Masks of Nyarlathotep
Stern, brusque, guarded
Henry Ernst is tall, barrel chested, and stocky. He often wears a short beard and well-cut hair. His eyes are piercing. A scar can be seen just above his cheek.
He dresses well, though never fashionably. He rarely wears a tie. He often is seen sitting with his back to a wall, surveying a room, a moleskin notebook open nearby.
The guns on the Somme echoed loudly across the Atlantic. Their booming echoes were heard along the broad prairie towns of Iowa and Minnesota, catching the attention of a young man in Albert Lea, who could stand no more talk of corn or wheat or snow or weather. So Henry Ernst enlisted with the Red Cross, and was sent across the sea. There he drove an ambulance north of Paris, until Blackjack Pershing and his dough boys pushed Jerry back.
Now the roar of guns has given way to the clatter of type-writers. Finding solace in words, friendship with writers, the streets of New York suit Ernst. He writes travel pieces for magazines and newspapers. He has a particular way of describing travel, peoples, and locales that attracts much attention. His days in New York are spent writing, planning, or boxing. His nights are fueled by speakeasies and gambling dens. When out of the city he hunts and fishes. Large game and sea fish are his prized prey. It is in his time in New York that he has made the acquaintance of other writers, including Jackson Elias. The two are friends, and Jackson provides useful commentary on his stories.
Ernst has traveled extensively. He has fought in France, lived in Paris, toured Britain, hunted in Africa, and reported in South America. But there are two places he loves, and one he hates. In the hills of Pamplona, where the streams run out of the mountains, he finds a place to calm his mind. He loves to go there, drink fresh Spanish wine, and cast his lines into the cold river, alone. The other place where he can find such calm is in the shadow of Kilimanjaro along the Amboselli plains. There he hunts, dines, and goes on safari, and forgets the echoes in his mind.
Ernst has a utilitarian view to many things. Clothes, tools, weapons – they are just things. He ascribes no sentimental value to them. The only difference is the typewriter he carries with him. It’s an Underwood, and not particularly different from any other. But Ernst has had this typewriter with him throughout all his travels. Never having had a home – never having had a place that was his – there was no consistency in his life. The only thing that has been present was this typewriter. Wherever he has begun to feel a bit settled – a bit relaxed – the typewriter has graced a table. And so when he sets it up in his room at a new location, it brings some sense that he is home and all is well.