Thank you very much for the beautiful shell, and for the notes. I regret to inform you that Meriada Tornsail perished in an accident in Waterdeep these two days past. She will be missed by her friends and associates, I am sure.
First, and this is important – I take it from your letters that, no matter what else has occurred to you, you have not been suffering from a curse of otherworldly origin that manifests as a wasting of the body and a sapping of magical strength. I am certain you would have mentioned it if you had. I have already checked with Lucien, who is not afflicted – the “otherworldly” origin in particular brings to mind certain hypotheses, you understand. I assume for now that he has mentioned the incident to you in one or another of your daily Sendings, but if not, then rest assured that it is nothing for you to worry about if you are not affected.
Now, to the substance of what you have written –
I admit, I am with your father in his opinion. I understand that you believe that there was something wrong and unwise in remaining where you were, and I trust that you were correct, but I don’t understand why that should be. I do not wish to press too hard upon this point, but the opportunity to be in a beautiful place you love, devoting yourself to work you love, honoring the past, and being beholden to no one – what was it that was poisoning your life? Grief for all that was lost? Being trapped in the past rather than turning your attention towards becoming someone new? (Surely it is not that second thing, else all historians should be counted fools, yes?)
You don’t need to answer if this is something that is too crass to ask about, or too painful to speak of directly.
I just wanted to mention – and this is not something that matters, just a parallel that occurred to me just now – that some months ago, I went to see one of my old governesses. The only one who survived my childhood. My family has been paying her a generous annuity ever since it came out what caring for me was doing to her. It’s enough gold to keep her in comfort for many years, if comfort were a purchaseable commodity.
She greeted me warmly and with much love, and then I killed her quickly and painlessly at her request.
I think the weight of guilt always runs both ways, in a sense. It was a mercy to both of us.
Mailing Box 37, Market Ward, Port Nyanzaru
P.S. Though I have enclosed my anticipated mailing address, I am in fact currently writing this aboard a ship heading to Chult, so this letter might not be posted for some time.
Vitality: 1 ◦ Quickness: 4 ◦ Fortitude: 3
Auspicious Days: 11 ◦ Inauspicious Days: 7