Related Characters

Jien Noi

Image: Empress and Gatekeeper Jien Noi - Click to enlarge

Jack marries the Empress and Gatekeeper, Jien Noi.


Image: n'Gnung is Jack's closest friend - Click to enlarge

n'Gnung comes to admire Jack when, escaping to the Outlands, having saved Jien Noi from execution. He realises Jack arrived with nothing, created a village with his bare hands, tools he made, found food, and survived: Respect.


Image: Kay - Click to enlarge

Kay works closely with Jack for many years, and a close bond grows between them. Their friendship is always strictly platonic and correct.

However, it becomes clear, should their circumstances alter, both would like to take their relationship further.

The Sword of Destiny

Jack is responsible for initiating the creation of The Sword of Destiny. He had noted the ancient blade Kay wore as badge of office, The Sword of Deception, could tell Ogre and Troll, clone also, by spouting either blue or green flame.

The integrity of the Island having been compromised by Ogre clones in Book One, Jack is determined to have a power capable of detecting such miscreants.

Despite opposition, he succeeds, and is assisted by The Shaman. However, only Ræm understands the true virtue of the sword; “You don’t understand this, do you? This blade was created for healing, not destruction. Sometimes adults understand nothing.”

The Old Ways

Image: Lo Si - Click to enlarge

Lo Si, is very keen for Jack to return the Old Ways, those skills like Fire they lost during the Dark Time. Over the years, Jack makes many changes, including:

 • Olive oil to preserve olives, table use, and cooking.
 • Salt and water, as brine for preservation of olives and other foodstuff.
 • The Islander's already used vinegar, but it was crude. Jack clarifies and distills it.
 • Salting and drying under a hot sun becomes common.
 • He introduces smoked curing, especially meat and fish.
 • Cotton clothing, later wool.
 • Coffee and milk.
 • Cooking with herbs and spices; steaming and frying food, oven baked bread.
 • The big changes are: fire, the wheel, boats, fishing harpoons and nets, and weapons.


Feature: The Last


Go to Tribes: The Last 


Jack Barleycorn - The Guardian


Brief History
Jack was born in the Shires of England, where his parents ran a smallholding, farming for a living. Before he left school, which he hated, he knew he must make his own way in life; the farm could not support him.

Despite his aversion to academia, he was intelligent, and left school with excellent qualifications; presumably he got bored.

At work, Jack was a good team player, but was always dominated by his own ideas and expressed them openly to his peers and superiors. Even in his younger days he was very much a free thinker and individual. This led him into conflict with management who felt threatened by his temerity. Needless to say, he seldom stayed long in any one job, eventually settling as an IT support contractor.

Details of his former life can be found here: Backstory; essentially a brief biography, also detailing how he came to be shipwrecked.


Image: Jack Barleycorn, The Guardian - Click to enlarge

Jack as his name suggests, is a self-made man. He becomes an entrepreneur and international businessman, when between contracts, he elects to deliver a new yacht to Melbourne, Australia, and from there, Captained another to China. In Canton, he became involved with a marina and exclusive housing estate project, the luxury dwellings including a boathouse. Jack was employed to source suitable boats, and heard of a state of the art, floating office for sale in Tahiti. During sea trials, the boat lost all power, and was not a sailing vessel. They drifted at the mercy of the mighty Pacific Ocean for days, until the boat hit rock and he was shipwrecked.

Jack Barleycorn is a survivor, both rhetorically, and physically. The story begins when his known world ceases to exist, and he stumbles towards, then crawls upon, the shore of The Island's Outland shore. With his life irrevocably altered, so a new one began.

Jack adapts well to his surrounding and survives, before discovering an ancient technology which he eventually unlocks the secrets of, and comes to the interior of the island. He arrives inside the caldera of a massive, extinct volcano. In time, he meets the Second, and is hailed by the inhabitants, who are not quite human, as being the fabled savior of their tribe, as related in The Prophesy.

