John Wellington Wells
, a dealer in magic and spells
Name: John Wellington Wells
Age: Looks about 19, but is significantly older. 20, to be exact.
Birth dimension: SAVOY-83 (By the Riffington-Rosenthal classification system)
Gangly and slightly trembly when not on the shop floor, Wells is a master of the nervous, awkward smile and the limp handshake. On the shop floor, he's a patter-talking, deferential, and slightly ingratiating salesman. His dress is that of a middle-class Victorian tradesman or tradesman's assistant, and he wears a battered top hat and a dusty grey coat.
As small-time sorcerers go, Wells had a very uneventful existence before his arrival in the Boardieverse. Wells's parents had died in a turtle racing accident shortly after he was born, leaving his uncle, Joseph Post, to raise him as an assistant in the family shop. Wells demonstrated little aptitude for traditional spell-and-scroll magic, but his talent with magical artifacts proved useful as he earned his keep.
Every so often, Wells and Post used the shop's World Door to access other, magic-rich dimensions in forays for new, more effective magical artifacts to barter for. It was while on one of these trips Uncle Joseph disappeared, leaving Wells and his assistant, Simmery the Djinn, to run the shop.
Two days after the disappearance, a brass-handled cane engraved with POST fell from the sky near the shop. It was a computer, though Wells didn't know it at the time. It also contained the malevolent spirit of Uncle Joseph, as Wells discovered on a foray into the Boardieverse to recover a Devil's Avocado for evil immunization experiments.
Wells blundered into a warthread, announced his intentions, was repeatedly vaporized (and respawned, thanks to the integration of his POST into the Boardie network), and soon found that Uncle Joseph had abandoned him. Thoroughly confused, he acquiesed to a broadcast request to turn himself in to FLEET for a "discussion" with Bob Kilgore.
If Bob Kilgore could have seen a photograph of good old Uncle Joseph, Wells's life expectancy might have been very short.
Wells ended up working with the boardie Gravelrash during a recent clash of mad scientists that involved a VERY crashed party, a rampaging mammoth, a duct-tape wielding demoness with a twistedly ironic scheme, and an island with a steering wheel. [See Loweko's "Practical Science" for details.] Wells's part in the proceedings was small but memorable.
Now convinced that it's probably going to be some time before he gets home, Wells is looking into a possible job with the Funky Horror's archives. He's a magic shopkeeper. He has the experience.
Top hat: Has five liters of storage capacity, thanks to a bit of space-folding. The hat band can rotate into six positions, each of which opens up a portal into a small storage space. Safety feature: the band cannot be rotated while the hat is worn, to prevent Wells from losing the top of his head.
Business cards: Bear Wells's name and (ex-)address. Also, a neat parlor trick. Snapping one of the cards back and forth activates it; after that, clapping twice will cause it to burst into impressive flames.
Monocle: A wondertech-powered monocle, issued to Wells upon his entry into QUILLS. It serves as an incredibly powerful adjustible microscope.
POST: Looks like a brass-handled walking stick. Lacks any self-defense modifications, but does have a nifty projector and is controlled by voice.
Pocketknife: Not terribly dangerous, but useful to have around.