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PCs traveling through Krakovar may discover all manner of rumors. Are they true or false? Decide for yourself as you plan adventures for your players!
The former Electoral Kingdom of Krakovar has been invaded and occupied by the vampires of the Blood Kingdom. This occupation is only a few years old, however, and many rebels lurk among the populace, waiting to take their own pounds of flesh back from the vampires.
Old Krakovian folktales say that vampires are as repulsed by alliumites as they are by garlic. Won’t come within a hundred yards of one! They also say that a huge tribe of these creatures dwells in Siarka Swamp and the vampire lords of the Duchy will reward anyone dastardly enough to destroy the elusive plant creatures.
True? The rumor is mostly true. A vampire must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw to voluntarily move any closer than 30 feet to an alliumite (see Creature Codex). The tribe is real, and a circle of druids might task the PCs to travel into the depths of Siarka Swamp and protect them from an attack by a warband of zombies led by a ghost knight (see Tome of Beasts 1).
False? Vampires might or might not be repulsed by alliumites. But it doesn’t matter in this case, because the “alliumites” in the swamp are actually a tribe of eerily similar creatures called tuberkiths (see Tome of Beasts 3). Unfortunately, the normally sociable tuberkiths have been tainted by evil fey magic, and anyone approaching them for help against vampires is in for a rude shock.
Human and undead servants within the city of Krakova whisper that Princess Hristina and Commander Beleneus of the Ghost Knights have had a falling out and the princess has taken a new lover. Beleneus was last seen leaving Hristina’s palace in the dead of night, weeping tears of blood.
True? Princess Hristina has indeed taken a new lover, a vampire patrician (see Creature Codex) named Strahil. This development followed a bitter argument with Beleneus over the direction of their relationship. Beleneus seethes with jealousy. He would like to rip out Strahil’s throat, but his hands are tied since Strahil is directly sired by King Lucan. Instead, he looks for a group of do-gooder adventurers to kill Strahil for him.
False? Krakovan rebels are spreading the rumor in the hopes of causing dissent in the vampires’ ranks. Sadly, their plan has backfired, and Hristina has sent her agents to find the source of the rumor and kill those responsible for spreading it. The PCs run into one of the rebels as a group of four darakhul spies (see Tome of Beasts 2) chases them.
The Ostre Hills is a lightly settled region in eastern Krakovar known for its extensive tin mines. Recently, a group of miners employed by a vampire baroness uncovered the entrance to an extensive tomb network containing hundreds of corpses.
True? Though unbelievable, this rumor is accurate. The tomb network contains over three hundred mummified elves wearing finery from before the founding of Nuria Natal, as well as all manner of treasures, traps, and monsters. Baroness Gordana Zeplita, the vampire whose miners discovered the tomb, is paranoid that her lands will be taken over by more powerful undead. She wants a group of adventurers to clear out as much of the tomb as possible.
False? The families of the miners under Gordana’s control, who works the miners to exhaustion and slaughters them with little provocation, are spreading the rumor. The families hope that the rumor draws out adventurers willing to slay the undead fiend and will guide anyone who answers the call to Gordana’s lair, a tomb dug into the side of a hill guarded by vampire spawn and lich hounds (see Tome of Beasts 1).
Krakova’s infamous serial killer, the Wallenbirg Slasher, has returned after an absence of over 20 years, and has killed almost a dozen people. Some believe that the slasher is long dead and that the current slasher is an imposter. Others say that the killer has risen from the grave as an undead fiend.
True? The Wallenbirg Slasher is Viktor Tarovar, a human male breathstealer (see Tome of Beasts 3) who works as a trader throughout Karkovar. Viktor did his best to survive the coming of the vampire lords and kept his head down until recently when the “itch” to kill again got the better of him. City officials are looking to hire adventurers to track down the killer and end his predations once and for all.
False? The murders have nothing to do with the Wallenbirg Slasher, who was devoured by a pack of ghouls during the invasion of Krakovar. Instead, the murders are the work of a city official named Ludevic Krosh (male human noble), who hired assassins to remove various political rivals to shore up his position and win favor with the ruling vampire elite.
Last month, all the blood in the chalices and fonts of the temple of Marena in Karzahik (a small town northwest of Varshava) turned into fresh water. The temple priest is worried that she or her fellow Blood Sisters have somehow offended the Red Goddess.
True? This is not only true but has occurred more than once. The omens are actually the fault of a female bathhouse drake (see Creature Codex) named Mystariix, who settled in the woods east of Karzahik and hates the priesthood for what they have done to Krakovar. Mystariix has been sneaking into the local temple of Marena and destroying the blood in the fonts before creating fresh water to fill the empty receptacles.
False? The rumor is a fabrication spread by local gossipmongers. The blood sister in charge of the temple, a female humanpriest named Ostilda, is outraged by the rumor and has been even harsher on the people of Karzahik, demanding additional blood donations and severely punishing those who refuse. It’s a matter of time before the townsfolks’ resentment boils over.
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