Legacy of Jade
Koya Mvashti (old female human cleric of Desna)
Until she passed away from natural causes just a few months ago, Madame Niska Mvashti was the oldest person in Sandpoint. No one quite knows exactly how old the Varisian seer actually was when she died (she was already old when Sandpoint was founded over 40 years ago)—but the fact that her only daughter Koya is herself an old woman is a telling fact. Koya has spent a fair amount of her life traveling Varisia with a number of caravans, serving as a healer when she was younger and more recently as a fortune-teller. For the past several years, she’s in the company of her adopted son Sandru Vhiski as they travel on a regular caravan route between Riddleport, Magnimar, and Korvosa two or three times a year. Their caravan spends most of its time relatively close to Sandpoint, though, and that has suited Koya fine, since it gave her more time to care for her aged mother.
Now that old Niska has finally died, though, Koya’s mourning has transitioned into a sort of morose melancholy. A life-long worshiper of Desna, she’s come to realize that while she’s traveled extensively throughout the Varisian lowlands, she’s never been beyond the region’s borders. Tales of other Desnan explorers have long delighted Koya’s sense of wonder—even her own mother reputedly took part in several extensive caravans that traveled as far as the Lands of the Linnorm Kings and even down to Qadira. Koya’s having something of a late-life crisis as a result—a growing sense of disappointment that she’s never made a long caravan trek. With her mother dead, Koya has little reason to stay in Varisia, and she’s been pressuring Sandru to take a long journey soon: “The sooner the better, ’cause I won’t be around for long!” Koya’s in remarkably good shape, physically, for a woman well over 60 years in age—obviously, longevity runs in her family—but with each year that passes, the chance of her getting to experience a truly epic journey like the ones in her favorite stories grows narrower.
Ameiko Kaijitsu (female human bard)
Ameiko is a beautiful but somewhat irreverent woman of Tian descent who runs Sandpoint’s Rusty Dragon tavern and happens to be a member of one of Sandpoint’s founding families. Her parents and older siblings have met unfortunate ends over the past several years, leaving the young woman as the sole remaining Kaijitsu in town. Ameiko may be among the town’s nobility, but she’s never really cared for the aristocracy—she’s always had an urge to explore, and loves hearing stories of adventures and daring deeds. She even spent a year or so as an adventurer herself, along with her friend Sandru Vhiski. Her short adventuring career earned her enough money to buy the Rusty Dragon outright, and she now serves as its sole proprietor in her “retirement.” You get the feeling, though, that abandoning the adventuring life wasn’t entirely her choice—certainly she doesn’t talk much about what happened on her last adventure, or what happened to the others in her group. And although she has a lot of friends and admirers in town, Ameiko has never accepted anyone as anything more than a friend; she dodges personal questions and diplomatically avoids proposals of romance, much to the frustration of several eager suitors here in Sandpoint. She’s a talented singer and samisen player, and if she wanted to, Ameiko could certainly lead a comfortable life here in Sandpoint. You know her fairly well, however, well enough to know that she is growing increasingly bored and impatient with having nothing more to look forward to than a “safe life” in a “safe town.” If the chance to go on an epic voyage or other grand adventure ever presents itself, you’re convinced that Ameiko would sell the Rusty Dragon and set out once more to seek her fortune in a heartbeat.
Sandru Vhiski (male human rogue)
Only a few years from middle age, Sandru Vhiski is a charming man, handsome and irreverent in precisely the ways that could have made him a highly successful Sczarni con artist, even before one takes into account in the fact that his older brother, Jubrayl, is said to be the local Sczarni leader in Sandpoint. The death of their parents during a violent storm, while tragic, was ironically just the thing to save Sandru from life as a Sczarni, for while Jubrayl was old enough at the point to strike out on his own (and thus fell in completely with the Sczarni), Sandru was still a young child. His care fell to Koya Mvashti, a family friend and practically an aunt to the young Sandru. Under her guidance and support, Sandru managed to avoid falling in with the Sczarni, and when he grew of age, he instead sought employment as a caravan guard.
For several years, Sandru avoided returning to Sandpoint, but after he lost his job in the caravan business, he joined up with a group of adventurers eager to explore the Mushfens, Churlwood, and the Fogscar Mountains. As fate would have it, another former resident of Sandpoint, Ameiko Kaijitsu, was also a member of the group. Sandru and Ameiko hit it off at once and soon became close friends—though both say they have never been anything more than that. Like Ameiko, Sandru earned a fair amount of money during his short-lived adventuring days, and like Ameiko, he doesn’t talk about the reasons why he abandoned the life. When he retired from adventuring, instead of buying a tavern, he bought his own caravan, after which he invited Koya to join him on his journeys, knowing she wanted to see more of the world. He’s had a few clashes with his brother in the past few years, and you’ve heard he’s increasingly considering taking on a longer-than-normal caravan contract, in part to indulge Koya’s desire to experience a grand journey, and in part to get away from the dangerous inf luence of his troublemaking older brother and Jubrayl’s Sczarni compatriots.
Shalelu Andosana (female elf ranger)
Although Shalelu Andosana is something of a mystery to the residents of Sandpoint, she’s certainly one of the town’s most admired defenders. She doesn’t actually live in town, but she sometimes spends the night at the Rusty Dragon free of charge, thanks to her long friendship with Ameiko Kaijitsu. Everyone in town knows that Shalelu is something of a loner and prefers to spend her time wandering in and exploring the wilderness around Sandpoint. She periodically vanishes from the region for weeks or even months at a time to visit friends elsewhere in Varisia (particularly, it’s said, near Hook Mountain or up north near the elven village of Crying Leaf ), but she never fails to return to Sandpoint. No one quite understands why she keeps coming back. When asked why, she merely says, “Someone’s got to keep an eye on you all.” Her timely reports of goblin activity have helped save folk from ambushes or warned the militia of possible attacks on the town or the surrounding farmlands numerous times. Yet in recent days, Sheriff Hemlock has begun taking a more active role in patrolling the surrounding area, and his militia is better trained now than ever before, which means that Shalelu’s aid in keeping an eye on the hinterlands is growing less and less necessary. She actually seems relatively pleased with this development, however, as though she’s proud that Sandpoint is finally starting to look after itself rather than disappointed at not being needed any longer. She has even started hinting that she’s thinking of taking a long journey away from Sandpoint sometime in the future, but whenever she is pressed for details, she just shrugs and changes the topic. Of the four key NPCs in the Jade Regent Adventure Path, Shalelu is the most distant and her motives are easily the most mysterious, but she otherwise seems friendly and helpful enough.