You are all second- or third-born sons/daughters of the nobility or royal family from the various countries in the Union of Rinea. Because your country is prospering, peaceful and happy, your lives are boring. There's not a whole lot you're needed for, so your parents have all gotten together and arranged for you to visit Gedon, a friendly country across the sea. You'll learn about another nation for a while, then come back to use your knowledge to help the people actually running the nations you're from.
That's the idea, anyway...The Union of Rinea is a rather peaceable, pleasant group of small countries. Though they have seen their fair share of wars and poor rulers, neither are present at the moment. As a whole, these countries are fairly prosperous, pleasant places to live. Because all is going well, there isn't much to do for the second-in-line nobility in any of these countries.
These young adults have been doing... nothing. For a very long time. Sure, there has been training, lessons, all that, but the peaceful situation their little corner of the world is in makes their lives pretty dull.
At long last their parents decided to get their second-born children to do something with themselves - or, better put, give them something to do. After much arranging, sending of letters and messengers and magical long-range discussion, the parents of these children decided to send them on a journey together. The destination was Gedon, another stable country on the other side of the Venerian Sea.
The idea was that the lordlings would learn about the cultures and governments on the other side of the sea, then bring the knowledge back to their older siblings and lieges. They would be able to act as advisers when it came to foreign affairs, and in the meantime it would get the frustrated kids out of everyone else's hair.
Most of the lordlings were more than happy to go do something, even if it was a simple trip around another country. Thus began the packing, language refreshment lessons, selection of personal guards and caretakers and commission of a ship. Within the month, everyone was ready to go.
As the various young lords and ladies boarded their boats at the capitol, the mood was high. Parents and friends waved their goodbyes, older siblings hid sighs of relief and a small band played a cheerful, upbeat tune. The kids would be gone only temporarily, and with all those retainers and handmaids they would surely be safe and comfortable. Gedon was a solid country with an interesting history. It would be a fine trip for them.
Unfortunately, since when has anything gone purely as planned?