This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 issue.
Iosif Kliedaries 8A6788 Age 34 Cr60,000
4 terms Journalist
Computer-2, Carousing-2, Linguistics-2, Liason-1, Interrogation-1, Streetwise-1, Gun Combat-1 (pistol)
Languages: Telerine (fluent/native), Korvan (Pumayaqta dialect, fluent/native), Galanglic (good, definite accent), Korvan (other dialects, passable)
Special Ability: Can transition between Thin/Standard/Dense atmospheres without problems.
Never without his smart-tablet handy.
Iosif Kliedaries is a popular author/poet/journalist/blogger from Telerine whose journals/fiction/poetry are on Net screens and ebook downloads all over Telerine and its colonies and outposts. With the appearance of Galanglic translations of his works, he is becoming known outside Telerine’s three-system pocket empire – currently in the surrounding subsector of the Dole Moving Group.
Iosif’s nominal homeworld of Telerine is Tech Level 11. At that Tech Level, most all publication is done online, either ebooks or downloads from a subscription site, with hardcopy books primarily for traditional archiving or low-tech distribution. Though content piracy is common despite TL11 security and payment apps, it is still possible to build a following and make a living as an author.
Physically, Iosif is an ethnic Telerine, with olive-tan skin, rich brown eyes, and gleaming curly black hair worn in a Telerine cascading mullet. His skin is slightly darker than average, the mark of a Korvan Colonial. One of his in-person trademarks is his full mustache, unusual for a Telerine (Telerine men normally go completely clean-shaven or grow short full beards, nothing in-between). Because of his upbringing on both Dense-atmo Telerine and Thin-atmo Korvo, he has no problems with transitioning between Thin, Standard, or Dense atmospheres. He often wears a multicolored Korvan-style poncho over a Telerine-style tunic, a common combination for a Korvan Colonial; his Galanglic has a pronounced Telerine (Greek) accent.
He is pretty fast in standard gravity, with some skill in pistolry. If he has to travel armed (with a dry sense of humor about “extreme fans”), he usually packs a TL10 combat snub pistol with non-lethal loads first up the spout; if he wants firepower or doing some real recreational shooting, he goes to a 9mm Magnum Autopistol (described in “Missing Links: Filling In The Gaps In Slug-Thrower Evolution”).
His personality is fairly serious, with a dry sense of humor; very inquisitive, as befits his journalistic experience, observing and asking questions. He is known for fresh and unique words and turns of phrase, both in writing and in everyday use (more so in Telerine than Galanglic).
Often he is “researching” as he travels or lectures, snooping around for local color, settings, situations, and character sketches for future literary works, putting his Carousing, Liason, Interrogation, and Streetwise skills to use at all levels of society. (He is not a ‘slumming fool’; he knows the warning signs of a situation getting dangerous and how to distance himself from said danger.) When he’s not speaking, “researching”, or carousing, he’s often over his tablet, writing like a maniac – touch-screen keypad, voice-recognition dictation (in Telerine or Korvan), or going longhand with a touch-screen stylus. (He often voice-dictates when writing in mixed language, as Telerine and Korvan are not only linguistically-unrelated, but written with different alphabets.)
For his signet, Iosif uses a Korvan geometric decorative pattern called a “Chakana”, which appears on his online icons, wardrobe accessories, and woven into his poncho outerwear. On personal appearances/speaking tours, he keeps a small stamp with his signet for “signing” autographs.
Born and raised on Korvo as a dependent of Telerine colonists in the Colonial Administration civil service, Iosif grew up with one foot in each culture; he writes primarily slice-of-life and adventure about the Korvan colonial setting and milieu – very much like Rudyard Kipling, that is if Kipling wrote in Greek about a TL7 neo-Andean milieu instead of in English about a TL4 British-colonial India.
His first major publication other than blogging poetry was around ten years ago, a collection of Telerine-language slice-of-life shorts and novellas collectively titled Tales from the Korvan Mountains, slice-of-life portraits and adventures of Colonial Korvo. This took off on the Telerine Web and quickly spread back to Korvo and to Telerine’s other colony of Geolan. In the ten years since, Iosif has kept up the pace with five similar anthologies, independent shorts, and travelblog collections as he became in-demand for personal appearances and online lectures. In the meantime, he continues to write, blog, and collection-release Telerine popular poetry.
