Benjamin Turner
Benjamin W. Turner
Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany as Benjamin W. Turner
Name Benjamin W. Turner
Status Alive
Age 39
Occupation Owner of I. P. Kozlov’s Emporium
Place of Origin Chester District, England
Date of Birth December 18, 1973
Player bienpensant
Timezone Central
Notes Notes for Benjamin W. Turner

Benjamin is a Touched individual who owns a curiosity shop – and can see the history of an object by touching it.

Background

Benjamin Turner’s life prior to August 14, 2000 was nothing particularly out of the ordinary.

He always had a love for old things. The Turner’s were a solidly upper-middle-class family living among splendor and helping support it. Joseph Turner worked as a solicitor, and Sarah (Blythe) Turner’s family consisted of a long line of investors and account managers. While not members of the upper class themselves, the Turners enjoyed a life routed in work that earned them a bit of elbow room at the edges of that world.

Benjamin’s playmates and school chums as a child were of this slightly higher caste, and so he earned a taste for both the finer and perhaps slightly archaic. He reveled in old books, and as he grew older, learned to appreciate works of art and antiques rather than take them for granted.
Benjamin’s parents died in a train derailment while he was at university studying history and literature. The tragedy ended the Turner’s only child’s formal education, sending him into a sea of distant relatives and a social circle that wasn’t much comfort for his grief. Looking to escape, Benjamin sold his childhood home and moved to Camden with a few sentimental pieces and mementos. Life in London for Benjamin was plain compared to Chester, or even school.

Nearly two years after his parent’s death and while still whittling away at his inheritance in order to support himself, Benjamin found the foreclosure sale listing for I. P. Kozlov’s Emporium. The curiosity shop had fallen into the hands of the bank after the death of the elderly proprietor, and Benjamin picked it up on a whim for a song. He spent the first few months of his ownership simply wandering the cluttered shop, marveling over the various strange and wonderful items it held. Business was never booming, but Benjamin was able to sustain himself and his humble yet comfortable lodging. The nature of the shop and its pace allowed him to live a relatively laid-back and leisurely life, albeit without the fine trappings he had in youth. Benjamin made enough to be able to hire an employee – and London’s offering of darker-minded youth were more than happy to surround themselves with oddness for a living. Outwardly, Benjamin Turner was a success in his small niche, but the foundation of it all was weak above a river of grief still unmanaged.

But on August 14, 2000, the lens through which Benjamin saw the world changed.

One could call it tainted, or transformed, or any number of other colorful verbs that would attempt to speak to the strangeness of it. But changed is really the only accurate description.

It was an unassuming marble box, big enough for jewelry or small keepsakes. As soon as it was brought in, Benjamin could not imagine why anyone would part with it. He paid far too much, not caring to listen to the man’s hints that he simply wanted to be rid of it. Leaving his employee, Lydia, at the desk, Benjamin hurried the new acquisition to his office and marveled over the ancient stone.

Opening the lid was like opening a door to the Gloom.

The next thing he knew, Lydia was knocking on the door of his flat, stirring him from that unspeakable nightmare. He was dressed in his now crumpled suit, lying sprawled on the floor. He reached for the arm of the couch to help himself to his feet, only to be overwhelmed by an onslaught of images he couldn’t make sense of. It was his parlor, only with him still lying on the floor, then with him sitting on the very same couch with a book, or with the rare companion. He reeled away, rolling and eventually getting to his feet using nothing but the floor. Benjamin hurried to the door to answer it. He’d been missing for a week, according to the girl. Unable to explain what had happened, Benjamin instructed Lydia to close the shop for “medical reasons” and secluded himself in his flat. It wasn’t the best of reactions, he soon learned, as every time he touched his hands to an object – a table, a clock, his toothbrush – he received a vision of that object, backward through time, followed closely by nausea, exhaustion, and a distinct pallor. The more sentimental items were worse. He didn’t seem them in his flat, but in his parents’ – his home in Chester – and always at things like parties, or holidays, or tender moments that tore at his heart.

Gloves became a necessity, and reflective surfaces were shattered or covered in haste.

In a couple of weeks, Benjamin had Lydia reopen the shop, and he returned shortly after. But he lingered on the edges of things, and he wouldn’t go near his office for another month. In that time, he slowly made some strange sense of what had happened. The box was different – powerful – and whatever hell it opened onto had cursed him.

Browsing an antique mall looking for rare finds he could make a better profit on with his unique clientele, Benjamin found another item that had the same strange pull the box had. It was a small locket – unpolished and dingy and bearing the photograph of a beautiful young woman. Surely the owner didn’t know what they had. Benjamin felt compelled to keep the item safe – locked away in the same trunk as the pale marble box – so that no one could be harmed by its secret evil.
And so almost ten years of collecting began.

It was slow yet possessing work, with Benjamin wearing key to the trunk on its long chain almost like a rosary. He resisted the urge to go hunting for the objects but struggled to find contentment with sitting in his shop and waiting for them to cross his threshold. The few objects in the trunk almost seemed to want company.


Personality

Benjamin is what some could call a lower-case g gentlemen. His sense of morality is rooted in a combination of Anglican values and an upbringing that tempered affluence with work ethic. He enjoys fine things, yet rarely indulges in them. Benjamin is quick in forming opinions of people (though he mostly keeps these to himself) and slow when it comes to any sort of intimacy or long, positive relationships. Good old English gentility has helped Benjamin overcome his rattling venture into the Gloom and its after-effects, forcing him to become what amounts to an eccentric. Without knowing he was touched by the Gloom, he might seem the very opposite of someone who would own and operate a curiosity shop.


Paranormal Abilities

In short, Benjamin can see the history of an object by placing his hand on it. The visions appear as if a video is being rewound, with the most recent events occurring first. Objects that have a deep emotional connection with someone (especially Benjamin) display significant moments. For example, a regular kitchen knife would show Benjamin the routine tasks it was used for all the way back to its final forging (it becoming what it is); however, if that same knife had been used to kill someone, that moment would be shown first. The stronger the emotion, the greater the precedence of that event in the vision. More “innocent” objects, such as a bar of soap, dishware, and other things that are handled on a daily basis do not affect him as much as they would have when he first surfaced from the Gloom, though Benjamin still wears gloves when he can to prevent surprises.

To himself, and when others who can really see him look, Benjamin appears even more gaunt than he is, with fingers that are disturbingly long and end in shadowing wisps. His eyes are sunken and rimmed in red, with bright, piercing blue irises.


Skills

A business owner for almost twenty years, Benjamin has gained a knowledge and practical skill for the running and management of a shop. Benjamin’s interrupted education was filled in with his own non-traditional learning, leaving him well-read, and his background and continued affinity for the arts allow him to speak comfortable on related subjects. He can read music play the piano passably, but does not consider himself very good at it and has a small repertoire.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License