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Old 09-08-2003, 02:36 PM   #194
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
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Sting

Eckthelion watched as Emilia walked purposefully down the corridor and vanished from sight. Now, he had his likely culprit and could start keeping a close eye on what Lady Rueil and her daughters were doing as well as trying to ferret out the network of contacts and helpers that had enabled them to maintain their cover and ferret out information.

He could certainly think of a reason to have the family ejected from Minas Tirith and the court itself, but that would be truly foolish. Tipping his hand to the spies from Umbar in any form or fashion would only give them advance warning, a chance to shield all their other contacts. If truth be told, he was even more interested in uncovering that network of contacts than in eliminating the folk at the head of the chain. The Corsairs could always chose to send out another agent, but they would be powerless to function or accomplish anything if the underlying structure of support had been destroyed.

It was with this thought in mind that he sat down at his desk and ordered his affairs for the morning. First, there was a note to several of his most trusted men to keep a close eye on the family itself, trailing them about wherever they went. That was easy enough to accomplish. It was the second goal that was more challenging...ferretting out the agents who were intercepting the dispatches and using that link to uncover the entire network of corruption and intrigue.

He sat and thought for several minutes, and then took out a sheaf of paper from his desk, scrawling out a note:

Diorwyn,

You lately did me a service for which I am much obliged. Additional problems have come to my attention along the same lines that we discussed last night.

I have great need of someone to gather information among the members of my immediate entourage, focusing on those soldiers who are part of my guard and occupy the nearby garrison. It is clear that one or more of these agents are intercepting dispatches, reading them, and then sending them on so that no hint of this tampering can be readily detected.

I have already alerted my most trusted men to assist me in the hunt for these individuals. But I fear that whoever is doing this will be extremely careful not to reveal themselves to another man. I am also thinking they may be less alert and careful in regards to a woman, whom they would never suspect.

I would be most grateful if you could suggest the names of several individuals in whom you have complete trust who could help to gather this information. Discreetly feel them out to see if they have an interest in helping Gondor in this manner.

You may visit me personally in my office or send for my private courier who will relay your note back to me. If you feel this is too dangerous for yourself or those whom you know, I will certainly understand. But the safety of Gondor, and indeed of all the free peoples, may be at stake so I take the liberty of making this request to you.

Respectfully,

Eckthelion, Steward of Gondor


"Guard, I need you. This message must be delivered this morning. Track down the woman wherever she may be. Speed is of the essence. And, under no circumstances, are you to let this note fall into other hands."

[ September 09, 2003: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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