I do understand if you cannot find it within your heart to forgive me. I know I would be furious had you been the one not to show up that morning upon which our patriarchs had agreed upon for our vows. It is my fervent hope now that you will read this letter, and perhaps understand my reasons.
Please know that it is not any lack of admiration on my part which caused me to depart. My heart remains as always, yours, if you should still so wish. It is only that which we have discussed many times in the past; an opportunity to see the world, to explore the many possibilities which are out there. You and I both know that with our marriage that chance would be gone. Great Uncle Alten would favour you with some post in the city, and I would remain nestled at home to provide for the future generations of our familial lines.
And while we’ve not spoken of this, I do ardently hope that you agree that for both of us, that fate would come much too soon. Had it been possible, I would have sought you out, and eagerly requested you join me for this adventure, but given that foolhardy superstition about brides and grooms seeing each other before the wedding, it was all quite impossible to arrange.
I cannot tell you where I am. I know Uncle Alten has likely already let loose his hounds looking for me. He is not a man to be made a fool, and I fear that this time I have vexed him beyond even that time, when in our younger years, we’d managed to break a priceless vase the Countess Wickham had on display – you know the one I mean, that ugly monstrosity in red and puce she so adored for it having been centuries old and a hideous symbol of her wealth? For this isn’t about money, but his lack of ability to chasten an errant child to accept her position in the family, in the world, and in his plans.
I rode out of the city upon the coattails of those gone to do the Testing this year. It was easy enough to accomplish once I was able to sneak out of my own house and away from my guards.
In the village we first stopped in, I was fortuitous enough to make acquaintance with Elina Koubek. I hadn’t realized the good instructor was travelling herself, but at present, we will be working together, so perhaps the gods still favour me. Surely, with all that she has seen and the adventures from which she has returned, I’ll be able to make it home myself in due time.
The strangest thing happened while we were observing the ceremony. A man rode into town, having ridden the poor beast to death, and upon his collapse (having first run directly over the current peasant being tested), he began to spew spiders from his mouth. Such a sight, the memory of it still has me shiver. I never would have thought such a thing possible.
Then an even larger spider appeared. Those around me began to act. For my part, I’d always wanted to test the capability of a fire potion, and I’m pleased to report that while I was only able to breath fire once having quaffed it, it did handily destroy many of the small spiders the man continued to vomit upon the village square.
Upon vanquishing all the spiders, and I’ll reluctantly admit after my first foray of fire throwing, my later actions were rather unremarkable, we spoke with leaders, and they have pressed upon us a mission to go and investigate the very area these men had been adventuring, and discover if a plague of spiders will be marching across the land.
Knowing the magus leading the company was withholding information, I showed her my signet ring to attempt to have her further explain, however that action only had her state that I could inquire with my father for more information. It was a foolish risk on my part, and I’ll likely be forced to deal with the consequences of the effort at a later time.
I will continue to write, and as I’m able, will send these letters to you. I hope you they will reach you well, if also outraged by the offense I have caused. I do care for you Bryce. I always have, and I always will.