Occupation: Dilettante Explorer
Birthplace: San Francisco, California
Colleges, Degrees: Bachelor of Archeology with Anthropology minor, Columbia University, 1897
Current Sanity 75/75
Current Magic 15/15
Current Health 13/13
Str 10 Dex 12 Int 15 Idea 75
Con 12 App 9 Pow 15 Luck 75
Siz 12 San 75 Edu 10 Know 45
Damage Bonus: 0
Credit Rating 30%
Cthulhu Mythos 0%
First Aid 50%
Library Use 30%
Natural History 20%
Spot Hidden 25%
Matches (20) (WP Strike Anywhere)
Loupe, Magnifying Glass
Pith Helmet, Expedition Outfit
Bandoleer (Speed Loader x4, Rifle Shots x20, Flares x4)
Hip Flask, Stainless (Whiskey)
Pocket Watch x2
Very Pistol (flare gun)
Double Barrel Elephant Gun
200 Dollars (Belgian Franks)
Speed Loaders x16
Rifle Shots x80
Ink, World Atlas, W/P Paper x50 sheets
Cigars (245), W/P Strike Anywhere Matches (480)
Sewing Kit, Pears’ Soap x3
Tooth Paste, Straight Razor (stainless)
Pith Helmet, Expedition Outfit x2
Dried Venison x9.5 pounds
Canteen x3 (1 water, 2 whiskey)
Barrel of Whiskey (100 proof)
Hip Flask (Stainless)
Telescope, Sextant, Magnetic Compass
Mosquito Netting, Rain Poncho x3
Tent, Rope, Folding Shovel, Folding Saw
Alcohol Stove (with bamboo lamp hood)
Skillet with folding handle (stainless)
Small Pot (stainless) [skillet fits inside]
French Press, Coffee x5 lbs (ground)
Ferrocerium Strikers x3 (fire starters)
Phrases/Dictionary: French, Dutch, Arabic
Knots: Survivalists Guide
Exotic Plants, Botany of the Wild
Fungal Delights: What’s Safe and What’s NOT!
Birds of the Jungle
Wildlife and You: A Guide to Tracking and Survival
Philosophy of Anthropology
Field Guide to Anthropology: Indigenous People and You
Laudenum (Opium Tincture)
Quinine, Asprin, Nitrous Oxide
Cocaine Tablets (100ct 1g tablets)
Morphine (1 bottle – 20 doses)
Iodine Tablets (2 bottles – 200 doses)
Epinephrine (2 bottles – 20 doses each)
Syringe Kit, Surgical Kit (both stainless)
Stethoscope, Alcohol, Gauze
Listerine x3 gallons
Tetanus, Smallpox, Rabies
Cholera, Anthrax, Typhoid
In 1866, Linus Swank was introduced to the world via a wealthy family. His father, Phillip Swank, got lucky amid the buzz of the Gold Rush in San Francisco, California, during which he laid claim to a particularly lucrative piece of property. With his newfound wealth, he made some risky decisions that involved reinvesting his findings into the purchase of other properties. As it turned out, his team of prospectors was top notch and each of his claims turned a profit for the long term.
With no real restrictions placed on his upbringing, Linus wandered his way through his early childhood dealing mostly with nannies and tutors. As he grew older, his curiosity about the world grew with him and with his early teens came the desire to leave the family manse and explore. His father was supportive, but he believed in a structured investment, so Linus was afforded a modest allowance and encouraged to seek education. His mother, Samantha, catered to his curiosities and strove to formulate ways to turn her son’s interests into formal activities that his father would look upon as respectable investments. On the whole, she was successful and Linus began to pick up on the formulaic strategy in his late teens, when his lust for knowledge began to peak.
In 1886, Linus was admitted to the University of Southern California to begin studying for a general science degree. He meandered through the academic system at USC for several years, taking various courses that caught his interest, such as biology, astronomy, chemistry, even medicine and geology. His real discovery was when he met Professor Laden of the Archeology Department. Linus was immediately hooked and began to focus on archeology more intensely. But archeology is more than just the investigation of past civilizations. It is about people and cultures and the mysteries that they held hostage. With his explorations, he grew more and more fascinated by these mysteries as they pointed to various occult activities. His studies soon branched out into more mystical areas as well as anthropology.
