Imperium Encyclopedia in Depth: Reg Macorum

If you’ve been enjoying Rogue Tyger, have you checked out the Encyclopedia of the Imperium yet? It’s the definitive source for the history of the Seven Systems and the greater Imperium. 

Reg Macorum

Illustration by Javier Charro

(b. 388 SIY) freighter captain with previous associations to the Zenocrate Cartel. Notable for actions in the fifth century of the Imperium relating to the Zenocrate Cartel (especially the Salatiga Incident) as well as his involvement with Walker’s Brigade during the Border Wars.

Born in the late 4th century Imperium, publicly available records of Macorum’s early life are scarce and sometimes contradictory. His birthplace was somewhere within the star systems of House Kalmar and he was orphaned at an early age. It is believed he lived on the streets of a port city in Kalmar space for a number of years.

School records show that, as of 402 SIY, he was enrolled in Mifune Military Academy on Qingdao thanks to the generosity of an unknown benefactor. Graduating from Mifune in 406, he was enrolled in one of the Imperial military ‘satellite colleges,’ likely in the Shantung system, but was called up for active duty during the Wolverton Uprising in 409 SIY. Then, as now, students were granted partial or full scholarships based on their enlistment in Imperial military service.

Reports of Macorum’s service during the Wolverton Uprising are inconclusive, but all sources agree his actions resulted in his not returning to complete college. Macorum disappears out of public records until the 420s, when he is mentioned several times in dispatches related to General Tomas Arkady Walker and his brigade of “Red Beret” mercenaries.

It is believed that Macorum served in Walker’s Brigade throughout the Border Wars, including the decisive assault on Masshad as well as the celebrated retreat of House Malde forces during the siege of Urmia. Records indicate he reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in Walker’s organization and was responsible for much of the training of soldiers the mercenary outfit conducted later during that conflict.

There are little to no records of Macorum for several decades after the Border Wars until the 460s, when his name appears in relation to flight plans filed for the freighter Silver Star, a vessel that has since been connected to the Zenocrate Cartel. Both Reg Macorum and the Silver Star are mentioned in accounts of the Salatiga Incident of 469. No previous account of Macorum traveling in Coutharian space exists.

Note: this entry will be updated with events from 473 SIY onward after reviewing newly acquired historical documents.

You’ve just read the “in-universe” entry of Reg Macorum. To learn more about the development of his character and more behind-the-scenes trivia, become a backer on Patreon to get this and other bonus content.

Show Notes: Prince Prigio

Having recently completed our production of “Prince Prigio,” we wanted to thank our Patreon subscribers by providing some additional information about the production.

“Prince Prigio” eyed for Adaptation from the Start

Besides original series like Rogue Tyger and Quorum, we knew we’d want to adapt some classic adventures for Jabberwocky Audio Theater: adventures and cliffhangers and fantastical tales being one of the general touchpoints of our productions.

So even before the idea of Through the Looking Glass took form, Bjorn knew he wanted to adapt “Prince Prigio,” since it was one of his favorite fairy tales growing up — and quite modern for being over 100 years old.

One idea was to make a full-cast audio production like our main shows, but both because of the pandemic precautions and the speed at which we needed to record, having an adaptation that was an almost straight reading of the text felt the most expedient.

As it happens, this approach of ‘a main narrator with other voices piping in’ worked very well for “Prince Prigio” and may work for other productions — though we may find a bit more adaptation will be needed (more on that below).

Creating the Script: Chapters vs. Parts

One of the first hurdles was how to break up the story for broadcast. “Prince Prigio” is over 18,000 words and we weren’t going to cut it down to fit into a single half-hour episode… or even a two-parter.

Moreover, our “half hour episodes” actually need to come in no longer than 28 minutes for radio broadcast, and of those 28 minutes, two or three should be devoted to opening and ending credits. So basically, we’re looking at about 25 minutes per episode tops.

Now one thing we’ve learned from working on Through the Looking Glass is to estimate a narrator’s speaking time. So far, it runs from about 130 words a minute to 150 words per minute, depending on factors such as the narrator’s default pace for the story, how many characters they voice, and the story action. For example, a chase scene will have a naturally more frantic pace then describing a feast.

We’ve learned to be cautious in our estimates and try for 130 words per minute. That means that “Prince Prigio” would be at least 5 parts. And to give us even more wiggle room –there might be musical transitions or sound effects to sell a scene– we were looking at a six-part series.

Meanwhile, “Prince Prigio” had 18 chapters, and a quick look at the chapters found that, like just about any chapters of a book, they’re uneven. At the 25-minute mark, we couldn’t easily end at the end of the chapter. Not only that, we couldn’t end at a chapter neatly and consistently at the 22-minute mark, the 23-minute mark, or the 24-minute mark.

So we had to make a choice of whether to follow the chapters and have episodes of wildly different lengths… or to follow our broadcast format and find a way to make the adaptation work.