He carries a stone he found atop the Sentry Rock of the shore, and is hailed as the new Guardian of the people. He is destined to restore the old ways, and return their society to the world at large. At first he is resistant to change, and to becoming 'The Guardian' of any-thing-or-one. The parody completes when Ræm is born, and he accepts he is not only her Father, but Guardian of both her and The Second, also; he grows into both roles with increasing confidence and accomplishment.

The three main threads of the trilogy are then exposed: ancient and extremely advanced technology, a stone-age people who use it, and Jack, a modern-day person. These threads, plus others, weave an incredulous tale that encompasses the first trilogy.

Weapons and Tools
These evolve during the course of the trilogy, from simple agate blades made from splitting quartz, and wooden spears with fire-hardened tip, and later stone shard tip, as used on the Outlands. In order to make better tools, and weapons, Jack first has to create the tools to make them. One of his first inventions was an quartz axe, with which he was able to cut bamboo, and subsequently construct better, and sturdy dwellings. He had good survival skills, always trying to improve upon his designs. Likewise with his fire-maker, which became a bow drill that produced fire quickly and easily.

Once he meets the Second, he is gifted a rare old knife by Lo Si. It is unique, and very sharp. However, it is not until the battle with the mercenaries at the end of the book, and the arrival of the Eleventh and Seventh in support, that he gains modern weapons; hand guns, machine guns, a flamethrower, and RPG's. The team also gain night-vision headsets, and radio communicators. These are augmented by Ancestral ray guns, and personal protection bracelets.

As the first book concludes, Ælthrelntheine shows Jack where the spacecrafts' return bracelets are kept. These are an author's ruse to automate the return to spacecraft criteria, as otherwise the plot would become ungainly. These signaling devices, which are quite conceivable, activate a preset transportation criteria, but are limited to senior ring-bearers.

As the trilogy progresses, so does his array of tools and weaponry. Two major additions are instigated by Jack in Book Two: The Sword of Destiny, and after the smelting process, Jack is gifted a similar ring by the Shaman. This leads Jack and Dawn to discover hobgoblins, or Ogre clones in human form, and Henry Walcott of the FBI; who appears in Book Two for a reason, and a season. He is essentially a linking character, but the subplot makes good reading, and leads to discoveries.

Return Bracelets
Not written in the text, but intimated; Jack alters his return bracelet so he can also arrive on the Bridge directly, as well as the transporter. He does this by pressing the buttons in a different order, and this gives him alone (to begin with), instant access to his preferred destination.

Tahiti to The Island
Some readers will have noticed The Island is located in a similar latitude and longitude to Tahiti, but they are on opposing sides of the Tropic of Capricorn. Did the author make a mistake?

Surely no one could drift in that direction, given Pacific currents, let alone cover the great distance in two days. The clues as to how, why, and a greater hand at work, stretch from Jack's Backstory. They are interspersed throughout the trilogy, and are quite clear. The author did not make a mistake; he left a deliberate breadcrumb of clues; so whom, or what, could accomplish such a feat?

Seekers of greater understanding should begin by answering the question, 'Why does Jack wear an unusual dragon pendant?'.

"Because Dawn gave it to him," is not the full answer. Who gave it to Dawn?

Jack Likes
The company of good friends and drinking late into the night with much revelry. He misses British foods not available in China, like pies and pasties, fish and chips; and especially sausages, kebabs, and beef burgers. At the end of Book Two, John presses him to supply staff for the University kitchen, and a witty exchange takes place between the pair. Jack tries to say no, but deep inside, savours the prospect. In Book Three he always ends up with a basket of chips (fries), often claiming he has no idea how they came to be on his tray.

Prequel and further information
To learn more about Jack, please read: The Missing Chapters

This prequel was originally part of Book One, and is abridged from the initial concept. A short story, it tells about Jack's time as a castaway on the outer shore of the island. Details include his initial survival, transition after discovering the transporter, and his introduction to the Island race.

This immediate background story explains the why of many things, but contains no dialogue. It replaces the Prologue, and finishes on Page One of Book One proper.

