(Hanif writes letters to his father—who died many years ago—as an act of self-reflection. In the letters, he attempts to work through his thoughts and better himself. This is the letter he wrote while traveling to Borovia)
I find myself in the company of liars and cheats. Stanomir struck me as a dishonest and intemperate man, and these past few days have only cemented my judgement. His cohorts are little better and at times much worse. I worry their poor behavior will influence my new friends.
Despite Stanomir’s flaws and those of his friends, I believe his plea is genuine. He may be a liar but so are many men. He needs help, and if I were to deny help to every morally imperfect man, there would be no one left to aid.
Still, I cannot shake this sense of foreboding. I have never heard of this Borovia, and I can find no reference to it anywhere. Wherever it is, it is far away, and I find myself—despite myself—fearing that I will never see my home again.
After the fight between Elder Granbry and Lucca I told you I had learned two things. I was not helping my fellows in Hartglen, and staying was only serving to enlarge my desire for the comforts of home. If my town and I were to grow stronger, I would need to leave.
As I promised you, I left Hartglen. I admit now that for a time I deceived myself. I volunteered again with the Scabbard, secretly hoping that I could stay near my home and perhaps even return to it. It was weak of me.
Fate, however, has conspired to make an honest man of me. I now find myself traveling to a faraway land, and I do not know if I will ever return to my little village.
I should feel great joy. I nearly gave into weakness and broke my word to you; I nearly lost what’s truly import for the sake of passing pleasures and comforts. I now have the chance to do great good for Stanomir’s people and my friends, each of whom seems lost in their own way.
I should be rejoicing that fate should conspire so laboriously to make a good man of me, but again and again I feel only dread.
But as Marovan taught, “If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this that disturbs thee, but thy own judgment about it. And it is in thy power to wipe out this judgment now.” And so I will root out my need for home and safety and find happiness wherever this road takes me.
Thank you for holding me to task in all that I do,