Darth Game Master wrote:
Anyway as for the overall thread, looking at my LO:IL copy it's said that Alkenstar is dominated by Garundi but has a lot of ethnic diversity due to "aggressive courtship of migrant laborers and the affluent from all across Golarion".
Going back to this, maybe Alkenstar can be compared in this regard to the smaller modern Gulf states like Qatar, Bahrain, or Kuwait, where a large percentage of the population is expats drawn in by relatively recent economic factors (guns and other steampunk-y tech vs. oil). Incidentally, those places are also all small countries with mostly desert terrain which were much more sparsely populated until the past several decades (and in the case of Qatar and Kuwait, the majority of the population resides in one city).
Maybe that's a lucky coincidence, or perhaps that sort of geographical and economic situation just makes for a situation where the local populace could plausibly become quickly rivaled or exceeded by more recent arrivals as long as the government is open to it. Either way, obviously Alkenstar isn't just a fantasy version of Qatar, but it's analogy that occurred to me. I'd have preferred something that leaned more into its psuedo-African location, but this works well enough as a Watsonian explanation for me; there was no reversing the Western (in multiple senses of the phrase, LOL) aesthetics so at least it can be rationalized.
I fully expect us to get Arcadia book before southern garund or casmaron, but I really do think we should get Southern Garund and Casmaron first because Arcadia was at least isolated lore wise from Avistan while Southern Garund kinda creates "garund nations have no political relations to south because it doesn't exist on meta level" problem and Casmaron creates "everyone travels to Tian Xia through sea or crown of the world but not through casmaron because it doesn't exist on meta level" issue x'D
Agreed. I'm extremely hyped for Tian Xia, don't get me wrong, and an Arcadia book would be great, but I think it'd be an odd choice to leave the areas that directly border the Inner Sea Region for last.
I dunno how comfortable I am with either "fix" for Bachuan's iconoclasm. First, with the idea that it needed to be fixed at all, iconoclasm is a defensible enough position (and what other fixes are going to be sneaking in the backdoor - privatization of the land?). Second, with old cultural objects being reintroduced by the erstwhile inhabitants of Hao Jin's tapestry - I'm not sure that I buy their authenticity? In the real world, reimportations of so-called old cultural objects by longstanding emigre groups range from well-intentioned but mistaken to reactionary and malicious.
Do you mean isolationism? Iconoclasm would involve more destruction of religious idols, I think :P
The Raven Black wrote:
Good point, although I imagine they were at least present as allies/auxiliaries from the beginning. I vaguely recall the Dragon Empires Gazetteer mentioning local rebels who fought with the Taldans against the warlords in the area, but I could be mixing things up.
Yeah, I see Kelesh and Vudra as worthy of their own books, given they're both pretty huge and often referred to as distinct regions (not to mention they're each the origins of major human ethnicities--or families of ethnicities really--who are prevalent in the Inner Sea) with the rest of Casmaron also big enough to deserve its own. Although figuring out a way to structure that could be tricky since Iblydos is right by Kelesh but not part of it; maybe it could be a "bonus" in a Kelesh book like Bhopan was in Impossible Lands, but I don't know.
On that note, Vudra also has its own meta-regions as presented in its adventure path article: The Cradle, Crying Jungle, Divine Garden, Falling Mountains, Golden Basin, Narhari Desert, Open Bridge, Western Ghats (also a real place in India lol), and the Wide Water.
I feel like Kaladay wouldn't be in the same meta-region as the Grass Sea though, since it's not inland. Maybe a seventh one for the eastern part of the continent containing Kaladay and the as-of-yet-undescribed peninsula in the southeast?
(Chopped down the quote to only the parts to)
Pretty happy about Amanandar as it's more or less exactly what I was hoping. The revelation of a hybrid language is interesting; I suspect it'll turn out to be something that's existed as a while for locals but has until recently been looked down on by elites and considered merely a pidgin. A language is a dialect with an army, as they say.
As for the Valash Raj/Nagajor, both the title of Raja and nagas as part of religion/folklore have been a thing in real world Southeast Asia for a while*, so it would fit the general regional inspiration, but I do agree Vudra is the likely origin of the term.
