Crispin Oliver
Crispin Alaric Oliver
Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston as Crispin Alaric Oliver
Name Crispin Alaric Oliver
Status Alive
Age 27
Occupation Superintendant, The Hollow Tree
Place of Origin Stirling, Scotland
Date of Birth October 24, 1905
Player Oliver Crispin Oliver
Timezone CST (GMT-6)
Notes Notes for Crispin Alaric Oliver

Exposed intentionally to the Gloom as a child by his family, Crispin came back as a clairvoyant. Capable of seeing into the past and the future and observing at a great distance, Crispin's control over this power is such that he can, when concentrating, usually tell present from past and future. Not always. Just usually. Given that the problem tends to increase the longer he stays in one place he's a bit of a drifter, though while the problems increase his ability to use his powers in that place also increases. He has a cheerful and winning personality, friendly and flirtatious and quite at odds with the desperate loneliness and terror inside. He's very much afraid of losing his mind, which is quite keen and unfortunately brilliant.


The Oliver family are and always have been eccentric, to say the least. They insist that they have been a family of mystics and prophets since well before the Roman invasion of Britain, though given the paucity of actual evidence, the truth of the matter is vague and unproven. What is certain is that they have a tradition, one steeped in ritual, of choosing one member — typically the first-born — and exposing that individual intentionally to the Gloom. This is the family sacrifice, and though their children (and it is always children) do not always come back, those who do have frequently been leaders of their family.

Crispin Oliver has proven something of an exception. His family had high hopes for him: he disappeared into the Gloom when they sent him as a tender child of five and returned five years older. And that would have been fine, really, except that he'd been sent in around 1910 and came back in the early nineties. His family — the members he remembered, at any rate — were long since dead. He grew up a sober boy and continued as one until roughly the time he hit puberty.

That, more or less, was when the rebellion started. Crispin had always been a bit of a willful child and the Gloom did nothing to improve it. He learned all too quickly that people didn't take too kindly to boys who knew too much and, more importantly, let on that they knew. Ten-year-old Crispin had been certain his talent would make him friends. It made him a freak and an outcast instead, but he turned that around as a teenaged boy by always knowing, for example, where he could get a few bottles of beer for his classmates. He became known by his teachers both for his brilliance at engineering and physics and for his wild and erratic behaviour.

Despite this — and almost certainly in part because of his family connections — he was accepted to uni and completed a postgraduate degree in architectural engineering. His behaviour became more erratic as time went on, though, and when he began having conversations and even arguments with empty space his employment prospects began to dry up. By the time he was leaving his mid-twenties, Crispin was not just jobless — his reputation as a crazy person made him unemployable.

He turned to anything he could find to make his mind slow down, to let it focus on one point in time, but the only thing he found that helped apart from constant concentration and meditation was traveling from place to place. It seemed that the visions were less concentrated when he was in a place he'd never been to or hadn't lived in for long, so he traveled as much as he could while refusing to take money from his family. Chance landed him at The Hollow Tree when he was working as a day labourer, and his skill with carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work make him invaluable as the hostel's superintendant. It also gives him the chance to flirt with any good-looking foreigners, too…


Outwardly, Crispin is a bon vivant. He can make friends with just about anyone and often does with his open and friendly attitude. He's always the life of the party and is frequently the center of attention, though he gladly gives that attention to the others around him — it doesn't have to be him as long as he's having fun, and he's having fun when everyone else is.

Inwardly, Crispin is appallingly lonely and bitter and proud. He hates that he can do what he does but he nevertheless takes a perverse pride in being 'special'. It's just that being special means that getting close to people, and getting close to people is dangerous when A) you can touch them and find out way more than you wanted, B) the more time you spend in one place the less capable you'll be of keeping your mind in any one timeline, and C) the longer you know them, the more likely you are to see the terrible things that will happen to them — sometimes without any chance of stopping them.

Paranormal Abilities

Psychometry: With skin-to-surface contact, Crispin can divine the most recent and/or the most intense events associated with an object. A gun, for example, will probably be imprinted with the most recent time it was used — particularly if there was strong emotion associated with the use. Earlier imprints might be overwhelmed by it and would be harder to pick out like candle flames in the presence of a spotlight. In contrast, a pocket watch might have decades worth of much less intense imprints that would be more difficult to sort through. Usually it takes concentration to make the connection, but sometimes either a particularly strong imprint, overuse of the power, underuse of the power, or just crazy random happenstance will make the flashes uncontrolled. Skin-to-skin contact can also create both controlled and uncontrolled flashes, though these are typically quite random and may just give a brief, unconnected image of that person's past. In theory they could be used to 'read' a person, but the process would be incredibly time-consuming, tedious, and difficult to filter and concentrate on. Crispin is not currently capable of this and would prefer not to try.

Clairvoyance: Crispin can see people, places, and things at a great distance. Distance itself is irrelevant — he can see across the world, though he hasn't tried seeing into the Gloom or anywhere beyond vanilla Earth. Familiarity with the subject, object, or location is important. If he doesn't know who or what he's looking for or where they are, it's a great deal harder to find them and concentration is difficult to maintain. If he uses this power frequently, however, he'll have trouble concentrating on where he actually is. It's quite possible for Crispin to wander off a cliff because he thinks it's a street on the other side of the world.

Retrocognition: Crispin can see the past. It takes concentration when he's doing so intentionally, and to see something specific he needs to know what he's looking for — how long ago, what person, what event, et cetera. The less he knows, the longer it will take and the more vague the visions will be. He can see into the past with clairvoyance as well, but it's much more difficult. The more often he does this and the more time he spends looking into the past, especially at a distance, the less capable he is of seeing in the present. He'll have conversations with people who aren't there — who were there, say, last year. The longer he stays in one place, the more often this will happen randomly.

Precognition: The least controlled of all Crispin's powers — he can, though he can't control when or how, see the future. There are two kinds of visions — vague images of what may happen and solid, unchangeable images of what will happen. He can try to change the former, but he can only mitigate the latter. If he sees a friend burning his hand, he can make sure he has burn cream and bandages available but he can't prevent the burn from happening. The longer he stays in one place or knows one person, the more likely he is to see those images. Additionally, he can't see himself except by context. He can't see himself die, but he might see people at his funeral.


Mechanical Engineering: Crispin is an architectural engineer. He can design structures and make sure they can actually stand up. He's therefore quite an adept mechanical engineer, though his skills are naturally stronger in statics than dynamics (in other words, he might have trouble designing you a car but he could design you a bridge).

Drafting and Measured Drawing: He's not really an artist, but he can make excellent schematics and design drawings with intricate detail. He can't really capture the beauty of a baby's smile, but he can give an incredibly accurate representation of a scene or a room or an object using both manual and computer-aided methods.

Construction and Repair: From carpentry to plumbing to minor to moderate electrical work, Crispin can fix most things. He's not a master carpenter or electrician or mechanic, but he can change brake pads on a car, repair a broken window, and make the air conditioner work again. He can also use a wide array of power tools and is adept with wall framing, masonry techniques, and other tasks necessary to build and maintain the average house. He couldn't go and build a skyscraper from scratch, but he could make a shed or even a cabin.

Survival: Crispin has lived off the land both literally and figuratively. He has slept in hedgerows and abandoned buildings and has eaten roots and berries and stolen eggs. He also knows how to translate these skills to the city — where to go for a free meal, where he can expect to sleep more or less unmolested by thieves and police.

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