But his lust for knowledge became too large for USC, so he applied elsewhere. After nine years of study, with the help of Professor Laden, Linus was admitted to Columbia University in 1893 where he met Professor Erwin Jeffries, head professor of the Archeology Department. Jeffries was captivated by Linus’ direction of research and provided him with all the support that he and the department could offer. Jeffries quickly took Linus under his wing and offered him a place in his more personal social circle. An avid hunter, Jeffries regularly invited Linus out to his estate on the weekends to practice with firearms, for sport mostly, but also as an excuse to sit around and smoke cigars and compare various brands of whiskey, bourbon and scotch over conversations better held outside the walls of the university.
Jeffries wasn’t publicly a follower of the mystical world of archeology and cultural sciences, but he was interested in what Linus uncovered as he delved deeper into the mysteries of the occult and curiosity got the better of him. It was not long before he shared his passion for mystical history with Linus. Together, they fabricated an independent research class structure that Linus would be able to use as a means of explore his mysteries without the fear of rising suspicion with the other professors and students. Jeffries even put together a custom grant to help fund the research.
Linus received his Bachelor’s Degree in Archeology in 1897, with a minor in Anthropology, but he stayed on at the university as an assistant professor. His pursuit of the occult continued at Columbia for another three years until he stumbled upon some real evidence that led to the African Congo. He knew, however, that any proposals based on his findings would not be taken seriously, so he produced a proposal from an anthropological perspective based on Morel’s articles in his newspaper, Speaker, outlining the atrocities befalling the natives of the African Congo. With this he found his way back to his parents’ home where he presented his father with a proposal for an expedition to Africa. He explained that it was to be the basis for his graduate research and that he and Professor Jeffries had already begun making preparations for the degree study and that the university had offered a small grant to assist in funding the expedition. The investment was substantial, but the proposal was solid. Phillip provided the money in cash on the last day of Linus’ stay at their manse.
What he didn’t tell his father was that the money would be used to help fund Jeffries’ own expedition. Linus became excited by the prospect of joining Jeffries on his expedition into the Congo to investigate the strange writings he had uncovered. The writings spoke of a ‘fabled city of stone’, deep in the heart of the Congo. Jeffries believed this was proof of ancient caravan routes from the Middle East as far down as the Congo and he was sure this was ‘King Solomon’s Mine’, or mines. Unfortunately, the topic was already popular in fantasy adventure novels, in particular those written by Allan Quartermain. Jeffries feared ridicule, so he remained secretive and only spoke publicly about a strange city of stone.
Linus returned to meet with Jeffries who had agreed to help him prepare for the expedition. Since his experiences with hunting had been so extensive, Jeffries felt he was a qualified expert in guiding Linus through the process. After things were in order, Jeffries took some time to go over the firearms he was providing. The revolver was one of the first guns that he had ever had, and its use was rather straight forward. Linus was nonplussed about the idea of having to reload every six rounds and the single bullet loading process was less than ideal. Jeffries pointed him towards a speed loader and Linus was sold. He later purchased them in bulk and had a bandoleer custom made to accommodate the ammunition cartridges along with the shells for the elephant gun that Jeffries was so proud to offer. The gun nearly took out his shoulder, but eventually, Linus got the hang of firing it, a powerful weapon indeed. Lastly, there was the Very Gun, a small handgun that shot flares into the sky. Jeffries joked that the flares would light up the night just long enough to show what he was running from. He couldn’t have been more right.
The expedition went off as planned, but something went wrong out on the Congo. Jeffries took several young researchers for his crew; among them were Linus and Richard Harp. Only the three of them made it back alive and Linus was struck with malaria in Leopoldville. Having recovered from the disease, Linus prepared for a second excursion. With a resupply and the prospect of a new crew on the horizon, it was only a matter of time.