Kessler very much favours family retainers over simple employees, at least when it comes to the people who live with him.

These are the crew positions I'll need filled:

Captain: Augustus 'Gus' Starr (b. March 27, 1963; Houston, Texas). Retired USN Captain of the USS Bonhomme Richard, former USN SEAL officer.
First Mate: Brandon McBride (b. 1957, Beaumont, TX). Former Chief Warrant Officer from USCG (served 1976-2006).
Chief Steward: Jean-Michel Alexandre, Kessler's right-hand-man, been with him since 1986. A stern, dangerous-looking Haitian who seems more bodyguard than domestic servant. Served in the French Foreign Legion for some time in the 70s and 80s.
Executive Secretary: Mary Marchant. For all intents and purposes, Ms. Marchant is in charge of anything she wants to be.
Chief Engineer: Teryn Gilbert.
Chef: Eugenia "Aunty Genie" Seraphine. Dominiquais (Commonwealth of Domincia) obeah woman, who is equally capable at whipping up callaloo and curative elixirs. In her fifties, has worked for Kessler since she was a girl and treats him with fond familiarity mixed with an exasperating tendency to exaggerate his frailty and protect his health, whether he likes it or not.
First Steward: Ramon Alejo Reyes Jr. (b. October 12, 1979, Manila, Philippines); retired Chief Culinary Specialist (CS7/E-7) from the US Navy who served two Presidents in the White House, between 2004-2012.
Head of Security: Guillaume Armant (b. 1965, Paris, France).
Bosun: Clifford 'Cliff' Payne (b. 1965, San Antonio). USCG (1985-2005), retired as MCPO (E-9).
Engineer: Carlos Camacho.
Medical officer: Dr. Dao Van Sang.
Librarian: Alfred L. Lapointe (b. September 14, 1965, DRC/Congo), an English and History graduate of UT Austin. Expert on Shakespearean dramaturgy, John Dee and the occult underground of Elizabethan London. Looks like Ernest Thomas.
Armourer: George 'Baz' Bannerman (b. September 12, 1962, Durban, South Africa). Former 22 SAS (1982-1992), son of Edward 'Ned' Bannerman, former head of Kessler's personal security.
Sous chef: Cosimo LaRocca (b. 1986, New Orleans). Classically trained chef, who might walk into a head chef position on any luxury yacht or even have an excellent chance at re-starting his promising restaurant career, but owes Kessler an unspecified debt. Considers Aunty Genie an amateur in culinary matters and resents her authority, but must admit that she is a gifted amateur. Is also terrified of her and therefore complains to the crew and guests, never to her face.
Crew chef: Dale Johnson (b. 1975; Houston, TX). Former SEAL who lost both legs. Not a haute cuisine chef, but a good fry cook and excellent barbecue man. Main duties are perimeter security, allowed in the kitchen only on sufferance by Aunty Genie. Mostly cooks for the night shift or when an away team needs a meal at odd hours.
Senior Deck Crew: Cord 'Boats' McCall (b. March 18, 1978; Port Aransa, TX). US Navy from 2002-2011, retired as E-7, Chief Boatswain's Mate (BMC).
Nurse: Astrid Andersson. Kessler's private nurse. Indecently young and devastatingly attractive, which must surely be wasted on the old reprobate. Aunty Genie keeps trying to convince Kessler to replace her with one of her many nieces or cousins from back home, who'd not only take better care of his health, but would also be much better for the state of his immortal soul, being well-brought up girls who'd never dream of flirting so shamelessly with a man of his advanced age.
Janitor: Lazaro Calderon (b. 1956; Miami, FL).
Interior Crew: Ophelia Agnes Goddard (b. 1998, Domincia). Niece of Aunty Genie. Trusted with cleaning alchemical gear.
Deck hands (4): Names needed. Might double as security, in which case they'll be recruited from the Coast Guard, Navy or another branch of the military where operators might learn boating, small unit tactics, waterborne assault, etc.
Interior crew (3): Names needed. Will almost certainly also handle personal security.

Edit: See new crew list for the Penemue. I'm still looking for a few interior and deck crew members.

If forumites suggest a nice name, description and quick background for a position, they might get the right to name the character, either their own name or someone else's they feel should be an NPC in my campaign. I'm thinking of using names of forumites for several characters, i.e. have someone named Cole, Douglas, Brett, Rice, etc.

*Most of whose membership, he comments scathingly, were less enlightening company than gangsters and racketeers, as well as having about as much useful occult and esoteric knowledge as the average comic book reader.

Last edited by Icelander; 06-15-2019 at 07:24 AM.
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