In a month or so, this will be transformed into a Personalities dossier, complete with Connections, Adventure Hooks, and Goodies. In the meantime, here’s Ikerlari Xaparrarte’s Backstory and character sheet.
Growing up in the Basurto neighbourhood of Bilbao, Kaiet Xaparrarte knew that even though he lived in the largest city in northern Spain, he was going to go places. He got into as much trouble as one might expect a young man to, but kept up with his studies, and won placement to the University of Seville in Andalusia. His years away from the Basque Country, in a region typified by a deliberately rural, nearly previous century style of life and a heavy dependence on agriculture in a nation that was rapidly industrializing, opened his perspective. His ability to see multiple sides of a situation carried him through oral arguments and to a degree in canon and civil law. While his relatives expected him to take holy orders, or go into politics, Kaiet chose a different mode of public service: he joined the police. Not as a guardsman, oh no, not with his degree and qualifications, he went straight to the investigative wing. Over the years, he gained quite a reputation, both for solving crimes and preventing them through managing districts in active policing methods, and for being a bit odd. He sees round corners, people would say of him, or he looks at things from a different world than you or I. And then the Rabbit Hole opened, and his studies expanded.
Ikerlari Kaiet Xaparrarte, now in his early forties with a distinguished if peculiar career, has specialized in crimes involving the return of magic to Earth. A lot of people have resorted to trickery to convince their victims of supernatural involvement. The Basque government has designated three officials in the Ertzaintza, the People’s Guard, to make determinations in such cases as to whether or not an event is actually supernatural in origin. In the case of fraud, these Investigators make arrests and expose the trickery. Actual supernatural events require the Investigator to take guidance from the Church, based on the situation. Ikerlari Xaparrarte works closely with a Catholic priest, Father Benedicto Espinoza, and has Connections with a few local practitioners of the Arcane Arts. The religious aspects of an actual supernatural event must not be taken lightly.
More importantly, he has a spirit working with him. She calls herself Donetzine, says that she lived in the city two hundred years ago, and has just been so bored until all of a sudden people could hear her and even see her and there were so many things to do! She knows all of these streets down to where their cobblestones came from, and the stories she could tell you, oh, you wouldn’t believe what people have been getting up to in this city, although you’re a policeman, right, Kaiet, you’re used to seeing all sorts of stuff aren’t you? She drives him slightly frantic. On the other hand, she’s made herself useful in her overwound, annoyingly bubbly way often enough that he’s starting to think of her as a slightly (well, more than slightly) dotty aunt who just turned up one day and moved into the spare room. Donetzine is also the only person in his life other than his grandmother, who lives over on the other side of the bay, who calls him by his Christian name. Most people call him Xaparrarte, or Ikerlari, or just sir. Between her and Father Espinoza and his grandmother, that’s about all the family he has left in the region, his mother having moved back to her birthplace, a village on the Cinca River in Aragon, after his father passed twelve years ago, and his siblings scattered to the winds.
He lives now in Erandio, in the province of Biscay, a port city deep in an inlet on the Bay of Biscay, open to the Atlantic Ocean. The Ertzaintza are headquartered here, and all three of the arcane investigators work out of the same office. They’re provided a stipend for the maintenance of whatever laboratory, workshop, and personal research facility they require, as long as it’s not more than four rooms, two up, two down, in the older part of town. Their department is so new it hasn’t got a proper designation yet, just a couple of budget form numbers. Some are calling them Hirurogeita sei, or Department Sixty-Six, noting that they’re on the sixth floor and it seems appropriate. Others call them espiritu jaurtitzaileak, or spirit shooters, which the Investigators have started to kind of like.
Ikerlari Xaparrarte speaks Euskara as his primary language, the Basque ethnic and nationalist language, although the provinces have been part of Castile since 1200 CE and thus part of Spain. The Basque people of Spain feel themselves much closer to the Basque people of southern France than to anyone in Madrid. He’s also got to deal with the Restorationists, and the Carlists, and the ongoing civil war in Spain that the Basque wish would just stay the hell away from the north country. Politics are the mother’s milk of every Basque, though, and he’s no different from any other, fiercely proud of his heritage, and wanting to ensure his people retain their homeland. The Ertzaintza have no official policy on this as of today, other than of course not tolerating rioting in the streets or plotting violent insurrection, but the Carlists and the Restorationists both have official standing of various sorts, and at some point the organization may have to take a stand and pick a side. Thankfully, that time is not now.
Besides his current caseload, Ikerlari Xaparrarte is revisiting all the cases he’d dismissed as “unexplained humbug” to see if any were the result of early magical flare-ups. We know such happened – look at Prof. Grosvenor’s experiment, and the curiosity of it of working before it opened the Rabbit Hole. There’s other examples, but those have been gone into enough among those who study the arcane we shouldn’t have to belabour them here. Along the way, he’s picked up some arcane skills of his own, which came in handy with his most recent case, involving travel to the astral plane and into another realm. What he did there the Ikerlari has not discussed with anyone beyond his fellow investigators and Father Espinoza, and of course Donetzine who was there and helped him cross the threshold. If asked, he touches the new grey at his temples and stares off into the distance sadly, as if watching the woman he loved walk away forever, and says only that he has gone places.
See the PDF, and note the following.
His Profession abilities are:
- Interaction Test bonus of +2 Steps
- Physical Defense +2, Mystic Defense +1, Social Defense +1, all reflected on the sheet
- Karma for Recovery and raw PER Tests
- Brilliant Deduction; In Dolor Veritas
- In addition to his on-sheet funds, which reflect his personal holdings, he has access to government resources, including a stipend sufficient to cover his rooms and his very nervous housekeeper, and a discretionary budget of about another hundred pounds. Anything larger has to go through committee.