Fireborn: Dark Phoenix
Lord Tomaz Apargopolous (The Elder)
A noble and ingenious Uruk in the late stages of life
Lord Tomaz Apargopolous, wo has just turned 71 as at 1932EI, was born in the village of Trynsham, in the family home; heir to a vast tract of nearly worthless mountainous land of impassable cliffs, snowy peaks, and rocky slopes that even sheep and goats struggles to subsist on. The little village’s economy was driven almost solely by the hiring of the people there as part-time servants for the Apargopolous family; an economy that gradually eroded the wealth until Lord Tomaz was left with little more than a decrepit and worthless manor house to his name.
Despite this, the young Lord had a keen analytical mind, and quickly managed to use his father’s connections to put himself through university in Transarbina, earning himself doctorates in both Physics and Engineering. His work on heat dynamics in engines was notable, and he patented several devices to help maximise efficiency. These patents and his research, restored the family fortunes – he was instrumental in setting up the University of Rastok as New Urgen’s (and North Encyronia’s) premier research institution, and holds an honourary tenureship there.
However, his main wealth came not from his world-class research, but from the construction of the railroad. Trynsham, as it turned out, was well-placed to access more remote passes that new mining explosives such as nitro-cotton were literally opening up for construction; and, with steady and significant rental income paid to the family for hosting the rail line on their lands, the Apargopulous family was on the rapid ascent to political fortune.
Most of his time these days is spent in the fully-furnished laboratory he had installed at his renovated family home; and his work these days is on the subject of ‘galvanic force’ or ‘galvanism’; a mysterious power that can be created from certain chemical cells. The galvanic force thus created can be put to use – Lord Apargopolous lights the main street of Trynsham with four brilliant white ‘galvanic arcs’ that are placed high on disconnected gas lamps, and which the locals feel certain are a sign that their village is more modern than most of the world’s cities – at the very apex of modernity, the glowing jewel in New Urgen’s crown.
Reinforcing this is their landlord’s political ascent. His lovely daughter, Anastasia, has recently been betrothed to Prince Arkady – the Prince-Regent’s youngest cousin, 8th in line to the throne. Lord Apargopulous has arranged a feast at his home to celebrate, and the sudden attention paid to this place by the high and mighty have transformed the village’s outlook. Whether the village can outlast its patriarch, though, is another question; Lord Apargopulous is a scientific genius but a social conservative, but his youngest son – also called Tomaz – has a worrying tendancy to quote Galossist philosophy, amongst other collectivist leanings. Whether this is to rebel against his father or whether he deeply believes such socialist twaddle is a subject of much whispered debate in the village.