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Player's Name: vorko
Contact info: strannix@gmail.com || AIM: billycat42 || plurk: vorko || PM is fine, too
DW: [personal profile] tickety_boo

Character: Kingdom Swann
Canon: original character
Version: n/a
Canon Point: Scotland, UK, 15 June 1931
Age: mid fifties, he's not what year he was born
Gender: male



History: John Brown was born somewhere in Scotland in the early 1880s to a traveller, a woman who disappeared several days after his birth, leaving him with his (supposed) Scottish father. Most travellers in Britain at the turn of the century formed roving fairs, where you could get all sorts of foods, see the sideshows, and play games. He grew up in this carnival world, helping his father out with his patent medicine tent, mixing elixirs, gathering ingredients, and all sorts of other things around the fair. He became friends with many of the other travellers, though he saw some irregularly, as is the nature of the faire peoples. His father made very little money, and he routinely stole food from nearby houses and farms.

When he was 14, his father was arrested for raiding a henhouse. He nearly got his head shot off by an angry farmer. He was blamed for numerous other crimes (warranted or not) and sent to prison. John ended up living with his two stern aunts. They were stern, oft-times angry at him for no reason whatsoever, and kept a wary eye on him at all times. It was as if he'd gone to prison himself.

Even though his aunts were a couple of harridans, it was a positive time for him, though he wouldn't realize it until later. He attended school, and found he had a talent for music. John hated his new life, stuck in one place and surrounded by walls, being forced to sit in rooms with other kids and learn about history, geography, mathematics--such pointless stuff. Life was important, not this, and certainly not with his home situation. His aunt Clarissa took special joy in embarrassing him in front of his friends, and visiting family.

During this time, he had purchased a cheap guitar from the music shop in town. He'd earned a few coin for doing odd jobs for neighbors, which his aunts disliked intensely. He wasn't sure why they hadn't come down on him, but didn't push his luck by probing for answers. Each night, he spent a couple of hours playing by himself in his room. Once he mustered the courage, he took it into town to show his friends from school what he could do.

They were mesmerized. Literally.

John found he could sway his listeners, hypnotize them with his music, and suggest what he liked to them. He could make them itch uncontrollably, weep with joy, and in one case, make one boy punch the guy sitting beside him in the head. This, he decided, would be his key to a new life.

It was a painful wait, but just as the leaves were turning and the cool wind started to push the summer away, the carnival came back. On the last night, as they were packing up, John stole away with them. He grew his hair out, dyed his beard violet, and changed his name to Dr. Kingdom Diogenes Swann. John Brown had disappeared.

Using the knowledge he'd gained from the years with his father, he began his own patent medicine stall. Dr. Swann's Amazing Medicine Show! the side of his little wagon proclaimed in colourful letters. The business brought in a small amount of money, not enough to keep him afloat. He turned to another business, holding small 'concerts' in his tent after hours, playing his guitar.

Swann would start playing, perhaps singing along, and people would become restless. It certainly wasn't worth what they'd paid. And then, slowly it would creep up on them. An amazing feeling; one part joy, one part euphoria, and one part sexual arousal. After fifteen minutes, he'd have a tent full of grinning, dumbstruck men and women who were practically glowing. His last suggestion would be that they wouldn't remember his face or his name, but the memory of the amazing music and the feelings it had imparted would burn in their brains. People would pay to see it... and then come back with friends to see it again, and again, and again.

It became his primary money draw. He didn't advertise it, nor did he put his name on the tent. As far as anyone knew, Dr. Swann was the Patent Medicine hawker, nothing more. His takers found out about the show by word of mouth only. The other carnival travellers knew he had something, but they weren't sure what. He was just John Brown, the kid who had grown up with them.

Personality: Swann is a lover of life and sensation. He enjoys his travelling life, meeting new people and exploring what lies ahead. He's rarely without a smile (or a shit-eating grin) on his face. Anything that might feel good, he'll try it. Some like to say that his biggest patent medicine customer is himself.

He's a self-appointed doctor of medicine and the arts; his diploma is a fake, created by another traveller who specializes in joke documents and paintings, traded for a case of Swann's Throat Tonic*. He enjoys creating new potions and elixirs to ply on the fairgoers, having observed what they'll buy and what they'll come back for. Unfortunately, the trade is going downhill. People are getting wise to the trade, and he's unable to sell enough to cover his costs.

