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Archive for June, 2009

Mrs. Guppy

June 10th, 2009

seal_guppyTo be perfectly frank, no one is entirely sure what she is known for. Though this fact has stepped nicely into that slot, making her one of the most well known umbralites to do something. So much so, in fact, that many scholars spent the early years of their careers traumatized, convinced that they were forgetting something important.

Her only link with posterity is the Guppy Honorary Teacup of Timelines struck in her honor. It is awarded to those select individuals who have single-handedly saved the world. From this it is surmised that she did, at one point in her life, save the world single-handedly. When coupled with the only over reliable fact about the lady, namely that she was categorically insane, it is not difficult to understand scholarship’s ignorance. There was great excitement a few years past when a box containing her correspondence with the League was uncovered among a collection of 19th century battle mittens, but they were found, upon examination, to constitute little more than exhaustive anecdotes on the subject of her son.

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Mrs. Haberdasher

June 8th, 2009

seal_haberdasherSomething of an enigma, she exists more as a popular legend than a historical personage in the minds of the greater populace. In fact, many scholars insist that the lady never actually existed at all, but was, instead, only a metaphor for something or other, and later, a fabrication for the purposes of lending credence to the “Lost Dauphin” theories.

Even among the myriad of stories, very little is definitively known. Starting some time about the year 1791 a mysterious woman calling herself “Haberdasher” was reported all over Europe in connection with peculiar circumstances and odd happenstance. She apparently traveled extensively pursuing undisclosed ends with little regard for things such as distance and necessary transit time. The man known as the Scarlet Pimpernel reportedly took direction from such a lady at times, and it was under her orders that he removed Louis XVII from the Temple prison. It was also, apparently, in her company that the Dauphin vanished for the last time, though what she wanted with the young aristocrat no one seems to know. Most tales revolve around the epic, ballroom, fan duel where she struck down her archenemy Madam Guillotine. Though, where this actually took place or who attended this ball, no one seems to know.

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James Norington

June 5th, 2009

seal_norington1Originally an informer and naval insurgent of Beatrice Emberlane’s, instrumental in the capture of the H.M.S. Rosings. He was subsequently killed during his mission to draw the insidious leader of the East India Trading Company out of the shadows, but was brought back to life by a time-traveling sorceress possessed of a heated personal rivalry with a local deity.

He was inducted into the League on his return to England and proved of great value due to his tactical knowledge of both sea monsters and the undead. Not to mention, highly effective in neutralizing such, given his complete loss of patience with either category.

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Jemima Guthwine

June 2nd, 2009

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With the onset of his career as a blood-thirsty marauder, Patrick Guthwine, being keenly aware of his own deficiencies in the areas of personal prowess, tactics, and general seamanship, commissioned his mother to make a flag which would set him apart from the other sundry pirates and communicate by sheer nastiness of visage general thoughts of surrender and suchlike things to the minds of those unfortunate enough to gaze upon said bit of cloth on the high seas. His mother was only to happy to lend any amount of aid to her son’s financial endeavors being of the opinion that as Patrick had already failed in every other career he had ever gotten himself into, he would need as much aid as he could get. So, on the eve of her son’s maiden voyage Jemima Guthwine proudly presented him with the flag he had requested and sent him on his way, apparently unaware of the mental anguish which this gift had cast over Patrick.

Scholars generally agree that the dark image, which Patrick Guthwine had intended as the outer face of his persona had almost certainly been a black scorpion, but either because Jemima was unfamiliar with scorpions or that she disagreed with her son artistically, the flag he flew on his first voyage, bore the image of a black silverfish. “It may even have been miscommunication,” says one such scholar, “In a moment of mental abstraction, Patrick may very well have just waved his hand vaguely and said, ‘Oh, you know, those arthropods with tails.’”

At any rate, when Captain Guthwine reentered port two days later to pick up the powder kegs he had inadvertently left behind, he made the mistake of patronizing the local tavern. The other clientele, his fellow sea captains, felt it necessary to enlighten Patrick as to the extent to which he was entertaining the local populace. They made it perfectly clear that to be symbolized by what was essentially an upper class cockroach was not at all lacking in the humorous. Patrick Guthwine tragically died in the brawl that fallowed and his already disillusioned crew abandoned the ship and scattered to the winds.

When Jemima Guthwine was informed of the event and circumstances of her son’s death she rounded up her younger relations and, livid over the insult to her handiwork which she found to be quite well up in the viciousness department, set out in her son’s ship to track down those responsible.

The slaughters that fallowed were purportedly ghastly to behold. Within the space of three weeks Jemima Guthwine had sent four ships to the bottom. Thus obtaining a fondness for life at sea Jemima continued on, carving herself a place as the thirteenth most feared pirate of that time. This number, though, was no accurate depiction of the woman’s tenacity and bloodthirstiness which was well above that of any other pirate captain. She was, as one historian puts it, “a knitter.” In fact, the only reason Jemima did not attain the status of other less dangerous men was that the rampant destruction and death that marked her pirating exploits were only sporadic, accruing only when the orchestrator of such events was running low on wool.

But even if it was slowly, hampered by infrequency and the short life expectancy of eyewitnesses, news was spreading. In a letter to the family taxidermist Jemima’s nephew Archibald describes his aunt, “The old lady would set into battle with a glee bordering on the infernal.” And soon whispers and only half-believed tails of the Black Silverfish, Demon Granny of the Caribbean were heard in taverns the world over.

The ultimate fate of Jemima Guthwine remains clouded in mystery and though her involvement in the Lady Katherine affair is probable, the details concerning that event are known only to few.

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Beatrice Emberlane

June 1st, 2009

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One of the most impactful members of the League of Umbrellas during the late 17th century, she spearheaded the expansion of League influence out of England and across the sea.

After delivering her famous And Who Knows What Shenanigans They’re Getting Up To In the Colonies address, she gathered the more flighty of her compatriots and formed the element of the League known as the Abroad. Their purpose was to roam across the oceans, keeping unseemliness at bay in the rougher corners of the Empire and generally have a good time. It was mainly due to the nomadic nature of their existence that they came to be referred to, among the local maritime community, as “sea turtles.” They even came to be regarded as bringers of good luck by said community, though this is not necessarily a good indication of the Abroad’s actual social impact. As one scholar wrote, “When you wake up on the high seas to find a pair of strange old women in the forecastle, pouring over maps and comparing the shopping opportunities in the nearest ports, how else are you going to deal with it?”

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