Sam Creighton

Basic Info:

Player: Photosynthetic

Position: Botanist

Demeanor: Uncertain, nerdy, kind.

Nature: Passionately curious, loyal, kind.

Description: Caucasian man, thirtyish, about 5'9", on the wiry side of average build. Dark blond hair, large brown eyes, oval face, sharp jaw, wide cheekbones, horn-rimmed glasses. Naturally fair-skinned, but that's tanned and roughened with years of moderate sun. Dress sense is inconspicuous.

Stats:

Health
  • Physical Health: 7
  • Mental Health: 7
Skills
  • Physical Defense: 4
  • Mental Defense: 5
  • Perception: 5
  • Agility: 3
  • Strength: 2
Attributes
  • Persuasion: 3
  • Ranged: 3
  • Survival: 3
  • Science: 4
  • Engineering: 2
  • Medical: 2
Specialty:
  • Botany: (6) Sam has a passion for plants and has spent years studying all things about them. He can identify plants to species and higher taxa; he understands their anatomy, physiology, life history, and other notable traits, right down to the emerging science of plant ecology. Confronted with an unfamiliar plant, he can deduce a good deal about it by determining what familiar species it might be related to. He's also well up on ethnobotany, which means he's frequently able to supplement his other skills with knowledge of a convenient plant's uses as food, medicine, etc. His original training focused on the plants of the northeastern-midwestern United States, and he's more recently gotten equally specialized with the Mediterranean flora, but he's competent across North America and Europe. This skill also tends to leak into the other biological sciences (you can't understand photosynthesis without some grounding in cell biology and biochemistry). (+5 to Science, or +4 to Survival or Medicine, on rolls involving plants.)
  • Improvisational Design: (3) Sam is good at lateral thinking — at coming up with innovative ways to use the materials available to him, such that he can get solid science out of paper clips and string. Need test-tube-sized pieces of calcium carbonate? He'll grab a limestone boulder and a sledgehammer. Need growth medium for fruit-fly larvae? His recipe calls for nothing pricier than mashed potatoes and Jell-O. (+3 to jerry-rigging equipment out of unconventional parts.)
  • It's Full of Stars: (3) Sam's default response to the unknown tends more toward curiosity and wonder than fear or disgust. This is occasionally dangerous, but at least it means he's rarely more frightened than sheer prudence demands. (+3 to resist fear, anger, etc. at the unknown or unfamiliar.)

Gear:

On his person most of the time:

  • The clothes on his back
  • His glasses
  • Sturdy leather boots
  • Watch with compass
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Wallet: ID, cash, checkbook, pencil stub, photo of his brother and sister-in-law, etc.

On his person in the field:

  • Canvas jacket
  • Knapsack
  • Hiking stick
  • Water bottle
  • Plastic bag of trail mix or jerky
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Prescription sunglasses (in glasses-case)
  • Field notebook with water-resistant cover
  • 2 pencils w/erasers
  • Region-appropriate field guides
  • Two hand lenses, 10x and 14x, on a lanyard
  • Hedge clippers
  • Scissors
  • Small paper bags
  • Plastic grocery-type bags
  • Flashlight
  • Trowel/small spade (in belt holster)
  • Geologist's pick/rock hammer (in belt holster)
  • Short-range radio (in belt holster)
  • If danger's expected, or on any Foundation-related trips, add these:
    • .45 Automatic M1911A1 (in belt holster)
    • Spare .45 ammunition
    • Larger first-aid kit (in place of the small one)

Possessions:

In his shared lab at Site-19:

  • Three terraria with mostly-non-anomalous interesting plants
  • Plant press, and plenty of cardboard/newspaper
  • Past field notebooks, one for each year since 1945
  • Detailed USGS topographical maps of New York state, decreasing in scale as you get closer to Adirondack Park and Site-19. (The Site-19 set are considerably newer.)
  • Flora of the northeastern US (illustrated, with complete keys)
  • Manuals of plant anatomy, pathology, and taxonomy
  • Dissecting microscope
  • Dissecting kit: forceps, wire probes, razor blades

In his room at Site-19:

