This is it, Pathfinders—the conclusion of our world-spanning journey through the Age of Lost Omens! It’s only fitting, then, that we end in a region full of tried and true fantasy tropes, lands of elves, dwarves, knights in shining armor, and … guillotines?
Er, we’ll get back to those tall knives in a bit. Let’s start with those elves though, shall we? Kyonin, on the southeastern corner of Lake Encarthan in central Avistan, is one of the oldest nations in the Age of Lost Omens setting, predating even Earthfall over 10 millennia ago. But the elves of yore foresaw the disaster and fled through the mysterious Sovyrian Stone to a distant, alien refuge. When they returned to Golarion centuries later, they found their homeland overrun by the nacent demon lord, Treerazer, whom they still battle today. Among the many ancient tools at the elves’ disposal is a vast network of magical gates, called aiudara, that link Kyonin to elven populations in distant corners of the world, including in the Mwangi Expanse, the Crown of the World, and beyond.
Illustration by Fabio Gorla
Right next door we have the Five Kings Mountains, homeland of the dwarves. Upon arriving on Golarion’s surface at the end of their generations-long Quest for Sky millennia ago, this mountainous region was one of the first they populated. Since their founding, the five kingdoms that give the dwarven stronghold its name have waxed and waned in power, and internal conflict (including a recent turn toward the worship of Droskar) have led to a decline in the land. But after breaking free from Droskar’s influence, more traditional dwarven culture has been on the rise, and the worship of Torag and his kin are resurgent in the region. A people bound by tradition, the dwarves of the Five Kings Mountains have unearthed ancient ways as a result of this embrace of their history, including the resurgence of the shamanistic Rivethun throughout Avistan.
Illustration by Biagio d’Alessandro
To the west of the Five Kings Mountains lies the mercantile nation of Druma (most recently explored in the final First Edition Pathfinder Campaign Setting book, Druma, Profit and Prophecy). The influential Prophecies of Kalistrade permeate almost every aspect of Drumish society, most notably the pursuit of wealth and opulence. The Kalistocrats (as adherents to the strict code of conduct associated with the prophecies are called) are among the canniest merchants, investors, and speculators in the Age of Lost Omens setting, and their reach extends into markets across the world.
To Druma’s south lies Andoran, the first true democracy in Avistan and Garund. Formerly part of Taldor, and then Cheliax, Andoran gained its independence in the People’s Revolt in the wake of the rise of House Thrune. Now free from the outdated constraints of nobility and monarchy, the fate of all Andorens is theirs to grasp. Andoran spreads its ideology of freedom and liberty to distant lands via its well trained and expertly equipped Eagle Knights, whose three branches—the infantry of the Golden Legion, the knights of the Steel Falcons (and their naval counterparts, the Gray Corsairs), and the secret agents of the Twilight Talons—work in tandem to oppose oppression, especially slavery, throughout the Inner Sea region. Members of this organization may find the magical epaulets presented in the chapter a nice addition to their character loadouts.
Andoran isn’t the only nation to attempt to wrest itself free from the tyranny of nobility, though it remains the only one to do so peacefully. In neighboring Galt, a bloody revolution has gripped the nation for half a century as its people attempt to form a new government in the wake of political upheaval. Under the watchful eyes of the Gray Gardeners, who enforce the laws of the Revolutionary Council with their soul-trapping final blade, the people of Galt strive to establish their own nation free from bloodshed and oppression, though many feel that they simply traded the rule of an autocratic aristocracy for the domination of an autocratic Revolutionary Council. And yes, there are stats for a final blade included. What could go wrong?
Last but far from least, is the nation of Taldor, among the first new nations on the Inner Sea to rise from the devastation of Earthfall. Over the millennia, Taldor expanded to include nearly all of Avistan, and most of the human nations from Cheliax to Brevoy have roots as former Taldan vassals. But Taldor has fallen far from these great heights, and centuries of ineffectual bureaucratic rule, hedonistic waste by the upper classes, and general bad luck have seen its territory shrink to a fraction of its former glory. Still, the people of Taldor are proud and resilient, and their culture is ascendant under the new rule of Grand Princess Eutropia, who took the throne just last year. A progressive empress open to new ways of governing, whose ambitions are tempered with moderation and a dedication to improving the lives of her people, Eutropia nevertheless has her political enemies who are either bitter at their defeat during the recent war for the crown or who see her new approach to rulership a threat to their wealth, prestige, or both. What trials may await the people of Taldor as they attempt to reclaim their proper place as most influential and best respected nation in the world?
For players, this section of the Lost Omens World Guide presents the aforementioned Golden Legion epaulets and final blade (okay, so that one might be more for GMs), but also seven new backgrounds tied to the region, including final blade survivor, Kalistrade follower, and Rivethun adherent, as well as the Lion Blade archetype, which puts your character in the role of a secret agent of the Taldan throne who uses deception and disguise to your advantage.
Because Thursday is bound to be a busy news day here at Paizo HQ, we’ll be taking one final look at the Tales of Lost Omens tomorrow, with one more piece by Liane Merciel. Next week, we’ll change the focus of our ongoing web fiction offerings to our first Starfinder fiction—a series of Iconic Encounters written by former Starfinder Creative Director James L. Sutter.
In the meantime, enjoy the launch of Pathfinder Second Edition in just two days, and keep an eye out for the Lost Omens World Guide, which comes out just a few short weeks from now! Adventure in the Age of Lost Omens awaits, are you ready?
The Shining Kingdoms
Tuesday, July 30, 2019