From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Player: @Masked Shrike|
|Date of Birth:||
December 17, 1903
|Place of Birth:||
|Base of Operations:||
(both these are chambered for the same rounds)
|[ Source ]|
Professor Cavalry McClellan is not only an archaeologist and teacher, but a vigilante upholding her family tradition of leavening out justice.
Named in honor of her famous grandfather, Cavalry grew up revering his memory, knowing he was an Indian fighter and U.S. Army officer. Both her brothers died young, and her sisters proved to prefer more sedentary pursuits; but Cav loved the open Texas outdoors. She rode and ran with the boys on her family's Shorthorn cattle ranch, but also had a fascination with the past. Luckily, her reform-minded parents (her mother was a graduate of Vassar) insisted on higher education for all their girls; her older siblings went on to careers in medicine. Cav won a scholarship to Vassar, and preferred to delve into history, but in a proactive way. It was a tough transition from her family's ranch in Texas to the drawing rooms and classrooms of New York State, but eventually Cav learned to fit in with her peers and her mother's wealthy relatives.
When she reached the age of eighteen, her father had a serious and secret talk with her. With both her brothers deceased, he told her that it was up to her to carry on the family tradition of "righting wrongs" as formerly carried out by her male ancestors. He gave her Grandfather Curwen's guns and revealed the family code of conduct, and she gave him her promise to uphold the family duty, though she had no real idea what it could mean.
Her familiarity with the American West led to her participation in several excavations of Native American sites. It was during this early period in her career that Lord Darnley, greatly respected as an archaeologist and teacher, was in the area doing research for a paper he was writing. Cavalry came to Darnley's notice at this point. And it was shortly thereafter that trouble began to follow her from site to site, though she did not even dream of there being a connection...she was too impressed by the handsome, aristocratic Darnley.
Cavalry became attached to the School of American Archaeology in Santa Fe. At the time, she went on digs primarily to find items for museum collections. She found important ceramic pieces at Giusewa Pueblo and the San Jose de los Jemez Mission, and Nanishagi. Several items went missing. Also in the 20s (at Unshagi Pueblo, Sandoval County, NM) she turned up the lone funerary object amid 85 bodies, a fish vertebrae necklace. The excavations here were extremely detailed and scientific, and she learned much. But again, the prized item was stolen. On a later dig, she caught thieves despoiling the kiva that was the subject of an expedition at Chaco Canyon. The thieves got away with an inlaid jet effigy of a frog, despite her efforts to stop them. She was ready for them the next time, and when they got hold of offering necklaces made of shell beads and stones that she had found in a sealed wall niche in the kiva, she stopped them--but not without a chase and a gun battle. This caused some major problems for her professionally and personally. Her reputation showed signs of tarnish.
Things did not look good for Cav. Luckily her old teacher and mentor, Professor Argus Humboldt at Columbia, pulled some strings to get her a place on Carl Blegen's team excavating Troy in 1932. Humboldt hoped that some time out of the country would allow things to cool off for his former student, but it was not to be. In Turkey she helped find an astounding artifact: a golden apple inscribed 'ERIS', which may have been proof of Homer's mythic tale, and was rumored to have the power to instill chaos. But when this possibly powerful item was seized by Turkish anti-Ataturk insurgents, Cav's latent instinct to 'right wrongs' kicked in. Wielding her grandfather's guns and riding a 'borrowed' horse, she stole the artifact back and returned it to Blegen. Who can say where it went from there? During this escapade, she was astounded to discover that Darnley, whom she had always respected and admired, was a plunderer of sites. He offered her a place as his partner in crime. She refused, but was sorely tempted by both the promise of money, and the attractive lord himself. Both repelled and fascinated, she rebuffed him. He amusedly promised that no one would believe her accusations if she tried to reveal his activities. She vowed then and there to stop him somehow, someday.
She got her chance on a remote Anasazi dig site. Darnley escaped into the supposed safety of the mysterious Cave of Spirits, leaving his thugs to delay Cav. After dealing with Darnley's minions, Cavalry tore after her nemesis, only to find that the cavern led not to spirits, but to the future.
