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John Rowlands
Species Human
Gender Male
Home Derasburg
Relationships Gart
Enemies None
First Appearance Chapter 1
Last Appearance Chapter 1
Status Alive
"Extra, extra! Listen to me talk all about it!"
— John Rowlands

John Rowlands is a young runaway orphan from the London Cityship and serves as World Blue's news vendor, telling players about the latest events, disasters and competition winners. He is loosely based on the historical John Rowlands, later known as Sir Henry Morton Stanley [1]


John Rowland was brought up by his grandfather until he died when Rowland was five. He then spent a short time with cousins and nieces, but was eventually sent to a workhouse where he was frequently abused by the older boys. Seeking a form of escape, Rowland became fascinated by the written word – specifically, old novels preserved from before the Great Cataclym. He is especially taken by the tales of the great adventurer “Dr. Livingstone”.

The day after his eleventh birthday, Rowland overhears the workhouse staff talking about the new islands that have appeared in the sky. Taking advantage of the cityship-wide panic, Rowland escapes from the workhouse and manages to make his way to Derasburg by stowing away on an old black-market supply ship. There, being an orphan and alone, he is taken in by Gart and used as a “gopher”. He retains his love for the written word, and exploration, and plans to eventually be a driving force behind the expansion and publication of the islands around Derasburg.


"Extra, extra! Listen to me talk all about it!"

"Dr. Livingstone, I pre- ... Oh, no, sorry - my mistake."

"People always underestimate kids. Stupid, really. Incidentally, do you mind if I keep your wallet?"


  • John Rowland is based on the historical John Rowland, who later became Sir Henry Morton Stanley and is famous for the immortal line: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?".