Here's Mary. I hope she's okay, Michi.Character Name:
Mary Kingsley League:
About 28-30 (Physically) 51 (Actually)Height:
Medium build... though 'padded', 'blousy' and 'buxom' are things she gets called by men who resent her success in a man's world.Character Biography:
The thing you notice at once about Mary is her eyes. They pierce right through you. They seem to penetrate into you and see you from the inside. Her expression is sharp, shrewd and intense though her body language is somewhat lazy and introspective. If you choose not to engage with her in conversation but espied her from afar she would seem like any other moderately well-off, moderately bored wife of a society gentleman. Discourse with her however, reveals a mind of diamond sharpness and a wit of equally dangerous edge. Mary has travelled over much of the British Empire and her outlook is not that of one who would see all black Africans attending Christian chapels. Brought up as any other well-to-do Victorian child with nannies, kindergartens and perambulations in the park, for some reason Mary at a very early age, chose to be heard as well as seen. The death of her botanist-explorer father at the age of fifteen (her mother died in childbirth) led Mary to take up the reins of her father's failed career and equipped from a not inconsiderable financial legacy she headed off to deepest darkest Africa to both explore and learn.
Mary travelled far and wide over much of black Africa, west to east to south. She served as a doctor at the Siege of Ladysmith in the First Boer War and recovering miraculously from Typhoid fever brought on by infection in the military hospital there went on to travel through Kenya, Egypt, Iran, Persia and Afghanistan, making a personal pilgrimage to see the Dali Lama in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal.
She has authored three books "Travels in Africa", "The Culture of the Negro" and "My Walks With the Dali-Lama". The first treatise completed her father's unfinished work and has become the standard botanists and entymologist's 'bible' to African species of flora and fauna. Her second book made her many enemies in the church and in the corridors of Whitehall since she proposed that African culture should be left alone and the meddling of missionaries was doing untold harm. It was during the writing of this book that Mary went native. Her third book is a more personal journal of her spiritual discoveries and is essentially a philosophical work.
In Africa Mary 'went native' taking on tribal dress, which for females did not mean very much at all (utterly shocking!) and forsaking the English, German and French missionaries who were there to convert the heathen to Gods True Faith. Mary preferred to see the Africans in their own culture, including polygamy, and to this end studied and was initiated into the practices of a witchdoctor. While she rejected human sacrifice she espoused many of their shamanistic practices and it is said that her recovery from Typhoid was due to a protective ritual. Mary is 51 yet all who meet her for the first time would place her at no more than 30 years of age, another puzzling facet of her background which may also be attributable to tribal magic.Personality:
A little cold at first "Oh, not another boring man who'll tell me my place is in the kitchen," she opens up soon enough to those that show her respect. At society events she can be very talkative but is generally reticent about her time in Africa. Mary is fastidious about her appearance and dresses appropriately at all times. In a Zulu corral this might mean just a cluster of strings of beads but in London it means full and proper attire, hatted and corsetted. When travelling abroad she usually resorts to riding garb - pith helmet, blouse, hunter-jacket, jodphurs and boots.Equipment:
Usually a box of "botanical and general research" goodies (which in fact means "witchdoctor bits"), plus her easel and watercolours, she also has her fathers Remington HPSR (high-pressure steam reciprocating) .308 calibre rifle and is handy with an army-issue Webley & Scott Mk.IV Break-Top .455 calibre revolver as well. If all else fails, she's good at shouting.