Letters to Estellise

Started by Stranger, November 09, 2023, 02:07:44 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Subat 8th, 7787 IY,

The Citadel has been quiet without you to keep me in trouble. Worse, it has been lonely. Even when I am surrounded by crowds or among familiar faces, I feel empty, uneasy, isolated. My heart has been aloof from the duties in front of me. I go through the motions. But I don't go with them. There is no feeling, no excitement. Even a long, soaring cruise into the gathering dusk has awakens nothing but a dreary impatience to return to bed.

I pressured Marcellus to purchase the doll that he promised you. I'll hold onto it until you return.

The Janissaries got me some of the Priory's brewing byproduct for you to study. And they'll be going back down in the depths with us soon, as we search for the analysis module.

Your apprentice,

x = a / b


Subat 12th, 7787 IY,

It was not until last month that I finally felt comfortable referring to you as "master." For so long, it felt wrong to describe you as my mentor. It was Oro Konthaz who taught me what I know, of the Djinn, of the Mission, of the Citadel. But when grandfatherly Gaius Abael admonished Mae for her disrespect of the teacher-student bond, it finally clicked for me. I understood that recognizing my apprenticeship under you would not somehow take away from my apprenticeship under Master Oro.

There are, and will be, many tutors in our life. All of them deserve our fullest respect.

And besides, you are the one who showed me the horrible truth of the Sisterhood, aren't you? That helped me see past their shallow facade, and showed me the sadistic games they play? I might have never known them for the villains that they are if you had not chosen to study them so closely, or if you had not brought me with you for that journey.

Anyway, Domhnall has appointed Aubrey as his prelate; although I think he's lost his mind, I'm sure you would be thrilled if you were here. It's not a gesture of reconciliation. They hate each other more than ever. If anything, he's hoping that placing her in his cabinet will discredit her efforts to present herself as an opposition ticket in the primary.

We've opened relations with a foreign city-state, Tlonsiyya. It was founded atop an astonishingly vast reserve of baublium and has since evolved into a thriving industrial town. Mae was assigned by the Legates as part of the delegation, against the will of Priory; the Sisters, with their pet Balladeers on call as backup singers, screamed and wailed and threw tantrums in demand of her exclusion, to no avail.

Andvari Lawcleaver is a Sergeant now. Sol Auk and Ariel Hysair seem to have formed a close alliance. Oscar Kreutz is leading experiments on "the Gutter Beast," with intriguing results. In the depths, we have yet to make new progress; Mae is as sluggardly, inflexible, and controlling as ever, when it comes to machine research. There is a deranged, cannibalistic flesh brooker at large, perhaps even a conspiracy of the cretins. Narwen Alendiel claims to have been "cured" of her alien powers, but I don't believe her at all. And a wave of new Acolytes have emerged, thus far immaculate in behavior, giving me little to read into.

Politics are currently dominated by the pro-Janissary agents pushing for our city to expand out of the Gate of Sand, and by the pro-Cinquefoil agents pushing for the city to expand out of the Gate of Roses. The Astronomers have thus far remained neutral on the matter, because we are a necessary component for both visions, and should profit regardless. We also have an invested interest in not choosing a side between the Banda Rossa and the Janissaries, especially after what Radislav pulled.

Your apprentice,

x = a / b


Subat 20th, 7787 IY,

The Ides of Subat have come and gone. Despite an abundance of omens and frightful dreams, I have not observed any terrible fate befalling Domhnall. Perhaps some invisible damnation now grips him. Perhaps there was a threat, but we thwarted it with our diligent friendship. Perhaps it was all superstitious nonsense, all along, made meaningful only by our fear.

During a closing ceremony at the edge of the Waters, he was compelled to say certain words. His reflection in the Waters spoke to him, or perhaps spoke through him; most believe this guidance was B'aara and we have no reason to challenge that interpretation, but you know how I am. I cannot help but wonder if something sinister might have been at play.

Tears gathered here
in our Well they rest
to honor dear
our great sacrifice

Ariel and Sol Auk have already fallen apart. They present conflicting narratives; Sol Auk asserts that Ariel ousted him from his own corporation, while Ariel claims that he quit in a tantrum.

Amelie Terrois has become a Sister; I hardly recognized her, and might not have believed it if I did not read her name on their roster. Acolyte Imizael is making moves to infiltrate the Purple League, deviating from her otherwise homogenous alignment of the Priory with the White League.

Hu Prak ran a democratic ballot to decide the state animal and symbol of Ephia's Well. Some demented Bashmu-kar revealed that, if we chose the Lion, it would bring about an apocalyptic event, and implored that we do so. Obviously, that didn't happen. Heron won instead, by a landslide (and by some magic of the Stele, there are now herons roosting all over the Citadel).

Zain, of course, wishes you good health and success in your ongoing quest.

Mae remains as scornful as ever.

The days continue to feel brittle and hollow without you here.

Your apprentice,

x = a / b