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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?

The Heroes of Sandpoint

The Heroes of SandpointThe town of Sandpoint was celebrating the Swallowtail Festival, holy day of Desna. Commemorating the newly finished temple. The sun was high in the air when the first explosion rang out. Goblins! A horde of them filling the streets. Men and women fled from the bloody mess. Chaos in the streets!

Then six heroes emerged from the chaos to fight the horde: the Lady Saitylvaness Sylvari the Knight of Stars who’s grace was only matched by her speed with a sword. The brooding Aegon Skye of the Black Tree, ranger, mage and hurricane of steel. Gozzik the Giantsbane, Mighty halfling tribesman of the the Shoanti tribe. Veritas Sin’ar! Aesthetic in the Way of Blood! A six-armed demon on the battlefield! Jan of Lover’s Lane! Powerful warrior and loyal friend. And Brego Longdon, the Red Minstrel!


Brego hurriedly scribbled away at the last line. Grumbling to himself he wrote ‘Tom o’ the Six Strings’ beside it. He was getting very tired of turning the spotlight away from himself. He stared at the names and epithets. Good enough descriptors. He felt Jan's needed work. She was too calm, too perfect, too fake. Her mask made it hard to write about her in detail, he couldn't say much without either plain guessing or worse, telling a truth about her. But he had to give her credit, she kept her mask on well, Brego's had been slipping more and more lately. Just another reason he couldn't stay... With a tired sigh he continued...

The Heroes of Sandpoint... The battle raged as the Heroes battled in front of the White Deer. The Goblins had been cowed thanks to some very excellent and completely under-appreciated a clever illusion from the bard Tom o' the Six Strings. The remaining Heroes descended on the Goblins like a flood of steel and death. The Goblin commander and shaman provided special trouble however. The Commander used his vile horse chopper and slashed down the fair Jan. Luckily with the speedy intervention of Saitylvaness and Brego... Tom o' the... Aegon they were able to prevent the untimely demise of the warrior. But not without them bickering over who's fault it was that she was overwhelmed. Harsh words hiding a kindling romance


Brego grimaced as he wrote. Gregori had taught him many things for good or ill, but clearly writing a story had not been one of them. Given how much pride he had in his music he felt like his writing was abhorrently bad. Besides what did he know about writing a romance? A real one anyway. Especially when the two people in question seemed to not understand it themselves, let alone their own motivations.

Saitylvaness was a beautiful, prideful, tender and fickle woman. But she seemed genuine, at least at a glance anyway. It made her unique among the group by Brego's estimation. He was sure she had her secrets to be certain, but she didn't allow them to hang over her like a dark cloud. Unlike some others in the merry band.

Aegon was the dark brooding type, another member of the merry band with a secret. He was more obvious about it than Jan but had a nice shiny sharp sword to dissuade people from asking too many questions. Still, he'd proven reliable enough, if a bit quick on the draw.

Brego smirked, maybe that's what Sai objected to. If Aegon was quick on the draw in combat, maybe he was in other areas as well.

That thought made him laugh aloud followed by a wave of sadness. He didn't want to leave these people, but he couldn't see another way around it. He was getting too close to them, between that and the Lady Fawkes he was bound to slip up soon.

The Heroes of Sandpoint


..... The Heroes rescued Ameiko from her bonds and fought her brother the foul Tsuto and his demonic servants. The battle was hard fought and the villain opted to take his own life rather than be taken into the authorities. With the fair damsel rescued Ameiko liberated, the heroes descended further into the catacombs seeking out the source of a vile sinspawn they encountered. What they found instead was a twisted demon that worshiped the Mother of Monsters, Lamashtu. Erylium summoned foul sinspawn and foul misshapen goblins to her side as she confirmed the suspicions about Nualia she tried to kill the erstwhile heroes. The battle was long and hard fought with an enraged Gozzik landing the final blow to the foul creature.

With the demon laid to rest, the Heroes made their preparations to go to the fortress of Thistletop. Where many goblins, Nuala and alas Tom would meet their end...


Brego laid down his ink and quill, staring at the parchment. He couldn't be sure if he was going to do it, let alone how. It was entirely possible that he might die there anyhow, faking his death might be unnecessary. That would be considerate of the goblins to save him all that work... He smiled and shook his head “We’ll have to see how it the tale plays out….” he said moving the parchment to over a nearby candle, setting it alight.





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