The Defense of Ibis
Dean-Marshall of Pallas Sophia University and Coroner General of Ibis
Full Title: His Grace, The Right Honorable Dean-Marshall Valencio Lysander Duncan-Pare, Commander of the Baileys, Coroner General and Hereditary Margrave of Pallas Sophia University and Lord Protector of All Subsidiary Holdings
Nickname:(Little Val, to his friends and peers, since his deposed, exiled and generally much more respected older sister was Big Val)
Little Val had intended to spend most his life studying quietly, protected by the glorious shadow of his older sister, Big Val. Since the Battle of Glass Thorns, Her Majesty, Valerie Duncan-Pare (Big Val, to her many friends) ruled the city-state known as Pallas Sophia with aplomb but also with a bone-deep corruption that eventually toppled her regime.
Long before Big Val’s fall from grace, Little Val reluctantly trained in Iron and fought with the university’s Anvil Troops, the Baileys, in the Tenure Wars which assured that individual cults would control the military might of Ibis, not Mundis Humanis. His youthful inattention to detail almost got him killed and he was saved by a young advocate of the Bureaucracy named Jurek Reyner. Jurek not only saved Val’s life but stayed silent about Val’s culpability in the disasterous Charge of the Irridium Fjord.
Little Val has since learned his lesson and never forgot the necessity of watching the little details, but he does tend to chase first and examine later. He also lacked political ambition for many years. His sister set him up with a major law enforcement post and the other Anvil Lords ceded power of accusation and prosecution to him as Lord Coroner because they considered him little threat. They often jovially refer to him as a “professor in Iron” or a “trustworthy investigator” because he prefers to continue teaching forensic medicine rather than pursue the political opportunities of the Coroner General position (which, let’s be fair, doesn’t offer all that many opportunities, anyway.)
And so far he has proven to be the right choice. He tends to focus on freemen crimes and has ignored certain offences that Anvil Lords committed, mostly out of respect for his war buddy and hero, “The Last Honest Bureaucrat,” Jurek. He prefers to teach and solve the puzzles presented by dead bodies presented to him by his Baileys. The Baileys admire his problem solving abilities but often bridle under the command of someone who no one else really respects.
But Little Val is an intensely curious man, one who tends to poke at things long after he should have stopped. Since the bureaucracy removed his sister from her position about a year ago, Little Val has reluctantly accepted the post of Dean-Marshall, in charge of his family’s University. But he still thinks of it as a part-time job and his “real work” is chasing the criminals who prey on the citizens of Pallas Sophia. He has not yet grasped what kind of responsibility he has stepped into and thinks that one small step will set a termite’s nest of corruption to rights once again.
Hugh Berenger (from Ellis Peters’ Cadfael Mysteries)
Commander Vimes (from Terry Pratchett’s Ankh-Morpork Guard series)
Dr. Laura Hobson (from the Inspector Lewis tv show)