If you've read Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, you might get the reference.

In that story, the protagonists, after fulfilling their duty, decide to journey over a large mountain chain to explore the other side, another forest landscape.

Besides an obvious barrier like a large chain of mountains, why wouldn't people want to explore areas not yet explored?

  • $\begingroup$ If this question is specifically about the book series you reference, it's probable better for Science Fiction & Fantasy. $\endgroup$
    – DonyorM
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 4:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DonyorM Actually no, I was just using it as an example. I was asking in general $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 5:02
  • $\begingroup$ Cool, just wanted to make sure. $\endgroup$
    – DonyorM
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 5:02
  • $\begingroup$ No problem. I wouldn't want to confuse anyone. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 5:03
  • $\begingroup$ family, a desire for a quiet life, laziness, the reasons NOT to do something difficult and dangerous are endless. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 16:15

5 Answers 5


Reasons can be divided into 2 loose categories:

Low gain/chance of gain

  • Many areas are just inhabited by animals and if there are people, quite possibly you don't know their language anyway and don't expect them to have anything of interest to you. (e.g. shepherds usually aren't very rich or interesting.)
  • It's not that easy to earn something from trade or conquers - that takes money, effort, time, men and animals. Regular people can't afford it.
  • Knowledge and seeing other places isn't that good reason for most people.
  • Mythical powers and treasures are usually only mythical.

High loss/risk of loss

  • Bandits, wild animals, dangerous environment conditions. You can die or lose your property.
  • People living there may not like you.
  • You are separated from your family (you can't feed it!), people you know, etc.
  • No bed, less food, no roof over your head, you have to walk or ride a horse, baggage is heavy, etc.
  • Laws can forbid it. (Like in medieval Europe - peasants were meant to work for their lord, not wander around.)
  • Culture/religion may be against it. (Maybe have your social duties like taking care of someone or the mountains are sacred.)
  • It costs money and takes time. You also need some experience/knowledge about travelling, so your average peasant certainly doesn't qualify.
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In Addition to this Answer: Lie´s. If another tribe wants the land far away for them selfs they could lie about how bad and Dangerous the Land is so nobody wants to be there. Thats why we all think that the Arktis is cold - so scientists can have the best Partys alone there. $\endgroup$
    – Fulli
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 8:02

Because there would be no reason. If they have no reason to cross (reasons would be trade, resources, etc.), many people wouldn't take the large risk. The barrier of mountains makes this plausible. Few people will risk their lives for mere exploration. Some people do, like the protagonists in the story, but most people wouldn't want to.

It might also be considered socially unacceptable, or possibly forbidden by religion. A journey would mean interrupting their lives at home, and leaving their families and friends. This isn't everyone's idea of a great time.


Travel has been downright dangerous throughout most of human history. The world (particularly wilderness areas such as mountains) is full of predatory animals who are not smart enough to realize on an instinctive, species-wide level that those animals (i.e. humans or other sentient beings) have, in evolutionarily recent times, become much more dangerous to hunt. Climbing mountains risks life and limb from falls, low temperatures and altitude sickness, and is simply very hard to do at all, let alone safely.

Even if someone idly tries to climb over a mountain range (and doesn't turn back to get home in time for dinner), very few people can afford to leave their occupations to do so without the promise of a tangible reward at the other side: If no-one knows what is over the mountains, and when they get there they find that it is nothing, it could be a disaster.


Social Pressure

Their culture might view travel with suspicion. People who travel learn new, dangerous ideas and aren't to be trusted. Those who leave over the mountains and come back could find themselves ostracized, serving as a lesson to any other potential travelers.


something that could play into it as well, perhaps the reason no one ever went to place 'X' is because of an overwhelming sense of instinctual fear that a character gets when they even think about a place, or that it was 'magically' removed from the collective memory of the world for some reason.


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