Ustalav lore question


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


I own the Inner Sea World Guide and have read the entries on the PF Wiki concerning Ustalav and The Hold of Belkzen, but can find nothing on what would seem to be an important issue, namely what defenses do the settlements in Western Ustalav have to counter an invading orc horde out of Belkzen?

I can find no information on Ustalav's military, and nothing concerning border defenses. Any lore junkies out there with some insight?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There is some information on this in Rule of Fear IIRC. It’s been a little while since I read it now and the details are a bit hazy, but I believe there are some border forts and some rather dubious mercenary companies who patrol the border. The western defences seem to be pretty much run out of the capital city of Canterwall County.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd suggest picking up the Carrion Crown AP. Lots of stuff there, including that the knights of Lastwall constantly patrol western Ustalav


Why would the orcs WANT ustalav? That place is dangerous.


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As someone else once posted (in regards to why the Worldwound doesn't spill over into Ustalav)...

That land (Ustalav) is spoken for. The last time someone made a move against the lord of that land he dragged a god down from on high and tortured her to death. Demons, too, know fear.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

There's actually some info about this in Curse of the Crimson Throne as well...


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From Trial of the Beast:
"The western border of Ustalav abuts the savge region known as the Hold of Belkzen, leading the western counties to finance border guards to patrol their roads and frontiers for dangers."

Same source on stats for them:
"Use the statistics for caravan guards from pg 282 of the Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide to represent patrols of border guards."


Ok thank you for that info. I am currently running Carrion Crown (Harrowstone) and am intrigued by the possibilities of an orc raid or outright attack on what looks like a wide open border. We have a half-orc barbarian who has a special grudge against one of the tribes of Belkzen, and I wanted to work it into the campaign in some way.

Orcs are certainly headstrong and fearless for the most part, and would likely not think twice about whatever might or might not be in Ustalav unless they were presented with overwhelming force. I do have Trial of the Beast and will brush up on that as far as the border guards go.

I'm willing to bet however that Ustalav's supernatural entities (undead, lycanthropes, etc) would not take any more kindly to an orc invasion than would the living humans. It would make for some interesting situations if a large orc horde were to invade, maybe creating some interesting temporary alliances out of necessity. "The enemy of my enemy" and so forth...

Liberty's Edge

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The Whispering Tyrant, if I'm not mistaken, used armies of orcs in his conquest over the lands of Ustalav. The black gate of Belkzen they marched through remains, even though the walls surrounding it have long since fallen. When the time comes for the Whispering Tyrant to rise again, the gate will open...

With the events of Carrion Crown, it may be a good time for the gate to open in your own campaign!


You might check in Orcs of Golarion, too. I don't recall if there was any specific information about Belkzen and its neighbors, and motivations for orcs concerning those neighbors. I can check when I get home tonight.


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No specific notes in Orcs of Golarion about their neighbors that I could find. There is mention in the section on Urgir about how "cosmopolitan" that city is (comparatively) and how "progressive" Grask Uldeth is (the leader of Urgir). So maybe that has something to do with not wanting to invade Ustalav along with the other reasons already presented above.

There is a note that says there is more information on the Hold of Belkzen in the gazetteer in Pathfinder Adventure Path #11, which I'm sure is what James was referencing up above. Good luck!

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