So any interest in Casmaron?


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So I just realized that we got Tian Xia and Arcadia gazetteer way before Casmaron gazetteer, despite the fact we know much more about Casmaron in present than we know anything about Arcadia <_<

So after realizing that and being weirded out by it, I started to wondering if only reason for that was that there is no real interest in finding out more information about Casmaron, despite us knowing both continents surrounded by it. I kinda feel like its really weird to know what is in Avistan and Northern Garund and in Tian Xia, but not what is actually between those two continents.

(I guess you could also apply this question to Southern Garund, but hey at least there is no continent from south of it that we got gazetteer about)

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I doubt we'll get a solid Casmaron map until Paizo sits down and determines exactly *HOW BIG* it really is, and how to visualize that best with the other data that has been published. They may have done this already, but the fact that Distant Shores didn't jump at the opportunity to open up Casmaron and S Garund beyond some text has me thinking that it hasn't quite made it that far up the chain yet.

I see a couple real hazards that are likely (among time and publication space) some of the problem points to overcoming the actual size problem:

*The trip across the top of the world in Jade Regent will be nit picked by cartography nerds if the math doesn't add up.
*Vudra and Kelesh are enormous in the prima facie sense, as they have been described as such in the past. Not having any actual maps, though, gives them some leeway.
*Qadira can't be *too close* to the main satrapies of Kelesh, otherwise it loses some of the far reaches of the empire autonomy it maintains.
*Overall planet size is an issue too, as we have multiple instances now of heading back West to Azlant, and some basic entry into Arcadia, geography will have to be maintained or retconned should N hectare Casmaron be too large to fit Arcadia where its supposed to be in relation to where Tian Xia and Garund already are.

I would *LOVE* to see more Casmaron information. My deep feelings, though, is that we really won't get any of this until a Spawn of Rovagug AP comes out (Failing star towers, re-emerged Ulunaut wrecking Sothis, finale with the P2 Tarrasque at the Pit of Gormuz).


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I would appreciate it if Paizo finalized the geography of the Golarion globe. This is something that is well overdue and it limits their ability to produce regional world books.

I want to see Casmaron and the others.


More general thread that should probably get this input . . . .


Have we got an Arcadia gazetteer?

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Ianesta wrote:
Have we got an Arcadia gazetteer?

No, but we will be getting an article in one of The Tyrant's Grasp articles, probably the adventure where they actually go to Arcadia.

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Rysky wrote:
Ianesta wrote:
Have we got an Arcadia gazetteer?
No, but we will be getting an article in one of The Tyrant's Grasp articles, probably the adventure where they actually go to Arcadia.

From the Office of Expectation Management: The article in the Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path volume covers one nation in Arcadia, not the entire continent.

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So I'm using this opportunity to revive Casmaron thread from the dead! There were several Casmaron threads to choose from so I'd rather do this than create another new one x'D

...Ahem, so anyway, realized we actually have two full maps/gazetteers of lands from Casmaron: Iobaria and Vudra. And few town maps from Iblydos because of Distant Shores and dark archive xP (though distant shore also had city from Vudra and Ular Kel)

So besides those, we know there is Empire of Kelesh(that is likely large enough to basically contain several countries inside itself), Kaladay (isolationist nation founded by Tian colonists), Karazh which has nomadic horse riders and other neat details detailed in Ular Kel's article and... Err what else is there?

I guess Ninshanbur is still a realm even if its mostly ruined zone with only ghosts left? But if it counts then what about other ruined kingdoms, do those also count as "realms"?

Yeah am I missing any other Casmaronian nation/realm/land mentioned in lore? Any potential ancestries that got mentioned long time ago?

(I remember that 1e adventure Murder's Mark had panotti who apparently mostly live in Casmaron and "Central Tian Xia" but they never got mentioned after this book so I dunno if they are canon anymore.


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I would be glad to see Casmaron someday, but it feels like we've gotten less hints about it than anywhere else "off the map," so to speak. Between that and the lack of too much 2e energy around the Golden Road from the devs (although The Enmity Cycle might be a sign of changing times!), I think there's not quite the same core of excitement (and/or cultural familiarity) on the writing team with the cultures it's rooted in.

Still, Kelesh holds a lot of hypothetical appeal, as does Vudra, and the other potential real-world inspirations are a fascinating well to draw from; I'd love to see Fantasy Scythians make an appearance, for instance. Iblydos is one spot I'm dying to see more of - not least because I dearly want PC Minotaurs - but I believe we've been told it won't get the spotlight until there's a Mythic equivalent, to support campaigns about hero-gods.

What exactly is the deal with Iobaria, anyway?

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Hmm maybe I should do the "let's give summary of interesting tidbits from 1e campaign setting books" for the few locations from casmaron we have gazetteer for? Dunno if I should do it here or make another thread if I want to raise awareness for cool Casmaron stuff xD

But yeah Iobaria's dealio shouldn't be too complicated, but let me read the iobaria gazetter for first time to see what is actually there.

So whoever said in Saga Lands thread that we have to Russias is bit incorrect, Iobaria is very clearly Siberia :P

That aside, Iobaria's stereotype in fandom is "that place where several attempts to run country got ruined by plagues". Heck that is why PF2e's initial season plan for Iobaria involved demonic plague until the pandemic happened. Lot of people seem to genuinely remember it as just "that place with lot of plagues historically" and nothing else.

What that actually means is that its vast wilderness region unclaimed by single power and home to variety of people. According to kingmaker's article Avistani or Garundi "Iobarian" seems to mean "anyone in region who isn't obviously Keleshite or Casmar" while to natives claiming to be "Iobarian" means "Wow, that guy still thinks someone rules this region". So basically, people in Iobaria don't really observe an ethnic group outside of tribe, clan or faith. (apparently only factions controlling Kridorn, Mirnbay, and Orlov believe "Iobaria" as nation concept exists in any meaningful way)

Largest population group in Iobaria are actually centaurs(if I remember right there was centaur Khan in reign of winter. That was pretty cool roleplaying encounter unless I forgot something) followed by humans and dwarves. FUN FACT Iobaria article has centaur ethnicities x'D Wow why nobody told me of this before?

"While most countries or travelers encounter only one tribe or type of centaur, Iobaria’s steppes, hills, and forests are home to members of three recognized groups, similar to human ethnicities: the Azorva, the Rashalka, and the Tsolniva (though others exist east across Casmaron). The Azorva are mountain and highland centaurs, stockier and stronger than the norm, and of darker skin and coat hues in general; they dominate the mountains and highlands of Iobaria. The Rashalka are familiar centaurs in look and stature and are the most numerous of Iobarian centaurs in the west and all across the south, ranging from Okor’s Basin to the Caemorin. Tsolniva centaurs are the most hirsute of centaurs—the hair on their torsos is nearly as thick and long as the coats covering the rest of their bodies. The centaur tribes lack any central authority or government between clans, though elder clans maintain long-standing claims on widespread territories (recognized by other centaurs and most races)."

Other interesting observation is that Iobarian humans refer to all people with animal features "kodlak" or "kodlok". So shapeshifters like lycanthropes are kodlak while boggards, centaurs and harpies are kodlok to them.

