The Bedel people live on Surebleak and elsewhere. They appear in Necessity's Child, Dragon in Exile, Neogenesis, and the short story Eleutherious. See The Books (and other stories)


  • "The Bedel is a Kompani."[1]
  • "A Kompani is Bedel on Chafurma."[1]
  • Chafurma is the Gathering Time."[1]
  • They are a tight-knit group of "brothers" and "sisters" (not necessarily blood-related) living in the lower levels of the abandoned Gilmour Agency warehouses on Surebleak[2]
    • "How if we say to Boss Conrad that we the Bedel have established tenancy, and the buildings are ours?"[3]"The Bosses have given us the place"[4]
  • They were set down on Surebleak in a bad time when Gilmour Agency had just withdrawn. The conditions grew worse and the ship (presumably the ship that brought them) would not risk itself. Now the ship could not be secret.[1]
  • Young Kezzi asked Syl Vor if he could find their ship: "If you had the silhouette of a particular ship, that — that had become lost, could you find it?"[5]
  • The true reasons behind this are only hinted at:

“Luthia and the Headman well know the “why” of this particular Chafurma, this Kompani of Bedel. Set down of all possible planets, on this one, this Surebleak.”[1]
“Luthia has memories of those who have felt their lack. And of those who had made the decision not to return for them.”[1]

  • Their usual way of life seems to be less sedentary:

“In truth, we were made to wander and wander, that we will”[6]

Dream LearningEdit

  • Learning machines (tiles, fractins) based on defanged Old Tech[7]

"It is an immersion protocol; it is how the Bedel learn from the past, or from another's unique experience; We say, 'I will dream on it,' when we wish to learn; thus, the means of learning becomes a 'dream', in the language."[7]

"Silain had never seen a sea in her waking mind, but a long lifetime of dreaming had opened such things to her knowledge. Such things, too, as the memories, not of those for whom chafurma had never ended, but of those who had felt their lack."

  • When Val Con yos'Phelium used the learning machine at Silain's hearth, she "bent over him, a crown of flexible golden mesh between her hands, and settled it upon his head"[8]
  • Rys compared his "dream / nightmare" of The Department of the Interior's subversion experience to a piloting sim.[9]
  • Droi of the Bedel will dream, searching for historical markers relevant to the Surebleak Culture Study. Her luthia Silain said, "We, the kompani, hold dreams from an earlier time which might help them."[10]
  • Kezzi dreamed of a, red, black, blue...[11] which she then saw at school and stole from Syl Vor yos'Galan, which led her to become his foster sister[12]

High-Tech TinkeringEdit

  • "The Bedel can make anything. Is is possible that a brother saw an Old Tech learner and said to himself, 'I can build that — I will build that! But I will pull its teeth, and win its heart, and make it a part of the kompani, so it will never seek to harm us." [7]
  • Pulka designed Rys' leg brace and artificial hand[13]
  • Rafin built the leg brace and golden hand, [5]

Social StructureEdit

  • The elders of the kompani are the headman, who looks for the well-being of the kompani, and the luthia, who looks for the well-being of the individuals that make it up.
  • The individual members are not necessarily siblings, but they refer to each other as sister, brother...

Members of the Kompani on SurebleakEdit

  • Alosha (m) Headman of The Bedel[14]
  • Dmitri (m) deceased[3]
  • Droi (f) cat green eyes, has the true Sight[15], the Luthia's former apprentice, seduced Rys to get his child in order to even out the number of Bedel left in unbalance by Dmitri's death[2]
  • Ghan (?) [17]
  • Isart (m) halfling age, lanky, black hair, black eyes[17]
  • Jin (f) [6]
  • Kar (?) [17]
  • Kezzi (f) (street name Anna Brown, Wentworth' Turf)[13] "Sister" of Syl Vor[12], black eyes and black hair[13], apprentice of Silain-luthia[3]
  • Luma (f) deceased, daughter of Dmitri[3]
  • Memit (f) blade thin, big hands[18], in charge of the garden. Street-name is Mary (Neogenesis)
  • Pulka (m) bald and plump, moustache, designed Rys' leg brace and artificial hand[13]
  • Rafin (m) Artificer, "Brother" of Rys Lin, tall, sharp cheekbones, strong brow, lean dark face, blue eyes, prominent hooked nose[13], built Rys' leg brace[5] and artificial hand, came from Outside or was fathered by an Outsider ("We went Outside and got Rafin.")[3]
  • Riva (f) killed by a gadje because she muddled the meaning of the cards[19]
  • Silain, Luthia, Grandmother of all Bedel, long silver hair[14]
  • Torv (m) tall and lanky, is often among those Outside because his given-work is to repair what had not been built by Bedel hands and to listen and to watch[14]
  • Udari (m) long face, bold nose, dark eyes, "Brother" of Rys (found him dying and brought him to Silain[20]), street name: Nathan, [12]
  • Ves (?) deceased[3]
  • Vylet (f) sister to Kezzi, gives her the pack of stiff paper Kezzi uses for her own deck of cards[15]
  • Zand (m) Vylet's swwetheart[15]


