The Whisperer in Darkness
Though he is taller and more muscular than the average inhabitant of Alba, it is the green pigment that Ixixaclan covers himself with that is his most distinctive feature. The dye of the plant Istatis Vertus is water resistant but can be removed with soap and a bit of scrubbing. Most of the islanders from Ozuroman wear just a loincloth but, largely as a concession to the much colder climate of Alba, Ixixaclan wears fur robes over his brightly coloured torso. On Ozuroman, the inhabitants never remove their colouring, it being a cultural and semireligious taboo to do so after the age of 13. Ixixaclan, given his profession, is a bit more pragmatic and removes it in situations where it would attract unwanted attention (indeed, the difference in appearance acts like a disguise). His reason for wearing the pigment is political – he openly and vocally campaigns against the enslavement and trade in islanders as forced navigators.
The only weapons he ever carries are his boomerangs, the traditional weapons of the Atlanteans. Around the city he carries a set of brightly coloured ones, marked with depictions of the life cycle of the sun. These are not the most effective weapons but still useful for hunting or self defence if required. Less well known is that the Dean of Heddibrun University commissioned the University’s weapon smiths to combine the traditional islander weapon with experimental military technology for use in covert situations. These versions fly further, are quieter and do more damage when they hit. They may additionally be poisoned or create explosions and smoke where they strike.
It usually shocks people when Ixixaclan tells them he used to be a banker. On his home island of Ozuroman, everyone is a fisherman but has a second job when they are on shore. For eight years, starting at the age of fifteen, Ixixaclan kept accounts for Europan, American and Alban merchants but on one occasion, having canoed out for a meeting with a prospective client, the merchant captain decided that the navigational skills of the islander were more valuable than his banking.
Ixixaclan was held captive for four years aboard the Vital Spark but on a dark and stormy evening in 362 U.I. he was navigating the vessel through a safe channel on the Alban coast when temptation overtook him. He gave a deliberately false course to the helm and, in the ensuing wreck, slipped away. Reaching Gerelden he had second thoughts about taking passage home and was recruited as a researcher by Heddibrun University’s Theoretical Geography department. While attempting to study a compass aboard a merchant vessel anchored offshore, he was once again earmarked for slavery by a greedy captain. For the next thirty minutes Ixixaclan hunted the crew of the Dawn Treader through their own ship, killing all of them, before putting the compass in a sack, setting a fire in the hold and jumping into the sea.
The event led to a shift into Applied Geography and Ixixaclan is now mostly used by the university as a field agent. He is particularly skilled at retrieving missing objects, particularly where there is a nautical element to the investigation. At the same time though he is a talented author of several well regarded monographs on the subjects of the planet’s magnetic field and the homing instincts of pigeons.