Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sample Berk Character: Horatio Wilberplorp, Cuttlefolk of the Sepia Society

Image from Wikimedia Commons
Name: Horatio Wilberplorp
Species: Cuttlefolk
Faction: Sepia Society


Horatio Eustace Squelchgarth Wilberplorp, of the North Berk Wilberplorps, is one of the foremost members of Cuttlefolk society in Berk. There are precious few opportunities for society functions in Berk, and none of them are complete without the handsome Cuttlefolk adventurer present.
Wilberplorp was raised in a proud home. Though his parents had fallen on hard times, they made sure that he had the best education and that he grew up to be well-mannered and generous. The Wilberplorps had been one of the first Cuttlefolk families to settle permanently in Berk, where they made their fortune in selling artifacts salvaged from the Sunken City. Their generosity was well-known, and they sold the canned foods and watertight medicines at a fraction of what other Cuttlefolk were charging. To their detriment, that famous generosity outlasted the supply of goods coming in from the Sunken City, and by the time Horatio was born, the family was struggling to make ends meet.

Horatio's parents sacrificed to make sure that their only child could receive the finest schooling from both Librarian and Brofessor tutors. The young Cuttlefolk proved to be a capable pupil and soon spoke five languages, could debate philosophy and literature, and was a dead shot with a Kenner pistol. The latter skill became a necessity, as Horatio found himself occasionally having to defend the Wilberplorp family honor from other Sepia Society Cuttlefolk who considered his family little better than commoners.

Without meaning to, Horatio Wilberplorp turned around the fortunes of his family. A lady of his acquaintance had recently had a treasured locket stolen by a Mawkishbird, which had been seen flying into the Unsettlement with its prize. Horatio gallantly offered to retrieve it and set out with his trusty Kenner pistol. He made his way through the streets of the Unsettlement, and left several scorched Gibsons behind. His determination never wavered, and with a huge amount of luck, he caught sight of the thieving bird. He followed it to its nest, which was full of shiny objects, including several electronic devices. Most of them were broken or badly damaged, but the one that was in the best shape was an electronic reading device that was suitable for being turned into CIRCE. Such a device is one of the highest prizes to the Librarians, and the money Horatio earned from the sale, combined with the acclaim he earned thanks to his bravery, made him one of the richest and most sought-after Cuttlefolk in Berk.

As a member of the Sepia Society, Horatio is a talented artist. His charcoal drawings had been praised for technical skill but had previously never  generated much interest. Now his works were the talk of the town and the Berk notables were tripping over themselves in their enthusiasm to own an original Wilberplorp.

Not content to have people fawning over him (and ladies clamoring for a space on his dance card), Horatio found that he liked the taste of heroics. He financed and launched several expeditions into the Unsettlement and the Deep City, hiring an assortment of talented adventurers to help him recover priceless treasures while defeating any foe who might threaten the citizens of Berk.


Horatio Wilberplorp is tall and slim, for a Cuttlefolk, which still makes him dumpy by human standards. He has creamy olive skin and black eyes with a glint of adventure in them. He holds the tentacles of his face in the curling style popular among Berk Cuttlefolk. When in society, he wears fine suits, a top hat and white gloves, and carries a thin cane. When on expedition, he wears khaki clothing with a lot of pockets, boots, and a pith helmet. In either case, he can be guaranteed to wear a monocle at all times (though he has perfectly fine vision).


When he is on expedition, Horatio carries a compact, high-powered Kenner pistol. Its ebony casing is finely detailed with swirling patterns, and it shoots out a needle-thin beam of green energy with pinpoint accuracy. It can be charged either from generators or by a portable solar power unit. For all its benefits, the weapon's major flaw is that it can only carry enough charge for fifteen shots, so Horatio must make every shot count.

Despite assumptions to the contrary, the cane Horatio carries while in Berk does not conceal a sword. It is, however, made of mahogany treated by an unknown process to be nearly indestructable, something that several would-be muggers have learned once their concussions cleared up.

Greatest Secret

When Horatio was a child, he spoke with a lisp. Though tutors helped him cure it, he now overemphasizes his s's because he is horrified at the thought of a lisping "s" slipping in when he is talking to a young lady.

1 comment:

  1. He sounds like a remarkable young gentleman, and to make his acquaintance would be both a pleasure and an honor.