Log in Page Discussion History Go to the site toolbox

Royce

From BluWiki

Antecedents/Orphans Menu
(Go to Main Page)
  1. Game
    1. Session Logs
      1. Antecedents PI: Case Logs and Reports
      2. Orphans: Mishaps and Adventures
    2. Setting
    3. Character Generation
    4. House Rules
      1. Dreaming
    5. Atlantis Background
      1. Atlantian Confederation
      2. The Orphanage
      3. Dor-Manis Surrender
      4. Friends and Strangers
      5. The Bloodlines
    6. Antecedents Background
      1. Age of Aquarius
      2. Antecedents P.I.
      3. Dr Butler
      4. The Antecedents team
      5. Fundis
  2. Antecedents Characters
    1. Andrew: Leopold Arkenov
    2. Byron: Victor Cabal
    3. Ian: Robert Stane
    4. Richard: Corey
    5. Samson: Kai
    6. Jim: Royce
  3. Orphans Characters
    1. Andrew: Puyter the Archonian
      1. Puyter's Plan
    2. Byron: Wendy (Woody) Winter
    3. Ian: Mouse
    4. Samson: Vecna
    5. Jim: Piper Jake

Bio Data

Name Dr Wyatt Jonah Royce
Gender Male
Age 38 / 37 [1]
Nationality USA
Ethnicity Northern European (Germanic/Danish)
Height 188cm
Weight 87kg
Build Heavy end of average ("husky")
Hair Greying Blond
Eyes Grey
Complexion Fair skin, weathered and ruddy
Apparent Age Early-mid 40s
Date of Birth 1 April 1989 / 13 December 1990 [1]
Place of Birth Alexandria, Egypt / Santa Fe, NM, USA [1]
Religion None
Western Zodiac Aries / Sagittarius [1]
Chinese Zodiac Yin Earth Snake / Yang Metal Horse [1]
Blood Type B+
Languages English (USA academic idiomatic/occasionally slightly Egyptian accented); Arabic (native); French (accented)

[1] First listed are actual values, unknown to Royce. Second listed are values as per (or derived from) fake birth certificate.

Character Overview

Dr Royce is a relatively normal-seeming man with a very peculiar history. He is currently employed by te private investigative firm Antecedents P.I. For the previous five years he worked as a freelance consultant in forensic psychology, based in the little town of Artesia, New Mexico, and doing much of his work via telepresence and correspondence. He also spends a great deal of time on the road in his beat-up old Ford pickup, as his clients include the Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Phoenix Police Departments.

The occasional appearance of a faint Egyptian accent sometime raises eyebrows in the context of his Germanic appearance. His manner is restrained and urbane, and most of the time he will display a ready wit and wry humour in his dealings with others, but certain subtle clues occasionally crop up in his speech, countenance and mannerisms that this is man who has gazed upon terrible, soul-scouring things, whether real or imagined, and perhaps heard whispers and received strange, inexpressible intimations of the unspeakable in the midst of sleepless, tormented nights.

Royce is single, and has no living relatives that he knows of. His only close friends in and around Artesia are:

  • Constantine Wells: an eccentric and reclusive expert on middle- and near-eastern antiquities, living in Santa Fe. 95% of Royce's communication with Wells is via email.
  • Bill "Pappy" Chase: seer, poet and lawn-care professional.
  • Kay Bozemann: previously a detective with the Phoenix PD, now a resident of the spirit realm. Royce's only contact with Kay comes when she possesses the body of his neighbour, Grace Reed.

Powers

Oracle

The dead often whisper to Royce, and sometimes give him vague premonitions or feelings. He seems to be a magnet for spirits that are both profoundly wise and quite mad. They never respond to his direct questions - they just mutter what they want when they want. Their whispers are almost always cryptic, and very often they seem completely pointless and in no way relevant to anything. But over the last decade, Royce has started to respect these restless spirits, and to try to find meaning in their demented ravings. Several of his biggest cases of recent years have ended up being cracked wide open by tiny subtle clues found hidden among the whispered ravings of these spirits. For the first few years after this started happening, Royce was in danger of going mad, but now that he has got used to it and started to learn the way the crazy dead think, he is actually starting to draw a certain amount or strength and mental toughness from it, not to mention a very dark sense of humour.

