This letter is penned in the winter of 1226. It is written quickly in a casual, familiar hand with rather thin letters, but upon high-quality Mons Electi parchment; the impression in the wax seal has been made with Tranquillina's coin sigil.
It's always good to hear from you, and to hear that you grow ever more settled at Val Negra - and in your role as Prima, which I know you are filling admirably. I am more settled here as well, though perhaps with a bit more caution than I might have bothered with back up at Nigrasaxa. I started the year reading up on Parma Magica, and also spent some time this summer designing a defensive spell (of nature secret!) to improve our covenant's protection. It wasn't until the leaves started turning, it seems, that I was finally able to tends to my own needs, studying my favored Art from those gigantic tomes we won (Mons Electi, that is) in the last Tribunal, and also arranging a substantial corner of my laboratory so that my Pedestal is prominently featured.
On to other magi though: Roberto Rodriguez now joins us as a probationary member. Is he as hot-headed as he seems? I think his heart is in the right place, but I don't know whether his presence causes us to be more or less safe at Mons Electi. Though none would say outright, the other Flambeau here gave me the impression that Roberto is here on your instruction. This is reassuring in the abstract, yet I still wish I understood the specific situation that compelled his presence. Worry not, my friend, I do not hope to force you to divulge any House secrets. That being said ... care to divulge a few House secrets, related to this?
Speaking of the other Flambeau, I have gained some familiarity with them these last three years. On the surface Alexei acts like a noble dilettante, but he wears his Crusader's badge with pride, and his reputation as a Hermetic warrior is quite solid and, from what I can tell, deserved. He was the first to graciously welcome me to Mons Electi, and he certainly can turn a phrase well when impassioned. Isen - well, despite his cold reputation, he is not impossible to work with. Indeed, he has positively shone with enthusiasm (relatively speaking) when I cast my first Ward of the Curious Scullion in his presence. (He was quite pleased with my current invention. So now you know how to find out!) He, and Jacques as well, were instrumental in safely retrieving Marcus from the Magic Realm (that is quite a story - I shall tell you more when I see you next year) and in keeping me safe from harm.
You asked whether I knew aught of Thormod. Yes and no: I have communicated with him briefly, when he wrote to inquire about our stonemasons (having heard about the vast constructions we are erecting for the upcoming Tribunal). He is notoriously close to the vest, as I had heard. But I wonder whether the following sentence is telling: "Never doubt that our requests are made under the total direction of Archmaga Geirlaug, in person or otherwise." Why would he add the last phrase? It reminds me of this scheme I uncovered at the 1214 Stonehenge meeting, while talking with Caitlin. (Tranquillina relates a tale about Scintilla ex Flambeau and her filius Focus, who was never seen in person by all accounts. A messenger from Burnham was cornered into admitting that Focus's signature on a particular contract was actually written by Scintilla, giving the covenant of Burnham quite a setback.) Other than the roles of parens and descendant being reversed, there are some curious similarities that definitely guide my suspicions about the origins of directives from Montverte.
Keep yourself well, my friend. I'm sorry to hear about Chloe's illness, but her recovery seems to be underway. I'm sure you have access to far better magic than mine, but if you should ever want me to support her health, just send me an Arcane Connection by Redcap and I can be there at once.