Main Characters

This is the cast of characters that feature in the “Algernon Expeditions” Universe, vaguely in order of appearance. I will admit that some of the people at the Algernon University are loosely based on persons living or dead. The term I use is “Similar to, but legally distinct from”. This is mainly to keep people like Scarlett Johansen from suing me… Not that there is anyone who looks like her, but…

CharlesAlgernonParsons

Charles Algernon Parsons

Charles Algernon Parsons

  • Occupation: Ground-layer of the steam turbine and founder of the University that is the focus of our reports.
  • Age: 1854 – 1931
  • Similar to but legally distinct from: Himself.

Charles Algernon Parsons is an important figure in the invention of the steam engines, especially steam turbines. A steam turbine does not have a cylinder in which a piston goes up and down, but a rotor with many blades that rotates under steam power. Parsons’ invention was a tapered design where the rotors get larger as the speed of the steam decreases, so that the steam does not have to travel across the blades faster than necessary. He does not himself appear in the story, but he is the father of Andrew Parsons (q.v.).

wadcroft-small

Prof. Dr. Alan Wadcroft

Prof. Dr. Alan Wadcroft

  • Occupation: University professor
  • Subjects: Biology, Geography, Alchemy. Chronicler of these stories.
  • Age: In his forties.
  • Similar to but legally distinct from: Nobody.

Prof. Wadcroft was the leader of the expedition mounted in “The Mysterious Ore”, in search of another expedition from an Arkham university with a predilection for having its members go mad owing to eldritch emanations from somewhere or other. A very practical sort of chap with little or no patience for superstitious nonsense. He does appear here and there in “The Fall Of Eldorado”, though his role there is mostly as a recorder.

Prof. Dr. Margaret Enderby

  • Occupation: University professor
  • Subjects: Physics, Archaeology, Anthropology
  • Age: Of a certain age.
  • Similar to but legally distinct from: Nobody.

Margaret Enderby is one of the more popular professors, owing mostly to a good sense of humour, a friendly disposition, a talent for explaining things clearly, and a voice that will cut through the most dense of sleep-induced fogs. She is the widow of the world famous crypto-zoologist Gerald Enderby, whose life’s work was posthumously vindicated when he was fatally exsanguinated by a chupacabra. Margaret shot the beast and brought it home. She is an excellent judge of character, and has a great deal of empathy for her fellow human beings. She is a good friend of Wadcroft’s, and asked him first to look for Hammond’s lost expedition in Africa. Students will even tolerate her presence in the dorms, which is not a privilege extended to many professors.

Alexandra L. Tennant

Alexandra L. Tennant

Alexandra L. Tennant

  • Occupation: Sniper, Adventurer, Stevedore, Helmsman
  • Age: The very best of ages, mind your own business.
  • Similar to but legally distinct from: Nobody.

Alexandra is the lady who graces the front page of “The Mysterious Ore”. Energetic, independent, capable, she is an asset to any expedition she may find herself on. Her mother died on an expedition along the Kasai river, and her father went missing, presumed dead, on an expedition of his own into Meso-America. In The mysterious Ore, her brother Carl likewise disappeared from the face of the earth, leaving her alone in the world with few close friends. She has found a good friend in Margaret Enderby. Her skills with a modified Mauser SR220 sniper rifle are remarkable. Any person within a mile of her had better be friendly.

Andrew Parsons

Richard Furrer of Door County Forgeworks

Richard Furrer of Door County Forgeworks

  • Occupation: Engineer and builder
  • Subjects: Anything to do with Steel, steam, or machinery.
  • Age: Early thirties.
  • Similar to but legally distinct from: Nobody, though he looks a bit like a scaled-up version of Ric Furrer of Door County Forgeworks.

Andrew is the genius grandson of Charles Algernon Parsons. He can design in his mind the most complicated of machinery and has total recall of everything from the largest beams to the tiniest rivets. Unfortunately, this has come at a cost. He is utterly incapable of understanding the humans around him. The first thing one notices when meeting Andrew is his sheer size. He towers over the tallest of men and has the broad build to match it. The second thing is his penetrating stare, even from behind protective goggles. One has the impression of being measured up, and one would be right. Despite his fearsome appearance, he is incapable of violence in thought or deed, though occasionally accidents do happen. Andrew knows exactly how strong he is (he can lift 425kg of dead weight) and has enviable motor control, enabling him to make devices with his bare hands that would otherwise require vises and special equipment.

