An Anthology of Jaspellen History compiled by Yancy Heratell
It should be noted, first of all, that this is by no means a historical piece of literature. It is based in part on facts (with embellishments here and there), and stories the truth of which cannot be verified (though they mesh with what is known to have transpired), but it is not at all a comprehensive or accurate look at the background of the great nation of Jaspelle. Yancy Heratell, the author/historian/anthologist behind this book, had nothing resembling an objective or proper view of either the Kingdom of Jaspelle or the Jaspellen Federation. This, of course, due largely to his brother having been killed in the Royal Revolution, and his wife having been executed by King Lilane Foxfort on suspicion of conspiracy to commit treason (a fate he only escaped sharing by fleeing the capital and living by his pen name, Clayne Heartly).
Of course, Yancy was no saint himself. He spent his early years as a political writer, decrying the corrupt government of the Federation and their selfish ways, calling for reform and at times bordering on inciting a riot. And, after the Royal Revolution (which, apparently, was not quite what he had in mind when calling for change), he spent his later years as a political writer, decrying the "corrupt despot" that had declared himself ruler and his "selfish ways," though this time more or less in secret.
However, somewhere between the pamphlets, books, and speeches he wrote, vigorously damning Jaspelle and its inhabitants for our "apathetic ways" and "tyrannical leaders," Yancy found the time to amass an impressive collection of Jaspellen literature, both classic and contemporary, and some of it borderline ancient. Folk tales and fables, accounts of famous heroes and infamous battles, great works of Jaspellen literary art - Yancy hoarded them all. And over the course of his life, he transformed this vast collection into the book you are about to read, fearing, as he put it, that "the succession of tyrants and maniacs that somehow come to rule our people will eventually destroy all that remains of the truth in history."
The irony being, of course, that there are many versions of popular historical events in this book that Jaspellen historians denounce as rife with fallacies, and many stories they simply claim are entirely fabricated, a large part of the reason this book was never published during his lifetime. It was only the announcement of "The 43rd Royal Decree: On Freedom and Literature," stating that historical accounts not agreeing with The Unabridged Official History of Jaspelle were to be allowed publishing under the condition they were published as fiction, that allowed this work to finally be printed and bound.
So without further ado, and with a final reminder that this is not, in fact, an anthology of Jaspellen history, but a work of fiction, I present to you, An Anthology of Jaspellen History.
Francis Terrence of the Dedarian Press
[added neatly to the blank space at the end of the page by hand]
Three hundred copies of this book were published before His Royal Highness Prince Girry Foxfort got his wretched paws on a copy, decided he didn't approve of it, had "The 45th Royal Decree: On National Security and Slander of the Royal Family" issued, and had all known copies of An Anthology of Jaspellen History burned. By my estimates, less than ten copies exist to this day. You, dear reader, hold in your hands a treasure. I can only hope that you are a friend of the Truth.
Sir Artur Heratell of the Alpine Order