Part 2: Cast of Characters
Cast of Characters
Steve, The Avatar: Fresh from her destruction of most (possibly all) of Britannia, Steve is now fucking with history itself. In a goofy green dress. On Mars. Nice hat, though.
Warren Spector: Though called "Dr. Johann Spector" in game, he's so obviously Warren Spector that it isn't even worth hiding it. Demigod of game design, Warren Spector is here because he wants to be here. Cherish it. Spector fills Iolo's role, although even comparing the two is a massive insult. In addition to eventually creating Deus Ex, Spector is an accomplished electrical engineer, a trait that will come in handy on Mars perhaps.
Nellie Bly: Journalist, muckracker, social activist and all-around sassy Victorian lass. Nellie is on board to take notes and piece together what happened to the 1893 expedition.
Lt. Dibbs: Leftenant in the Black Horse Guard, Dibbs is a young British officer who was stuck on Mars with the rest of the 1893 Expedition when Lowell's capsule launched prematurely. Has a funny hat. Is pretty effective in combat.
Chsheket: A young female Martian, Ambassador of Hellas, and the backup transfer choice should Prektesh's body transfer plan fall through. Which it does. Sometimes it's good to go second. She's currently in a Metropolis-inspired robotic body, the first of the Martians to be so transferred. It seems to be working even better than expected, and thanks to Sarah Bernhardt's makeup skills, she can even pass as a human. As long as you aren't looking too closely.
The 1895 Expedition
Nikola Tesla: Inventor of Alternating Current and (much more importantly) the Death Ray, Tesla is behind the backup expedition to Mars. His scientific genius is mostly tied up in maintaining signals with Earth, but he may yet be of use...
Sigmund Freud: Father of psychoanalysis and all-around Austrian badass, Dr. Freud's presence on the expedition doesn't really seem to make a lot of sense, but seeing as how the game is called Martian Dreams, you can bet he'll be of use. Correctly believes Steve is an overly masculine woman-child with no coherent sense of morality.
Dr. C.L. Blood: Gruff physician from New York. Dr. Blood is with the 1895 expedition in case of emergencies.
Dallas Garrett: Tesla's hired gun. A cowboy gunslinger and 1800s standin for Richard Garriott (notice the name and portrait similarities?). Guards the 1895 landing site.
The Tradin' Post
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody: Legendary Wild West showman, hunter, and Medal of Honor recipient (who lost it posthumously because he was a civilian, then got it back in 1989, not that he cared). Stuck on Mars where no buffalo roam, he's been reduced to Calamity Jane's whipping boy.
Martha "Calamity Jane" Cannary: Professional scout, associate of Wild Bill Hickock, and occasional Wild West showoff, Calamity Jane is a woman not to be messed with. She's content to stick around domesticating Buffalo Bill, fortunately.
Cooter McGee: Crazy, fat, unwashed prospector stereotype. Knows where the biggest stashes of precious oxium are on Mars. Doesn't fully grasp that the oxygen-rich mineral will be pretty much useless when everybody gets back to Earth.
Dr. David Yellin: Anthropologist and Iolo's ancestor or standin or metaphor or whatever. Has been tooling around Mars for two years with Sherman and Duprey planting more flags than a Minesweeper expert.
Richard Sherman: Technically also a party member. Is Richard Garriott, again, this time as Shamino's stand-in. A never-lost explorer except when he's with the Avatar, where he suddenly becomes as moronic as the rest of the group.
Major Greg Duprey: Former U.S. Cavalryman who had a change of heart after meeting the Sioux. Now runs around with the rest of the Idiot Trio. Is just as boorish as his descendant/alternate version/evil Britannian clone.
Coker: A robot who mines coal and drops it onto a conveyor belt. This coal powers Mars. Seriously.
Stoker: A robot who takes coal off a conveyor belt and shovels it into a furnace. This coal powers Mars. Seriously.
Cutter: A robot who cuts azurite into "heartstones," which can regulate the power of robotic bodies for the Martians. Enjoys a steady diet of radioactive material. Mars is still coal-powered.
Nathaniel: Burly guard at the gated community of Olympus, where all of Mars's biggest assholes live. For some reason believes Sherman, Yellin, and Duprey to be less retarded than Dibbs and Warren Spector and thus good judges of character. We'll show him.
