Character List for 1846: Quetzalcoatl’s Revenge, a live-action roleplaying game.
Below are the characters who you can play as; all are real historical personages. For purposes of the game, some history is changed,* but most is true. The age beside their actual birth/death dates is their effective age for purposes of the game (some ages have been altered).
Clara Barton: (1821-1912) [age 24 here]. Nurse and eventual founder of the Red Cross; you were the first female to serve in an important government post as a patent officer. Here, before your later historical accomplishments, you practice medicine while giving thought to and laying plans for a possible future political career.
Elizabeth Blackwell: (1821-1910) [age 25 here]. First female to graduate from medical school in the United States, you overcame all types of adversity. You have charisma and drive and you could be a great political leader- except you were born in the U.K. and not the U.S. and the U.K. is even more backwards on women’s rights. You want to motivate Clara Barton to be the best she can be and when you are not busy healing, you are expressing strong views on the *right* way that things should be done.
Gertrudis Bocanegra: (1765-1817) [64 here]: A wealthy woman whose husband was Governor of Yucatan. Since his death, you want to hold onto your power there at all costs and you will be involved in diplomatic intrigues and a great deal of politicking.
Harriet Tubman: (1822-1913) [age 24 here]: You are a bit isolated from the others. You have grand plans for the eventual freedom of slaves in the Southern United States. To ensure this freedom, you want a liberal constitution in Mexico so escaped slaves could form a good life south, and you have grand plans for an “underground railroad”, a network of informants and hiding areas through which escaped slaves can travel, hidden, to freedom. To that end, you desire to make diplomatic contacts and you will take risks necessary to ensure that your goals are realized.
John C. Fremont: (1813-1890) [age 33]: You are a risk-taking adventurer who mapped the west, who raised an army to fight against Mexico and to wrest away their land. You have very eccentric strong-held views and are a wild-card.
Jon Riley: (1805-1850) [age 41]
Irishman who fought for America but who switched sides after the Protestant-majority army persecuted his Catholic troops for sharing the same religion as the Mexicans. Juan Cortina, the Red Robber of the Rio Grande, convinced you to join the Mexican army and now you serve Mexico in the St. Patrick’s Battalion of fellow Irish deserters. Your honor has been greatly besmirched by Zachary Taylor and the U.S. army who treated you harshly. You enjoy a good drink, tell a good tale, and fight a good fight.
Jose Castro: (1808-1860) [age 38]. Liberal governor of California; you supported Santa Ana before he essentially became Emperor of Mexico. You are also very refined and are a lover of the arts.
Juan Bautista Vigil y Alarid: (1792-1866) [age 54]
Liberal governor of New Mexico and former famous duelist, your family means everything to you and you are ready to compromise when it suits you, even though in your heart, these compromises pain you. To deal with the pain, you want to deflect the self-loathing by doing good where you can.
Juan Cortina: (1824-1894) [age 22] Red Robber of the Rio Grande. You are highly charismatic and are a somewhat honorable rogue. You convinced the St. Patrick’s Battalion (Jon Riley and Royal Parker) to defect to Mexico’s side in the war. To you, what glitters most is gold.
Kit Carson: (1809-1868) [age 37]: Master tracker and ally of the eccentric explorer John C. Fremont. You are a great shot, a good fighter, and a fair man.
Margaret Fuller: (1810-1850) [age 36]: You are the first female war reporter and are here on orders from newspaperman Horace Greely and the New York Tribune to scribe descriptions of the horror of battle. You are extremely self-assured, and you have a strong temper against those who wrong you or whom you find to be worthless. Your words may hold the key to several people’s personal victories.
Mariano Arista: (1802-1855) (age 44): A Liberal Mexican General and former Jesuit Priest, you live by a strict code and find yourself torn between the radical Liberals and the moderate supporters of Santa Ana. A full liberal victory would mean the seizure of all the church’s land as well as that of your children, who have inheritances. You may be key to deciding what Constitution rules Mexico.
