In Tellion lands

Dear Aelise,

It is lucky that my accent is close enough to that of the Tellions so as not to give me away. Once, though, I nearly got myself caught by making some undue references to the situation in Silvergate under the influence of too many mugs of beer. Tat seemed to also have developed a taste for Tellion beer (a little too strong for my taste), and after drowning himself in two mugs, crawled into my hat and refused to get out until evening the next day, the grumpy fellow. I have the bite marks to show it.

I have swapped my garb for a less conspicuous dress that is more common in Tellion lands, though it is rather plain. My lucky cloak however, I am unwilling to leave behind. It has saved me more than once, such as catching on an outlying branch and preventing a hundred feet fall, or sheltering me against the winds and rains. You get attached to your cloak when you are out there, a hundred miles from the nearest human dwelling.

I am writing this from a Tellion tavern, and it is quite different from the ones that we have at home. For one, unlike the closed affairs that we have, the taverns are usually open to large courtyards or have large windows to let the wind and light in. High fluted columns thrust the ceiling high, so much that you do not actually see it when drinking. It loses some of a tavern’s greasy atmosphere of course, but it attracts a certain kind of people other than your usual rowdy crowd. Across me a man is writing poetry while one can hear the light tunes of a lyre being tuned in the distance. As you can see, Tellion taverns too have their own special charm.

I will send this as soon as I am able, but not much traffic moves through the borders today, and I think other, more special means might be required, though they will necessary be slower. The atmosphere here is pleasant although there is still some tension in the air, but that might have been due to the fact that this town was untouched by the ravages of war. Men patrol the streets outside, and there is a constant guard over the roads to the town. But even then, people cannot be under pressure all the time, they have to relax, or they snap.

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09 - Traven

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