What do you want from a Lost Omens: The Golden Road?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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I’m always surprised that Osirion often doesn’t make the list of centers for magical study, considering Nethys had a direct hand in the nation’s founding and the incredible magical power of the ancient pharaohs. Thousands of years of continuous existence as a nation, and quite a bit of that spent as the westernmost extent of the greatest empire on Golarion… I dearly want to see what’s happening in Osirion outside of any tombs.


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Sothis is home to the High Temple of Nethys, the oldest temple to the god in the Inner Sea and location of Azghaad's Spire which was torn down by the keleshites. And instead of that, Paizo elected to flesh out the High Temple of Pharasma instead. Which I suppose opens up the possibility of a 2e Lost Omens setting guide giving a better look at how Osirion worships Nethys, and what sets his church apart from Pharasma and Sarenrae.


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I have to say, both Dark Archive classes make a great fit for the region.

A Thaumaturge grave-robber who shields themself from the vengeful undead with strange relics is too classic to ignore, but the more novel thought is someone raised in the cosmic chaos of Katapesh, wielding alien oddities and dubious rumors. The new Iconic Psychic is a Rahadoumi native, a land famed for mental study, but alghollthu influence crosses the whole region (potentially awakening mortal minds), and Qadira’s Kelesh masters have contact with distant psychic Vudra.


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Speaking of Dark Archive, I'm hopeful that Paizo tone down the Ancient Aliens undercurrent behind Osirion. I think there's some room for some Lovecraft influence, accepting that the man himself and his works were...problematic his stories and the weird fiction genre are still popular, and Ancient Egypt plays a prominent role in it, but the direct influence the Dark Tapestry had on Osirion is something I'm trying to tone down for my Mummy's Mask game. The Four Pharaohs existed, but their legacy mostly died with them in my interpretation of the setting. But the very notion that Ancient Osiriani inherited some of their culture from aliens plays into some very harmful stereotypes. Besides which, we already have the influence of the Pactmasters in Katapesh for any otherworldly adventure hooks, and the Aucturn Enigma was handily solved by the playtest adventure.


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Yeah, all the Ancient Aliens stuff in the real world come from the really racist ideas that "well, these (non-white) people couldn't have built these great monuments and empires on their own" which is such a racist idea that it makes me really uncomfortable when that idea keeps popping up.

The Dark Tapestry can still have accessed Golarion in Osirion, but the important thing is that the most important being behind what happens in Osirion should be "a person who lives there." After all, if the Dark Tapestry could have done their thing on their own then they could have done it anywhere.


Moon Knight had me intrigued in the prospect of more Osirion gods in the book (leaning on those mentioned on the show).


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Patrickthekid wrote:
Moon Knight had me intrigued in the prospect of more Osirion gods in the book (leaning on those mentioned on the show).

I actually statted out a bunch of Egyptian gods for 1st edition, including Khonsu, Ammut and Taweret among others, as a supplement to the gods included in Mummy's Mask book 2.

I was actually disappointed Paizo cut down on the number for 2e in Gods and Magic, though it was likely just to get across the biggest names due to limited space. They omitted Set from that book, but included him in Book of the Dead. Keftiu expressed disapproval of using real-world gods earlier in the thread, and there's definitely some understandable and important sensitivity issues around using gods revered by existing religions, but I think it's kinda necessary to the setting at this point and removing them would be more of a disservice, particularly because it shows the Osiriani people rediscovering and embracing their own heritage. One of my characters in a different game was a worshipper of Thoth, because I had and still have a strong attachment and interest in him, and the fact that the Ruby Prince was being hailed as a reformist bringing prosperity and a cultural renaissance, and yet allowed their old gods to languish in obscurity, was an important part of her character and motivations. There are certainly some orientalist tropes that fantasy games likes to play with around paganism, but if handled with care and sensitivity I think you can still make them a respectful and fun part of the setting.

Scarab Sages

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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I still think the illustration for Marudshar on page 54 of Pathfinder #20 House of the Beast is one of my all-time favorites. There's not much action, but the all-red lighting makes me think that it's what the PCs see right before the GM says something like: "And now, we'll use Will for our initiative rolls, although those who are master or better in Occultism may use that instead, if they wish." I'd want to see that location in this book or an AP that visits the area.


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It might be a bit nitpicky, but if Northern Garund is based on Saharan Africa, then it might be worth actually fleshing out that great big stretch of desert beyond the arbitrary human borders. Osirion has a few subdivisions, like the Glazen Sheets, Parched Dunes, Sahure Wastes, Underdunes, and Salt Hills. But do Thuvia and Rahadoum have similar regions? Given that both Rahadoum and Qadira have to fight back the increasing desertification, that might be an interesting thing to flesh out. The real-life Sahara isn't a single ecosystem, but a variety of ecosystems all connected and interrelated but also very different in their own ways.


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Something I just found out about are the unique animals native to Katapesh, like geirs, camelopards, copalis and dhubbas, and I really like the concept and wonder what you could do across the entire region. You don't think of wildlife when you think deserts, but deserts are teeming with life if you know where to look and it would be really cool to see Thuvian desert rats hopping across the dunes, osirion has the sha but imagine encountering a Go to sta in the wild, or a sak, maybe some clockwork fauna leftover from Jistkan construct pets that were left when their masters died and managed to self-repair or replicate over the millennia in an artificial ecosystem. There's some very neat things you could do with that.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
keftiu wrote:

“Thuvia-as-fantasy UAE” (in terms of coping with being dependent on a single export) is a really, really compelling angle. Between that and the desertification in Rahadoum, I love the potential for some super nonstandard plotlines in the region.