*not assuming you were unaware of that, just pointing out that Nagajor needn't necessarily be South Asian-inspired
I think it should be noted that in the thread Dragonchess Player (who makes a good point, don't get me wrong) linked James Jacobs agrees that "Russian Westeros" more or less describes Brevoy, although that was also 10 years ago. Make of that what you will.
I do like the Poland-Lithuania comparison regardless, though. It would hardly be the first time Golarion mashed up multiple cultures or polities as sources of inspiration. I'd probably draw on a bit of that if I ever ran a game set in Brevoy, which I think is what zimmerwald1915 is getting at--even in cases when something isn't a real world equivalent, having something to compare it to can be handy for fleshing stuff out unless the premise is totally fantastical i.e. Numeria. Treating the area around the Lake of Mists and Veils as vaguely Baltic-ish also works well with the nearby crusader state IMO (though of course that is again an area where direct equivalents don't always work...there weren't exactly demons in Livonia).
I see Iobaria as more Kievan Rus-like since Ulfen were involved in its foundation, but YMMV.
D3stro 2119 wrote:
Absalom is only 62% human, though your point still stands.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
If we're talking fantasy RPGs in general there are a lot more than 2 or 3 settings with an on-the-nose fantasy counterpart to Pharaonic Egypt. Though to be fair, Osirion switches things up a little with Qadiran conquest and the subsequent rule of the sultans as the stand-in for the region's medieval history, which makes it more of a revivalist society. It still largely ends up with the same result in terms of presentation, but at least it isn't just perpetually ancient Egypt-y.
I like to think that a lot of the anachronisms that come from a typical "hollywood Egypt" setting can be somewhat explained in-universe by the fact that Osiriani people are drawing on what they know of ancient Osirion which will naturally be a blend of different time periods. Hopefully at some point a Golden Road book will contextualize this more, as that type of thing can get very Orientalist very quickly, but I might be in the wrong thread to talk about that :P
Yeah the lack of a Sahel-equivalent is a bit of a shame. But that's a good point, Thuvia probably is one of the better places to do it--the region is religiously/culturally influenced by the setting's stand-in for Islamic civilizations, but was not directly conquered by them, making it more like the Sahel than the Maghreb in that sense (though otherwise it's the reverse).
I guess there's the northernmost bit of the Mwangi Expanse outside the jungle, but there doesn't seem to be a lot going on there, and the enormous mountains don't really facilitate overland trade. Some of the Bonuwat names in LO:ME are Senegalese, but that's closer to the coast as befits their theme; Thuvia (especially areas inhabited by the Mauxi) might be the best place to draw on the inland parts of that area if a writer wanted to.
Practically speaking, I'd probably keep most things as-is in a game for ease of use, but it's fun to hypothesize.
Taldans establishing a landlocked colony in Tian Xia (and during the chaos of Aroden's death) that lasted for a century has always been a little far-fetched to me, so I might shrink or even remove Amanandar. At the very least it'd be more integrated with the surrounding societies—as I've mentioned in an earlier post, I'd rather Amanandar be something more akin to the Greco-Bactrian kingdom than a modern-style colonial society. Taldan culture blending with and relying on the local one is far more interesting to me than having a "little Taldor" in Tian Xia.
While I'm on the letter A, I'd probably make some tweaks to Andoran as well. The uncomfortable dissonance of a US-styled realm being abolitionist becomes a little more bearable if you treat the People's Revolt as being less like the American Revolution and more like a reverse Civil War (the anti-slavery side secedes rather than the pro-slavery one) with a Reconstruction that lasted (instead of getting cut off after a dozen years as in our history). Perhaps you could even go further and make it led by the former slaves like Haiti, but some have already made that comparison about Vidrian, so maybe not. It might also be nice to tie it in with its Mediterranean-like neighbors more; some Balkanesque elements could fit, although that might require changing a few names here and there.
In either case, these comparisons don't necessarily mean I'd directly model those off of the historical events and polities I mentioned, I just personally like to use those types of analogies as a way of understanding and articulating worldbuilding. And no hate to the writers, just having fun with this thought experiment.
