The High Seas

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Sit right back and I'll tell a tale, a tale of a frightful trip that started in a tropic port and involved a fateful ship. Tighten your floatation devices, take a deep breath, and let's dive in to our tour of the High Seas meta-region of the Age of Lost Omens campaign setting!

Illustration by Roberto Pitturru

By far the largest of the meta-regions in the Lost Omens World Guide, the High Seas consist of, well, all the seas and oceans that cover Golarion’s surface. And though the shape of these great bodies of water remains largely constant, the sea is ever changing, with new, unexpected threats and bounties awaiting over every horizon or washing ashore with every wave. That said, not a lot has changed between Pathfinder's first and second edition in this region, leaving more room for us to explore all new locations and dive deeper into the lore of established but only lightly detailed locales and organizations.

Among the areas given new revelations are the Mordant Spire, the ancient elven outpost formed from the remains of a dead Azlanti god; the utopian island nation of Hermea, where the benevolent gold dragon Mengkare oversees a grand experiment to perfect humanity; tropical Mediogalti Island, home to the pirate port of Ilizmagorti and the secret, jungle citadel of the Red Mantis assassins cult!

Illustration by Rogier van de Beek

Illustration by Valeria Lutfullina

Illustration by Mirco Paganessi

The region of the High Seas we've done the most with in Pathfinder's first decade of development is the archipelago known as the Shackles, off Garund's western coast. Here, in the shadow of the permanent hurricane called the Eye of Abendego, the Free Captains of the Pirate Council rule their fellow buccaneers as much with fear and the threat of violence as they do loyalty and the promise of coin. A few years back, the Hurricane King Kerdak Bonefist was defeated by an ambitious crew of pirates who'd begun their career as simple deckhands on the famed ship Wormwood. Replacing Bonefist as the head of the Pirate Council and ruler of Port Peril is Hurricane Queen Tessa Fairwind. To the pirates and other natives of the Shackles, life is pretty much what it was before the edition change, but the Free Pirates, no longer receiving bribes from the government of Sargava, have ramped up their operations in the region, leaving the entire southern Arcadian Ocean ripe territory for both potential cutthroats and privateers looking to quash piracy at its source.

Illustration by Cynthia F.G.

One of the most exciting parts of the High Seas region, however, are the lands and settlements beneath the waves. New sites in the Inner Sea and Arcadian Ocean are presented with exciting adversaries, political intrigues, and adventure seeds for any sea-faring campaign. Among them are the aquatic elf city of Irim, the gillman enclave of Kienek-Li off the Isle of Kortos, consisting of the coral Boneglade and the buoyant, wooden Float, anchored to the ocean floor by giant chains, and the deep-trench alghollthu city of Gholinom, dubbed the Passage Outward by its sinister masters.

Illustration by Fabio Gorla

Illustration by Klaher Baklaher

Presented alongside the setting details of the High Seas are a number of new character options, including both magical and mundane equipment useful in both maritime and underwater exploration, seven new backgrounds such as the Hermean expatriate, scholar of Azlant, and storm survivor, and the Red Mantis assassin archetype, allowing cultists of the mantis god Achaekek to begin their training as early in their careers as second level.

Next week, we'll head back to solid ground for a trip through the Impossible Lands along the Obari Ocean! On Thursday, Pathfinder Tales veteran Chris A. Jackson wraps up his trilogy of Tales of Lost Omens flash fiction with a return to the genre he perfected in his novels Pirate's Honor, Pirate's Promise, and Pirate's Prophecy.

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder World Guides Tales of Lost Omens
Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Huzzah!


7 people marked this as a favorite.

tqomins was right about the Red Mantis assassin archetype.

(^_')=b

--C.

<edit> Added link.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm glad we are fleshing out the undersea civilizations more; Blood of the Sea and Aquatic Adventures were two of my favorite PF1 splatbooks. Here's hoping we get aquatic elf, gillman, locathah, and cecaelia ancestries soon. Merfolk are all well and good but the aquatic people who can get around well on land are the best choices for mixed (or non-aquatic) campaigns by far. Plus "very serious professional stinky fish man who is sensitive about it" and "cheerful, curious, doofy octopus lady" are blast to play (as are oddly literal "fish out of water" scenarios.)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That merfolk have a small "Sebastian" friend. So cute. :3

Liberty's Edge

Ohhh Pirates ya say... SO MUCH AQUATIC FUN!!! I do hope that the bring out an aquatic ancestry sooner than later, as it would be nice to have one that anyone could make.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Psiphyre wrote:
tqomins was right about the Red Mantis assassin archetype.

