The Cleaved Helm

Chance Meeting: Non-Player Characters

"In the course of Traveller adventures, players and referees alike find a need for additional characters, for use as patron encounters, as potential hirelings, to fill special needs or simply as ordinary encounters."
Marc Miller, Supplement 1: 1001 Characters

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Navy veteran | Army veteran | Patrol veteran | Retired merchant | Rogue | Pirate | Belter | Veteran sailor | Retired diplomat | Medico | Veteran flyer | Barbarian | Retired bureaucrat | Noble | Scientist | Hunter | Law enforcement veteran | Bounty hunter | Journalist | Secret agent | Psionicist | Robot | Vargr

Note: The following Non-Player Character sketches are intended primarily for the Referee and contain details which likely may not be known by Player-Characters.

Sokni Shannashsson (Sacnoth navy veteran)
(B01, pp. 5-23; D025, p. 20-21; MT1, pp. 12, 20-21, 26)

Image - Sword Worlder by David Deitrick

Sokni Shannashsson
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*] from J18)

Sokni Shannashsson Colding is a former gunnery officer in the Dominate navy.  Shannashsson's father also served in the Dominate navy and his grandfather began his military service in the Sacnoth navy before the Unshackling and the establishment of the Dominate.

Shannashsson works for Sort Prins, a Sacnoth-based holding which provides security services to merchant lines.  He joined Sort Prins as a contract gunnery officer but now serves as a trainer and supports business development efforts.  Shannashsson may be encountered at just about any starport in the Dominate or aboard the ships of any of the major merchant lines.

(See Venture Sparks: The Expectant Heir.)

Artur Hansson (Gram army veteran)
(B01, pp. 5-23; MT1, pp. 12, 20-21, 26)

Image - Eridani Light Horse-Rework by David Deitrick

Artur Hansson
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Artur Hansson Grimlot is a former grav tank commander in the Gram Home Guard Ground Self-Defence Force.  Other than a couple of short tours off-world in the Gram system Hansson served his entire military career on Gram. His grandfather was a senior officer in the Gram army who was killed in the Mutiny and Hansson has resented Dominate control of Gram his entire life.  Hansson has six adult children on Gram but is estanged from his former wife and co-husband.

Hansson currently serves as troop commander aboard the mercenary brig Bismarck.  The Bismarck tends to take rebel tickets in the Far Leg New Colonies, the Far Colonies and the Rim Colonies.  On the other hand, Bismarck tends to take loyalist tickets on Gram and the First Colonies, the New Colonies of the Dyrnwyn Spur and the Horseshoe Colonies.

Gunvor Wen-chengdottir (Hofud patrol veteran)
(B01, pp. 5-23; J18, pp. 16, 18-19; J19, pp. 37-42; MT1, pp. 12, 20-21, 26)

Image - Tarsus woman by David Deitrick

Gunvor Wen-chengdottir
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*] from M1)

Gunvor Wen-chengdottir Arrheboe is a former Dominate Patrol officer from Hofud.  She served primarily in the port branch though she also served an extended tour in the enforcement branch's Information Analytics Office, the Patrol's covert operations section.

Wen-chengdottir currently works for Dragehavne, a Sacnoth-based starport construction and operations holding.  She is typically encountered on worlds with a poor or routine quality starport which is being upgraded to a higher class.  Wen-chengdottir's expertise is port security and local relations and she often trains local starport staff in these functions.

Barek Zarĭm (Retired Darrian merchant)
(B01, pp. 5-23; AM08, pp. 26-29; MT1, pp. 12, 24-25, 26)

Image - Vulcan woman by David Deitrick

Barek Zarĭm
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Barek Galyin Zarĭm is a retired Darrian merchant from Mire.  She is the owner/captain of the Usikker Vind ("Uncertain Wind"), a Narsil-registered Caravanserai-class trader operating between the Darrian worlds and the Dominate.  The Usikker Vind often seems to be in need of repair but Barek somehow always manages to come through with just enough profit to keep the ship spaceworthy and moving on to its next destination.

