Interest Check: Southern Garund?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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I know the edition is young and thus we’re likely to be dealing with more familiar territory for the immediate future, but as someone who wants this terribly bad, I wanted to see how much everyone else cared for it!

We’ve had little teases; Holomog, Murasseth, the homeland of the anadi, and a few other nations with no more than a line or two written about them. I’d love to see more diverse African-inspired fantasy (which 2e is already doing much better with), and original creative weirdness as well!


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I'm super interested in non-European fantasy in general.

Have you ever checked out Nyambe: African Adventures? It's 3.5 OGL, so it's really easy to convert to Pathfinder 1e. You can also easily steal ideas from it for PF2e while waiting for more Mwangi Expanse and southwards content.


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Yessssss I want more southern Garund so bad.

Personally I'm not feeling Nyambe AA myself. The Southlands setting (which is part of Kobold Press' Midgard world) is made for Pathfinder and is African inspired. Going outside of D&D/PF inspired stuff there is also the upcoming Swordsfall RPG which looks really cool so far; a lot of the lore is available for free on World Anvil.


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I just took a look at my own copy of Nyambe. While the lore and setting is interesting, I'd agree that it doesn't exactly fit the tone of Southern Garund. Nyambe is a LOT less socially or technologically advanced compared to most places in Golarion. PCs are illiterate by default for instance, and complex mechanisms and devices common to Golarion are near non-existent.

I still like how it introduces mechanics for Orisha-worship as a distinctly non-European tradition of magic. I'd love to see something similar in Golarion, considering we know almost nothing about divine powers worshipped in Southern Garund. An Orisha-inspired pantheon of empyreal lords would be pretty neat.

I also own Southlands! Midgard is an amazing setting overall and it deserves more recognition.

Liberty's Edge

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I am very interested in a setting book for this area. Indeed, non Inner Sea region books in general are a good call.


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I'm always especially interested in the places just off the edge of the map. Like we know bits about southwest Casmaron, and maybe even less about Southern Garund, but like Zenj people in Nantambu are probably as likely to know what's going on in a general sense as they are about Avistan. Etc.


vagrant-poet wrote:
I'm always especially interested in the places just off the edge of the map. Like we know bits about southwest Casmaron, and maybe even less about Southern Garund, but like Zenj people in Nantambu are probably as likely to know what's going on in a general sense as they are about Avistan. Etc.

Having overviews, even sparse ones, of regions bordering the Inner Sea region is also good because it makes running campaigns on the edge of the map a lot easier, without having to awkwardly avoid dealing with influences from directions other than the Inner Sea. At least we have Holomog to do that for Impossible Lands campaigns.


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Another vote for southern Garund. Distant Shores had some interesting material on this area.


Yes, with the caveat I'd like to see a hardcover Tian Xia book first.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Southern Garund has always interested me. Especially now that catfolk are being mentioned more frequently. Also, the one Southern Garundi city from Distant Shores were really cool, and I'd love to see more information about it. Plus, I bet the southern cape is very interesting, and I'd love to see what the south pole on Golarion is like.


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Southern Garund is way down my list. I'd like to see Vudra more on Tian Xia, Arcadia and Casmaron all before Southern Garund


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

Sure...but: what I'd specifically like to see is a basic exploration and mapping of the bits of southern Casmaron and southern Garund that directly border on the Inner Sea region and are connected by trade routes. (And maybe the coastal trade routes over towards Iblydos and Vudra as well.) In other words, places that would logically be at least generally known about by the well-educated and well-travelled people of the core Inner Sea setting -- like, say, the Pathfinder Society or the merchants of Senghor. I think this would expand the setting in an organic way and provide logical jumping-off points for further exploration.

I am indeed curious about, say, what's on those islands down at the southern end of Garund. But I'd rather see as a priority the filling in of the more immediate setting blanks of "What IS south of Vidrian and Geb and east of Quadira"...


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Beavois wrote:
Sure...but: what I'd specifically like to see is a basic exploration and mapping of the bits of southern Casmaron and southern Garund that directly border on the Inner Sea region and are connected by trade routes. (And maybe the coastal trade routes over towards Iblydos and Vudra as well.) In other words, places that would logically be at least generally known about by the well-educated and well-travelled people of the core Inner Sea setting -- like, say, the Pathfinder Society or the merchants of Senghor. I think this would expand the setting in an organic way and provide logical jumping-off points for further exploration.

I wanna push back against this, if I can?

