07 August 2012

the Voyages of Navah Berden

This is something new I want to try. I've always liked the idea of writing a travelogue-style story, or maybe some sort of episodic/epistolary Victorian style that's most popularised by Frankenstein and Dracula, where chapters are made from diary excerpts, phonograph recordings, letters, newspaper clippings etc. real characters I admire very much are those brave adventurous souls like Ibn Battuta, Marco Polo, Christopher Colombus etc; the great explorers of the age of discovery, whose stories are as much fancy as they are fact.

One of my old campaign settings had a character whose name now eludes me. Basically, this character was the eyes and ears of the world, a window into this setting through which players and DM's alike could see the flavour and character of various regions. every regional or monstrous entry was preceded by a paragraph of text supposedly written by this character during his many travels, even some magical items had a commentary written by this guy. I always liked that.

I've started (and never finished) a daily travelogue where I write for an hour-or so in character, detailing the travels and experiences of an explorer in foreign lands. a great way for me, as a worldbuilder to explore culture and customs while still writing fiction (rather than technical encyclopaedic entries, as I've found myself doing lately. Navah Berden is a great explorer whose exploration of the seas dominating the Korachani empire are now legendary, much as those of Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo are. A great chance to draw some route maps, maybe try my hand at sketching and elaborating on various regions' backgrounds, customs and histories as well as showing the worlds' decay in a more detailed light. Basically fleshing out the world.

The goal is to add an entry every day, in a form of travellers shorthand, with each entry amounting to around 1000-words long (though shorter/longer entries will probably be the norm). days where i cant write will be explained in the next diary entry as some sort of in-world deterrence Spent two days marching in the marshlands of Khalut. Had little chance to write...

To anyone interested, here's the entry for Berden in the Encyclopaedia elyden:

Navah Berden: (B. 537 – D. 615 RM) Zionic explorer and pioneer. In 559 RM he began an epic journey that would last until the end of his days, taking him around the known coast of Sammaea, from the Sea of Serpents in the west to the Lethean sea in th south-east. His epic travels have since come to be known as the Voyage of Berden.
Voyage of Berden, the: journey begun in 559 RM by the explorer Navah Berden. Heading west from Zion, Berden crossed the Inner Sea, reaching Sagittaria in 562 RM, crossing the Gates of Erebeth in 565 RM before sailing south-west through the Sea of Serpents. Illness and unnavigable waters forced Berden to turn back in 568 RM, where he sailed across the Inner Sea’s north coast to the strait of Nárthel. A lengthy sojourn in Venthir followed between 570 – 582 RM, after which Berden continued south-east. Stopping in Sour for some time in 598 RM, where an obsession with crossing the Roiling Sea began to consume him. After many failed attempts and serious injuries, he was successful and reached Gibeah in 609 RM, sailing south past Porphyr and Sabaisa in 612 RM and finally turning north into Lethea in 615 RM, where he finally died. His crew continued the circumnavigation of the Lethean sea in following expeditions, returning finally to Lethea in 732 RM, reaching the Cliffs of Berden in later journies in 793 RM, where Novatul was first settled and the voyage was continued north-west across the Umbra Solare where they arrived in Karakhas in 796 RM.

Lets see how long this venture lasts...


  1. That's a brilliant idea! I'm going to have to whip up a travelling character and try that. Can you imagine finding Gandalf or Aragorn's journal?! I have a monk character named Zacarias Pasodora that wrote volumes of encyclopedias that chronicle the ages of the world.....but I never worked out how he knew it.

  2. seems like you have a character ready to go! I think the scope for exploration and discovery (you finding out more about the world, as much so, if not more so than the character) makes it an interesting exercise. fingers crossed mine goes well. I hope you try it out too!