Unfazeable and Indomitable

Royce has acquired such mental and emotional toughness, and such hardness of will, from building and maintaining a sane mind in the face of the constant onslaught of the whispers of the dead that he is now virtually immune to fear, shock and disabling grief; nor can he be intimidated or manipulated by the mundane words and actions of others.

Destiny

Unknown - possibly something inherited from his father Willard, possibly something entirely unrelated to that aspect of his past.

Skills and Knowledge

Royce has a private pilot's licence (single engine light aircraft only), and is IF rated. He is an expert navigator, whether by maps and instruments, sun and stars, or 'seat of the pants' methods.

Although lacking any formal education in the area, Royce has also picked up quite a lot of knowledge of occult and spiritual matters in recent years, and prior to his employment with Antecedents was rapidly becoming the de facto paranormal psychologist of choice for several New Mexico and Arizona police forces and PI firms.

Background

From: Wyatt Royce [wroyce33@securemail.org]

To: Dr Butler [butler@antecedentspi.com]

Sent: 10/4/2026 3:38 PM

Subject: Acceptance of offer



Dear Dr Butler,

Thank you for your letter last week, and for your interest in my application. In consideration of your stipulation of my engagement by your firm being contingent upon a full and frank disclosure of my personal background, I have set out below an account of my past in as much detail as I consider appropriate. I understand that your preference would be for an interview, and when I arrive in San Francisco I will be happy to oblige you, but I still wish to make this written account as well. In truth I should have set this all down on paper years ago, in the interests of my own sanity if nothing else.

Some of what follows I have never before revealed to any living person, but your reputation, and what I have gleaned of your character during our phone conversations, suggest that I can trust you to maintain the strictest confidence concerning this account. I will not insult you with attempts to placate any anticipated incredulity on your part, and I hope that you in turn shall do me the favour of taking my word that all of the following is the unvarnished truth as far as I recollect it.

---

My life, as far as I can reconstruct it from my own conscious memories, began about 18 years ago.

I awoke on the morning of April 1, 2008, in a very expensive private hospital in Alexandria, with no memory of how I had arrived there, or indeed of any of the particulars of my life up to that point.

I found myself physically weak, as if (as proved to be the case) I had been abed for many months. When my return to consciousness had been discovered, physicians summoned, and what I assumed to be a relative contacted regarding my altered condition, it was gently explained to me that I had been involved in some kind of accident in the desert, and that I had been comatose for almost precisely a year.

When it became apparent that I was amnesiac, various psychologists and other specialists were sent for. I was told my name was Wyatt Royce, that my only living "relative" was ("the very honourable") Mr Faheed, and that that was all they really knew about me.

I endured a preliminary psychological evaluation interview with bemused equanimity. In truth I was somewhat alarmed at my condition and circumstances, but I recognised that I was good hands, and I was assured that my uncle Faheed was en route at best speed and that everything would be alright. In the course of this interview I discovered to my surprise that in addition to Arabic I also spoke fluent English and French.

The mirror they brought showed me a young man of perhaps twenty, with sandy blonde hair, fair skin that had obviously already seen an unhealthy amount of rough weather and desert sun, and heavy-set features that looked, I guessed, northern European. Upon my left breast, over my heart, was a tattoo. The details of this tattoo I am not able to speak of - as to why I cannot speak of it, I will come to that in due course.

My "uncle" Faheed arrived the next morning. I didn't know what to make of him at first, but as he was my only connection to the world and to my past I had little choice but to accept him as the benefactor he represented himself to be. In response to my initial questioning, he told me only that he was a dear friend of my late father, that he was my legal guardian, and that I had no living relatives as far as he knew. I began to pelt him with further questions, but he would have none of it until we "got clear of this damned hospice". Why he disliked or mistrusted that institution was never really made plain to me then or later, but he was adamant that my history was "none of the business of any psychologist".

As it turned out I did not have long to wait. Within the day, and over the strenuous protests of the doctors, he had me moved to a private residence near the hospital - a small but very pleasant apartment with a view of the sea. A nurse, Nurah, who had apparently been looking after me the whole time I had been comatose, was head-hunted from the hospital on the spot and moved into an apartment down the hall, to continue to care for me until I had regained my strength.

