Miriele's Letter to Her Mother on Leaving Dawndale
Dear Mother, I leave Dawndale later today. I’ve hated most people and things in this town. It’s too big. Too much. Too self-involved. There were a series of supposed serial killings and all people did was cower and hide. It took me and my companions just a day or two to figure out the serial killings were in fact an elaborate ruse to kidnap arcanists instead. Which begs the question: why couldn’t they have been proactively figuring this out? It hasn’t all been terrible. There’s a lovely tavern that just felt - easy. Like I could be joyful and more myself. There was a handsome human who owned the place. He was kind and let me sing for my supper as it were. I had one of those perfect singing nights. The kind that comes only every once in a long while. Fear not, mother. I may have abandoned most of our ways, but I’m not so far removed from our culture that I would expose my heart to someone who lives for a moment in our eyes. However kind and friendly. I suppose that’s the challenge this city has been for me - realizing that so many beings live for a moment. That life is so very fleeting for so many and has little staying value. The longer I journey with my companions, the more I’m fine with confronting that. It’s only practical. Sadly my group of travelers largely are not. So much hand-wringing and debate about secondary and tertiary issues and morality in ways that directly conflict with achieving the primary objective. I don’t think I’ve been this frustrated with a group of people since my early days at Otemus. All of the constant getting in our own way makes me tired and fractious. And I’ve been more unkind than I ought to at least a few. But I doubt many would really fault me for it. My closest companion is a Kiyokan if you can believe it. I spent years winning her over before our adventure started. And I am perhaps too much influenced by her pragmatic side. Or maybe she brings it out in me and sadly my old temperament you always urged me to learn to curb enables me to be more ruthless than I’d imagined I’d be capable of ever being. I’ve now killed. Several times. What does it say about me or Otemus that I’m not convinced these acts are worse than those I observed or participated in during my many years there. I think something broke inside me there, mother. Relatively early on. Whatever you’ve heard about Otemus, I promise you it’s a much watered down version of reality. If anyone is inclined to follow in my footsteps and go to Otemus, although I can’t imagine that to be the case, please urge them not to for the foreseeable future. Something is afoot where evil is attacking arcanists. I’m doing my best to help investigate it, to try and stop it, but I fear it will be beyond me. I’m tired, mother. I wish I had it in me to make the tone of this letter better. But that would require energy and subterfuge that I just don’t have the will to create right now. I feel like I’m losing my natural ability to hope for the best in people and situations. The further we go on this adventures, the less I’m astonished by how awful people can be to one another. Give a thought to our gods and send me whatever protection they might spare for me. I love you very much, Your Miri.
Miriele's Letter to Her Mother on Leaving Sherbourne
Dear Mother, I find myself always writing to you ‘ere I’m about to leave a place. I leave Sherbourne later today. I’ve spent much time in my research, making friends (some of the unlikeliest you’d imagine), and generally enjoying this town. There are many places to enjoy good food and music. As always, I tend to know many people without having too much contact with any one person. But here I have made two fairly close friends. One is a fisherman - or was before tragedy befell his family. He’s a bit older and reminds me from time to time of father. Strong, stalwart, concerned about his family. The other owns a bookshop. She’s [inksplot] wonderful and challenging all at once. She certainly challenges me to reconsider my contributions to society and, I suppose, improve myself as I can. I’ve recently come into some news that some aether-sensitive teens and young adults, primarily those who have recently been slated to go to the Arcanium, are going missing. I can’t imagine such things coming to our little village, but perhaps keep an eye out for those in the village who have come of age in the past year or those who will soon. We aren’t entirely certain yet what is happening to these near-children, but based on what we know so far, it’s grim and nothing I’d wish on anyone. I know it might not seem like it, but I do think of you and our family often. I feel not like myself these days. Probably these many years. I remain fascinated by other peoples and cultures and how different they are from our village. I’ve taken to mimicking some of these differences to feel what it might be like to be, well, different than I am. Sometimes it’s amusing. Sometimes it’s just exhausting. But increasingly, it feels necessary. I have not the time for a longer letter. Despite my pensiveness this morning, I am well. And mostly happy most of the time, if a little lonely. And that seems better than most. Perhaps I’ll have the courage to write to you at the beginning of a stay in a town where you might have the chance to write me back, if you wanted to. Some nights, I lay under the stars and hum songs you’ve sung to me hundreds of times. I like to think on those nights you feel me near. I love you very much, Your Miri.