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Hiram Schwartzburg

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2016 issue.

Hiram “Blackie” Schwarzburg 76775C Age 46 Cr107,000
7 Terms Noble (Baron)
Carousing-2, Hunting-1, Jack-o-T-1, Blade-1, Tracked-1, Laser Carbine-1, Navigation-1, Ship’s Boat-1, Pilot-1,
Pistol-0, Vacc-0, Shotgun-0, Wheeled-0
High Passage x2, Gun belt (below) on person

The Baron (“Blackie” to friends and hangers-on) is a bon-vivant, a lusty liver of life who has waltzed through it largely unscathed. He is a fairly tall man, with a somewhat stocky build, often described as ‘big’ but never as ‘imposing’. His jet black hair and fairly light complexion should be impressive, but he somehow is never seen that way. His blue eyes always seem to have a twinkle, and at least one of his thumbs seem perpetually thrust into the gunbelt carrying his blade, snub pistol and a couple of spare mags: one thumb if using the other hand for drinking, in greeting, or making expansive gestures to enhance a story; none if in bed; and both all the rest of his long days. If disarmed because of security concerns (rare; as a noble, he’s often permitted arms when others are not), he will retain his gunbelt, and stick small flasks, packages of stim sticks, extra radios, and the odd bit of gadgetry in the various pouches. He has a flask which he keeps in the blade sheath for such occasions: it is made from the horn of the Reefermaddbeast from Kinorb, finished with a brass top and stopper; and highlighted too gaudily (with baubles and silver) to fit anyone’s tastes but his.

Blackie has worked aboard merchant liners belonging to the family corporation, but has never really considered himself to be working for the corporation. He has treated it as a cheap way of plying the Marches in search of the next hunt, adventure, or romance. He has made a contribution, but learned more than he worked and less than he should. While not stupid, Blackie knows he is not brilliant; he’s flunked out of every college he was sent to (though he has a sneaking suspicion that it was more because the academic environment bored him that it was any inherent inability to learn and succeed). He loves to be on a ship, or a new hunting ground, and indeed it seems that excellence may have eluded him as much for his restlessness as for his lack of drive or talent.

He enjoys doing things, experiencing them rather than merely accomplishing them. While life has been kind to him, his wealth is more a matter of “what’s left” than “all I ever got,” having spent freely not just on himself, but others, be they the needy, his companions, his most recent lover, or someone with an interesting-sounding venture. He is also big on collecting things from past adventures or in anticipation of future adventures, often with no real plan as to how they might come together in the future. His ATV, Advanced Base, and a 2dton Big Cube shipping container with the rest of his hoard are in storage at the local starport, usually in the highport. The next hunt, though, will always be on his mind. He is looking for some ideas on that, willing to pay more than his share, and provide whatever stores he can from his own equipment. In return, he expects to keep the lion’s share of whatever else the group might purchase. He is open-minded about such hunts, but is also willing to be led on another venture. Or adventure, as the case may be….

While some danger is to be expected, Blackie is no mercenary, hitman, or bounty hunter, and he knows it well. Whatever his vices, his sense of adventure is well-balanced with his sense of self-preservation. Further, he generally wishes no man ill, even those who would use his hide for a seat-cover. He also understands that being much better armed than potential assailants gives one the luxury of being a bit gentler. Not that he is above turning another sophont’s neck into a smoking, stubby memorial to what it once carried, mind you, but if it comes to that, Blackie prefers to have done his part to avoid it…at which point the rush of slaughter becomes like any other pleasure: enjoyed with no backward glances.

The Baron’s Hoard

Blackie doesn’t have his entire hoard to hand at any given instant, but when necessary, he can quickly get his hands on everything listed here.

Gun Belt (always on his person)
Auto Snub Pistol, 3×Mags HEAP
Trauma kit
TL15 1000 power radio
Autoinjector, Combat Drug
Autoinjector, Slow Drug
Autoinjector, Slow Drug Antidote
Tracked ATV (Ballard Designs; disassembles into 2×4dton containers)
3×6-Person inflatable assault boats
6×Bicycles (TL9, off-road)
Hand Computer
TL13 5000 power Radio
7×TL13 500 power Radios; 27 extra batteries
2×Inertial/satellite locators
3×Magnetic compasses (TL5)
3×TL13 SensorWrites .4 kg (Cr14,000)(combination radiation counter, chemical detector, motion detector, radio direction-finder, 5000 power radio)
4×Atmospheric tester
TL13 Laser Carbine
3×TL9 Laser Carbines, 6×extra powerpacks
5×stun Carbines (use Laser Carbine powerpacks)
10×Shotguns, 100×mags bullets, 2×mags Tranq
3×Rifles w/Electronic Sights; 12 mags
Gauss Rifle; 2 mags
9×Auto Snub pistols 32×Mags HEAP, 1×Mag Tranq, 6×Mags Tracer
Advanced Base
6×6 Person and 1x 8 person tents
4×Pressure Tents
16×Sleeping bags
3×Sleeping pads
9×Folding cots
32×Folding Camp Chairs
Personal Protection/Armor
17 Combat Environmental Suits
6×TL13 Vacc Suits; 12 extra tank sets
14×Filter Masks
2×Combination Masks
9×Psionic Shield helmets
3 sets Skin Diving Gear
17×Cold Weather Clothing
4 sets cloth (universal camo)
2 Combat Environmental Suits (TL12 50 power helmet radio, IR chameleon)
10 Ponchos (TL7)
319×Person-weeks dehydrated rations
42×1 liter canteens
9×water filters
Misc. Personal Equipment
3×medical kits
23×cold lanterns
144×Chemlite sticks
Carpentry tool kit
Mechanical tool kit
Electronic tool kit
Metalworking tool kit
3 sets Digging hand tools (TL4)
6×100m Climbing ropes, 3 sets climbing hardware
5×100m Plasteel cables (250 kg working load)
11×TL5 Backpacks
24×Duffle bags
3×10 liter Hard cases (water/vacuum/resistant)