I think there’s a lot of value in showing other regions of the world (especially those drawn from nonwhite real-world inspirations) on their own merit, rather than with the crutch of a familiar colonial viewpoint. We can have African and Middle Eastern and Native American and Latinx and Asian fantasy without it needing to be justified by “can people we’re still treating as default go there?”

The world can be interconnected, sure. But it doesn’t always need to link back up to Avistan and our familiar, largely white, largely Western-comfortable corner of the world.

EDIT: To cut back on 4am rambling, let me try to be succinct: I want the rest of the setting to be able to stand on its own feet narratively.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
Beavois wrote:
Sure...but: what I'd specifically like to see is a basic exploration and mapping of the bits of southern Casmaron and southern Garund that directly border on the Inner Sea region and are connected by trade routes. (And maybe the coastal trade routes over towards Iblydos and Vudra as well.) In other words, places that would logically be at least generally known about by the well-educated and well-travelled people of the core Inner Sea setting -- like, say, the Pathfinder Society or the merchants of Senghor. I think this would expand the setting in an organic way and provide logical jumping-off points for further exploration.

I wanna push back against this, if I can?

I think there’s a lot of value in showing other regions of the world (especially those drawn from nonwhite real-world inspirations) on their own merit, rather than with the crutch of a familiar colonial viewpoint. We can have African and Middle Eastern and Native American and Latinx and Asian fantasy without it needing to be justified by “can people we’re still treating as default go there?”

The world can be interconnected, sure. But it doesn’t always need to link back up to Avistan and our familiar, largely white, largely Western-comfortable corner of the world.

EDIT: To cut back on 4am rambling, let me try to be succinct: I want the rest of the setting to be able to stand on its own feet narratively.

Sure. And I'd anticipated and respect your objection.

The core of my view is that Avistan and northern Garund are, for good and ill, the core of the Golarion setting that's been built up over the past decade. And the current "the map magically ends east of Quadira and Taldor and south of Vidrian and Geb" status quo seems to me like a setting issue that needs to be resolved first. Absalom is I think going to continue to be the cosmopolitan "city at the center of the world" and the fulcrum of the setting.

In the case of Casmaron, we know that there have been millennia of cultural and economic interchange in both directions (including the Keleshite conquest and, well, colonization of northern Garund). So that seems to be an important setting narrative touchstone that needs to be better explored. The Inner Sea and Casmaron are logically connected, and should know more about one another. I'd really like to know more about the varied other parts of the Empire of Kelesh, including enough for them to stand alone narratively.

And likewise, the Mwangi peoples and the Senghorese and even the Gebbites (not default "white") should have millennia of interchange and contact with at least the nearer parts of the southern part of Garund, and know quite a lot about what's down there and be well-acquainted with the peoples therein. (And I'd think that the Magaambya has plenty of good maps and knowledge, right? An AP based on journeys into the south of the continent and based from the Magaambya and focused on Mwangi/Garundi characters would be neat-o, I think.)

And all of that can and should be examined in a respectful, realistic two-way fashion that doesn't need to focus on any "colonial viewpoint."

I do share your curiosity about all of Garund and Arcadia and everywhere else. I guess it's a question of priorities on how to expand the world -- build on the foundations of what we already have, or jump out into the unknown now and maybe end up effectively with multiple settings without connection. We'll see what the devs do. At least there now seems to be more momentum towards moving outside of the Inner Sea.


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Southern Garund is full of ruins and monsters and hazards. You can easily write about it from an explorer's perspective by making the explorers FROM Southern Garund. Magaambyan archaeologists studying Shory ruins and all that.


The Drunken Dragon wrote:
I'd love to see what the south pole on Golarion is like.

More extreme environment polar scenarios! One of my favorite scenarios is Death on the Ice.


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

Oh, I'm interested, but I kinda want Vudra and Arcadia more...


Beavois wrote:

Sure...but: what I'd specifically like to see is a basic exploration and mapping of the bits of southern [western?] Casmaron and southern Garund that directly border on the Inner Sea region and are connected by trade routes. (And maybe the coastal trade routes over towards Iblydos and Vudra as well.) In other words, places that would logically be at least generally known about by the well-educated and well-travelled people of the core Inner Sea setting -- like, say, the Pathfinder Society or the merchants of Senghor. I think this would expand the setting in an organic way and provide logical jumping-off points for further exploration.

I am indeed curious about, say, what's on those islands down at the southern end of Garund. But I'd rather see as a priority the filling in of the more immediate setting blanks of "What IS south of Vidrian and Geb and east of Quadira"...

