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Dispatches From the Queen

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Dear Fergus,

It was so good to see you again! I thought the Coronation went rather well, didn’t you? For all the damage Denerim took during the Blight, I am amazed at what a brave show we gave. The visiting dignitaries commented on how rapidly the recovery is progressing. They don’t need to know how much of that was bandaging over the raw wounds. There is still much to do, but rebuilding has begun.

I was pleased to hear that Highever is also on the road to recovery. I am glad the stonemasons were of help, and I am sending the wheat seed and the bullock that you requested. I have also included some tapestries for your bedchamber walls and a small chest of gems from my personal account to help cover some of the costs. Highever is my home as well and it is only fitting that I contribute to the repairs.

Alistair and I will be making a tour of Ferelden to let the people see their new royal couple and to assess damages and apportion relief to the Arlings and the Bannorn. We will be starting with the south, as that was hardest hit by the Blight, and then going west to Redcliffe. From there we’ll travel north to Lake Calenhad and the Circle Tower. We are planning to make a State visit at Orzammar to discuss the possibility of a joint effort to clear some of the old thaigs and Deep Roads. We hope that King Bhelen will be interested in reopening trade with Ferelden and that he will be willing to establish an Embassy in Denerim for that purpose. After Orzammar, we will go east to Highever, and after a visit with you we set out for Amaranthine. The Orlesian branch of the Grey Wardens is sending out some members to take the Keep in hand under authority of the Crown, and we need to check on how that works out. Then we return to Denerim.

Alistair treats me like I’m made of spun glass and I might break in the least breeze. I am going to have to get him over it before it becomes too annoying. The only one who will spar with me is Zevran (oh so very carefully, too!) and Alistair frowns if I practice archery or knife-throwing. I am permitted to walk at a sedate pace, but running earns me another frown and a caution to be careful. I refuse to be wrapped in soft padding and kept away from life for the duration of the pregnancy. Could you please talk some sense into him before I have to do something drastic?

Speaking of which, my pregnancy is going well, so Wynne tells me. The babe grows and I am healthy. I find I am hungry almost all the time, and that I tire easily. No more late nights for me until the little one is delivered. I have had no trouble such as morning sickness, nor have I experienced any strange cravings so far. Wynne says that the morning sickness is unlikely to trouble me now that the first trimester is past, and that the cravings usually appear a little later on if they appear at all. She also mentioned that she knows the gender of the babe, but I asked her not to tell of it. I don’t want to know ahead of time.

Sometimes I think it must be wonderful to have such abilities as hers. Other times, I think it must be frightening. She can read auras, which she describes as colored light that surrounds all living things. She can judge much from an aura, such as state of health, and if the living thing has a gender, she can tell whether it be male or female. She says that the taint shows as a dark place in my aura, and that my babe is free of it. That gives my heart more ease than I care to admit to any but you, Alistair and Wynne. I was very afraid that the killing of the Archdemon might have harmed my unborn babe in some way. The child is untainted so my fear was baseless, thank the Maker.

I will be out of touch during the trip, but we’ll have a chance to catch up on the news when I reach Highever. I’m really looking forward to seeing you again. Until then.

Your sister,