Magic, murder, intrigue, missing relatives, secret caves, fantastical creatures, royalty, nobility, romance...
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Keish- July 5, 2003

July 5, 2003

Dear Arri,

Your letter made me laugh! Gretel will love you both, don’t you worry. As far as cooking breakfast goes, Gretel happens to be amazing in the kitchen; she loves cooking breakfasts. Perhaps the two of you could cook together. I don’t know that Gretel would spontaneously find your griffon trap, though I don't see how it would bother her. She has nothing against basements without doors nor against alchemy, and, frankly, I think she’ll love the cottage. Honestly, I don’t see how you can worry about her thinking you are strange when she spends time with me!

I’m glad Liop is excited to meet her. I’m sending this letter express so that it will get to you before she does-- she wants to be there for Liop’s birthday and should make it there on the 9th. I wish I could come, but unfortunately there is a comet due to be visible the 8th through the 10th, so I am stuck here. Please explain to Liop, I wanted so much to be there. I will send my gift for him with Gretel as well as your kitten. I picked one out for you just this morning-- she is a beautiful tabby enchanted in shades blending from red to lavender, like a living sunset. I gave Gretel one almost identical to her and Gretel named her Zora, which means dawn. They are both beautiful cats. The third, which I'm keeping, looks like living flame and I've named him Blaze.

I was out and about the other day and I saw the most gorgeous crystal bowl. I’ve sent it with the messenger and I hope he delivers it to you alright. I tried to enchant it so that it wouldn’t break, but I was in a hurry and I’m not sure it came out right. I found a rare gold newt as well and I’m sending it with Gretel for Liop’s birthday present. I’m so glad you’re getting him a tamarin! Even I’ve heard him say how much he loves them.

I hope to be able to come soon. Perhaps I can come after the 10th. I could maybe still be there at the same time as Gretel. I highly doubt you’ll cause any horrible disasters without me there. I’d say it’s more likely we’ll cause them together!

I’m sorry you can’t find out more about your father. Maybe when he is more recovered, Aegolius will remember more. How exciting for Imato to be knighted with your father’s sword!

I’m curious, have you caught any more glimpses of the hart since you wrote? I’m starting to wonder if it’s real. Now I’m not saying you’re imagining things, but rather that perhaps the hart is a guardian spirit. I don’t know much about them though. In all honestly, I’m not sure if the stories are truth or myth, but it could be interesting to look into, don’t you think? If they are true, I wish I had one. I think it would be exciting.

You met Prince Tulson?! Oooh, how exciting! I remember when he came to Adya a few years ago. He was a bit of a scamp, if I remember correctly-- mischievous, you know? Jace was visiting at the same time and we got into a prank war, two against one. Jace and I got him pretty good. He only stayed a couple of weeks and was at a disadvantage, but we all had fun. Is he still that much fun? Is he handsome? Did you enjoy working with him to fix your trap? Could be fun to make friends with royalty, eh?

Why were you so frightened of him? He can’t have that terrible of a reputation, can he? He’s a bit young for it, only… my age? I think. Maybe closer to Jace's age… Anyway, you must tell me how things go. (Okay, yes, I’m teasing you, but can you blame me?)

I’m glad Imato came home nicer. If he had come here I'd have threatened to skin him alive if he yelled at you anymore, and he knows I would! He’s going to remodel the cottage? What’s he going to do to it? You’ll have to let me know…

Leaving his mare in your hands is very smart of him. You’re so good with animals. You always have been. I suspect that when you catch a griffon it won’t be nearly as difficult as you expect. It’ll be exciting to have a foal! I have very few useful skills when it comes to animals. I wouldn’t have any idea what to do with a mare that was going to have a foal. Perhaps you can teach me.

Gretel and I have started pushing the prince in the direction of one of the other girls at court or rather pushing her in his direction. Her name is Vanessa and, I’m sorry to say, she’s rather empty-headed. Honestly, they’d be wonderful together. I’m not skilled enough in divining to make matches based on foresight, but Brynn approved of my choice, so I suppose things can develop there. I can’t quite use my skills to push them further together, but as I learn more the prince does seem to be getting a bit skittish around me, which suits me wonderfully. I have high hopes that soon enough he will be out of my hair completely. The only disadvantage to putting he and Vanessa together is that they wouldn’t leave the court if they married. If I could push him toward a princess from another kingdom… ah, but how could I. After all, I’m only one girl, and even with Gretel's help I can only do so much. Oh well, at least if he marries he will leave me alone.