That’s what I’m doing in my homebrew. Citizens benefit directly from the proceeds from the auction and the government invests heavily in infrastructure. This incentives locals, who can’t take part in the auction itself, to protect it and report suspicious activity.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Darth Game Master wrote:
Also, Taldor controlled a decent chunk of the Broken Lands at one point. I would agree there are plenty of Inner Sea locations without much connection to Azlant though--as Keftiu pointed out, Garund doesn't have much besides Saventh-Yhi and the Azlanti influence on the Jistka Imperium (plus maybe the Lirgeni if they are indeed partially descended from Azlanti).

Thuvia and Rahadoum’s ancient civilization is Jistka. Sure they were post-Earthfall but they tend to be the formative civilization and have ruins throughout the region.


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Fans of the region might like to know that The Enmity Cycle, an Adventure set in Thuvia, was announced at Gen Con during yesterday’s keynote.

Dark Archive

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Sidenote, i realized I do have the osirion campaign setting book but I've never read it since I wanted to keep osirion stuff fresh for myself in case I get to play mummy's mask. I should probably read it and see if it changes my opinions from year ago or if it at least gives me something new to say about modern osirion


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I have an Osirion question, actually.

What are Living Monoliths loyal to? They swear oaths to "the gods and the pharaohs," and the ritual that binds them has to involve either a sphinx or another living monolith. A conservative reading of their 1e sources paints them as strictly being guardians over ancient tombs and ruins... but Khemet III is pharaoh of modern Osirion. The 2e Archetype hasn't appealed to me because it's felt very solitary (why leave the site you're tasked to protect!), but if they're instead capable of feeling obligated to the state, that's much more interesting. If they can be found keeping vigil over the streets of Sothis, that makes them much more immediately tangible.

The idea of Living Monoliths and the famously resurrected Risen Guard being representative of the wild arcane power Osirion wields certainly lends the land an appeal, and helps get away from the Egyptian theme park vibe I so struggle with.

EDIT: I am similarly curious about the Pahmet and their ties to both the old pharaohs and the current nation. Why do the dwarves care about protecting the sanctity of ancient human dead? What are they getting out of the equation? Do they give a hoot about Khemet III?

EDIT 2: Holy cow, I had no idea the Pahmet and Ouat absorbed a bunch of dwarven refugees fleeing from the Sky Citadel in Sarkoris after the Worldwound opened!


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Double post, but I think it's worth it:

I was digging around in Extinction Curse #5 and found a fascinating detail in the Cults of the Darklands backmatter, buried in the Cult of the Faceless Sphinx's backstory: a drow housemaid named Falaim was the sole survivor of her House's destruction, and she fled to the surface, emerging in Osirion's desert. Falaim is apparently found by a Vourinoi who helps her "atone for past deeds" and takes her in; this was apparently centuries before the modern day of Golarion, and the text mentions her 'descendants' as well. The Cult of the Faceless Sphinx (servants of Nyarlathotep) are largely drow themselves, and likewise venture the surface to manipulate Osirion for their master.

Long story short - Osirion is home to a a redeemed drow and some number of her mixed-Vourinoi descendants, as well as some number of antagonistic drow bound to an Outer God.! I LOVE how different the approach to Falaim is from what we've seen in, say, 1e Kyonin, while the Cult adds a nice pop of Golarion flavor to the nation's relatively-limited palette.

Dark Archive

Good questions! I'll look answer to those

Cult of Faceless Sphinx being Nyarly worshippers confuses me because Areshkagal, The Faceless Sphinx is known demon lord x'D I wonder if lorewriter got notes mixed

Dark Archive

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So DISCLAIMER: I kinda suspected this because this is one of earlier campaign setting books(2014), but this is before campaign setting books went heavier into local people of area and culture and were more about providing adventure locations, introducing npcs and detailing cities. So yeah, if I had time and energy, I could probably gleam more interesting general information, but that would mean I'd have to read each of location and city gazetteers to gleam information between the lines ^^; So whatever my conclusions are is likely incomplete on modern osirion's nature based on what my eyes caught on while skimming the book. Anyway, the questions! Edit: Geezus this is long wall of text, so editing it to be easier to read with spoiler tags

Pahmet:
Pahmet question answer from sidebar on pahmet dwarves:

"The Pahmet claim that all of their actions stem from an ancient code supposedly handed down from a 'dwarven pharaoh,' though Osirian scholars dismiss the idea since no records of a dwarven pharaoh have ever been found. The code appears to be quite complex, and its tenets are known to no one outside the Pahmet, leading many who interact with the prickly dwarves to believe that it is more a code of convenient rationalizing than anything else."

In general they are actually more than just tomb guardians, or were. Earlier from same sidebar:

"The Pahmet are best known for their role in Ancient Osirion, where they served as advisers to those benevolent pharaohs they deemed worthy of the honor. In modern times, their role in national affairs is much diminished, reduced to the guardians of the necropolis at Erekrus, which they open to only the most deserving dead of Osirion. The Pahmet are highly territorial, and while ostensibly loyal to the Ruby Prince, they are fiercely independent. To date, the dwarves have never offered their services as advisors to the pharaohs of the Forthbringer Dynasty, and each group rarely interacts with the other."

In another paragraph earlier from book(not from sidebar):

"They were sought-after domestic servants and slaves of the ancient pharaohs and their nobility, and continue to serve in much the same capacity today, though in much smaller numbers."

Implication seems to be that humans kinda assume they were probably always servants who came up with self rationalizing to explain why they are servant culture, but Pahmet dwarves believe they are working on ancient honor code which involves offering their service to those they consider worthy. But because they don't consider current rulers worthy, they stick to guarding the tombs of those ancient dead instead instead of serving in nationally important roles.

