Pathfinder Eqai Voiranoi
Pathfinder Eqai Voiranoi (9825-9932 AR) was a High Rostran navigator active in the Navigator's Guild from 9845 AR until his death from natural causes at the age of 98. The first Courtier of Ironies, the first Rostran to make contact with the then-isolated verdial nation of Petalcap Vale, and the author of the notes which would later inform the instructional text Of the Cosmos, Voiranoi's titanic contributions to the art and science of navigating the Manifold Sky are regarded by modern Guild members with almost religious reverence.
Apparel & Accessories
Voiranoi was an 'all the gear, all the time' kind of person, wearing extensive protective equipment when visiting unfamiliar cubes. Having experienced encounters with Distal polyps and floating briars (the spores of which he found himself allergic to) during his exploration in the adjacent Distal Tesseract, Voiranoi turned heads in Petalcap Vale by appearing to the locals in goggles, long leather gloves, hard-toed boots, and a filtration mask. In addition to the usual Guild navigator's tools, including the magnetic armillary, Voiranoi also carried blank notebooks and writing tools during his travels in case he needed to take notes, sketch new species, or draw maps.
While many of Eqai Voiranoi's early travels were undertaken aboard clients' vessels or in expeditions assigned by the Guild itself, his trips to locales more off the beaten path would have to be undertaken via his own resources. Voiranoi eventually commissioned a custom Bannerman (an early predecessor to the N3 "Honeyguide" Air Cog) to support his own missions, modifying and expanding the vessel as his career and fame as an explorer advanced.
Eqai Voiranoi was born in 9825 AR in the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy capitol of Exivaun. A boy gifted in mathematics and spatial reasoning skills, Voiranoi was considered destined by his family to become a professional sailor or airship pilot, perhaps even going out into the wider world with the state-sanctioned expeditions beyond the inflection layer to see what lay beyond the 'sun' above.
At age 15, Voiranoi witnessed the first contact between the denizens of the growing Rostran-Ovinex Complex and The Human Arc from afar. This event set in his mind the notion that he was destined to go out and see what other strange, new people might be laying in wait beyond the inflection layer. With the human explorers came representatives from the Guild, who quickly set about establishing a Guild hall in Voiranoi's own capital home town. Voiranoi wasted no time in applying for an apprenticeship and, seeing the boy's precocious knowledge of navigational techniques, the local branch leader agreed. Voiranoi ascended through the ranks and met all certification requirement to become a fully-fledged navigator by the Audun of 9828 AR. Through contacts he developed as an apprentice to a more experienced human navigator, Voiranoi also gained his airship piloting certification within the guild, allowing him to finally pilot his own airship. This would set the stage for his later independent expeditions, as navigators were not also required to be skilled pilots at that time.
Accomplishments & Achievements
Over the course of his career as a Guild navigator, Voiranoi eventually visited each Tesseract - acquiring the title of Seeker of Misfortune - though this was a less exclusive title in that early era of widespread airship exploration.
Eventually, using images from his own notebooks, Voiranoi was able to establish a limited form of communication and, in doing so, he and his crew became became the first non-verdials to ever visit the Vale. This paved the way for later Human-Verdial relations, the establishment of Guild Pidgin as an interlang, and the creation of the Petalcap Vale Customs Authority.
During an expedition on the behalf of the Guild cartography services to Caudal C. Voiranoi and his crew noticed activity near the commissure leading to Caudal D. Flying closer allowed Voiranoi to observe that there were humanoids moving on the ground below, apparently hauling minerals to a commissure transit station located there. He and his crew landed and made contact with what his diary calls 'utabova' ('plant-people' in Iuxat), who, not understanding the Rostrans' speech, notified the local authorities.
In doing so, Voiranoi confirmed several prominent theories about the geometries of the Manifold, including the notion that the world's geometry was roughly (though not perfectly) analagous to a penteract unfolded into its constituent cubes. While the final location he visited in his quest was inauspicious (a patch of mucky terrain which would later come to be known as The Everswamp), his observers in the Guild Board of Trustees sought to recognize him for this unprecedented achievement. This was the genesis of the title 'Courtier of Ironies,' a title which he then became the first person to ever hold. When the Burning Hearts Social Club was established in 9900, though Voiranoi was growing old by that point, he was extended an offer for an honorary, no-questions-asked membership in light of his grand accomplishments.
