Like her ancestor Jek, Millie has the Knack. She’s been a tinkerer ever since she was small, putting together elaborate string-and-pulley systems to get food and supplies up to her workshop in her parents’ attic. She worked with tin and pliers, gears and springs. Millie built her first clock when she was five.
These days she’s a welder and an inventor. More than that, she’s a Technologist. She sees the flows of the alchemical elements and reads the essence-conduits under the ground. She and her crew specialize in larger projects: airship propellers, manse hulls, dam reinforcements. She has a few specialized clients (mostly the more prosperous Great Families and the New Empire) and turns most others away. Eikar Welding is a well-known name – if you’re rich enough.
The company could make more money if she took on more projects. Publicly, this is in case emergencies come up. Sometimes an airship crashes nearby. Sometimes there’s an automaton who needs a little work done. You never know what might happen around here.
Secretly, however, Eikar Welding is building its own airship. It will be the first new ship on the Splinter in over a hundred years. They have a tight-fitting hangar underground, invisible beneath a layer of topsoil and scrub grass. From the inside, it’s clear that the hangar’s ancient bay doors once concealed a gigantic humanoid form. Millie started building the ship on a lark, imagining she’d never finish. With some help from Janek and Tenor, though, and some ancient blueprints that Feather recovered, they’re nearly finished. It’s so close she can taste it. Millie dreams of having the wind blow through her hair and feeling the clouds on her cheeks. Sometimes she’ll stand outside the workshop, face toward the sky, eyes closed, just imagining.
Millie is a middle-aged woman with pale, ruddy skin and eyes that shade from blue to brown. Her hair is dark brown. She wears it back so that it doesn’t get singed by a cutting torch or caught in a gear, but half of the time she has a welding mask on anyway. If she doesn’t have helmet-hair, it probably means she has to deal with rich customers that day. Her clothing tends toward the traditional and utilitarian.
Calm, pragmatic, and no-nonsense. Millie treats her employees and her cutomers very professionally and directly. She’s the same with her friends, which might be why she doesn’t have a lot of close friends. If you never saw her put the finishing touches on a project (or after a few glasses of whiskey) you might think she doesn’t have a sentimental bone in her body.
Watch her work on the airship for a few minutes, however, and you’ll see a different side of Millie. She’s a pragmatist by trade, but a dreamer by nature. Years of keeping that in check have made her a little uptight sometimes.
Intimacies: We were made to fly (defining), Don’t screw up the business (major), Protect my employees (major), Keep an eye on Janek and Tenor, Work before pleasure, Feather would make a good supervisor.
Catchphrase: Make me a deal.
Millie is a consummate multitasker. She can weld a seam, carry on a business conversation, and calculate stresses and strains in her head all at the same time. She’ll also spot people doing a shoddy job (or a good one) out of the corner of her eye from a hundred feet away. Her employees dread the days she’s on the floor, but they also learn a lot from her.
Physically, she’s starting to show her age. She’ll huff and puff after a set of stairs. Socially, though, she’s as sharp as ever. She’s a shrewd negotiator and drives a hard bargain.
As a Technologist, Millie focuses primarily on alchemical workings that enhance her workshop. Within a kilometer of the garage, she can call metal to her and move it about, direct electricity, open holes in the ground, and clear smoke and steam from the air with an angry shout. She knows a handful of protocols that allow her to send messages long distances, bind alchemical spirits, and enhance materials with alchemical power (such as using tiny puffs of steam to keep clothing comfortably warm, or producing ever-lubricated bearings). She learned one defensive protocol that drags weapons and projectiles magnetically down toward the ground, but hasn’t spent much time on combat-related considerations.
- The Cynis Family, most powerful of the remaining Great Families, holds Millie’s largest contracts. Large vehicles come every month to bring more raw materials and to carry Eikar Welding’s work to the Imperial City.
- Because of Janek, the Ragara Family has also paid Millie a fair amount of attention and offered a number of contracts. She’s taken a few of them, but is wary of their intentions.
- With many ancient blueprints buried in ruins these days, Millie relies on Kelvan Prospecting to bring her fragments and details from long ago.
- How will the Great Families react to Milile’s airship plan?