The lights in the room had been dimmed, the fireplace crackled softly in the hearth. It was not that it was cold at this time of the year. Quite to the contrary, the evening was a bit on the warm side for this time of the year. But Aedon enjoyed the smell of a wood fire, and lit one on many evenings since Jan had returned to the lands of her people. Pouring himself a cup of tea, Aedon sat before the hearth. And taking up his quill, began to wrote a letter. Dearest Jan, I know it has been some time since my last note to you, but much has been going on. My days have been filled with the endless task of trying to repair the damage done to Aegis by Ix Tab's latest attack. Do you recall the lovely pond we sat at the night before you left? Well, sad to say, it is now in ruins. Where once a quiet symbol of the Glad stood, a fire now, of some demonic nature burns steadily. Water will not quench the flames, but at the same time, it consumes nothing more then was destroyed on the first night. It has been difficult on me to look at the devastation once again cast upon Aegis. In my time as caretaker of the Glade I have done all within my power to safeguard that which was intrusted to me. I suppose I have failed in much I have undertaken. For try as I might I have not been successful. And for my failures Aegis, and now you and Kylee have paid the price. There is not a day which passes that I do not think of you both. No hour, no second ticks by that I do not miss you. But I want you to know, I understand why you had to....I want you both to be safe. Were you still here, I would not be able to do that which must be done. I should imagine Kylee has started to sit up by now. Perhaps taken her first steps. I had promised I would be a better father to our child then I was to Ari and Michael. But when the need arose, when the time came that I should depart with you both, or remain here in Aegis, I chose duty. Just as I did through all the years of my sons lives. And I am now but an empty man, going through the motions and feeling little but duty. But tonight, I have seen some small ray of hope. There was a meeting held in the Knight's Rest between those of the NAC and a new Royal Guard. It would seem a Queen has been named in Brit, and though I have no allegiance to such a crown, they have sent an envoy offering to assist the folks of the Yew area. I was surprised when first I met these folks. They are not what you might picture as a Royal Guard. I see them more as a citizens army. Normal folk of stout and good hearts standing up to protect hearth and home against the encroaching darkness. The meeting went well. We all had many questions, and in the end, a new spirit of cooperation was evident. I cannot help but hope that this works. That peace of some sort can be brought to the lands, and that the foul daemon that has brought such pain to many, will at long last be vanquished. Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself dearest, but I need this to work. And not just for Aegis. But for us. For our family. My mind is full of so many thoughts at this time. So many hopes and dreams of what could be. Perhaps, if all happens as I hope, you will bring Kylee and return to Aegis. And if not, once I am free of this daunting responsibility, perhaps I can join you there? There seems little left for me these days but a fools hope of times to come. Beleg tells me I must have faith, but in all truth, I have little faith left. Just what is left in the few words you write from time to time. And when I gaze at the image of Kylee you sent to me. I will close this letter now. Kiss Kylee for me, and tell her that her daddy is doing what he has to do for now. Remind her daily that I love her and want to be a part of her life. And your life. I never know how to end these, so I will just say the I love you, and hope to see you soon. Always and Forever Aedon Folding the letter tightly, Aedon walks over to where Nemaira sat perched on the window ledge. Slipping it into a small leather pouch around the neck of the great swallow tailed Kite, Aedon whispered close to the birds head. “You know where to take this, now fly.” As the bird climbed into the night sky, Aedon looked after it until it vanished from site. Then, sitting back before the fire, he picked up his tea and took a sip. Looking to the painting of Aegis which hung over the mantel, he lifted his cup, and made a silent toast. To Better days, for us all.