The Featherpeak Campaign

This is some background for a Pathfinder Second Edition campaign set in a mountain valley on the continent of Arcadia on the world of Golarion. This summary is background for the players in my campaign, but I'm putting it here where anyone can see it, and see what background I'm providing here. The valley is the distant frontier of an evil nation called the Halana Theocracy (described below) but sits within the Crownpeaks (also below). The valley is about 30 miles long, 15 miles wide, and contains only a single town of any size: the tiny community of Hinvar. Characters in this campaign are all residents of Hinvar; their family and friends are their neighbors. The valley is ringed by mountains, though none are as impressive as the mountain known as Featherpeak. Covered in snow year-round, the tall mountain looks like a white feather thrusting above the other mountains in the Crownpeaks. When disaster strikes Hinvar, the characters must figure out what's going on and unravel the many mysteries connected with the disaster.

Themes of the Featherpeak campaign are mystery, loss, sky, and freedom. It will play out like peel-back-the-mystery shows like Lost or 1899.

Halana Theocracy (summarized from Pathfinder Guns & Gears)

Although the rugged land of rolling, fertile hills seems pastoral, it’s under the firm control of a despotic government called the Halana Theocracy. Headquartered in the many-spired city of Rookery, the church does its best to control all aspects of life within
its borders, from the timing of crops to the education of its youth. Far from being an orderly place, however, the dictates of the church are erratic and often contradictory, so the nation is one of paranoia, toil, and misery. The faith itself is no less convoluted, revering an ever-shifting pantheon of malevolent sky gods centered on the demon lord Pazuzu. It is heresy to utter the names of any sky gods of the pantheon; the church claims that doing so invites corruption and madness. Halana’s leaders, the three Windborne Theocrats, can control the weather, although they usually bring storms to evince their wrath rather than good weather to benefit the populace. They are known to be physically frail despite their divine power, as their seals of office are made from a poisonous skymetal called abysium, or feverstone. The Halana Theocracy enforces its will through an elite group of wicked soldiers known as the Mivanians. Most Mivanians are tengu, but the force admits a fair number of avian beastkin and tiefling humans with birdlike features as well. All Mivanians carry beast guns created from flying monsters, giving them unparalleled range. For anyone outside the Mivanians, owning a gun of any kind is a capital offense. An extensive and surprisingly well-armed rebellion is working to overthrow the theocracy and has caches of guns hidden throughout Halana.

Crownpeaks (summarized from Pathfinder Guns & Gears)

The Mildanesi Mountains comprise an enormous range running nearly the entire length of Arcadia. The northern mountains once inhabited by the extinct humanoids called the Crowned Regents are known today as the Crownpeaks. The few passes through the region are high and difficult; most become impassable with ferocious storms and deep snow during the winter. A few smaller
settlements like Oathscrape, Hinvar, and Picket Shelf provide travelers with respite, but hospitality can prove hard to
come by in the mountains. The Crownpeaks have few natural resources other than ore, but they bear that ore in abundance, including skymetals from Earthfall. The abandoned monasteries once occupied by the mysterious, vanished Crowned Regents are highly sought after, even though these ruins tend to harbor dangerous creatures who value a sheltered lair in the unforgiving peaks.


Hinvar is a small community of just over 1,000 people that's grown up on the banks of a swift, clear river that the local residents know only as "the River" (maps label it as the "Hinvar River," but that feels repetitive to residents). Most of the town's industry is fishing (mostly river trout) and farming (mostly cauliflower, broccoli, and kohlrabi). There is a small hospitality industry and a single inn, but visitors to Hinvar are met with cautious suspicion: mountain travelers are most often poor, desperate prospectors and visitors with wealth are probably representatives of the evil theocracy. Tengu, in particular, are automatically suspect; people of Hinvar want to avoid Mivanian attention as much as possible. A single road runs through Hinvar, connecting the heartland of the Halana Theocracy to the mining towns overlooking Three Craters, but there's so little traffic on it that people of Hinvar might see no travelers for days at a time--and in the winter months, maybe not for months. Key people and locations in Hinvar follow:

Mayor Kawshor (male tengu) is a feckless leader that few people in Hinvar respect. Installed by the Windborne Theocrats years ago, the mayor does little beyond collect taxes and meet with visitors that people believe to be Mivanians spying on Hinvar and the Crownpeaks.

