Story for the Day: A Commander's Correspondence

In honour of the Haanta Series tour going on this week, here is a preview from book 2: From Frewyn to Sanhedhran.

A Commander's Correspondence

Direction: Marridon, capital, Chambers, Her Grace, the Duchess of Marridon.

My dearest Jaina,

Do not pretend that I, one of so feeble a character, am equal to writing to a duchess. Because you have so kindly charged me with this office, however, I shall endeavor not to disappoint your fancies. We are all of us well as you left us with a few improvements to convey: 

Alasdair currently practices his music and has done so every evening since your parting. He has again taken up his love for composition and spends the few hours before sleep regaling the keep with his newest opus for the day. I am excessively glad for him to have reclaimed his comforts in music. When we were at the Church in Tyferrim, he would play for hours together as his chief consolation with regard to his state after his grandfather’s death. His illness truly was so sudden that though, at the time, I had little idea who Alasdair was, I felt immense sympathy for him of having lost someone so dear at such a time of life. His mentors gone and he being thrown into the auspices of a Church for his enlightenment left little in the ways of intellectual stimulation. I do not suggest that he feels the same now, even though the tribulations of court and the trials of evading the various royal advances are disagreeable to one of his kindly nature and generous character, but I do feel that he finds his necessary peace for the evening in his melodic delights. Do allow me to give you my sincerest compliments on your visit. It has done well for my king and most intimate friend more than you know. You have performed an excellent service in making him speak to a woman of sense other than myself. If you could be pried from your perch at the Chambers, I should not be sorry to call you a sister though I believe he has resolved not to take a queen until he feels himself a deserved king of our fair kingdom. 

 My mate currently sits in his chair eating some of the rock chocolate your were so good as to send us. I daresay he is enjoying himself immensely for he has said nothing but mm for above an hour. He pauses to contemplate the texture and savour of every sample, staring into the hearth with brooding elation , reveling in his succor. I may leave him there and enjoy my evening of silence. We are usually at the table together making our correspondences, but where his letters are made in terse and prosaic, I find myself writing line long after he has sent his correspondence off. He is tolerable happy here, I think, ever so much more than he should care to admit, for you see there is chocolate here and all manner of agreeable food, which can only keep him well-fed and therefore content. I am here also, which makes up for the other half of his delight, and while he may have harboured a desire to attend the Den Amhadhri on his search for their youngest brother, it is my belief that he should have died doing so, for there would have been little for him to eat. I do wonder at whether it is the business of Haanta men to be survived by their mates, for if not, I know that he shall follow me into the otherworld if not to pull me out and replace me in front of the stove than to join me for having died of starvation. The rations in the larder would keep him well for a slender amount of time, but without me to gild over Martje’s squawkings, he should claim it provocation enough to kill her. She is a darling creature, and she makes Alasdair happy, which is all my concern, but I cannot recommend inciting a mountainous being while hungry.   She is brave for what she does, but my fear is that her cleaver shall be no match for my mate’s sword. Her naggings might do, however.

Do write to me until you are able visit again. Though our two nations are separated by a mere one mile, I know that you cannot be prevailed upon to allow the Dremmwel to wet your pelisse more than is tolerable.

Yours affectionately
C.B. MacDaede