Section I: Sapient Races
Section II: Beastly Races
Forgive my presumptious by-name. Who in this world can fairly be called wise, when the world has grown too complicated for a mere scholar to comprehend? Yet I have been bestowed with that label by the empress herself, the very same esteemed epitome of beauty who has bidden me to create this work. My hopes lie in living up to the standards the empress holds me up to, yet I am no more than a scholar who has spent many years traveling across the world we call Gushémal.
Decades of travel, I fear, are not enough to grant me the proper insight into the manifold creatures one can find on the road. Therefore, despite the expectations of the court, I have decided not to rely on the experiences I have gathered, but rather to call upon as many other valued travelers and friends who would refresh my memory and add more information.
The work is still very much in progress. Sometimes the task to catalogue and describe all creatures on the face of the world appears impossible, not only because of the number of creatures but also because one might forget to include an animal that is all too common. Does not the beanpole stalker’s importance pale when compared against the majesty of an emperor dragon, spreading its mighty wings and lancing its fire?
Yet the stalker needs be included, as do so many other creatures, exotic and mundane alike, wherefore I have to rely on the assistance of so many of my friends who provide me with tales of their travels, now that I am no longer young enough to journey myself.
Kind reader, I direct these words to you in a plea. Should you find this tome lacking in the description of the beasts of Gushémal, and you have information to add, hesitate not to wet your quill with ink. Of course, it needs be that any such writings will have to be examined by travelers familiar with the creature, but alas! how much more we need, any effort by you, kind reader, will be appreciated.
Write to my magiscribe address, and I shall examine your findings quickly.
Lestrovar the Wise,