Silken Apologies, Velvet Promises


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The Twenty-Nineth of Ivaris, Sixteen Seventy-Four

I received a package today, it was quite a surprise to see the seal. The young man who delivered it was dressed in royal livery. It seems that I must brush up on heraldry if I am shocked to see Evandrus’ seal on a package bore by a liveried servant. If I cannot identify the livery of the Crown Prince at a glance then I am failing at my duty. Any child could identify such arms, I can only blame it upon fatigue and surprise.

The servant boy refused to release the package into Tam’s care, something about special orders I can only assume. I was just breakfasting in the conservatory when Tam informed me of the boy. I really must buy a book of heraldry for Tam as well; So that he might announce such persons. The boy was shown in to see me, he was barely shy of twelve. Though his request was harsh and I shall write to Evandrus of it, I can only assume he had orders to insure my identity. He insisted that I produce the seal of Venus that was upon my body. As my seal is in a publicly acceptable place I had no qualms, when out and about people ask to see it or gawk at it anyway. I merely pulled the collar of my shirt down low enough and showed the golden mark upon my clavicle. The boy seemed to physically relax at that, wiping the sweat from his brow and then asking me the most queer question: “What is the stone that rests in an iron band?”

In truth I was quite confused, as I am sure any would be when one is expected to participate in subterfuge. It was quite foolish subterfuge to be honest, if Evandrus had wished privacy it would have done him well to to send a liveried servant to deliver the package. Is it that he wished to play a game, a vapid game of courtly graces. Such games are not suited for distant estates devoid of courtiers and politics. My answer was a simple one. Though in my opinion it did not lack for wit and charm. “While some might believe that Coral or Carnelian bright, rests in an iron band. In truth, the only mineral that rests in an iron band is iron itself.”

Truly I thought myself clever to have thought of that quick twist to the question, I was quite astonished that that was the correct answer. It appears that the prince has come to know me quite well in the scant few letters we have exchanged. So well in fact that he assumed I would respond to such a question in the most flippant way possible while still answering to the spirit of the question. With a wave of my hand I dismissed the courier, quick to take up a knife and open the package.Tam quickly saw the liveried servant to the kitchens while I set about the package. It was quite large, wrapped in brown paper and twine.

It was a shock when I finally divested the package of paper and twine. Inside was fabric, yards of it. It was as if someone had woven sapphires into cloth. It was beyond beautiful. Silks and velvets, easily worth a few hundred pounds. I could have my bed curtains as sapphire silk and velvet bedspreads. With enough left over, I’m sure, to have silk pillows and upholster a chair. Probably my bergère, oh, or maybe the chaise in the day room. So very many possiblities.

I can only draw the conclusion that this is an apology of sorts. Does he truly think that money can buy my affections? Does he think we lack for money? We do not boast the overflowing coffers of the crown but I have wanted for nothing that money can buy. My self-hate about my anger is gone. It has been replaced with rage. If Evandrus believes that money and trinkets can placate me.

An apology without words, a hollow apology.

Of Hate and Questions Unbidden and Unasked


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The Twenty-Sixth of Ivaris, Sixteen Seventy-Four,

I cannot believe the venom and vitriol of my letter. If I had an ounce of sense in my vapid and desolate mind I would not have sent it. If I were a sensible person I would remember my place and his station; And censored my letter as such, In a very short time he will be King. Pretty words and pretty smiles, I cannot assume that anything I say will be taken correctly or will stay solely between he and I. I cannot assume that his so called bid for familiarity and to step away from such peerage protocol as anything more than an attempted trap. I would do well to remember the scant few lessons my Father taught me; “If it cannot be said in full court without repercussions then it is best not to be said, let alone put down in your own hand. Should your own hand betray you then you have signed your own warrant. You are headed to the rope.”

I cannot believe I spoke so candidly to him. Upon that head shall rest the crown. The crown he has been born and bred. And here I sit entertaining flitting fantasies of love and interest. If I were born to anyone else I would be thought of as a whore, a prince would want nothing to do with a whore. Save only for a night’s distraction. No matter my station, all in his court will see me as a whore and paint me with a whore’s scarlet brush.

In every court across this sphere we call home do courtiers gossip, and I have no doubts that after the Festival of the Ocean Spirits that I am a common and favorite topic. As of late that is. A vain peacock am I for such petty and unseemly thoughts.

Yet I do so hope he returns my letter and paradoxically I hope that he never reads it. That it might be cast into the flames so that my words lay unsaid and unwritten. Two Days, without stop, by train is all it takes to get to the capital, it is the one of the fastest forms of transportation in our modern day. To Opris in but a blink, a scant number of days if the train makes it’s usual stops upon the way.

Has Evandrus gone to Essillion? To that damned place where nearly half a legion has disappeared in mist and smoke. Is that why he has not returned my letter? Does he still yet live? Has he fallen to wicked sorcery? Am I so cursed to always to sit here waiting for his blasted letters? An obedient animal waiting his beck and call? Is this truly love that burns beneath my breast?

