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Perspective character

General Information


Name: Jacob Edward Lewandowski

Age: 27

Gender: Male

Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian/Polish Decent (1st Generation)

Profession: Merchant/Bootlegger

Home Location: The Wild South

Disposition: Wary, cautious, reserved, intuitive

High concept: Reluctant smuggler, driven into crime by debt



Relationships


Elliott Boone

(Acquaintance)
Originally meeting outside Buffalo on one of his first bootlegging runs, Jacob began to give Elliott rides to and from Rochester on his way from Canada. They aren't great friends, but in their line of work, any trustworthy person is a person worth knowing. Jacob regards Elliott with equal measures of reservation and amiability.

Malcolm "Mozzarelli" Falcone

(Acquaintance)
Malcolm is Jacob's contact to selling the majority of his booze. It's a professional relationship that isn't much outside of numbers, dates, and figures, but over the past year Malcolm has been a steady customer who is always ready to buy whatever he brings in, occasionally paying him extra for his troubles and his "loyalty" to the Falcone family, even though there's none to speak of.

George MacAuley

(Dislike)
George MacAuley was one of Jacob's first purchasers, who then, apparently to Jacob, blew him off in favor of purchasing his alcohol from elsewhere, with no warning or notice (thus, leaving him with large quantities of illicit alcohol dangerously sitting in his ship). Their few interactions since have been brusque and short, cold and controlled.

George McHugo

(Dislike)
George McHugo is a person that frequents the talk of the I.A.G. As much as Jacob is an indifferent, uninvolved part of the I.A.G., the general stigma against non-guild merchants undermines his own legitimate operations. Despite his biased judgements of George, his skills with fixing airships are nothing to laugh at, and might just come in handy should something break down.

Tabatha O'Hagredy

(Friend)
Tabatha is one of Jacob's neighbors in the Wild South, and is also a rare friend. Tabatha knows of Jacob's illegal activities, and can get him through the tunnels should he need it. In return, Jacob skims off a portion of his alcohol gains to bring back to the neighborhood, saving a few drinks for Tabatha.

Mac

(Acquaintance)
Mac, the bartender at Red Head's Den, is Jacob's main source of information on police movements, raids, and checkpoints. He still comes at a price, but after nearly a year of working through him, Mac tells a little more than he used to.



Abilities and Weaknesses


Special skills/abilities:

- Awareness +3
- Reflexes +2
- Empathy +2
- Piloting +1
- Bartering +1
- Stealth +1

Notable flaws/weaknesses:

- Scarred hand (some difficulty moving); Fine motor skills -1
- Poor fighter; Fighting -1
- Timid; Charisma -1
- Moral compass; Ruthlessness -2



Memberships/Factions/Affiliations:


Criminals

(Bootlegger Suppliant - Active)
Not exactly through choice, Jacob has accepted his current situation as a bootlegger. He runs from Ontario, skips over the lake to Buffalo for his legal peddling business, and perhaps dealing off some of his surplus booze, and then ultimately dips at bit south, so as to enter Rochester through the bottom (whereas most police patrols are tied up north, watching the lake shore). His work is relatively moderate, compared to the big names of the bootlegging business, such as Alfio Boscarino, which is fine for him; despite his work for the Falcone family, he hasn't been shot at, yet.

Independent Artisans Guild

(Entry-level Merchant - Indifferent)
Jacob's original goal still lives on, if crippled and limping. Instead of moving high-quality suits and fine goods from New York to Boston and Rochester, he instead peddles mechanical parts from Buffalo across Canada and Rochester. It isn't much of a living, and with his debt problems, it is unable to support him in full.

Wild South/Tartarus

(Resident - Active)
Despite the South's danger, crime, and squalor, his neighborhood has become his home, even if he isn't a vocal member of it. He provides a small cut of alcohol to his neighbors, and in return they do their best to hide him when the authorities make their brief public forays into the underground slums. Unlike some other sections, (such as Tartarus) the area is relatively quiet. with not much more than struggling labor families.



Basic appearance description


Messy brown hair with a constant stubble of facial hair. His face is pointed and hawkish, with hazel eyes and thick eyebrows. He wears a wrinkled white shirt, grey waistcoat, and grey pants over beaten black cap-toe boots. Outdoors, he owns an old overcoat, while indoors he prefers to roll his sleeves up.



Motivations


Short-term motivation
Medium-term motivation
Long-term motivation
Get out of debt
Leave crime; sustain himself on a legitimate business.
Tranquility; living a comfortable life.



