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Alston Folkor Doublelock

A Gnome⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ academic, scholar, lecturer, professor and inventor who has recently come out of his semi-retirement as a tutor for House Caravielle⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ in order to pursue the unlikely twilight path of a wizard adventurer. Inventor of the Mechanical Marvel⁣⁣⁣⁣, a bipedal robotic vehicle which Alston himself pilots on his adventuring career.   His past affiliations include the University of Nirndohr in his native Wulvaral and the Order of the Snow Owl in Kar Vreld, whose monastery he stayed at on a study exchange before joining the Lothell Expedition.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Alston is reasonably spry for a near-quincentenarian, but that isn't saying much. Nearing the tail end of the anticipated lifespan for even such a long-lived race as gnomes, and with much of that lifespan spent in bookish pursuits, Alston has very little in the way of physical mass, moves a little unsteadily when taxed, and has a tendency to sink into a stoop when tired or put upon.   Although occasionally wobbly on his feet, his hands can still be brought to bear on the most delicate of manual tasks, with the aid of continual practice in this area (and some magnification goggles for truly fiddly work).   He may also call on the muscle-memory of a physically exuberant youth, and throw or balance with some skill, but such competence can unfortunately no longer be relied upon.

Facial Features

Sharp green eyes framed by smile lines and bushy white brows form the dominant impression of Alston's countenance, set above a gnomish-ly large nose and a neatly trimmed white mustaches and beard.

Identifying Characteristics

Some of Alston's companions have had occasion to notice the odd tattoo above and behind his left elbow, which includes two distinct script-like symbols, neither of which are native to the written languages of Valderia.

Apparel & Accessories

Alston still generally wears his plain beige academic and teaching robes. (Suitable for displaying subordinate rank in a noble household, making getting dressed in the morning an effortless matter for those who do not bother overmuch with such things, and hiding workshop dust - all at once, in one practical garment!)    While, practically speaking, the equivalent of wearing a brown sack (with all of the lack of attention to one's appearance that implies), the popularity of this wardrobe among distracted academics who can at least afford to get their wardrobe of brown sacks tailored properly has made this an acceptable garment in the homes and political centres of people with power and wealth in Valderia and Wulvaral.   All accessories are purely practical; occasionally magnification goggles are perched above Alston's forehead, or fine clockwork-arranging tools in a portable case that attaches to the belt. Anything of real personal or aesthetic value is kept out of sight, where it can't get metal shavings caught in it.   Alston does own good clothes (even if they are a century or so out of fashion), and can become a gentleman of taste should he put his mind to it, but this is a side of himself that he has bothered with less and less as time goes on. There are more exciting and worthwhile things to be doing in the world than tending to one's wardrobe! Even if one has the lifespan of a gnome, time is not something to be taken for granted, especially as one comes to have less of it remaining.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Alston was born in the town of Momeldur, Wulvaral, in the year 739 AoM.


Undergraduate at the University of Nirndohr (764-804): Studies in History & Culture, Physical Science, and Magic & Cosmology, specialising in Physics.   Postgraduate at the University of Nirndohr (804-864): Studies in Light, Momentum & Gravity, Electricity & Magnetism, and Biological Motion, specialising in Artificial Kinaesthetics.


Faculty at the University of Nirndohr:
  • Lecturer in Undergraduate Physics; Researcher in Synthetic Genesis of Kinetic Energy (864-884)
  • Lecturer in Postgraduate Electricity & Magnetism; Researcher in Synthetic Genesis of Electrical Energy (884-904)
  • Lecturer in Postgraduate Momentum & Gravity; Researcher in Aerodynamics (904-924)
  • Lecturer in Postgraduate Aerodynamics; Researcher in Mechanical Flight (924-944)
  • Research placement at Jirandai Monastery (944-953)
  • Member of The Lothell Expedition (953)
  • Reader and transcriber at the Jirandai monastic library (953-1015)

Accomplishments & Achievements

As a faculty member at the University of Nirndohr, Alston pioneered creating moving mechanical devices based on the locomotion of biological creatures. Efforts to overcome the terrain limitations suffered by wheels, tracks, and other common forms of mechanical locomotion were resoundingly successful.   His studies also sparked conversations in the biological sciences concerning the organic equivalents or alternatives to the mechanical parts used in his work, most notably supporting the theory that the digestive tract of an organism somehow operated as the source of the electrical energy that powers its muscles, converting the potential energy of food into electricity and kinetic motion.   Meanwhile, Alston's research veered into seeking a synthetic "food" and "digestive tract" for his inventions that could reliably, continuously, and affordably provide the energy input they needed to run. Batteries and clockwork had both been found impractical and wanting; magic required either the continuous presence and use of a magic user as a conduit, or the binding of elemental 'spirits', neither of which fulfilled the vision or a replicable, ethical, independent piece of machinery run on physical and non-sentient power alone.   This research led to the further discovery of a method by which electricity could be applied to magnets to produce motion; motion that could be manually adjusted by alteration of the electrical current. Although this did not ultimately result in the success of his "mechanical marvels" due to the lack of a suitable electrical power source, it was nonetheless lauded as a worthwhile discovery.   After hitting this dead end, Alston turned his attention back to his academic roots at the intersection of physics and biological motion, and began studying aerodynamics and flight. Through his partnership with the Aarakocra community near Momeldur, several pioneering papers on the physics of air and flight were produced, and a module in Aerodynamics was added to the postgraduate offerings at the University of Nirndohr.   Latterly, Alston became known for his part in The Lothell Expedition in Kar Vreld, and the findings that came from it. His name is associated alongside Mardrid Greyhelm's with several discoveries regarding the anatomy and biomechanics of dragons.   He also transcribed a great deal of his own prior findings (and some new researches conducted at Jirandai) into the monastic archives at Jirandai Monastery, as well as other notable papers from Wulvaral, before moving to Tourelle and becoming a reasonably well-known member of civil society while in the employ of House Caravielle.

Failures & Embarrassments

Alston's "mechanical marvels" (as his walking, crawling, and flying machines became known) were, throughout his career, "the wonder that never quite was".   While creating and evidencing a great deal of theory along the way, and providing successful proof of concept for the mechanical operation of the devices, the lack of a suitable power source meant that these devices never quite left the lab. Short periods of perfect operation were of too little use, and generating electricity in such a way that a continuous power source could be built into the machines proved ever elusive.   As such, Alston's inventions are often considered a life's work incomplete. However otherwise successful his academic career has been, its record is littered with walking machines that work for but a few minutes, flying devices that can only take off before they have to land again, and other such might-have-been-s.   Only a very few in Eramon know any differently.
Year of Birth
739 GA 486 Years old
Aligned Organization
Known Languages
Common, Gnomish, Dwarvish, Court Valderian

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