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

If, in the secrecy of letters and in the sanctity of my mind, I am to do away with your station and we would be made equal, I would ask you to grant me the same advantage in this game of letters. I would also kindly ask that you not refer to me as Lord, it breaks of the illusion you are attempting to create. I must give you credit, Cytherean Lord was quite creative; How many astronomers do you have on retainer just for that wit?

A governess, whom we’d employed years ago, mentioned it to me in a letter that arrived just before the festival. Uncle still has yet to mentioned it to me himself, I can only assume he wishes to keep me in the dark. Just as he kept me in the dark about the guest we are playing host to until a few scant days before her arrival. I worry that Kyran will win the Lordship from me, I do not doubt that the peerage would see him as a much more viable and useful addition. I am an anomaly, an aberration sowing seeds of chaos and dissension in the ranks.

As you know: My grandfather held the original Lordship which passed to my father, whom was my grandfather’s first born, overlooking his own brother and my fathers brother. With my father’s death the Lordship passed to myself. As I was much too young to rule the Lordship was passed on to my uncle to be held in trust until I am of an age fit to rule. Honestly I do not know how I feel about reacquiring the Lordship that I am entitled to by blood and birth order. Being a Child of The Starry Heaven’s is just one mark against me, the second is the seal I bare: The mark of Venus at my collar. If the peerage were to declare it, I would never bare the title of my father. If I were to marry would Lord or Consort rule? That is the question some would ask. I must wed a peer or I must never marry. Forever a virgin Lord, I would have to name one of young Kyran’s children as my heir; Assuming he will have any. I already believe my uncle has entertained the notion of wedding my himself, as he is my regent he would still retain the title and powers. He would not be a consort; I daresay that I would be tucked away somewhere, a distant estate and locked inside. Of course I believe that also to be a form that Kyran wishes to utilize as well.

Enough of my monologuing and boring with the trivialities and mundanities of my repetitious life. You like to think that you are a gentleman yet you treat me like a child? Forgive my anger for I might have forgotten my place or I might yet have believed you when you’d said that behind the secrecy of letters, the illusory veil we do weave, that we are equal in station. It is that backwards, Lord of Light thinking that dictates that one such as I must be sheltered from the brutalities of life. We are fertile little things to be hidden away in whore houses. Toys to be played with and then put away on a dusty shelf. It is that divine thinking which would have any noble title or position that is mine by right to be stripped from me at lain at the feat of my brother or any Consort I would take.

Yes, Evandrus, I do think you rude. If you were to ask me, I would be able to tell you of what I know of Striecialian Sorcery: I could tell you that it would take an extremely powerful sorcerer to remove a whole legion, a much more powerful sorcerer still to do it from outside the confines of our nation. But, the question was not posed to me. Obviously I am just an air-headed Child of Venus and the two summers I spent in Striecial included sunbathing and eating teacakes; Not visiting the capital, raiding their libraries, watching them practice their sorcery, or even watching the performance they put on during the banquet. So no, I know nothing of Striecialian Sorcery. I don’t even know where Essililon is, I can’t even find it on a map. Shut your mouth dear, it does not do one well to catch flies.

I should apologize for my tone, I assume it is quite pointed. Do you wish to remind me of my station? How about my lot? If the only answer is Sorcery and we are not in Striecial it would would seem that the answer is not in fact Sorcery. Onto more pleasant topics before I must debase myself before you to apologize.

I am quite touched and amused that you would treat such a trinket as if it were apart of the royal jewels. I must say that I did not realize it was a betrothal ring; As you know my father died not long after I presented as a Child of Venus and I have fleeting memories of my parents. I have yet to step foot in your palace and yet I have already set about piquing interest and rumour. If I had known that I held such a power I would have been sowing intrigue for an age, I assure you. To think that your people believe me to be some Alazian prostitute wrapped in silk, bedecked in emeralds, and blanketed in perfume. In comparison I have more in common with a novitiate of the Order of Pity and Piety than an Alazian whore. Am I a spider with an incredibly large web?

The Rahsere wine you mentioned is quite terrible. It is supposedly Ice Wine, Uncle bought three cases and has been attempting to pawn as many bottles off on as possible. I believe he donated one crate to the Pagri for the festival, whatever was left he then donated to the Shining Lord’s church in town. I wonder if they will actually use it, I will ensure that I am unable to visit the church for a month or more. While after the beginning of your letter I would very much enjoy seeing you in the stock or wreathed in chains I would have to say that it is not petty. Poor wine can lead to a nasty political incident. I would not be surprised if that had been Uncle’s plot. Then again I see an enemy at each side and one in between. It might not keep you happy but paranoia does keeps one alive.

I can assure you that no porcelain object was damaged nor were the curtains set alight. I was quite upset, but Mrs. Argall is from Lighthurst and as you may know, they tend to be blessed in religious fervor in the extreme. What she said was not intended to hurt me, but to soothe me in some twisted way. They say that the Stars are cold and distant, but the servants of their god are as cruel as burning steel applied to soft flesh.
I look upon the church of the Shining Lord and all I can see is an enemy. I cannot see the forest for the trees it seems. I cannot step beside my own bias. A bias well founded mind you. They would see me performing my duty locked up in some whore house if they had their way. Had I a Heirophant dining at my table I daresay that I would see to him as if he were a hooded cobra, all writhing coils and spitting venom. You are a better man than I.

To my knowledge young Kyran does yet dwell in these walls. Uncle has yet to mention him for many months and at times I almost think he were a fever dream of my youth if it were not for the letters he has sent. I have not received a letter from him in over a year, I gave up sending them seven months ago when my last we sent back unopened.

I believe I once heard my mother say that the privilege of correspondence is as always purely selfish in nature. Plots and scheming, late night rendezvous and illicit affairs. I believe I must entertain your frivolity. I do most enjoy the deep hues of sapphires offset with silver. I believe I enjoy theses colors most because of my mother; Before she wed my father and joined him here on the estate she was well known as “The Lady Sapphire” in your father’s court. As she once told it, your father was quite enamored of her. If it was not for your mother’s russet feathers I daresay we would be siblings.

What is the window of opportunity you speak of? Must you spin riddles wherever you go? Obviously I know the language of flowers; I accepted them, didn’t I?

You and I weave a dangerous dance. Two alien elements dancing among the aether marked by two luminous godsigns.