To guide his steps in a world of illogical humans, he has a personal assistant named Miss Felicia Sunderland.

James T. Riley

  • Occupation: Spy.
  • Age: Classified.
  • Similar to but legally distinct from: Think of The A-Team‘s Face-man’s evil twin.

James Riley is not a nice man. He is an attaché to Miskatonic University of Arkham, and has had to investigate several of its expeditions that went awry somehow. This has left him with little or no illusions regarding the milk of Human kindness, and to be honest he is in short supply himself. In The Mysterious Ore, he goes with Wadcroft’s expedition to make sure among other things that Arkham’s findings go to Arkham and nowhere else. He proves himself useful on many occasions, but not in a way that leaves one with a warm fuzzy feeling.

Oberst Gustav Klemm

  • Occupation: Leader of a mercenary force known as the Jäger.
  • Age: 47
  • Similar to but legally distinct from: Nobody.

Oberst Gustav Klemm is a retired officer from the Prussian military. He has a keen military mind, and a very dry Germanic kind of humour that will be lost on his victims. He is staunchly opposed to unnecessary violence as it wastes resources that can be more usefully spent on necessary violence. That being said, he is known as “The Butcher of…” a village that nobody has heard of, and thanks to Klemm’s efforts, nobody will. Having retired from the Prussian army, he now operates a small and very capable mercenary force for whoever will pay his price.

Nazeem

  • Occupation: Mystic/Fraud
  • Age: Unknown even to himself
  • Similar to but legally distinct from: Nobody like him exists.

Nazeem styles himself “Master of the Way of the Elements.” He certainly looks the part: Dark skin, coal-black eyes and a long thick beard. Whether he is the genuine article or whether he is simply a fraud employing stage magic tricks remains open to speculation. However he does it, he has made himself useful on several occasions in the search for the Hammond expedition in The Mysterious Ore. His talents include (according to him) mind-reading, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, extra-sensory perception, communication with the Dead, and many other feats of the Fakir. His masters, or so he asserts, were Pir Mohammed Chhel and other unnameable sages. Riley thinks he’s as fake as a three dollar bill. Others are not so sure. He has shown remarkable abilities and undoubtedly is trained in sleight-of-hand and sleight-of-body disciplines.

Carl Tennant

  • Occupation: Gentleman Adventurer.
  • Subjects: Navigation, Expedition provisioning and outfitting, Ship’s carpentry, Firearms.
  • Age: A few years older than Alexandra.
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Nobody.

Carl Tennant is Alexandra’s older brother. They were trained in the noble art of expeditioning by their father, Philip Tennant and their mother, Iris Tennant. His job is usually to baby-sit the intelligentsia of an expedition, who in the pursuit of scientific knowledge often forget about such trivialities as food, wild animals, transport, equipment, and anything else not to do with squinting at flowers, animals, or rocks of interest to the Scientific World. Being a rather hefty lad, he is also often the one to do heavy lifting, a fate he bears with a fatalistic stoicism.

Fatin

  • Occupation: Tribal housewife, mother, airship helmsman
  • Subjects: Forest lore, Jungle survival
  • Age: In her twenties.
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Nobody.

In “The Mysterious Ore“, our intrepid adventurers came upon the friendly tribe Fatin called home. As it happened, there was plenty of evidence that Hammond’s expedition had passed through. The tribal Elder had a modern American knife, and Fatin was expecting Carl’s child. The couple were reunited, and Carl went to live with her in her tribe. After the birth of their child, they went together to Algernon University to find Alexandra. Fatin is a loving mother, wise beyond her years. Of all the Tennant family, she is perhaps the most spiritual, feeling the personalities of everyday objects. She is taking very well to life in this steam-powered and coal-fuelled world, viewing it in a permanent state of wonder and amusement.

Philip Tennant

Philip Tennant on a bad day

Philip Tennant

  • Occupation: Explorer
  • Subjects: African architecture and culture, Aztec religious practices, Inadvisably applied alchemy
  • Age: Old enough to be Carl’s father
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Nobody.