Called it! :-)

Here's what we've got so far:

1) Absalom: Pathfinder Agent
2) Broken Lands: Aldori Duelist
3) Eye of Dread: Lastwall Sentry
4) Golden Road: Living Monolith
5) High Seas: Red Mantis Assassin
6) Impossible Lands: Student of Perfection
7) Mwangi Expanse: ?
8) Old Cheliax: Hellknight Armiger
9) Saga Lands: ?
10) Shining Kingdoms: ?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

16 people marked this as a favorite.
Elfteiroh wrote:
That merfolk have a small "Sebastian" friend. So cute. :3

Everything's better down where it's wetter, take it from him.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
That merfolk have a small "Sebastian" friend. So cute. :3
Everything's better down where it's wetter, take it from him.

Says the drowning devil!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Excited for this section, but on the fence with the new Tessa artwork.
To be fair I thought the S&S pieces were amazing and in a style I prefer, so it's probably just personal taste.

Spoiler:
I do like the choice of hat illusion for the hurricane crown though! Appropriately flamboyant!

Liberty's Edge

That all looks good to me. I'm particularly interested in what equipment winds up in this chapter.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Such a shame to see litter in Golarion's oceans. Did anyone else see the plastic ring 6 pack holder at the bottom of the float?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

So... Mengkare is "benevolent" now?

:P

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rogar Valertis wrote:

So... Mengkare is "benevolent" now?

:P

Yeah, just like Rahadoun the previews don't mention some of the darker aspects of those places, I very much hope to find them in the final books.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark Moreland wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
That merfolk have a small "Sebastian" friend. So cute. :3
Everything's better down where it's wetter, take it from him.

That crab is really stealing the show, but I have it on good authority that he is a real expert ^^

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Rogar Valertis wrote:

So... Mengkare is "benevolent" now?

:P

Well, he's a gold dragon, isn't he?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Moreland wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:

So... Mengkare is "benevolent" now?

:P

Well, he's a gold dragon, isn't he?

Is he? =O


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:

So... Mengkare is "benevolent" now?

:P

Well, he's a gold dragon, isn't he?

Sure... does that make him LG by default though?

:P

Paizo Employee Developer

9 people marked this as a favorite.

He has to be, right? Look at how adorable he looks in his portrait! That's the face of a sweetheart!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Luis Loza wrote:
He has to be, right? Look at how adorable he looks in his portrait! That's the face of a sweetheart!

Seems like he just stepped on one of his "experiments" by mistake...

"Whoops! Sorry! It wasn't really my fault, you know... I wanted to test human reaction to high pressure and he just died on me! He obviously was flawed. We need more testing! Bring me another human!"

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark Moreland wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:

So... Mengkare is "benevolent" now?

:P

Well, he's a gold dragon, isn't he?

Well, Rise of the Runelords had an Aasimar, they are always nice right ^^ ?

I haven't thought about that area for years, but selectively breeding humans is kinda worrying.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

"It does not, however, seem impossible that by an attention to breed, a certain degree of improvement, similar to that among animals, might take place among humans. Whether intellect could be communicated may be a matter of doubt: but size, strength, beauty, complexion, and perhaps even longevity are in a degree transmissible... As the human race could not be improved in this way, without condemning all the bad specimens to celibacy, it is not probable, that an attention to breed should ever become general." — Mengkare of Hermea, 4593 AR


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Luis Loza wrote:
He has to be, right? Look at how adorable he looks in his portrait! That's the face of a sweetheart!

LOL! He has the face of someone who just "smellt it, dealt it".


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rogar Valertis wrote:
Luis Loza wrote:
He has to be, right? Look at how adorable he looks in his portrait! That's the face of a sweetheart!

Seems like he just stepped on one of his "experiments" by mistake...

