I am not in the habit of writing, but then what Eorling is? The rare and exceptional, perhaps, though I could not speculate. I am sorry that this Yuletide has passed, despite how merry it was, for I imagine you and your kind retreat behind your strong Cliving walls for the season, as Mine and I intend to do behind the walls of Fréasburg. Days slip as quickly as seasons, and I thought I had weeks or months left in the festivities in Aldburg to make better acquaintance with your family and allies. Alas, the effort will have to be better made at another time.
I struggled, before Yule, to find the manner or the means with which to invite all of the Mark to Aldburg for the years’ old traditions honored in our country’s first king’s seat. Parchment is both worthless and priceless in this kingdom, hard to come by and still meagerly valued. Word of mouth, rather than written summons, was trusted to Riders and other free folk, and I hope that as many as possible received word to join us in the promise of Yule. Your folk did, at least, though I think often on those who could not, and might one day, if so fate begets.
I am grateful for the chance to attempt a letter again, after many years of ill practice. It is a strange feeling attempting so formal a discourse. I have never leant towards Gondorian occupation, but when I sit at a table with pen and paper, I can at least understand why their culture appeals to some.
I wax. I mean this letter as an invitation. If you had intention to visit our proud Fréasburg, I would welcome you, and be most appreciative for the chance to boast of its towers and streets and the brave folk who guard them.
I was sincere when I proposed peace to the conflict between our holds—the Norcrofts and West-march should have reason to be again friends. Even if it has been buried for twice a decade, even if it simmers under ash. I hope to make the best of amends.
Fréasburg is not easy to reach in winter. There is a port town that supplies it which is better suited to quick travel, if you sail south down the Isen, or an outpost in Fréasmead that riders from Edoras or the Hornburg stop to resupply before riding on to our burg. If you send word, my Father’s garrison will send a party to escort you. I would be pleased, myself, if I were given the chance to show you our countryside. It is not the gracious, wheat-bright fields of your homeland, but it is remarkable in its own way.
If I see you again, may it be within the hospitality I extend you, or else in Edoras if your business pulls you there as often and as painfully as it does me. I shall like to see Cliving, some day. You understand my family’s discord with its Reece has prevented me gazing on its fabled walls, but hopefully, with this truce, I may have earned the privilege and the right.
I look forward to your reply, though the chance to write even without expectation of one has been pleasure enough. May the New Year favor you and yours.
In hope and good faith,
Lady Dytha, Thane of Carwic, Knight of the West-march, Grand-daughter of Aelle, The Wolf in the West