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If there is one thing I have come to appreciate in the years since my appointment as Chief scribe and Guardian of the Great Library in Silvermaple, it is the tremendous influence the legends and tales of the past can have on the shape of our present and unfolding of our futures. Stories are the blood of our world, breathing life into every far flung village, every deep forest, every impossible mountain and every raging sea; without them, our strange land, with its diverse peoples and vivid customs, would not be what it is today. I know that my own life, and the lives of my family, would not have become what they are were it not for a tale about twelve sisters from the Lands Across the Sea.   It is for that reason that I now write these words. Upon the conclusion of the glorious festivities celebrating the fifth year of Peace, my illustrious sister, Queen Arabella Ashthorne of the Wildwood, commissioned me to produce a volume chronicling the rich and vibrant tapestry that is the history of this land. For the sake of convenience, I have separated the legends and tales written within according to their kingdom of origin, and have included a separate section to chronicle our land's most recent history up until the beginning of the time of peace. Each story will be preceded by a foreword, detailing the historical and cultural nuances of these tales and the implications these have had for, not only their own peoples, but for all of us.   It has been a colossal undertaking, gathering together some of the many legends, songs, and histories of the Kingdoms together in one volume for the first time, but it was a burden that I welcomed readily. Our lands have suffered much in recent history through war, betrayal and unrest. It is therefore my hope that this chronicle will not only pave the way towards fostering a greater sense of unity and understanding between the peoples of this wondrous land and those Across the Sea and Beyond the Horizon, but also act as an enduring reminder that ignorance of the past can only breed destruction. If I am to be remembered for anything, I wish only for it to be this book in you possession, and the message of hope contained within its pages.   Her highness, Princess Vasilisa Ashthorne Chief Scribe and Guardian of the Great Library of Silvermaple, during the reign of her Illustrious Majesty, Queen Arabella Ashthorne of the Wildwood Kingdom

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