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Lezarouth Rice | Journal--The Sun Seeker | Julia Renalda-Jen
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Lezarouth Rice (b.96, d.144), along with Dr. Julia Renalda-Jen, compiled the first encyclopedia of the Known Worlds. He was known for being friendly and engaging. He was a brilliant linguist and writer, as well as a talented artist, working in a variety of 2D and 3D media.

Early Life[]

LR w girl

Lezarouth Rice[1] and an unidentified Helling girl, 138

Lezarouth was reticent about his early life, and most of what is known is gleaned from later journal entries and letters. He was born on Ragny, but exactly where he does not say. It is believed he was the son of a frontier family. He has never mentioned brothers or sisters. His mother had been a teacher before the family went to an archipelago where his nearest neighbors were miles away over ocean or mountain. He said he was happy living there[2].

Tragedy struck the family, however, when a dispute over land resulted in a duel between the father and a neighbor. Having no beet, they dueled with shovels (see Vengies for a discussion of the Hellish duel). Father's blow struck the neighbor's shoulder, causing a pinch in his spinal chord that left the man quadripeligic, but the neighbor's blow crushed Father's skull.[3]

What happened to his mother is not mentioned in any of his letters, nor has Dr. Julia illuminated anyone. What is known is that Lezarouth spent his teen years in the Ragny capital living with a young historian by the name of Mai-mai Antonia. The exact nature of their relationship has been a matter of some debate. Apparently, she had some maternal feelings for him, for she ultimately sent him to Saint Vengeance to the University of Hwahnlaan. But the possibility of a romantic entanglement has been hinted at, and Dr. Julia's famous narrow-eyed look in response to the question[4] did little to dissuade the rumors.

at the University of Hwahnlaan (114-115)[]

At Hw. U. Lezarouth's career was best described by Hwiid Jhon when he called him "brilliant but dissolute"[5]. He failed a remedial Algebra class, and only passed Biology because Dr. Hwiid had been so impressed with his research on imported organisms that he had arranged to have it published[6], and he was embarrassed to flunk his co-author.

On academic probation, Lezarouth was required to meet with a graduate student for tutoring. This was Julia Renalda-Jen, then working on her doctorate in Anthroecology. "Ricito didn't need a tutor, he just needed to go to class," Julia said. "Once we'd met, I think he had a reason to not want to be kicked out of school."[7] Their affair was intense and stormy, but Lezarouth passed his classes and got off probation.

Association with the Ruudbraakeh[]

At the same time as Lezarouth was being "tutored" in non-academic subjects, he also began associating with a group that called themselves "Ruudbraakeh" (Road Wreckers, "Road" being a Hellish metaphor for restraint and unthinking obedience). The Ruudbraakeh advocated the rejection of all influence of contemporary business. They preferred trade over money. Some of them also criticized the church, because of their domination of the extremely profitable softech trade. Not surprisingly, the group was suspected of subversion.

In 115, seventeen Ruudbraakeh at Hw. U, including Lezarouth, along with sixty-two students at other schools, offered to pay their tuition in trade goods. The response was swift and coordinated. All sixty-two students were offered a choice between paying cash to attend on disciplinary probation, or expulsion. At some schools, the students accepted probation. At Hw. U, all seventeen were expelled.

Lezarouth did not leave the University, however. Kicked out of his housing, he was largely homeless, sleeping on benches or, when the weather turned cold, on the floor of friend's rooms. He also continued to attend classes in linguistics. Professor Sighriid Aaneh claimed she thought he was enrolled, and graded his papers normally. Some thought this was implausible, given that she had class lists from the registrar, but others point out that she did submit his grades to the registrar.[8] Now, this may seem to be the act of an absent-minded professor, but the administration took it as a political statement. Professor Sighriid was disciplined, and Lezarouth was arrested for criminal trespass and larceny, arguing that he had "stolen" his education.

Trial and Incarceration[]

At his trial, Lezarouth requested trial by combat, challenging the University President to a duel with beet. The prosecution, however, successfully argued that under Saint Vengeance law, trial by combat had been vacated due to religious objections in 44. While his challenge made him a hero of traditionalists, it needlessly provoked the prosecution. As a foreignor, Lezarouth was vulnerable to suggestions of being an outside agitator. He was found guilty of both charges, and sentenced to seven years in prison.

While he was in prison, Julia visited him regularly. As her dissertation approached, she conceived the idea of a "survey"[9]. The idea appealed to Lezarouth, they developed plans, and Julia pressured him to work for parole. As a suspected political agitator, the odds were stacked against him, but, once he had a goal, Lezarouth applied his intelligence and personable style to the problem of persuading the parole board that he was reformed. He stopped efforts to agitate the prisoners, then began attending religious services faithfully. The parole board was suspicious that he was simply performing for them, but Lezarouth's performance was good. The prison chaplain related how Lezarouth had attempted to persuade him of the justice of his cause, how they had argued, and how Lezarouth had slowly come to be persuaded. "He has not abandoned his desire to help the poor," the chaplain testified at his second parole hearing. "He has come to understand that the help the poor need comes through salvation."[10] Lezarouth even made Julia fear he had abandoned her survey project. They had several arguments in the visitation room about whether or not to delay their project until after he was ordained a priest. Some of these reduced Julia to tears, although she admits that she "never could really believe he meant it" [11] In 118 Lezarouth was granted parole.

Journeys[]

Lezarouth may have persuaded the parole board of his sincerity, but upon release from prison he immediately resumed plans to go on survey with Dr. Julia. He applied to seminary, was accepted, and then deferred his matriculation for a year, telling his parole officer he felt he needed “to be a productive citizen” before he was worthy for the priesthood. He also at least attempted to restore contact with some of his Ruudbraakeh friends. Within six months, Lezarouth skipped out on his parole and began his epic journey with Dr. Julia aboard the Sun Seeker.

From 118 to 135, Lezarouth and Dr. Julia traveled all the known worlds, compiling their epic encyclopedia, The Suns of the Latter Days.

Notes[]

  1. There is an uncanny resemblance between Lezarouth and Eugene Fairfield. The differences really are only three: the Helling ears, the tattoo, and the scar over his right eye.
  2. Tang Wezir, Reminisences with Ren-Jen, Tai-tai Publishing, Mishije, 187
  3. "Letter to Mr. Conk on Hellish Dueling," The Letters of Lezarouth Rice, Tang Wezir, Tai-tai Publishing, Mishije, 181
  4. Tang, Reminisences
  5. I Knew Him When: Memories of Lezarouth Rice, Graad Hautenz, Hwahnlaan University Press, 186
  6. "A Refutation of the Earth-origin theory of Hiifiir, Silk, and Mangrove," Hwiid J. and Lezarouth R., Species Vol 67
  7. Tang, Reminisences
  8. Graad
  9. Transcripts of visitor conversations, Department of Corrections, Hwahnlaan, 116
  10. "Annual Review of Prisoner 91210, Lezarouth Rice," Minutes of Parole Board Meetings of 118, Department of Corrections, Hwahnlaan
  11. Reminiscences
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