Ikobo Mirtíy [i ˈqo bo mir ˈtij] was the first printer in Verduria.
Printing had been invented in Avéla in 3184 by Adriano Boďmorey, but presses were banned within Verduria under the Wizard Kings, largely at the insistence of pagan clerics, who denounced printing as a foreign and Eleďe invention which would swamp the kingdom with copies of the Book of Eleď. The scriptoria, for obvious reasons, also opposed the importation of presses.
Mirtíy was born in Avéla in 3203, the son of Emanél Mirtíy, who had been one of Boďmorey’s workers and then started a shop of its own. The elder Mirtíy was an artist who created some of the most gorgeous examples of early Almean printing; but he was no businessman, and he died destitute, in 3238. Ikobo convinced himself that the problem was competition, and sailed with his inheritance— one printing press— to Verduria city. (Pagan claims that he was also fleeing his father’s debts can be dismissed as entirely lacking evidence.)
The wizard Utu-On was still in power, and when Mirtíy naively approached him for permission to start a print shop, the wizard king confiscated the press and had Mirtíy deported back to Érenat. Mirtíy worked for awhile in an Avélan print shop, while approaching Eleďe churches for financial backing for his return to Verduria. He made it back in 3241, when Tomao was already in power. Mirtíy presented the king with a beautiful copy of the Book of Eleď printed by his father, and Tomao was happy to grant him a royal charter.
He first talked to the scriptoria, hoping to take advantage of their distribution network, but they were not interested. Next he spoke to the churches, which were intrigued. His first book, published in 3242, was the Book of Eleď. He cannily presented each church in the province with a free copy; each gift generated dozens of sales. He was soon publishing other Eleďe works, as well as commissions from Tomao's government. Over time his shop occupied several buildings, each larger than the last; all were located in the Petrei borough.
By 3260 there were three more print shops in Verduria city, and by his death in 3279, nearly a hundred. Mirtíy died a wealthy man— but he was not the wealthiest of the printers; due of his religious convictions he restricted his business to Eleďe authors and to edifying topics. This was by no means a small niche, but it appealed to only a small part of the book-buying public.
Mirtíy was married to an Avélan woman, Ešra Nëronclemet, a descendant of the adopted children of the Elenicoi. He had three sons, each of which had their own print shops; two of these shops are still in business today.