...you know, even I was unsure if getting rid of slavery in Cheliax was a good idea, but having it de facto still around à la late 19th century USA (or arguably for longer, but that's a can of worms best not opened on a fantasy TTRPG discussion forum) is honestly kind of a genius move, and one that fits Cheliax's vibe pretty well, considering the ruling noble house got into power via a Faustian pact.
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Well, I was making an inference about "what the demographics actually are" based on what I assume "the infrastructure would support", so sort of both, but more so the former...
Honestly, I don't see much point in going back and forth on this any further when we don't really have demographic data aside from some city populations. Ultimately it comes down to whether or not you interpret "the most common elven ethnicity in the Inner Sea regiom" as meaning the largest on Golarion in general or not. I think it makes sense that way given most elves reside within that area, but you could technically interpret that as indicating a plurality, and Jinin may offset things. Raven Black does have a point about the number who left potentially being higher than the number who returned, so maybe "most elves" then isn't "most elves" now, but I feel like that was the intended implication.
Checking the wiki: 1000 less, with a 77% drow population compared to Iadara's likely 95+%; your point stands nonetheless, but as Morhek noted, urban populations aren't the only ones. I suspect Kyonin has a far greater rural population than somewhere like the Darklands, where space is limited enough that I imagine places would be more packed. Not to mention it's a very dangerous place with limited resources, increasing the need for fortified settlements (although the Tanglebriar is hardly welcoming either, to be fair). That being said, it's fantasy, and subterranean settlements are far more feasible than in real life on Golarion, so that may not be as much of a factor as I'd assumed.
The Aiudeen have the advantage of urbanisation, whereas aside from a few exceptions most Mualijae, Ilverani, Vourinoi and Aquatic Elves (do we have a 2e name for them yet?) trend towards nomadism or at least heavily scattered rural settlements. But assuming medieval trends hold true for Golarion, and for the nature-loving elves who have access to Druids, for every person who lives in a city there must be about ten who live in the countryside farming or raising cattle to sustain that urban populace. So given how relatively small Kyonin is compared to the Wild Elf heartlands, being urbanised doesn't necessarily mean the Aiudeen outnumber their fellow elves. Plus, if the redemption of Nocticula has dragged even a few Drow houses into neutrality and forced them to improve relations, if only to survive against the other houses who would see them as traitors, Drow cities could offset the numerical difference.
Absolutely true, my point there was more that Aiudeen don't only live in Kyonin, since most of the elven communities in the Saga Lands, Shining Kingdoms, and Kortos are of that origin as well . Kyonin's just where they're most heavily concentrated, similar to how there are lots of Alijae around the vicinity of Nagisa but the Muallijae live across the Mwangi Expanse.
The Ilverani, Drow, and Aquatic Elves, and to a lesser extent the Vourinoi, live in regions I presume are more sparsely populated (we don't have Darklands and underwater people in the real world, but I think it's a safe bet they can't support a large population as well as the surface). Obviously magic will mitigate this somewhat, as well as the fact that elves tend to adapt to their surroundings fairly quickly, but it's still a factor. So I would argue the Aiudeen are a plurality (especially if the Alijae, Kallijae, and Ekujae are counted separately), but not necessarily a majority, and certainly not the vast majority.
...and checking the Character Guide, it states the Aiudeen "are the most common elven ethnicity found in the Inner Sea Region" and the opening to the Elves section says "most of the elves departed the planet" during Earthfall. So with that information I figure Aiudeen are the majority (the Spiresworn also left but they're a pretty small group), albeit probably only a slight one.
On an unrelated note, if the people overall are called the Vourinoi, would a single one be a "Vourinos"?
As far as I know, the Aiudeen and Spiresworn are the only ones who abandoned Golarion. Everyone else stayed. The Vourinoi are an offshoot of the Mualijae, and were still in Osirion during the late First Era. And the whole deal with the aquatic elves is that they had to adapt to Earthfall like the humans who became Gillmen.
I stand corrected! Although, I'd say the Aiudeen probably still make up a decent chunk of the elven population, since most Avistani elves seem to be of that culture as far as I can tell. But probably not the majority, yeah, or at the very most a slight one.
