Early in 2010, we started a Pathfinder campaign set in a world based off of fantasy Earth called Europa. Essentially, the characters have been in the Avalonian Isles, based off of the British Isles but ruled by the fae; the Seelie Court lead by the Summer King for half of the year and the Unseelie Court lead by the Winter Queen for the other half. Now that the campaign is coming to a close in the next few sessions, I’ve done some looking back at the story and thought I’d share it with you.
It all started seemingly simply enough, with the PCs defeating a plague-causing cult dedicated to the Tuatha deity of disease. This brought them to the attention of a noble, Lord Glynfaire, who hired the PCs to collect pieces of an amulet called the Amulet of Tane. When combined, the amulet would allow the calling of the legendary Jabberwocky which Glynfaire, a true Seelie, was planning to use as a weapon against the Unseelie Court. The Summer King, you see, had gone missing and the Winter Queen did not relinquish her throne so, obviously, she had somehow deposed of the Summer King in a play for power.
However, not everything was what it seemed, not by a long shot. Glynfaire rarely spoke the truth, and often sent the PCs into possibly suicidal situations. Then, after returning a piece of the Tane Amulet to Glynfaire from the Isle of Wights, the Winter Queen made her move, attacking Glynfaire’s manor and stealing him away to Hinterheart, the worst prison in the Isles under the charge of treason. She also took two of the pieces of the amulet that had been collected. The PCs decided to go after the rest of the amulet before the Winter Queen could get her hands on it, and then to free Glynfaire from Hinterheart.
There were betrayals; an aide of Glynfaire’s named Lady Kai was actually an agent of the Winter Queen and had not only hired a tribe of goblins to find the amulet but tortured one of the PCs after he had been arrested for murdering prostitutes in Danaan (the capital city, analogous to London). Her body ended up at the bottom of a well once the PCs had enacted their vengeance. Eventually the PCs gained the other pieces of the amulet, though they were dogged by agents of the Winter Queen, and headed off Hinterheart prison to free Glynfaire and have a “talk” with him. And by talk, I of course mean at the end of a blade for all of his lying and manipulations.
When the PCs reached Glynfaire’s cell, they were confronted by the Winter Queen herself and her retinue of guards. After some initial physical exchange by the party’s half-elf barbarian (who hates the Winter Queen with a passion), the Winter Queen revealed the truth.
She kept the throne because, with the Summer King unable to take it, she had no choice. So where was the Summer King then? As the Winter Queen understood it, the legions of Roma (the in-game equivalent of Rome) had called their mad goddess, Discordia in a mad plan to weaken the rule of the Avalonian Isles and take over; she met with the Summer King and, through trickery, managed to steal his soul, shatter his mind and, as the Winter Queen put it, “change the story.” Hiding the soul away in a crystal, Discordia placed it around the neck of the Jabberwocky. The Summer King’s fractured mind created the personality of Lord Glynfaire and, in his confusion, made him want to destroy the Winter Queen. Some part of him knew what needed to be done, thus his collection of the pieces of the Tane Amulet. The Queen had him arrested and placed in Hinterheart so that he would be safe while she obtained the rest of the amulet.
Impressed that the party had gotten into Hinterheart with relative ease, the Winter Queen has set them about the last task of the campaign; to put all the pieces of the Tane Amulet together, open a portal to the Plane of Tane and retrieve the Summer King’s soul from the sleeping Jabberwocky. With luck, they’ll be able to do so without awakening the Jabberwocky, for the creature is so powerful they would stand no chance against it (the PCs are level 9..Jabberwocky’s a level 25 critter). Furthermore, awakening the Jabberwocky would likely be rather catastrophic, allowing it to escape through the portal created to wreak havoc on the Avalonian Isles.
Unless, of course, the Winter Queen was lying…..