My name is Riffolk Erasmus Dene; explorer, adventurer, academic and second-born son of Duke Willamer Dene of Whiteshore. During my training to become a bishop at the famous (some would say infamous) Academy of Whiteshore, I quickly became disillusioned with the church’s incomplete and contradicting accounts as to the origin of the persons and creatures of the world. I renounced religion and my family fortune and set out to accurately document the origin of the magical species. This journal serves as an account of my travels and a guide to biologists seeking the truth about the denizens of this wide Earth.
My compatriot and fellow adventurer is Bradley, the illegitimate son of a distant cousin twice removed. I was somewhat forced into hiring him as an assistant as my father needed the extra room for my mother’s growing sunhat collection. He lacks in intelligence, tact, grace and the ability to appreciate the beauty of the creatures we observe but makes up for it with his skill at accurately sketching the creatures of the wild and his skill at carrying many heavy objects.