The Scent of Hawthorn In the Sun

For me this land, that sea, these airs, 
Those folk and fields suffice.
What purple Southern pomp
Can match our changeful Northern skies,
Black with December snows unshed
Or pearled with August haze -
The clanging arch of steel-grey March
Or June's long-lighted days?
from the roman centurion's song, rudyard kipling

I had not expected to participate in July's session of Character Letters (hosted by Rosamund Gregory of Shoes of Paper, Stockings of Buttermilk), but I appear to be doing it anyway.  It is only a very short letter, hardly a peep through the keyhole, but I hope you like it all the same.

* * * * *

To Sparling, Champion of Thrasymene, and his Sovereigns Their Graces Black Malkin, Grane, and Woodbird Swan-neck.

Ethandune, 26th of the Buck Moon, 693.

Sir and Graces—Greetings.
            I have received your letter of distress and, more importantly, the news of the Carmarthen uprising.  We have all been made aware of the turn of events.  I am sending Capys up to you: he is one with me in everything and will stand in my stead, as I cannot in person come to aid you.  Be sure to heed him, give him all support he requires; and be sure to look to your left flank—it has ever been your blind spot.  Capys’ strength lies in the right alae: if the ground is favourable, give him that advantage and with him do not hesitate—I repeat do not hesitate—to employ, as FitzDraco has put it, terminal force to put the Carmarthen down.  We have not time nor patience for this and a single killing blow is paramount. I am well aware of what memories this order may dredge up but now is not a time for slack measures.  I am not in a position to come up to help you myself but know that if I must come, I will come in the height of bad temper to do what needs to be done.  There are more things in heaven and hell you would be more lief to meet than I in foul humour.  For the Honour of Thrasymene and the sake of us all, hold the line.  We are depending on you.
            The blood is from the blackthorns.  My regards, the temperature they always are.


5 ripostes:

  1. He. Is. Awesome. Just saying. I love the style in which this - and all of Plenilune - is written; it is old, even archaic, but it still flows and has live to it. I particularly like his closing: so markedly ambiguous and not ambiguous at all.

  2. I agree! It's amazing.
    I have to ask; do you draw those pictures? They're stunning.

  3. Oh, oh no. No, no. I am so flattered, but no, I didn't make that lovely drawing myself. Don't I wish! But no, I'm afraid I don't know who drew that.

    Gah, I know, Abigail! I am so peached about how the history and the present state of Plenilune are working so delightfully together. I'm getting better at this. I'm Improving. And I like it. And him. He's awesome. Hush-hush. ^.^

  4. :D I feel so out of touch with my own writing ( still being gone from home) that this gave me a sharp little ache of "Ohhh...." as if I had missed something very important. What a sharp, decent, threatening, comforting little letter that is! And I love the way you called them "graces." :D

  5. The cadence of your writing is breath-taking - its flow is like hoof-beats and the sound of impending danger rings deep! Well done!