A Letter to Fiona

To Fiona, wielder of the Jewel of Emerald, power behind the throne, mother, I give you greetings.

I have no doubt that you are still alive. It would take more than a mere re-ordering of reality itself to trouble you. You, who possess the Pattern Jewel of Emerald (and yes, I now know that it is more than simply another of your magical foci, it is the source and center of your power) and the Pattern blade Andauntric, would easily weather the storm we had faced.

Yet, even you may not know what has happened within these now-transformed walls.

It happened just a few days after you left to ply your wits against the Courts of Chaos. I was your choice as Regent of Emerald, with orders to pacify the armies of Dlareme and capture their general, Rali. That Rali and I were friends of old was one of the reasons for your choice, I am sure.

I consulted with your generals, and requested them to design a plan that would ensure a minimum of property damage, not only to the town below, but also to the castle, itself. In return, they were glad of the chance to eliminate the threat to Emerald, once and for all. Most of the forces would be trapped in the city below, while only a small contingent of her warriors, led personally by Rali, would be allowed to break from the fighting and enter the castle, where they would, of course, head for the throne room.

I was prepared for their entrance. I had a spell already prepared to freeze Rali the moment she saw that it was I, not you, sitting on the throne: I so wanted to show you the look of surprise on her face when she would see me, her old friend, waiting for her upon the throne of Emerald. Did you think that I spoil your enjoyment of the situation by merely killing her?

But it wasn’t going to be.

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