Letter Twenty-One: Whelan to Altair

From: Prince Whelan of the Realm of Waters
To: High Prince Altair

Altair,

It was so lovely to have you as a guest for our autumn festivities. It mean so much to mother and father.

It meant so much to me.

Altair, you may never speak to me again, but I feel I must be honest with you. I know that the ruler of the Realm of Night and all of Avalon must marry someone of the Realm of Night when the time comes, but Altair, I love you.

I think I’ve loved you since the moment you blushed after stepping on my foot on Feast Day all those Moons ago.

Every time we are together, I fight myself not to reach out to touch your arm, and dancing with you at the autumn concert was almost too much for me.

This may seem sudden, but love has always come hard and fast for Water Elves. I don’t know what you will say reading this. I think you feel the same way, but I could not wait any longer to tell you.

I hope I’ll hear from you soon,

Whelan

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Letter Twenty: Whelan to Altair

To: High Prince Altair
From: Prince Whelan of the Realm of Waters

Altair,

I am sorry to hear that you have been so troubled.

I do know of what you speak. Titan, my brother, exhibited such behavior when he was a youngling. He was constantly in trouble, constantly creating chaos, mostly in a bid to gain attention.

It was not until he discovered not only that he liked training and leading as a soldier, but that he was quite good at it, that he began to settle down. Perhaps, all that Marchan truly needs is direction.

Then again, there’s also the chance that he is a spoiled brat who will continue to wreak havoc for the rest of his life. I hope for you, and the Realm of Night, that it is the former rather than the latter.

Life here is peaceful at the moment, and for that I am grateful. As I write this letter, I am gazing out into the depths, watching schools of shimmering fish swim by just beyond the walls.

I do not know if you know this, but in the autumn each year, there is a concert here at the Watery Keep. It is our way of marking the change of seasons. It is a night of music, singing, dining, and dancing.

It would make me happy if you could attend. I know it may be irregular for a High Prince to take part in such festivities, but even so, I hope you’ll consider it.

The concert takes place on the next full Moon. Write to me if you can attend and I will make arrangements for you to stay at the Keep overnight as the dance often goes into the wee hours of the morning.

I await your reply,

Whelan

Letter Nineteen: Altair to Whelan

To: Prince Whelan of the Realm of Waters
From: High Prince Altair

Whelan,

I must apologize for not replying to your previous letters. It has, indeed, been a trying time here at the Palace of Night.

Perhaps you’ve never met my cousin Marchan, but I must tell you he has been a thorn in the foot of our family since he was a youngling. If there was trouble to be found, he would not only find it, but roll around in it like a white hound in mud.

When he was younger, it was endearing, but the older he has gotten, the more he acts out, and the more he endangers his own life and the lives of those around him.

Since I have ascended to the Throne of Night, he has become worse. He is petulant and spoiled and rash, and well, I’m sure you see what I mean.

I cannot even begin to tell you things he has done recently but in these last few weeks, I have had to threaten him with exile on more than one occasion. I fear that someday I will have to put threats aside and make it so.

His mother, my Aunt Portea, spends a great deal of time in my chambers begging for me to have mercy. She insists that because his father crossed the veil so early in his life that it has changed the way he views the world. Perhaps she is right, and perhaps, I am simply impatient. He is not a youngling anymore, and his games are no longer funny.

When he speaks at me, he looks as though he has been forced to sit in horse dung with his face drawn up in disgust and sometimes I fear what his moods will inspire him to do.

Enough of my troubles. How are you? How is life in the Watery Keep?

I must tell you, I do love the peace of the water. Perhaps, if someone were to invite me to dine with them, I could take time from the Palace and experience that peace sooner rather than later.

Thinking of you,

Altair

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Letter Eighteen: Whelan to Altair

To: High Prince Altair
From: Prince Whelan of the Realm of Waters

Altair,

I’m sorry to write again, but it has been almost a full Moon and I heard that there had been some kind of trouble at the Palace of Night.

I do hope all is well. I hope that you are well.

I hope that whatever happened has been settled, but if there is anything that I can do to help, do not hesitate to contact me.

Perhaps I should not worry so, but I do.

Be well, Altair, and know that I am thinking of you.

Whelan

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Letter Seventeen: Whelan to Altair

To: High Prince Altair
From: Prince Whelan of the Realm of Waters

Altair,

As you might imagine, a Prince of the Waters has little reason or occasion to visit the desert. We have, upon occasion and on the request of the Plains Elves, provided rains when they have gone too long without, but otherwise, we rarely stray into the sands.

If I am honest, its vastness and dryness makes me uncomfortable. I can look out onto the rolling seas for hours from the sandy shores of the Peaceful Cove, but when there is only sand for as far as the eye can see, I find it almost crushing.

I suppose I am a Water Elf to the core in that way.

You mentioned viewing everything from afar. Do you not ever sneak away from the Palace of Night for you own adventures and exploration?

I confess I have often escaped from the Watery Keep when I find it particularly oppressive and when I wish to forget that I am a prince born to be responsible for all time, if only for a little while.

It is healthy, and if you have not, I implore and encourage you to try it.

What did I scratch out? Nothing. I simply made a mistake and scratched out the mistake as one does.

I know it may be some time before you are able to write, but I very much look forward to your next letter. Perhaps, when everything is settled we can dine once more at the Palace of Night, or you would be welcome here.

Write to me when you can, and in the meantime, be well, Altair.

Whelan

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Letter Sixteen: Altair to Whelan

To: Prince Whelan of the Realm of Waters
From: High Prince Altair

Whelan,

I am glad you enjoyed the gift. I cannot say why, but I thought of you when I happened to see it on display among the Fire Elf shops.

