Truman

Truman would be a documentarian in todays society.  He would be writing in depth books about complex issues, and makikng 6 part documentaries about historical events.  He wants and indepth understanding of people, places and things, and has a sincere inquisitive sense, that just wants to understand what's happening, and why things happen the way they do.

He is interested in accuracy, but more than that, wants PERSPECTIVE.  He's fascinated by the many different ways people view things, the different motivations, concerns, faith and beliefs that drive the world.  He's looking for stories that are as "true" as possible, but also appreciates that real truth doesn't exist.  He would be early postmodern by today's standards.

He is largely a vehicle for the story, so I want him to have enough personality to be interesting and realistic, but his biggest role is being the ever inquisitive eye of the reader, opening doors to stories, and offering chances to see stories from different perspectives.


Role:  historian, confidant
Story Activities:  Truman is one of the main lenses for understanding the story; much of the story will be seen from his perspective.  He is largely the "everyman", seeing some things, missing others, representing the more common perspective on what's happening.

Truman meets Davis at the historian academy, during the wrap up period at the end of the war.  Discourses around the war were already springing up, written by historians, poets, bards, told at pubs, shared and discussed as the society begins to come to terms with the war.  Davis already sees that truth will be quckly lost (if it ever existed) and stories are reinterpreted and recreated through memory.  Davis has a clear understanding of the value of truth, but also the value of a well written history, one that tells the story you WANT to be remembered.

Even more important, he wants to proactively document the postwar period, creating a history (true and strategic) of the development of DH.  He knows the war will draw all sorts of documentation, but wants to record what he thinks is REALLY important; the DH project.  Even if it fails, it will be an important phase in the history of the continent, even more important than the War, if he has anything to say about it.  Also, he knows the value of well crafted stories in creating the reality you want to be true, the power of prograganda.

So Davis goes looking for a historian, a special historian who can capture both the truth (or at least some version of it) and a more "strategic" version more intended for public consumption.  Also, as one of the most influential and powerful nobles of the day, it is customary to have a family historian, which their family hasn't had since he passed away when Davis's parents were killed in the ambush.  

An important characteristic of his historian will be not having a bias, being able to make observations and records of all the races, with a minimum of bias.  Also, the person will need to "get" Davis's vision, unerstanding the point of DH, the complexities involved, and importance of the vision, both to Davis and the continent.  Again, even if it fails, Davis wants the effort, with all its glorious intentions, recorded.

Customarily, nobles go to the historian academy to get the top of the class, to record the family history in the "traditional" and "proper" way for a noble family, which useually means stories about the nobility and charm of the family, how it represents all the highest standards of the human Nobility.  In practice family historians are combinations of family publicist, support scholar and creating a positive family rememberance.

This is not what Davis is looking for, rather than a family history about what a perfect noble he is, he wants a record of truth, for future use, in appropriate settings, and a more constructed version that can become the more popularly consumed history of the war and its aftermath, a version that will reinforce the values and future Davis wants to be real, helping insure that version becomes a reality.

So Davis does not want the traditional, foppish, class reinforcing prissy historian.  He wants someone special, and doubts he can find it at the Historian Academy, buts its customary to start there, and he likes to do basic class-appropriate things at times, to maintain his status (no reason to always be a rebel, if there's no point).

The academy desperately wants to please Davis; having one of their scholars record his history would be very prestigious.  They introduce him to the newest class of graduating students.  Normally, they would select someone, for Davis one of the students from the top of the class, and assign  them.  But Davis wants to interview all of the qualified students himself.  While interviews are not unusual, Davis insists on interviewing every possible student, which is unusual.  And he is only considering students; he wants someone fresh out of school, who will (hopefully) be more flexible and less indoctrinated into the official ways.  This is happening on and off for several weeks while Davis is in the capital resolving issues before heading to DH, periodically introducing him to different folks, as he visits the academy, or people are sent to him.  None fit Davis's goals.  In one of his visits to the academy, he overhears a current historian  "controversy".  A student, doing an apprentenceship with a local wealthy family, was caught writing a somewhat unflattering portrayal about the family he was working for, specifically, interviewing servants, staff and other members of the public to get their perspective on the family history, and even worse, recording stories of AVERAGE people, catching information about their lives, things that don't even relate to the family at all.  All of this clearly violates the historian guild's guidelines, which clearly  mandates recording everything from the families perspective, and certainly only positive stories.  He intended to keep the writing only for himself, but the fact that he was taking initiative and getting "outsider" perspectives at all is absolutely unacceptable.