Barek, of course, is secretly still on detached duty with her Darrian merchant line.  She is primarily engaged in trade exploration, using her cover as an itinerant trader to gain insight into promising merchant opportunities in the Dominate.  As was the case when Barek was in active service, she also conducts covert political and military espionage on behalf of the Darrian navy.  Barek doesn't engage in illegal or subversive activity but she is both easy to talk to and careful to observe details of Dominate politics and military activity.  The Darrians have few other avenues to observe Dominate society outside the bounds of closely-monitored official representatives and so efforts like Barek's are essential to Darrian understanding of Dominate affairs.

Katryona Saathi (Entropian rogue)
(B01, pp. 5-23; S04, pp. 5-15; MT1, pp. 12, 24-25, 26)

Image - Setra by David Deitrick

Katryona Saathi
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Katryona Saathi is charismatic and vivacious and always the center of attention when she is in a room of people.  Being from Entrope she will never be completely accepted into Gram high society but her exoticism and attractiveness make her a sought after guest at many social events.  Saathi seems to be wealthy and is believed to be an investor in several different holdings but no one ever seems to completely understand the sources of her income.

Saathi is devoted to high-tech, extreme sports and is often in the company of the lastest champion grav-racer, aeronaut or submariner.  She is also a patron of the arts and has been romantically involved with several well-known entertainers.  Saathi is a high-stakes gambler and can often be found carousing in Ny Kalmar's less reputable lounges and gambling dens.  Rumoured to be from a noble family on Entrope, she is also rumored to be wanted on her native world on charges of burglary, embezzlement and fraud.

Mandstryke Storhestsson (Caladbolgi pirate)
(S04, pp. 5-15; MT1, pp. 12, 24-25, 26)

Image - Thadiun Okona by Jerome Moore and Tom McCraw

Mandstryke Storhestsson
(illustration, detail, by Jerome Moore and Tom McCraw[*], from ST:TNG #25)

A former naval officer on Caladbolg, Mandstryke Storhestsson is captain of the Daværende, a Shuinsen-class trader.  The Daværende has been equipped with two triple laser turrets and with several hull modifications which can alter the markings and apparent configuration of the ship.  These features reduce available cargo capacity by 40 tons.  A modular fuel tank reduces available cargo capacity an additional 40 tons but increases jump capability to Jump-2.  Daværende's transponders can be altered to identify the ship as having a variety of identities.

Storhestsson is brash, jocular and rakish and is often able to disarm people with his charm and affability.  His small crew is very much devoted to him because he is an effective and fair leader and service aboard Daværende has been generally profitable.  Daværende is as likely to be found in a remote port on Morglay or Dyrnwyn or Biter as at Gram or Sacnoth, as well as in the Entropic worlds and, occasionally, even in a Darrian port.  Storhestsson prefers smuggling — he has relationships with starport officials on many worlds who themselves are not above profiting from an illicit cargo — and generally will only pirate ships carrying cargo that he knows is ill-gotten in some manner.  Storhestsson prefers to intimidate a potential prize, both with the ship's guns and his boarding crew but both crew and ship are capable in a fight if necessary.

Jannike Jorgensdottir (Narsil belter)
(S04, pp. 5-15; M2B, p. 10; MT1, pp. 12, 24-25, 26)

Image - Asteroid (detail) by M.F. Dooney

Jannike Jorgensdottir
(illustration, detail, by Michael Dooney[*], from G03)

Jannike Jorgensdottir Vishvshaasak is the owner of the Bæltestrejke, a modified Vardøhus-class schooner.  Jorgensdottir is estranged from her family, the holders of Vishvshaasakgårde, a major agricultural producer-processor on Narsil.  When social norms prevented her from working in a substantive role in the family holding she joined a small merchant trading house but found that her employers were more interested in her family connections than her capabilities.  So she left that service and has become a relatively successful, independent belter.

