Tales of Lost Omens

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Now that we've concluded our Iconic Evolutions video series, I'm sure all of our readers are eagerly awaiting news of what exciting content we'll be sharing on Tuesdays going forward. Have no fear, brave Pathfinders, for I've got you covered!

Starting next week, hot on the heels of what's sure to be the best PaizoCon yet, we'll be showing the first of the new regions of the Pathfinder setting as presented in the Lost Omens World Guide, coming out on August 1. These 10 meta-regions are geographically contiguous and thematically linked sections of the Inner Sea region, each intended to be a bit more accessible to new players and Game Masters than the previous 40+ nations presented in the Inner Sea World Guide.

Cartography by Rob McCaleb

In addition to new groupings of neighboring nations, we've also updated the "status quo" of the setting to incorporate the effects of the past 12 years of adventures. We'll share a few of these changes every Tuesday until August, giving you a glimpse of the state of the world in 4719 AR and beyond. Don't worry, though, we'll do our best not to spoil past APs for those still finishing up their First Edition campaigns, and we'll leave plenty of reveals for August when you can read the full book yourselves.

Illustration by David Alvarez

For fans of the Iconic Encounters series of flash fiction we've tied to the weekly Iconic Evolution videos, we'll be continuing that with a piece starring Fumbus on Thursday of this week, and then continuing the flash fiction trend with a new series beginning next week: Tales of Lost Omens. These pieces are slightly longer than James Sutter's Iconic Encounters, but are still closely tied (as best we could) to an epic piece of art from the forthcoming Lost Omens World Guide. Fans of past Pathfinder Tales novels will be happy to know that we've gotten some of our most prolific authors to return for this series, so stay tuned!

Let us know in the comments or at PaizoCon this weekend what you've thought of the Iconic Evolutions, Iconic Encounters, and other preview content we've featured over the last few months here on the blog. We've been really pleased with the level of engagement on both series so far, and hope that varying the format a bit will keep things fresh and exciting for the coming months.

I've got lots of PaizoCon preparation to get to, so I'll wrap this up, but I look forward to seeing everyone at the con and then showing off our first region next week. Until then, Pathfinders, may your wayfinders always point toward adventure!

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

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Tags: Pathfinder World Guides Tales of Lost Omens Web Fiction
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Super excited to hear more about the evolution of the campaign setting! ISWG and Pact Worlds have been two of my absolute favorite books from Paizo, so I can't wait to see the state of the world starting in the new edition.

And I gotta say, just based on evocative names, I think "Saga Lands" is my favorite so far!


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So, Vidrian? That's new.


This is so cool! looking forward to all the world updates!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

and Oprak?


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"We'll try not to spoil the endings of APs for you."

New Thassilon. Like, right there, smack dab on the map.


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Oprak, while a new name, is (Ironfang Invasion spoilers ahead):

Spoiler:
Located exactly on the conflict zone of Ironfang invasion, and assuming the PCs made a peaceful deal with their leader, they retreat to their citadel and a new safe zone for goblinoids can be found there.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I love that

Hell's Rebels spoiler:
Ravounel is canonically its own country now. My Hell's Rebels players will appreciate that.

Paizo Employee Designer

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GM Mjolbeard wrote:

Super excited to hear more about the evolution of the campaign setting! ISWG and Pact Worlds have been two of my absolute favorite books from Paizo, so I can't wait to see the state of the world starting in the new edition.

And I gotta say, just based on evocative names, I think "Saga Lands" is my favorite so far!

We were batting around some OKish but a little bland and not always all-encompassing name possibilities for the region, when suddenly Mike Sayre was like "You know what ties them all together? Sagas!" and nearly unanimously that name won out. The Golden Road name took longest to find of all 10 regions.


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Yeah some names are a bit silly, but I guess they make sense. I don't expect the names to be used a lot in-game, it just seems like a construction by the writers for organizing lore content books rather than anything in-setting.


The Eye of Dread has me a bit worried about what might be going on there.

Ravounel, the Shining Kingdoms, and Sakoris Scar inspire new hope because Hell's Rebels, War for the Crown and Wrath of the Righteous are my favorite APs.

