[Story] Xanaroth’s Notes

There isn’t much happening in the ziggurat, although I did see an imp in the mirror the other day. Regrettably, I didn’t see it come in — it could have been while I was asleep or otherwise occupied. I have Beluri watching while I cannot, and while she’s a good imp, she is still an imp and prone to distraction. I think it must have come in from outside, if it had been summoned there, I would surely have seen its master. And it’s not the same one as before, Aeramin assured me that one was banished. As for its purpose, I can only guess. It could be keeping an eye on the rangers, though they’re outside. I suppose it could be guarding whatever’s inside the ziggurat, though I wouldn’t trust an imp to guard anything of importance. We met with Aeramin and Kestrae the other evening; he suggested that we attempt to investigate what’s inside there. Vallindra and I cannot risk being named as summoners if we intend to live here with any regularity, though Aeramin had a plan for that too. First, he will bring Hethurin along under the ruse that they are merely curious mages. Hethurin must already know of Aeramin’s involvement, and perhaps Kestrae’s as well, but he absolutely cannot know mine and Vallindra’s. That’s why Aeramin suggested that we stay behind. I’m still not certain that it’s a good idea, but I think it’s safer than Vallindra’s idea about distracting the rangers. Honestly, I don’t think experienced rangers would fall for something so simple, especially as they work in pairs. Second, I think it’s more dangerous. The rangers worry me a great deal, especially the captain. He knows what Kestrae is involved in, and he no longer has any reason to protect her. She insists that he wouldn’t do anything, but I wonder if that’s just wishful thinking.

We also had supper at the school. I was as surprised as Vallindra by the invitation. I thought it was perhaps some sort of trap, so I insisted that I accompany her. I told her that it might calm Hethurin if I was present, and I think that it did. I’m not sure why he becomes so irrational around her. Everything that happened was at his father’s orders, not Vallindra’s. If he’s upset with anyone, it should be him. One of his students was there, I suppose watching that we didn’t try anything while we were there. She’s very young, probably no more than eighty. I try to remember what I was like at that age, but it’s difficult. The main reason Hethurin wanted to see Vallindra was to tell her about tearing some dress when they were children. I’m not sure why he couldn’t have sent a letter, but I’m thankful for the wonderful dinner. He’s also planning to have a ball, though I’m sure she won’t be invited again. If she’s out working that night, I may be able to find time to drop in for a little while at least.

Their parents have split up. It was in the letter from Vallindra’s mother. I was a bit surprised at that, usually when a pair have been together for so long they endure it, or find ways of making it tolerable. Vallindra said her mother has a new “friend”, so perhaps that was part of it. I hope she doesn’t get any ideas about replacing me with muscular younger men in the future. Oh, and one of her other sisters is getting married soon. I wonder if we’ll be invited to that one. The other one, the ranger, has moved in with the captain. It seems we’re all caught up on the family gossip now.

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