(I think its kinda likely Pahmet know better than humans who they are just because dwarf lifespan is quite long :p)

Anyway, Pahmet dwarves don't just guard tombs of anyone either.

"Erekrus: Erekrus is the largest of several Pahmet dwarf settlements built into the side of the Brazen Peaks on the border with Katapesh. But it is much more than a mere settlement, and its fame across Osirion is well deserved. The cavern system houses perhaps the most exclusive necropolis in Osirion, where many of the most renowned and well-loved pharaohs of old lie buried. Here lie Osezis II, who ended a nation-wide famine, and Menedes XVII, who abolished slavery. The Pahmet choose only the true of heart to slumber under their mountain, and many pharaohs who tried to bribe their way in despite their failed deeds."

On history of living monoliths:

"Early in Osirion’s history, divinely appointed sphinxes granted life to the stone statues warding the tombs and cities of the pharaohs. By binding a sacred ka stone to the statues’ foreheads, the sphinxes granted these sentinels life. These empowered guardians, called guardian monoliths, served as powerful wardens of their domains. Over time, violence and the elements weakened the guardian monoliths and thinned their numbers.

A new and unexpected source arose to replenish the ranks of the guardian monoliths: mortal warriors, seeking to emulate the constructs’ vigilance and strength, petitioned descendants of the sphinx paragons for ka stones of their own. The sphinxes affixed ka stones to the brows of these worthy mortal supplicants and thus created the first living monoliths. Even today, in isolated ruins where sphinxes lair, a warrior with sufficient martial skill and knowledge may petition a sphinx to become an inheritor of this ancient tradition. If the sphinx deems her worthy, she will be permanently bound to a ka stone and become a living monolith."

So Living Monoliths are basically people who have volunteered to take role sphinx originally created constructs for. So basically, they are guarding who sphinx want them to guard. So they serve pharaoh if sphinx is serving pharaoh and instructing them to do so. But yeah, its mentioned they are tasked to guard cities as well, not just tombs.

As to why sphinx do so... uh. I don't think its explained anywhere, so I think its literal divine mandate to them or something?

Now to my comment on modern osirion: Yeah its still less detailed than the ancient osirion. I know now that oen fifth of osirion's population is kelishite and that 90% of the poorer people are osirian, so kelishite are rich elite of the country as result of the kelishite occupation. Book also made mention that in Osirion after reformation slavery is mostly punishment for crime and laws protecting human rights of slaves seem to be best compared to other slavery practicing nations. That part probably doesn't matter nowadays after more general abolishing of slavery in 2e though.

Regions introduced in the book:

The Brazen Frontier, "Treacherous Gnoll-Infested Bordeland" does have settlements, but its CE gnoll area really. Its also interestingly major population center of isolationist Pahmet dwarves too. Region seems to be less in control of government

Footprints of Rovagug, "Desolate Volcanic Badlands of Monsters And Achorites"... LN region. Yep population and settlement numbers really low though(biggest mentioned has 350 population). Its also where book for first time mentions Ouat dwarves. It might be volcanic region but it also stretches to Barrier Wall mountains and has LG monastery village listed here.

Osirian Desert, "Sands above, secrets below", N... Yeah as said, Osirian seems to be sparsely populated and lot of book focuses on wilderness areas. Though this area has two settlements with almost 10k population so there is that. Apparently most sparsely populated region, so I guess even Footprints of Rovagug has more settlements?

INTERESTINGLY, this area makes mention of "the desert is home only to nomadic Yerbira tribesfolk—roving clans of indigenous wanderers with ancient Garundi bloodlines." so its Garundi ethnicity that is fairly obscure as I've never heard of them before and they seem to be from this book.

Shiman-Sekh does have beautifully symmetric city map though huh. City seems to have been built in shape of lotus flower.

The Scorpion Coast, "Ancient ruins and modern intrigue", N. This is basically the zone with most famous of the ancient ruins of osirion. Apparently also location of warring elemental clans. I'm curious about those, like do they mean elementals as in basic elemental creatures or like genie? I also spot bit of error, region info says El-Shelad (25,000), while El-Shelad's settlement statblock says population is 9,500. Anyway, lot of intrigue happening in settlements and due to ruin excavations in area I suppose?

Sothis, "Stormhaven of Osirion" is apparently big enough to be featured as its own region article. Which makes sense with population of 111,989. Apparently also sixth-largest settlement of inner sea region huh.

The Sphinx Basin, "Fertile Heartlands of the Lands of Pharaohs" is where majority of settlements, including Sothis, are located. Only region to make mention of lizardfolk huh (two of previous ones did mention girtabilu). From skimming I also spotted mention of aquatic elves huh. Two other metroplises with large amount of population too.

"When Ancient Osirion fell, Totra’s new Qadiran rulers destroyed and defaced much of the city’s splendor, scarring Totra and littering it with their own monuments. The harbors of Totra were full of toppled statues and rubble that were once great works of art and beauty. Totra suffered more than most places during the time of the Qadiran satrapy, partially because it had more to lose. Because of its status as trade hub, it also attracted many Keleshites from Qadira and beyond—ruthless traders who used the patronage of their ruling compatriots to edge the locals out of the market."

Nowadays Keleshites in Totra have been driven into Qadiran querter, but remaining Keleshites there regain their political and economic power each year due to efforts of (often corrupt) Keleshite merchant princes. It does kinda seem like there is tension left between populations between Garundi and Keleshites.

