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Keish- May 31, 2003

May 31, 2003

Dear Arri,

I didn’t ever tell you about the tower construction? How utterly thoughtless of me! It’s a grand tower, a full ten feet higher than the old one at least! It has bigger rooms too, and yes, it will take a while to get everything situated, but since I was able to oversee the construction a bit (over my room at least) it’s not all that bad. I had them put bookshelves right into the walls and a lovely window takes up most of one wall. I had a desk put under half of it and a chest/window seat under the other half. The window faces east, of course, since that is the prime direction for creativity and the sunrises have just been breathtaking. You’re right, everything is much prettier from this high, though I’m not sure why.

Imato did indeed come to visit me! The day before I got your letter, actually. It was lovely to see him and we had a wonderful visit. We discussed his studies and training at some length and I’m terribly jealous! As to the subject of Gretel-- I know exactly who you mean. She came with him as she's a good friend of mine, (a fact which Imato is apparently not holding against her). Her family came to Adya just over a year ago. You remember, I’m sure, that last time you visited I was telling you about dressing in peasant clothes and going out into the city. Well, Gretel is the friend I was saying usually goes with me. She’s the daughter of Sir Queran Aoweir, an influential knight. As you can tell from the name, he and Lady Aoweir are not native to Arella, but come from the southern kingdom of Nè amh. As such, Gretel had the loveliest olive complexion and large dark eyes. (I'm entirely jealous-- even with spending plenty of time outside I'm still terrible pale and my eyes are such a very light blue-green! I suppose, though, that if I had a darker complexion I'd have to give up my freckles, and I rather like them.) She’s very beautiful, and yes, quite informed about world problems and good at understanding jokes. She left before Imato did and once she was gone, he used those same phrases about her. I must confess I was unable to keep from laughing, which I’m not sure he appreciated.

All in all, she is great fun and mischievous, but also level-headed. We often enjoy wandering the city together. I think she and Imato would make a great couple, she could lighten him up a bit (he can be so serious). Imato may marry her, though I would say it is too early to tell. I think her father would approve though. From what snooping I could do it seems Sir Aoweir rather likes Imato. It wouldn’t be a bad alliance to make. Her mother might wish Imato had a landed title, but if Sir Aoweir like him it probably won't matter so much. I wouldn’t go straight to worrying about being an aunt; you’d have to be a sister-in-law first! Anyway, I highly approve of her, not that it’s my place to do so, but I do all the same.

Liop finds it obfuscating? How funny! I confess, I had to look it up to make sure I knew what it meant as well. Do you think his ridiculously large vocabulary is due to his gift with languages?

I am learning all sorts of interesting things from my tutor. I realized, though, that I didn’t really introduce her in my last letter, so let me remedy that now. Her name is Brynn Garrard and she is a woman of, shall we say, advanced years. She doesn’t really act it, though, just looks it. Her wrinkles and gray hair aren't quite enough to make her look grandmotherly, though. She's still quite fit-- I think the stairs up to the tower bother me more than her! She has very sharp wits and agrees with me that the education I have received thus far is completely useless and has agreed to teach me far more interesting things. The basic astrology lessons are progressing, but she sped them up when she realized that I’ve read such a great deal on the subject. After all, I already knew all 12 of the monthly signs-- and the general personality traits associated with each one. February, for example, is the Chimaera and they tend to have fiery personalities (fitting, isn't it?). The Dryad, August, has gentleness as a primary trait. Fairies, July, tend to be lucky and Elephants, March, tend to be steady and dependable. Soon I shall begin learning to read palms and tea leaves. She’s also started formally instructing me in dream interpretation and I told her about your dream (I hope you don’t mind, I was discreet). She said that there is nothing to support that fairy tale, but that the little man likely represents some power that you have that you fear. I have no idea what that could be, but it could be something you don’t even realize you have. Or it could be a power Liop has, since you seem to connect it with him. Perhaps it’s some sort of representation of his gift with languages. Do you think he could draw a map to the cave? I’m not suggesting you ask, just wondering what you think.

Sorry you can’t take anything else, that must be frustrating. I agree, there should be a public school for girls. Maybe I’ll make that my mission in life… one of many that is, I’m always planning missions for my life. That’s good, though, that Liop can stay in school. It’s especially important at such a young age. Of course, this is Liop and he probably knows more than many of his instructors.

Wishing for tulips to turn pink on April 1st? I’ve never heard that before, so I went and looked it up. Apparently Imato was close on this one. He forgot to tell you that you have to be drinking tea made of tulips (which I’ve tried, it’s not very good) and that the “turquoise touch” isn’t just the next thing you touch, but everything you touch in the morning hours of every April 1st for the rest of your life. I’d be careful with that one-- anything that involves touch like that is prone to causing problems. Wishing on a full moon is much more serious, though, certainly.

It seems that you thought it all out very thoroughly and I highly approve of the decision you finally came to. I’ve never heard of a wish like that backfiring, but you were right to be concerned about the others. I would say you were definitely right to be concerned about trying to bring Uncle W home; it seems there are far too many foreseeable catastrophes involved.

You saw a hart? (Did you know that's the sign for January?) And it ate some of the flowers?! That’s an incredibly good omen!! I knew that seeing one was a good omen, but I wasn’t sure about the flowers, so I asked Brynn about it and she said that it was a sign that the wish would certainly come true and that it was a sort of acknowledgement that it was a good wish. She also said (not that I want to get your hopes up, but she did say this) that generally it’s also a sign that since you were so careful and thoughtful about the wish, things will turn out even better than expected.

Reflectagraphy?! Oooh, I’m jealous! I’ve heard about it, but I’ve never gotten to see it. I would say that’s a good omen too. After all, they say that good fortune follows those who take in strangers. He doesn’t sound dangerous, and at least it’s keeping Liop occupied. I think it’s nice that he bows to you, though I can see how it would make you feel awkward. It would make me feel strange too, under such circumstances. Of course, I’m considered a “noble lady” so I’m used to all sorts of random people bowing. I’ve gotten as many as I can to stop though, because I don’t stand much on ceremony. Not with most people anyway. On that note, the prince has taken to calling me “Keish” and it bothers me highly because I question his motives. I’ve combated it by being even more formal with him than ever before, but he doesn’t seem to be getting the message and I fear I may have to talk to him about it. I’m not sure what I’ll say and I’ll probably end up being lectured for not treating the prince with the proper respect, but something really must be done.

I think Imato will approve of your decision. If nothing else, it was better than turning the poor man away. Perhaps the next time I sneak off into the city I will make inquiries about this man. I’m sure you have nothing to fear from him, but it would be nice to maybe know a bit more about him, don’t you think?

I haven’t been able to find anything about the cave yet, but give me some more time, I’m sure something will turn up. When I’m sure I can trust Brynn, I’ll ask her about it. Something tells me she very well may know. As for my interest, I don’t know, I just feel drawn to it. I wouldn’t reverse Liop’s wish. It’s really not harming anything and wish reversal tends to be very sticky.

Oh, I just remembered something! This will amuse you… Yesterday I went out behind the palace with one of the palace cats and succeeded in turning him red and orange! He’s a gorgeous tabby and his markings really made it look like he was made of flame. I turned him back to his normal coloring to avoid suspicion, but I’ve decided I must get myself a kitten that I can change permanently! I’m going to ask Father about it as soon as he wakes, and with all the space we have now I don’t see how he can deny me such a simple pleasure!

I should close. The sun is approaching its zenith and I have things to attend to. May beauty follow all your steps…

Love Always,

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