Why are the Osirioni gods like that?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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It's bugged me for ages that the setting just straight-up has the Egyptian gods, when the Ulfen, Tien-Min, Razatlani, and Iblydosi get by just fine with fantasy faiths. It felt tacky in the Realms when they did it (though they had the goofy excuse of the setting actually having Egyptians in it), and it's tacky here.

Anyone else with me on this?


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Remember Earth actually exists in the same universe as Golarion.

I believe in one AP there is actual some explanation as to how and why the Egyptian gods also appear in Osirion.

Silver Crusade

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They're also the ancient Osirioni gods. They're largely forgotten, other than a handful in Osirion who remember them. I think it's implied that they stopped caring about Golarion and left for Earth thousands of years ago.


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Claxon wrote:

Remember Earth actually exists in the same universe as Golarion.

I believe in one AP there is actual some explanation as to how and why the Egyptian gods also appear in Osirion.

Absolutely does. I still find literal Earth Gods on Golarion tacky, just like the OP though.


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Didn't bother me much. I just ignored them. There was better things to look at in Osirion.


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They’re extremely tacky, just like humans, dogs, cats, chickens, cows, etc. are also very tacky to find on Golarion along side the native life.

Dark Archive

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vagrant-poet wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Remember Earth actually exists in the same universe as Golarion.

I believe in one AP there is actual some explanation as to how and why the Egyptian gods also appear in Osirion.

Absolutely does. I still find literal Earth Gods on Golarion tacky, just like the OP though.

I think the actual lore is that the Ancient Osirion gods actually left Golarion for Earth and are lately coming back. So technically they are actually Golarion Gods on Earth :p


keftiu wrote:

It's bugged me for ages that the setting just straight-up has the Egyptian gods, when the Ulfen, Tien-Min, Razatlani, and Iblydosi get by just fine with fantasy faiths. It felt tacky in the Realms when they did it (though they had the goofy excuse of the setting actually having Egyptians in it), and it's tacky here.

Anyone else with me on this?

Yeah, it seems a bit lazy to be honest. Of course there are other real-world gods and demons that made their way into pathfinder. A lot of the devils, demons and Empyreal Lords come from real world sources, at least in name, including Asmodeus and Lamashtu. These don't bug me so much, but even in those cases I sometimes wish they used original names though.


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keftiu wrote:

It's bugged me for ages that the setting just straight-up has the Egyptian gods, when the Ulfen, Tien-Min, Razatlani, and Iblydosi get by just fine with fantasy faiths. It felt tacky in the Realms when they did it (though they had the goofy excuse of the setting actually having Egyptians in it), and it's tacky here.

Anyone else with me on this?

Agreed.

Liberty's Edge

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I actually like it. Given that it ostensibly exists in the same universe as an Earth with real Gods, I'm actually very pleased that there's some overlap (and there's overlap in other pantheons, too, including Lamashtu, Asmodeus, Sun Wokong, and probably others).

At least one pantheon doing so as a whole therefore makes sense to me. It being the Ancient Osirion/Egyptian Pantheon makes that nation being fantasy Egypt more reasonable, and allows for 'archaeology' style games there to be more evocative.

Dark Archive

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keftiu wrote:
It's bugged me for ages that the setting just straight-up has the Egyptian gods, when the Ulfen, Tien-Min, Razatlani, and Iblydosi get by just fine with fantasy faiths.

I tend to prefer;

A) all the gods are ported over from Earth mythology and all of the cultures / ethnicities / landmasses as well, so that there are fantasy versions of Asia and Africa and India, but also Gaul and Rome and Britannia, etc. Thor, Zeus, Osiris, Amaterasu, Kwan Yin, Huitzilopochtli, Loviatar, etc.

B) all of the gods and cultures are made up fantasy stuff. There is no 'faux Asia' or 'faux Africa', and all of the gods are made up like Takisis or Corean or Pelor.

