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How to envision the lands of Golarion, which tales do you recommend?

Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

I've been trying to imagine what a day in the life in each land would be like and no matter how much I read about Ustalav and Cheliax, I still have trouble seeing what it's like living, say a year there, how each day would turn out. Cheliax is especially tough since in the morning it seems to radiate like a civilized, albeit snobbish and racist, country and at night it SOUNDS like I'd be safer in the darklands (which I'm still struggling to get used to calling the darklands after having gotten used to 'underdark').

I was a fan of the drizzt novels NOT because he was this unbalanced fighter/ranger/rogue build, but because in the novels where he still lived in the underdark I could understand what a day in a drow city was like. Even when he was living in the icewind dale I could see what....well I couldn't understand what living in a town was like but I could understand what troubles a nomadic group of barbarians would fare over there in addition to how to envision looking out over the lands would roughly look like.

Which of paizo's tales best paint life in the different parts of Golarion? There aren't many books so I'm tempted to get them all, but I'm not such an avid reader (but if the novel is ALSO available as PDF, then that would actually be perfect but I'd settle for just the novel). I'd like to know what I'd see if I looked out over the town, would there be children playing in Cheliax (in the morning)? Would I see depressed people in Ustalav (or would they all be hustling at a fast pace near the outsider, or even hustling because day-to-day life isn't safe)? Would cities from assassin's creed (1) best describe cities in Qadira? Would historical animes better describe what I'd see in the Jade Regent adventure path?

Pathfinder animated shorts or comics would be perfect (getting my hands on Zogonia and downer, but Zogonia is based IN Zogonia and Downer's preview shows a mind flayer which sadly probably won't appear in pathfinder).

Liberty's Edge

Well, Pathfinder Tales has a whole bunch of free web fiction.

I'd start there because, y'know, free. Much of it gives very good ideas indeed as to what life is like in the area it occurs in ('The Secret of Rose and Glove' does this superbly with Galt, 'Blood Crimes' is very good on Geb, and 'Lord of Penance' shows Absalom to full effect, just to pick three that are particularly evocative of place, specifically).

In terms of particular APs, the fiction entries in that AP are usually excellent mood-setters (which likewise means that the Carrion Crown one is good for Ustalav, the Council of Thieves one good for Cheliax, etc.), and I'd highly reccomend them.

I've actually only read two Pathfinder Tales novels: Prince of Wolves and Plague of Shadows. I found Prince of Wolves very evocative of Ustalav indeed, but found Plague of Shadows (while decent otherwise), not especially evocative of Galt or the rest of the areas it's set in. So, I really couldn't say about any others.

Thanks for the tips, I'd even forgotten to mention wanting to imagine Geb! Will definitely make blood crimes first on my list of web fiction and council of thieves AP second!

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