It's hard to be sure. The Ilverani, Alijae, Ekujae, Kallijae, and Jinin elves, and drow, all stayed on Golarion. There's no real way to guess their population (although we can probably assume the Ilverani population is fairly small), but the LOCG does name Auideen as the most common one in the Inner Sea region (and they seem to be the predominant elven ethnicity throughout Avistan & Absalom, not just Kyonin). We know the Spiresworn also went to Castrovel, and it's probably a safe bet the Vourinoi and aquatic elves did too since the aforementioned groups are presented as exceptions and each have an explanation for their choice to remain.
Unless there are a ton of other elven groups we haven't met yet, I'd say it's plausible enough that the ones who abandoned Golarion were the majority, but they might not've been.
Ah, to be clear, I wasn't saying that Shoanti should be an alternative source of Latine representation, nor that they are necessarily excellent representation for Native folks in general, just offering that as an example of something based on the Americas in Golarion that is outside of Arcadia. I also agree the inspirations for the Varisians other than "hollywood Romani" haven't been conveyed very well thus far. At least, not in what I've read, I admit I have yet to read the books on Korvosa, Magnimar, or Sandpoint; perhaps those detail the culture better.
And again, not trying to be an absolutist about any and all post-Columbian elements, more just preferring that they attempt to mostly stick to things that're at least partially rooted in either the era before that or indigenous traditions that arose since then. It's never gonna be 100% when things have changed so much in the past half millennium.
EDIT: Looking it up, that is in fact the case for both luchador masks and calacas, which apparently draw on Aztec and Maya aspects, respectively. Modern stuff with links to the original cultures falls well within the type of stuff I'd prefer to see in Arcadia, it needn't all be 500+ years old
I think it's a bit of an exaggeration to say that doing the pre-colonial Americas "wipes out just about anything you can point to" though, there are some societies we know plenty about from archaeology, oral history, and the few surviving local records (Portuguese/Spanish descriptions are also a source, but an extremely biased one and only depict the end of that period). I recognize that's beside your point, but alas, I am an insufferable pedant who cannot help but nitpick.
I do get the appeal of an "anything goes" fantasy Americas that draws on all time periods, honestly, and that's not a bad thing. Really, it's more just that I wonder why Paizo sold the concept as "unconquered Americas" if they were trying to do that. Maybe this is all just mismanaged expectations on my end. But I also worry that trying to dodge colonial baggage may lead to running into it even more by ignoring the colonial roots of certain things. I'm not qualified to judge for sure what would and wouldn't be an example of that, but "they just happen to have Spanish-like names because those regions are Spanish-speaking in the present day" feels like it's on thin ice.
We’ve seen luchador masks, firearms, and robots in Arcadia. It’s not strictly limited to wholly pre-Columbian inspirations, and demanding that cuts out representation for people whose stories aren’t some sort of purely Indigenous story - something vanishingly rare today.
Not saying it necessarily has to be--I understand it's not practical to limit one's source material entirely to before the 1500s when for some regions there is limited information about those periods. There are plenty of aspects of modern Latine cultures which have some roots in indigenous ones, and I'd say incorporating stuff like that is fair game even if it has since been altered by European and/or Christian influence. I agree it would be unreasonable to demand Arcadia be entirely devoid of any trace of that.
However, I think avoiding using names from European languages is fairly reasonable, especially when equivalents to those cultures also exist in Golarion, making it nonsensical for two continents to both share the same naming conventions despite limited contact. Plus, Razatlan is in fantasy Mesoamerica and Nahuatl is a living language they can easily draw on for Razatlani without needing to rely on Spanish. I am not at all opposed to Latin American representation on Golarion, but I feel that in Arcadia specifically it should be, within reason, limited to things that aren't of uniquely European or African origin. Like the Spanish language. It'd make plenty of sense in Anchor's End and the areas that frequently interact with it, though, that's the one big exception I can think of.
those are the names of many people and cities that matter a great deal to people, even if their original source is European colonization centuries ago.
The same is true of a multitude of places. That doesn't mean it makes sense. Again, my issue is not with the concept of Latin American elements in a fantasy America (there are plenty of fantasy settings that have that which I enjoy and support; D&D's Radiant Citadel and the upcoming 3rd-party setting Koboa come to mind) but with claiming it is a version of that where there was very little colonialism...and then giving characters in the majority of the region names from a European language as if those being there is somehow inevitable. The only difference between that and using French or English names in northern Arcadia is the problem of Latin Americans (indigenous or otherwise) being underrepresented in US media. And I think the solution to that, in a situation where we can't reverse the choice to make Arcadia precolonial, is to provide such representation in different contexts.
