A fine pair we make! Rest assured, if you do have the misfortune to be caught in a grave infelicity, there will always be room for you here at Inenmar, so long as you do not mind never hearing the end of it. I myself have heard a great deal from the sharp tongue of my aunt about my own stupidity in allowing myself to be exiled from Wintercourt. Speak not to me of pride; I have been fully rebuked from my failings in that area, and while I will freely admit to deserving most of it, 'tis never pleasant to be attacked by my aunt's words, however apt. There is a reason I left her at Inenmar when I planned to spend the season at Wintercourt. Even the best of plans may fail. Her pregnancy is, however, progressing well.
I am sure I heard something about the sixth year of mages while I was traveling. I did not realize that Beren was in the sixth year now, or I would have listened more closely. As it is, I am left with the impression that the conversation I vaguely recall touched on the east, though there may be no connection. If that is where she is, I am sure she is well pleased by the fate that sent her there. She was always pining for her home, all the years she was at Inenmar.
How I wish the year were still here at Inenmar. The high table seems empty without our mages; though in truth, with my cousins at Inenmar the high table is more full than it ever was. However, you must not worry unduly about the land; it is still early in the season and the summer may yet be moderate. Yes, even at Inenmar summers may be so. I am supervising the construction of irrigation canals to the western orchards and other areas that seem most likely to be harmed by the coming heat. And while we cannot muster a full year, it is possible that something may be done by those few with some skill at weather magic who yet remain at Inenmar.
But enough of Inenmar; I shall progress, however reluctantly, to write of Wintercourt. I am surprised to hear that Lord Pendrin has captured the attention of the court for so long as a week; he may be a favorite of the emperor and his wife, but he is hardly a general favorite, nor a true power about the court. It causes me to wonder if someone is guiding the attention of the courtiers. A simple duel would usually be barely a few days wonder in Wintercourt, however lofty the participants.
Perhaps it is that he came near to death; death is always interesting. But whatever the plot, or lack thereof, I cannot believe Lord Pendrin's death was intended. Had I not slipped, I would have scored the polite coup and in all politeness he would have had no choice but to drop the issue.
I am glad to hear his case is not without hope. It could only go the worse for me were he to die.
My mind runs in circles, trying to encircle the truth of the matter, but everywhere I turn I find something incomprehensible. Perhaps the only solution is to wait, and see what further actions are taken against us, and draw the pattern from that.
I do not wish to give you the wrong impression; I do not doubt Lady Velreisan. We will be married at the turn of the seasons; I have no doubt of that. For my part, it is money; for hers, it is influence. House Velreisan has declined since the days of her famous grandfather, and Velreisan is in the same case as Inenmar with regard to the emperor's policies, and so the alliance must go forward. And still there is some good will remaining from the days when we were children together; we will do well enough together.
Even so, if there is anything in your dealings with her that you feel I should know, my attention is all yours. Letters are my lifeline of late.
I received a letter from Lyrani; she will be in Wintercourt some days before the 26th, most likely the 21st or 22nd of summer. It eased my mind to hear from her; she is all joy at the prospect of attending the Academy, and I know she will do well there, for she has always been a promising child, and surprisingly wise for one her age. I hope that all my children will be so promising.
I am sorry to hear that you are troubled in your mind, though of a cause so vague I scarce know what to say; if there is ever anything I can do, you will of course write.
I had written to the Countess of Doumcen at the same time I wrote to you; I am glad to hear that it seems she is at least considering my proposal.
I have read your notes regarding the seal, and will attempt to follow them, though I am not convinced that my poor skill will suffice. You forget that with all the will in the world, I am but a poor student of magic.
I look forward to hearing more from you, though affairs in Inenmar are keeping me busy enough. It is amazing how people who would have been perfectly able to run things for themselves had I not returned must now ask me about every little detail of their plans. I suppose I encourage it; I would not want the irrigation done badly, nor the plans for the Feast of Flowers to be mishandled, nor a million other details to go wrong. Even so, as I said before, my mind is in Wintercourt more often than not; write when you can.
Inenmar, the 20th of Summer,
Ever your friend,
Aldvar s'Endrin, Lord of Inenmar