Champions of Pulp
Tomas ‘Gunny’ Gunn is a lean, broad-shouldered Scotsman in his early thirties. Continuing to wear a beard against current conventions, he stands well over six feet tall and has the hands and arms of a man who doesn’t shy away from physical labour. He tends to dress broken-down business – trousers, shirt, tie, and waistcoat, but the top button is oft undone and the sleeves rolled to expose his forearms. A tweed flat cap and a battered leather satchel usually complete the outfit when out and about.
Born in Falkirk, Scotland, in 1904, Tomas is the second son of iron baron Alistair Gunn and his wife Leana. He grew tall and gangly, with a quick mind and a thirst for learning, and so it was that his father agreed that since his brother Donnell was being groomed as his successor at the ironworks, he could pursue higher education. Prestigious universities resided in Glasgow and Edinburgh, both approximately the same distance from fair Falkirk, and so he sought and received acceptance in the nation’s capital.
Events of his life likely would have played out vastly differently had he gone to Glasgow instead.
Studying linguistics and excelling with an excellent memory and a talent for foreign languages, he came to the attention of a professor who taught classes in the two other sister subjects in his School within the College of Humanities, Psychology and Philosophy. Dr. John Beloff expressed his admiration of Tomas’ flair for linguistics, and eventually invited him to an extracurricular club that he said he was the faculty sponsor for.
And it was thus that Tomas was introduced to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the world of the occult.
His command of language and excellent memory served him well as he delved into the practices of Theurgy, Alchemy and Astrology, and he slowly rose through the ranks of the First Order, learning the theories and Names behind ritual and the invocation of spirits great and small. He learned that there was a much wider world than most people were aware of, and there were both entities of that world and deluded madmen of this one that were a threat to everything that a sane man or woman held dear.
After graduating with his degree in linguistics and a greatly more important purpose in mind, he sought and acquired employment at Travel Magazine and began the glamorous life of a voyaging journalist, traveling to exotic locales and sending back copy of the wonders that tourists might find there. He would write of the majesty of the Taj Mahal and the Ethipothala waterfall in India, while leaving out the desperate conflict with Thuggee cults trying to invoke an avatar of the demon Kali.
His editors would never understand. But he would definitely use the resources and credentials his occupation provided to travel to hotspots of occult trouble around the world and deal with them as best he could, all the while striving to increase his own knowledge and command of the precepts of The Golden Dawn.
Tomas is an Adeptus Minor of the Second Order, which means he is adept in divination, alchemy, and theurgy – the summoning of spirits both great and small, for tasks and information both great and small (at risks, yes, both great and small). He cannot call up a burst of fire, soar through the air like a bird, or tear open a portal to the Outer Realms, but he can scry out lost items, compound powders and potions to harm supernatural beings or provide surcease from their powers, and set spirits to watch for intrusion or call forth dark powers for dire answers. He is skilled at these ritual efforts, his linguistic proficiency in Latin, Ancient Greek, Ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, and Enochian serving him well. He also possesses a wide knowledge of the occult, as well as broad historical elements around the cultures who spoke these now-dead languages.
Not to leave everything to rely upon oft-effective but always time-consuming ritual magics, Tomas is a fair shot with a revolver and has had at least his share of experience with bare-knuckle brawling. He tries to keep himself in excellent shape – when it comes to many of the entities he at times has congress with, physical power is just as important as a strong will when it comes to binding them to his service.
His satchel is crammed full of useful tools for his craft – powders, dried herbs, candles, ritual blade, unguents, an assortment of smooth river stones, carefully preserved glands from a dozen different animals, and many other more esoteric elements. As well, the aforementioned revolver for when physical violence can turn the tide, and a small, leatherbound journal in which is carefully recorded the scores of Names he has gathered of the entities he summons.