Log of the Whaler Lady Njoragh

They weren't explorers - they were just trying to get themselves un-lost

The discovery of the continent of Tarusia turned out to be vital for the peoples of the north western provinces of The Marivan Empire . Alrthough Orris was the first permanent settlement of those people on that continent, the first exploration known was that of the crew of the Lady Njoragh sailing from the port of Stressell in County Murragh.
This article looks at the impact of the log of that voyage kept by the helmsman Ullo Odragh . Although only a small part of it survives to the present it is clear, from other existing records, that copies of the log were used by other explorers and settlers.
Log of the Lady Njoragh
Log of the Lady Njoragh fragment 2
Grandpa told me a few things that he'd "not got round to including", but I'm sure he knew more.
— Ardo Ogragh
The surviving fragments now held at Fenton by Ed Andrew

Caution

Copies of the log were made by Ullo and his family and used by other explorers, spreading by second-hand sales and samizdat. It was suspected that Ullo suppressed some details from the log when he made copies available to others.

His generosity in providing copies at cost was widely commented on but these copies were remarked to be shorter than the original. Ullo and his family certainly seemed to have more details of the northern coast of Tarusia than those who travelled with copies. Because the surviving fragment is still owned by Ullo’s descendants it is generally agreed to be the original, or at least a full and complete copy of that part.

The surviving fragments are recognised as one of the treasures of House Odragh at Fenton in the Moran Duchy by Ed Andrew

The block of text at the bottom of the first page of the second fragment is one that has, to date, defied all attempts to understand it. Some say that it contains the key to House Odragh's rise from the helmsman's post to a leading house in Stressell before the migration.

History of the Document

Written 218 years before the founding of the Moran Duchy it remained under the control of Ullo and his descendants. With the exception of the two fragments at Fenton it is only known by quotations and indirect references. The perils of time have, alas, affected this manuscript as so many others.

It is believed that the whole of the log came to Fenton at around the time of the founding of the Moran Duchy as Merrick of Odragh was one of Ullo's descendants and one of the Younger Sons who established the Duchy (see Annals of the Duchy - Chapter 2).

The Great Fire of Fenton in Duchy Year 200 is believed to have caused the loss of most of the log and the damage to the surviving fragments, for the town house of House Odragh was one of the buildings lost to that conflagration.

The pattern of burning suggests that the fragments were together at this point but whether they were separated from the remainder of the text before or after is not known, for the records of the House's archives were completely lost during the fire.

Purpose

This document was Ullo's record of the voyage. In part it was a personal diary, in part to help him answer to the Emperor's Portmaster on the ship's return to Stressell. Following the Edict of 14 Dr'Alluth the helmsman of any ship sailing from the empire was responsible for reporting its course and landfalls on the ship's return so any helmsman setting out on a voyage expected to last more than a month would prefer the rigours of recording a log on heaving seas to the loss of his right arm on not being able to render a satisfactory account on return.

On its Compilation
Ullo's original record would have been made on wax coated wooden tablets and transcribed to paper during calm periods, or more likely when the boat was pulled up onto a beach to process the catch. This ensured that that it would remain safe and dry, though the record includes prolonged periods of storms and high seas when none would have been able to use pen and ink in a ship like the Lady Njoragh.
Ullo’s log - its a must have for the north coast but I reckon he left out some of the best whaling grounds from the copies he let out. Sly old fox, keeping the best bits quiet.
— Skipper Andrach, whaler “Aunt Myra”

Background

The Lady Njoragh was a fishing and whaling ship that plied the northern coast of Marivar. While following the seasonal migration of humpnosed whales she was blown off course and into uncharted seas. After the storms cleared she made landfall in previously unknown lands. Adverse winds pinned her to the coast for several weeks during which she explored the coast heading north to reach her home latitudes and then east catching up with the whales and finding their calving grounds. As the the seasons started to change she returned home with tales of this land and the longer distance whaling operations.
Lady Njoragh in the Storm
The Lady Njoragh in the storm that blew her into the navigational history books.
From the British Library Flickr stream. Image taken from page 61 of 'The eventful voyage of H.M. Discovery Ship “Resolute” to the Arctic Regions in search of Sir J. Franklin. Image cropped from online version.

Legacy

Whilst it is highly probable that Tarusia had previously been found by mariners from the Empire, Ullo's account is the first documented evidence of Tarusia's existence in the knowledge of the Empire. Although the Empire tried to limit settlement of Tarusia in order to keep close control of its people it seems likely that Ullo's record was the trigger not just for the seasonal whale and fishing trade conducted by the mariners of Murragh on the north coast of Tarusia but also the wider exploration of Tarusia, the establishment of Orris and, indeed the whole Morivan settlement of Tarusia when some decades later the Empire found itself coming under pressure from the east.

Comments

Author's Notes

All comments on this welcome - I don't promise to act on them but I will keep them in mind for the future.   SPECIAL CHALLENGE OFFER: Bragging rights will be awarded to the first person to uncover the secret message in fragment 2 and post it below.


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Grandmaster Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
26 May, 2019 16:20

No bragging rights for me, but I enjoyed reading your document though. The image of the actual pages is a fun addition!

yeslittlehummingbird-deleted
Anna Elizabeth Boyett
19 Jun, 2019 04:10

Hi, love! This is your friendly neighborhood Forge Mother here to let you know that we Enchanters would absolutely love to feature this article in one of our community's daily features! Unfortunately it appears you've neglected to credit some of your artists.   If you could, we'd love to have you credit them! And if / when you've corrected this issue, please respond to this comment to let us know- that way we can show your article off to the lovely users in our community   For more information about our feature requirements, please see our codex entry:
How to have your article featured
Generic article | Sep 14, 2020

20 Jun, 2019 19:22

Image of the document credited, I’ve done the best I can with the ship in storm (artist is not directly credited by the British Library’s Flickr stream). If other action is needed, please advise and I will do what I can, or replace with creditable artwork.

yeslittlehummingbird-deleted
Anna Elizabeth Boyett
20 Jun, 2019 21:34

That credit is wonderful and perfect compliant <3 Thank you! Info as to what to do for the banner was left in the other comments ^_^