(1) Audible.com has released audio book versions of the six Jurisdiction novels (you can find listening-links to the first chapters of each on the novel pages, and my thanks to audible.com, because I think that was very generous of them) so you can hear all of these names pronounced by that really, really lovely Stefan Rudnicki (still stunned by my good luck in drawing him as the narrator).
(2) The list is not alphabetized within categories, and I’m sorry, but it’s more cutting-and-pasting than I can face just now. If you find that I’ve left any major characters out, let me know, because there’ve gotten to be a lot of them and I may have missed some!
Andrej Ulexeievitch Koscuisko (AHN dray you lex A eh vitch koe SHOE skoe)
A young man from one of the oldest and best families in the Dolgorukij Combine; prince inheritor of the Koscuisko familial corporation. Sent to the Jurisdiction’s Fleet for a traditional period of military service pending his return home to prepare for coming into his inheritance; placed at the highest rank available in Jurisdiction Fleet for a battle surgeon — Ship’s Surgeon, Ship’s Inquisitor. A large and extended family; conditioned by his upbringing to form intense interpersonal relationships with his subordinates based on respect and emotional support; looking for a way to reconcile the central issue of his life (his discovery of an intense and empathic taste and talent for the execution of his Judicial duties as a Bench torturer) with his conviction that justice is possible and that it is up to him to find it, for his prisoners, for his bond-involuntary Security assigned, somehow, some way.
As the series progresses, Andrej’s sense of moral imperatives, his personal decency, and the profound cultural indoctrination of his birth-culture in honor, respect, and mutual reliance between what he would characterize as “master and man” in the formal Dolgorukij sense of the term leads him into avenues and through doors into worlds that he could never have imagined in the green springtime of his young age.
Joslire Curran (JOSS leer CURR ann) (also, Joslire Ise’Ilet, before Bond)
Emandisan knife-fighter, placed under Bond together with his culturally significant five-knives, a victim of politics in his home system. He and Andrej will form an emotional bond that will persist to an extraordinary degree, and their relationship will have unexpected impacts; not only personal, but impacting much larger communities in time. He will continue to be an important part of Andrej’s emotional life to the end of Andrej’s days.
When thinking about how Joslire came to be condemned to the Bond, it might be productive to meditate on l’affaire Dreyfuss.
Robert St. Clare (Robert saint Clare) (also Rab, Rabin, pronounced as in “rabbit”)
Nurail bond-involuntary Security. His relationship with Andrej and with Joslire Curran will provide emotional support and stability going forward. There is something not quite right with his governor (the artificial intelligence implanted in the brain of a bond-involuntary to monitor internal stress states and apply corrective punishment when a bond-involuntary violates his conditioning). He has one surviving sister, Megh, from whom he was separated when he was taken for the Bond (everybody else is dead). Good at making friends and popular with women, Robert’s core strength lies in his ability to go forward with his life without being poisoned by bitterness, resentment, and hatred for the wrongs he has suffered and the people who inflicted them. — If the Jurisdiction novels were a cruise to Hawaii, Robert might be the activities director.
He may be a friendly and cheerful man, but he has a temper, though it’s obviously not an issue under Bond.
Security Chief Brachi Stildyne (BRA chee STILL dine)
Chief Warrant Officer, Jurisdiction Fleet Ship Ragnarok. He’s worked with Jils Ivers in the past, but we don’t hear anything about that, except that she respects him. The unbeauty of Security Chief Stildyne is a fundamental truth of life on the JFS Ragnarok; it leads to some controversy when General Dierryk “Sharksmile” Rukota comes on board, and they contend for primacy in the Ugliest Man on Board finals on a regular basis across a variety of venues. He’s younger than Fleet thinks he is. He has a cameo in Angel of Destruction, along with Lek Kerenko and Andrej Koscuisko himself; he’s been Chief of Security for the Ship’s Inquisitor for several years, by that point, and he treats the Bonds like any other item of issue — good material, valued resources, to be kept in good repair, but if you occasionally find some off-specification uses for them for your own convenience, so what? — as long as you don’t adversely impact their fit, form, or function.
Stildyne’s a big guy, and his face looks like he used to box in his youth. If he lets his (dark) hair get too long, though, it starts to get curly. His voice sounds like it’s been dragged up from the bottom of a gravel pit. He doesn’t like green vegetables, is nervous under too much sky, and hasn’t met a tree he could trust in his life. Had a sister, once upon a time and a long long time ago, but it’s really better if you don’t ask.
Through the insidious influence of Andrej Koscuisko, Stildyne gradually starts to modify his behavior; first to conform to his officer of assignment’s expectations, at least in public; then to conform with his officer of assignment’s expectations in public and in private; and finally because he internalizes Koscuisko’s world-view with respect to the bond-involuntaries, and changes his reality interface to encompass the slowly-realized, really pretty funny when you think about it, and totally unexpected fact that Stildyne has come to care about what Koscuisko thinks of him and is trying his best to be the man Koscuisko apparently believes him to be, expects him to be, would want him to be.
As far as the Bonds are concerned Stildyne’s as good as any Chief and could all-too-easily (and, with respect to other Chiefs of Security, all-too-frequently) have been a lot worse. He’s always looked after them, as far as that goes, and protected them from undue imposition when possible. He’s not a mean, petty, spiteful, vengeful, cruel, or sadistic man, though he’s neither tender-hearted nor empathic; he’s never been a bully; and he’s always treated them with the respect their formidable training and discipline deserves — again, within the parameters of their enslavement/status as property. At the same time, he lived to become Security Chief Stildyne by taking what he wanted when he could, where he could, how he could, and that was just the way things were, in Stildyne-land. They can see what’s happening to him, as he falls in love, and while it’s funny, and good for his soul if you’re one of those Bonds who thinks along those lines and also good for them because Stildyne’s trying to treat them the way the officer would want them to be treated, they’re also capable of a certain amount of sympathy for Security Chief Brachi Stildyne. God forgive us all if he ever finds that out.
He’s one of the bond-involuntary Security troops on board of the JFS Ragnarok. He’s a phlegmatic and skeptical man; mostly, he’s not talking. One of his eyes is artificial (cyborg augmentation).
Godsalt (GOD salt)
One of the bond-involuntary Security troops on board of the JFS Ragnarok. I’ve heard less from/about him over the years than even Garrity, difficult as that is to imagine.
Hirsel (HER sell)
One of the bond-involuntary Security troops on board of the JFS Ragnarok. He has really curly hair. That’s about it.
Kaydence Psimas (KAY dense pSIGHmas) (to be honest, I usually swallow the “p”)
One of the bond-involuntary Security troops on board of the JFS Scylla, with a (spoilers, darlings) continuing role of Some Sort or Another as the series progresses. Originally placed under Bond for hacking into the wrong systems. He and Ailynn (Prisoner of Conscience) have an understanding.
Lek Kerenko (LECK keh RAIN koh)
Bond-involuntary. Skill class code primary helm navigator Wolnadi three, current assignment Jurisdiction Fleet Ship Ragnarok (I just copied that out of the book, can you tell?). Lek’s Sarvaw, which means he’s the very bottom layer of the sludge in the latrine as far as an Aznir Dolgorukij (like Andrej Koscuisko) is concerned. (All other Dolgorukij blood-lines will array themselves between Aznir and Sarvaw in terms of relative intrinsic value to the Holy Mother.) Terrible things happened on Sarvaw in the time of Andrej’s several-times-great-grandfather Chuvishka Kospodar, atrocities that are still simply not spoken of. This only makes it more peculiar that Andrej’s son Anton Andreievitch and Lek Kerenko really hit it off in The Devil and Deep Space. Lek and the Malcontent’s thula (the Fisher Wolf, as we find out in Blood Enemies) have a close personal relationship of such empathic power and mutual devotion that once the thula meets Lek the Malcontent finds it difficult to force a separation (Fisher Wolf pines for Lek as only an alpha dire-wolf can pine for the friend of its bosom, if dire-wolves had friends, if dire-wolves had bosoms).
Pyotr Micmac/Micmac Pyotr (pYOtr MICK mack) (really, you’ve got to hear how Stephan Rudnicki pronounces this with the rolled “r” in the back of the throat, on the audio books — I can’t touch it)
Senior bond-involuntary Security troop on the Ragnarok. I’ve never figured out which one it is, Pyotr Micmac or the other way around; but Andrej says “Pyotr” and “Mr. Micmac,” so I suspect Pyotr is his first name. Pyotr is the “oldest” of the Bonds on the Ragnarok, meaning that he’s survived successfully under Bond for longer than any of the others. Stildyne recognizes in Pyotr someone who would be Chief Warrant Officer if he wasn’t under Bond, and relies on/defers to him accordingly (to the extent that that can be done with a Security slave). He and Garrity are the tallest/broadest/biggest of the Security, but Garrity’s blond, and Pyotr’s very black of skin.
Code (COE dee)
Bond-involuntary Security on board of the JFS Scylla; his character recurs in Warring States. He doesn’t think that Andrej understands how hard Irshah Parmin has tried to get through to Andrej, and he’s probably right, though there is a discussion in the latter book on that issue in which it seems to be that Andrej’s been adjusting his understanding of things.
