Advice for Varnhold Vanishing – Book 3 Spoilers and adventure mixing.
So! Hello everyone in the Kingmaker forums. Back again for additional advice and suggestions.
My group simultaneously finished up their first year of running their kingdom and Book 2. I’ve recommended (as per the book) that the PCs take anywhere from 1 to 5 years of running their kingdom before we jump into Book 3.
Book 2 lasted a whopping 28 sessions compared to the 11 of the first book. While I feel there is a lot to cover in Book 3 I’m attempting to condense the events while also including a number of additional pathfinder modules.
So let me set the stage. First off, my PCs each have two characters that make up the majority of the ruling council of their country.
Close to half of these PCs will have Cohorts by the time we’re through Book 3 (currently 4 PCs have Cohorts with at least another two planning on picking it up in the future). This enables me to do some interesting things…such as have one group go off into the wilderness to explore and move the story forward there, while another group stays behind and deals with plot in their capital city.
The Plot Threads Thus Far
An invisible obsidian mirror larger than a person was discovered at Candlemere. This is the portal sealing Rhoswen into her demi-plane of shadow. The seal on it will be slowly cracking as the PCs discover the Faengard runes that reinforces the binding. The PCs know that something is sealed there by the First Council of the Fae but they don’t know what and what exactly they want to do about it. Unbeknownst to them their PR Director Dox the Changeling Bard has made brief enough contact with the mirror to be placed under a geas to find these mysterious Faengards though she doesn’t really understand why.
As the years pass and the runes slowly found and either broken, mishandled, or moved it will crack the seal enough that Rhoswen can break free back into the material plane.
Changes to Rhoswen: Like many in the Kingmaker forums I am making Rhoswen the forgotten daughter of Nyrissa, who was punished as a very young girl (physically 10-12 years old) by the First Council shortly after they tore out Nyrissa’s heart. To see if they had truly removed ‘love’ from Nyrissa they announced their plan of eternal solitude in a demi-plane in front of her to see her reaction. Satisfied with her cold unmoving face they dragged the girl to Candlemere and carried out the sentence.
Tens of thousands of years in solitude has shattered Rhoswen’s psyche, making her simultaneously a broken hearted child and the adult manifestation she created to help deal with her psychosis – the Queen of the Felnight. (Combat Wise this will be a literal split, while the adult Rhoswen confronts the PCs her shadow will be the child Rhoswen able to act independently. Most likely with separate builds as well)
So! My grand plan is to mix and match events from the following modules to add to the plot of Book 3.
Carnival Of Tears: The Carnival itself will be the start leading up to the resolution of Realm of the Felnight Queen, with the icy fae being commanded by Rhoswen (who is leaking through her mirror prison thanks to the discovery of the Faengard runes across the country) to destroy the community for her mother’s plans – while at the same time wanting to save the children from its destruction by taking them into the Felnight to live with her forever. (And to my advantage is that one of the PCs has a seven year old daughter who will be taken as well)
Realm of the Felnight: This will be skipping a lot of the build up (replaced with Carnival) and contain only the confrontation in the castle.
Exploration/Standard Plot of Book 3
Meanwhile! A group of the other PCs will be attempting to find out what happened to Varnhold and encounter the Nomen tribe of Xen’drik Drow (of which one of our PCs is the adopted daughter of the Matriarch) and the ancient lich Vordakai.
Changes: Vordakai is the ancient giant word for “Cyclops”, making the ancient lich the first of his kind as a genetic mutation back during the heights of the ancient giant empire. Finally awake after ten thousand+ years (It’s time to conquer earth!) Vordakai will start making the attempt to recover the ancient technologies of the Giant empire of Xen’drik…this is where the third adventure module I’m throwing in will be.
Other Twists: Nyrissa has been around for a long time. She had a hand in the fall of the giant empire as she was such a trusted ‘advisor’ to the giants they didn’t realize how badly she was steering them in the wrong direction – resulting in its eventual retaliation and destruction by the dragons of argonnesson.
Vordakai is aware of her treachery making him an adversary but not necessarily a trusted one. This can also serve as additional hints as to the true villain of the AP and how far back she has been trying to bottle up the Stolen Lands.
Crucible of Chaos: Not only does it take place in a jungle, but it’s connected to giants. I am torn between either replacing Vordakai’s standard dungeon with this place, or making the buried flying city a location Vordakai is moving towards making it a race to get there before the PCs. While the city would largely be non-functioning for many years…Kingmaker is the perfect AP to throw in this kind of caveat and still be able to do something with it. And it would eventually allow the PCs the opportunity to add a Flying City to their Kingdom.
Is it trying to throw in too much at once for a single book?