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Mon Oct 30 2006 at 21:47:11 (17.7 years ago )
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mission drive within everything
To sil, save and surrender to the Seven Seas
poetry, sci-fi novels, and general knowledge of any kind
Stanborough School, SEVOF
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Neptune's Whore
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Character Profile: Archie Scrope
Henry Archibald 'Archie' Scrope.
Ship and Rank:
Sailing Master of Neptune's Whore.
Mid thirties, though no accurate record of age remains, and most likely he has given up
counting the years.

Tall and slender, he often appears slightly gaunt to the casual observer, though his
frame and posture is strong, and he might represent a once healthy and well fed child who had been
stretched by growth and poor living. Fading clothes hang off him like limp skin on a skeleton,
stained and crumpled as if they had been lived and slept in constantly for a considerable time. His
boots seem to be going the same way, the knee high leather literally falling apart on his feet. Hair
that was once white-blond falls in tangled dusty curls about his shoulders, and behind the thick
fringe hides a pinched and worn face. His dark eyes and angular features may have made him
handsome, but now the empty dispassionate air of his expression is only emphasized by the hollow
cheeks and badly shaved face.

Born into an aristocratic English family, Archie's upbringing was a strange mixture of
cultures and traditions. The Scropes had made their fortunes through the textiles industry, and tied a
lot of their capital up in lands and titles bought from noble men who had fallen upon hard times.
With the spread of empire however, the demand for European textiles fell away, and the Scrope's
business began to collapse. Selling their lands and assets, the family were desperate to keep up
appearances, and the arrival of their only son was disastrous for them.
Christened 'Henry Archibald Scrope', he lived with his parents in the back rooms of increasingly
poor and distant relatives, until he was eleven. At this point he was left in the care of his mothers
cousin, a well off but naive spinster who spent copious amounts of money on an expensive
education for him, in the hope of reviving the Scrope's good name and investing in a secure future
for the child. Though he proved an intelligent student, by the age of fifteen Archie was disillusioned
with education and authority in general, and he left home shortly before his sixteenth birthday.
Cutting all ties with his family but his name, which he hoped would count for some credit
towards his integrity and decency, he made his way to the port of Liverpool where he hoped to
found a business, and make a life for himself. His aspirations were short lived however, and he soon
found himself working for a tiny wage in a printing shop, his ability to read being the only skill that
made him fit for the job. Taking a passionate distaste to manual labor, or any physically or mentally
taxing pursuit, Archie nevertheless continued in his employment with the printer, though he made a
point of avoiding responsibility and work whenever possible. Spending most of his money with
friends in bars, or losing it on the card table for which he showed a particular enjoyment, the little
money he did earn quickly dried up, and he began to rely more and more on loans from drinking
partners and acquaintances to pay for shelter and food.
It was also around this time that Archie began to notice women for the first time. He was still
good looking in a worn and dispassionate way, and his detached, unemotional approach to other
people appeared to fascinate the well regarded women who he met in those brief periods when he
was forced to engage in some errand for the shop. He discovered an energy and enjoyment in
flirtation with such encounters, such as had only previously manifested itself as a hand of poker. In
pursuit of women, Archie became further and further entrenched in debt, as he tried to improve his
appearance and social standing in the city.
By the time he was twenty, he was living a double life; one where he was the son of an aristocrat
who was living on the remains of his father's fortune, befriending the noblemen and doing his best
to 'befriend' their wives, and another where he was the starving laborer in the back streets of
Liverpool, living on borrowed time and borrowed money. He could only keep up this pretense for
so long. In the end, both lives caught up with him, and Archie was forced to flee the port town aged
twenty three, in an attempt to escape the threats of both angered creditors and infuriated Lords and
Having been forced to run from the lives he had led in the port, Archie was almost completely
alone in the world, and decided that he should try to find the fellow students he had known during
the brief years he had spent at school. By the following Christmas, he was in Italy, staying in
luxurious surroundings as the guest of Lord Calabrese, the Marquis of Liguria. With infinite leisure
time and servants to wait on him, it is this way of life that Archie found himself most suited to, and
it is possible that he could have continued in this vein indefinitely if it was not for his encounter
with the Marquis' fiancé. For the moment, that even shall be glossed over and shoved to the back of
the mind. Sufficed to say that he was out on his won again, with no friends and little money, trying
to survive on the streets of Genoa.
It seemed to Archie that his last chance was to head east to Persia, in search of his remaining
family. With the last of his finances, he managed to secure a bunk on an ex-slave runner bound for
China, in a cramped cabin with five other men. In the second week of their journey, the ship was
attacked by The Commodore and her ship 'Neptune's Whore'. Even when the door was ripped from
its hinges by the furious pirate crew, Archie refused either to leave, or let his companions leave the
berth until they had finished the hand of poker. Perhaps slightly impressed by this display of aloof
pseudo-masochism, The Commodore chose for her own reasons to let him live, and indeed to put
his abilities to good use about her ship, installing him as a reluctant Sailing Master due to his
indubitable practical skills at sea. Though he refuses to admit, or even accept, the abilities he
possesses, he has not looked back since that day, and seems to be as near to enjoying himself in this
role as it is possible for such a character to be.

A genuine will to live, a streetwise intelligence and an almost animal-like ability to sense
danger are possibly the greatest aids to combat, or rather avoiding combat, that Archie could posses.
In the face of violence his listless disinterest in life is replaced by a fleeing terror that one would not
believe he was capable of if they saw him in his normal state. He refuses to carry a proper weapon,
finding that bony knuckles and a fistful of coins is often enough to deter an assailant if no means of
escape presents itself. Not a trained fighter, Archie holds to the system of hitting an attacker in any
way that prevents them from hitting him back, and is always happy to improvise with any sort of
sharp or heavy object to hand. Rats run, but even a rat will fight when its cornered.

Archie does not consider his laziness as a weakness, simply his response to a world that
he cannot handle while sober. However, it is truly his complete bohemian disregard for life in general that is his greatest downfall, alongside his refusal to acknowledge his abilities as a sailor
and navigator. His careless attitude to anything that would concern a normal man, money, food, and
even personal safety, has made him simply one of the most degenerate and self destructive people
imaginable. Drinking has never appeared to be a problem for him – he finds the social aspects to
drink agreeable, and the only problem he has ever complained of connected with alcohol was how
hard it was to obtain. Gambling and women, the only two passions he seems to posses, are also the
only vices he will admit to, and perhaps the latter is not a viable option any more, after the events
that forced him to flee his home country in the first place. His gambling however, and cards in
particular, he seems to relish with a lust entirely devoid of his normal attitude to the world. It is not
for financial gain that he time and again risks what little money he owns on the suit or the number,
nor even an addiction to the tense excitement that he lavishes in at the table. It is rather a vindictive
pleasure he gains from power over his fellows in the game – the malicious joy of scaring any player
who would rather they could keep the money they find themselves compelled to lay on the chance
of a deck. Even in defeat, Archie delights in taunting and teasing his opponents, openly trying to
destroy their self confidence and self belief. Though this tendency appears to be restrained to the
card table, it perhaps hints at a spiteful and vengeful streak that runs deep in Archie's consciousness,
and that he is perhaps not aware of himself. Nonetheless, it is a distinct personality fault that may be
integral to his cynical and sardonic attitude to humankind.