Letters from Farin

November 26th, 2014

Posted by: Pauline.
Date: November 27th 2016
Subject: Letters from Farin
Mood: So excited!

Hi guys!

I don’t know if any of you have seen these yet, but I wanted to post them up anyway. HBO have been leaking these ‘letters’ between Zeita and her fellow merchant leader, Emma ab Courtland, as teasers ahead of the first episode. Oh my god, so excited!!! They give so much character insight and detail and I hope it means we’ll get to see some of the larger world outside of Lithmore city at last! I’ll just post them up here for everyone to see. They’ve gone to a lot of effort on them, the paper looks super authentic and those seals! Wow. I hope this is a sign of how much they’re investing in the season… I don’t want it to become another one season wonder.

Anyway, here goes…

——

Letter 1:

Written from a road-side inn in Irisum:

Dearest Emma,

I’m writing from the Rabbit’s Boot, a quaint little inn about a half day from Irisum. The weather is just about what you’d expect it to be- pre Lithmorran springtime at her very best- cold, wet and miserable but with a certain charm as we travel through the fog wreathed lowlands.

I’m trying to dig into these rumors of troubles between Farin and Lithmore and see what truth there may be to them. My concerns are two-fold. Firstly, of course, I don’t want to see any impact to our trade lanes. Foodstuffs, spices, flowers and I’m -quite- certain there are many fine gemstones sourced from Farin as well. Secondly, for simple human reasons, I do not want to see personal squabbles and good people disputing with one another, as animosity can rapdily turn to violence. Tomorrow, my hope is to call on the local Baron and see if he can set my mind to ease and not alight it with fear.

I’ll be continuing on south regardless, heading deeper to the source. Next I’ll be going through Awan Ride, cutting through to Vorseethe, Lema, Nadrine and stopping at Musgat for a few days- I intend to meet with the Lady Justiciar’s brother. Then, it will be on to Montford where I hope to get solildly to grips with local merchant matters and concerns in local trade as well as the exports. If I can meet with the Duke, I will and any other local leaders of import, to get a feel for them and their concerns, and to give them the reassurances of the merchants directly. If this talk of stockpiling Edessan trade goods is true, I also want to either break that monopoly or at least ensure steady and continued supply into Lithmore.

See what you can do on this from Lithmore? I hope things are well there- and I would like to apologise for leaving rather suddenly. This journey had been in the works for a while, but I brought it up sooner with the talk of troubled relations and… After seeing the shambling corpse of the Lord Regent, I felt the need to get away for a bit.

Letters are catching me by pigeon- if you send them on to a courier a few days ahead of me, I’ll get them sooner or later.

PS: Let me know if you’d like anything from Farin?

-Zeita.

—–

To : Zeita Mon Nov 24 08:13:50 2014
Balasdes, Maritus 17 SC 364

To my dear Zeita,

Considering rising tensions in the Kingdom I completely understand your decision to go now, rather than wait until the time of the scheduled trip. I do hope your accommodations have been reasonable. With a little more warning I could have sent ahead and had rooms prepared for you in advance, but I suppose such is the nature of unexpected holidays (I use the term holiday lightly!) .

I don’t know if you will come across such a thing in your travels and I am quite sure you have a busy schedule planned, but… Should you come across any cuttings from a coffee bean plant, I would be overjoyed. I am unsure if they would survive the journey back to the capital, of course, but if they do, wonderful!

While you are gone, considering the pointed quell of goods to Farin-populated portions of the city, I intend to hold a market there. Nothing particularly large or extravagant, but a quiet message that commerce shall peaceably continue.

Please be careful, Zeita. Farin is, of course, a part of the Kingdom, but with things as strained as they have become since our withdrawal I worry about potential outlets for budding tension. Not among the dignified you intend to meet officially, but others–less known or esteemed. I know you are always mindful and far cleverer than anyone is apt to estimate… I suppose it just puts my mind at ease to lecture on the point of caution.

Fondest Wishes,

Emma.

—–

Dearest Emma,

I’ve had an interesting few days. Let me rephrase: I’ve had some interesting encounters interspersed with hours of travel, although the countryside does intrigue me the further south I go. Yesterday, the weather was only brisk rather than cold enough to freeze my delicate extremities! The carriage-man said that it should keep improving the further south we go.

I can’t wait.

Two days ago, I met with the Baroness of Irisum, Teagan is her name, Teagan ab Castillius. What an interesting woman! Very switched on, very interested in the goings-on of the realm and eager to work with me in the future. She is all that a lord of the land should be, fair and just, with an interest in their people’s welfare, but also in uplifting them. Irisum is a wealthy and prosperous little fief of course, so it makes it easier to be benevolent. But then, one could just as easily choose not to be so. It would be easy enough to live in plenty and not see the people below. Regardless, we had a good conversation about the kingdom, about trade and
security, the latter being of particular interest to her. I’m quite sure that she, at least, is not behind the hiring of mercenaries.

