The Many Fates of Shalelu Andosana


Rise of the Runelords


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I'm curious -- what became of Shalelu Andosana in your campaigns? She has had many fates, I'm sure.

In my campaign, Shalelu proved a bit too insightful. The party leader, Micah, was about as shallow as a puddle, and wrapped up in his own emo-outcast self-image. Shalelu pointed out that everbody else saw him as a hero for his repeated acts of selfless courage, and suggested that the outcast loner schtick was all in his head, and continued mainly because he himself wouldn't let anyone get close.

Micah was disturbed by this assessment of his character. It struck too close to home. Therefore, he started telling everyone that Shalelu was creepy, and he didn't know if you could really trust her. The other party members picked up on his distrust, and in short order she became a pariah, tolerated only because she hadn't actively done anything to harm the party.

No one wept especially when she got crushed by a lucky critical hit with a boulder thrown by a stone giant in the very last fight of Book 3. Her final words were: "Tell ... Micah ... he really is ... a hero. And also ... an !@#$%^&."


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Shalelu plays an important role in my game. She was captured by the skinsaw man. She fell in love with the PC Drudo Dall. They married. She is a few months pregnant. She was the only character who went back to Sandpoint during the raid on Sandpoint. Because of this she was taken by the Giants. The PCS have been tracking the giants. And are focused on getting her back. She is currently locked away in Jorgenfist. The PCs are scouting around the valley. Trying to find a way to infiltrate without it ending badly for everyone.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In my first run, I only used her for exposition in "Burnt Offerings," and pretty much downplayed her. I was running a 5-PC party already, and they didn't need any help in "Hook Mountain Massacre," so she kind of faded into the background. She would have appeared at the Battle of Sandpoint, but the group broke up at the end of a side-trek I ran between "Hook Mountain" and "Fortress," ending the campaign.

In my second run, the player of the party fighter resigned during the first foray into Thistletop. I have a replacement player and PC lined up that the party will encounter later, so i wrote out the PC of the resigned player and Shalelu has temporarily joined the party as an NPC.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

My campaign is about to enter the fourth chapter, with the PCs being level 8 when we start that. Shalelu accompanied the party into Thistletop, where she saved the day. They met her again on the way to Turtleback Ferry. She helped the party (at that point five PCs with high stats (rolled)) and the remaining black arrows to retake Rannick. Meanwhile, another player entered the game, as one was about to drop out (she did not yet, as her job allows her to be back in town regularly so far). The new player took Jakardros as he needed a character on short notice. Now, he wants to keep this character and play him as a PC, which is ok by me. I guess it is nearly unavoidable that Shalelu will accompany the party further after being reconciled with her step father. (But I will have one of the PCs take the Leadership feat).


I changed things up (based on a suggestion on this board) and had the party first encounter Shalelu by her saving them from an ambush by Bruthazmus (they decided to try to track the goblins that fled after the raid) and had her fill them on in on the local goblin tribes on the walk back to Sandpoint.

She popped up here and there and the party was on good terms with her. When the party decided to leave Gogmurt in charge of the Thistletop goblins, that didn't sit well with the party's fighter and cleric, who recruited Shalelu, Orik and a mercenary rogue to go back and wipe them out. (As the party had originally entered via the tentamort cave and only killed Ripnugget and the bard in the throne room after finishing off Nualia.) When that group found Shadowmist, Shalelu claimed the horse as her portion of the spoils.

Later, when the party was sent to Fort Rannick, the party was happy to have Shalelu along. She also introduced them to the new barbarian party member as an old friend of hers. During HMM she worked with the Black Arrow survivors to do various side stuff while the party did the heavy lifting. She stayed behind in Rannick to reconnect with her step-father when the party moved on to the rest of the AP.


Shalelu has not been a major character in my game so far (currently at the end of book 2) due to the PCs being a party of 6. So far she has provided direction during the goblin attack and thistletop raid. She was later ambushed and left to die by boggards when I ran the Boggards of Brinestump Marsh sidequest. Mostly, she has simply not been around.

I am looking forward to bringing her back some in book 3. Does anyone have recommendations for her? Anything you did that your players loved/ hated?


HellFire442 wrote:

Shalelu has not been a major character in my game so far (currently at the end of book 2) due to the PCs being a party of 6. So far she has provided direction during the goblin attack and thistletop raid. She was later ambushed and left to die by boggards when I ran the Boggards of Brinestump Marsh sidequest. Mostly, she has simply not been around.

I am looking forward to bringing her back some in book 3. Does anyone have recommendations for her? Anything you did that your players loved/ hated?

Perhaps a bit off-thread but <group of 6 pc's> + Shalelu + the Black Arrows will be a force to be reckoned with. They will pulverize the forces at Ft. Rannick. If you add the NPC's per the AP, you'll definitely need to add/upgrade resistance there.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
Latrecis wrote:
HellFire442 wrote:

Shalelu has not been a major character in my game so far (currently at the end of book 2) due to the PCs being a party of 6. So far she has provided direction during the goblin attack and thistletop raid. She was later ambushed and left to die by boggards when I ran the Boggards of Brinestump Marsh sidequest. Mostly, she has simply not been around.

