Thursday, October 6, 2011


There are not many cold-dwelling creatures in the role-playing, and even fewer cold-dwelling humanoids (one reason the yetis in the first Bestiary are such a welcome sight).  Chardas are another such race, though they typically dwell deep underground.  Their origins are intriguing—so small, yet so tough, and four-armed to boot—as is their xenophobia and their sense of honor—fiercely proud, independent, not evilly aligned, yet seeing no harm in cannibalism or infanticide.  Their dome villages, then, must be places of Darwinian jockeying for place and power—a fact adventurers could use against them.

Ilmaluk ice fishers are disappearing.  Traditionally they hunt seals and gurry sharks, spearing them through holes they carve in the ice.  It is to be expected that one or two lose their lives to storms or polar bears every season, but this spate of disappearances and rumors of “strange black not-men” portend a new threat.

A man dies in a Redchapel pub clutching a bottle of black bile.  When the Watch turn it over to Redchapel’s only alchemist, he can tell them nothing about it or the dead stranger.  But he declares the bile the find of a century, and recruits adventurers to bottle him more.  The trail leads to a caravan track, a cave of troglodytes, a cave tuned like a klavier, and an icy underground vault where hateful chardas hunt in loosely organized gangs.

A sect of charda oracles claim their goddess of cold, Urzka, has born a successor goddess, Il-Repesh, to replace her, calving the new deity from her own body like an ice shelf collapsing into an iceberg.  Urzka’s established clerics and inquisitors are having none of it, accusing the oracles of heterodoxy.  They name druids their enemy as well, an act of overreach that has charda society split.  Charda tribes in the North are thus splitting apart at the seams.  Whether or not civil war is declared, all this religious fervor demands sacrifices, a fact the nearby human and gnome populations will find out all too soon.

Pathfinder Bestiary 2 55

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