He writes letters and burns them after because he knows they'll never reach his mother and he's sure that, after hearing enough of other Mages and their experiences, that his mother will not want letters from a tainted child. Still, he writes them, almost a journal but writing to himself is hard, writing to someone else, to a stranger, that's somehow easier, somehow less painful even if he admits to things in those letters that he would not if he kept a journal of some description.
He wonders what would happen if he smuggled a letter out like some of the other apprentices do (he doesn't ask where they send them, he doesn't really try to make friends save for Jowan for the most part but the others avoid the First Enchanter's favourite anyway), if there would be reprisals. Somehow he's escaped the notice of the tower Templars for the most part apart from the more zealous among their number who can't stop themselves from narrowing their eyes and making remarks or worse. The ones who like to talk about the Tranquil around the little ones, who quote the Chant of Light not with reverence but with crazed conviction and who blame any and all Mages for every single slight and thing that has gone wrong in Thedas. He wonders if his mother would feel guilt if she read letters from a son who cannot remember her face, only the name, a name that once meant something but no more. There are stories about the Amells because there are stories of Kirkwall, of names, of desecrations, of twisted tales of Tevinter and their black wicked arts that painted the streets with the blood of the evil and the innocent and everything in between, demons and abominations prowling, the Veil ripped thin forever. He wonders if anyone save the Tranquil truly know the volumes that Kinloch Hold houses. Books are removed every year to be sent away he is sure because First Enchanter Irving never says they will be burned even if there are rumours of arguments between him and Knight-Commander Greagoir.
There is one letter he keeps, that he takes with him when he has to leave Kinloch Hold and Lake Calenhad for Ostagar and a new life as a Grey Warden, a letter hastily scribbled as he tried to piece himself back together after the Harrowing, before going to Irving and his new life. Or what he'd thought would have been his life. The last moments where he was safe. They didn't turn Mages Tranquil and he'd made it. The letter is crumpled now from being in his pack or in his robes, blood and other unmentionable things staining the parchment but he still keeps it, even as he sits as Grey Warden Commander in Vigil's Keep.
Would she be proud, his mother, to know that her son stopped the Blight? That he assembled an army to take down an Archdemon? Is she even alive? He could find out now, as a Warden he can travel with a freedom he never dreamed of save as a little boy who still somehow hoped, who had not started to hate the Circle with every breath. It's why he allowed for the Circle to be annulled. He wrote a letter to his mother. Are you happy that I allowed my own kind to be put to the sword? That I despised that place so much that only a handful survived? That I fought alongside Templars in the end? That letter went to the campfire that night before he went to Morrigan's tent and thought of her traditions, wondering how it would have been to live free in the Wilds.
Sighing, he lights a candle, the flame dancing as a draft blows through the room for Vigil's Keep is ever cold and those who believe in ghosts swear they haunt the halls as he reaches for his ink and parchment, scratching away quietly as his mabari snores at his side.
Mother, he begins as always, I write this knowing it will never reach you and that you will never know me.