Investigating Varnhold Walkthrough
Message from Jamandi Aldori
Now that the Season of Bloom has ended, rebuilding will begin apace. Fortunately it seems that the forces which conspired to end your reign are as spent as you are, giving you a bit of downtime to tend to matters of state. Take this generous reprieve and use the time to deal with any events that pop up, resolve projects, upgrade your kingdom stats and ranks, and perhaps indulge in a few companion quests.
Eventually, however, trouble will loom its ugly head again in the form of the event card “Message from Jamandi Aldori”, which will prompt you to action once again. Maegar Varn – another Aldori vassal, fellow baron, and would-be ally – has had a sudden, drastic change in demeanor, cutting himself off from the outside world. Naturally Jamandi wants an explanation for why one of her political agents went silent, and hence she’s turned to another one of her minions to go sort things out – that would be you. If your protagonist is [Chaotic] you can complain about being treated like a servant and have a nasty letter drafted up, but either way, it looks like you’re stuck doing Jamandi’s dirty work for now. This starts the quest The Varnhold Vanishing.
Travel to Varnhold
When you’re ready, leave the capital city behind and travel out towards Lake Silverstep:
- Southeast to reach Lake Silverstep
- East (along the northern coast of Lake Silverstep)
This will get you near Lake Silverstep Village – you can reach it by heading southwest from the empty node the above directions led to. This will allow you to rest up in relative safety and maybe sell off some items, if necessary. When you’re ready to continue, head east from the empty node north of Lake Silverstep Village or northeast from Lake Silverstep Village itself. From there, follow the directions below to reach Varnhold.
- East (across river)
- North (path bends and follows the river)
- North (along the Kiravoy River)
- North (to Varnhold)
When you arrive in town you’ll find that, at first glance, it’s quite bereft of human life. Head up to the tavern and loot a crate to find an Ancient Rostlandic Coin, then venture east to find a warehouse near the river, along the southeastern edge of the map. Flitting about the door are two Raven Swarms which, like the Spider Swarms you fought earlier will require some area-of-effect spells to properly damage. Fortunately by now you have easy access to Fireball and similar spells, both of which Octavia and Tristian should be capable of using. Notice some wasted grain lying about, then loot a chest to score a Masterwork Scythe, the Hodag Hide armor (Hide Armor +4 that gives the wearer an additional 2d6 damage on charge attacks) and a variety of potions and foodstuffs.
Before exploring back up north, make your way southwest to find a small chapel of Erastil, on top of which you may spot [Perception 20] a bird watching you. Is there some connection between the swarms of ravens you just fought and this oddly snoopy avian agent?
Make your way back to the tavern and from there head north to find a building behind the inn. In front of this building you’ll find two crates, one of which can only be detected via a successful [Perception 25] check. In the larger crate you’ll find an Ancient Scrap of Script-Covered Leather, while in the smaller one [Trickery 28] you’ll find Vengeance of the Meek, a Sling +2 with the “Giant Bane” property. Against creatures of giant subtype this sling acts as a +4 weapon and deals 2d6 extra damage.
Once that loot is secured, venture northeast to find a group of Spriggans. Great, more fae creatures. No surprise there. Cut them down, loot them for a variety of useful – if not noteworthy – items (save perhaps a Cloak of Resistance +1) then loot a crate on the back of a wagon to obtain The Heart of Ira, an odd trinket that makes the wearer immune to fatigue and exhaustion, and allows them to surround themselves with a damaging (2d6 per round) aura that can also inflict fatigue (Reflex 17). Before you leave, investigate [Perception 18] a bird atop the nearby house to note that it’s watching you. There’s obviously something foul afoot in Varnhold.
Make your way back to the inn one more time and follow the road northeast to reach the river, where you’ll be able to attempt a [Lore (Nature) 27] check. Pass or fail you’ll notice numerous tracks crossing the river, but if you pass you’ll notice the track belong to humanoids of various sizes. Unless Maegar Varn made friends with some giants recently, this is probably a bad sign.
Cross the river and continue following the road past the fort. If you check the walls of the fort you’ll be able to detect voices, but their nature is not disclosed. Make use of an area transition along the eastern edge of the map to travel to the Varnhold Stockade.