Saturday, 19 August 2017

Backgrounds of the Crew of The Ace of Spades part 1

All of the crew of The Ace of Spades  have been given detailed backgrounds by me to help further bring their characters to life. Although the WOIN character record sheets give a good overall view of a character and their life history, it takes a lot more work to fully round them out. Also, by creating these biographies I am able to show just who the person is and why she acts the way she does and what makes her tick. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Kimberley Jane Wells - Human Starship Captain aged 25.
Kimberley was the youngest of two children born to James and Marcia Wells. James ran a very successful ranch on Arcturus 6 in the Terran starsector, selling Moohk cattle products. Kimberley did not have a happy childhood. Her mother died in a riding accident when Kimberley was 5 years old. She did not get on well with her brother, Jonathan Kenneth, who was ten years older than her and clearly their father's favourite. Nannies and relatives brought up Kimberley but she soon developed a rebellious streak and at the age of 15, she ran away from home. She hung out around the starport and due to being very lucky, she earned enough from gambling to get by. It was whilst she was in a casino that she met a very handsome pilot called Buck Hanson. Buck was captain of a small scout ship called The Ace of Spades. They flirted and quickly fell in love. Kimberley joined Buck's crew as a lowly space jockey, but after just one year was promoted to co-pilot. She was very willing to learn and Buck was a good teacher. She got on well with the other crew members, especially the three female members, Gwendoline Papillion, Kyran Calaveri and Shelagh Harrison. They worked hard and played hard. Being independent explorers, they visited many planets, and Kimberley developed many useful skills, including numerous combat skills. Due to both Buck and Kimberley being very proficient gamblers, they often attracted the attention of various underworld scum who resented their good luck.
Kimberley was 23 when Buck proposed to her and they planned to marry as soon as their current tour of duty was over. But tragedy soon struck whilst they were on a routine supply run. They were attacked and boarded by space pirates. The six male members of The Ace of Spades were brutally slaughtered and the four women were cast adrift in lifeboats, before their ship was blown up. Physically, they were not harmed but emotionally, they were devastated. They were soon rescued and each woman was returned to their home planet. With a huge inheritance from Buck, Kimberley was able to have her own starship designed and built. She had no hesitation in naming it The Ace of Spades, in memory of Buck. Gwendoline and Kyran were her first recruits. Shelagh, who was much older than them, had settled down to enjoy a life of motherhood with her new partner. Kimberley gathered together an all-female crew, who number thirteen in total. They swiftly gelled together and for the past two years they have shared many an adventure. Kimberley runs her ship in a very carefree and relaxed manner and is not averse to bending the law when it suits her. It would be a foolish person who underestimates her. She is one hell of a woman and she is destined for greatness.
Typical Quotes
"I bet we can outrun those patrol ships."
"Oh no! Why does this always happen to me?"

Gwendoline Papillion - Human Nurse aged 25.
Gwendoline was the only child of Francois and Anne-Marie Papillion. She grew up on the jungle planet of Prometheus 5 in the Antares starsector. This was a classic frontier world, with warm hospitality extended to strangers and an immediate response to the needs of neighbours. The Promethean colonists are rugged individuals, self-sufficient and courageous, with a streak of adventurism unequalled in the galaxy. These qualities perfectly describe Gwendoline. She was a child genius and was fast-tracked through her academic career. Seeing as both of her parents were scientists, Gwendoline's first job was on board a 100,000 ton Survey scout ship, The Star Skater as a science officer, even though she had a degree in medicine. her three year tour of duty did not go well for her. Whilst part of a survey team on an unexplored jungle planet, Gwendoline disappeared to go off chasing butterflies, which was a passionate hobby of hers. She got hopelessly lost and a large rescue mission was mounted to find her. She was severely reprimanded by the captain and ostracised by many of the crew for putting everyone's lives in danger. Suffice to say, she was not kept on board when her tour of duty was over.
However, whilst moping around in the starport, Gwendoline was offered a posting on board a small independent scout ship called The Ace of Spades by its captain, Buck Hanson. Gwendoline immediately felt at home here as the close-knit, intimate atmosphere on board suited her perfectly. She got on well with all of the crew, but especially the two young females who were recruited a few years later. Kyran Calaveri enlisted as ship's engineer, and a year later, Kimberley Wells was introduced as the ship's co-pilot and girlfriend of Buck Hanson. The three women bonded like sisters and become lifelong friends. They shared many adventures together but their lives were irrevocably changed two years ago when The Ace of Spades was attacked by a much larger pirate ship. The six male crew were all killed and the women set adrift in lifeboats. Fortunately, they were soon rescued and deported to their home planets. However, within two months, Gwendoline was contacted by Kimberley, who had a new ship, and was recruiting. Inevitably, her first two recruits were Kyran and Gwendoline. Gwendy has a bubbly, extroverted personality and an insatiable curiosity about everything. this can be both endearing or annoying depending on who she asks. Her role on the ship is as a nurse, working under Doctor Judith Kramer. She dislikes combat but she will defend herself and her friends when called upon to do so.
Typical Quotes
"Hmm, I wonder where this leads to?"
"That's really fascinating. So, tell me more about what happened."