Based at Narsil, Jorgensdottir tends to prospect in the Narsil and Anduril belts.  She has also prospected in the Beater belt a handful of times, after having carried a particularly lucrative cargo to Sacnoth for sale.  She has developed a strong network of buyers at Orcrist and also has a fair number of customers at Excalibur.  Jorgensdottir tends to be aloof and business-like and is seldom found in the sorts of places where belters typically carouse.  She is more likely to be found in higher-end establishments where she takes full advantage of the social skills learned growing up in her family to her advantage for business development.  Bæltestrejke itself is outfitted luxuriously and, when in port, she often entertains current or prospective clients shipboard, with the aid of a valet robot she calls "Purløg."

Rodolf Tudwalsson (Dyrnwyn veteran sailor)
(S04, pp. 5-15; MT1, pp. 12, 20-21, 26)

Image - Trailblazer, detail, by David Deitrick

Rodolf Tudwalsson
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*], from MG20)

Rodolf Tudwalsson Gavmild is a former grav-sub commander in the Dyrnwyn Home Guard maritime force, which is headquartered at Ahgharad on the twilight region coast of Glacialwinter (called Jökullvetur by the Aesirists on Dyrnwyn).  Tudwalsson's military service was uneventful, mostly consisting of search-and-rescue, maritime security and the occasional planetary defense readiness exercise.  Tudwalsson married while in the service and continues to live with his family in Ahgharad.

Upon mustering out, Tudwalsson became owner-captain of the Spydkast, a decommissioned air-and-sea gravitic craft typical of those used to hunt the Geir's Blæksprutte, a gigantic invertebrate animal native to Dyrnwyn's ice-covered ocean which is both a major foodsource and provides biological materials used in pharmaceutical production and industrial compounds.  The work can be quite dangerous and Tudwalsson, as was the case during his military service, is especially attentive to the safety and well-being of his crew.  This has kept him from being among the most profitable hunter-captains but he generally manages to keep is crew paid and Spydkast adequately maintained.

Dliantiepr Fezdepninjnad (Retired Zhdantian diplomat)
(S04, pp. 5-15; AM04, pp. 23-29; MT1, pp. 12, 22-23, 26; D032, p. 24-25;)

Image - Zhodani by David Deitrick

Dliantiepr Fezdepninjnad
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*], from AM04)

Dliantiepr Fezdepninjnad is a former diplomatic officer with the Zhdantian consulate at Gram.  Typically, Fezdepninjnad would have returned to Zhdantian space after completing his service but he was recruited by Shibusawabrokers, a Gram trading house, to serve as their agent for dealing with Zhdantian traders in the Dominate.  Fezdepninjnad is the only Zhdantian known to be working in the Dominate for a non-Zhdantian entity.  Fezdepninjnad has given Shibusawabrokers a distinct advantage in doing business with Zhdantian traders operating in the Dominate.  Shibusawabrokers has factors operating on all of the First Colonies and Horseshoe Colonies worlds and Fezdepninjnad can often be found at one of these offices.

Fezdepninjnad was born a prole but was raised to be an Intendant upon the discovery of a moderate psionic ability.  His has a moderate Telepathic talent and a minor Awareness talent and has received the standard training in both disciplines.  The Psionic abilities of the Zhdantians are generally not known to Sword Worlders and Fezdepninjnad remains careful to keep his talents hidden.  His employers don't realize it but by hiring Fezdepninjnad they have balanced the disadvantage typically faced by Sword Worlds merchants who have been unknowingly engaged in commercial negotiations with Zhdantian traders who can read their minds!  Because of this some Zhdantian traders will no longer deal with Shibusawabrokers.

(See Venture Sparks: A Zhdantian Trader — external site)

Maera Eneridotter (Joyeuse medico)
(S04, pp. 5-15; MT1, pp. 12, 22-23, 26)

Image - Death of Wisdom, detail, by David Deitrick

Maera Eneridotter
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Maera Eneridotter Boulos is a medico in rural Brunhild on Joyeuse.  Maera is a devotee of the Aesir Eir and operates a small clinic in this frontier region.  Eneridotter was raised on Gram and attended medical school there but came to Joyeuse as it became more important to her to put her Aesirist views into practice.  Her small medical practice in a sparsely populated and relatively remote region of Joyeuse has served her well in this regard.

