To Lord Aubrey, a Missive by Night

To Lord Aubrey, a Missive by Night

Postby Rance » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:22 pm

She sat shivering on the porch of the Broken Dagger, eyes lodged like needles into the spine of a prayerbook offered to her by one of the soft-spoken fellows at the chapel. It was well past highest point of the Crawl Moon's reign when her charcoal -- poised in a hand missing one finger -- began to scrape against parchment.

An acting governor is a temporary bandage, no better than Rhaena Olwak.

Ariane had her Militia, like the Lady had hers.

The Vice-Governor is -- is a broken piece of skin.

All her words. All like rocks rattling inside her.

Autumn's colors and a Lady's crests had left bruises in Myrken Wood. The seamstress could feel them, marks on her skin, softness under the muscles, blemishes indelibly inked by Black Hour, a single stretch in time that had left hundreds without their knowledge. Several weeks of human time lost in a bleak collection of sixty compressed minutes. And despite the hole the Hour had left in her brain, she knew one name from which she might find answers.

This time she would not break glass.

Dear Lord Aubary, C. Helstone,

Perhapes you remember me, I am the young lady with whome many months ago you corraspondit in great detail regarding matters of the LAW and EMOSION and now I write to you for that there are fears I have got that no others in Myrken Wood may comfort.

You see those many months ago when I wrought to you I asked is it to "betray the Law or to undermine a friendship" and now I must confess I am very confused and also very frightened, for just these past few weeks:

ONE, a tyerant has been disposed of in a very violent way;

TWO, a replacing group of offiseals has taken the seats abandoned by her death and Msa. Burnie's absents;

THREE, in recent months the Marshall has been taken ill with a disease of memory as have many others, as have all of us;

FOUR, there has been a linechin hanging of a man or so I have heard and I have seen the lines of very displeased townspeople demanding holes be filled after the Lady's death;

You are very far away and may have the best advice, you see I am just of fifteen circles years old and if I do not trust in myself how may an acting governor, a vise-governor who is in the infirmary, a comprimised marshall, a halve-split militia and a weakened government be trusted to do what is best, in Jernoah this is often solved in blood and I fear very much it may be solved in blood again, I do not know very much of geo-graphie or carotgraphie but myrken wood is surrounded by many other lands, yes? with many people who have got good minds, yes?

how does one who is fifteen years old and also an Inquisitor have the bravery to stand before a council of some friends and ask that they, so that one Lady is not replaced by another kind of one, relink relinquetch their command until all of our minds have been deemed clear of influence,

is this feasible, am I mad, another man shoult not be hanged, matters were meant to be resolved but I have since seen a Constable who is as large as a house and just like a beast. Never before have I seen such a thing -- do you understand why I am afraid?

Please advise,

Yours,

G.W.

By sunrise, a courier had been provided the note, stamped with a blot of gray wax pressed in by a thumb. From her dress-pockets she procured her last few bits of coin -- two shillings and a half-penny -- which she ground into the courier's palm and asked that the delivery be very rapid.
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Re: To Lord Aubrey, a Missive by Night

Postby channe » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:06 pm

Not that far in the future, a letter arrives back, nondescript enough --

My dear Miss Wynsee,

I know many in your adopted home do not agree with me, but after my own experience being deposed at swordspoint, I understand the following: In Myrken Wood, all things are solved with blood. This is not something you can, on your own, fix -- unless you are like the tyrant you speak of, and have control over others' thoughts and minds, if what I heard down the tradepaths to the Aubreyne was true.

I do not, however, think you are that kind of person.

You are fifteen years old, so let me both reassure you and tell you the utter truth, which is not reassuring: All men want power. All women want power. I was my father's second son growing up and thus was not expected to take the dukedom. I thought I did not want power. I spent all of my time in the libraries at the University learning all I could until I realized that knowledge is its own delicious kind of power. And there are many ways to get power. You may be granted power, as I have from the King. You may wrest power, as your Lady did. Or you may be elected, which is something that only happens in your dear Myrken Wood.