Officers and Crew
Jennet ap Rhiannon (JENN et ap rhee ANN on)
One of the Ragnarok‘s lieutenants, her status changes relatively rapidly as the series progresses due to a Series of Unfortunate Incidents. She’s creche-bred, which means that her biological parents were killed in Bench reprisals against a rebellion of some sort when she was less than two years old; she was taken by the Bench and raised in a Jurisdiction creche to be the perfect Fleet officer, humorless, single-minded, focussed on task, and dedicated with religious fervor to the rule of Law and the maintenance of the Judicial order. It’s an experiment, and (like the Bench’s increasing reliance on institutionalized torture as an instrument of State) it’s failed. Most of the officers so raised are inflexible and narrow-minded to the point of being functionally useless in anything but a strictly subordinate role, where they can be given simple and direct orders in words of one syllable or less and then monitored with the hopes that what the superior officer meant is the same thing as what the creche-bred officer thinks s/he meant. When you get one who is capable of independent thought, there’s no telling what direction “independent thought” will take them. Like ap Rhiannon, for instance. I think that someone accidentally exposed her to “Space Pirate Captain Harlock” when she was a child.
Jennet has five fingers on her hands (so, total six digits, with her thumbs counted in). She drinks strong red wine on a constant basis, and it doesn’t seem to impair her functioning. Sex is a matter of personal hygiene, and she doesn’t care where she gets it, except of course as a Command Branch officer she can’t have sexual relations with anybody on board the Ragnarok without violating the strict rules against fraternization with which she was very thoroughly indoctrinated.
The rule of Law and the Judicial order are as close to a religion for her as she’s got. She can probably read Standard, but not very much, and — unlike almost everybody else under Jurisdiction — Standard is the only language she can read. She may, or may not, be able to write. She has no discernable sense of humor (that I’ve ever been able to detect, anyway). The only thing about Jennet ap Rhiannon is that when she believes she’s right, she believes in the righteousness of her cause absolutely, and there is nothing she won’t do to follow through on her convictions.
If nothing else would convince the Bench that the social experiment of the creche-bred Command Branch officer corps was a failure, it would be Jennet ap Rhiannon.
Dierryk Rukota (dee YAIR ick rue KOE tah, first syllable of “Dierryk” is very short, almost like “JERRick”)
General Dierryk Rukota is an artilleryman. A stunningly beautiful woman with whom he was hopelessly in love fell in love with him as well, to the astonishment of everybody who’d ever met her. The relationship is defined by Rukota’s long absences on active duty and by his wife’s political role in managing the stress of the First Secretary at one of the Judiciaries, a relationship which becomes more important to the safety and well-being of their children as the story progresses. Although timing and biology would indicate that he is not the biological father of some of his several children, as far as he’s concerned (and they’re concerned) he’s their father, if an absentee one. There are frequent exchanges of letters. I don’t think he’s ever forgotten a birthday, except maybe on occasion when overwhelmed by live fire.
He’s odd man out on the Ragnarok but the Ragnarok is full of oddities. He’s enjoying himself. He and Security Chief Stildyne have a rivalry developing over which of them is actually the ugliest man assigned to the ship, and the odds are mildly partisan: Security is in Stildyne’s favor, Engineering on Rukota’s side, Medical mostly Stildyne supporters out of loyalty (he’s Andrej’s Chief of Security, after all) and Intelligence will go either way depending on where the odds are juiciest at any given time.
Persons wishing to find out for themselves who is likely to win the competition are advised to consult chapter 85 of Saint Olaf’s Saga in the Heimskringla. I have the Lee Hollander translation. Starts on page 327.
Griers Verigson Lowden (GREE ers VAIR ig son LOUW den, hard “g” in Verigson, “Lowden” to rhyme with “Ou-den)
Captain, JFS Ragnarok. He’s a thoroughly political animal, and has been very successful in carving out a comfortable niche for himself with plenty of opportunities for illegal trade and black marketeering. The Ragnarok is a test bed, and he considers it his assigned responsibility to test Ship’s Inquisitors to destruction. He’s never met anyone quite like Andrej Koscuisko in his life, and Andrej would have been immeasurably better off if he’d never met Captain Lowden. Such is the reputation of the man that when several of the bond-involuntaries assigned to Andrej on JFS Scylla expressed a desire to accompany Andrej to his next ship of assignment Captain Irshah Parmin blocked them all, except for Robert St. Clare, over whose posting he had no control.
Captain Lowden is corrupt and sadistic, but he’s not stupid, and during his tenure the Ragnarok has enjoyed good supplies of good things. He’s been good for the rank and file, to that extent, when he’s not looking for someone against whom to assess two-and-twenty. (At least he made the trains run on time. That sort of thing.) He takes very, very good care of Andrej, who represents a significant profit center: making sure Andrej has enough to drink, enough of the drugs it can take to keep him going, plenty of delicious high-fat high-calorie things to eat when Andrej can keep them down, and a generous allowance of prisoners for Secured Medical in order to keep his inquisitorial skills honed to their very sharpest edge. In some of his uglier moods Andrej recognizes this care that Lowden takes and is willing to grant him credit for it. Andrej is the only person who ever smoked a lefrol (or any other substance) in Captain Lowden’s office.
Fleet sent Lowden to the Ragnarok because Lowden pulled strings to get the cushy assignment with all of the opportunities for business on the side that it represented. Fleet’s keeping Lowden on the Ragnarok because if Lowden were in command of a ship of the Line he would certainly have a sudden encounter with mortality of one sort or another; and people would have to die for it; and Lowden’s not worth it. At least on the Ragnarok the damage Lowden can do to Fleet prestige is minimized, and there’s no question but that his deployment of his Judicial resources in the person of Andrej Koscuisko successfully represents the deterrent effect of the Protocols. So it’s all good.
Irshah Parmin (EAR shaw PAR men)
Captain, JFS Scylla. A respected career officer, he doesn’t like Inquisitors or anything they stand for, and has decided early on that Andrej is entirely too young (but then, they all are, which would be another reason he doesn’t like Inquisitors, if he needed one). That said, his Infirmary has good things to say about Andrej’s technical competence in surgery, and First Officer has positive things to report by way of Chief Warrant Officer Caleigh Samons about the relationships as they develop between Andrej and the bond-involuntary Security slaves assigned. Captain Irshah Parmin firmly believes that character is demonstrated by how you treat people when you’re alone with them, especially people as vulnerable as a bond-involuntary under governor.
During the course of Andrej’s tenure on the Scylla, Captain Irshah Parmin (sometimes patiently, more often impatiently) attempts to educate Andrej in how to behave as though he understood his place in the command structure, and the consequences of his actions with respect to the politics of Scylla’s relationship with other ships in Fleet. He’s depressed by the whole Domitt Prison thing because, while he’s completely behind Andrej’s decision there, he also knows that Andrej’s actions have created major problems for him within the Bench/Fleet community. (Generally speaking, the feeling in Fleet is on balance positive, but there are enough Persons Opposed for one reason or another to cast a dark shadow in Irshah Parmin’s mind over the future of Andrej’s career. His sense of foreboding is only deepened when Andrej is assigned to the Ragnarok.)
Ralph Mendez (“common pronunciation,” as they say in radio traffic; emphasis on second syllable in “Mendez”)
First Officer, JFS Ragnarok. A competent and professional senior executive officer, he’ll never make Captain, partially because he’s not interested, and partially because he won’t play nice with Fleet politics. He doesn’t like Captain Lowden, he doesn’t care one way or the other about Jennet ap Rhiannon, he has no opinion about Andrej Koscuisko, but he likes the way that Koscuisko works with Stildyne to get the job (of taking care of the troops) done. If he notices anything happening to Stildyne over the course of time you wouldn’t guess it from him, but there’s not a lot that goes on on board of the JFS Ragnarok that would surprise him either, and he wishes that Wheatfields and Koscuisko would just grow up already (if not in quite those terms) although the snarling and spitting and fighting and strong language does tend to enliven an otherwise rather dull and hum-drum every-day existence.
I think he has family — brothers, maybe sisters, aunts and uncles, surviving parents — but I’ve never heard him say anything about them, so I don’t really know. Maybe he’s just not a demonstrative type. He was probably the second Ship’s Prime grade officer assigned to the Ragnarok, so he has a certain degree of pride of ownership. Doesn’t mind a little bit of a gossip, so long as things don’t go too far, and visits around with Ship’s Intelligence, Ship’s Engineer, Command Branch, and his own direct reports on a daily basis, doing his rounds. Is always caught up on his documentation (unlike other people we could mention).
If you catch him too deep in the tlactlac he’ll tell you all about his childhood riding the jackalopes of his home in the desert. But I don’t think he’ll be telling the truth, or expect you to believe him, either.
Renata Seascape (re NAH ta SEE scape)
Third Lieutenant, JFS Ragnarok, the newest Command Branch officer on board. So far as I know she hasn’t done anything to p*ss anybody up the command chain off, but she’s a new officer so nobody has any particular investment in her career (nobody’s looking out for her) and things got to the point that somebody =had= to take that berth, nothing personal, Seascape, make the best of what you’ve got to work with.
There are hints of things that she becomes involved with post-Warring States, but I’m not really sure how that’s going to develop, so I’m not saying anything. Might be a novel centered on the Ragnarok per se, but I have no plans at present.