Shoanti people are Golarion's version of post-colonial Northern American indigenous people, the Vidric ethnicity as described in the LO Mwangi Expanse evokes the African Diaspora, Andoran is an irritatingly on-the-nose idealized fantasy USA (sorry), and as Opsylum pointed out, James Jacobs has described the Varisian ethnicity as being partially inspired by Mexican culture. Not to mention the out-of-place Western aesthetics of Alkenstar that led to the creation of this thread. Arcadia isn't the only place where elements of the Americas can exist; Hispanic representation can be, and has been, done elsewhere in the setting.
...granted, the ship has pretty much sailed on this in the case of the Deadshot Lands, so no use making a fuss about it there, but I'd rather they not make a habit of it. That's just my opinion though. Hopefully indigenous people from those regions (and not just the US/Canada) will be involved in a hypothetical Arcadia book if they aren't already, and if they decide differently, I'll respect that.
(and in case my repeated responses to you are coming off as antagonistic, Keftiu, my complaints are with the worldbuilding decisions, not anything against you or the writers; I fully understand where you're coming from and it's a valid position to take, I just don't personally agree)
IDK, feels a bit redundant when Varisians and Chelaxians have both often had names drawn from Romance languages--not just Spanish, true, but including that and the language it evolved from. Doing some quick research, Sargavan names in Mwangi Expanse are mostly of Catalan origin, and Varisian names in Character Guide are mostly Spanish or Aragonese.
So I'm not sure why fantasy-Spanish linguistic features should pop up in Razatlan, especially when the Razatlani language presumably far predates any Avistani contact given it was a pre-Earthfall civilization, IIRC. I suppose you could chalk it up to common Azlanti influence, but I'm not sure how much of that there really was in Razatlan, and there's even less precedent (if any) for Azlanti sounding like Spanish...not to mention it has weird implications on a meta level. I wouldn't give members of a fantasy culture based on the early Haudenosaunee confederacy English names, for example.
Maybe that's an unfair analogy, but either way, Arcadia being both "fantasy counterpart Americas, but only a tiny bit was ever colonized" and "a continent where Spanish-like names are common across many regions" feels like trying to have one's cake and eat it too. Sure, the Razatlani Empire conquering nearly the entirety of Arcadia is drastically different from the history of the real Americas, so maybe it's best not to draw comparisons, but it'd be a weird choice nonetheless.
I would argue a not!San Diego would fit better in Varisia since it draws on modern California (though of course it has other influences) and San Diego is a quite modern city. Although to be fair much of Varisia has already been written so it'd be harder to just insert that, and it is more northern-California like...maybe something based on (rapid Googling) Kosa'aay, the Kumeyaay settlement that San Diego was built around, could work for Arcadia?
As a matter of fact I think many of the Varisian names in the Lost Omens Character Guide are of Spanish/Iberian origin so that could fit. Impossible Lands doesn't specify Ancil's origin beyond being from Nex, so it's certainly possible to headcanon him as Varisian.
Though wouldn't it make more sense for Spanish elements in Varisia to be from or be related to the culture of Cheliax, which is right there, is the origin of many colonists in Varisia, and is vaguely based on southwestern Europe? Spanish isn't any more native to the real-world Americas than Portuguese, French, Dutch, or English, so seeing Spanish-based language outside of the areas adjacent to Chelish colonies there would be pretty odd*. Arcadia's firearm traditions also seem to be intentionally distinct from Alkenstar's/Dongun Hold's, which have largely been presented as a unique invention to my knowledge, so I'm not sure that implies a connection.
Anyway as for the overall thread, looking at my LO:IL copy it's said that Alkenstar is dominated by Garundi but has a lot of ethnic diversity due to "aggressive courtship of migrant laborers and the affluent from all across Golarion". So it's possible a lot of cultural influence may come from immigrants which as Opsylum points out may be appealing to Alkenstari due to a desire to set themselves apart from Geb/Nex.
