|“||The only person that I get to call a true best friend just got married. Granted, it's to a bloody, bumbling, baboon, but if that's what makes you happy, I'm happy. The first best day is when Wren told me that she was pregnant. But this comes a close second. Don't tell anyone. Actually, maybe this comes a close third, because the second has to be when she first told me that she loved me. Just listen to me rambling on. Talon, you look so beautiful and happy. It just fills my heart more than you'll ever know.||”|
Janzo is a master brewer and scholar who knows exactly what his clients need just by looking at them. Talon once called him the closest thing to a scientist the Outpost has. He is a talented alchemist with doctor skills that improved over time. When Elinor stepped down from her duties at The Nightshade Inn, she appointed Janzo and Munt as her replacement.
Janzo's blood mother was a young barmaid at The Nightshade Inn when she gave birth to Janzo and his twin sister, Naya. Their mother died two weeks later. The Mistress noticed Janzo and took him in as she thought a son could be useful. However, she sold Naya to the slavers under the pretenses that she couldn't afford to keep both children. Janzo was raised alongside Munt and Bill Chadwick who were both adopted by Elinor.
At the age of six, Janzo had swine pox and was covered in sores very ill. Everyone else was dying of it but Janzo didn't - he never sat or laid down. He roamed the Nightshade looking for anything to make the pain go away. He poured booze and broth all over himself he went searching for the leaves, weed, and dirt. Then one morning, he turned up covered in horse manure, so Elinor made him sit out in the barn. The sores went away that very day, so he spread the manure over all his friends because it's the germs in the fecal matter that overpowers the pox. Elinor decided that day not to sell him. Janzo then trained with Master Brewers.
She used to have a brewer at The Nightshade Inn, however, the man was drunk most of the time and couldn't make a decent craft. Janzo noticed the man's incompetence. He thought if he read some books and taught himself how to brew that he could one day take the place of the old brewer and make Mistress proud. At ten, Janzo became the master brewer of the Nightshade Inn.
Throughout The Outpost Series
Janzo is introduced as a shy, introverted, quirky brewer at The Nightshade Inn with a gift for knowing exactly what his clients need just by looking at them. He, like most of the others in Gallwood Outpost, was taken with the newest arrival Talon. She was strong, brave, and assertive, but also held a sense of mystery to her true intentions. His kind nature refuses to let him overlook the warning signs of her growing injuries, and he ultimately lends his hand in helping to patch up her wounds. She is reluctant to trust him due to her black blood making her a target, but he convinces her to trust him. He keeps his promise to keep her secret and attempts to cover her trail when Gate Marshal Wythers begins investigating Talon. Janzo's burgeoning alliance with Talon also puts him in the crosshairs of Captain Garret Spears, who represents everything Janzo loathes in men - brute strength, good looks that always woo women, and an arrogance of knowing he's better. He also begins to interact with the sheltered Lady Gwynn Calkussar, though Janzo spends most of his time helping his adoptive mother The Mistress manage The Nightshade and her Colipsum business. He serves as the brains behind most of the scientific discoveries being made and follows his mother's wishes to investigate the source of the drug. She makes Janzo work with his adoptive brothers, the brutes Munt and Bill Chadwick.
However, when Bill is killed by Worm and the Plagueling epidemic begins to rise, Janzo works with Garret to investigate why and how people are turning Plagueling. They start by quarantining the infected and trying to discern who is turning and how fast. As the scientific inquiry grows, Janzo and Garret begin to form a bickering relationship for Talon's sake. Janzo notices the way Garret and Talon act around one another and, while he doesn't admit his feelings, becomes insecure and jealous with the Captain's relationship to Talon. After consulting with Janzo, Garret learned more about how the parasite is spread. The injected venom from the parasite contains the larvae that then develops into the fully-formed parasite. However, if the venom causes a secondary infection, Janzo believes that it will help them identify the host.
