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Keeper of Memories, the Lost Letters of Kyrat

Content of the article: "Keeper of Memories, the Lost Letters of Kyrat"

1) From Charlotte, June 1819 (Hariyo Ghupa: 294.7, 508.5)

Robert,

At the time of this writing I imagine you are still at sea having set sail for Kyrat. Please write as soon as you can. Despite the unyielding waves of nausea I wish to know you arrived safely with all your limbs intact.

Eternally yours,

Charlotte

2) From Robert, June 1819 (Smuggler's Portage: 375.3, 505.5)

Dearest Charlotte,

You have been foremost in my thoughts since we set sail. Have the horrible morning miseries subsided? Promise me you will call the doctor. Surely, they can be cured through the application of medicines or leeches.

The relentless heat here (a few steps will render me soaked in sweat!) has made for an unfortunate introduction to the breathtakingly beautiful region of Kyrat. I'm training the local Gurkha Brigade, or rather, they are training me. Clearly my highly qualified superiors at the East India Company overlooked their skill, both with the blade (what they call the khukri, or "kookri") and the rifle. I may inform the company as such, and hasten my return to you.

The local culture is intoxicating. You would be overwhelmed by the colours and designs of their garments and tapestries. I hope to understand their meaning more fully.

I miss you greatly and eagerly await your words.

Love,
Lieutenant Robert F. Barclay
East India Trading Company Army, June 29, 1819

3) From Charlotte, July 1819 (Kyra's Slumber: 309.1, 325.6)

Robert,

You have left me slightly confused. Were you concerned when you agreed to leave your freshly married wife and set sail for Kyrat? Or was it when it dawned upon you that you'd left an unborn child in your wake? How odd, in our courtship you described marriage as a sacred covenant, one that continued until death. I realized the danger in which I have placed myself, should someone intercept this letter and read such inflammatory correspondence, but I already feel as abandoned as one might be in prison.

The "misery" has not subsided. Nor has the pestering of your mother. Perhaps you could write her and explain that if I need care I will ask. My words fall on deaf ears. I have an urge to follow Lady Godiva, ride au naturel on horseback till someone listens to my pleas for some time to myself. Though I'm not sure that will be healthy for the boy.

Yes, I've decided our child is a boy. His name will be Thomas. Do be careful so your child might meet his father.

Sincerely,
Charlotte B.
Mother, July 20, 1819

4) From Robert, Aug. 1819 (Yakshini's Ecstacy: 369.3, 600.2)

My dearest Charlotte,

Our marriage is indeed the most sacred covenant. I realize the miseries of your condition will tempt you to forget or act in accusatory ways, but remember my love and look forward to the benefits this trip will affect for our growing family.

I do not seek your pity, but last night an attempt was made on my life. One of the locals, insulted after I spat out the overly spiced food he gave me. Thankfully, one of the Gurkhas came to my rescue. In an instant my assailant lay slain on the floor. I thanked him in his native tongue.

I'm beginning to pick up small tokens of the language and often hear them talking of the local myths. I cannot distinguish them fully, but I am inching closer to understanding.

I count the days until I return and help you welcome out son into the world.

All of my love,
Lieutenant Robert F. Barclay

PS – While I adore the name Thomas, as it's your father's name, I've always admired the name George, myself.

5) From Charlotte, Aug. 1819 (Yalung's Mind: 488.4, 562.4)

Do not be so foolish as to get yourself killed. I hope the thought of Thomas without a father to shepherd him through his life is enough to encourage you to be more careful. I must admit I bear some regret at the harshness of my last letter. To be with child and alone in such a large house bears down on the mind. Perhaps you should be accompanied by this Gurkha at all times. At least until you are familiar with the local customs.

Thomas kicked again today. It brings me joy to feel his life stirring. He is much like his father, allergic to keeping in one spot for too long, a curiosity that will no doubt run him afoul of foolhardy circumstances. That being said, I am curious as to the local myths you speak of—it would be a welcome break from Bible study.

I look forward to your response,
Charlotte

P.S. Unless you want our child to be a reckless womanizing charlatan, (King) George is out of the question. Would you like to add a IV as well? My father's name should suit him just fine.

6) From Robert, Sept. 1819 (Yalung's Rot: 465.4, 449.2)

Dearest Charlotte,

You are as clairvoyant as you are witty. The Gurkha who saved me (he is called Nandi) has been by my side. He comes and goes with the grace of a cat but appears whenever there is need.

