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The journey back from Glean Abhann was tiresome indeed. But it seems worth the travel, withal. I have, through various means, secured much of the knowledge I need to put the final steps of my Great Plan into action. Some of the necessary alliances required no more than a show of good fellowship. Others needed a more poignant demonstration of my willingness to devote troops. The sacrifice of a few dozen Midrealm warriors, at the right place and time, proved sufficiently convincing. I admit that was a smaller sacrifice than some of the extravagant bribes I was forced to hand out. But that was the purpose of these new taxes, after all. Thankfully, handing out a few awards for valor to the survivors seemed to raise my standing yet again with these simple people.

I also received excellent news from the specialists I left to question the captured Gray Thorne sympathizer. Several leads to the thief's identity are now in my possession. However, despite my explicit instructions, the wretch expired before my return. Which, unfortunately, required me to make an example of the fellow responsible. It's a shame that a man of his obvious skill must continue the practice of his art with only nine fingers. But, there you have it. If I allow laxity, it will only encourage shoddy workmanship in others.