Athbalm Vens (male human) is a flamboyant middle-aged man who owns and runs the most unexpected business in Hinvar--an elaborate stone auditorium called Athbalm's Playhouse. Anthbalm likes to put on extravagant plays, incorporating his neighbors as much as they'll stand. Hinvar is certainly much too small for a playhouse to be commercially viable, but Anthbalm keeps in business due to cowled, night-time visitors that rent the playhouse for exclusive events.

Lucio Hadrock (female human) is a sturdy, grandfatherly man who owns and runs the Hinvar Stable. The stable harbors farm animals driven to market more often than traveler's mounts, and Lucio works hard to keep his stable clean and inviting.

The Inn. Hinvar has only one inn. One or more of the characters will own it and get to name and describe it. The inn will be the characters' main meeting place, even though they might have residences elsewhere in or near town.

Hinvar has many more people and buildings, but these will be defined by the players. If a player wants to have a relationship with a hardworking miller, then Hinvar also has a mill.

The Valley

The valley around Hinvar is, for most residents of Hinvar, their whole world. Few have ever left it in their lives. Here are what you can find traveling in different directions from Hinvar at the valley's heart.

East: The road leading east from Hinvar is the best maintained. It leads seven miles into some high mountain passes into the Halana Theocracy. Farms and a few orchards line this road. Few people from Hinvar travel beyond the farthest farm, as they don't want anything to do with the Windborne Theocrats or the Mivanians. The rumors of Mivanians in the valley are already too much contact with Halana in their minds.

West: The poorly maintained road leading west from Hinvar leads through a low ridge of mountains to a higher plateau about five miles from the town. The road leads across the plateau and into higher and more dangerous mountain passes. The road splits to other communities in the Crownpeaks and ultimately leads to Three Craters. Traders from Three Craters sometimes come this way, but Hinvar is generally too remote to be a viable market for their technological goods. Some ranchers graze their herds in the plateau (as it's technically considered part of the valley), but this plateau is otherwise uninhabited.

North: The river flows through the valley from the north to south. Even from Hinvar, it's easy to see that the origin of the river is a thundering, enormous waterfall called the Roar. Beyond the Roar rises Featherpeak, the source of the river. The Roar is 15 miles from Hinvar, but more than half that distance--ten miles upstream--is a tumble of rocks and a dry riverbed called the Old Channel. The river used to flow down the Old Channel, not from the Roar, but some collapse high in the mountains rerouted the river over the Roar centuries ago. A tumbledown stone manor is still perched along the Old Channel, perhaps an former ferry house or long-dead ruler's riverside estate. it's considered haunted, but this doesn't deter Hinvar's bravest teens from exploring it now and again. The Old Channel would serve as a flat, easy path up into the mountains, but rumors say there's a Mivanian monastery up there, so no one goes much further than the crumbling manor house.

South: The river flows south through the valley for about 15 miles. It flows out through a dangerous (and mostly unknown) underground channel that locals call the Drop. The sucking, subterranean Drop is hazardous and best avoided. 

"From the Roar to the Drop" is a local euphemism for "everything," as those two sites are considered to define the ends of the valley, and thus the world to most people of Hinvar.

Character Creation

Make a Pathfinder Second Edition character that is 3rd level, using a "Core Rulebook plus one source." That is, you can pull rules from a single non-Core Rulebook source: you can play a fetchling (from Lost Omens Ancestry Guide) or a thaumaturge (from Pathfinder Dark Archive), but not a fetchling thaumaturge. Exceptions are that you can play a tengu without taking the Advanced Players Guide as your source, but you should know that tengu are treated with suspicion from most residents of Hinvar and you're setting yourself up for that. Equip yourself with a 2nd-level item and a 1st-level item of your choice (in addition to starting funds of 15 gp). The campaign doesn't use variant rules at the outset (like free archetypes or automatic bonus progression).

Most people in Hinvar are humans, but there are also a lot of whatever ancestries the players choose. That is, if a player wants to be a dwarf, there are also going to be lots of dwarves in Hinvar as well (unless that player wants to define themselves as being the only one).

Consider these background questions:

1) How did you get to 3rd level? That's more powerful than most people in Hinvar. Did you venture out of the valley to adventure and then come back? Do something significant in the valley? Or are you just naturally very skilled? What's the greatest threat you overcome to get to 3rd level?

2) Detail 3 NPCs your character knows well in Hinvar. These can be family or friends, but they should be among the most important people to you. This is a campaign about loss, so if you want to flag one of these people as someone you'd like protected in the narrative (that is, ultimately nothing bad will happen to them), please say so.

3) Work with the other players to determine who owns the inn in Hinvar and details about it.


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