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Darling, I can't sleep although I'm weary to every last bone. The accomodations here at Valiance Keep --that is what they have called the landing settlement in the Borean Tundra-- are comfortable enough, but my mind is racing. Perhaps adding to this testament will help me to unwind.

Directly after I last wrote, I had to stop in the Tinker Town quarter before embarking on the tram to Stormwind. Gelbin Mekkatorque had summoned a small delegation of our people to his chambers! He didn't keep us long, only to impress upon us the need to be good and honorable representatives of the Gnomish race to whomever we encounter in the lands of Northrend. I gave my assurance that I would do just that...and I knew, my dear, that if you had been at my side you would have done the same. "We are a proud people, but we are not without humility as well, bought at a steep price." Poor Mekkatorque, he carries so much responsibility! But I'm proud to have campaigned and voted for him in the past, and would do so again at the drop of any article of headgear. From there I departed to the Deeprun Tram, where they still haven't been able to solve that rat infestation problem. Ugh!

The last time I was in Stormwind was some months ago; I hadn't seen the new docks. They're impressive, nearly the size of the city themselves, and guarded by seige engines! Unfortunately one of them fell entirely to pieces as I watched the Dwarven artillery corps practice their manouvers--and not a gnomish engineer in sight to administer repairs. I winced in shame, thinking how my dear mother would have been able to diagnose the malfunction with ease. I didn't have time to dally and watch the mechanics since my boat was about to cast off.

The new steamboats in use are swift and comfortable, and I even encountered some old friends aboard the Kraken (such an ill-conceived name, really)! You might recall Raani's elder sister, that loquacious huntress named Uusefin. She's usually unflappable and merry company (although she's oblivious to her misuse of the Common language--Raani said something once about a traumatic head injury when the Exodar crashed, I'm not certain), but the poor thing spent most of the journey hung over the railing plagued with terrible seasickness. I had a packet of gingermint pastilles with me but they didn't do her much good, nor did the ministrations of that mysterious young human cleric, Chloris. Chloris is kind and competent at her calling, but such a cipher that I don't even know her surname. Perhaps she's adopted the Draenic custom of not having a secondary appellation? Ah, well, it matters little. Poor Uusie was absolutely viridian with her gastric misery and it took both of us to help her down the gangplank, with her ursine companion Ioanni bringing up the rear. I've never seen a look of consternation on a bear's face before!

Valiance Keep is far more impressive than I expected. There's already a busy wharf, civillian recruits bustling here and there, liasons and signup sheets and workshops and military drills and regimentals and calvary horses and masons and carpenters! In the midst of all the din I was waved over by a human officer, I believe his name was Blythe? I had my documentation ready, and he certainly seemed relieved upon perusing it and spotting my name. "I've heard about you and what you did in Outland. To be honest, you're a cut above these poor saps," and he jerked his thumb at the line of humans and dwarves waiting to add their name to the enlistment rolls. Let me tell you, Tezzin, there was grumbling, and I worried for my head until I realized they were grumbling at Blythe and not me. Ordinarily I would have given him a piece of my mind for being so flippant! Imagine, denigrating the perceived quality of aid being offered! How typically human.

Forgive me, Tezzin. That was uncharitable and prejudiced.

I wish I had taken an earlier boat, that I might be able to write down my first impressions of the landscape. Other than the ice floes and gray stretches of sand that I saw from the deck of the Kraken I haven't been able to explore past the walls of the keep. After spending so many months traveling around Draenor it will surely be nice to see something more...mundane, I suppose; although nothing compares to my memories of the Gnomeregan that was.

I miss you, dearest. But I am resolute, and comforted by the knowledge that one day you and I will be reunited. I would ask you to hurry...but I don't even know if time runs the same way for you in that place, so instead I maintain, and hope, that you look forward to homecoming as much as I do.

I remain as ever, your



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June 2016

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