And I have been trying for a very long time to figure out where else in the world such an interesting idea exists: a government supported by the very people it governs. Yes, no matter who you are or what title you hold, you need the consent of the governed. But to elect someone to rule! To say: "This is who we want!" It gives the people a power they have nowhere else. It gives them agency. I would like to believe that Myrken Wood will someday be able to wield this agency with peace. But when all you know is blood, and death, and anger, and war... all you will deal out is blood, death, anger and war. It is not something a girl of fifteen years -- or, indeed, a man of thirty-two such as I! -- can fix alone.

I know this is not what you wanted to hear. I wish I had a solution for you. Or rather, I do have a solution, but it is difficult, and it will take your every effort. You must trust yourself to do what needs to be done. By no means can your government mistrust each other right now. You must help them see that they are on the same team. They must work in concert for the good of the people. Only then will the people grant them agency again. Once there is trust, the people and the government together will root out what is left of the blood-letting. This is not an easy path by any means. This is why there are so many kings, and why so many kings have strong militaries, and why so many kings do not encourage dissent. In Myrken Wood, blood is the price you pay for your relative freedom from a liege-lord's hand.

And do not think for a second that no government is preferable to a weakened one. You think there is blood now? Wait until the criminals have the run of the place. It may be a weakened government, but it is a government, and it was a government elected in a proper fashion by the landowners and the Council and the people, and if they are trying their best that is often better than letting place go to men with black souls and, as all men have, a desire for raw power.

So stand strong. Do your best to help your friends. Keep trying. That is all you can do for Myrken Wood and I do believe it will be enough and more besides.

Please do continue to write. I think of Myrken Wood often and pray that you and the rest of my friends there are safe and warm.

Sincerely,
Coriolanus Helstone, Lord Aubrey.
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Re: To Lord Aubrey, a Missive by Night

Postby Rance » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:39 am

She received the letter with excitement; she returned a response with displeasure.

C. Helstone,

Do you know what I heard today. I heard it from the people in the town because as you know information travels very fast and it is enough to turn your toes: a body was hanged again today, a woman, a very angry people who have got no guidense, so they set feet to dangle swinging left to right and left to right and left to right in the wind because what else is there to do

And should they find my brother who wishes very much to protect our his friend, will they hang him too. Will they. And should they, then I shall also go mad with displeasure and I should wish to hang as many people to hope their blood and stretched necks could bring him back again--

I am not the kind of person you said, but I can be, I have got that capebility, I wish not to be, but who now is correcting what is wrong? This is a very sick town, all of our minds have been tampered with, the SAME TEAM may be the WRONG one if perhaps we have had blisters placed in our head that will explode at the most inoppertune time. By course there must be a leading body, there aught to be a governing person, there aught to be a great group of people, but if too their minds are sick as everyone's are, then how will anything be fixed? How may we not believe this is not a Lady's designes?

Come to see it with your own eyes if you so please. Aren't things to be fair and just? I will take your advice for it is great and reasonable, but while there may be dirt on my knees and unwash in my hair I am not a silent sort -- I will say what I must when my breast is swollen with it.

There was a second page beneath the first, an unevenly-torn bit of parchment clearly stripped from a roll of it. At times her script was frantic, and at others calmed, inscribed with a student's care.

My thought ser is not permanent removal, but temparary -- in any other sort of world I would trust Ariane The Marshall with my very insignifican't life but am I to assume she is so quickly normal again, rehinged, unaffected? And Mister Tradwell I have seen a side of him that may be vicious and base, and vise-governor Angie Agon KAZMERRIK, she was GIVEN vise-governorship to protect Myrken Wood and then what, and then became a Lady's toy?

Removal. Replacement. Election. These are options. Ladies and men hanging off trees is not.

I will put on my other dress, the nice one which I keep for dear occashions, and I will go to them say this. Will you one day come, it would be nice to say these things to a face and not to a paper,

Yours,

Glour'eya Wynsee

Providence found her with enough coin to offer a courier; her stipend from the Inquisitory, however meager, bought hard bread between her teeth and a quickness to the letter's delivery.
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