He is taking me to the monumental statues of Kyra (the 'Sleeping Saints' as the locals call them) tomorrow. They are carved from the earth, to honor the first being created by Banashur, god of gods, Kyra, in search of enlightenment, journeyed all over Kyrat, deep into its secret places. When she finally achieved Nirvana, her spirit crashed out of her skull to the sound of a bell and created a paradise called Shangri-La. Fantastic, isn't it Charlotte?

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I wish I could feel the lively kicks of our son but this journey will provide footsteps worthy of following.

All my love,
Lieutenant Robert F. Barclay

P.S. I was thinking of my uncle George, not our former king, who, carnal sins aside, was still appointed by powers greater than we and worthy of our respect.

7) From Charlotte, Oct. 1819 (Yalung's Jaw: 497.3, 398.8)

My dear Robert,

This Kyra sounds fascinating. Certainly rubbish, but a good tale. A Kyrati's imagination is truly a wonder! Promise you'll take notes of the fantastic things you see. I care not for truth, entertainment is far more important.

Yet you must be careful, I am happy to hear a local is accompanying you, but his eagerness is suspicious, can Nandi be trusted?

Forgive my suspicions. I debated whether to tell you, but I had an awful dream last night. I was alone in a dark forest. I had just given birth to our child, but he was still-born. I clutched him, crying, when a man appeared before me. He was painted white with a terrifying golden mask. He took our child from my arms. I followed him to a flowing river of bloody red. He went straight into the water with our child, disappearing into the depths. All I could do is scream.

What is odd is I was not screaming for Thomas. I was screaming for you. I have not been able to sleep since. Please tread carefully my love.

Charlotte

8) From Robert, Nov. 1819 (Unmarked Cabin: 585.1, 609.7)

Dearest Charlotte,

Events have taken a turn and I'm packing my bags. I must follow the fantastic imagination of the Kyratis into what I'm convinced is reality. Dearest, your last letter convinced me. They say that while the goddess Kyra sought enlightenment in the Himalayas she grew frustrated at her lack of progress. She spun a prayer wheel in anger, pricking her fingers. Bleeding, she washed her hands in the river and all the water her eyes could see turned a deep red. A reminder of her impatience. I'm sure you realize the similarities to your dream. It can only mean Shangri-La is calling me. Can you imagine? A paradise with a different set of laws, where myth becomes undeniable truth.

Nandi is taking me to an old priest in the mountains who will know more. The Gurkhas don't need me. Take care, Charlotte, If need be see the Swaddles. Henry Swaddle is an odd but excellent midwife and will be a great comfort to your condition.

All my love,
Lieutenant Robert F. Barclay

9) From Charlotte, Nov. 1819 (Kalinag's Descent: 551.6, 484.7)

Robert,

I must question the wisdom of this sudden decision to run off to the wilderness with a man you know little about, and, as I have previously expressed, is rather suspicious (even if he did save your life). You've read too much into my dream. The midwife Swaddle says night terrors are normal for a woman in my stage of pregnancy. Why, last night I dreamt I delivered dear Thomas, but when I went to bring him to my breast, he had the face of a white tiger. Naturally, this is absurd. Please don't go conflating it with your purpose in that confounded country. If the Gurkhas do not need you, come home. Thomas and myself are your reality Robert. You must set sail as soon as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you and your plans to return.

Charlotte

P.S. I hope you are not experimenting with mind altering substances over there. I know you indulged in your fair share of opium as a youth, but you swore those days were behind you when we married.

10) From Robert, Dec. 1819 (Unmarked Cave: 279.2, 563.7)

My dear Charlotte,

My only opium has been the intoxicating revelations from high priest Kabir. It took us several days to find him in the mountains but it looked as if he was expecting our arrival. His assistant, Rajpreet, translated, but when I asked about Shangri-La, she refused. She must have thought I was unworthy, can you believe it? Only when I offered my entire purse was I invited inside.

I was taken to a chamber to see the thangka. It was only 1 piece…there are 4 others but he only allowed me to see one.

I took one look and felt a flash of white. I became a warrior in Kyrat, but thousands of years ago. I met a tiger of the purest white I've seen! Your prophecy was foretold! The river flowed red just as you saw. Everywhere I saw horrible men with masks. I found a giant bell chained to the ground. I smashed the chain and it rang, waking me in cold sweat.

I must rest, Guru Kabir has promised to show me the second thangka tomorrow.

