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Curse Of The Lady's Light GM Resources

Curse Of The Lady's Light is part 2 of 6 of the Shattered Star Adventure Path; that book is necessary to run the adventure but Pathfinder Fate Accelerated write ups are provided for the various opponents and challenges faced therein. Use the linked to documents as relevant to the published adventure.

Part 1: The Journey South

For reasons of space, the Part 1 content of Curse of the Lady's Light got cut from the published book. However, it was released as a free web supplement so...bonus!

But, even with the web supplement included, Part 1 is very anemic and perfunctory as written. The action really kicks into gear once the adventurers have gotten to the Lady's Cape region and thus start Part 2; traveling to the location in Part 1 gets short shrift.

However by default the adventurers are assumed to start the quest in the metropolis of Magnimar, and thus there is an open sandbox for all sorts of urban side quests therein prior to leaving the city for the swampy Mushfens.

The below content will follow the structure of the published material, but also includes some sidebarred suggestions where relevant which a GM is of course free to heed or ignore.

Bridging Shards of Sin and Lady's Light, Missing Interstitial Scene(s)

It seems to be assumed by the adventure as written that the adventurers have a role playing encounter with Sheila Heidmarch (or alternately some other patron, or else acquire information as a scholarly pursuit)...but it gets completely handwaved away in the interests of space.

Obviously, injecting more narrative into this interlude between Shards of Sin and Lady's Light is something most GM's would and should consider.

The span of time between Shards of Sin and Curse of the Lady's Light is also open ended. Thus, it is entirely possible that the adventurers have gone on other quests or spent their time engaging in any manner of activity in the interlude.

All of that is outside the bounds of this content and left to individual GM's to handle as they think best.

Handout About The Remaining Shards

A list of the remaining Shards' abilities is provided by Sheila Heidmarch as written, but however they come by it the information presented is something that it is safe (advisable, even) for the adventurers to know as they continue to look for more Shards.

The Shards

Jasper Kandamerus

One way or another, the adventurers are told that a somewhat crazed priest of Groetus named Jasper Kandamerus who wanders around Magnimar, particularly frequenting the neighborhood of Rag's End in Beacon's Point, has a good deal of useful knowledge about the Mushfens and the Lady's Cape area specifically.

Rag's End sprawls like a tumor in the center of the Beacon's Point district, a slum warren of narrow alleys, overcrowding, and poverty...yet not without its charms.

Most of the hovels and flats are owned by the slum lord Rassimeri Jaijarko, but there are plenty of other lowlifes to be found...most notably the infamous and feared Night Scales criminal enterprise is based in this area. Crime is high, and the watch patrols here infrequently.

Streets Of Beacon's Point
Magnimar Alabaster

On the map, Rag's End is the darker shaded buildings in the center of the Beacon's Point district.

Simply spending the time to go to Rag's End and look around is sufficient to find Jasper, but if one of the player characters has a solid Magnimar based background, feel free to dress it up a bit and allow the Magnimarian adventurer a chance to show off their city knowledge.

Defending The Street Prophet

As written, when the adventurers arrive on the scene it is but mere moments before a grizzled mendicant priest meeting the description of Jasper gets jumped by three young toughs bearing the blackened lips of night lotus addicts.

The thugs brazenly pack attack and beat the hapless priest down with not only no concern for witnesses, but even seeming to posture and pose a bit for onlookers. As if they hope to be seen curb stomping a sad old kook.

More Directed Aggression

To make things a little more personal, if the GM has added in one or more competing factions who are also looking for the Shards, they could replace the Black Kiss Boys with minions of the adventurers' rivals for the Shards. They heard that the adventurers were looking for Jasper, or that he has good intel on the Mushfens, and thus are trying to snatch the deranged cleric off the streets to find out what he knows.

