After defeating the fiend in the mirror at the cost of one of their own, our brave adventurers make their way to the 2nd floor of the royal mansion and face more of Skarda's troops and find the Grand Duke under attack. Dispatching many of the marauding soldiers that were attempting to slay the duke and his entourage including a large burly barbarian claiming to be an envoy of Vestland.
The Duke quickly lead the party down the back side of the mansion and through a concealed door to the stables with the intent of getting a wagon and some horses only to find some of the duke's remaining forces pinned by a mounted party of Skarda's men, the leader carrying Bob's beloved sword aloft. Eletha the cleric quickly acted, casting Wall of thorns around the cavalry opposition while the few remaining horses were fetched and hitched to a wagon. Bob struggled internally with what to do about his sword, but with the Duke's clam urging decided discretion was the the better part of valor (this time). The party retrieved Reih and the remains of Ahnold from the mansion as more and more slaves continued to stream from the mirror and the mansion. As soon as the last freed slave was out, the party led by Stephan Karameikos made for the gate and quickly removed the small force of mercenaries barring their way. Through a running skirmish the mob made their way from the mansion to a small village a few miles away where duke confirmed that some of his men made it out towards Specularum to fetch more soldiers to deal with the forces of the coup attempt. By morning garrisons of royal soldiers had made their way to the village and began the operation of cleaning up the few forces that failed to run off from the mansion.
Stephan was grateful for the help of these timely adventurers and granted them titles of lesser nobility and a lavish guest home while they stayed in Specularum as well as anything else they needed to replenish their strength and their new found celebrity in the capitol. The church of Karameikos provided the gift of life for Ahnold, returning him to life and helped him to recuperate from the ordeal. The Duke was aware of the loss cost to the party due to the mad machinations of Melleck/Skarda and provided what solace he could by gifting a new magical great sword to Bob to replace the one lost. While it wasn't made of adamantine or as magically blessed as his last one, Bob felt a small comfort as he gratefully accepted the new sword.
However, the actions of Mellek/Skarda had other repercussions as well for the kingdom. The Grand Duke of Karameikos explained to the party that the mansion also served as a military court and that it had been interrupted by the coup. The Duke's cousin Ludwig VonHendricks and his court wizard Bargle had agreed to come to the mansion to face charges of crimes against the kingdom as well as marauding raids upon the halfling shires to the west as Ludwig ruled over the Black Eagle Barony, a small province on the western side of the country. While Stephan was surprised his cousin had agreed to come face the charges, he had hoped this was a sign that his cousin did have a conscience as was willing to take responsibility for his heinous actions. But, in hindsight, Stephan realized that either Ludwig or his wizard (or both) were working with Mellek to hatch the scheme of trying to depose Stephan. The mirror had been delivered with VonHendrick's retinue afterall.
The Black Eagle Barony still had to be dealt with, and the Duke was sure that Ludwig and Bargle had quickly retreated to the relative safety of the barony and getting him to agree to come back to be tried, would now be impossible. But facing continued pressure from the Five Shires, the Duke knows that if he doesn't do something soon to remove his cousin then things may quickly get out of hand in the region, including the possibility of the halflings invading western Karameikos to rid them selves of the hated baron. And having a foreign power invading the country (regardless of the reason) would have consequences and the Duke would have to respond in kind.
He asks the party to assist him with this problem by traveling to the Black Eagle Barony for reconnaissance and possibly capture and bring back his cousin to Specularum to be held for trial. Stephan knows this is a lot to ask those that have already done Karameikos a great service but he does offer lands to the west as a reward for services rendered. He also entices Bob by telling the stalwart and stubborn fighter that many of Skarda's troops fled to the Black Eagle Barony, including the commander that has Bob's sword.