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Received August 12, 463HE

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Letter to Baron George of Pirate’s Swoop

From Alan of Pirate’s Swoop

10 August, 463



Mother said she would be stopping at the Swoop on the way to Corus with the delegates from Emelan and that I had until tomorrow morning to get any items I wanted to send with her together. I wish I was going too but my lord’s coastal guard reports pirates to the south so we are going hunting instead. That will be fun too.

Lord haMinch finally got back to my lord about my squire testing. He has decreed (with the help of uncle John) that I will have to take part in the Big Test in Corus to become an official crown squire with the ability to take my Ordeal of Knighthood in the Chamber of the Ordeal in two years when I’m 18. Its such a bother! But that means that I’ll be in the capital for the next Big Test at the end of summer! Briar (one of the strangers from Emelan) says that they should still be there then so maybe I’ll get to go to some fancy parties! Either way I’ll see Thom at the university.

Briar Moss, who I mentioned before, is really cool! He reminds me of you and aunt Rispah when you get together and talk in lower city cant. He can be buttery with his words if he wants to be but when he got tired at tonight’s party he started calling me a baby goat! Daja, his sister, explained that it was slang for a child where they come from. I’m not a child! I’m 16! He’s less than five years older than me.

He said that I’ll stop being a ‘kid’ when I have a student of my own he winked when he said it. So I guess that’s when I pick a squire, right da?

The strangest thing happened when Briar and I were walking nothing improper! We were talking as the dinner party moved to one of my lord’s greeting rooms anyway I swear the plants in my lady’s garden reached out to him. He stopped and petted a great number of them but it looked like the ivy tried to tangle up in his hands! And his hands are the coolest things I’ve ever seen. He has these really rather rough looking tattoos of thick boldly coloured flowering vines all over his hands and wrists with little leaves on a few of his fingers. They move like living plants in wind. I asked about it but he seemed embarrassed. Can you imagine being embarrassed about something as wonderful as magic tattoos? I wonder if Thom could do that.

I’ve gotten distracted and don’t have time to write this out again if I’m to get it to mother before she leaves.

Uncle Numair asked what they looked like to my Sight and they look odd. All their gifts are the same shade of silver. It reminds me of wildmages because they all have copper gifts. Only these four also seem to have the same amount! That’s not right. Trisana has a little bit more – what cook would call a smidge more and she has hints of blue at the edges. Its almost like Tris has two types of gift that strange silvery stuff and normal Tortallan magic.

I haven’t actually seen any of them use their gifts so I don’t know what it looks like in use except that when Briar did the thing with the grabby ivy silvery vines from his fingertips went into the plant? Does that make sense? Numair said he’d take a closer look on their journey to Pirate’s Swoop. And you can always look at it yourself. Mother did say they were stopping.

I’ll have to end this here, my lord wants me to be up early enough to send everyone off before we head out to hunt pirates. I hope to see you soon.


Your son,





[WM: Emelan magic sounds like Bazhir magic, Alan hasn’t seen a Bazhir shaman other than his mother who never bothered with the finer aspects of their gift. I will have to examine them closely – and my own memories! It has been a long time since I’ve been with the Bloody Hawk.]


Report from sparrow toothsome

collected and compiled by hostler Samsen for the eyes of the Whisper Man

Written on 10 August, 463


The four strangers arrived today. They shouldn’t have been able to dock according to my magpie with the harbour master. Maybe the Emelese boats are lighter on the water though. Either way it took my lord and lady Legann by surprise. Poor page Alan scrambled to get sirs Legann and Alanna kitted up; rumour in the keep is that Lady Kel helped Sir Raoul to dress. Always a sight, our lady knights.

I was able to examine some of the belongings that came with the Emelese. They didn’t bring a lot of kit with them beyond two chests of clothing between them and saddlebags of travelling and camping gear. A few curious items to be sure: a full crate of rich cloth, a leather saddlebag with hammers and tongs and things, a baby tree, and a small box full of powders and drops. I don’t know what those were but some other sparrow might.

Beyond that there was one lady’s bag that gleamed under the magic detecting charms and I could find no opening nor seam in the weave. Even though I spent a good time examining it. One of the boat’s crew warned my lord’s footmen that that bag belonged to the noble fa Toren. He called her a stitch witch but no stitch witch I’ve ever heard of can weave a ball around things without at least one seam.

The four refused help dressing.


