Smythe, Wayne (State-Given Name)

David Sat, 02/09/2013 - 20:03
Character Status: 
Class / Occupation: 
Lower Class / Mi7 Agent and Inventor
Weapon of Choice: 
Phlogiston Excitement Rod
RPG Term Tag: 

Dossier: Smythe, Wayne (State-Given Name)

Gender: Male
DOB: Unknown Day and Month. Likely in 1872.
Parents: Unknown (Orphaned or Abandoned)
Background check done in accordance to HM MI–7 Operation, Reginald Forsythe Payne overseeing officer.


Finding records on the person known as Wayne Smythe before his entrance to the Shuttlecock Orphanarium has proven to be a bit of a bother. Essentially, before being left there by two officers (whose name were not recorded and thus could not be tracked down), there is no record. No given name, of course, makes this tracking matter more difficult. The officer’s stories of a a “horrible fire” causing the boy’s loss of parents is also unsubstantiated: While there were three fires on record on or near the date of Wayne’s appearance at the orphanage, none reported any casualties. Nor missing family members for that matter. The matter of Master Symthe’s parentage must be tabled for the time being.

Master Smythe was a toddler of approximately three of four years of age when he was delivered to the orphanage. His name was given in accordance to its standard practice; being the 23 child given to the orphanage that year, his name started with “W” while his surname was the standard “Smythe”.

Smythe’s early years in the orphanage were unremarkable, aside from his propensity for reading: The boy was found consuming any text he could find during times not devoted to required factory labor. Due to the lack of funds, most of these were reject materials from local institutions of learning or some such. Rubbish such as Paracelsus or Becher. Records indicate Master Smythe was beaten several times for avoiding work to pursue such reading activities.

Smythe’s natural engineering talents were apparent at a young age. While working in the factories, he was often found tinkering with machinery. After several beatings, foreman on staff came to the realization that the machinery so tampered with operated at higher efficiency. Smythe was then put under the tutelage of several factory machinists where his talents excelled. His methods, however, were reported unorthodox even at this young age. One of his supervisors commented that “the boy dinnae unnerstan ‘ne property of modern work’n machines. But he mae’ ’em work liek ne’er before, ’e did.”

No major events in Smythe’s life are recorded until 1888. It was at this time that the Shuttlecock Orphanium was destroyed in a massive explosion. Evidence at the scene identified the source of the blast as Master Smythe’s shared quarters; investigators at the time believed Smythe fabricated a bomb that he intended to use against the orphanage’s staff; as it was, several were gravely wounded. Later analysis by this humble servant, however, has lead to a new conclusion—the blast appears to be the result of a mishap involving an earlier prototype of one of Smythe’s inventions (c.f. attached dossier). The blast was not intentional. However, as Smythe’s later incarceration is currently being used by the HM MI–7 as leverage for his current employment, we believe this analysis should be kept filed away for the time being.

Smythe was found guilty by HM magistrates and sentenced to hard factory labor on the advice of counsel. So he remained until early 1890, when Southerland, having somehow discovered Smythe’s engineering knack, had the boy released into His custody as ward. The results of Smythe’s work are well documented (c.f. the dossiers on the Icarus Disaster and the Icarus II Folly). It is in his part as ward to Southerland that Smythe was approached for service in HM MI–7.


Smythe has no particular political leanings, though we suspect potential sympathy for various Anarchist movements would develop if he was exposed. The boy is uncouth and ill prepared for proper society; we believe Southerland encourages this behavior for its effect on His guests. Master Smythe has the predilections of a young man his age which could be used against him as an asset. He is insatiably curious, which is both a strength and a weakness in our line of work.

Analysis by our top scientific minds find Master Smythe extremely well versed in matters scientific; however, his knowledge is quiet esoteric, giving equal weight to long disproven theories as well as accepted scientific fact. He has, however, no formal education. His work in the factories has given him a knack for repairing and dealing with machinery, but standard investigation work is beyond his ken.

Observations from the field note that Master Smythe has had difficulty adjusting to the reality of the types of threat HM Ministry with which we deal. He seems to account for most with alternate, highly improbable “scientific” explanations (filtered through his mishmash of a self-education); those he can’t account for alternatively leave him confused or curious. Neither of these are acceptable in the field and bears close watching.

Addendum: The Inventions of Master Smythe

Prepared by Doctor Erasmus Littlefield, Oxford, under HM seal.

Under of the direction of Minister Holmes, I have investigated the devices and interviewed their inventor, one whelp by the name of Wayne Smythe. I daresay the process was entirely unpleasant, the boy being uppity, uncouth, and pig-headed at matters scientific. And while I was never able to properly activate the items themselves, his explanation of their workings strain belief. However, I can only affirm that they do seem to work under the young man’s control to an astonishing degree. Herein I describe said devices and attempt a rational explanation of their workings.

