Jelani's The Witchwar Legacy (Inactive)

Game Master Brian Minhinnick

Encounter Map

Experience Points:279,166/315,000

You may take 10 on knowledge checks to know any of the following in-character:

Knowledge (Religion) DC 25 about Kostchtchie:
Kostchtchie was not always a demon: once he was an Ulfen man who hated women and giants and had a violent temper. His father raised him barbarically, forcing him to slaughter his own mother and sister, but in time, the savage Kostchtchie murdered his father as well. Much of the rest of his mortal life is lost in myth and fable. The next event of which scholars are certain, is the beginning of his unholy ascendency.

Kostchtchie sought immortality by forcing a bargain with the Witch Queen Baba Yaga. As is often the case with such arrangements, Kostchtchie's wish for immortality was twisted by the evil crone, and he found himself transformed into the demonic form of the thing that he hated most: a giant. Baba Yaga also hid an element of his mortal soul in a torc. Since that time, Kostchtchie has turned his hatred towards Baba Yaga and humanity itself. He wages constant war on the tribes of Iobaria, and seeks to conquer and destroy the nation of Irrisen, ruled by the many daughters of Baba Yaga herself. His interest in Irrisen is associated with the recovery of the torc that holds part of his soul as he considers the torc may cure his deformity while maintaining his immortality. While he sometimes campaigns by proxy, Kostchtchie prefers to enter combat in person. For example, according to the eponymous Record of Truan Iolavai, he took personal interest in Iolavai's investigation of Hask-Ultharan in the great pine forest of Iobaria.

Kostchtchie's main worshipers are frost giants who have turned from the worship of their traditional deities, particularly Thremyr, and instead embraced the demonic as being a more aggressive philosophy. Some claim that these frost giant worshipers of Kostchtchie are even more war-like and blood-thirsty than their already fearsome frost giant kin. Despite his general hatred of humans, Kostchtchie does have many human worshipers, particularly in the western reaches of the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. They pray for the day when he will finally bring destruction upon their most hated enemy, the realm of Irrisen. He also has worshippers in Iobaria and the Crown of the World.

Kostchtchie seems to have evoked the particular ire of the powerful goddess, Iomedae, for his hatred of women and just the fact he is a demon lord and murderer..

Knowledge (History) DC 15 or Religion DC 25 about Baba Yaga:
The Queen of Witches, Baba Yaga (pronounced BAH-ba YAH-guh) invaded Golarion from another world in 3313 AR, making war on the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. Within 23 days the Winter War was over and she had established her realm of Irrisen. Once the Ulfen armies had been defeated, Baba Yaga installed her eldest daughter Jadwiga as queen of the new nation of Irrisen, and divided it into five provinces: Bleakmarch, Feyfrost, Hoarwood, Thronehold, and Wintercrux. After this was accomplished, however, the Witch Queen seemed to lose interest in Irrisen, and departed Golarion abruptly.

After founding Irrisen, Baba Yaga was not heard from for nearly a century. In 3412 AR, the Three Riders of Baba Yaga appeared in Irrisen. These strange, fey horsemen road about the countryside, punishing those who had been unfaithful to the Witch Queen, and (rarely) rewarding those who had stayed true to her, but offered little justification for any of their actions. The following year, Baba Yaga herself returned to Golarion and removed the Queen from the throne, placing her younger daughter Morgannan in charge. She left again shortly thereafter, taking along her eldest daughter Jadwiga along with the first generation of her descendants. This process was to reoccur every 100 years like clockwork, and continues to this day.

Not every daughter of Baba Yaga has quietly acquiesced to her mother's demand to give up the throne of Irrisen, and a few have even openly rebelled against the Witch Queen. Although the first three queens of Irrisen (Jadwiga, Morgannan, and Urvalane) are said to have abdicated with little fighting, Urvalane's successor, Pjallarane, did not go quietly. She and her children (the Jadwiga Pjallarane) launched an open rebellion against their progenitor in 3713 AR, but were ruthlessly put down by Baba Yaga in a single day in a conflict known as the 24-Hour War. A century later, Queen Aelena abdicated without the slightest hesitation, most-likely remembering her sister's futile struggle against their mother.

