It’s been a month since Vordakai was defeated, at once both a short and long time. We are, still, missing Gideon, and while Daargan is certainly not forgotten, Kifu has taken up the mantle of Magister with grace and efficiency. These past four weeks have been pleasingly light on violence, although I am unable to say the same about politics. It has been, in some ways, a rebirth for both Ursundova and Varnhold

Varnhold is struggling, although I hope that the imminent installation of a new government there will, combined with our aid, set them back on their feet. Meanwhile, our efforts to help feed them combined with some poor luck have caused a food shortage back here. The future of Varnhold has proven more divisive among the Council and our notable citizens than I had hoped. Ellad has agreed to serve there, although it pains me to tear him from the budding community at Shrikewatch, while I fear that Ulgar is losing faith, if not in me as Duke of Ursdundova, then of his own place here. He worries that I have given Gaeren too much latitude by appointing him Viceroy. I feel it is, rather, both a useful fit for his talents, and a position from which he may be better able to understand the powers and constraints with which I must wrestle. Galina, at least, does not seem discontented with her new role. I think Lem and Leilania approve of the way Varnhold is being handled—that is important to me.

I try not to become too dismayed. As the Builder tells us, the growth of civilisation is a struggle but a noble one. And I have been back home and healthy in the wonderful company of Katya and the children; that alone makes it worthwhile.

But, is nothing ever easy?


kitsuki Andyr

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