Preface

It is well-known by all Tortallan schoolchildren that the great love of Lady Knight Keladry of Mindelan's life was her first and only husband, Lord Wyldon of Cavall. A conservative about thirty years older than she was, and her former training master, he nevertheless adored the lady knight. They married two years after the death of his first wife, Vivenne, when Keladry was twenty-five. Their first children, a boy and a girl, were born fourteen months later.

In this volume, the Tortallan National Archive has collected a selection of their surviving letters from their first few years of marriage. It was a delight to be able to piece together yet more of the story of one of Tortall's most famous and groundbreaking knights and the man whose writing on governing bodies of debate was used as a basis for the establishment of our nation's democracy some three hundred years later. Both are great figures in our country's history, and while written in a somewhat formal style, as was typical of the time, the Archive hopes that the selection will be understood and enjoyed by our readers.

- Cody Queenscove-Cooper, 1179 H.E.

Dear Keladry,

I hope that you find this letter, as I will have slipped it in your saddlebag moments before you left. Perhaps I should have given it to you but to be honest, I had rather thought you might appreciate the surprise. (While you're off chasing bandits with Goldenlake. Perhaps knock him out of the saddle once or twice, as a wedding gift for me?)

It is a pity that we are to be parted not a fortnight after our wedding, but I of course understand your call to service for the realm- as his majesty knew I would. It will be a pity, but hopefully you will return to me in less than a month.

Still, it was a joyous two weeks with you, a time I shall always remember fondly, even though it is falteringly hot and Jesslaw has decided that it is the appropriate time for him to visit. It is lovely to see Margarry of course, and no doubt I will enjoy seeing Lucah, but I would rather you were here with me. I believe that is so of Jesslaw as well.

Keep safe.

With regards,
your husband,
Wyldon

Dear Wyldon,

As you can see, I have received your letter and it was a marvelous surprise! So nice to read your kind words, even if the men of the Own did tease me some for blushing. Ah well, what do they know anyways?

Honestly, a visit from Owen isn't too bad! You know that you enjoy them- and here, I'll try to make it better, perhaps I will be able to come a bit earlier than originally planned. I would love to visit with Margarry (and gossip about you, of course).

Everything is going quite well otherwise. Lord Raoul misses Buri, of course, and Dom is still talking my ear off. He's a lovely friend to have. Wolset is worried about the lady he's courting, and I'm afraid I was asked for some 'womanly advice'. I told he he'd be better off talking to Dom. I shall tell you later how that session went, once it actually happens...

I miss you too very much, and hope to be home with you at Cavall soon.

Love,
your Keladry

Dearest Keladry,

I cannot believe it has been two months since your letter was sent. I was aware of the rains that destroyed many of the roads, but I hadn't known that they were this horrible. I'm afraid I've spent much of my time idling around the fief. It's amazing how Lucah has grown. Looks like Jesslaw, unfortunately, but I suppose we can't have everything in life.

(I wonder what it would be like to have a child with you, to start over. A baby with your eyes and my name, would that not be a marvelous-)

I've been thinking lately, about things. Perhaps we will steal time for a conversation when you return. No time like the present?

Give my regards to Goldenlake, and the scamps of the Own. Enjoy yourself as much as you're able; we're to spend winter at court this year.

Love,
Wyldon

Dear Wyldon,

(I couldn't help to notice-)

(I didn't mean to-)

(I've given your regards to Lord Raoul, and he said that-)

Your writing was distinct, even under what you crossed out. Which is- not a fault, certainly not- and sometimes it helps to put things down to paper, I know that.

I don't know what to say.

I'm afraid I don't have the words, right now. I need to speak with you in person.

Please don't think anything bad of me, or this letter, or anything negative about what I've written. I just need to- think. And I probably shouldn't send this to you, but, well, I wanted to be honest.

And the truth is I don't know.

yours,
Keladry

Keladry,

When you get here- whenever that may be- I will listen.

(hoping this gets to you in time)

with love from your husband,
Wyldon