Winterstar: One Year After – 11

25 Mirtul

Travaran –

It’s been one hundred and seventy-four days since I wrote Father to ask why men under his employ tried to kill me.

At first I thought his silence must be a sign of guilt. I learned, I thought, to hate him. (But why? What reason would he have to discard me? Am I not still a valuable and effective asset?) Then, I thought as I raised up my own private army here to oppose him, what if he had no knowledge of it at all? What if my previous letter had gone astray? And finally, as I waited and waited and grew weaker and no further opposition came – what if this was a test, to see what I would do?

Or worse – what if his deliberate silence was a way to lure me into error, into exposing a weakness through anxiety and impatience and lack of guidance?

If that was his aim, he has succeeded. I need to know. I ask this knowing that it is almost a certainty that you will betray me to Father if betrayal is the shape of how things lie: Travaran, if you have ever loved me, please tell me what you know. I must know. I cannot act without knowing, and I cannot bear to pace the boundaries of my uncertainty any longer.

Travaran, I have split and riven the city of Port Nyanzaru as neatly as any saboteur or subversion agent might wish. Half the city flocks to a populist banner that they do not know is mine, and is ready to turn on the other half as soon as someone gives them a reason. And I am dying. Dying slowly, yes, but – faster than I have always been dying.

If Father wishes me dead, I know very well that Father is a man who has built a career upon getting what he wishes. But I would, given the chance to choose, die at the hands of someone whose soul is alight with the desire to see me dead – to have been someone, done something, consequential enough to be worth killing. Rather than withering away in a bed in a confined room. Or being simply another name ticked off a hireling’s list.

Grant me this mercy, at least, of knowing which it is to be.

Your sister

Vitality: 4 ◦ Quickness: 4 ◦ Fortitude: 2 ◦ Hope: 9

Auspicious Days: 15 ◦ Inauspicious Days: 12

Winterstar: One Year After is the epistolary epilogue of Lilissen Winterstar, written with Her Odyssey. Updates every Sunday.

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