Galt being in the Shining Kingdoms and not the Brokenlands kind of surprises me, does that mean the patriotic fervor has died down will Brevoy has finally entered Civil War?

Vidrian and Oprak are new names I do not recognize but color me intrigued.

Also, are the mountain ranges just named to detail them or are their unique regions?


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
shadowkras wrote:
So, Vidrian? That's new.

It looks like it is located just south of Sargava -- speaking of which, what happened to that colony? Did Vidrian conquer it? I do not recall seeing any published adventure that would have removed Sargava from the map. I guess that is something we will find out in the next few months.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Depending on the faction(s) chosen by the PCs in Serpent's Skull, Sargava might have been strengthened (and might have chosen a new name), or replaced by a new nation empowered by the discoveries made by the PCs I guess?


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The old Mystara campaigner in me cringes a little at "Broken Lands" (the region of Brun home to humanoid tribes) and the similarity of "Eye of Dread" to the X1 Adventure the "Isle of Dread".

I am hoping that there will be a little more of the surrounding world added in to give a sense of place in the larger world. It's been more than a decade, after all. Someone has to have walked east and returned...

Also, the new map style is nice.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The digital assets page is missing the filters currently. Hopefully the 1E content will be updated to have those megaregions and planes.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Based on Vidiran being so close to where Ire of the Storm as I have a feeling we may be getting a lizardfolk Nation. Sorry, Iruxi. :-D


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RIP Lastwall.

Sovereign Court

This looks good!

Shadow Lodge

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Tales of Lost Omens is my favourite JRPG. In all seriousness, lumping together nations into regions sounds like a useful shorthand. I can't wait to read more of that stuff you'll be writing.

Liberty's Edge

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So,
Is lastwall gone? How about Sargava?
Vidrian and Oprak are new to me. And it seems the Isle of Terror is getting some development... Perhaps as the Whispering Tyrant seat of power again?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Almost more excited about this book than I am the CRB for 2E. The Pact Worlds book was such an awesome addition to my GM repertoire, I am excited to get this at launch.


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They're publishing more short fiction? Orly? I wonder if this means they're finally going to publish those orphaned novels at some point in the future.

I miss getting my novels/epubs from Paizo.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Gregg Reece wrote:

They're publishing more short fiction? Orly? I wonder if this means they're finally going to publish those orphaned novels at some point in the future.

I miss getting my novels/epubs from Paizo.

That will probably depend on the attention these blog fictions get. :O

They seem to be testing the water, with bigger and bigger stories. They started with the super star with short stories, now they're going with bigger stories and a more diverse cats of writers...


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It does look like the "Old Cheliax" region is a bit too small. Andoran, Galt, and Isger are in other regions even though they all split off from Cheliax in the last century.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you can't figure out how to profitably get Pathfinder Tales novels in my hand again, the continued and long-lasting return of web fiction would be most satisfying ;)


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David knott 242 wrote:
It does look like the "Old Cheliax" region is a bit too small. Andoran, Galt, and Isger are in other regions even though they all split off from Cheliax in the last century.

Umm... Isger is part of the "Old Cheliax" region...

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Seventh Seal wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
It does look like the "Old Cheliax" region is a bit too small. Andoran, Galt, and Isger are in other regions even though they all split off from Cheliax in the last century.
Umm... Isger is part of the "Old Cheliax" region...

And both Andoran and Galt, while they could fall under the heading "Old Cheliax", are much more strongly defined by their separation from Cheliax and what came next than they are by their association to it.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zi Mishkal wrote:

The old Mystara campaigner in me cringes a little at "Broken Lands" (the region of Brun home to humanoid tribes) and the similarity of "Eye of Dread" to the X1 Adventure the "Isle of Dread".

I am hoping that there will be a little more of the surrounding world added in to give a sense of place in the larger world. It's been more than a decade, after all. Someone has to have walked east and returned...

Also, the new map style is nice.

From the product description :

The Lost Omens World Guide is your key to understanding the big picture and your hero's role within it! A gorgeous two-sided giant poster map of the Pathfinder world provides a beautiful accompaniment to a gazetteer featuring 10 geographically and thematically contiguous regions

So, at least, and at last, we will have a complete world map ;-)


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Hmm...
I'm conflicted because I see the benefit/attraction of this formatting, but I feel that undermined by choice of divisions:

Mwangi Expanse should just be Mwangi Expanse. It's already established in-world regional concept.
But now map adds on unrelated nations. It's confusing to mentally juggle 2 ideas that share name yet one contains other.