Some six years ago, he translated and re-published his current anthology Pumayaqta Tales into Korvan, expanding his following to urban Korvans; four years ago, his first Galanglic translations appeared, spreading his name outside Telerine’s three systems. Galanglic-speakers know him primarily for his fiction and travelogues – his verse loses a lot in translation. Now his speaking tours and travelogues/travelblogs extend through Jumpspace into the surrounding worlds and systems of the subsector containing the Dole Moving Group.
The Wasphome Connection
Iosif first encountered the Chitin A “Wasps” as a young adult on Telerine when he was first writing fiction, and has featured this vassal race of the Telerines in a couple of his shorts and one novella; with his Galanglic-language editions, he has begun introducing this minor race to the greater interstellar community.
This has come to the attention of several Wasp Hives, who are competing to cultivate him to put their side of the Telerine Blockade before the interstellar community. Besides lobbying him to write more on the subject, the Hives are competing to assign a detached-duty Emissary (from their Hive) as his manager/scheduler/travelling companion on speaking tours.
Iosif is most likely to be encountered on one of his speaking tours. Or simply Travelling, gathering color and character for his next work, whether fiction or travelblog.
- If the PCs are Travelling without a ship, Iosif might have
booked passage on the same ship; he prefers Middle Passage with a
shared stateroom, encountering “interesting” people.
- This could lend itself to a solo adventure, with the PC sharing the cabin with Iosif. Note that he will need alone time for writing, either in the stateroom or a private part of the common area.
- Or with a group of PCs, shipboard adventures on a liner, including “getting in trouble” at intermediate ports of call.
- Or Iosif could book passage on the PCs’ ship; smaller Free
Traders often have looser separations between crew and passengers,
allowing for more “local color”.
- He would be very interested in ship operations or any stories or experiences of the crew. A week in Jump gets boring, and crewmen often like to talk about their more “interesting” experiences.
- This could later come back to haunt the PCs if they (or their tales) appear in his travelblog or as fiction in his next e-book.
- If on tour, he might book passage for several weeks/Jumps, with a series of speaking engagements at each world of call; if a Subsidized Merchant, his itinerary matches the ship’s normal route; if a Free Trader, he might have hired the ship for more than one stop. Or the captain or similar prominent crew member might be a fan of his works and willing to accommodate.
- Wasps are hyper-social; when isolated from their Hive, they will adopt any human companion as temporary substitute “Hive-sister”. The two will always share accommodations, including the bed.
- Said Emissary would have been assigned by her HiveCorp to travel with Iosif; cultivating a rising author would be advantageous to the Hive.
- Not only does this also provide an introduction to this minor race, but raises the possibility of getting dragged into a “spy thriller” adventure; it’s an open secret that Wasp Emissaries double as industrial/tech spies for their Hive.
- And another HiveCorp might want their Emissary cultivating Iosif.
If either (and anything “interesting” happens enroute or in port), expect to see the ship, crew, and incident appear online on his travelblog or fictionalized as characters or events in his next set of short stories/novellas.
This character was generated using the careers previously published as “Shavian Empire Careers”, Freelance Traveller, Nov/Dec 2017. The Telerine language was represented in the campaign by Greek; Korvan/Pumayaqta by Quechua, Galanglic as the interstellar lingua franca by English.
Telerine and Korvo were profiled as Jump Destinations in Freelance Traveller, Mar/Apr 2016 and May/June 2016 respectively. Geolan and Wasphome were profiled together in Freelance Traveller, Jan/Feb 2017.
The premise behind Iosif was “a Telerine Rudyard Kipling”, with age and career paralleling that of RK in his early thirties, shortly before his marriage.
Unfortunately, his name has no equivalent in Telerine/Greek. Research showed Kipling’s actual name was Joseph Rudyard Kipling, and the Greek form of Joseph is “Iosif”. His last name was more difficult; I had to go back a generation to his father’s middle name of Lockwood, which Google-translates to “Kliedaries”.
His use of a Chakana as his signet echoes Kipling’s pre-1933 use of a swastika (a sign of good fortune in India).
Kipling was known for coining several English expressions and phrases that are still in use: “Deadlier than the male”, “White Man’s Burden”, “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet”, “Law of the Jungle”, “The Great Game”, and others. This is the basis for Iosif’s renown in coining words and phrases in Telerine/Greek.