The Explorers of Down Cthulhu
A globe trotting archaeologist and treasure hunter; a true Hero with a capital H
Smart Hero3/Fortune Hunter 4
Age at start of campaign: 15+
Occupation: Adventurer(Brawl;add Glibness and Ride)
Talents: Tactician; Fast Learner; Keen Reflexes; Linguist; Keenly Skilled;Keen Attacks
Feats: Personal Firearms
1) Charmed;Fortune;Heroic Surge
Bsm) Educated(arch and arcane lore)
5) From the Jaws of Defeat
6) Two Weapon Fighting; Bfh: Sidekick
7)Point Blank Shot
8) From the Jaws of Defeat
Fortune Hunter Features: Anticipate Trap; 3 Local Contacts; Studious;
Sanity: 98 (85)
Languages: Arabic2r/w, German3r/w, Hieroglyphics/Hieratic 2, Mayan 2, Ancient Greek 2, Latin 2, Akadian/Sanskrit 2, Ancient Hebrew 2r/w, Ancient Indian 2, Aborigine 2, Aklo 2
Affiliations: Iluminati, Archimedes’ Inner Circle, Adventurer’s Club, Cambridge and British Museum
Equipment: Webley; Machete; khopesh(bypasses Dr/magic); spyglas
Rick’s Kit (his Tomb Kit, sheathed in a rollout canvas case):
2 magnifying glasses(of differing strengths); 4 iron spikes; 1 hammer; 3 interchangable files, varying in courseness, with handle; small folding shovel, bladed; wirecutter/metalsnip; 4 sticks detonite (4d6/stick, long fuses); chisel; hacksaw
“He’s the best at what he does, and what he does isn’t very nice at all.”
“Cultists, I hate these guys.”
“I don’t know, I’m making this up as I go.”
Backstory:Dr. Sir Richard Rathbone hails from a family of a fairly wealthy landholding knights, their status reaching into the distant past. His father Edgar is a mostly retired naturalist and philanthropist of Cambridge, while his mother Anna works as an anthropologist for various museums. Both did much of their scientific work in Australia, where they first met. Their family residence is south of York, England. Rick has younger twin sisters, age 14 at the time of his Phd. graduation, named Mattie and Beatrice.
Rick always traveled with his parents on their journeys to study and work in the field, including 3 stints in Australia as a youth for 3-5 months at a time, at ages 6, 9, and 14 (not counting his birth there). Though he had an interest in the subjects dear to his parents, they would not be his passion. At age 8, he went with his father to the British Museum. There, it was the Egyptology and other ancient culture exhibits which enchanted him immediately. From then on, whenever his parents went to the museum for their work, he would join them to visit the archaeological halls and libraries, where he demonstrated his natural linguistic talents..
A verifiable genius and both history, a mental sponge for linguistics, and an archaeology prodigy, he graduated high school at 16 and received his B.A. in History from Cambridge in 2 years, focusing on Egyptology. From there he joined the military academy. A meeting there with an intelligence officer who was also Iluminati resulted in his being pulled from the academy after a year and brought into the special services thanks to his history/archaeology and language skills. He was first stationed in India, spending 2 years there performing various secret missions for the crown. It was very early during this time he met Machenda Mahunda Garun, and the 2 would become instantly inseparable.
After 2 years, Iluminati influence had got him an indefinate hiatus so that he could further his academic studies. He graduated with his Phd from University College London in 2 years (including a study abroad at Miskatonic, spending much time with Dr.‘s Wilkerson and Hughes), studying under his archaeological mentor William Petrie. Though they see eye to eye on much in the field and worked together on new archaeological systematic theory, Petrie’s social views relating to the profession are not ascribed to by Rathbone. Men like Machenda and Mundabi have reinforced Rick’s feelings on the matter. Still, he can be quite the Englishman.
He was hired by the British museum and Cambridge before he graduated, and soon afterward the Iluminati was revealed to him by the intelligence officer who first met him at Academy.
Some 5 years later, he works officially for the British Museum and has teaching appointments at both Cambridge and University College London in history/archaeology/linguistics, and is a well known and respected member of the Iluminati. Their influence permits Rick the leeway he needs to take off at almost a moments notice at virtually any time.
His style has a strong adventurous streak to it, living for the fortune and glory as well as pofessional and academic achievements, and he is somewhat of a celebrity in his field. But make no mistake, he is a professional and expert in his fields. Some old curmudgeonly academic circles scoff at him as nothing more than a glory-hound. His natural talents make the younger breed look up to him as a hero.
It is a fact though that his intelligence and style breeds ideas, theories, and searches for items which other scholars scoff at and laugh off as larks, but thus far he has proven them wrong and himself right on many more occasions than not, which only worsens their attitude toward him. He has faced down dangers his detractors would faint in the face of, many of which cannot be made public by their very nature.
He is almost as gifted physically as mentally, being well enough built to confront the dangers he leaps into head first. He is strong and quick, but even more durable. Though not a skilled gunman or swordsman, he is what Archimedes calls an ‘absolute hero’. He simply succeeds.
