A Minstrel's Tale: Legends of Varisia

   
A Minstrel's Tale: Legends of Varisia

The Sandpoint Devil

Brego had not yet gotten used to the countryside of Varisia, the people were different to say the least. They never seemed to appreciate Opera or other high forms of entertainment, but instead preferred low brow humor, jaunty tunes and stories. His time working at a tavern had supplied him with plenty though he often had to reach back into his mind to complete them.

Brego had only left the City of Monuments for less than a week when he had come across a caravan that had stopped to take shelter from a storm. It appeared to be a family affair with the parents driving the horses, the older children set on watch while the younger ones tended to the minutia of the work. Bards traveling Varisia were a common sight and the caravan offered Brego shelter and food for the night in exchange for entertainment. The Minstrel could hardly say no, though he did still appear nervous when he did so.

He thought for a moment about what the group wanted to hear when the youngest, a girl named Lena piped up “Is it true caravans are hit by the...the... Sandpoint Devil?” she asked, looking somewhere between eager and terrified. The child wanted a scary story, it had been a long time since Brego had been called to do one of those

“Alright...but I should start in the beginning. There once was a beautiful princess named Serina. Serina’s beauty was such that she could have any man or woman she wanted, she was the toast of Varisia, and all loved her. But there were some that grew jealous. Serina’s beauty eventually drew the attention of even the Gods themselves, as well as the Demons of the Pit. The Demon Lord of the sky Pazuzu grew lustful of Serina and began to covet her, taking a human form to try and seduce the fair maiden. But Serina spurned his advances, seeing the evil for what he was. Pazuzu continued his efforts to try and woo Serina, each more desperate and each failing.”

“It was during one such attempt that Serina met the love of her life, a young knight named Alec. Alec had little to his name and was of low station, but was willing to defend Serina against the advances of her would be suitor, unaware of his true nature. The two slowly fell in love with eachother and became betrothed, much to Pazuzu’s lament...

“Now Pazuzu’s lust had not gone unnoticed by the other denizens of the deep. Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters, Pazuzu’s sister and lover grew envious and hated the young Varisian princess. Her envy turned to rage when Serina spurned her brother for a mere mortal. Such was her envy and rage that she summoned her powers and cursed Serina, cursed her to have a child like which Lamashtu and Pazuzu were never able to have

“It was the wedding night of Serina and Alec, the two were madly in love with eachother and began their life together in happiness and contentment. While he was not of high birth, Serina’s love for him made the people treat him as their own prince. The kingdom was at peace and the two were never happier. Understandably they could barely contain their excitement when they discovered that Serina was pregnant.


The two waited with excitement and anticipation, Serina hoped for a boy while Alec a girl. The King hoped for twins. None of them got what they hoped.

The time came for the child to be borne and Serina was whisked away to the finest mid-wives to help the birth along. Alec stood outside, pacing

When he finally went inside, he found his beloved wife dead.

The curse of Lamashtu had taken its course and instead of a healthy child, Serina had brought a demon into the world. The demon, once freed proceeded to tear its way through its mother and the midwives in a bid for freedom. The creature gave a fleeting look towards Alec before it flew off into the Varisian night.

Alec tried to find the beast that had slain his wife but he never could find more than a fleeting shadow. The beast is only seen when it wishes, and often appears on dark and stormy nights....like these.

The beast still hungers for the flesh of the innocent and those that bear a resemblance to its earthly mother. When travelers and hunters go missing mysteriously along the Lost Coast, you know its the Sandpoint Devil that got them.”



That night only Brego slept well

The Mushfens


The figure stumbled alone in the darkness, he was breathing heavily, and was injured, blood seeping form a wound. The undergrowth of 10,000 years slowing him down. This place was wild, far wilder than any place Brego had been before. It was dark and he was alone, he was finally alone. There was a moment of elation and a laugh before Brego tripped on a root, falling into the muck with an audible 'splat'.

The Mushfens...Gods how did I think this was a good idea. he thought, slowly pulling himself out of the muck. In truth he didn't intend to go further south, but indeed north, knowing that trying to cross the marsh to the city of Korvosa was a death sentence. Instead he intended to go north, towards the town of Sandpoint and then, after that, Riddleport. Riddleport was a great place to get lost in, everyone was a murderer there, he wouldn't stand out, save that he had only murdered one person, not several.

Brego briefly toyed with the idea of exploring the swamp, finding the Lady's Light, or the pyramid that was rumored to be buried deep in the swamp, but he knew better. This was not a tourist destination, and as he took off his boot to empty it of the sludge that had invaded it he remembered why.

=====

"Earthfall, Earthfall! This isn't hard. It is when the Starstone fell from the sky and destroyed ancient Azlant and Thassilon. The Mushfens that surround our fair city were created in the calamity as the seas rose to take the bloated empires. It ushered in the Age of Darkness, and all the other ages after it. The Chellax like to think themselves the inheritors of the Azlant empire, you must know its history to please their little fickle minds"


"Wait...The Inner Sea is a crater?"


"Yes! The Inner Sea, the Marshfens, the Lost Coast, all of it is the crater from the Starstone. By the gods you are thick... Your fat father didn't teach you history?"


=====

The Mushfens were dangerous, they had all manner of Marsh Giants, Boggards and Mobogo, but not Black Dragons, Gregori had explained that Dragons hated ancient Thassilon and stayed away from where they had once dwelled. Brego forgot the specifics of why, but he was grateful that he wouldn't be set of fire....drowned and beaten but not set of fire.

Brego did his best to clean himself up, washing off the mud and dried blood. He carefully tried to make sure his lute remained untarnished. He continued along the Yondabakari River looking for a likely area to ford it and get onto the Dry Way

Why would anyone willfully live in a swamp?





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