The Case of the Clockwork Lady
Louis "Kip" Kipling
The protector of Copping Square, one of the likely lads
Louis “Kip” Kipling Drive: Obsessed 1 (protecting the neighbourhood) Street Reputation Underground Reputation Illiterate Quiet Skills: Occult Lore 4, Unarmed Combat 3, Melee 3, Pistols 3, rifles 3, galvanics 1, tracking 2, demolitions 2, Streetwise 2, shadowing 2, lock-picking 2
Has a modest apartment
Weapons: sword, shock gloves, Shotgun, Requieter, Flame pistol, pistol.
Armor: Full leather armour.
Animate restraints, some other brick-a-brack. Nothing much else, really.
INTERIOR: THE DUKE OF WELLENSLEY PUBLIC HOUSE
Hello love, spare a bit o’change? Only I was looking to get meself a nip, and Long John behind the bar ain’t doin’ no favours no more, not since Pete got et still owing him for a half dozen. Don’t need much, just a penny to match the price, and I’ll earn it too: saw you taking a gander at young Kip down the line there, and perhaps if me throat wasn’t quite so parched I’d be able to tell you a thing or two. Lived here all me life I has, ask any of them and they’ll tell you old Dan knows everyone round here, no mistake.
Oh? Well, I wouldn’t say no and thank you kindly, miss. ‘Ere, John, pint of bitter on the lady, yeh? Cheers. Soon as I saw you I thought “now there is a charitable soul if ever I seen one.” Must be up from Perring Park dressed as you is, right? Probably some ladies maid, looking after them toffs all up and proper, funny to see you down here among the rest of us, but I ain’t one to judge. People is just people, right, save for them bastards up West End way, but we looks after our own. anyway, what was I saying…
Oh, right, big blond and cheerful over there. Bit of a likely lad, is our Kip, has always done right by his own. His family were union all down the line, his two brothers and all. Were there a union in his particular business he’d probably sign up. Still, he gets by alright as an undertaker, and manages to sometimes pass some jingle back to the family, especially since his dad passed, God rest his soul. Thinks hisself more a guardian or defender than a bounty hunter, but that’s just his way, he’s an undertaker licensed and proper. Known in the city for good work too.
How it is he ended up doing what he does is not much of a tale, really. Spanner Jack had been keeping an eye on the rotters around here for years, see. Having left this world unsullied by any little sods of his own, he went and found hisself an apprentice. Someone bloody minded enough to stick a knife into something trying to gnaw his face off for no other reason than it needs doing, and stupid enough to try doin’ it for the sake of others.
Which truth told suited Kip just fine. He was always a lad with big heart, though he’d beat you bloody if you ever said that in his hearing. Always looks after his own, stood for those that needed one to stand for them, and never forgot where he came from. Ran big in one of the gangs as a young scrapper, and always knew when to stand up tall and when to save it up for another time. Used to step up for some of the smaller kids too, go toe to toe with some bastard having a go at a young’un, and even if he didn’t win the fight whoever he hit would remember it the next day.
Not that he was a bloody hero or anything, hah, not our Kip, too fiksome for the likes of that. Union job are dying, any fool can see that, and the union ain’t never going to have any fire behind it again (though Kip’d never say that in front of his granddad and he’d give you good and proper if you did, well, possibly not you mind, but you get me soddin’ drift, beggin’ your pardon). The toffs and usurers and bloody owners couldn’t give a toss about the likes of us, and it ain’t like the bobbies’ would spit to put out a fire ‘lest it looked like it’d be burning west. The deathwatch are alright, lot of local lads in there, but they do what their told, and them that’s doin’ the tellin… well, toffs and usurers and bloody owners. Nah, Spanner Jack came calling, and Kip saw himself a chance to do right and still have a few bob for the pints.
Spanner Jack was carted off to the fires not 5 years ago, and that leaves Kip keeping his eyes open. Truth is ain’t seen much of him down here of late, always got some thing or another he’s dealing with. Comes in odd hours too, dead of the night or middle of the day, a bit of the smell of blood on him and that self-same grim look in his eye. If things are quiet, he’ll go searchin’ elsewhere as if he could keep us safe by putting down anything that might even look at Copping Square slantwise. And the word is out: someone comes hunting for bugaboos around here, they better have a quiet word with Kip and they better mind their P’s and Q’s. Other than that, if it don’t end in blood he ain’t likely to care much about the goins’ on. Everybody needs to live, and if thats done knees up or knees down has nothing to do with him.
Those two he’s talking to? Couple of his friends from back in the day, back when trouble meant gettin’ on your mum’s bad side. Can’t say he cares much for Annie Grimm no more, turned a bit cold and thinks herself a bit too clever, and clever little boys and girls get in trouble. Then again, she’s hard enough for these streets, and I can’t say that she’s ever cut on someone who didn’t deserve it or ask for it. Probably both. Her brother Enzo, he’s good for a laugh, shirty little cock that he is. Always jabbering on about this and that, how the toffs are keeping us down and the like, like a little terrier he is. Got hisself a whole passle of names, tosses them out like used toothpicks, givin’ hisself a bit of shine. Far as I know he and Kip have been on decent terms since they were young, not too tight, but not strangers.
Truth be known, don’t know that Kip could be called close to anyone these days. Keeps to hisself most days, either out on business or holed up in his rooms above the tinker’s. Only ever known one girl to turn his head, but she left the square years back, Her mum found herself a tradesman for a new ‘usband, worked as a farrier for some toffs out near Chelsea, ain’t seen hide nor hair of’em since. She’d be about your age now, clear as day. Now that I mention it, you do seem a bit familiar yerself, where was it you said you lived…?
What? Oh, I couldn’t possibly. Well, if you insist, John, another pint here please! Ta love. Off are you? I’d call a cab lass if you can find one. Copping Square is safe enough from some of the thing’s o’the night, but the rest of the places round here ain’t doin too well. Can’t all have a Kip to take care of the taking care, eh? Oi John, something wrong with your eyesight? Only there’s no way that’s a proper pint, see, the head’s a blood span thick and not even to the lip, now go on and pull a proper measure, eh? Ere, where’d she go? Turn your back for a minute, I swear, ere, John! I said a bitter, not bloody river water with some flavour!