"Traces of the Gods" is considered one of the most influential works in the early 14th century, for a long time considered the most accurate and detailed atlas of the known world, based on the exploraions by Fredson Tibwerson himself.
Originally meant as a travel record, Fredson Tibwerson wrote down his experiences and findings during his 20 years of travel all over The Ethorial Lands
. His journals of those years were preserved and later composed by a befriended monk into a large atlas.
Being edited by a religious person, the focus got shifted more on the revelations fredson made concerning the early lifes and relicts of the six gods, especially mentioning their ways towards ascension. The most famous of those are the Ascension of Sabes after the separation of the races and the Ascension of Vitukua after his search for the dragons. Nevertheless the atlas remaind highly detailed in aspects both religious and scientific and was never considered a religious work.
Fredson's atlas is famed for detailed maps of most regions of the world, including several reculsive areas, that have been unbeknown to humans to this time.
Each larger region is detailed in amazing detail, prefaced with a forward of Fredson acting as the very first example of a tour guide ever to appear in the Ethoral Lands.
Being a talented painter, the atlas included several stunning drawings and sketches of remarkable places, creatures and sometimes artifacts, Fredson encountered on his travels. Several of these sketches of animals were used for centuries as basis for studies of biology. Some even claim that the studies of biology have been largely started by the works of Fredson.
A few years after Fredson and his unknown monk friend finished compiling the atlas, a Patron from Baradolia financed the creation of printing plates, cast in the newly discovered alloy steel, to publish these works within the scientific community of Baradolia.
The original works were composed of 10 books, later additions by famous explorers like Gunnar Rundthorn
and others extended this collection up to 18 books.
After the dwarves developed first techniques for printing books with movable letters, the section about Maneds travel was the first to be printed and distributed within the dwarven colonies.
The original printing plates are today stored in the Library of Rashan'Kan, though the government of Baradolia has started efforts to reclaim these plates as does the government of Ederos
, basing their claim on the fact that Fredson Tibwerson was of Ederien nationality.
Table of Contents: The Original 10 books
Though the works of Tibwerson have been augmented and expanded over the years to almost eighteen books in current times, the original version still available in the library of Rashan'Kan lists only ten books, each of them focussing on one god and his travels as well as some interesting and at that time possibly heretic additions.
Book one: The Kingdom of Apac
With Apac being the First of the Six it is only natural that his book is the first of the ten. In this work Tibwerson describes the three kingdoms directly developing from the Kingdom of the Gods: Baradolia, Ethoressi
and the holy Domain Keandra.
This book goes into detail of the various structures and relics left over from the lost kingdom of Ethoras and uses some articles to explain the eventual downfall of this kingdom by disrespecting the values Apac was demonstrating during his rule in the mortal plane.
Book two: Under The Stars of Sabes
The second book, focussing on Sabes, is rather odd, as it does not focus on a region but instead discusses several places, ruins and creatures significant to magic itself and how Sabe's studied them to learn about Ascension. Over times it was often discussed if Tibwerson tried to compile a guide to ascension itself.
Most definitely these works contain extensive information about architecture, astronomy, biology and magicology.
Book Three: The Search of Vitukua
This book follows the travels of Vitukua on his search for the legendary Dragons. On his way together with his followers, the elves, he crossed both the deserts east of Ethoras as well as the frozen north and several other harsh and unfriendly lands.
In here are fascinating stories about the various elven nations and their ideals concerning perfection and magic. A small chapter about the biology and culture of dragons in here is said to be very colorful fiction, though.
Book Four: The Rivers of Gazezu
In this book the greatest rivers of the lands are described complete from spring to sea, together with many wildlife in and along the waters and a detailed description of most settlements along those streams. It is also the first work to include all known crossings and label them by danger level and accessability. However the information of crossing-taxes is woefully outdated.
Book Five: The Halls of Maned
Maned, the patron of the dwarfes, travelled through and claimed the great halls below the mountains. Tibwerson documented the layout of the big dwarven kingdoms and could not help himself but to detail some of the technological marvels he saw under the mountains as well.
This book is often used by dwarves to teach their young about custom and tradition among dwarves, as well as some basics in trade laws and magotechnlogy.
Book Six: The Dance of Lirini
The sixth book pays a visit to the lands of the orcs and details their customs and rituals. Unfortunately Tibwerson only visited one tribe and it turned out in later decades that his depictions were very onesided and focused too much on the war-like, primitive and ritualistic behavior of that certain tribe. Later additions discussed more in detail the complex concept of honor Orcs have in general and tries to smooth out the image of illiterate brutes.
Book Seven: The Circle of the Six
This book is baiscally more of an addendum, covering all regions and lands in and around the kingdom of Ethoras that have not yet been covered by the stories of the gods.
Book Eight: The Godless Seas
A large part of Tibwersons travels were by ship and he visited most of the Isles of Bren as well as Affeiand
. In this book the interested reader can find several accurate nautical charts for those regions, articles about shipbuilding and manouvers and some interesting studies of some magical creatures one can encounter on Affeiand.
Book Nine: The Regions of the Forgotten
This book is mostly covering rumored or legendary places. For example the lost parts of the Kingdom of Ethoras, especially the catacombs under the lost city of Faranur
. It also goes into detail about the lands to the east of Sabes' shield, but it is not clear what the sources for these tales are. Most scholars doubt that Tibwerson ever crossed those gigantic mountains.
Book Ten: The Shadows of Zecod
There are some places in the world, that just feel evil - and Tibwerson attributes those to the lingering influence of the fallen god Zecod
. He talks for example about the Forest of Lillienheim
, the Black Mountain
and the Obsidian Tower
, all places known to be either cursed, highly dangerous, full with dark magic or places of horrific stories and persons, like Ademal the Black
, an infamous necromancer.