100% agreed.


keftiu wrote:
Beavois wrote:
Sure...but: what I'd specifically like to see is a basic exploration and mapping of the bits of southern Casmaron and southern Garund that directly border on the Inner Sea region and are connected by trade routes. (And maybe the coastal trade routes over towards Iblydos and Vudra as well.) In other words, places that would logically be at least generally known about by the well-educated and well-travelled people of the core Inner Sea setting -- like, say, the Pathfinder Society or the merchants of Senghor. I think this would expand the setting in an organic way and provide logical jumping-off points for further exploration.

I wanna push back against this, if I can?

I think there’s a lot of value in showing other regions of the world (especially those drawn from nonwhite real-world inspirations) on their own merit, rather than with the crutch of a familiar colonial viewpoint. We can have African and Middle Eastern and Native American and Latinx and Asian fantasy without it needing to be justified by “can people we’re still treating as default go there?”

The world can be interconnected, sure. But it doesn’t always need to link back up to Avistan and our familiar, largely white, largely Western-comfortable corner of the world.

EDIT: To cut back on 4am rambling, let me try to be succinct: I want the rest of the setting to be able to stand on its own feet narratively.

I agree with this as well, however I don't think they really meant that only the places near the Inner Sea need to be detailed, just that it might be more of a priority and would make games on the edges of the Inner Sea Region easier.

I do think you're right that these places shouldn't just be viewed in relation to the Inner Sea.

Shadow Lodge

The trouble is, they already included a Europe analogue. Europe analogues are presumptively colonialist, and Avistan is worse than that: explicitly colonialist, and quite proficient at it. And a colonial metropole needs colonial subjects. The best course if one wanted non-European countries unscarred by colonialism (to the extent these can be reconstructed after six hundred years of wiping-out of our historical record) would never have been to include a Europe analogue at all. The next best would be to toss it and create an entirely new setting with no Europe analogue. The next best would be to portray and grapple with decolonization. The worse would be to pretend that what colonialism did take place had no effects. We seem to have gotten a mix of options 3 and 4, with a lean toward 4, and that is a shame.


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Honest to god I would love to see anything outside of the Inner Sea Region at all! Though I’ll admit there are still some locals with barebones info even within Avistan like the Realm of the Mammoth Lords.

I understand that it is the main focus but I’d like to know more about Southern Garund, Arcadia, Casmaron, there is so much there in the lore but we have yet to even get more than a few brief peaks!

The Lost Omens Guide teased me so hard with Southern Garund and their peoples. Goloma, Shisks, Conrasu I want to know more about all of them! But I really want to see Droon! If Lizardfolk are going to be one of the first races added to the game, I want to know about the place their are the lords of!

Also...Gnolls were stated to be an Ancestry in that book and if that is the case I’m excited.


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Frogliacci wrote:
Southern Garund is full of ruins and monsters and hazards. You can easily write about it from an explorer's perspective by making the explorers FROM Southern Garund. Magaambyan archaeologists studying Shory ruins and all that.

Yes!

One of my favorite games ever is the old Guild Wars: Nightfall, which did African-inspired fantasy SUPER well, and part of what I liked most about it is that it still had classic sort of pulp-y jungle exploration and archaeology, but undertaken by the native people. I love that approach! People get the genre elements they like without the nasty colonial context that normally buries it.

Shadow Lodge

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keftiu wrote:
Frogliacci wrote:
Southern Garund is full of ruins and monsters and hazards. You can easily write about it from an explorer's perspective by making the explorers FROM Southern Garund. Magaambyan archaeologists studying Shory ruins and all that.

Yes!

One of my favorite games ever is the old Guild Wars: Nightfall, which did African-inspired fantasy SUPER well, and part of what I liked most about it is that it still had classic sort of pulp-y jungle exploration and archaeology, but undertaken by the native people. I love that approach! People get the genre elements they like without the nasty colonial context that normally buries it.

You can't have pulpy jungle exploration by someone who lives in the jungle, simply because they already live there. You can give your outside explorer a non-white skin, they'll still be an outside and probably thus a colonial messenger.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Frogliacci wrote:
Southern Garund is full of ruins and monsters and hazards. You can easily write about it from an explorer's perspective by making the explorers FROM Southern Garund. Magaambyan archaeologists studying Shory ruins and all that.

Yes!

One of my favorite games ever is the old Guild Wars: Nightfall, which did African-inspired fantasy SUPER well, and part of what I liked most about it is that it still had classic sort of pulp-y jungle exploration and archaeology, but undertaken by the native people. I love that approach! People get the genre elements they like without the nasty colonial context that normally buries it.

