The Godsrain Prophecies Part Four

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

It may seem odd that I have not made any notes within the margins of the prophecies themselves. It is certainly not for lack of opinions, but out of an abundance of caution; some of the most heated debates that I have ever witnessed during my studies dealt with the supposed impartiality of the researcher, with some believing that we should be as unbiased as my fellow psychopomps in their judgments of souls in the Boneyard and others noting that our beliefs influence everything we do, and should be acknowledged and even used within the way we work. The arguments grew heated more than once, and while it cannot be said for sure that they led to what some call “The Dueling Quills Incident,” they certainly caused plenty of frayed nerves.

This particular debate has taken on new meaning for me now, though, in reading of one supposed divine death after another. Maybe it is something I will grow out of one day, but it is hard not to be affected by these, whether I am mourning the potential loss of the Lady I serve or learning of the potential demise of a god I do not care for. I’m not sure I would ever want to view them and feel nothing but analysis. Passion drove me to this work and passion should be part of it—for all I know, that may even have been what brought me to my Lady’s attention. Still, I will present the prophecy with no further comment, and fear that once I have read it fully, even my small bit of glee will dissipate. As always, momentary gains bring unexpected consequences.

—Yivali, Apprentice Researcher for the Lady of Graves




The Death of Urgathoa

The feast is a sumptuous spread of delights if that’s the sort of thing you like. Piles of sweets and meats and cheeses, decadence on decadence, to celebrate a distant plague gone better than expected. Urgathoa is smiling as the undead shovel down the food, the flavors barely noticed in their urge to sate their hunger. It would all make Arazni sick, if that was still a thing she felt, and if she wasn’t steeled by something greater than revulsion. For all the gods Urgathoa hates, and all who hate her in return, she hasn’t even bothered to secure her own protection, relying on the undead to sniff out any intruder. Except they know Arazni’s scent. A tiny boon from all her years forced into undead servitude, now sharpened to a weapon to take down the god who dared to bring undeath to the unwilling.

Arazni moves in shadow, and if the diners notice, they barely pause their latest gulp to see her blade unsheathe. Urgathoa dies easily, falls lengthwise on the table, face-first into a centerpiece of something rich and juicy. As panic and dismay begin to spread throughout the Bloodrot, Arazni leaves the way she came, a vengeful shadow baring teeth in something like a smile. Divinity is still a thing she’s learning to inhabit, but this almost makes everything she’s suffered seem worthwhile.

Arazni waits, for…something—some rest for those trapped in undeath, some halt to necromantic work, some alteration in what had been a truly loathsome status quo. And there are places in the world where she can see the fruits of her handiwork—the Whispering Way is driven back, Geb’s Blood Lords struggle for control—until the undead start to rise from any perished soul. Not all, but some, begin to turn without a necromancer’s aid, and stagger from their resting places trying to fill their hunger. Without Urgathoa to lend some order to the chaos, some dead stay locked inside their graves, while others now reanimate with no real rhyme or reason, rising from their tombs and slowly crawling off battlefields, horrified and terrified and sometimes all too eager to see what unholy agenda their new bodies can pursue.

In places where undead have always been a threat to life and limb, the champions against them try their best to hold the line, not looking at the faces that are suddenly familiar, comrades-at-arms turned into bodies cut down by their blades. Some look to magic to protect the bodies of the newly-dead, but magic has its limits, and others fall to the horror they once tried to quell. At least they know how to respond, unlike those who are wrapped in grief, only to see a loved one rise as some new transformation. Do you love or do you fear? Do you watch or do you help? Do you wait or do you run and run and keep on running?

Some families go missing now. Some villages are overrun. Some cities bar their crypts and add guard shifts to every other street. Some call undeath a blessing, see the change as nectar from the gods. Some view it as a threat to something they once lived and died for. Others search for patterns, narrow in on who or what is to blame, let something they don’t understand consume their baser instincts, and rain fire down on those they think have brought this new world forth.

Arazni owns what she has done, seeks out the help of other gods, but they know just as little and have found themselves just as besieged, as undeath spreads like the diseases Urgathoa once held dear, refusing to contain itself to one singular plane. And as the numbers slowly rise, a flood that grows by sodden inches, one undead soul at a time from Axis to the Boneyard, some say the Pallid Princess watches from some place beyond undeath, relishing the moment like a feast to truly savor.

An array of 20 portraits depicting the gods of the Pathfinder setting. Asmodeus, Cayden Cailean, Pharasma, and Urgathoa’s portraits have been marked “safe.””

The severity of this prophecy ensures that even I, a loyal servant of the Lady of Graves, take no joy in the foretold destruction of the Pallid Princess. May that these prophecies prove untrue!