Marie Curie: Polish-descended French lady who discovered the properties of radioactive materials along with her husband Pierre, primarily by poisoning themselves so badly that they both died horribly from it. Continuing her ill-advised research on Mars, where radium abounds.
Legrand Antoine & Jean Coulliard: Freemason military men who were part of the French detachment touring Lowell's space capsule when it was launched prematurely. Jean spends his time dying or being dead. Legrand spends his time weeping like a complete French baby.
Jack Segal: Potential con man and general paranoid jerk, Segal isn't allowing anyone he considers "loonie" into Olympus. But without their help, will he be able to get the space cannon finished to escape from Mars?
Captain Trippet: A former merchant marine who was hired by Lowell to operate the barges on Mars's canals. But the canals are dry, and Trippet is bored. Very, very bored.
Thomas Alva Edison: Inventor of the lightbulb, the phonograph, the video camera, and probably a lot of other stuff, Edison is a mostly-deaf jackass who likes stealing other peoples' ideas and shitting all over Nikola Tesla. However, he's still Thomas freaking Edison, so his electrical skills pay the bills.
Sarah Bernhardt: Legendary turn-of-the-century actress, eventual amputee, and silent film star, Bernhardt is one of the few actresses who transcended mediums. First a stage actress, then a silent film star, she lived a very interesting life in very unusual times. Hasn't got much to do right now, but her stage skills may yet have a role to play.
Admiral Robert Peary: Adventurer and disputed discoverer of the North Pole, Peary is seen as a bit of an embellisher by some and a brave explorer by others. Undisputed is his ability to survive in arctic environments, which he's been doing on Mars since his arrival. He thinks the Martians melted the icecaps to fill the canals, and has found towers that might be used for that purpose, but he was unable to learn more.
Theodore Roosevelt: 26th President of the United States, roughrider, and always present in Victorian pulp and steampunk homages. This time around, he's playing the role of detective, trying to figure out who sabotaged the 1893 expedition. His money's on Rasputin, but he still needs more evidence.
William Randolph Hearst: Newspaper magnate, collector, rich jerk, and ancestor of Patty Hearst, on whose insane terrorist brainwashing robbery spree Steve is somewhat based. Is more interested in Martian artifacts and proof he was here than the lives of other people.
Andrew Carnegie: Steel magnate and general contractor charged with building a new space cannon, he's been having some trouble since Lowell went crazy and wandered off. He's also short on iron ore to make steel for the capsule, but with the mines at Olympus dry, he'll need a better source.
Elysium - The Martians
Bikchiz: Ambassador of the Grove, Bikchiz is one of the few somewhat friendly Martians. Stole the body of H.G. Wells to protect himself from a plague, which is like the ultimate irony.
Pashesh: Bikchiz's aide and kind of an asshole and superior-minded jerkface. Inhabiting the body of Vladimir Lenin.
Cheshef: Female member of the Elysium grove unwittingly inhabiting the body of George Washington Carver. Is supposed to be the one responsible for growing new Martians, but lacks the experience to figure out what to do.
Fazek: The closest thing Elysium has to a doctor. Is keenly aware of the threat to the survival of the Martian race.
Chaktsaf: Has a plan to save the Martians, but doesn't have the materials to do so. Doesn't much like "worms" anyway.
Tekapesh: Agrarian of Elysium, which makes him the king or mayor or somesuch. Enemy of Raxachk the Tyrant and occupant of Percival Lowell's body, he's willing to accept the Avatar's help but not willing to give up the human bodies until new bodies can be provided for the Martian race.
Sisik: Another Martian, though given that it's Mark Twain, he could be faking it. Likes compost more than any sentient being should.
Xichak: Taking over Wyatt Earp's body was a pretty sharp move for this scout of the Elysium grove. He thinks the only good source of water on the planet right now is locked up in the icecaps, which inconveniences the recovery efforts to no end.
Elysium - The Humans
Percival Lowell: Astronomer and turn-of-the-century theorist, Lowell proposed the existence of a ninth planet in the solar system. And he was totally wrong, because Pluto isn't a planet. Eat shit, Lowell! Anyway he established an observatory that later found Pluto, which they thought vindicated his theory, but it totally didn't because Pluto is not a planet, understand? Also he's pretty handy with telescope lenses, as long as you don't ask him to fix one.
