For centuries the Explorers Guild has had to find ways to communicate with other members of the guild out in the field. The dangers of lands ahead, places of interest, ritual and ceremonial grounds, supply caches, safe houses, drop points and historical landmarks were some of the many sites and stories that needed to be marked and told. These waymarks have been essential and still serve an important purpose to this day
Seeking out Waymarks
For explorers, there is something so alluring about waymarks. It seems to perfectly reach the fundamental principles of what it means to be a part of the guild.
To seek them out, you’ll require a few things. The first is the Waymark Codex; always review the publishing date as this list is regularly amended. You will also need something to navigate by; typically, instructions in the codex is via the geographic coordinate system so GPS or Google Maps can aid with that. Sometimes though locations are given as clues to be deciphered. In this case, you’ll need your wits to find those. You will also require a telephone to access the records via the phone service. Lastly, you’ll need your sense of adventure as all waymarks will call for you to explore the world to discover them. These factors though are all primarily dependant on the explorer who originally planted it.
As waymarks also come in a variety of shapes, sizes and forms, it’s good to know what you’ll need to find on them too. The words “Semper Explorandum” and an index code are unmistakable indicators you are dealing with a waymark. The index code number means there is a further story available, granting explorers more context for those that pursue it.
Deciphering the index number is also relatively straightforward. Using the sample below, you’ll spot the index code directly below the triangle. The first three numbers are from the troupe number that placed it, in this case Troupe 001. The middle character is the subject code. Here E is a stellar anchor point (a detailed list of these codes can be found in the back of the field guide). Finally, A01 is the ID code for that marker and subject code.
With the index code in hand accessing the records connected to these markers is done with a cell phone. Start by text messaging the index code number to 1-678-WAY-MARK (+1-678-929-6275), this will prime the system. Shortly after sending this message you will receive a confirmation text back, affirming that your story is ready. With the positive response in hand, you’re free to call the waymark system to hear the tale. If you don’t get a response, wait a moment and if necessary try again.
Ideally, explorers listen to the story while near the waymark, providing the optimal experience.
These waymarks are everywhere, so keep an eye open as well as staying ever present to your surrounding; this will help in the process of discovery. You can likewise use the waymark codex to help in guidance.
Waymarks might also be home to glyphs. Explorer glyphs are pictorial indicators for nearby resources. Occasionally these glyphs have regional variations but the key on the following pages are an appropriate starting place for identifying them.
Creating Your Own Waymark
It’s common for explorers to want to join in the commemoration of special spaces. Luckily the process for this is straightforward with the hardest part in identifying where one wants to be placed. The next couple steps are here to provide confidence to all potential creators.
- The first step is to identify the tale that wants to be told. The records and historic locations for the Explorers Guild are far reaching with the diversity of subjects limited only by troupes and the explorers in them. When writing these stories down, often times the most important questions to answer are: what happened here and why is it important to the Explorers Guild? These questions typically inspire the desire to place the Waymark but also help in identifying the type of marker it is, which informs the subject code.
- Once the story has been established the next step is finding the proper location. The survey markers are extremely versatile when it comes to installation as they don’t need much to be placed, especially in natural environments. In urban environments though additional consideration might be needed. Instead of survey markers, a plaque, road sign or sticker might offer a better solution for installation. One intrepid explorer, Annie Bell, started placing them on birdhouses. The survey marker style waymarks can be acquired from the Explorers Guild either pre-stamped with an index code or blank. Whatever is used though, take full consideration of where you are placing them and the natural habitat. DO NOT destroy spaces!
- With the record, subject and location set you have everything you need to be assigned an index code. Contacting the Explorers Guild will register this number for you. You may either get something stamped with it, or place this number yourself. At this point you’ll have a limited time to install your waymark and send photographic proof of installation. With this proof, it becomes eligible to be put into the annual codex. Without the proof, the index code might be reassigned or voided.
- You may also elect to place a glyph or glyphs on the marker. These are additional symbols providing immediate information for explorers. They aren’t always necessary, but worth considering.
- The last step is to have the story placed in the phone system. As the creator you may elect to record your own story. If you don’t have the means though, this can also be handled by the waymark systems crew. If you decide to record your own, make sure to read the proper introduction and exit, otherwise one will be read for you. The introduction is “Explorers Guild Waymark XXX.X.XXX, YYYYYY” The x’s are the index number and the YYYYYY is the name of the marker. The exiting phrase is “Semper Explorandum Explorer.”
That’s it and congratulations! Once you’ve followed these step you’ll have joined the ranks of other Explorers who have added to our collected history.