Winter, 5002: Marcus gets a knock at his door in the Ilurian. It is an adept from the Amberstar Guild, with a request from High Magister Selgorath that Marcus return to the guild for an audience. Upon his return, the wizard informs him that with a favorable missive from King Sendres of Umbr, and in recognition of the company having saved the city from harm, Selgorath is willing to forgo his typical remuneration on this unique occasion, and undertake the effort to try and help the wild mage fine tune one of his abilities. The guild has a fire mage, Jaelen, who is willing to undertake the effort.
Over the winter, Marcus learn to adjust his physical gestures as well as incorporate a material component in lieu of the need to use his shield as a crutch in order to focus his magical energies through it, all to be able to use the protection from fire spell on others as well as himself. He also learned that, since his spells have no verbal component, unlike other mages, his spells are unaffected by magically created silence, a valuable trick, as up until now he had always assumed that, like wizards, he could not use his magical abilities under those adverse conditions. And, like much of magic, the mage’s ability to invoke a spell is directly affected by his belief in his skill with the Art.
With the coming of spring and Firstthaw, the company departs up the Dragonsmoke River to the capital city of Dyvnar, where they are briefed by the head of the Drusaidi Shanir in Umbr and liaison to King Sendres, Ransel. He describes in detail the highly exclusive nature of the organization, and the few of their numbers needed in Umbr to watch their frontiers: two in the Thurisian Mountains, one (plus an apprentice) along the Dragonsmoke River border with the troll kingdom of Tharnrek, one in the Crown March, one in the Greyward Mountains, plus Ransel posted to Dyvnar in order to coordinate the organization’s activities with King Sendres.
The Drusaidi Shanir scout and protect the wilderness areas of the country from monsterous intruders and potential attackers. They eliminate the threat where possible, and give advance warning to nobles and kings when the forces are too great. In war, they scout troop movements and eliminate advance enemy units. Many captains would rather face an entire troop of enemy forces than a single determined Drusaidi Shanir.
Ransel provides Grull with a writ from the king, instructing Marquis Avaine of Castle Derethon in the Crown March to aid the company in whatever way is needed to stop his rogue agent and the army of orcs ready to descend upon Umbr. If they cannot, King Sendres’ army will sit at the ready near Jevrain Abbey, ready to come to the defense of the Marches.
And thus the company sets forth for the city of Vetróas, in the Jevrain region on the edge of the Crown March, to seek local information prior to entering the Marches.