Taldan Paraphernalia is a collection of relics in Pathfinder: Kingmaker.
Storyteller's Reward[edit | edit source]
10000 gold coins, 1500 experience
Their Story[edit | edit source]
This is the story of the collection, as told by the Storyteller:
"I hear hooves clattering, wheels creaking. I smell the smoke of campfires. Wind kisses my face gently, and rain washes it with tears from the sky... We are on a road, heading north. We are on our way to the no-man's-land beyond the edge of the map, which promises a home to those who do not shy away from adventure. Those lands are where we will find our freedom and prosperity."
"I'm Jaxine Trestrin, from the Tandak Plains – the hearts of the great Taldan empire. My family is old, but not rich – my inheritance as the youngest daughter barely covered the horses, cart, and supplies for this trip. But who cares? My real inheritance was a sharp mind and strong hands ready for hard work. My children will know riches that my ancestor could hardly dream of!"
"A thousand years ago, on the emperor's orders, the Fifth Army of Exploration mapped the region around the great Sellen River – endless miles of plains, hills, woods, and swamps. My ancestor served in this army, and his diary mentions a particular cave filled with wonderful gemstones, floor to ceiling! The army turned back, leaving the gems unclaimed for centuries... But now they'll be mine! Onward!"
- "Why did the army leave the gems untouched?"
- "It's a real mystery. My ancestor spared no words describing the beauty and riches of the cave, even described how to find it, but he didn't explain why the army had left such treasure behind. Maybe that part of the diary was lost? Well, even more interesting, then! Maybe we'll get to shed some light on this ancient mystery!"
- "What will you do when you find the mine?"
- "Isn't it obvious? I'll claim the land where the cave is located as my own property and a part of the Taldan empire! Then, if anyone tries to take it from me, they'll have to deal with not just me, but the imperial army as well!"
- "Why do you think the gems are still there a thousand years later?"
- "Of course, so much time has passed, a lot could have changed... But there are still no big cities in those wildlands to this day. If someone were mining gemstones there, I think we'd have heard about it by now!"
"We reached the area described in my ancestor's diary. The locals from the tiny villages scattered in the area call this region the Kamelands. It's a strange, eerie place – what we originally took for hills as we passed through turned out to be ancient mounds, where you might find the buried bodies of unbelievably ancient creatures, older even than Earthfall... That gemstone cave must be around here somewhere."
"After a long and difficult search, fortune finally smiled on us – albeit a wry, cunning smile. Among the hills, we caught a bunch of kobolds, all dressed up like nobles at some celebration. Their filthy, scaly bodies were decorated with shining gemstones, and their leader proudly wore an ancient Taldan kneepad on his head. Their interrogation didn't last long – after decapitating one of them, the others almost fell over themselves to tell us where they found their ornaments."
"The cave proved to be even more gorgeous than I'd imagined as I read my ancestor's diary – it was a huge hall, shining with gems of all colors and hues. We didn't have any problem evicting the kobolds – once we'd killed half their tribe, the other half just fled. Apparently wanting the last word, an old kobold – their chieftain, maybe, or a shaman – shook his tiny fist at us and yelled a curse. I just laughed and threw a torch at him, and he disappeared. I had won – the gems of the Fifth Army were mine!"
- "What exactly did the old kobold yell?"
- "He yelled that they would go, but that we would stay forever. What a curse! Oh, no! I was already going to claim the lands anyway!"
- "Did you try exploring the mounds?"
- "We did. My best scout noticed an obviously artificially entrance into one of the mounds. He and a small team went in to explore it. Several hours later, a dense smoke rushed out of the mound, it began to rumble, and then it exploded! All that remained was a smoldering crater. We didn't risk fooling around with any ancient legacies after that, and later, we had enough of our own trouble to worry about."
"Inside, we found ancient girders supporting the walls and rusty tools scattered around. These were also graves – several of which had been opened by the kobolds – with pieces pieces of ancient Taldan armor in them. It seems some ancient people had been mining gems here after all. Unfortunately, we had no way to find out what happened to them, so I declared the mine my property and we began our own work."
"A small town quickly grew up around the mine. First it was just locals, then people started traveling from afar. Miners, bards, brewers, priests – and, of course, traders of all kinds. Taldor sent a squad of soldiers to guard the new imperial mine and trade routes, as well."
"My lands prospered... Too bad it didn't last long. It took us less than a year to discover what happened to the mine's previous owners and why it had been abandoned."
- "What did you do with the exhumed remains?"
- "We reburied them honorably. They became the first residents of our small new cemetery – which we had to expand considerably not long after."
"Things were going great, but then rumor of an epidemic started spreading through the town. I did my best to reassure the locals, though by that time I knew better than anyone that gray stains on the skin along with nosebleeds was essentially a death sentence. The miner's previous owners didn't just leave – they died out from ash leprosy. We were infected when we explored their graves. The best clerics and healers our money could buy all said the same thing – the disease wasn't curable."
"I still held hope that if I bought enough time we could find a cure, but news of the epidemic reached the imperial army. They were ordered to quarantine the entire area, and our guardians became our jailers overnight. The settlement was sealed off by a triple cordon of guards. We continued mining gemstones like before, but the traders took advantage of our situation and raised their prices. People were dying, but the town lived on as the empire kept sending a new workforce for us – branded criminals."
"Thanks to the efforts of our healers, I lived longer than many others, but soon I didn't even dare leave my house – it seemed not a single person in the settlement didn't wish me dead. I died alone, slowly rotting alive, surrounded by treasure beyond measure – a leper queen of a doomed kingdom. My last thought was of how funny the kobold's curse had seemed – and how quickly it had come true."
- "Tell me more about this disease. Could it cause a new epidemic among my subjects?"
- "No, no. Worry not. Ash leprosy may have been incurable in Jaxine's time, but the Taldans eradicated it completely centuries ago. Besides, it is impossible that any trace remains of the leprosarium that surrounded the mine so long ago."
- "What happened to the city after Jaxine died?"
- "The mine was inherited by her family. The colony of lepers continued mining gemstones for many years, until the mine was depleted. Once the mine was done, the town slowly died out. Once the last leper had died, the empire sent a group of clerics and wizards to the site, and they used prayers and spells to reduce the infected town to safe ashes and collapse the entrance to the depleted mine."
- "One and a half thousand years have passed since then. No one even remembers a colony existed there anymore. As for the mine, it can probably still be found in the Kamelands, but there are no longer any treasures there to claim."