On #AnnotatedTuesdays, we will share a quoted passage from some public domain source that has informed the Ascension Epoch universe, followed by commentary on how we used it.
I am a very old man; how old I do not know. Possibly I am a hundred, possibly more; but I cannot tell because I have never aged as other men, nor do I remember any childhood. So far as I can recollect I have always been a man, a man of about thirty. I appear today as I did forty years and more ago, and yet I feel that I cannot go on living forever; that some day I shall die the real death from which there is no resurrection. I do not know why I should fear death, I who have died twice and am still alive; but yet I have the same horror of it as you who have never died, and it is because of this terror of death, I believe, that I am so convinced of my mortality. -Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Princess of Mars
John “Jack” Carter, formerly a Colonel in the Confederate States Army, currently the Prince of the Martian city-state ofHelium, is a Nephilim (hybrid offspring of an Exalted and a normal human) of great age and martial prowess who journeyed to Mars during the War of the Worlds. Colonel Carter led the human counter-attack on Mars in 1899, by way of the Arizona Travel Node. While all of his force perished due to enemy action and the inhospitable Martian environment within a few months, Carter, strengthened by his metahuman bloodline, thrived. He eventually became a powerful warlord and member of the royal family of the Red Martian nation of Helium through marriage with the Red Martian princess Dejah Thoris.
Carter is at least several hundred years old, though serious head trauma has left much of his early life a mystery. He has suffered apparently mortal wounds several times only to inexplicably recover. Added to this inhuman resiliency and longevity is extraordinary physical strength and stamina. Alone among all of the human commandos that participated in the Mars raid, Carter’s health was not reduced by prolonged exposure to the low gravity and thinner atmosphere of Mars, and he maintains the same prodigious strength he had on Earth even into his second century of life on the Red Planet.
Although Carter’s half-Exalted heritage is certain, little else is definitely known about his parentage or youth. He is the patriarch of the powerful Carter family of Virginia, notable descendants including Robert “King” Carter, an early governor of the colony, and Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general under whom he served during the War of Southern Independence. Another branch of the same family migrated to New England in the late 17th century, making him the blood relative of fellow Martian War-era hero Bruce Carter III, alias the Fighting Yank.