The Vancaskerkins


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


8 people marked this as a favorite.

What started as a little pet project for the Return of the Runelords game I'm in has blossomed into this.
So with encouragement from my GM and fellow players, I sheepishly present my spoiler-free findings on what is, undoubtedly, my favourite series of NPCS:

The Vancaskerkin Family


This is just awesome.


that's great, thanks for sharing this.

:)

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very fun. One thing - did you consider the time line? That might help sort out the Reginald theory?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is really delightful - hope you enjoy Return of the Runelords - it turned out to be my favorite AP run (or campaign) ever!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you very much everyone, it was a lot of fun to make.

Yakman wrote:
Very fun. One thing - did you consider the time line? That might help sort out the Reginald theory?

Yeah, I'm pretty positive the Second Theory is correct - that is to say, Reginald is Lullaby's older brother.

I just felt I needed to acknowledge the obvious connection one might make between Reginald in Absalom, and Lullaby's blurb mentioning their father at the Isle of Kortos. But, of course, the timeline just doesn't support Reggie being the father: Lullaby left home when her parents split, and Reginald left for Absalom when he was a teenager. In world, there is only a 2 year difference between the settings of Return of the Runelords and Agents of Edgewatch, and their artworks don't show a very big age gap at all. The timeline just doesn't match up, no matter which way you look at it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is incredible, untanglinging this made me realise why nobody would want to be kin to a Vancasker :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Early in the process for us switching over to 2nd edition, I drew out a family tree for the Vancaskerkins since I knew there was a tradition there and that I wanted there to be a new group of "2nd edition Vancaskerikins" to play with... but I was moved off the Adventure Path line after doing Age of Ashes to develop Bestiary 2 and then spent a few years working on Kingmaker... so I suspect that a big part of the reason Reginald was as awkward as he was in the family tree is a simple lack of communication and shared institutional knowledge; he was the first Vancaskerkin to show up in a product I didn't develop.

Anyway... I don't really have a way to easily link my hand-drawn Vancaskerkin family tree here, so I'll do my best to write out how the pre-Reginald Vancaskerkin family looked:

Spoiler:
First Generation: This is an unnamed "Pa and Ma Vancaskerkin." We don't have names for them or any information about their siblings or ancestry, other than that they had 3 children.

Second Generation: The 3 children of "Pa and Ma" are Saul, Daemon, and an unnamed brother whose first name in my notes starts with a J.
Damon never married and went off to the Worldwound to do his own thing.
Saul married Adreea Valitrosa, and they had one child: Natalya.
J. Vancaskerkin married an unnamed woman (in my notes "Jane Vancaskerkin"), and they had a few kids: Lullaby and at least two other brothers but no sisters.
At some point, J. Vancaskerkin and his wife Jane split up, and then Saul swooped in and married Jane. Saul and Jane had 2 children: Orik and then Verik.
Jane Vancaskerkin dies at some point after Verik is born.
Saul marries a 3rd wife, Bertrida, but they have no children.
J. Vancaskerkin moves to Absalom and marries an unnamed 2nd wife and their children were scheduled to become the "2nd Edition Vancaskerkins" to fit with 2nd edition's initial push to spend a few years in and around Absalom, so Reginald would fit in here best, although I don't know off the top of my head if his age would let that happen.

Third Generation: In order of birth to Saul and his first two wives: Natalya, Orik, Verik
In order of birth for his brother and wives: Lullaby, at least two other brothers, and then all of the "2nd edition Vancaskerkins."

Anyway... thanks for sharing your untangling and theories about the Vancaskerkins! It's not canon yet, since we haven't done anything else with the Vancaskerkins yet, but at this point, your 2nd theory about Reginald being Lullaby's half-brother makes the most sense to me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

5 people marked this as a favorite.

The whole Vancaskerkin legacy, by the way, was an accident. A happy one, but an accident.

I made up Orik in the first Pathfinder adventure, "Burnt Offerings."

When Nick Logue wrote the first adventure for the second adventure path, I asked him to put in some links to the first one to help make Korvosa feel like it was in the same world as Sandpoint and Magnimar, and it was his idea to bring in Verik.

By the time we were doing Second Darkness, the 3rd Adventure Path, I was delighted with the idea of there being a throughline through ALL of the adventure paths in the form of the Vancaskerkins, so I put Saul into the outline for that one and worked with Greg Vaughan to detail his role in the world.

But after that, we moved on to Garund with Legacy of Fire and working a Vancaskerkin in was a bit tricky, so the "one per Adventure Path" goal turned into a "One per Adventure Path set in Varisia" goal. With the exception of Hell's Rebels having a bonus Vancaskerkin as a nod to the fact that this was a celebration of the past 100 volumes, so it made sense to have one of them show up.