Pulling a few strings, Davis manages to get a copy of Truman's writing, and very intrigued by it, seeing a lens clearly focused on getting multiple perspectives of a story, recording information about 1 story from multiple views, highlighting how events appear and impact different people differently.  He also sees an initiative, creativity and passion sadly lacking from most historians.

Truman is basically in the process of being expelled from the historian academy, having has a difficult time fitting in from the first place, and had a history of not doing well following the party line.  This latest debacle is the last straw.  At this point, even he thinks this is probably the right thing for everyone, since his interests are clearly at odds with the intent and style of the historian academy.
This resignation is a combination of quiet stubborness (he's not willing to give up his ideal), a sense of defeat (maybe he's meant to be a failure), and unresolved personal issues.  This is especially nerve wracking for him though.  He is an orphan; his parents were killed in an early raid in the war, and he has no resources.  He got into the historian academy because his grandfather had been a respected and renowned  historian and faculty member.  His father had rebelled against the formality of the historian order, and become a bard and story teller, marrying and travelling with a musician (Truman's mom).  This was a slap at his father and the order, which places a lot of emphasis on tradition and heritage, creating a rift in the family.  They were a happy family,  but unfortnately, Truman's parents were caught in one of the early raids of the war.  Truman was away at school at the time, so survived.  This legacy only adds to the loss of his expulsion.

But while he's waiting, expecting the academy to  ease him out, he is called to the office, and interviewed by Davis.  He assumes this is an accident.  Everyone knows that Davis is interviewing, but the authorities would never match up Davis and Truman.  In fact, Davis pushed for the interview.

Davis is impressed by Truman's writing and values, and instinctively likes him.  After three interviews, in which they both hit it off, he chooses Truman, unbelievably to Davis, and consternating to the Academy.

Throughout the story, Truman will be the anchor for readers, and offer opportunities to move in and out of the action, in and out of history, bringing up different stories, interviewing different people, highlighting legends, examining and investigating culture and events.  His broad ranging mandate from Davis is to record the building of DH, emphasizing current events, but also drawing on the war for background (althought the emphasis should be on building DH, not defeating the war).  Sometimes there are specifics Davis wants documented, but just as often, Truman pursues stories that interest him, reviewing them frequently with Davis, who enjoys hearing the diverse foci and perspectives Truman finds.

They have an agreement on content.  Davis will give Truman as much freedom and info as he can, keeping few secretes.  Some stories are published now (info pieces) but some, especially those about very political/sensitive subjects, will be "stored" until it is safe to share them (anywhere from 1 year to 50 years later!).  Davis will do his best to never "kill" a story, never say something can't be written (maybe it will happen?).  The goal is for all stories to be recorded, even if they can't be shared for decades.

In practice, Truman is a combination journalist/historian, pursuing some records to be preserved, while also immediately "reporting" on some current events.  These are published in journals, papers, etc, told as stories, shared through correspondance.

I haven't planned any romance for Truman yet.  He could be a candidate for the bodyguard, since they are so different, but relatively close in age, and part of the "inner circle".

Truman will start the story in his old age, as keynote at an event celebrating the 40/60th/ more? anniversary of DH, reading and reviewing his records.  Hence, we will be using his records to springboard the story, looking back at the development of DH.

This retrospective has a few advantages.  It means we know something worked, but we can keep specific aspects suspenseful.  So readers will know that the DH idea generally worked, but they won't know who died, who lived, who succeeded, who failed, specific setbacks and successes.  This gives lots of opportunities to play with the readers, hinting at somethings, surprising them with others.

This also gives me the opportunity to bring in other stories, sub-characters, little vignettes, as the conference triggers Truman to reflect, and other speakers, papers, topics are discussed and presented.  It will be a combination of him telling stories, thinking some private reflections, reminiscing with other DH "veterans", training new historians, and stories, gossip, presentations by others at the event.  This gives the readers multiple access points into the history, and their can even be inconsistancy; different folks can tell stories differently, reflecting on situations from different points of view, etc.

Finally, I always like to read endings first, so starting after the story fits my style, and would, in fact, frustrate my efforts to read the end; the reader sees parts of the end, but can't get the full story without reading.
Character Type: Complex
Characteristics:
Purpose:  Equity
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