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Keish- November 19, 2003

November 19, 2003
Dear Arri,

Ah, why didn't I see that earlier?? Gretel's flowers do always last longer than they should. I guess I've been too distracted lately to realize. It makes a lot of sense, though. I've always thought Imato scorned my magic, but perhaps it's just because he feels like his is useless. Not necessarily an issue of jealousy, but maybe just that he doesn't really know what to do with me.
Uncle Winthrop will have to come to terms with magic, though, and soon. I certainly can't not use it and Liop is so used to it that no one will be able to stop him from doing it. Also, something tells me your magic won't stand dormant much longer. He'll have to get used to it, whether he likes it or not. (And I know he won't)

He is also going to have to accept letting healers examine your father. I know you don't feel like you can tell him what to do, and I'm not suggesting you be disrespectful, but you will have to be strong and insist upon it. Even if a physician can help, we cannot afford to limit the help we seek. Even Imato should understand that. Remind Imato of your mother-- that should help get him on your side.

Now I'm being arrogant again. I'm sorry, I don't mean to give orders. I just hate being so far away while you have to deal with so much.

I talked to Brynn about whether or not Liop could sense Marigold. He said he could tell something had happened and he will keep thinking about it. She's going to see if he can come up with anything looking at maps. Have you asked Imato about it? I know it probably doesn't seem like a good time to ask him something like that, but it may be important to get as much as we can from all four of us. It may help Mendel find her.

Have you heard from Mendel? It would be difficult for him to send you word, I guess, but I hope he finds a way. He seems fairly resourceful that way.

We've been traveling further east than I realized. The Solotuns are an offshoot of a larger range. We reached them the day after I sent your letter. It was an interesting experience, for we found a whole society there, living in a small system of caves. We were outsiders, so they wouldn't speak to us, but soon one of there members came out and was willing to talk to us.

His name is Darius, and we learned from him that the people living in these mountains are Fairies. They have left the rings and yet have not completely regained their memory. They have varying degrees of knowledge as to who they are, but they can't return home since they don't remember where that is. The few that do remember don't remember enough else to be comfortable returning. It's a sad life they lead, cut off from the world. The surrounding towns don’t seem to know anything about these poor people living here.

"We make do the best we can," Darius told us, "but many are afraid of being discovered. They are afraid of the other Fairies, and so will not go near a ring, and they are afraid of your people."

"Why aren't you afraid of us?" I asked curiously.

"I remember more than most. There is actually very little I don't remember. I have no reason to fear you," he said matter-of-factly.

"Then why don't you go home?" Jace asked.

Darius smiled sadly. "Because I do not like what I remember." He wouldn't say anything more.

"What can be done to help?" I asked softly, my heart going out to these people-- understanding all too well how isolated they must feel.

Darius shrugged. "I don't know that they would let you help them. Many want their memories restored. But I sense that you have bigger things to deal with now." He looked straight into my soul, communicating the last sentence mind to mind, without speaking aloud. "You are like us," his voice continued in my mind, "but you have a task. You must turn west and go to the area of the Midaean Mountains near the border. There you will find what you seek."

I started to ask him how he knew, and what I would find since I'm not sure myself what I'm seeking, but he would not let me. "Rest here tonight," he said aloud, indicating a glade nearby. "I will bring you breakfast and see you off in the morning." He disappeared back into the cave.

I wanted to follow him, but controlled my impetuosity, respecting their privacy. Jace and I settled in for the night, discussing the potential risks of crossing the farmlands to get to the place Darius told me about. We don't know if anyone from the palace is searching for us. Brynn says that Gretel and Taty are telling people Jace was taking me to meet their mother, who never makes the journey to our castle with them. I don't know if anyone will believe that, or even if anyone cares.

The next morning, Darius met us as promised, bringing food and a small book. "Take this," he said. "It will help you when you get there."

The pages of the book seem blank, but he wouldn't say anymore, so I have to hope that the enchantment will make itself known as we get closer to the Midaean Mountains.

Jace and I bid Darius farewell, both determined that we must return to help them if we can.

Jace and I are trying to cover more ground now that we are in the open. We avoid the larger towns, for fear that someone will recognize us or be waiting for us.

Oh, before I send this off, I forgot to mention, Father has had a bit of a relapse, nothing too serious, but Brynn thinks it unwise to question him right now. I'm almost afraid to find out what he knows, as strange as that seems.

I'm sorry this is so short… Since we are traveling as much as possible it is hard to find time to write more.

Keep safe
Love always

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