Path of the Not-so-Righteous

Interlude: "Dear Mother"

Davrish Thule putters about his luxurious living quarters at the Prime Bull Inn in Absalom, combing his hair, polishing his armor, checking the padding on his heeled boots’ soles, brushing his hair, making a minor devotion to Ahd’mohr and Droch’rath, checking the door’s latch, and brushing his hair.

Finally satisfied with the state of all important things, he settles down at the room’s fine desk and withdraws a sheet of pristine white paper, an ink bottle, and a peacock feather quill. He looks at the window for a moment—curtains closed—and begins to write.

“Dear Mother,

I hope this finds you well.

I had a very exciting day today, and I met a lot of new people. I think that they all liked me, which made me very glad; I was polite, just like you always say.

I was awoken by the attendants of a very important man, Lord Deere Deyan, a Lord of the city. He had a special job for my friends and I: another man died last night, and—steady yourself, mother dear—they suspected foul play!

Of course we made haste to the poor man’s house and found him in a very sorry state. His attendants were so helpful, of course, but very sad. I think one young lady will miss him very much indeed; it was very touching.

We then learned that another man had died and were taken to his place of work. It was a lovely temple mother—you know how you love the temples, with all their artwork and lovely priest’s outfits—and he had been killed in a very terrible way. It’s much like other deaths around the city—don’t worry, I’m keeping safe!—and my friends and I have many good ideas about how to help. I think we will be able to very soon.

Unfortunately, one of those deaths I learned about was a woman. Now, you wouldn’t approve of her line of work; it was very wicked, of course. But some people say that despite all that, she was a good woman—like how you talk about father, you know?—and that she was very famous for helping the poor children of her district.

In fact, she was the sort of woman who might come across a young lad, lost and frightened and angry and alone in the wake of a terrible flood in the city, and very much on the path to becoming a not-very-good sort of man, and take him in and teach him to be better and help him learn to deal with all his hurt and anger. She’d probably even show such a boy the way to another lovely temple—a better place to grow up, surely, than her place of business—and keep in touch with him as he grew to make sure he turned out alright.

At least, that’s the sort of woman people say she was. If she were, then it’s very sad indeed that she is gone now.

I hope things are better where you are, mother. I do so hope they sing you the lovely songs, and that you can join them. You are a very good singer, mother.

Your good boy,
Davrish"

Davrish Thule nods to himself curtly, and folds the paper into a clever envelope with a few practiced gestures. He goes to his large bed and lifts the downy mattress, withdrawing a large, leather-bound case. He opens the latch on it with another swift, deft motion, then pulls the lid off. He carefully slides his letter into place among the others—the newest ones are at the very back—and notes that the box is nearly full. He smiles slightly, closes the lid, and re-engages the clasp. He pushes the box back in place among its 20 or so like fellows, and then re-situates the mattress atop them.

He returns to the desk and cleans up his writing area, blows out the lantern there, and climbs into bed to sleep, for a few hours at least.

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