*there is an obvious break here, the colour of the ink from this point different*

I just received your letter two days into Awan Ride. We passed through a forest, I couldn’t even tell you the name of it: but we saw a great big bear- Lord above it was scary, but thankfully the horses were fresh at the time and we quickly put it behind us. After that the countryside opened up and what a beautiful place it is, descending down towards the Farin savannah. I don’t expect that the Queen Dowager is home, but since I’m passing by, I’ll call in anyway and meet with whomever is in charge of matters in her absence.

Your letter itself was a treat, and I can’t tell you just how warming it is to hear you taking such a forward step with the good Farin community. They’re good people, hard working and dedicated just like anyone else- honest to a fault, most of them. I’m proud of you, it was a wise move and tells me that I am right to have the confidence in you that I do. The merchants are in very safe hands. I’m afraid that there won’t be much of a chance for a holiday, although I hope I can take a day or two out in Montford before we make our return. I want to see- and smell- the spice markets and just talk with the farmers and traders, and I also want to see the Duke’s grand menagerie. I want to see an elephant, if I can. I’m also keen to try some of the Farin fashions- perhaps I’ll include an article for our fashion briefing. I’ll certainly have time enough for writing.

I think I can find a quality coffee cutting for you- let me see what I can do. How is your garden coming alone? I’ve wanted to see it since I gave the Poet Laudate the seeds that I did. I love to garden. It surprises a lot of people, to be honest, but I enjoy the peace of it and the sense of building something and being able to see it come to fruitition and then making use of what I’ve done. I’ll show you my gardens when I get back, if you like? I know you’ll like some of the rare flowers and spices that I keep; vanilla, myrrh and Saffron. They don’t grow in abundance, but with special care, they do bear enough fruit and flowers for me to use in specialty scents.

What news from the city? I feel so isolated out here, with the letters I pick up being a great comfort to me. You have my word that I’ll stay safe- Gorta is with me, and we are enough of a party that I think we’ll be well.

Love,
Zeita.

*written from the Tenton Township Pigeon Post, Awan Ride*

—–

Dearest Emma,

You should come and see the savannah of northern Farin some time. It is a truly beautiful country and so unlike anywhere else that I have ever been. I’m quite certain that you would love it here.

I’ve left Vorseethe now, and have been travelling through Lema the last day. It is interesting, the culture of people here, and although it blends together near the border on both sides, the further into Farin I get, the more strongly I feel it. I’ve been meeting with the nobility, but also with local merchants of import and prominent landholding farmers. My dream is to take up the farming of those rare goods on a grander scale the spices and flowers that we know and love- and that carry a hefty cost in Lithmore. But more than that, to take on the growing of ‘traditionally Edessan’ (as much as one can use traditional for a place that existed little more than 10 years) crops. The economy of Farin would benefit deeply from it, and the new jobs it will bring will help to alleviate, at least a touch, the concerns of the returned soldiers.

Did you get a chance to hold your market? I hope it went well and that it was well received with the good intentions with which it was offered.

In a few days, I’ll be in Musgat, where our Lady Justiciar’s brother rules as Baron. I hope to make some good headway there, and even invest some of our money towards these ‘future crops’ as I consider them, as well as his acqueduct project which I’m sure will bring much prosperity.

Please let me know of any important news from Lithmore?

Yours,
Zeita.

—–

To : Zeita Wed Nov 26 11:36:23 2014
Eldes, Maritus 26 SC 364

To my dear Zeita,

There has not been a great deal of news in Lithmore as of late. It seems that even noteworthy events come to a gradual quell the longer you are away. People have been talking about a fellow called Tytos Manderly who has his purse strings attached to silver mines somewhere far away. Apparently he is engaged in business with the Lord Regent, and tends to be a rather surly personality.

Overall I am unsure how the market in the Farin Quarter was received. There has been some talk about it being a positive and I can’t claim that the point was entirely missed even at my most self-deprecating, but the meager time I allotted to the Merchants to prepare… All that Mister le Wattkil had in his stock on such short notice was alcohol. While it was, of course, a city-wide market, the location when paired with casks of liquor caused a bit of a stink.

I have entertained the whimsical thought that there must be a conspiracy at the highest ranks of the Order to prevent us ever having a market uninterrupted by shenanigans. Between Seamus Harper (who has joined the Order this last week) peddling at the top of his lungs for donations into a hat, drowning out any hope for conversation or exchanges of silver, to an incensed priestess kicking over Mister le Wattkil’s wares… In every capacity, things could have gone better.

Rumors in the city tend to lean toward positive reception, however; I will admit I have not been discouraged by my missteps so much as inspired to handle things differently in the future.

I have heard troubling news of your experiences in Lema. Surely they did not actually treat you as poorly as people are claiming, here?