These relatively quiet successions continued through the reigns of Queens Harcatha, Sascha, and Karina, but came to an end with the Witchwar of 4213 AR. During this conflict, Queen Tashanna used the power of the Torc of Kostchtchie to summon the demon lord Kostchtchie and force him to assist her in fending off the Witch Queen. Despite this assistance, Tashanna and her followers were quickly defeated by Baba Yaga. Tashanna and the first generation of her offspring were dragged off to a place beyond Golarion, while her former loyalists were executed, and their bodies hidden in the necropolis known as the Veil of Frozen Tears.

After this unpleasantness, the next queen of Irrisen, Velikas renounced her throne quietly in 4413 AR, but trouble was once again stirred up by her successor, Queen Kseniya. When Baba Yaga came in 4413 AR, Kseniya attempted to take her life. Many of her children tried to do the same, but were ultimately prevented by the Witch Queen, who took them all with her and installed Betyrina as the new monarch of Irrisen.
Since Velikas' futile gesture of resistance, the Queens of Irrisen have once again given up their thrones quietly. It remains to be seen which of her sisters' footsteps the current Queen Elvanna will follow in when Baba Yaga returns this year

Knowledge (Local, Geography) DC 15 about Irrisen:
Irrisen (pronounced IHR-ih-sehn) is a harsh, cold northern land covered in the snow and ice of a winter that has lasted centuries. The snow never melts, and almost as omnipresent as the snow and ice, is the feeling of dread that pervades the nation, for as harsh and unforgiving as the land is, it is nothing compared to those who rule it. The land is governed by the White Witches of Irrisen, the descendants of the terrible crone Baba Yaga. All the White Witches are obedient to their queen, who is a daughter of Baba Yaga herself.

Irrisen is, in some ways, run by quite a conventional monarchy. There is only one ruler whose word is absolute and whose power is unassailable. However, unlike almost every other monarchy on Golarion, Irrisen is not a hereditary monarchy. Instead, the monarch is chosen by the witch Baba Yaga who originally founded Irrisen over a thousand years ago. Every century, she returns from her endless wanderings amongst the planes to place a new daughter in charge of Irrisen; the old daughter leaves with Baba Yaga to view the infinite wonders of the multi-verse by her side. Baba Yaga also takes all of her daughter's children (Baba Yaga's grandchildren) with her; this means that every hundred years. there is a complete change of leadership and aristocracy of Irrisen. The grand children of the queen (the great grand children of Baba Yaga) are left behind and are one of the lasting legacies of any previous queen of Irrisen.

Irrisen is a land dominated by the cold. It sits at the northern most limits of Avistan and borders on the edge of the Crown of the World with its glacial sheets forming Irrisen's northern border. Its northern location is not the only reason for its cold climate. Ever since being conquered by Baba Yaga Irrisen has been locked in an eternal winter. This harsh eternal winter gives Irrisen a palpable sense of dread. The second biggest feature of Irrisen is Glacier Lake which takes up a large area within Irrisen's interior. Two of Irrisen's three largest settlements are built either on its shore or on on of the rivers connected to it. Irrisen's capital Whitethrone sits on its north eastern shore.

The people of Irrisen generally come trace their heritage to one of two sources. Either they are descended from the Ulfen that were enslaved by Baba Yaga or they are distantly descended from one of Irrisen's previous queens. Regardless of their heritage the people adore the White Witches though no one know whether this is genuine adoration or simply a result of Irrisen citizens fear of the terrifying witches. This adoration is put to the test when the changing of queens is imminent as before the arrival of Baba Yaga three knights; the white rider, the red rider and the black rider roam Irrisen assessing the loyalty of Baba Yaga's subjects. Those they find to be truly loyal are awarded with boons while cursing or completely destroying those they find to be disloyal. The people of Irrisen are generally quite isolated from the rest of Golarion as few traders ever visit Irrisen and just as few resident muster the courage to attempt to leave. They generally spend their days tending what few crops will grow in the harsh conditions.

Language Key

Celestial - Tamil

Abyssal - Gujarati

Giant - Icelandic

Draconic - Traditional Chinese

Skald - Norwegian/Swedish/Danish (Linnorm Kings, Irrisen, Mammoth Lords)

Dwarven - Belorussian

Elven -