Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Who's Who in Berk - Faction Leaders (Brofessors and Redwood Deputies)

If you showed this picture to a Brofessor, he or she would have trouble recognizing the ruined and half-rebuilt campus of the post-post-apocalypse. Image from Wikimedia Commons.
Nobody really runs Berk, of course. The city is in constant danger of being wiped out by raiders, mutant creatures, and worse, so there is not much time to create much of a ruling body. Recently, the city has had a bit more breathing room, thanks to improved coordination between the various factions and a united effort to send adventurers after the raider bases and mutant lairs. This has given the faction leaders a chance to meet on occasion to coordinate how best to defend the city. Whether this is the start of a new Berk or just an opportunity for the factions to annoy each other in new ways remains to be seen...

Chaz "Horatio" Horowitz, Brofessors President

The head of the Brofessors is a tall, heavyset tofu man whose tenure name is considered one of the best in recent times, both for its Shakespearean ties and its opportunity for punning. He earned that name in a famous stunt where he somehow got his hands on the database version of the basic dictionary program that is loaded into each Librarian's CIRCE. He replaced the definition of "dictionary" with two words: "Dude, seriously?" When a Librarian tells that tale, he or she usually has to pause to wipe away a proud tear.

"Horatio" is an easygoing guy who grew up on the University campus, and therefore his natural tofu person powers of acclimation soaked up everything about University culture. As a result, he loves tweed jackets with shoulderpads and elbow patches. He has a large "U" sewed onto all his jackets, varsity jacket style. He always wears a watch on a chain and slacks, with brightly shined tennis shoes.

His area of study is epistemology, and he has grown so good at it that nobody has any idea what he is talking about any more, but they all agree that "Like, woa, you know?"

A lifetime scholar, "Horatio" walks the thin line between "bro" and "professor," and he gently steers anyone who is leaning too far in one direction back on course. His preferred method of doing this is to model the desired behavior while drinking tea. If he sips his tea with a pinkie up, you are being too much of a "bro." If he chugs it with one hand while pumping his other fist in the air, you should cut back on the "professor."

Woodrow Stihl, Sheriff of Redwood

Newcomers can always recognize the sheriff of Redwood at a glance. For one thing, he proudly wears the sheriff's star on his vest, polished so it shines. For another, just look at his mustache. Like many Ents, he grows a mossy mustache, and his droops down over his lips and hangs below his chin. With a mustache like that, you know he's sheriff. If you still need something to seal the deal, though, his hat leaves no doubt. Blazing white, with a dip in the middle and an upswept brim on either side, this is clearly a sheriff's hat.

Stihl is an easygoing man with a slow smile and a folksy way of talking that belies the fact that he's lightning fast on the draw with the Peacemaker he keeps in a worn sheath on his thigh. He is an accomplished tracker who can lead a posse through a mountain pass in winter to the cattle rustlers holed up in the caves. More importantly, he is a generous man, who is likely to make the half-frozen rustlers some hot soup and a stern talking-to before taking them in.

An old-fashioned man, Sheriff Stihl thinks that he is being open-minded when he says that tofu people are all right by him, and really not as bad as people think they are. Most tofu people take this in the spirit it is offered, replying that Stihl is one of the "good sort" of Ents.

As leader of the Redwood law enforcement, Stihl insists that all deputies know their way around a range of weapons and know what to do in a gunfight. He also insists that they know how to relax. According to Sheriff Stihl, correct relaxation technique involves putting one's feet up, slouching one's hat over one's eyes, and crossing one's hands over one's stomach. Stihl is more than happy to model this technique to anyone who should come by the sheriff's office on a lazy Sunday morning.

And don't call him Woody.


  1. I wonder if Colonel Aloisius Dell and Sheriff Stihl know each other. Colonel Dell probably tells stories about "Ah knew him when he hahdly cast a shadow", but deep down he's not so ornery, so long as they respect that on his own land, HE is the law.

    I'm coming around to the idea of Ents and Cuttlefolk, but I'm still not sure about tofu people. I just can't imagine doing a keg stand with some tofu person chanting, "CHUG CHUG CHUG!" And what happens if a human takes a bite of a tofu person?

  2. Tofu people may be made out of tofu, but people are made out of meat, and people don't take bites out of people, do they?

    Tofu people are probably the least popular thing about Berk so far. In my mind, they help make Berk feel more like Berk, but I admit that I don't have the hang of them yet. Maybe I'll come across a great idea for how to make them really "work."