Heirs to the Silver General

Letter to an Old Friend

To Ragnar Olsson – Chief Officer of the Cheese Makers Guild of Ylir

Dearest Ragnar,

My apologies for the time that has lapsed since I last wrote you. My siblings and I have been increasingly busy as of late. As I write to you, we are travelling in the nearby lands of Dmar, on a twofold mission for both kingdom and family. We arrived bearing a letter from our late mother to deliver to one Golshan Agassi. Upon entering the capital, we quickly learned (through my adoptive brother Sterling’s unsavoury behaviour of bribery) that Golshan was recently fired by the lord we have come to aid, though she does still dwell in the city. We felt it best to complete our primary mission first, so as not to anger his lordship by seeking her out. At least not before receiving payment. We are a new noble house and we shall surely carry out many noble deeds, but first we require coin to build up our lands.

We stayed in an unremarkable but well kept inn our first night. I was glad of the roof over my head, though I’ll never afford a pack donkey if we keep spending so much on inns. As you remember from when my family was alive and well in Ylir, I have wanted one of those fine animals since first seeing the cheese porters carrying the products of our labour to the furthest reaches of the kingdom. But those were simpler days. I have not had time to think about cheese making in some time, though I carry the Great Gouda always, in my heart and at my side. I regret that my skills in battle have been needed more than my skills in spreading the word of the Great Aged One. Though I vow upon His Roundness, that at the end of this gruesome battle, I shall have a word with his lordship about the distressing lack of cheese in this kingdom and its inns.

We are to rescue villagers who have been terrorized by goblins. Above and beyond our mission to clear out the village, we have been promised extra coin for this service. Though his lordship angers me by calling the villagers his property, I have held my tongue. It is good to be of assistance to these poor wretched souls. I do it gladly. My siblings and I marched out immediately and found the village intact, though flying odd white linens, faded to a dingy grey. I feel it in my core, there is something amiss here. My brothers and sisters are quick to assure me that the only disturbance I feel comes from the existence of the goblins themselves, but I do not believe it. Though the presence of these minor beast men threatens to fill my heart with hate and my mind with painful memories and the half-faded smell of smoke, I know it is not my past, but rather divine dairy guidance that tells me, something is wrong here.

The goblins were overseeing villagers harvesting the fields. We set an ambush for them. And after a long hard fight we had slain the first ten goblins. As the last beast fell to my javelin of faith, we turned to the fleeing villagers and confirmed that it was indeed the beasts who ordered the white linens be put up and the villagers to prepare food for them. My siblings and I could see a couple of other work parties in the fields. We expected to pick them off easily one by one, but the second party was expecting us. While Aino led the villagers away from the fray, the rest of us charged into battle once more. We killed eight of the filthy monsters, but the other three fled. I ran after them, watching in horror as our one chance at staying unknown to the rest of the goblins sped away. Thank Gouda my sisters were faster than I. Natsuko and Tia slayed the remaining beasts before the rest of us could even catch our breath.

We rest now, before the next round of mayhem and blood. It is distasteful, and yet I trust in the Aged One’s plan for me in this life. I was led here, and this must be work He needs me to do. I trust also in the judgement of Mother, who deemed me worthy of these skills and of her care. I must go now. I will send this letter as soon as I am able, and eagerly await your reply. You have been my dearest friend through these troubled years. Though you were unable to take me in after the death of my parents, you have remained my one connection to my homeland since the priesthood cast me out. But no matter. I will roll ever onward. As He does.

Yours,

Marit Sommerfeldt of the House of the Silverhawk.

-

Great Gouda who art in heaven,
Cultured be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy curd be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily cheese.
And forgive us our unsavoryness,
As we forgive those who are unsavoury toward us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from unripeness.
For thine is the grated,
The pungent, and the holey,
For ever and ever.
Ferment.

-

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