I am sorry it has taken so long to respond to your letter, but as you know, by now, we are once again at conflict with the Dark Elves from across the sea.

Their ships have raided several vessels traveling from the docks at the Realm of Night carrying goods to the outer realms of Avalon.

All of this was to fill requests made by the leaders of our various clans that were taken during the tour and now we must start all over again while simultaneously preparing to place more soldiers of the Night Guard on each ship.

I do not know how they always seem to know when the ships with the most bounty leave our docks. It is almost uncanny.

As you can imagine, my days have been filled with angry ship captains and angrier merchants whose supplies were destroyed in the raids.

Your letter was a welcome oasis in the chaos.

I intended to write you while we were visiting with the Plains Elves, but it was a very short visit. Queen Alhambra rarely asks for much and we were only there for one day.

Tell me, has the Prince of the Realm of Waters spent much time in the desert regions? You may find it strange, but I have never been. So much of ruling from the Throne of Night is seeing from afar rather than experiencing life in person.

The Plains Elves will be moving over the river from the grasslands soon and I find it fascinating.

What did you cross out in your last letter? I would very much like to know what you were thinking.

Altair

P.S. It is unnecessary to apologize for not saying thank you for a gift when your eyes and smile spoke so eloquently.

Photo by Amos Bar-Zeev on Unsplash

Letter Fifteen: Whelan to Altair

To: High Prince Altair
From: Prince Whelan of the Realm of Waters

Altair,

It was so good to see you and to be able to find time to speak with you as well face to face.

I feel I must apologize for something, however. I was so surprised with the gift you presented to me that I fear I did not thank you. I have never seen bloodstone cut quite so delicately before with so many flecks of color, and in the shape of a lotus flower!

Please forgive me for not expressing my gratitude, and allow me now to say thank you so very much for the thoughtful gift.

You have only been gone a couple of days and yet, I wonder when I might see you again. I hope we won’t have to wait until the next feast day.

I am f

I find myself

I would simply like to see you again, when we are able.

Until then, I hope all is well in the Realm of Night and that you have settled comfortably back into your own space. I know what it is to crave one’s own bed when you’ve been away.

Write to me when you can.

Whelan

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Letter Fourteen: Whelan to Altair

To: High Prince Altair
From: Prince Whelan of the Realm of Waters

Altair,

I am not in the least surprised that you stopped everything to help search for an errant youngling. It is who you are, and it is a quality that I admire in you.

I am surprised, sometimes that you are only seventy Suns old. I always think of you as my own age, though I suppose ninety-one Suns is not so much older.

It is an odd age to be. Many of those not born to noble families who are our age have already found their mates, and yet we, or at least I, have been told not to rush these things, that we have other responsibilities.

Ah well…

I am so looking forward to seeing you soon. All of our preparations are now in place here and we have only to await your arrival.

Mother was quite insistent that Titan and I both visit the tailors for new clothing. You would have thought she had asked him to create an entirely new lake by digging it out with a spoon for all the fuss he made, but in the end he conceded.

I must admit he is quite dashing in his newly tailored robes, but then his form has always been finer than my own.

I fear I shall not have the opportunity to write again before your arrival so I hope this finds you well and that you know I am thinking of you on your journey. I want to hear about everything you did not have time to write down in your previous letters during your visit here!

Whelan

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Letter Thirteen: Altair to Whelan

To: Prince Whelan of the Realm of Waters
From: High Prince Altair

Greetings Whelan,

Of course, I’ll retrieve the dagger for you, and thank you for reminding me that I should begin putting thought into gifts for both my mother and father for their Sun Days.

I have only just arrived at the Fire Elf Hold.

As I was preparing to leave the Blood Elves this morning, I was made aware that one of their younglings had gone missing in the night, and I immediately set aside everything so that I could help with the search.

Magala, Timai, and I climbed the paths high into the Obsidian Mountains in search of the little one and it was mid-day before we received a message from below that the youngling had been found in a completely different part of the mountains.

It seems they had gone out in the early morning when they were roused from sleep by the sounds of a flock of mountain sheep. They followed them up into the mountains and became lost.

The look on their parents’ faces when they returned was one of complete relief. I can only imagine what they went through while waiting for word!

Needless to say, with a late start, my initial meeting with King Heller and Queen Daimona here was rather rushed as they were in the midst of preparations for a feast tonight. I am told there will also be some demonstration by their soldiers.

Regardless of the delays, however, I hope that you shall see me entering the Watery Keep within two days.

Will I hear from you before then? It is silly, I suppose, but I hope I will.

Be well, Whelan,

Altair

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Letter Twelve: Whelan to Altair

To: High Prince Altair
From: Prince Whelan of the Realm of Waters

Hello Altair,

I am so envious of you and your quiet among the Blood Elves in this moment. There is no quiet to be had in the Watery Keep with High Prince Altair’s visit upon us.

Mother has become fixated on every single detail for plans for the feasting and festivities that will accompany your visit. Even Titan is called from the practice fields to help with decorating and planning for your welcome.

Do you always cause such a fuss wherever you go?!

I am only teasing, of course. I rather look forward to this time of year. It is a welcome break from our normal duties, and it gives me something to look forward to as well as a welcome excuse to put my imagination to good use.

I do hope you’ll enjoy what I’ve arranged for your welcome.

One thing, I wonder if I could ask a favor of you? I hope it’s not too forward to ask.

Father’s Sun Day is approaching and I had occasion to commission a small dagger from the Fire Elf foundry. I have not had a moment to fetch it, myself. If it would not be too much trouble, could you secure it and bring it to me?

I look forward to seeing you soon, Altair.

Whelan

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