"Whoops! Sorry! It wasn't really my fault, you know... I wanted to test human reaction to high pressure and he just died on me! He obviously was flawed. We need more testing! Bring me another human!"

Next on the list is "how humans react to fire". He is really waiting for the results^^

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

<_< I wonder how many people are being cheeky here due to knowing so much *looks suspiciously at paizo staff*

Anyhoo, cool stuff :D

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

This would be great for my playtest Red Mantis defector if it weren't for the probability that whatever Red Mantis archetype we get will still need to be evil. Maybe there will be a background for him though. I'm still hoping Mwangi gives us a Storm Kindler archetype for my Ire of the Storm group.

Lantern Lodge

I'm going for a Mwangi arcanist archetype for Mwangi. Although a druid multiclass is a lot more viable in P2 than it was in P1, and that would cover the most of it.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

MY PARENTS DIED AT SEA!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love most of the art but Tessa and the merfolk look a little... damn, I don't know. I've said it before, it seems to me that some illustrations for 2e are good, but not the top notch quality I'm used to from Paizo.

Which I understand, is a very subjective opinion, and also, others are downright fantastic (just in this blog the Crimson Citadel and the Float are very good, and Mengkare and the opening illo are nice too).

What matters most is that Paizo keeps doing a great job with their contents, but considering that will be practically a given, I think the art has room for improvement.

I don't wanna be a spoilsport though - the new locations sound exciting and the old are always cool, plus the recent developments seem interesting and conducive to more high adventure, and I can't wait to check out those backgrounds.

Also, next week is one of my favorite territories - the Impossible Lands! Nex, Jalmeray, Geb - and most of all the Mana Wastes and Alkenstar! Whoo! ♪┏(・o・)┛♪┗ ( ・o・) ┓♪

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like how we're back to sanity and ships with cannons are now a normal thing. The whole "we're yarrrr barrel of rum not-Caribbean XVIII century pirrrates BUT we fight using trebuchets and catapults because the primary target group of Pathfinder RPG has a weird relationship with guns" thing was contrived and I'm happy to see somebody finally realized that while folks freak out when faced with a firearm that's evocative of what's going down on the streets of 'Murica, they are fine with lazor pistols, sonic accelerators and good old' 25 pounder gunhowitzers.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

ACAVNA! Never forget!

Also yay! Tessa!

Elfteiroh wrote:
That merfolk have a small "Sebastian" friend. So cute. :3

Yay! Crab buddy!

blog wrote:
On Thursday, Pathfinder Tales veteran Chris A. Jackson wraps up his trilogy of Tales of Lost Omens flash fiction with a return to the genre he perfected in his novels Pirate's Honor, Pirate's Promise, and Pirate's Prophecy.

Oooo, are we gonna sea a certain captain and Naga?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Actually, can we get that bag hermit crab as a profile picture? I would use it!!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Red Mantis Assasins are awesome, I loved slaying the tricky blighters in Crimson Throne. So many cool things like the nasty swords and the scorpion summoning. I do wonder how they become a 2e archetype? it's great that any class can potentially become one, but their special rules are very niche. For instance, I loved their narrow but interesting spell list (losing these is one of few downsides to 2e).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Mengkare looks senile or crazy here. Not benevolent


Not much new info here if I’m going to be honest, though Sargava not giving money to the Shackles anymore could hint towards what’s Vidrian actually is.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"where the benevolent gold dragon Mengkare oversees a grand experiment to perfect humanity"

[slams that press x to doubt button]


0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:
Red Mantis Assasins are awesome, I loved slaying the tricky blighters in Crimson Throne. So many cool things like the nasty swords and the scorpion summoning. I do wonder how they become a 2e archetype? it's great that any class can potentially become one, but their special rules are very niche. For instance, I loved their narrow but interesting spell list (losing these is one of few downsides to 2e).

We could get some focus spells though, which imo is more focused and evocative than a spell list...

Edit-

Gorbacz wrote:
I like how we're back to sanity and ships with cannons are now a normal thing.

I can't see ships with cannon here. The one in the opening illustration doesn't have them, and I re-read the blog to see if I was missing something... and either there's no hint of black powder, or the heat is really having a terrible effect on me.

(Of course it's just the heat, why do you ask?).

