Professor Smythe

  • Created By: Garry Stahl
  • Full name: Sir James Harold Smythe KBE PhD VC
  • Birthplace: Holmside, England
  • Current Residence: Stanford, California
  • Parents: Father: Alfie Smythe, Baker Born 1876 - Died 1929, natural causes

                Mother: Beth Smythe, Baker's wife. Born 1879 - Died 1939, London Blitz

  • Siblings: John Alfred Smythe: Born 1896 - Died 1916, the Somme

       William Smythe: Born 1898 - Died 1898, unknown fever
       Mary Beth Smythe Rawlings: Born 1900 - Died 1969, natural causes.
       Victoria May Smythe Hallester: Born 1901 - Died 1942, Coventry
       Jacob William Smythe: Born 1903 - Died 1908, sepsis of the leg.
       Wallace Edward Smythe: Born 1905 - Died 1968, natural causes

  • Birth date: November 9, 1894
  • Sex: male
  • eight: 5'10"
  • Weight: 155 pounds
  • Build: Slender
  • Marital status: Single
  • Description: Age looks to have treated him well. Yes there are wrinkles, but they add character. He requires neither glasses or a hearling aid. He wears Harris tweed suits and school ties in the Merton College colors.
  • Skin coloring: Pale
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Hair: White and full
  • Routine Activities: Studying ancient books, organizing his collection, giving aid and advice to those with wit or connections enough to find him.
  • Skills/Training/Professional Skills: Anthropologist and archaeologist. In 100 plus years he has added a lot of "ologies" to the list and will have a smattering of any of the physical sciences. He has doctorates in his two primary studies, and geology. He has doctorate level knowledge in a dozen sciences, but has never bothered with further degrees. His knowledge of the occult is unrivaled in the world on the side of light.
  • Financial Status: Wealthy
  • Group Affiliations: B-13, RAF, Mi-13, Merton College the University of Oxford, Excellent Order of the British Empire, Mystkonic University, Stanford University.
  • Personality: Smythe is a bright and cheerful person. He is prone to very complete explanations, and once you get him started he is hard to get to the point, or to shut off. He holds on to his cheer and optimism as if they hold something at bay, and indeed it might.
  • Ambitions and Goals: Fight the forces of darkness, find a cure for his infirmities that does not involve harming someone else.
  • Physical/mental Problems: None, since the Healing Wave Smythe is no longer the tottering wreck. He is clearly an older man, but healthy and everything works.
  • Enemies (And Why): Freaky cults the world over. Anyone that fears the unexplained.
  • Special Abilities: Quick healing. Smythe will recover from any injury that does not completely destroy his body. In time he can even regenerate limbs. Disease is nothing to him. While he will catch illnesses, he will recover, even cancer cannot keep him down.
  • Weaknesses/Disadvantages: Immortal. This is the classic cannot die but still ages curse. Smythe has managed through powerful and dangerous magics to halt the aging of his body.

    Don't Drink the Water

  • History and Experiences Which have Affected Character Greatly: James was a studious boy. He excelled in the local village school, and Lord Fillingham the Squire, having no sons himself, would not see such a bright mind wasted. He sponsored the young man to Eaton his old school and saw that his education was paid for.

    Smythe graduated Magna Cum Laud from Eaton, and received a full scholarship to Merton College of Oxford University in his 18th year. Again with the help of the old squire he attended college.

    However all hopes were dashed at the outbreak of the Great War. Like many young men James set out to join the army. It was with sadness that Lord Fillingham aided his protege one more time in securing him an appointment to his old regiment, the Queen's Hussars.

    In spite of this aid James found he had no attachment to horses. And it quickly became apparent that cavalry would play little part in the terrible new kind of war. When James heard of the flying corp being organized, he volunteered for the duty.

    Trained as a pilot he first flew observation aircraft and latter fighters. He proved to have a knack for flying. During the course of the war he scored two kills, and considered himself lucky to never have been shot down himself. He ended the war in a training squadron teaching other pilots.

    After the war he returned to Oxford University and finished his degree. He went on to a masters and a doctorate in the growing sciences of Anthropology and Archeology.

    It was during his post graduate years that his awareness of the occult was made. He was called home to the death bed of Lord Fillingham. Still having no sons or even daughters to carry on the line Fillingham declared that James was his heir. It was in finishing up affairs at the old manor house that he encountered the reason that Lord Fillingham had never had children. A curse proclaimed on Fillingham himself declared that every woman he ever married would die in child bed, and the child to die with her. Indeed, Fillingham had two wives and both had suffered this fate. With diligence James found the object of the curse and those that had proclaimed it. With fury and righteous wrath he smashed the cult object and slew those that had made a misery of his mentor's life.