As soon as I was installed in my new home I renewed my demand for answers, and over many hours over the next few days Faheed began to paint my missing life for me.

---

My father, Willard Royce, was, depending on who you spoke to, either a brilliant archaeologist or a unscrupulous tomb-robber (or both). When Faheed took service with Royce in 2003 I was assisting my father with his researches and diggings in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Of course it seemed odd to Faheed that a boy of 14 should be living and working full-time with a small group of hard-bitten North African mercenaries serving under an eccentric, highly charismatic rogue archaeologist, but this was a matter concerning which speculation and questions were discouraged by my father. Several years later, when Faheed had earned Willard's trust, it came out--over a bottle of cheap scotch and in strictest confidence--that "the boy" was in fact Willard's adopted son only. It seems Royce had rescued me from an orphanage in Cairo in 1999, and that nothing concrete could be said concerning my life prior to that. I never spoke of it, and Willard did not press the matter.

Royce had not been back to his native USA for many years; he had been travelling around North Africa and the Arabian peninsula since 1992, involved in numerous illegal and quasi-legal archaeological digs. He was, as I mentioned, a man of very considerable personal magnetism and force of character. He had several powerful allies in the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, and frequently paid large bribes to high-level bureaucrats in various other governments around the region. These contacts he used to stay one jump ahead of legal complications while pursuing his various theories and interests. Faheed came to consider Royce as much a mystic as a scholar, as it was slowly revealed to him that Willard had been secretly pursuing what he believed to be some great secret for several decades.

Royce's true interest in any site was invariably camouflaged behind research into some more orthodox theory. He seemed to believe that a large part of the received history of the ancient and prehistoric worlds was a tapestry of lies, or at least of obfuscation, and he had been trying to find concrete evidence of "the real history of the ancients" for much of his life.

So for four years we travelled around in the desert in a small convoy of trucks: me, my father, Faheed, and a dozen or so others ? mostly North African labourers and mercenaries: a motley band of fortune hunters following a half-crazy grave-robber, dodging or hoodwinking the authorities on an almost daily basis, chasing what most people back in those days would have called an absurd crackpot theory. Concerning the origin and the specifics of this theory Royce said little, even to Faheed.

It was obvious to Faheed that Willard Royce had several sources of independent income, supplemented on several occasions with the proceeds of fraud or outright theft, but money was still enough of an issue that Willard occasionally had to take time off from his work to secure a grant from one rich patron or another. Most of these people, at least the ones who had dealings with Faheed, were drawn in by Willard's charisma, but a few had obviously been made aware of the true object of his researches and become ensorcelled by the occult implications of his work.

In late February of 2007, Willard received a letter. It was not disclosed to Faheed from whom this letter came, but it resulted in my father immediately initiating plans for a top-secret dig somewhere south of the Siwa oasis, in the deep desert just east of the Libyan border. The men were given false information about our destination to spread about in the brothels and hash-houses of Cairo, where we were headquartered at the time.

Faheed overhead Royce muttering on several occasions that it was inconceivable that it was mere coincidence that an opportunity to learn the truth would finally be presented to him now, just as "she" was about snatch it away.

By mid-March we were at the site: a place of utter desolation, deep in the desert. The men didn't like it much, but Royce proffered both carrot and stick. The men were paid extra, and told that if they found what he sought, they would all be able to retire within the year. They were also informed that any man failing to pull his weight would find himself walking the 200km back to Siwa.

Digging commenced immediately. After a week of toil we hit a stone vault of some kind. It took most of another week to locate the entrance, and several more days to remove the great basalt block that sealed it. During this time Royce became more and more feverish with excitement and anticipation. He pushed the men almost to breaking point, and was forced to pay out even more bonuses to head off a mutiny.

The vault was finally opened just after dawn on 2 April 2007. Willard went in, telling Faheed that none of us were to follow him in under any circumstances.

We waited all morning, the men becoming increasingly restless with superstitious dread. At about three o'clock in the afternoon a great thunder was heard deep beneath the earth, the ground beneath us shook and grew noticeably colder. At this grim omen the men went crazy with terror and started jumping in the trucks and driving off into the desert. Faheed saw there was nothing he could do to prevent this and tried to convince me that both of us should go with them, but I refused to leave my father behind, so Faheed and I stayed there, alone, waiting for Willard to return.