Does Evandrus sit up in his apartments with agile iron pen awaiting my letters in turn? I must endeavor not call him Evandrus, not in the safety of my diaries, of which any could read; Nor should I think of him as Evandrus while in the sanctity of my mind, to do so would be folly and breed misfortune. To become accustom to calling him Evandrus in my mind would be well inappropriate. Even worse if I were to slip and call him Evan while in the company of others. To do such a thing would provoke scandal. Informality is another word for disrespect as Uncle is want to say. If only Uncle knew of the letters coming and going from my bower.

I hate myself and I cannot believe my own ego. Must the whole if creation yet again revolve around me? Am I truly this weak of will? I must work to redouble my efforts not to give in to my selfish cytherean urges and instincts. If only I could loose the chains and do as I would. A moments’ distraction and folly cannot hurt.

There are many things I would exorcise from my beloved home, the house of my Father, or would I leave this behind and head to our manor in Opris? I should think the latter, if only to be closer to the origin of the childish fantasies that dither about my mind. Fantasy is not a viable escape, I should work from within the confines of my cage. The gilded cage that it is, I should think that a Galtheran slave would think such a cage a lush palace. A palace of servants and sweet tea cakes, a life without labor and pain. Never knowing the true taste of the lash.

A moment’s punishment of the lash, blood spilled and a lasting scar. I would almost prefer it over the harsh cruelties of isolation and coldness.


For Love Among the Waves


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The Twenty-Fifth of Ivaris, Sixteen Seventy-Four, Orum District, Opris
My Dearest Mother,

I write to you today in sorrow and woe. With a heavy heart I must tell you that your prediction has come to pass, my beloved has gone to the sea. I curse your name Mother. As your spoke the words of prophecy: He will never return to you, to your bridal bed. He informed me last night that the prince sets sail for Striecial this morning. For the first time I curse your spirit-touched vision, the same vision that saved us from the flood of Sixteen Sixty-Two. I would that the Shining Lord burn out your eyes and cut out your sorcerous tongue.

Oh, Mother. The sea shall open and swallow my beloved. Damn the Pagri and a double curse on their thrice-damned pantheon! Had they a civil bone in their collective bodies they would have let the vile spirits sleep as the Lord of Light ordained. Rumors have spread that the Children of The Leviathan hunt and stalk the waters. Mother, please tell me your vision was false. I cannot let my heart die.

Galliel is still having problems feeding, I swear it’s as if he has needles for teeth yet I know he has yet to cut a tooth. I fear the nanny milk isn’t enough for him, he cries constantly and wakes Arlen on the hour. Arlen was sweet last night. He tried to comfort me when he’d noticed that I was crying. Some days I feel so awful that it isn’t his arms I long to comfort me in our bed. There are days where I regret marrying him but, a clocksmith makes no small amount of money. As you told me time and again when Father was arraigning the marriage. He cares for Galliel, Yerana, and I quite well. The children have seen a physician each time I have been sick. Yet there are days where I long for my solider. I yearn for his touch Mother. Can I damn our prince? Would that be treason? May I damn the scion of our king?

Yerana is now old enough to go to chapel, seven years old and tall enough to dance on the oak table where we take meals. Arlen and I have discussed sending her to the Sister’s of Pity and Piety, he believes it will teach her some manners and etiquette. I just worry about confusion and indiscretion, she is just a young girl after all. I do not want her consorting with whores at such a young age. I know the Sisters will try to keep her away from the Children of Venus, but children are curious creatures. She will just find her way to them, I just know it.

I would rather she stay here with me; After all little hands are quick and nimble, they work the loom so well. With Galliel at my hip or ankle I cannot work the loom for more than a passing minute and she produces twice the cloth I did before Galliel. If she must go to an order I would have it as the Mourners of Ara. They are much preferable, even with their month of mourning. They are usually a cloistered order and would be much safer, they would teach her much of our history. She need not take vows for that order. I would not have her make a vow before she knows the repercussions. The Mourners of Ara take in many children and teach them all kinds of things, from numbers and figures to letters and letter writing. Arlen can afford it, I need only to convince him of the orders merit.

Mother, I must apologize for my words. I spoke in anger and it is not how I truly feel. As always I have spoken in haste and unbecoming of your daughter. Please forgive my hysteria. I must thank you for the tin whistle you sent for Yerana, I had not known a more irritating noise than Galliel’s shrieking until I gave it to her. No doubt I had a similar one when I was of her age.

I am sending along a present for father; Arlen finished it a fortnight ago, an hour after I’d sent off my last letter. A pocket watch, he said that it should not need to be serviced for three or so years as long as it is wound daily. You will find Father’s gift wrapped in Galtheran cotton, I though you might enjoy some embroidered handkerchiefs. Send my love to father and the other wives,

Your Daughter,


The Mourners of Ara — Are a semi religious sect that will be heard about in subsequent posts.

Galther —  Is a nation with one of its prime exports being cotton.