Letter from Ezekiel Drake to Rebecca Spencer
Writing this letter to you, an unmarried woman who is not my spouse or relative, probably violates multiple societal guidelines but that is the least of my crimes against British culture and tradition. But regardless, this letter tries to encompass an fervent apology, an attempt at explanation, and a honest request . I can only hope that the cold ink from my quill serves me better than the hot fire that seems to run through my blood these days.
First, the apology. I once again raised my voice to you and against you in a public setting and for that I apologize. I have no excuse but only an explanation. When the gate to that dark place opened up, I both stood there in the sewers and in a time past, in front of a similar gate opened up through means that are suitable for mortal beings to describe, much less to have experienced. I fought against that darkness and barely came out the other side alive. With Katherine opened up to magical force, now corrupted by that darkness, all I could see was what could have been, a vision of myself weeping over the corpses of my wife and unborn children. In that moment, I forgot my place and let anger overtake me, a sin that I will have to answer for. I hope that one day, you can find it within yourself to forgive me for this.
We have not traveled the same path long, Miss Spencer, but I see in you what I might have been, had the Lord not set me on the path I currently walk. His quest for me, which I shared with you, is something I have told very few. But if I were not seeking His instrument of justice, then I might be traveling the world, reading through dusty books and walking through dusty tombs. When you combine this sense of connection with my tendencies for equality, which some have labeled as Chartist, then perhaps you can begin to understand why I seem to treat you so harshly. I treat you as I would myself. When I said that I respected you, you denied that. But my lack of respect is for society's rules, not for your character, not for your skill as an archaeologist and certainly not for your magical abilities. In fact, I begin to believe that perhaps I have more respect for the power that you hold than you do yourself.
Perhaps you have noticed that I do not carry a firearm on my person, even in dangerous situations where it might expected for a gentleman to carry a pistol. That is because every time I pick up my sword, it is with the understanding that I might kill someone that day. And that puts a great responsibility on my shoulders, one that I do not take lightly. A firearm may fire off target or even accidentally. It allows for lack of responsibility as it is a distant and uncaring weapon. But when I kill someone with my blade, my intent matters not. I am forced to look them in the eyes and add their death to the scales that measure my soul. I serve the Lord as his sword, knowing that I may not be rewarded for it when my soul departs my body. It is both the greatest of privileges and the harshest of burdens, one that I willingly took up but would not force upon anyone.
Miss Spencer, you carry a weapon of your own. Sharp as any blade and as explosive as gunpowder are your carved runes. Next time you must take them up, will it be as a firearm - distant and impersonal, or as a blade, with the weight of responsibility that it carries? Only you have the ability to make that decision. Please consider this an honest request to think about the power that you wield.
I respect your intellect and reason and know you will take the time to consider this, so no matter what your final decision, I will mention it no more should you choose continued travel with us. My wife is quite fond of you and would be disappointed if you chose to leave. As would I.
Your humble servant,
Lord Ezekiel Fleming-Drake