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Dearest Fari,

I know you are curious about the different people and places I see on my travels. I met a strange Dark Elf after I left Mournhold. His general demeanor was less aloof than others of his kind, though he still had that somewhat mistrustful air about him. I offered him some wine and bread at my campsite, and he seemed grateful enough for a little company.

He claimed to be a "Mabrigash," which I took to be some sort of Ashlander clan off-shoot, though I was unaware that any clan had traveled this far south from Vvardenfell. I asked him about his journey, and he said he was going nowhere and anywhere. He said he couldn't return to the Vale.

When I asked, he told me the Vale was his home. He claimed his clan protected snakes and ghosts in this mysterious place. In turn, a "Ghost Snake" watched over the clan. Now, he was getting a bit drunk by this time, as we shared more than a bottle or two, but he assured me there was indeed a Ghost Snake. I asked why he left. He was silent for a long while. Finally, he mumbled that he had failed his trial. I asked what he meant and he said that he had not walked the path, that his courage had failed him and he had fled. "Now I can never return," he told me. "I have shamed my family and dishonored my clan."

He started to weep softly, so I pretended to busy myself with my packs, and a minute later he was snoring. Poor fellow. Obviously some primitive ritual or tribal rite had gone awry. I was determined to encourage him to return home when we broke camp in the morning. However, when I awoke at dawn, he was gone.

I miss you as always. I will write again in a few days.

— Thorgo


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