That was, to say the least, unexpected. While the horrors of undead potentially coming from every grave are one thing (and something that I know my Lady will not enjoy, no matter how untrue this prophecy may turn out to be), Arazni’s direct role in this cataclysm is not something I am quite sure how to parse. She has broken free from her centuries of servitude as Geb’s unwilling lich queen, and in so doing attained true divinity, a risen herald. With her newfound power, is she capable of slaying a fellow god? Is this merely one facet of the unreliability of these prophecies? Perhaps I should begin watching Arazni more closely, as some sort of harbinger, a sign that this alone among the prophecies is true? Does she have knowledge of this prophecy, and if not, is this something to warn her of? I will be dusting off my copy of What the Future Holds: The Ethics of Prophecy immediately. In the meantime, my Lady will know what to do with this. All I must do now is move forward.


About the Author

Erin Roberts has been thrilled to be able to contribute a few small threads to the fabric of Golarion in the pages of books like Lost Omens Firebrands, Lost Omens Highhelm, and Lost Omens Travel Guide. In addition to her work for Paizo, she freelances across the TTRPG world (and was selected as a Diana Jones Award Emerging Designer Program Winner in 2023), has had fiction published in magazines including Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, and The Dark, and talks about writing every week on the Writing Excuses podcast. Catch up with her latest at linktr.ee/erinroberts.

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4 people marked this as a favorite.
Kittyburger wrote:
Mr. Phillips, GM of Intrigue wrote:
Personally, I'd love to see Iomedae die. It would be fun to see the chaos that would happen across the world as her clerics and paladins lose their holy power! Could make for some interesting adventures for Pathfinder Society!
It would make the edgelords happy. And basically nobody else.

Her dying feels cheap to me.

Like approximately just another Aroden.

And it would set a precedent that Starstone Gods are prone to dying.

I want it to be part of the wider Core 20.

Just not any of the throuple.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

I legitimately don't care which one actually bites it. These bits of fiction clearly show that whichever dies that the story will be engaging and reveal more cool stuff about the world. If all that remains true? I'm a happy camper.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I get that people love the Deific thruple, but wouldn’t it be an interesting situation if Zon Kuthon snuffs out the Sun (goddess) because Shelyn hesitated to do what was needed to stop him?

Not to mention Sarenrae’s death would be the most Aroden-like in large scale political consequences for a very large region of Golarion that we have to be drawing close to exploring. Having a massive, super stable empire straddling a major intersection of the globe limits adventures far more than having that empire fracture under the weight of losing their divine patron.

Torag, Erastil, Gorum, even Gozreh don’t really shatter large empires with their deaths. (Maybe Torag if things are headed into the darklands, But I am skeptical that dwarves will be at the heart of the next big plot line). Desna is an interesting wildcard if we are deep diving again into Varisia, or she was holding back some cosmic horror stuff, but globally, it feels like only Abadar has as much reach as Sarenrae in terms of their death’s ability to shake up the world balance of power.


It now occurs to me - Has it been confirmed that the killed deity will actually still be dead by the end of the war?

Killing the sun is a lot more probable if it gets to rise again. Otherwise I think killing (and not replacing) the core deity of redemption sends the wrong message about the setting.


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We know that 1 core 20 will die at the beginning of the war and still be dead by the end. An unknown number of other deities may be at risk, and any number of them may return by the end (except Shyka who is also marked safe) but one core 20 deity is slated for the final chopping block regardless how many others come back.


Unicore wrote:
I get that people love the Deific thruple, but wouldn’t it be an interesting situation if Zon Kuthon snuffs out the Sun (goddess) because Shelyn hesitated to do what was needed to stop him?

I think the natural story with Shelyn is that she excises the corruption from her brother (by cutting him in half) but fears she's coming down with the same affliction. Then we get Goth-Shelyn.


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I'm just glad that this whole hype-building thing didn't happen until well after the point where they'd solidly decided which deity to kill off. If we had any inkling of an idea that our arguments here could actually influence the devs on which deity to kill and which ones to keep, the discussion would be so much more toxic.


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Kittyburger wrote:
Mr. Phillips, GM of Intrigue wrote:
Personally, I'd love to see Iomedae die. It would be fun to see the chaos that would happen across the world as her clerics and paladins lose their holy power! Could make for some interesting adventures for Pathfinder Society!
It would make the edgelords happy. And basically nobody else.

I'm pretty far from an edgelord, and I think Iomedae falling to try and protect Golarion from some terrible threat is the most Paladin-y thing she could do. I'd rather lose her than anyone in the Prismatic Ray, and a Holy demise feels more likely for sparking all this hullabaloo than an Unholy one.

Not everyone who wants something different from you is a jerk!


