The tale of the Valerius is widely familiar to the general public, at least in a vague sense. Fictionalized accounts of Captain Asper's adventures have proven capable of capturing the popular imagination. One penny-novel series in particular, which will not be mentioned by name here, has turned great profits by marketing itself as "A Most Heroic Account of the Adventurous Captain Asper and Crew."
Despite these claims however, any association these accounts have with the genuine truth of the matter is both fleeting and wholly accidental. Indeed, the peddlers of these fictions often make little effort to disguise the inaccuracies of their own stories. In the process of researching for this writing, I interviewed a number of these authors, including the author of the aforementioned penny-series, who said, "It is not for me to concern myself with the specific details of the subject matter involved. My only responsibility is to provide my audience with a tale that entertains the fancies of the imagination, which often requires certain deviations from strict veracity." I would hope that any of those who may have thought to purchase any such a penny-series would recall this quotation and reconsider.
It may be assured that this writing will contain no such infidelity to the truth. The purpose of this book is to provide an accurate and truthful account of the events that transpired involving those aboard the Valerius. To begin, I shall explain the history of each of the major actors aboard the ship, after which I shall move to the story proper.
Note: all dates shall be given in Imperial Standard Date (ISD). This should by no means be considered a political decision; the Imperial Calendar remains the most common calendar, notwithstanding current trends, and remains the standard amongst academia. In order for this story to be accessible to as many people as possible, I have chosen to use ISD regardless of any opinion I myself may or may not hold on the issue.
This edition is a reprint of Prof. Lemwick's original book, published in ISD 685 by the Imperial College East Academic Press. The book has been reproduced nearly verbatim, with only minor corrections of typographical errors and mistaken facts.