She’s been too pregnant, too busy and too tired to have any actual adventures, but that doesn’t mean she has nothing to write!
Ysellei Moyri astin Rhydin, Valdis, tenth week after the feast of Anshen, the year 347
To her uncle Eldan and her brother Lydan
Dear Uncle, dear Brother,
I’m writing you this letter in the first place to let you know that I have decided to visit Turenay for the Season, after all. The thing is, I am still not really recovered from carrying and giving birth to Bandeh and Lydan.
In fact, it’s nearly the Feast of Anshen and I haven’t been able to stand on my own two legs for long enough to do a proper namegiving yet. I’ve been going to the Síthi Bath daily to get back some strength in my legs, but it’s slow going.
(The first time was fun, though! Raisse came, with her children (Rovan, Vurian and Radan), her nurse, Fikmet came, and doctor Roushan, and since Prince Attima had arrived in Valdis with his Valdyan wife Halla and his two new Jomhur wives Nazanin and Salmah, I’d invited them, too. The three women, not Attima, I mean. I mean, I’m hesitant even to show my underpinnings to Uznur right now, so you can imagine I don’t want the world’s most famous womanizer to see me taking a bath. But his wives are dears. Halla is not clever, and she’s grown enormously fat, really, but she’s lovely, too, and she’s pregnant. She doesn’t mind the new wives, and is even looking forward to meeting Attima’s other wives, keeping to the simple philosophy, for as long as he’s in my bed, he’s mine, and he’s only allowed to womanize with women he isn’t married to when there aren’t any women he’s married to around.
Anyway, Serla and Bahar swam like little otters, betraying their ancestry! And Bandeh and Lydan had just as much fun in the water. And after the floating fun, there was plenty to do with our hair and things like that.) But you boys won’t want to hear about our womanly dissipations! As I was trying to say, I’m going to Turenay to take the baths, show Father and Mother their offspring (and isn’t it time you did your bit, too, Lydan???!!!) and get a break from the intrigues that are, after all, getting me down a bit.
In any case, there’s a lull in spy business: we haven’t unearthed any new plots, and the old spies are still safely stowed away. Except for one, who has become a dear friend of mine and hasn’t let me hear anything from her since I sent her to Turenay to be treated by doctor Leva. (Kare tells me he wants to write wonder-working doctor, but we’re not in Iss-Peran). I’m getting worried about her and the two boys I told you about in my previous letter. Did that arrive, by the way? If so, why haven’t you answered it? Here I am, poor, whiny me, lying on bed all day having nothing else to do but feed babies and no letters from my favourite uncle or only brother to read!
What else… Oh, yes, Athal will be coming through Lenyas really soon now with his army, going down to wrest Solay from the grip of the Khas. Be sure not to be conscripted! Or go, if you want to, but not both of you. You know… I’m feeling really bad about deserting Raisse like this. She’s going to be awfully alone when I’m gone, with just her children, Senthi-the-nurse and her adopted Jomhur daughter Hinla to keep her company. I bet she’d want to come to Turenay, too, if she had the chance. And who’s going to keep her sane? She’s got Lyan, who’s teaching law at the new academy, and he’s become a pretty good friend of all of us — but belongs to the Nameless. Well, that should please Grandmother, at least!
But, oh, damn. I only told Raisse I’m going yesterday, and I’m already missing her.
Right, I’m better now. I really need to get better soon, a change of scene should help. I haven’t left Valdis since we arrived here just before the Royal Wedding, not even on a hunting expedition. I was thinking of going to Tal Nus, for the grape harvest. But Father and Mother are in Turenay, and the baths should help, says doctor Roushan. And doctor Leva is there, as well as Raisse’s protege, who, according to the letters Raisse has received (and Father’s encomiums) is a very good doctor, too.
I bet I’ve forgotten to tell you a lot I wanted to tell you. But I won’t bore you with politics — just two things: Attima is clearly still completely loyal to the Alliance, and to Athal. And he, very sneakily, has gained control of the new Iss-Peranian shipyards in Idanyas. You know about those, don’t you? The king of Albetire has been created a baron and has received permission to build ships on our shore, using our timber. That he needs to pay for, of course. In any case, keep a close eye on what happens, since most timber will have to come from Lenyas, and if the wood Father razed to the ground is spent, they might want to have more, and in that case, I’d suggest you to chop down that oak copse north-east of the manor, you know, the one with the swampy soil. If that’s gone, we could have duck pond closer to the village and the manor.
Your loving niece and sister,