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Sy Kerraduess wrote:
It now occurs to me - Has it been confirmed that the killed deity will actually still be dead by the end of the war?

I'll again link that big list of clues from Luis Loza.

Quote:

-One (and only one) of the core deities (the twenty deities featured in Player Core, Abadar—Zon-Kuthon) will be dying.

After this god's death, Arazni will be filling the empty slot in the core 20. Arazni is not taking over the dead god's portfolio or anything. There is simply an empty space that she will happen to fill.
This god's death has been planned for a long time, as far back as summer 2022. Though, I recall discussion about it with some key staff even earlier. Thus, the ball was rolling for this death before any OGL/ORC considerations.
-Starfinder canon has no bearing on whether a god will live or die. If a god exists in Starfinder, it does not guarantee that they will live. If a god doesn't exist in Starfinder, it doesn't mean they are among a "short list" of gods who could die.
-Feature among the selection of the Gods of Lost Omens minis has no bearing on whether or not a god will die.
-We will not be bringing back Aroden just to kill him off again.
-We will not be cheating and bringing the dead god immediately back just to say we technically killed a god. The god's death will have repercussions for the setting and the god remaining dead is part of these developments.
-I mentioned that Divine Mysteries has an in-setting narrator in the form of Yivali, a nosoi psychopomp-in-training. Her writing is presented as a report on faith and divinity for Pharasma, focusing on the Inner Sea region specifically. This in-progress report started decades ago and has no bearing on whether or not Pharasma will die. That is, just because the report is for Pharasma, doesn't mean that she's safe.
-The core deity is not the only god dying as part of the WoI event. Other gods will die, but only one god from the ranks of the Core 20.
-There have been hints setting up some kind of development with Torag.
-There will be at least one orc deity dying.
-There will be at least one herald of a deity dying. Players will have a chance to witness this death "in-person."
-Major changes will be occurring as a result of the death. Some will be seen in WoI, some in adventures, some in additional material in the future.
-Some pantheons (the mechanical term referring to the likes of the Godclaw or the Cosmic Carvan) will be changing.
-The Prismatic Ray will be changing.
-Shyka will survive.
-The cover of Divine Mysteries does not hold any clues to the identity of the dying god.
Divine Mysteries will feature new gods.
-There will be new Arcadian gods detailed in Divine Mysteries.
-Razmir has an entry in Divine Mysteries.
-There will be some gods we won't mention ever again due to their OGL connections.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

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Sanityfaerie wrote:
I'm just glad that this whole hype-building thing didn't happen until well after the point where they'd solidly decided which deity to kill off. If we had any inkling of an idea that our arguments here could actually influence the devs on which deity to kill and which ones to keep, the discussion would be so much more toxic.

Whenever we do that sort of community engagement for setting continuity, it almost always comes from our Organized Play programs, where players can influence the world not via online chatter but through play.


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Kittyburger wrote:
Mr. Phillips, GM of Intrigue wrote:
Personally, I'd love to see Iomedae die. It would be fun to see the chaos that would happen across the world as her clerics and paladins lose their holy power! Could make for some interesting adventures for Pathfinder Society!
It would make the edgelords happy. And basically nobody else.

I mean, she's my top guess and I'm not calling myself an edgelord, but sure. What's your current guess by the way? I'm wondering what god you reckon they'll kill that won't be for the "edgelords"?

Grand Lodge

Benjamin Tait wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:
Mr. Phillips, GM of Intrigue wrote:
Personally, I'd love to see Iomedae die. It would be fun to see the chaos that would happen across the world as her clerics and paladins lose their holy power! Could make for some interesting adventures for Pathfinder Society!
It would make the edgelords happy. And basically nobody else.
I mean, she's my top guess and I'm not calling myself an edgelord, but sure. What's your current guess by the way? I'm wondering what god you reckon they'll kill that won't be for the "edgelords"?

At this point it seems likely to me that she's the dead one, I'm just not happy about it because it sets the precedent that Starstone gods are more vulnerable than other gods. It feels edgelord-y because it's the kind of thing you'd do to make the setting more 90s-edgy.

As for gods I think make sense to drop:

- Gozreh because he's redundant with all the other elemental lords about
- Zon-Kuthon because he's a pizza cutter


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Urgathoa was my top guess from the start. With her ruled out my leading candidates are:
- Zon-Kuthon (since "killing him/freeing Dou-Bral/letting loose the thing *in* Dou-Bral" is how you continue that particular story)
- Gorum (because the whole "citadel in Elysium" thing needs paying off, also the Worf Effect.)
- Tie between Nethys and Gozreh because they're easily neatly bisected and they emphasized "torn in half" before.
-Honorable mention for Norgorber, who they might have decided to kill off because he has a silly name.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Norgorber also has the "multiple aspects" (Blackfingers, Father Skinsaw, The Gray Master, Reaper of Reputation) thing going...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Watch it be Irori.

