Why, its so good to hear from you! Lyriina and I have certainly had our hands full; Varnhold and its surroundings are a very different animal than Glamorfell, but one constant exists: a never-ending supply of work.
It looks like you’ve had more than your share of interesting characters show up on your front door. Its almost hard to remember those cold nights under a full moon an Oleg’s, only Elissa and Jhod along with the old Levetons. Sharing stories, drinking Svetlana’s apple cider, and marveling at the great vast emptiness of the plains beyond the walls of Oleg’s.
Well, here we are. We’ve succeeded despite ourselves.
I feel like I owe it to you to at least keep you abreast of some of the things going on to your east. The capital of Dunsward is the incredibly self-congratulatory Varnhold, and we have our own set of issues. I hope we can correspond and keep some kind of dialogue open between our two locales. We need to send an emissary, and soon. I think Lyriina’s twin brother Anton needs to experience, but the young man is just so incredibly dour. I’ll see what I can drum up. The Varns’ mother is never spoken of, but I can tell you that I miss her often without even knowing her – the two children (Lyriina and Anton) desperately need someone other than their incredibly imaginative father in their life.
Dunsward is no Glamorfell, at least not the Glamorfell that I remember. It is a bit more wild, both in temperament and fancy. Brawls in the streets outside the bars, a very vocal student population at Varn University that Baron Maegar dotes over, stragglers descending from the mountains and from Restov looking for glory. It is a reflection of the man himself: rebellious, hotheated, joyful to a fault. But I cannot malign the man too much! He has treated me as no less than a son, promoted me immediately as General, and heeds counsel – heeds all his counselors, really! – as if their voices were his own.
But to know Dunsward, to know Maegar Varn, one has to first understand his relationship with Cephal Lorentus, Magister of Varnhold. Since Maegar himself may have been an unlikely fifth-in-line heir to the family holdings in Restov, he re-invented himself at an early age. Archaeologist, philanthropist, naturalist: Maegar will lay claim to all those titles because they please him, but in truth the man is no scholar. His greatest virtue is the trust he inspires in his men and his ability to identify and nurture the talent of those under him.
He led a small mercenary/ adventuring band for years (in truth, arent all adventuring bands a little bit of both?) that explored Iobaria, lands to the west, and had some real successes. His second in command has always been the incredibly grim and “realistic” Cephal. He works to anchor Maegar, to bring his fanciful plans back down to earth, and to be the sadly necessary anchor of gravity that every cloud needs to keep it from floating off into the ether. He’s very competent. And incredibly disagreeable. Id as soon throw a drink in his face as share it with him.
Their most recent row seems to be regarding Restov and the Swordlords themselves. I do not know if you knew this or not, but Dunsward is a very heavy investment vehicle of the Swordlords. They pour a lot of money into the infrastructure, its education, its economy. Any blind outsider can see that they mean to use it to their own ends, even Maegar. But he believes he can balance their own needs with those of Dunsward. Cephal disagrees heavily. He readily shoots down any positive Restov or Swordlord-forwarded motion in council. But behind closed doors I hear shouting, terrible shouting between the two men. I always wonder how they manage to leave such heated sessions still smiling.
Family is weird I suppose, and Cephal is certainly a part of the Varns. I think Anton sees him as a larger father figure than Maegar himself. He treats Lyriina with intricate kindness (but then, how could one not?!) and remembers details about the Varn children that their own father often forgets.
Anyway, lets keep up this correspondence! I think it will serve to benefit us both greatly! I have to admit that I’m a little shocked that Akrios is now taking my place, although I cant really be terribly surprised. I mean – I still remember driving my boot into his face that hazy afternoon at the Stag Lord’s fortress, as the drunken buffoon himself stumbled from his cabin with that horrific mask and wicked bow.
And then fucking Jacob Featherstep! How is he? Please tell me that he’s not on the Council too, or soon to be. I think I’d have to fly over there this very evening to slap some sanity into you.
Please Yelenya, give everyone my best. Although I have sword allegiance to Baron Varn and the good people of Dunsward, I shall never forget my formative years scouring the Narlmarch.
With every regard,
General of Dunsward and leader of its Imperial Forces