As Janzo works overtime to find a cure for Plaguelings with help from Garret, men from Talon's past ride into town looking to settle an unfinished business, while Mistress's longing to rule the Colipsum trade makes trouble for Janzo. Talon's battle with the men from her past comes to a head and she learns the truth about The Smith and his involvement in her village's massacre. Smith leaves her his home and research to help her with future endeavors. She doesn't understand that languages used in the books and is surprised when Janzo reveals that he can read and write twelve different languages but can only speak three. His favorite language to read is Yindrian because it's so interesting and colorful. He offers to translate the book for her and search for the key phrase, "The Vex Rezicon", if she helps him travel across the land to meet with Mistress's Colipsum supplier. They are both surprised to learn that the suppliers are a group of Greyskins. They run into a few roadblocks such as being ambushed by heckling singers, and hostility by the Greyskins, though the creatures go through with the trade in the end. The trip leads Janzo and Talon to grow closer as Talon admits that she trusts Janzo, something that she doesn't do often, and is willing to protect him from harm. Upon returning to Gallwood, Janzo is irritated to find Garret in his lab with a Plagueling sting. Janzo and Talon deliver the colipsum to The Mistress. He tells her about the Greyskins being the supplier, which doesn't faze her, as she thinks they are smarter creatures then people give them credit for. She dismisses him instantly and only pays Talon for her trouble, not Janzo.
Janzo does his best to find a cure for Garret. Both Garret and Janzo are adamant that no cure exists and it is a futile effort, but Talon and Gwynn are convinced it's possible. Janzo also meets Gwynn's handmaiden Naya, a striking young woman with a kind heart that Janzo begins to develop romantic feelings for. Elsewhere, Janzo realizes that he's never had a living subject before and takes this as an opportunity to clarify some of the symptoms. Because Garret was only infected two-days prior, he still has time before the tentacles reach his brain. In an attempt to cure him, Janzo pours dumbcane (rodent poison) down Garret's throat - enough to kill the parasite but hopefully, not Garret. While the process is brutal and painful, it seemingly works as Garret shows no symptoms in the days to follow. Simultaneously, Talon finally locates information on the Book of Names in the book Janzo was reading. Janzo gives her an old map that has the location of the shrine on it. Because the map is so old they are unable to determine what most of the roads are. When Talon realizes she knows Caradian's Pass she then realizes that the shrine is deep in Greyskin territory. This doesn't deter her, despite Janzo's protests. After much debate, Garret and Janzo decide to join Talon her quest for the book. Garret, because he knows that the book will help them win their war against the Prime Order, and Janzo to both look after a Plagueling-infected Garret and keep Talon company.
The trio sets off in their journey and are met with hardships as creatures from the lakes attack, the bickering rises, and they are kidnapped by Greyskins. Talon is forced to use her power to summon a demon in an attempt to save her and her friends. She commands him to kill the Greyskins and as a result, he is murdered by them. Talon expresses guilt over sending him to his death as he saved her life more than once, but Garret merely states that it murdered innocent people. Garret isn’t infected and doesn’t turn on day four, despite Talon and Janzo believing he would. Janzo finds this extremely concerning and questions numerous times why Garret isn't turning. When the trio is captured by Greyskins, Garret is the only one offered colipsum. Janzo realizes that this is because the Greyskins can smell the Plagueling venom in Garret's blood, meaning Garret won't be eaten.
When Talon, Janzo, and Garret arrive at the shrine where The Book of Names is supposed to be, they are disappointed to discover the book is seemingly destroyed. Janzo confirms it's the book by reading the title, "The Vex Rezicon" and learns that it was written by Lord Yannu Metahkken Rino Faxtinus Leitch. Talon was saddened that all the names of Lu-Qiri were just gone. It wasn't until Janzo pointed out that someone went through all the trouble of building a shrine just for the book, and that they wouldn't just make the book so easy to destroy. He believes it to be a decoy to fool others. Talon notices the binding is intact and rips it off. Inside the decoy-book is a pendant on a chain. Janzo then realizes that the book was a decoy and the pendant itself is the real book of names. Garret points out that if the pendant is the book, they have no idea how to read it.
