People love Special Characters, no matter what game they play - I'm a sucker for them myself. Even MORE SO with Empire of the Dead. These astonishing Men and Women (well, Woman) - are available for you to hire from time to time - here is a rough breakdown of what we have to play with (so far).
You can find the rules for these Characters here - Gentlemen & Jackanapes
"Professor Erazmus" - the Special Edition Miniature that comes with the Rulebook. There are few inventions that cannot be traced in some way back to the brilliance of Professor Erazmus. An expert in manipulating Infernium it is no surprise that Factions of all hues will stop at nothing to secure his services or prevent his knowledge falling into the hands of their enemies. The Professor has dedicated his life to the study of the occult and the mythical creatures of the world. Having gained a knowledge and understanding of these horrors, he has vowed to employ this knowledge in the protection of his fellow man. Though he abhors violence he will defend himself if necessary. Useful no matter who hires him, Erazmus is neutral in a alignment - mostly down the the character background I would imagine.
The "Gallows Hag" - Hanged a century ago for the crime of witchcraft. She now stalks the streets of London again seeking vengeance on the living by dragging them to the gates of Hell at the end of her noosed rope. Once entangled few can escape the long painful road to damnation that she desires for all blessed with life. She's neutral, so any Faction can take her (oops). A nice chance to add something "spooky" to your faction.
The "Reaper Deathlight" - one of the theories about "Infernium" the magical element that makes everything work, is that its fossilized "Angels Blood" (I love this background LoL) When angels fall, remnants of their shattered souls remain bound to the earth. Trapped between the mortal and ethereal they must sustain their existence by capturing the souls of mortals as they expire. Fueled by this energy their power and corporeal form grows, alongside an ever increasing hunger. Locked in an addictive spiral, a Reaper becomes the very image of death, helping speed the passing of many a poor individual. Mankind has learned to fear these spectral beings as harbingers of death reaping the souls of the innocent and guilty alike. Once again neutral (Death is indiscriminate) and a really cool and creepy model.
"Lady Luck" - This anonymous (one would imagine "Suffragette") very independent woman haunts the underworld of "Empire of the Dead" as an Assassin and Bounty Hunter. Throughout the dark and closeted back-rooms of London, stories abound of her murderous exploits and ability to evade any trap, no matter how well set. However to the poor unfortunates of London’s rookeries, Lady Luck is a beneficent angel ministering to their needs. Another (very interesting) and neutral character,
"Cedric Hyde" - Yes, you read right - this guy is the illegitimate Son of Mister Hyde. Another neutral character - though the offspring of the infamous beast and a destitute lady of the night, Cedric Hyde is actually an innocent that is easily misled but has a temper that would put fear in the heart of the Devil himself. He combines the strength and temper of his father with the vulnerability of the sad child that he really is. Cedric is capable of feats of great strength and though unpredictable, Cedric can help a faction achieve great success.
"Mr Chop" - this is actually the only miniature in the whole range so far I'm not that keen on. He looks "out of place" to be frank. UPON SAYING THAT he is a demon from the seventh gate of Hell who likes nothing better than to feast on the flayed souls of those most evil sinners condemned to the fiery pits of his lair. Only the desperate will attempt to bind Mr. Chop to their cause - and yes, he's Evil!
The "Cirque du Noir Man Ape" - I FRACKING LOVE THIS MINIATURE. Anyone who's familiar with ANY version of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (whether the original Story, or from the 1932 Movie) or "The Island Doctor Moreau" of will "get"the origins of this guy. Although this follows the 1932 Movie more than the Book, as its a Gorilla not an Orangutan - he is the creation of "Doctor Moreaux" - Trapped between man and animal in a body corrupted by the foul Infernium experiments of Dr Moreaux, crowds used to flock to see the gorilla possessed of a human intellect. Treated as a freak by society, having escaped the Cirque, he now roams Europe hiring out his services. Another neutral character, for all factions to take advantage of.
"Jack the Ripper" - Linda and I are self confessed "Ripperaholics" - we can't get enough on the whole circus that was Jack the Ripper. The writers have given him a more accessible "slant" - so the character is more durable in game terms. Centuries ago he was a learned man who discovered a way to perpetuate his life, although at a gruesome cost. In a grisly arcane ritual he discovered a way to replace his own organs with ones harvested from those around him. Now he prolongs his life through the grisly visceration of strangers and what better place to practice this than in London, the greatest city in the world. He has a PARTICULARLY useful "Unusual Occurrence" making him VERY slippery indeed. Without saying, Jack is (of course) Evil.
There isn't a new sculpt for Jack, but any suitable Miniature would do - West Wind (of course) do a VERY nice one).
Last (but not least) we have -
"Sherlock Holmes & Doctor Watson" - The world’s one and only consulting detective (and perhaps my favourite literary characters of all time), Sherlock Holmes, and his loyal friend and chronicler Dr John Watson, are available to provide their services to right wrongs and bring the guilty to justice. Using his vast intellect, Holmes applies himself to unravelling foul deeds and solving mysteries across the Empire. By the sheer nature of who they are and what they do - Holmes and Watson are good in alignment!
All in all a fantastic selection of Special Characters for your Factions to draw upon - I can't wait to see what West Wind come up with in the future!