It is unfortunate that you are not nearby because I could really use your good sense and knowledge of military strategy. Yes, you read that accurately; I'm sure I've piqued your interest since I loathe military matters, so I should amend that to say that my traveling companions could use that expertise. They certainly won't listen to my reasoning. However much I've always avoided learning about martial tactics, even I realize that running into a battle where you're outnumbered in enemy territory after the warning alarm has been sounded is a bad idea. I like my friends, but gods, if there's an iota of rational thought in any of them, I'd be surprised. What's the use of charging in as a rescue party if you're just going to need to be rescued in turn? Times like this I look forward to the day when I'm in charge of a mosque and no longer have to deal with stupidity or recklessness. Oh, all right, that's naively optimistic; I see what complications Armand has to deal with on a regular basis and know that it will just be a different kind of asininity and stress. Let me have my moment of daydreaming, okay?
I know it irks my traveling companions that I'm not any sort of fighter and will avoid doing harm unless I have no other choice, but... I'm no adventurer. (I'm not even a normal Messenger, when you think about it, which would at least make me some help to the party...) If I must fight, I prefer to go into it with a carefully thought out plan and an escape route ready. For that matter, I prefer to go into anything with a plan and a means of escape, and I don't understand how people can just throw reason to the wind and hope for the best. But this is a rant I won't get into; you are already quite aware of my feelings on the subject.
Speaking of brash individuals, have you heard from Raff lately? Perhaps his correspondences haven't caught up to me, but the last one I received was well over a month ago and that's rare for him. I've sent a few letters in that time but I have no idea if he's getting them or not because surely he would have replied by now. I've heard some rumors while passing through Woodland, but... if they are true, I certainly cannot go into them here, so suffice it to say that it could explain this delay.
I'm going to try not to worry because I'm sure I would have heard word if something was amiss, but please let me know if you hear from him; last I knew he was traveling west, so you'll likely get in touch with him first. It's just my luck that the two people I hold most dear are to the west when that's the one direction I have never been sent.
If only the Messengers had a way of sending word over vast distances in a more expeditious (and secure, if my above speculations turn out to be correct) manner. The Gates are a step in the right direction (pun intended), but I can't help thinking that there could be another way- preferably a way that didn't involve things exploding. Sound travels well so perhaps there could be a way to harness that, or perhaps something involving telepathic magic... well, it's something I shall ponder.
Your exasperated little brother,
((Look at me, sneakily tying together two of my plotlines and three of my characters. ;) I had originally planned on posting this after the D&D group finished our current adventure, but since we haven't been able to play, it turns out I'll end up posting Raff's story before that happens. And why does that matter? Because this letter ties into that story, which I'll start posting here on the 13th. Ye gads, do you know how hard it is to keep a story secret for five months?))