Background[edit | edit source]
A veteran of the trenches of World War One (the Great War), Jack was an Air Raid Precautions Air Warden during the Second World War, aiding in the defense of London during the Blitz in 1941. He was on leave in his hometown when his life changed forever: Walking on the long path from the station to his village, the ground disappeared beneath him. Any chance of getting out of Aeternis disappeared after he left the area to make a makeshift ladder to get out, as the knights soon found the breach and sealed it.
Since then, he survived. Dodging the knights and theos, his only substantial encounter was with the monstrous Tallum Broadhand, whom he disabled by shining a torch into his eyes. Unaccustomed to the light, the knight fled. The episode with Tallum helped him find sanctuary within the dark corridors of Aeternis, the one place lit with natural light that the knights couldn't penetrate. He used the local lizards for food and torches, surviving for eight years. That is not an error: For Jack, the stay in Aeternis was "only" eight years long. Short of reuniting with his wife, he wants only one thing: A peaceful death after all the suffering beneath the ground.
Of course, everyone has secrets in Aeternis. Jack might say none of the knights are aware of his presence, but in reality, he is a pawn of Tobias. In return for the mad leader's silence and a healthy supply of eugenes to eat and use for clothes and light, Jack shares his knowledge of the outside world and maintains some of the more complex mechanisms of the temple in working order. Additionally, he is also responsible for placing the winch barrel on The Tempest as part of the test.
Interactions[edit | edit source]
- Jack is encountered if the player winds up in the gibbet room after getting knocked out by Edgar the Axe. He will disappear when Lurka comes knocking and return later. Whether he releases the player depends entirely on one thing: Whether he trusts them. Bargaining or regaling him with tales of the outer world doesn't work. However, throwing yourself on his mercy does, as there's still some of the old soldier left within. He will lead you to his sanctuary and answer some questions.
- He will later appear again, using a drowned leo to navigate the flooded Aeternis. Unfortunately, in doing so, he will get eaten by Sasha.
References[edit | edit source]
- Design document: "Jack was in the Home Guard during the last war. He was patrolling the Dunstanburgh coastline one dark, cold night in 1943, thought he heard a noise in one of the caves and decided to investigate. He was never seen again. Jack is old, but he was in the trenches of World War 1 and much more besides – in short he's been around. Faced with the daunting realities of Aeternis he quickly discarded his first conclusion; which was that the Nazis were behind it somehow, and even his second guess; which was that it was some top-secret War Department project and came up with the more or less right answer-that something much older and more sinister was afoot.
Since that time his sharp and logical mind has pieced together most of the truth behind Aeternis. He was rattled by the ghosts and wild creatures of Aeternis, but seeing Ulrik and talking with Captain Ethleridge disturbed him most of all. For these two were alive as he was, but were clearly unaware how far they were outside their own time! He was forced to conclude that time itself was being distorted here and that he too was now becoming a victim, being more removed with every hour that passed.
Realising his dilemma he tried desperately for several weeks to find an exit, but failed. After twenty days underground he gave up, for even his rough estimates placed him now at least forty years outside his own time. The player will now find a man saddened by his loss, but also a man determined to bring Aeternis to an end."
- Jack: "My name's Jack. I know what you lot are down here for. You've come for the grail. Haven't ye. (BREAK) Well, I hate this whole thing. I hate the way these people are playing games with all of you. The knights don't know about me, even though I've been down here since 1943. I've come out of hiding to help you people and in the hope that you can get me out of here. (BREAK) Well, we're in a fine mess. I thought I was drowned for sure. The water poured in like nothing I've ever seen. Look, maybe if we work together, we can get out of it."
- Jack: "I'd just come home from London on leave. I was a volunteer in the blitz. Walking on the long path from the station to ma village and suddenly the ground disappeared beneath me. I couldn't climb back up, so I explored, looking for another way out and got lost. (BREAK) When I finally found my way back to where I started with a makeshift ladder, they'd shored up the collapsed cave."
- Jack: "Keeping out of the way of the guardians. The only one I ever came face to face with was Tallum. He was in agony when I shone my torch on him. So when I found this place, I knew it was going to be safe. (BREAK) There was a nest of those creatures here. I penned them up for food and used the fat for torches so I could explore when my warden's lamp stopped working."
- Holy Thief: "Eight years? Yes, of course, your clothes. It looks like an ARP uniform. The air raid people from the Second Great War. But eight years! (BREAK) Look, I'm sorry to tell you this but, almost sixty years have gone by out there."
Jack: As many as that? I knew time was passing quicker outside, (BREAK) but as many as that. (He puts his hand to his brow) Oh God. Kathleen. (PAUSE) How long have ye been gone girl. (BREAK) (to player) Why are ye telling me this"
- Jack: "I'm long past joining my wife in the grave I tell ye. All I want is a peaceful death in the open air. Mebbe you'll help me. Come on, I'll let ye out."
- Jack: "Ah, my secret is out it seems. (BREAK) Yes. Tobias knows I'm here. And he made a deal with me to keep his silence and keep me in eugenes in return for putting the chest there. He also made me put a winch handle in a barrell on the ship and I have to keep all the working parts serviceable. (BREAK) I must admit, he really disturbs me. He endlessly asks me questions about the outside world when he comes here. And there's a strange light in his eyes when he does"