Cowil Brem (COW ill Brehm)
Lieutenant, JFS Ragnarok. He and Andrej Koscuisko were probably assigned at about the same time, but if you’re standing anywhere near Andrej Koscuisko you’re not going to catch anybody’s attention, not even if you’re Command Branch and he’s not. While the name may recur in the text now and again, he’s not likely to make much of an impression on the reader. There isn’t anything wrong with Cowil Brem, no fault to find with Cowil Brem, he’s a perfectly inoffensive young man just trying to figure out his job, but you probably won’t find a whole lot of “there” there. All you really need to know is that he’s one of the Ragnarok‘s junior Command Branch officers — there are four Command Branch officers in total, under a full staffing roster, one Captain, three Lieutenants (one each First, Second, and Third), with Ship’s First/Ship’s Executive Officer occupying a position normally one step down from the Captain as far as the Lieutenants are concerned unless the situation requires them to step into the Command slot (if the Captain is incapacitated it’s the First Lieutenant, not the First Officer, who assumes command of the ship. Wouldn’t want to kick your Executive upstairs during any sort of administrative turmoil when you need to keep him right where he is to run the ship).
Saligrep Linelly (SALL ih grep lynn EL lee)
First Officer, JFS Scylla. She’s obviously in Prisoner of Conscience (which of course takes place while Andrej is assigned to Scylla) and you’ll run into her again in Warring States, but there’s otherwise not too much to say about her, except that she knows how frustrated Captain Irshah Parmin gets with Andrej Koscuisko, and she gets pretty frustrated with Koscuisko as well.
Serge of Wheatfields (Serge, as in “surge;” Wheatfields, common pronunciation)
Hoo, boy. Ship’s Engineer, JFS Ragnarok. Wheatfields is Chigan, and some time ago Chigan engaged in genetic manipulation to breed more men to fight in the wars. Things went sideways; the attempt to increase the birth rate of boys versus girls resulted in a situation in which women are uncommon, families consist of large numbers of related males of all ages, genetic contributions to the pregnancies of the women are carefully managed, nobody (except a woman’s chosen companion) knows whether or not he’s the father of any particular child in the right age cohort, and a large number of (what I think are) really interesting cultural developments. Because of population pressures the Chigan world-family is resource-constrained, and ships as many of its sons off-world to industry and other employment as possible. Almost no Chigan has the opportunity to develop an emotional bond with a Chigan woman, since it’s an almost entirely male society. Chigan obstetrics are the best in known Space. Chigan men off-world have been known to become hysterical in the presence of a pregnant woman, and some of them even have problems with a pregnant female animal of a non-hominid species.
Serge of Wheatfields is the first and so far only Ship’s Engineer ever assigned to the JFS Ragnarok. There is an unspeakably baroque tragedy in his personal background, and Fleet has maintained a strict hands-off policy. He has more than the usual amount of reason to dislike Inquisitors, and, since he’s a very tall and physically competent man, generally just pushes people out of the way, with force, rather than bother to tell them to clear his path of forward progress. It took Andrej several months to get to the point where he could not only avoid making a dent in the nearest bulkhead but make his very own Wheatfields-shaped dents in bulkheads to demonstrate the sense of a general, if unspoken, truce. They’re never going to like each other. Andrej doesn’t care if he understands Wheatfields or not, Wheatfields annoys him.
At any rate, Wheatfields is a widow, and the Ragnarok is as re-married as he’s going to get (a cliche, I know, but it’s true).
Ship’s Intelligence, JFS Ragnarok. She’s a bat. There aren’t altogether too many non-hominid crew in Fleet, because the number of non-hominid intelligent species under Jurisdiction is relatively minor (that’s just the way the world is built). She’s a very big bat, about four feet tall when she’s standing up, which she would rather not do (it’s not as comfortable as hanging upside down) but which she has learned to do to accommodate the hominids among whom she lives and works. Her office has a desk, and a ladder, and a network of bars in the ceiling that she uses to navigate; the surface of her desk is generally a bit of a litter, fruit rinds, empty food containers, and so forth.
She gets most of her information from her sensor feeds, which she processes significantly faster than her hominid counterparts. Her speaking voice drops into a range that most hominids can hear only occasionally, so her primary interface is a translator, and nobody has ever been able to decide whether it’s Two who is a perpetually cheerful bat or whether that’s just the way her translator was wired. She can’t digest milk sugars very well; she and Andrej have been at war since the day he arrived, almost, over the issue of burnt custards, and whether or not bats who know perfectly well that they have no business eating cremes brulee have any business calling into Infirmary for a dose when they have an upset stomach.
Rumor insists that she has some really juicy dirt on very highly placed people. Rumor is undecided on the issue of whether or not she realizes that she has any such information, because you can just never tell, with Two. She likes puzzles, life is a puzzle, she likes life, and she likes knowing everything that is going on around her in both the limited and the larger sense. Ralph likes her. Wheatfields is indifferent, as he is to so much of daily life and relationships on the Ragnarok. Andrej thinks she’s just fascinating, because he’s never had the chance to get to know a non-hominid intelligent species of her grade before (always bearing in mind that dogs and yowes and so forth are non-hominid intelligences, but they’re never going to be the Intelligence Officer of the JFS Ragnarok.) She makes General Rukota nervous. Jennet ap Rhiannon thinks of her as one of the buttons you push when you want to get some information out of stores, though she does understand that Two is considerably more sophisticated than the average data cube.
Her name’s not Two. She’s called Two, and answers to Two, because the position of Ship’s Intelligence on the organization chart is second from the left under the Captain (or the equivalent placement).
Wolnadi fighters (wohl NAH dee, where “wohl” is almost like “wall,” but the vowel isn’t quite right)
They’re the small fighters that a battle-wagon carries for pinprick defense and occasional ship-to-ship skirmishing where required. There are twenty-five on board of the Ragnarok and the Scylla, twenty of which are on line at any one time and five of which are held in reserve. They have a five-soul crew. Ordinarily bond-involuntary Security troops will not be crewed directly with non-Bonded Security, but on the Ragnarok (and on the Scylla, come to think of it) the numbers don’t sort because neither ship has a full complement of bond-involuntary troops (that would technically be twenty-five).
Everybody on a cruiser-killer class warship does a fifth-week rotation for cross-training. The primary responsibility of Security is to train and maintain on the Wolnadi fighters. Bond-involuntary troops are restricted to Infirmary for fifth-week for several good and convincing reasons.
Caleigh Samons (CAL ee SAM ons, like “Cal(ifornia) Salmons.” Almost.)
Chief Warrant Officer, JFS Scylla. Caleigh has succeeded in Security despite a distinct physical handicap: she’s gorgeous. I don’t know exactly how to indicate her transcendent physical beauty, but if Helen of Troy were a Security warrant, it’d be Caleigh Samons. As such, she’s accustomed to accepting the fact that people are going to find her physically attractive, and making her way as a professional senior Security officer regardless. (No shortcuts. Don’t even think that.) Most of the time people work past that (because she convincingly presents herself as someone who really doesn’t care how sexy you think she is, you’re not getting anywhere) but she still appreciates Andrej Koscuisko’s concentrated effort to relate to her strictly as a respectable professional Chief Warrant Officer, responsible for the health and welfare of bond-involuntary Security assigned as well as for his physical safety on remote assignment.
If you’ve read Prisoner of Conscience you know about the one instance in which there was a temporary modification of this professional relationship, and if you haven’t read Prisoner of Conscience, you’re probably not reading about Caleigh anyway, except of course that she’ll turn up in Warring States along with the rest of the crew of the JFS Scylla.
She’s very patient with a very young officer. She thinks he displays unusual maturity in some relationships — particularly with bond-involuntaries. She respects him for that. She’s sorry he get crosswise of authority in Prisoner of Conscience but she doesn’t think of him any the less highly for that.
Bench Intelligence Specialists
Garol Aphon Vogel (CARE ole A fon VO gel, hard “g”)
His name is actual Karol Aphon Vogel, really; but at one point my editor appealed to me to reduce the number of characters in a single novel whose names began with a “K” in order to make them easier to keep apart for people who were just picking the books up for the first time. A question of reader accessibility. I know that Pavel I’Shenko started life in early drafts of Hour of Judgment as the Kosai prince rather than the Danzilar prince, but never mind. “Garol” with a hard “g” was as close as I could get to Karol and make more separation between character names at the same time. That’s why his name changes between one novel and another: it’s really a change that is no change.
At any rate, when he was quite young Karol was involved in an exceptionally vicious bit of civil war on an exceptionally unimportant world. Nothing good came of it, but during the last agonies Karol was recruited for Bench special operations and swiftly identified as Intelligence Specialist material due to a rare native combination of psychological acuity, reaction speed, ability to reach decisions more quickly than most, and an ability to identify, discriminate between, evaluate, and then synthesize multiple data streams before almost anybody else has started to pull together the first one. The fact that his personal integrity is as fundamental to his character is paradoxically why the Bench trusts him to violate Bench procedures at will. A Bench intelligence specialist has powers of extraordinary discretion and can make treaty, break relationships between world-families, unilaterally alter a balance of trade, establish or abolish tariffs, and make or break entire planetary governments at will, with or without ever being seen. A Bench intelligence specialist commands immediate and absolute cooperation from Fleet and any and all Judicial officers on presentation of identity chop. A Bench intelligence specialist decides on the ground what course of action is required to maintain the Judicial order for the long-term good of the average citizen and will do whatever needs to be done, whether or not abstract justice is served. Karol is perfectly capable of simply drawing a side-arm and terminating a planetary governor without any perturbation of his breath, or of his sleep, mostly, and he has done.
