A letter from Thulo

He’s more formal in writing than in person. But that’s Síthi for you.

Honored Madam Sedi,

It is with great joy that I write to inform you of the safe arrival of the three of us. With this letter you can see a picture of me, Maha and Mík. If enough of our mind clings to it you should be able to hear him cry. But I get ahead of myself.

It is a good thing that we established camps at the emperor’s hunting lodge and at the end of the river. It made out travel a lot easier and we met up with others traveling back to Albetire.

I did have a bit of a scare. On the way we faced an army coming our way. As I am sure you know already it was your King and Maha’s father with twenty-eight thousand men if I recall correctly. King does not seem to mean the same thing as it does on this side of the sea, it seems to me. (I did not recognize them as such right away.) Though they were clearly great men and very friendly. We had a long talk explaining what had happened and why you left a trail of temples. And me and Maha got married with her father’s blessing.

The next day we traveled on to Ghilas where I left my fortune, taking with me some letters stating as much. They do not mean much over here in Velihas though.

Back in Albetire we boarded the Blue Dolphin to get Maha and the children home. And we had to stop at Kushesh. Parandé was waiting there and ran off cursing and screaming when she saw me with Maha. She refused to see me and there was very little I could do. I left some money with the printer of the shop were I bought that book. I am sure you remember. I thought about asking Maha to take her with us, but it would have been out of guilt if we would have brought her and that kind of festering is not something I want to expose my child to.

I will never forget it. It was a clear day at sea. Maha was on deck when her water broke. Luckily one of the newly trained nurses was with us and she could handle the womanly needs where I held Maha’s hand as she screamed until Mík was born. He was so small, but he grows quickly. His pale brown skin is very exotic and his hair is as curly and unruly as his mother’s but it’s already a darker colour and I am sure it will be the color of richly colored mahogany once he becomes a man. Oh, and he is not deaf as they would say here.

In Solay I met up with royal women from your country and asked them for an invitation for Khopai, my former master. Next I spoke to Khopai and we parted ways as friends, I think, and very likely there will be some trade between Istila and Solay soon.

Let me tell you about my mission or what I remember of it when I started out. Khopai was having great trouble with Black Kamari, a Solay woman trained in your ways of the spirit. My mission was to be rid of her and learn of your ways what I could. And thank you, you have taught me much and here there is so much more to learn. The third part was to find out what was behind her rise and see if I could put a stop to that. His desire was to start a temple of his own. The invitation might be a way for him to acquire the legitimacy that requires. If he were to choose between Anshen and Archan I could not say who he would pick, but I wish him well.

When we arrived in Istila, Maha’s mother was there and she looked sternly at me until Mík ran up to her and tried to say grandma. Maha had that all planned out and it did its magic. I like her, though. She reminds me of Phuli, the woman that ran the household I grew up in. Maybe I have a thing for strong women. Anyway we are happy and safe and I will try and make this my home.

Your student (always),

Thulo Juwah

With this letter we send our love.