I am looking forward to bringing her back some in book 3. Does anyone have recommendations for her? Anything you did that your players loved/ hated?

Perhaps a bit off-thread but <group of 6 pc's> + Shalelu + the Black Arrows will be a force to be reckoned with. They will pulverize the forces at Ft. Rannick. If you add the NPC's per the AP, you'll definitely need to add/upgrade resistance there.

Yep. My party of five + Shalelu + Black Arrows did retake Rannick in a single epic, 20-round fight, starting from the secret entrance from near B5. It was hard, but they all survived and just a handful of ogres fled.

Silver Crusade

In my game, she helped the PCs rescue the Black Arrows and retake Fort Rannick, reconciled with her step-father, and ended up signing on to stay there and help the Black Arrows rebuild the fort.


Yeah... I figured as much. I have basically had to go through and add onto the entire campaign. The Sanitorium and Foxglove Manor are about the only things I didn't tweak because they are more about plot exposition than killing PCs.

The Manor was still a threat, but Aldern died fairly swiftly. Of course, the PCs didn't actually cleanse the place and left Alderns body right next to Vorel's ooze... which they figured out was the lich.... so that might come back to bite them.

My party has been pretty understanding about their being more than the campaign was designed for. Typically when NPCs suggest that they should "Guard the rear" or "check out this potential threat over there" the PCs go along with it. The PCs save the day and if questioned the NPCs give a less heroic account of some contribution they made that could have been bad for the party, but generally not world ending.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The group recruited her for the assault on Thistletop, though back then the group was only four (three PCs and the GMPC thief/wizard). She ended up vulnerable to the howls of those damn hounds (both times she fled).

They met her again for the Fort Rannick incident, and I had a group of ogres try to assault the town so to discourage the group (which at that point had added a Sorceress and two Cohorts) from attacking as one large army. (Soon after I worked out with the players an agreement to let the Cohorts be background characters who kept anyone from attacking from behind, gave them their Feats back, and the group has remained at four and the GMPC since then.)

Shalelu basically has dropped out of sight since, probably connecting with her foster father and probably helping out at Sandpoint from time to time as well.


HellFire442 wrote:
I am looking forward to bringing her back some in book 3. Does anyone have recommendations for her? Anything you did that your players loved/ hated?

This is a more general observation about NPCs and group dynamics.

When you have a full group of players sitting around a table playing, what often happens is that one player becomes the spokesperson for the party. That's fine, but it also results in very uneven opportunities for role play with NPCs. One person is doing the interacting, and develops relationships with the NPCs. The others don't, or to a much lesser degree.

To counteract that, I like using solo sessions. When you come to a period of down time, run a short solo adventure for each character, so that everyone gets an opportunity to do things and interact with NPCs on their own, rather than fading into a group. I've found these some of the most rewarding of my GM'ing experience, for lots of reasons:

1) They deepen the PCs' backgrounds by giving each PC history and experiences that the others in the group don't share. This is particularly helpful for players who struggle with backstory.

2) They allow for more and deeper interactions with NPCs. Conversations can go on for any length of time without leaving other players impatient and sidelined, because there are no other players.

3) The adventure can be tailored to just one PC. You can build the challenges around the PC's skill set, and introduce connections to the PC's backstory more easily.

I tend to put little or no combat in solo sessions. It would suck to have a PC die off on their own. I did have one quite good solo session where the PC actually got captured, but an NPC he was with escaped. The next group session became a rescue mission, and the player played the NPC, which gave the player an opportunity to try a different class for a session, and the other party members an opportunity to get to know that NPC.

If you can't work in the time for in-person solo sessions, conduct them via email or similar. This works out well for people who are okay at writing, because you're basically just writing bits of story back and forth at each other with occasional skill checks or saves.

Doing this takes a fair bit of time. But it really pays off in terms of character development and connection with the world.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I initially introduced Shalelu (as suggested by someone on these forums) when the group chose to trail a group of goblins out of Sandpoint and discovered them cooking a wagon driver and his horse. While they were easily dispatching the goblins Brathazmus (scaring the pants off the group) arrived who was in turn being tracked by her.

She saved their lives from the Bugbear while they mopped up the goblins.

Later while running around the countryside investigating the goblins she was captured and ended up held at Thistletop / saved by the group.

In book 2 Shalelu was part of a side group that included Ameiko and a number of other Sandpoint regulars who were cleaning up the still lingering haunt at the Manor when they discovered skinsaw cultists who were gathering the fungus from the basement to be exported to other adventure paths. This side group arrived in Magnimar to stop Justice Ironbriar from escaping and clear the group's name (who were being held in the Hells for their possible connection to the death of the cultists at the lumber mill).

Afterward Shalelu followed the group to Fort Rannick where she had a contentious reunion with her father and found herself smitten with Orik, who had been sentenced to a life as a black arrow for his part in book 1. That was the last time the group saw her.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am just about to start Book 3 and am curious as to what I should do with Shalelu. My PCs already have an archery focused ranger in their group, and I would rather not have Shalelu steal his thunder. I do, however, like Shalelu as a character and would like to develop her more. What do you recommend I do?


