Lion Age 604, March: The Journal of Emich von Volksnand

To: Mother
From: Your First-Born

I write this as a letter, although I well know that it will become only an entry in my journal. The ravens do not currently leave Stragosa for our keep, and we have not spoken in long enough where my missive would cause discomfort, above all.

My progress in finding a wife, as instructed, is moving along well. I have identified two high-born candidates. Both are strong-minded and ample-hipped, as is our wont. One of them appears to have pledged her self to another, but that is surely only temporary. The other is much more likely to be amenable to my proposal, although I fear that she would react poorly once she discovered my youthful indiscretions. I am confident those have now been paid off, yes?

The rulership of Stragosa is where we need it to be, firmly securing it for House Fafnir. I have engineered several positions in the ruling council that will – in the long term – benefit father, and fulfill his wishes. My primary concern is the weakness of Cappacione, as Prince Armand seems to have left the city. I knew him from my youth and felt comfortable in his virtues and strengths. Losing him is something I consider a personal failure, as he never seemed at home here. Neither do I, but duty demands that I remain. Envy and pathos mingle uncomfortably in my mind as I consider Armand’s departure.

The Rogalians continue to pose a conundrum I have been unable to solve, but I maintain that they hold the key to continued prosperity in this valley. I will go into more depth on this in my second addendum to this letter. The Hestrali contingent remains untamed and utterly dangerous – and their numbers continue to swell. If they harboured meaningful political ambitions, they could become an issue. Thankfully they are blinded to this obvious truth by their misguided desire for coin and production. I will encourage them to continue along this path.

With respect and gratitude,
your son.

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