I've come to request the assistance of my fellow explorers on a project. Let me describe it for you.
Recently, I was approached by a young explorer who claimed to have come to the restoration due to a trunk he'd found among the effects belonging to an ancestor of his. This trunk contained numerous documents of a possibly D'ni origin.
According to notes in the trunk, both in English and in Spanish, they belonged to one Domasio Lara, a prospector from Mexico who got lost in a network of caverns in northern New Mexico, south of the San Luis valley. There, he discovered a devastated 'Caverna del Oro', which he assumed was the mythic El Dorado. He gathered up papers, maps and such as proof and returned to the surface. However, he was not believed and passed on his findings to his descendants.
And now I've managed to obtain the documents in question. While I see no obvious indicators in the documents of forgery, I cannot rule that out. I intend to determine whether these documents are authentic, or a well-done hoax.
This is where I need the help of my fellows. There are more documents than I can restore and examine alone in any reasonable amount of time. So I am asking for your help to restore these documents. This is a restoration project much like the DRC's stained-glass project, or those sponsored by the good folks at Subterranean Restorations.
There is quite a diversity of materials. There are illustrations, maps, descriptions of Ages, documents that may be stories or historical accounts and more. There are even trivial documents, such as personal correspondence and recipes.
So I am asking that explorers restore some of these documents and submit those restorations to me, so I can collect them and use them in analysis. If you have any questions, or would like a suggestion of what sort of restoration you can help with, please let me know by sending me a private message on this forum. Feel free to ask questions on this thread as well.
Once I have catalogued the entirety of the collection, I will then look towards chemical analysis of the materials themselves to see if they can shed some light on their origin.
I will be conducting a Town Hall to discuss this project in person next week, arranged by Eleri of the D'ni Network. Also, check the Guild of Messengers site for information and updates. I hope to release completed restorations on roughly a weekly basis, possibly through the Guild of Messengers as well.
Thank you for your time,
Edited for mistyping the ancestor's name
Frequently Asked Questions
Last update: 11/30/2007
The Lara documents
Q. Where did these documents come from?
A. I received these documents from an explorer by the name of Nathan Galaviz, who said that he got them from the estate of his grandfather, who in turn got them from Domasio Lara.
Q. What sorts of documents are there in this collection?
A. There is a wide variety of documents. Some seem to be descriptions of Ages, others stories or historical accounts. There are also personal communications and even trivial things such as children's stories and recipes.
Q. What language are the documents in?
A. Mr. Lara's notes are in English and Spanish. The other documents are in D'ni.
Q. Are these documents authentic?
A. I do not know - this project is part of my attempt to determine that. As is the nature with this sort of thing, it it possible we may never have definitive answers on the authenticity of the documents.
Q. When was Mr. Lara's trip supposed to have occurred?
A. In the 1890s. That would place his trip not long after the remaining D'ni left for Releeshan.
Q. Can I use information from the Lara documents for this other project I am working on?
A. I plan to make all of the restorations public available. However, I would strongly suggest that you not use the information from this restoration effort unless you are prepared to deal with the possibility that the information will be shown to be erroneous or, worse, forgeries.
Q. What do we know about Mr. Lara?
A. According to his ancestor, Mr. Galaviz, Domasio was a prospector from Mexico who became lost in caverns he discovered in northern Mexico. Beyond that, we know very little. I have been able to find a marriage license from 1893 in New Mexico that lists a marriage between a Domasio Lara and a Meliana Galindo. The name Meliana appears in some the correspondence of Mr. Laraâ€™s found in the trunk.
Q. Do we have any definitive evidence supporting the veracity of this expedition?
A. No. There are details that align nicely here and there, but they are circumstantial at very best. They could easily be the product of a well-researched fiction.
Q. Did Mr. Lara visit any Ages while in D'ni?
A. Assuming the veracity of his story, his notes did not indicate that he'd visited any Ages.
Q. What did Mr. Lara find out about D'ni?
A. As far as I can tell, he had no idea that he'd discovered D'ni. He seems to have thought D'ni was actually the source of the myths surrounding El Dorado, apparently due to the fact that the lake gave off a dim orange light.
The restoration process
Q. Who is involved in this restoration?
A. I am heading up the efforts, though it will involve the efforts of many explorers. The good people at Subterranean Restorations
have agreed to apply their expertise. The Guild of Messengers
has agreed to help distribute information and the Dâ€™ni Network
has agreed to provide an Internet location to place restorations for public perusal.
Q. Is the DRC involved? Dr. Watson? The Guilds?
A. I have been unable to secure assistance from the DRC at this time â€“ their resources are focused on finding additional funding and maintaining the basic services in Cavern. Likewise, Dr. Watson is focusing on other projects that have more definitive sources, such as the Dâ€™ni Language Restoration Project he is working on with the Dâ€™ni Linguistics Fellowship
. I do hope to talk with the Guilds to see if there are any resources theyâ€™d be interested in contributing to the project.
Q. Are you going to use any chemical processes to determine the authenticity of these documents?
A. I am hoping to pursue many different avenues for testing these documents. But first, I would like to catalogue and record all of the information they contain before, say, subjecting parts of the original documents to chemical analysis.
Q. What documents should I restore?
A. I would suggest you focus on the restoration of documents on topics that interest you. If you are having difficulty with deciding where to focus, please contact me and we'll discuss it.
Q. How do I access the documents so I can begin restoring?
A. If you are familiar with the restoration projects that the DRC has run in the past (the stain-glass projects), I am using an identical process to distribute the documents to researchers as they did.
Q. Do you want a 'snapshot' of the restored document itself, or just a translation of what it says?
A. While snapshots of restored documents are welcome, they are not necessary at this stage of the restoration. Rather, I am most interested in cataloging and recording the information in the documents. English reproductions of the document or just the information therein are sufficient, much like the DRC notebooks you find in the Cavern. Restored images from documents can be submitted individually or in the context of the page on which they reside.
Q. I do not know the D'ni language. How can I assist in restoring these documents?
A. There are a number of linguists in our community who might be willing to help. However, at this stage, you do not need to show the linguistic intricacies of the document in your submission, unless you are so inclined. An English version of the document will be sufficient at this point.