When my father was not back by dusk, I demanded that we go in after him, and at length Faheed reluctantly agreed; but just as we were gearing up to head into the vault, a great exhalation of cold darkness issued from the entrance, and we were both struck senseless. When Faheed awoke, the moon was high in the sky. The only trace that remained of our dig was a disturbance of the sand, and even that was being rapidly erased by the desert wind. I lay next to him on the sand, cold and pale and unable to be roused from my unconsciousness. Upon my left breast was a tattoo. It did not appear "fresh". That is to say, my flesh was not inflamed and bloodied as it would have been by the work of any tattooist's needle in the past several hours.

Just before dawn, several of the more loyal and level-headed of Royce's workers returned to the scene. Faheed and these men packed up what equipment remained, wrapped me in blankets, and drove back to Siwa and thence to Alexandria. Faheed told the men that shortly after they left, another tremor caused the vault and diggings to collapse, rendering me unconscious, and that Royce was certainly dead. He was careful to ensure that none of them saw the tattoo that had inexplicably appeared on my body.

When we got to Alexandria, Faheed paid the men handsomely to forget the whole affair, and warned them never to speak of the matter to anyone. (Vainly of course - rumour, boasting and gossip is the life's blood of such men.) Whether my father had left any will was not known to Faheed, but as my Father's lieutenant he had considerable resources to call upon. He moved quickly to secure funds from those of Royce's accounts to which he had access (from which he usually paid wages and bribes on Royce's behalf). This money he used to check me, still comatose, into that very good--and very discreet--private hospital in which I was to awake one year and a day after my father's disappearance.

---

My recovery, under the expert care of Nurah, progressed rapidly. Of the amazing tales Faheed had related to me concerning our shared past, I was at first somewhat sceptical, but along with these tales it also fell upon him to explain to me about Aquarius, and the new age that had begun while I was in the coma, and of course this remarkable development, and the timing of the disaster that had befallen us in relation to the coming of this "new dawn", had necessarily to colour all of my perceptions of what had happened.

About two weeks after I first awoke, the tattoo began to give me discomfort, very mild at first: just a gentle itching or tingling, and sometimes a feeling like that of prickly heat. From the beginning I found the worst aspect of it was that it disrupted my ability to sleep. I could not get comfortable, and it soon became the norm for me to get only a few hours of restless sleep per night. Faheed had the only doctor that he trusted with the matter flown over from Tel Aviv, but he was unable to diagnose the problem. Faheed tried to convince me to use drugs to get a better night's sleep, but I would have none of it. I knew that sleeping pills would end up doing more harm than good. How I knew this I am not sure, but in any case I resolutely eschewed the proffered valium almost to the bitter end.

The pain that the tattoo inflicted upon me grew steadily in intensity, until it slowly began to erode my sanity. Typically, on those occasions when I was finally able to drift into sleep in the pre-dawn hours, I was tormented by nightmares. These dreams were always they same: I was locked in a metal chest, while outside a thousand voices clamoured insanely.

I tried to find out more about the tattoo, but extensive searches of online databases of symbols turned up nothing very similar to the design on my chest.

Nurah eventually came to her wits' end early in May, and resigned. I was glad of this ? I had become very fond of her, and did not wish her to be tormented any further by my nocturnal terrors. I felt myself slipping into paranoia, and I dreaded that the day would come when I would say or do something unforgivable to her. In any case I was by this stage more or less physically rehabilitated. Apart from feeling at all times as if I had a red-hot iron pressed against my chest I was quite well.

Faheed finally decided to contact some old colleague or ally of my father's. He told me that given the origin of the tattoo, it was hardly surprising that no mundane doctor could heal me, and that there was a woman that my father once knew who might be able to help. He told me that any dealings with this woman would be risky, and that she might be difficult to find. She was not contactable by "normal channels", and the last time Faheed and Royce had dealt with her had been in Cyprus several years earlier. He left to track her down, telling me that he would do his utmost to be back within the week.

Left alone in the apartment, my sanity began to deteriorate more rapidly. Within a day of Faheed's departure, my resolution to avoid drugs gave way, but the situation was already too far gone - the powerful opium I managed to procure would only allay the burning agony in my chest for an hour or so, and even that only the first few times I used it.