I do not like mix and match scenarios as much, where there are a bunch of completely made up nations and gods, and then, plotzed down in the middle of them, is 'fake Japan' or 'not-really Egypt.' It just feels weird.

As a result, despite being a *huge* Egyptian-fantasy fanboy, I tend to ignore the 'ancient Osirioni gods' and just have Nethys, Sarenrae, Pharasma, Wadjet, Rovagug, etc. be the main gods of the 'Osirioni pantheon.' (Wadjet being one of the originals, would stay, along with Apep and Khepri. But no Geb or Isis or Set. And there'd be some cultural adaptations. Osirioni worshippers of Pharasma with their mummified bird fetishes and curved midwives daggers would hardly recognize / be recognized by Ustalavic 'Pharasmin penitence' nutjobs, and possibly even mistake them for Kuthites!)


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Set wrote:
I do not like mix and match scenarios as much, where there are a bunch of completely made up nations and gods, and then, plotzed down in the middle of them, is 'fake Japan' or 'not-really Egypt.'

All gods are completely made up. They just have different authors.


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Gisher wrote:
Set wrote:
I do not like mix and match scenarios as much, where there are a bunch of completely made up nations and gods, and then, plotzed down in the middle of them, is 'fake Japan' or 'not-really Egypt.'
All gods are completely made up. They just have different authors.

This is incredibly offensive.


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I think it's cool, there already is other Earth-Golarion cross-over with Irrisen, why would literal Gods not be able to play at same game? Plenty of other gods have cosmic or extra-cosmic origins... Some of the Cthuloid stuff is also Earth-crossover to some extent, in occult alt-universe with Golarion and alt-Earth. With all that, to not have them in Golarion-Egypt, despite the occult conspiratorial angle of Egyptology would be throwing that source material away in favor of... Baba Yaga and Cthulu? It's really just congruent with positing direct magical crossover, and really goes along with there being direct earth cultural analogs which would have been shared via related dynamics with the deities. Otherwise, having cultural Egyptians but no Egyptian deities really falls flat. Similarly with Irrisen, that area sees direct cultural analogs of Vikings and Slavic etc, because there was/is direct magical contact. Plenty of the rest of the game doesn't really do the direct analog thing so is reasonably not so involved with direct Earth mythology sharing and magical contact/interactions.


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keftiu wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Set wrote:
I do not like mix and match scenarios as much, where there are a bunch of completely made up nations and gods, and then, plotzed down in the middle of them, is 'fake Japan' or 'not-really Egypt.'
All gods are completely made up. They just have different authors.
This is incredibly offensive.

If my statement was wrong then I'll gladly correct it. Which ones aren't made up and which ones are? What methodology did you use to determine which was which?


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Gisher wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Set wrote:
I do not like mix and match scenarios as much, where there are a bunch of completely made up nations and gods, and then, plotzed down in the middle of them, is 'fake Japan' or 'not-really Egypt.'
All gods are completely made up. They just have different authors.
This is incredibly offensive.
If my statement was wrong then I'll gladly correct it. Which ones aren't made up and which ones are? What methodology did you use to determine which was which?

Dismissing people’s faiths as “fiction” is unnecessary.


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From a certain perspective, it's kind of weirder that no one on earth knows about Sarenrae or Desna or Pharasma. Maybe Golarion's Earth is different though.


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keftiu wrote:


Dismissing people’s faiths as “fiction” is unnecessary.

And refusing to recognise atheist or agnostic beliefs as valid is both very short sighted and intolerant


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keftiu wrote:
This is incredibly offensive.

If you honestly find something offensive on this site, the way to fix it is to flag it and allow the people in charge to take care of it. Making a big deal out of being offended in a post is pretty much the absolutely WRONG thing to do if you are truly offended, as that just brings more light to the thing that offended you.

So in the future, think about just letting it go and flagging: it's better for everyone.