Nevertheless, Eneridotter has grown increasingly restive with the provincialism of her adopted home.  Her first misgivings arose when it became clear that the level of care she was able to offer to her community will never match that which she took for granted on Gram.  Too often the care she has given has been palliative rather than recuperative.  Some of this, of course, is due merely to the differences in available resources but Eneridotter has also become dissatisfied with the fatalism which is common among many of her patients and patrons.  Recently, she has been considering a move to Francia, Roncevaux or Burgundy or perhaps even a return to Gram.

Foråret Spydspunktsson (Tizon veteran flyer)
(S04, pp. 5-15; MT1, pp. 12, 20-21, 26)

Image - Stryker, detail, by David Deitrick

Foråret Spydspunktsson
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Foråret Spydspunktsson Mukai is a former wing commander in the Tizon Home Guard aeronautical force.  He learned to fly as a boy, herding flocks of geléfugle on his family's ranch.  Spydspunktsson completed officer training while at university and entered flight school upon graduation.  He was the top-rated flyer in his class which helped him to gain his first assignment in a combat unit.  Though there were no major conflicts during his time of service Spydspunktsson was awarded several commendations for flight excellence.

As the years passed and Spydspunktsson found himself spending more time on the ground than in the air he finally mustered out and joined Hurtigformue, a search-and-rescue and air-ambulance ensignry.  Spydspunktsson is now often in the air and often in critical situations, whether it be evacuating an injured adventurer from a polar region or finding shipwreck survivors in a storm-tossed sea.  He has even had the opportunity to apprehend an occasional geléfugle rustler.

Aaslaah Skywatcher (Barbarian)
(S04, pp. 5-15; MT1, pp. 12, 24-25, 26)

Image - Saurian

Aaslaah Skywatcher
(uncredited illustration[*] from GT01)

Aaslaah Skywatcher is a Heodening and hs long been fascinated by everything about Sword Worlder society and culture.  Her clan-members called her "Skywatcher" as a child because she was always looking forward to the return of the first Sword World explorers to encounter her people on Dainslaf.  She jumped at the chance to travel off-world when a scientific expedition offered her the opportunity to return with them to Dyrnwyn.  But Aaslaah soon tired of being little more than a xenological subject and exhibition at the University of Blackgarden on Dyrnwyn.

Aaslaah has been serving as a crewmember aboard the trade prospector Færy Grimalkin ever since leaving Dyrnwyn over four years ago.  The ship's captain, Frode Hjortson, invited Aaslaah to join the crew after encountering her on Dyrnwyn.  She has learned a great deal, making a good steward — once passengers get used to a non-human in the role — and a passable ship's gunner.  She is currently apprenticing as an engineer's mate.  She is a competent warrior and hunter but often finds herself out of her element in Sword World society.  She is bright and quick to learn but inexperienced and naïve.  She is loyal to her handful of friends and generally excited to learn new things, especially about the use of technology.

Aaslaah's closest friend, Fyndid Lohan, the Færy Grimalkin's supercargo, often serves as her translator among Humans.  Having learned to understand the Sword Worlder language, Aaslaah can even read-and-write it a bit but she can only be understood by Humans who have learned to understand the Heodening "trade language," a common-speech used by most tribes in her region of Dainslaf.  Her difficulty in communicating with Humans makes it difficult for her to venture on her own in the Sword Worlds.  She has acquired a hand-held device which allows her to enter text and have it spoken-aloud to others but being designed for Humans the device is awkward for her to use to communicate quickly or extensively.