They also discover plagueling bodies strung up by Greyskins. Janzo is intrigued by the fact there are fly nests everywhere, as he saw flies near a Plagueling before. He then notices green powder on one of the ledges, to which Talon and Garret believe is colipsum. Garret is about to try it when Janzo suddenly stops him. Janzo realizes that its Diptera eggs, also known as fly eggs. He concludes that Greyskins are using Plaguelings as their farm. They are harvesting the colipsum from the flies and then selling it across the border, as it can create Plaguelings. Since the female flies lay the egg and the male flies are the parasites in humans throats, when a human is stung they are fertilizing the eggs. This creates Plaguelings and turns humans into monsters. With the amount of colipsum that Mistress and Janzo bought, the Greyskins can potentially make thousands of Plaguelings. Janzo insists that they have to get to the Outpost quickly and destroy the rest of the colipsum supply before anyone else is turned because of his involvement. Garret realizes that the Greyskins are using colipsum as a weapon to turn people into Plaguelings and annihilate the human race.
Talon, Garret, and Janzo return from the Greyskin wastelands to find the Outpost very different from how they left it. The Prime Order has taken control, kidnapped Gwynn, and are threatening to execute everyone who stands with the "false queen" or protects the Blackblood. To force Talon to summon the demons, he puts her, Janzo, Garret, Danno, Mistress, Wythers, and Munt on a hanging block. Talon can't summon Baphnoro because he's dead, but Dred doesn't believe her. During the execution, soldiers loyal to the crown kill Dred's guards and ruin the execution, allowing Janzo and the others to escape. In a flurry, Janzo tells Mistress about the true nature of colipsum. She doesn't care and instead realizes that there is a way for her to create colipsum, which means she can cut out Greyskins completely. Janzo tries to reason with her, but when she doesn't see reason, he takes the rest of the colipsum and burns it. This sets a divide between Janzo and Mistress.
Janzo is injured during a battle and receives medical care from Talon, who is reluctant to perform on him. She kisses him impulsively to distract him from his pain. Dred, who escapes captivity with help, interrupts a moment between Talon and Janzo to try and kill her. He takes Janzo captive and threatens to kill him if Talon fights back. She discards her sword and is forced to kneel in front of him to free Janzo. Janzo uses a hot iron to burn Dred’s face. Dred screams in agony and then stabs Janzo in the side, much to Talon's dismay. Fueled by anger, Talon attack Dred and almost defeats him but stops to help Janzo from dying. Dred escapes out the window. A day later, while trying to figure out the Book of Names, Janzo recites a section in the Smith's book that says, "only the Dragman can hear the fire-song of the Vex Rezicon." He is intrigued by this and holds the Vex Rezicon over a fire which causes it to glow blue. It then begins to whisper names. Janzo realizes that only the dragman can translate and hear the names clearly, so they have to locate the Dragman.
"It took a soul as brave and brilliant as you to make it happen. That's why I love you. ‘Cause you're good. And you're… scrupulous. Something I could never be." ― Elinor about Janzo
Janzo is a complex, eccentric, quirky young man. He used to be easily dismissed as simple or limited. In reality, he is remarkably intelligent but was introverted. So much so that he himself is astonished at his genius mind. Because of his unique mind he is not only a talented man of science, but also a master strategist. A good example of this would be when the leaders of The Coalition needed a way to stall The Six he suggested burning the forest that was in their path, and letting their people go in the other direction away from the fire and the six. He keeps to himself and doesn't intervene in situations or circumstances that don't require his attention. He hates conflict and tries his hardest to avoid violence or arguments. Despite his introverted nature, everyone at the Outpost comes to Janzo if there is an issue, and he enjoys the power that brings him. At the same time, he always manages to discredit himself despite his brilliance and keen ability to know what others need. While airing as being dull to the public, he exhibits a sharp tongue and sassy attitude to those around him. He easily tires of situations. Janzo also hates toxic masculinity and tires easily of Garret's attitude toward others. He has an incredibly witty yet complex sense of humor and is often funny without trying to be.
