|Andrew "Andy" van Krammer|
|Date of birth:||2252|
|Date of death:||N/A|
An adventurer, explorer, and apologist of the ancients; Andy van Krammer tries to sate the gnaw of misplaced nostalgia in his heart with music and discovery. Brave beyond measure, but gentle and peaceable, he gets by on a wink and a smile.
Andy was born in New Memphis to a caravan family, all of whom worked for Krammer & Blythe Hardware. His father handled logistics, his mother was a veterinarian, his older brother was a metalworker, his aunt and uncle owned the caravan, and his various cousins worked as traders. There was an extended family of porters, teamsters, and guards that Andy was also on good terms with, if not related to by blood. Andy helped out with whatever was needed and was frequently out on the trail between New Memphis, Covington, Cull, and Jackson. His family's caravan specialized in the sale and servicing of tools (chain, hammers, knives, sheet metal, wire, wrenches, etc.), Andy developed a great fondness for knives in their various forms; combat, decorative, kitchen, or utility. Greater still was his fondness for Pre-War postcards and periodicals, which he spent much of his pay on, after essentials.
Andy developed a reputation as a showman on the trail, entertaining his fellow caravan-folk with songs, music, and stories. He was invited to perform for one Jean-Baptiste Ruechamps and his followers, which he did; declined further employment when Ruechamp's poorer qualities made themselves apparent. He rejoined the caravan after the engagement.
Andy yearned to travel beyond the relatively safe circuit his family had traversed for years to see the wider world. With his father's blessing, he took a position in the Mississippi Traders Union. Traveling south along the Mississippi exposed him to much darker places than his homeland. He saw the behavior and societies of the Klansmen Confederacy and General Haddock's army and found them ugly and despicable. When his raft at last reached The Big Easy, however, he felt justified in his decision to leave home. He saw Tuloya, the bastion of The Royaume only in passing because Andrew found Vieux Carré glorious. When their business was concluded, Andrew found himself so enamored that his time on leave simply wasn't enough; and so he parted ways with the MTU to make his way in the Big Easy.
He won a guitar in a game of Faro and used it to sustain himself, playing in the honky-tonks for room and board. It was in New Orleans that he became acquainted with The Eldest and his current caretaker, the transvestite former Gendarme called Bella and befriended them. He lost his taste for the city after Bella was killed by the Royaume for "terrorism," and decided to travel once again. He took to the road with a caravan that became stranded in Houma when the legendary Cacher-Chaud started stalking the area. Once again he used his guitar to pay his way, bringing a spot of entertainment to the usually dreary lives of the peasants. He moved on with the caravan when it seemed safe once more, but the monstrous Cacher-Chaud had simply been biding its time. It attacked the caravan on its way to Scott's Town, tearing many to ribbons and making off with the medicine and chems the caravan had been carrying. Andrew hadn't been injured but was subjected to radiation poisoning by the monster's passing. He sought out treatment from the Technocrats in Scott's Town.
Andrew was successfully treated but incurred a debt larger than he could hope to pay, he went to work; doing odd jobs for the Technocrats and availing himself of their library. He stayed for three months, eventually realizing that with room and board he would never make any appreciable progress on paying down his debt. Andrew packed his belongings and left in the dead of night, and was forced to stab a guard during his escape; he would never be certain if the man had survived or not. Andrew ran off to Boss Town which had a similar culture to Vieux Carré, much to his liking. It was there that he spent several months carousing, swapping tales, and doing more or less whatever suited his fancies; paying his way with his guitar or the occasional odd job. It was at some nameless honky-tonk where he met Jacob Vaughton and his gang, celebrating after a successful job on behalf of some boss or another. After performing an ancient song, The Old Man's Back Again; the gang persuaded Jacob to invite Andy to their hideout to entertain the yeomen.
Andy agreed to be blindfolded when they reached the outskirts of the Piney Woods. He attempted to keep a careful count of time and steps; but having been turned around and spun more than once, he realized that his figures would be nearly useless, so he decided not to worry about it. Once at The Bolt Hole he did indeed entertain the camp with both music and storytelling. Throughout the weeks he spent there, he observed casual cruelty of Jacob and the gang and came to realize the residents were veritable prisoners. That the yeomen for the most part scarcely realized their predicament was even more disgusting to Andrew. He reached his limit when he saw Jacob execute someone in a truly abhorrent fashion. Calling the giant mercenary a "Dumb, nihilist death-worshiper," he set upon him with his guitar; breaking it over Jacob's face in a single, uncannily mighty blow, laying him out cold. Everyone was so shocked by the sheer improbability of such an outcome, they hadn't noticed that Andy had run off. Navigating the Piney Woods taxed his survival skills sorely, and it took him over twice as long to get out as it had for Jacob's gang to guide him in. He eventually stumbled back into Boss Town where he regained his health while in hiding. As the gang didn't strike him as forgiving types, he decided to move on. The thought that they might follow him spurred him into traveling west, so as to not endanger his family in Tennessee with his problems.