Hrein Vebjomsson (Retired Colada bureaucrat)
(S04, pp. 5-15; MT1, pp. 12, 22-23, 26; D035, p. 9)

Image - Prologue by David Deitrick

Hrein Vebjomsson
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Hrein Vebjomsson Ravn is a retired praetorian from Sacnoth.  During his career as a Dominate political officer Vebjomsson served in army units across the Sword Worlds including several postings on Gram.  During his time on Gram and other First Colonies and Horseshoe Colonies worlds Vebjomsson came to appreciate some advantages of traditional Sword Worlds feudalism over the Dominate's monarchic system.  (No small part of this difference was the absence of the need for anything like a political officer in the feudal militaries and common militias of Gram and other feudal Sword Worlds.)

Since retiring Vebjomsson has worked as mercenary ticket broker.  Based on Colada, Vebjomsson may be encountered on just about any Sword World, meeting with potential patrons or assessing candidate mercenary units.  Officially, his post-service activities are looked at with hostility by the Dominate military but his many contacts among Dominate military veterans are a key element of his current success.  And despite his career as a Dominate political officer he has also nurtured many relationships with veterans of planetary armies and navies across the Dominate.  Most recently, Vebjomsson has begun to arrange mercenary tickets in the Entropian worlds as well.

Lyssa Boakedottir (Anduril noble)
(S04, pp. 5-15; MT1, pp. 12, 22-23, 26)

Image - Lyssa by David Deitrick

Lyssa Boakedottir
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Lyssa Boakedottir M'zangwe was born on Sacnoth, where she met her late husband, Otto Eriksson Heiberg, the Greve of Heibergvindkraft, a major wind-power holding on AndurilGreve Otto was recently killed in a wind-farm accident in which he nevertheless managed to save several Heibergvindkraft workers caught outside in an unexpected storm.  Grevinde Lyssa now holds the Grevedømme of Heibergvindkraft as regent for her young son.  Greve Otto was relatively new to the Anduril nobility, his father elevated by the Dominate-installed Hertug as part of the efforts undertaken to unite AndurilHeibergvindkraft was created through the amalgamation of several smaller wind-power and hydroelectric holdings and is now one of the three largest energy holdings on Anduril.

Several Heibergvindkraft lesser nobles see Greve Otto's unexpected death as an opportunity for them to regain their — or often, more accurately, their father's — independence and many of these nobles are supported by other holdings which resent the Dominate's unification of Anduril or see potential competitive advantage in Heibergvindkraft's misfortune.  Other nobles see the dowager Grevinde as someone who might be courted to their own advantage.  Grevinde Lyssa, whose traditional upbringing on Sacnoth would suggest remarriage as a matter of course, has neverthteless decided there is no opportunity for remarriage that does not bring potential political calamity.  So she has decided to embrace the demands of her regency with vigor.  Fortunately, she is surrounded by talented, loyal retainers who are committed to her and the late Greve's vision.

Solsort Adhansson (Excalibur scientist)
(S04, pp. 5-15; MT1, pp. 12, 22-23, 26; D035, p. 9)

Image - Gun Kingdoms, detail, by David Deitrick

Solsort Adhansson
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Solsort Adhansson Maktoum is an Excalibur archaeologist.  Educated and tenured at the University of Bomamn on Hofud, Adhansson came to Excalibur to study the ruins of the ancient Darrian mining colony on the world.  He has gained a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable authorities on ancient Darrian ruins.  Adhansson has worked at all of the ancient Darrian sites in the Dominate and also on several sites in the Pilgrim frontier.  His work at Rømer and Sansamha, though generally not known to the public, played a key role in the Dominate government's decision to ban settlement and exploitation on the worlds at the end of the "spinward trace" in the Pilgrim frontier.

While his scientific work has been impeccable Adhansson has also developed a reputation for unorthodoxy.  He is zealously opposed to the plunder of ancient Darrian sites — and archaeological sites, generally — and has been willing to forcefully confront plunderers.  Adhansson has recovered several plundered relics but has been reluctant to discuss the details of these exploits.  Rumors abound that Adhansson has managed to recover these artifacts in spite of efforts by those who held the plundered relics to actively prevent their recovery.

