A.E. Clipson

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Artaxerxes Clipson, a protagonist of Going South, was a native of Planet Altronis, companion of the dragon Traroth, and a member of Ransom's Crew.

Appearance and Personality

"He was of middle height, though had once been counted tall; of middle girth, though once counted thin; of middle years, though once counted young, and only the faraway look in his dark eyes revealed he would never see fifty years again" (from Going South). Besides this, he was a strict vegetarian, nonsmoker, and believer in Magic, which made him an eccentric by Altronic standards, insofar as Corpocracy culture discouraged all three. He maintained all three habits most of his adult life, but broke his teetotal streak in college, as many do.

References are made to Clipson's 'blue face' and 'black moustache', at moments of rage, and he is said to 'turn pale' at the mention of an especially terrible weapon, but this is poetic language and not to be taken literally. The 'E.' in his name is a clerical fiction: Clipson has no 'Middle name', but all official forms required one. Although unfazed by most of the Dark Order's weapons he is wary of the wall-breaking cannon Zamzama and terrified at the mere mention of the wartime tunnelling machine known as the Midgard-Schlange.


The son of equatorial natives emigrated to the Northern Hemisphere, Artaxerxes was something of a misfit all his life. At 16 years, he and Traroth and Nicole Iaggi befriended the mysterious Cara Danvers, and helped her claim her inheritance. By a careless remark afterward, Clipson offended Nicole, and did not see her for the next 30 years. Though in childhood interested in the Natural Sciences, he graduated B.A. in Liberal Studies, and M.A. in Arts and Humanities. He was also a subscriber about this time of The Thousand-Year Subscription.

In his middle 30s, Clipson joined Ransom's Crew, never knowing that Nicole was also a member.

After his years with Ransom's Crew, Clipson and Traroth settled elsewhere; Traroth a sire already, but Clipson newly married and the father of 2 sons. Man and dragon were afterward invoked by Nathan Ransom to rescue his mother and Jonas R. Work from the Dark Order. Clipson and Traroth attempted rescue, killing some of the necromancers; but final rescue was by Marcus Ransom himself, who slew the enemy's leader, Elias Grimshaw.

Clipson died at 91 years (Standard) and was burned in an open field, after his family's custom. At the time of Nicole's rescue, he was 46 years old.