Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Professor Iggy Von Boom Boom

Professor Iggy Von Boom Boom is larger than life.

He's The Professor to his audiences, alternating between selling them candles blessed by the lizard pope and healing waters distilled from the tears of phoenixkin, and amazing them with feats of strength and firebreathing. A spectacle of the small stage, he dominates with his presence and energy. He's large, and looms even larger on his opened wagon, up above the crowds that form in the village square, yet his frame seems to small to contain him.

He's Iggy to his friends, who swell in number in every town he visits. Five minutes after entering a common room, he'll have ordered a round for all in his heavily accented Common, and be locked in an arm wrestling contest with the local talent, spinning stories about the places he's been, and laughing all the while. Sometimes he'll even pay for the round before he leaves - that is, if the barman is quick enough to catch him. But by that point the bar will be busier than it has been in weeks, as everyone has run out and grabbed their friends to be there and see Iggy, and even if that first round wasn't paid for, there's been many more since - and look, even the headman of Ioun is in his cups. So no one chases him that far.

He's "Mr. Von Boom Boom?" to his fans, always in a slightly squeaky voice, as they catch him heading back to his wagon for the night, and ask for a signature, or a bent piece of metal, or (several times now) for permission to travel the world with him. And he'll give the first two right away, and tell the third to meet him in the morning, on his way out of town - there, by those hills over there, yes? But by morning he'll be gone.

And he's Ignatius to nobody, not any more. And why would he be? Who would want to be that boy, whose parents spent all the money they had on a wizard's apprenticeship for their son, because he had talent, such talent. That clumsy boy, who was too big for his robes, and who could never even manage a simple light spell. Who couldn't bear the shame of losing his apprenticeship after burning down his masters lab (the third time) and never went home again.

Professor Iggy Von Boom Boom is a lie. Most everything about him - from the wares he hocks as he travels from town to town, to the accent which waxes and wanes (but normally has him sounding like Russian tough guy, yes?). He gets away with he makes the lies so big, so obvious, that no one worries about getting bilked, they're just here to see the show. If he was a smaller liar, they'd feel threatened, but he lies big, so everyone just comes along for the ride. And so when he leaves town, it's with the feeling that he has done something good.

With his itinerant business and general goodwill, Iggy is a pretty easy drop-in for most parties. Give him the chance, and he'll help swing in to save the day - and stick around for a change. He has no problem hurting those who would try to hurt him or his friends, but may fall back on trying to scare them off so he doesn't have to.

He's big (even for a Dragonborn), with grey scales and yellow and red eyes. All of his money is tied up in his wagon and wares, but he mainly appreciates it as his way to get from place to place and create a proper spectacle. With sufficient motivation (and alternative venues for his showmanship) he could leave it all behind. Especially the horse, with whom he maintains an adversarial relationship.

Again, I don't think there's anything particularly male about this character (at least, not in this unplayed form), so if anyone wanted to genderswap him for Professor Kiki Von Boom Boom, I wouldn't be offended.