Excerpts from the Tephaws of Katy Ross

So follows several excerpts from the Tephaws of Katherine Angelica ‘Katy’ Ross, fully translated since Katy was, as her daughter after her, rather prone to writing in the language of her mind (such that, pleasantly, my pains were this time borne by a translation of Neradsof script, rather than of Bursilic).

— the Scribe


To every dear soul who gushes at the prospect of childbirth: pray thee thy unborn child be corelt. Still, my pain is Jacob’s greatest pride, for she is marvellous, unquestionably Duenotic, true v’risage of Corshone (& Ross, but Jacob will not allow it, and I concede, for they bear the weight of all Valleyton, while we are as hammers and nails). Everett Lloyd assures me my healing will be swift. (Imagine!, my darling was birthed by the patriarch of Lloyd…)

We have named her [Charlene] Charlene Dianne — [Diann] shall die for it.

How beautiful my darling!, so much like Jacob, and with such pure grit and determination she came into the world (yet I cannot say she looks quite as dear Jess — but a Curzon through and through).

Stubbornly quiet she came, eyes shut and ears perked up. Everett had been worried at first, but through my delirium I could sense she was simply listening, attentive to the voices of Magick that hummed about the room and coursed through her own veins. & how loud they were!, not for anger, or in protest, but simply for how much Magick is in her.

She shall be a magnificent Duetine, my darling Charlene, full of Magick and already so sensitive to [the same]. Does every Duenotic mother think such of their child — I cannot fathom. She will be exceptional, never have I met a child so blessed as my darling. No one shall ever touch her, I daresay Magick shall not let it be so. & both Jacob and I are comforted, for any child of Corshone and Ross is surely as a beacon in the night.


We have lost another nanny, but Jacob and I are quite besides ourselves despite it. We must learn to control ourselves, to discourage her shenanigans. It is simply difficult; how many infants are so naturally proficient with secondary Arts!

If the nursery fires already exceeded all expectation of a child, the blackouts are infinitely astounding. She’s blown 3 fuses since I was last at Al’duseyr. My darling, but a year and 224 days, manipulator of electricity!

Perhaps Jacob ought stop reading the old tomes to her (though I imagine ’twas what was read to him in his infant-hood — but he was corelt-born, my darling is irrefutably Duenotic). I cannot say if she is learning from them, but she certainly enjoys long, dry expositions in Bursilic.

& it makes Jacob feel useful I think, and he feels guilty still. It is as though he wants to make up those 14 days by fostering her Duenotic maturity.


It doesn’t matter to me that she was not of that wretched year; she shall be happier without those burdens.


We have lost another nanny. Jacob’s opinion is that we shall never find one to handle a toddler Duetine. He is right, of course. Shall my career be thus severed —


Oh I shall miss the halls of [the Castle Oddaess], and all my friends… I shall so seldom see Louis, Jules, Micol & Jess now — (I have asked Kenneth to watch over Diann in my stead). & Lee was upset, of course, but it cannot be helped. What use I can be to the Order is only exponentially multiplied in my darling in any case.


Perhaps I shall become a scholar instead, since I shall be ‘imprisoned’ here with all the wisdom of ages past.

Jacob is right, of course. Though I could never have imagined I should be committed to training one so young as my darling Charlene.


[It is odd, that there is a sort of comfort about her — as though she can see every my every discomfort, so by her presence and company alone, share and alleviate them effortlessly…]

— translated by Charlene Curzon


Jacob is overreacting. This is an extraordinary discovery: ’tis Reading.

We had thought she were but attentive, sensitive, and perhaps that Magick would do what it will. It shan’t have been her fault if it were so, and she is too young to remember it all anyway.

I found a copy of ‘Concerns in Empathetic Telepathy’ (Jaen Nalchios’ 2nd dissertation), or a part of it anyway. She’d noted 3 spells that form the basis around which the entire Art revolves: [which Sharles refuses to translate for “’tis sacrilegious”]. I’d never noted them in my studies, after all, Reading spells were never important to me.

But I recognised them this time, for I’ve been listening to a version of them in what I now understand to be a rather crude idiolect of Pure Bursilic: ’tis the words to that incessant little tune Charlene’s been singing before bedtime.

I’d certainly never taught it to her, & there is none of it in any of the tomes Jacob’s ever read. She must have come to them herself!

What empathy we’ve discovered her to possess is resultant of Reading then. She’s been wandering about our heads, our every emotion, every thought, every memory, communicated to her, experienced equally by her.

There is no Duetine in all the history of Twestrea who has learned Pure Bursilic by instinct. None! My darling of 3 years and 178 days of age has learned it on her own; my darling of 3 years &c. has devised crude spells in it all on her own!


Elementary study of Jaen’s 2nd dissertation:

[The first spell] — for the access to emotional plane

[The second spell] — for the empathetic access of memory (& thoughts); empathetic experience of some past

[The third spell] — for cover during extended periods of roaming the mind of some victim

Indefensible as of present (note from Lauora’s dissertation, Seeds Cycle)


We’ve agreed to patch her. Manipulations I can handle, little telekinetics and telepathics I can control, but Reading is too far outside my expertise. & my most recent missions are too sensitive (& potentially dangerous) to allow her access. I will take no chances with my darling — ’tis dark Arts at play in Burnsil province.

Jacob, of course, thinks it lunacy. He says that she is so blessed by Magick, that she is meant to soar thus, that such a thing will make her weak to Magick, and Magick will forsake her, &c&c..

But he doesn’t understand, he never does. I suppose that is what the corelteh are told, that ‘patching will deafen the Duenotic to Magick entirely’; I suppose that is what they need to think to feel safe.

I would not bend, so he had to oblige. Anyway, patching is not absolute, it is simply a deterrent, & at her age, it will be sufficient.


It is not sufficient — yet another thing to keep from Jacob.

I shall have to trust the goodness of whatever Magick runs through her young veins to protect her now.

What secrets she shall effortlessly learn, I cannot fathom.