Karol has started to entertain some skepticism about the long-term viability of the rule of Law and the Judicial order. But that won’t stop him from doing his job: just from being able to take whole-hearted pride in it.
It’s a lonely life. It’s a very small community; sometimes a problem brings Bench intelligence specialists together, and if there’s good synergy, it can happen again. Karol Vogel and Jils Ivers have worked very successfully together on one occasion or another, always bearing in mind that not even a Bench intelligence specialist knows what the agenda of the next intelligence specialist might be (which is part of the plot in Hour of Judgment, of course). Anything like a private life is obviously out of the question; at the same time, there is among many people Karol has met and respected is one he both respects and likes a very great deal, the Flag Captain Walton Agenis (Agenis the Deep-Minded). From time to time Karol entertains an idle fantasy about retiring to start a vegetable garden with a water feature, but Bench intelligence specialists never retire. They may disappear. But they never retire.
Karol is the protagonist of the novel Angel of Destruction. He has an important role in Hour of Judgment and Warring States (and in the new novel well) and appears in Prisoner of Conscience (including the Ghost Epilogue, here). You can also find him participating in a story concerning Cousin Stanoczk and Mergau Noycannir in Pizza and Beer Theater with Cousin Stanoczk, here.
Jils Tarocca Ivers (JILLS tar ROKE ah EYE vers)
Jils is generally speaking more comfortable in the idea that anything done in the name of the rule of Law and the Judicial order is appropriate and contributes to the general good. She knows perfectly well that Karol has his doubts; but she has no doubt whatever that he will do what he knows is required to maintain that rule of Law and Judicial order. She is confident in her sense of her mission. Of all the Bench specialists that Jils has ever worked with Karol’s the one she likes/works with best. She understands very well the personal toll that executing the Protocols takes on Inquisitors; she sympathizes deeply with the conflicts they experience; she also understands that generally speaking they’re marginally qualified for medical practice (because by and large the only people who will sign up for it have no options). She is serenely certain that their sacrifice is a significant one of great value to Jurisdiction. She wishes Koscuisko didn’t have the attitude problems he has, and she deplores the uncharacteristically petty personal involvement of First Secretary Verlaine in Koscuisko’s assignments. Her basic attitude towards Inquisition might best be summarized as the good old “It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it,” and since somebody’s got to do it, it’s best if they’re licensed and trained to ensure that the Judicial order is supported and validated by the confessions of the accused to the crimes for which they have been apprehended. It’s not that she doesn’t care how often those accused are innocent of the crimes; she just cares more that the rule of Law be upheld.
Jils plays in Angel of Destruction, Hour of Judgment, The Devil and Deep Space, and Warring States; she also appears in Prisoner of Conscience (and its Ghost Epilogue, here). You can also find her briefly participating in a story concerning Karol Vogel, Cousin Stanoczk and Mergau Noycannir in Pizza and Beer Theater with Cousin Stanoczk, here.
Erenja Rafenkel (Rafe) (ear RAIN yah HRAF ‘n kell)
Bench Intelligence Specialist from the Dolgorukij Combine. There’s a suspicion she may be Malcontent; it would make a certain amount of sense, and I could certainly see where the Malcontent would have an interest in placing one of their agents in that really interesting and curiously influential position, but I’m not sure how anyone would have gotten that past the Bench. Bench intelligence specialists are non-partisan by definition, answering to the Bench as an abstract concept, but to no individual Judge. In Rafenkel’s case if the Sixth Judge at Sant-Dasidar Judiciary (which is where the Dolgorukij Combine is, I should make an entry for that) knew that Rafenkel was a Malcontent she might have decided to trust in the recruitment process and held her peace. It would be interesting to find out what exactly was going on there.
Balkney (BALK nee, “a” as in “ball, “nee” as in “knee”)
The Hangman. It’s highly unusual, but he’s actually married — to another Bench Specialist — and they have children. I know that’s the way it is with Balkney. I have no idea how that all happened, though. It’s that way in the book, and that’s really all I’ve been able to figure out about it, yet. (It would be nice to say that “I just listen to what the characters tell me,” except that that kind of makes me nuts. It’s true, however, that I don’t think I’ve always thought things through when I’m writing them, and then it becomes a challenge to reverse-engineer things like this. Like why it is that Dolgorukij won’t eat fish but do eat caviar.)
Delleroy (PAD rake DELL eh roy)
He’s big, larger than life, personable, charismatic, altogether too much noise to be a Bench intelligence specialist — you’d think — but that may be part of how he gets away with it. He and Jils Ivers have a personal history. I’d have liked to have a personal history with Padrake Delleroy, he’s gorgeous, but never mind. And he has a nice singing voice, baritone. And really great hair. Nice set of shoulders. There are lots of good reasons why Jils might have had a personal relationship with him, but the moment they noticed that they were having a personal relationship (as opposed to a physical one) they put distance between them.
Alexie Slijanevitch/Alexie Ilmyanitch (ah LEX ee slee YAN eh vitch, ah LEX ee il me YAN itch)
Andrej’s father; the Koscuisko prince, the governing voice of the Koscuisko familial corporation. Under his tenure the business enterprises of the familial corporation have adjusted nimbly to the changing environments; the cultural norms applicable to domestic relationships, not so much. He was plenty outraged at Andrej when Andrej pushed back on going to Fleet, but bear in mind that when he was in Fleet Security it may have been the Home Defense Fleet rather than the Jurisdiction Fleet, and any “inquiry” that went on was the ad-hoc, nasty-but-relatively-quick-and-dirty back-alley sort of thing. I think. Misses his son, though; wishes that there was a way to get to see his grand-child. I don’t think he’ll ever really understand, but he is Andrej’s father underneath it all, and after enough time has passed it doesn’t matter whether Andrej is a technically filial son.
He was originally identified as Alexie Ilmyanitch (An Exchange of Hostages), but is Alexie Slijanevitch in The Devil and Deep Space (by his daughter, who should know). Clearly there is a fairly significant dialect difference involved. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Ossipia Carvataja (oh SIP ee ah carve ah TIE ya)
Andrej’s mother, a Flesonika princess, probably the oldest of her sisters because Andrej’s family has a good deal of prestige (though it’s not the wealthiest of the Dolgorukij familial corporations, when you’re talking about Aznir Dolgorukij at this level of economic influence the term “wealthiest” doesn’t quite mean what it you might think). If I recall correctly he gets his general coloring from his mother’s side of the family and I think that he’s inherited a lot of familial charisma, but she’s tall too. His brothers got all of his altitude.
Marya Ulexeievna MAR yah you lechs aye EV na)
(also Marieko) Andrej’s older sister. I regret to have to report that there has been significant variance in the spelling of Marya’s name over the years — maybe religious professionals change their names to mark significant events in the liturgical calendar, or something of the sort.
Here’s the thing about Marya. She left her father’s household as a fairly young girl (was it five years old?) when Andrej was born, so that there would be no senior child in his generation to challenge the authority of the Koscuisko prince that was to be. In the Koscuisko familial corporation daughters do not inherit (though they may be richly dowered). In other great families that is changing, notably, for instance, in the Ichogatra familial corporation. Alexie Slivanevitch’s feelings can be found in the miscellaneous ancillary material here.
As a senior religious, and his older sister, and a family member about whom there is a general suspicion that she may have been unfairly treated, Andrej is timid in her presence. Just as well that he hasn’t seen her very often in his life. She had as good an education as anybody could have wanted for her; she lives very well; she may have Especial Friends (religious professionals in the Dolgorukij Combine are not necessarily celibate, though any children they may have are property of the Church). But if she’d been born into another princely family she might have inherited. And she wasn’t, so she didn’t. Makes her a little waspish from time to time, in a religious professional sort of way.
If Anton Andreievitch has a first-born daughter she will probably see to it that her grand-neice inherits control of the Koscuisko familial corporation.
Mikhel Ulexeievitch (MICK hell)
(also Meeka, Meshik) The third son born to the Koscuisko prince. Since Iosev, the second-oldest son, would normally be expected to pursue a religious vocation (somebody’s got to run those Koscuisko-endowed religious establishments), Meeka always thought he’d be going into Fleet. He has the height, the shoulders, the beard of a cavalryman, and he really liked the military life. Unfortunately, Iosev’s misdeeds make it impossible for Iosev to be considered for a religious vocation of any sort, so the job has fallen to Meeka by default. To his credit, Meeka is attacking his religious duties with the same fervor and sense of mission as he would have invested in Fleet (Home Defense Fleet, to be exact). Still and all, it’s a shame about Meeka. He should have been a space captain.
Leo Ulexeievitch (also Lo, Leshik) (LAY oh)
The fourth son born to the Koscuisko prince. I’m pretty sure I’ve got him down as “Lo,” somewhere, but really, you can’t call a person “Lo,” can you? You’d have dialogue like “Lo, there’s coffee in the pantry” and “Lo, someone is at the door.” Impossible. Leo was too young to have really committed to going into business when the family roles were reshuffled in the wake of revelations about Iosev’s depravity, so he didn’t have to adjust his head much to embrace his place in the Home Defense Fleet. Now he’s Fleet Captain, and gets one of my very favorite lines in Blood Enemies, which you will find in the first chapter of that not-yet-available unpublished novel here.
