Telemain Kohl, D.C, Researcher, Conjurer and Trump Artist

"Ah, yes, a spikard. Wonderful things, worthy of study. Until someone tries to use it to hack into your brain, of course."


"A tall, rangy man stands comfortably in mid-air with arms folded, without any apparent means of support. Intelligent hazel eyes look calmly back at the viewer, set in a craggy face under unkempt blond hair; a slight smile gives his expression some warmth. His tan vest is covered with a myriad of pockets, most of them bulging with small items; a few similar pockets can be spotted on the underside of his blue cape, by a careful observer. Behind him on his right side, the light of a star peeks around and through a wide band of chunks of rock and ice, casting occasional rainbow shimmers against a blue sky. This shades away to the deep blackness of space on his other side, punctuated by a glorious array of warm stars. An Oompa-Loompa is grinning and turning somersaults in mid-air, off to one side."

--Telemain's Trump


Born to Beowulf and Lily in 1334, a year after their marriage, Telemain spent most of his early years growing up at the Museum of Shadow, though he frequently visited Amber with one or the other of his parents. Beowulf, Lily, and his sister Aeris all trained him in various mental skills as he grew up.

In 1347, Beowulf went to Arcadia to forge the Arcadian Patternblades, and took his family with him. Telemain thus spent his teenage years with the Royal Family of Arcadia, a somewhat mixed blessing. His aunt Mutsumi was able to teach him a lot about Trump and Music, and he seemed to get along well with his aunt Jacqui and uncle Thoric; in Dr. Jacqueline, he found a 'favorite aunt'. On the other hand, his relations with Ota Minor and Minako were strongly colored by exasperation, combined with resigned affection in Minako's case and reluctant respect in Ota's. He didn't get to know Makoto Minor very well in the year before she ran off to join the Iron Chefs; given his experiences with the other young royals, he thinks this may have been for the best. A couple of notable examples from those years:

1350: In his first experiment with his Trump Theramin, Telemain managed to send himself (and Minako, who insisted on 'helping') to the Shadow Where The Addams Family Is Real. Fortunately, Mutsumi was able to track them and pull them back out, before Minako leveled the shadow in a fit of panic when Lurch asked to have her for dinner.

1352: Hearing about the extensive system of pyramids in Djelibeybi -- currently being disassembled -- Beowulf asked his son to pay a visit and document them for posterity's sake. Thoric sent Ota Minor along with Telemain, in another attempt to interest him in something beyond the latest weapon designs. This proved to be a mistake, as Telemain's Trump skills are barely enough to keep them one step ahead of the hordes of angry camels, not to mention the irate queen and her assassin husband/brother. Ota kept protesting, "Hey, *my* Mom and Dad were related, why is it such a big deal for you?" Telemain just groaned. He also reconsidered his plan for telling Ota about the airguns his father makes...

As he grew older, he spent more and more time with his father as he worked on the Arcadian Patternblades, finally becoming a full partner in the enterprise. In 1355, Telemain returned to the Amberverse to walk the Pattern for the first time and do some research on the Elemental Patterns, in preparation for the final work of forging. Unfortunately, something happened to him at the tail end of his research, and he went into seclusion for a month. When he came out, he went straight to Panopticon and enrolled, instead of returning to Arcadia.

In the next five years, he managed to get a Masters degree in Sidar Lore through an almost monomaniacal dedication to his studies. He supported himself by working at CAFAM in the summers, which left him with interesting twitches at the words 'Blue Light Special,' but also gave him with a detailed knowledge of how CAFAM works. He became fairly skilled at dealing with Idiots On Patrol. He met Setsuna for the first time, as he and Setsuna and Yomiko defeat an invasion of the Panopticon Feast of Saint Swivin by Mole People. They are tolerably impressed by each others' skills, and strike up a wary friendship.

Just after graduating in 1361, he decided to test himself by building an entry for the Gondola Games in Venetia. With a great deal of reluctance, he approached Shiori to pilot his entry; much to his surprise, Shiori proved to be at least his equal in ship design, better in some areas, though less so in others. The two of them ended up as partners in designing and running an entry in the 1362 games, which won to everyone's surprise. They studied at the College of Sea Magi for two years as their prize, and ended up with a fair amount of respect for each other. Beowulf found him at the College, through feedback from Shiori to Kanna to Beowulf, and the two reconciled, though Telemain refuses to tell anyone why he ran off to Panopticon.

