I hope you have been faring well and not suffering too much torturous anticipation of my next letter. My apologies for getting it out so late; when not madly fiddling with your not-so-furry friend (which I do hope that dear boy Chry has delivered to you by now -- I would not like to know what sort of depraved thoughts might be running through your twisted little head upon reading those words, if he has not) or enjoying the seasonal festivities a bit more than a priestess probably had ought, I have been distracted by all manner of thoughts.
Life in the Cathedral is proving terribly, terribly dull, which I am sure you do not find difficult to imagine; nonetheless, it is quite the disappointment for me. For the life of me I cannot remember how I used to be content pittering about the libraries, keeping the rooms tidy, perhaps providing the occasional sympathetic ear to a visitor aching to confess his sins; I now find my daily routine not merely boring, but aggravating.
I know -- indeed, I often tell this to visitors seeking advice -- that even the craftsmen and farmers, the clerks and housekeepers, and the little no-name Brothers and Sisters of the Church are all able to better society and serve the Light, even from the humblest of stations. Grand and flashy heroes may receive honor and accolades, but just as the Crusade could not have seen victory in the north without the support of the Verdict, and we could not have produced the arms they needed without purchasing materials from the Warsong and Valiance miners, and those miners could not have sustained their operations without the support of the industries in their homelands, which in turn rely upon the labor of peons and peasants, each person who steps through the doorway of the Cathedral can contribute, in his way, to changing the world.
Even so, I feel immeasurably frustrated.
Not so many months ago, you and I stood over the forges that tamed the most volatile saronite. And when I tired of rifling cannons that could breach the black walls of the Citadel itself, I could walk across the hall to spy on the Ebon Blade's smiths slaving over the prototypes of what would be Shadowmourne and distract you with chit-chat of ley lines, inscriptions, and using runes to approximate a perpetual motion machine. And now, I find myself suddenly stopping in the midst of mopping the Cathedral stones to wonder -- why am I not building that machine and investigating its possible applications?
I miss the work and I miss you. But it's more than that -- I miss the power. I miss the power I had in the Verdict to invent, to create and change things in a way a mild, library-dwelling priestess cannot; I miss having the resources and environment to push my abilities to the limit and tax my faculties to the point of exhaustion.
A few days ago I picked up one of the books I read as a youth, one on the patterns of ley lines -- this was the text that first interested me in the subject of runework, back when I was a wee bookworm. I had once loved to read it, to pour over the equations and trace the diagrams with my finger. This time, I threw it aside in disgust. It's unbearable, now, to touch drawings of runes, after I touched runes themselves.
And so, Amirael, I trouble you with a question.
Your surname at birth was, I believe, Dawnwright; although I will certainly feel very silly if I have guessed wrong, I am fairly confident in this assumption, considering your choice of nom de guerre and the similarity of your forename's construction to those of the famous elven runesmiths named Dawnwright, of which I have read. If I am not mistaken and you are indeed of this prestigious line, I would like to ask: why did you choose to become a runesmith as well?
Even though part of me expects to receive the literary equivalent of a raised eyebrow and derisive snort in reply, I am honestly interested in your answer. For I know it can't be true that you were simply born into the profession and swept along by the current of destiny. You are too skilled, too knowledgeable and passionate about your craft to have simply coasted along on the prestige of your name. Perhaps I am conceited to fancy myself able to read a blade, young and inexperienced human that I am, but I believe I can see the years of study and practice and effort in your work; what was it that inspired such wholehearted devotion in such a lackadaisical and apathetic young man?
When my little paladin friend, who progresses impressively in his training but is beginning to doubt whether the Cathedral is the right place for him to study, asked me how to tell which path is the correct one for him, I answered that one's true path is as natural and comfortable as perfectly shaped armor suits the knight for which it was made; heavy and burdensome it may be, but it is so well-fitted it hardly impedes his movements at all, and it allows him to ride into battle to champion the cause that he loves. And, I told him, too, that in order to know for sure, he might have to try on many of these suits, in order to find the one that fits best or learn how to craft his own.
However, it seems to me that your true path was the first you laid your feet upon; truly, you are as skilled at your chosen art as you are unskilled at the art of courtship. And so I ask: how did you know? and when did you decide? Enlighten me, as this is one thing, at least, that I do not understand.
With warmest affection,