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:

<_< I wonder how many people are being cheeky here due to knowing so much *looks suspiciously at paizo staff*

Anyhoo, cool stuff :D

Not just Paizo staff, secrets are out if you know where to look


Exciting preview! Looking forward to adventuring in the turbulent, mystery-infested High Seas. As usual, the art in mostly excellent. I especially like the artwork of the Kraken preparing for dinner, and the superb citadel of the Red Mantis. Have to say, not particularly a fan of the Tessa art myself, and to me, doesn't really fit with the style of the others.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Roswynn wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I like how we're back to sanity and ships with cannons are now a normal thing.

I can't see ships with cannon here. The one in the opening illustration doesn't have them, and I re-read the blog to see if I was missing something... and either there's no hint of black powder, or the heat is really having a terrible effect on me.

(Of course it's just the heat, why do you ask?).

The ship in the Starstone Isle post has three decks of cannons.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:

I like how we're back to sanity and ships with cannons are now a normal thing. The whole "we're yarrrr barrel of rum not-Caribbean XVIII century pirrrates BUT we fight using trebuchets and catapults because the primary target group of Pathfinder RPG has a weird relationship with guns" thing was contrived and I'm happy to see somebody finally realized that while folks freak out when faced with a firearm that's evocative of what's going down on the streets of 'Murica, they are fine with lazor pistols, sonic accelerators and good old' 25 pounder gunhowitzers.

I mean even if we don't want guns to be commonplace and for every skirmish with orcs to devolve into gun fights, it is a lot easier to engineer a mounted cannon than an easily portable version of the same. So one can just set their games in a technological period where cannons are relatively common on ships/forts but pistols and muskets have not been invented else are just not generally available. I mean earth humans were using large tubes loaded with gunpowder to kill each other as far back as the 12th century. Reusable muskets; as opposed to fire lances that were not reusable, were short range, and were liable to explode so you gave them to unimportant people; came much later.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

I like how we're back to sanity and ships with cannons are now a normal thing. The whole "we're yarrrr barrel of rum not-Caribbean XVIII century pirrrates BUT we fight using trebuchets and catapults because the primary target group of Pathfinder RPG has a weird relationship with guns" thing was contrived and I'm happy to see somebody finally realized that while folks freak out when faced with a firearm that's evocative of what's going down on the streets of 'Murica, they are fine with lazor pistols, sonic accelerators and good old' 25 pounder gunhowitzers.

I mean even if we don't want guns to be commonplace and for every skirmish with orcs to devolve into gun fights, it is a lot easier to engineer a mounted cannon than an easily portable version of the same. So one can just set their games in a technological period where cannons are relatively common on ships/forts but pistols and muskets have not been invented else are just not generally available. I mean earth humans were using large tubes loaded with gunpowder to kill each other as far back as the 12th century. Reusable muskets; as opposed to fire lances that were not reusable, were short range, and were liable to explode so you gave them to unimportant people; came much later.

For a ship you don't just have to engineer the gun mounts - the whole ship has to be designed to withstand the recoil, or it will shake apart or capsize.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
For a ship you don't just have to engineer the gun mounts - the whole ship has to be designed to withstand the recoil, or it will shake apart or capsize.

Nonetheless, this is a much easier engineering project than "the same thing, but in your hands". So it would make sense that important ships (which will be built or retrofitted that way because they are important) would have cannons, even if we're not putting guns everywhere.

Like it will not take long for Golarion's navies to discover that which you refer to empirically, and they have access to engineering solutions we don't (read: magically reinforce the ship).


Should this thread not be in the Second Edition forum, like all the others so far?

--C.

Flagged my post to get Forum Moderators to check. Sorry for any inconvenience.


GreatKhanArtist wrote:
Such a shame to see litter in Golarion's oceans. Did anyone else see the plastic ring 6 pack holder at the bottom of the float?

Whose 6 pack was that for? That thing seems enormous. I thought the blocks in the Float were some kind of shipping containers . . . although on second thought any moderate storm would break those up, even if made of metal like on Earth instead of wood like what the Float is described as being. Speaking of which, if it is wood, how is that thing kept maintained in the face of rot and shipworms?

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Campaign Setting / General Discussion / Paizo Blog: The High Seas All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

See Also: