Frigord Fredocson (1178 b.S.–1127 b.S.) was an adventurer and scholar of the early ages of the Stratanian kingdom, living in the vicinity of Thalambath. He combined traits of his ancestors: a favour for travel and adventure from the Erpheronian settlers and a love for the desert from his Shendar grandparents. He would have remained not even a footnote in history if not for his extensive diaries, which contained among the endless drivel and scholarly essays of a lonely man the first written account of a black desert rose.
Appearance. Official documents of the Council of Seven in Thalambath have records on Frigord when he appeared to the council to report his discovery of the rose. This is what the record says:
“498th year CC,
the 27th day of Foirstar. The fourth guest of this morning appears before
the Seven. He introduces himself as Frigord Fredocson, living east of
brings news of a wondrous flower he has discovered. He’s a slim man, tall,
with a slender face and dark long hair, bound into a long tail behind his
head. He walks with a sort of small jump from the knees, making his body
constantly going up and down again and giving his appearance a sort of
restlessness. This is also reflected in his eyes, which shift to left and
right continuously as if they can’t remain in one place, not wanting to
miss a single detail of the surroundings.”
is known of the looks of Frigord. His diaries tell of continuous travels trough
the desert, reaching Uderza and Thaehavos,
today's Bardavos, but neither the
Shendar nor the
bards have records of the adventurer. We can assume that the description from
Thalambathian records is fairly accurate.
Personality. Frigord’s diaries prove a worthwhile read to know something about the person’s character. He describes into minuscule details the journeys he made through the desert, sometimes guided by Shendar, sometimes on his own. On the other hand, the records of the Thalambath library show that he was one of the most book-loving persons in Thalambath history and that he read almost everything. From this combination historians have developed the picture of an intelligent and creative person, gifted with an enormous memory and rich fantasy, who had difficulties seperating his factual knowledge from his phantasmal journeys. That he has made several journeys nonetheless is generally agreed upon, as some knowledge found in his diaries should not have been present in the library of Thalambath in those days. Some more pessimistic orientated historians doubt all of his traveling accounts and think that a lot of his information was conveyed to him by ‘fellow’ travellers.
Biography. As noted before, the diaries of Frigord have been the best source of information. Combined with the ever punctual administration of Thalambath, the following biography can be reconstructured.
Frigord found (1178 b.S). – In 1178 b.S. Frigord is found in the streets of Thalambath in a basket, covered in blankets. After reading the note (“This is Frigord Fredocson, please take good care of him.”) he is brought to an orphanage, where he lives the first sixteen years of his life and receives his education. The boy is adventurous and is seldomly seen in class as a youngster. Instead, he climbed the walls of the orphanage and left the city, walking around in the desert. No punishment or harsh treatment changes his attitude.
Frigord found - again, but somewhere else... (1168 b.S.) – Frigord is given a place in the annals of the town when a townguard patrol finds him dehydrated and unconscious in the desert, miles away from the border. While being transported back to town, he gives his name and location and is returned to the orphanage. He is locked up in a solitary chamber and almost starves to death this time. Afterwards he takes his place in class again and shows good behaviour for at least a year (according to later diary fragments).
Frigord leaving the Orphanage (1165 b.S.) – The name of Frigord is noted among the top students of the year in the orphanage, noting his eagerness on subjects like plants and animals. Here we find a first glimpse of the desert journeyman to be. It is also the last note about Frigord in the books of the orphanage. A year later his diary starts, which shows that he lives on his own.
Frigord the Traveller (1164 b.S. onwards) – Frigord writes his first diary entry in 1164 b.S. We are given a small peek into a lonely man’s life, filled with travels over the flanks of the Norong’Sorno and secret loves for girls and women passing by his home just outside the city gate, a new one everyday. An occasional travel to Thalambath is described, with seemingly no purpose. This would be the time where he developed his love for the books of the library there. Slowly a typical style develops in his diary, with an entry everyday, detailed notes about the weather and the surrounding nature, descriptions of passing travelers in the morning hours and afterwards an account of his own activities that day. How he came by the resources to keep such an elaborate diary without any work activities as far as noted by his own accounts – we must note that writing was an expensive task in those days – is unknown. There is no information on rich family or gifts by outsiders. Some guess that the basket contained more than just the boy and the blankets and speculate about a bastard son of rich heritage.
The first page of the diary is rather typical and shows an attitude and mindset uncommon for his age.
“Today I’ve visited the Lands of Pain. My Shendar guide told me we were lucky with the temperature, but I thought the land was living up to its name quite well. The landscape was fascinating, no description in a book can prepare you for this sight. Everywhere I see the reflection of the other parts of the desert. To the east the land become less rough, less rocky, is more like a real sand desert. To the north the land becomes more steeper and in a way more fertile, towards the famous Aj’Nuvic Grounds. To the south, the Norong’Sorno towers, a father to the smaller volcanoes here, and guardian of the city. And to the west, ah, I can smell the sea, the end of the heat. But not only that, the desert is a reflection of the world. Under these extreme circumstances the ways of nature become much clearer. And also the residents show their real form: the Shendar are hospitable and lethal at the same time, just like life itself. Only by a journey through the desert, you can understand what life really is.”
The historian Gean Firefeet notes at the starts of his diaries that the last line inspired him for the name of his own writings, though the doesn’t agree completely with the statements of Frigord.
First detailed Flora Descriptions (1159 b.S.).
– A first detailed description of the flora of the
can be found in 1159 b.S. in Frigord's diary.
It appears to be an accumulation of data taken over a longer period of time. We
find descriptions of flowers like the
the common or
brown desert rose and
plant, although not all by the same name.
Discovery of the Black Desert Rose (1150 b.S.) – Frigord’s discovery of the black desert rose receives a full-fledged account in his diary. He describes the location and appearance of the flower and is fully aware that he has found the mythical flower from the Shendar oral tradition. Full of joy and proud about this turn of events he returns home, writes down what he had just seen and runs to the city.
A disastrous visit to the Council of Seven follows there, where he is hit with dumbness as soon as he wants to tell about his discovery. He becomes frantic by this unexpected turn of events, tries to write his story down but finds that he is unable to. In the end he flees from the council chambers, though the official records say that he was dragged from the chambers by guards when he tried to attack an administrator who did not dare to give up his writing materials to the man. He is quite aware of his miraculous discovery, but whenever he tries to tell his story that day, the dumbness returns. Crying he leaves the city and heads for the desert. In the evening a Shendar caravan passes by, but at the moment of truth the same things happens, and he is unable to convey his wondrous experience.
Hermitage (1148 b.S.). Bittered by this experience and mocked by several of his associates who hear of the events at the Council, he becomes even more lonely and moves to a house even further from the city in 1148, becoming essentially a hermit. His only contact with civilization is a weekly trip to the library and some contact with passing travelers.
The last two decades of Frigord's life are filled with hatred for his people and lonely journeys through the desert. We have no accounts of people visiting him for his knowledge or wisdom and it is therefore believed that after the incident with the council the local population considered him an outcast and lunatic. He died alone in 1127 b.S. doing what he had always done: journeying through the desert. He was found by Shendar and buried near his hut. One of the buriers filled the last page of the diary, describing the circumstances of Frigord’s death and jotting down the date. It is confirmed by Shendar elders that the three men, who were named in that last diary entry, never reached their Shendar camp again. Speculations concerning the death of Frigord and his unfortunate discoverers all point in the direction of the cursed rose.
Frigord left behind an empty shack except for last week's library books and an abundance of scrolls and spare quills and ink, which were all taken to the library of Thalambath. Centuries later, they proved to be one of the most precious additions to the collection.
Importance. The library of Thalambath has been very punctual throughout the centuries and keeps a lot of age-old records, of which Frigord’s diaries are but a minor part. But because of his first written proof of the black desert rose, which was even before his days already a national symbol from the Shendar oral culture, he has received a special place in history, perhaps even in the hearts of the population. When asked, a true Stratanian will probably shake his head, making a statement like “Oh yes, Frigord, Frigord the Weird, a little of his mind this fellow, but he did find the rose and that’s what matters.” Centuries later, the population loves him, if only for this act of daring madness.