"What? It's a big deal! Vudra's a shambles!"


Cole Deschain wrote:

Watch it be Irori.

"What? It's a big deal! Vudra's a shambles!"

Not for nothing; 2e gave us our first map/overview of Vudra, and Lost Omens releases for the Impossible Lands and Tian Xia bookend it nicely. We might see Vudra sooner than you expect - they've already given us nearly all of the relevant Ancestries!

But I do still think that's an argument for Irori being safe :p

Liberty's Edge

keftiu wrote:
Sy Kerraduess wrote:
It now occurs to me - Has it been confirmed that the killed deity will actually still be dead by the end of the war?

I'll again link that big list of clues from Luis Loza.

Quote:

-One (and only one) of the core deities (the twenty deities featured in Player Core, Abadar—Zon-Kuthon) will be dying.

After this god's death, Arazni will be filling the empty slot in the core 20. Arazni is not taking over the dead god's portfolio or anything. There is simply an empty space that she will happen to fill.
This god's death has been planned for a long time, as far back as summer 2022. Though, I recall discussion about it with some key staff even earlier. Thus, the ball was rolling for this death before any OGL/ORC considerations.
-Starfinder canon has no bearing on whether a god will live or die. If a god exists in Starfinder, it does not guarantee that they will live. If a god doesn't exist in Starfinder, it doesn't mean they are among a "short list" of gods who could die.
-Feature among the selection of the Gods of Lost Omens minis has no bearing on whether or not a god will die.
-We will not be bringing back Aroden just to kill him off again.
-We will not be cheating and bringing the dead god immediately back just to say we technically killed a god. The god's death will have repercussions for the setting and the god remaining dead is part of these developments.
-I mentioned that Divine Mysteries has an in-setting narrator in the form of Yivali, a nosoi psychopomp-in-training. Her writing is presented as a report on faith and divinity for Pharasma, focusing on the Inner Sea region specifically. This in-progress report started decades ago and has no bearing on whether or not Pharasma will die. That is, just because the report is for Pharasma, doesn't mean that she's safe.
-The core deity is not the only god dying as part of the WoI event. Other gods will die, but only one god from the ranks of the
...

Re-reading the clues, I am really worried that it will be Sarenrae.

Which I find too easy a target but whatever.

I hope it will be fun whoever ends up dead.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kittyburger wrote:
Mr. Phillips, GM of Intrigue wrote:
Personally, I'd love to see Iomedae die. It would be fun to see the chaos that would happen across the world as her clerics and paladins lose their holy power! Could make for some interesting adventures for Pathfinder Society!
It would make the edgelords happy. And basically nobody else.

It'd make me happy and I am not an edgelord.

I have been at far too many tables where folks have tried to use the 'Iomedean Crusader' method to genocide and/or justify RL-adjacent faith behaviors in a very disgusting fashion.

Stares into the middle distance

Now, if deities were 'removed' from the Inner Sea (say, they went back to a different region) would that count as 'killed off' from the Inner Sea Big Twenty?

Thinking about folks like Irori going "Tian Xia needs more enlightenment, as the Inner Sea has rejected the Wisdom I have brought and even the Master of Ways has limited patience."


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:
Mr. Phillips, GM of Intrigue wrote:
Personally, I'd love to see Iomedae die. It would be fun to see the chaos that would happen across the world as her clerics and paladins lose their holy power! Could make for some interesting adventures for Pathfinder Society!
It would make the edgelords happy. And basically nobody else.

It'd make me happy and I am not an edgelord.

I have been at far too many tables where folks have tried to use the 'Iomedean Crusader' method to genocide and/or justify RL-adjacent faith behaviors in a very disgusting fashion.

Stares into the middle distance

2e did have her drop non-Good followers, and LO: Knights of Lastwall makes it clear that Iomedae herself has no fondness for those souls:

Quote:
Many Knights of Lastwall have a sword tattooed on their chest as a symbol of their devotion to the path of righteousness, their fight against evil, and their desire to restore justice. Though Iomedae’s followers often have the best intentions, they sometimes meddle in affairs that don’t need their assistance: speaking on behalf of those who can speak for themselves and brandishing Iomedae’s name to judge those around them. Iomedae herself may intervene on such occasions, separating the knight from the issue at hand. If the knight persists in displaying sanctimonious behavior and misplaced anger, their tattoo is stripped away until they comport themself in a better fashion. When her followers succeed in displaying true acts of courage, their tattoo glows with approval, signifying their closeness to the deity.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:
Mr. Phillips, GM of Intrigue wrote:
Personally, I'd love to see Iomedae die. It would be fun to see the chaos that would happen across the world as her clerics and paladins lose their holy power! Could make for some interesting adventures for Pathfinder Society!
It would make the edgelords happy. And basically nobody else.