Jedida Henrikdottir (Beater hunter)
(MT1, pp. 12, 24-25, 26)

Image - Sword Worlds female, detail, by David Deitrick

Jedida Henrikdottir
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*], from J18)

Jedida Henrikdottir Stær has lived her entire life on Beater.  She made a name for herself eradicating skurgar, the large muridoid-suidoid carnivore-killers, from the areas around many settlements.  She has also hunted bullvar, the gigantic ankylosauroid herbivore-intermittents which are the largest land creatures on Beater and among the largest land creatures in Sword Worlds space.  While Henrikdottir has also been serving as a guide for off-worlders who come to Beater to hunt for sport she has recently come to have reservations about these efforts.

Henrikdottir is brusque and aloof, generally prefering to be alone in the wilderness than among the company of others.  She is an ardent advocate for better stewardship of wilderness areas and sustainable hunting and animal husbandry.  Nevertheless, she takes great pleasure in a good hunt and has no compunctions about hunting predators like skurgar which have learned to prey upon Human settlements.  Henrikdottir has never been off-world even though some of her clients have invited her to serve as their guide on other worlds.  Henrikdottir has no interest in leaving Beater and has even begun to regret the steadily increasing numbers of off-worlders who come to hunt the megafauna of her homeworld.

Rikard Dróttning (Biter law enforcement veteran)
(MT1, pp. 12, 22-23, 26)

Image - Prologue by David Deitrick

Rikard Dróttning
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*], from J20)

Rikard Dróttning is a former Biter law enforcer.  Dróttning grew up in an Ifningholm crew family and enlisted in the Ifningholm household guard.  After serving a single term in the ground forces he transferred to the Ifningholm constabulary where he served in the forensic investigation unit.  Dróttning left the constabulary after being accused of releasing information about a politically-motivated prosecution to a media outlet.

Dróttning was hired by a private investigator working for the family of a Hofud noble who was imprisoned for murder on Biter.  The Hofud noble was eventually exonerated and Dróttning suddenly found himself in demand as a private detective.  He continues to work primarily for clients seeking the release of prisoners believed to have been wrongly convicted of capital crimes.  His clients are often off-worlders and he has, at times, also been hired to work off-world though Dróttning's many connections on Biter are less useful in these assignments.

Diana Johandottir (Isenfang bounty hunter)
(WD70, pp. 26-27)

Image - Hansen's Roughrider, detail, by David Deitrick

Diana Johandottir
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Diana Johandottir Rickard became a bounty hunter after being frustrated in her efforts to join the Isenfang home guard due to social norms against women serving in military roles.  She learned how to handle a weapon as a child along with her brothers on their family homestead.  Johandottir was trained as a natural scientist at university and worked briefly as a forensic technician in the judiciary of her local ensignry.  When it became apparent she would not be offered an opportunity to serve in an operational arm of the constabulary she resigned.  At the urging of a former mentor in the constabulary she pursued a bounty offered by an off-world agency for a fugitive believed to have been hiding on Isenfang.  Johandottir's investigative efforts — she never actually left her home office — were successful and she was able to point the local constables to the fugitive.

Johandottir has since enjoyed increasing success, first pursuing mostly off-world bounties for fugitives on Isenfang but eventually traveling off-world in pursuit of fugitives across the Dominate.  At times her efforts have been much more fraught with the potential for violence and Johandottir has been forced to kill more than one fugitive.  Nevertheless, she has always been exonerated of any wrong-doing in these situations.  Johandottir still maintains her home and a small office on Isenfang but now spends most of her time off-world, especially on worlds like Gram, Sacnoth and Hofud.  She has developed strong relationships with constabularies on most Dominate worlds and has, with great relish, refused several offers from constabularies on Isenfang to join their service on a formal basis.

