Serial Setting 1:Ubiquity ~ Week 21
21) Albert Ross Cartography, Windlet Cove Settlement, Lysette Isle
Occupying an enormous loft in a spacious building originally built by a defunct sail-making subsidiary of the Company, Albert Ross Cartography specializes in producing detailed maps and charts for actual use or decorative purposes of virtually anywhere on Earth worthy of a commission. Notable exceptions are the interior of Greater Windlet Island, the preserve on Lysette Isle, and the restricted caverns recently discovered on South Windlet Isle and Raging Surf Isle. Mr. Ross hopes to be the one to establish the first maps of these areas, if he is not off in some other remote location exploring uncharted territory at the behest of an equally adventurous patron.
The building lies close to the docks and the white logo of the sail maker is still visible under the thin coat of red paint used to spruce up the building after the devastating storms of 1934. The ground floor has been used as community storage space for nonperishable goods since the closure of Gast Sail and Rope Works, but the completion of a more centralized facility for supplies in April of 1936 left it vacant. Construction inside makes it obvious that the huge space will be converted into small shops and other commercial spaces. Residents are hoping for a cinema.
Established in 1933, when Ross fell ill with malaria and took time to convalesce on Lysette Isle, Albert Ross Cartography does slow business with locals, but has won some impressive international contracts. An explorer by nature, Ross is easily tempted to join groups heading into the unknown.
The office is reached by climbing a wide set of white-washed wooden stairs along the east side of the building. A tidy sign marked with the silhouette of a large sea bird over the blank outline of a globe and the stenciled name of the business can be seen from the docks easily. Sailors often use it as a landmark for finding the cheaper guest houses, and the few houses of ill-repute which have taken root in the community.
Usual Suspects: Albert Ross
Ross began his professional career working for the British Government as a surveyor, but took a few years off to fight in WWI. After the war, he took a job working for a mining consortium and discovered a deep love of travel.
Ross is of average build, and has a receding hairline. He keeps his brown hair trimmed short, and does not seek to hide the loss. ‘Even the greatest armies retreat,’ he says with a smile.
He often cocks his head when speaking with people as if his hearing were beginning to go, but does not seem to be that hard of hearing. He has sharp, dark eyes which seem to miss nothing. His nose, an impressive hook which must have been broken as often as not, gives his face a look of ferocious curiosity.
He has the sorts of scars one would expect of a war veteran and explorer, but unlike many such men, is more interested in the stories of others than in telling his own. When he listens, his hands are always in motion with a tiny stub of a pencil in a small notebook, drawing sketches or writing florid synopses of the tales being told.
Ross does not seem to have ever been married, and lives alone. If he is on the Isle, he will be open for business by 9am sharp. He often stays late, working with great precision and care, until well after midnight, although the office technically closes at 6pm.
Rumors: Potentially heard among adventurers and explorers anywhere, or in polite company anywhere in the islands.
- Ross has a strange world tattooed in strips all over his body where they should be covered by clothes.
- He almost lost his right hand to a lion while in Africa but a healer saved it
- One of his maps was commissioned by the King of England
- He often gets important visitors very late at night
- He is secretly still attached to the British Directorate of Military Intelligence
- His pocket watch is not a watch, but an elegant compass
- He collects old pirate maps, and his most prized one was drawn in human blood
- He is learning Japanese
Wait and See!