With the help of some old MTU friends he hooked up with some Rafters and took a voyage to the Corpse. He was double-crossed by the Rafters though and sold to the slavers of The Lexxx. He was able to parlay his talents as an entertainer to keep from most of the nasty fates awaiting slaves, however. Though he had a few opportunities to escape, he bided his time until the Rafters who crossed him were back in the Corpse two months later. He snuck out, stole aboard their ship to take back his journal and help himself to a number of their belongings as compensation for his troubles. Feeling thoroughly avenged and perhaps oddly guilty, Andy left the Corpse behind and moved northwest, interested in exploring the lands of Four Seasons that he had heard about while he was on the Lexxx.
Four Seasons proved to be far more terrifying than the stories had suggested, and Andy spent much of his time running and hiding from the myriad creatures and robots haunting the blasted expanse of cities. He took shelter for a time with the insane Committee to Restore Bovine Sanity, helping out around their camp in exchange for a place to sleep. From the relative safety of the brahmin-hater's headquarters, he was able to explore the area. He resisted the glittering temptation of the House of Tomorrow; though it nearly broke him to do so as he could hear music and smell the aroma of delicious, hot food through the open and inviting door. At one point Andy found himself surrounded by a lethal array of robots who challenged him to answer questions regarding American history or be disintegrated. He successfully answered dozens of questions from basic lore to increasingly obscure trivia and was awarded a new guitar for his trouble (a gift he would treasure after he removed the grenade booby-trap from within). As days wore on he developed a strange attraction to the land and its bizarre sights and wonders; the gibbering chorus of lobotomite gangs, stampedes radroaches that poured themselves off the highest wreckage without fear, holograms playing traffic director for lines of rusted out cars, and more. He might have stayed longer, but his hosts began to think he was a "Brahmin sympathizer," for not joining their rustling activities and he decided to skip town before he completely wore out his welcome.
He successfully escaped Four Seasons and continued westward, eventually making it to the tiny village of Baird; outside Abile. It was at the humble bar/trading post that he was reunited with the Eldest who was there with his latest caretaker who was recovering from a bullet wound. He discovered that they had been ambushed by mercenaries working for unknown people who wanted the Eldest captured. Andy agreed to help hide his old friend until the pursuit could be thrown off.
Andy is a trim, short man with a narrow profile. His face is angular; dominated by high cheekbones and contrasted with a round nose. His complexion is a little tanned, and worn through with smile lines and other wrinkles. His reddish-brown hair is shaggy, sometimes unkempt, though he does go clean shaven. His chocolate eyes convey empathy very well.
Abilities & Skills
Andy rarely travels with more than can fit in a large backpack: a bedroll, folding shovel, rock hammer, canteen, and combat knife are his constant accessories. He keeps pistols as long as they're in working order; trading them away when they break, jam, or need cleaning. As a scavenger, he frequently has various other goods and knick-knacks on his person. Andy's most treasured possession is his journal/scrapbook; an oversized, leather-bound tome filled with photographs, sheet music, pieces of newspapers and magazines, and his own collection of stories, notes, and illustrations.
Andrew is affable, friendly, and sentimental in the extreme. He greatly dislikes violence, but the sight of tyrants and bullies can sometimes spur him into a rage. He prizes books and music above most other things barring food and water; he would rather bundle up in the face of the desert cold than burn a book for warmth.
He hopes to one day find a particular community he once heard about from a very well traveled Rafter.
- "AN EXTREMELY SENTIMENTAL OPTIMIST. IN TIME HE WILL DESTROY HIMSELF FAR MORE COMPLETELY THAN I COULD EVER HOPE TO."
- "Makes me feel bad about blowing up the world, he's the kind of guy who'd have really liked to have seen it all."
- ―The Eldest
- "For a beardless hippie, he can really swing a guitar."
- ―Jacob Vaughton, not holding a grudge for once.
- "Looks like something's knawing on that boy. Wonder what it is?"
- ―Franklin Reynolds
- "I hear tell of the old world being filled with such fools, those what burned it all down. They did a sad and desperate thing, no lie, but you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater. I read such words as they writ, the words of artists and chieftains long dead. They made some bad choices, but they hoped and dreamed as we do; 'For this is what America is all about. It is the uncrossed desert and the unclimbed ridge. It is the star that is not reached and the harvest sleeping in the unplowed ground. Is our world gone? We say "Farewell." Is a new world coming? We welcome it--and we will bend it to the hopes of man.'"
- ―Andy defends and quotes the ancients.
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