I also think it bears mentioning that while northeastern Africa doesn't have much of an equivalent that I know of (unless you consider cattle pastoralism to be close enough), the vaquero tradition you mention does ultimately draw partially from traditions in northwestern Africa that influenced those of the Iberian Peninsula (fun fact: "jinete", a Spanish word for "horse rider" comes from "Zenata", the name of a historical confederation of Amazigh tribes in what's now Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia). Perhaps some of the cowboy aesthetics come from a different corner of Garund, in addition to Varisia (and possibly Cheliax and Andoran).
*I'd advocate for Varisia or the Grinding Coast as better places for inspiration to be drawn from the culture(s) of the colonial/post-colonial Hispanic Anericas than the rest of Arcadia; one could probably justify characters from even Vidrian, the Shackles, or Andoran as having some of those aspects
That might be interesting but I believe that forested area is intended to be part of Kelesh. If I recall correctly its southern coast is more fertile than the western and inland parts. This is also supported by the article on Vudra which implies Kelesh either borders or is very close to Vudra.
I could see something like that working as a city or smaller mahajanapada in western Vudra, though.
Of course, being a fantasy setting parallels aren't and shouldn't be 1:1. Making the Mauxi just Fantasy-Nubia would be as reductive as what they were before. But it's a way to reframe them and set them apart from other Mwangi and Garundi.
Agreed; attempting to draw direct ethnic comparisons is kind of futile for Garund as a whole, except for MAYBE Osirion (and even that's a stretch). Holomog, Droon, the Sodden Lands, Mediogalti Island, the Impossible Lands, and most of the Mwangi Expanse defy comparison (in the latter case aspects of central and southeast Africa and coastal West Africa are drawn upon, but that's a rather broad brush for a region about a million square miles in size and the Expanse's history is utterly fantastical). The Golden Road parts of Garund, on the other hand, have some similarities to North Africa, but it's missing any equivalent to Hellenistic or Roman Egypt, Carthage, or the conquest of the Maghreb by the early caliphates; and on the flip side irreligion in Rahadoum, the revival of ancient Osirian culture, and alchemy in Thuvia lack equivalents in the real world.
Thuvia and Rahadoum are especially unique from Earth's history, since adding a conquest by Pharaonic Egypt and subtracting the rule of Arab dynasties changes the game quite a bit. So most of the cultures in Garund aren't really going to perfectly correspond to ones in Africa, even if there are inspirations. That's not meant as a criticism, to be clear; Golarion was not intended to emulate the real world and its history directly and, obviously, it's fantasy. But it does mean that any comparison we make is only ever going to be approximate.
(Well, okay, the Mwangi Expanse mashing together elements from such a huge chunk of "sub-Saharan" Africa does annoy me a bit due to the tendency to lump together those regions in pop culture, but the ship has sailed on that one and the books have come a long way in how they frame the region so I don't wanna complain too much).
Over time I've come to realize that specific fantasy counterpart cultures aren't all that common on Golarion—broadly speaking Avistan is most of Europe, Garund is Africa, Tian Xia is east & southeast Asia, Casmaron is the rest of Eurasia, and Arcadia is the Americas, but when you zoom in more, places based on a specific polity or culture are rarer. In the Inner Sea region, only Osirion, the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Galt, arguably Taldor, and sort of Qadira and Andoran (and perhaps Cheliax if you treat it as a Western Roman Empire analogue) fit that description.
...woah, sorry for that wall of text! That ended up turning into more of a general ramble about the subject than a response to what anyone was saying, but I wrote all of that, so I might as well post it.
I'll have to check my PDF but I think the book implies they worship both to some extent.
I agree it's likely a "traditional subnational monarchy" situation; there are lots of examples of that one could look to for inspiration (the Alaafin of Oyo in Nigeria and the Asantehene in Ghana come to mind)
I tend to see Nex/Geb as the Nubia-equivalent of Golarion with Mauxi more akin to the peoples of the Sahara; the feminine and masculine names suggested for them in Mwangi Expanse are all of Amazigh ("Berber") origin, although the gender-neutral names come from the Ge'ez language all the way in Ethiopia so that confuses things a bit.
