Clues of Earth
Dumarest, a native of Earth, describes it as inhospitable and scarred by ancient wars.
He left as a child, having stowed away on one of the infrequent
trading vessels that came to call, and has long since forgotten the
return route and the coordinates (if he ever knew them at all).
To nearly everyone he encounters, the name “Earth” is only a synonym
for dirt, except for a few who recognize it as the name of a fictional
legendary paradise like El Dorado or Avalon.
It is implied throughout the series that the Cyclan
has something to do
with all knowledge of Earth having been lost or destroyed in the distant past,
and that they still strive to keep that knowledge secret. This hidden
agenda puts them at odds with Dumarest from the outset of the series. Not
until Book 32, The Return, do we learn
that the Universal Brotherhood
doesn't want anyone to find Earth either, and may also have had a hand
in erasing records of that world from navigational almanacs.
At least two other organizations,
The Original People and
The Terridae share Dumarest's goal of
finding and returning to Earth, along with occasional treasure
seekers and archaeologists.
Here's a chronological list of the clues to Earth's location
Dumarest finds in the novels.
The Winds of Gath.
hypothesizes that Cyber Dyne's attempt to kill him
has something to do with his knowledge of or
quest for Earth.
Derai tells Dumarest that while in
a Cyclan institution, she learned that the Cyclan know about Earth (confirming his
suspicions from Book 1, The Winds of Gath).
Although the most important details about Earth are destroyed
when the famous computer on the planet Toy is sabotaged by the Cyclan,
one fragment is salvaged – Earth is also
sometimes called “Terra”.
The Jester at Scar.
Jocelyn confirms again that Terra is
another name for Earth. He also mentions an ancient poem that suggests that
all humanity originated on one planet - Terra. He surmises that if true, then
the first wave of colonists to expand from that planet would have used it as
the zero point of their coordinates (instead of the center of the galaxy, as is
currently used). If Dumarest can find an ancient star almanac or ship’s log
that uses the old system, and correlate at least three planets from that source
with planets whose coordinates are known in the current system, then the coordinates of Terra
can be extrapolated from that information. I personally speculate that the
poem to which Jocelyn refers may be a fragment or variant of what Dumarest
eventually learns is the creed of The Original People, but since Jocelyn
doesn’t recite it, it also might be totally unrelated.
Nimino tells Earl about The Original People just before he dies.
More importantly, the shrine gives him the sector
of the galaxy in which Earth lies.
Elaine Delmayer remembers an ancient
nursery rhyme from one of her father’s old texts, which includes a mnemonic for
the signs of the Zodiac.
The log from an ancient ship
contains no reference to Earth, but seems to use a different galactic
coordinate system than the one in current use. He already knows from Jocelyn,
Lord of Jest (from Book 5, The Jester at Scar) that if the old
coordinate system used Earth as its center of reference, a computer could
extrapolate the location of Earth by comparing the old and new coordinates of
three worlds for which both sets are available. However, this doesn’t seem to
pan out in the following books, so either the log used yet a third reference
system, or there were less than three planets listed that Earl could match with
their contemporary names, or it was stolen, lost or destroyed before he could
do the cross-reference.
Nothing new, although legends of the
existence of Terra and The Original People are confirmed by a scholar traveling
on the same ship (who later turns out to be Mayenne’s partner, an agent of the Cyclan,
who was using this knowledge to distract Dumarest’s attention until he
could be delivered to the Cyclan).
Jondelle’s biological family and/or
those sponsoring the genetic research may or may not be members of The Original
People. As a reward for rescuing the boy, Jondelle’s grandfather cryptically
tells Earl his investigation of old legends reveal that Earth must lie in the
seventh decan, orbiting a yellow, G-type star.
Salek tells Earl the
names of certain stars rumored to have been in the
same vicinity as Terra: Sirius, Polaris, Alpha Centaurus and Procyon, and the
fact that Polaris is on the imaginary line formed by extending Terra’s axis.
He also tells him that he believes the Cyclan knows Earth’s exact location.
None, although Dumarest regrets escaping Instone
in such haste that he failed to query Camolsaer’s extensive data banks
Eye of the Zodiac.
Dumarest meets a tribe who claim to
be part of The Original People, and learns some of their beliefs and customs,
as well as the fact that the sect is apparently fragmented (this particular
branch has purposely forsaken technology and scoffs at branches that
haven’t). Dumarest views a holographic montage of Earth’s glory in the
ancient past, prior to whatever calamity caused it to become the scarred,
barren world on which Dumarest was born. Most importantly, he learns the
distances of Earth’s closest stellar neighbors, several of whose names he
learned in Book 11, Zenya. Now if he finds any one of those worlds, it
will narrow down the search for Earth considerably.