Anyway, for what PFS players seem to believe is mostly unpopulated wilderness, iobaria has plenty of city states :P

I'm bit lazy so for lot of these I'm going to copy paste parts of paragraphs for various locales. (only populated ones though rather than interesting ruins, monoliths, other land marks or wilderness areas) Note that Iobaria gazetteer is whopping ten pages long, so its longer than most of other country articles I've seen.

"Antoll: The most comfortable city in all of Iobaria, Antoll stays insulated from the worst of the cold by the open and heated waters of the Nyvyrd. Waters piped beneath the city (installed at New Iobaria’s height, when it was the capital from 3312 to 3679 ar) keep many homes and businesses warm year-round. This is one of very few cities not founded upon or near the ruins of a cyclops city, and its primary draws today are its pearl and fishing trades and its libraries of magical, religious, herbal, and medicinal lore, founded long before the Pathfinder Society ever breached its walls."

Caverns of Pirthous: interestingly this is underground tunnel winterhome of Avorva centaurs.

Coreth Woods: noted to have ogres and hobgoblins living underneath it.

"Duroth Wood: This gnarled and hardscrabble old forest is home to a few gnome settlements,"

"Evaren: This has been the primary trade town between humans and non-humans at the threshold of the Syrzemyan Highlands for long centuries." (one of places noted to have been affected by the plagues)

"Fangard: The largest single forest in Iobaria, Fangard is home to many factions and forces, only some of whom are known to the humans of Iobaria. Without using the ancient roads, no human has ever crossed through Fangard alive (though some were allowed to exit from whence they came). Rumors tell of such hidden wonders as an elven court, the homes of Erastil and other gods sacred to trees and nature, and a surviving remnant of the Koloran Empire watching to see how they can best use their ancient powers in a world of mortals-turned gods. The only truth widely held is the presence of werebeast hunters and rangers (primarily werebears and werepanthers) who patrol the forest borders against intruders and despoilers."

Wasn't expecting werepanthers in fantasy siberia, but either way possible secret elven court is interesting.

Franax: "This pleasant, human-built port once excelled at ship repair and building thanks to its protected bays and its three islands, onto which the port expanded. Now, its buildings lurch in half-repair since the town lost 80% of them to fire in a misguided attempt to eradicate a plague of boils and bone-aches in 4651 ar. Today, the shipbuilding and repair happens in Orlov, and the few who remain in Franax live amid a frenzied struggle for control between Niath Koyra, a fisherman of some repute and coin, and the druids of the Glacircle, who wish to convert all to the worship of an elemental power embedded within the tundra and the Icewall."

Was that related to that place in Brevoy which contains sealed nascent demon lord of ice related stuff featured in one of pathfinder tales books?

"Hills of Nomen: Named by a fearful Taldan wanderer, the Hills of Nomen contain the primary territories of a large number of centaur tribes, as well as other nonhuman races."

I think this is where Nomen centaurs from kingmaker are from?

Hoofwood: If you aren't expecting centaurs to live in these woods...

Hvorsuli: majestic ruined city that I'm mentioning for this "A few accounts mention a great power that glows on rare nights deep within the city, held within by the ice and the glacier god Rheth (worshiped by some depraved druid circles)."

I'm kind of baffled that there is (probably evil) ice god with cool name that has never been mentioned outside of this article.

"Katrivish: This small town has few inhabitants beyond its mad druids, who all carve out one of their own eyes to honor their cyclops god, Prathos (“the Howling Eye”), and gain gifts of wisdom and knowledge for their sacrifices. Whether mad or not, they have unseen powers that help them find and trap any who dare enter the woods around Katrivish"

First cyclop god with name that isn't Sun or Moon that I've heard of heard of. Another god worshipped by druids that isn't mentioned outside of this article.

"Kirya: This city high above the Syrzemyan Highlands lies nestled among a ring of peaks breachable only by wing or by the Koloran road across Grenalthrost onto the Grenalf Platea."

This location has long history article but I think notable part is this:

"Its leader is the great druid Fedor Vasylk, whose circle embraces 36 local nature gods as children of Erastil."

So lol, this is only 1e source that makes any reference to Erastil having any family. Imagine another timeline where 2e Erastil was declared to have 36 children :P

"Kridorn: “Kridor’s Cliff.” The second great power of Iobaria, Kridorn rises on a sloping cliff at the edge of the Castrovin, its proud towers and lighthouse shining bright for any sailors on the sea."

"Mirnbay: Stone and wood palisades shelter this city, and a peaceful lagoon provides a safe and easy port. Mirnbay is the most vibrant and prosperous of the cities of Iobaria and its most populous. Its most recent influx of Galtan nobles upset the social and mercantile order for a time"

Huh Galtans get in lot of places in north. Stolen Lands, Iobaria...

"Mishkar: A fully human-built town of wood and stone (not scavenged from cyclops ruins but plowed up from the surrounding hills), Mishkar rests on a hill surrounded by long-built defenses. Unallied with any of the other power factions, Mishkar’s people (a mix of Varisians and Taldans with a random assortment from elsewhere) value their independence and make this city-state relatively selfsustained."

"Myrnorosk: The sole recognized non-human community in Iobaria, Myrnorosk is a relatively recent town that has risen up around a series of artesian springs. The halflings and dwarves who established the town in 4661 ar allowed a few human families to settle here, but the original population has a secret way to determine rulers—this community holds kodlak and kodlok races in high regard, and in fact reveres them. To be a lycanthrope is a sign of"

currently komar ("mayor") in this article was dwarf werebear :O

Norinor: "Despite its borders on the Hills of Nomen and the upper highlands, the Norinor is actually a relatively sheltered and peaceful forest with more human settlements and “hideholds” within its borders than any other Iobarian forest of note. However, the people living there are hundreds of individuals seeking their own paths and goals, not a singular community."

"Okormirr: “The Rest of Okor.” All but abandoned save for a small population of druids and their families, Okormirr is nonetheless the most obvious example of an Ulfen settlement,"

"Orlendas: This town has risen from the ashes more than a dozen times, whether destroyed by fire, plague, human war, or centaur marauders. Its importance to Franax and Orlov as the logging source for shipbuilding has waned,"

"Orlov: The oldest “city” of Iobaria and long the capital of that first realm, Orlov is a crumbling ruin in all quarters, whether built by cyclopes or by humans, millennia later. Occupied by fewer than half its former inhabitants, the port city simply ignores or walls off places too ruined to fix or inhabit (and its stonesmiths are a far cry from their forebears that carved up the cyclopean stones for their own use)."

"Orost: “Star.” The only safe stop on the roads between Orlov and Mirnbay, Orost has become a site of growing importance and strife among the factions fighting to control Iobaria. In the center of town is a massive building of wood and stone that houses the central ruling komar; inside it becomes obvious humans constructed the building over and around an ancient two-ringed stone circle of massive proportions."

"Veka: The easternmost hold for Iobaria in the Ice Steppes, Veka has stood as a garrisoned fort town since its founding."

"Vladmirr: Only its relative isolation and proximity to the Icerime Peaks have kept Vladmirr from becoming a major city and a player in Iobarian politics."