Overall surprising observation is that Osirion seems to have notable population of elementals. As in not genie or geniekin, elemental elementals. adventure location "Lost Mine of Siwat, Underground Dystopian Village" makes mention of sandmen population(NE earth elementals) I also find mention of Yerbira interesting(check region spoiler tag)


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keftiu wrote:
What are Living Monoliths loyal to? They swear oaths to "the gods and the pharaohs," and the ritual that binds them has to involve either a sphinx or another living monolith. A conservative reading of their 1e sources paints them as strictly being guardians over ancient tombs and ruins... but Khemet III is pharaoh of modern Osirion. The 2e Archetype hasn't appealed to me because it's felt very solitary (why leave the site you're tasked to protect!), but if they're instead capable of feeling obligated to the state, that's much more interesting. If they can be found keeping vigil over the streets of Sothis, that makes them much more immediately tangible.

As I understand, Living Monoliths are loyal to the places they guard, and the Sphinxes they serve alongside. They are the ultimate tomb guards and wardens, but to me always seemed better used as NPCs. Why would a PC want to stay and watch a dusty pyramid for the rest of their (now immortal) lives? But at a casual glance I can't really find anything that says what they protect HAS to be a tomb or ruin. I know that Khemet III is served by a Celestial Sphinx, so it's possible for a character to maybe use that to become a Living Monolith in the service of the crown and in defence of the nation. There are rumours that not every Risen Guard inducted gets revived immediately, and that they're being kept dead but preserved to be resurrected as an army in case they're needed, but now the idea comes to me of vast catacombs underneath the royal palace filled with perfect statues with raised weapons who can, at the drop of a hat, spring to life and march in defence of the capital if, say, Ulunat wakes up or the Qadirans try to reoccupy the country.

keftiu wrote:

EDIT: I am similarly curious about the Pahmet and their ties to both the old pharaohs and the current nation. Why do the dwarves care about protecting the sanctity of ancient human dead? What are they getting out of the equation? Do they give a hoot about Khemet III?

EDIT 2: Holy cow, I had no idea the Pahmet and Ouat absorbed a bunch of dwarven refugees fleeing from the Sky Citadel in Sarkoris after the Worldwound opened!

The Pahmet are a very interesting idea. According to them, their gods sent them to Osirion to "guide" the ancient Pharaohs, and they follow their own oral traditions which claims that Osirion was once ruled by a Dwarf Pharaoh. Thinking about it, I can see the superficial resemblance - Pharaohs are renown for their lust for gold, burying themselves under artificial mountains, and for making beards badges of office, and in the real world Ancient Egypt adored people with dwarfism who were valued as entertainers and achieved high positions in court. There's no suggestion the Dwarf Pharaoh is anything more than a legend, but it's clearly a powerful idea. As for why they built and maintain the Eyes of the Bronzed Man, a tomb specifically for the good Pharaohs of Ancient Osirion, I don't know. It seems to be something they decided to do and that even the human Osiriani don't really know why.

keftiu wrote:
I was digging around in Extinction Curse #5 and found a fascinating detail in the Cults of the Darklands backmatter, buried in the Cult of the Faceless Sphinx's backstory: a drow housemaid named Falaim was the sole survivor of her House's destruction, and she fled to the surface, emerging in Osirion's desert. Falaim is apparently found by a Vourinoi who helps her "atone for past deeds" and takes her in; this was apparently centuries before the modern day of Golarion, and the text mentions her 'descendants' as well. The Cult of the Faceless Sphinx (servants of Nyarlathotep) are largely drow themselves, and likewise venture the surface to manipulate Osirion for their master.

I was intrigued by that as well, and I think it could be something worth exploring when Paizo comes to flesh out the Vourinoi. As far as 1e is concerned, they're basically Ekujae elves but they live in desert instead of jungle. The idea that they took in Drow refugees, perhaps creating a blended culture, is an interesting one even if it's just one person and her descendants.

CorvusMask wrote:
INTERESTINGLY, this area makes mention of "the desert is home only to nomadic Yerbira tribesfolk—roving clans of indigenous wanderers with ancient Garundi bloodlines." so its Garundi ethnicity that is fairly obscure as I've never heard of them before and they seem to be from this book.

That's a little out of date, and wasn't true when it was written. The desert is a surprisingly cosmopolitan place, full of gnolls, Vourinoi elves, Jaric halflings, Amurran catfolk, not to mention Maftets, Girtablilu and the elementals who are left unbound after the old elemental pacts broke down, So it's more than just the Yerbira out there, though certainly it's worth exploring the differences between Yerbira traditions and culture and that of the riverside Osiriani.

CorvusMask wrote:
I know now that oen fifth of osirion's population is kelishite and that 90% of the poorer people are osirian, so kelishite are rich elite of the country as result of the kelishite occupation.

This in particular is something I think really needs an update and more explanation, because it reduces an extremely complicated political and ethnic legacy to racial tensions. Looking at real life Egypt, the cultural divisions aren't between ethnicity but region, the millennia old divide between Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Canaanites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs have all come and gone to varying degrees, but they all tended to rule from the north of the country and their cultural and economic heartlands were there. Meanwhile, life in southern Upper Egypt continued much as it had, even with the coming first of Coptic Christianity and then Islam. I posited earlier in the thread that Osirion would be better off reframing the issue as tensions between the Keleshite-ruled north (everything north of An), which Keleshised during millennia of occupation, and the relict Osiriani south (everything south of An) which resisted change but continued to pay its taxes and so was allowed to, and the ultimate vindication of the south as Khemet starts restoring Osiriani culture.

I'd also like to see more of that Keleshite influence reflected more in modern Osiriani culture. Like the Mamluks, the Keleshite Sultans put down roots and left their own complicated legacies in Osirion, and yet all too often the country is seen as a place of pyramids and tombs with not much happening between then and now, which sadly reflects pop culture's opinion of Egyptian history between its conquest by Rome and today. Where are the great Sarenite mosques built, the great Keleshite palaces and gardens and merchant houses that reflected and innovated on the architectural marvels of Kelesh itself, the monumental tombs and mausoleums of the Sultans and Sultanas? What stories do they tell about Keleshite knights riding out to battle roaming mummies or bandit lords, Genie-binders and Daivrat battling malevolent divs, great heroes who have nothing to do with Ancient Osirion but are still remembered well?


