Horror on the Orient Express
Prof. Wilhelm A. von Breisgau
An aging but aristocratic Professor
Wilhelm A. von Breisgau, PhD
Birthplace: Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg
Colleges, Degrees: PhD. Archaeology and Paleo-History; Prof. Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg (Until 1914), Guest Prof. Miskatonic University, Arkham MA (1914-1919), Prof. Ludwig-Maximillians Universität, Munich (1920-)
Current Sanity 70/73 (75)
Current Magic 15/15
Current Health 12/12
Str 12 Dex 7 Int 14 Idea 70
Con 9 App 11 Pow 15 Luck 75
Siz 14 San 73 Edu 19 Know 95
Damage Bonus 1d4
Credit Rating 63%
Cthulhu Mythos 02%
Fast Talk 8%
First Aid 36%
Library Use 65%
A. Greek 48%
Spot Hidden 47%
Sword-cane (1d6) (impales)
Pocketbook and Fountain Pen
140£ in cash
2000$ in Traveler’s Cheques.
Das Buch von den unausprechlichen Kulten (the Black Book)
The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion Sanity 0/1d2 (Occ +5; Anthrop +5)
Demomanie des Sorcieres (Occ +1)
The Magus, or Celestial Intelligencer (Occ +7)
The Left Arm of the Sedefkar Simulacrum (in a flute case)
The Torso of the Sedefkar Simulacrum (in a cello case)
The Sedefkar Scroll of the Head
Professor Wilhelm Alexander von Breisgau is the chair of the Paleo-History and Archaeology Department at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximillians Universität. He is a tall and broad shouldered elderly gentleman with Dark and steel gray hair and piercing eyes. Worsted wool suits, a bushy beard, wireframe glasses and a well combed receding hairline complete the image of a true gentleman of teutonic descent. And that is what Professor Breisgau considers himself to be. He behaves in what he sees as a purely Germanic fashion speaking little and getting to the point quickly. He towers over his students in stature and tone and exults an aura of pure discipline that drives both fear and respect into them. Above all he is one of the greatest academics on the Munich University board.
But that is not where he wants to be.
Professor Breisgau was born and raised in the south German Province of Baden in the days when the German state was still coalescing. A nationalist at heart Wilhelm had always desired to be both a scientist and a career military man, much as his father had been. However, a severe riding accident from his youth has left the Professor with a mangled right leg, leaving him bed ridden for years and requiring the permanent use of a cane afterwards. All the time he had spent recovering has also left him with a quite frail constitution, and despite his stature the Professor is almost painfully thin and quick to catch a chill. A military career being now off the table young Willhelm dedicated himself to History and, later, to the growing field of Archaeology and Anthropology, his life-long ambition being to trace the cultural origins of mankind. He read his doctoral thesis at the prestigious University of Heidelberg, the place where he would later hold his first chair. During his collegiate years he started a correspondence with various authorities on the matter or like minded individuals, including a British scholar of literature and history, the man that would later become Prof J.A. Smith. Despite his ill health he went on two expeditions to Africa, the place he had become certain over the years that mankind traced its origins to (despite the common knowledge of the age that men were originally from Asia). In 1915, after considerable historical research, Professor Breisgau was ready to unveil his Magnus Opus, a paper claiming that original man had been influenced in Africa and beyond by a lost civilization wielding great cultural and social forces, perhaps even some sort of hypnosis or so-called ‘magic’. Willhelm Breisgau claimed this ante-historic civilization was what we now know of as Atlantis.
Before publishing his work Professor Breisgau sent it to his trusted correspondent, Professor Smith who had recently become interested in culturally constructed beliefs and ‘Magic’. Smith sent the book back with a single word written on the cover, ‘Rubbish’ and a detailed letter trying to convince Breisgau not to publish the paper. Stubborn as any german the latter did and, after initially arousing curiosity his book became the laughing stock of the entire European academic scene after Smith wrote a very strong debunking of the myths Breisgau approached. Furious and humiliated the Professor was forced to give up his tenure at Heidelberg, his Alma Mater and weeks before the start of the Great War left for a small but prestigious college in New England with a growing interest in alternative historical theories. It was called Miskatonic University and it was here that he stayed as guest lecturer until the end of the War. At Miskatonic, the Professor further pursued his interest in Paleo-History and its occult roots but did not forget Smith’s treachery. He wrote nothing more on the subject.
After the war the Professor jumped at the chance offered to him by The University of Munich at a new tenure. He returned to Germany in the tumultuous post-war Years in a city troubled by strife and turmoil.
The Professor has few friends and little interest in women, guiding himself by an eclectic mixture of Kantian and Nietzschean Morals. He usually sulks and dreams of returning to Heidelberg, the ‘pinnacle of education’, as he calls it and goes on slow walks around the University campus. After ‘the great treachery’ he has abandoned most of his colleagues and former students and reserved himself to a life of solitude with his Schnauzer dog named Gunther. Until he got the invitation to attend the Challenger lecture and a promise of reconciliation…