"Volod: One of the newer settlements in Iobaria, Volod came into being in 4400 ar to replace the lost logging camps of Hroran. This town has been tied to the logging and wood trades for much of its history, and these professions still dominate Volod’s mercantile aspects. "

"Vurnirn: “The Centaur’s Cliff.” The sole cyclops ruin in Hoofwood and the largest single centaur settlement in Iobaria, Vurnirn plays host to many conclaves of clan leaders every summer. It is the shared seat of power for the Rashalka clans Kraask, Tsurvom, and Voaldyn, with the city split among them into three zones of control. These three clans (and Clan Phelor, which dwells in the southern forest) all share the Hoofwood as territory and maintain a provisional alliance against the more ruthless Tsolniva centaurs to their north. Vurnirn also marks the northernmost reach of Rashalka centaurs in Iobaria."

Yeah not sure if its obvious, but I only posted half for majority of the locales I bothered to post about. Some I did completely but yeah 10 pages worth of gazetteer is huuuuuuuge

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So too long to read version:

we need centaur ancestry for iobaria and maybe we can convince devs to do boggards and harpies or other animal feature people too? ;P

Also since I forgot to note it, I think Karazh IS the fantasy Scythia.


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Appreciate the thorough reply, CM! It got me to finally dig into that Gazetteer for the first time.

Centaurs have never been my thing, but I know they've got a very vocal crowd behind them as an Ancestry, and I'd love to see them get it. The only ones I've ever really loved were from Guild Wars: Nightfall, where they had leonine heads and antelope bodies, but kept the human torsos - maybe some of the Iobarian Centaurs can be a little more interesting-looking than just humans?

The others in the region are interesting: humans without nation or, seemingly, ethnicity, along with hardy dwarves (who are okay with lycanthropy - maybe their acceptance of kodlaks comes from the ancient Ulfen settlers?), trolls (I hold out hope for playable Trollkin!), "all the various goblinoids," and lots of beastfolk. That sounds like fodder for unique-looking parties of player characters, and having adventures around cyclops ruins, supernatural plagues, and human-nonhuman diplomacy.

I'd love to see Rheth get some more attention. There's a real paucity of ice-related planar powers, of al alignments.


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Iobaria also seems to take some influences from the Kievan Rus (being initially founded by fantasy-Scandinavians for example), so I'd say the two Russias thing is less of a "yes" or "no" and more of a "kind of" (plus Ukraine/Belarus), but even the European part of Russia is big enough that I'd argue it's fine to have one and a half Russian based countries, LOL. On that note I also hope Iobaria isn't the only area with Siberian inspirations since it'd be cool to have Golarion equivalents to some of its indigenous peoples as well.

I tend to think of Karazh as more Turkic than Scythian, but that could just be my own assumption...

Also, there's one other region that hasn't been mentioned here: Kaskkari, a ruined former nation that we don't seem to know much else about.


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The idea that the average Iobarian party consists of a Frost Goblin Druid, a Beastkin Dwarf Animal Barbarian, a Kellid Human Summoner, and a Rashalka Centaur Shaman is so, so exciting.

---

As for wider Casmaron - I'd really like seeing some riffs on Mesopotamian cultures that *aren't* destroyed ruins. I imagine most of the nations of Casmaron are technically Kelesh Empire satrapies, but I want to see the oldest, proudest, and most history-rich of them. Where are the places where people still speak the names of ancient kings? What wonders and monuments still stand tall, rather than battered and forgotten? We so often see the Middle East through the lens of its crumbling past, but I want to see it alive and thriving.

I'd also love to see the stuff that isn't straight out of anywhere on Earth. Numeria isn't a place in Europe. Nowhere in Africa has a ghost-king. What does Casmaron have for the fantastical, the extraplanar, the otherworldly? I know that pretty much all of this we've seen glimpses of have been Lovecraft or Rovagug, and I'm curious what else is out there.

What's the Ancestry situation like in Casmaron, anyway?


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My sincere hope for the Vudra book if they ever get around to doing it is "an entirely alternative metaphysics/theology that is compatible with all of the worldly evidence but wildly contradicts prevailing theories from elsewhere." Since we have diagetic authors who are not authoritative about everything, so let's have fun with it.

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Darth Game Master wrote:

Iobaria also seems to take some influences from the Kievan Rus (being initially founded by fantasy-Scandinavians for example), so I'd say the two Russias thing is less of a "yes" or "no" and more of a "kind of" (plus Ukraine/Belarus), but even the European part of Russia is big enough that I'd argue it's fine to have one and a half Russian based countries, LOL. On that note I also hope Iobaria isn't the only area with Siberian inspirations since it'd be cool to have Golarion equivalents to some of its indigenous peoples as well.

I tend to think of Karazh as more Turkic than Scythian, but that could just be my own assumption...

Also, there's one other region that hasn't been mentioned here: Kaskkari, a ruined former nation that we don't seem to know much else about.

I didn't mention Kaskkari since we know nothing about it so we don't know if its something like Ninshabur which might still be a "country" in sense of it being uninhabited ghost country, or if its like Koloran and Yenchabur which are more like equivalents of Jistka, Tekritanin League and such.

But yeah admittedly I could get it wrong since I'm not super familiar with Scythia or Parthia. I thought Karazh being nomadic horse riders on steppes along with Kara warriors'(its cool check out the pic. Though not sure if metal litchina masks are based on something, google brings me medieval russian armor, so could be another case of Golarion style "mixing up features from different nations".) aesthetic was pretty Scythian like, but since I don't know much of Ottoman Empire history maybe its more similar to Turkey? Either way, let me dig up what little we know about Karazh...

But yeah, I think because I might be mistaken with cultural influences here that its better for me to just post quotes from Ular Kel the Caravan City article and you people can judge it better :'D

From overview, first paragraph

"Ular Kel is a crossroads. From Lowgate, wagon ruts lead south to Vudra’s Impossible Kingdoms. To the north, through the Gate of Winds, brave travelers wind their way to ports on the Castrovin Sea. West takes one out the Empire Gate (more formally the Gate of Failed Empire) to the Padishah Empire of Kelesh, and east through the Gate of Grass to xenophobic Kaladay. All of these paths meet in the Crossway, the grand bazaar at the city’s center. Trade isn’t limited to this single nexus, however—nearly every intersection in the city harbors its own market of tents or shops, many dealing in specialized wares. Even between these, barrow-runners weave through the crowd, working on commission to carry goods from one part of the city to another in hopes of being the first to catch a buyer."

From appearance, first paragraph

"The first thing a traveler sees upon approaching Ular Kel is a red sandstone wall 20 feet high, constructed from magically quarried blocks the size of houses. Each gate is guarded by a pair of massive statues, carved in the shapes of nagas, garudas, manticores, and lammasus, respectively. Local history holds that in times of siege, the stone creatures animate as golems, striding forth to lay waste to invaders."

First paragraph from history:

"Thousands of years ago, Ular Kel was a simple oasis in the middle of the Grass Sea, marking the intersection of two great trade routes. Hundreds of miles from any city, claimed only on principle by the nomadic Kara horse tribes, the oasis remained free for all to use until the day Altyn Batyr, the spellcasting han of a minor horse tribe, came up with the idea of fortifying the watering hole and charging passing caravans for its use. Though other nomads mocked his “Dead Tribe”—for only the dead settle in one place—Batyr’s idea proved extremely lucrative. Assuming the title of Water Lord, Batyr invited caravan guards, merchants, and exiles from other tribes to join his banner, and soon the camp grew into a proper fortress, and then a city: Ular Kel, the beating heart that pumps wealth into the trackless steppes of Karazh."

Basically Ular Kel is de facto capital of Karazh in sense of "They are nomadic steppe people who don't really settle into cities, so the merchant city is pretty much only major settlement in entire area." rather than being actual capital and they just pay tributes to horse tribes.

