We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Leighton Connor just released his newest story, Hello From Junction City, which you can download for FREE on Amazon (or buy, if you read this after the low introductory price of “nothing” expires). The protagonists of the story are members of The Herrick Agency, a private detective agency in New York City that specializes in strange and unusual cases. If that name sounds familiar to you, it’s because The Herrick Agency has appeared in several Hex Games products, most prominently Mars & Venus at War, where the PCs work for the agency. We’ve also run a lot of convention games featuring Herrick Agency detectives. One day we may even release a Herrick Agency sourcebook, but until then you’ll have to make due with these 10 tidbits of Herrick Agency trivia. This list contains a few pieces of information that are revealed in Hello For Junction City, so you should read the story first in order to avoid spoilers.
- The Herrick Agency was founded in the 1920s by Mr. Herrick. Mr. Herrick presumably has a first name, but nobody knows it. Mr. Herrick (also known, rarely to his face, as “The Old Man”) is still alive and actively running the agency in 2018, and doesn’t look a day over 70. It’s unclear to what Mr. Herrick owes his longevity and (relative) youth and vigor, but there are a lot of theories. Mr. Herrick is hard-working, demanding, and a legendary cheapskate.
- Joe Thursday started working for the Herrick Agency after he returned from World War 2 with a newfound knowledge of magic and a leg injury that prevented him from returning to his old job as a New York City beat cop. In the late 50s, he was magically frozen by a voodoo priest working for the Gorilla Gangsters. Joe was rediscovered and released from the spell in the 90s, and has been trying to collect back pay ever since. Joe claims that since he was working a case when he was frozen, his time in the freezer (literally, the gorillas left him in a walk-in freezer for nearly 50 years) should count as billable hours. Mr. Herrick disagrees. Strongly.
- Most of the notable information about Harry Ping is covered in Hello from Junction City. He is a sandwich artist who works part-time as a Herrick Agency detective. As we see in the story, Harry occasionally has visions of the future. Unfortunately, every time Harry has a vision, he loses some of his memory, with the amount of memory loss corresponding to the intensity and importance of the vision. Although he was (I believe) created before QAGS, Harry’s precognition and its cost is a perfect Gimmick and Weakness pairing.
- You may recognize Daniel Warren Prescott V from Leighton’s Ross Fulton novella, The MarmiCon Conundrum. His incredibly wealthy great-grandfather (who appears as a sample PC in Mars & Venus at War) was a Herrick detective who stipulated in his will that his heirs had to work for the agency in order to claim their inheritance. Danny is not exactly thrilled with the requirement, but he’s a good detective.
- Trinket, the girl with the magic coat and the unconventional vocabulary, appeared as a sample character in QAGS Second Edition. When she’s not working for the Herrick Agency, she’s out having wacky adventures with her friend Gremlin, an electrokinetic who works as a test driver for her father’s spy car company. There’s a lovely illustration of Trinket and Gremlin by Gary Bedell on page 54 or Q2E. We’ve also got a script for issue #1 of the comic if any publishers are reading this.
- Other notable Herrick Agency detectives include a young Mike Mulligan (who fought Galaxikhan and was Director of M-Force during the disastrous “War on Slugs” era), Batboy (they call him “Frank”), Sindbad the Sailor during a brief episode of time displacement, a similarly time-displaced Civil War soldier named Tancred Beauregard, a hyper-intelligent cat from another dimension named Mr. Fluffy, a demon name Manny, Synthia Courage (a robot girl), and assorted crime-fighters, witches, wizards, mad geniuses, and luchadores. There are even a few Herrick Agency detectives with backgrounds in things like police work and forensic science.
- In The MarmiCon Conundrum, Danny Prescott spoke on the phone to someone named “Niles.” Dr. Niles Veroshilef, sometimes called “Dr. V,” is the Herrick Agency’s staff researcher, who has an amazing knack for finding unexpected connections everywhere. Dr. V wears roller skates, is very highly caffeinated, and goes through a truly stunning amount of yarn (much to Mr. Herrick’s displeasure).
- The Herrick Agency owns a zeppelin, but it is very expensive to operate and Mr. Herrick will only approve its use if he can be convinced it is absolutely necessary. It’s happened exactly 4 times in the 10 years since the agency acquired the air machine.
- The top floor of The Herrick Building, which Herrick employees call “The Attic,” contains old case files and items that the agency has acquired over the years. It’s very likely that at least a few of the items described in the American Artifacts series can be found there.
- Quilipth, the antagonist of Hello From Junction City has previously appeared in a Hex product. Leighton’s illustration of him can be found on page 87 of Spooky: The Definitive Guide to Horror Gaming.