  • Origins are shrouded in mystery. The chapter book Eleutherious features another group of Bedel people, but origins are still unclear [21]
  • The Uncle sheds murky light on the origins of the Bedel on Surebleak. “I set them in motion!” he snapped. (meaning unclear)[22]
  • Uncle may be related to the Bedel on Surebleak. He may be their kin, but if so, the relationship appears to be distant:
    • The Uncle asks Tassi, “Who is Silain?” [22]


  • Malda (m) dog, belongs to Kezzi [14], black and tan, pointed nose, skinny tail, street name: Rascal[20]

Bedel Words and ConceptsEdit

  • Affirmation

“An Affirmations was three days of singing, tale-telling, eating and dance. A time for the Bedel to recall what it meant to be of the Kompani, and to forget the ways and workings of the Gadje – those others – among whom they lived, but were apart.”

  • chafurma: The "gathering time".[23] The activity in which the kompani are engaged in Necessity's Child, and which is nearing its end for the different kompani in "Eleutherios". A kompani on chafurma must maintain fixed numbers, with members' deaths balanced by births (or, in need and at the risk of diluting the group identity, adoption of a suitable gadje). [3]
  • fleez: A performance of telling the future by the turn of a card, done for gadje in return for money. The design of the card deck - the number of cards, the design and meaning of each - is set by tradition, if only to lend verisimilitude. Each performer uses a deck of her own making.[24]
  • gadje: "Those Others". People who are not Bedel, to whom nothing is owed.
  • garda: Police, officers of law-enforcement.
  • kompani: A group of people banded together to a common purpose; in particular a group of Bedel on chafurma. Other groups thus distinguished by the Bedel on Surebleak include Korval[14] and the kompani of Bosses [6]
  • luthia: She who is the grandmother of all the kompani. A healer, a keeper of knowledge.
  • vey: Possessing that quality which the Liadens call dramliz.


Cards used in the fleez

  • The Burning House: "Change, and good fortune." A tall house standing in a garden, flowers round its base, with a lightning bolt blowing off the roof and setting it alight.[24]
  • The Double Moons: "Good dinner and a dry place to sleep." [25]
  • The Headman[19]
  • The Lantern: "Today, you seek." ("Will I find what I seek?" "That depends on you.")[18]

Prayer / LoreEdit

  • The very first prayer a child of the Bedel is taught: “Let the Road be easy, let the gleanings be good, let there be brothers and sisters ‘round the hearth at the beginning of the day and the end.”[26]
  • "Tell me what we owe our brothers, and our sisters, and all of the kompani of Bedel." -- " Truth, kindness, food, air"[3]

Bedel in EleutheriosEdit

Eleutherios is a short story portraying a small group of Bedel. It could perhaps be the Surebleak Kompani, long before they came to Surebleak.

  • Niku - (gadje name Ponner Kleug)
  • Fada, Niku's brother
  • Ezell, Niku's sister
  • Boiko, good with frequencies


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Necessity's Child, ch 26
  2. 2.0 2.1 Necessity's Child, ch 27
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Necessity's Child, chapter 22
  4. Dragon in Exile, ch 12
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Necessity's Child, ch 30
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Necessity's Child, ch 4
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Dragon in Exile, ch 6
  8. Dragon in Exile, chapter 7
  9. Dragon in exile chapter 7
  10. Dragon in Exile, chapter 30
  11. Necessity's Child, chapter 6
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Necessity's Child, chapter 21
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Necessity's Child, ch 19
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Necessity's Child, ch 1
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Necessity's Child, ch 18
  16. Dragon in Exile, chapter 30
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Necessity's Child, ch 8
  18. 18.0 18.1 Necessity's Child, ch 17
  19. 19.0 19.1 Necessity's Child, ch 12
  20. 20.0 20.1 Necessity's Child, ch 7
  21. Eleutherious, in Liaden Universe Constellation volume 3
  22. 22.0 22.1 Neogenesis, chapter 20, part 2
  23. Necessity's Child, ch 25
  24. 24.0 24.1 Necessity's Child, ch 34
  25. Necessity's Child, ch 11
  26. Necessity's Child, ch 37