Most of his professional digging work is done in Egypt and the Near East, but his side excursions take him far and wide, aided by his gift for languages. His rich family besides, he has become quite wealthy by his own hand thanks to a few truly magnificent finds. He is also a well known and popular member of the Adventurer’s Club.
Rick is best friends with Fritz Goldstein, who he met in South America. Both had been called to Arkam simultaneously, but for different reasons by different people, but their paths crossed quickly. They then joined forces for a mutual rescue mission into Hondurus The 2 have been companions ever since. He calls Fritz the ‘Iron Jew’.
Crossed paths with a Jackson Elias in 1888 at a temple dig in Asia
Found Zarogriff shards in Mesopotamia in a lost city
Hunted for stolen Egyptian Scarab, was supernatural and turned wearer into a monster at night. A thief got it and began as string of murders. Rick traced the amulet to NYC, where Westinghouse, still on the force, was investigating murders there. A friend of Jack Burton’s was killed, and Westinghouse met Jack. The thief turned out to be a respected archaeologist and was killed in a final confrontation when Rick and Westinghouse both caught up to him at the same time.
Rick took amulet back to England. Westinghouse was unceremoniously fired over the controversy of the thief’s death.
Father found metal cylinder in a rock that is at least 50,000 years old (see handout of fossils) in Australia, given to Richard as a keepsake because it was an impossibility. Richard cracked it open to see it more clearly.
Came to study with Wilkerson for a time because of one of his papers on Aklo, a mystical language that forces your mind to think in ways that align with magic. Very complex and has its own mathematics as well. One of first pieces of evidence of society in lost ages. Feint writing on it.
In tomb in Egyptian he found a book, written in a form of Aklo Wilkerson calls low Aklo, a simplified version of Aklo. Perhaps for beginners. Wilkerson believes each level of magic power adds complexity to the language. Found map (handout) hundreds of years old. Outlines of the continents of earth including coast of Antarctica without the ice. Found on same trip as book. Writing indecipherable. He is convinced that the tomb was not Stygian but a long lost kingdom of a transition period (lasting a thousand years or more) between Stygia and Egypt. He and Wilkerson disagree on this point. The book seems to be from this period.
Parts were written in low Aklo with other languages of that period side by side. Also, engraving of pic he found in another book, a translation of a translation of a translation into ancient greek, Chronicles of King Conan. Part of this book was in the Aklo book! That greatly aided the translation as it followed virtually word for word.
Love Interests: Rick is not going to settle down any time soon. The idea is for him to have a different ‘love interest’ each adventure/chapter/what-have-you, kind of Indiana Jones-like. Though by ‘love’ we mean sexual/romantic relationship. This may end up being with friend or foe, helpful or cause trouble.
- The Forgotten Pharaoh: The Salvatore Sisters
- The Gorge of Osiris: Head priestess of Bastet, Ama.
Goals: Other than being a successful archaeologist in general, Rick believes in the world before known history and pre-history, one he calls collectively Proto History, that world’s linked by some scholars to the mysterious language dubbed Aklo and a land named Hyborea. Therefore, he is always on the lookout for evidence. Additionally, thwarting evil cults for the Iluminati is a favorite activity, and now that he has been made aware of the ‘Mythos’ by Archimedes, his primary objective is to thwart any coming world catastrophe linked to it, which Archimedes believes lies in the future unless it is stopped by great men. Rick is one of only 2 people, the other being Fritz, who seem uneffected psychologically and emotionally by that which they now Realize. This is shocking to Archimedes, as all the others at some points are dragged to melancholy even for a short while by the truths they are now privy to, but also makes him see the 2 as the best the world has to offer. At times, though, this fact also troubles him that perhaps it’s not that they’re ‘that good’, but instead that they don’t really ‘get it’; and they will slip up somewhere along the line because of that and pay with their lives. He is reassured each time he meets with them however, as they are all business when talking of the supernatural and Mythos. Indeed, this is one reason why Rick is how he is in his professional and personal life outside combatting evil. He discovered the existance of the supernatural early on, and facing down evil makes everything else seem like fun. He therefore treats his personal life and professional life as such because of it. Hence the ‘glory hound’ misnomer. He simply loves what he does, and can’t help but show it.-
- Sir Emery WendiSmith at Cambridge all but introduced him to the occult and forbidden lore with his work on the G’harne fragments.
- Abu al-Hassan al-Hamadani of Yemen and his Al Iklil for it’s ahead-of-it’s-time methodology in archaeology.
- The Egyptian Al Idrisi’s ahead-of-it’s-time methodology in his Anwar
- Amelia Edwards and Reginald Stuart Poole
- Brian O’ Lockland, Lord Kelsey: Spymaster for viceroy and Rick’s recruiter into British Special Services in India.
- William Matthew Flinders Petrie: Rick’s Egyptology mentor. Rick’s acting as his own dig foreman is drawn from Petrie’s example, as well as his careful digging practices, study/use of ‘seration’, and detailed record keeping and cataloguing (see pic below).
- Jonothan Hughes of Miskatonic; archaeologist. Rick had a falling out with him over his daughter Amanda.