NEPA Known World
Baron Sherlane's letter to the adventurers
15 Flaurmont 998
I hope this letter finds you well. I have been in the past few days doing some research upon the facts of which you informed me. Unfortunately, the news I have is not pleasant.
The queen referred to in the note you brought is known to me. Her name is Ilyana, and she is a fighter of some merit. She is intensely Chaotic, and a vicious and evil person. She is also the illegitimate daughter of the old Lord Arturus.
It is clear that Ilyana is raising a force to attack Penhaligon itself. Although she is illegitimate, only Arteris stands between her and the rightful claim to the rulership of the estates. Kaerin, being adopted, would not have a claim.
If she should take the estates, Duke Stefan might have to accept her claim. If he did, the place would be ruled by chaos and evil. If he did not and took the estates back by force, many other local rulers would say that the duke feels free to overthrow anyone whose rulership he does not care for. Either way, the result would be bad for the land. And the duke has much else to worry about.
Further, I do not think you will be safe here. The killers you overcame must have friends; they had an agent in this very house and someone who helped them escape. You must leave and go to the last place on earth these people would expect you to go – to the keep of this self-styled “queen,” Ilyana, to strike a crippling blow at her there. She cannot yet have raised a large force – but it will grow with each passing week.
You can accomplish much if you have the bravery and strength. A larger force would be seen too early; surprise would be lost. A capable, small group could use hit-and-run tactics, striking a blow and retreating, returning and striking again, finally overcoming this evil woman and bringing peace to the land. If you do not, there will be war and you will not be safe wherever you go. The enemy surely knows you now. She is said to have a clever Bugbear as an ambassador of sorts. Surely he is the one you described to me who you met in the Orc caves.
Kaerin and I will give you as much support as possible. Too much may lead to further notice of our intent as I believe Ilyana has spies amongst the humanoids and humans alike. Her fame as a warrior has certainly seemed to gain her respect amongst the troops of the Grand Duchy. I fear that she may also be forging ties with The Black Eagle and his “Ring” of allies if you catch my meaning.
Good luck and may the Immortals bless you,