Kyran Katherine Calaveri - Human Engineer aged 26.
Kyran (pronounced KEER-ahn) was the only child of Fernando and Carmen Calaveri. She was born and brought up on the high tech world of Altair 5 in the Terran starsector. Her father was a mechanic and her mother ran their small moisture farm. Her parents instilled in her a love of technology and so when she enrolled at university, she majored in engineering. With her parents' blessing, she left home at the age of 16 to seek employment on a starship. She did not have long to wait before she was hired by a charismatic independent explorer pilot called Buck Hanson, who was captain of a small scout ship, The Ace of Spades. At the time, she was the youngest member of the crew of ten. She spent two years as a space jockey, learning about the inner workings of the ship, by which time she was proficient enough to be promoted to ship's engineer. This was the job she had dreamed about all of her life. Whenever The Ace of Spades was in a starport for a long period, Kyran would do freelance work on other docked starships, thus further enhancing her knowledge of engineering and other technical skills. At the same time as Kyran was promoted to engineer, The Ace of Spades acquired another young female recruit. She went by the name of Kimberley Wells and it was clear she was deeply in love with  Buck. Kimberley became very close friends with Kyran and the ship's medic, Gwendoline Papillion. The three were more like sisters than colleagues and they forged an unbreakable friendship.
Two years ago, tragedy struck when The Ace of Spades was attacked by space pirates. All six male crew members, including Buck who had just recently proposed to Kimberley, were callously murdered. The ship's four female were set adrift in lifeboats and The Ace of Spades was blown up. As luck would have it, they were swiftly rescued and returned to their home planets. Within two months, Kyran received a call from Kimberley, informing her that she was recruiting a new crew and that she and Gwendoline were her number one choices. Kyran had no hesitation in signing on and was soon reunited with her two best friends. Kyran is still a very happy-go-lucky person and a likeable tomboy with a stubborn streak. She disapproves of violence but will do all in her power to protect her loved ones. When off duty, she likes to party and go night-clubbing, but most of all, she likes tinkering with cars and driving them as fast as she can get away with.
Typical Quotes
"Was that a red light I went through? Oops, I never saw it! "
"Wow, a Pittban 1350XB stardrive. I thought they were obsolete."


  1. Lovely backgrounds mate, top stuff!

  2. Great in depth background Bryan, really bringing these characters to life

    1. Many thanks, Dave. That's the whole point of these posts.

  3. Excellent stuff Bryan, and it's obvious that this campaign is very much a labour of love, and is already an absolute delight to follow. It's already making me dewy eyed thinking back to the old Traveller games!

    1. Thanks, Greg. This is indeed a labour of love for me. For me it hearkens back to when I games mastered similar campaigns using the "Space Opera" and "GURPS Space" rules. I didn't play much "Traveller" back then but I certainly converted a few of their scenarios into the other two systems named above.