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Morhek wrote:
-snip-

Thank you for such a thoughtful and thorough reply!

1e sources do mention that some Living Monoliths instead guard cities - while I can imagine this meaning ruined settlements of historic import and necropoli, I'd sooner see some of them warding the current population centers. The visual of sleepless stone soldiers watching from the walls of Sothis is a lot of fun.

The Yerbira and Keleshite populations definitely break up the monotony of All Pharaohs, All The Time, something I always welcome. I've always thought it was a shame that the pop culture conception of Egypt's history consists of the pyramids and Cleopatra, with so little attention given to anything else. I'm especially intrigued by the Yerbira, as the Garundi feel like one of the most nebulous Human ethnic groups in the Inner Sea at present - giving them some of the same variety the 2e Mwangi got would be a real treat.

In 1e, the obvious Osirion party was a crew of foreign graverobbers. I'd love if 2e leaned more towards showing us the heroes who call this land home: dwarven ascetics with command over the sand, Yerbira priests blessed by their oases, mixed Drow-Vourinoi psychic nomads, and more. I'd be absolutely delighted to see Maftet become playable, and while I'm skeptical we'll ever see Girtablilu make the leap, I'd definitely welcome it.

Dark Archive

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It's similar to how in Qadira book keleshite was revealed to be more of six different cultures and how in dragon empires tian is seven different ones. I think same also applies to Arcadians and Azlant.

Basically in country faraway from Avistan, they would probably call people from there Avistani

Dark Archive

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So Qadira book actually introduced lot of Qadira/Keleshite empire faiths, I could have posted about these obscure faiths in casmaron thread(since some of these clearly could be new deity statblocks we haven't gotten yet) but I figured out its probably more appropriate to post them here. I want to also post details in Keleshite etchnicity cultures.

The said obscure(in Avistan) Qadiran and Keleshite faiths, decided to include just ones mentioning new deities, though I couldn't resist including the Temple of Law here:
"Atarshamayyin: The Name on the Wind is an ancient and mysterious deity, said to have gifted horses and prophecy to humankind. Little is known of his nature, but it is said that in his remote temples, if one is quiet enough, one can hear echoes on the wind of words spoken in both the distant past and the future."

Not too surprising, but in retrospect horse themed god missing out is pretty odd considering amount of cultures where horses are important.

"Dust Speakers: These gray-robed priests wander the streets and seem to trail misfortune in their wakes. They are said to be the clergy of a lost culture’s deity, who still seethes at his people’s fall."

This is related to Amai Birtim who according to rumors still exist and are seeking revenge for their culture's destruction.

"Lugalisimaru: The Palm Tree King, a pre-Keleshite deity from Casmaron, is revered in Qadira as the guardian of oases. Travelers leave gifts of small bronze palm leaves set with sapphires at his shrines to invoke his protection."

"Nightseers: The Susianam culture (see page 26) has largely assimilated into Keleshite culture, but some of its wandering oracles, known as nightseers, remain. Nightseers give up a portion of their ability to relate to the material world in order to hear their deity’s wisdom more clearly."

"Oathos: The Ever-Lost is a pre-Keleshite moon god from Casmaron. Worshiped in the ancient empire of Khattib, Oathos was the lover of a goddess who grew jealous and poisoned him. Now reimagined as a consort of Sarenrae who suffers from a divine wasting disease, Oathos is the patron of those with chronic illnesses."

This is interestingly like physical illness counterpart to Tsukiyo. Still I don't mind multiple moon gods :D He seems to be unknown by Avistan's Sarenrae polycule shippers though.

"Roidira: Little is known about this deity, sometimes called the Dark Sister of Knowledge. Members of her cult claim that deep understanding of truth appears as madness to the less knowledgeable, and that nihilism is the ultimate result of complete understanding."

"Shahar: The only records of this ancient goddess’s existence are nearly illegible inscriptions in deep desert ruins. Taboos and rumors of curses keep most would-be researchers away, though some desert tribes claim that knowledge that bestows terrible powers waits for any who dare the ruins—should they be willing to pay the price."

"Temple of Law: While Keleshites are not as obsessively lawful as Chelaxians, they understand that knowing the law—and its loopholes—is essential to doing business. The Temple of Law, which treats the legal profession as a type of priesthood, venerates the trinity of Abadar, Asmodeus, and Zohls."

"Yahaiya: The Cry in the Wastes hears the prayers of childless families or those who have borne no daughters to inherit their wealth and carry on their family’s business and honor. She is known to grant children to those who petition her—even to those past childbearing age—but her gifts always seem to come at a cost."

So among thirteen faiths name dropped, that is whopping seven gods name dropped or hinted at :D

Now on keleshite cultures(posting whole summary here because they aren't detailed in wiki, so INTEREST PROMOTING TIME, education woo!):

"Six peoples are credited with building the empire, each of which is said to have contributed one of the major virtues that characterize the Keleshite people( listed in parentheses in the headings below). A seventh virtue, unity, is considered a hallmark of the general Keleshite identity.

Aishmayars (Grace): Keleshite history claims the Althameri conquered the ancient Aishmayar civilization, but common wisdom in Casmaron is that the Aishmayars tamed the Althameri before disappearing peacefully into the Keleshite empire, taking on near-mythical status as paragons of beauty, gentleness, and taste. Only a few noble families can prove predominantly Aishmayar descent, though artists, socialites, and others often claim Aishmayar blood. Aishmayars have warm olive skin, delicate builds, and dark hair that gains almost metallic looking copper and gold highlights in the sun.

