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Timothy de Octans

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Image:Scroll2.png "There were many great sailors, but he might have been the greatest. Without him, I would only be a footnote, and Zeltiva would still be fifty years in the past."
- Kenabelle Wright, unpublished diary
Timothy de Octans
Date of birth405 AV
Place of birthLisnar, Sylira
Date of death495 AV (aged 90)
Place of deathZeltiva, Sylira
TitleSenior Member, Administrative Committee of the Sailors' Guild

Timothy de Octans was a sailor, explorer, and administrator, who was responsible for many of the great achievements during the golden age of Zeltivan exploration.

Early Life

Timothy de Octans was born in Lisnar in 405 AV. His father was a cobbler, and his mother died while de Octans was still a child. The family business was going to be passed on to de Octans' older brother, and so in 419, de Octans left home and journeyed to Zeltiva to seek his fortune.

Sailing Career

De Octans joined the Sailors' Guild as an apprentice upon his arrival in the city. His apprenticeship was largely served on the trade route to Mura, first as a deckhand, and later as a helmsman. His talents, both for navigation and for leadership, were quickly noticed, and in 427, he was made a full member of the Guild.

In 431, de Octans was promoted to Captain, and given the Mura route. He was the first to sail directly from Sahova to Mura without following the coast, something that had not been attempted beforehand, and which saved several days of sailing time. De Octans also made maps of the coastline, which were the standard maps for some twenty years before being replaced by those of Kenabelle Wright.

In 435, de Octans requested permission to attempt to sail around the southern coast of Mizahar to the Faleyk Gulf, and thence up to Syliras, which would also add valuable trading stops in Eyktol and Cyphrus. Permission was given, and de Octans pioneered the trading route, sailing the dangerous seas around Rockward Island, and proving that the route was practical. At this point, de Octans was widely acclaimed as the greatest sailor since the Valterrian.

It was assumed that, when the preparations for the circumnavigatory voyage were completed, de Octans would be given the captaincy of the expedition. However, due to questions regarding the construction of the vessel for the voyage, the captaincy was instead given to Kenabelle Wright, so that, when her expedition failed, de Octans would be able to lend credibility to a second attempt. De Octans was instead promoted to Senior Member of the Administrative Committee of the Sailors' Guild, replacing Josephine Helm in 451 AV.

Later Life

When Kenabelle Wright's arrival stunned the city, de Octans welcomed her back without jealousy, accepting that his time on the waves was over. Instead, he devoted himself to advancing the interests of the Sailors' Guild. Under his watchful eye, the efficiency of the shipyards increased, the trading routes became better-defined and organized, and the often fractious relationship of the Guild with the University of Zeltiva achieved a level of stability almost unmatched before or since.

De Octans retired in 480, spending the last years of his life in comfort in Zeltiva. He died in 495.