Two paragraphs from "The Horse Tribes" sidebar

"The unforgiving steppes of the Grass Sea breed a hard people, tribes of nomadic herders who forsake farming in favor of life on horseback. Though they refer to themselves as the Kara—the root from which Karazh takes its name—the term itself holds little significance to them, and most outsiders simply refer to them by the word’s literal translation of “horse tribes.”

The horse tribes of Karazh consist of 13 “great tribes” and numerous smaller ones, each ruled by a leader called a han. Though the tribes are largely independent, at various points in history—including the present—the clans have been united under a single hakan, the leader of the strongest tribe, who speaks for the entire nation from the wooden Horse Throne. These periods of unification generally occur in the face of outside threats, and rarely last long, falling to inter tribal raiding within a generation or two. The current hakan, Ulzhan of tribe Kaskyrbai, has proven a strong and steady leader, ushering in an era of peace and plenty that many hope will last, even as they sharpen their blades for the inevitable collapse."

I'm not going to post example of literally everything, but I hope that is enough to clarify this matter? Hmm anything else I want to note? Well this article doesn't really hint of new ancestries, but it notes that Ular Kel has very much "if you have money you are welcome in the city policy.

"Khoretz: While undines are unusually common throughout the city—a fact often attributed to secret magic inherent in the city’s springs—many of Ular Kel’s obviously nonhuman residents make quiet homes in Khoretz. Here, ratfolk hawkers and tengu gamblers rub up against centaur mercenaries, naga scholars, and even the occasional lammasu."

Other thing to note is that Karazh as nation concept exists because Keleshite empire tried to conquer them (and failed miserably. Sidenote, apparently Kara bond with horses is borderline psychic. Also said horses are apparently highly intelligent, like staying guard at night or fighting for their tribes riderless. Why I'm thinking of that horse from Tangled... Anyway, seems like Kara highly value said horses, its mentioned that they would point out that its equally about training rider and the horse rather than just the horse.)

"The concept of the Kara as a nation is one forced upon them by history, and the tribes might never have unified at all if not for the Empire of Kelesh."

Anything else fun? I spotted mention of azi dragon in this article xD I also am like "You can't just say there is location called Spirit Wall where victims of Ghost Plague were put into rest and not explain what the heck was Ghost Plague" x'D I guess there was plague where everyone who died turned into ghosts? Maybe?

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I'm currently going through operation to dig up as much information about Casmaron, its nations and people as I can find :'D Aelyosos and Radripal articles in distant shores was interesting, but not sure there is much add that people in general don't already know about greater Iblydos and Vudra.

I'm currently going through Qadira book(honestly kinda thought I would do it for Golden Road thread, but realized that as Satrap there is actually also lot of general Empire of Kelish info hidden there.) and it turned source for info on few more nations not mentioned on wikipedia

Something to note on main six Keleshite cultures/etchnicities: Keleshites consider the label of grouping them up as "Kelish identity" as artificial attempt by empire to unify people. "Most Avistani consider “Keleshite” to be an ancient ethnicity, but to the people of Casmaron it is a constructed identity designed to bring unity to the myriad cultures of the Padishah Empire."

The non Keleshite ethnicities in empire mentioned is where juicy info can be gleamed. There are several people who are mentioned to have their home nation destroyed, like Amai Birtim(conquered by Althameri and having their true name removed from history), Beshzens(and Mishyrians who split off from them when Beshzens made deal with Moloch post having their city states destroyed by rovagug spawn, they instead sought help from Falayna), Ninshaburians and Yenchaburians. But yeah the ones I don't remember hearing much about before:

"Jalunahs: The ancient and unusual Jalunah civilization seems content to remain small. Jalunahs are known both as the Bee People for their hive-shaped homes and as the Ebony Lords for the dark wood they trade and their dark skin. Their kingdom is a place of fabled wealth and intricate craft carefully nurtured and protected by the Keleshites, who enjoy a monopoly on its exports. Jalunahs are rarely seen in Qadira outside the company of their Keleshite trading partners."

The other one which still retains their home doesn't seem to be part of nation per say but still interesting to note.

"Qalahs: The Qalah people occupy wintry mountaintops in Kelesh. Accompanied by their distinctive snowy hawks, they come down to trade their furs, gems, and fine embroidery. Most families are headed by a grandmother, and many generations live together in the same house. Marriage is traditionally unknown among the Qalahs, though many of the younger generation have moved off their mountains and are attempting to integrate with the rest of Kelesh."

Also bit disturbingly, at least in 1e, it kinda sounds like overall Kelesh culture is non suspicious of non humans(it seems that only fairly few people besides humans share privileged or citizenship status), though obviously they still have presence(besides the obvious ones, aquatic elves, merfolk, gillmen, tengu, dhamphirs, fetchlings, tengu, wayangs, vudranese non human ancestries are all mentioned.)

But funniest surprising mention is this "Lashunta and other extraterrestrial species are welcomed, if in a somewhat baffled manner, for the trade opportunities they bring"

Apparently literal aliens are more welcomed than people associated with darkness/shadow ^_^;


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CorvusMask wrote:
Darth Game Master wrote:

Iobaria also seems to take some influences from the Kievan Rus (being initially founded by fantasy-Scandinavians for example), so I'd say the two Russias thing is less of a "yes" or "no" and more of a "kind of" (plus Ukraine/Belarus), but even the European part of Russia is big enough that I'd argue it's fine to have one and a half Russian based countries, LOL. On that note I also hope Iobaria isn't the only area with Siberian inspirations since it'd be cool to have Golarion equivalents to some of its indigenous peoples as well.

I tend to think of Karazh as more Turkic than Scythian, but that could just be my own assumption...

Also, there's one other region that hasn't been mentioned here: Kaskkari, a ruined former nation that we don't seem to know much else about.

But yeah admittedly I could get it wrong since I'm not super familiar with Scythia or Parthia. I thought Karazh being nomadic horse riders on steppes along with Kara warriors'(its cool check out the pic. Though not sure if metal litchina masks are based on something, google brings me medieval russian armor, so could be another case of Golarion style "mixing up features from different nations".) aesthetic was pretty Scythian like, but since I don't know much of Ottoman Empire history maybe its more similar to Turkey? Either way, let me dig up what little we know about Karazh...

Oops, I should've clarified (very easy to mix up "Turkic" and "Turkish" especially when Turkish is also a Turkic language), I meant Turkic in the sense of Central Asian Turkic cultures of the middle ages like Gokturks, Khazars, Kipchaks, etc who generally were also horse riding nomads (and whose modern descendants would be groups like Kazakhs, Uzbeks, or Kyrgyz people). Mostly I just assumed that because I knew Tian Xia already had equivalents to Mongols so that left the other major group of equestrian steppe nomads, but there could certainly be some Scythian stuff in there as well. The Scythians were pretty interesting so I certainly wouldn't mind!

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Ah, that's extra reason to be skeptical then since I'm even less familiar with those, so I might be mixing up my steppe nomad influences :'D Like maybe horse rider armor looks similar regardless of exact culture just because of they'd have to have some common design elements and I'm unaware of subtler influences?