Dialogue. Jack, Kay, and n'Gnung often hold three-way conversations ('trialogue'?), and as their speech patterns emerge, so the use of 'he said, she said', diminishes. Kay always calls Jack, Jackie. n'Gnung, except for three special occasions, always calls him, Guardian, and Jack names the person he is talking to. This evolves over time, the reader becoming used to the grammatical device.

Drinking Rituals
Jack has a habit, not written in the text, of saying, "Chairs!" instead of "Cheers!" when toasting others with his drink. This is common in Blighty, where parodying the aristocracy is quite commonplace. He usually drinks his measure, with his little finger extended at a right-angle, another similar parody. This is copied by others of their cliqué on the Outland shore; first by n'Gnung, then Owain following suit.

Another, came with him from Canton. When a drink was being poured into his beaker, he would tap his fingers four times on the table. This means that he is aware of the courtesy, and is thanking the person pouring, while not breaking the flow of conversation at table. The tradition originated with Emperor Qian Long in the Qing Dynasty; he liked to travel the country in disguise, and observe the common people. The practice originated in a Yew (Cantonese) tea house, where the Emperor tried to pour tea for his retinue. To avoid exposing who he was, one of his staff tapped three fingers on the table, representing his bowed head and two supplicant arms. This practice continues to this day in Canton, but with only two fingers: no bowed head.

The last snippet, which the second already did to a degree, is also Cantonese in origin, and begs the question why? Every time a person takes a drink, they touch another's drinking vessel. To begin with, everybody takes as sip or a gulp, as is their personal predilection. Later, and especially between close friends, the drinker acknowledges the others by tapping his beaker once on a serving platter; the intention being to ask the others to join him, which they either do, or ignore.



Sex: Male.
Born: 1976 in the shires of England.
Age: 34 (2010)
Eyes: Blue.
Hair: Shoulder length white.
Height: 6'2".
Marital status: Marries in Book One.
Father: English and a farmer.
Mother: Irish, housewife.


· Masters Degree in IT.
· Yachtmaster Ocean (Sail).
· Jack, n'Gnung, and n'Gue are the only living people to complete the Trials of Passage in one day.


Casual dress: tee shirt, jeans and trainers. He wears quality suits with ease, but is uncomfortable with other clothing styles.


His own:
• Jade female Buddha pendant, given to Jinnie in Book 1.
• White jade pendant featuring gold coloured dragon.
• Oval and plain Carnelian ring set in white gold.
• Fire diamond signet ring in yellow gold.

• The Ring of the Ancestor (Taris). The ring is not described in any detail, but is a finely crafted and acts as a key when it locks with a motif set in solid rock doorways. It is made of a rare white metal, and has an intricate outer bezel.

• Return bracelet.
• Elven friendship bracelet
• Maori double twist friendship pendant carved from bone.
• Ring of Deception, gifted by the Shaman; like the sword, can tell an Ogre or a Troll (or clone) at close range (handshake).


· British English
· Conversational Cantonese with Mandarin reading and occasional typing.
· He also knows a little Spanish and Italian.
· He becomes fluent in Second and Ancestor, and also learns to be telepathic.


Image: Ræm, daughter of Jinnie and Jack - Click to enlarge

Daughter of Jinnie and Jack, Ræm features little until the end of Book Three.

Her early years are detailed in Ræm's Backstory, a free PDF. In the short story, we learn of how Jack taught her how to sail.


Image: Taris - Click to enlarge

Jack sees three images of Taris, painted thirty thousand years ago, that look like him. He is deeply upset by the uncanny resemblance.

Predefining the Arbitrary

In Book Three, Chapter 21, the only person to "Predefine the Arbitrary," is Peni: Twice.

Jack and n'Gnung make fun of this, both of them having a good grasp  of the real meaning Peni delivered; but they predilect to enjoy their boyish badinage.

Da Phai Nai cusses them for being stupid, and they raise their beers in acceptance of coincidental resolution.

Image: The Ancestors came from the stars ... Alpha Centauri - click for larger image




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