In the following couple of decades, he spent a fair amount of time studying with various family members and exploring Shadow; details can be found in the [timeline]. During this period, he set up a permanent research lab in the Smoke Ring, a shadow he'd first found when studying at Panopticon and later used to work on the gondola with Shiori.

In 1381, he returned to Amber looking very grim, and spent a few months in consultation with Yumi and Naru before going back into Shadow for another five years. He returned from Shadow this time looking fairly satisfied, with a determined air about him. However, the Second Melnibonian War started almost immediately afterwards, and drew him in before he could manage to follow up on whatever it was he had planned. By the end of the war, whatever tension had been driving him seemed to have eased.

He went back to Panopticon in the next few years to get his doctorate in cosmology, and ran into Shiori again in the Akashan League, caught up in a fairly chaotic incident. And rolled his eyes, before pitching in to help.

Since then, his life has settled down into a fairly regular routine -- depending on what you classify as 'routine,' of course. He typically splits his time between studying in his lab, making expeditions out into Shadow in both the Amberverse and Arcadia, and occasionally being drawn into events with the family in one place or the other. He spent a couple of years down in Chaos to study conditions there, staying with friends he'd made at Panopticon who shared the same interests, but eventually came back to Amber because it 'provided a more stable environment,' in his words. He has published a book, Sources of Power in Shadow, but many suspect that he left some of the most dangerous bits out.

Telemain is now dead, slain by Primal Chaos in the battle against the Hemingway Gang.

Personality and Aptitudes

Like his father, Telemain is known as a gentle and forgiving man, though he is often cooler towards people and more willing to speak negatively about them. Though he also works to keep this within limits; as he has said on several occasions, enemies waste too much of one's time. He is also noted for being able to divert conversations and encounters away from areas he finds disturbing, annoying, or time-wasting. (It's rumored that a few people are close enough to him to get him to open up further.)

He tends to spend most of his time in research, though he doesn't bury himself in the lab all day; he always tries to take meals with members of his immediate family if they're at the castle, and participates to some degree in everyday castle life.

His lack of a romantic life is a puzzle to several people, including his Grandmother Wakaba, who is constantly trying to set him up with one or another of her current crop of female students. While he tolerates this from his grandmother, he can get irritated when other people bring the issue up; if pushed hard enough, he will remind them of who his mother is, and ask if they really thought she would send her son out into the world without at least a solid theoretical background on sex? Including, he adds, the ways in which it can be used to manipulate people? If he gets really annoyed, he'll start quoting from one of Miroku's Kundali treatises, from memory, verbatim, until they go away. Fortunately for all, this happens rarely. He respects Miroku's intellectual ability but not his promiscuity, and often warns him (and the other 'playboys' of his generation) that they're playing with fire and will get burned one of these days. Despite this, he is not down on the idea of romance itself, and can be heard speaking wistfully of his parents' relationship.

Although bed-hopping is one reason Telemain used to argue with Orien, another one raised its head at the start of the Second Melnibonian War. While Telemain prefers peaceful solutions to conflicts, he can and will fight if necessary, and considers pure pacifists to be unfortunately deluded at best. As the flip side of idealism is that sometimes you have to fight for your ideals... He regrets the rift with Orien, and hopes that Orien will recognize the need to defend people before he loses someone else he cares about.

Telemain is a reasonably skilled conjurer, and a reasonably skilled trump artist, and is known to combine the two in a variety of interesting and useful ways. He also knows a fair amount of obscure lore, a lot about Shadow and how to get along in it, and a lot about dealing with Academia and related settings. He is halfway competent at working with the Pattern, but knows much more about it in a theoretical sense than he can put into practical use.

Reactions to others:

The Founders

The Elders

Spouses of the Elders

The TAMD Generation

Spouses and lovers of the TAMD Generation

The UnS Generation

Spouses of the UnS Generation

F9R Generation

Notable Items

Telemain usually carries around innumerable devices in the pockets of his vest; they change from time to time, but he almost always has his portable Theramin with him. This is a hand-held device, consisting of a grip and a looped metal tube about six inches long; moving one's hand through the field around the loop creates varying tones. He has grown quite skilled in its use over the years, at times almost seeming to play it like a stringed instrument as his fingers 'pluck' at the field; he rarely performs with it in public, however, as the Theramin is not an instrument with a large built-in audience.