He has an innate desire to help Talon and cares deeply for her. He is remarkably intelligent and can read and write twelve languages while speaking three. His loyalty to his adoptive mother pushes him into situations that he doesn't want to be involved in - such as the colipsum trade. Janzo can be insensitive without meaning to be as he often speaks without thinking through what he wants to say. However, he recognizes his insensitivity and instantly regrets it after. Janzo is very inquisitive and always looking to expand his knowledge base. He is caring to his friends and family, and has a deep dislike, if not hatred, to those who wish ill will to his chosen family. He is even willing to put himself in harm's way to help his friends, exhibiting a great sacrifice. This is evident when he burns his arm to reach the hidden key slot, saving his friends and passing the sacrifice test of Yindrian Labyrinth.
After meeting and spending time with Naya, Janzo developed a slightly improved confidence in himself. He can be brave despite how intimidating the situation is around him and has become more involved in helping others. He is a lover at heart and dotes on his girlfriend Wren, trying to be romantic despite his lack of experience in the area. He cares deeply for her, their unborn child, and his friends. Perhaps his most remarkable quality isn't his brain or brilliance, but his good nature and pure heart. He is slow to trust newcomers but welcomes everyone regardless of their species. He believes in second chances and doesn't hold peoples' pasts against them, instead, believing that he can save them from their afflictions or help them through it. He cares deeply for those around him and is protective despite the reluctance he feels in fights.
Janzo is an attractive young man in his early-to-mid-twenties. He has dark brown eyes and short black hair. He has a smaller physique compared to the warriors around him, and an unsure stance that reflects his lack of confidence. Janzo usually wears a simple long-sleeved cotton shirt under a doublet or vest, which adds to the already ample pockets of his brewer's apron. He favored plaids and small stripes printed on long open shirts that fitted over a pale colored shirt. He wore baggy brown pants and worn brown boots. In private, Janzo applies round-rimmed glasses but opts out of them in public. He has a kind and trusting appearance to go with a warm smile that easily brightens anyone's gloomy day. His appearance changes as he becomes more confident in his role at Gallwood. He changes his clothing to warmer tones such as browns and beiges and begins to experiment with different colors and layering. Now, he often is seen wearing a brown cloak over his shirts and wears almost exclusively neutral tones.
Elinor was the only maternal figure that Janzo had in his life. As such, he aimed to please her and did whatever she asked of him, even though she didn't show him maternal love. She treated him more as a servant than a child. He was happy to obey her orders and do whatever it was she asked of him. When she did show pride in him, he was overjoyed and very childlike which often aggravated her. He cared for her deeply despite their differing opinions and worldly views. In times of deep crisis, Elinor would hint at the liking she had for Janzo and the admiration she held for his kindness and intellect. He was heartbroken by Elinor's death and grieved for some time. Her final act was to sacrifice herself to save his life, showing that while she might not have known how to show her love, it was always there. Janzo ultimately believed that she did love in the end.
Shortly after meeting Talon in The Nightshade Inn, Janzo helped her recover from her critical injuries with his alchemy and general doctor skills. They became friends and rely on one another. Janzo harbored romantic feelings for Talon and once believed her to be perfect and beautiful. Janzo makes her laugh which is a quality that Talon herself told him is an important quality in a partner. Janzo often blindly follows Talon into battles and situations that he normally wouldn't be involved in, but at the end of the day, they are incredibly loyal to one another. He was in love with her and has confessed his feeling toward her, however, she doesn't feel the same way. She has told him that if she did love him back it would make her the luckiest girl in the realms and that maybe one day she could return those feelings. Janzo told her enthusiastically that he could wait for her, but has since moved on from her. When Janzo dated Naya Talon told him she was happy for them. Regardless, Janzo still cares deeply for Talon as more than a friend. She referred to Janzo as her favorite human, with him returning the sentiment that she's his favorite Blackblood. When Janzo started a relationship with the Blackblood scientist Wren, Talon expressed her acceptance of the relationship and believes them to be perfect for one another.