Philip Tennant is the father of Carl and Alexandra. One of his old friends, a Prof. Barnaby, once managed to convinced him that Africans were the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and he dedicated a good part of his life to proving or disproving that fact, ably assisted by his beloved wife Iris. He mounted expeditions all along the Western coast of Africa, studying the African way of life, with an eye to pointing out similarities in South-American culture. Sadly, one of his expeditions was attacked by bandits somewhere along the Kasai river in Angola and he never quite recovered from the loss of her. He spent some time exploring in Meso-America and found the lost city of Anctapolepl. Anctapolepl was not kind to him. He lost his right leg to a boulder falling on it, the strength in his left arm to violence, and his right eye.

ornament-archaic

The Algernon Rifle Club

I needed a handful of school girls for Alexandra to teach the noble art of marksmanship to, while she nursed her father back to health. I plundered my Youtube follow list for girls, and came up with the following:

Florence Albrecht

  • Occupation: Student
  • Age: seventeen or so.
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Nobody.

The only girl not derived from a real-life person. In The Mysterious Ore, Alexandra gives her a little demonstration of how to handle a smiper rifle, sowing the seed for the formation of the Algernon Rifle Club.

Linda Davenport

  • Occupation: Student, Editor-in-chief of the Algernon Clarion, the university’s student newspaper.
  • Age: Sixteen
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Lindsey Batdorf

Lindsey is the artist who has been drawing the various front pages of my WoW fanfic and this series. Her drawings are beautiful, and it’s a pleasure to work with her.

In the story, Linda is the editor of the student’s newspaper, the Algernon Clarion. Usually, the articles treat their subjects with due respect, but she has been known to publish the occasional little clanger making fun of esteemed members of the Algernon U faculty, which caused her a few uneasy moments in Prof. Wadcroft’s office.

Rina Prescott

  • Occupation: Student, typesetter and graphics designer of the Algernon Clarion
  • Age: Sixteen
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Corinne Pritchard

Corinne is a personal friend of mine, who kindly offered to format the front pages of these novels for me. She is hopelessly overqualified for this, as she’s an expert in graphics design, specialising in explaining complex ideas in easy-to-understand words and pictures on the Web.

In the story, she is the hornet-like reporter on all the goings-on at Algernon University, with a sharp pen and a big heart, interviewing Fatin on her experience in England and Carl on his exploits in the African jungles.

Anna Melchior

  • Occupation: Student
  • Age: Sixteen
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Ana Kasparian.

One of the hosts on The Young Turks news network on Youtube. I haven’t followed her closely for a while, but she’s smart and usually on the money with her.

In the story, she’s the quiet one, staying in the background listening to the others, only to drop little bombs into the conversation now and then.

Jocelyn Vale

  • Occupation: Student
  • Age: Sixteen
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Jaclyn Glenn

Youtube personality Jaclyn Glenn runs a channel themed mainly Atheist in character, but also discussing women’s issues, gay rights, and a host of other things.

In the story, Jocelyn is the exuberant extraverted one, the loudest of the group, constantly has to assure people she’s Not Crazy, but it’s an act, and there may be a sad reason behind it.

Christa Wheeler

  • Occupation: Student
  • Age: Sixteen
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Cristina Rad

Cristina Rad is a Romanian Youtuber, likewise with an Atheist themed channel with the occasional addition of society commentary pieces. The discussion on the origin of morality in The Fall Of Eldorado is mostly inspired and adapted from her video “The objective of morality“.

In the story, Christa is the designated Godless Heathen (even though most of their real-life counterparts are).

Carrie StJohn

  • Occupation: Student
  • Age: Sixteen
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Cara Santa Maria

Cara is a Science Communicator, and the host of the “Talk Nerdy” podcast, where she has an impressive number of suitably nerdy guests. At the time of writing, she is hurrying towards 100 podcasts.

In the story, Carrie is the best shot in the club, as she has been in the rifle team of a previous university.

Bertram (Bert) Greenford

  • Occupation: Student
  • Age: Sixteen
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Nobody.

Bertram is the first boy to apply for a space in the Rifle Club. Up to then, it was thought that only girls could join, but Alexandra never intended that. He was the one to approach Alexandra, tugging his friend Nigel along.

Nigel Arterton

 

  • Occupation: Student
  • Age: Sixteen
  • Similar to, but legally distinct from: Nobody.

Nigel is the second boy in the club, though at the end of “Eldorado”, more boys apply. He has a definite crush on Jocelyn, but unfortunately expressed this as a preference for her in a scholarly debate on the quality and quantity of the girls’ personal attributes. Jocelyn will never let him live that down.

 

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