Hallei Raisse, in Turenay, to Alysei Athal astin Velain and Ravei Raisse astin Brun, in Valdis.
Dear king and queen; dear friends and one-time apprentices,
First of all let me apologise that I’m writing late, and in haste– off to Veray in a few days to do my duty to the Guild there and in the rest of Ryshas, also belatedly, and to meet Orian who is due back from the South. I have been putting my affairs in order here so I can leave Turenay unattended, even when Leva goes away to make her rounds as well.
It’s Khora I’m writing about, who has been coming along amazingly. I think I must blame it on ascribe it mostly to Aidan, but also to my maid Hinla who has, as Khora puts it, been “teaching her to be a Valdyan”. She spells her name “Cora” now, and so will I if I remember.
She is so >·< close to being a journeyman. If any of the gods had become interested and shown up when we played with fire, I think she could have managed it even then. But it seems likely that it will be some working with Leva that will finally push her over the edge; when I warned Leva of that it turned out, of course, that Leva had already thought of it herself. She’s starting as an apprentice at the hospital after Midsummer break, only taking those lessons at the school that Leva thinks she needs. (She thought that the queen would want her to stay at school instead, but Leva and I between us have been able to convince her that what the queen wants is that she learns whatever she is suited to; isn’t that right, Raisse?) At least the girl isn’t working all the time any more, though she still weaves faster than even I can keep up with.
(This makes me think of something that I shall want to discuss with you both and perhaps with Rava as well: an insight I had about the inner workings of semsin. Why is it that it seems to be only grand masters whose gifts depend on a single element? Not all of us, but if it does happen it’s very strong; Athal who can’t do anything without the earth, Raith who is strong with air. Cora and I both have fire as our defining element, but she needs life to be able to work with it most effectively and I need anger. How can we have the same foundation but still be so different?)
But I’m digressing once again. When Cora was laid up with exhaustion, I allowed Aidan to sleep in her bed because she was too weak to get up by herself when she needed to, and he’s not gone back to the school since. It would be cruel to break them up now, and doubly cruel not to let them marry at the first opportunity, especially as Cora is determined not to have any children until Leva and Lyse let her. They’re even converting the shed behind my house, which Cora bought from my neighbour, into a little house for the two of them. I have practically adopted Cora as my daughter, and she considers me her mother, lacking one of her own, so I think I’m qualified to have an opinion. Radan agrees with me completely, but we would still have the king’s permission. (As for Cora, she is positive she needs the queen’s permission.) I’m willing to conduct the ceremony at Midsummer when we are all in Gralen, seeing that neither of them has any relatives who could do it.
I suppose you won’t be coming to Turenay soon, with the new baby due any moment? I would like to be able to take enough time off in the next season to visit you in Valdis, but I’m afraid I have rather too many apprentices who need me here.