Jek Eikar has The Knack. He’s not a Technologist, but he’s an inventor and a bit of a madman. He builds things that could not work, and yet do – lens arrays that see through metal, knives that cut flesh but not hair, vials that slowly fill themselves with oil. He does this constantly. He genuinely doesn’t know how or when to stop. Jek has no specific area of interest; he’ll build anything that pops into his mind.
Years ago Jek worked with Cynis Operations, in their gun-running days. He provided unusual weapons that they then sold to both sides in the war. In return, they provided him with unusual materials that he couldn’t get elsewhere. When they stopped taking that sort of work, Jek’s supplies dried up. He was furious. He didn’t care what he reason was. They stopped coming by after he threw a fit at them. He regretted it later, but he was never the sort to apologize.
His current abode in the Badlands has been his since the Behemoth died. It’s particularly effective for his work, and it took him years to finally understands why. This is a place poor in the alchemical elements, and rich in the Five Exiguous Compounds – earth, air, fire, water, and wood. They provide a resonance for his magical creations that is unique in all his experience. Moreover, the resonance has been increasing over time, and skyrocketed when the Weapon slew the gods. Jek long suspected that these elements were connected to the World Before.
Jek’s mind is filled with swirling thoughts of what might be and what must have been long ago. He seeks out information about the World Before, most of which ends up feeding his fireplace. (He has no patience for “unreliable drivel.”) He also conducts experiments to determine why the Five Exiguous Compounds are so different from the alchemical elements. If he hasn’t discovered them yet, he’s about to find out about shallow spots between the Splinter and Creation… and how to create them. He won’t be able to keep his mouth shut about this, which will probably bring Yushoto Koletta and the Karal family’s soldiers straight to his door. Luckily, Starsight is a step ahead of them.
Wild-eyed and fast-moving with mussed hair. Jek is usually wearing a leather apron and a magnifying eyepiece, and occasionally gloves as well. His skin is a medium pink, but usually dirty, with a variety of scars and markings. His experiments end up burning off his beard before it gets too long.
Jek blew off his own legs in an explosion when he was younger. Luckily he had others around to save him. Since then he’s built himself a dozen different replacement legs, with varying looks and special features. Most work.
Erratic, arrogant, and distractable. Jek treats everyone as if they’re here specifically to hear his latest theory, see his greatest invention, and borrow his precious devices. He skips between those so often that he rarely finishes explaining, showing, or refusing to lend anything. He’s suspicious of everything people say, and insists on testing them. Once he trusts someone, though, he’ll listen to them carefully. It’s almost as if a switch gets turned, and he goes from belligerent professor to helpfully belligerent professor.
Intimacies: “I must create” (Defining), “I must investigate” (Major), “My dog” (Major, Positive) “Starsight” (Positive), “Cynis Operations” (Negative, but can’t remember why)
Jek has a wide variety of devices that he keeps scattered around his workshop… and his house… and his yard… and in his pockets. You need to cut bronze or drill a hole in steel? Third shelf behind you. You need a riveter? It’s the thing right in front of you. Looks like a screwdriver. You need a socket wrench extender with a 60-degree bend? Probably somewhere in the back yard, if the dog didn’t bury it. You need your tea heated up? Blowtorch in his front pocket, or the flamethrower in the basement. No one likes lukewarm tea.
The more unusual and exotic devices are typically “almost ready”, which means he needs to pull the parts from three or four other devices. Most of them aren’t intended as weapons. That’s just a side effect. The flashlight that you can turn up until it blisters skin. The compass that acts as the homing controls for the saw blade launcher. The self-heating teapot that you can seal and turn into a grenade. No one likes lukewarm tea.
Jek is undeniably brilliant. He’s creative, he grasps new concepts instantly, and he’s especially good at finding loopholes and exploiting them. He won’t notice something unless it’s staring him in the face, but as far as he’s concerned every scientific concept in the world is continuously staring him in the face. He can deal with people, he’d just rather not when there are other things in the world that are much more important and interesting. His specialties are geomancy, electrodynamics, and the transmutation of one element to another.
Fighting Jek is like trying to ambush an alchemy shop with a temper. Luckily for his opponents, he has little grasp of tactics, and he tires quickly. His mechanical legs take more energy from him than his original legs did.
- Nellens Ezola, his supplier for unusual materials before the Holocaust of the Gods. Fearless, talkative, profiteering.
- Serila of Upriver, his apprentice and chef. Bumbling, determined, friendly.
- Bakwit, who delivers food weekly in exchange for repair work. Fair, edgy,
- Rotor, his dog. Enthusiastic, digs a lot.
- How many people live in the area near Jek’s house, where grass still grows and the air isn’t filled with the scent of rust? How large is the area?
- How does Jek communicate with Starsight? Is it a way that might be intercepted or eavesdropped upon?