His emotions are what controls him the most. Logic tends to be drowned out in favor of one thing or another. A great example is beer. A night in the pub is more enjoyable than getting a night's rest so he can set up in the morning and get himself ready. Tucking into his prized bottle of absinthe is a common pastime when the pubs in town are too seedy, even for him, or he's pissed off someone large and dangerous. Happens more often than not.

Heightened emotion comes along with it's own set of negatives. When he's depressed, the world is coming to an end. He may stand at the edge of a bridge and stare into the water (or concrete) and contemplate his death, singing dirges into the wind. Dramatic, thy name is Swann.

He's never fallen for a woman enough to chase after her. He doesn't want a relationship with anyone; they're a good time and all, but who wants to live with them? And he definitely doesn't want a child, good lord no.

-------
*Grain alcohol, blackberry wine, sugar, red pepper, and the extract of poppy flowers. It doesn't relieve pain as much as stomp it to death.


Fears: Swann fears losing his independence and freedom, which means as soon as someone tells him he's trapped in a huge house, he'll already be nervous. He's afraid of violence, as he's not a fighter of any sort, and will run like the wind away from anything that might threaten his life, or at least a firm slap to the face. He has a very firm and healthy sense of self-preservation. He's also afraid of ghosts, vampires, ghouls, things with sharp teeth, and venus fly traps. They're unnatural.

Weaknesses: Alcohol, drugs, and any other mind-altering substances. He's usually a happy drunk, if there are people around. Normally he doesn't drink or drug out on his own, because it makes him irritable and depressed. He'd be an addict, but he's never had enough coin or produced enough on his own to afford getting into a habit. If he were introduced to the Gentlemen's Lounge, he'd likely rarely leave.

Mundane Strengths/Abilities: He is also an alchemist (or chemist if you like) of sorts. He specializes in the snake oil trade; potions, elixirs and whatnot that may work, or it may not. Many of the cure-alls he stocks are loaded with alcohol and narcotics. He's not bad at it, and makes up for his shortcomings with curiosity and enthusiasm.

Sensitivity/Magical Ability: Low sensitive.
He is a musician, adept with guitar and banjo, and familiar with most any instrument from his time period. His true ability is magical in nature; he can manipulate emotions through music. When he plays or sings, he is able to imbue the music with the power of suggestion and/or the passion of pure emotion, whether it be emotional (happiness, sadness, anger, etc), erotic stimulus, or simple (or not so simple) hypnotism.


Supply List: three pounds fifty two; a half-spool of dark blue thread and a needle; a silver pocketwatch; a small, polished stone with a hole in; an apple; a jaw harp; a small vial with wee black pills in.

Sample RP post: Morning was always a lovely time, especially on those days when he had no hangover. At his age, and with his exemplary drinking habits, he rarely had them. Of course, one must understand his definition of ‘hangover’, which included the inability to move, blinding headaches, and losing chunks of time. He hadn’t done that in well… weeks.

But today wasn’t one of those mornings. In fact, it was the opening day of the carnival, and he had a show to put on. Two, but the other would be later that evening, before he tested his alcoholic fortitude once again.

Pristine white shirt, black waistcoat with watch tucked in, red velvet jacket, and was it a top hat sort of day? No, not that morning, as it looked to be a warm day. He left the black silk hat atop the skull it perched on and tied his long hair back. Satisfied by his reflection in the mirror (dapper, but not overbearing), he opened the door to his wagon and stepped out—

The step wasn’t there when Swann stepped down from the little gypsy wagon, and he fell directly downward for what seemed much farther than what the ground should be. When he did hit the floor, he found it was dark, polished, and very expensive looking wood.

He slowly got to his feet, tugging at the bottom of his waistcoat as he did so, taking in all the leather and wood and whatnot. Far from the field they'd set up in, right outside a town in the north of England. The place looked a bit skint for a place for a room so grand.

"This isnae a hallucination, is it?" he muttered to himself. "I knew I was addin' too much poppy extract to that last batch."

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vorko!

June 2013

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