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Keish- Sept. 11, 2003

September 11, 2003

Dear Arri,

Well, Hermes is quite helpful, isn’t he? Right now he's out exploring my garden. Hopefully he can get rid of some of the pests that keep nibbling on my herbs!

I’m working on a couple of theories about that dream of yours, but I haven’t quite thought them through yet. I've been trying to think who the woman might be. Since I haven't been able to think it all through there's not really much to put down.

Jace's father has come to observe the meteors with Father-- and he brought Jace and Tatyana! It's the first Jace has been able to visit in just over a year. We've been having fun, but they can't stay very long.

Speaking of Jace, I fear our fathers are plotting to betroth us. I won’t have it, though. Sometimes it’s bad enough being the daughter of the court astronomer, but at least there’s the hope of the future. The wife of anyone at court would be tied down. (Jace is, of course, being trained to follow in his father's footsteps.) I would never have an adventure-- never find the cave. Honestly, as much as I enjoy Jace, I shall fight any suggestion of betrothal to anyone. It shouldn't be Father's decision, it should be mine.

Anyway, I'd have written earlier, but I've been playing hostess. Today, though, Jace is looking at charts with out fathers and Taty is with Brynn. (I can't remember, did you know Taty in Rousha? I think she's about a year younger than you.) She's to be trained like me and soon Brynn will be splitting her time between two students. I fear that the winter storms may make the journey difficult, though, and I'll lose her as a companion. If only Taty could just be trained here, it would make things easier. It would be fun, too.

Brynn is not worried about leaving me to my own devices. I’m picking things up so quickly that it nearly scares me. It’s as if I’m not learning them for the first time but just remembering them.

Yesterday, for example, I was playing with the cards, mostly just flinging them across the room, when I started to feel very peculiar. Suddenly, instead of just being dramatic and vaguely talking about each card, I was giving real, detailed predictions-- more detailed than anything I could make up that quickly. When I ran out of cards the strange feeling passed and I was left feeling tired and shaky.

Brynn was smiling. "That's how your mother's gift was truly awakened-- tossing cards across the room."

My head jerked up. "My mother?"

She nodded. "I was the tutor from when she was a young woman."

I wasn't sure how to respond to that. Of course, I'd heard about the tutor that helped Mother when she was a young woman new to Adya, but I'd never thought a lot about who the woman was. I guess it explains a lot, though. Like how Brynn came to me and how she seems to know so much about me. She says I'm just like my mother and that that's why I'm picking things up so quickly-- it's in my blood. The dreams I've been having told Brynn that my gift would awaken soon, they were just precursors. I guess that's part of why she suggested cards today, to see if it would work for me like it did for my mother.

It's all feels kind of odd.

Digging a pit would be an interesting diversion. I’m not allowed to dig pits on the palace grounds, I’ve tried. Well, not really, I was just practicing some magic, but it made a mess. At least it was easy to clean up.

I’d have used the whole thing with Clara not having a title as a way to get the prince to stop using mine, but I suppose he is stubborn.

Interesting that he has gotten so involved with the reflections. I agree that they’re fascinating, but I think the attraction would wear off for me. To each his own, I suppose. Perhaps the prince just has a natural artistic flair.

It is rather odd that Mendel hasn’t begun targeting you. You’d better watch out once Tulson leaves, for that may be what’s holding him back at the moment.

I hope you were able to see some of the recent meteors. It was really quite gorgeous, better than normal.

I also hope you’re being careful following that hart of yours. You’d better not go and have a grand adventure without me! You know Gretel and I may never forgive you for such a thing.

Speaking of Gretel, though I thought I’d enjoy Imato being back, it’s proved to be quite the nuisance for now I can’t get Gretel’s help with much of anything! Oh well, I suppose two people in love are not easily separated, so I won’t complain.

I believe Hermes got bored with the garden for he is back and getting anxious, so I will close.

May all your dreams be tearless.

Love always,

Well, I’m glad I didn’t send Hermes off right away! I’ve had an unexpected visitor…

Apparently, that little scamp, Liop, bribed the express rider that brought your message to Imato today. The rider brought him in too, and Imato brought him to me because he needed someone to keep an eye on him.

Don’t worry about him, I’ll keep an eye on him. Don’t come after him either. In fact, don’t go anywhere. There’s something strange going on, the roads aren’t safe. At least, I think they aren't safe. I don't know, but there's something weird going on and I think it has something to do with our family. People seem to keep disappearing, for one. I told Imato not to go anywhere either, which he, of course, laughed at, but I also told Gretel and she’ll make sure that he doesn’t.

There’s something else. Liop told me that Tulson hasn’t left yet-- don’t let him! I’ve been doing a lot of divining and he keeps showing up; he knows something, though he may not realize it. Tell him… Arri, tell him everything. I mean everything!

Also, see what he can tell you about my mother and yours and the family in general. Anything he knows may be important, even if it seems trivial.

I’ll keep Liop here with me until things feel safe again, hopefully by the next new moon-- just a few weeks. The beginning of a new cycle is supposed to be a good purge. And don’t worry about Liop bribing messengers, I’ll keep him nice and busy.

One more thing, don’t let Mendel know anything, okay? Make sure Tulson doesn’t say anything to him. He’s probably harmless, but I’m a little worried that there may be a deeper reason I took such an instant dislike to him.

Be careful, Arri, and don’t leave your property there without Tulson with you. Don’t let on that Liop’s gone unexpectedly. Make it not so out of the blue if you can, don’t let on that you’re worried at all. If nothing else, blame the short notice on me.

May your path be safe.

Love Always

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