Major Philip Rook

Philip Jeffrey Rook is not much of a man to look at. He 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. Finally, he began to get some breaks as he seduced the wife of the leader. Through her he began to get details which he fed back to the Office.

Then one day he returned to his flat, he found her there waiting. He knew by the look in her eyes that his cover was blown -- the drawer where he kept his coded messages was disturbed. She was going to tell her husband. They fought, and in the struggle Rook stabbed and killed her.

Thinking quickly, he dumped her body in the Nile and disappeared -- leaving a mess in his flat with clues implicating the husband. Shortly thereafter, the body of the wife was identified and another body was identified as him. Thus the leader was soon convicted of a double homicide.

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.

Real Personality

Philip (when not playing one of his roles) is on the surface a typical professional or military man -- a bit rough with the fellows and dead serious about his work. What doesn't show 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.


STR 12   DEX 13   INT 18 (+1 !!)
CON 13   APP 10   POW 16
SIZ 13            EDU 19

Hit Points: 13
Dmg Bonus: 1d4

Accounting(10)          History(20) 55          Persuade(15) 74
Acting(10) 50/90        Jump(25)                Pick Pockets(5)
Bargain(5)              Law(5) 20               Psychology(5) 10
Camouflage(25)          Library Use(25) 40      Ride(5)
Climb(40)               Listen(25) 35           Sing(5)
Credit(15) 80           Make Maps(10)           Sneak(5) 58/95
Debate(10)              Mechanics(20)           Spot Hidden(25) 55/95
Fast Talk(5) 45         Navigation(20)          Swim(25)
First Aid(30)           Occult(5) 40            Throw(25)
Hide(10) 30             Oratory(5) 10           Track(10)

Punch(50)                                       Read/Write Latin 20
Head Butt(10)                                   Read/Write Greek 15
Kick(25)                                        Read/Write Arabic 20
Grapple(25)                                     Speak Arabic 30
Dagger:A(25) 45                                 Speak Coptic 20
Thrown Dagger(25): 40                           Mnemotechnics 30
Dodge(26) 46

Split Skills:
 Acting: (Disguise,accents,spotting acts) / (Prepared identities)
 Sneak: (Move Silently) / (Shadowing)
 Spot Hidden: (Random observations) / (Systematic Search)