A character portrait for 1920’s Call of Cthulhu role-playing game setting. An illustration recently slightly retouched but originates from 2007.
Dean Mortimer Balmers is the dean of Department of Archaeology at Miskatonic University at Arkham. He runs the department with an iron skill set brought on by three decades as the head of the department. His health is still not yet betraying him despite his venerable age of 75 years, although his physical stamina and endurance is in no way matching that of younger men. He has the nickname of Old Ox that has lingered on him since the late 19th century. Mortimer has excellent pedagogic skills and he is well liked by his students as a man of dedication and integrity. Although he is less and less seen teaching, he still mentors in some way or other most of the post-graduate students. Mortimer has, however, some personal traits that are now outdated. He does not care much of non-caucasian races seeing the men of African or Asian descendance as inferior to white men. This racism is surely connected to his age and perhaps his considerable field experiences in Asian, Meso-American and African archaelogical sites. He also favors men over women. These traits are not apparent in his professional demeanor and he treats each and every exam paper equally, but when outside working hours, he does not make the effort to hide his racism and misogynism.
Mortimer is a walking library of arcane knowledge and a veritable fountain of valuable insight into the field of archaeology. He knows most of the important scientific research done in the field over the last half a century by heart and can quote intricately detailed and obscure notions to the letter. He also remembers each and every student of his department by name which raises constant amazement among the students since the department is by no means a tiny or obscure unit but instead houses several dozen students at any given time.