Lord Steam is an interdimensional ambassador. He originates from, and works for, the English empire of Earth Victoriana. In this dimension, none of the colonies of England fell, making it the dominant world super power (albeit in a world that is pure steampunk in flavour). There are other major colonial powers, such as France and Spain, although they are lesser in strength and scope. Whilst the English Empire has the most military and economic power (by a palpable but not major margin), it is not without enemies. In particular, the Catholic Church (and the Inquisition) are major enemies in the political and psychological domain, as they resent the Church of England.
Lord Steam is in hot political water in his home dimension, having wrought the Ire of the powerful Lord Bellowforth (whose daughter became Lord Steam’s little fancy). It was thought best by all (including the Ministry of Extraordinary Affairs) that Lord Steam take an indefinitely long position on Earth Prime (Or Earth Americana, as they call it), to stay out of trouble.
Of course, this means he can get into trouble on Earth Prime, Freedom City.
The Interdimensional Embassy
Steam Manor is located just outside of Freedom City (the North). It has been purchased and financed by the Government of Earth Victoriana, although Lord Steam engineered its architecture to fit the style of his own Manor. It is an antique building with a stately home feels and extensive grounds, where horses graze. A peculiarity of the building is its steam punk feel and the relative paucity of electronics. For instance, the library is full of written and printed tomes rather than large amounts of data stored on computers.
The Embassy / Manor is staffed by Earth Prime attendants who like the eccentricity of the place. However, Mr. Charles Blakely is the head butler, a skilled man who also hails from Earth Victoriana.
The Duties of the Ambassador
Interdimensional embassies are a new thing, and nobody really understand them. Earth Victoriana’s government is at the very least neutral towards the United States and the rest of Earth Prime, and is probably a sort of ally. There is information sharing and mutual assistance in the case of interdimensional threats. The thorny issue of interdimensional extradition still needs diplomacy.
It is these matters that Lord Steam (or the Ambassador) needs to navigate. They rarely occur, but they are serious one they do. Hence, the job can be considered largely symbolic (thus affording Lord Steam plenty of free time), with the occasional state function. However, on rare occasions it can become a very tense game indeed.
Interdimensional Crime Sleuth
Lord Steam is a skilled diplomat. But he is a master inventor and, more pertinently, a master sleuth. Solving crime has always been a major passion; the more challenging the case, the better.
In this regard he has thrown himself open as “Consulting detective” on Earth Prime. He has pretty reasonable relationship with Freedom City Police (by and large), who respect his expertise whilst sometimes finding him a bit too arrogant for truly warm relationships. It is fair to say that he gets result, and has dealt with the police fair and square, so for the most part they are amicable.
Beyond this relationship, Lord Steam has a particular interest, and perhaps role, in tracking down any criminals from Earth Victoriana whom may have escaped to Earth Prime. This is a rare occurrence – for interdimensional travel is rare at best – but it has happened. And this is where things get tricky.
The Extradition agreement between the two dimensions is complicated and fudged. And sometimes not in the government of Earth-Victoriana’s best interest. From time to time, Lord Steam has been called in to navigate this difficulty. He does not enjoy such spycraft, but he does enjoy his easy life with few demands. He has tried to surreptitiously get some feeling wanted men (and women) back to Earth Victoriana with the “Minimum of diplomatic incident”, as he puts it.
Bartitsu, the Martial Art of the Gentleman
Bartitsu is the favoured martial art of the Earth Victorian Gentleman (and Gentlewoman). It is a fusion of Japanese and European Martial Arts. Lord Steam would not be so bold as to say he was a master of this complex art, but he is certainly an expert.
Bartitsu revolves around rapid dangerous punches, slaps and kicks at short range, and using a walking cane in combination to trip, distract or strike assailants. Some fencing moves are used, in particular having emphasis on disarming an opponent quickly.
At closer range, Bartitsu teaches joint locks and manipulation, and grappling techniques including chokeholds.
It is an effective martial art for any Gentleman (or women). Its unusual form can make it surprisingly effective on Earth Prime.