The king is slowly getting better, still unconscious for most of the time he does occasionally become lucent and has short duration conversations with the Magi Council who are ruling in his stead. Infighting between the mages of council has gotten noticeably worse, with the party’s possession of the shard being a major topic of discussion, particularly with Sir Gaheris’s status as an apprentice of Magnus Filgray. The Night of Wild Magic is not to be investigated, by order of the Manticore king, if Magnus is running an investigation then it’s going to be a big issue. Any resolution to the issue is postponed however, as the party is summoned by Corwin Strome and it is announced that the king has a mission for the group. A brief look of confusion flashes across the face of Magnus and it seems as if he didn’t know of this development, confusion is replaced by anger, but he stays silent.
Word has arrived that the barbarian hordes on Iyarlaan have begun to get restless and have been skirmishing with the hippogryph riders that protect the duchy of Gorgonhold. It hasn’t been all out war but royal tacticians feel that the barbarians are feeling out defenses and in some cases have brazenly pushed into command structures and stolen any documents they could get their hands on. It’s likely a new warlord is leading the tribes and they may be preparing a push to take the island back. The barbarians are an easily handled threat as long as they remain fractured and crippled with fighting between the clans, but unified they are a credible threat to the rich lands and vacations homes in Westreach.
The hippogryph riders aren’t equipped to fight a major offensive and their numbers are few. What ground forces that exist in Gorgonhold are scattered in outposts along the border to the barbarian lands and are more to delay any ground offensive to allow the settlers in Westreach to flee to sea.
The party’s mission is to travel into the barbarian lands and do recon, try to figure out how much of a threat this is. If the barbarians manage to take Westreach, it’s not likely that Valoreign will be able to retake it. There is no expectation for the party to calm the horde, it would be best they didn’t enter into any political agreements on behalf of the kingdom since they don’t have the authority.
You will leave immediately, I’ve had a ship prepared, the Sea Lance.
The group is dismissed and heads out to pack but is stopped by Magnus just outside the keep walls. "I don’t know what’s going on, but the barbarians aren’t ones to sit down to tea and crumpets, and without the full backing of the throne this is a suicide mission designed to quietly get rid of you. You will need to go, and I trust you will do your best, but be careful. The elves in the Shadowcrowns may be able to offer some assistance, and I’ve talked to Alicia Thistledown and Llewellyn Dragonstaff, the council members for Westreach and Gorgonhold respectively, and they may be able to offer some help. They will both be traveling with you since it appears the “king” has decided they are of better use sitting in their towers away from the political arena here. They aren’t going to let you take the shard, but trust me that I already have a contingency plan in place, I’ll have the shard for you when you get back to the mainland though I imagine Corwin won’t be too happy.