I hope you are well, Zeita, and I so look forward to your return. Please keep me up to date with your dealings and the landscapes. Though I have not stated as much in past letters, I have very much enjoyed your depictions.

Yours Sincerely,

Emma.

—–

Dearest Emma,

It has taken me awhile to pen this; the lat few days have been rather intense.

I’m terribly sorry to hear that the market did not go quite as planned, but I am delighted that your spirit is not only unbroken but made stronger for it. It is times like these when we learn a little about ourselves- and indeed, how we can improve in the future. Let me tell you, I’ve made some mistakes in my past that could well have left me with my head hanging in shame. But, we move on because we must, because life continues rolling on regardless, and if we don’t keep up, we get left behind. I’m proud of you taking the initiative that you did and I’ve never had a single regret about choosing you as Magnate. We’ll have another market when I return and I’ll speak to Gerolf ahead of it to make sure that nothing can go wrong, I can see why you’d think there is a conspiracy!

The rumors are curious to me. I’m so cut off here, and most of the news is news that I bring, or is fixated- as you would expect- with local concerns.

I think when last I wrote you, I had just crossed in to Lema. She’s a lovely little place, and her capital is in a fertile valley, one of the most fecund places in Farin, I’m told. Yet, from the moment that I arrived, the people- or at least the Baron’s men- were prickly. I met with some of the local merchants, and that went well- I think they appreciated my personal presence there and I was able to give some good advice to some of the local farmers. Then, the Baron asked to see me, or rather his guards did- and from that wrong footed start, the ‘dance’ was fated to stumble and have both partners fall over with embarassment.

I made the suggestion that they begin growing some of the crops that had been native to Edessa, and offense was taken at that- it seemed sensible to me, good for the economy. I can’t solve their problems that are military or political in nature, I have neither the sway or experience: but coin, crops and trade are things that I can help with. The Baron was very rude, and his men came close to manhandling me, and would have if I had resisted. We- my little party and I- were marched back to our carriages, watched as we climbed aboard and given a military escort south to the Musgat border. I’m quite ashamed, really. I’m sure that I could have done something to  fix it, but I was too upset. I won’t be going back until they issue an apology. Please instruct any merchants travelling this way to beware and to avoid the area, take the longer way through Nadrine if needed or down through Trosier. We’ll discuss any other actions when we get back.

Thankfully, Musgat has been like a breath of fresh air. Garridin de Versin is a bright young lord with an interest in the welfare of his people and his land. He has a wonderful project underway, a great aqueduct that will bring water down from the mountains to feed the crops. It is ambitious and grand. I’ve dedicated a sum of money to it, as I want to see this come to fruition… He was also very keen on my concepts and propositions around new crops in flowers, spices and even the natively Edessan goods. We will see where things lead, but I am quite confident.

He was also more than kind enough to give me some seedlings from his very own lands: coffee as you asked for, but also cocoa, which is a particular specialty from the area. I pray that they survive the journey and the cold weather back in Lithmore.

I stopped by the grave of the great Paynifier Ahalin, and took a small measure of the dust that grows near her grave. I mean to give it as a gift to our Patriarch upon my return.

Tomorrow, I continue on and should reach the ducal Domain of the Duke of Farin, but will be spending a few days in a large town north of Montford. There, I have called together a gathering of merchants to hear their concerns and prepare actions for the future. I hope that it will be well received and that some good comes out of it. If you have the chance, I would dearly love your advice ahead of it.

Yours,
Zeita.

*written from the Pilgrim’s Rest in Musgat*

New HBO Series! Uncommon Scents

November 26th, 2014

Posted by: Pauline.
Date: November 13th 2016
Subject: New HBO Series!
Mood: Over the Moon.

Hi Guys,

Did anyone else catch the entertainment news about HBO’s new greenlit series, Uncommon Scents? It is a spinoff of ‘Lithmore’ which has been running for years now, but focusing on everyone’s favourite perfumer (and my own personal heroine!), Zeita. OMG, I can’t believe how exciting this is! It looks like we’re finally going to get some insight into her history as well. I know I’ve always been curious about how she become the woman she is today, especially with those juicy hints they keep dropping.

Watch this space!

Pauline Out!

—–

Posted by: Pauline.
Date: November 23rd 2016
Subject: Uncommon Scents casting choices
Mood: Intrigued!

I love some of the casting choices, although some are a touch questionable…

But firstly, I’m delighted that they have Alexa Vega reprising her role as Zeita. It is such a great character for her to stretch her wings, and she did an awesome job in the few episodes of Lithmore that she’s been in. I’m such a fan girl!

alexa-vega-300

Here are some of the other casting leaks that I’ve managed to get my hands on as well. I’ll update this post as I hear more!

Brynieve de Versin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sara_Martins
Gerolf Steward: Ben Kingsley (20 years younger version)
Ariel le Orban: Pedro Pascal (10 years younger)
Emma ab Courtland: Amanda Seyfried

Pauline Out!


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