The Whisperer in Darkness
Self described newspaper mogul
Yam Gamman is a tall and emaciated oriental man in his early 60s whose dominant feature is the unnatural crookedness of his arms, suggesting they were broken in several places. He wears a set of bone rimmed spectacles at the end of his nose which he takes off and replaces in quick succession whenever he is nervous. His attire is extravagant but shockingly mismatched. This is because he has no money to spare on clothes and everything he does have was a present from members of the Portolee family. Each item was the height of fashion at some point but when combined with pieces from different seasons, the effect is ridiculous.
Yam Gamman has a stout heart and fierce temper but this is masked beneath mannerisms which are more those of an abused animal than a man. Visitors who shout at him will be amused to see him curl up and cower before them. Their mirth is short lived, as he will usually reach for the closest object and strike at them with it.
In an interview in his own publication, The Gerelden Dispatch Mr Gamman offers a brief and vague outline of his birth in one of the states of the east, his journey across the Great Continent to Europa where he took a ship to Gerelden on account of its beauty and majesty. On arrival he set up a small newspaper, since that had been his trade at home, and started writing. His modest talents earned him the favourable notice of the Portolee family who, eager to improve culture and learning in the city, have supported his efforts to run a quality broadsheet ever since.
Other than his own testimony, there seems very little to know about the man. He runs his paper efficiently but the patently untrue stories filling its pages mean that it will only ever run at a loss. He has been the target of abuse from other vendors but sticks staunchly and ridiculously to his defense of the veracity of his articles. Aside from food, all of his income is prioritized to the paper. His clothes are gifts from the Portolees and he lives in a converted wine cellar under the home of young Cesare Portolee, in which he is kept awake to all hours by the excessive partying of that member of the esteemed family.
A very little known fact is that on official government documents he signs himself Yua Nguyen. There’s an interesting reference to someone by the same name in ‘Searching for Yangtze: Volume 3’, the memoirs of noted Orient researcher and lecturer, Professor Olivia Sistine.
From Chapter 54: ‘The arrangement with Master Addos proved must useful and he shipped me many thousands of writings from the east over the following years, each a veritable treasure chest in understanding the diverse cultures there. I busied myself in studying and writing and after 20 years the whole period is now a single blur in my recollections. I do remember one thing though. There was a writer, called Yua Nam Nguyen and working for the Dai-Haim Free Press Corps, whose work was both prolific and of exceptional quality. I must confess to falling rather in love with the man, however separated we were. His news articles covered every conceivable topic, such that I could scarcely summarise them here. But to illustrate, I recieved his first two books. One was on the state of public health along the Ubba river, in which he displayed a brilliant grasp of mathematics and engineering principles in designing a vast sewer network. When I showed it to someone in the Public Works Department of Gerelden, they were astounded and I believe that much of his plan has been incorporated into the upcoming replacement of the city’s sanitation system in preparation for the Anniversary of the Standardisation of the Calender in a decade’s time. Meanwhile the second book covered the philosophical concepts of Objectivism, thoroughly dissecting the ideology’s weak points but then replacing them with his own reasoning. It is the most amazing defense of the school of thought that I have ever seen and would advance political debate in this hemisphere in a single bound if widely studied.
Alas, all things must end. At the end of the previously mentioned book he stated that his next project would be an investigation into the Dragon Cults of the north and rumoured links with the elvish lands. I waited patiently for news of this work and made sure that Addos knew before every voyage that he was to get me that book at all costs, but he never found a copy. Three years later, all thought of it was pushed from my mind after Addos got himself stabbed in a stupid argument with a Gerelden brothel keeper, ending my literary love affair with Nguyen and forcing me to find another source of materials for my studies.’