A tear fell on the letter. Tara wiped it away before it could smear the ink. She moved the letter slightly to the right, so the falling tears would miss the precious paper.
When she’d arrived at The Count’s Arms inn in Anvil, the letter was waiting. Mira had written.
A month before leaving home, Tara had written her older sister, telling her of plans to be in Anvil before Rain’s Hand. She’d hoped Mira would receive the letter in time and write back. Tara knew she was travelling in Black Marsh, but not much else. Couriers were something about finding people.
Tara read the letter a second time, as her tears dried.
Little sis, I’m sorry for Father’s treatment of you. In many ways, we’ve lived different childhoods. Perhaps I should’ve paid more attention when I visited these past years.
On to more pleasant things. Cyrodiil! What a beautiful province in the Empire. I think its beauty explains why so many Imperials are a bit, how to say, high on themselves. If you get the chance, visit Chorrol. It’s my favorite city there. Beautiful lands, and not nearly as cold as Bruma gets.
As to your quest to study magic. We’ve discussed this before and you know I wish you’d pursue other interests. I do know how stubborn you are, though, so I am writing the First Adjunct at Anvil’s Synod Conclave. I will encourage them to accept you in, as a personal favor.
But, dear Tara, they are harsh with their rules, very particular, and my influence only goes so far. I’m also not sure how much teaching they really do these days, especially for one who is, I mean no offense by this, a bit old for developing magical abilities. Again, you know my feelings about your pursuit of magic. I do wish you luck with them.
I wish this letter could be longer. There are so many exciting things happening here in Black Marsh. We must make the time to visit each other.
Much love to you. Stay safe. Most importantly, stay calm.
Always your big sister,
Tara wiped the last of her tears away and carefully folded the letter. She tucked it into the small pocket of her leather satchel. She washed her face in the basin, hoping to remove all traces of her crying.
“…most importantly, stay calm.”
Why had she ruined the letter with that sign off? That…pain.
Mira. The one she’d admired so much. The one who left home when Tara was only eight. Their twelve year age difference had made closeness a challenge.
Not just age, of course. Mira was the gifted one. She’d shown strong magical abilities at a young age, before Tara was born. Tara’s first memories included knowing her big sister was studying with Wayrest’s best mage. Then, she was traveling all over High Rock, while Tara learned to work the farm. Someone had to help Mom.
Father worked the store, their main source of income and status. The farm had been in Mom’s family for generations and she’d refused to sell it when Father hit it big with his general goods store, The Rest’s Finest.
Tara learned to chop wood, manage the livestock, including killing chickens for dinner, and tend the crops. All while Mira expanded her skills and renown, starting in Wayrest, expanded to all of High Rock, and, finally, left home when she was twenty, and Tara eight, to travel throughout Tamriel. She visited when she could, of course, mostly the holidays.
Those visits were joyous breaks from Father’s watchful eye, and Mom’s indifference. Someone did love Tara, and accept her for who she was.
Almost. Tara pushed the thought away.
That “stay calm” was Father’s doing. His influence.
Then why doesn’t she apologize? Why doesn’t she make it right? She was the one who cast the spells…
“No,” Tara yelled to herself. Mira loved her. All that was the past. Mira was helping her now, writing the Synod. Yes, she was making up for the past. That’s what mattered.
“I need a drink,” Tara said to herself. Drink away some memories.
And celebrate! Tomorrow morning she’d head over to the Conclave and inquire. They’d have received Mira’s letter by now. Would be expecting her. With such a famous mage as her sister, they’d have to be at least curious about Tara and her possible abilities.
Tomorrow, new adventures awaited!