Talon is protective of Janzo and protects him when she can. After the Outpost was reclaimed, they were attacked by Everit Dred. Talon almost defeated Dred but stopped because Janzo was severely injured. She had to use the hot iron to cauterize his wounds and save his life. To hopefully ease the pain, she kissed him. She told him that she hadn't felt that way about anyone since Eramus, but wasn't sure until she had kissed him. Janzo told her that he reciprocated those feelings thinking that she meant romantically. When he learned that Eramus was her brother he was saddened but they hugged. She passed on the opportunity to hunt Dred so she could care for Janzo. At the end of the day, they are incredibly loyal to one another and close friends. During the wedding of Talon and Garret, Janzo was in attendance serving as one of the groom's man.
Garret volunteered Janzo to uncover the mysteries of the Plaguelings. Janzo was hesitant to help but eventually agreed. He has a difficult relationship with Garret and often clashes with Garret as he symbolizes everything Janzo isn't. Janzo also doesn't have much patience for Garret's masculinity and authoritative ways. There is a sense of inferiority that Janzo has toward Garret as Garret represents everything that Janzo isn't - a fighter, a soldier, and physically masculine. With the assurance of Talon, Janzo can overcome a little bit of this inferiority but struggles with it. They are opposites and spend most of their bickering and looking down on one another. Garret and Janzo both have feelings for Talon and compete for her attention and affections. Despite this, Garret cares about Janzo and is protective of the young alchemist. When Garret was under the influence of the Prime Order's mental manipulation, Janzo was tasked with finding a proper cure for Garret. He was able to cure Garret after discovering that the Captain had been consuming Nyassa Root. Once Garret was freed from the influence of the Nyassa Root, they work together to destroy the Prime Order. However, after the takeover of The Outpost from the Blackbloods and Lu-Qiri, they were prisoners treated badly. When Garret was about to be executed for killing a Blackfist, Janzo was able to save his life with a death like elixir. This shows that despite the awful person Garret was to Janzo back in the past, Janzo is more than willing to help his friend escape death. During the wedding of Talon and Garret, Janzo was in attendance serving as one of the groom's man.
"Munt... I'm sorry brother, I'll keep to my word, I promise!" ― Janzo in From Paradise to Hell and Back
Janzo and Munt are adoptive brothers. Munt is fiercely protective of his youngest and only living brother, Janzo. They weren't always close and often had a bickering dynamic due to the influence of their controlling mother, who demanded the best out of both her children. Munt often doesn't understand Janzo's intellect, leading him to call Munt an "idiot", though some of his more recent ideas have proved helpful in finding a more logical conclusion to Janzo's issues. Munt's strength and brutish ways, however, proved useful to Janzo and they began working together whenever Janzo left the Outpost, as Janzo required security due to his lack of fighting skills. The brothers grew closer over time and it's clear how deeply Munt cares for Janzo. Their vastly different personalities balance each other out, with Munt being the strength behind Janzo's intellect. After their mother died, they had to accept their difference and work together with their differences daily as they now had to run The Nightshade Inn together. When Munt was infected by The Hive, Janzo was devastated at the loss of his brother's free-will and ability to make choices. He wanted to save Munt by injecting him with the last dose of ficter's sap, but used it on Wren instead. Munt was ordered by Yavalla to kill Janzo and his friends, but Janzo intervened by stepping in front of Talon and loudly shouting Munt's name. This was enough for Munt to freeze in place and allow his brother to escape. While escaping, Janzo promised his brother that he would find a way to cure him. Now they are both free from The Hive, they become closer than before. When Janzo announces that Wren is pregnant Munt is ecstatic. Not just because he is happy for his foster brother, but also because he is happy to be an uncle for the very first time.
