Allow me a page or two, Gareth, to explain the phenomenon known as the Grinning Prince and his relationship to your brother.
The Prince, as he is commonly known (and who knows his real name?), is rumored to be the scion of some self-styled Onrothic King or such. His family was executed in a power struggle with a rival clan and he would have been too had his nanny not smuggled him out of the castle in a hay wagon. The gangly child passed from stead to stead until he fell under the tutelage of Kagor the Blind.
It was in the training halls of Kagor that the Prince became one of the deadliest swordsmen in the entire March... perhaps one of the best throughout the whole Northern Kingdom. He served two years in the court of the Alpine Throne before he decided enough water had passed under the bridge, so to speak. He returned to the Onrothy and singlehandedly slaughtered the entire family of the warlord who destroyed his youth.
I've seen the Prince in action. While most fighting men tend to take blows and allow their armor or shield to protect them, the Prince wears little in the way of protection. He has the remarkable talent of not being where the blow falls... just a few inches to either side or perhaps behind his attacker in the blink of an eye. In fact, the only person I've ever seen draw blood from him was Qova herself, and that from a surprise right hook. More on that one later.
Regarding the Throne, I cannot confirm any speculation that he was, in fact, his Majesty's legendary jester/assassin known as the Mook. If it were proven true, however, I wouldn't be surprised.
It is the personal opinion of many that he is mad. Personally, I think it's an act, and I refuse to fall into his game of homely distraction. On the other hand, I make personal jabs at him now and then, but I would never think of truly upsetting him unless he were unarmed and tied to a column or something equally strong.
I think he intends to pay you a visit in the distant future. He and Hern were rather close... Hern once told me the Prince led your brother out of the Shattermoors when Hern was part of the ill-fated expedition to the infamous Red Mausoleum. Without aid from the Prince, Hern felt sure he would have died under the minions of the mad druid who lived in those parts.
The two met up here and there over the years. Hern returned the favor in a swanky tavern in Eac after the Prince had humiliated some farmworkers; the two battled their way out of the tavern and out of town with the local farms short a few hands the next morning.
I've rambled enough; I just wanted you to have some understanding of the character known as the Grinning Prince and the part he played in the death of your brother.