Professor Polycappellus is the most significant figure in the popular culture of Terah. He appears in radio serials, comic prints, and two-penny dreadfuls the world over. One professor of literature at Vidava University even calls Professor Polycappellus “the new man of mythos for contemporary society; what legendary heroes—the Facets of God, Veritas, even Benayle—were to the people of antiquity, Professor Polycappellus is to us.”
Professor Polycappellus appears in many forms, and the people of Terah have many conflicting stories of his origins and exploits. Yet the character is always the same: A bearded and bespectacled man, on a quest through the multiverse to collect the finest hats in existence. His hats are always depicted as being extra-dimensional in nature; He can store any number of items in one hat, and pull them out of any of his other hats. In most of the tales of Professor Polycappellus, he wanders good-naturedly through whatever place he visits, solving people’s problems through a combination of down-to-earth common sense and the use of whatever tool he has conveniently squirreled away in his hat collection.
Although most people in Terah are at least familiar him, few people realize that the character of Professor Polycappellus is based on an actual historical figure who suddenly appeared in Vidava in 90 AH. According to one witness, the real Professor Polycappellus “stepped out of a wind-blown bowler right across from my favorite clothes trader,” For the next several years, Professor Polycappellus took classes from every university in Terah, bought all of the finest hats that could be found, and joined up with multiple groups of prominent adventurers in an effort to pay for it all.
Interestingly enough, after his prompt disappearance in 110 AH, Professor Polycappellus left behind a number of powerful artifacts from other universes. The more meticulous members of his parties gathered these artifacts and catalogued them for the benefit of posterity. A number of significant scientific advancements have been made from the study of advanced or parallel technology which Professor Polycappellus pulled out of his hat and simply forgot to put back in.