It'd make me happy and I am not an edgelord.

I have been at far too many tables where folks have tried to use the 'Iomedean Crusader' method to genocide and/or justify RL-adjacent faith behaviors in a very disgusting fashion.

Stares into the middle distance

2e did have her drop non-Good followers, and LO: Knights of Lastwall makes it clear that Iomedae herself has no fondness for those souls:

Quote:
Many Knights of Lastwall have a sword tattooed on their chest as a symbol of their devotion to the path of righteousness, their fight against evil, and their desire to restore justice. Though Iomedae’s followers often have the best intentions, they sometimes meddle in affairs that don’t need their assistance: speaking on behalf of those who can speak for themselves and brandishing Iomedae’s name to judge those around them. Iomedae herself may intervene on such occasions, separating the knight from the issue at hand. If the knight persists in displaying sanctimonious behavior and misplaced anger, their tattoo is stripped away until they comport themself in a better fashion. When her followers succeed in displaying true acts of courage, their tattoo glows with approval, signifying their closeness to the deity.

Lawful stupid has definitely been a problem in fantasy RPGs since the early days of D&D...


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I'm thinking now it's likely to be Iomedae or Sarenrae, for two reasons. First, they're good guys. Second, we have iconics very strongly linked to those deities, so that's an obvious method of illustrating (pun unintended, but fitting) how followers of the dead god are coping.


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Zyphus metaphysically slips in the shower.

The Child Goddess from Kaer Maga? She(?) even has clerics.

Liberty's Edge

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Kittyburger wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:
Mr. Phillips, GM of Intrigue wrote:
Personally, I'd love to see Iomedae die. It would be fun to see the chaos that would happen across the world as her clerics and paladins lose their holy power! Could make for some interesting adventures for Pathfinder Society!
It would make the edgelords happy. And basically nobody else.

It'd make me happy and I am not an edgelord.

I have been at far too many tables where folks have tried to use the 'Iomedean Crusader' method to genocide and/or justify RL-adjacent faith behaviors in a very disgusting fashion.

Stares into the middle distance

2e did have her drop non-Good followers, and LO: Knights of Lastwall makes it clear that Iomedae herself has no fondness for those souls:

Quote:
Many Knights of Lastwall have a sword tattooed on their chest as a symbol of their devotion to the path of righteousness, their fight against evil, and their desire to restore justice. Though Iomedae’s followers often have the best intentions, they sometimes meddle in affairs that don’t need their assistance: speaking on behalf of those who can speak for themselves and brandishing Iomedae’s name to judge those around them. Iomedae herself may intervene on such occasions, separating the knight from the issue at hand. If the knight persists in displaying sanctimonious behavior and misplaced anger, their tattoo is stripped away until they comport themself in a better fashion. When her followers succeed in displaying true acts of courage, their tattoo glows with approval, signifying their closeness to the deity.
Lawful stupid has definitely been a problem in fantasy RPGs since the early days of D&D...

Any alignment/concept stupid has been a problem forever.

My most problematic players were usually CN.


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olimar92 wrote:
Ridge wrote:
Interesting notion, seems like if Urgathoa loses, everyone does.
Which makes no sense. Why would she be a stopper in something she wants?

Easy- because she wants to savor all the stuff she does over time.


keftiu wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:

Watch it be Irori.

"What? It's a big deal! Vudra's a shambles!"

Not for nothing; 2e gave us our first map/overview of Vudra, and Lost Omens releases for the Impossible Lands and Tian Xia bookend it nicely. We might see Vudra sooner than you expect - they've already given us nearly all of the relevant Ancestries!

But I do still think that's an argument for Irori being safe :p

...or it's an argument for this being a necessary brick before the Vudra book can be published. One of the two. You certainly wouldn't want to publish the Vudra book and then kill off Irori immediately afterwards.

I admit that it's not a strong argument.

Grand Lodge

Unicore wrote:

I get that people love the Deific thruple, but wouldn’t it be an interesting situation if Zon Kuthon snuffs out the Sun (goddess) because Shelyn hesitated to do what was needed to stop him?

Not to mention Sarenrae’s death would be the most Aroden-like in large scale political consequences for a very large region of Golarion that we have to be drawing close to exploring. Having a massive, super stable empire straddling a major intersection of the globe limits adventures far more than having that empire fracture under the weight of losing their divine patron.