Iosev Ulexeievitch (also Louse, Swine, Waste of Conjugal Intimacy, Lowest Form of Sentient Life) (YO seve)
The second son born to the Koscuisko prince; closest to Andrej in age. Destined from birth to a religious vocation, Iosev committed a grave moral sin by taking two separate women as “sacred” wives (without, of course, letting anybody know). In Dolgorukij society this is a much more complicated crime than incest or bigamy, though it has definite characteristics of each. Iosev is lucky he’s not spending the rest of his life cloistered in a strict monastic order, rather than simply being treated as though he has ceased to exist. The plight of the child born to the second woman he “married” is particularly painful and poignant. Its mother committed suicide for shame. Iosev has never been able to figure out what was so wrong about what he did; there are some unpleasant personality traits in any family, and Iosev got a solid dose some pretty nasty ones. I suspect that his oldest son Stefan takes after his father, and that Anton Andreievitch has his work cut out for him to manage his suddenly-after-The Devil and Deep Space-cousins in future.
Nikolai Ulexeivitch (Nikosha, Nikolenka) (NICK oh lie, nick OH sha, nick oh LENK ah)
Andrej’s youngest brother, the baby of the family, kind of a surprise to everybody concerned except that Andrej’s parents do continue to sleep together and Andrej’s mother is (well, obviously) still within the fertile arc of her years. His destiny is to go into business, specifically forensic accounting (I think); but he is destined to become Anton’s champion within the extended family as well. They’re not too far apart in age, and Nikosha worships his brother Andrej almost as much as Anton Andreievitch worships his absentee father (or rather the idealized concept of his father).
Zsuzsa Ulexeievna (SHOO sha you lechs aye EV na)
One of Andrej’s younger sisters, and with a career in politics ahead of her. The Autocrat draws young people of the best families into Court service to learn the trade of diplomacy and to represent the Autocrat in a variety of more or less important roles; it’s a very significant honor, and Zsuzsa was selected only after extensive vetting, even though her family is one of the old and influential ones. (Her family is more conservative than the Autocrat; who is in this generation actually a woman. It’s one of the indications that Dolgorukij culture is changing in response to Jurisdiction; the Koscuisko familial corporation has maintained its economic status and influence, which indicates that they do clearly see how to react to keep their position, so it’s only a matter of time before the rapid changes in the environment of trade and commerce soaks up into the directing family.) As one of the Autocrat’s Proxies she takes precedence over even her own parents, seated while they stand. Strange days. Strange days.
There are persistent rumors that Andrej has at least two other sisters, but I don’t know anything about them. It’s possible that they’re fostered in or fostered out; it’s possible that they’re daughters of Andrej’s father but not Andrej’s mother; it’s practically impossible that they’re daughters of Andrej’s mother but not Andrej’s father, though it could be that they’re adopted orphans from cadet branches. I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out.
Paval I’Shenko Danzilar (PAH vell ee SHEN ko DAN zih lare, where “lare” is as in “are”)
When you’re the son of the Koscuisko prince, you’re related to members of the Autocrat’s Court and selected elite families, but there are a lot more people who are related to you. As it were. Paval I’Shenko is a younger son of good family with blood-ties to Andrej’s extended family. They knew each other as children; ‘Shiki has a unique perspective on Andrej from the years during which each of them were happy-go-lucky youth without any real sense of the unhappy realities of life.
The entire family’s fortunes are sunk into the lease of Port Burkhayden. If Paval I’Shenko can make a going concern out of it, his family will survive and thrive. If he fails, his family will sink beneath the waters and decline into positions as clients and dependents in other family’s firms. He is very strongly motivated to make money in Burkhayden: but there is a streak of anarchy in his make-up (the blood of Chuvishka Kospodar, and so on, and so forth) that expresses itself in unexpected ways. He’s a thoroughly old-fashioned Dolgorukij autocrat: which means that the welfare of the subject population is as the welfare of his family (there are reasons for this into which I will not go in this place at this time, but I’ll mention the subject of “land pledges,” and I think there’s a discussion about that somewhere). He’s responsible for the nurture, health, welfare, betterment, and protection of the Nurail of port Burkhayden. Including their families. All of their families. A proportion of whom are in Gonebeyond Space; which also represents, interestingly enough, an entirely open market. If that market can be developed and opened, the prosperity of the Burkhayden Nurail can be guaranteed unto the eighth generation, and Danzilar will profit as well. This is a moment of destiny, for Paval I’Shenko. It is up to him.
The directions in which ‘Shiki will take his indentured world may be a little unconventional, but they are in the end in the service of core Dolgorukij values of good lordship.
He’s one of the good guys.
Cousin Stanoczk (Stan OSH; you can pronounce “Cousin” any way you like, he’ll probably answer to it)
Also called Stoshi (STOSH ee), Stoshik (STOSH ick). A slave of the Malcontent, more formally St. Andrej Malcontent, the secret service of the Dolgorukij church/the Dolgorukij Combine. Stoshi’s gay, and doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be; but for a Dolgorukij, that means electing the Malcontent, and surrendering any title to your own person to the requirements of the Saint. (You can find more discussion of St. Andrej Malcontent in the FAQ section.) He comes from a very good family; he and Andrej Koscuisko were playmates, as children, and were very close, until it became clear that continued association with Stoshi was not going to be appropriate for the son of the Koscuisko prince. (Andrej’s brothers are all sons of the Koscuisko prince, but they’re to be described as “a son of the Koscuisko prince,” rather than “the son of the Koscuisko prince.) When Stoshi elected the Malcontent Andrej didn’t see him again until he turns up in The Devil and Deep Space, although you will have previously encountered him if you have read Angel of Destruction. He finds Security Chief Stildyne to be a person of interest, and since his Reconciler apparently does not object he continues to pursue his interest in Security Chief Stildyne in novels subsequent to their first acquaintance.
Stoshi narrates an adventure with Mergau Noycannir and Karol Vogel in Pizza and Beer Theater with Cousin Stanoczk, here.
Chuvishka Kospodar (chew VISH ka kos poh DAR)
He is a member of Andrej’s family, and he might as well be a character in the series, because the psychic impact of history reverberates so strongly down to the present generations: both among the Sarvaw nations, and with Andrej Koscuisko, who is a several-times-grandson of this blood-thirsty maniac.
Chuvishka Kospodar was completely and serenely confident of his position as one of the Holy Mother’s elect, especially in regards to Sarvaw, who in his view were as close to vermin as you could get and still walk on two legs and speak intelligible language. He might be compared to an anti-Semitic Nazi officer of particular virulence and appetite for the imposition of Aryan supremacy. He may not himself have been a sadist in the usual sense of the word, but he sponsored the Angel of Destruction and approved of their work, so he may as well have been.
Under Chuvishka Kospodar there was no reason for a Sarvaw to live at all. Children could be tolerated as draws on the Holy Mother’s resources only to the extent of their relative value to the Blood, which meant that he had no problem drowning litters of children in the river if they had mere Sarvaw for parents (and he’s done it, too). Some of the other extremes of which he was capable do not bear description, but can be rather left to the imagination, so long as a person is willing to entertain horrors of that kind even only in imagination.
Most of the Dolgorukij involved in the re-conquest of Sarvaw were by no means as extreme as Chuvishka Kospodar, although since he was the ranking prince and they were strongly culturally conditioned to believe his word was Law it took a little while, and an increasing degree of atrocity, to shake his subordinates out of their acceptance of his authority. His reign of terror (justly, in this instance, so described) lasted for possibly several years before he was required to repudiate the terrorist organization — the Angel of Destruction — whose activities he had sponsored, supported, and explicitly endorsed; and removed from governorship of Sarvaw at a relatively brisk pace.
The really crucial difference between him and Andrej Koscuisko, despite all of the depressed meditations of the latter, is that Chuvishka Kospodar believed passionately that Sarvaw were lower forms of life and one could do whatever one liked with them without incurring any moral stain on one’s character. Chuvishka Kospodar ended his life (in solitary confinement, in the custody of the Malcontent) convinced that he was a culture champion whose mission was blessed by the Holy Mother, confident that he was to be joined to a privileged position in the company of saints under Canopy immediately after death, if he wasn’t taken up bodily into the heavens. Andrej Koscuisko has no such illusions about whether or not prisoners referred to him for the implementation of the Protocols are fully as “human” as he is in terms of their character, their natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and their ability to feel physical, moral, spiritual, and psychological pain. In short, while Chuvishka Kospodar was capable of atrocity by reason of a failure of empathy and a certain degree of unholy delight in the eradication of the unworthy to live, Andrej Koscuisko commits atrocity despite his empathy with his prisoners, and to a perverse degree enabled by his native empathy.
Where he and Andrej have the most similarity is in a natural passion for mastery that is a part of Andrej’s genetic heritage, everything else aside.
Lise Semyonevna Ichogetrisa (LEES eh sem yon EV na e cho gah TRAY sa) (I think the “g’ is hard, and that’s what I told that nice Stefan Rudnicki, but I’m having some doubts about that right now)
In a manner consistent with both aristocratic tradition and the economic practicalities of large familial corporations, Lise and Andrej were formally named to each other when they were children. They didn’t meet very often, and I don’t think Andrej particularly liked her when he did, but there’s the fact that they were both children to be taken into account, so his judgment may not have been fair. In light of the anticipated privileged economic relationships between the two familial corporations a “most favored trade” partner sort of status has been enjoyed between these two houses for some time, and there will be contractual repercussions if this anticipated merger does not take place.