When Janzo first met Naya, she was the new handmaiden of Queen Rosmund. They were completely unaware of their relationship at first. At the request of Rosmund, Naya tried to help Janzo change to help Talon fall for him. This ended up making her develop feelings for him. Later on he would develop feelings for her as well. When they were in prison along with Elinor Chadwick, Naya mentions her mother. Elinor then reveals that they are actually brother and sister. This causes Janzo to realize that is why they are so similar. As such they break up but try to remain on friendly terms knowing now that they are family. So much so that they had remained in constant communication before The Hive outbreak occurred. When Naya had returned back to The Outpost, she was delighted to meet Wren and even more ecstatic to discover that she was going to be an aunt. At the wedding of Talon and Garret, while Janzo was a groom's man, Naya was only in attendance but was non the less happy to see her brother and his girlfriend.
See also: Janzo and Wren
Their relationship started off as enemies when Wren invaded Janzo's lab and took over operations. She also had him removed from the place which doubled as his home. As the appointed intellectuals of their designated colonies, they found themselves at odds over who was smarter or had stronger will-power. They initially traded insults cleverly designed to infuriate the other and succeeded quite marvelously in doing so. Eventually, Janzo and Wren began to work together instead of against one another, and their combined intellect proved a force to be reckoned with. He helped her open the Meld Box that her mother had tasked her with opening, even letting her take the credit for cracking the coded images. He did this as he understood what it's like to have an abrasive mother who expects the best out of her child and not show much care/love. Wren gained respect for Janzo after this and began advocating for his involvement in missions. She was surprised when he was willing to burn his hand for the sake of retrieving the hidden Kinj her mother sought. Wren tended to his wounds and they found themselves bonding even more. When the mission was successful, they discussed the scientific ramifications of a human and a Blackblood having a physical relationship. For the sake of science, they decided to test the hypothesis for themselves. They kissed and slept together, which has brought them even closer and Janzo serves as her confidant when she learns her mother's true plan. Wren later confessed her love for Janzo with him returning the sentiment. Janzo is the first person that Wren has ever loved. From then on, they use their sharp minds to try and solve problems together and inadvertently move in together. When Jaaris had forced Wren into a death match, Janzo volunteered to take her place in order to protect her. In the end though, he was able to help her recover from the beating. He was also there to help her grief over the loss of her mother. However a few day after the loss of her mother, Wren discovers that she herself will be a mother and that Janzo is the father. After finding out that he is going to be a father, he first faints at the news, and then becomes so ecstatic he can barely contain himself. He also says that because of lack of father or father figure, he himself needs to measure up to be the best father. While he knows for a fact that Wren can take care of herself during the pregnancy, he can't help but always worry about her and their child, as seen when she had to go to the Plane of Ashes.
Notes and Trivia
- Janzo practices alchemy and general physician skills in an underground location he calls, "his lab". He also brews ale there, creates salves, and studies the varying cultures of the realms.
- He can read and write twelve different languages but can only speak three. His favorite language to read is Yindrian because it's so interesting and colorful.
- In "The Vex Rezicon", Janzo had never seen the ocean, been with a woman, or used Colipsum.
- Janzo is the first main character, who is not a Blackblood, to learn their native language, though not fluently. He can also translate many symbols used in the culture. He is also the first non-Blackblood to speak the language on-screen.
- He has cured three types of medical anomalies that affected the realm. The Plagueling pandemic, Garret's mental condition, and The Hive.
- Janzo is the first main character in The Outpost to expect a child. He is also the first human to father a Blackblood-Human child in centuries.
- Despite his adamant disliking for Elinor's business ventures, Janzo adapts certain qualities of hers as he grows. He opens an underground speakeasy during the ban of alcohol, which is similar to her illegal underground colipsum trade.
- Janzo is also one of the only few humans to find the Lu-Qiri to be fascinating creatures, despite being greatly afraid of them.