On a more serious note, the dream is getting more vexing. I will certainly be careful, but I simply have to find out what happened that day! I’m debating whether or not I should tell Brynn everything. After all, she could help me. She’s more skilled at interpretation and if it is a memory she could help me recover it. I worry, though. I mean, I know she’s trustworthy, but we don’t know who the enemy is, so how could we guard against him? I’m certain now that there is an enemy, but the details just aren’t coming like I want them to. I wish they would. I also wish the dream didn’t come every night. I feel like it would help if I had a break and was able to relax. As it is, I worry about it all the time and I’m not sleeping as well. I think there may be a connection between why my mother was killed and the cave, but I have no idea what sort of connection it could be. There must be something, though.

I don’t want to depress you with that, though, so I’ll jump to something lighter. Oh yes, I must tell you-- the most interesting thing happened to me! I woke the other day after having a silly dream about a servant. Her name is Marie and I dreamt that she discovered she was the daughter of a knight, not a stable hand as she had always been told. It was a silly dream, as I said, and I thought nothing of it. Later that day, I ran into Marie.

“Oh, Lakeisha, you must hear what has happened!” she cried upon seeing me.

Being of the curious nature I am, I replied, “What is it? Has something gone wrong or is something suddenly right?” I figure with the way she was crying out about it, those were the only options.

She broke into a huge smile. “Things are suddenly very right!” She pointed to her dress, which I had noticed was new but had paid little attention to (I must learn to pay better attention to details!). “Notice anything special?”

I looked at the dress more closely. It was, as I said, new and strangely, it didn’t look like a servant’s dress. “Well it’s new,” I replied, “and a different style.”

She laughed and my understatement. The dress was actually quite nice. “You heard that Sir Addison returned from a terribly long sojourn in Beri?”

“Of course,” I said. There had been a banquet for him the night before and you wouldn’t believe the trouble I had to go to in order to get out of going!

“Well,” she continued, giggling (she’s only 15, I believe) “he came back and the first thing he wanted to know was what had happened to a woman he fell in love with many years ago. Apparently she was a kitchen maid, and he wanted to marry her now that he had returned.”

Okay, now at this point I was starting to get a little creeped out by her story. After all, I had just dreamt that she’d found out she was the daughter of none other than Sir Addison!

“He couldn’t find her though. He found out she died a year ago.” Marie grinned. “He also learned, that she had had his child soon after he left. I’m the daughter of a knight!”

Yeah, I know what you must be thinking, this is rather frightening. It’s bad enough that I’m having these dreams about my mother. Now I’m apparently having dreams predicting the future as well! I’m not sure why, and seeing as that’s the only one I’ve had it’s impossible to say what the implications are, but Brynn says I obviously have a strong gift for divination. Apparently I can expect to continue seeing my dreams come true, so to speak. Brynn also says that my talent will increase now that it's been awakened. Visions will certainly come at some point in addition to the dreams. It’s not nearly as wonderful as it sounds. I’m not sure it’s a gift I want.

I hope Liop has a wonderful birthday, and that everything goes well with Gretel’s visit, which I’m positive everything will. She is anxious to see Imato again-- you’d think they’ve been separated for months!

Oh, I almost forgot! If Liop wants to enchant the roses, here’s where he went wrong with Aron: He used parsnip instead of parsley! A simple error that you wouldn’t think would make a difference, but for some reason it does. Since he wants to enchant flowers this time he needs to dilute the solution with the nectar of briel blossoms, which should be easy to find in the forest. Then he should spray the mixture over the flowers in a light mist while reciting the spell. Before you tell him all this, though, you should probably make him promise to only use the spell on things if you say it’s okay. After all, you wouldn’t want him growing everything, it would cause trouble!

I must retire. May your dreams be peaceful…

Love always,

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