Emmie Mears
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There Are Sharks in the Water, and You Smell of Blood (IV)

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There Are Sharks in the Water, and You Smell of Blood (IV)

You can catch up with this story by reading Part I, Part II, and Part III.

***

Appendix III: Selected correspondence. Sanworth, Mbuku. Correl, Ilis. Trummel, Adelyn. Park, Drake (XII, b. 7273)

(pp. 1-5)

 

7310, final planting.

Professor Sanworth,

I was very surprised to see your message. It’s been ages since anyone in the department worked on the Park family lore, but I imagine being in Draketown itself leads more people to enquire. You heard correctly; we are in possession of a number of letters both directly and tangentially related to Drake Park, or in his own hand. His husband was a prolific corresponder and had contacts throughout the commonwealth. Much of his correspondence has been preserved, though much has also been lost, especially what was at Silvenfal when the sea swallowed it.

Note the orthographical shift between the copy of your letter from Samwell Park. Silvanfall to the modern Silvenfal. I will look through our archives to see if there is anything regarding Evermyn Thedan. The name is not one that is familiar to me, but the letter itself is of such a familiar–if adversarial–tone that if it can be authenticated, it would open wide the curtains on a heretofore unexplored bit of Park family history.

I will be in touch.

Yours respectfully,

Professor Ilis Correl
Vanhelm University
Antiquities Department

 

7310, first harvest.

Professor Correl,

I thank you for your time and diligence. I have several other letters from Evermyn Thedan at hand, and in my inventory of discarded correspondence found in the old history building’s sealed vaults (sealed, I think, out of laziness rather than any attempt to protect or conceal), there is so much to go through that I expect I will encounter more. Those that I have are enough to pique my interest. I’ve enclosed copies of the ones I have found. They are undated, but from the subject matter, seem to be spread out in time.

Please do let me know if you are able to find anything of interest.

Kindly,

Professor Mbuku Sanworth
Draketown University
Department of Antiquities and Curiosities

 

7310, darkening time.

Professor Sanworth,

I hope you will forgive me, but in the intervening seasons since our last correspondence, I have been unable to find anything of reference to Evermyn Thedan among Samwell Park’s letters.

I wish you the best of luck in your endeavour, and I fully empathise with this maddening property of our chosen field.

Kind regards,

Professor Ilis Correl
Vanhelm University
Antiquities Department

 

7311, first light.

Professor Correl,

There is nothing to forgive, sir. As you so appropriately mention, this is simply a dead end in a labyrinth of our studies. I am and remain very appreciative of the work you have put in to this project, and I wish you all the best.

If you find yourself in Draketown, do call upon me at the university. I should like to pay my thanks in person.

Kindly,

Professor Mbuku Sanworth (Mbe is how I am known to friends and colleagues–please feel at liberty to call me that if you will.)
Draketown University
Department of Antiquities and Curiosities

 

7311, spring evenlight.

Dear Mbe,

It was a pleasure to meet you in person last week at Draketown. Thank you again for the hospitality you and your department showed me, and thank you also for sharing the originals of the letters. If you are ever in Vanhelm City, I hope you will do me the honour of allowing me to repay the favour.

I confess that handling the letters ignited somewhat of a fire in me to take up my search once more. I cannot promise that it will uncover anything of note, but I am well and truly intrigued by this Evermyn Thedan, who, by most accounts and records I have searched, seems to have never existed.

Best,

Ilis

 

[undated]

Ilis,

I have expanded my search for Evermyn Thedan to other areas of the commonwealth, but to no avail. Her surname rings Alishanian, but her given name is clearly from the Vanhelm states. So far I have found nothing.

Best,

Mbe

 

7312, first planting.

Mbe,

Forgive my long silence since my last visit; I went to the Silvenfal Crescent on holiday, which is inhospitable in winter, and I’m afraid my academic curiosity (and far too much time outdoors in the coastal wind) resulted in a lingering sickness I have yet to shake. Please do not worry yourself.

I visited Crest Island while I was there, which is a jagged rock covered in sea birds and sea bird shit. It bears no resemblance whatsoever to the city that once stretched miles in every direction with only the sea to stop it from spreading west.

But I ought to tell you the real reason for writing. After my physician allowed me to quit my bed, I went back to the archives and somehow–I trust you will appreciate the serendipity in this, my friend–got horribly turned round in the stacks and came across a section of misfiled primary sources.

I cannot bear to draw this out. I found a letter that appears to be from Drake Park (the first, I presume, as he mentions his husband), addressed to Evermyn. I have included a copy, though there is quite a lot of moisture damage, and the words are unclear. My colleague Professor Adelyn Trummel has set about the restoration of the letter, and I have enlisted a fleet of graduate students to begin a full inventory of this section of the archives here, because it is now clear that the filing of vital historical documents was left to a toddler.

I am at once disgusted and elated, my friend. I eagerly await your response.

Yours,

Ilis

 

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