Curse of the Crimson Throne

Secrets Revealed

While recovering from recent events in Flamford several Burn Riders approached the PCs to inform them that the shaman requests their presence in his tent. The Sun Shaman waited there alone to speak with the PCs. Once they arrived, he congratulated them again on shedding their outlander status to become Sklar-Quah before inviting them to be seated around his personal fire.

The Sun Shaman’s tale was relatively short. He told of how, hundreds of years ago, one of his own ancestors was called to join a righteous cause. A man named Mandraivus, a hero from a distant nation, was gathering a small group of warriors to aid in a fight against a despotic dragon named Kazavon, and the Sun Shaman’s ancestor joined this crusade. He was gone for months, and when he finally returned he was not the same man—his hands shook, his eyes carried a haunted stare, and he cried out in fear at night. He spoke little of what he saw while serving Mandraivus, but did say that they were successful in defeating Kazavon, and that the fortress of Scarwall was now under Mandraivus’s control. He was convinced it would remain impotent as long as the hero managed to maintain a hold on it.

While Kazavon had been defeated, his will to live was so immense that even the remains of his body twitched. The cabal had attempted to destroy the remains, but many fragments of the dragon’s skeleton resisted even their most destructive spells. Mandraivus tasked seven of his surviving followers (which the Sun Shaman’s ancestor counted himself among) each with claiming one of the bony relics of Kazavon’s body and ordered them taken from Scarwall. None of the seven would communicate where they were going to the others or to Mandraivus, and they were to ensure that their chosen relics would remain hidden and guarded for all time in order to prevent the dragon from returning to life.

The Sun Shaman’s ancestor told this story to his fellow shamans, and revealed that his chosen relic was the dragon’s fangs. The Shoanti took to calling them the Midnight Fangs, and they chose the ancient pyramid on the shores of Conquerer’s Bay as their reliquary. After hiding the fangs in a secret room deep inside the pyramid, they took to the task of ensuring that the fangs remained safe. For generations, they maintained their task—until Cheliax invaded and slaughtered the Shoanti. Those few who survived and knew the secret of the fangs were forced to flee with their kin into the Cinderlands. For the next three centuries the knowledge was passed from Sun Shaman to Sun Shaman, and they watched with fearful eyes as the city of Korvosa grew around their ancient reliquary.

That Queen Ileosa has discovered the Midnight Fangs and somehow tapped into their latent power troubles the Sun Shaman greatly, for he knows something of the Fangs’ power. During the time they were guarded, Shoanti shamans studied the fangs and communed with the spirit world about them. They discovered that a fragment of Kazavon’s soul remained lodged within the fangs. While this fragment alone wasn’t enough to work ill upon the world, it could certainly invade the dreams of those who touched them. The Sun Shamans were stubborn and willful, more than a match for the fangs’ temptations and promises, but a weaker mind—say, that of a petty young queen—would have no such defense.

The Sun Shaman goes on to explain that the fragments of Kazavon’s soul are like a plant—once they find suitable soil in which to grow, they can bloom into a mighty tree. This appears to be the case with Ileosa—her own cruelty and strength have been enhanced greatly by the fangs. Worse, she now possesses two souls—her own, and one grown from the fragment of Kazavon’s. Two souls in one body, the Sun Shaman muses, would grant her incredible power over her own mortality. The PCs described to him the events of the failed assassination during “Escape from Old Korvosa,” he merely noded grimly.

At this point, the Sun Shaman suggests the PCs take part in a ritual called the Blessing of the Ancestors. This is a rare ritual the Shoanti use only in times of great change—it calls upon a soul from the spirit world to seek guidance and advice on how to proceed. Typically, the Blessing of the Ancestors is used before making the decision to go to war on another tribe, or to abandon a long-held campsite in hopes of finding a better home, but this situation warrants the ritual as well.

The Sun Shaman asked the PCs if there is a particular spirit or ancestor with whom they have a particularly strong link—the stronger the link, the more exacting the advice granted by the Blessing of the Ancestors becomes. Henric realized there was one in particular with whom the PCs have become quite closely tied—Zellara, the Varisian Harrower.

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