I write to you in haste to advise you that the emperor has desired me to leave Wintercourt by first light. I am most sorry that I will be unable to meet you when you arrive in three days time; I know that letters are a poor substitute, especially when we are to wed at the turning of the seasons, and have yet to meet as adults. We must trust to our own self-interests, which pull us inexorably together.
I will tell you the whole tale of my disgrace with the emperor in a later letter. For now, suffice it to say that I was, perhaps injudiciously--though I swear the insult was more than any man could bear in silence--this morning engaged in a duel with Lord Pendrin, the emperor's wife's favored kinsman, and it is feared that he will not live. I was not hurt.
I beg you be careful when you arrive in Wintercourt; I believe there is more going on at court than is obvious at first glance. But when was it ever otherwise? Take especial care in dealings with the emperor's wife and her kin. I suspect--I know not what, but they are too near the emperor for my liking, of late. Their influence has led to too many decisions that hurt our interests, and the emperor's own.
My friend Kornan Olvendi has recently arrived in Wintercourt and will be staying at House Quire; he is a mage and will be joining the emperor's fifth year, in accordance with the emperor's decree banning private mage years, may it soon be repealed. Though he is no longer timeless in my year at Inenmar, he still acts for me in mundane matters; if there is anything you need, however small, he will be happy to oblige you in my name. My steward will also remain at House Quire for some time. Inenmar House will be shut up until I return.
It is not official exile; I cannot say when I will return to Wintercourt. Do not expect me before the first day of autumn.
The carriage is waiting; I must bid you farewell. I will write to you from Inenmar.
Inenmar House, this 5th day of Summer,
Your ladyship's own assuredly,
Aldvar s'Endrin, Lord of Inenmar and Protector of Quire