I have something to tell you and I fear it is too late: too late for regrets and false reassurances; too late for lies and half-truths. If you are reading this, then I did not pass under normal circumstances, and it falls to you to restore our family.
You are the youngest child of the Cadfael family. But James was not the first-born. One year before his birth, your mother bore a daughter whom we named Catrina. She was born on All Hallow's and was blessed by both the church and the wood-wives. Even so, she was taken from us but three weeks after her birth.
I searched for her for years. I searched farther and wider than any man could know. It was why I was so often distant, so often apart. And though I eventually located her, I could not free her. She remains under an enchantment of sorts, which prevented me from gaining her release. But you, my son, are not so shackled.
This is the most powerful secret of our family, the seat of our fortune and the seed of our fears. Your mother--god rest her soul--never knew. She was too frail for the truth. James must not know, for he would squander the treasure, turn it's riches into mere gold. Only one with an artists soul should open this door. I read your book. I know you better than you think.
Look at the world through a door, Johnathan. Capture the very essence of the world, then step through that door. The world is changed by your action. Look at the world again and it cannot be the same. Fish in a lake may wonder at ripples on the surface, but they can only rarely escape the lake to investigate.
To truly understand an environment, one must escape it.
Here is the secret, then: We do not reside in a closed system.
This key opens doors. Doors of wood, doors of concrete, doors of perception, and doors of blood.
Go to lockbox #47 at the Old Town docks. There you will find the instruments and instructions necessary for stepping outside the system.
You will curse my name before this is done. But, I hope you will bless my remains when it is over.
Use the key, Johnathan. Please.
Your sister awaits.