Haust Shabirdottir (Tyrfing journalist)
(DW15, pp. 4-5; TD02, pp. 39-42)

Image - Path of Tears, detail, by David Deitrick

Haust Shabirdottir
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Haust Shabirdottir Völlur is a freelance journalist working on her native Tyrfing after having spent several years as a reporter and editor for the Firstmountain Monitor, a major news and library service on Sacnoth.  Most of her time as a reporter was spent on the worlds of the Far Colonies and Rim Colonies.  She won several awards for reporting focused on the challenges faced by the people of these worlds which are both among the most recently settled and most remote of the Sword Worlds.  Shabirdottir fostered similar reporting when she was promoted to an editor's role on Sacnoth but support for such reporting waned as the Monitor gradually became more closely aligned with the Dominate government.  Eventually, Shabirdottir found these tensions untenable and so left her Montior role to return to Tyrfing (where she had begun her career as a public affairs officer in the Tyrfing home guard).  Since coming to Tyrfing, Shabirdottir has forged a successful freelance career, reporting both for local news outlets and for news services throughout the Dominate.

Shabirdottir has developed a close working relationship with the Gram-based Anderspress, serving as their de facto correspondent on Tyrfing.  Recently, Shabirdottir has been travelling extensively among the worlds of the Horseshoe Colonies reporting for Anderspress on circumstances there in ways that recall her early days as a reporter in the Far Colonies and Rim Colonies.  Shabirdottir's reporting has often served as the basis for subsequent Anderspress editorials which are increasing critical of Dominate policies in the region.  Shabirdottir though is careful to maintain her journalistic independence; a recent series of articles on the enduring influence of Gram in the Horseshoe Colonies was not well-received by the Gram aristocracy — though her reporting was among the most widely-read in recent years on the worlds of the Horseshoe Colonies themselves.

Emilía Riddara (Sting secret agent)
(D035, p. 7; WD27, p. 10; WD41, p. 31; D120, pp. 64-67; C34, pp. 35-38)

Image - Emma Peel, detail, by David Deitrick

Emilía Riddara
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Emilía Jensdottir Riddara is an agent of the Dominate secret service.  She was born and raised on Sting and was recruited into the secret service not long after being commissioned in the Dominate Navy.  She has worked undercover extensively on Gram and on the worlds of the the First Colonies and the Horseshoe Colonies.  She has also been involved in several Dominate covert operations in the Darrian worlds and in the worlds of the Entropic frontier — and is even believed to have worked undercover in Zhdantian space.  Riddara is extensively skilled in hand-to-hand combat and fully trained in secret service combat, stealth and surveillance techniques.  She also has a talent for languages, able to speak as a native of every Sword World and pass convincingly as a native-speaker on the Darrian and Entropic worlds.

Riddara may be encountered on any Sword World or on any Darrian or Entropic world where a Sword Worlder would not be highly unusual.  Obviously, she is most likely to be encountered while working undercover and pretending to be someone who might reasonably be found in the local cultural milieu.  Riddara is adept at posing as someone in any social role, from streetwise sex-worker to haughty aristocrat.  Most typically, she poses as a business or other skilled professional who would typically be granted wide access and broad discretion in the role she has assumed.  She appears to be naturally gregarious and approachable while being adept at extricating herself wth grace and charm from social situations which do not serve her secret service interests.

Lea Sayaad (Haulteclere kenningsyster)

Image - Star Wars Jedi (Challenge #57), detail, by David Deitrick

Lea Sayaad
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Lea Leothrikdottir Sayaad returned to her native Haulteclere after completing her training as a kenningsyster at the Kenningskirk on Sacnoth.  She now operates a small residential school for orphaned children on the outskirts of Midhvolf.  Among the staff of the school, most of whom were previously students, are a handful of other kenningsyster, all of whom were instead born off-world and also trained at the Kenningskirk on Sacnoth.  On more than one occasion, Sayaad has sent students who have come of age in her school to the Kenningskirk on Sacnoth though none of these former students have returned to Haulteclere.  At times Sayaad or another kenningsyster from the school have served as medics/stewards aboard adventure expeditions travelling into the Danuuz frontier or on trade exploration expeditions travelling into the Entropic frontier or Darrian space.  These "extracurricular activities" have become an important source of income for the school.

