Well wishes to you, my friend, with all the heat of Summer coming upon us. I find myself as well as can be expected when a Summer Mage must reside in the cloak and dagger world of Wintercourt. Already, I can hear you admonishing me that noble politics are perfectly necessary, and that I am well aware of them as you are, but you know I find small amusement in it. Perhaps I have some status amongst Mages, but really, the politics sit ill with me. I’m far too tempted to hit something. The House of Quire received me quite well, and I can imagine I only have your forethought to thank for it. The upper terrace receives the most wonderful sun in the early morning, perfect for my preparations for the day. Isavelle wishes you well and sends her thoughts, though seems rather disenchanted with the whole idea of being here. I cannot blame her in the least.
You’ve not heard from Beren either? It is not like her to remain so closemouthed, even if she is out of season. Last I heard she’d been placed in the sixth year of Mages, and they’ve all been sent out on some mission no one wishes to speak of. All I know is the sixth year has disappeared for some weeks, which even in ordinary times would alarm me greatly. Such silence from her speaks ill, though I dearly hope nothing has befallen my fellow Mage.
I was looking forward to speaking with you, Aldvar, though paper must suffice, and I miss the lands of Inenmar as much as your company. How fare the orchards on the west side? They’ve always been rather delicate about high heat, and Inenmar’s current weather concerns me more then you may imagine, after having spent so long tending to her. The land is not intended for being baked in an oven, and such ignorance as has been shown by the court speaks ill of things. It truly pains me to think of the green fields scorched clean by the Summer sun without my mild presence to convince it otherwise. I will do what I can, with your hands tied up in the golden tape of unspoken protocol. If I find an assignment that lands certain Mages near Inenmar, I may be able to find a way to shift a few rain clouds in your direction without anyone the wiser. With your current dismissal from court, I fear would be too obvious a move for me to approach anyone directly on the matter, being such a close friend of yours.
I knew that your pride would get you into trouble eventually, though from your letter I can just imagine what the scene must have been like. No fault of yours that words can become deadlier then poisoned swords in a duel. It is said that Lord Pendrin may indeed recover, and I swear to you, I hear his complaints echoing all the way here in House Quire. He certainly talks loudly enough, even if it was a close thing for him.
However, how closely he came to death is rather curious, wouldn’t you think? Being a member of the Royal family, and favoured as he is, I doubt that he believed he would actually nearly die from his attempts to rile you. People such as Lord Pedrin prefer being in one piece, otherwise they would not keep to words as they do. No, this speaks of deeper waters and wefts, I’m afraid. If this truly (and it seems to be so) an attempt to remove you from court, there is of course the question of why? And, if Pedrin was so drafted into such a foolish thing, why arrange it so that he’d almost certainly die when he is indeed so well favoured?
Speculation aside, I will be more then pleased to act as your eyes and ears within the court, with you so well removed for the time being. Especially on the matter of your betrothed, Lady Velreisan.
I received an urgent letter from your betrothed scarcely a day after I arrived. She seems quite eager to listen to your council, which may only be for the best. I have not had much time to gauge her likeness, my friend, much to my chagrin, except for a passage of polite notes from I to her, and back again. The past week the court has been caught up in Pedrin’s uproar, leaving little time for polite conversation. With the need to watch the West Wind of late, I’ve been much busied by my duties. Much too strong for this time of year, even for summer, and the ships off-shore have been complaining of sudden squalls for weeks before I even arrived.
I’ve been careful in my words, of course, and reserve my judgement on Lady Velreisan until I can measure her nature. Until then, I will be all helpful warm winds. I can already hear you laughing, but I can indeed be charming when I wish to be, Aldvar.
Even if I cannot serve Inenmar as a Mage directly, the very least I can do is help out a dear friend as I can. I will be sure to watch her leanings closely, though I am sure she will approach me soon in a more official capacity, restless about your very nature. From what Isavelle tells me, these things tend to be very important to Ladies alike, if only to know what they find themselves attached to for the rest of their days. I will be careful about my words around her, especially about Lyrani.
Speaking of the girl, I will be certain to visit Lyrani when she arrives here. She has a way of rising to an occasion no matter what he situation, and I feel the Academy will receive her well. Though I wonder at the timing of it, with you, such close family, suddenly gone.
These days, very little good news seems to be out weighing the darker tendencies. I do not wish to overwhelm you with my own troubles, for you seem to have enough of your own, but something very dark lingers on the edges of my thoughts. The feeling very much resembles the depths of Winter, that itching chill heralding the Season. I do not know what it means, but I do not think it means well.
One strange incident, though, I feel should be related. In the past day, I found myself approached by a Countess of Doumcen, whom I faintly recall being quite good friends with your Mother, may her spirit rest well. She’s a very respectable lady indeed, though she did ask me a few queer questions. She seemed very interested in my relations to you, though I do not doubt she already was aware of our friendship. A very sharp woman, though I feel that she’s been keeping an eye on you for some time, my dear Lord Aldvar. Whether this speaks ill or no, I have not the least idea, but when a woman such as herself becomes interested in anything, things seem to happen with alarming speed.
Your Seal, I’m sure you will be pleased to note, came out in a perfect fashion. Bless your memory, Aldvar. I will continue sealing our correspondences in this manner, but I will attach a note or two about how to make it a touch less obvious. You know as well as I no thing tempts more then a locked door, and if anyone talented enough should get a hand on letters purposefully sealed, their curiosity may overwhelm them. Even if this particular variation would very much discourage such tampering.
My well wishes to you and Inenmar, my friend. I will write to you about the climate of affairs once I’ve had more time to become accustomed to the flagstone chill of Wintercourt. Please write back quickly, and keep yourself well. I assure you, I will keep my temper well to myself and out of trouble unless absolutely necessary, even if we sometimes disagree on what necessary is.
House Quire in Wintercourt, the 17th day of Summer, in the 1034th year of the First Imperial Year,
Kornan Olvendi, Summer Mage