Novembris 25, 373: “I think I can die happy now. Truly.”

June 2nd, 2017

Novembris 25, 373

The Estate dul Decapua, Capua
Addressed to Giovanni dul Decapua

Dearest Father,

I have just come from Her Royal Majesty’s wedding and I simply had to pen this letter this very moment before I lost any details of the day. How I wish you could have been there. You would have loved it. Some said it was a quaint affair, but I thought it elegant all the same. And, of course, Her Royal Majesty was wearing my gown. My gown, Papa.

I have never been so happy in all my life.

The ceremony occurred in Saint Aelwyn’s Cathedral and it was a traditional Lithmorran affair. But the pews were all so crowded, the cathedral filled with people. I was both glad and terrified at the same time that my escort had insisted I sit in the front pews with the nobility. I am glad that I missed no detail. I am terrified as to what could have happened if someone of true note had spotted me there. I can bear gossip. I do not think I could bear a whip’s strike.

And then we adjourned to the palace after, for a reception. There was food and drink – mostly gin; proper Capuan is so hard to find in this city outside of the Quarter – though, unfortunately, there was no dancing. But I could hardly be disappointed. Papa, I had an opportunity to meet Her Royal Majesty. She actually spoke to me. And she said the gown I designed for her was lovely.

I think I can die happy now. Truly.

But what else might I tell you? Oh, yes. My escort and I coordinated our outfits, both wearing silk of azure accented with bronze and topaz. He is… a terribly pleasing fellow, Papa. A perfect gentleman. A proper gentleman. I think you would like him. The Lord Lance le Layne, Baron of Longcoast. Perhaps you have heard of him from your Tubor contacts? He… is a frightfully inept dancer, but he is both kind and generous. And he has excellent taste in fashion. And he has an artistic soul… And apparently he has tattoos!

Forgive me. My quill slipped and quite ruined that last sentence. But it was nothing of import.

I do hope you like the presents I am sending for Yule. Please, give everyone my love. What news is there from home? I do so long for news. And to see you; I miss you so. But perhaps we may see each other soon.

Your Loving Daughter,
Caterina dul Decapua

Decembris 10, 373

The Office of the Grand Magnate, Lithmore City
Addressed to Mistress Caterina dul Decapua

My Dear Kitty,

I can’t believe you sent me one of those queer Tubori birds. What do you call them? Parrots? I must confess that I was a bit put out at first, but then once I saw how it vexes your mother, I decided it is my new favorite thing. The creature never stops chattering. But he’s a handsome fellow and he knows it. He’s always squawking away about how he’s a pretty bird.

I decided to name him Zezhi. His cage has been strategically placed outside your mother’s drawing room.

Your other gifts have been better received. Thank you for the book, my girl. The illumination is quite fine. And I am eager for the chance to try out my new hunting tack.

I wish I could have been in attendance at Her Royal Majesty’s wedding myself, if only for the opportunity to see the gown. But, we get our news from the capital just as easily as anyone else. I have heard it was quite a thing to behold.

Just as I have heard some rather distressing news about you being threatened. What is this nonsense about someone coming up in your guild hall and trying to kill you? Some even whisper it was a mage. Kitty? Why have you not told me this? If you are in danger, you need only say and I can have an entire retinue of guards to you in a fortnight. I would rather bring you home, but I understand that is rather impossible now with your position.

But my girl? Being threatened? I will not have it. I will not stand for it. By the Lord, if I have to come up there MYSELF…

[A few ink splatters blot the page.]

Forgive me, my girl. I know you are a woman now. But you will always be my little Kitty. And I would rather go to the pyre myself than see any harm befall you. Tell me these rumors are unfounded or agree to accept my assistance in keeping you safe. These are the options afforded to you. Until you have a husband, you are still mine, and as your Father, I must insist in this matter.

But speaking of a husband… Am I to understand that my girl is being courted by a baron? A recent development? Or are you keeping more secrets from me, my girl? For him to want you on his arm at a royal function is a very high honor… a very high honor, indeed. Is he sweet on you? Does he make promises? Has there been any talk of a proposal?

I want details, Kitty. Details. I have made some inquiries into the man through my contacts, but all I have learned so far is that he is young, oft admired, and spends money like a Vavardi. What else need I know of him?

As for my own news, I am considering retiring with the new year, but I have not yet decided. I have plenty to keep me entertained and Niccolo has been eager to fully take the reins of our family holdings. Which reminds me. This lack of Capuan in the city is distressing. Shall I send you a few casks from our vineyards? What on Urth have you been drinking up there? Gin? Pah.

Beyond that… ah, yes. My bitch has finally had her litter and they’re looking like they’ll be strong brutes, the lot of them. Would you like a pup, my girl? Do you even have the time for hunting? You must remember to take time for leisure. It would not do to work all the time. Freemen work all day. dul Decapuas make sure they have plenty of time for play.

I knew you would balk at me sending along a new outfit for you for Yule, so instead I am sending a shipment of gems, silk, and furs, so that you might design something for yourself to wear. I would see you in it once you are finished. Commission a portrait of yourself and then have it sent to me. I’m including a purse of gold with this letter just for such a thing. Hire a true artist. I want you captured in the best light.

And happy early birthday, my girl. It is… odd not having you here to celebrate. But at least it is no longer quiet in these halls with loud Zezhi about.

But your sweet singing would be much preferred.

With All of a Father’s Love and More,
Giovanni dul Decapua

 


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