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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
The High Seas
Tuesday, June 25, 2019