Hey my little Holly-berry,
I doubt that this letter will ever reach you; you’re probably centuries dead or lost to the mists of memory. But perhaps you’ve survived, as we do, and perhaps our local postmaster will find some way of delivering. I’ve both fallen so far and yet grown so much in the past few months, you probably wouldn’t even recognize me anymore, although I'll bet I can still kick your ass at hide-and-seek. I ostensibly work security for a few trade routes and the local mercantile, but as always, there’s more to it than that.
I live in a little place up in the hills called Quarry Creek. On the surface, it is a sleepy little mining town where mortals search the rivers for gold, or dig up other precious ores from the mines nearby. Under that mundane veneer, it’s a place that oddly feels very much like home. It’s nothing fancy and I sleep in a tiny bunk, but I prefer this town to any other place I’ve visited. About two hundred or so people live here, but nearly half the population is something not quite human. Even the humans who live here tend to be well-versed in a variety of magics, or at the very least have an array of defensive talismans and are keenly aware of the world behind the Veil. I’ve had tea with vampires (descendants of Caine, inheritors of his curse), gone hunting with werewolves (exactly what they sound like), and played dice with a wraith (spirits of the restless dead). Our postmaster is even a self-aware spirit of nature! This town truly is a remarkable place.
Even more interesting, there are a surprising number of humans with fae souls living here, too. They call themselves ‘changelings.” I guess by the strict definition, I also qualify as a changeling now, but I don’t really feel like I fit in with their little cadre. I’m probably the first descendant of royal blood they’ve seen since… whatever disaster befell our kind after our House fell out of time and the King was slain. They call me ‘sidhe,’ which feels stilted and awkward given what I…. am? Was? I’m not really sure anymore. But if the shoe fits, I might as well wear it. The others appear to be descendants of the commoner bloodlines and stalwartly reject the proper order of things. That’s fine; I was never cut out to rule and am perfectly happy to work from behind the scenes as I have always done, but most of them can barely remember who they are much less our lost culture.
It seems that the issue is that they can’t remember their names. Not the names we call each other, but the names of their souls, and that’s why they can’t remember: no name, no memory. I recently had an encounter with a human carrying the soul of an old friend from work. He was trying to sort out the flashes and glimpses of memory, and the more he spoke of those dreams, the more certain I was that I knew him. Reminding him of his name appeared to bring it all back, so maybe there’s hope for the others. We got lucky once, and there’s talk of using ritual magic to draw out the names of the others. I hope more of them remember. It gets lonely sometimes, being the only one who does.
Anyways, life goes on, the hearth-fires still burn. An oracle told me that the current wave of dread and despair will pass, and the Gates will open again. I just hope that I can be there when they do. I miss your laugh, your smile, the games we played. I miss our house and the willow grove by the pond. Maybe some day we’ll have that again, and I will continue to fight every day to make it safe to bring our people, our friends, our families, back into the world.
Love from your big sister,
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