Standing in at 5' 7" and 247 pounds, Jack Oates is a hearty farmboy of a human with a "face-shaped" face and brown hair and eyes. He doesn't stand out much in a crowd, except for the inquisitive look in his eyes and the genial smile on his face. His clothes are a stout homespun cotton, durable enough for hard work in the fields. The shirt is unbleached and undyed, while the pants are an even indigo, albeit patched with brown at the knees where the wear and tear of hard work has gotten the better of the original fabric. A sturdy brown leather vest, stitched and trimmed with green leather and fastened with loops and wooden buttons, and matching boots complete his outfit. Sections of material colored pumpkin-orange are used as a patchlike trim on his clothes.
Born the 5th son of a fairly large farming family in Alexandros, Jack Oates grew up as most farming children do, helping with the chores around the farm. His family is composed of his father Barth, his mother Leigh, and his siblings Chad, Perry, Holly (sister), Edgar, Westby, Lee, Wenda (sister), and Gary. The entire family is of hearty stock, with nary a weakling or a klutz in the bunch. Likewise, while the family is generally not known for being clever or sage, neither are they idiots or fools. The Oates family farm is fairly close to one of the larger farming communities, and trade and traders and others of that ilk, and adventurers and mercenaries are not uncommon to see there, and Barth Oates is always willing to sell grain and other produce to anyone not causing trouble. Human, khazad, sildanyar, oruch, or other, your gold still spends the same, and Barth is always up for a round of small talk. It was from these trips into town that Jack started picking up smatterings of other languages, paying attention to what the customers and shopkeepers and others were saying.
Even at home, Jack had a curiosity streak a mile wide. If something caught his eye, he'd try to figure out how it worked or how it was done. His parents took notice of Jack's inquisitiveness, and they encouraged him on the condition that he keep up with his chores on the farm. Jack agreed to the deal, and he often spent his free time practicing whatever skills he happened to be interested in at the time. While there was little rhyme or reason to the skills that Jack was interested in, he did show a minor tendency towards tinkering with devices. If there was something around the farm with moving parts, chances are that Jack had tried to take it apart a time or two, and had at least tried to put it back together afterwards. This part of Jack's curiosity was a bit more of a hassle for his parents, and they made sure he fixed anything that he broke. The main reason why they didn't complain too much was that Jack's tinkering had the side effect of occasionally producing new tools to help with the chores around the farm, or making existing tools work better. One of his more notable successes was in creating a slingshot trap to kill small rodents that tried to eat the family's crops.
As his older siblings reached adulthood, married, and settled down with growing parts of the Oates family farm, Jack realized that there would not be much space for him if he stayed in the local community. While his siblings did offer to let him stay on as a partner in their various farms, Jack turned them all down. He thanked them for the offer, but explained that he would go out into the world and try making a living off of his wits. His parents were the saddest to see Jack go, but his family knew that if anyone from their family could make it out there on their own with nothing but a small pack of gear, it would be Jack Oates.
- Learning & curiosity. Oates enjoys learning new things, and one of the more common things he says when he sees something new is "How was that done?" The second most common thing he asks is "Could you teach me that?"
- Lending a hand where needed. A life of living on the farm has given Oates a solid work ethic, and he is usually willing to help out when asked, especially if it's for a good cause.
- Exploration. Oates left his family farm to make a living off of his wits, and part of that involves travelling to figure out where he can best make the use of his diverse skills. Also helps satisfy his curiosity about the world, and frequently overlaps with helping others out.
- Elemental earth. Due to some events involving an earth elemental and someone else's spiritbonded armor, Oates has developed an affinity for the element of earth. He speaks Terran as fluently as if his throat was made of rock, and he can even add acid-related enchantments to weapons & armor. As is normal for most crafters, he charges 60% of market value added.
- Pure Rogue. Generally not one for stealth or glib tongue, but very skilled at traps and locks.
- Primary concept is that of a jack of all trades. Can usually attempt almost anything, although there are some skills he has yet to learn.
- Secondary concept is that of a combat trapsmith. Give him some time to set up, and the enemies will have a small surprise for them.
- (The secondary concept has been heavily de-emphasized, due to the impracticality of custom items in a MUSH setting.)
- Oates is mostly self-taught, but he's a quick learner and will pay attention to what those with more skill than him say about their skills.
Old Local Directory Entry
Odd Jobs by Oates: A bit of a jack of all trades, Oates has a knack for traps (both creating and disarming) and an affinity for earth.
- Contact: Oates
- Offers: Lots of trained skills (including every Knowledge skill), trap (dis)assembly, acid-related arms&armor enchantments.