Years ago, there were blueprints for what would become Antiford and characters like Buford. However, this other wasn't always writing a prosthetically-enhanced engineer. No: a prince on the run was the original blueprint for the character he'd be cosplaying.
This was back in the day where gold was common and alchemists roamed searching for a solution to the nation's water crisis with transfiguration of gold to water.
He was to be on the run, aiming for a "return to power" arc much like, but more "Gary Stu" than what Von Kressor's arc would be.
From the lens of today, how would this character, Arkham Ravenholme, come to life today using yesteryear's blueprints?
Arkham On the Run
My partner, Aluicious, waved their divining rod about, strapped to some new crystals they'd found back in the Goblin caves. "There's water this way."
The nasty muddy swill back in the caves was the only drink I'd had in five miles. "We're running like panicked Gazelles and Petrov is the caveman slowly chasing us to death. We need a new plan."
"Like what, Ark? You saw that riffle he's got. It shot through metal!"
"You imagined that," I said.
"Like you imagined the demon city of silver."
"Go to hell. They cracked the alchemical code and you're too proud to admit it and turn back."
Aluicious picked up their pace across the sands to spite me and my busted leg. "I suspect that was your plan?"
He dissappeared. My heart raced. It wasn't as if they moved out of sight, below a dune or whatnot. Simply dissa– The ground fell from under me. When I touched sand again, it hurt. Burned not due to heat, but friction. It was a slide of silica down into another Goblin cavern system.
"Hey!" my partner called out.
I dusted my arms off, adjusted the straps of my gloves, and stumbled to my feet. "Yeah?"
"Water. Told ya."
There was a small spring here. I ignored the smugness and ran to the edge of the pool of water and drank furiously. Aluicious wasn't too proud or dumb to bother chatting either and cupped the nectar into their mouths as well.
"Well, well, well. A well" said a chilling voice holding a net launcher.
"Petrov. Why do you insist?" I asked, spitting the muck from my mouth with a swig of water.
"The technocrats have a very hefty bounty on your head. Have you seen what it's up to after your stunt on the north coast? You poisoned half of Argetstrath and the fires spread south to most of Gearford too."
His evil grin spread. That poison, those fires, the innocent lives taken... they were all on his hands, but no one would know. Nobody listened to the prince anymore, and the men who slaughtered his family and drove him into hiding had control of the papers.
Petrov fired. I went to move my legs, but tripped over myself from exhaustion and ended up face-first in the net. Was it all over for me? Why did they want me alive now anyway? It was only weeks ago that they torched a city to kill me...
Then it hit me. It was because of Runpyuxi. Because I knew the secrets to turn gold into water.
Arkham Fighting to the Top
Bullets flew overhead in the town of Farroh. I was pinned down but not out. They had Aluicious and I couldn't leave him behind. Not after all this. Not after holding his child in my hands. Coraline deserved better than this. Than to be locked up with her child and husband dying.
I pulled out my steam-pistol and sling grenades. The grenades were first, I pulled the pins and slung them over my shoulder. A bullet grazed my pinky and it started to bleed profusely over everything. Without thinking, I aimed the steam-gun at it and pulled the trigger, my flesh seared, but eventually it stopped the bleeding.
I cried out and curled my arm close to my chest. It could be worse, I told myself. It could've been the whole hand.
Damn it. I blacked out a moment. Any cover those grenades would've bought me has long passed me by.
I looked around. Why had the gunfire ceased? How long had it been?
Several gentlemen clad in black and sombreros approached me.
"My prince, tis good you are still alive, we had feared the worst," said the tallest.
Another man, shorter and with a large mustache approached and kneeled. "My king."
I was still groggy and sore. "I'm... what?"
"Sire, with your father dead and those dogs in the castle... we need our king."
I stood up and so did they.
The tall one handed me a sword. "Come, we've evened the odds for you. What are our orders?"
I took the saber and gripped it tightly to distract myself from the phantom pinky. "We're headed to the tower in the center of town. They have a good man and his child locked up. He is very important to the cause. He will set our parched lips free of the technocrats' drip-feed my friends."
"Then we go to the tower!" he shouted for all the men to hear.
Gunfire rang out again, from all sides. We ran, because our lives depended on it.
"Who's this asshole?" shouted the captain.
"I'm goddamn King Ravenholm. And I'm here to drink tea and overthrow the government."
A rather drunk lass from the other room stumbled onto the scene, "There's no more tea... or rum... or anything!"
"Well that settles it, let's get cracking. I've really missed Gearford these past few years."
I walked out of the establishment and onto the cobblestone streets.
Several coppers stepped out of our way as my army marched toward the capitol. One or two thought to be a hero to the vile technocrats and were taking potshots from the residences, but the mechanical scorpions took them out. I was damn happy to have them working for us instead of fighting them. Their inventor, Mr. Gad, was tinkering with various gadgets the entire time, protected by four men. He was one of the keys to the throne.
A horn blew from over the rooftops of the city, and I knew it to be one of my other keys to the throne. "Aluicious. You made it."
Several large airships flew overhead. One of them zoomed past the others and crashed straight into the castle walls. The explosion was enormous, it must have been rigged to blow and controlled remotely.
The enemy had their defenses finally regrouped and heading back from their distraction out at sea. They'd be trouble, but they'd be too late.
Bonus: "Raven Engelheart" Antiford Draft
This was written early on, before nearly any of the current members joined.
It was another attempt at this author's character - before Antiford was written in stone with a hefty dose of collaboration.
I've provided it below for history's sake and a bit of a laugh.
Being inland is a bad thing in XXth century. Antiford is such a country. A landlocked piece of land. The reason for the country's large size is a giant desert in the middle that no one wants. Only the elite in this country are powerful enough to attain the water for steam machines, the inland folk are heavily reliant on oil and wind up devices.
Long have there been myths of a giant aquifer below the heartland, but only recently have geologists begun to give it any attention. A pond had been found on the south eastern corner of the country. This changes what they know about the underground completely.
Many groups of lawless bandits are signing deals with the Daemus Group, an interesting group of rich socialites interested in steam weapons, alchemy, and a rather profitable prostitution business that no government will touch.
Speaking of which, the country is still feeling the adjustment pains from a rather bloody coup. The bourgeoisie of the country overthrew the monarchy in favor of a democratic where the elite mechanical creators are eligible for office.
The previous prince, heir to the lost throne, he now is an inventor, searching the land for hidden water supplies. He is convinced that with an ample water supply, he can become a mechanic elite and take his rightful place as leader. The problem is that he's quite infamous 'round these parts, some love him, some hate him. Every great once in a while, Raven attempts to visit a town for a game of blackjack. Mostly, he searches the desert, mostly alone, for the fabled aquifer, picking up parts and loosing his mind along the way.
An assassin by trade, chess lover, and heavy drinker, Jethro has been hired by the Daemus Group to "keep an eye" on Raven. Jethro isn't naturally okay with waiting, but the money to sit on his hands is good for now.