Greetings and salutations. I hope that this missive finds you in good health and under the blessings of Denyr. I wish I could say that I write to you today purely out of friendship and respect, but I am afraid that you will find the contents of my letter to be somewhat less jovial. It has come to my attention that there is cause for concern regarding the stability of our alliance. I am also aware that you may not realize that this concern exists, since your actions thus far had displayed a lack of such understanding.
Information that has been relayed to me by my representative in your court indicates that you may be intending to act in a way that is not in alignment with what I would expect, should you desire to continue our alliance. I write to you today in order to discourage you from taking a course of action that could result in both of us losing a powerful and beneficial ally. When your grandfather established the treaties that allow such advantageous trade to take place between our family’s holdings, he intended our relationship to last longer than a few generations.
I shall put it simply: to succumb to the will of the usurper Queen Lora would put your house and mine in direct opposition.
Lora Drois made an unfavorable entrance into my awareness. Her actions thereafter have only served to bring her lower in my eyes. For you to consider submitting to an alliance with this woman has greatly damaged my estimations of your character. She is not well-regarded here in Isurine and I cannot imagine that there are many in Nerrona who would readily believe her illusions. Or, to give her further benefit of the doubt, delusions.
The claims this woman has made and the actions she has taken with those claims as support are unbelievable. Such behavior would never bring a person to any sort of power in Isurine. Here, I find it more likely she would have wound up under the care of Alrhea’s clerics than as the head of a burgeoning nation.
I must ask, Lord Evondel, if you have taken the time to fully analyze and consider the assertions she has made from both logical and theological viewpoints. My advisors have researched the history of her tactics. She began by expressing a desire to return what was once the kingdom of Minasora to its former glory. I am sure that you know the history of your own country much better than I do, but I shall remind you regardless that Minasora failed as a kingdom just over two hundred years ago. That fact is why you have any power at all as the Lord of your Hold. Now Lora Drois, who says that she is a descendent of the old Minasoran royalty, wishes to reunify the Holds under their old banner. This would, as I am sure you know, negate the majority of your authority.
As if her questionable connection to the old royalty of Minasora were not tenuous enough, she then insisted on putting forth a claim that does not hold up to theological scrutiny. She insists she has been chosen by the Holy One herself to unify not only Minasora, not only northern Nerrona, but all of the people of Aia. She asserts that the Holy One has granted her a knowledge of the contract forged before time began by the Holy One and the Dark One. Lora Drois claims to know the story of the world; to know, as she says, everything.
I must question whether you truly believe this. I must further question your reasoning and your sanity if you do. I apologize if this comes across as rude, for that is not my intent. I only desire for you to come to understand my viewpoint on this matter, as I do not wish for you to alienate me as an ally.
Consider how unviable the claims of Lora Drois are, considering what concrete knowledge we have of the theology behind it. We know, through both the research undertaken by theologians and the questions clerics have asked of their deities, that the Holy One does in fact exist. Scriptures inform us that she has withdrawn from the Nine Realms, that she now resides outside of them, perhaps in a realm of her own. There, she does not seek to influence Aia directly. She does not interact with mortals, and we, as a result, do not worship her. In fact, since time immemorial, mortals have dedicated themselves to worshipping only the deities scripture tells us the Holy One created for that very purpose: The Orelian Ennead, and the Free Gods of Orelia; the Realm Lords, and others besides.
I respect the Holy One as the creator of the Nine Realms and the beings that reside within it. I respect her as the deity of deities, the one to whom the Enneads and the Realm Lords owe their allegiance. However, I also recognize that she does not wish to be worshipped by mortals. She has the faith of the Gods themselves; by all records in scripture, through all of history, she has interacted solely with them. I do not believe that she would confer her blessing upon a mere mortal. The clerics of every faith in Isurine are in accord with me on this.
Should we even begin to consider the possibility that the Holy One, in aberrant defiance of her behavior throughout thousands of years of history, has decided to bestow her personal blessing upon a human mortal living on the continent of Nerrona, we must also look closely at the second primary claim of Lora Drois: That the “contract” between the Holy One and the Dark One has been written into her mind.
The claim that this contract exists is, to begin with, apocryphal. There is no evidence in scripture that it actually exists. No deity, when giving answers to a devout follower, has ever confirmed its existence. It seems to be a purely mythological fiction created by those who wish to believe that their lives have some sort of plan carved out for them, rather than admitting that life is an unplanned, chaotic mess. To think that there are those who wish to believe that the Holy One consorted with the Dark One in any regard disturbs me, frankly. I cannot imagine living a life so disjointed from reality.
Look at your own beliefs, Evondel, and tell me how you can believe that this contract exists; that the story of our lives is already written. You worship Denyr, God of Chance and Luck. How could his portfolio even exist, if the future has already been decided?
I could wax on about how nonsensical the claims of Lora Drois are — I could offer you scholarly arguments presented to me by my most studious clerics, which claim that the existence of the Dark One himself may be apocryphal — but I will not. I will present only one further argument. Then I will make a request of you.
It is my understanding that the reason you have begun to considering allowing your Hold to be annexed by the growing Minasora is because of Queen Lora’s establishment of a group of nine individuals she has christened the Guardians of Lora. I shall leave the name of the group itself untouched by my direct scrutiny, for the narcissism present therein should be obvious to even a casual observer. By all accounts, this is a group of nine individuals that Lora Drois claims have been blessed by the Orelian Ennead itself. She has gathered them from all ends of what was once the kingdom of Minasora and brought them to her capital. Each one, she says, has become a chosen vessel for the power of a member of that Ennead.
I ask you, if this is true, why have we not seen a demonstration of their power? Why has the Ennead refrained from answering questions asked of them regarding these Guardians? If this is true, why is there such a small demographic and geographic representation among these individuals? They are all humans, from only a small portion of Aia’s surface. Peoples the world over worship the Ennead. The quetal and the orose give their prayers to members of the Ennead as powerfully as any human, as do the people of Isurine. What makes Nerrona stand out to the gods? For that matter, what concern do the gods have for Minasora over the rest of Aia?
Lora seeks to unify the world against what she says is a coming darkness. I see only that, by making such ridiculous claims, she has only succeeded in fostering division: between the Holds that were once Minasora; between her new kingdom and the Orose; and, as is the true subject of this letter, between Nerrona and Isurine — between you and I.
If you ally with Lora Drois, I am afraid that our own allegiance will come to an end. I must ask that you and your hold remain separate from her. I apologize for delivering you an ultimatum. My beliefs and my sense of morality have guided me to believe such action is necessary.
May we continue to correspond favorably in the future.
— Qelenara, Voice of Areneluan, House of Silver Leaves