You can't have pulpy jungle exploration by someone who lives in the jungle, simply because they already live there. You can give your outside explorer a non-white skin, they'll still be an outside and probably thus a colonial messenger.

Jungles can be really, really big. You can have several civilized nation-states bordering that jungle, who all have some degree of historical claim to that jungle, and none of them having idea what's going on deep in there.

And it's not colonialism if the civilizations in that jungle have fallen thousands of years ago, and the things defending these ruins aren't native cultures, but rather monstrous fauna magebred by the fallen civilization that have gone feral. Imagine playing a party consisting of a a Magaambyan wizard, an Ekujae ranger, a Bonuwat water sorcerer, and a Holomog Ganzi amazon-barbarian getting together to clear a crashed Shory sky-city filled with mutant wyverns and fiendish air elementals. Toss in some Rovagug cultists who were Avistani explorers that went insane, and you've fully inverted the trope while maintaining a pulp feel.

Shadow Lodge

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Frogliacci wrote:
Jungles can be really, really big. You can have a civilized nation-state bordering that jungle, who has historical claim to that jungle as national territory, and still have no idea what's going on deep in there.

The neighboring state, by virtue of being a neighbor, is still not one of the "people who live there." And by virtue of being a state exercising territorial claims, is acting colonial.

Put another way, being from the same continent isn't a pass to invade and subjugate peoples.

Quote:
And it's not colonialism if the civilizations in that jungle have fallen thousands of years ago, and the things defending these ruins aren't native cultures, but rather monstrous beings magebred by the fallen civilization that has now gone feral and mated their magical genes into the local fauna. There's nothing really problematic playing a party consisting of a a Magaambyan wizard, an Ekujae ranger, a Bonuwat water sorcerer, and a Holomog Ganzi amazon-barbarian getting together to clear a trapped Shory temple ruin filled with mutant wyverns and fiendish air elementals.

Why don't the wyverns and air elementals get to be considered indigenous?

This is the same problem I had with Ruins of Azlant. The colonialism doesn't go away because you've decided to call your indigenats monsters. Indigenats are always called monsters, or something similar.

Adventuring is a problematic enterprise that cannot be divorced from colonialism, period.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:

The neighboring state, by virtue of being a neighbor, is still not one of the "people who live there." And by virtue of being a state exercising territorial claims, is acting colonial.

Put another way, being from the same continent isn't a pass to invade and subjugate peoples.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:

Why don't the wyverns and air elementals get to be considered indigenous?This is the same problem I had with Ruins of Azlant. The colonialism doesn't go away because you've decided to call your indigenats monsters. Indigenats are always called monsters, or something similar.

Adventuring is a problematic enterprise that cannot be divorced from colonialism, period.

I didn't say the historical claim involves invading indigenous lands. My two paragraphs are meant to be read together. The idea is that it's not colonialism if the people exploring and staking land claims in the jungle both have historical claim to the jungle, AND are not infringing upon any current civilizations, as the jungle-dwelling culture has fallen thousands of years ago leaving only monsters behind.

As for the second point, I personally don't see any monstrous creatures with utterly inhuman psychologies and inherently villainous intents to be a stand in for "indigenous" folks. Ruins of Azlant pits you against aboleths, who actually caused the Azlanti civilization to fall. Hence I don't see any moral issue in killing them and taking their stuff. These aren't innocent creatures who happened to have found a ruin and shacked up in there to build a civilization; these are ancient abominations who hate humanity (and humanoids in general) and are still plotting world domination.

In my example I was running with the idea that the at least some of Shory's flying city-states have fallen to monsters, whether they be invaders or creations meant as living weapons. Again, these aren't the same as an innocent tribe of kobolds who just happened to live there.

For better or worse, players like monsters, and they like slaying monsters for treasure. Everyone has a line to draw for what constitutes as a "monster". Paizo's current stance is that if it's a playable humanoid, it's not a universal monster and can have diverse moralities just like real world humans, but there's no guarantee for the rest. You are free to disagree, of course.

Silver Crusade

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I want this so badly. Garund is my favorite continent of the setting and more non-Western material would be nice. If they can give us five APs featuring Varisia surely we can also get a map and gazetteer is the rest of Garund?


