Magic, murder, intrigue, missing relatives, secret caves, fantastical creatures, royalty, nobility, romance...
Who ever said our lives were dull?
To follow our story, use the sidebar links and start at the beginning of it all...

Keish- March 4, 2004

March 4, 2004

Oh, Arri,

You mustn’t blame yourself. It’s not like you’re trying to hurt people. And Liop’s fine.

If you’re really worried about it, you could confine your practicing to the cave for now. You haven’t been causing havoc there.

Maybe you should add lessons from Brynn to your schedule. She probably has more experience with compensating for the change in atmosphere. I know you’re terribly busy already, but it’s something to think about.

How can you help Uncle Quin if you aren’t practicing and learning?

Using magic to find out when something will happen! Now why didn’t I think of that with Gretel and Imato’s wedding?

Oh wait, I did.

Gretel forbade me, saying it would be completely unfair if I knew her wedding date before she did. I decided she had a point.

I’m going to wait a few days to do it, though. Divination seems to work better at the full moon.

Mar. 5

So you’ve seen Lord Phyfe again, have you? It sounds like you had fun. Too bad he’s not in Rousha more often. How long is he staying? And who is Lady Bashiyra? (I’d ask Jace, but he and Imato are off doing… something. They were rather vague as to what.)

Vanessa and Euan are getting married in three days. I still haven’t figured out how to get out of it.

I met with Master Byra today.

“Why didn’t you stop the argument about literacy sooner?” I asked before he could say anything. It’s been really bothering me.

He smiled. “I needed to see if you were dedicated enough to see this through.”

I sat abruptly in the chair across from him. “It was a test.”

He nodded. “I firmly believe in what we’re doing, but I don’t have your financial power. I needed to make sure you could weather the storms of criticism we’re bound to encounter.”

“I guess I come across as fairly flighty,” I said, only a little bitterly.

He shrugged. “You are young.”

I wanted to spit my tongue out at him, but that seemed too much like proving his point, so I decided against it.

“You’re no more flighty than your mother was,” he added, “and she was a fine woman.”

I smiled. “Thank you.”

I showed him the curriculum outline I had prepared. Once we had worked that out, I said, “There is another subject we need to teach.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”

“Science,” I declared firmly. “I want a scientific laboratory in every school.”

Now the other eyebrow was up too. “A user of magic promoting science?”

I nodded. “We’re teaching science.”

He considered a moment. “Okay. I can agree to that, but it will have to be kept to the basics-- and limited to older students.”


I stood and he shook my hand firmly, treating me like a true colleague for the first time.

I liked it.

Mar. 6

Two days until the wedding. I’m so glad my work on a school for girls made me an “inappropriate” choice for a bridesmaid. Poor Gretel.

Tonight is the full moon, so I will definitely perform the divination tomorrow.


I ran into Prince Euan today.

I bowed as slightly as one can get away with around royalty and kept walking.

He actually grabbed my arm.

I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to use the techniques Jace and Imato have been teaching us.

“Lady Keisha, I hear you’ve taken up teaching. Such a waste.”

Oh, how I wanted to use those techniques! He does NOT have my consent to call me that.

I removed my arm from his grasp and smiled tightly. “Your father doesn’t seem to think so.”

At first I thought that was going to stop him, but no. “How would you like to come be my model instead? So much more suitable for a pretty young lady.”

I couldn’t stop myself. “How would you like to become one of your own wedding decorations?” I asked sweetly. “I hear there will be fire newts on every table at the dinner.”

You should have seen his face. I think he almost swallowed his tongue.

I bowed again and left as swiftly as I could.

I complained to Gretel and Jace (and Imato, though I don’t think he was as impressed as he should have been by my restraint).

“This was why we got him to notice Vanessa!” I wanted to scream as I paced around the room.

“She won’t sit for his paintings anymore,” Gretel said. “She told him it was dull.”

Maybe I didn’t give Vanessa enough credit.

“So she told him to ask you,” Gretel added, trying not to laugh.

Then again, maybe I did.

Imato was laughing. Jace didn’t seem to react.

