A pair of letters

1628, Earth Season, Illusion Week


A pair of letters from Venlar finally reached Varanis. She has taken her time to read them, given their length. Between sessions 11 and 12 of the Sartar Logs (High Sword, Low Eurmali).


In fine and oddly familiar penmanship, letters with Venlar’s seal. The dates are written on them; one is over a season old.

To Thane Vareena of the Colymar, From the hand of Lord Velnar Silorsson, Let respectful greetings flow.

Dearest Thane, your request reached Berra’s sister no more than an hour after the news of victory reached the village. While we were singing of your deeds – a saga that grows longer with the telling – Yehna was packing and organising and sorting. In the middle of all of this, a dwarf entered the village, politely but with some confusion on both sides; I understand you had something to do with that.

The digging of the well is going as fast as one might hope, although I suppose it will stop for the season if the men working on it are needed for the harvest. They are down to the rock, taking out lumps in ways that presumably have some secrets involved that I cannot tell. The Dwarf looked puzzled by it all.

Truthfully there is no great news here that Yehna will not bring, save that she may think her children sweeter in nature or more beautiful than Tamakt, who has now enchanted my heart for a year, and shows no signs of growing uglier or less wonderful. Mama visited for a few days, and brought far too much with her, but we now have a house, although not as large as it will be, and so I was able to hide some of what she had brought from Yamia. I shall introduce it slowly. She gives him toy swords and I give him tasty foods and bend to help him walk. He is perfectly capable of going across a room now, and he listens a lot. He is silent much of the time but when he says something he talks clearly already. Mama says that Hengrast babbled, I made a lot of noise, and Yamia said nothing until her first full sentence, which was, “If you are so kind, pass me that ball.”

I sign off here with all the joy in my heart that being your cousin brings.

The same hand, the same seal, dated around a week after the Battle of Heroes.

Dearest Thane,

My last letter to you was helpfully picked up by a Duckling and therefore lost for some time. I enclose it for your interest only.

Yamia lives, and so does Hengrast. News has arrived, but they have not yet. Much news, in fact. My uncle is revealed as a Hero, which is something that I have expected for some time. There were omens about him, and a soothsayer who visited his father.

I have it from several people that Berra is exiled; some say that she insulted her High Sword, or Kallyr, others that she struck Koraki in a temper. Please do let me know if you need a bodyguard for the moment. Mine comes with the addition of a small child who is very wonderful, and has her own chariot. I am also certain that Berra would be welcome in Wilmskirk if she went there. My father will be sure of that.

No doubt my criblings, if you will forgive the word, will tell me more of what has happened. I have been attempting to negotiate healing magic for them in the middle of the return from war of thousands of people with just as great a call on the Soul of Mercy as my brother or sister. In case you do not know, neither is in danger, but Hengrast will not be running to battle any time soon. I am glad he did well.

Yehna is well, and has been asking after her sister. Do send what news you have, or ask Berra to send it if she is with you still. The foundations of a house have been completed, and Yehna can be seen measuring it up for those things which keep a stone house warm. Her children are all well, and the one she carries is not slowing her. She danced at the harvest, with her husband, and we are starting to get over the poor diet of Fire Season. I have not been dancing, having no skill in it, but Yehna has been teaching me how to call pigs, and I have been teaching Haran how to call cows. Young Berra is calling everything she can, to judge from those she summons. She is starting to crawl, and does so without regard for where she is going. Yehna has put her onto a lead, and the lead is tied to a stake, and so the tiny one crawls around in a spiral until she finds something Yehna has left there, and meanwhile her mother gets on with the spinning.

I am instructed by Yehna to stop writing and send this, before I bankrupt myself in parchment. Do you know the house where she grew up is smaller than my room? I had my mother and two children of my size there, but no fire and no tools needed for my — yes, Yehna, I am done. My darling Mellia sends her love. I shall speak with you soon.