Torag, Erastil, Gorum, even Gozreh don’t really shatter large empires with their deaths. (Maybe Torag if things are headed into the darklands, But I am skeptical that dwarves will be at the heart of the next big plot line). Desna is an interesting wildcard if we are deep diving again into Varisia, or she was holding back some cosmic horror stuff, but globally, it feels like only Abadar has as much reach as Sarenrae in terms of their death’s ability to shake up the world balance of power.

That's the one reason why I'm still holding out that it's PROBABLY not Iomedae: Because Iomedae already suffered a major temporal/spiritual calamity recently (the fallout from Tyrant's Grasp) and it would be more of a problem for storylines that are already evolving and less of a generator of NEW storylines (which is part of why I was originally hoping for Asmodeus - a major nation losing one of its primary deity sponsors would result in balkanization and therefore conflict, while the most important nation that Iomedae was the major sponsor of has already been wiped off the map).

Hopefully at least characters who lose their god will get some nice plot cookies for compensation for having to upend their character concept.


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I wonder if Urgathoa's existence conceptualizes undeath as something desirable and worth pursuing. There are a lot of settings where undeath is something that just happens if you don't take proper precautions to consecrate the body, and in those the god of undeath isn't a party girl.

Grand Lodge

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Arachnofiend wrote:
I wonder if Urgathoa's existence conceptualizes undeath as something desirable and worth pursuing. There are a lot of settings where undeath is something that just happens if you don't take proper precautions to consecrate the body, and in those the god of undeath isn't a party girl.

It does make the cult of Urgathoa make a lot more sense when you consider that there are actual reasons why the goddess of undeath would be seen as a desirable deity to worship.


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Urgathoa being the first undead says "undeath is the best way to prevent your judgement at Pharasma's hand."

If she is removed from the setting, it is redefined simply as "undeath is."

Wait, I can take this even further. Urgathoa's death doesn't remove all conceptualization of undeath from the universe. Arazni exists. And if Arazni has custody of undeath, her conceptualization is that undeath is a torment inflicted upon you.


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Or: Undeath was always a possibility and points to a fundamental "flaw" in the cycle of souls. Urgathoa was simply the first to stumble into it that we know of. She didn't create undeath; she discovered it and chained it for her own pleasure.


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Saedar wrote:
Or: Undeath was always a possibility and points to a fundamental "flaw" in the cycle of souls. Urgathoa was simply the first to stumble into it that we know of. She didn't create undeath; she discovered it and chained it for her own pleasure.

Building on this makes me think this interpretation could have something to do with Eternity's Doorstep. A cycle repeating slowly dying to a fundamental flaw since the true creators have already left and forgotten The Universe.

Grand Archive

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kittyburger wrote:
Unicore wrote:

I get that people love the Deific thruple, but wouldn’t it be an interesting situation if Zon Kuthon snuffs out the Sun (goddess) because Shelyn hesitated to do what was needed to stop him?

Not to mention Sarenrae’s death would be the most Aroden-like in large scale political consequences for a very large region of Golarion that we have to be drawing close to exploring. Having a massive, super stable empire straddling a major intersection of the globe limits adventures far more than having that empire fracture under the weight of losing their divine patron.

Torag, Erastil, Gorum, even Gozreh don’t really shatter large empires with their deaths. (Maybe Torag if things are headed into the darklands, But I am skeptical that dwarves will be at the heart of the next big plot line). Desna is an interesting wildcard if we are deep diving again into Varisia, or she was holding back some cosmic horror stuff, but globally, it feels like only Abadar has as much reach as Sarenrae in terms of their death’s ability to shake up the world balance of power.

That's the one reason why I'm still holding out that it's PROBABLY not Iomedae: Because Iomedae already suffered a major temporal/spiritual calamity recently (the fallout from Tyrant's Grasp) and it would be more of a problem for storylines that are already evolving and less of a generator of NEW storylines (which is part of why I was originally hoping for Asmodeus - a major nation losing one of its primary deity sponsors would result in balkanization and therefore conflict, while the most important nation that Iomedae was the major sponsor of has already been wiped off the map).

Hopefully at least characters who lose their god will get some nice plot cookies for compensation for having to upend their character concept.

For similar reasons I think it migth be Torag. He (and his people) are currently a bit too inflexible, and him dying migth be a BIG shakeup un dwarven lore, forcing them a big more in the spotlight.

AND he's a major good deity that wouldn't affect the current worldwide storyline too much, and would stack well with the introspection introduced in "Sky King's Tomb".
He is also currently totally eclipsing the rest of the dwarven pantheon, so forcing a shake up there might be good... AND they very recently detailed more the rest of them, which would be very much needed if he died. xD


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I'm of two minds about Torag here. One reason they might not do it is that they already did a very Dwarfy book (Highhelm) and a very Dwarfy AP (Sky King's Tomb) and any story involving the loss of Torag is going to be very Dwarfy, so they might not want to go back to that well again. This is also something that is implied by Starfinder (Torag's not around there) which they might have wanted to avoid.