Marie Laveau: (1794-1881) [age 52, looks like 32]: The witch-queen of New Orleans. You were drawn to Mexico City, feeling great magical powers here ready to awaken. So you came with Sam Houston, former President of Texas. You have magical powers; everyone knows this, and so your services will probably be much in demand.
Nicolas Bravo Rueda: (1786-1854) [age 60]: You are a staunch liberal, opposing Santa Ana’s betrayal of the revolution’s democratic ideals. And you are a quarter native. You have gotten to where you are due to competency, despite prejudice against your background.
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (1798-1859) [age 48]: Former second President of the independent Republic of Texas, you did not agree with Sam Houston and Anson Jones’s decision to merge the country into the United States as a State. You were a great patron of the Texas navy and Texas Rangers.
Pedro de Ampudia (1803-1868) [age 43]: Grand Templar of Mexico and famous General, second only to Santa Ana in fame, and his right-hand man. You have hunted demons, destroyed magical artifacts, and protected humankind from their influence.
Rip Ford (1815-1897) [age 31]: You are the rootinist tootinist renowned Texas Ranger just barely on the right side of the law. You lead one of the armies arrayed against the Mexicans and you could be key to Mirabeau B. Lamar’s plans, if you decide to work with him.
Robert Stockton (1795-1866) [age 51]: Admiral of the American forces. You have diplomatic power to sign off on a Treaty for Peace with Mexico. You have political ambitions and your political rivals are Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, who incidentally, also must sign off on the agreement.
Sam Houston: (1793-1863) [age 53]: You captured Santa Ana ten years ago in the war for Texas Independence; then you served as President of Texas. You are astute, you hate war except when it is necessary, you hate slavery, and you believe that Texas needs to be with the US to ensure its long term survival. Unity is better than division. Peace, better than war. You accompanied Winfield Scott to assist with Santa Ana’s surrender negotiations and to oppose Lamar’s machinations.
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (1794-1876) [age 62]: President of Mexico. You rose to power in Mexico on a liberal platform, yet you ruled as a Dictator after elected—a dictator who supported reform and who expanded citizenship rights to those who could read and who had a sufficient annual income. You also established election of Supreme Court members. So, you gained some allies among the liberals, but as you embarked on a Centralization campaign- brutally crushing opponents and extracting higher taxes in order to raise a stronger army, you gained more Conservative allies. Ultimately, you are a paradox, a figure who rules somewhere between where the Conservatives desire and Liberals dream. Although you lost Texas to the Yankees, you have often been on the winning side in battle and you have a fine head for strategy. You refer to yourself as the “Napoleon of the West.”
Winfield Scott (1786-1866) [age 64]: You are Grand Temple Leader of the American Masons, successors to the Knights Templar, a group that seeks to protect humanity from demons and evil magic. You are also a great strategic mind and are Commanding General of the United States Army. A strong victory here could give you enough Political Power to help you win an eventual Presidential election, succeeding the current President, Polk. You are known for your finickiness and your insistence on proper chains of command, proper military dress, and pomp and circumstance. Your troops have nicknamed you “Old Fuss and Feathers.”
Rose West “Yellow Rose of Texas”: (1815-1891) [age 31]: You helped secure Texas’ independence by distracting Santa Ana while Sam Houston’s army surrounded his and captured him. You received little credit for the victory, in part because of your mixed native-Hispanic heritage and you have seen Hispanic Texans have less rights over time. You can move between the American and Mexican sides with ease.
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) [age 62]: You want to lead American troops to victory, seizing a vast swath of Mexican territory with minimal loss of life among your troops. Your future political career as a Whig requires success here tonight. You also have a few eccentricities, picked up from hard living as a soldier.
*Note for history buffs: A few characters have had some of their actual backgrounds mixed around- this happened a bit with the Mexican characters, so history buffs, we can have a good conversation about what backgrounds ended up where… after the game.