The first sketch is from where I sit writing to you. I doubt the cold and harshness of Forochel would suit you, but how I wish you could see this beautiful land shrouded in snow and ice.
Hallem and I went ice climbing the other morning, and as he accused me of being naturally gifted (which I assured him I was not), my thoughts immediately went to you. As talented as you were a year ago, it amazes me to see how you’ve grown as an artist. I think only your keen eye and steady hand could properly make the frozen beauty of this place come to life on canvas.
Speaking of a year ago, I woke this morning and realized that this time last year you had moved into my spare room. We already had this conversation, but I just want to thank you for being in my life. When we get back you and I should have a day out. Whatever you want to do.
How are you? How is home? I hope you and Eirikr are getting along all right. Be safe and stay warm, and I will write again soon.
With all my love,
– – – ~*~ – – –
Today might have been the longest day I have had in a while. After returning home today I did not even make it to the Lodge. I’m tired and beat in every way. This will sound odd coming from an Eldar, but all I want right now is a hug and a hot bath.
Abbi stayed behind with a few of the others today to speak with the young woman who is intended to wed Panja, the young chieftain that we came up here to aid. Myself, Cwen, and several others departed for the spirit world with the intentions of calming a wind spirit that hindered our continued exploration of the realm. The talk of Cwendlwyn’s story-telling at yule did no justice to her gifts of speech. The tale she read to appease the disgruntled entity brought several of us to tears.
Moving on, we came to a vast waste and traversed over a good portion of it till we came upon a most curious place. I will not lie and say that the thousands of little glass pools dotting the landscape were not a breathtaking sight, but I also will never peer into one again. Nearly all of us did so, the Master Dorsett excluded, and the spell of some vision gripped all of us. A few were amusing; Cwen thinking she was a lusty cat and Atanamir thinking he was a mammoth, but Oendir’s and my own were not so. If it had not been for a jolly spirit named Karhulaulu I fear I would have been lost to despair and a fruitless search for something I had lost. A brilliant, shining spirit in the form an an elf appeared and freed us from our individual curses. Oh, but he was a sight to behold. The spell is gone, but not the aching memory of having lost something of utmost importance or the feeling of being utterly, eternally alone. Now that I think about it, after I rest I should find Abbi and the others. I wish you were here. Your company always has a way of boosting my spirits.
Returning safely to Sûri-kylä, most of us promptly departed again along with Panja and a tall, golden-eyed hunter named Taja. A great ice drake had been attacking caravans and when we found it we hoped to reason with it. As our fortunes dictated, the monstrous animal attacked us and we did our best to subdue it. Atanamir was nearly eaten,Taja, Sage, and the Eldar Kemendin all suffered injuries, and Panja and I are battered and bruised, but it was poor Hallem who had been hurt worst; the beast having collapsed on his legs. Sage, who spoke to a spirit who appeared to him, assured us that we could release the animal, and we reluctantly did so. Do not
tell worry. We made it back to the village safely, and I and everyone here are in good hands.
On a happier note, I forgot to tell you that several days ago Abiorn, Hallem and I got to help harness puppies who will grow to be sled dogs. I do not think I have seen anything so adorable in my whole life as that tumbling, yipping mound of puppies. We all got to harness a pup; Abbi’s being eager to take to his harness, mine being sweet tempered and willing, and Hallem’s pudgy charge not cooperating at all. Puppies might be one of the best creatures in the world.
Aside from the impending wedding, I cannot think of much else to report on at the moment. I will try to send your letter with Eirikr’s next week, along with a few more sketches of Forochel. I miss you, and pray that you are well, oselle. Enjoy the peace and quiet and the lesser cold that is winter in Bree-land. I have a feeling Abbi may be more boisterous than ever upon our return. Greet our brother for me and take care of yourself.
With all my love,