Fallen Warrior Paraphernalia
Fallen Warrior Paraphernalia is a collection of relics in Pathfinder: Kingmaker.
Storyteller's Reward[edit | edit source]
10000 gold coins, 1875 experience
Their Story[edit | edit source]
This is the story of the collection, as told by the Storyteller:
"I feel the damp cold of a dungeon... weapons clinking... I smell blood and soldiers' footcloth... There is a dull pain in my muscles... and a weariness, and endless weariness on the verge of desperation."
"I am a cyclops, a soldier of the Ninteenth 'Unbending' Legion of the Ghol-Gan empire. We travel the Darklands with the mission of clearing the middle levels of the southwest sector of serpentfolk. Over the course of the mission, we've lost a third of our contingent. Our rations run low, and our morale lower."
"I've heard several soldiers secretly tell each other they've lost any hope of returning home. But I stand strong. I'll endure whatever I must to return home alive, for the sake of my wife and child. But each new march, each new battle dims the thought that I'll ever see them again. I pray for the Sun's protection and guidance, but can the great luminary even hear me down here?"
- "Ghol-Gan? I thought the cyclops empire was called Koloran."
- "Koloran? Never heard of it." The Storyteller's face twitches, and his normal voice returns. "Koloran was founded by Ghol-Gan refugees several centuries later. As for why there were refugees at all... Well, we'll learn that soon enough." The Storyteller's face relaxes again as he returns to the story.
- "How long have you been on your mission?"
- "Cut off from the Sun and the Moon, we count time by daily marches. I've lost track completely. It feels like we've spent an eternity in this underground hell. Could it be that, when I return, my son will be a graying old man with sons of his own, and them sons themselves? ...No, I must avoid these venomous thoughts!"
- "Do you worship the sun?"
- "Yes, of course! Do you know what raises cyclopes above the animals and other two-legged savages? The cyclops face has one eye -- a single orb, just like the Sun in the sky during the day, or the Moon at night! We build majestic temples to praise the luminaries, and in return they reward us with prophetic visions. The lesser races may roam in the dark, but the cyclopes are capable of seeing truth!"
- "Why do you wage war against the serpentfolk?"
- "By the order of our empress, Zalekti Neverdoze. With her own hands, she destroyed their den near Garkotar and beheaded their leader! The Darklands will be ours soon. Maybe once we've purged it of serpentfolk we can find a way to bring some sunlight down here!"
"Our mission continues. We've lost half our contingent, but we still have no orders to turn back. The soldiers' desperation is becoming open indignation. If we were outside in this situation, I'm convinced half the unit would have deserted by now. But here we are, and there's nowhere to run."
"I listen to the soldiers talking, and I don't like what I hear. This underground hell has changed them. They don't look to the luminaries for help anymore. Rumor has it that some of them have secretly begun praying to the serpentfolk's gods. Worse than barbarism, this is pure insanity... But wasn't this mission itself insane, in hindsight?"
- "What beings do the serpentfolk worship?"
- "I don't know and I don't wish to! Who could possibly be worthy of worshipping in these fetid catacombs where sunlight can never reach? Devils or demons, if I had to guess. We've seen some of their unholy shrines, and they were enough to make even seasoned veterans sick. Flayed skins, bowls of blood and entrails, altars made of bones... And this done to their own kin, to other serpentfolk! I can't imagine what they'd do to their captives."
- "Did you kill many serpentfolk?"
- "I think so? I don't know the exact numbers. That filth doesn't practice honest combat. They move through secret passages to ambush us, attacking from behind, or above, or below. We've decimated many of their nests, but they still keep coming."
"The legion rebelled. An officer caught some of the soldiers offering sacrifice to the serpentfolk's gods, and he ordered them arrested and executed. But he had no idea how deep the contagion had spread. Many soldiers refused to follow his orders -- the groups stood facing each other, swords bared, loyalists against traitors... I should stand by my commanding officer, die beside him, as a loyal soldier to the empire. But I'm scared. Oh, Sun, I'm so scared! I don't want to die here, underground. I want to see my wife and son again!"
"I couldn't say a single word. I couldn't even move while they butchered our commanding officer and the soldiers who remained loyal to him. But that couldn't save me from what happened next -- they declared the slain as sacrifices to the serpentfolk's gods, and each of us had to taste the flesh of the sacrificed or share in their fate."
"Salty blood runs down my lips. I choke down slimy meat and clap my hands to my mouth to keep myself from puking. Sun and Moon can't help us here. And I... I raise my prayer to new gods. My legs won't hold me, so I kneel. And I feel them... I feel they're here. With me. They stand around me, their cold palms on my forehead. And my fear subsides. I'll return home. Isn't that what I was praying for?"
- "Won't you end up executed for treason?"
- "Not if they never learn of it. We all agreed on the story we'd tell our commanders when we returned. Our operation was successful. The legion suffered heavy losses. The commanding officer was killed in action, so the next in command took his place and ordered us to head back. We did. That's all."
- "Do you still sacrifice cyclopes?"
- "Just once or twice. Now we try to capture serpentfolk alive and sacrifice them instead. I've even developed a taste for snake meat. The underground gods turned away from that scum -- their new followers are far superior! Such power and glory these new gods can bring to the empire! We could even challenge Azlant itself!"
"Once on the upper levels, we rejoined the main force of our army. We reported the cleansing operation as a success. No one doubted our story of the officer's glorious death, not that I'm surprised. It seems our legion wasn't the only one to accept the protection of the underground gods. Some soldiers even pray to them openly, and our superiors turn a blind eye to it!"
"Finally, we make it back to the surface. I breathe fresh air deep into my lungs. Like a crimson eye, the huge ball of light glares down on me from the sky. I shut my eye, for I'm no longer used to sunlight. Tears run down my face... No matter. It's all right. I'll be home soon."
"I must thank the gods for my safe return. Maybe my son would make a good sacrifice?"
- "What happened to Ghol-Gan after that?"
- "As so often happens, while the serpentfolk may have lost the war with the cyclopes, they won victory over their souls. Soon, dark cults spread throughout the Ghol-Gan empire, replacing the traditional worship of celestial deities. Sacrifice of cyclopes, public tortures, and ritual cannibalism became commonplace. The empire began to decay."
- "How was Koloran founded?"
- "Seeing the empire dying, some cyclopes fled to what is now known as Iobaria. They hoped to preserve the culture of old Ghol-Gan, to build a new country free of the dark cults. But, as before, the contagion was already too deep -- Koloran proved to be just a lesser copy of Ghol-Gan. And then the Earthfall came. Skies have fallen down, ending the cyclopes' civilization, along with so many others."