Serial Settings 1: Ubiquity ~ Week 22

The sixth month of this year’s Serial Setting for Ubiquity opens with a new adventure hook, a new location, and another set of curious residents of the mysterious Windlet Islands. The Serial Settings series of posts is intended to provide usable setting material for busy GMs. Series 1 is for those looking to run Daring Tales of Adventure or Hollow Earth Expedition.

22) Things Fall Apart, Windlet Cove Settlement, Lysette Isle

This far from pretty much everywhere, a good repairman is a treasure beyond measure. Initially begun as a Company initiative to reduce and contain the amount of personal work done on Company property with Company resources, the shop now employs two full-time handymen, and an electrician. Between the three of them, most mechanical problems, the effects of wear and tear, and even some customizations can be dealt with readily. As a sideline, the shop now sells radios, flashlights, and other small electronic items which they have developed a certain expertise in repairing after the humidity takes its toll. Service is affordable and quick. The staff are extremely polite, friendly, and genuinely interested in making things work again.

Things Fall Apart occupies a double-length Nissen Hut near the center of Windlet Cove Settlement. The proprietors have recently finished digging out and stone walling a deep basement to help beat the heat. The ground floor has been heavily modified to include many large windows, sky-lights, and even larger ventilation fans.

It is unclear and mostly unimportant to locals who owns the shop, but most assume it is still owned by one Gast Procurement division or other. It is not. Once the shop proved viable, the men running the place found the Administrator more than happy to sell it to them for a very reasonable price.

The bulk of their trade is in repairing nautical equipment, and in assisting with whatever salvage and refitting operations are carried out on the local and visiting vessels which use the islands as a stopover, however repair work of more domestic items is steadily growing.

Usual Suspects: William Teller “Tell” VanLew

Known as ‘Tell’ to most of the people in the Settlement, the tall, broad-shouldered electrician came to the Islands as a shanghai’d deckhand on what was ostensibly a pirate ship. Each year, on the anniversary of his dramatic release from bondage Tell goes to the homes of those who participated in battling the pirates, sinking their black vessel, and freeing the men and women forced to slave aboard it as crew, and thanks each one personally.

Originally from Austria, Tell has travelled the world and is known to speak French even better than his practically flawless English. His accent appears only when he is in his cups, bellowing drinking songs with his companions.

His blond hair is painfully turning grey, giving him an undeservedly washed out and tired look. His blue eyes are large and earnest. Despite his huge hands, he is incredibly capable in handling the fine tools of his trade, but lately has begun to complain a bit about seeing fine detail. He has begun to collect magnifying lenses to rectify the problem, often having more than one scattered through his work area or tucked into a pocket.

Rumours: heard mainly around the docks or in drunken conversation at the Floating Keg

  • He has a wife somewhere in Europe that he hasn’t seen in decades
  • He has a wife somewhere in India that he hasn’t seen in decades
  • He has a wife… you get the idea
  • His technical skills are self-taught
  • He is a German agent
  • He is AWOL from his regiment
  • He used to be a priest
  • He plans to open an icehouse using some form of unusual technology
Usual Suspects: Stan Leopold

Known to be able to fix anything given time and the freedom to curse, Stan has seemingly infinite patience with people, and a deep-seated hatred of broken machinery. Of average height and build, but with striking blue eyes set into a deeply tanned face topped by a truly impressive head of blond hair that stands at attention like a crack militia squad at inspection, Stan is a popular target for the local ladies’ gossip mill. His foul mouth and willingness to loose it on any errant breakdown or defect also has him in the sights of the islands’ religious leaders – for his own good. In his early 40s but still single, he is the idol of many family men.

Leopold came to the islands with the crew hired to add defenses to the Fence, and chose to stay on in the machine shop. When the opportunity came to go into business for himself with Tell and Kelley, he leapt at the opportunity and hasn’t looked back.

Often to be found working in the shop on larger pieces, Leopold is typically the person customers first meet. Charming, despite the grease stains, he makes island life seem like paradise. Apparently from Maine, but having spent almost ten years in Europe after the Great War as a child, he speaks several European languages well, including Russian, French, and German. He is especially proficient in swearing in these languages. Island men enjoy getting him drunk and setting him off on rants that can peel the paint from the sides of battleships.

He is known to have travelled extensively with his family as a child, but he does not talk about it.

Rumours: heard primarily among the ladies of the islands

  • He has never married, nor really dated much
  • His parents were devout Christians and did a lot of missionary work
  • He is hiding a deep childhood trauma – people believe his parents were killed in Africa doing mission work
  • He has been working for the Company since his teens
  • He is working on a revolutionary new engine design, but cannot seem to get it to work
  • He loved Germany most of all the places he has travelled and sings German drinking songs when truly plastered
  • He wants to design and sell cars
  • He hates the water – he won’t even drink it
Usual Suspects: Clifford Kelley

Kelley is part owner of the Floating Keg, and a key member of the Windlet Cove Settlement Non-denominational Worship Facility Development Committee. He doesn’t like to be idle. An expert metal worker, and carpenter, Clifford Kelley is often to be found working outside. Creative and artistic, he is able to shift gears easily between purely functional work, and decorative work.

Originally brought to the islands by misfortune, he was pulled, battered and bleeding, from the reef by fishermen in 1934. The life ring he was wearing is still hanging in the shop over his welding equipment. His frequent line is, “God apparently found it urgent to get me here.”

Tanned and dark, with pale blue eyes and deep frown lines, Kelley can look dour and cold – until he laughs. Kelley seems to make laughing into an Olympic event. Although he tells weak jokes that elicit groans more often than laughs, he enjoys to hear a joke more than any man alive. Despite being a teatotaller, he still spends much of his free time at places like the Floating Keg, to enjoy the camaraderie of others.

Rumours: heard only in specific conversation about him, and then after much thought

  • He wanted to be a pastor as a child
  • He had a very strict upbringing
  • He has the crucifiction tattooed on his back
  • After the church is built he wants to go to work for the Constabulary
  • He wants to train some islanders in metal working and carpentry to expand local employment options
  • He writes letters to missionaries and religious leaders all over Europe
  • His mother was German and he is deeply troubled by what is occuring with the Nazis
  • His father, an expat Irishman in Boston, was killed in a bar fight over politics

Truths:

Soon!

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