In the year of our lord 1444, the pieces are laid upon the board and the game is set to begin. The grand narrative is yet unwritten, but we have ample supplies of blank parchment and the promise of futures unseen in equal measure. My dear readers, I bid you welcome to the Grandest of Strategic Games.

In our chronicle we shall steal glimpses from the minds of many. Tenacious Ryazan, valorous Crimea, brave Tlemcen, strong-hearted Friesland, proud Hamburg, wise Georgia, pious Knights Hospitaller, the devout Livonian Order, industrious Milan, heroic Serbia, the godly Papal States, audacious Karaman, bold Munster, untiring Norway, unbending Saxony, vigorous Mazovia, untiring Switzerland, valiant Brittany, and undaunted Holland. Each shall have an opportunity to weave their truth into the tapestry. Fear not the voice that rings like a legion, for in its chaotic whims lies the beckoning glimmer of truth.

And I, my dear readers. I am the chronicler. I shall strive from now on until the end of our tale to be your most humble guide in all matters that concerns the grand narrative. Let us write the first words in this story of ours, as the first die in the Grandest of Strategic Games are cast. Many will fall, but others shall rise in their place. Yet nobler, yet more tried and tested in the fires of war and politics. Let us leave a legend unmatched.