Either way, have to say that Vudra and Iblydos are the most obvious fantasy flavored places in Casmaron so far. Iblydos with the whole "Greek myth" hero god dealio(even with them slowly aging and dying due to not having gotten mythic longevity ability ;D) and Vudra with all the psychic shenanigans in history. Vudra in particular comes across as very esoteric. "Masters display extraordinary feats of strength and resilience, commune with beings beyond even the gods, and glimpse truths of reality known only to the highest and most evolved beings."

Plus Maharajah Rajeshwar is very cool. They are very fabulous, very talented psychic and they seem to be reproducing without a partner to point of rumors of them being divine avatar.

Vudra's history has several acts of really powerful psychic magic being performed. Such as

"In 345 ar, the Spawn of Rovagug called Kothogaz, the Dance of Disharmony, rampaged across Vudra. The squabbling mahajanapadas united for the first time but were overwhelmed one after the other, until the legendary psychic Vanitapati, wielding the collective will of her fellow yogis, confronted Kothogaz. Psychics, occultists, sorcerers, and countless common people lent Vanitapati their strength through meditation and prayer, and she channeled their collective will with unmatched strength and skill. Legend claims her psychic avatar stood as tall as a mountain to rip Kothogaz into one hundred and one pieces. The act cost nearly a million Vudrani lives and stripped Vanitapati of her physical senses."

Then four thousand years later somebody tried to replicate that to not as good success. Also aberration hole, that is fun. Avistani gets demons, Tian Xia had oni take up a province of Lung Wa, Vudra gets hole with aberrations. Aroden's death coincidences with interesting shenanigans.

"However, the history of Vudra is filled with disasters as monumental as its successes. In 4275, rogue occultists attempted to replicate Vanitapati’s psychic channeling, but none could wield such tremendous power. The misdirected energy caused a tsunami that killed tens of thousands along Vudra’s eastern coastline. When Aroden died in 4606, the oceans south of Vudra retreated, exposing a massive land bridge connecting the mainland to a remote set of islands. Here, fissures containing thousands of aberrations rent open, spilling their horrors forth. The desperate mahajanapadas built a line of military emplacements to repel the invaders, but the front remains desperate and tenuous even today. Conflict with Kelesh has recently flared, though both empires strive to maintain peace and avoid full-scale war."

Most of vudrani mentioned ancestries are going to be featured in Impossible Book with Ratajin being in bestiary ("simian vanaras, ophidian vishkanyas, clever ratfolk, rhinoheaded kashrishis, and cunning but curse-twisted ratajins"), but I do think its worth to mention that Vudrani ethnicity is another one of those "actually multiple ethnicities". "The three most populous groups are the Vudrani-Dhavala, Vudrani-Parbatkay, and Vudrani-Banjarey."

(honestly, in retrospect, even if Tian Xia continent name comes from Lung Wa, that people of Tian Xia use Tian-prefix to their name seems to imply they have stronger cultural unity than keleshite cultures do. I wasn't expecting Vudrani to also share the prefix naming scheme)

Oh and this is nice locale: one of Crying Jungle locales has sapient animals. Panther rajah is nice touch, we even have mugshot.

"In the heart of the Crying Jungles lies Jansagar Lake, protected by the surrounding mahajanapadas at the behest of the goddess Janpati dwelling in its depths. Animals that drink its waters are said to gain sapience; indeed, thousands of sapient animals populate the Janvari mahajanapada, ruled by a panther rajah known as Tendula. Janvari is also the center of worship of Topimanu, the loyal, mace-wielding monkey god."

(sidenote, land of thousand gods doesn't disappoint, some of the gods' avatars are mentioned to actually roam the land)

In general, Vudra has lot of occult/psychic landmarks and locales. Heck one high priest does regular pilgrims to outer planes :D (huh linnorms mentioned. Also interesting, surface seems to have some serpentfolk presence)

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So in other thread Kelesh's imperialism got brought up, so I figured out I should post here to clarify how it works.

"The effects of Earthfall were far less dramatic in Casmaron than in Avistan, and human civilization in the former was thus not thrust back into as primitive a state. Though none of Casmaron’s pre-Earthfall empires still exist today, not all their knowledge was lost, and Kelesh was able to build upon their advances as it assimilated their descendants. Individual members of the imperial family have access to the most potent methods of extending their life spans that money can buy, but the family’s pact with the goddess Sarenrae prohibits them from using magical means to extend their lives to more than 200 years. Nevertheless, the unusual continuity of the imperial family and the empire they rule causes Kelesh’s rulers to think in terms of centuries, gradual shifts in climate and population, and the inevitable march of progress. It has had time to experiment with many methods of governance. Kelesh has seen virulent ethnic divisions fade away as populations intermingle. It has gone from conquering with sword and spell to persuading with gold and diplomacy, and from forcing subject peoples to join it to allowing nations to seek its protection, lured by its wealth, its strength, and its patient stewardship. Kelesh’s rulers believe that all of Golarion will someday pay them fealty voluntarily, but they feel no need to rush the process."

In later paragraph

"The history of Qadira’s relationship with Kelesh has been defined by these incompatible modes of thinking. Kelesh long ago put aside the sword in favor of the coin as the preferred means of expanding its reach. Its rulers oversee a vast and largely stable empire supported by trade networks that span the planet—and beyond. While individual empresses and emperors have ranged from those of almost superhuman benevolence and enlightenment to those of stunning cruelty and depravity, the imperial family’s devotion to the goddess Sarenrae helps to minimize the rule of the truly depraved and evil, removing them from the throne before they can do too much harm. Kelesh is patient and prefers peace—and the robust trade that comes with it—to war."

Fun fact: Apparently Qadira's conquest of Osirion was unsanctioned, though it sounds like they didn't really bother giving compensation to Osirion or releasing it on their own. Granted they probably wouldn't want to antagonize their satrapy too much, especially considering empire has bit of condescending attitude towards Qadira, they probably figured out it will sort itself out and then they need to do diplomacy afterwards.

"To Kelesh, Qadira is impatient, belligerent, and blinded by a foolish, romantic attachment to a mythologized warrior past that is impractical—not to mention unenlightened— as a philosophy of governance. That impatience drives it to adopt practices that many Keleshites consider unethical, such as Qadira’s embrace of slavery or the nation’s conquest of Osirion. To Qadira, Kelesh sits complacently amid its wealth and safety, ignorant of Avistani bloodthirst and unprepared to deal with those savages should Avistani nations decide to invade. Through the millennia, a pattern has emerged: Qadira’s satraps take advantage of distractions in central Kelesh to build up the Satrapian Guard and begin military campaigns, and Kelesh cleans up the inevitable aftermath, decreases financial support to force the satrapy to reduce the size of its military, and increases the authority of the imperial vizier. Upon the ascension of a new satrap, Kelesh eases its hold, and the cycle begins anew."

I do find it interesting how Taldor, Cheliax, Razatlan, Empire of Kelesh and some of Lung Wa's successor states all demonstrate different forms of imperialism. Kelesh seems to be bit of the hypocritical one in that they tend to see themselves as having moved past their warfaring past, having transitioned into economic super power, while still benefiting from it and they seem to treat satraps with some condescension and distance as if they were above their actions as they prefer to use soft power to control their subjects.


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I don't have time to get into these detailed analyses (though they are cool to read, thanks), but just wanted to pop in to voice my support for a more details on Casmaron. It's the area of Golarion that I would be most interested in seeing more info on.

