Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Characters who can Drive the Story #1

Garden of Ilyuan, Heavenly City, Gourth/GazolanAt the end of my previous post, I briefly discussed the death of Sector Duke Kolin I Venuraski in 550. As you may recall, his brief biography in the Library Data ends Kolin’s driving ambition led to his downfall when he was killed on campaign in the Gazolan Subsector, killed, it is said, by a disgruntled gardener. I concluded that Kolin’s death at the hands of a gardener had the hallmarks of a historical myth – the mighty brought low by the humble – and left it at that.

A day or so later, I read a post on the Fire Broadside Blog about Oniwaban – ninja attached to the Court of the Tokugawa Shoguns who acted as intelligence agents and bodyguards. Martin at Fire Broadside had pretty much cribbed the fluff from the Infinity game site (as he’s busy painting up Infinity figures) but a quick Google on Wikipedia uncovered further information about these special agents that got me thinking.

Back in the day, I used to be a fan of Cerebus the Aardvark. At one point Cerebus, while working as Head of Security for Lord Julius, was given the title of Kitchen Staff Supervisor. Lord Julius was a great believer in impenetrable bureaucracy and miss-direction by mislabelling. He had a theory that a job title did not define the job and, in fact, it was better from a security point of view if a person’s job title actually had no relation to their actual job.

So, an interesting scenario presents itself. Sector Duke Kolin I is on active service in Gazolan when he his killed, not in battle, but by someone in his entourage. This person becomes known to history as a disgruntled gardener, in effect written out of history even though they have just killed a Sector Duke. When examined with a slightly suspicious mind, this could hint at a deliberate blurring of events to protect … whom?

Like double cream, the plot suddenly thickens.


  1. Mis-direction is as old as warfare.

  2. Hello!

    I'm glad you linked to my blog as that allowed me to find my way back to your blog! I've only just scratched on the surface of what you've got going here, but it looks terrific!

    A lot of inspiration everywhere... I think I might borrow some of it for my upcoming (hopefully) Diaspora gaming. ;)

  3. @John - you're right, and history is written by the winners ;) I'm (re)discovering that history is mutable - even official history - which is rather liberating when you're writing your own, LOL.

    @Martin - Welcome back. Glad you're finding stuff of interest here, my Traveller Webpages have more information but less discussion but might still be of interest as well.