He’s really spent his journey recovering. “Ilenay” is completely the creation of my other half (who wrote this); it’s perfect!
(I didn’t know the sword-breaking was intentional, by the way; I thought it was just a lucky, er, break)
Veray, morning of hanre nafur of the twelfth week of Timoine,
Serlei Moryn, to his daughter Ysellei Moyri and her husband and children.
As you can see from the above, we have not yet arrived in Turenay, but I still thought it fitting to write you this letter. Thank you for your letter: we received it at Halfway (Ilenay). We have taken your advice and have not hurried at all, but decided to go through Veray first and taking not the main road, but went from farmstead to farmstead and small village to small village. We did look like tramps when we finally arrived in Nesh, but I feel much happier for all that, and in Tal-Vauryn, I dared ask your Mother for forgiveness for all I have done to her. The gods have blessed me with a wife who is far better for me than I deserve.
Moyri, my dear and wise daughter, I am done with fighting and now I dare admit that. We met Raisse in Veray — more of Veray later — and I told her so immediately: I will not fight anymore and whenever there is politics to be discussed, even Guild politics, she will find me absent.
This may amuse you: in Nesh, I contrived to get rid of my sword to a young man who must be related to us in some way, since he told us that he no longer wanted to use his house name or indeed any other noble name. He was going to Veray to fight, and being very nervous about it. Seeing that his own sword was a miserable affair, I invited him for a practice bout. He is a fine fencer and a fine young man, engaged to be married to a beautiful young woman whose Síthi grandmother met her Valdyan grandfather in Solay. I did manage, without much difficulty, to render his sword unusable, so I could with reasonably good grace offer him mine. He will no doubt become a better fencer than I ever was, for my talent has always been but mediocre. You can probably imagine how strange the feeling was, to be without a sword for the first time in twenty years!
In Veray we were not prudent and did not secure lodgings as soon as we arrived, but, in a bout of sentimentality went to look at our old shop. I am not sure whether you even know about that, but your mother and me, we did keep a shop for some months in Veray, during the fair season. I seem to remember that there was also some guild business involved, but refuse to think hard enough to remember what that was about.
Actually, it was from Veray that we were called back because of Grandfather’s illness to get married. It is now a jeweller’s shop, and wishing to give your Mother some present because I felt like it, we went in. To my surprise, the jeweller had the very thing for her: a pendant created by the goldsmith Arnei Arvi, who came back from Solay with us. Since she went back to Solay with Chara Kalo, we have not had any news from her, and we think it likely she died. But now we have something to remember her by, and her astonishing skill.
In the end, we went to Raisse whose anie we had seen, and who has always been a friend, a teacher and a mentor to your mother when we lived in Turenay. We are now staying with her and her husband Orian, who owns this vineyard farm just outside Veray.
Pity the Arin who is Orian’s tenant! There are at least twenty guests staying in his house: Orian and Raisse, Vurian and Rava and all their children except for Torin, a gaggle of Raisse’s students from the Guild School (let me see… Your niece Alyse, Jichan astin Brun, Arin astin Hayan, Ayneth and Aidan astin Velain, three foreign girls called Kheti, Cora and Ebru (although the latter is mostly in the chapter house of the Order of the Sworn), a certain Lara who is in love with Jichan, her sister Lyse. And now us. Arin’s family consists of himself, his daughter Halla and her fiancé, a veteran from the war in Il Ayande, called Jeran. I believe that Arin has lost a son in Iss-Peran, too.
Moryi, if I put all the pieces of the puzzle together, then I believe I have met the woman who made the cloth you admire so much, too: it is this Cora, who is going to marry Aidan at Midsummer. I do doubt she will have time to make much more cloth, since she is Leva’s pupil and starts her apprenticeship with Leva in a few weeks. She was already attending the fencing matches yesterday, stitching up the wounded children. She confided to Ysella and me that she did not like the fighting, but she loves the practice it affords her. Your mother and I are sharing the inkpot with her, since she is adding yesterday’s cases to her case book.
I suspect she will make very good doctor, perhaps even a worthy successor for the famous doctor Leva, if Aidan will let her. Her methods might be called a little unconventional: she apparently already knew something about us and decided that what we needed was directions to a little secluded spot at the the riverbank which she called “absolutely the happiest place in the world” and offered us this place saying that she thought it would do us good to spend the night there, with a blanket or two. This not only saved me from having to spend the night talking politics with Vurian, Arin and Orian, but was to me and your mother both an irresistible proposition in itself.
It is not proper to go into details in a letter to one’s daughter about those things that are between man and wife, but I assure your that Cora was absolutely right and we were very happy spending a warm summer night under a willow tree on the bank of the Rycha, even though we had been sleeping rough for two months already!
On that note, I hope that you will forgive me for laying down the pen and that you will give my love and greetings to your husband and to Serla and Bahar. Your mother desires to go into town to buy a present for our gracious hosts.