Natalya Vancaskerkin

Natalya Vancaskerkin is the daughter of one of Riddleport’s most notorious figures—Saul Vancaskerkin. Half-Varisian, Natalya was born of Saul’s first wife, a beautiful Varisian harrower from Magnimar named Adreea Valitrosa. Unfortunately for the star-crossed lovers, the Sczarni to whom Adreea belonged did not approve of this relationship, and a month after Natalya was born, the gang attempted to “reclaim” the babe as payment for Adreea choosing Saul over the Sczarni. Saul’s criminal contacts warned him in time, and he and his family fled to Riddleport to escape, but not before Adreea took a poisoned bolt to the back. She died soon thereafter, leaving Natalya entirely under her father’s care.

Saul mourned, but eventually remarried—a marriage that produced Natalya’s half-brothers. Eventually, they left home for their own reasons, leaving Natalya alone with her father and his third wife, Bertrida—a woman who despised Natalya. Feeling neglected by her father and persecuted by her stepmother, Natalya sought solace with some of Riddleport’s Sczarni, who happened to be bitter rivals of her father’s own criminal enterprises. When Bertrida discovered Natalya’s activities and then gleefully revealed them to her father, Saul was outraged. At Bertrida’s urgings, he disowned Natalya, turning his daughter out into the street with orders to never return. Saul never saw his daughter again.

And so Natalya returned to Magnimar. As she began to build her new life, the only thing she retained from her time in Riddleport was her father’s name—something she kept out of a mixture of guilt and shame. She resigned herself to what would likely be a short life working with the Tower Girls, one of Magnimar’s more notorious gangs.

But Natalya was impatient. She wanted to be the one in charge—the one who was making the most money and drawing the most respect. In the Sczarni, she grew increasingly frustrated at how much of each take got kicked up to her superiors. When the Pathfinders entered an alliance with the Sczarni in Magnimar, Natalya saw a chance to pad her pocket and, just perhaps, build her reputation in another group as well. She approached Sheila Heidmarch in secrecy, and Sheila recognized Natalya’s potential and hired her as an informant on the spot. Still part of the gang of second-story burglars known as the Tower Girls, Natalya used the skills and knowledge acquired in each organization to benefit the other as well.

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Fenster the Blight

Fenster the Blight is as unsavory as denizens of Magnimar’s most notorious slum get. He has lived in Underbridge for decades, although he’s changed homes many times over the years. His current haunt is a partially collapsed warehouse on the shoreline, in a particularly filthy stretch where tidal currents often cause the filth and refuse of the city to collect in stinking clots along the shore.

Fenster is a wretched creature, more skin and bone than meat. His flesh is clammy and gray in places, one of his eyes is clouded over with a white film, and his clothing is caked with filth. His breathing is raspy and gurgling and smells of bad meat—he’s plagued by a wet, hacking cough. Fenster is a truly vile wretch, a carrier of several diseases who hires himself out for any foul job that might come his way. In the past, he’s worked as a garbage scavenger, a goblin baiter, an alchemy test subject, and a disposer of bodies.

Sczarni Gangs

The Sczarni have been a part of Magnimar from the start—they’re not the most dangerous or powerful of the city’s criminal organizations, but they are the most visible. The Sczarni generally don’t involve themselves in particularly violent crimes, and in many cases in Magnimar, they actually help to protect and police less fortunate neighborhoods, and as such are often well regarded by the lower-class. There are six major Sczarni gangs in the city: the Creepers, Doolun’s Lads, the Gallowed, the Tower Girls, the Washside Wringers, and the Wreckwash Blades, with the Gallowed being the most powerful Sczarni family in the city.

The notorious ruffians known as the Sczarni constantly prowl the civilized areas of Varisia in search of easily bamboozled merchants, travelers, and aristocrats to prey upon. Countless Sczarni thugs operate throughout Magnimar, their sheer quantity spawning numerous gangs that each possesses its own illicit specialty as well as a clearly defined turf. Indisputably, the most powerful Sczarni gang in the city is the Gallowed, who operate from a caravan of wagons perched directly below Lord-Mayor Grobaras’s home, Defiant’s Garden. The Gallowed sports a large number of thugs and leg-breakers, as well as its infamous Fish Tank, a 4-foot-tall glass aquarium hidden in one of the caravan’s wagons and filled with swamp barracuda used to coax information out of unwilling victims.

As a rule, Sczarni thugs are not needlessly violent, and prefer to concentrate their efforts on crimes that will make them the most money rather than spill the most blood. Sczarni tend toward swindles and illicit trade instead of rape or murder, leaving such brutal acts of violence to sociopaths and unscrupulous thieves’ guilds.

Though the Gallowed make up the most powerful Sczarni gang in Magnimar, they are far from alone, and numerous other small families constantly vie for turf and wealth throughout the City of Monuments.

The Tower Girls specialize in robbery as well as extortion, and are often hired by quarreling nobles to help shame or blackmail rivals with evidence of infidelity, bastard children, or other secret failures. When not ruining lives, the Tower Girls display their impressive acrobatics onstage in the various playhouses and nightclubs of Lowcleft.

Shunned even by other Sczarni gangs, the Creepers seed the streets with drugs and other illicit substances. They concoct many of the drugs in their base near Underbridge, using their runners to keep the whole city stocked with a handful of vices at any time.

Koriah Azmeren

An attractive half- elven woman dressed in leather armor and armed with a distinctive-looking mithral-and-redwood aklys (a hooked club attached to a cord) and a bastard sword.

Azmeren is one of Varisia’s most famous Pathfinders and a well-renowned expert on the Darklands. Koriah has just returned from an expedition to the Darklands below Varisia, having successfully scouted out a new, but relatively minor, route down to Nar-Voth from the Fogscar Mountains. She returned with a surprising number of Thassilonian artifacts from this expedition.

Sheila Heidmarch

Sheila Heidmarch cuts an imposing figure among Magnimar’s elite. With her unusually low and sultry voice, she both turns heads at high society events and commands respect from Pathfinder field agents.

She is a striking woman, tall and imposing; she moves with an easy confidence, appearing ready to leap into action despite her elaborately-embroidered gown. She carries a masterfully carved quarterstaff of polished black wood, the head of which resembles a watchful raven.

Sheila petitioned the Decemvirate to open a Pathfinder lodge in Magnimar, and was soon granted that honor. She and her husband returned to his manor in the city, and Sheila became Varisia’s first venture-captain, immersing herself in all the frontier wonders that had so enthralled her in her youth. Now she is seen as the Society’s steady hand in the North, bringing ever more fresh recruits to her lodge to plumb the secrets of ancient Thassilon.