Thank you for your letter. I admit that I was surprised to receive it, but nonetheless delighted.
In spite of the cold and ever present danger of Forochel, I am well and whole. Indeed, I feel safer than I have in a long time due to the company I keep. It is beautiful here, and wild, and there is always something new for my old eyes. I have hunted large, long-toothed cats, stood nose to nose with a massive wolf that was as tall as a man, and spent an hour in another persons body. It is a long story, but I promise to give you all the details upon my return.
Though I would tell you not to worry for me, I thank you for caring enough to do so. I’m am glad to hear you still continue to pursue healing. I hope things with Auroera are going more smoothly. Be well, my friend.
Till we meet again, safe paths to you.
—– —– —–
Before I start in, the first sketch is where I am writing to you. How are you? How is home, and Eirikr, and Durrow? I do hope Bear has healed up since the spider incident.
Where do I begin? So much has happened since I last wrote. I daresay a novel or two could be written in recounting tales from the past weeks. Due to a little trouble in the spirit world one evening, our party was cast back into our realm . . . reawakening in the wrong bodies. A young woman by the name of Faethril was in my body, and Abiorn found himself in the body of a young gentleman who goes by Sage. I myself awoke inside Abbi’s body. I do not think I can properly express everything that I felt, with our little brother as the vessel for my soul.
I have tasted mortality, the ache in his bones, and the overwhelming fire of wanting to turn into a bear (which, I should note, I did not). But, worst of all was that I — he apparently had to relieve himself and I had to hold it the whole time before being able to be put back in my own skin. Never, have I ever been more grateful to be a female! The only side-effects are that occasionally I get the urge to shout at inconvenient times, and certain things stir my anger more than they ever have before. It has given me a whole new appreciation for Abiorn.
In preparation for the impending wedding (though the young chief Panja has yet to decide on a bride), Cwendlwyn, Master Arrowheart, and myself went out to collect snowdrops (one which has been pressed and is with my sketches to you), and to hunt large, saber-toothed cats known as Kalpa-kita. Five pelts were needed, for it is customary for brides to wear dresses made from the animal’s white fur. That was the first day since our arrival that I had seen trees. How I miss them!
I will not take my time here for granted, and hope to find more remote corners to sketch down for you. I wish I could draw for you the giant wolf I saw in the spirit world, the thousands of pools I wrote of before, and the glistening ice palace of the spirit Prince named Pretty. I am sure Abbi will regale you with more of our adventures.
Take care of yourself, Anya.
With all my love,
—– —– —–
I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying your winter respite. The most recent snow storm abated a few days ago and we find ourselves as busy as ever. We spend a great deal of time in the spirit world, and though I cannot say all of the experiences have been pleasant, we have met a great many kind spirits and have had more than our fair share of adventures.
Not long after my last letter we were in the other world, attempting to calm a lost spirit who was unaware that she had perished in our world, when two wolves came upon us. The lady Faethril seemed to know who they were and spoke with the smaller female, but the male circled the rest of us. He finally stopped before me, his nose hardly an inch from my own. I feel like a fool for, instead of greeting him, all I could do was stare back at his piercing gaze in wonder. His name is Valkoinen, and he is as tall as Kvgir. I wish you could have seen him. He is by far the most magnificent creature I have ever beheld. Looking back, perhaps it was appropriate that I found myself speechless. Such a moment would have been easily ruined by words.
A dark creature has been following us. We do not know what, but those who know of it seemed gripped with fear by it’s presence. The hate in it’s white eyes is unrivaled, and it has attacked our party more than once. One night it attacked and there was no escape. Thrown back into our world we awoke, but in the wrong bodies. Abiorn found himself in the body of a young gentleman who goes by Sage, and I was in Abbi’s. While it was a worthwhile experience, I mean no disrespect your gender when I say I am infinitely relieved to be back in my own skin. The lingering side-effects are that occasionally I feel less restraint in being frank with others (which actually came in handy the other day), and certain topics stir my anger more than ever before. I have seen things through Abbi’s eyes, and it has given me a new appreciation for him.
Even as events turn and we find ourselves in dangerous situations, we are all well and in some ways more whole. I forgot to mention before, but I took the liberty of speak with Atanamir about our research. I hope this does not meet your disapproval, but he is the most knowledgeable resource we have in that field of study. He said that he would be glad to aid us in finding a solution.
Give Anyatka a hug for me. There should be a treat in my pantry for Bear, and if you happen upon Grey give him my greetings. He does not strike me as the hugging type.
Till then, I remain yours,