An elderly woman in brightly colored garments with many competing layers.
Caravan Jobs: Koya can perform the following caravan jobs: fortune-teller, guard, healer, passenger, or spellcaster.
Preferred Gifts: brightly colored clothes, detailed maps (the older, the better), fortune-telling tools
Hated Insults: blasphemy against Desna, crass comments about her advanced age, jokes about being a homebody or having never traveled outside of Varisia
Enmity Boon: Your luck seems worse than ever, and you suspect it’s because Koya has put some sort of weird, subtle Varisian curse on you. As a result, you’re more suspicious than normal, and gain a +4 bonus on all saving throws against illusions and on all Sense Motive checks to see through deceptions from Bluff attempts.
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.
Koya has wanted to travel to the far corners of Golarion since she was a child and first saw a map of the world in an old history book she came across while sneaking through her mother’s impressive collection of notes, trophies, and keepsakes from her extensive travels. Although Koya has since come to learn that the old map was rather inaccurate, she’s never lost the sense of wonder she gained from the simple notion that the world she’d thought she’d known was so much larger than she’d ever imagined. Likewise, a childhood trip to Korvosa impressed upon her how different the world can be as you travel from plains to forests to swamps to mountains to large urban centers. The idea that one could make journeys 10 or even 100 times as long as the caravan route running from Sandpoint to Korvosa has long been a point of fascination and wonder for Koya.
But Koya never went on that long journey until later. She always assumed there would be the chance for an adventure in the near future, but the present always seemed to have a knack for getting in the way. Responsibilities to her family caravan, her several tempestuous love affairs as a young woman, the task of caring for unfortunate children who had no mother of their own (most notably Sandru Vhiski, and Stuart Mageson), and then caring for her elderly, but not quite completely infirm, mother all worked to keep her at home. Just as one phase of her life seemed ready to close, the next began, and before she knew it, the unwelcome kiss of old age had crept into her aching bones and wrinkled face.
With her mother now dead, Koya is eager to seize what she thinks might be her last chance for that great, world-spanning journey. Before leaving Sandpoint she had been traveling with her adopted son Sandru in his caravan, serving as a fortune-teller, and at long last her attempts to convince him to go for a long journey have borne fruit!
Koya served as the spiritual core of the caravan. As is traditional on Varisian caravans, the fortune teller serves as an advisor for most of the travelers in the caravan, and Koya’s stories, fortune-telling, and sense of humor were a staple of all nights spent on the road for most of the travelers. The longer the journey progresses and the more miles the caravan piles on, the more energetic and excited Koya seemed to become, almost as if the journey was invigorating her rather than exhausting her, with one very notable exception.
Zaphendrius “Zap” Aladroxan has found a way to really trigger Koya’s frustration to the point where she’s taken on a bit of a darker bend. It isn’t so much Zap’s blasphemy, though Koya has been heard to complain about that. “For such a smart man, he’s really an idiot to ignore what’s in front of his eyes,” and similar statements have been overheard as Zap passes by. Lately some of those words have turned to mutters and gestures, and Koya has been itching for a chance to get out on her own and prove herself again.