The Lost Omens world guide appears much thinner than the 1st edition campaign setting. That thing was decently big. So, I'm wondering if that means they're going to give us more meaty detailed books on each continent, for instance.
That Nyambe book was used a lot in the Serpent's Skull adventure path (still one of my favorite AP's, despite it being raked over the coals by popular opinion). So many monsters in that AP cited Nyambe as the source. I thought it was pretty great, myself. That set of adventures taught me that the jungle can be very dangerous.
I, too, would like to see more frozen south-pole type areas. I loved the articles on Iobaria in the Kingmaker AP. That was far north in Avistan. But a south pole area underneath southern Garund could be fun, indeed. Who knows what ancient horrors could be lurking, frozen under the ground or sea.


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Holomog plz !A celestial nation that doesnt suffer from "Good is dumb", not counting the war on Geb.


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keftiu wrote:

I think there’s a lot of value in showing other regions of the world (especially those drawn from nonwhite real-world inspirations) on their own merit, rather than with the crutch of a familiar colonial viewpoint. We can have African and Middle Eastern and Native American and Latinx and Asian fantasy without it needing to be justified by “can people we’re still treating as default go there?”

The world can be interconnected, sure. But it doesn’t always need to link back up to Avistan and our familiar, largely white, largely Western-comfortable corner of the world.

EDIT: To cut back on 4am rambling, let me try to be succinct: I want the rest of the setting to be able to stand on its own feet narratively.

I agree with your general point but want to point out that "stand on its own feet narratively" and "interconnected" are not mutually exclusive.

I want the southern part of Garund filled in specifically because it's paternalistic to assume that there could be a whole civilization or multiple civilizations there that has/have not affected the northern half in any meaningful way. Likewise, Casmaron is only totally independent from Avistan in an Avistan-centered worldview.

On a practical level, if not enough hooks have been seeded to provide integration, I don't mind asymmetrically interconnecting the stories - that Avistan generally views southern Garund as unimportant but there's a Wakanda-like country there that keeps tabs on what they consider to be their unimportant neighbors to the north. Or that travelers to eastern Casmaron brought back exaggerated or underwhelming tales of good/evil/magic/empires which influence Avistan's view. In part, these conflict-rich settings provide a great breeding ground for storytelling. It would actually be quite fun for Avistan to be unaware of the influence its neighbors have had or the influence they've had on their neighbors.


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There are only two things in the Inner Sea I'm interested in and they're Kaer Maga & Absolom.

If it's not that, and it's in the Inner Sea region, I would rather hear about literally anything else on the planet Golarion.

So yes I am very interested in Southern Garund.


FormerFiend wrote:

There are only two things in the Inner Sea I'm interested in and they're Kaer Maga & Absolom.

If it's not that, and it's in the Inner Sea region, I would rather hear about literally anything else on the planet Golarion.

So yes I am very interested in Southern Garund.

This is me, but the only Avistan I want is Numeria.


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keftiu wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:

There are only two things in the Inner Sea I'm interested in and they're Kaer Maga & Absolom.

If it's not that, and it's in the Inner Sea region, I would rather hear about literally anything else on the planet Golarion.

So yes I am very interested in Southern Garund.

This is me, but the only Avistan I want is Numeria.

....

Three things. Three things in the Inner Sea Region.


FormerFiend wrote:
keftiu wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:

There are only two things in the Inner Sea I'm interested in and they're Kaer Maga & Absolom.

If it's not that, and it's in the Inner Sea region, I would rather hear about literally anything else on the planet Golarion.

So yes I am very interested in Southern Garund.

This is me, but the only Avistan I want is Numeria.

....

Three things. Three things in the Inner Sea Region.

. . . and Magnimar.

Shadow Lodge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
keftiu wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:

There are only two things in the Inner Sea I'm interested in and they're Kaer Maga & Absolom.

If it's not that, and it's in the Inner Sea region, I would rather hear about literally anything else on the planet Golarion.

So yes I am very interested in Southern Garund.

This is me, but the only Avistan I want is Numeria.

....

Three things. Three things in the Inner Sea Region.

. . . and Magnimar.

Meh. Best thing that ever happened to the place was getting hit by a tsunami.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
keftiu wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:

There are only two things in the Inner Sea I'm interested in and they're Kaer Maga & Absolom.

If it's not that, and it's in the Inner Sea region, I would rather hear about literally anything else on the planet Golarion.

So yes I am very interested in Southern Garund.

This is me, but the only Avistan I want is Numeria.

....

Three things. Three things in the Inner Sea Region.

. . . and Magnimar.

Meh. Best thing that ever happened to the place was getting hit by a tsunami.

It has a really cool assassin druid.


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Magnimar doesn't do much for me. I'd probably take it over Korvosa, though.

Still, can't beat Kaer Maga in my mind for Varisian settlements.

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