Looking west out of Tatzlford, I often catch the moon passing between treetops in her journey across the sky. Last night, when I looked, her face was bright, but strangely colored; she lit the forest below with a mesmerizing amber light. The winter clouds had broken around her, and now drifted off to the east to let her shine. I climbed to the roof of the mill, and watched her for as long as she could be seen.
As I watched, I was joined by other Tatzlfordians—as I’ve come to call them—though the term has not been enshrined. They brought me a strawberry wine to enjoy as I watched the moon, and sat respectfully quiet as I communed in her light. When she had gone, we went together to the Riverman—the inn at the center of town. We drank and sang and smoked till dawn. It was a pleasant time indeed.
I must admit, when the Duke and Duchess suggested that I move to Tatzlford to supervise its development, I was wary. I worried that the men and women who built such a town might see the forest as only a resource to be harvested, or worse; a treasure to be plundered. I worried that I might have to chase people away to keep my conscious clean.
I can say now that I was wrong, and pleasantly so. The people here are just the sort I can appreciate—hard working but laid back—people with stories to tell and time to tell them. I suppose the town owes it character to Loy and Letricia Rezbin more than anyone else, they founded Tatzlford and have been the driving force behind its development ever since. Since making my home here, I have relied on the Rezbins to manage the day-to-day, leaving most of my time for use with the Way Watchers or in exploration of the Narlmarches. It is a pleasant life, and one that I am enjoying immensely.
I continue to recruit for the Way Watchers, but at a relaxed pace. I prefer to focus my efforts on volunteers that seek me out of their own accord rather than advertising for them across the realm. I have several good students to fill the Way Watchers’ garrison — Velimir of course, but also a girl named Cara and a young man named Orion. These humans soak in knowledge like a sponge in water. I am reminded of my time with Alek in Brevoy, and am thankful for the memories.
I’ve also been given leave to open a center of healing for injured wildlife — perhaps the first of its kind. I’ve encouraged my Watchers and the Tatzlfordians to bring injured animals to the center, wherein we try to mend their wounds and return them to the wilds. During their treatment, my students learn of the animals’ ways and habits. The other day, we returned an injured Thyacline mother into the wild to bear her litter. This week, I hope to find her again and meet her pups. I will trust the moonlight to lead me to them.
This is a time of great contentment for me, and I thank the Green and the Gods above for the gift of it. Would everyday be so carefree and joyful, this world might never again know sorrow. I pray for such a day, as do the ones who share this joy with me.