Instead, Mediogalti, Sodden Lands, Shackles + Bloodcove should comprise own region "Storm Wracked"(?).
Culturally + geographically distinct from M.E, they have always been cast as "adjacent" to M.E
and have fairly tight pirate/hurricane/insanity theme, and are not tightly related to "Mwangi Expanse".

With only Hermea left of High Seas region, I think adding it to Saga Lands is good idea. Dragon + Eugenicist cult is Saga enough for me.

Nidal also joining Saga Lands seems appropriate: Not Chelish, significant presence of Varisians,
culturally/geographically isolated from Cheliax, and sharing "bay" and Mindspin Mountains with Varisia.

Belkzen also seems appropriate to add to Saga Lands: Geographically it is more like North East Varisia,
and the Orc/Half-Orc thing extends to Varisia and the islands off Land of Linnorn Kings, making shared region efficient to describe them.

Realm of Mammoth Lords may better fit Broken Lands:
That would unite all 3 normal Kellid "nations", and it seem as much geographically tied there also.

I would move Razmiran to the Encarthan/EyeofDread region, I believe it's capital is on the lake and it's plots seem to happen there more often than not, this seems more important than technically being former River Kingdom whose cultural identity seems hinged on "River Freedoms" which Razmiran doesn't seem to pay attention to. Along with Druma/Kyonin, this would help fully consolidate a Lake Encarthan/Eye of Dread region including entire coastline and nothing more.

Druma, 5 Kings, and Kyonin do just seem more tied to Encarthan/EyeofDread. Druma just isn't culturally or historically Taldan, nor are the Elves,
although with Kyonin I might consider ading them to Broken Lands instead (for which I prefer "Sellen" or "Free River").

Broken Lands does also seem better fit for Galt IMHO:
while culturally Taldan it feels less "imperial core", and geographically revolves around Sellen system and is divided from Taldor by mountains.

That could then allow consolidated Taldor Andoren Isger Cheliax Ravounel which has tighter concept of Chelaxo-Taldane core.
This also resolves issue with disassociating Andoren from former Chelish region,
when it's cultural closeness (if political divergence) would be great detail to share describing "old imperial core".

I think Qadira should be broken out as own region, that better distinguishes them from Garundis, and could be intro for Kelesh Empire as region,
they are at least as unique as Absalom after all, and Kelesh is a major "big empire" not just footnote of north Garund.

I think there is also case for joining Nex/Geb/Mana Wastes/Alkenstar to "Golden Road"/Osirioni/Garundi region,
it's not really more nations than other existing regions... And better allows deeper treatment of shared Garundi heritage and history.
(e.g. long history of Nex/Geb can better be contextualized in relation to developing Osirioni Empire they are culturally related to)
With that, Jalmeray would be own region, which makes sense as it is very distinct is really part of "Vudrani" region like Qadira/Kelesh Empire.

Although I originally thought these regions might have value as game concept re: regional Feats etc, more than just book organization...
Even with these changes I don't think it would be really consistently relevant across the board,
making it better to just handle things on case by case basis, i.e. feats for "Kellid nations" etc...
Rather than use these mechanically for only some regions where that works (or worse, try to use it where it doesn't work at all)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Quandary wrote:


Instead, Mediogalti, Sodden Lands, Shackles + Bloodcovebshould comprise own region "Storm Wracked"(?).
Culturally + geographically distinct from M.E, they have always been cast as "adjacent" to M.E and have fairly tight pirate/hurricane/insanity theme, and are not tightly related to "Mwangi Expanse".

I may be misinterpreting what you're saying, but the Shackles, Mediogalti and Hermea are all already part of the High Seas.

Edit: I can't tell from that map where Bloodcove actually falls as it looks like it might already be part of the High Seas as well. Gotta go bother a certain saurian creative director so I know for sure...


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Paladinosaur wrote:
Is lastwall gone?

