To Her Grace, Queen Julianna:
My dearest cousin, I hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits.
I wish I could assure you that I were in good spirits, but sadly nothing could be further from the truth.
My heart aches for my dear Alex, may he rest in peace. I know you did not approve of him because of his gambling and drinking ways. In the end, it was his downfall. I do not know why the women of our family show such a soft spot for men having much in the way of courage and bravado and lacking in the ways of wisdom and sound management. I hope that you have forgiven my willfulness in making my choice, and a bad one, against your preferences for a marriage that would have brought us some advantage. I must bow to your wisdom and be guided by it.
There are strange happenings in the town. Last night Father Barnard led us in a procession about town to christen it and ask God’s blessing upon it. At the end he led us to the abbey where he gave an inspiring sermon in the church. As we were leaving, lightning flashed from the skies. It seems the light deceived our ears and eyes, for it seemed we heard voices from the sky and saw the good Father spirited away through the air. We found him later, wandering in the woods and muttering about some evil.
I am reassured somewhat by the arrival of two good sisters. Sister Agatha is traveling to Rome to request permission of the Pope to found a new order of sisters at our abbey. Sister Mary Catherine arrived yesterday and took a room at the abbey. I hope she can be persuaded to stay. Against this strange evil we can use all the religious people we can find to pray for our land.
The bold reiving and thieving continue. Just yesterday Robert Johnstone complained that a lamb of his had been taken. It is odd that only the lamb was taken and not more of his herd. The locals seem to think they can take and do what they want, with impunity, which they pretty much can since we are lacking a warden. The backlog of complaints to address is growing daily.
I beg of you, dear cousin, to send us a new warden at your earliest opportunity. I ask you to consider my request to re-allocate some of the abbey lands and income to me to alleviate my financial distress. Please have mercy on your repentant cousin who wishes only to regain your good graces and manage more wisely in future.
Your loving cousin and loyal subject,
Vivienne, Countess of Roxeter