Of Smoke and Mirrors
[The University] Christopher Holden
Professor of Archaeology and History, Amateur Engineer, Second Son to Baron Holden, “The Local Steppegoblin”
Christopher Holden is an Eldren already in his thirty-seventh year, though his appearance is that of a youthful male in his mid-twenties. While of a middling height he is of a far stouter build then most of his fellow Eldren, with broad shoulders and a surprisingly muscular frame though still slender by human standards. His hands are rougher than most of his station, clearly used to the hardship and wear associated with manual labour and outdoor activites. His skin too bears the marks of one who have spent long, arduous days under the open sky, leaving him with a softly tanned complexion reminiscent more of a farm boy than a dusty academic. These traits, together with his silvery blond hair has led some to whisper that he is no true Eldren but rather of Steppegoblin stock, which could indeed be true as his mother was Russian by birth. No matter his heritage however his hair is the envy of many a young maiden, silken smooth in the colour of pale silver which hangs in a ruffled and unkempt manner down to the base of his neck. It crowns a head whose face has all the hallmarks of an aristocratic breeding with sharp cheekbones, a high ridged nose and a firm, slightly pointed chin. Christopher’s mouth is rather small, with thin lips that when he smiles reveal two rows of pearly white teeth, while his eyes are fairly large, in a deep metallic blue a shade bordering on purple and with the distinctive cat-like pupils all Eldren shares. While perhaps not the ideal appearance when confronted with modern standards most of the Societies gossip girls agree he has a sort of rugged handsomeness to him which is rare in Eldren and at the same time his face is a very expressionate one, quick to smile or frown and not at all very apt at disguising what he feels.
As a, by Eldren standards, very young man Christopher mostly dress in accordance with the current rules of fashion and style, though he has a sorry tendency to stay a few years behind the newest trends. On most occasions he dresses in the obligatory white shirt covered by one of many vests and waistcoats though he seems to particularly favour vests patterned with floral or similar motifs in warm shades of reds, greens and browns. Complementing this is various puff or bow ties, usually in black but sometimes in bolder colours such as blue or even deep shades of yellow. Over this he usually puts a more common greatcoat in a muted tone of great, notably worn by wear and weather, though when the occasion calls for it he has several tailcoats and cutaway coats appropriate for various settings. As far as accessories go Professor Holden is rarely seen without his two seemingly homemade bracers of soft, light leather and furnished with several small instruments and gauges of unknown purpose. The right hand one also has a small housing for a few basic tools, including a small knife and a screwdriver. He also usually carries a plain and unassuming pocket-watch as well as a far more notable pair of googles that also has the appearance of a homemade item.
Though clearly a slightly eccentric persona Christopher Holden is certainly a man to whom smiles comes both easily and often, making him in general rather pleasant company. He is energetic and curious, with a seemingly endless patience for small fiddly or intricate details and finds yet at the same time a certain restlessness to him. He seems to always be searching for the next little puzzle to solve and when faced with the kind of challenges he enjoy, such as an archaeological dig, his stores of energy appears literally endless. He is also a very well educated man, and though his energetic manner gives him a somewhat childish touch, he is most capable of holding his own in most debates and discussions a gentleman can be expected to pursue.
Perhaps his greatest flaw is an at times explosive temper, as well as a streak of the common Eldren disregard for what is viewed as mundane or popular with the common masses.
Our intrepid adventurers knows little of Christopher Holden as they have not yet endeavoured to find out. He is however a man on good breeding and from an aristocratic background, the Holden’s being a rather unimportant Baronet from the Yorkshire regions. His father, the first Baron Holden, is a big name in the world of business who married the daughter of a Russian aristocrat in exile, which hardly makes them any more worthy in the eyes of their peers.
The young Christopher does however seem to have received a thorough education and after graduating from Cambridge in the relatively new field of Archaeology he seems to have spent some time doing fieldwork being given a position at the University of London.