Just before dawn on the morning of May 14, I awoke from the now familiar night-terrors in a state of almost total derangement. What exactly I was thinking I do not recall, but it is obvious from my ensuing actions that I had determined that there was only one way to put an end to my torment. I took the sharpest knife I could find in the house and carved the tattoo off me. I cut off a piece of my chest about the size of the palm of my hand ? the skin, and perhaps a quarter-inch deep of the pectoral muscle beneath.

The moment I did this the pain the tattoo had been inflicting was replaced with the pain of the wound I had dealt myself. The relief was so sudden and so profound that I almost burst into tears. I dropped the grisly flap to the floor and was about to go looking for a towel to staunch the copious bleeding when piece of me lying on the floor burst into flames. Within seconds nothing remained but a scattering of ash and a smear of blood on the rug. Rapidly becoming dizzy with the loss of blood and sheer intensity of the experience, I managed to bind a towel around my chest before passing out.

---

I awoke several hours later. Having lost quite a lot of blood, and in fear of infection, I returned to the hospital. Faheed's Am-Ex (and perhaps his reputation) got me looked after quickly and discreetly, and I was home by mid-afternoon. Doped up on painkillers, I sat on my balcony looking out over the sea, sipping a scotch and revelling in the absence of pain, and the peace and clarity of mind that that absence brought with it.

About half an hour later the dead began to whisper to me. They have not stopped doing so for more than a few minutes at a time ever since.

At the time I did not understand that the source of the voices was outside my own mind. Of course I was aware in an academic sense of the Aquarian situation, but it did not occur to me for several days that the source of the voices might be spiritual. My first thought was that whatever poison was in the ink of the tattoo had managed to at least partially scramble my brains before I got rid of it.

I will not go into detail concerning my struggles with this phenomenon. At first it was very difficult to hold my wits together, to think over the almost constant clamour. There were several dozen distinct voices, of both men and women. The vast majority of what they whispered was (and is) utterly incomprehensible, either disjointed and nonsensical gibberish, or spoken in foreign or long dead tongues. At least they didn't all talk at once ? mostly is was just one at a time, and every now and then I might get up to two or three minutes' peace. Nevertheless, the constant badgering drove me in the first few days to the brink of madness. I spent much of that time sedated, but they were always there when I came back to myself and I realised that if I continued to use the drugs in this way I would soon be reduced to little more than a vegetable.

Thinking the voices must be in some way linked to the tattoo, I tried to return to my online researches into the design, only to discover to my astonishment that I could not recall what it looked like. In the few photographs of myself taken since I awoke, I was wearing a shirt. I returned to the hospital, assuming that they must have some record, photographic or otherwise, of the tattoo, but while several of the doctors remembered it, none of them could recall the design either. The file of only photograph they had taken of me was corrupt and unable to be recovered from the backup, a situation they described as almost unheard-of.

At my wits' end I made my way home. Faheed had returned while I was out. When I explained how I had brought my previous plight to an end, and perhaps unwittingly precipitated a descent into a new kind of madness, he became extremely agitated, and cursed me for a fool. He explained that he had made contact with my father's old contact, a powerful "witch" named Aruhma, and put the details of our strange adventure, and my then current affliction, before her. After consulting with her spirit familiars, she pronounced that whatever dark power my father had unleashed that day had chosen to mark me, and if the mark was causing pain, it was that spirit's extraction of payment for my father's desecration of its resting place; but she also said that only so much payment would be extracted, and that if I could weather this storm of agony to its conclusion, I might receive for my trouble not only peace, but much enlightenment.

By cutting the mark from my flesh, Faheed feared, I might have angered the spirit even more, and it might be that the voices that now tormented me were its punishment. To that I could make no satisfactory response. The deed was done, and nothing could now reverse it. Furthermore, I explained to him, whatever other "magic" or properties the tattoo might have, it was clearly not going to allow itself to be copied. I told him of my thwarted attempts to recollect or otherwise recover the form of the symbol. I was not surprised when he told me in amazement that he too had no memory of the shape or colour of the thing.