“Why me?” I moaned, sinking into a chair. “He could have asked you, Gretel.”

She hesitated. “Well actually…”

I sat up straight. “What?”

She looked to Imato for help. He sighed. “Of course he wouldn’t ask Gretel. She’s engaged. It wouldn’t be appropriate.”

“So, let me get this straight. It’s wrong for him to ask an engaged woman, but being engaged himself doesn’t make it wrong to ask unengaged women?” I shook my head. “That’s insane.”

“Unattached women are fair game,” Gretel said. “I don’t agree either, but it’s the way it is.”

“She’s not unattached,” Jace said quietly. “And I don’t appreciate him ignoring etiquette like that.”

My eyebrows shot up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him offended by a breach of etiquette. He’s never bothered when I do it.

Imato pointed that out.

“She’s not trying to slight people,” he retorted. He smiled at me. “Unless they really deserve it.” Turning back to Imato, he finished, “A courtship is an attachment, and Prince Euan should know better.”

And with that he announced he was taking a walk.

I wasn’t sure what to say. He told me finally the other day that he had asked Papa’s permission to court me (back in January!) but that he wouldn’t push me to make it any more official or formal. I liked his idea of just letting things be natural.

Maybe I should have let him make it more official.

But I don’t think that would have stopped Euan.

Mar. 7

Thank you for enclosing the hair. I might have been able to do the divining without it, but it’s a far more complicated spell. Remember the time I knocked myself out trying to divine answers about the Brio magic? Decent chance it would happen again.

So I set it all up in the library-- cleared a small table, set up the candles, put the hairs in the middle… And it hit me-- this is what the mirror is for! I haven’t done anything with my mother’s mirror since bringing it back to Adya. But this is what it’s for. This is why it goes with the gift of divination.

I ran and got it from my room right before lunch, but didn’t have time to do anything else since Gretel was dragging me off to one last wretched lunch with Vanessa before the wedding. (I barely survived.)

But I digress.

After lunch Gretel went to watch Imato spar with a couple of other squires (including Kaplan, whom you’ve met, I believe). Jace asked if he could watch if he stayed quiet. That felt right, so I agreed.

I fixed what I had set up. With the mirror on the table as the surface, my gift should be much stronger.

Except it didn’t go quite as planned.

Everything started out fine. I started the incantation and sprinkled the pennyroyal… and everything went black.

I had interrupted someone else’s spell.

Does Nysa realize Uncle W. has been doing magic in his study?

I know he hid it from you.

He was using a large stone. It’s the missing magical object; the one that goes with the gift of talking to animals. It allows him to call to them from a distance.

He arranged it all, he must have. The lioness had the Chronicle and the mirror, and they just happened to appear where we needed them.

The book, mirror and stone are all linked, that’s why I stumbled on his spell. He must have wards set up to keep us from finding out and they knocked me out when I tried to use the mirror. But I saw him.

I wrote a brief (and demanding) letter to him and soon as I recovered and sent it express. He will have to answer all of our questions now. I’m going to force him.

Papa is very surprised. He didn’t know anything about it. Uncle W. lied to everyone.

I just thought of something. If he has wards on the apartment, that could have affected your magic. I’m guessing you did compensate properly for not being in the cave, but you couldn’t compensate for wards if you didn’t know about them.

I don’t know what he was doing. He’ll have to explain that too.


Jace made me rest for a while before attempting the divination again.

This time I did a spell first to check for Uncle W.’s wards. He must not have been using the stone, though, because there was nothing.

April 8th! Glory will definitely have her foal April 8th. It looked like late morning. Everything seemed fine, but I don’t know anything about the birth of foals.  Mendel was there, and you, of course.  You looked so happy and calm.

Now you can plan your trip. You won’t miss it.

I’m going to send this in the morning. You may still get it before my express to Uncle W. You don’t have to confront him if you don’t want to.

Love Always,


PS The wedding is tomorrow… I’m afraid I’ll have to go. Blast.

Go to NEXT Letter

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave us a little note-- Hermes or Clotho will be sure to deliver it!