Letter 49

Dear Herkus,

I woke up not long ago and knew this might be my last chance to write to you for a while. I will send this bundle to you from here and hopefully it doesn’t cost an arm and a hoof for someone to deliver it to you. I wish there was a way to confirm you get my letters when they come in batches like this. But oh well, it won’t stop me from writing you regardless. 

I am sitting in a room at the Sour Vintage… My room in fact. I guess since the last time we were here, business has exploded for the owner. She was able to expand quite a bit and even has rooms for centaurs, and one specifically set aside for me. Everyone else in our group has a room, too. It’s nice in here. There is even a large enough spot with hay set up that I can sit, sort of like a chair. It’s not quite the same as how the others sit but it is very comfortable. I feel bad that I have such a premium room. The view is nice and the breeze comes in through the window at a perfect angle to keep things fresh without letting in too many other elements like rain and such. As you know, I’ve never had my own room before so maybe it isn’t all that great compared to some, but I really like it. 

Yesterday was another day of traveling from where we camped with Pholon. My brain and heart were tired after everything I learned. I kept quiet most of the way here and Shadow, Leef, and Clio were very kind and did what they could to keep my spirits up. Shadow and I have been talking more. He would like us to grow closer. I feel the same. He’s a good person and even though I don’t understand a lot about him or his thought process I do understand his motivations. He said we should do something just the two of us and I agreed though I told him I would have to think about what activity we would both enjoy. 

I’m not going to lie, I’m completely stumped. I don’t hunt, fish, or trap and I’m not so sure he would be interested in making potions or gardening and that sort of thing. We both like animals but I don’t know how that translates to an activity. I asked Leef in private what he thought and he suggested cooking. Maybe Shadow could make fish for everyone and I’ll make a salad? But he might be offended if I don’t eat his cooked fish… I don’t know. Rendu is the type of person to get along with everyone and find a common ground anywhere, so maybe I can work up the courage to seek his advice on the matter? No, he has enough on his mind. I don’t want to bother him or anyone else. I’ll come up with something. 

Pholon is an interesting companion for our group. He speaks easily with everyone. He seems to get along great with Rendu and seems happy to have his oath in place. Understandable as the alternative is quite dire. But he and Corinna and Triple A have been very helpful to us. If we had Ilharg here the four of them would be pretty formidable without us. I am happy they are on our side. 

So back to the Sour Vintage… Dia’s word has indeed spread far and wide and we were oddly welcomed with open arms into the place. Leef was worried about being Leef and not Health but it mattered very little. I was overwhelmed so I wanted to be alone to collect myself a bit. They brought me a huge salad and showed me to my room. I admit for a good half hour after eating dinner I just sort of stood there. I didn’t know if I should go to sleep or study my etiquette book. I’ve never really struggled with solitude but for some reason I just missed everyone. Bha mi airson a bhith còmhla ri mo threubh1. I think hearing about what may have become of Tavish and Jadus, as well as being so far away from you made it even more acute. So I went back into the tavern hall.

It was loud but honestly, I believe it’s what I needed. I needed to not think. I needed to be a bit silly. It was then that I saw Rendu behind the bar. He was doing tricks and things as he poured for the other patrons, the people loved it. He waved at me and passed me a drink. I didn’t even question it and downed it so quickly. I still don’t know what it was but it made me cold and happy. I then saw Leef and Clio sitting and went up to them but soon realized that they were more in the mood for tea and quiet conversation (not to mention the happy smile Leef had when looking at Clio that told me maybe a third party member might feel intrusive.) So I looked around for Actaeon because he is often loud even though he doesn’t drink. But he was skulking around I guess gaining information for something. Shadow was also nowhere to be seen though I later found out he was in the kitchen making some very spicy fish. He then came out and shared it with others. Pholon was dancing and Corinna was otherwise engaged, too, so I thought now would be a good time to talk more with Torag. He loves to drink and he’s very good at it. I’ve never really drank with him before. But when I walked up to him he was talking with several people. I stood there for a bit because I didn’t want to interrupt but then realized I was in the way. I grabbed a few random drinks from a tray and went to the corner. It was a bit lonely but fine honestly. 

I enjoy watching them all enjoy themselves in their own different ways. I mean Actaeon acted a bit wary but I think overall he was okay. But it brings my heart joy to see them experience even a moment of peace and fun. 

Shadow joined Pholon and dragged several others into dancing and creating a ruckus. I couldn’t help but laugh. Clio looked a bit out of place at first, but even her unsure movements look like something professional dancers would aspire to do. Leef looked happier than I have seen him in a while. Torag didn’t dance even with their begging but that would have been hilarious.  

I had just finished my fifth drink of something when Rendu came up to me. I thought he might ask me if I was okay but instead he took me by surprise and asked if I would “care to dance” with him? I don’t think I would have been more shocked if I woke up with two mortal legs instead of my own. 

I don’t know if it was the drinks but I struggled to come up with a coherent excuse until I heard my own voice say yes and then there I was with the rest of them dancing. I didn’t want to move too much because I might hurt someone smaller than me, (not something Pholon seemed concerned with, though he should be.) But it was really nice. Rendu gave me some advice about moving to the music even when you don’t know the steps and even if I felt foolish I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time. How he is able to maneuver around my physical and mental awkwardness with such fluid grace astounds me. I sometimes wonder if there might be some fey in him as well. 

I just realized that you may not want to hear me gush about someone in that way. I mean all my companions are wonderful. Truly. Not just him, I promise. Please forget I said anything, maybe I’ll just burn this letter. But then I would have to rewrite a lot, oh forget it. Please don’t get the wrong impression. He’s just really kind. I mean I’ve mentioned how kind Leef and Clio are and that’s not weird, right? Right? Right. I’m grateful to have such good people around me. That’s all. It has nothing to do with – I mean it’s fine. 

After dancing we met an another dryad but the details are a bit fuzzy to me. All I can remember is women swooning over him, then there were two of him, then there were several Leefs. The Leefs helds up some fingers and I’m proud of how many I was able to count. Then we all went to my room and held a quick meeting because today we are on the last stretch to find the Gjallarhorn. 

I am not thrilled to set out I won’t lie. I am frightened. I am even more worried for Leef because he has to speak to the ghost of a man who slaughtered fey ruthlessly. I am going to prepare as many healing things as I can for this trip. I have no idea what to expect. I believe Clio agrees with me that this is a place neither of us want to go. I just want us all to be safe. I’m holding the view of them happy and alive and having fun deep within my heart. I will do everything I can to ensure that continues to happen for each of my buill treubh2.

I will write again as soon as I am able,

le m ‘uile chridehe, do nighean uchd-mhacach 3

gaol agus gràdh,


Druidic 1: I wanted to be with my tribe. 

Druidic 2: Tribe members. 

Druidic 3: With all my heart, your loving adopted daughter…