Professor Edmund Redfern has traveled the 7 Skies for well over 30 years, documenting and studying the many botanical marvels he encountered.
Born and raised a Royalist, Edmund Redfern grew up an only child in a well-to-do household. Intellectually gifted and insatiably curious, he began reading at a remarkably young age and spent more time alone with a dusty tome of knowledge than in the company of other children. His father was a prosperous merchant with a small fortune, but business demanded that he travel abroad often and thus he was absent for most of his son's youth. When Edmund came of age and expressed his desire to attend a university his guilt-ridden father swore that he would receive the best schooling anywhere in the sky.
Edmund's timing was very fortunate, and he had the opportunity to attend the best universities in the Zultanate during the Twelve-Years Truce. While he and his father insisted that he travel by skyship, his mother (wise beyond compare in retrospect) was adamant that he travel across the island by land. She believe it essential that her bookworm son should see with his own eyes a world he had only read about his entire life. Edmund was initially sullen about this turn of events, but ended up enjoying the journey far more than he expected.
At first, Edmund studied in a variety of disciples. He was proficient in all of his areas of academic interest, but his friends and mentors feared that he was spreading himself too thin. Markiz Valis Tracciatore, another upcoming scholar and a close friend of Redfern gave his this advice: "Edmund, you can become well versed in six different fields and I can show you six different men who will each be superior to you in one of those fields. But if a man of your talent applied himself to just one area of expertise there would be no man superior to him in that!" Edmund took this advice to heart, and after many months of careful consideration he decided to dedicate himself almost exclusively to the field of Botany. In just five years of study Edmund had advanced so far that he was granted a professorship.
He spent a year and a half teaching, but realized that he still wasn't satisfied with his own understanding of the subject. Moreover, he quickly recognized that the extensive university libraries were woefully limited in knowledge of flora from outside Colrona. Remembering the excitement he experienced traveling to the Zultanate, he decided to fill in these blanks himself. With the help of his old friend Markiz he obtained membership and funding from the Students of the Skies to begin his scholarly pilgrimage.