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Realized that besides panotti somehow making return, Casmaron has good potential to be location of some of really obscure 1e ancestries that weren't popular among devs. Like astomi!

...Okay I'm probably the only fan of astomoi in world, but come on they are myth from greek :p They could totally fit in small corner of casmaron. If wyrwood, wyvarians, gathlains, naiads and orang-pedank have place in setting, then why not psychic silhoutte people as well? xD


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If we were going to get a Lost Omens: Casmaron, I would love to get a gazetteer on Ezida, the last remaining city of Ninshabur. It wouldn't be accurate to say it survived the Tarrasque, since its inhabitants reoccupied its ruins later, but in a setting dominated by an analogue to the Persian empire it would be nice to have a little Babylon still around, perhaps hoping someday to restore the Whistling Plains and resettle their ancestral homeland when their messiah-figure Namzaruum returns.

I could absolutely see a Kingmaker-style campaign where Ezida recolonises the land, gradually clearing it of undead and wandering aberrations, with the neighbouring Empire of Kelesh as an antagonist since they wouldn't want a rival nation on their border, or might want to colonise the region themselves. Exploring fallen Ninshabur would be a fascinating campaign - Mesopotamia was a crossroads of cultures, and the idea of finding ancient temples, buried ziggurats, putting the souls of those who died in terror as the Tarrasque devastated their lands to rest, finding ancient cuneiform libraries to recover its lost history, would be pretty cool.

The Whistling Plains is also home of the Pit of Gormuz, where the Spawn of Rovagug emerge, and maybe that's left an ecosystem of aberrations and abominations for variety. I was recently reminded of the Sumerian god Ninurta, one of whose myths was facing the monster Asag and his army of stone warriors with his talking mace Sharur to stop it polluting the land and help the people establish agriculture and cities, which sounds like it would be a Mythic quest.


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Morhek wrote:
snip

I would be all over this! I hadn’t known anything of Ninshabur had survived, and them as a very small fish on the edge of Kelesh sounds super compelling. “Desert Kingmaker” has legs.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Fun fact: Apparently Qadira's conquest of Osirion was unsanctioned, though it sounds like they didn't really bother giving compensation to Osirion or releasing it on their own. Granted they probably wouldn't want to antagonize their satrapy too much, especially considering empire has bit of condescending attitude towards Qadira, they probably figured out it will sort itself out and then they need to do diplomacy afterwards.

My understand is that Kelesh was furious about it. Firstly, they didn't need war and instability to disrupt an economically profitable corner of their empire, especially on top of the historical antagonism with Taldor who Qadira saw as an existential threat but Kelesh never saw as much more than an annoyance. Secondly, suddenly the imperial foreign policy of slowly persuading people that federating as a satrapy was in mutual economic interest was being side-eyed across Garund and Avistan as people saw the crude and brazen takeover of Ancient Osirion. And thirdly, they immediately had to reign the Satrap's authority to stop him or successors doing something again, worked out a deal making Xerbystes I's throne hereditary but stripping it of all foreign policy power and investing it in the Vizier, who would be an imperial appointee, The Vizier was dispatched to find an heir of the last Menedes to try and restore the Pharaohs and disentangle Kelesh from the occupation, but she was assassinated by local nobles who didn't know the invasion wasn't sanctioned and were pissed. After that, the Empress couldn't disentangle without losing face, so send her aunt Kleomatara to be the first Satrap. Neither Qadira: Jewel of the East nor Osirion: Legacy of Pharaohs are clear how deferential the Satrapy of Osirion was to the (theoretically separate) Satrapy of Kelesh, but it seems to have been treated as subordinate until the Cult of the Dawnflower assassinated the last Satrap and established an independent Sultan. From there Osirion was a satrapy in name only - Kelesh never recognised their claims, but it also never allowed Qadira to reconquer it, probably happy to finally be rid of a troublesome distant province.

2e spoilers:
Further complicating things is that the whole thing was manipulated by Nyarlathotep, who somehow tricked the Cult of the Dawnflower into advising Xerbystes' daughter into triggering slave revolts then leading her army to "keep the peace" without her father's knowledge, and that Qadira didn't actually want to invade but was committed once it had. Why remains a mystery, and being an Elder God he may not even have one. According to Extinction Curse: Lord of the Black Sands, rumour claims he was behind the rise of Khemet III. He may have been behind every regime change Osirion has had - the Pharaohs to Satraps, Satraps to Sultans, Sultans to Pharaohs - and has drow agents throughout the darklands and hidden in human society, led by the drow ghost Mafaere who still searches for the descendants of the lone drow handmaiden to escape when she seized power and continues enacting her master's unfathomable agenda.

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I'm curious of where that info come from, that sounds fascinatingly complex political shenanigans :O Was that also from Qadira book and I missed those details because of skim reading?


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I think a Lost Onens book starting with the reaches of the Kelish empire would be interesting, but unless there was going to be another intrigue heavy AP, the region might not be the land that draws adventurers to, being more a place of origin than a destination. But I love intrigue heavy APs, and I think fleshing the Kellesh Empire up as a place to be from, with backgrounds, heritages, ancestry feats and unique archetypes feels like a good use of resources to me.


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CorvusMask wrote:
I'm curious of where that info come from, that sounds fascinatingly complex political shenanigans :O Was that also from Qadira book and I missed those details because of skim reading?

The details about Kelesh's reaction to the Keleshite Interregnum is in Qadira: Jewel of the East. Kelesh's reaction to the Sultanate was in Osirion: Legacy of Pharaohs. And the stuff about the drow was in book 5 of Extinction Curse, Lord of the Black Desert.


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Unicore wrote:
I think a Lost Onens book starting with the reaches of the Kelish empire would be interesting, but unless there was going to be another intrigue heavy AP, the region might not be the land that draws adventurers to, being more a place of origin than a destination. But I love intrigue heavy APs, and I think fleshing the Kellesh Empire up as a place to be from, with backgrounds, heritages, ancestry feats and unique archetypes feels like a good use of resources to me.

I mean, we don’t know much of anything about the Kelesh Empire other than that it’s massive, so I’m not worried about it having room for a variety of adventures. There’s no way every square inch of it is peaceful city, y’know?

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Like even if empire has perfect order in its cities and surrounding region is somehow peaceful pastoral sort of thing, this is still continent with Pit of Gormuz in it :D


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Well, we know there are 15 satrapies all much wealthier than Qadira. There's Qadira on its westernmost reach, the imperial centre of Kelesh, and bordering Karazh on the east the satrapy of Zelshabbar home to the Everlight Oasis. To the south, near Vudra and not too far from Iblydos, are Midea and Khattib which were pre-Earthfall kingdoms that Kelesh conquered - Oathos is worshipped in Khattib which is known for its libraries, and Midea, it's old enemy, has the world's oldest still-operating banks. There's mention of the desert satrapy of Ayyarad, where Qadira sends its Satrapal Guard for desert survival training. I was going to include Tirakawhan, which is an island colony with a tense relationship with Holomog, but that's a Qadiran colony rather than an independent satrapy. And looking at some of the other Keleshite ethnic groups, it's reasonable to infer that there are homelands for the horse-nomad Tzorehiyi, ebody-exporting Jalunahs in their beehive-shaped homes, Falayna-worshipping Myshirians fighting Moloch-worshipping Beshzens, and mountainous Qalahs.

