Inside volume three of the Pathfinder Extinction Curse Adventure Path, Life’s Long Shadows, by Greg A. Vaughan
Previously, in Echoes of the Dead God Linger, we took a look inside volume two of the Extinction Curse Adventure Path. Now we charge ahead to volume three!
Strange forces assail the Swardlands, breadbasket to the city of Absalom. A malevolent spirit haunts the region’s leader, an unseen murderer mutilates her victims, and malicious forces occupy the once-sacred aeon towers. The heroes must stop the killings, repel subterranean invaders, and stun the people of the Swardlands with circus shows the likes of which they’ve never seen! The Extinction Curse Adventure Path continues with “Life’s Long Shadows,” an adventure for 9th- to 11th-level characters.
Explore the breadbasket of the Isle of Kortos, including its towns, personalities, and mysteries in Swardlands Gazetteer by Greg A. Vaughan!
“A city with nearly a third of a million souls, Absalom—the City at the Center of the World—has a huge logistical burden in feeding its populace. When Aroden, the Last Azlanti, raised the island from the depths of the sea, he foresaw this need and blessed it with fecundity through the aeon towers and their magical aeon orbs. Even after Aroden’s death, these towers nurture what was once barren, submarine rock.
However, as the influence of Aroden has waned in the century since his death, so too has the power of the aeon orbs. What was once a near-perfect cornucopia of growing lands for crops and timber—a region virtually untouched by climatic fluctuation or soil exhaustion— has begun, in small increments, to creep back toward a more mundane environment as the power of the aeon orbs slowly dwindles. The expected multiple harvests per year have become unreliable, timber stands are sparse and recover slowly from logging, and the soil in some fields has become exhausted, forcing farmers to leave them fallow. Some people of the Swardlands— Swardfolk, as they call themselves—are on the verge of panic, while others blithely ignore the changes around them, insisting any change must be only temporary or imaginary. Something has to change, and soon, or the Swardlands will fail. And if the Swardlands fail, can Absalom be far behind?”
For more information on 17 locations, including Kerrick, the region’s principal city and hub of trade don’t miss the full five-page article in print or PDF.
Unbury the dogma and mythos of the gluttonous demon lord Zevgavizeb, god of subterranean horrors, cavern‐dwelling reptiles, and debased xulgaths in Zevgavizeb by Amber Stewar
“Zevgavizeb—the Beast of Gluttondark, Lord of Reptiles, and Sun-Devourer—is a ravenous and cruel demon lord whose followers commit heinous sacrifices and engage in long, brutal wars in the name of their deity. Beyond his followers among the xulgaths (also known as troglodytes) who form the majority of his congregation, Zevgavizeb is little known among mortals, for his interests rarely extend beyond his own Abyssal demesne and his insatiable hunger. Most scholarly works describe him briefly, pointing to his origins as a qlippoth before his ascension to demonkind as one possible explanation for his insatiable hunger and unquenchable bloodlust. The Sun-Devourer alternates between periods of genocidal gluttony and torpid slumber, with his followers reflecting this pattern of war and peace in their cycles of catastrophic collapse and societal elevation.
Faithful xulgaths believe that each period of Zevgavizeb’s infamous slumber allows the demon lord to literally digest and incorporate some portion of the knowledge of those he devours and those sacrificed in his name. In this state of torpor, there is little to fear from the Lord of Reptiles, and his followers enjoy periods of peace and prosperity. When the demon lord’s hunger riles him once more, though, the shock waves of his cravings can be felt in the very bones of his devotees, who themselves become driven to rage-fueled violence. These “ravenings,” as xulgaths refer to the periods of war that coincide with Zevgavizeb’s hunger, have kept his cults in eons-long conflicts and stunted the development of their societies for as long as they have worshipped the dread demon. His adherents believe that each cycle of sleep and rampage progresses the Beast of Gluttondark toward some unknown endgame. While other civilizations disregard Zevgavizeb’s followers as brutish cannibals and warmongers, they fail to see that the deity’s adherents remain in a state of relative unenlightenment only due to the nightmarish culls that fuel their ancestral deity’s continuing apotheosis.”
For more information on Zevgavizeb’s personification, realm, dogma, worshippers, temples, shrines, priests, holidays, aphorisms, holy text, relations with other religions, and new rules—including a Zevgavizeb-themed background, feat, and spell—devour the full five-page article.
This volume presents a new ancestry, archetypes, monsters, and much more in the Adventure Toolbox by Anthony Bono, Jacob W. Michaels, Andrew Mullen, Patrick Renie, Alex Riggs, Timothy Snow, and Greg A. Vaughan. Yes, there are three new magic items, ten new monsters, the golem grafter and lumberjack archetypes, but this volume contains a surprise that I think will bring us all delight for years to come — the shoony ancestry!
“Diminutive humanoids who resemble squat, bipedal dogs, shoonies are sometimes mistaken for weak and insular pacifists. However, their sheer perseverance, incredible work ethic, and resourceful use of diplomacy make shoonies far from helpless.
According to shoonies, Aroden created their kind to provide him with pleasant company soon after he created the Isle of Kortos. Shoony culture is rooted in this myth and its implications, which help to explain the ancestry’s long reputation for hospitality, good will, and pacifism. War is antithetical to the shoony way of life; shoonies rely on cooperation and persistence to make their way through a world that can seem at times hellbent on destroying them. Shoonies are unflappable in their optimism and always see the best in others, even when faced with frequent subjugation and exploitation that might create bitterness or xenophobia among other societies. To shoonies, peace is a goal always worth striving for, and no villain is beyond redemption, so they aim to resolve problems with peaceful solutions.”
And now you know why I like to call this the Doggies and Demons volume of the Adventure Path. *percussion sting*
So that's a taste of volume three. We release Pathfinder Adventure Paths monthly in six-volume arcs, meaning each year sees the release of two complete Adventure Path campaigns. You can acquire them at your favorite local gaming store or with your ongoing Pathfinder Adventure Path subscription.
Next, we will unveil volume four, Siege of the Dinosaurs, with a gazetteer of the town of Willowside and lore about the inhabitants of the Abyssal realm of Gluttondark, as well as new monsters and xulgath-themed rules!
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