No doubt that this letter comes as a surprise to you and I ask that you do not cast it into the flames before reading this.
I have recently survived a serious illness and only by the grace of Pharasma regained my strength during which I was given an opportunity to give many things a great deal of thought and the matters concerning your mother and yourself were foremost in my mind. I know you bear me great ill for her leaving you but your mother understood the constraints of station and propriety that dictated that I divest myself of my mistress and my bastard. I see now that I should have handled matters differently. I thought to seek you out and find a manner through which we could discuss the issue and I could impart to you information that you do not have concerning your mother. As is the way of the gods’ whims no sooner than I had regained my strength but I am informed that you have embraced your Surgova blood and become a builder of a kingdom. Honestly, I was surprised for I felt sure that your mother’s elven blood had dimmed your Issian birthright so I am proud that you show initiative but to discover that you have undertaken these tasks under the auspices of the Rostlander Lord-Mayor to an end that threatens Brevoy and your family has filled me with dismay and shame and it is my hope that you can be saved and the situation rectified before matters progress too far. His Highness King Noleski Surtova, your rightful lord and liege and cousin, is dismayed that one who bears his family blood would be a party to activities that threaten to upset the peace of Brevoy and has given me leave to invite you, Markoa, home to the family hunting lodge in order that we discuss the matters of this small holding of Narlmarch and your part in its creation. Noleski has told me in confidence that he sees your obvious proficiencies and has expressed a desire to keep a man of “obvious exceptional qualities” within the love and grace of our family. So come, Markoa, to the Winter Lodge, the family hunting preserve, and meet with me.
However, I must warn you that your involvement in the Rostlander Affair has reached the ears of the other noble houses and it threatens to cause embarrassment and political opportunity for ill maneuverings against your cousin the king so I ask that you understand that you must enter Brevoy as quietly as possible engaging neither guards nor small folk in your travels. The issues with the Lord-Mayor of Restov are tense and there is talk of potential civil war which is something that I know you would not see occur and would ultimately mean the destruction of your barony. I, as well, in public forum must denounce you and curse you lest the suggestion of impropriety occur. Shoulder it with Surtovan fortitude and with the resolution of these issues between Rostland and Issia where your barony are concerned, as well as between us as father and son, I am sure that King Noleski will offer you royal absolution and a return to your home.
Markoa, I cannot stress enough the delicate position you have placed us in and stress the importance of your coming alone and in stealth to Winter Lodge. The lodge is usually empty during the summer excepting for the permanent staff and Conneth.
Arrive by the 20th of Arodus and stay hidden as much as possible and we shall meet. It is my hope, Markoa, that great things can come of this and I will be able to tell you those things regarding your mother that you will want to know.
Good journey to you, my son.
Domani Surtova, Duke of the Dragonscale Throne, Royal Defender of Port Ice, Primogen of House Surtova
“Ours is the Right”