But if you wanted to do the death of Torag story, you'd probably want to lay that kind of groundwork. I'm not sure the Dwarf angle of the death of Torag would be that interesting, it's conceivable they would understand that his responsibilities and assets should be distributed to his family in an orderly sense of inheritance.


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Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

The time will come. One of the "safe" deities will die. "But Paizo! You said they were safe!" "We lied." :-)


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We are altering the deal. Pray we do not alter it further.

Liberty's Edge

I still maintain that nothing other than it being Nethys kicking the bucket would make any sort of sense for the consequences we already know are in the pipeline in terms of magic blood dusting/raining down to possess and empower all manner of creatures and people.

It's not hammers raining down from the sky and people of all sorts sprouting beards and precious metals/gems from their bodies, it's raw magical divine energy that falls and settles on the universe.

Besides that, Nethys has very little skin in the game when it comes to the setting, he is basically neutral to almost every other Deity, Pantheon, and in-setting organization and does little to nothing to interfere with or contribute to the major goings-on in the world. His areas of interest and domains are all handily covered by Deities that are far more engaged in the setting and generally considered more "interesting" since they are, ironically enough because he was once a mere human who didn't even need a shiny god-stone to ascend, given way more personality and have human-like qualities.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
I still maintain that nothing other than it being Nethys kicking the bucket would make any sort of sense for the consequences we already know are in the pipeline in terms of magic blood dusting/raining down to possess and empower all manner of creatures and people.

You could even make the "what happens to existing followers" very simple via: Nethys is now the cosmic magical background radiation of the universe- more powerful than ever but just without ego, you still get your spells.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The lich king thing for Urgathoa, hm?

A really lame trope, but since this is basically just a what-if anyways it's an easy enough piece of fiction to ignore.

Bigger shame is the news that they're going to be breaking the Prismatic Ray. I always thought it was one of the more interesting Pantheons Paizo had.


I think ZK, Gorum, Nethys, Gozreh, Abadar, Erastil, and Norgorber are all more likely than Iomedae, Sarenrae or Shelyn.


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Squiggit wrote:
Bigger shame is the news that they're going to be breaking the Prismatic Ray. I always thought it was one of the more interesting Pantheons Paizo had.

"Changing" is all we know about it so far; that could mean "Shelyn is emo now," it could mean Arazni or a different deity is invited to slot number four... until they say otherwise, I wouldn't assume the Prismatic Ray is done for.


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keftiu wrote:
"Changing" is all we know about it so far;

Yeah, I would assume that in addition to one of the core 20 gods dying there's also going to be lots of other divine trauma, like multiple minor gods will die and some of the other ones will undergo things they would prefer not to have.

Like just because Cayden isn't going to die, it doesn't mean that he can't lose an eye or hand!


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In another Campaign Setting from a galaxy not very distant in time (circa. 1995) nor space from this one:

Wikipedia, Birthright Campaign Setting wrote:


“ Cerilia was originally inhabited by the elves, dwarves, and goblins. Fleeing the corruption of Aduria by the dark god Azrai, human tribes settled Cerilia. At first contact between the elves and humans was peaceful, but conflict soon arose as the human population expanded into elven lands.
After years of manipulation and machination Azrai's armies marched on Cerilia. On his side were his Adurian minions, the Vos (a human tribe he had corrupted), and the elves, bitter from their wars with humanity. The human tribes and their patron gods met him in battle at Mount Deismaar, located on the landbridge between Aduria and Cerilia. The elves realized they had been tricked by Azrai and most switched sides. As their armies fought on the slopes of the mountain, the gods themselves met in battle. The other gods were only able to defeat Azrai by sacrificing themselves. In a colossal explosion, they destroyed themselves and Azrai. Mount Deismaar and the land bridge were destroyed.
The power of the gods was not wasted, however. It shot out and entered those present at the battle. The champions of the gods, those closest in ideal and virtue to their patron as well as physical proximity at the time of the cataclysm, received the most power. They became gods themselves, a new pantheon that would replace the old.
Other combatants also received some of the divine power of the gods. On the battlefield it did not take them long to realize that this power was in their blood, and could be stolen. A scion, as one of the divine blood is called, could have his blood strength stolen if killed by a blow piercing his heart.”

