Type – Magic, Magic Object
Appearance – Medium, athletic
Disposition – Laconic, fatalistic
Age – 40s
Origin – Europe, non-English speaking, countryside
Background – Military
Powers manifested – Early adulthood
Other – World traveler
Abilities – Animal abilities (insect)
Doc already did the work on this for me, thanks Doc! The randomness lines up pretty well. I’ll call this guy Amerigo Vespucci. Do they still name people Amerigo in Italy? I don’t know, but they do in my pretend world.
At a young age, Amerigo decided that the country life was not for him and ran away from home, stowing away on a ship bound for Italian Libya. With no marketable skills and a hostile populace, Amerigo was facing a grim and short life on the streets when he was swept up as labor by one of the many Italian government-funded excavations of Roman cities – which were used as propaganda to justify their claim to the area.
Barely literate and with no education to speak of, Amerigo nevertheless was fascinated by archaeology. Ignorant to the political nature of their missions, he looked up to the “scientists” leading these expeditions as brilliant men of knowledge. At night, he would lie in his tent and marvel over the artifacts he had pilfered and dream of what the world had once been.
Amerigo resolved to become an archaeologist himself, but with no money and no real interest in “book learning” this was a pipe dream. Amerigo did discover two talents on these trips though – an ear for languages, within a few years he could speak passably in several native tongues and enough to get by in several others. His other talent was for getting into and out of places very quietly, especially places people didn’t want him.
One of those places was a temple with a bird motif in the deep desert. Exploring the temple, Amerigo found a jewel-scarab of malachite and garnet – which he felt the overwhelming urge to swallow. Upon doing so, he was mystically granted beetle-strength and beetle-agility! Some old god with a beetle-head showed up to tell him something about it, but Amerigo ditched him and ran away from the temple. He couldn’t understand what the old codger was saying anyhow.
Amerigo figured the best way to cash in on his abilities was to travel south to join the fighting in Italian East Africa. It wasn’t. Being beetle-fast and beetle-strong is fine and all, but in a conflict with personnel armed with machine-guns and flamethrowers, not to mention copious amounts of airstrikes and heavy weaponry, it doesn’t mean much.
Amerigo lost his stomach for the conflict quickly, but found that he was able to make money as a scout – leave the killing the dying to others. Beetle-agility is a lot more useful for avoiding a fight, Amerigo found.
Once the fighting was over, Amerigo discovered there was even more money to be made as a mercenary. There seemed to be all manner of conflicts up and down the east coast of Africa and plenty of demand for someone who knew the terrain and could speak the language.
Amerigo could have made a lot more money if he wanted, but typically after a paying job, he would spend months traveling and exploring alone, only returning to “civilization” when he ran out of resources. Eventually, this resulted in Amerigo getting a reputation as being “unreliable” even though he always did what he was paid to do.
Amerigo and Dino ended up being a perfect match – no one would hire Amerigo anymore and no one wanted to work for a crazy old man looking for “magic”. Amerigo never mentioned to Dino that he knew magic was real because he had already found it, but he did take the old man’s money and lead him all across Africa with forays into the Middle East and even India looking for some true magic.
Once the old man’s money ran out, Amerigo wondered where he was going to find his next meal ticket. But shortly thereafter, Dino returned, looking 60 years younger and ready to cause some trouble.