John "Scunner" Potts
Ex-enlisted man, Royal African Colonial Corps
Weathered, downtrodden and poorly attired, “Scunner” has seen better days. His clothes are well-lived in (well-slept in, in fact, as they are the only ones that he owns). “Scunner” is painfully thin, ill-shaven and has the gaunt look of a man who is a single meal from the grave.
John “Scunner” Potts was born to working class stock in 1804. The child of a seamstress and factory worker, “Scunner” yearned for adventure and excitement beyond English shores. On his 18th birthday, he enlisted, and was assigned to the 23rd Royal African Colonial Corps as part of Her Majesty’s push to eradicate slavery amongst the Ashanti on the Gold Coast of Africa.
In 1823, he was separated from his Company along with the Company commander, Lord Frederick Grieg and Grieg’s batman, Sergeant Bartholomew Wells, during the Battle of Nsamankow. Alone, disoriented, the trio wandered, becoming hopelessly lost in the jungles.
On the fourth day of their unintended exile, they came upon the ruins of an ancient basalt temple, rising like a fist in the lush foliage. The three debated on whether to enter (being Christian gentlemen), but the whispers of adventure proved too intoxicating to resist. When the three emerged from those primordial ruins, they were weary of body, each man wearing a haunted disposition. What they found within those blasphemous halls, hidden beneath the fertile soil, no man knows, but not one of the three men were ever the same again. Indeed, Wells never recovered his wits completely.
Eventually the three men managed to find their way back to their comrades, the 23rd Company having retreated back to the Cape Coast from their encampment on the Pra River. Some weeks after returning to civilization, Potts was caught and court-martialed over undisclosed crimes and sentenced to penal servitude in Africa.
In 1845, “Scunner” resurfaced in his native London, and set about making demands of his former commander, whilst telling outlandish tales of ancient mysteries and dark betrayals to all who would bend an ear to him in local public houses.