Morning of Hanre Nafur, in the eighth week after the festival of the most Holy Goddess Timoine

Raissei Cora, in Turenay, to Dushtanei Asa Cora astin Zameshtan, in Turenay

Dear Sister,

Having been confined to bed and house for two weeks I have resolved to begin my letter to you, my dear sister, anew, and in the Valdyan style this time. This is because I attempted to write a letter to the Queen, our elder sister Raisse, and because of my weakness, I had to ask Aidan to write this letter for me. And he had to correct me ever so often, so I have learned that I do not yet possess sufficient skill in the Valdyan style of letter writing and should exercise this skill.

So much has happened since I last was able to hold a pen -- and you'll notice that this is written, not using a pen, but using a real, soft, glorious brush. I keep stroking the hairs and licking the tip -- Aidan tells me I shouldn't lick the tip of the brush that way because it inflames his passion to see me do so. Because, yes, my beloved lord and master is with me all nights now, and I am updating my notes while he is shaving his beard. He also says that my tongue runs the risk of becoming permanently black, which would not do.

Erne has given me the brush when she visited me when I was ill. She had also told me I had to come to her again to help her on Timoinei hanre, which is yesterday. The day before yesterday I had visited the dedication of the bath house building site, but yesterday was the first day I went somewhere and worked. There was a woman coming to Erne with a broken arm, and the healing of that arm was very difficult and took much power of the spirit.

I should do my accounts first:


- 10/-/-to buy yarn and thread for weaving with
- 1/-/-to give to Aidan to buy wine for Raisse
- 22/-/-to buy the shed in Tylse's yard and her yard, to make a house of
- 2/-/-to have noon meal with Tylse in celebration for buying her shed
199/-/- balance (excluding 4 riders, 46 shillings and nearly one hundred pennies in my pocket)

This is not so bad as I had feared, since I had thought I had dropped below one hundred riders, and I have two hundred riders left yet. However, we will need to be very thrifty when changing the shed into a real house, with windows, doors, fireplace and a sleeping attic.

My dear sister, I should not be as chaotic as this. All around me are people who are so much more clever and learned than I am that I really have to school myself in thinking properly and orderly or I will be laughed at. I shall therefore start with the beginning, that which follows upon my last notes.

In brief, the following things have happened:

After the service at the building site, we went into the Apple to celebrate the proper start of the building of our bath house. There I learned that Halla and Lord Radan are going to live together in a house next to Halla's apothecary. Halla offered my beloved master and me the renting of the shop's attic. However, I felt that this would put me too far away from Raisse and the hospital, which I do not want to be, nor is it something that Raisse is likely to allow.

Fortunately, I had another plan all in readiness to put before my beloved lord and master. I had seen an empty shed standing outside the school compound, leaning against Raisse's weaving workshop and close to the back entry to the hospital. If this shed were for sale, it could never be very expensive and I can probably count on the people from Turenay to help me make a little house out of it.

Accordingly, I took my beloved lord and master to the shed, which he inspected. It is very small, this is true, but it would be possible to make a door in the back wall of the weaving workshop, joining our putative household to that of Raisse. (Which, in reality, is much of a women's palace. My beloved lord and master was welcome in the household when he cared for me, and Hinla loved him for helping her with her chores, but as the only man he was not well placed, and I am sure he felt the same way. It is the more a women's palace in that Raisse has a husband, but he is but seldom home, and when he is home, the whole household takes care to please him as much as they can, which means he does not really live there.). Two walls would partition off a small yard, another door in the back would give onto the yard. Is it not strange, that a Prince of Valdyas and a Queen of Albetire would choose to live in a shed with only one room? But it is close to the hospital and close to Raisse, and until we have children, more is not needed. And Lara wishes to be our maid, also, which is good because I do not have the time for the household chores.

When we were looking at the shed, the owner, a woman called Tylse, came to us and asked us whether we wanted to buy it. She showed us the inside: there is no fire place and there are no windows -- but there are beams across the room that can be used to make a floor on so we have an attic for our sleeping chamber above the main chamber. We agreed on a price of 22 riders, if Raisse and Lord Radan would agree. Tylse makes gloves and her husband is captain of a river ship, so he is not often home. Tylse's second son has become betrothed to a young woman, now about eight-and-a-half weeks ago, which makes me blush, because we must have caused this to happen through our first expression of love for each other, which drowned all of Turenay and surroundings in love. Erne tells me that the need of the men of Turenay was so great that the house for improper women was insufficiently staffed and that she, Erne, had to help out.

Aidan went to fetch his father, who did, indeed agree. Raisse had more doubts, until I told her of the connection I wanted to make between this and her house, so I would be with her still. On telling her of Halla's plan for her attic, Raisse resolved that she would allow us to buy this house. When she saw Lord Radan and heard us talk about perhaps needing permission from the King, too, Tylse finally understood that it was going to be the Prince of Valdyas that was going to be her neighbour. But Tylse does not seem to mind, she feels properly honoured but is still warm and friendly and has not become distant.

Dear Sister, in a few moments I will go down for breakfast. This morning I will go with Tylse to the Temple of the God of Money to buy her shed.

Raissei Cora

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