He is the first fully cured case of "Render's Syndrome", a disorder on the autistic spectrum based on a supernormal empathic capacity. He lived with and was cured by one Dr. Hammergeld.
Osden is white with rusty hair, which begins to gray by the end of the story. He is very thin, almost gaunt.
His status as a recoverer from Render's Syndrome means he reflects and magnifies the attitudes of those around him. For the first portion of the voyage, this makes him highly defensive, aggressive, and angry towards the other crewmembers.
He never looks directly at other people.
 Relation to Planet
While on World 4470, he was able to "escape" the empathic emotions of the other crew members by going into the forest on a species count expedition. After a couple of incidents between other crewmembers and the forest, he disappears, and when Haito Tomiko and Harfex attempt to locate him, they find he has been attacked and bloodied from behind by an unknown entity.
Even after it is revealed that Porlock attacked him, Osden makes it known that the forest is a single sentient being. He goes with Haito, Harfex and Eskwana to attempt to communicate with the sentience. He ends up joining with it, and is left by the others "as a colonist".
|Vaster than Empires and More Slow|
|Asnanifoil | Jenny Chong | Eskwana | Harfex | Mannon | Olleroo | Osden | Porlock | Poswet To | Haito Tomiko|
|Beldene | Smeming Port|
|Genly Ai | Jakob Agat Alterra | Argaven | Asnanifoil | Atro | Betton | Chifoilisk | Jenny Chong | Captain Davidson | Dalzul | Eskwana | Estraven | Happy Today | Harfex | Hoalans | In Joy Born | Karth | Leaf | Lidi | Raj Lyubov | Mannon | Mogien | Laia Aseio Odo | Olleroo | Oreth | Osden | Saio Pae | Palat | Pellelge | Porlock | Gaverel Rocannon | Rolery | Rulag | Sabul | Sadik | Semley | Serenity | Shakatany | Shevek | Thele | Poswet To | Haito Tomiko | Umaksuman | Wold | World 4470*|
|*World 4470 may or may not be a character.|