Althameri (Zeal): These tribespeople were the first to be called Keleshites, and official histories credit the mythologized purity of their nomadic lifestyle with the empire’s ascent. The imperial family and Keleshite nobility identify as Althameri, and most practices and dress that people outside Casmaron identify as “Keleshite” are Althameri in origin. Althameri tend to be tall, bronzeskinned, and dark-haired, with strong features.

Khattibi (Inventiveness): The Khattibi people once controlled an ancient, pre-Earthfall empire that claimed the jungles and rich farmland of Casmaron’s southern coast. Known for their great libraries and feats of engineering, they set up the trading routes now known as the Golden Path, making contact with Tian Xia, Vudra, and Garund. Small in stature, they have very dark skin and straight, glossy black hair, the underlayers of which they often dye in bright patterns. Most are dark-eyed, though amber, gray, and green eyes are not uncommon.

Mideans (Elegance): The Mideans raised an empire that warred with Khattib for most of its existence and claimed many of the port cities of Khardaji Bay. Their love of efficiency inspired an unprecedented financial system that includes the oldest still-operating banks on Golarion. The short, ruddy Mideans view roundness as beautiful, eschew red meat and poultry (though they are gourmands when it comes to seafood), and are enthusiastic patrons of the arts. Most who identify as Midean prefer to work in the financial sector or civil service.

Susianams (Adaptability): Known as the People of the Tides, the Susianams set to wandering Casmaron after an ancient disaster destroyed their home cities, and a few in Kelesh still maintain their distinct traditions. The clergy of their moon god, known as nightseers, go veiled in white and bear silver tattoos. Nightseers are able to sense the presence of water, making them valuable guides in the desert, though they become sick and may even die if kept far from the ocean for too long. Such clergy travel with protectors, tattooed in gold designs and patterns, who call themselves dayguards.

Tzorehiyi (Honor): Sharing ancestral roots with the Althameri and Kara peoples, Tzorehiyi still prefer to live in the steppes and grasslands of Casmaron, herding and farming. Their distinctive ornately woven clothes, tightly curled hair, and hooded eyes make them stand out in cities, which they prefer to avoid except as needed for trade."


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Something very interesting from the Lost Omens: Travel Guide. I hope it can avoid moderator ire, and that everyone can behave.

Quote:
Word is the Pactmasters recently banned slavery from their city, though they remain less than transparent as to their reasons why.

This seems to be building on the sidebar in LOWG that Katapesh has noted an abolitionist turn in the nations around them. With Osirion having reformed the practice into exclusively being a punishment for crimes (if I remember right) and the wife of Qadira's satrap being outspokenly opposed to the practice, it seems like the writers may have pulled the trigger on pushing it to the explicitly villainous fringe in the region, away from official, legal sanction.

The book does also briefly feature what appears to be a non-kholo Gnoll Firebrand, wearing armor in an unfamiliar style and appearing on a wanted poster for a number of anti-criminal activities. I hope that when we do get to this region, we get a good look into its Gnolls heroes like these!


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Who are the interesting antagonists in this region? I only can think of a few, but know more than these have to exist.

The Usij are devotees of Ahriman and the divs, who plot the downfall of all mortal works - they're weird cultists and evil genies with a pretty transparent ideology. You're never gonna feel bad about beating up on them, nor their fellow nihilists among the Rovagug cultists who want to wake up Ulunat and harm Sarenites.

Other cults exist in the region, too - the Night Heralds are pawns of my beloved Dominion of the Black, preparing this world for alien harvest, while Nyarlathotep (served by a few Drow in Osirion, strangely enough!) and other Lovecraftian classics see a lot of play. The ancient Jistkans has enough dealings with fiends that I expect plenty are still around, seeking servants; god-hating Asuras are big fans of atheist Rahadoum. Busting up cults is a good time for everyone from Pure Legion detectives to Sarenite dervishes, and not coincidentally provide a good excuse for them to work together.

Similarly opposed to the divine, 2e has set up Alghollthu plots that span the whole region, most notably with their agent replacing the mortal master of Katapesh. I'd LOVE to see the killers of Azlant get some spotlight, especially in these locales so different from where we normally interact with psychic fish aliens.


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keftiu wrote:


Quote:
Word is the Pactmasters recently banned slavery from their city, though they remain less than transparent as to their reasons why.

Oh wow, this is incredible! I just wrapped up my Osirion campaign literally last week. Its premise was about how Ipeq's whole garrison suddenly vanished and how Katapesh decided to just invade the country, and how Ipeq's influential people came together to recruit heroes to help them come with enough forces to stand their ground against Katapesh's mercenary army.

I made a whole epilogue about what came after, and between one of the players being an agent from Andoran and etc etc, I did make Katapesh do exactly that, having noticed the new tendencies around them, after being pushed back and all. I mean okay, it wasn't completely out of nowhere, but man what a coincidence!


Travelling Sasha wrote:
keftiu wrote:


Quote:
Word is the Pactmasters recently banned slavery from their city, though they remain less than transparent as to their reasons why.

Oh wow, this is incredible! I just wrapped up my Osirion campaign literally last week. Its premise was about how Ipeq's whole garrison suddenly vanished and how Katapesh decided to just invade the country, and how Ipeq's influential people came together to recruit heroes to help them come with enough forces to stand their ground against Katapesh's mercenary army.

I made a whole epilogue about what came after, and between one of the players being an agent from Andoran and etc etc, I did make Katapesh do exactly that, having noticed the new tendencies around them, after being pushed back and all. I mean okay, it wasn't completely out of nowhere, but man what a coincidence!

