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A Letter, Delivered By a Raven, to a Small Cottage in the Elven Village of Ivyleaf, Home of an Apprentice Baker

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To my esteemed offspring,

To commence, I offer my fervent hopes that this missive finds the two of you, as well as your remaining parent, in good health and spirits. I remained uncertain for quite some time whether composing this communication would be worth the time it took, not out of any mis-prioritization of the value that you are capable of holding, by any means, but out of concern that the receipt of it would cause unnecessary turmoil and agitation to add to an already certainly disquieting recent past.

Before I continue, I must make it clear that, Inkyrius, if you are reading this... I apolo I never I hope you pass on the communication, and I encourage you to weigh the message contained herein to determine if you believe that the young ones are able to cope with the words contained in said message, and if you feel that they are not yet at a fit emotional state for it, to feel at liberty to withhold it until you think the message will find a fertile ground to take root.

I apologize if this letter may seem a bit disjointed, I am touching upon matters as they come to me, and although I will certainly place things in some sort of coherent order, I believe that in the matter of a personal missive, multiple drafts are likely unnecessary, and the import of my advice should make its way to the forefront regardless.

That being said, I will proceed.

I wholeheartedly hope that the two of you are not in any undue distress due to my continued absence from your lives. It is, I have decided, for the best, for numerous reasons your other parent knows about, and numerous reasons known to myself alone. Adventuring is a dangerous avocation, advice that I encourage you to keep in mind as you grow older. Should you reach the point at which you first consider taking on a PC class, think long and hard about the possible ramifications of your decision, and then know that they have the potential to be magnitudes more destructive than foresight can predict.

Adventuring is by no means the only aspect of your potential futures about which I can speak those words with the regret of experience. However, thought and reflection bring me to the most important one, which I feel I must write with haste and extreme emphasis.

Power.

I speak not of any specific class power, or of spell power, or individual skills that you may eventually deem it worthy to invest points into. I speak of power as a generality, one which can be used in many different ways, and one which has the potential for great good, and as much, if not more, potential for catastrophic harm. I here give you my solemn assurances that I, of anyone you may speak to, understand the lure that such power has. The draw of cosmic forces bending to your will is highly compelling, I assure you. Such force in your fingertips, the utility of them in multiple situations... it can be like unto a siren song, drawing you in, pulling you to power. I will not lie to you and say that the situation does not have a sweetness to it.

But I am strongly urging you to keep your mind's focus on your priorities. There are things, and these are words I never would have foreseen myself writing until very recently, more important than raw power. For what good is the power to change the universe at your whim if you have no overlying motivation for changing anything, or any ethos leading you to change the world responsibly? Furthermore, there is always someone out there with more raw power, or more refined knowledge as to how to use it.

Receiving power for the sake of power is nothing more than a waste. Everyone has the power to change the world in ways unforeseen. Is the ability to crush mountains beneath your heel necessarily more useful than the ability to extract a perfectly baked apple tart from a well-warmed oven? I am no longer so certain as I once was of the answer to this question.

Children, I have made mistakes that all the power in the world will most certainly not be able to undo. You have had a brief opportunity to see through a small window onto those mistakes, and it is an experience I never would have wished upon you, or upon your other parent. This leads me into another topic which is inextricably intertwined with the first. This subject is that of choices.

Should the paths of your lives take you to become PCs, know this. There are always choices. Times may arise when you feel railroaded, when it may well be true that any choice you make will lead you to the same place, but the choice was still there to make. Should you reach a point in which you well and truly believe there is only one action you can take, and there is no other, then you are deluding yourself into that belief.

Hindsight lets me realize that for every mistake I made, there was another choice I could have made to avert it, even when I did not realize it at the time. There were, as well, times when I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that there was another option, perhaps a better one, which I still chose not to take. What is perhaps the most monumental mistake of my existence falls into that category. That was the choice that cost me the two of you. Perhaps, though, it saved the two of you from me, so there may be some of that proverbial silver lining resulting, regardless.

Do not make your choices blindly. Weigh their consequences, for those consequences have the potential to weigh on you very heavily in the future. They can lose you things that you did not expect, or gain you things you never truly wanted. I cannot, of course, make your choices for you, but I highly encourage you not (metaphorically, of course) to make some of mine.

I will not turn this letter into a long-winded trite missive of advice, giving you such things as tips concerning the relative merits of using sun-repelling charms. There is little benefit in such things from me after what I have already provided you. Any practical advice of that nature, at any rate, is probably better served coming from your other parent. Inkyrius has always been more practical than I.

Know that no matter my absence or its duration, my thoughts are with you.

Your parent,
Vaarsuvius