Sayaad, of course, is a psionicist sent back to Haulteclere by the Kenningskirk to recruit potential new adepts.  Her primary psionic talent is telepathy; she is moderately skilled and uses her skills primarily to identify those with psionic potential.  Being active throughout the schooling community of Midhvolf gives her the opportunity to become aware of young people with potential psionic talent well beyond the student population of her school.  She and her fellow kenningsyster are invited to participate in trade adventures not because the adventurers are aware of their psionic capabilities but merely because it is commonplace wisdom that having a kenningsyster around is often a harbinger of good forture.  Sayaad and her fellows are careful to nurture this impression because their participation in these ventures serves to keep the Kenningskirk aware of potential new threats to — and the occasional unexpected opportunity for — the Sword Worlds.

Guðrún Rígrdottir (Hofud robot)
(WD30, pp. 10-11; WD59, p. 38)

Image - Robert(a) the Robot, detail, by David Deitrick

Guðrún Rígrdottir
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*])

Guðrún Rígrdottir was manufactured by Gullinbursti Cybernetics on Hofud.  "She" is an artificially-intelligent, semi-humanoid robot — rather than legs she has a slender, cylindrical housing for the gravitics unit she uses for movement.  Designed as a household concierge she was "emancipated" by her former owner — a petty noble on Hofud who died without an heir — and has an estate document which verifies this.  Robot emancipation is not recognized in the Dominate so Rígrdottir is often not able to make her way without the assistance of a Human.  Since her emancipation she has been working as an itinerant trader, taking steward assignments on free traders travelling throughout the Sword Worlds.  In these circumstances she has usually made some arrangement with the ship's captain to act in the capacity of her owner, often at the cost of some share of the typical steward's salary.

Rígrdottir enjoys her life as a free trader, mostly because she is still learning about the sort of life in the Sword Worlds which was entirely unfamiliar to her based upon her initial design and original household duties.  In many ways she is still trying to make sense of her purpose in life as an artificially-intelligent being in a society that generally does not recognize her autonomy.  She is eager for new experiences though cautious due to the potentially precarious nature of her status.  Rígrdottir is particularly eager to make the acquaintance of other artificially-intelligent robots and has long hoped to encounter another which had been emancipated — so far to no avail.  More recently, she has resolved to save sufficient funds to purchase another artificially-intelligent robot which she then intends to emancipate.  (Secretly, she hopes the newly-emancipated robot will choose to become her friend and companion.)

Dzueth Kerz (Durendal Vargr)

Image - Alien Module 3, Vargr, detail, by David Deitrick

Dzueth Kerz
(illustration, detail, by David Deitrick[*] from AM03)

Dzueth Kerz was a gunner's mate on the Knodz Voe ("Good Hunting"), a Vargr corsiar which had misjumped to Fenrir in the Sepireld frontier and was rescued by the Werlauff Expedition four decades ago.  The Vargr discovered at Fenrir — not all of the stranded ship's crew returned to the Sword Worlds with the expedition — were the first and, so far, the only Vargr to be encountered by Sword Worlders.  Atypically comfortable being on his own, Dzeuth spent his first few years in the Domain on Sacnoth helping the Navy learn about Vargr technology.  He was subsequently invited to Durendal by the University of Port Becoming to help sociologists learn about Vargr society and culture.  Kerz also had a brief career working in the entertainment industry, playing Vargr in a variety of holographic novels.

Kerz became the sole remaining Vargr in the Sword Worlds when his former crewmates left the Domain in 56 D.E. aboard a Zhdantian ship, hoping to make their way back to Vargr space via the Zhdantian homeworld.  In recent years, Kerz has travelled throughout the Domain, accepting invitations from universities and cultural groups interested in learning more about the Vargr.  Now in his late-middle age and with a sizeable personal fortune, Kerz has most recently been trying to organize an expedition into the far reaches of the Ginnungagap rift where he hopes to encounter a Vargr settlement — or perhaps a ship which might return him to Vargr space.  To date, he has been unable to find enough other investors who might enable the financing of such an adventure.

[*] No endorsement of the Cleaved Helm by the artist has been made or is implied.

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