Tyrant's Grasp spoilers:
Well, considering the reason for its existence (guarding against Tar-Baphon) is now moot and TB kinda nuked Vigil off the face of Golarion, it probably is.

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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Seventh Seal wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
It does look like the "Old Cheliax" region is a bit too small. Andoran, Galt, and Isger are in other regions even though they all split off from Cheliax in the last century.
Umm... Isger is part of the "Old Cheliax" region...

Oops -- I meant to say Molthune there.


Michael Sayre wrote:
I may be misinterpreting what you're saying, but the Shackles, Mediogalti and Hermea are all already part of the High Seas.

Yeah, maybe I wasn't clear, I was aware not all of them are currently in Mwangi Expanse meta-region...

My concern or ideal re: removal from M.E. is the Sodden Lands and Bloodcove (?).

I also felt "High Seas" group to be pretty dubious, with Hermea not having any particular relation or closeness, and the group actually including mainland territories of Shackles (/Bloodcove) as well. So IMHO better to tear off Hermea to put in Saga Lands along with Steaming Sea, New Thassilon etc. And with "High Seas" not best descriptive of remainder of that group (now including further mainland territories and one less island), a name better indicating the "Greater Abendengo" meta-region seemed approriate.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Quandary wrote:

Hmm...

I'm conflicted because I see the benefit/attraction of this formatting, but I feel that undermined by choice of divisions

I encourage you to keep an open mind until you see the book and how each region is presented.


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I think this is a brilliant approach, we already have settings guides for many of the individual countries, so by moving to 10 regions, they can write updating guides which cover far more countries, allowing us to get updates much more quickly. It also means that smaller countries will get covered. It’s a sensible evolution given where the Pathfinder world sits at this stage at the end of version 1.0 of the game.

Can’t wait to read about these new regions because every one contains at least on country I love!


Very promising. And I quite like the map. Though I would say the Golden Lands region looks a bit topographically featureless compared to other lands. Also it doesn't make sense for those countries to be composed of complete and utter deserts, unless they barely have populations there. There should be a bit more strips of green, fertile areas around the coasts and rivers. Look at a satellite images of Northern Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt (Nile Delta prominently as well as the rest of the river network) and even Northeast Libya (Cyrenaica coast area). Where it's green, is generally where most of the population is concentrated in those countries and where virtually all the major metropolises are.

But again I very much like the map otherwise, and I can wait to get a bigger resolution image of it from the book, as well as hopefully more detailed maps of those specific meta regions. And it's nice to see those new countries. And can't wait to see the new lore and design in this new edition.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Quite looking forward to this. Really interested in the fiction as well!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Deserk wrote:

Very promising. And I quite like the map. Though I would say the Golden Lands region looks a bit topographically featureless compared to other lands. Also it doesn't make sense for those countries to be composed of complete and utter deserts, unless they barely have populations there. There should be a bit more strips of green, fertile areas around the coasts and rivers. Look at a satellite images of Northern Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt (Nile Delta prominently as well as the rest of the river network) and even Northeast Libya (Cyrenaica coast area). Where it's green, is generally where most of the population is concentrated in those countries and where virtually all the major metropolises are.

But again I very much like the map otherwise, and I can wait to get a bigger resolution image of it from the book, as well as hopefully more detailed maps of those specific meta regions. And it's nice to see those new countries. And can't wait to see the new lore and design in this new edition.

If you take a look at the old map (Map Here), you can see that there is almost not settlements, and the ones there are all on the border of some water. And the map is zoomed out enough that these "greeneries" are probably not worth drawing, the desert being ~750-850 miles X ~160-170 miles.


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Unless it's been renamed, Realm of the Mammoth Lords is incorrectly labelled Realm of the Mammoth Lands on the map.


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As I understand, they are getting away from "Mwangi Expanse" as a specific country name like in PF1 because it had some unfortunate Colonialist undertones. Instead, they are going to refer to it as more individual countries based on the people within, which I'm sure we are seeing in the map already.


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Quandary wrote:

Hmm...

I'm conflicted because I see the benefit/attraction of this formatting, but I feel that undermined by choice of divisions

Things could and probably have changed in multiple places on the map, Nidal has been more connected to Cheliax than any other nation on the face of Golarion for the past three hundred or so years. So it makes sense they be part of Cheliax's territory.

