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Evandrus, Son of Mars. Crown Prince.

Aboard the Silver Alaphina on the Crystal Tides, Bound for Striecial,

The Fifth of Ara, Sixteen Seventy-Four.

Dear Saphir,

Through my weary days I find my eyes drawn to the ring on my finger, your lovely gift. Like the sirens of legend the rich colour seems to trap me within it’s crystal depths. As I told you two months ago it has not left my person save for that single hour. It has been a constant reminder of you. Now I know why you sent it; I jest of course. Out upon the sea everywhere I look I see the same blue. Everywhere I look I see you. Though it has been a scant handful of letters, I feel as if I truly know you. You weigh on my mind at all hours. There are nights where I find I cannot sleep for my mind has been consumed with you. I feel myself longing for your correspondence. You may well find a stack of letters on your doorstep before long.

I feel, Saphir, that you are the only person with whom I might doff the crown and shed the mantel of Prince. With you, in the secrecy of letters as you so eloquently put it, I might be just a man. I admit that it is a selfish privilege that I have allowed myself and a precarious position I have put you in. Venus and Mars circle in the night sky as they have done for millenia. Your first letter, in response to me, was what drew me to you. The naked kindness you showed to me, the tether you selflessly sent. You are the sole star upon my horizon these dark days; Even if you would have me in the stocks or clapped in irons. To think I would go gladly.

The thought of you is no small comfort; It is not that I fear the sea,  It is the desolation, the loneliness. As I write this we have been at sea for ten days and I have not seen dry land since the second day. I feel melancholy creeping in, the stark vastness. As you look out to the sea, the sea and the sky are one. You can scarcely tell up from down, it is maddening. And the Shining Lord is no succor for he beats down upon the ship with his awesome and terrible might. As he reaches his apogee I cannot find the strength to join the men on deck.

At night the Star-Born Pantheon paint the sky and the waters, it is a beautiful sight. They take my breath away and I must confess that I find myself more often than not out reveling it in. This too is maddening but, it is a madness I cannot help but indulge. Saphir, have I gone mad? I have always heard that the Stars call to the Children of the Starry Heavens, before this voyage I never believed it. I can feel the fiery eye of Mars upon me Saphir. Can you too?

It seems that the priest assigned to me by Prelate Sareashen quite enjoys the life of the sea. The intense heat and harsh winds. I believe I will speak to the Prelate to see if young Hayen might be assigned to a ship. Maybe even the Silver Alaphina herself, the crew has been quite lively with him on board. I do not mean to bore you with deployment minutiae. Hayen was sent to protect and advise me. To protect me from what is the real question; I of course have my own personal guard. I would not hesitate to say that they are the two most well trained soldiers in our kingdom. The only conclusion is that Hayen is to protect me from either their sorcery. Or, much more likely, from being infected with their philosophy of atheism.

Faithfully,

Evandrus, Son of Iron-banded Mars.

 

Silver Alaphina: Pronounced Al – ah – fee – nah

The Crystal Tides: The ocean to the west of the nation. Also known as the Ocean of Glass or the Crystal Coast,

Sareashen: Pronounced S – air – ah – shen.