So this concept of “raining godstuff” has been done before. It will be very interesting to see which god/s of Golarion’s pantheons die and why, particularly if it is those who were, in the old days, “evil” or, in today’s mawkish parlance have “inimical edicts”. I guess godstuff has no morality, and is just raw power, that one can use to pursue “nice edicts” or “notnice edicts”.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
keftiu wrote:
"Changing" is all we know about it so far;

Yeah, I would assume that in addition to one of the core 20 gods dying there's also going to be lots of other divine trauma, like multiple minor gods will die and some of the other ones will undergo things they would prefer not to have.

Like just because Cayden isn't going to die, it doesn't mean that he can't lose an eye or hand!

Iomedae's missing an arm in Starfinder, and I'd love for this Godswar to deal her that wound if she's not the one to die.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
OceanshieldwolPF 2.5 wrote:

In another Campaign Setting from a galaxy not very distant in time (circa. 1995) nor space from this one:

Wikipedia, Birthright Campaign Setting wrote:
<I love Birthright to this day>
So this concept of “raining godstuff” has been done before. It will be very interesting to see which god/s of Golarion’s pantheons die and why, particularly if it is those who were, in the old days, “evil” or, in today’s...

It should be noted that Azrai's bloodline worked very differently from everyone else's, so that in the initial setting, "raining godstuff" could and did have ethical dimensions to it.


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The Raven Black wrote:
My most problematic players were usually CN.

Yep, mine too. I've never had a problem with paladin players, nor with dwarves players for that matter.

I understand that the crusader archetype may sometimes attract problematic players, but a lot of people seem to want Iomedae to be problematic, to justify their own dislike of her. I'm not saying this to anyone in this thread in particular, but it is a behaviour that I've observed around my gaming cicles, and around some spots on reddit and discord too. And let's not even talk about the Owlcat's CRPGs subreddit. :B

I'm all of her losing an arm though, she'd look super badass and it would make for some cool representation!

Question: I can swear someone from the dev team said something akin to "the reason the war starts is because of the death of the deity". Am I misremembering things?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
keftiu wrote:
"Changing" is all we know about it so far;

Yeah, I would assume that in addition to one of the core 20 gods dying there's also going to be lots of other divine trauma, like multiple minor gods will die and some of the other ones will undergo things they would prefer not to have.

Like just because Cayden isn't going to die, it doesn't mean that he can't lose an eye or hand!

And new minor gods rising - I'm hoping for a goblin hero-god that's actually a goblin and not a barghest, an orc demigod that wouldn't have been considered CE, a godling adventurer, that sort of thing.


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shepsquared wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
keftiu wrote:
"Changing" is all we know about it so far;

Yeah, I would assume that in addition to one of the core 20 gods dying there's also going to be lots of other divine trauma, like multiple minor gods will die and some of the other ones will undergo things they would prefer not to have.

Like just because Cayden isn't going to die, it doesn't mean that he can't lose an eye or hand!

And new minor gods rising - I'm hoping for a goblin hero-god that's actually a goblin and not a barghest, an orc demigod that wouldn't have been considered CE, a godling adventurer, that sort of thing.

Keep an eye on Mahja Firehair.


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Phillip Gastone wrote:
Zyphus metaphysically slips in the shower.

phil do u know how many legos im gonna put on your floor. cuz its gonna be a lot

Liberty's Edge

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keftiu wrote:
shepsquared wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
keftiu wrote:
"Changing" is all we know about it so far;

Yeah, I would assume that in addition to one of the core 20 gods dying there's also going to be lots of other divine trauma, like multiple minor gods will die and some of the other ones will undergo things they would prefer not to have.

Like just because Cayden isn't going to die, it doesn't mean that he can't lose an eye or hand!

And new minor gods rising - I'm hoping for a goblin hero-god that's actually a goblin and not a barghest, an orc demigod that wouldn't have been considered CE, a godling adventurer, that sort of thing.
Keep an eye on Mahja Firehair.

If Sarenrae dies, Mahja would be right there to keep fighting the good fight.

Having an Orc stepping up to replace the goddess of sun and redemption would fit with Orcs becoming far more accepted around the Inner Sea and with the sun deity not being Core 20 anymore.

Liberty's Edge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
keftiu wrote:
"Changing" is all we know about it so far;

Yeah, I would assume that in addition to one of the core 20 gods dying there's also going to be lots of other divine trauma, like multiple minor gods will die and some of the other ones will undergo things they would prefer not to have.

Like just because Cayden isn't going to die, it doesn't mean that he can't lose an eye or hand!

This made me wonder why only one Core 20 will die. A war of the gods should easily kill several Core 20 deities.

Is there a clue about the killed deity's identity there ?

BTW do we know if Tian-xia's Core 20 are safe too ? Is this divine conflict happening only between Inner Sea deities ?

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