(The page has several lines of crossed-out ink, the writing made illegible by angry, frustrated strokes. Eventually, however, the wrath forms into words…)
What I wouldn’t do for your advice; what I wouldn’t give for your counsel. Almost half a year you have been gone, and the pain still washes over me anew each day, wearing me down like a stone on the shore at high tide. So much has happened since your senseless and sudden passing, and yet my feelings have moved so little. I fear that if my apathy continues, there will be nothing left, in time.
Were it not for little Edera, and the boys, and Shaylei… And now, Shaylei is with child? She is the only thing that tethers me to reason. I could not bear to lose her, too.
Will I make a good father? Or a good uncle, to your Edera?
The people I keep close – are they my source of strength, or are they my weakness?
The dreams have grown worse, of late. I often lay awake for hours, waiting for Shaylei’s breathing to slow so that I may slip out of bed undetected. The forge keeps me occupied, but more and more, I have taken to roaming outside the city and hunting the beasts that lurk in the forest. Sometimes, I think I would be more at home among them. The city is full of liars and fools. And as for myself? I am but one more. I have done everything as I should, yet I continue to don a mask of contentment, as though I think it might change who I am underneath.
Have I any right to complain, as a man of wealth and privilege?
The rain has lasted for weeks. Some say it is the work of mages. Perhaps it is the Lord of Springs, weeping for our sins.
It must be saved from itself.