The cultural traditions of the great noble houses of Azanry are changing with the times. Koscuisko is one of the more conservative of these great familial corporations, though they are not the single most influential of their number. The Ichogatra princess was first-born. Andrej has an older sister. When Andrej was born, his older sister went into cloister, so there would be no possible confusion as to who was the Koscuisko prince (as might, for instance, happen if she were to marry and her husband decide to challenge for control of the familial corporation. There are stories about things like that in the saga of Dasidar and Dyraine, and they end badly). When the Ichogatra princess was born (she’s a year or two younger than Andrej) she was named “the” daughter of the Ichogatra prince, rather than “a” daughter, meaning that she is the inheriting offspring. Andrej’s father has wondered whether or not he wronged his oldest child by favoring his son over his daughter, but it’s too late for them now.
Marana Seronkraalya (mar AWN ah sair un KRAAL ya)
A gentlewoman of good family but not particularly exalted breeding; good enough people to have been included in the socialization group for young Koscuisko princes in their youth, but not important enough for any issues to arise if any, er, issue arose. Probably a function of proximity at Rogubarachno, the main domestic establishment for the Koscuisko prince in the grain-lands (as opposed to Chelatring Side, the ancestral seat of the Koscuisko familial corporation in the Chetalra mountains). She and Andrej were very fond of each other as children. In an excess of (a) youthful rebellion (b) youthful passion and (c) too much reading of Dasidar and Dyraine they recklessly and irresponsibly fell in love with each other, and decided to have a baby. This was in very poor taste of Marana, because, while the rash behavior of young Dolgorukij autocrats can be viewed leniently since they can hardly help the fact that they’ve been raised at the center of the universe, a gentlewoman with any discretion would have saved Andrej, her family, the Koscuisko familial corporation, and the Ichogatra familial corporation (to whom Andrej, er, I mean, to whose inheriting daughter Andrej is promised/betrothed/almost married already) the awkwardness by appealing to the appropriate religious professionals to ensure that no child was born before time.
But they were in love. And conception occurred under the usual circumstances. And Andrej wasn’t the only person who knew his own mind (and there was always the chance that the baby would be female, and therefore not as embarrassing to the Ichogatra princess). Marana defended her rights and carried her baby to full term in the face of disapproval from Andrej’s family, never mind the Ichogatra (which was probably actually kind of tickled, beneath it all, to have been handed so much leverage in economic contracts with the Koscuisko, in light of Andrej’s shockingly disrespectful behavior).
I’m not sure Andrej knew she was pregnant when he left for Fleet Orientation Station Medical. Traditionally, there’d have been no reason for her to tell him until she was good and ready, though I’m sure she would have because they really did love each other. She may not have been sure; she may have been frightened; she may not have had the opportunity; she might not have known. Personal messages are under quarantine while people are at Fossum (we want Students to be completely isolated from anything that might distract them, remind them that they are connected to the rest of the world, or Ghod forbid remind them of the values with which they were raised) so Andrej wouldn’t have heard from her until he reached Scylla. And from Scylla there was very little he could do for her but send his own messages, have her installed at the Matredonat, assign the resources to keep her in respect and honor and protected from the disapproval of his family, and hope for the best.
Sindha Verlaine (SINNED ha ver LANE, but that “h” goes by real fast, so you could say SINNED-ah just as easily)
First Secretary, Chilleau Judiciary, Second Judge Sem Por Harr presiding. A career bureaucrat and administrator who holds the highest rank on the Bench currently available to a man, since it’s widely understood that men are not biologically suitable for the dispassionate and reasoned judgment required to be Judge. (There are male Judges in lower courts, but it’s a little controversial.) An intelligent, ambitious, and reasonably unscrupulous man, he is completely committed to his Judge, at least partially because his status depends on hers. Always looking out for the Judge’s interest, he seeks creative and effective solutions to the problems that face them, and since he tries new things he makes mistakes. One of them was Mergau Noycannir. One of them was getting involved in a one-sided p*ssing contest with Andrej Koscuisko, regardless of whether or not Andrej realized that was happening.
Once he gets to the end of an experiment, however, he is capable of facing up to his culpability for his mistakes and taking responsibility for them going forward.
Mergau Noycannir (MER gau noy CAN near)
Clerk of Court, Chilleau Judiciary. An amoral, ruthless, driven individual from mean streets who will do anything (and walk over anybody) to get ahead and acquire power, influence, and security. She’s clever, but she’s not very intelligent; if she were, she might not be intellectually crippled by her conviction that everybody is out to get her or to further themselves at her expense.
Sem por Harr (SEM pore HAR)
Second Judge Presiding at Chilleau Judiciary. She seems to have some vaguely Southwest U.S. First Nations influence about her, but she’s mostly present by implication in Verlaine’s focus on maintaining/increasing her influence. Like the other Judges presiding she’s dedicated her life to the rule of Law; and as a fiercely intellectual woman, her views about how best the Law can support the common weal continues to evolve. If she ever gets to be First Judge there will be some changes made: I don’t know if the thinking of any of the other Judges is tracking along the same lines, but Sem por Harr is the only one I’ve heard from.
Other Recurring Characters
Walton Agenis (WALL ton ah GENE is)
The Flag Captain of the Langsarik fleet. It was with her that Karol Vogel brokered the amnesty which precedes the action of Angel of Destruction. She took a considered risk when she decided to trust in his word, and he’s never let her down. She’s the only person alive whose good opinion is important to Karol Vogel, though he would — of course — forfeit even that if he felt he needed to, in order to see either justice done or to support the rule of Law and the Judicial order. She has a niece and a nephew, who are both good-looking, charismatic people. She may have a mild degree of cultural chauvinism versus people who aren’t Langsarik, but she doesn’t let it stand in her way (for long) because needs must where the devil drives.
Hilton Shires (common pronunciation)
Walton Agenis’ nephew, and was a lieutenant in the Langsarik fleet. He likes speed machines, which I imagine look a great deal like motorcycles. There is a great personal romantic tragedy in his past (nobody died, but malicious third parties intervened) but Hilton will always put his duty ahead of his personal emotional requirements/desires. He’s going to make a great daddy when the time comes.
Kazmer Daigule (KAZ mer DYE ghoul)
Some miscellaneous Sarvaw mercantile pilot with a checkered past and an ability to see both sides of an argument about the legality of a particular cargo and the technical validity of inventory documents. He and Hilton have some history; he’s saved Hilton’s life, and in turn the Langsariks protected him (if you cared to consult the background of an English folk song called “Dainty Davie” you can get the gist of the details, but then, of course, if you read Angel of Destruction you’ll find it out just as well. Just be sure you’re not misled by the Robert Burns poem, and there was no impropriety involved, else Kazmer would have been summarily deprived of his ability to procreate in an unassisted manner). Whither Modice Agenis goes, there he will go also, whether or not Modice’s Aunt Walton approves.
Chonni Dawson (Chonniskot Sillerbanes) (CHON nee DAW son; JOHN ees got SILL er banes) (“ch” as in “children”)
The only surviving child of the War-leader of Darmon, and the story of his survival makes an interesting one, but you have to read Prisoner of Conscience, Hour of Judgment (for the cameo), and Warring States to piece it together. A determined and successful refugee-smuggler, his survival is an important morale point for the scattered Nurail. He was nurtured from adolescence into manhood by people who loved his father with the sort of fierce and inflexible passion that guaranteed to him a strong sense of purpose, high expectations for behavior and performance, and a passionate commitment to his goal; which is to gather into the safety of Gonebeyond as many survivors of the Nurail diaspora as possible. He didn’t inherit the role of war-leader, though (war-leader is a temporary appointment amongst the Nurail and can vary from campaign to campaign) but he makes a persuasive argument for his father’s memory.
“Beauty” Sangriege (“Beauty” as common pronunciation, “Sangriege” as san GREEJ, “j” as in “juice,” which he has got plenty of)
One of the trusted inner circle of the War-leader of Darmon, he is one of the reasons that Chonni survived. His name’s actually Alderscote (I think) but everyone calls him “Beauty” for the savage scar across his face. He may be one of the few people in all of the Jurisdiction novels who is actually only as tall as Andrej Koscuisko, but he had a considerably less privileged life.
(Dr.) Gille Mahaffie (GILL ee ma HAH fee)
Andrej’s second-in-command in Infirmary on board of the JFS Ragnarok. Being Andrej’s next-in-line means spending a lot of time running the department in Andrej’s periodic absences for duties assigned in Secured Medical and the subsequent/consequent binge drinking, but he’s not an uncharitable man; he does his best to save the documentation for Andrej when he gets back to his desk, just so Andrej doesn’t feel left out, or anything. And can get caught up on what’s been going on. And things like that. Also nobody likes having to review and endorse the documentation generated by a busy Infirmary, or even the Ragnarok‘s (which, having no active combat role and not seeing any action worthy of the name, is not an unhealthy place to be over-all).