That leaves a tremendous amount of room to create new material, and what has already been mentioned paints a wonderfully diverse place for storytelling, and I've long thought you could tell a great story following a group of adventurers escorting a caravan from Qadira to Zelshabbar, and the kinds of adventures they'd see - passing a little too close to the Whistling Plains and having to fend off desperate ghosts and Rovagug cultists from the Pit of Gormuz, finding ways around imperial checkpoints to avoid paying the internal tariffs, currying favour with local Myshirian clans or paying off Beshzen raiders, the genie-built oasis cities they pass through and the local politics they have to negotiate, quick diversions to Sarenite holy sites, finally reaching Zelshabbar where the Karazh, like the Parthians did for Rome and China, will serve as intermediaries and carry the goods on to Vudra or Kaladay and on to Tian Xia. And then taking on a new load, and making the long trek back.


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Thank you for reminding me how curious I am about both Chauxen and Tirakawhan. There's almost nothing on either of them.


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I just got the Lost Omens Travel Guide, and while I haven't done more than a quick perusal, this did stand out to me:

Lost Omens Travel Guide:
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This towering port in Avilan, on the edge of the Ketz Desert, can be seen from a distance, its docks extending and contracting as sandships come and go. The central conical structure, which serves as a hub for trade, is rumored to have once been inlaid with gold, but a string of high-profile thefts has led to their replacement with polished steel and heatstone. Still, its constant movements reflect enough light no matter the time of day or year that it has become a place of refuge for those lost either in the desert itself or the nearby Tapur forest.

One of my Mummy's Mask players came up with the idea of her character looking for a stolen sandship as part of her backstory, and I'm thrilled at being able to justify the idea with canon. Hers was a Nexian frigate designed to traverse the Mana Wastes without magic which was sold off as war surplus when Nex and Geb reluctantly admitted peace, converted first into a mercenary ship for her desert-sailing pirate ancestor, then into a merchant cruiser when he and his descendants retired to Tephu, passed down through her family before she had it swindled from her in Katapesh. But I love the idea of sandships travelling up and down the Golden Road alongside more traditional (and probably cheaper) merchant caravans, and the kind of neat stories you could tell with them and the way great highways of sandships would affect the flow of people across the continent and the kind of supporting infrastructure. Nevermind oasis riads, you could have entire cities catering to transcontinental traffic.

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So on elf status:

Elves: Elves are one of the few species of nonhuman citizens in Kelesh, according to a decree from Empress Ashtirat II, known as the Morning Star. Ashtirat II’s favorite consort, an elf named Hedessa with whom Ashtirat II was said to have a permanent telepathic bond, uncovered a plot to assassinate the empress, devised by the empress’s own husband. Though Hedessa was killed because of her discovery, she had time to notify the visiting delegation from Kyonin. The elven ambassadors saved Ashtirat’s life. To repay them and honor her fallen lover, the empress declared that elves within Kelesh were to have all the privileges and protections that humans enjoyed. While uncommon in Kelesh, elves are admired for their beauty and longevity. Though not quite as revered as their elven forebears, half-elves have the same citizenship rights in Qadira.

As said, its bit unclear of whether there is large group of elves in Casmaron as it outright says they are uncommon, but there is likely at least a group living there even if they are ambassadors from Kyonin or such?

(no clue on what is status of halflings and gnomes in wider Kelesh since they are only mentioned in context of Qadira, but it does imply they are less common in Casmaron at very least. Paraheen dwarves are in qadira but also bit clueless if they are on wider casmaron)


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Digging this thread back up because a friend floated an idea I'm really compelled by: do you think the "Iblydan"/Hellenistic Ancestries are dispersed across greater Casmaron at all? It's one thing to imagine a bunch of demon-worshiping monsters up in the hills, but if you can find Minotaurs traveling the dusty roads of the Kelesh Empire or preaching in their holy cities, then that's a lot more interesting. You could draw on any number of "sacred bull/cattle" traditions from throughout the Near East historically for a lot of novel aesthetics.

Scooping them, the aforementioned Iobarian Centaurs, and potentially even Harpies and Stheno into a context other than faux-Ancient Greek could produce some really entertaining stuff.


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As I recall, the ancestors of Iblydos's humans also migrated from Casmaron, and amphorae are still common across Iobaria. You could certainly parallel Greek history with Mycenae or Minoan-like cultures who were conquered or assimilated by Kelesh, or died out as Iobaria collapsed. Given Greek centaurs may have been inspired by Scythians, who were similarly nomadic, renowned archers, known for their metalworking, and associated with horses, I would love to see centaur clans galloping across Keleshite plains and trading with Golden Road traders and travellers. While I understand minotaurs on Golarion were born in the Ivory Labyrinth underneath Iblydos I could absolutely see them having migrated north, conquering their way across southern Kelesh until they found a homeland. The mention of Minoans above might be appropriate, given their love of bull-leaping and the fact that the Greek minotaur dwelled in Minos's labyrinth. Voradni Voon used a portal gate to transport an entire army to the Isle of Kortos - was that the only place that gate led to, and were those people the only force Voon had to call on? Maybe Voon was conquering across the region, and Absalom was just his last and most ambitious strike?

There is also a brief line in Impossible Lands that most elves in Nex are actually from Avistan or Casmaron, not the closer Mualijae of Mwangi Expanse who regard the chaos of Nex with distaste. this is, as far as I know, the first confirmation that there are elf cultures in Casmaron beyond the High Elves who arrived in Qadira as slaves and were eventually granted citizenship rights. So there are Casmar elves, which you could do a lot with. There is also mention of Casmaron's halflings from Vudra riding ugvashi, a kind of giant pangolin, which would be brilliant to see!

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There's this seemingly forested stretch of land on the map of Casmaron smack-dab between Iblydos and Vudra, which has me wondering that it could be a great spot to have a Fantasy Indo-Greek Kingdom - a very real, slightly historically obscure thing, basically unseen in fantasy, but ripe for cool blending of the two cultures.

(If the Ulfen can tap into things like Viking settlers in America with Port Valen or the Varangian Guard with the Ulfen Guard in Taldor, then surely this is an equally plausible idea.


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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.


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The same idea might serve as a nice parallel for Phrygia, Ionia and Lydia, the Hellenic colonies which fell under Persian rule. Athens trying to help them revolt was what sparked the First Persian War, when the Persians burned Athens before being fought off. A little over a century later, Alexander the Great's troops would do the same to Persepolis in its memory. But you could do a lot with a few Iblydan city-states operating as unofficial kingdoms within a larger satrapy, the cultural intermixing and prosperity that would come with being plugged into the Golden Road (how many merchants are willing to risk the Obari Ocean from their ports if it means not paying the other taxes of passing through the satrapies) and the kind of regional tensions that might come with that if the Iblydans start getting ideas about rejoining their kin in the archipelago. Especially if any of Iblydos's remaining Hero-Gods get involved. I can hear Xenophon twitching nervously already.


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I would absolutely *love* someone or something playing the role of the post-Alexander Hellenistic/Egyptian/Persian/Indian cultural melding that took place. I ran a brief campaign in that era once and am never not thinking about how fun a palette it makes.


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Morhek wrote:
Given Greek centaurs may have been inspired by Scythians, who were similarly nomadic, renowned archers, known for their metalworking, and associated with horses, I would love to see centaur clans galloping across Keleshite plains and trading with Golden Road traders and travellers.

