A Letter from Nirmathas
(Dated almost a week ago)
Lord Mondragon -
I am Primrose Brownlock, and I understand you have made some extensive effort to contact me. I will admit, I haven’t thought about Kintargo for some time. My duties have kept me busy, which I suppose was the point.
I would ask if you’re a friend or a “friend” of Merry’s, but that would be pointlessly cruel. Merry and I haven’t spoken in years, not since she signed her contract with that black-hearted witch who calls herself Madame Charmaine. My sister is a good person, but she is easily manipulated.
I don’t know if you know the story of why Merry and I parted, but I will be brief. Charmaine convinced my sister that the only way to save us from financial ruin was to sell herself into sexual slavery. No matter how I tried, I could not change her mind – once Merry has her mind made up about something, she is difficult to sway. There were some harsh words between us after she made her choice, so I left Kintargo and found myself joining the Pathfinder Society in Absalom. I have not returned home in years, which I feel is somewhat understandable.
If my sister put you up to this, please tell her that I hope she is well, but I have no plans to return to Kintargo in the foreseeable future. If you are doing this of your own accord…why? I will be blunt – Merry is beautiful, but she is not exceptional. If you have some fantasy that you will rescue her from her circumstances, I would advise you to forget about it. My sister has made her choice. You still have one.
Ms. Brownlock -
You are right. Asking whether I was a friend or a ‘friend’ is pointlessly cruel. I suppose I should have asked if you consider yourself ‘family’ or just a passing acquaintance, but perhaps that would be pointlessly cruel. I cannot see how one could be more pointlessly cruel or callous than to turn their back on their own sibling, so I find myself stunned that you drew a line. We can, however, agree on one thing – Charmaine is certainly a despicable creature unto herself. Your sister’s debt to her has been repaid in its entirety – however, knowing now that you are traveling with the Pathfinder’s, I find myself wondering why there had not been a previous attempt to pay? It seems logical that in your journeys you may have come across coin or items worth a good amount. Even paying the trade fares, I cannot help but think that this could have been done earlier, had you simply put the effort into it.
Your absence is understandable, I suppose. Were I to feel a need to turn my back on my family, I would certainly not want to stay in the city to watch them suffer. I suppose I would want to run from it as well, as fast and as far as I could – except that I would not allow myself to do that. Even now, I stand on the opposite side of a near-war with my sister and I feel naught but a love and a sense of duty to protect her. But let me presume that you left for the best of reasons – you could not save your sister here, so you wanted to find something else. But you never came back to save her, did you? You joined the ranks of those who simply walked away. I hope that your shame weighs on you in the quiet times of night. You are correct when you say that Merry is beautiful and good, but so vastly incorrect when you claim that she is not exceptional.
I write this of my own will. I regret having bothered you. You are clearly someone who has given up entirely on her family, which is something I cannot force myself to understand. I pray that I never find myself able to understand. Perhaps it is best for you to avoid Kintargo – she has found herself in a role working alongside Isadora Anton as a dressmaker. Clearly, she needs you in her life as much as you seem to want to be involved in it. You are right. I still have a choice. I choose not to abandon the people who have put their trust in me. I could not hope for better company.
I pray your expeditions go well. May you find something that replaces the shriveling humanity that you so readily abandoned.
Lord Corthos Mondragon, previously Lord Corthos Tanessen of Kintargo