Sir Henry Rider Haggard

From Wikipedia (lightly edited):

Sir Henry Rider HaggardKBE (22 June 1856 – 14 May 1925), known as H. Rider Haggard, was an English writer of adventure novels set in exotic locations, predominantly Africa, and a pioneer of the Lost World literary genre. He was also involved in agricultural reform throughout the British Empire. His stories, situated at the lighter end of Victorian literature, continue to be popular and influential.


Haggard was heavily involved in reforming agriculture and was a member of many commissions on land use and related affairs, work that involved several trips to the Colonies and Dominions. It eventually led to the passage of the 1909 Development Bill.

He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament as a Conservative candidate for the Eastern division of Norfolk in the 1895 summer election, losing by 198 votes. He was made a Knight Bachelor in 1912 and a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919.

The locality of Rider, British Columbia, was named after him.

Sir Henry would make a good Imperial personality… or even a fine model for one of the (more peaceful) players to use, or (more likely) an interesting NPC, or even a patron.

His focus on agriculture (instead of warfare, or exploration) means a lot more social contact with the 90%+ of the Imperium that is at peace at any given moment in time, and a chance to look at some unusual problems, from hydrophonic issues on the lunar and asteroid cities…

(…and space stations that were thought to be long abandoned…)

…to working out agricultural conflicts: say, between the Imperial Vargr (or other carnivorous sophonts) who want as much free range for their herds as possible…

“Because we’re sick of lab-grown meat, and the rodent & insect farms just don’t cut it anymore!”

…and the humans who think that the Vargr are far too land-grabby (and who haven’t discovered their Aslan neighbours yet).

A lot of Sir Henry’s work involved agricultural fact-finding for the Imperial government, and heading back to the Imperial Moot Parliament to give a report. (And finding some spare time to storyboard another adventure tale!) So, the PCs that the Imperial Knight has as a retinue can have regular visits from the Imperial Core to the Far Frontiers (paid for by someone else – the Knight, or more likely the Imperial Government), and check out the differences themselves.

(As for the PCs themselves: one can be from Capital himself, another from a ‘comfortable sector’ like Massilia, a third from the Imperial Fringe, also known as the Spinward Marches (“A fringy place for more than one reason!”), and a fourth being a Mixed Vilani refugee from the Solomani Confederation. Maybe another PC from a nice quiet backwater, like Ley Sector.

There’s probably no place for an Emptyhead, unless you want a series of ever-escalating arguments in the team which end with someone getting his throat slashed open. Well, maybe a quiet, competent fellow Traveller who carefully avoids talking about Back Home, especially if there’s another Emptyhead in the room…)

Finally, it would be amusing for the fellow-travellers of the Knight to see if they can find themselves in his story-vids (most media is video-based in the Imperium) and the occasional novel (for both the sake of prestige – certain Nobles like to demonstrate their Elevated Taste by only reading, and never watching, stories – and for the low-tech mass-market.)

And no, the PCs are not going to get a cut in the profits of his books, even if he uses a “serial numbers filed off” version of the PC in his fiction. On the other hand, if they play their cards right, they might get to be the hero in one of his books – and make a nice side business off that fact, in seminars for the general public.

About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!
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