Wyatt Earp: Leader of the Earp brothers, he's the very image of the Wild West lawman. Sometimes brutal, sometimes heroic, he's been portrayed in the media as everywhere between. Still, he has a generally positive image.
Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens: Known better by his pseudonym, Samuel Clemens may be the American writer of the 19th Century. Even if you're not American, you've probably heard of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Became a rather bitter fellow towards the end of his life, which only served to improve his sharp, biting satire.
Georges Méliès: Legendary silent filmmaker. You may never have heard of him, but if you've ever seen that old silent movie about the space bullet hitting the moon in the eye... well, then you have heard of him. One of the first people to actually use special effects, his movies proved the medium could do a whole lot of things the stage couldn't.
George Washington Carver: Botanist, agricultural researcher, and educator. Carver was dedicated to providing education to fellow former American slaves, especially practical agricultural skills to improve their land use and self-sufficiency. Although he technically didn't invent all the peanut products (like peanut butter) people credit him with, his advocacy of the peanut as a good crop to replenish soil did pave the way.
Vladimir Lenin: Russia's revolutionary hero, Lenin's activities will, eventually, overthrow the last Tsar of old Imperial Russia and usher in the Soviet Union. And then it will collapse. But that wasn't his fault, you know.
Louis Comfort Tiffany: You've probably never heard of him, but if you've ever seen a stained glass lampshade, you're probably familiar with his style. A proficient and prolific American stained glass artist at the turn of the century, Tiffany knows a thing or two about glass. He may not be an expert on lenses like Lowell, but he's probably better at making them...
H.G. Wells: One of the earliest writers of what we would call science fiction, Wells is legendary for his stories such as The Time Machine and of course, War of the Worlds, which he will write 3 years after his journey to the red planet in person.
Marcus Chaney: The only human to use a Dream Machine and leave without being possessed by a Martian, Marcus was cast out because he was thought to be insane, or possibly because he's just kind of a nerd that nobody likes. Believes he can speak to machines, but it's okay, he's not crazy; it's magical berries that let him do it.
Pukchep: Hellas's Gatherer. Like his Grovemates, he refuses to steal human bodies, even if it means saving the Martian race.
Plashef: Cultivator of Hellas. He saved some of the only remaining Martian seeds before using the Dream Machine to flee Raxachk's plague. Thanks to his quick thinking, it was possible to grow a new Martian body... unfortunately, even he couldn't anticipate the tenacity of the plague.
Prektesh: Agrarian of Hellas, Prektesh believed it would be possible to grow a new body with the Avatar's help. He was correct, but miscalculated that the plague unleashed by Raxachk would be gone by the time he was transferred into the new body. Died rather horribly after he realized that the plague had simply moved from the air to the soil.
Xaktsesh: Arborist of Hellas. Her "husband" traveled to the north pole of Mars to set up a lab in an attempt to create new bodies that would resist the plague. Since original Martian bodies won't do the trick, we'll have to hope his research was a success... or enough of one that we can finish what he started.
Raxachk/Grigori Rasputin: The tyrant of Mars used his fantastic power over dreams to send visions to Russian holy man Rasputin, fooling him into coming to Mars and swapping bodies. His plans fall apart almost as quickly as they fall into place, but with the phlogistonite propellant the expedition needs to escape from Mars and near-godlike mastery of the Dream World, Raxachk still looks like he's holding all the cards.
Emma Goldman: Feminist. Anarchist. Goldman's fervor for womens' and workers' rights was so "extreme" for her time that she'd probably have fit right in with 1970s feminists too. Of course, she's also a cranky anarchist who believes in tearing down the government, but this is the late 1800s where being an anarchist was still cool. Is helping Rasputin because she earnestly believes in his vision, but she doesn't realize Rasputin hasn't been himself for quite a while.
Maurice: One of Rasputin's thugs. Won't let anybody into Argyre, but it's not like we have to ask him for permission.
Gordo: One of Rasputin's thugs. Not very interesting.
Miles: One of Rasputin's thugs. Won't let anybody manipulate him... Rasputin told him so.