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keftiu wrote:
Gisher wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Set wrote:
I do not like mix and match scenarios as much, where there are a bunch of completely made up nations and gods, and then, plotzed down in the middle of them, is 'fake Japan' or 'not-really Egypt.'
All gods are completely made up. They just have different authors.
This is incredibly offensive.
If my statement was wrong then I'll gladly correct it. Which ones aren't made up and which ones are? What methodology did you use to determine which was which?
Dismissing people’s faiths as “fiction” is unnecessary.

I must confess that I am confused by your position. You aren't arguing that my statement was untrue, but you still find it offensive. I'm not sure whether you agree with me or disagree with me. If you think my statement was untrue because I was wrong, again I invite you to educate me on how one determines which gods are real. If it is your position that it is always offensive to claim that any god-concept is untrue whether it is or isn't then I suspect you must be offended all of the time.

When Set stated that the Golarion gods were entirely made up, you must have been offended. (Although, strangely, you failed to say so.) When Marvel portrays the Asgardians as merely technologically advanced aliens, you must be offended. Every time a Jew, Muslim, or Hindu states that they disbelieve in the divinity of Jesus then you must be offended. Any time a Christian states that the trinity is the only god, thereby denying the existence of the unitary gods of Judaism and Islam as well as the existence of polytheistic pantheons, you must be offended. When a Muslim proclaims that there is no god but Allah, you must be offended on behalf of those who believe in the Hindu gods, the ancient Greek gods, etc. The fact is that there are an infinite number of possible god-concepts, and for each one there are an infinite number of contradictory god-concepts. No matter what your belief system is you will end up rejecting the existence of an infinite number of god-concepts. If I understand your position, then you find it offensive when any person states their beliefs regarding the existence or nonexistence of any god-concepts. That would really seem to shut down all free expression on the topic.

For my part, I believe that my statement was both relevant and honest. It was relevant because it was Set who first rejected the reality of a group of god-concepts. I merely extended that line of argument. It was honest because I sincerely disbelieve in the existence of gods for the same reasons that I disbelieve in the existence of faeries. I am aware that some people do believe in faeries, but I do not. Am I prohibited from stating that disbelief because some people might find it offensive? Again, that seems to be a ridiculous restriction on free expression. You are certainly entitled to be offended by my deeply held beliefs, but I am equally entitled to hold them.


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I mean, all words are completely made up. That doesn't mean they have no relation to "things which exist" however.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
From a certain perspective, it's kind of weirder that no one on earth knows about Sarenrae or Desna or Pharasma. Maybe Golarion's Earth is different though.

I wonder if Pharasma would regard all Earth denizens as atheists for not believing in the correct gods and end up feeding everyone to Groetus.


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Gisher wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
From a certain perspective, it's kind of weirder that no one on earth knows about Sarenrae or Desna or Pharasma. Maybe Golarion's Earth is different though.
I wonder if Pharasma would regard all Earth denizens as atheists for not believing in the correct gods and end up feeding everyone to Groetus.

They retconned/clarified that in Planar Adventures. You only get locked in the graveyard to fade away if you absolutely refuse to take part in the whole river of souls thing- this is her respecting your choice.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gisher wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
From a certain perspective, it's kind of weirder that no one on earth knows about Sarenrae or Desna or Pharasma. Maybe Golarion's Earth is different though.
I wonder if Pharasma would regard all Earth denizens as atheists for not believing in the correct gods and end up feeding everyone to Groetus.
They retconned/clarified that in Planar Adventures. You only get locked in the graveyard to fade away if you absolutely refuse to take part in the whole river of souls thing- this is her respecting your choice.

I didn't know that they had changed that. Interesting. I didn't really pay much attention to the Golarion history or cultures back in PF1. Now that they have integrated the world more deeply into the game, I'm starting to take an interest.


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Planar Adventures explains that there are two kinds of souls who end up in the Graveyard of Lost Souls, to fade away into oblivion- failed souls and dissident souls.

Failed souls are the "spiritually stillborn" the people who, to borrow a PF2 term, lacked spiritual essence and ended up not believing anything at all. Without having any convictions or beliefs, Pharasma has nothing to judge them on, so off to the graveyard they go.