Narrative


Background (family, education, important life events)


Jacob was born on January 7th, 1894, in the city of Buffalo, NY to a immigrant laborer father and mother. Him and his two older brothers – Peter and Gregory – grew up impoverished, working small jobs after grammar school instead of paying attention to his studies, as insisted by his father (causing a significant level of resentment). Being the weakest of his siblings, Jacob was constantly bullied by his oldest brother, Gregory, and particularly hounded by his father. The only one who stuck up for him and comforted him was his other brother, Peter, who commonly referred to him as "Smarts".

At age 12, a small merchant moved nearby. Ever-curious, Jacob started to watch and observe him, until, prompted by Peter, he talked to the man, known as Theodore Drexel. Over the course of the next few years, after finishing school with mediocre marks at age 14, Jacob formed an informal apprenticeship with Theodore. He was constantly encouraged by his brother, whom moved on to working full-time in a factory to support his family. By age 16, Jacob had become trusted enough to accompany Theodore in his sales to and from Rochester, peddling shoes and textiles. Life was stable, if not easy. He still wore tattered clothes, ate occasionally, and never got along with father or oldest brother, but he had found, for the first time, something he enjoyed.

In 1916, at age 22, Jacob was on the verge of starting his own merchant business, when Peter was killed at work. "Sliced up like a Christmas roast," his coworkers said, after he had fell asleep on the job. Distraught and broken, Peter was easily drawn to patriotic sentiment when the United States entered World War I in 1917, and, quick to leave Buffalo and his grief behind, signed up for service. Engaged at the Second Battle of the Marne, shrapnel from an artillery shell ripped through Jacob's left hand, leaving considerable scar tissue later on. He spent the rest of the war in a medical tent and in a reserve unit, before being sent home.

Jacob returned to Buffalo in 1918, to discover that Theodore, his mentor, had passed away. With his family more explosive and harsh than ever, imbalanced by the loss of Peter, he left for Rochester. Inheriting a meagre estate in Theodore's will, Jacob combined its proceeds with a loan from newly-established Rochester Central Bank & Trust to start his business, purchasing a small dirigible and his first stock of goods in 1919.

It only took him eight months to burn through his small savings, with his merchant business not profitable enough to support himself. Jacob moved into the nascent underground apartments, sold off most of his clothing, and downscaled his lifestyle as the interest payments kept amounting. With little choice left, aside from bankruptcy and the misery of living on the streets, he used his underground neighbors and connections to start himself up in the bootlegging business just after Prohibition started in 1920.



Current Biography (ca. 1921):


Jacob lives in the attic of a multi-family building in The Wild South, luckily in one of the quieter blocks close to the RPTS Mount Hope Station. His co-tenants are friendly, if not remarkably kind. They, along with almost all of his neighborhood, are laborers, scraping by a living on a daily basis. His only true friend in the area, a large, irritable woman known as Tabatha O'Hagredy, lives down the road. Besides that, he is generally alone, with no wife nor lover to speak of, and maintains a very tenuous relationship with his family.

His legitimate business runs from Rochester, to Montreal, to Toronto, to Buffalo, and back. He sells primarily cheap mechanical parts made by Rochester's burgeoning artisan group, often for a fair up-mark, although in a such a small quantity that it can't support his living expenses, much less his debt. He recently gained entry into the Independent Artisans Guild, selling their crafted parts for them, at a cut-rate price that is helpful for Jacob and his margins.

Less-legally, Jacob runs alcohol from Toronto to Rochester, skipping the perilous cross-lake journey by visiting Buffalo first. A small storage has been created beneath his ship's obvious hold, its entrance covered by rugs and boxes upon boxes of junk parts, which look the part. Most of his sales go directly to the Falcone family, with much of the rest being sold ad-hoc. A tiny fraction is saved and donated to his neighbors (as suggested by Tabatha), which has given him a few friendly hands when the police do venture beyond the Mount Hope Station. The profits are enough to not only cover his debt's interest, but also slowly build a nest-egg. Being a supplier for the Falcones, his dirigible has a paid-for spot at one of Rochester's less-watched airship docks, with its illicit cargo moved at night by the Falcone family directly.

Outside of his travels, Jacob can often be found at the Red Head's Den, whether it be to buy information off its bartender, Mac, or to simply relax. His left hand is constantly a bother, swelling with pain due to the extensive veins of scar tissue within. This, combined with his cautious demeanor and physically-weak standing, leaves him a poor fighter. Jacob knows this, and at heart is looking for nothing more than calmness – life bereft of strife, pain, war, and grief – to travel across the northeast, selling his goods to support at least himself and a modest lifestyle.

Unbeknownst to him, Charles Bismarck has him on his lists for debt collections.