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Bistleworth Jenkins (b. 3102 DC, d. 2952 DC) was a travelling writer. He was the sixth son of a wealthy merchant, and thus inherited a wealth free of responsibility and was able to dedicate his life to his less than lucrative profession. His twenty-one-volume memoir, Things I Saw, has proved itself invaluable as a historical source on the time period. If not for his account of 3000 D.C., the Stolen Year, we would know little about it. In fact, his work records every known event of any significance during his lifetime to an extent that is highly improbable. His critics point out that he claims to have witnessed the Lightning Wave from an outcropping on the cliffs of the Mal’etam Peninsula, and then, mere hours later, to have been in a laboratory in Djera when inundanium was first synthesized. Criticisms of Jenkins range from “He had an unfortunate tendency towards exaggeration,” to “His blatant lies can be excused only because he was a raving lunatic, and probably had no idea what he was writing anyway.” Indeed, from reading his book, one gets the impression that he spent every waking moment of his long life either witnessing a historic event or writing unflatteringly about it. However, most notable historians are of the opinion that, while Jenkins may have recorded the experiences of others as his own, his work describes no fictional events. Once one is able to read past his cynical and ornery tone, there is much valid information to be gained from his accounts. Unfortunately, reading past his heavily biased writing style is not simple. To quote his chapter on the Ayaroka Fair of 3007 D.C.:

"The long Voyage in the crowded, stuffey confines of the Deserte Walker left me feeling quite ille, a sensation that the fabled 'Splendour' and 'Magnificence' of the Fair did nothing to abate. I had heard much about the Glorious Architecture of Ayaroka, but I emerged from the foule-smelling interior of the Walker to beholde a Masse of dulle gray Tents huddled together in a Barren Icy Waste. The Fourty-Eight hours of the Fair were an unceasing Cacophany that beat upon the Ear like a Drekar upon his War Drumme. The Noise was only increased by the Brechan's stubborn Refusal to join the reste of Dakai in adopting the Oofite. Hwik Birds and Bilbipno made every Kinde of Racket on alle Sides. Yet worse even than alle of this were the inescapable Crowdes. A Well-Intentioned Dak like Myself might find himself borne along by hoards of foule and mindless Brechans, even brushing shoulders with the savage armoured Pheks. Having seen the Fair with my Owne Eyes, I can conclude that its only purpose is to allow the Arrogant Brechan Engineers to upholde the farcical Propaganda that they are Superior to the Commone Dak."

Many scholars, upon reading Jenkins' work, are moved to wonder why he bothered travelling at all, since he so rarely found anything even remotely positive to say about the places he visited. Perhaps it is his derogatory tone that causes much of his unpopularity. One contemporary described him as “a cantankerouse Olde Fool, much given to arguing, who would better spend his Life in a desert Hovel far removed from Society, as much for the benefite of Others as for himself.” But, unlikable as he was, Jenkins devoted his life to his writing. Legend has it that in 2952 D.C., exactly 150 years after his birth, he was found dead at his writing desk with the words “The End” still drying on the page in front of him.

When the news of his death reached the Great University of Cyrim, a grand feast was held in honor of his memory. Several first-hand accounts describe the celebration as a gay and festive event, at which even the dourest professors found reason to smile.


Citations: Ayaroka, Djera, Stolen Year

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