Dissident souls, it points out, go beyond "mere atheism or impiety"- these are the souls who, when given a chance to become petitioners actively refuse to participate in the metaphysical order. It further clarifies "Many mortal philosophies teach that all atheists souls meet this end, but in truth, most atheists and agnostics whose souls are judged can experience the full range of afterlives just as adherents to any other belief system can."

Shadow Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
From a certain perspective, it's kind of weirder that no one on earth knows about Sarenrae or Desna or Pharasma. Maybe Golarion's Earth is different though.

Chalk it up to Cthulhu's influence.

Or, if you like, the Paizo staff are secretly missionary Clerics of the various gods. The story about James Jacobs inventing [some of] them for his home game is a convenient fiction.

Dark Archive

Yeaaaah, atheists get sent to appropriate plane fitting their alignment unless they decide they are hardcore enough that in their opinion Pharasma has no right to judge their soul at all :p Groetus eating souls in Boneyard thing is now just a myth

Failed soul is bit more elaborate than just not believing in anything at all: They lived their life without having any passion, interests, convictions, beliefs or even direction. They just... Lived their life as if they didn't have will of their own.


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Gisher wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Gisher wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Set wrote:
I do not like mix and match scenarios as much, where there are a bunch of completely made up nations and gods, and then, plotzed down in the middle of them, is 'fake Japan' or 'not-really Egypt.'
All gods are completely made up. They just have different authors.
This is incredibly offensive.
If my statement was wrong then I'll gladly correct it. Which ones aren't made up and which ones are? What methodology did you use to determine which was which?
Dismissing people’s faiths as “fiction” is unnecessary.

I must confess that I am confused by your position. You aren't arguing that my statement was untrue, but you still find it offensive. I'm not sure whether you agree with me or disagree with me. If you think my statement was untrue because I was wrong, again I invite you to educate me on how one determines which gods are real. If it is your position that it is always offensive to claim that any god-concept is untrue whether it is or isn't then I suspect you must be offended all of the time.

When Set stated that the Golarion gods were entirely made up, you must have been offended. (Although, strangely, you failed to say so.) When Marvel portrays the Asgardians as merely technologically advanced aliens, you must be offended. Every time a Jew, Muslim, or Hindu states that they disbelieve in the divinity of Jesus then you must be offended. Any time a Christian states that the trinity is the only god, thereby denying the existence of the unitary gods of Judaism and Islam as well as the existence of polytheistic pantheons, you must be offended. When a Muslim proclaims that there is no god but Allah, you must be offended on behalf of those who believe in the Hindu gods, the ancient Greek gods, etc. The fact is that there are an infinite number of possible god-concepts, and for each one there are an infinite number of contradictory god-concepts. No matter what your belief system...

Agreed, though I of course think that all religious beliefs are worthy of respect--just not necessarily factual. The wording of the original statement was certainly a little blunt, but as others have pointed out, an atheist should not be criticized for expressing their beliefs.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Folks, the premise of the thread is to talk about the Osirioni gods in Paizo's campaign setting, please keep the thread going towards that direction.


Sorry, thanks for the reminder. That was getting a little off topic.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I like the ancient Egyptian gods in Pathfinder. If anything, I wish there were more ancient pantheons, such as the Norse gods.

Dark Archive

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MMCJawa wrote:
I like the ancient Egyptian gods in Pathfinder. If anything, I wish there were more ancient pantheons, such as the Norse gods.

Perhaps it's nostalgia for my old 1st edition AD&D Dieties and Demigods, back in the day, but I'd also like a setting that used the Norse, Chinese, Aztec, Yoruba, etc. pantheons, and not just the more common Norse, Greek and Egyptian ones, but also had fantasy versions of each of those earthly cultures, in a sort of 'Civilization' style mashup world, where, inexplicably, all the cultures reached peak at the same time, and the world was big enough to accommodate them all, so that you could have fantasy Rome and a fantasy Ottoman empire and great Zimbabwe and the height of the Egyptian dynastic era and Vikings a-raiding, all at the same time.

