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A Marvelously Dreamy Idea - RonO's Ramblings

Jul. 11th, 2009 09:19 am A Marvelously Dreamy Idea

Last night I saw a picture in my dreams, and by the time I was out of the shower, I'd turned the idea from it into a Super Hero, or at least the background for a super hero. Since 90% of my knowledge of super heroes comes from playing the Marvel Super Hero Role Playing Game twenty or so years ago, I'm pretty sure that that influence how I conceived of the character. For reasons not entirely related to the era in which I played, the character's background is set up for the mid to late 80's, but I'm sure someone more familiar with the ways of comics could figure out how to jump it 20 years.

Lord Geoffrey Wainwright was a somewhat minor Victorian noble, dilettante and amateur egyptologist. In 1887, he traveled to New York with his wife and young son to visit an exhibit at a museum there. The exhibit feature a sarcophagus that was mysteriously empty, and Lord Geoffrey had a theory that it wasn't emptied or waiting a mummy, but served as part of a life extension process.

One night, while examining the sarcophagus after the museum had closed (with permission), he read an inscription on the inside and was instantly transported into the sarcophagus and sealed inside. The museum was unable to open the sarcophagus, so his family returned to England.

But his son, now Lord Fredrick, returned to New York as an adult and kept watch on his father, while carefully maintaining the family fortune. Over the years the watch passed to Lord Fredrick's son, James Wainwright, and eventually to his grandson Jeffery Wainwright -- who took up the lifestyle of a rich, but still careful, playboy.

One-hundred years to the date of Lord Geoffrey's encasement, Jeff was back in the museum examining the sarcophagus when it started to open. Shortly, Lord Geoffrey emerged. But during the century, he hadn't just been preserved. His face appeared to be a good 15 years younger, making him almost a dead ringer for his great grandson. But his body had been transformed into that of a lion.

Jeff soon escorted his great grandfather from the museum to his Upper West Side apartment, and summoned a discrete tailor who was able to fashion clothing that met Lord Geoffrey's standards and covered his lion-like appearance, except for the hand sand feet. In spite of his great grandson's preference for jeans and t-shirts (both designer, of course), Lord Geoffrey insisted in continuing to dress in the fashion of a Victorian gentleman.

However, it wasn't long before a mugger attacked Lord Geoffrey and he learned that he not only had the appearence of a lion, but had gained considerable fighting prowess, and a couple of convenient sets of retractable claws, and decided that he should clean up the streets of New York. He also discovered that he'd somehow gained a knowledge of Egyptian Magic that he could make use of as well.

Now Lord Geoffrey prowls the streets of New York as The Sphinx, but still in his Victorian finery, cleaning up crime and protecting the innocent and helping the underprivileged where he finds them.

Character conception by Ronald Oakes. Right to use this character in a role playing game, story or comic is freely granted provided proper attribution is preserved. First artist to publish a picture of The Sphinx retains the rights to the image.

Now to apologize for, or at least explain, the title of this post. As I said 90% of my knowledge of Super Heroes comes from the MSHRP game, sometimes known as the FASERIP system, which used adjectives ("feeble," "poor," "monstrous" etc.) for the stats of the attributes, skills and powers. At least with a bunch of 20-something college kids, this led to regularly pun-filled gaming sessions. So, given my background, a pun seemed appropriate.

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