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Maeve spent the day following the feast, and most of the following week, with an inexplicable smile on her face. Somehow not even Roman Christians and the Lords Contemptuous-of-Everyone-Not-Themselves could ruin the mood brought about by her...conversation...with Sir Godric. Sometimes, most times, it was good to be Queen.
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Dear Rowena,
I met with the king briefly upon my arrival. He is in good spirits and has high hopes for the coming Council. I wish I could share them, and not attribute them to the folly of youth, but I fear that is what his optimism is. Still, we are gathered, and should participate in good faith. A positive outcome, no matter how unlikely, is devoutly to be wished.

In happier news, the king tells me there is to be a welcoming feast and ball. If it suits your schedule (for I know you are not vain like me, and will resist putting hours into your toilette), come early to the castle, and we can talk and catch up with each other in my chambers. If this doesn't suit (or there is a handsome young man whose eye you are trying to catch - a quest I would support), we will meet some other time while I am here.

Truly,
HM Queen Maeve of Connaught

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This trip, while tedious, is nearly over. That is the best that can be said for it. On the morrow, I shall arrive at court and present myself to his majesty. Of course, his man, the Archbishop, will be there as well, but I am certain I can contain my disdain long enough to be seen to the rooms prepared for me. Rowena's reply reached me late last night, and I am glad for it, as she seems well and happy. At the inn tonight, I shall have a bath. I know it is not the custom of these barbarians, but I refuse to go before a fellow monarch with the dust of too many roads scoured into my skin. Let the innkeeper think what he likes.
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My dear Rowena,

It has been so long since I have seen you. I do hope you've kept up with your studies since my precipitous departure. I do apologize for that, but it could not be helped under the circumstances. I write you now to let you know that I am safely arrived in Bangor, and plan to leave on the morrow for London by horse. I do hope we shall have occasion to see one another while I am at court. I am, of course, required by rank and invitation to stay with the King, but I certainly cannot spend all my time in the company of that odious man (by which I naturally refer not to the King, but his new advisor). Seeing you would be a welcome respite, as well as a legitimate reason to leave the King's presence. Please convey my greetings to your father and brother.

HM Maeve of Connaught

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