It wouldn't be faithful to real world history, since many of these cultures were either gone and dust, or not yet a gleam in the milkman's eye in any given century, but a weird sort of anachronistic mashup of them all, so that your PCs could include Egyptians, Vikings, Romans, etc.

But a bunch of fantasy gods like Wee Jas or Lathander, and then a real-world divinity like Camazotz or Loviatar? That's just kind of dissonant, to me, no matter how much I like the Egyptian gods, or got a hoot out of Ptah and Celestian being such big deals in the Spelljammer setting, back in the day.


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Egyptian gods have a history of existing in various D&D settings like Ravenloft and Forgotten Realms. Since no TTRPG decisions are made in a vacuum, I assume that was a factor for their inclusion in Golarion.

Some religions can't be integrated well because they are still actively worshiped. Others, like Norse and Greek/Roman, have much of their mythology already integrated. We just don't have beings named Thor or Zeus walking around as well.


It's interesting to me that when we're trying to present a civilization as "Fantasy Egypt" we pretty much do "there are pyramids, and Osiris is also there" whereas we are able to present the "Fantasy Norse" in such a way that they are identifiable without having to invoke Odin or anybody.


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Someday, it might be nice to see an Egypt analogue in a PF/D&D style setting, that isn't based on (a usually anachronistic portrayal of) pharaonic Egypt. Not that I dislike that, or Osirion, just might be neat to see other periods of Egyptian history used for inspiration. Or some of their neighbors...it's a pity Golarion doesn't seem to have an equivalent to the Kushites.

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
It's interesting to me that when we're trying to present a civilization as "Fantasy Egypt" we pretty much do "there are pyramids, and Osiris is also there" whereas we are able to present the "Fantasy Norse" in such a way that they are identifiable without having to invoke Odin or anybody.

In fairness, the Egyptian Pantheon serves a very specific niche in Osirion that no other area had a need for. Specifically, due to the initial presentation going in for pulp-style Pyramid-based tomb raids, they needed a pantheon of seldom-worshiped, partially forgotten, Gods, with an Egyptian motif.

So they effectively needed a pantheon that would almost never be used or worshiped, and yet needed to be fleshed out and evocative. Just stealing the Egyptian one seems a reasonable plan given those requirements.

My friend who sorta worships the Egyptian Gods in real life (his religion is complicated) thinks they mostly did an acceptable job presenting them, though he argues Horus should really be LG (not Ra, though, Ra should remain LN).

Shadow Lodge

Darth Game Master wrote:
Someday, it might be nice to see an Egypt analogue in a PF/D&D style setting, that isn't based on (a usually anachronistic portrayal of) pharaonic Egypt. Not that I dislike that, or Osirion, just might be neat to see other periods of Egyptian history used for inspiration.

The trouble with that is, Egypt spent almost all of its history between the Assyrian conquest and the mid-twentieth century under some form of foreign rule. Even the governments of the Mamluks, Fatamids, and Muhammad Ali which owed allegiance to suzerains but were functionally independent were basically small, foreign ruling cliques ruling a mass of Egyptians.

Quote:
it's a pity Golarion doesn't seem to have an equivalent to the Kushites.

By geography, that ought to be Nex, with Alkenstar and Geb as Punt/Pwente.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
It's interesting to me that when we're trying to present a civilization as "Fantasy Egypt" we pretty much do "there are pyramids, and Osiris is also there" whereas we are able to present the "Fantasy Norse" in such a way that they are identifiable without having to invoke Odin or anybody.

In fairness, the Egyptian Pantheon serves a very specific niche in Osirion that no other area had a need for. Specifically, due to the initial presentation going in for pulp-style Pyramid-based tomb raids, they needed a pantheon of seldom-worshiped, partially forgotten, Gods, with an Egyptian motif.