  • Dog-eared copies of Walden and a few other naturalistic works
  • Six paperback novels in various stages of dog-earing
  • 35mm camera
  • 35mm film
  • Transistor radio
  • Paper, pencils, pens, envelopes, a book of stamps
  • Letters from his family, colleagues, and a few old friends
  • Two framed diplomas
  • Photo of his brother's family
  • Toiletries & personal-care items: toothbrush, shaving kit, comb, etc.
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Bottle of sunscreen
  • A week or two of clothes

Personal History:

Sam Creighton was born in Syracuse, NY on October 18th 1926, the oldest son of a Syracuse University professor and a homemaker. His family's home sat on a large semi-rural lot, out in the glacial hills above Syracuse city. His father Matthew loved to hunt in the woods and meadows of his land — rabbits, pheasant, even occasional deer — and his mother Gladys was a born gardener.

Much to both of his parents' amused chagrin, young Sam tried both of their hobbies but never took to either: he was a decent shot and good with a trowel, but was truly more interested in the wild flora than either the fauna or the domestic flora. Bill, Sam's younger brother by eight years, was much too young to join in exploring; so Sam had the Creighton property's woods, meadows, hills, and streams to himself except during hunting season. He was a Boy Scout throughout his childhood, only drifting out of the program during his most rebellious late-teenage years, and he still harbors a little nostalgic regret for never going back.

In 1929, Sam was three and Bill not yet born, so neither of them remember life before the Great Depression. The Creighton family had owned their land since the 1870s, and Matthew had earned tenure just in time to keep his job, so the family was in no danger of homelessness; they did take a significant salary cut, though. Both boys grew up in a household where meals came mostly from the kitchen garden, toys were inexpensive, and everything was reused. They watched anxiously as World War II broke out, but even Sam was too young for the draft until the war was nearly over.

Sam's grades in primary and secondary school were good but largely unremarkable; it wasn't until college that he blossomed. His father's position got him free tuition at Syracuse, where he matriculated in 1944 and got his bachelor's and master's degrees in quick succession. An abiding passion for nature, coupled with a voracious love of learning that rather startled his bookish brother, helped him earn both diplomas magna cum laude.

Certainly he could have continued on and gotten his doctorate, but he decided against it. Doctoral study would mean a great deal of lab time, and he wanted to spend his life out in the field, in the forests he loves. Thus, after earning his M.S. in 1951, he left Syracuse to look for work as a botanist or park ranger. At Adirondack State Park, he found it: for the better part of three years, he lived and worked in those mountains, stewarding the flora and teaching when he could.

Then, in January 1954, Matthew and Gladys were killed simultaneously in an auto accident. Sam returned to Syracuse for a while, to mourn and to handle his parents' affairs… but most importantly, to support his brother. Bill was in his senior year of college at the time, engaged to be married, and the sudden loss of his parents' financial and emotional support threw his whole future into jeopardy. The Creighton brothers supported each other as best they could through the immediate aftermath… but there was just no way to put Bill the rest of the way through college on one ranger's salary.

So Sam started looking for better-paid work, even as he shuttled between the Adirondacks and Bill's impending springtime wedding. At some point, a job posting for the Foundation crossed Sam's desk. Cutting-edge research, plenty of field work, highly unusual tasks, and excellent pay? He jumped at the opportunity. The brothers settled Bill and his now-wife Charlotte into the family home, Sam moved out of his place at the park, and has just now moved into Site-19.

Things are about to get interesting.

Languages:

  • English
  • German
  • Intermediate Italian (solid conversational skills, obvious accent, fluent reading)

Miscellaneous:

[I think I'll see how the character develops before I fill this out.]

Relationships:
  • Dr. Giles Mathys: A reasonable guy. Kept a cool head despite that origamisplosion. Sam can appreciate that.
  • Bill Creighton: Close and friendly, though visits are rare. The Creighton boys supported each other after their parents died. Eight years younger than Sam, Bill is currently in his final year of college; he and his wife Charlotte are expecting a daughter. Sam technically owns the family property, but Bill and Charlotte are the ones actually living there (they keep the place up and pay Sam a very, very nominal rent).
  • Annie Bonner: His college beau. They remain friends and exchange letters, though she's married and moved to Tennessee.

XP: 0

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