Hope you all had a nice break! We had a great weekend, but were very busy and I haven't had much time to think about this... still, our team seems to be converging here, so let's look at where we're at.
We're in an alternate-technology history and we seem to be heading into early aviation territory. As an American, I naturally tend to think about the Wright brothers, WW1 era dogfights and barnstormers, Amelia Earhart, the age of zeppelins, etc. Of course, lot of this stuff is significantly later than turn-of-the-century... but since we're in steampunk fantasy-land, we can imagine an alternate history where aviation and heavy mechanization were developed much earlier. Perhaps lighter-than-air craft and clockwork automata were realized on a larger scale earlier on?
Arttorney's Boxer Rebellion influenced characters fit in perfectly well, particularly if we bring a bit more of an Asian or European Colonial spin to this.
The characters so far... feel free to add words as appropriate.
The Hero: So far we've got a strong young woman, a young captain or perhaps even an officer... an aviator, think "Amelia Earhart".
The Protector: A strong and burly man... perhaps an ex-prizefighter or similar? Maybe he's a relative or legal guardian?
The Shadow: A scruffier, surly, male version of the hero... a guy that wants to be important and in on whatever's going on, but also a classic underachiever.
The Technician: A smaller, fairly young woman... I was thinking cheerful and unpretentious... kinda geeky but caring. My version is a little overweight.
The Sage: My idea to blend him into the group is that he's a Colonial-era English-educated mystic. Think Jules Verne's "Captain Nemo". Perhaps he's a true mystic as in "The Shadow" who feels that whatever the group is doing is spiritually important... or perhaps he's a charlatan who sees some profit in it. Blackcherry's Sage is moving in a Mr. Miyagi or Yoda-ish direction, which is fine by me.
The Rabble Rouser: Actually, my version and Blackcherry's version are not that far apart. I thought of him also as being a bit of a flashy, dramatic showoff. I was thinking a bit more of an academic, artistic radical... and maybe Blackcherry is thinking more along the lines of a gambler and showman... but really, we're pretty close.
So again, feel free to add words to this... maybe we can build up a sort of word-description version of the mood board?