Someone at your table is clearly a Paizo inside agent, reporting back on your table's canon timeline. Quick, sail to Arcadia!

Shadow Lodge

keftiu wrote:

Something very interesting from the Lost Omens: Travel Guide. I hope it can avoid moderator ire, and that everyone can behave.

Quote:
Word is the Pactmasters recently banned slavery from their city, though they remain less than transparent as to their reasons why.

This seems to be building on the sidebar in LOWG that Katapesh has noted an abolitionist turn in the nations around them. With Osirion having reformed the practice into exclusively being a punishment for crimes (if I remember right) and the wife of Qadira's satrap being outspokenly opposed to the practice, it seems like the writers may have pulled the trigger on pushing it to the explicitly villainous fringe in the region, away from official, legal sanction.

The book does also briefly feature what appears to be a non-kholo Gnoll Firebrand, wearing armor in an unfamiliar style and appearing on a wanted poster for a number of anti-criminal activities. I hope that when we do get to this region, we get a good look into its Gnolls heroes like these!

What's annoying about developments like this is not the abolition, it's the transparent reformism and avoidance like the plague of social revolution.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Something very interesting from the Lost Omens: Travel Guide. I hope it can avoid moderator ire, and that everyone can behave.

Quote:
Word is the Pactmasters recently banned slavery from their city, though they remain less than transparent as to their reasons why.

This seems to be building on the sidebar in LOWG that Katapesh has noted an abolitionist turn in the nations around them. With Osirion having reformed the practice into exclusively being a punishment for crimes (if I remember right) and the wife of Qadira's satrap being outspokenly opposed to the practice, it seems like the writers may have pulled the trigger on pushing it to the explicitly villainous fringe in the region, away from official, legal sanction.

The book does also briefly feature what appears to be a non-kholo Gnoll Firebrand, wearing armor in an unfamiliar style and appearing on a wanted poster for a number of anti-criminal activities. I hope that when we do get to this region, we get a good look into its Gnolls heroes like these!

What's annoying about developments like this is not the abolition, it's the transparent reformism and avoidance like the plague of social revolution.

The Pactmasters only care about profit, and seem to have some decent muscle to throw around; I’m inclined to read this as making concessions to try and avoid disruptions to the flow of trade through Katapesh. Given the choice between slave revolts and further Andoren raids or kicking out a dying business model that all your neighbors hate, it’s an easy play for them.

The big revolution I expect to see “on-screen” is in Mzali.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Something very interesting from the Lost Omens: Travel Guide. I hope it can avoid moderator ire, and that everyone can behave.

Quote:
Word is the Pactmasters recently banned slavery from their city, though they remain less than transparent as to their reasons why.

This seems to be building on the sidebar in LOWG that Katapesh has noted an abolitionist turn in the nations around them. With Osirion having reformed the practice into exclusively being a punishment for crimes (if I remember right) and the wife of Qadira's satrap being outspokenly opposed to the practice, it seems like the writers may have pulled the trigger on pushing it to the explicitly villainous fringe in the region, away from official, legal sanction.

The book does also briefly feature what appears to be a non-kholo Gnoll Firebrand, wearing armor in an unfamiliar style and appearing on a wanted poster for a number of anti-criminal activities. I hope that when we do get to this region, we get a good look into its Gnolls heroes like these!

What's annoying about developments like this is not the abolition, it's the transparent reformism and avoidance like the plague of social revolution.
The Pactmasters only care about profit, and seem to have some decent muscle to throw around; I’m inclined to read this as making concessions to try and avoid disruptions to the flow of trade through Katapesh. Given the choice between slave revolts and further Andoren raids or kicking out a dying business model that all your neighbors hate, it’s an easy play for them.

But it shouldn't have been - power concedes nothing without being made to, and Andoren slave raiders are a laughable threat. At least there should have been some political shakeup instead of the existing wise leadership elite coming to a natural conclusion.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
But it shouldn't have been - power concedes nothing without being made to, and Andoren slave raiders are a laughable threat. At least there should have been some political shakeup instead of the existing wise leadership elite coming to a natural conclusion.

LOWG noted Katapesh experiencing “problems” due to the international turn against slavery; with three years passing both in-game and outside of it, thats enough time to act, especially if Qadira went ahead with its ban after setting it up in Legends.

If you can’t sell to Osirion or Qadira, your immediate neighbors, then why bother? Katapesh’s economic strength is in its geographical position, and it increasingly seems like their only buyer at all nearby is Geb - three nations down the coast, and already largely supplied with souls through Darklands forces, IIRC.

I don’t know that Katapesh has enough of a national identity to drive any kind of revolutionary solidarity. Not to say it’s impossible, but the odds feel real slim.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Something very interesting from the Lost Omens: Travel Guide. I hope it can avoid moderator ire, and that everyone can behave.

Quote:
Word is the Pactmasters recently banned slavery from their city, though they remain less than transparent as to their reasons why.

This seems to be building on the sidebar in LOWG that Katapesh has noted an abolitionist turn in the nations around them. With Osirion having reformed the practice into exclusively being a punishment for crimes (if I remember right) and the wife of Qadira's satrap being outspokenly opposed to the practice, it seems like the writers may have pulled the trigger on pushing it to the explicitly villainous fringe in the region, away from official, legal sanction.

The book does also briefly feature what appears to be a non-kholo Gnoll Firebrand, wearing armor in an unfamiliar style and appearing on a wanted poster for a number of anti-criminal activities. I hope that when we do get to this region, we get a good look into its Gnolls heroes like these!

