regor Seamus Darton was born in 1801, the son of Captain Sean Palmer Darton and his wife Maria. He died in the autumn of 1883, after an extended convalescence in his home in Caladon. Between 1801 and 1883, the great man lived…and he lived so deeply, so wildly, and so well that he has given the word "life" a new definition for generations to come. A scholar and adventurer of the first water, all those who have followed in his footsteps are very much is his debt.
It is the first of Darton's works for which he has become most famous. Forbidden Cities of the North recounts his great quest to unveil the mysteries of Qintarra and Tulla, lands which were so seldom visited by common men at the time that they were sometimes thought to be fables. In an adventure which took him over three years, Darton traveled from Caladon to Qintarra and from Leahbo to Tulla on foot, unassisted by conveyance magick…a feat which is still most difficult for the modern traveler. The details of this journey produced a book which has been in constant demand since its first printing, nearly forty years ago.
In the course of his lifetime, Darton translated 10 volumes of elven lore, making available many ancient heroic cycles which have inspired the novelists and poets of the present day. He also made an effort to transcribe the songs of the desert tribe known as the Kadisah into the common tongue, and this was the work which was dearest to his heart. On the last morning of his life he wrote the following verses in his journals, words which provided such an apt summary of his sojourn on Arcanum that they were inscribed on the door of his tomb:
"Do what thy spirit bids thee do.
From none expect applause;
But nobly live and nobly die
by none but self-made laws.
All other Life is living Death,
an early taste of hell.
A coward's virtue covers him;
it leaves him but a shell."
- Verses 37-38, from "The Kadisah" of Sir Gregor Seamus Darton
Here, collected together, are excerpts from Forbidden Cities of the North and other volumes in Darton's prodigious library of work.