Jack of Swords.
Spectrum of a Forgotten Sun.
Dumarest learns of an ancient sect
called the Guardians of the Sun which may have originated on Terra. He learns
that the planet Emijar was probably settled by colonists from Terra (and based
on which I personally speculate the Guardians of the Sun may be related to The
Original People). Most importantly, he obtains a spectrogram of Terra’s sun.
Haven of Darkness.
None, but Dumarest learns how
expensive (and dangerous) it will be to do a brute-force computer search for Earth based on the
clues he has accumulated so far.
Prison of Night.
Incident on Ath.
The AI Hury is destroyed before Dumarest can
get much useful out of it, but he does learn an astronomical symbol used to
denote Earth, the fact that Earth is the third planet from its sun, the Earth’s
exact circumference and diameter, and the composition of its atmosphere. Exactly
the kind of useless but detailed trivia that give the infuriating impression
that Hury almost certainly did have useful data before it was destroyed.
The Quillian Sector.
Web of Sand.
independent confirmation of some minor information Dumarest has already
acquired. Dumarest believes he may know more, perhaps even being associated
with The Original People, but he doesn’t press
for answers because A) The Original
People don’t talk about Earth with outsiders, and B) Jwani saved his life.
The Terra Data.
The late Rudi Boulaye also searched for Earth and apparently
discovered the coordinates, but died before he could
finance an expedition. Unfortunately, the medallion on
which Dumarest believes the coordinates are
recorded is destroyed before Dumarest can recover it.
Dumarest learns nothing new about Earth, but Rudi’s
research notes both confirm previously acquired clues and suggest
that it may be possible to determine Earth’s coordinates without resorting to
an expensive computer analysis of Sol’s spectrum (a search which is also highly
dangerous since the Cyclan knows that Dumarest has tried
to find Earth by that method before).
World of Promise.
Dumarest attempts to retrace Rudi Boulaye's footsteps to
replicate his research, but the trail has gone cold.
Dumarest does learn that Erce is another
name for Earth, as well as a few galactic landmarks to which it is near.
Nectar of Heaven.
None, but Dumarest believes the original settlers from whom
the current colonists purchased the planet Sacaweena were of
the Original People (who called it Erce,
perhaps out of nostalgia for Earth).
Dumarest discovers the Terridae, a fanatical sect that
seeks Earth and awaits “The Event”, the discovery of Earth’s
location, on their artifical planetoid, Zabul.
The Terridae are aware of the Original People, but do not
appear to be directly related to them.
The Coming Event.
Dumarest's lover Ysanne deciphers clues Dumarest gained
from the archives of the Terridae on Zabul,
and deduces the coordinates of Earth.
The coordinates of Earth!
Earth Is Heaven.
None. Worse, the coordinates
Ysanne and Dumarest got from the
Terridae's archives were not actually Earth’s,
but those of the planet on
which the Terridae was based prior to building Zabul.
Dumarest does learn of
the Ypsheim, a sect which fled Earth around the time of the cataclysm that
turned it from a paradise into the barren, scarred world Earl knows.
Unfortunately, their legends contain no clues as to Earth’s location because
their belief is the polar opposite from the Original People; the Ypsheim
believe Earth is a living hell (actually worse than Dumarest remembers it
being, and his memories aren’t very happy) and they have no intention of
Dumarest recovers the memory
of reading the captain’s journal from the ship on which he originally
stowed away and left Earth. The journal mentions the
world Ascanio, presumably close to Earth, as well as the fact that Earth is
proscribed. Also, Shakira gives Dumarest the name and homeworld of a man he
believes can help in the search (the name turns out to be Chenault,
but that isn’t revealed in this novel).
An antiquities dealer tells Dumarest
where he can find Chenault and
confirms some previously learned clues about
The Original People (and may be affiliated
with them himself).
Symbol of Terra.
Dumarest finds Chenault and learns the name of the
merchant company which owned the ship on which Dumarest stowed away from Earth, but
the coordinates elude him yet again.
The Temple of Truth.
Dumarest finally learns the (apparently genuine) coordinates of Earth!
Dumarest discovers the Universal Brotherhood does not
want him to find Earth. Although this casts some doubt on
whether the Cyclan is solely responsible for the conspiracy to keep Earth’s
location secret, Dumarest doesn’t care. More importantly, he ends the book in
orbit around Earth. In orbit around Earth!
Child of Earth.
Dumarest has found earth, and discovers why it is proscribed.