Liberty's Edge

Here's hoping for a family reunion in #200.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Raven Black wrote:
Here's hoping for a family reunion in #200.

From the office of expectation management... nope. There's no Vancaskerkins in "Seven Dooms for Sandpoint." I considered at one point finding a way to fit one of them in, maybe even having a previous one show up in a cameo, but the storyline didn't make sense for it and there wasn't really room to squeeze them in. There's PLENTY of other nostalgia in there though!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You do gotta love family of "man I screwed over myself really hard huh" :'D


James Jacobs wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Here's hoping for a family reunion in #200.
From the office of expectation management... nope. There's no Vancaskerkins in "Seven Dooms for Sandpoint." I considered at one point finding a way to fit one of them in, maybe even having a previous one show up in a cameo, but the storyline didn't make sense for it and there wasn't really room to squeeze them in. There's PLENTY of other nostalgia in there though!

Can you bring back the Vancaskerkins and Norgorberites in a future AP?

I always liked the idea of Reginald being so close to his family despite the distance is due to their shared religion.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CastleDour wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Here's hoping for a family reunion in #200.
From the office of expectation management... nope. There's no Vancaskerkins in "Seven Dooms for Sandpoint." I considered at one point finding a way to fit one of them in, maybe even having a previous one show up in a cameo, but the storyline didn't make sense for it and there wasn't really room to squeeze them in. There's PLENTY of other nostalgia in there though!

Can you bring back the Vancaskerkins and Norgorberites in a future AP?

I always liked the idea of Reginald being so close to his family despite the distance is due to their shared religion.

Vancaskerkins: Yeah, I suspect so, but we've cureently got plans for Adventure Paths mostly locked in through 2025 and none of them seem particularly Vancaskerkin-logical. We'll see.

Nogorberites: Absolutely and significantly and a lot sooner than the Vancaskerkins.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:

...

Nogorberites: Absolutely and significantly and a lot sooner than the Vancaskerkins.

Norgorberites?

Now I feel that I haven't been paying as much attention to the AP NPCs as I should have been.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bellona wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

...

Nogorberites: Absolutely and significantly and a lot sooner than the Vancaskerkins.

Norgorberites?

Now I feel that I haven't been paying as much attention to the AP NPCs as I should have been.

God of Secrets gonna be tricksy like that.


James, I wish to ask you several questions regarding Vancaskerkins.

1. According to Secrets of Roderic's Cove, Lullaby Vancaskerkin is the daughter of Saul's brother. And according to A Song of Silver, Damon is the younger brother to Saul Vancaskerkin by 5 years. It has not been mentioned anywhere that Saul has siblings other than Damon. Does that mean Damon is Lullaby's father?

2. Can you tell me the birth years of Saul, Damon, Natalya, Orik, Verik, and Lullaby?

3. Among the Vancaskerkins, who are officially considered dead by Paizo? I mean, while players can choose which NPCs live or die, there certainly is a "canon history" made by Paizo right? For example, while some players can choose to make peace with Karzoug, Xin, or Alaznist, according to Paizo's official history they were killed by the PCs.

4. How do you pronounce the following names?
Vancaskerkin
Saul
Damon
Natalya
Orik
Verik
Lullaby

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aenigma wrote:

James, I wish to ask you several questions regarding Vancaskerkins.

1. According to Secrets of Roderic's Cove, Lullaby Vancaskerkin is the daughter of Saul's brother. And according to A Song of Silver, Damon is the younger brother to Saul Vancaskerkin by 5 years. It has not been mentioned anywhere that Saul has siblings other than Damon. Does that mean Damon is Lullaby's father?

2. Can you tell me the birth years of Saul, Damon, Natalya, Orik, Verik, and Lullaby?

3. Among the Vancaskerkins, who are officially considered dead by Paizo? I mean, while players can choose which NPCs live or die, there certainly is a "canon history" made by Paizo right? For example, while some players can choose to make peace with Karzoug, Xin, or Alaznist, according to Paizo's official history they were killed by the PCs.

4. How do you pronounce the following names?
Vancaskerkin
Saul
Damon
Natalya
Orik
Verik
Lullaby

1) It does not mean that. Saul has two brothers, one of them is unnamed. Lullaby is the daughter of the unnamed brother.

2) I almost never bother with exact ages or birth years for NPCs, so no I can't tell you this.

3) None of the mare officially considered dead yet, since we haven't yet done an adventure in which a previously established Vancaskerkin plays a role and are unlikely to do so, since that's not the way we do things with the Vancaskerkins. (Other than non-appearing in adventure NPCs we say are dead already, but I suspect those aren't who you're asking about.)

