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Dimitris the Pioneer

A world of flame and sea

Knight Commander Dimitris Havlidis

The will of Fate is not to be fought with. But one man fought Fate. And one man won his battle with Fate: he will not be remembered for his failures, but for his successes.
— Navarch Lazaros
  Dimitris the Pioneer was one of the most important personalities of the Age of Empire. He was married to the High Priestess of Tukod World-Builder, Janet. He is mostly remembered for the invention of the movable-type printing press. He was killed in action attempting to protect the Kalian Guard in Junko after a religious insurgency later known as the Night of the Black Knives.  

Biography (Pre-Fracture)

 

The Prophecy

 
The shrine is beside a mountain stream. As far as eye can see, the wild grass sways and blends with the sky. A child is carried down the old road... under a cloudless sky.
 
Road
  As was custom for any child, Dimitris was taken to the local Kalian oracle to be assessed. The Kalian oracle's words were generally clouded, due to the impossible number of ways the future could unfold, but she surprised Dimitris' family by giving a single clear and unequivocal statement. "This child will borne far by the tides of time, but he will be defined by what he was not."   Dimitris knew the prophecy as he grew up, but did his best not to be defined by it. He knew that in rare cases even the Kalian oracles were wrong, and spent his years heavily studying the classics of statecraft and military strategy, as well as honing to a point his skills in the liberal arts: music, mathematics, engineering, and alchemical studies. He was determined to beat his fate.  

Early Life

 
I will not fail. I will succeed. I can and I will.
— Dimitris the Pioneer
  Dimitris was born to common parents in the Ameral commandery of the Empire of Ironfoot. He was known early on for being one of the brightest students in his district. In the year 91 Before Fracture, he took the Imperial Examination as was required by all fighting-age males of age twenty. Scoring second place in all of Ameral (Windflower Rank), he was exempted from mandatory military service and ordered to the provincial capital of Port Adan.   After studying for four years in the provincial capital, Dimitris passed the graduate exam battery with flying colors. At this point it was customary for people of Dimitris' rank to be assigned to a province far from home to help stem corruption. Dimitris found himself spirited away by ship to the capital of Colren commandery, Junko. In that voyage, as he helped out the sailors of his ship, Dimitris found a love of the sea that lasted the rest of his life.  

At Junko

 
Golden sunlight glances off the waves
that seperate me from my hometown.
That is the iron price of my success:
When shall I see my kin again?
— Dimitris the Steadfast
  Junko was the perfect change of scenery for Dimitris. While Ameral commandery was a military province, generally poor and propped up by funds from neighboring commanderies, Colren was a bustling agricultural and cultural center for the Ironfoot Empire, where everything was questioned and the only constants were power and knowledge. It was the place for a Windflower examinee to be.   At Junko, Dimitris also began writing his first poetry. While Dimitris's political ideas were radical, almost heretical, his poetry was highly conservative regulated verse and could be compared to those of the ancients. He first wrote about an oft-covered topic: missing his hometown. This poetry led to his first introduction to Janet, who was an up-and-coming priestess of Tukod, working on finishing off her schooling with a novel.  

The Invention of the Press

 
The first day, the unveiling of the press. Dimitris' worldbuilders and magisters cluster around as Dimitris pushes the handle. The paper presses against the clay type, and when it is again raised, words fill the first page of Janet's book. The audience reacts with wild applause.
  Dimitris rapidly fell in love with Janet, and they were wed. As a newly-inducted Lieutenant of the Society of Magisters, Dimitris ran a Junko safe house, and turned it into a haven for worldbuilders. Dimitris was always interested in creating a platform for free discourse, and a way to spread ideas more freely was the highest worship of his chosen protector Tukod. According to his own biography, the idea came to him as "a ray of light": movable type.   Dimitris spent the next year working by night in the back of the Society of Magisters base, assembling a movable type printing press. He faced the issue that no one had ever tried something like this before: no one had written books on the manufacture of presses. His first machine was a failure. The ink dried up on the movable type blocks and the sheets of paper were torn by the frame of the press.   However, Janet helped Dimitris immensely with this project. Janet found a reference on baked-clay ceramics being painted with ink, and found that it would be much more compatible as movable type than tin. She also started the two-stage printing protocol: as one page was being printed, the other page's type would be assembled so that the printing could continue uninterrupted.   Their combined efforts paid off. The second printing machine could print thousands of copies of books in just a few days. Within the year, Janet had finished her novel and become a full-fledged Priestess of Tukod. Dimitris had been promoted to Vice-Consul of intercommandery affairs and ran a tavern that became the center of worldbuilding and magister affairs. Dimitris began selling his machines on his fortieth birthday.

Alignment
Neutral Good
Current Location
Junko
Species
Magister
Ethnicity
Malingu
Life
-42 - 101 (Died 143 years old)
Circumstances of Death
Magic overexertion
Aligned Organization
Society of Magisters
Other Affiliations

Legacy

 
Compendium Vita cover
Forest typical of Dimitris' hometown   Dimitris' invention was so widespread that his name is remembered even today. In the words of Sima Faming, "The four great inventions, the four great heroes of Colren are these. The first is the junk rig, and Mahli the Engineer. The second is the compass, and Arthen the Navigator. The third is the pulp paper-making process, and Ademal the Narrator. The fourth is the printing press, and Dimitris the Pioneer."   Dimitris' movable type is enshrined as one of the four great inventions of Colren Commandery, and later the Kingdom of Colren. This process was used for over five hundred years after Dimitris' death, contributing to a new influx of ideas known as the Second Golden Age.  

Read more about:

 
Society of Magisters
Organization | Oct 12, 2018

A bunch of diplomats ignored in the midst of war. Actually: powerful luck-intent magic users in hiding.

 
Luck-Intent Magic System
Generic article | Oct 12, 2018

General notes regarding Mythos 1.3

 
Magister
Species | Oct 10, 2018

A sister species to humans

 
Kingdom of Colren
Organization | Jan 21, 2019

A nation after the fracture of Ironfoot, reaching hegemony over the other nations by 200 B.U. only to fall to the Federation 125 years later.

   

The Setting:

 
Ironfoot Isles
Geographic Location | Jan 21, 2019

The main setting of the Seas of Steel


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