The Family Code
Reaching back to 18th century Scotland (and, in the family mythology, even farther back than that), this 'duty' is traditionally passed down to one member of each generation. From Archibald McClellan, 'the Scourge of the Highlands', to Capt. Curwen McClellan, Indian fighter turned lawman, the mantle passed down to Leighton, Cav's father's younger brother. Leighton unfortunately died at San Juan Hill without ever having married or produced children. The mantle was then to pass to one of Cavalry's brothers. As it happened, her older brother Robert, a Marine, was killed in WWI at the Battle of Belleau Wood, and her younger brother James died of Spanish influenza during the pandemic of 1918. It was probably as much for their memory as any sense of familial duty that led her to take up her grandfather's guns.
The code is as follows:
1. Never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
2. Never go back on your word, or a trust confided in you.
3. Always tell the truth.
4. Be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
5. Do not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6. Help people in distress.
7. Uphold the good, combat the unrighteous, and preserve the civilized world from barbarity.
8. Keep yourself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
9. Respect and uphold your nation's laws.
10. Be a patriot.
While Cavalry has no powers per se, she does seem to possess a preternatural luck. This manifests as her uncanny ability to find things. It may also enhance her ability to shoot. Some may profess that she's actually had very bad luck, but in the long run, who can say?
Cavalry is a peerless marksman. Her ability as a sniper has often saved herself or her friends. Cav has advanced degrees in archaeology. She can also rope, ride, and fight (much to the surprise and consternation of her more staid academic colleagues). Language-wise she knows some ancient Greek, a smattering of Turkish and a smidgen of Navajo.
Weaknesses and Limitations
Cavalry has all the limitations of any normal human. She can't stop a bullet or take a punch better than any other physically fit person.
Cavalry carries her grandfather's S&W Model 3 American .44 revolver, and his Winchester Model 1866 'Yellow Boy' lever action rifle (both these are chambered for the same rounds). She wears a leather duster that belonged to her brother James, and a leather hat that originally belonged to her brother Robert.
Lord Fitzrobert Darnley. Aristocratic gentleman archaeologist. Handsome and wealthy, early 40s. Oxford-educated (also attended University of Goettingen) protege of Sir Arthur Evans (who excavated the palace of Knossos in Crete 1900-1931). Mysteriously, several Linear A and Linear B tablets seem to have come up missing from these excavations. Brilliant, erudite, shrewd, always impeccably dressed, unutterably polite and soft-spoken. Will gut you as soon as look at you if he deems it necessary. Has taught and published and been roundly lauded for his work. May have stolen artifacts from such spectacular sites as Leonard Woolley's excavation of the Royal Tombs at Ur (1926), and of course Carnarvon and Carter's excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamen in '22. Wherever important things were being discovered, he was there to nab the best artifacts for his private clients. Such clients have included the Vatican, as well as several governments, and a few very wealthy and powerful individuals. Sees himself as the ultimate hunter, and is intrigued by Cavalry; her instinct for making great finds makes her valuable to him, and he also finds her insistence on her bourgeois moral code amusing; enjoys the thought of corrupting her utterly. Or killing her--whatever is best in the long run, really. But for now, he uses her, and often turns up to renew his offer of a lucrative place on his team. Ancestral home: Rathmore House, a rambling estate at which he holds lavish but tasteful parties. Darnley escaped from Cavalry's gunsights only by slipping into a mysterious cavern that proved to be a portal into the future.
- Cav was originally created as a character for a pen-and-paper pulp-era RPG.
- Her character concept may be described as 'the love child of Annie Oakley and Indiana Jones.'
- She was named for the famed Civil War-era McClellan cavalry saddle, and not for the infamous general of the same era.
- Her player does own a Cavalry costume, and has worn it for Halloween.
- During her adventure in Turkey, Cav made a spectacular getaway on the back of a horse she commandeered from the artifact thieves, a pureblood Arabian mare she kept as her reward for the enterprise. She has named the horse Sahane, which means 'magnificent' in Turkish. Sahane was left behind in the past when Cav chased Darnley into the Cave of Spirits.