House Rogarvia's disappearance in Kingmaker?


Kingmaker


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The mystery of House Rogarvia's vanishment a decade earlier is, in a way, what kicks off the events leading to the Swordlords sending the PCs to explore and colonize the Stolen Lands. Perhaps I missed it while skimming over the various latter modules, but is this event ever explained or incorporated into the AP's plot?

Spoiler: An entire family vanishing without a trace left behind seems to scream "faerie curse" to me. I find it hard to believe that the vanishing isn't somehow tied into the machinations of the First World's fair folk.

Grand Lodge

I don't think it's been fleshed out beyond the original information provided in Stolen Land. I've only read ahead through book four, so I can't say whether it's covered in the last part of the AP.

It has the feel of an epic occurrence that they will (hopefully) come back too and develop at a later time...

Sovereign Court

Its purposefully left somewhat vague and doesn't provide the answer in KM6. However, a common theory is that Choral the Conqueror was an ancient red dragon in human form, and in the 'Beyond Kingmaker' section one plot arc provides his stats on that eventuality.


Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Its purposefully left somewhat vague and doesn't provide the answer in KM6.

That's... disappointing. It seems like a sorely missed opportunity to tie in the vanishing with the mysterious machinations of the First World's Elders and Nyrissa's scheme.

As I see it, if the issue of the vanishing isn't officially addressed in this AP it likely never will be. Seeing as how each DM's campaign will feature a different outcome to the AP, and therefore an endless number of political power structures in place in the Stolen Lands / Brevoy, it'd be hard for Paizo to later publish another adventure/supplement set in the area which reveals the true cause of the vanishing. I don't see what's to be gained by leaving this loose thread dangling.

Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
However, a common theory is that Choral the Conqueror was an ancient red dragon in human form, and in the 'Beyond Kingmaker' section one plot arc provides his stats on that eventuality.

Is there any mention as to whether the vanishing ties in to Choral's return?

Sovereign Court

Ambrus wrote:
Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Its purposefully left somewhat vague and doesn't provide the answer in KM6.

That's... disappointing. It seems like a sorely missed opportunity to tie in the vanishing with the mysterious machinations of the First World's Elders and Nyrissa's scheme.

Its not disappointing. It means your not pigeonholed into a particular plot- you have a great idea to tie in the vanishing with their schemes; so use it if you wish.

Unless Nyrissa's scheme is to take Brevoy as well as the Stolen Lands I don't see a lot of motivation for her though.

I think it leaves that vague too- hes come to recalaim his kingdom. I much prefer it that way, it lets me use my own plot ideas.


Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Its not disappointing. It means your not pigeonholed into a particular plot.

I can appreciate the flexibility to choose, if that's the designers' intention. It'd suck to eventually have the official reason for the Vanishing contradict what various DMs have established in their campaigns. It would have been nice, in the 'Beyond Kingmaker' writeup, to include whether this event was to be left purposefully unexplained for DMs to develop on their own or not. Proposing a handful of possible explanations to further develop would have been gravy...

So if there's nothing official on the matter forthcoming perhaps we could use this thread to explore the likely possibilities. Care to elaborate on what you're thinking in regards to Choral the Conqueror being responsible?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ambrus wrote:
Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Its not disappointing. It means your not pigeonholed into a particular plot.

I can appreciate the flexibility to choose, if that's the designers' intention. It'd suck to eventually have the official reason for the Vanishing contradict what various DMs have established in their campaigns. It would have been nice, in the 'Beyond Kingmaker' writeup, to include whether this event was to be left purposefully unexplained for DMs to develop on their own or not. Proposing a handful of possible explanations to further develop would have been gravy...

So if there's nothing official on the matter forthcoming perhaps we could use this thread to explore the likely possibilities. Care to elaborate on what you're thinking in regards to Choral the Conqueror being responsible?

We did indeed choose to leave the reasons for the vanishing vague, becuase it doesn't really matter for the plot of Kingmaker what happened, and by doing so we leave it open for the GM to determine. MANY of the "mysteries" in our campaign setting are like this, especially if they set up a situation where it helps define a region. The sudden disappearance of the ruling house of Brevoy is what makes that nation perch on civil war and gives it a lot of its feel and theme, and if we were to resolve that issue it would change what Brevoy is. We don't want that. We like Brevoy as it is.

And thus, it's up to each GM to decide what happened.

I can't say we'll NEVER take up this thread and explain what happened, but we're unlikely to do much with Brevoy for some time in any event.


James Jacobs wrote:
And thus, it's up to each GM to decide what happened.