Pesh and Night Lotus Addict, Hungry For Street Cred

Good At: Being Thuggish (+2), Being Brash (+2)

Bad At: Being Legit (-2), Being Brave (-2)

Stress [1][2][3]

Mild (2)

A gang of drug addicted 'cousins' eager to impress bigger criminals and become part of a bigger operation. They fight as individuals.

Getting Info From Jasper

Consult the Adventure Path supplement section entitled "Jasper's Story" for the full details regarding Jasper.

Assuming the adventurers save Jasper from danger, the information he has is spotty but solid.

Compassionate adventurers might realize that Jasper is suffering from a debilitating mental condition and take steps to get the not-quite-harmless lunatic the professional help that he needs. Particularly since he does not think of himself as being insane. Afterall, he went to your schools, he went to your churches, he went to your institutional learning facilities, so how can you say that HE's crazy?

Seriously though, he's a total loon. Getting his schizophrenia cured is a side quest unto itself.

It is also possible that Jasper will accompany the adventurers, providing some comic relief along the way if his condition has not been treated.

One of the more useful things Jasper can tell the adventurers about is the marsh witch Maroux who lives in the Lady's Cape region and isn't necessarily hostile if approached properly.

Adventurers who manage to get useful information out of Jasper who later end up traveling on foot through the Mushfens to the Lady's Cape from Magnimar or vice versa may cut a day off of their journey to no less than two and a half days, thanks to insights and trail lore received from Jasper.

Finally, while suffering from his mental maladay Jasper periodically interjects or proclaims seemingly non-sensical statements. See the accompaning image for examples.

Jaspers Predictions

Two Basic Ways To Get To Lady's Cape

There are two basic ways to get to the Lady's Cape, by land or by sea.

The land route will take three to five days of slogging through the bandit and boggard infested marshlands of the Mushfens. Lots of opportunity for adventure and even to pursue a side quest or two.

Going by sea will only take about a day, and in fact the adventurers' patron can help them find passage aboard a trustworthy vessel conveniently heading that way. Much less messy and more expedient, but less dramatic.

As might be expected, riding easy on a ship lends itself to a more social oriented troupe of adventurers, while roughing it through the swamp favors a more athletic line up. Either way, once the adventurers arrive at the Lady's Cape region, they have entered Part 2.

GM Options

If a GM wants the adventurers to go one route or the other, simply don't offer the other option.

If a GM wants to offer the choice, but favors the land route they can incentivize it by making passage aboard a ship with a captain willing to brave the dangerous shoals to put them ashore prohibitively expensive.

If a GM wants to offer the choice, but favors the sea route they can incentivize it by putting some kind of clock on the adventure and thus the adventurers will favor the faster route. Alternately, drop a warning about a dangerous manticore that has been marauding in the area they will have to travel through if they go by land (or some other credible threat).

The Manticore's Trap

If the adventurers take the land route, they might encounter any number of minor swamp-based encounters as the GM sees fit. But the "big" encounter is with a cunning manticore named Neegog.

Neegog is not stupid or suicidal, and this encounter can be solved by impressing (or bullying) the manticore then striking a bargain with him. He will generally concede if he takes either a Moderate or a Severe consquence, and the concession can be an offer to give information or guide the adventurers to their destination. However, even so, there will likely be some initial violence as Neegog is using a patch of quicksand as a trap to aid him in his hunting and more than likely at least one adventurer will be sucked into it. Neegog waits until one or more adventurers are busy trying to pull out any teammates stuck in the quicksand to pounce.

Murder On The Wanton Ways

If the adventurers opt to take a ship to their destination, there is a single midnight encounter with a murderess caught red-handed by at least one of the adventurers. The perpetrator is wreaking what sounds like a well-deserved revenge on one of the sailors of the vessel.

The killer, Dialla Marteme, does not want to fight the adventurers and attempts to resolve the encounter socially by explaining the situation. If the adventurers turn it into a conflict, she flees; if they attempt to pursue she concedes contingent on being allowed to get away.

Moving Forward

One way or another, the adventure transitions into Part 2, The Lady's Cape.