Setting and Issues
Ruin Delvers is an exploration-focused campaign taking place in western Garund in and around the nation of Sargava. The characters are seasoned adventurers, beginning play at 4th level. It’s only a matter of time before they draw the attention of rivals; including the Aspis Consortium, whose influence has been growing in the region recently.
Because we’re using the Dungeon World XP system in Pathfinder, we ask ourselves the following questions at the end of each session. If I’ve done my job well, then we should be able to answer “Yes” almost every time!
- Did we learn something new and important about the world?
- Did we overcome a notable monster or enemy?
- Did we loot a memorable treasure?
Rita lived a sheltered life growing up in Westcrown. She attended a local school for wealthier residents where she was always very popular thanks in part to her half-elf heritage. People wanted to be seen with her, and she always got what she wanted.
Rita’s mother was an elf, whom she never knew. She was raised by her father and step-mother along with two younger brothers. Her father tried to instill a sense of justice in her, which ultimately played a part in her being kicked out of the house.
With nowhere to go and not enough money to attend the Acadamae in Korvosa or the Arcanamirium in Absalom, Rita left Avistan for Garund to study at the Magaambya in Natambu to become an enchanter. Something there prompted a change in heart because she realized she no longer wanted to take advantage of people the way she did growing up. She also found herself preferring the company of cats to people.
Basil uses psychic magic and a handful of arcane spells to practice crystal magic. Although a Pathfinder, Basil is really more interested in spreading the word about crystal power and how to use crystals to access one’s inner strength. If one were to ask him, he’d explain that even basic arcane cantrips like read magic relate back to crystals in some way (read magic increases knowledge, knowledge is power, and power = crystals). Some say his rantings about crystals are a bit unhinged, but that didn’t seem to matter when he was invited to join the exclusive White Feather Arcanist Society in Oppara, where he proved to be quite popular.
Basil is naïve and arrogant, thinking himself better than almost everyone because of his belief in crystal power. It is not known whether his parents believe in crystal power, but his sister’s lack of belief is a source of disappointment. He hopes that his membership in the Pathfinder Society will provide him access to crystal artifacts that he can take and use for his own purposes.
Pavo grew up in a small village in Cheliax, located near the border with Andoran. His family ran a general store until they lost it in a dispute stemming from an unfortunately worded contract. Unsurprisingly, Pavo strongly dislikes the state religion in Cheliax, opposing diabolism and preferring the teachings of Cayden Cailean instead.
After his family lost their store, he left Cheliax for Andoran to attend Almas University. He studied history there after being turned onto it by a compelling professor. He subsequently became an investigator and a chronicler, working with Basil Windtail on several occasions to document his adventures as a Pathfinder.
Drinking is something of a sacrament to Pavo. It didn’t start out that way, but he picked up the habit due to a rival student at Almas University. He found that it helped him focus and stopped the shakes he was experiencing, which were caused by his rival’s use of magic to undermine his studies.
On his way to Almas University, Pavo stopped to investigate rumors of a cave containing a fountain that improved the health of those who consumed its waters. He thought it sounded interesting, and he wanted to see if the rumors were true. Unfortunately, the waters in the fountain had no curative properties when he found it. Pavo later learned what happened from Rita when she blabbed to the whole town that Basil had taken the crystal that powered the fountain.
Another time in Westcrown, Rita was looking into the disappearance of several people in town. She found not only that thieves were killing people and fencing their belongings but that one of them was an associate of her father’s. However, before she could act on her findings, she was exposed by Pavo, who had been hired by her father to tail his daughter and keep her out of trouble. Ultimately, however, the scheme was exposed by Basil when when his psychometry revealed that the owner of one of his recently purchased crystals had been killed, and he reported it to the authorities. Rita’s father blamed her for it and kicked her out of the house.
Basil and Pavo first met on boat to Taldor from Westcrown. They bonded over a shared interest in history, and Pavo agreed to accompany Basil on a Pathfinder Society mission to Osirion to recover a particularly interesting scroll. Rita was traveling on the same ship, passing through Osirion on her way to study at the Magaambya. She overheard Basil and Pavo discussing their plans to sneak into forbidden ruins. When they arrived in Osirion, she reported them to the guards. This caused problems for Pavo and Basil, but Pavo was able to talk their way out of trouble.
A few years later, the three of them meet again in Sargava. They’re working together this time, investigating some old ruins in the Devil’s Cradle.