Take care my love,
Lieutenant Robert F. Barclay

11) From Charlotte, Jan. 1820 (Yalung's Seed: 395.0, 658.6)

Robert,

Are you back on that wicked pipe? Or sick with some terrible fever? I fear you have been seduced by the evil Nandi with extravagant tales. Robert, surely you should recognize that if a man calls himself priest but then demands your entire purse for entry into his cult, he is a false prophet. No true servant of God would demand money for knowledge. Only agents of evil seize upon the impressionable and weak and extort them for all they are worth.

Oh, Robert, I don't know what to believe. Is it not enough that I have to go through this pregnancy alone, but that my husband should seem to be losing his very mind in the process? I've been quite sick of late and am as tired of this pregnancy as I am weary with worry.

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You know I love you and only want the best for us all. If need be, I am prepared to write your superiors in order that you get the help you need and are brought home safely. I pray this is a cruel game and you have bought passage aboard the next ship.

Charlotte

12) From Robert, Jan. 1820 (Rato Lagoon: 425.0, 700.7)

Charlotte,

This is no game. I have seen Shangri-La. It is more than real, it is extraordinary. Guru Kabir brought me the second thangka. A world where gravity was a plaything and water flowed up instead of down. These bells…the bells of my enlightenment are chained. I must save them, free from the Rakshasa, a winged demon in control of Shangri-La, turning it to evil. Who knows what he'll devour next, Shangri-La, Kyrat, England…none are safe. Only the sound of their ring the land of wickedness. Kalinag will be the first to destroy it. The tiger knows this truth just as well as I.

I will not waste my time with threats. I am doing this for the good of the family. Guru Kabir told me those who had not seen the thangka will never understand. If you dare mention one word to the colonel, I promise you will not see a dime of my earnings. Who will they believe? Myself or a pregnant housewife? I'd rather our child starve than be deterred from my mission.

Robert Barclay

13) From Charlotte, Feb. 1820 (Banashur's Refuge: 455.1, 751.4)

Robert,

How dare you threaten the well-being of your son. Take your money from you if you like, waste it on that detestable guru and his blasphemous drawings, but don't even think of impoverishing Thomas in the name of this grotesque game you're playing. Do Thomas and I occupy any space in your heart, or is it totally consumed by this Kabob, or Kabird, or whatever his name is? We took vows, Robert. Do you remember? I do. Despite the vicious tone of your last letter I still love you. But any person with an ounce of common sense would believe me (pregnant, housewife and all) over your outlandish ramblings regarding tigers and bells and demons poised to take over England. You've fallen prey to a dark mysticism, Robert. I'll beg you again, come home. Or at least return to camp. If the stories are true as you say, tell the colonel. There is no need to hide.

Write me as soon as you receive this, I'm truly afraid for you, Robert. I need to know you are all right.

Charlotte

14) From Robert, March 1820 (KEO Logistics: 401.1, 780. 1)

There is no need for me to hide. I only see truth.

Charlotte, I flew today. I stepped into a tunnel of wind that carried me high into the air and left me there. I saw a thousand miles in every direction. Past and future strewn before me like an endless painting. The wonders of the thangkas are never ending. No surprise they are so hard to find, I would hunt the ends of the earth to exprience their truths.

The envy in my heart for the birds that cur through the air with abandon, it twists my stomach into knots, The freedom, the exhilaration, the complete detachment to all wordly things. Worldly things. I wonder if that's the answer to my enlightenment.

You, Charlotte, are a worldly thing, are you not?

I broke the chains of another bell. The Rakshasa is hurt by each ring but flies closer with every step I take. As Kalinag I have the power to stop it.

These letters are my only connection to this world. The guru says there will be a time when I do not need them anymore, but not yet.

Robert

15) From Charlotte, March 1820 (Sealed KEO Mine: 528.5, 653.6)

Robert,

I am compelled to remind you that your name is "Robert" and not "Kalinag". I also see no need to hide – I have written your superiors and informed them of your escapades. I feel I should also tell you I have already received a response in which they informed me you are guilty of desertion and should you be found, are to be shot on sight.

Do you have any idea the shame you've brought on myself and your son? Your son who was born last night after hours of worldly labor on my part. If it were not for the midwife Swaddle I think I should have died, not of pain, but for lack of loving encouragement and support. It breaks my heart to know that when our dear Thomas opened his eyes, you were not there to look back at him.

