Letter 47

Dear Herkus,

I’m not entirely sure what to write. I consulted my etiquette book and I even considered waiting to write but it’s not because I don’t have anything to say. Rather, I think it’s because I’m not sure how to put it into words what is going on in my mind.

First of all, I tried out your flapjack recipe with great success. I’m so glad that was one of your hangover foods, I think it helped the majority of the group after such an odd night. 

Speaking of… That night I chose a smaller form to wildshape into so I could quietly listen to Rendu playing music in the courtyard. He is truly talented and while the song he played seemed sad, there was something about it that made my chest hurt in a good way. Each note strummed felt like a memory. It’s hard to describe. Irica never played music, she wasn’t as talented as the likes of Rendu or especially Dia, but she would sing softly and quietly each night. I don’t think I fully realized how much I missed her lullabies until then.

I also overheard a private conversation between Dia and Rendu after she joined him in a duet. I should have left as soon as the music stopped and I heard them talking but I didn’t want to interrupt by leaving and drawing attention to myself so I sort of just froze and I feel terrible. Again, I am sorry that I am not at liberty to tell you the full details because it’s not my story to share. What I can tell you is their discussion was about Rendu’s mother and his response to her actions his entire life. It surprised me and I admit I’m ashamed once more of my own short comings. 

Chan eil mi ag aideachadh seo gu saor mar a tha fios agad ach tha amannan ann nuair a tha mi a ’gabhail aithreachas cho mòr sa tha mo phàrantan a’ faireachdainn mar gum biodh e a ’gearradh m’ anam gu cridhe. Is urrainn dhomh a thuigsinn air an uachdar nach robh smachd aca air na rinn iad … Ach an do dh ’fheuch iad eadhon? An robh iad a ’sabaid mar a nì mi a h-uile mionaid den latha? Anns na h-oidhirpean aca gus an fhulangas aca a riaghladh, dh ’adhbhraich iad uiread de phian1.

I see small similarities to Rendu’s mother. She left her son to manage her suffering in the way she felt was best. But she also caused his suffering his entire life because of how she handled it. And yet in their conversation, he didn’t condemn her actions, it was as though he only wanted to convey to Dia that he wished his mother would forgive herself for the things she had no control over. If I could speak to my parents right now, would I have that same compassion? 

You often told me that pain is not to be measured and compared. That the severity of pain shouldn’t be contested because everybody has a different threshold. I believe for the most part I have done well at not comparing the things I have lived through with others with one exception. I compare my life to the shortened ones of my parents and I am angry that they didn’t have the same focus that I am able to use to survive as long as I have. 

It is unfair of me. I know this. 

Onto a new topic. We discovered what was happening at the graveyard. A plot of Khar’shan’s people built on a nasty ritual. We were able to defeat them but it wasn’t without some large blows. Shadow went unconscious from his wounds. My heart was in my throat when I saw him laid out on the ground like that. And Rendu took several nasty hits as well. All I could think was that I only have one diamond, and enough magic to save one person. It was terrifying. It makes me so grateful that Leef and several others can heal as effectively as they do. 

There was a dryad who had somehow come into service to Khar’shan and after she succumbed to her wounds her eyes changed and it seems she was one who was part of Clio’s pod. A big sister of sorts. Clio asked me to perform her funeral rights in honor to Eos. Leef donated the coins for her eyes. As terrible as it sounds I was glad for the opportunity to perform the rights for someone. I know it’s morbid but as her body returned to air and earth through the ashes, all I could see was the coins on her eyes. It was painful and soothing to witness as it always is. My back burns and irritates me but like a hot poker the image of someone who should be young and beautiful…and alive… interrupts the distracting call of this curse. It reminds me that I can never waiver not for a moment because the alternative is… It’s not an option. I hate myself that I’m grateful to be able to have moments this as a reminder.

I have seen several expressions of Clio’s by now. She is possibly my dearest friend and yet I still don’t know her as well as I would like to. I had no clue what she was thinking or feeling in that moment other than hatred towards the evil that is Khar’shan. That titan has caused her so much pain in her life. I will do all that I can to help take her down if that means my friend can smile freely all the way to her eyes one day. 

We are now on a journey to search for the ship the Gjallarhorn. This is one of the large missions we knew we would need to undertake as the heroes. Our journey will take us close to but not fully into Foxtail land. Clio asked how I feel about that and honestly I don’t know. It’s been so long since I have seen anyone from my tribe. I’m not sure I would know them with a few exceptions. I wonder if Vanyal is chief now? I wonder if Ergo or Manara are still alive and if they saw me again would they finally see their son or only my mother as I take after her so much? Would I be cast out? What are the repercussions of my running away so many years ago? It does no good to borrow trouble from tomorrow but I am still anxious. 

Of course, depending on how things go we may be able to avoid any meeting that might happen if we plan our route accordingly. Part of me wishes we would walk into the territory if only so I could show them how far I’ve come and the people that I now consider my… Well it doesn’t matter does it? 

It looks as though Azorius has sent us some items. I better wrap this up and go see what orders he has finished. I hope Shadow gets his new bow. And I really hope the dagger I ordered for Leef is finished. I’m sure my shield will take some more time… I’m almost afraid to get such an item. With everything we’ve been through somehow having that piece in my hands makes it feel even more real. I’m not sure I’m ready for that. 

gaol agus gràdh,


1 Druidic: I don’t freely admit this as you know but there are times when I resent my parents so deeply it feels as though it cuts my very soul to the core. I can understand on the surface that they had no control over their actions… But did they even try? Did they fight like I do every moment of the day? In their efforts to manage their suffering, they caused so much pain.