Fair enough. Thanks for making that clear James.

So, care to toss out some possible explanations for the Vanishing along with the rest of us? =)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ambrus wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
And thus, it's up to each GM to decide what happened.

Fair enough. Thanks for making that clear James.

So, care to toss out some possible explanations for the Vanishing along with the rest of us? =)

Not beyond the hints and clues I've already put into Kingmaker or the campaign setting. I kinda don't get the luxury of handing out explanations without folks assuming they're canon, alas.


I had intended to have elements of House Rogarvia show up in KM6, skeletons wearing surcoats bearing their heraldic arms, signet rings, maybe a surviving Rogarvia heir that dies when brought out of the First World.

Alternately, I might deal with that AFTER the completion of the AP. I have some ideas for continuing the campaign, assuming there is anyone left alive after the deadly KM6. I haven't COMPLETELY decided yet, but I am going to let the PCs discover what the Vanishing was all about before the end of the campaign.


James Jacobs wrote:
Not beyond the hints and clues I've already put into Kingmaker or the campaign setting. I kinda don't get the luxury of handing out explanations without folks assuming they're canon, alas.

You could write a few personal ideas about it with a bright-red XL-sized disclaimer saying POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS. Or make another account to post "unofficial" statements ;)


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I'd lost a post that I'd written detailing some possibilities. *sigh* Let's try this again CSI style. Spoilers ahead.

First off, I don't believe that it's going to far to assume a few things about the the disappearance of all members of House Rogarvia:

1. It's not some sort of coincidence or accident. They didn't all sneak off without a trace or all fall down wells and die simultaneously.
2. It was accomplished by magical rather than mundane means. An army of ninjas didn't secretly fan out across Brevoy, steal into the various palaces and manors and succeed in abducting each member without leaving any clues behind.
3. The magic needed to make all of the far-flung members of one noble House vanish utterly is far beyond the scope of conventional magic; something akin to epic-level, artifact-level or godlike magic would be required.

So what are the known facts? They are:

1. Every member of House Rogarvia vanished without a trace in the middle of winter in early 4699 AR.
2. Their disappearance coincided precisely with the bicentennial of Choral the Conqueror (and through him House Rogarvia's) creation of Brevoy and the "Dragonscale Throne".
3. There was no evidence of foul play or struggle left behind. All that was left were empty palaces and manor scattered across Brevoy.
4. Those who benefited the most from the Vanishing were the members of House Surtova, who seized the throne within the year.
5. Oddly, Grayhaven lost all contact with the Golka clan of the Golushkin dwarf hold during the same winter as the Vanishing.

So who in the area of the crime is known to have the magical means to pull off such a feat? Here are a few key suspects:

1. Choral, the advanced great wyrm red dragon. Being one of the most powerful creatures in Golarion with a claim on the nation of Brevoy, access to 9th level arcane spells and countless magical trinkets, this dragon may indeed have the means and the motive to pull off the Vanishing.
2. Nyrissa the nymph. With designs on the mortal world and the power granted to her by Count Renalc, she has the magical power and perhaps the motive to attempt the Vanishing. Though with her activities (I presume) fully detailed in the AP, she would seem an unlikely suspect.
3. The Eldest of the First World. With almost godlike power and an alternate dimension in which to hide all of House Rogarvia one or more of the Eldest may indeed be responsible for the Vanishing. Since the Vanishing leads indirectly (through a convoluted series of developments) to Nyrissa's demise (a prophesied event seemingly in line with their goals), this may in fact have been their motive for performing the Vanishing. It would require Machiavellian foresight, but I wouldn't put such a feat past one of these timeless beings.
4. A Runelord. This is a stretch. Brevoy is a good ways away from their usual stomping grounds in Varisia. The nearest would supposedly be Zutha, the Runelord of Gluttony in the fallen nation of Gastash to the west. The motive would be anyone's guess.
5. A God or Goddess. Sure a God could likely have pulled it off, but it'd seem to be a rather crass move for any self-respecting deity in Golarion. The question of motive is also dubious.

Anyone have anything else to add?


In KM6 (I think, I'm going from memory) one of the options for continuing the campaign that is not explored more deeply is the one where the Oculus of Abaddon awakens something in Iobaria.

Choral and his hordes were Iobarian. Even though he is a powerful Great Wyrm, perhaps he needed help to raise the army to conquer Brevoy. Perhaps whatever the thing is that the designers suggest is reawoken in Iobaria is what empowered Choral to allow him to Conquer. There are more than enough clues and adventure hooks in the Iobaria article in KM3 to build a credible and powerful (Cyclops?) threat from prehistory.

