To Lady Jana Urvalane
Bluerime Street, Frosthall
Whitethrone in Irrisen
Strange tidings on my journey in the south. First, I must inform you that both Ivan and Petr abandoned me when we were in Nirmathas. I couldn’t persuade them to finish our task and return to Irrisen; my path included booking passage on a boat on Lake Encarthan headed towards Kerse. They decided that they liked the taverns and warm weather in Tamran. Fortunately, my later journey on the waterways was not dangerous.
I am writing to you from a small village called Heldren which is less than a day away from the wedding delivery in Zimar. Just before I arrived, news came through that Lady Argentea left Zimar unwed and headed back to Oppara. Furthermore, it was discovered that her party had been attacked; her fate is currently unknown. A small group of people – including me – is investigating the event. I will make decisions about the delivery when we learn more.
Also, a strange thing occurred just after we learned of the attack. A wise woman came into the inn where everyone was discussing the news and she got an opportunity to give a Harrow reading. Now, we both know that, in the right hands, the readings can provide true omens. We have both seen the Harrow deck used in this way with great veracity.
This reading was quite something. First of all, each of the nine cards was placed in the tableau with perfect alignment. Have you ever heard of such a thing, even in old stories? Could it have been a sleight of hand trick? Secondly, many of the cards had what seemed to be obvious connections to people in the room, and these same people are participating in the investigation! At least five of the cards seemed to point at us, including one for me in the very center position.
In addition, there were two oddities. The middle of the bottom row held The Mute Hag. This is a dire omen and – given my mission and the calendar – might indicate the imminent return of Great GrandMother. The other oddity is about the card that pointed at me in the center. That position held The Foreign Trader which seems to point to me as that is the role I am fulfilling. The strange part of that is that Foreign Trader doesn’t seem to actually describe me. The cards do not make mistakes in a True Reading, though. Was the old crone giving a True Reading or did she set the deck to try to match what she could see, to try to get our group into action? Does she have a secret agenda? Are these people in league trying to rob the delivery or perhaps kidnap the Lady Argentea? Maybe the reading is True and nothing is amiss, other than the obviously dire predictions.
I don’t seem to have much more news other than that these southern lands are hot and humid. The humidity is good for the skin, but I am not sure that my owl Katja is enjoying the heat. She does like the additional quarry, though! Oh! There is a building in this small village that boasts gingerbreading. I didn’t expect to see that so far away from home, even though there are so many hardwood trees in this area. Veritable forests!