Having raised the subject of Casmar centaurs, this concept art of a Bactrian centaur seems right up this thread's alley.


I would be very interested in a Casmaron book, yes.


I should also probably say that I'm super stoked for the Open Bridge region in Vudra. Nayapul, a pretty young mahajanapada, is embroiled in an existential war for survival against a ceaseless tide of aberrations - what's not to like?


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What do we think could be done with Kaladay? It's a nation founded by Tian colonists on the eastern coast of Casmaron which reluctantly allows traders from further west to sell their goods in markets for resale across the ocean, but are described as "xenophobic," though whether that xenophobia is an exaggerated insularity or official policy, and why, is unknown.

Geopolitically, I like to think that Kaladay are doing to Tian Xia and Kelesh what the Parthians did with China and the Byzantines - making them buy and sell their own products. From memory, Parthia would buy Chinese raw silk and sell it to Rome, which refined it into silk cloth. The Parthians then bought this cloth and sold it to China, who believed the Byzantines had their own source of silk or that it was sea silk. And it got away with it because it didn't allow traders to cross its lands, forcing them to use it as a middleman.

Otherwise, Kaladay seems like pretty much a blank slate. It's clearly powerful and wealthy. Solely based on the name, and with no actual knowledge of the involved culture other than living next to it as a kid, Kaladay sounds vaguely Malaysian, and Malaysia has a history of being influenced by Buddhist, Islamic and Chinese cultures as their reach waxed and waned. I like the idea of Kaladay being where Iroran priests spar with followers of Sun Wukong, and Sarenite clerics jostle with monks of Shizuru over who better represents the nature of the sun, where Divs and Oni try to muscle in on a Rakshasa-run black market, where Vudran bulbous domes and Keleshite arches and minarets meet Tian pagodas, and its merchants politely but stubbornly insisting that all trade be carried through to the sea by them, while smilingly selling them "superior Tian wares" that are actually made with the same materials their customers just sold.

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Morhek wrote:

What do we think could be done with Kaladay? It's a nation founded by Tian colonists on the eastern coast of Casmaron which reluctantly allows traders from further west to sell their goods in markets for resale across the ocean, but are described as "xenophobic," though whether that xenophobia is an exaggerated insularity or official policy, and why, is unknown.

Geopolitically, I like to think that Kaladay are doing to Tian Xia and Kelesh what the Parthians did with China and the Byzantines - making them buy and sell their own products. From memory, Parthia would buy Chinese raw silk and sell it to Rome, which refined it into silk cloth. The Parthians then bought this cloth and sold it to China, who believed the Byzantines had their own source of silk or that it was sea silk. And it got away with it because it didn't allow traders to cross its lands, forcing them to use it as a middleman.

Otherwise, Kaladay seems like pretty much a blank slate. It's clearly powerful and wealthy. Solely based on the name, and with no actual knowledge of the involved culture other than living next to it as a kid, Kaladay sounds vaguely Malaysian, and Malaysia has a history of being influenced by Buddhist, Islamic and Chinese cultures as their reach waxed and waned. I like the idea of Kaladay being where Iroran priests spar with followers of Sun Wukong, and Sarenite clerics jostle with monks of Shizuru over who better represents the nature of the sun, where Divs and Oni try to muscle in on a Rakshasa-run black market, where Vudran bulbous domes and Keleshite arches and minarets meet Tian pagodas, and its merchants politely but stubbornly insisting that all trade be carried through to the sea by them, while smilingly selling them "superior Tian wares" that are actually made with the same materials their customers just sold.

iirc, and it's been a long time since i read the supplement AQUATIC ADVENTURES, but aren't there some interesting things hinted at going on in that ocean between Casmaron and Tian Xia?

Maybe they are connected to some kind of aquatic civilization, whether for good or for evil?

Perhaps some branch (accursed ? treacherous ? righteous ?) of the old imperial family went into exile there?


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Yakman wrote:

iirc, and it's been a long time since i read the supplement AQUATIC ADVENTURES, but aren't there some interesting things hinted at going on in that ocean between Casmaron and Tian Xia?

Maybe they are connected to some kind of aquatic civilization, whether for good or for evil?

Perhaps some branch (accursed ? treacherous ? righteous ?) of the old imperial family went into exile there?

Reading Aquatic Adventures, the Embaral Ocean is the ancestral homeland of the short-lived Caecelias where they once built a great underwater empire which now lies in ruins. The Oceans of Golarion gazeteer in Skull and Shackles #2 gives the name Sihuw to its old capital in the north of the Embaral, roughly near where Kaladay should be, and Caecilia don't say why it fell but claim they just got bored and left. There's also a major ceratioidi city, Deshaliti, which is open to trade. It would be really cool to flesh out how Kaladay interacts with its submarine neighbours, and how common it is to see oceanic peoples across it, whether Caecilias have adapted to river or lake life after the collapse of their old empire to trade and life with their landlubber neighbours.


Briefly checking back with Impossible Lands, it notes that Kashrishi are originally from "the lands bordering the northern stretches of the Obari Ocean." This would include most of the southern shore of the Padishah Empire, possibly even Iblydos though I'm not sure Kashrishi are exactly in keeping with the aesthetic (though I also don't know they're not given how little we have to go on). Aside from geniekin, tieflings and aasimars, what heritages do we think would be likely introduced in a theoretical Casmaron setting guide? Anything involving anywhere near Iblydos has me hoping for things like harpies, centaurs and minotaurs, maybe satyrs and fauns, but that's a lot from just one place and with things like centaurs there's balance issues to consider. Vudra has already had plenty of ancestries detailed in the past, though there's plenty of room for new heritages and ancestral feats to expand what's already there. And with all of Persian mythology to draw from, there's a lot of room for new stuff in Kelesh. My instinct is that they could do some very cool stuff with phoenixes, which are potent enough to create phoenix bloodlines for 1e sorcerers and bloodragers.


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Minotaurs are really who I'm craving. I came into the hobby through 4e, and greatly enjoyed when their Player's Handbook 3 came out absolutely stuffed with awesome psychic minotaurs. so their place in Golarion as largely just being CE baddies has always bummed me out. Nuar Spiritskin's efforts are early and ongoing among his kin on the Isle of Kortos, but with thousands of years of unknown history, Casmari Minotaurs stand a better chance of having had a breakaway culture actually last.

Are there Minotaur holy men tending to sacred cattle near the Vudran border? The Persian Mithra protected herds while the Roman Mithras cuts a bull's throat in all of his iconography, commonly believed to be a separate cult with a foreign god's name tossed on it - but what if someone in Golarion did embody that duality? That's to say nothing of the holy Minoan rodeos, or countless other cow divinities across the history of the Near East going all the way back to venerable old Catalhoyuk.

Count on the girl who loves Hathor to want devout Minotaurs, but I really do think they have a niche! There's plenty of room for them to serve as more stereotypical raiders and mercenaries, of course, and they could be "normal people" (merchants, etc) like anyone else, but I think the interesting angle is "what do they replace Baphomet with?"

Liberty's Edge

Minotaur worshipers of Asmodeus would be quite the twist.


The Raven Black wrote:
Minotaur worshipers of Asmodeus would be quite the twist.

I’d sooner see Minotaurs bumped up into player character-friendly Neutral faiths, personally, rather than just shifting the flavor of the Evil.

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