Strangefinder Modern: Tale of the Peasant Regent

Strangefinder Modern are modern ideas for a strange urban fantasy world that could be played using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Anachronistic Adventures.

Tale of the Peasant Regent

Legends of Peng-Kun sometimes pop up when investigating Strange Manifestations, despite the fact no manifestation has ever been traced back to an Alterniverse connected to Peng-Kun. The first Strangefinder to encounter a new legend fo Peng-Kun normally then must deal with encountering a Sanatorium Script shortly thereafter, but once report sod the legend get out, Strangecholars can safely recount them, and analyze them

One of the most well known of these legends is the Peasant Regent, from which tale those Strangefinders who identify themselves with the Phoenix Black House of Peng-Kun take their nomenclature.

Once in the Graven Lands of Peng-Kun was the Phoenix Black House, which was surrounded on all sides and at all times by inequities and evil. No band of living champions, no matter how mighty, could maintain this Black House given its endless array of enemies. But the Phoenix were strong, for they could call upon each fallen ancestor once to arise and face a foe, and thus were able to call upon far more than their living champions. And if a Phoenix Scion was destroyed, her House-Bound could call upon her even at that same moment to return and finish her task.

Among those who opposed the Phoenix was the Heron Black House, and they saw that no force of eldritch or pragmatic force could defeat the Phoenix. Thus instead the Hero used their shadowcasting ways, and spoke of how great the Phoenix were, and how no other Black House, and certainly no lesser bloodline, was worthy of their companionship.

Thus did, over generations, the Phoenix fall to the Heron’s shadow, and mate less and less outside their own numbers. Their tree of ancestors ceased to broaden, and as each past champion could be called upon only once, their greatest power became weaker and weaker. The Hero whispered that it was impurity that weakened the Phoenix, and thus the Black House of fire and renewal reinforced the traditions that were killing it.

After a Time Unknown (legends of Peng-Kung often speak of “time unknown,” and rarely give any specific dates or temporal references), there came to be only a single Phoenix Scion left. Her name is unknown, but when speaking of her time fleeing from the enemies of her Black House, she is called the Lady of Embers. The Lady of Embers could not hold the lands and duties of the Phoenix Black House, for she knew only a dozen fallen champions still uncalled by her house, and though personally a great champion she was ever outnumbered.

Instead of fighting to the last and destroying her land, she taunted the Lokis Black House and showed them weakness. When they attacked, she fled and hid. Thus did the Lokis overtake all her lands with no bloodshed, and the other foes of the Phoenix found they could not divide her lands among them, because the Lokis guarded their conquest fiercely.

The Lady of Embers shed her grand apparel and took on the guise of a peasant woman, and lived among those she had once rules. She was quiet, and humble, and took as her mates three men and two women, all spurned bastards of Black Houses that hated the Phoenix and who had thus fled their own ancestral homelands into Phoenix territory. The Lokis thought her defeated, and made no effort to find her. The Heron feared her presence in the shadows, but could shed no light upon her.

She bore children, and quietly had them anointed and made Scions of the Phoenix. She secret complete the Black House Rituals to become Regent over her young offspring, and ensured their parents and her mates were secured away. Then, armed with their rights as Phoenix Scions, she challenged the Lokis Black House in the heart of what was once the Phoenix Stronghold.

A thousand Lokis surrounded her, and demanded to know her intention. She offered them this. As the Peaseant Regent, she could now call on the ancestors of her children, including Lokis Scions going back to the First Days. This would surely win her victory over the Lokis on that day… but leave the Lokis weakened, and herself with far fewer ancestors to face the other Black Houses that would fall upon her like lionvultures.

Of the Lokis could ally themselves with her. She would marry her offspring to Lokis Scions, in time, and establish a rule of drawing in other Black House offspring to ensure the Phoenix would never again lack champions to call from the grave. She and the Lokis would both be strong, and both profit and grow in power.

All who heard her knew the Peasant Regent was now among the most powerful and wisest of all Scions, for she had found power in humble origins, and could offer a strong hand to those who were once her enemies.

The legends does not say how the Lokis replied, though Lokis Strangefinders and Phoenix Strangefinders are often strong allies.

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on September 7, 2016, in Adventure Design, Adventure Sketch, Anachronistic Adventurers, Game Design, Microsetting, Pathfinder Development and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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