Kingmaker: The Nation of Phoenicia
Briar: Evindra was ordered to watch over the sword Briar long ago—she can’t remember how long ago, but knows it was before humans first came to the Stolen Lands. Nor can she say much about who set her to the task of watching over the sword—she’s certain the shadowy fey worked for those who serve the Eldest of the First World, though, and thus she knew better than to disobey. Those who ordered her to guard Briar told her the sword was valuable to an “upstart” named Nyrissa—that this Nyrissa desired the blade greatly, and that the Eldest did not want her to have it. Evindra can confirm to the PCs that Briar is a +4 bastard sword now, but that its powers would likely start to reawaken once it is exposed to the raw energies of the First World or is used to slay denizens of that realm. While Evindra doesn’t know all of Briar’s potential powers, she does know that, fully awakened, the sword is both intelligent and a vorpal sword, among other things.
The sword known today as Briaris more than a sword to the nymph Nyrissa—it is a fundamental part of her being, and without the sword she is not whole. Yet the nature in which it was taken from her makes it impossible for her to find as long as it remains quiescent in the Material Plane.
Whiterose Abbey: The mysterious agents of Nyrissa’s enemies from the First World chose a low, nameless mound in the foothills of the Branthlend Mountains as Briar’s hidden vault, hiding the sword in a subterranean pool under what would come to be known as Whiterose Hill and entrusting its protection to a fey spirit of water named Evindra. For unknown years she did just that, but eventually, civilization came to call in the form of a group of priests of Cayden Cailean. Taken by the beauty of the white roses that grew upon the hill, they chose the hill as the site to build a remote abbey and winery. Over the decades that followed, the need for companionship eventually drove Evindra to contact the priests, and they welcomed her presence, seeing her as a benevolent spirit once she began to teach them the secret of how to enhance the quality of their wine by using purer forms of water and more efficient methods of filtration. It all came to an end when the church sent an awkward and embarrassing member to the abbey—a lecherous and somewhat deformed half ling sorcerer whose skill at gardening and cultivating vineyards only just kept him in the good graces of the church. They did not excommunicate him for his borderline acts of heresy, but rather entrusted him to the priests of Whiterose, hoping that the remote location would soften his eccentricities. Yet when the gardener first encountered Evindra, he became obsessed with her, and one night he stole her shawl and in so doing gained a considerable bargaining chip, for Evindra was a nereid, and her shawl contained a portion of her soul. The gardener forced Evindra into a watery form and imprisoned her in a beautiful water clock so he could keep her to himself.
Nyrissa: Evindra knows the legend of how Nyrissa fell in love with one of the Eldest, how the nymph’s resulting rise in power led her to proclaim herself one of the rulers of the First World, and how the Eldest reacted by sending the Jabberwock to slay her and exiling her lover from the First World to the Shadow Plane. She knows Nyrissa survived, and suspects she harbors a grudge against the Eldest. She also knows that the nymph queen rules a realm called Thousandbreaths, and that it lies close to the Material Plane in the similarly named Thousand Voices, or Forest of Breath. She knows too that Nyrissa has long had an interest in the Stolen Lands, and that many of the region’s fey know of her and fear her—there are even rumors that the nymph queen walks the Stolen Lands now and then, visiting cruelties on those who annoy her and strange rewards upon those who please her. These rumors make Evindra suspect that there may be some physical connection between the Stolen Lands and the First World—and logic would dictate that a likely place for such a connection to exist would be the depths of the forest of Thousand Voices.