You are still my husband, Robert. Come home. We will find a way to deal with your charge of desertion, as serious as the offense is.

Thomas is crying now and in need of a feeding. Robert, please wrest yourself from these evil demons, and come home.

Charlotte

16) From Robert, April 1820 (Unmarked Cave: 593.0, 794.4)

Death means little to me. To face Rakshasa, one must be fearless, unyielding, and yes, prepared to meet Banashur, the Creator. My enlightenment will come only once this winged demon is finally put to rest. Guru Kabir allowed me to gaze on the beauty of the fourth thangka today. I saved the most beautiful elephant and with the tiger, we destroyed the hundreds of masked men that threaten us, our life, our Thomas. I rode across a bridge of leaves that guided me to the next bell, its ring brought much pain to the Rakshasa but he is not dead. He awaits me at the top of a spire. I must return.

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The Guru and Rajpreet say I am not ready for the final thangka, that I must wait. His words are always rich with meaning…his wisdom endless.

I would love to say that it brings me joy to hear the news of Thomas' birth. That would be the correct thing to say now wouldn't it?

But truth is all that matters to me now. And the truth…I dare not share it.

Robert

17) From Charlotte, May 1820 (Svargiya Takataki: 690.0, 688.1)

Robert,

I wish the thought of impending death meant something for you. I received another correspondence from the Colonel. A search party has been sent, not for your safe recovery and return home, but for your treason and the security of the knowledge which you hold regarding the Gurkha forces. I've written back and tried my best to convince him of your madness, that you are sick and only deserted under heavy influence. But I fear my letter will arrive too late. Tell me, Robert, how will you pursue these drawings if you are lying in the middle of Kyrat with a bullet in your head?

I see you no longer care, but Thomas is healthy and growing quickly. Swaddle has been very attentive since the birth and Thomas coos with excitement whenever he is here.

Tomorrow I will walk with our Father to see if there is anything that can be done to save your soul. After that, I have exhausted all resources in order to bring you home.

Charlotte

18) From Robert, June 1820 (Kyra Ki Sansa: 784.9, 626.7)

Let them search day and night. The man they knew is gone. Know that my actions are not for myself, or the guru, or for the child you call my son. They are something greater. For balance. Shangri-La is not some faraway place. It is within me, and within you. Once I defeat the Rakshasa I will spread this enlightenment across this cracked globe. Only then will you understand what Shangri-La means for all humankind.

Guru Kabir says it is time to face the Rakshasa and embrace my enlightenment .To let go of everything that has held me back thus far. I am journeying to the spire. What some call "The Tiger's Nest." This is my last letter. A true Kyrati warrior cannot waste his time with such idle things. I have trained for this moment and you have dreamt of it. You are no longer my distraction. The Tiger Protector is the only family I need.

I wish you only peace. I wish that your child find his own truth and earn his title.

So say I, Kalinag, keeper of his name, last of his line.

19) From Charlotte, June 1820 (Yalung's Belly: 707.9, 809.8)

Dearest Robert,

Despite all that has transpired, I harbor no ill will and regret not one moment we spent together. While no soul is beyond redemption, it is clear the man I knew is gone. In showing our correspondence to Father he agrees, and considering the state of events, has granted me an annulment for our marriage. In a fortnight I will be joined to the midwife Swaddle. He is good, honest, and Thomas loves him dearly.

I know in my heart your suffering will end soon. The best of you lives in Thomas, and for that, I will always be grateful. I promised myself I wouldn't cry and yet, my writing is starting to blur before me.

Goodbye, Robert. Even though we are now separate, I will never stop praying for your soul.

All my love,
Charlotte

20) From Robert, July 1820 (Lieutenant's Rest: 801.3, 814.2)

So many months. So many many. Charlotte. I'm not. I am here. Rakshasa is dead. Dead and gone. They're all gone. Alone but I am here. Kalinag is dead. I have nothing. Please I have nothing. The thangka has all of it for me. It took it all. I don't know more than that.

Poor Swaddle. Poor Thomas. I'll see you. I'm coming. Robert is coming. Thomas is mine. Tell me Robert is coming. He will see you soon. Do not wait. I'm leaving.

Sorry sorry sorry. I'm so sorry. I will write. Shangri-La is here. It is here. I will bring it hello

with me for you. I'm scared Charlotte. I need Charlotte. Please Charlotte for Robert. Kalinag is dead. Find me. Kyrat will wait. I will wait.

Source: reddit.com

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