During their extended visit with the Vale diplomats, Voiranoi and his crew learned how to play Terraceball from their hosts and played a friendly match or two with the curious locals, becoming the first non-verdials to play the game. The modern International Professional Terraceball League team from Exivaun, known as the Brothers in Armos, regard the crew as honorary team members (and Voiranoi as an honorary team captain) for bringing the knowledge of the sport to the rest of the world. After many more years experience, Eqai Voiranoi became the first person in the whole of the Manifold Sky to set foot on every cube layer in 9858 AR.
Voiranoi agreed and began to draw large crowds at any Burning Hearts pub he visited until his death from natural causes at age 98. The exploits of Eqai Voiranoi became legendary through the tales he told and the records of these events enshrined at whichever pubs he spoke at, setting the ultimate standard by which all other Burnhearts' accomplishments are measured.
Morality & Philosophy
Above all, Eqai Voiranoi embraced a philosophy of scientific objectivity and inquiry; while the Guild required all its members to take no sides on business grounds, Voiranoi had always believed in impartiality as a path to greater knowledge of the world's many truths. This didn't mean that he wasn't concerned about the wants and needs of the many people he touched in his journey, but rather that he believed that growing and spreading his knowledge of the world to its peoples was a good in its own right. In some ways, he was right: Ghostleaf Foundation medicines would perhaps never make their way to those who need them had the ever-expansionist humans found the Vale before Voiranoi's Rostran crew.
Voiranoi was a deeply religious man. An adherent to Rostran Esotericism, Voiranoi frequently made private ritual sigils attuned to the many spirits of the air and sky in which he spent the best (and worst) times of his life. Though his exposure of Rostrans to verdial religious ideals would eventually lead to the creation of Knappism, he merely adopted the Stern Father into his personal polytheistic pantheon without giving up his focus on the spirits of air and sky. As a member of the (then mostly human) Navigator's Guild, Voiranoi was also exposed to the Unexpector pantheon. He subsequently incorporated some elements of the cults of Cosmeon (for her 'spirit of preparedness') and Veldrin Vance (for his 'spirit of inquiry') into his own religious practice.
Modern Esotericists - especially fellow navigators - sometimes execute ritual sigils to call upon Eqai Voiranoi as an ancestral spirit, hoping to embody his potent iparda, iloi, and connection to the circumvective cycle. When bound, ixEqai is said to guide lost travellers and steady the hands of pilots, but can dash the hopes of those who lack a spirit of scientific inquiry or objectivity. A lodestone or magnetic armillary is usually placed at the focus of ritual sigils executed in his name, and such sigils can be executed on the backs of maps or on compass roses and still prove efficacious.
Previously Held Ranks & Titles
9825 9923 98 years old
Circumstances of Death
A Prodigious LegacyEqai Voiranoi was a pivotal figure in the cultural history of the Manifold Sky. His influence as an early father of inter-tesseract exploration can be felt in spheres as diverse as inter-tesseract commerce, the travel industry, the eventual development of Guild Pidgin, the creation of several extant organizations (including the Petalcap Vale Customs Authority, the Burning Hearts Social Club, and the International Professional Terraceball League) and the creation ot the various syncretic religious movements which followed in the wake of increased cultural conact. As an example of how far-reaching his influence has been, had Voiranoi never discovered Petalcap Vale on the behalf of the rest of the world, leading to the spread of Forgism, groups like the 125 Hands (and, by extension, The Garbage Man) would likely never have existed. Similarly, the exploits of Eqai Voiranoi served to greatly expand the prestige of the Navigator's Guild, helping to propel them to the heights of monopoly with regards to travel services which they still occupy to this day.
Voiranoi Sets Foot in Petalcap Vale by Hero Forge