Personally one of my hopes for a Golden Road book would be a more detailed look at Mauxi culture that goes past just the "Mwangi vs. Garundi influence" thing; maybe I'm just paranoid, but it sometimes feels a bit like an awkward attempt at paralleling real-world racial tensions, and if so would be rather reductive as-is and could use some added nuance.
Yeah, I'm glad the book covered some of the region's pre-Osirion history, I had been curious about that.
I'm also really interested in the apparent separation the book draws between Osirian and Garundi, since previously Osiriani were a subgroup of Garundi.
I think that might've been a mistake, since all the mentions of Osirian(i) are of the nationality or language except the Alkenstar page, the only one to list "Garundi" and "Osiriani" separately. The Geb section also refers to Gebbites as being of Osiriani descent.
I honestly sort of thought the premise of Taldor was "What if Turkey was Rome?"
I mean it sort of was, given, you know, Constantinople (assuming you mean Turkey in a geographic sense that is, since the area wasn't inhabited by Turkic people for most of the time that the Romans controlled it).
On that note, I'd argue Taldor's more or less the fantasy counterpart Byzantine Empire (used to be a lot bigger before its western half split off, in the southeastern corner of not!Europe, Norse honor guard, etc) except that it doesn't seem to have ever controlled northern Garund. Unless you're referring to the fact that it started from the eastern part rather than vice versa?
In any case Taldan (the ethnicity) has always encompassed more than just people from Taldor, and with it expanding to include Chelaxians in 2e, I see Taldans as Golarion's equivalent to southern Europeans, or perhaps more broadly to European cultures that were under Roman control at one point, rather than all "white" people. I mean, it's not like Ulfens aren't also fantasy-European.
The Deadshot lands are on the map, so I assumed they had referenced the G&G map of Arcadia already.
At some point someone on the forums estimated the land area of Avistan's regions, and its current borders are big enough to include both the Iberian Peninsula and Italy, and conveniently (though likely unintentionally) its total area at its height is not too far off from that of the Western Roman Empire. So I think of it in a similar way to Morhek. Although, it's worth noting that the creators have said they pulled on multiple inspirations for Cheliax and it's not intended to be a direct equivalent to any one single thing.
That seems to be how the Absalom Reckoning calendar is already structured, since the books date the raising of the Starstone to 1 AR. Usually I prefer when fantasy worlds use a year 0 for convenience, but in this case I sort of understand the choice because of the whole Gregorian calendar+2700 thing.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
On another note, Knights of Lastwall refugees aren't really heading towards Mendev. More accurately, it's the other way around: with the majority of the demonic threat over and the Sarkorian Reclaimers leading the cleanup effort, the veterans of Mendev reorganized into the Order of the Shining Swords, at Chancellor Irahai's behest, and then began making their way south under the command of Horgus Gwerm (from Wrath of the Righteous, who recently underwent an alignment shift from LN to LG!) to reinforce the Knights of Lastwall.
Right, of course—I'd almost forgotten. I think the Lost Omens World Guide mentions that most of the crusaders (or at least a significant portion) headed to the Gravelands to fight with the Knights of Lastwall as well. I guess it makes sense there's not as much movement towards Mendev since militant Iomedans, whether knights or crusaders, seem more inclined to seek out forces of evil to fight against than run away from them in most cases. And for a safe headquarters, Absalom is a more suitable place to host refugees than Mendev is.
Knights of Lastwall's table of contents does have a Broken Lands section though, is there any indication of what their relationship with Mendev and Sarkoris is? I assume they're too busy with Tar-Baphon to help in the fight against the Scar's remaining demons, but I could be wrong.
Evan Tarlton wrote:
Interesting, that's an element I hadn't considered, although I agree with Raven Black that they likely wouldn't be fascist. What you describe sounds more like cultural imperialism (which is hardly mutually exclusive with that, but there is a difference), and I'm unsure of their ability to gain enough influence in society as recent refugees to successfully engage in that. Either way you make a good point, the losses of the Church of Iomedae in other areas probably affects Mendev's view of itself and if the survivors of those efforts arrived in significant numbers it would add a new dimension to the preexisting social issues.
Can anyone who's read Knights of Lastwall comment on this? It seems like most of the knights seeking refuge have headed more in the direction of Absalom.