So they effectively needed a pantheon that would almost never be used or worshiped, and yet needed to be fleshed out and evocative. Just stealing the Egyptian one seems a reasonable plan given those requirements.

My friend who sorta worships the Egyptian Gods in real life (his religion is complicated) thinks they mostly did an acceptable job presenting them, though he argues Horus should really be LG (not Ra, though, Ra should remain LN).

Good point,actually, about needing obscure gods. And though your friend obviously can't speak for everyone who follows the Egyptian gods, if it's not offensive to him that's probably a good sign.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Darth Game Master wrote:
Someday, it might be nice to see an Egypt analogue in a PF/D&D style setting, that isn't based on (a usually anachronistic portrayal of) pharaonic Egypt. Not that I dislike that, or Osirion, just might be neat to see other periods of Egyptian history used for inspiration.

The trouble with that is, Egypt spent almost all of its history between the Assyrian conquest and the mid-twentieth century under some form of foreign rule. Even the governments of the Mamluks, Fatamids, and Muhammad Ali which owed allegiance to suzerains but were functionally independent were basically small, foreign ruling cliques ruling a mass of Egyptians.

Quote:
it's a pity Golarion doesn't seem to have an equivalent to the Kushites.
By geography, that ought to be Nex, with Alkenstar and Geb as Punt/Pwente.

I'm aware that Egypt was under foreign rule some of that time, true. Actually, I find Osirion to be an interesting example in that regard, given that its rule by Qadira seems to be analogous to Egypt's rule by the four major caliphates (and I guess by the Achaemenid Empire if Kelesh is analogous to ancient Iranian empires). So it's sort of like if there was a sudden medieval revival of pharaonic-era culture, which is kind of cool actually now that I think about it.

As for Nex and such possibly being equivalent to Nubia, though it doesn't seem to be inspired by that, I guess drawing comparisons to the geography works alright. My personal head canon so far has been that the Garundi of the east coast look more like people from the Horn of Africa and I guess extending that to the upper Nile too makes sense.


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Well, both Nex & Geb were also originally provinces in Ancient Osirion (Alkenstar hadn't existed then), so it's not that big a stretch...


Nex & Geb & Alkenstar's specific (sub) identity of (pan)Osirioni is something I hope they emphasize more this time around, IMHO it could often feel like that aspect of native culture was just a 'null'. And even if they have cosmopolitan element which is fine, it just makes sense to establish the native element which is the one with longest historical continuity. I mean, the USA and France and UAE are all cosmopolitan yet the distinction is clear as well. That also is opportunity to illuminate Golarion history, not just that Osirion Empire once had direct political power, but the peoples were seemingly related if not exactly the same, and things like religious developments etc followed different trajectories. Elucidating how Ancient Osirioni pantheon developed OUTSIDE Osirion proper seems interesting angle, and in case of Nex connections to eastern Mwangi Kibwe et al seem more than plausible but very weakly indicated if at all AFAIK. (although... Jatembe connexion)


That would be good.

Also, thanks for the reminder Seventh Seal, I had forgotten that the Osirian Empire had expanded to the south as well as to the west. And if we're going forward with that, the Nubian kingdom of Alodia/Alwa even traded with India, much like how Nex has interacted with Vudra. But I don't want to draw too many parallels between the Impossible Lands and reality; one of the things I like about it is that nothing is a direct cultural analogue except maybe Jalmeray, and even that is pretty different from anything in reality.


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Actually, fleshing out Nex & Geb relation to ancient Tekritani and Jistkans as well as Shory and even ancient (pre-Kelesh) Qadirans would be interesting as well. Also, how the Mwangi/Southern Garund Giant empires and Demon wars impacted them. How the (pan)Osirionis had broader influence even into Avistan is also interesting field to mine.


Actually, if the Dungeonetics site's coordinates are accurate, the Impossible Lands roughly correspond to the Nubia region, so that parallel kind of works, for determining the appearance of the native inhabitants (though not their culture obviously).


I actually kind of like it.

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