Athal’s letter to Ayneth
He can see the problems…
Alysei Athal astin Velain to his sister, Alysei Ayneth astin Velain
First of all let me congratulate you on your expectant state and your intended marriage — though the latter needs some caution. Well, a lot of caution. You write that you won’t have to change your way of life because you’re already living in the women’s quarters. Don’t let yourself be confined to the women’s quarters! When you’re married to an Iss-Peranian man, he’ll want to treat you like an Iss-Peranian wife. You may know more than I do about the Síthi, but it’s very unlikely that you know the Iss-Peranians as I got to know them when I was in the South. I concede that Raith does probably know, but she’s only ever been with the army where mores are different.
I shall write to my would-be brother-in-law as well to tell him that you are your own woman and have your own work, and he should respect that. Also, I’m having a contract drawn up in triplicate –Raisse’s lawman Hallei Lyan is doing that– which I expect him to sign and send back to me. Please watch out for it and make sure that he does! I don’t want you to end up only a governor’s wife instead of a co-governor in your own right. I do like and trust the man, don’t worry, but he can’t help bringing his whole culture with him.
As for approving Shishe Namak’s other wives, the contract states that any wives he takes must be of a different people than his own to preserve equality: Valdyan, Síthi, Khas, Ishey or from the far west– I don’t particularly care as long as he doesn’t marry an Iss-Peranian woman with a whole family behind her, dandar and all. (Note that I’m not telling him the real reason, but I’m telling you!) We can’t deal with substantial dandar influence in Aumen Síth on top of everything else. Beguyan won’t understand that –or perhaps he will, but to make him understand it I would have to talk to him in person, and I don’t intend to leave Valdyas for a year at least– but I’m having it put down so firmly that nobody, not even the Iss-Peranian lawyers, can take it apart.
This way Solay will be at least half under Valdyan rule until your son takes over and it’s up to him what he does with it. I hope you bring him up right! But you’ve always been the most sensible one in our family, so I’m confident that you can do it.
Your letter almost makes me miss Solay, but I’m back with Raisse who I wouldn’t want to be without for anything in the world right now. Take care of yourself, dear sister, and take care of the city for me.