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Shalelu has and continues to play an important part in our Shattered Star/Runelords campaign. She first met the PC's in Sandpoint when she brought them news of the goblin activity in the area, and spent the evening drinking with Ameiko and a couple of the PC sharing adventuring stories. She then accompanied the group to Thistletop and was useful (no ranged threat or tracker in the group). The nemesis angle with Bruthazmus was played up and when Bruthazmus fled the battle below, she pursued, playing a game of cat-and-mouse with him throughout the fortress while the group dealt with Nualia. Bruthazmus made his escape by cutting the bridge behind him. Once the group navigated their return to shore, Shalelu gave them a message to Ameiko and departed, eager to track down the fiend before his trail went cold.

Later, after portions of the Skinsaw Murders, Ameiko began to grow worried that Shalelu hadn't returned by the winter snows as she was wont to do. I made a point of emphasizing the intimacy between the two women, like sisters if not more. When the group was contacted by the druids whom had taken up residence at Thistletop that they had discovered Shalelu had been taken captive by a band of hobgoblins, it was all they could do to keep Ameiko from packing up and riding to her rescue. Instead they went after her and found the hobgoblins holed up in a stronghold known as Raven's Roost; they laid siege to it, defeating the hobgoblins, Bruthazmus and his Ettin henchman and were able to rescue Shalelu. She was in terrible shape - Bruthazmus had her bound to a post, starved and exposed to the elements, and had been using her for target practice, forcing the hobgoblin shaman to heal her when her wounds became too great. She was traumatized and hadn't fully recovered when she was returned to Thistletop.

The group left her in the Druid's care with Ameiko making periodic trips to visit her. From there they went on to run through The Curse of the Lady's Light and a modified Seven Days to the Grave before rejoining with Shalelu en route to Turtleback Ferry and the Hook Mountain Massacre. By then one of the PC's and Ameiko had become very close, and Ameiko bade her friend to look after her new paramour. This involved a bit more hands on than he realized, as she dismissed his refusal of her advances by saying 'Do you really think you're the first man we've shared', later adding, 'though if she has her way you just might be the last.'

After the Hook Mountain Massacre and the revelations of her father, Shalelu returned to defend Sandpoint from the giant raid (a much larger affair than was originally written into the books) and, in the aftermath of that attack and the death and destruction that had been wrought, joy was found anew as the PC, Ameiko and Shalelu were married, following a traditional elven arrangement which recognizes poly relationships. Shalelu would then return to Fort Rannick to help rebuild the Black Arrows while Ameiko would be elected Mayor to replace Mayor Deverin... the three remained in contact with a set of magical bracers which let each know the distance and direction of the others, as well as their general well-being, and once a week allowed the use of a collective Dream spell.


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Cesare wrote:
I am just about to start Book 3 and am curious as to what I should do with Shalelu. My PCs already have an archery focused ranger in their group, and I would rather not have Shalelu steal his thunder. I do, however, like Shalelu as a character and would like to develop her more. What do you recommend I do?

How well do they know her? She could easily have been rebuilt as a Druid or given an Elven Curve Blade and built as a two-handed ranger...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or re-built as a Hunter (from ACG).


Cesare wrote:
I am just about to start Book 3 and am curious as to what I should do with Shalelu. My PCs already have an archery focused ranger in their group, and I would rather not have Shalelu steal his thunder. I do, however, like Shalelu as a character and would like to develop her more. What do you recommend I do?

Another item to consider...

Spoiler:

The AP provides another NPC expected to join the party who is an even better archery focused ranger - Jakardros. He's an 8th level ranger while Shalelu is 2nd level fighter/4th level ranger. So if your concerned about Shalelu showing up the pc, that's only the beginning of your difficulty.

If you're concerned about how your players will perceive her, that suggests they are more interested in the combat/character ability aspect of play than the story-telling, character aspects (and nothing wrong with that.) So your interest in her as a character/story-telling feature may not be shared by your players. If an NPC with an interesting back-story, role-playing aspect is something your players will think is cool, skill/power duplication is unlikely to matter too much.

And given what's in Book 3, you could make the argument that your pc's could use all the help they can get.

The Exchange

How we handled Shalelu at

Hook MT:

Our GM found it easy to have Shalelu and Jakardros hang around to defend Turtleback as Jakardros recovered from his ordeal in the hands of the orgekin. This allowed us to continue to interact with both but not have them show us up in any way during the combat sequences.

We have a party of 6 PCs and a cohort, so having the back story NPCs stay back and wait for story interaction and role play worked well for us.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If the PC in question is really archery focused, then I wouldn't worry about Shalelu showing him up. Shalelu's build is story-focused, and isn't particularly optimized. Jakardros' is better, and more of a mechanical concern.

In any case, I only had Shalelu, Jakardros and Vale helping the PCs take back Fort Rannick and assaulting Hook Mountain, and Shalelu herself was present at the Graul Farmstead. Everything else in Book 3 the PCs did themselves.

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