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The Eighteenth of Ivaris, Sixteen Seventy-Four, The Royal Palace, Opris

Cytherean Lord,

I must first apologize for my delay, I received your letter two days ago but I have been much too busy to respond. No doubt you’ve heard of the incursion in Essililon, a third of a legion dead or missing with no known cause. I will be visiting it in a week hence. Over a thousand souls in Ulblne just gone. I almost think that it could be Striecialian Sorcery. I must once again apologize, I should not worry you with the current geopolitical climate as of late. While I am a forward thinking man of culture and learning, I still do not believe that a Child of Venus should be forced to grasp the indelicacies of war and strife. Yet a third time I must apologize. Please do not think of me as rude, I just wish to grant you some shelter from these events. Forgive me?

In the secrecy of letters, and the sanctity of your mind, I would much prefer you to call me Evandrus. Or perhaps Evan if you are feeling over bold. I do insist that in such correspondences as these, unsanctioned and private as these are, that you would do away with calling me “Your Grace” or “Your Highness” at every second line. While it is flattering, if I wanted to hear someone fawn over me I would amble about the kitchens and gardens for an hour, no doubt I would garner a whole host of servants falling over one another to bow and scrape before me. That is if I had the hours to wander the grounds or haunt the kitchens. We are close enough in station that I would not be insulted if you were to act as if we were the same.

You have not insulted me, in fact your letter made me smile, a luxury of which I have had few in the previous months. I don’t think you could ever be timid or simple, I have heard of many Children of Venus and as I understand it a fire burns beneath their breast. Nor do I believe either of those qualities are a curse. Dangerous beauty and beguiling grace, those are weapons that have felled kings and toppled nations. Perhaps they are a curse to ones enemies and a boon to ones closest allies. If you were timid you would have had your Lord Regent respond to me, as would be proper. You also would not have sent a gift in return, at least not one with such personal value. Something thing tells me you very rarely do what is proper when something you value more than standing and reputation are at stake.

I really must thank you for the ring; Sapphire is thought to calm and focus the mind and release tension. It has only left my presence for one hour since I received it and that was for it to be cleaned and ensure the setting was secure. Do not worry, I have treated it as if it were a part of the regalia itself. It also fits perfectly. Now I assume you do not know this, but perhaps you do but do not realize it; Sapphire is a stone of fidelity and integrity. The ring is actually a betrothal ring, I would assume that it was given to your father by your mother when they finished or neared the end of their courtship. The gift has sparked many rumors and for that alone I should thank you. The rumors are quite fascinating and outlandish: One I overheard last night was that I was betrothed to an Alazian prostitute.

Your regards and condolences were well received, they were much more heartfelt than what your Uncle sent; A bottle of Rahsere wine. It wasn’t very good. Does that sound petty? I daresay is does. Is a prince allowed to be petty? I would think not, maybe I should have myself put in the stocks. Why do I have the feeling you would enjoy that?

When I next visit the Great Cathedral I shall stop to see your mother, I assume your father is interred beside her? I think that I would have loved to have seen that tantrum. I can picture it now, with my own embellishments certainly. I see you smashing a small porcelain dog and lighting the curtains on fire. I can’t believe one of your staff would have the gall to say that, had she been your governess maybe, but even so at your mother’s funeral? I do hope she was dismissed.

I believe our nation is too wrapped up in religious dogma; Just last week I listened to a sermon in the Cathedral and the Heirophant went on about how only one god lives in the breast of our people. Last night while he dined at my table I pointed out that gone were the days of one religion. He agreed with me, to a point. He went on and on about the many different branches and sects of The Shining Lord’s worship. The hour was late and the wine was flowing, I didn’t have the heart nor the strength to inform him of his folly.

How is your brother doing? I had heard he arrived around the tenth. I met young Kyran at a gala hosted by Granner and his wives four months ago, Granner mentioned that Kyran would be returning home around that time. Granner said that he was sad to see the boy go but with Kyran’s upcoming responsibilities it would be best for him to return home.

Might you favor me with one question more? I would hope so, but if not I will still ask them. That is the privilege of correspondence as it is. It is a purely selfish question, but I do hope you see fit to indulge me my eccentricities. What colour do you enjoy most? I do hope you answer soon, the window of opportunity does draw to a close.

Do you know the language of flowers?

A small yellow rose is secreted in the envelope, devoid of thorns it’s stem is twisted into a complicated knot.

Opris: The capital city. The name is slated to change.

Essililon: A province or county within the country. Pronounced Ess – ill- leon

Ulblne: A town in the province of Essilion. It sounds much like Gruel-Bane

Striecialian: The Nationality of people from the country of Striecial; Purported to practice sorcery.

Striecial: A country purported to practice sorcery. The government has yet to be decided but I am leaning toward a mageocracy. Pronounced Stri – Shawl

The names of Opris and Ulblne may change. I’m not completely happy with them so if they spontaneously change you’ve had fair warning. In the comments below please let me know what you think of the post and and the names. Feel free to suggest names or ideas.