(Dr.) Alis Sudepisct (AL iss SUE de pisct)
Andrej’s Chief of Pharmaceutical Services, and important to the story because she’s the one who releases psychoactive medication to drunken Dolgorukij in the middle of what might be described as psychotic break-down were it not for the fact that any such psychiatric diagnosis would (a) insult the entire Dolgorukij Combine, (b) require confinement for psychiatric treatment in Infirmary and transfer to a specialist facility, and (c) not be so much as noticed by Fleet Captain Lowden who has no intention of letting anybody take Andrej off line/letting Andrej get away. As such, she maintains a secured file on her senior officer assigned, and is the only person who knows everything there is to know about what and how much he’s taking. Andrej can prescribe for himself — he has a secondary rated speciality in psychopharmacology, after all — but most of the time he’s not really in any condition to think things through clearly enough to be trusted with a release-chop.
An Exchange of Hostages
Tutor Adifer Chonis (ADD i fare CHOE nis, basically, Jones)
One of the tutors responsible for the correct and comprehensive indoctrination of students scheduled to become Ship’s Inquisitors. A Fleet veteran, Chonis believes in the Fleet’s mission and in the essential nature of a Ship’s Inquisitor in supporting the rule of Law and the Judicial order. He may have become a little disillusioned in respect to the quality of individual they usually see at Fleet Orientation Station Medical, and he has no illusions about the burdens borne by the bond-involuntary troops assigned as officer’s orderlies. But that’s the way it is for bond-involuntaries. Nothing to be done about it, really.
(Dr.) Ligrose Chaymalt (LEE grows CHAY malt)
She’s the senior medical officer in Infirmary at Fleet Orientation Station Medical. Technically speaking, she’s expected to review the young Surgeon-Inquisitors’ medical qualifications and issue a certificate of suitability: realistically speaking, this is pretty much of a rubber stamp, because Fleet doesn’t care about a student’s medical ability so much as the fact that they have a suitable medical degree from somewhere — anywhere — and are willing to sign up for the duties of the Ship’s Inquisitor. I don’t know if they have mail-order diplomas available under Jurisdiction, but if they did, they’d be the only certifications that Fleet would decline to accept as qualifying for the posting as a Ship’s Surgeon/Ship’s Inquisitor. A medical background is the absolute qualification: until First Secretary Verlaine becomes involved.
Administrator Rorin Clelellan (ROAR inn cleh ELL en)
He runs Fleet Orientation Station Medical. He believes in the mission. More than that, he also believes in graduating students. He’s willing to sacrifice bond-involuntary Security troops to graduate students, if that’s what it takes; but it’s not because he’s not aware of the pressures he mandates for both students and for the bond-involuntary Security troops. He’s a very practical man, and he’s not cruel; just pragmatic, and he understands his duty to the Judicial order and to the Jurisdiction’s Fleet. Also, he likes salt pickles, which I imagine to be similar to Japanese quick-cure vegetable pickles for no particular reason.
Hanbor (HAN bore, where “Han” is like “hand”)
One of the bond-involuntary Security serving as a student’s orderly at Fleet Orientation Station Medical. He has the misfortune to be assigned to Mergau Noycannir. There’s an amusing story about Hanbor, which I would rather not tell you.
Journis (JURE niss, like “journal”)
Provost Marshall at Fleet Orientation Station Medical. She doesn’t particularly like her assignment, but she’s got to do the rotation; as a Security professional, the amateurish level of the Students at this early age of their training offends her even more than their general level of incompetence. The non-bonded Security at “Fossum” (Fleet Orientation Station Medical) work more closely with the bond-involuntaries at Fossum than Security on board of a ship of the line might; they either become even more burnt-out as an issue of self-preservation or they become partisans. Joslire Curran is more exotic than the usual run of bond-involuntaries, and has partisans (just imagine how popular Robert St. Clare might have become, over time, what with his friendly nature). There’s probably more communication back-and-forth at Fossum between the bonded and non-bonded security than might be otherwise characteristic of the Security community. Might explain some things.
Rab Lussman (RAB to rhyme with rabbit; LUSS man)
Some anonymous prisoner-surrogate, of no particular interest to anybody; but of course he’s not, and that is of interest to everybody, I hope. Robert St. Clare’s “cover” identity in the prisoner-surrogate exercise.
Prisoner of Conscience
Ailynn Stoup (AYE linn STOWP)
Service bond-involuntary, Nurail, procured by the administration of the Domitt Prison to provide for Andrej’s sexual requirements during his tenure there; partially as a natural component of luxury furnishings, and partly to ensure that Andrej doesn’t have to go off-campus (as it were) for any reason. People might talk. He might hear things. He’s got a reputation. Always going around hearing things.
Robis Darmon (the war-leader of Darmon) (ROE biss DAR mon)
War-leader of the Eild Nurail. If he’d just managed to stay under the radar for another few weeks he might have survived the Domitt Prison; but then, on the other hand, he was uniquely placed to provide some information that dowsed the furnaces. Feel free to have a great deal of admiration for Robis Darmon: he’s earned your esteem honestly, even if it was almost mostly off-screen. See also Chonniskott Sillerbanes/Choni Dawson above.
Doxtap (DOCKS tap)
Actually, the Doxtap Fleet, to which JFS Scylla is assigned to support the reduction of Eild at the beginning of the novel.
Dramissoi (DRAH miss oi, like “drama”)
The Dramissoi Relocation Fleet, commanded by Sinjosi Vopalar, is responsible for the transfer of Eild’s prisoners and displaced population to Port Rudistal. Since someone was watching, almost all of those displaced persons actually ended up in the relocation camps, which were no fun, but which were still a sight better than the Domitt Prison. Adminstrator Geltoi resents the interference of Fleet in matters which he considers should be under his sole jurisdiction, but he has no choice but to play along. Hint: Some scraggly kid with a guardian with a very scarred face was not, in fact, with the Dramissoi Relocation Fleet when it left Eild for Rudistal.
Erish Muat (EH rish MOO at)
Bond-involuntary Security troop on board of JFS Scylla, teamed with Joslire Curran. I didn’t know too much more about him until quite recently, so I’ll have a more full biography once I’m done with the current novella Proving Cruise. I hope.
Goslin Plugrath (GAUZE lynn PLOO grath, a little tiny bit like “Gosling”)
Andrej’s minder, a Command Branch lieutenant in the Dramissoi Relocation Fleet. Andrej’s pretty hard on him, but that has more to do with Andrej’s generally filthy mood during most of this novel than anything that Goslin ever did wrong. He’s a decent guy and an officer of integrity. His I’ll-tell-you-why-you-should-buy-me-a-drink-and-go-to-bed-with-me line: “I mediated between Fleet Captain Sinjosi Vopalar and Andrej Koscuisko at Port Burkhayden . . . and lived.”
Administrator Geltoi (GELL toy as in “guilty, guilty, guilty”) (hope that’s not a spoiler)
The man in charge at the Domitt Prison (DOE mitt). On the other side of the generations-long conflict between Nurail and Pyana, serenely confident of his place in the universe and his entitlement to all the good things it may provide. You’ll see him again in the novella Jurisdiction that I did for FOGCon 3, but it would be crass and mercantile of me to link to the buying page for that, so I won’t.
Merig Belan (MAY rig beh LAN, a little like “Merrick”)
Nurail sub-administrator of the Domitt Prison, and Administrator Geltoi’s favorite whipping-boy. There was a flaw in Merig’s character from the get-go, so there’s an extent to which he has it coming. I say no more.
Shopes Ban (long “o,” short “a,” last name gets the emphasis)
One of several prisoners at the Domitt Prison under whose name multiple slave laborers have been marginally fed, minimally sheltered, and worked to death (if they avoided getting into real trouble, that is). Ceelie Porlich’s last protection, and a thin enough protection at that.
Ceelie Porlich (SEE lee POOR litch)
If ever I committed a crime against a character, it’s Ceelie, though you’ll never see him again in a Jurisdiction novel. I owe him big time. You’d think I’d feel worse about at least some of all the others, but Ceelie remains one of the hardest ones for me to take. I’m sure he awakens to a next life of peace and plenty with a nice plump wife and lots of children. Maybe he makes musical instruments, I don’t know. Maybe he oversees a helicopter fleet for a civil forest-fire-containment force.
Marne Cittrops (MAR nee SIT ropps)
Another prisoner name used to cover a regular rotation of Nurail on their way from prisoner to dead at the Domitt Prison. The Darmon’s last also-known-as.
Sinjosi Vopalar (sin JOE see VOE pal are)
The Flag Captain of the Dramissoi Relocation Fleet, with even less patience for Andrej Koscuisko than Captain Irshah Parmin has. She hasn’t had any time to get to know him, so she has no reason to cut him any slack; still, she knows he’s young, she respects Irshah Parmin, and she is sensitive to the fact that the bond-involuntary troops assigned and the Security Chief assigned aren’t contemptuous of him. So she’ll let him live. For now. Some of his behavior at the Domitt Prison rather diminishes her willing-to-call-it-neutral assessment, but he redeems himself in her eyes in the end.
Toska Bederico (TOSS ka bed air RICK oh)
Bond-involuntary Security on board of the Jurisdiction Fleet Ship Ragnarok, and the senior man on his crew (I think). He’s obviously from somewhere vaguely city-of-Rome-like. Obviously. He’s been a soldier all his life; the only thing that changes for him is the nature and mission of the army.
Angel of Destruction
Dalmoss Chzagul (DAL moss Shah ghul)
An operative of the Angel of Destruction; Fisner Feraltz’ second-in-command.
