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At the request of the Chara, I have assisted the Royal Clerk of Daxis – formerly Clerk to the Chara – in preparing this series of documents that offer insight into the life of Carle son of Verne. This manuscript has been prepared in the hope that it may eventually be published, along with his memoir. My own participation in the manuscript's preparation has been confined to assisting with matters of chronology and providing background information on some of the events. The selection and editing of the records has been entirely the work of the Royal Clerk. It seems important to emphasize that, in light of what follows.

Readers hoping to find risque passages related to a certain scandal that occurred several years ago are warned that these papers are of the usual dry nature of government documents. The early documents can scarcely be said to be of interest to any but a historian. Nevertheless, an incident late in the army career of Carle son of Verne, not previously publicized, marks a turning point in the life of that man. The records from that point on grow steadily more interesting.

The meaning of the documents will be clear to any resident of the Three Lands. But on the chance that this manuscript may some day be read by a resident of the mainland, I am including this short introductory note, which may be ignored by any reader who wishes to proceed directly to the records themselves.

The Three Lands of the Great Peninsula are composed of Daxis and Koretia to the south, and the Emorian Empire to the north. In the early part of this century, the Emorian Empire was made up of Southern Emor and the Central Provinces of Emor (collectively called Emor), and Emor's northern dominions of Arpesh and Marcadia, which border with the mainland. Emor is divided from Daxis and Koretia by a range of border mountains that are heavily patrolled to prevent lawbreakers from leaving or entering Emor. It is also divided from the two southern lands by differences in custom, particularly in matters of the law. At the time of the birth of Carle son of Verne, Daxis's law – though borrowing certain aspects of Emorian law – was based primarily upon the worship of the Song Spirit through sacred music. Koretia's law consisted entirely of the gods' law, in which duties were undertaken for the sake of the gods. And Emor's law consisted entirely of the Chara's law, in which Emorians obeyed the judgments of their ruler, the Chara, who was considered to be the embodiment of the law. I describe the three law systems as a southerner would see them; an Emorian would phrase the matter differently.

Of equal importance, especially in Emor, was the High Lord of the Council, who assisted each ruler in governing the land. As the phrase goes in Emor: The High Lord serves only the Chara and his law, and the Chara serves only the law. This common reverence for the law went unnoticed by the inhabitants of the Three Lands, who regarded each other's law systems with derision.

It is important to note that, at the time these records begin, the Three Lands were in an uneasy period of truce after many centuries of warfare. All evidence pointed to the likelihood of this truce being broken. The Emorians had demonstrated during their centuries of conquest that they had little understanding for or sympathy with ways of life other than their own. The same was unfortunately true of Koretia and Daxis. The reason for the present strong peace in the Great Peninsula, and for the creation of an international law such has recently been undertaken by representatives of the Three Lands, is due in part to the work of the man whose records follow herein.

Scribed by Andrew son of Gideon in the Capital City of Daxis on the 12th day of November in the 994th year after the founding of the Three Lands.