It has been some time since i last wrote, but we have had little opportunity for such things. We defeated the dragon Zasrion, a fight which was quite difficult, but we managed it. I afterwards did some experimenting with the Striding Fortress and was able to determine how it worked enough to steer us around.
We left the Fortress in the hands of the Barrow King, who will hopefully provide a more amenable ruler than Zasrion. At the very least, he will not be so inclined to kidnap people and skin them. Though Zasrion will eventually be remade, I trust that the Barrow King will be able to hold his position. He is quite powerful.
We emerged again into the real world, where the others were quite relieved to see us all unharmed. Ameiko-ren in particular seemed to have disliked the wait immensely. I was perhaps overly rash in stating that she should not come with us. It is true that we are on a dangerous path, but I know all too well that staying back and waiting is often harder than going willingly into danger. Perhaps I was thoughtless.
We continued on our journey and were greeted most delightedly by the ruler of this next city, Ordu-Aganhai. He was quite pleased to receive foreign visitors and insisted we stay for five days of feasting in our honor. This place is….strange. They place such a premium on courtesy and manners, which is a change from anywhere else we have been previously, but it is all slightly…off. It is almost more difficult to try to interpret new rules than operate in a place with none whatsoever. We are not used to such welcomes, but the prince and the city do not SEEM to mean us any harm, nor do they seem to know anything of our identities or our mission.
The feasts so far have been quite diverting. I must confess that it is nice to sleep in a real bed again. And the library….ah, the library. I haven’t seen one this grand since I left home. It is odd; I was not homesick until now. Everything was so different that there was not space. But here….it reminds me just enough of home for the inconsistencies to be glaring.
Everyone seems pleased with the chance to relax, at least—or nearly everyone. Shalelu-ren is on edge, as she is not comfortable in cities. The citizens’ superstition that touching an individual with blond hair is good luck does not help; they often contrive to bump up against her or Tallus-rao (who does not mind nearly so much; in fact, I think he rather enjoys it). Ameiko-ren, however, seems delighted. I am glad. I was growing worried about the pressure that has been placed on her. It is no easy task to be an Empress, and she feels unprepared. It is not surprising. If you were here, I am sure you’d know what to tell her. I do the best I can. Bastien-rao has been keeping her company as well, which I am glad for. He is so much better with people than I.
Until we meet again, I remain,
Your devoted student