This week I’m sharing a letter that sheds some light onto the shadowy past of Quest of Fire protagonist Jason. His past plays a much bigger role in book 2, which I’m currently working on, but in The Gathering Dark we see him bitter about an obligation that’s weighing heavy on him before he gets pulled into the Quest of Fire. Shortly before he ended up in the Black River Inn, he wrote this:
I think it is best if I’m honest with you. If I remember rightly, you were never one to suffer anything less. I received your message. I’m not sure how you found me so quickly. You are a woman of resources after all, but I suppose I was kidding myself to think I could stand far outside your shadow.
Your messenger was new. Does Uncle Horace not handle these sorts of calls anymore? Whoever he is, he made it clear you want me home. Of course, I made it clear to him what I thought of that idea. He didn’t like it, but you’re hiring tougher help these days. He’ll be bringing this letter with only a few bruises. That’s what you want to hear, I presume? That I’m still tough, still fast, and still smart enough to meet your expectations? I’ve grown quite a bit since I left you three years ago. Though I’m still not cruel. Not like you and definitely not like grandfather. For what it’s worth, I get it. You blame me for Dad the way I always knew you would end Mom.
In case you’re wondering, I did get the real reason you’re summoning me to Brackenburgh out of your guy. He wouldn’t say how Mom died. I suppose you’re keeping me in suspense? Was it a territory dispute? A local official made a turn for a rival? I’ve never understood your world. Mom didn’t either. I won’t let you turn Phillip into another one of your henchmen. You think you have claim to us, because we’re your blood. Fine, you can take me, use me till mine is spilled for you. But Phillip stays out of this life, for good. That is my only term.
I’m certain you’re rolling your eyes right now. After all I’m demanding terms from you of all people. Maybe you’re having a laugh over how silly I’m being to think I have any leverage. But we both know you wouldn’t waste your time and resources summoning me if you didn’t need me. I’m valuable for whatever you’re planning. No whispers have reached me, so it must be something impressive. Which means you get me and Phillip goes free. I’m going to be traveling two days behind your man, just to make sure you’ve had proper time to read this and conclude that it is in your best interests to make this deal.
So, there it is, maybe I’m more your grandson than I thought. I can hear you saying, “I’ll be the judge of that.” Well, no fear. I’m coming. Three days and then I’m all yours.
With all sincerity,
Have some theories about the nature of his family’s business? For those who have read The Gathering Dark, how do you think he’ll still fulfill this promise? Can he?