Belkzen is also more intrinsically tied to Tar-Bophon's legacy as well. All the Countries there in some way or another have felt the Lich's touch at one point Ustalav and Belkzen especially.

The Term Shining Kingdoms could speak towards the goodness of said nations involved, or that these nations are on the rise compared to Cheliax to the West and the Brokenlands to the North.

The Golden Road refers to the trade route that connects all those nations together and even further east to Kelesh.

And the Impossible Kingdoms is very fitting for Nex, a society of all sorts of mages, Jalmeray, where Genies teach Monks martial arts, Alkenstar, a land where Magic doesn't work, and Geb, the only nation of Undead on the planet that we are aware of. All of these things are pretty impossible in other parts of the Inner Sea.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

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Mark Moreland wrote:
Quandary wrote:

Hmm...

I'm conflicted because I see the benefit/attraction of this formatting, but I feel that undermined by choice of divisions
I encourage you to keep an open mind until you see the book and how each region is presented.

I'm gonna echo this.

I've always been invested in the lore of Pathfinder, as I hopped on board back when the magazines went away and Pathfinder was an Adventure Path line before it was a full game. (In fact, Mark and I were dedicated fans years before we joined the company.)

I'm super excited for people to see the Lost Omens World Guide! It's a gorgeous book and while smaller than the older Inner Sea World Guide, it still presents a snapshot of the world for newer players and updates a number of setting changes that have happened over the years for those who, like me, have been reading along for over a decade.

Edit: Geez. I didn't realize that I was replying to Quandry, who has been on our boards for over a decade and knows the stuff in my first paragraph, but my second paragraph still stands. :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Another thing that excites me of 2.0 is the continuance and growth of the story, the world, the people of Golarion. It's especially exciting for those who've played an adventure path and now their actions are reflected within the world. It's exciting to see and feel the impact of not only character actions but numerous developers, authors, DMs, and players.

I've loved Pathfinder since it was teased/playtested and its treatment of Golarion - even if I was initially running a game in a different campaign setting - struck a note with me, especially the reflection of the cultures and the history of the world in its characters. I'm especially interested to see if any modifications to rules, spells, classes, races, etc. are reflected through historical events.

I'm very excited to read the lore come Gen Con!


It's interesting that New Thassilon and Varisia co-exist - I thought Varisia, per se, was gone.

I would have put Galt into the Broken Lands grouping too, so yeah, perhaps something is changing down there...

It's nice to see the results of the APs on the map...

Finally the Mwangi Expanse is a territory comprised of several political and social realities instead of just a vague nod towards RL Central Africa. I'm really looking forward to learn more about the various cultures and societies therein.

Can't wait to know more! Very excited for the new developments!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Mervikoth wrote:
Unless it's been renamed, Realm of the Mammoth Lords is incorrectly labelled Realm of the Mammoth Lands on the map.

As long as it's in the appropriate reigon, that's what matters, right?


I would have also been inclined to put Galt in the Broken Lands, which are right next door, since it's really broken, and geographically, it even has a mountain range conveniently separating it from Taldor.

Dark Archive

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It looks like Old Cheliax doesn't extend to the northwestern tip of Garund. I wonder if this means Cheliax lost control of the Arch of Aroden, or if the sea is used as the border just for simplicity on the large scale map.


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New Thassilon, Oprak, Ravounel, Sarkoris Scar and Vidrian are the new (?) locations, and now my greatest interest. I hope to get more about them in the following weeks.

Mainly Vidrian, as I can't relate it to anything or any AP events.

Vorsk, Follower or Erastil wrote:
Based on Vidiran being so close to where Ire of the Storm as I have a feeling we may be getting a lizardfolk Nation. Sorry, Iruxi. :-D

Really? That would be interesting.


A part of me is glad the game is evolving and that people are excited, but honestly this is how I feel about all of this. But I guess that's just my own hang-up to deal with.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Blog wrote:
Fans of past Pathfinder Tales novels will be happy to know that we've gotten some of our most prolific authors to return for this series, so stay tuned!

EXCITEMENT INTENSIFIES

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