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

Image by augustfinster from Pixabay

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

Image by Karl Frey from Pixabay

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

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

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

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

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

Image by skylife81 from Pixabay

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

Image by dae jeung kim from Pixabay

Letter Eleven: Altair to Whelan

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

Whelan,

It is early morning, and I have woken to find my guard prepared to leave the solitude of this Blood Elf village for the underground splendor of the Fire Elf Keep.

I understand, generally, their desire to leave. The Fire Elf lands are much more suited to soldiers. They are more boisterous and ever ready to hold small war games to keep visitors on their toes.

It is not a bad thing. Their constant training has saved the Realm of Night and Avalon itself on more than one occasion in our history. Yet, as I look out into a sky streaked orange and yellow and read, I find myself wishing for another day or two with the Blood Elves to enjoy their more relaxed and contemplative way of life.

I could easily order them to unpack. There is no actual schedule that I must follow, and no one here to tell me I must move on to the next realm. And yet, I find that I am anxious to visit your realm. I am anxious to visit you.

And so I will dress soon. I will bid farewell to the Blood Elves and the Sun’s bright light for a day or two, and go down into the earth to visit King Heller and Queen Daimona.

I hope that you are well. I will see you soon.

Altair

Image by Sergei Tokmakov from Pixabay

Letter Ten: Whelan to Altair

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

Hello Altair,

The Blood Elves! I do so love their clan and their home, though I admit at one time they frightened me.

Whenever I saw Roisahn, the Blood Elf healer who lived with us here in the Watery Keep when I was a youngling, I would hide myself away peeking from behind some piece of furniture. I do not know if it was their dark skin, the red-tinged eyes, or the fact that I did not know if they were male or female that frightened me, but they did.

When I was just a little older, they caught me spying and asked me to sit with them. They knew I was confused because no one else like them lived at our palace, but they also knew I had an inquisitive mind and so they told me I could ask any question I wanted and they answered every single one.

I learned a great deal that day, but the one thing that I will never, ever forget came when I inquired about their gender.

“Part of me is very masculine; part is feminine. Parts of me are neither, and parts of me are both. Where I come from, such things do not matter, because we know this: Healing takes a whole Elf capable of accessing all of those parts of ourselves at the same time.

“There are those in our world who, if they saw us as one or the other, might think that affects our ability to heal. They might think that one or the other is stronger or more capable. Long ago our clan learned to free ourselves of those constraints, and we are better healers because of it.”

To this day, I think of Roisahn’s words when I travel to the Obsidian Mountains with father to make sure their rivers are running clean and clear, but more importantly, I have taken what they said to heart when meeting any Elf.

You do have me at a disadvantage with their springs, however. I have never had the opportunity to immerse myself completely in their waters. I have felt their power, however, and it is beautiful.

To answer your question, I have not yet found a common ground between the merfolk and nymphs. Understand, they are not at war with each other. It is nothing so dramatic as that.

At times, however–though there are lakes, rivers, and seas enough for them many times over–they manage to get into each other’s way and when they do, skirmishes break out which inevitably lead to rivers overflowing their banks and the displacement of fish and other life beneath the surface.

Ah well. There is nothing to be done except to continue reasoning with them and hope that finally one or both will listen.

I will send this letter straight away. I hope it finds you well.

I look forward to you next letter.

Whelan

Letter Nine: Altair to Whelan

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

Greetings Whelan,

I hope this letter finds you well. I received your letter just before we left the Forest Realm and though I wanted to read it immediately, there was no time.

We traveled into the Obsidian Mountains today to meet with Great Healer Magala and the Blood Elves of their clan.

Of all the realms of Avalon, theirs is the most imposing and yet, also the most peaceful to me. So much of their time is spent quietly save for the younglings who run freely from home to home as if they are all truly one family, and when the entire clan comes together for festivals and celebrations.

I do not understand their healing magic. I’m not sure any Elf outside their clan does, but I’ve seen them work wonders.

How I wish you could sneak away to join me for a day on this journey, but I fear you are right. There is so much space between the clans and mountains of etiquette to be followed. I wonder sometimes if it has always been this way.

I must go soon. I am going to take a long soak in one of the hot springs in the mountains. The water there is amazing, though I’m sure you know that.

Were you able to bring the nymphs and merfolk into some kind of agreement today?

I would love to hear about it. I have met some of the merfolk leaders before, but I’ve never dealt with the water nymphs and other water elementals directly. I have spent considerable time with the sylphs, however, and if they are any indication, I’m sure your work is not easy.

We will be with the Blood Elves for at least another day or two and then we travel to the Fire Elf realm under the mountains.

Write to me soon,

Altair

Image by Adrian Lang from Pixabay