---

I have not been able, from that day to this, to discover the truth of the matter of the tattoo and this unquiet shades that speak to day and night. I eventually discovered that the voices were those of the spirits of many long dead shamans, magicians, elders, philosophers and priests; all quite wise and insightful in their way, but almost all quite insane as well. Perhaps the symbol that was burned or inked into my chest somehow protected me from their constant chatter, and in destroying it I doomed myself to what has been my fate now for almost twenty years. Perhaps Aruhma's prognosis was correct, and these spirits plague me as punishment from whatever power put the mark upon me for my hubris in removing it. Until and unless I can find and communicate with that thing which came up out of the desert sands that day in 2007, I don't believe I will ever be able to answer the question. This no longer troubles me very much.

As I said I will not dwell too long on the ten year struggle to come to terms with my spiritual companions. Suffice to say that having now made my peace with them, I am a far better man for it than I might have been had they never invaded my mind in the first place. They still speak to me constantly, but I think of them now almost as friends. After a decade of rigorous self-imposed mental and emotional training, I reached the stage where I was able to carry on a relatively normal existence despite them. In the process I developed a mental toughness and detachment that has served me well in my chosen profession.

Finally, in the last five years, I have begun to discover heavily encrypted pearls of wisdom within the stream of their ravings. Floating among the vague mutterings I now sometimes pick out--like a thread of conversation partially overhead at a party--oblique references to recent events, arcane metaphors, synecdoche layered on metonymy layered on riddles and obscene jokes with hidden or double meanings. All these things are caught like a flash of something in the corner of one's eye: often enough when you turn to look, there is nothing there. But every now and then, I will find a tiny thread, and start to pull, and a uncrackable case starts to unravel.

I have managed to conceal this gift/curse from almost all of my friends and colleagues here in New Mexico, but the kind of work I have recently found myself falling into, and the methods I have begun using to pursue it, have made me few friends. Despite the difficulties and obstacles that the fundi elements here are now beginning to throw in my path, I am finding more enjoyment and fulfilment in the this work than in anything I have done before, and it is for this reason that I responded to your invitation to tender my application for the job with Antecedents P.I.

---

While I began the process of building coping mechanisms and trying to fortify my sanity against the onslaught of the dead, Faheed and I started making plans for my future. I decide to make plans on the basis that I would be able to either get rid of, or learn to deal with, the voices. I knew from the outset that this was not something that any psychiatrist could rid me of, and no exorcist that I could find any word of sounded like anything more than a charlatan.

I resolved to make as clean a break as possible from my strange past and my father's grim legacy. I decided that my best chance to make a new life for myself was in the United States. My father had been a US citizen, and he had procured, by means legitimate or otherwise (more likely the latter), official adoption papers for me. These papers could by now be anywhere, as they had been on one of the stolen trucks, but we were able to get copies from the Bureau of Official Records in Cairo. Faheed then bribed, bullied or bought his way through several more layers of the Egyptian government to secure me all the documents needed to construct a passable identity. On the basis of my father's citizenship, and once again with a little grease on the wheels courtesy of Faheed, I was able to get my own citizenship fast-tracked. During the several months it took to get all this well underway, I began to educate myself as best I could in everything I would need to get along in the world.

I constructed a bland fictional history for myself, and learned it all in great detail by heart. My father had taught me to read and write fairly good English, French and Arabic, but little else. I began studying basic maths and science, and read history textbooks and biographies voraciously; the latter perhaps as some compensation for the void that as my own history.

One evening in early August, Faheed came home in a state of despondency. He told me that my papers had been finalised and handed me a birth certificate, driver's licence and credit card. He informed me that he had organised a visa that would allow me to work in the US while my citizenship was being processed. The credit card was linked to an account he had established for me, into which he had deposited about US$25,000 of what had been my father's money.

When I thanked him profusely and asked why he looked so grim and the conclusion of a job so well done, he broke down and admitted that in return for her help with my earlier predicament, Aruhma had laid claim to a favour of him, and that payment had now come due. He told me he had not yet been informed of what she wanted of him, but he was certain that whatever service she asked would be perilous and costly. In this I guess he proved prophetic. He left the next day, telling me that if all went well he would see me again in a week or so. I never saw or heard from him again.

---

[To be continued...]

Site Toolbox:

Personal tools
GNU Free Documentation License 1.2
This page was last modified on 20 November 2007, at 02:59.
Disclaimers - About BluWiki