Report from sparrow gidget

collected and compiled by hostler Samsen for the eyes of the Whisper Man

Written on 10 August, 463


The one called Trisana has a glass dragon. I saw the Wildmage speaking with her and feeding something to the dragon when I carried about the sweetmeats in the parlour. All ate normal foods even though they hesitated at some of the more elaborate dishes. Sandrilene fa Toren took her meal with the lord and lady along with Sir Alanna and Numair. She was quite insulted when my lady said she wanted to hire the spinner Toren. Sandrilene told my lady she was ‘professionally curious’. I was called away before I could hear what she considers her profession though.

Her siblings took their meal with the Lady Keladry and Sir Raoul. None reported or exhibited any issues with foodstuffs. This was probably the only good thing of the evening! The head of the lord’s kitchen forgot that the Wildmage eats no meat and tried to feed her deer.

Numair was most wrathful.

As a result my report is unfortunately short. We have all been sent to clean up the mess in the kitchen.


[WM: Send Samsen and the local Nursemaid a note to remind gidget to write in away that makes it less obvious she is in the kitchen!]


Letter to Baron George of Pirate’s Swoop

From Numair Salmalin

received 11 August, 463



I know you might find it strange that I would send this message on ahead given I will surely arrive at your fief soon but this is a most exciting occasion! These four are mages. I know your reports were that only young Tris was confirmed but truly they are. Young Sandry has agreed to show me some of her gifts during the journey to Corus but I have already seen Tris use hers. It was the most curious thing.

As the four walked up the wharf to the greeting party a breeze broke from its natural flow towards land and raced out to sea from our backs. I felt the sparking of the gift and quickly wrote the signs to heighten my mage sight. The wind was pulled! It wound around Imrah’s party and raced like an arrow before winding around the Emelese. After that the magic let the wind go and it followed its natural course back to land.

Additionally the young man Briar Moss, has magic tattoos. I pressed him for their origins and he told me a short story about using vegetable dyes and his sister’s sewing kit to do them himself. He turned bright red and complained about not knowing his magic would react to the vegetable dyes like that or that the needles he borrowed where from Sandrilene’s first mage kit! What an amazing thing: to accidentally create moving tattoos. I asked if he could do so again and after some serious thought he concluded that he could do so on another Plantmage (what he calls himself); but he only ever met one other and she would never consent to testing that theory.

I have a theory about his magic. It reminds me of one of my instructors at the University. If what Alan described to me of their gifts is accurate, and my theory is too, I will know why our reports of their gifts are so dubious. I won’t write of it here but we will speak soon and I will tel you then.

I so hope I can convince all four of them to spend some time at the university during their visit. I am sure that the King and Queen have a full schedule planned but imagine what we can learn from four such unusually gifted individuals.


Yours in faith,




Oh, also this falcon is doing a favour for Daine, please thank her and send no reply. As I said, I believe we will be to the Swoop soon after you receive this message.


Letter to Baron George of Pirate’s Swoop

From Lord Imrah of Legann

Regarding the knightly education of Alan of Pirate’s Swoop



I have finally heard back from haMinch. The stubborn man dragged his feet almost long enough that Alan and I would miss our chance to register for the Big Test. As it is I will have to really push the boy into reviewing the sorts of things that come up during the testing. It is unfortunate that none in my family have taken them yet: we would better know what to expect.

He is aided, however, by our lessons in orality. Alan is not shy to present in front of many people despite his young age. He is also booned by your social graces. There aren’t many lords in your position and fewer still who handle the more conservative members of our class with as much grace as you do, George.

No, to be truthful, Alan could benefit from being slightly less friendly at times!

In your confidence I will miss Alan once a knight chooses him. He has breathed a life into Legann. He is well suited to coastal work as well. A natural sailor and I have ensured he is well acquainted with the major traders from up the coast as well as Tyra, Maren, Carthak, the few Scanrans who venture so far south, the Copper Isles, and now Emelan too. If you can keep him from the boarder long enough he may yet make an excellent coastal guard captain for the Swoop. Though if reports from the Copper Isles merchants are accurate, our ties to them may soon be broken by civil war. I pray to Mithros, Apetekus, and Wilnedur that the conflict is quick and bloodless as can be.

There is a short task I must see to before we ride to Corus. If everything goes to plan we will leave by boat no later than 7 days from now (the 17th of this month) and be in Corus well before the exams on the 31st. Though he would never say it, having you and Alanna in the audience would lighten Alan’s heart considerably. I will not require it, however, as we both know how hectic the harvest season can be both along the coast and in regards to Alanna’s crown duties.

I send this on with Numair with my regards to you and your household.


Yours in trust




[WM: Is it too petty for a baron to put something slimy in haMinch’s shoe? I’ll ask Alanna. Book of Gold has to be good for something after all. Imrah has always been crafty for all he is steadfast. His invocation of the old gods for slaves probably shows his support of the Raka. I will find some way to pass that on to Aly.]