Member No.: 80
Joined: 10-January 10
- Player Info -
AIM/e-mail/whatnot: jburdoo at comcast dot net
- Character info -
Name: Henry Martin
Rank/Occupation: Junior midshipman, HMS Steadfast
Appearance: A touch on the small side at five foot and a hundred pounds, Hal has sandy, thatchy hair lighter than his browning skin. His midshipman’s uniform is large for him, and still stiff. His baby blue eyes and button nose make him look even younger than his fourteen years. His normal expression is schooled, but tight lips and a tinge of panic behind the eyes reveal his awareness that he is in over his head. Except when he concentrates, at which point his eyes narrow, and he licks or bites his lip.
Birthplace: Bridgetown, Barbados
Bio: Born into a family of shopkeepers, Hal never really fit in. For one thing, he’s slow at mathematics and bored at the drudging routine of filling in ledgers with business transactions. His father pulled himself up by his bootstraps, emigrating to Barbados from Dorset and rising from a single broker of sea supplies, to investments in three major establishments and a relationship with Bridgetown’s mercantile community. Growing up poor, he came to believe money could buy anything -- including happiness. Hal grew up in a large, comfortable house, with three brothers (one dead of fever) and two sisters.
His brothers and father prefer the musty darkness of a packed warehouse; Hal would rather spend his time roaming the beaches and hills around Bridgetown, collecting the odd stone or feather. His father, frustrated with his son’s refusal to sit still, decided to send him to sea “to get it out of his system.” His foresight (and a hefty "payment for services rendered") enabled him to put Hal on the ship's books last year (retroactively dated to three years ago). That enabled his son to go aboard sooner that he would otherwise, and at a higher rank. Father is nothing if unable to obtain perquisites for his family.
Personality: Hal is an introvert. Shy and uncomfortable with people (and tongue-tied around girls), he’d rather be beachcombing, stargazing, or disassembling a watch. Collects shells, rocks, and leaves. In what spare time he has, he may be found studying his crisp, mostly new officer's manuals, or sketching a new item he’s discovered in a small, ratty journal.
Family: Hal’s father, James Martin, is a businessman, a big man in Bridgetown. A sort of factotum with his finger in half-a-dozen different industries. He is bluff, hearty, penny-pinching, and disappointed in his youngest son. He hopes Hal will become disillusioned with the wider world and gladly come home to help mind the store. His wife, Hal’s mother, was once bright and gay, happy to be a rich lady in her husband’s arm at gatherings. But a bout with smallpox turned her into a grey-faced, retiring and depressed woman.
Hal has two older brothers who have joined their father in the business -- very sober and standoffish toward their little brother. He also has two sisters -- Anne is married to a business partner of their father, and Kat is an outright rebel. Against her parents’ wishes, she married Captain Jones of the 22nd Foot. Before her marriage, she taught Hal his letters and sums when his father and brothers became frustrated with what they thought his inability to learn. She also (while no one was looking) taught the servants. Her patience and gentleness brought out in Hal qualities he hadn't known were there, and he remains deeply grateful. She is the only member of the family to encourage his curiosity, and he misses her terribly.
Skills: Hal has wide-ranging interests. If he improved his math, his liking for the stars would make him a good navigator. He also has strong observational skills and sharp eyes, able to spot and identify ships and pretty much anything else. Given patience, he will be as familiar with the ship as the oldest sailor. Athletic, though he hasn’t used it much.
Weaknesses: Hal is shy and a natural loner -- both unfortunate traits in a junior officer. The fact that he’s half the age of his subordinates, and is keenly aware of their far greater experience, only worsens the situation. He is also a slow thinker; he can arrive at the right answer if given plenty of time and patience, but will forget things when he's forced into haste.