    Once back at college he looked deeper in to occult matters. He found ancient books, and slowly, carefully learned the secrets they contained. In 1923 Smythe articulates the theory of knowledge. He notes that the underpinning of the theory are present in ancient writings, but no one had ever stated it plainly.

    It was on a field trip for his doctorate in 1924 that his fateful hour came. While searching for ancient sites in Greece with Merced Logoglos, a hot blooded Greek woman, he found a spring. Was it his awakened awareness that allowed him to even find the place? We will never know, but both of them drank of the water, and both were changed forever.

    It was in fighting off the cultists that guarded this sacred place that he learned of his fate. Three times he was wounded, and never did the wounds even slow him down. Somehow the water had made him indestructible, and near immune to damage.

    Shortly thereafter he and Logoglos had a falling out, and he never saw her again.

    He returned to England to finish his PhD and to continue to teach and explore throughout the remainder of the 20s and 30s. He dug in every location from South America to Babylon. He studied people from the South Pacific to the Russian Steppe.


    Oh bother....

    His 1937 to 1939 Babylonian Expedition recovered countless artifacts, including The Lich Basha, whom he helped to move to the United States

    With the outbreak of WWII the Air Ministry asked Smythe to return to service as a Major in the RAF. Smythe updated his flying skills on the latest aircraft used by the RAF. He reentered training command, but soon found himself drawn into a special division formed to deal with Nazi occult threats. "Project Beowulf" was of special concern.

    The height of the war for Smythe came when the Nazi "Project Beowulf" came to fruition. The Nazis released an ancient dragon that had long slept in Norway. Smythe and two trusted pilots took flight over the North Sea in cannon equipped Spitfire MkV aircraft to engage the dragon. They were successful in stopping this extreme threat. All three fliers received the Victoria Cross, Captain Harrier posthumously. The citation reads only, "For Valor in the Face of the Enemy."

    After the war Smythe returned to his duties at Oxford University and gracefully grew old in the duty. Old, but in no danger of dying.

    In 1953, in one of his last serious field trips Smythe freed a Rhine Maiden from a magical prison. Due to oaths she had made during her imprisonment she is now bound to him for life. His life. She never figured it would be an immortal that released her. She has come to terms with the situation and is his loyal helpmate.

    In the 1966 he was awarded Knight Commander, the Most Excellent Order of the Empire for his service to the Crown.

    In 1980 Doctor Smythe immigrated to the United States to escape questions about his advanced age. He was met at the airport by Bureau 13 agents who had new papers from him that knocked 20 years off his age. Smythe took a teaching and research fellowship at Mystkonic University in Massachusetts.

    In the year 2000 he moved his operations to the west coast and Stanford University, again knocking several decades off his official age in the move.

    Presently Smythe is Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. Bureau 13 is a frequent caller as well as Mi-13 and like agencies from around the world. He is the leading authority on many matters of occult knowledge.

  • Current: Smythe can usually be found in his office at Stanford. This is a long room in the mission style with windows on one side and lined with shelves on the other. More shelves take the space between the windows, and display cases are under the windows. Books with fairly new spines share the shelves with books that are barely readable and everything in between. One can also find clay tablets and ancient scrolls. The glass cases hold such oddities as a worn wooden cup, the dried left hand of a small primate, a masterfully made dark ages sword and other objects of a similar vein. His desk is located at the far east end of the room and one must enter at the west end of the room.

    The chamber lies over a crypt of an old mission chapel on the college grounds. The holy rest of the pious monks beneath lend grace and consecration to the chamber above. It is not from superstition that Smythe has the room blessed at least once a year, more often if the work has been of a critical nature. The most dangerous of his books are not even kept in this room, but lie in the crypt below surrounded by the holy relics. Only a very few even know the location of the door to this chamber or that it even exists.

    Smythe is assisted by a woman of striking blond beauty, Lorelei. She says little but is always at his side and seeing to his needs. Once a decade Lorelei can get one of the Apples of Iudn. This keeps Smythe from further aging, but does not restore his youth.

    Holmside Manor has been largely turned over to his Sister's children. As Lord Fillingham was a life peer, no titles came with the estate. Smythe has invested wisely, and continues to hold the titles to both lands and Manor.