A letter to Brán, delivered by Pattern magic 3 days (amber time) after Sioned’s departure
I am so sorry that I have not written to you in so long. I don’t think you will believe me when I say that it is due to being too involved in study. You laughed, I’m sure of it. But it’s the truth!
By way of explanation, I wanted to be away from everything. I wanted to find a quiet place where I would not be distracted (I know that I am all too often very easily distracted) to think about things, and focus. So I walked in to Shadow. I remember a book that mother used to read to me on the rare occasions that she was home. About a place where the library was in a cavern, money glowed in the light of storms, and strong emotions gave rise to harmless and short lived spirits.
Well, I found it. It does exist, and this is where I have been. It is a land called Roshar, a vast continent with many kingdoms and countries. So many different kinds of people, and clothing, and languages!
On my way, I met a girl called Shallan, and she very kindly let me travel to the city with her. Everything is so very different here, and I can’t wait to tell you about it when I get back. I am not sure when that will be though.
We have spent many months in the city of Kharbranth, where the library is. I think you would love it here. It’s the centre of academic life in Roshar, and people come here from all over. The library is huge, and you have to travel in rickety elevators to get to some of the higher shelves.
When Shallan is not busy with her own work, she helps me to study, and teaches me how to write things down in proper order, so that I don’t become confused, or confuse others. You may be disbelieving, but I hope you would be happy to hear that even after I had finished studying the Autochromes and Quenched in Moonlight, Shallan found me several other books on all sorts of different topics to read. At first I did not think I would be interested, and some of the books were boring. But there were others that I really enjoyed. Before I could even really think about it, I’d already been here for a year. It is also very hard for me to be quiet (and you laughed again), which is absolutely required in the library. I am proud of myself for managing to achieve that, most of the time. I’ve only been shushed three times today. And that is a marked improvement.
Tomorrow we are leaving Kharbranth, though. Shallan’s mentor is taking her to The Shattered Plains, where she is to be betrothed to someone called Adolin. He’s the son of the King’s uncle…..so that would make him the King’s cousin of course. I’m still working on things like genealogy, and how people are related.
We will take a boat for a long way, and then ride. I have been taking secret riding lessons from some of the grooms who work in the Duke of Kharbranth’s stable. Shallan’s mentor knows him. His son first offered to help me, but was very offended when I said I wanted to learn to ride like the men do. Women here sit sideways on the horse, which doesn’t seem very sensible. It’s hard enough not to slide off when you have the horse between your legs, I can’t even imagine trying to do it the “lady-like” way. I fell off a lot of times, and it made my legs very sore, but I can ride a bit now.
I’m also learning how to draw. Shallan is a very good artist, and she’s been helping me to draw simple things. I’m not sure what would have happened to me if I hadn’t met her. I probably would have given up a long time ago and not learned a thing!
I will try and remember to write again before long. I miss you very much.
All my love.