Major Philip Rook

         Major Rook is not particularly noticeable to anyone's first glance. In his private life (as much as he has one), he tends to come across as a somewhat tall but well-built Victorian gentleman with rather bland good looks. However, as an agent of the Foreign Office, he is a consummate actor. Given a few days, he is capable of blending into an astounding variety of social circles. His key skills in accomplishing this are vocal mimicry and the Art of Memory. He will carefully study the accents, social mores, and other details of some group of people. During this time, he is assembling in his mind a careful cover story.

         When not playing one of his roles, Major Rook is a typical professional or military man of Victorian England. He is a bit rough with his fellows, but adamant about proper etiquette and dead serious about his work. What doesn't show so easily is that at his heart he is a romantic, drawn to intelligence work for the allure of the exotic. While as Rook he is very practical-minded and even dismissive of philosophy, his identities and his work are the acting out of this drive in him.

         Upon finding himself in the overtly supernatural realm of Ravenloft, Rook is clinging to the hope that there is some logical (although clearly fantastic) explanation for all this, and that if he can figure out the riddle he can find his way home again.

SAGA Stats

Physique 7
Combat: Dagger 1
Combat: Thrown Dagger 1
Combat: Dodge 1
Climb -
Jump -
Listen 1
Mimic 2
Search 3
Spot 1
Swim -
Coordination 6
Balance -
Move Silently 2
Ride -
Tumble -
Intellect 9
Diplomacy 2
Language: Latin 0
Language: Greek 0
Language: Arabic 1
Language: Coptic 0
Hide 1
Knowledge: History 1
Knowledge: Occult 1
Knowledge: Politics 0
Knowledge: Streetwise 1
Essence 6
Bluff 1
Disguise 2
Gather Information 1
Hand Size: 4 Unspent Experience: 3


         Major Rook was born in 1856 to a distinguished family. His father was a government bureaucrat, efficient and wealthy, who kept a proper and normal household.

         Philip was the third son -- his eldest brother Robert (8 years older than he) became a leading barrister, while his other brother Joshua (5 years older) became an eccentric librarian. He had a third brother, Michael, who died as a toddler of unexplained disease.

         Early on, Philip showed militaristic leanings. He excelled at sports while attending Eaton and Oxford, as well as having some skill in languages. He had a brief stint as an actor, performing minor roles in some Shakespeare plays, but mostly helped his friends on the technical side of production. Upon graduating, he was soon recruited for the Foreign Office. He had been hand-picked for a covert school they were setting up known only as ``The Laboratory''. That was when he first met Ariel Hawksquill.

         He did not know her name at the time, but he quickly learned to respect her teachings. He began to learn the Art of Memory, with a particular eye towards work in espionage. By the end of his training, Rook could memorize documents fairly quickly, instantly recall details of his cover story, and had an early understanding of schemes of disguise and tailing.

         He had several assignments in the Middle East, starting as a contact person for the Suez affair in 1875. Left on his own for long spans, he quickly practiced and set up several partial identities for himself. Successful, he was given several one-shot jobs.

         His long assignment came in 1881, where he was set up to become a member of a criminal group in Cairo with some sort of political backing. They were extremely hard to crack, however, and he ended up doing a lot of straight criminal acts for them -- threatening, extortion, robberies, etc. With this he managed to get some information on them, however.

         Luckily the leader of the gang fell prey to personal problems -- he was arrested and convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. Thus, Rook managed to slip away with technical success on his record, but with his idealism badly scarred. After that he returned to London in 1887 -- where he was assigned back to Hawksquill.


         In a professional capacity, Rook maintains several cover identities which he uses for various purposes. He is a master of disguise and acting, and each identity has very well developed mannerisms and background information.

John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Sun Nov 10 10:36:31 2002