4) van-CASK-ker-kin
SOL
DAY-mon
nah-TALL-yah
ORE-ick
VAIR-ick
LUH-lah-bye

(Note that Saul, Damon, Natalya, and Lullaby are all real-world names or words so they're pronounced the same way.)


Saul has another brother? Has it ever been mentioned in a previous book? I have never even heard it. Is he still alive? The PCs should have met him in one of the initial adventure paths that take place in Absalom!

Anyway, can you at least tell me that among Saul, Damon, and the unnamed man whose name starts with a J according to your post above (perhaps James?) who is the oldest and who is the youngest?

I just found out that, in Secrets of Roderic's Cove, it is mentioned that "when her parents split up as her mother abandoned her father for her uncle." Not sure if I understood it correctly, but does that mean Lullaby's mother committed adultery with her brother-in-law, even before her divorce? Perhaps this adultery was the reason for Lullaby's parents to divorce? I didn't know Saul and his second wife are so evil!

Can I assume that, ethnically, the Vancaskerkins are Varisians?


James Jacobs wrote:

Early in the process for us switching over to 2nd edition, I drew out a family tree for the Vancaskerkins since I knew there was a tradition there and that I wanted there to be a new group of "2nd edition Vancaskerikins" to play with... but I was moved off the Adventure Path line after doing Age of Ashes to develop Bestiary 2 and then spent a few years working on Kingmaker... so I suspect that a big part of the reason Reginald was as awkward as he was in the family tree is a simple lack of communication and shared institutional knowledge; he was the first Vancaskerkin to show up in a product I didn't develop.

Anyway... I don't really have a way to easily link my hand-drawn Vancaskerkin family tree here, so I'll do my best to write out how the pre-Reginald Vancaskerkin family looked:

** spoiler omitted **...

Oh my god, thank you so much for sharing! I feel pretty good seeing how much of what I worked out lined up with your original plans.

Accident or not, I for one am very happy you (and the team) added those rascals, Thank you!
Also if you could pass my thanks to whoever came up with Reginald, that dubious muckraker is my favourite ♡

James Jacobs wrote:
J. Vancaskerkin married an unnamed woman (in my notes "Jane Vancaskerkin"), and they had a few kids: Lullaby and at least two other brothers but no sisters.

The hilarious part about reading this for me is the ongoing joke in our current Return of the Runelords campaign is that Lullaby keeps teasingly referring to my character, Claude Vancaskerkin, as "little brother" despite him being older; In our game, she's actually the youngest with Reginald being the eldest. Amusing to know in another timeline somewhere, she's actually right.

Funfact: My boy is getting leadership next level with Lullaby as his cohort. I delightfully look forward to Lullaby to continue bullying her brother regardless of who is actually in charge.

Aenigma wrote:
Saul has another brother? Has it ever been mentioned in a previous book?

It's not stated outright, but it's heavily implied. As explained in the document at the beginning of this thread:

- Damon never married or had kids, and generally speaking has lived a pretty neutral life. (as a guardsman for caravans)
- Lullaby's entry states her father had an equally shady legacy to Saul, who we know was a pretty bad dude as a crime boss.
Ergo; there must be a third brother.

Aenigma wrote:
Can I assume that, ethnically, the Vancaskerkins are Varisians?

The Vancaskerkin's all hail from Varisia, but ethnically they appear to be Chelish in descent. Natalya is the only (half) Varisian in the family that is currently known.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aenigma wrote:

Saul has another brother? Has it ever been mentioned in a previous book? I have never even heard it. Is he still alive? The PCs should have met him in one of the initial adventure paths that take place in Absalom!

Anyway, can you at least tell me that among Saul, Damon, and the unnamed man whose name starts with a J according to your post above (perhaps James?) who is the oldest and who is the youngest?

I just found out that, in Secrets of Roderic's Cove, it is mentioned that "when her parents split up as her mother abandoned her father for her uncle." Not sure if I understood it correctly, but does that mean Lullaby's mother committed adultery with her brother-in-law, even before her divorce? Perhaps this adultery was the reason for Lullaby's parents to divorce? I didn't know Saul and his second wife are so evil!

Can I assume that, ethnically, the Vancaskerkins are Varisians?

Saul has 2 brothers. At least. When and if we do more with them in print we'll drop more clues... this thread's not the place for me to make up new names and stuff like that; sorry.

Some of the Vancaskerkins are Varisian, but not all of their spouses are; also don't have that worked out exactly yet so not much more to say there either.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / General Discussion / The Vancaskerkins All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in General Discussion