In which Haft composes a letter and mails two anonymous packages
Haft sits in the Off-Duty Mess scratching a quill on a piece of parchment.
I hope this letter finds you well. I hope it finds you at all, for it has been a long time. In short, I am alive, I am in Archenland, and I hope that perhaps I may be able to see you.
No doubt it will be a shock to hear from me after all these years. Forgive me for that. I hadn’t the heart to write after, well, everything. I don’t even know how to begin to explain. I’m not sure what you know, or don’t know. It seems likely to be very different from what I imagined.
It is likely that you know at least this much, and if you do, I beg your forgiveness for the shame I brought on our family: I was the guard on duty the night that Prince Cor was kidnapped. If you did not already know this then my disappearance must seem even more confusing, and my reappearance more appalling, but please know that I never intended the royal family any harm.
There was a great deal of confusion in the aftermath of the kidnapping. There were whispers of treachery, or at least dereliction of duty, regarding myself and I was told to remain within Anvard until the matter was looked into. One day my captain came into the mess with a black look on his face, told me to get out, and, taking it as the king’s decision, I packed my things and departed for exile in Narnia. I could not bear to write to you in bitterness and disgrace.
My time there was not pleasant, and I will not dwell on it here, other than to say that on the day the call came for the muster of Narnia to come to the aid of Anvard two months ago, I found myself at hand. I had to choose between breaking the king’s exile–as I thought–and fighting for my home. I determined to go, whatever the cost.
Many things passed that day on the battlefield, and after. You will know by now that Prince Cor has been restored to us, Emperor be praised! As things stood, I remanded myself to the custody of the Steward until my case could be brought before the king, but once it was, oh Brigid! He told me there had been no decree of exile, offered his forgiveness, and restored me to a place on the Guard. I sit in Anvard even as I write, and it is so good to be home again!
I wish to see you, if you are willing. I have gained my Captain’s permission to visit Chesterton to do so, or to send for you, if that is more convenient. Forgive me for the silent years.
Haft puts away his writing implements, then folds the letter and double-checks the two smaller but thicker packages already in the pouch at his waist, addressed to recipients in Zuiden and Coghill respectively. The courier recommended by the castle scribe had been perplexed that Haft would bother paying for a message to be delivered to Zuiden, close at it was, but Haft had finally secured his cooperation, adding the stipulation that the two items not addressed to his sister be delivered with no name or description of himself attached. He strides from the mess, stopping in the barracks to put away his quill and ink, and goes to find the man.