Late Poet 2615

Dearest Bekkah,

Yes, Ancient! And I'm getting better at it, too. I well understand how rare it is for people to read and write; Kassia has explained countless times how fortunate I am to know how to read and write not only Colonial, but Ancient as well. Of course, there are few people -- aside from Temple-trained folk, nobles and the Imperials -- who don't look on the skills with suspicion, or so Kassia tells me. And there are probably even fewer who would have a use for the skill of reading and writing Ancient. Do you remember how Kassia used to make me write things out all the time, until my writing satisfied her? It is the same thing all over again, Bekkah, only this time with Ancient. But I find myself enjoying it, rather than becoming upset with Kassia. There are some marvelous tales among all her old scrolls.

Oh, Bekkah! I laugh when I imagine you trying to fight! Don't be upset that I'm laughing at you, but the pictures I form in my head are just so funny. It is good that you chose to become a Lady of Attera.

And now I am officially an initiate of Dayala, Bekkah! I am still the youngest, of course. It seems I am always the youngest. I'm so used to it, I don't even mind. I must tell you of the oddest thing Kassia has me doing now. On the very day I became an initiate, Kassia brought me to Dawnview Castle, to the Court there. And each day since, when the Khorall holds Court, we return. We arrive before any others and we stay after everyone is gone. And all I am to do is watch. If I so much as think about speaking, or start to form a question in my mind (and I don't know how she knows I'm starting to think of a question, but she does!), Kassia raps me on the back of the head. Here is the strangest part if it all, Bekkah... Kassia does not want me to watch what the Khorall does, or any of the nobles or merchants or common folk who come to seek an audience with Khorall Linnell. No. She wants me to watch the Heir.

I have written about the Heir before, I'm sure. Lord Kisa is the same age as I am, and but for our eye color, we could nearly be twins. But she is so very quiet. She never speaks, except perhaps a few words to her mother before the heralds open the great doors. She only watches. She watches everyone and everything, and I am to watch her.

After only a few weeks, I cannot even begin to guess this new lesson of Kassia's, but I'm sure in time it will become clear.

Also, beginning that first day as an initiate, each evening I am required to play a game of Doublebluff with Kassia. I am certainly better at the game than I was four years ago when Irina began teaching me, but it takes less time that most of us take eating our dinners for Kassia to beat me. While someday I might hope to beat the Priestess at this game, my more immediate goal is to force her to take more time to win! The most interesting part of this new ritual with Kassia is that, no matter how quickly I lose to her, she does not call me a cobble-block. She is almost kind, Bekkah. While often she simply says, "Good night, Daxia," once or twice she has suggested things I might think about the next time we play, and once she even said, "That was a clever move, Daxia"!

It's time for my daily trip to the well with Kassia's mismatched water buckets. I miss you, and wish I could sit with you for hours and just talk. Until the day comes when we are able talk together again, I will wish you all the happiness you could hope for, and keep you in my thoughts each and every day.


© Kelly Naylor
The Heartwood and all characters not otherwise expressly stated are © Kh'Lyh'ra Press / Mike Naylor