But this begs the question of why Choral left his descendants to rule and wandered off to who-knows-where never to be seen again for 200+ years. Maybe Choral hoped to avoid whatever deal he had made with this Iobarian power and went into hiding, using magic/trinkets/artifacts/whatever to avoid discovery. When Choral's payment became due, the Iobarian Power could not find Choral and instead took all of his heirs.

If that's so, why bother conquering at all if he was just going to abandon it? Perhaps he wanted to recover a powerful artifact, or have his revenge against some Issian pirates or Rostlandic Swordlords who had killed a mate or stolen from his hoard. Or perhaps his intention all along was to create a dynasty in his name, perhaps the lives of his descendents is the price he agreed with the Iobarian Power in the first place...


I forgot one notable suspect; a surviving cyclops wizard from the ancient Koloran empire. This also seems somewhat dubious seeing as how the Tors of Levenies are the north-western most frontier of that ancient empire and its most prominent member is none other than the cyclops lich Vordakai. Like Nyrissa, his activities and abilities are fully detailed in the A.P.; leaving little chance for he being a viable suspect. In his favour however is his established Modus Operandi; using magic to discreetly whisk away all of the citizens of a human community without leaving a trace behind. So if not this Vordakai himself, could some other more powerful cyclops wizard have effected the Vanishing with similar techniques? Vordakai the Elder, this younger Vordakai's namesake is one possibility. Presumably he was more powerful...

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House Rogarvia's disappearance makes me think of the old "X2: Castle Amber" module, so I'd been toying around with updating that, if my PCs decided to go looking (I'd need not only to adapt, but to beef it up a bit too - it doesn't mesh up level-wise with where they're at, level wise, but earlier edition adventures can get weird that way, anyways).


gang wrote:
In KM6 (I think, I'm going from memory) one of the options for continuing the campaign that is not explored more deeply is the one where the Oculus of Abaddon awakens something in Iobaria.

Although an intriguing idea, I can't find anything in KM6 or KM3 that proposes that outcome. It also seems unlikely since most parties will likely have destroyed the Oculus before then.

Can you try and find where you read about this option?


Ambrus wrote:
gang wrote:
In KM6 (I think, I'm going from memory) one of the options for continuing the campaign that is not explored more deeply is the one where the Oculus of Abaddon awakens something in Iobaria.

Although an intriguing idea, I can't find anything in KM6 or KM3 that proposes that outcome. It also seems unlikely since most parties will likely have destroyed the Oculus before then.

Can you try and find where you read about this option?

It's in KM6 on page 57 titled "Into the East"


Tem wrote:
It's in KM6 on page 57 titled "Into the East"

Indeed it is. Don't know how I missed that. Thanks for the heads up.


Ambrus wrote:
I forgot one notable suspect; a surviving cyclops wizard from the ancient Koloran empire. This also seems somewhat dubious seeing as how the Tors of Levenies are the north-western most frontier of that ancient empire and its most prominent member is none other than the cyclops lich Vordakai. Like Nyrissa, his activities and abilities are fully detailed in the A.P.; leaving little chance for he being a viable suspect. In his favour however is his established Modus Operandi; using magic to discreetly whisk away all of the citizens of a human community without leaving a trace behind. So if not this Vordakai himself, could some other more powerful cyclops wizard have effected the Vanishing with similar techniques? Vordakai the Elder, this younger Vordakai's namesake is one possibility. Presumably he was more powerful...

Combine what I said with what you said and this all sounds both feasible and likely.

Maybe the Oculus of Abaddon is a minor version of some more powerful artifacts. Perhaps one for each of the horsemen (themed for their particular areas of ruin) and a fifth for the Oinodaemon.


I know how I am gonna run it;

House Rogarvia's key members embraced vampirism and/or lichdom, and went into hiding, the most powerful members sleeping the years away, waiting for the return of Choral, when their new tide of conquest would take them south. When Choral returns after part 6, the undead house Rogarvia will stand by him, and re-take Brevoy in a matter of days. Their first step of conquest on their way? The PC's kingdom.

Ensue warfare with dread commanders, undead armies risen from the battlefields, Choral's host of monsters that flock to him for power and spoils, and all that can stand against the tide is a band of heroes.

