The Protection of the Path
As the fuss and conflict touched off by the Great Road finally subsides, other news begins to trickle out of the Oathlands. Scouts and travelers report that one particular stretch of the northern Oathlands which used to be thick with Abandoned raider activity is now quiet -- almost worryingly so. Especially as it seems the Abandoned aren't truly gone; caravans report seeing signs of Abandoned scouts having recently been in the area, such as campsites where the firepits are still warm.
More unsettling still is the rumor that the three main Abandoned clans in the region have been cooperating in ways they historically have not; scouts from two who have long been rivals have been spotted from a distance, seemingly working together.
It doesn't take too long before one brave Oathlands scout takes it upon herself to venture into the Abandoned territory in hopes of discovering what's changed. When she returns, her report quickly makes it up the chain of command towards Sanctum -- and via rumor, throughout the Oathlands and thence the rest of Arvum.
The three Abandoned clans have chosen to bend the knee -- but not to the Compact.
The figure the clans have sworn to is a woman, one who's said to lead a small but formidable force of warriors from a distant land. Once the clans bent the knee, it seems that this woman and her soldiers quickly moved to defend them; it's rumored that under her leadership and with the aid of her men, the new combined force has successfully pushed the troublesome group known as House Thornweave out of their lands entirely.
Now it seems they've settled in to rebuild, and to learn from their new leadership.
One final detail in particular of the scout's report makes its way through the rumor mill with particular speed: this nascent sovereign state flies a single banner, the same one the woman they swore to is said to bear on her armor.
A throne emblazoned in gleaming platinum.