Fisner Feraltz (FIZZ ner fer ALTS)
The Angel of Destruction in port Charid. Fisner is a young man with a grudge against Langsariks that is explained in the first pages of Angel of Destruction. He is a very damaged individual.
Ippolit (IPP oh litt)
One of Fisner’s people in port Charid.
Madlev (Factor Shiron Madlev) (SHIH ron MAD lev)
He’s the senior representative of Dolgorukij Combine interests in port Charid. I’d tell you if he was in with the Angel or not, but that would be spoilers, I’m afraid.
Modice Agenis (MOH deese)
The beautiful neice of Flag Captain Walton Agenis, and Kazmer Daigule’s one true love. The occasion of their meeting was similar to the circumstances which gave rise to one of my favorite folk songs, Dainty Davy (but not the Robert Burns poem, and there was no impropriety or Kazmer would have been summarily deprived of his ability to procreate). The problem with Kazmer is that he’s not Langsarik, and Walton Agenis doesn’t see where Modice could be truly happy in a mixed marriage.
Noman (NO man)
An operative of the Angel of Destruction in port Charid.
Hour of Judgment
Skelern Hanner (SCALE airn HANN er, is what he’d tell you to call him. In Standard it probably comes out more like “SKELL ern” as in “skillet,” one of which he’s too poor to own and wouldn’t have any use for if he did because you can’t really do much cooking in a gardening shed, can you?)
A Nurail gardnener with a friend in the service house whose somewhat rash and impulsive nature gets him cross-wise of authority one too many times. A survivor; a man who is getting by, and who has a good billet working on plantings for the Tavart, the newly-established local representative of Iaccary Cordage and Textile. A man who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, but then in the right place at the right time. A young man with an unexpected future in Port Burkhayden: and a very good gardener.
Janisib (JAN eh sib)
She was on Andrej’s Security (among those not under Bond) when he arrived on the Ragnarok, but transferred away after the first few months. It was nothing personal.
JFS Sceppan (SKEP pan)
The Ragnarok is a graveyard for careers. This is widely understood. Stildyne had a life before he was assigned to the Ragnarok — he was one of the people who got there because he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, not because he’d demonstrated any particular failure to go along to get along. Jils Ivers, as an example, has a favorable opinion of Stildyne. When a vacancy for First Officer turns up on the JFS Sceppan, someone thinks of Stildyne; he’d make a good go of it. But he’s destined to turn it down. Just another example of the corrosive effect of Andrej Koscuisko on Fleet discipline and good order.
Sylyphe Tavart (sill IFF tah VART, not quite like “sylphe” but almost except for making two syllables out of it)
An ingenue; she’s been socially isolated in Burkhayden since her mother’s arrival, and has made an unusual relationship of a sort with her mother’s gardener. Her intellectual curiosity is genuine, and she has a good heart, though she is rather young on the maturation scale: as an example, Skelern Hanner and she are probably not too many years separate in age, but she’s a lot younger than he is still. She’s had a sheltered life that’s afflicted her outlook on things, but her life gets very complicated in a very great hurry, and she will grow into a woman of power and strength. And one who knows a lot about gardening.
The Devil and Deep Space
Admiral Sandri Brecinn (SAND ree BREK inn, “BREK inn” like “breakfast”)
A corrupt and cynical career officer of the “reasonable” variety (that is, sensitive to her own best interest, not averse to black-market trading and fraudulent contracting. She is senior operations & exercise officer at Taisheki Training Command, and, as such, in good position to broker undocumented (don’t say “contraband,” how ugly) goods, providing (secure) storage space for a (very reasonable) consideration prior to safe disposition. (When you’re among reasonable people, the parenthetical qualifications are always important.)
Cousin Ferinc (Hastur Girag) (ferr ENK; HAST oor GIH rag, hard “g”) (and you can pronounce “cousin” any way you like)
Interesting case. May be the only person sheltered under the aegis of St. Andrej Malcontent who is no kind of Dolgorukij, no, not even Sarvaw, which are hardly human by some accounts (see: Chuviskha Kospodar, above). A tall strange creature with long hair and green eyes with whom Security Chief Stildyne had a prior acquaintance. Cousin Stanoczk is his Reconciler, for reasons which become nauseatingly clear to Andrej Koscuisko during the course of the novel. Stoshi’s become rather fond of Cousin Ferinc, over the years. Important note: If his name hadn’t already been Ferinc, I would have changed his name; otherwise Cousin Ferinc and Fizner Feraltz (from Angel of Destruction) can look so close as to perhaps be confusing. I assure you that they are completely different persons, though Fizner is an interesting case, too.
Murat Spodinne (Muir at spoh DEAN)
Non-bonded Security, JFS Ragnarok, Gets sent home with Andrej to get him out of harm’s way along with the rest of the crew of the suspect Wolnadi. Lek Kerenko’s part of that crew, but Lek’s more of a continuing character, so you’ll find him further upstream in this character list. You won’t hear much about Murat after this novel (so far as I know) but he’s a perfectly nice guy and you wouldn’t mind loaning him your car or borrowing lunch money from him. Don’t borrow his lunch. I think he eats baloney sandwiches with ketchup rather than mayo.
Smish Smath (smish smath, first name on a rising note, second name on a falling note)
Non-bonded Security, JFS Ragnarok, skill class code mission engineer/weaponer. There are other non-bonded Security on Andrej’s teams, of course, but I don’t think anybody else has a name that is as much fun. (Say it three times fast, Smish Smath, Smish Smath, Smish Smath. See what I mean?)
She and Kerenko are on the same Wolnadi crew; he’s the only troop under Bond on that crew, and under better circumstances Bonds would only crew with other Bonds, but the Ragnarok only has the six or seven of them (not enough to make up two full crews). There are probably occasional issues, but bullies don’t make effective crew members or Security troops, so things are generally okay. When they’re not, somebody takes somebody out back behind the Dempsey dumpster and goes upside their head with a two-by-four. Whatever the Jurisdiction equivalent of that is.
Taller Archops (TALL er ARR chops)
Non-bonded Security, JFS Ragnarok; skill class code weaponer/navigation. Gets sent home with Andrej to get him out of harm’s way along with the rest of the crew of the suspect Wolnadi. Lek Kerenko’s part of that crew, but Lek’s more of a continuing character, so you’ll find him further upstream in this character list. You won’t hear too much more about Taller either, so far as I know, but he’s a nice guy, and it’s just a function of plot mechanics.
Arik Tirom (AIR ick TEA rom)
First Secretary at Brisinje Judiciary, where the Selection is to be debated and decided by an unprecedented convocation of Bench Intelligence Specialist. The casual nature of his relationship with Padrake Delleroy surprises Jils, who is accustomed to Bench Intelligence specialists keeping more of a distance.
Capercoy (CAPE er coy)
One of the Bench intelligence specialists in Convocation. There are also Rafenkel, Nion, Balkney, Zeman, and Rinpen, with Delleroy and Ivers (followed by Vogel). Some additional details on some of those people can be found above in the Bench Intelligence Specialists section above.
Lazarbee (LAZE are bee)
Corrupt and unpleasant Chief Medical Officer on board of the Jurisdiction Fleet Ship Scylla, a reasonable person with good connections in unsavory places. Generally disliked, and not at all respected, both of which attributes he has earned fair and square.
Shona Ise’Ilet (SHOW na eese eye LET)
Joslire Curran’s surviving brother. A skilled courier pilot with a wife and young child; in this novel he has an opportunity to meet the man who has custody of his brother’s knives, but circumstances conspire against him. As the brother of an Emandisan knife-fighter Shona shares in the responsibilities and prestige of the association, but the knives aren’t hereditary, and there’s no telling who’ll get them after Andrej Koscuisko is ready to pass them on. Since Andrej has Joslire’s knives he has become a member of Shona’s family, complete with older female relatives the existance of whom rather terrifies a filial Dolgorukij (but that’s Andrej’s problem, not Shona’s). Technically speaking Shona is Andrej’s brother through the agency of holy steel, and Shona’s wife is Andrej’s sister-in-law, and so forth.
Vaalkarinnen (Val) (val car INN en)
Depot officer with a poorly aspected “fate” line, she’s the woman who has to tell the Jurisdiction Fleet Ship Ragnarok to stand by for boarding. Well, sort of. But she thinks quickly on her feet, and I like the solution she derives to a problem of interest to Nurail everywhere.
Blood Enemies (novel not yet available, but you can read the first chapter here)
Buration (bure A shun, like “bureau”)
It’s the name of somebody’s ship.
Chornije (chor KNEE yay)
It’s the name of somebody’s ship.
Fisher Wolf (common pronunciation)
It’s the name of somebody’s thula.
Dire Wolf (common pronunciation)
Captain Leo Ulexeievitch Koscuisko’s flagship, Pashnavik class, Dolgorukij Combine Home Defense Fleet, Sant-Dasidar Judiciary. See, I can tell you all those things because they’re in Chapter One, which you can go read if you like.
Pravel Plebach (PRA vell PLEE bach, as in J. S. Bach, in common musicological pronunciation)
This is somebody’s employee.
Waclav (WAH clave, like “Slav,” not “autoclave”)
A really, really good cook.
Deputy Sorsa (SORE sa)
Probably not a very nice man.
Sternalle (ster Nalle)
A warning and a cautionary figure and an object lesson; also, dead.