Liberty's Edge

Kamelguru wrote:

I know how I am gonna run it;

House Rogarvia's key members embraced vampirism and/or lichdom, and went into hiding, the most powerful members sleeping the years away, waiting for the return of Choral, when their new tide of conquest would take them south. When Choral returns after part 6, the undead house Rogarvia will stand by him, and re-take Brevoy in a matter of days. Their first step of conquest on their way? The PC's kingdom.

Ensue warfare with dread commanders, undead armies risen from the battlefields, Choral's host of monsters that flock to him for power and spoils, and all that can stand against the tide is a band of heroes.

Which could very well be the way that the PCs get to continue the campaign and maintain their kingdom against a new threat.

A new army looking to conquer.

Another idea - since I alredy intend to run Witchwar Legacy as a capstone module post book 6 of KM, perhaps tying their disappearance in w/ Baba Yaga and her legacy.

Robert


Robert Brambley wrote:

Another idea - since I alredy intend to run Witchwar Legacy as a capstone module post book 6 of KM, perhaps tying their disappearance in w/ Baba Yaga and her legacy.

ooh. I hadn't considered that. I will begin considering it at my earliest available opportunity.


How about, somebody (a noble or a powerful wizard for hire) used wish or limited wish to get rid of Chora's descendants?

Choral was human with an Orb of Dragonkind (red).

Some ritual spell to make Choral more powerful (or if he is a dragon in human form, more treasure) called for x-number of his bloodline to be sacrificed? and they are performing that ritual in Skywatch now?

Joe

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Wow you're bringing back a 2 year old thread here but 200 years on the dot sounds like a contract to me. I haven't gotten my hands on book 6 yet but I'm pretty sure this isn't answered in KM but I'd go with Asmodeus LE god of contracts given the dragon allies and the precise nature of their disappearance, just tastes like a crossroads deal to me.


Have to agree to GM_Solspiral, esact 200 years sounds really like a pact. Maybe Choral made a packt with a red dragon (or Nyrissa^^) so he (and his decendent) may rule brevoy for 200 years.


I had all of House Rogarvia trapped in Soul jars along with Choral by Nyrissa. At the conclusion of book 6 my party had a surprise in store when they started releasing the nobles and suddenly Choral popped out. It worked well with another big epic battle after the battle with Nyrissa.


What I've done is have one of my PCs, formerly a murderous cavalier, now a murderous Paladin as a secret bastard son, which was revealed later that he was the last Rogarvian standing and thusly theoretically in line for the throne of Brevoy (Also he brought back summer once). In this instance the Surtovans have been doing a good job of running Brevoy but for some reason (I'm thinking N) they are getting jealous and looking to move down to stomp on said PC.

Said PC has also been getting some manifestations of fire (small fire resist, flaming eyes when doing spells, giant flame eruptions when praying) which has been interesting. Can't judge reaction to that yet.

Sovereign Court

The beauty of it all is what does the GM (per campaign) want to occur, as there isn't a right or wrong way. The way I see things is there are three major things that happen on that one year.

1) House Rogarvia vanish without a trace. Magical investigations reveal nothing as to why, and where they are.

2) Skywatch sealed its' gates the same night as the Vanishing. Magical and mundane means cannot penetrate what is going on inside.

3) During the winter after the Vanishing, Grayhaven lost contact with the Dwarves of the Golushkin Mountains. Since this is also a 10 year period it is safe to assume magical means also cannot reveal as to why.

All of these three things can be ties together, or they can each have something occurring separately.

Sound of a Thousand Screams does offer a possible explanation to House Rogarvia, but nothing for the other two.

Basically the sky is the limit as to what happened, and if the PCs want to investigate.


Duskrunner1 wrote:
Sound of a Thousand Screams does offer a possible explanation to House Rogarvia, but nothing for the other two.

2) Skywatch is Rogarvia's "panic room". Rogarvians are trapped there in stasis to wait for the all clear signal.

Hey, this thread gives me an idea. Combine this Choral plot with Nyrissa's stolen Nobility, and rather than her Nobility being stripped by a Summer Queen it was taken by Choral in exchange for Nyrissa's life. The bargain also gave Choral a 200 years' head start during which Nyrissa was prohibited from influencing the mortal world.

Choral was a mortal human (high level adventurer) in this plot line and only gained control of a conquering army and dragons due to the stolen Nobility. He would have died of old age, but not without setting plans in motion to protect his issue. Choral used his life to power a bloodline curse that transfers the Rogarvians to Skywatch (his heirs have strict orders on its construction) to wait for Nyrissas demise.

I'm drawing a blank at the moment on how he would ensure Nyrissa gets dealt with. It should probably involve the Winter Court somehow...

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