Phlogiston Excitement Rod

The item I have taken to call the phlogiston excitement rod appears to be at the center of most of Master Smythe’s inventions. The rod is about the length of a man’s arm, fitted with what appear to be batteries and a controlling mechanism (more on that item below) on one side and an adaptation of the electrical coils of the Serbian on the other. When deployed, the coil end of the rod is aimed at the target; the effect depending on the setting of the control mechanism:

  • If the control mechanism is not attached or not used, the device creates a massive amount of heat and flame to be generated in a rough cone before it. This fire has no motive force, and thus does not push aside items in the area or cause structural damage unless directly applied (usually via heat). However, the device seems to store no fuel. According to the boy, an electrical charge “excite the phlogiston” in the area, causing the flame. This is obviously poppycock, given the disproval of that element, but at this time I cannot provide any further explanation. Burst, Fire trapping. Does not cause pressure, but can burn non-living subjects.
  • With the control mechanism attached, the effect is more directed. Instead of filling an area with flame, a target is directly set aflame. This appears to affect both organic and non-organic substances depending on the setting. Smythe reports that he “attunes” the rod to the target’s “inherit humourous balance,” again making reference to long disproven science. Bolt, Fire trapping.
  • The boy has postulated that with further adjustments, he believes he could further constrain the effect of the excitement to a burst instead of a blast. I have not seen this in action, though the boy clearly believes it is possible. Blast, Fire trapping.

Overall, this device baffles me. It should not work. No scientific principle I know of could explain its effects. Its lack of motive force when it blasts, its action at a distance with no intervening charge for the bolt, none of these should be physically possible. This device should not be left in the hands of a unschooled youth and should immediately be handed over to others more able for immediate study and possible dissemination.

Spider Automaton

This box apparently covered in metal and gears is attached to a belt. When properly activated, it enlarges to form a spider automaton capable of independent action, usually in defense of its activator. The miniaturization necessary for the creation of this automata is simply astounding. We have been able to create similar constructs, but not anywhere near this size when not deployed. Further study is merited. Summon Ally

Electrical-Autodynamo Defensive Apparatus

Dr. Maxwell postulates that light and electricity transmit via the medium of the luminiferous aether. Apparently, Master Smythe has devised a way to charge this medium in a local area, causing an electromagnetic flux to flare intermittently about his person via another complicated device attached to the belt. This flux can skew bullets in flight, shock opponents in melee (causing them to mis-aim), and other similar functions for personal protection. It however seems to overtax itself quickly and thus should be further studied for field application. The boy notes that if tuned further, it may even harm those that come in contact with the field. Deflect and Damage Field, separate effects, both Electrical trappings.

Further Addendum: The Inventions of Master Smythe

Prepared by MI–7 Office of Special Research (i.e., the Clankertons).

Having read the drivel assessment of one Dr. Littlefield, we have taken upon ourselves to verify the workings of the devices of Master Smythe in the hopes of mass-producing them for Ministry efforts. At this time, we can only verify the workings of the youngling’s devices as their application of science is at this time beyond we can reproduce. Dr. Littlefield’s overall assessment that these devices should not work is, while not accurate, an adequate description—we do not have the means at this time to accurately produce them for general field deployment. One-offs may be deployed, however, by some of our more eccentric engineers.

During Master Smythe’s tenure with the Ministry, we have verified the devices previously examined. In addition to the notes of Dr. Littlefield, we can vouch that the ‘‘fireball’’ attunement to the Phlogiston Excitement Rod and the damage capability of his Defense Apparatus are functioning. In addition, we have observed that the miniaturization his automata is far more advanced than previously thought—at one time, we saw the device become a hulking version of the spider, and another with a weapon mount (though no ammunition). They boy even fancies that he might be able to use some lessons he observed from the unusual constructs from his team’s previous case to create an truly sentient construct, but that remains to be seen.

We have also seen two additional devices of Master Smythe’s that we with to comment upon:

Personal Ambulatory Apparatus

On another portion of Master Smythe’s belt is what appear to be smaller coils in the manner of Tesla attached to a quicksilver wire (alloyed to be stable are room temperatures) throughout the belt. Smythe claims that via these batteries and wire, when properly charged, can generate infinite modes of electromagnetic amplitude that can then be discharged in a manner that negates the motive force of gravity (via another mechanism Smythe was less clear about); indeed, he may arbitrarily seem to violate Newton’s second law and the Second Law of thermodynamics, allowing him essentially to fly. While his theory seems sound at lower energy states, we must note that this behavior is not properly seen at high energy ones. We have referred this mater to Sir Rayleigh for further investigation. Flight, Electrical trapping.

“No Light Device”

This one off device, which Smythe appears to still be tinkering with, combines is work with ultraviolet energy states and Phlogiston excitation. The energy so generated excites the luminescent ether at a radius determined by the device; this in turn, sheds luminant energy upon the inside of the excited sphere. It is, in some sense, a very round-about torch, but one that sets the sky afire. This has two drawbacks, one of which is also an advantage. First, nothing from outside the sphere can be seen until the device from which the power radiates moves close enough—the aflame sky obscures distant objects. Secondly, from the outside, nothing can be seen in: It is only a hemisphere of darkness. Thus, in daylight, usage of this device would call obvious attention to itself. However, in darkness, it does provide a manner of stealth. Warning: Moving from outside to inside and vice versa, while not causing burns, can cause blindness as one passes through the bright lights. Light, Electrical/Fire trappings.