Baron James Horkmanifester
Baron James Horkmanifester was born James Jordan on the 12th of Baros -72 EC, in the city of Iganefta-on-the-Sea, to one Molly Harling and an unknown father, presumably of the name Jordan. Horkmanifester's father is thought to have been a travelling merchant of Xuriental origin. In the -75 EC Iganefta Census, Molly Harling's occupation is listed as "Hostess". Little more is recorded about his parents, and Horkmanifester himself was notoriously tight-lipped on the topic.
Whatever else might be conjectured about his parents, they evidently valued education. Horkmanifester attended the prestigious Glosfordshier Preparatory School for Boys. There, he attained respectable academic results. Young James excelled in sports, captaining the school's Bindlet Ball team for two consecutive years (his first game as captain lasted seventeen months). Popular amongst his peers as he was, it should be noted in the interest of historical accuracy that Horkmanifester was somewhat cruel to some of his fellow students. Particularly those who mightn't have been as popular as him, having had slightly smaller mandibles than most and a mild case of Dendel's Stripes, not that one can very well help that!
Upon graduating in -55 EC, James rather loudly announced his intention to attempt a solo climb of Mount Yurch on a dare. This was naturally considered to be sheer folly by all. The following day he began his expedition. The last documented sighting of Horkmanifester that year was made by a member of the Mount Yurch Rescue Society patrolling the south approach to the mountain. At that time, Horkmanifester's condition was logged as “Remarkably Prehumous”.
Indeed, a week later, Horkmanifester was presumed to be abundantly dead. Miraculously, after nearly two years, on the 22nd of Jole in -53 EC, Horkmanifester returned to Iganefta, hand-in-wingtip with an enormous hork no less! On this day, Ylene Ylo of the Iganefta Advisory coined the moniker of Horkmanifester.
As it turns out, his ill-prepared climb had not lasted long. Covered in tuckarando bites and starved to the point of delirium after the first week, Horkmanifester was unwittingly “adopted” by a wild male hork. He related tales of his time living in a colony of these giant, gentle, intelligent birds, previously much maligned.
Horkmanifester founded TransAvian in -50 EC, harnessing the power of his new friends from the rather-large-with-nasty-claws-but-fortuitously-vegetarian family. TransAvian provided the first express delivery service covering the length and breadth of Ghyll. In its first year of operation, TransAvian posted the highest rate of growth for any business in Ghyll to date. Many attribute this to a failure to hire decent taxation accountants.
In the years that followed, TransAvian went from strength to strength. Through a series of providential investments, Horkmanifester amassed great wealth. During this time, he penned “Horkmanifester's Investment Rules”.
In -44 EC, one year after acquiring a large share in the newly discovered Azura Mines, Horkmanifester purchased a large tract of land between Iganefta and Iganefta-on-the-Sea, and the title of Baron along with it. At this time, James Jordan officially changed his name to Horkmanifester. Now retired at the age of just twenty-eight, Horkmanifester delegated the management of his various business interests to others. For his remaining life, Horkmanifester was to lead a somewhat sedentary and private existence.
The doggerel plague of -11 EC, along with the spiralling Quezlarian Ooo and the inevitable proliferation of the trundle cart spelled disaster for Horkmanifester. Stubbornly refusing to modify TransAvian's business model or pricing structure, Horkmanifester drove the company deep into debt. Later that year, TransAvian was acquired by Gweddill Fluffett at a giveaway price. It was successfully turned around under a franchise model with the guidance of Godfroi Hasawithe.
Horkmanifester passed away in his sleep on the 17th of Lom, 0 EC, leaving no family.
--Larj Zyquon 12:44, 23 May 2005 (EDT)