The shattered remains of dead civilizations lie dormant throughout the Inner Sea. Whether such ruins are entombed under tons of rubble, sunk beneath white-capped oceans, or warped into blasted wastelands by otherworldly energies, the perils of these obliterated empires are equaled only by the unfathomable treasures locked within their crumbling temples, crypts, and citadels.
Lost Kingdoms provides a detailed overview of six of Golarion’s most famous and mysterious ancient nations, fallen empires that promise intrepid adventurers the opportunity to claim untold riches, explore fantastical realms of antiquity, and unravel mysteries thought long lost to the sands of time.
Ancient kingdoms explored in this 64-page book include:
Ancient Osirion, the pharaonic empire whose rulers constructed treasure-laden crypts, pyramids, and temples dedicated to their own honor.
Ghol-Gan, where cyclopes raised ziggurats to otherworldly deities, but whose works now serve as half-flooded temple-lairs for alien horrors.
The Jistka Imperium, the first true civilization to rise after the apocalypse of Earthfall, famed for its golem-crafting artificers and expansionist magistrates.
Lirgen and Yamasa, whose astrological divinations and ancestral spirits led their cultures to prosperity, but failed to warn them of the coming of the great hurricane destined to destroy their lands.
Sarkoris, where barbarian warlords and druids now raise spears against the demon-spawning rift in the center of their ancestral lands.
Thassilon, a divided empire ruled by the runelords, vile wizards whose sin magic enslaved entire tribes of giants and shackled them to building monuments to their glory.
Lost Kingdoms is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.
By Wolfgang Baur, Adam Daigle, Jeff Erwin,
and F. Wesley Schneider.
I came into this book with very few expectations. All I knew was the list of authors and that somewhere within this tome there were golems. That's all I needed, really, as I've been a huge fan of the artificer character archetype for a long time and have held a special fascination for golems.
And golems there were. After reading the section on the Jistka Imperium, my mind was full of wonderfully evocative character, monster, and encounter ideas. Reforging the golem controlling rod to control a massive beast, entire towns on the backs of roaming monsters...And thankfully, this would be a theme oft repeated in this book. The chapters were wonderful for inspiring campaigns, archetypes, and character concepts.
After reading about the Jistka Imperium, I dove into the Sodden Lands to learn about Lirgen and Yamasa. Lirgen in particular was highly interesting. Any nation whose entire deal was the use of astrology and prophecy to tell the future, directly before the death of Aroden, is bound to be fascinating just for the mysteries it raises. And mysteries it raises in spades. Why couldn't they fortell this? What exactly is that otherworldly thing that saved the last 'surviving' astrologer, now holed up in her own observatory fortress? I never thought I'd want to play a character based on astrology, but after reading this chapter I immediately had to make one.
The bloodied past of Ancient Osirion is laid out for us as well. Again, I wasn't expecting Egypt, The Fantasy Land to catch my attention as much as it did. But there were many great sections here as well. The revelation of everyone's favorite drug of choice was both revolting and intriguing at the same time. One almost hopes that there were alchemist discoveries associated with this article, if only to see the twisted things that alchemists could do with a little ground up mummy.
For now, I definitely think the book is worth the price. I honestly did not expect to see so many evocative ideas in here, and I was very pleased with how it turned out. I'll give it 4 stars for now, as I haven't fully read the book. But this review will hopefully be a place holder for a more in-depth review at a later date. And if such an event occurs, I'll be sure to revise the score if necessary.