Curse of the Crimson Throne
The native clans of Varisia have wandered without a permanent home since the Age of Darkness, and exploring the world for 5 millennia has created a culture of wanderlust and strong family bonds. They walk with the wind at their backs and songs in their hearts. To outsiders, they appear to be insular and untrustworthy, obeying no laws but their own. But for insiders, the clans are a support network stretching across Varisia and beyond, offering ancient magic, modern gossip, transportation, trade goods, protection, prophecy, and loyal company. Most importantly, they offer guidance to all the secret places of Golarion.
Varisians want to see it all—a simple goal but one that’s far from easy. As an old Varisian saying goes, “It is easier to grow a flower at night than to grow a man without travel.” They value freedom and experience over temporal wealth, and new exploits require health, freedom, and someone to share them with. Each clan fosters these traits in its own way, usually through strong family bonds. Anything that restricts these virtues is anathema. Though largely independent, caravans band together to resolve larger threats to the open road, be it a plague, a washed out trail, or greedy settlers. Individual Wanderer families have little influence over one another, but all Wanderers respect the words of skilled fortune-tellers called “harrowers.” Each clan supports at least one of these harrowers, who serve as advisors, teachers, and lawgivers for younger Wanderers. Harrowers earn their positions through guile, experience, and a gift for fortune-telling. Many have strange dealings with the Shoanti, or bargain with ghosts and spirits, while others spent their youth dallying with fey. Few of these matriarchs remain completely sane, and they cloak their advice and prophecies in poetry, nonsensical babble, or dirty jokes.
The Wanderers rarely let non-Varisians join their family-like organization. While they will trade news and wealth with those who treat them well and respect their wandering ways, only under unusual circumstances do they let an outsider become part of the clan—such as a hero saving the life of a family elder.
Though the Wanderers are knowledgeable about travel in most parts of the world, outsiders are often most interested in their unusual magic, such as their knowledge of the Harrow deck and the art of tattooing.
5 Fame, 5 CPA: Gain a permanent +5 bonus on Knowledge (geography) checks relating to travel in and near civilized areas of a particular country or Knowledge (local) checks relating to a particular settlement. This bonus does not stack with the +4 bonus on one check listed on page 55. This benefit requires 1 week of study with a group of Varisian Wanderers knowledgeable about the chosen location. A character can select this multiple times; each time it applies to a new country or settlement.
5 Fame: Gain a Varisian tattoo that grants the character the ability to cast a 0-level spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list three times per day. The caster level for this ability is equal to the character’s level. The save DC for this spell is 10 + the character’s Intelligence or Charisma modifier. The character must have an Intelligence or Charisma score of at least 10 to gain this ability. A character can only have three such tattoos at one time.
10 Fame, 3 CPA: Gain the assistance of a specialist (any NPC member of the organization with a class level equal to half the character’s level) for 1 week.
10 Fame, 5 CPA: Gain a tatchey, or Varisian spirit amulet. Tatcheys are long thought to be mere trinkets by outsiders, but the wisest of the Varisian Wanderers have rediscovered old rites that can connect a tatchey with its owner’s spirit. This gives it a semblance of life and a rudimentary intelligence, creating a familiar-like bond between a person and the object. A tatchey adores its master and wishes to help whenever possible, though being inanimate limits its usefulness. Old Varisian stories tell of a tatchey guiding parents to their child’s kidnapper or a clever rogue using her tatchey tospy on enemies. A tatchey is always a Diminutive nonmagical object of personal importance to the bearer. Common tatcheys include old coins, seashells, jewelry, Harrow cards, and colorful pebbles. Once awakened, a tatchey is an intelligent magic item with the following statistics: Hardness 8, 5 hp (1d8); Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 6, ego 0. A tatchey lacks physical attributes and cannot move on its own. It has normal human senses and can speak in hushed tones. A tatchey has one skill rank (usually in Perception) and one feat (usually Alertness). While carried by its master, it benefits from all spells and effects affecting its master. A person can only have one tatchey at a time. Tatcheys are legendary for their ability to find their way home if separated from their owners; once per week, the owner may summon his tatchey, which teleports into a free hand from as far away as 1 mile per level of experience (if it is out of range, the owner knows the general direction of the tatchey). A tatchey becomes depressed and withdrawn without its master; after 6 weeks apart, it reverts to a nonmagical object.
15 Fame, 1 CPA, 100 gp: Obtain a Harrow deck of historical, familial, or artistic importance, such as one owned by a famous Harrower, an important ancestor of the character, or one with beautiful illustrations. The deck grants a +2 bonus on skill checks related to using the deck.
20 Fame: Purchase or upgrade magical weapons from the following list at a 10% discount: dancing, defending, keen, luck blade, masterwork weapons (any weapon usable by rogues), seeking, spell storing, sword of subtlety.20 Fame: Purchase or upgrade magical armor from the following list at a 10% discount: darkwood buckler, darkwood shield, glamered, masterwork armor (any armor usable by rogues), shadow (all), slick (all), spell resistance, winged shield.
20 Fame: Purchase magic items from the following list at a 10% discount: bag of holding, boots of striding and springing, crystal ball, deck of illusions, dust of illusion, feather token (fan, whip), hand of glory, hat of disguise, horseshoes of speed, horseshoes of a zephyr, marvelous pigments, pipes of haunting, pipes of sounding, stone of good luck, vest of escape, winged boots.
20 Fame, 10 CPA: Have a harrower tell the character’s future. This grants the character a +1 insight bonus to initiative because of an increased awareness of how to read signs and portents. Each time the character has a reading, this bonus increases by +1 (to a maximum of +4). The harrower’s predictions are cryptic, veiled by context, and often impossible to understand until the moment they are needed. When this moment of clarity occurs (determined by the character’s player), the character gains a +4 insight bonus on her next roll; the decision to use this ability must be made before the roll. This bonus can only be used once per fortune, but the initiative bonus is permanent. A character can receive this benefit more than four times (after the initiative bonus has reached the maximum of +4), but this only provides another moment of clarity. A character can only have one unused moment of clarity at a time.
25 Fame: Gain a Varisian journey mark, a special kind of tattoo the Wanderers reserve as rewards for great deeds. Most Varisians see these emblems as a secret advantage, one they are loath to reveal to outsiders. Like more common magical tattoos, journey marks are complicated networks of Thassilonian symbols, usually covering the stomach, chest, or back. The tattoo grants a +1 competence bonus on skill and ability checks for one ability score, and once per day the character can call upon the magic of the tattoo to heal her of 1d4 points of ability damage to that ability score.