Since we’re an audio production that’s broadcast on the radio in a very specific format, we decided to figure out a way to make the episodes work ending mid-chapter. Luckily, the source material provided a clue for how this could happen. The narrator, one can assume a somewhat silly avatar of author Andrew Lang himself, occasionally comments on the action of the story and his telling of it, not unlike how William Goldman talks about having to adapt the ficticious Simon “S.” Morgenstern’s Princess Bride: it’s all another droll layer to the meta fairy tale.

The trick then became to “hang a lantern” on the fact that the episodes were not ending neatly at the end of chapters in most cases, and have our fictitious narrator get rather fussy about it. We’re biased, but we think this adds a fun dimension to the production.

The rest of the show notes are available to our Patreon Subscribers.

Casting the Parts

Getting the Recordings and Editing

Generating Production Estimates for the Future

We’re so thankful for our Patreon supporters that help us keep bringing new stories to air!

JAT Company Update: September 2020

This year has been quite a decade so far, hasn’t it?

We thought we had a good game plan for our theater company dealing with COVID, since our first main production could be recorded remotely and we weren’t planning to air the next production until October… which is now next month!

So there’s some schedule changes we have in the works. Our production of “Prince Prigio” will finish out September, we’ll have some new stories for Through a Glass, Darkly, and then, at least on the airwaves, we’ll have rebroadcasts of Rogue Tyger.

Also, given some of the queries, feedback, and website traffic we’ve received regarding our discussion of The Mind’s Eye, the audio theater group that produced lots of wonderful productions in the 1970s and 80s, we’re looking into creating an online home for some of this knowledge (Wikipedia, as many of you know, likes their Wikipedians to cite online research, not originate research).

So, if you’re not already signed up for our mailing list, consider that. And of course, if you think you’d be up for supporting us via Patreon, we would appreciate that greatly.

That’s also where you’ll get an expanded version of this update.

We hope you all are staying safe and staying creative.

Adapting Fairy Tales for Radio

Since we’re deep in the land of fairy tales with, it felt like a good time to some of the considerations we’ve had in adapting the stories you’re hearing on Through the Looking Glass.

For the most part, we’ve tried to keep to the straight text from a particular translation or version wherever possible. There’s two main reasons for this.

Firstly, it makes the production that much easier if we aren’t spending as much time adapting the work (if you’ve listened or read some of our other behind-the-scenes, you know some of our original series are written over the course of years). Now we do often need to examine several versions of a tale and sometimes synthesize a combination of versions, but that’s still less writing work than completely original scripts.

Secondly, we usually like the written version. It usually has more depth and more nuance than versions we may have seen adapted for the screen. There’s often darker tones here and there as the monsters can be truly monstrous, the heroes a bit more flawed, and the setbacks more charmingly convoluted.

That said, we have noticed a few issues that we have to look out for in every fairy tale as we set about adapting it.

For those of you who are backing us on Patreon, check out the full version of this post as this month’s bonus content!

Special Ides of March Update

We’re fans of Scriptnotes, so when we heard a recent episode about how they approach outlines and treatments, we decided that our Patreon bonus content for this month would be a chat about how we write scripts here at Jabberwocky Audio Theater. That joins over 20 pieces of bonus goodies our Patrons enjoy as a thank you for helping keep us on the air.

For those of you listening in to the podfeed, we dropped another one of our off-season JAT Jots. In this one, we actually explain the inspiration behind the Rogue Tyger character Lady Shohreh. Some of you may have already figured it out, but there is a twist!

Finally, for those of you who are subscribed to our mailing list, you’ll start seeing some links to some indie creators you might want to check out while you avoid large gatherings. It’s not just for Caesars any more!

Mythology, Mind’s Eye, and JAT

We’re deep into pre-production for our 2020 season starting in May. We’ll be starting with more entries in our anthology series Through the Looking Glass.

Like a lot of kids, my brothers and I were into mythology. And we didn’t just stop with the standard Greek, Egyptian, Norse myths a lot of people are exposed to either. Thanks to our parents –and a fortuitous global mythology series being published at the time– we learned about folklore from all different parts of the globe.

There’s another shelf with a lot more fairy tale books. And I group Yeats with mythology for reasons.

For those of you who support us on Patreon, check out this post and learn more about some of the mythology and folklore that influences the series, a little more about The Mind’s Eye radio company, and weigh in on what stories you’d like to hear both this year and in future years! Thanks for your support.

Bjorn Munson
Artistic Director
Jabberwocky Audio Theater

Our Patreon Campaign is Now Live!

Eagle-eyed visitors to the web site might have noticed that we’ve added a “Support” section yesterday, but we wanted to be sure you all knew that our Patreon campaign has launched.

Every dollar we get from funds raised goes towards operational costs to keep us on the air (both actual and virtual).

As an added bonus, Patrons will get exclusive content on the Patreon feed… and some early access to some of our work, like being able to listen online to new episodes on Sunday evenings, starting tonight!