What's annoying about developments like this is not the abolition, it's the transparent reformism and avoidance like the plague of social revolution.
The Pactmasters only care about profit, and seem to have some decent muscle to throw around; I’m inclined to read this as making concessions to try and avoid disruptions to the flow of trade through Katapesh. Given the choice between slave revolts and further Andoren raids or kicking out a dying business model that all your neighbors hate, it’s an easy play for them.
But it shouldn't have been - power concedes nothing without being made to, and Andoren slave raiders are a laughable threat. At least there should have been some political shakeup instead of the existing wise leadership elite coming to a natural conclusion.

The market is the most powerful force, capable of shaking entire societies with ease. The elite follows the money and doesn’t hold on to a falling trade they can’t prop up via other means.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Something very interesting from the Lost Omens: Travel Guide. I hope it can avoid moderator ire, and that everyone can behave.

Quote:
Word is the Pactmasters recently banned slavery from their city, though they remain less than transparent as to their reasons why.

This seems to be building on the sidebar in LOWG that Katapesh has noted an abolitionist turn in the nations around them. With Osirion having reformed the practice into exclusively being a punishment for crimes (if I remember right) and the wife of Qadira's satrap being outspokenly opposed to the practice, it seems like the writers may have pulled the trigger on pushing it to the explicitly villainous fringe in the region, away from official, legal sanction.

The book does also briefly feature what appears to be a non-kholo Gnoll Firebrand, wearing armor in an unfamiliar style and appearing on a wanted poster for a number of anti-criminal activities. I hope that when we do get to this region, we get a good look into its Gnolls heroes like these!

What's annoying about developments like this is not the abolition, it's the transparent reformism and avoidance like the plague of social revolution.
The Pactmasters only care about profit, and seem to have some decent muscle to throw around; I’m inclined to read this as making concessions to try and avoid disruptions to the flow of trade through Katapesh. Given the choice between slave revolts and further Andoren raids or kicking out a dying business model that all your neighbors hate, it’s an easy play for them.
But it shouldn't have been - power concedes nothing without being made to, and Andoren slave raiders are a laughable threat. At least there should have been some political shakeup instead of the existing wise leadership elite coming to a natural conclusion.
The market is the most powerful force, capable of shaking entire societies with ease. The...

Note that this is true in our modern western worldview. It is not universal by any means.


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CorvusMask wrote:
"Lugalisimaru: The Palm Tree King, a pre-Keleshite deity from Casmaron, is revered in Qadira as the guardian of oases. Travelers leave gifts of small bronze palm leaves set with sapphires at his shrines to invoke his protection."

Funnily enough, the Palm Tree King is the name of a being the Sumerian hero-god Ninurta defeated in his travels. Ninurta was kinda the Sumerian Herakles, fighting a bunch of monsters across Mesapotamia, but the particular myth where he found the Palm Tree King (among others) hasn't survived except as indirect references. So presumably, its continued worship is evidence of lingering Ninshaburian influence through the Padishah Empire. I've always been interested in that part of Casmaron, the fallen empires just beyond the mountains east of Taldor and Qadira (Ninshabur, Kaskarri, Yenchabur, etc) as analogues to real life cultures (Akkadian, Hittite, maybe some influence from the Hashashim) and how that interacts with the wider Kelesh.

CorvusMask wrote:
*discussion of Keleshite ethnic groups*

This could really be fleshed out. Kelesh is a surprisingly diverse place, Qadira only the westernmost and smallest of its 15 established satrapies (aside from the recent colony in south Garund), and people from those places would be travelling up and down the Golden Road. To an Avistani, they might not see much of a difference. But each of them would think of themselves as very different people, with their own traditions and cultures, and that should ideally be felt even in places outside the empire where Keleshites settled.

The Raven Black wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The market is the most powerful force, capable of shaking entire societies with ease. The elite follows the money and doesn’t hold on to a falling trade they can’t prop up via other means.
Note that this is true in our modern western worldview. It is not universal by any means.

Of all the major off-screen changes from 1e to 2e, I have the least problem with the Pact Masters deciding the market forces aren't on the side of slavery. It might play merry hell with their relations with the local gnoll clans, but they aren't the sorts to stick with a dying market. And gnolls really needed a new schtick other than slavetaking. There aren't the same sociocultural forces that kept legal slavery in the real world operating in Katapesh - no need to keep a very distinct and separate class of people under the ruling class. Katapesh is too cosmopolitan for that. I have more of an issue with the creation of Vidrian, since the overthrow of Eleder's Chelish apartheid aristocracy felt like something that should be played out in-game, kinda like the Ravounel revolt. And I would be a little concerned if they tried to do it with Cheliax, since half the point of Cheliax EXISTING is so that players have a very openly and admitted Evil country to fight against and Cheliax having to give up slavery feels like too big a deal to handwave easily.


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Who are the dominant naval powers of the region? I feel like you never hear anything about the Golden Road nations' presence on the seas, which is strange for what is all along a coastline.


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As far as I know, the big four are Cheliax, Andoran, Taldor and Qadira. Cheliax and Andoran have the High Seas locked down, while Taldor and Qadira have the eastern Inner Sea. But historically, Rahadoum was a big enough power that it could afford to lay seige to Absalom after one of its misguided attempts to export "freedom," Vudra sent a fleet for similar reasons, and Ancient Osirion must have once been a significant power when it had the empire and has been building its military up steadily since the Ruby Prince took the throne. Cheliax has lost a lot of its naval strength. It thoroughly lost Sargava which has become Vidrian, it's lost control of the Arch of Aroden, the international slave trade is shrivelling rapidly as abolition sweeps across the region, and it's ports to the north that serviced trade with Varisia and Nidal are now part of Ravounel. Meanwhile, Taldor seems to be on the rise as Eutropia works to dissipate tensions between it and Qadira. If I was going to write something, I'd guess the next conflict would be a naval war between Cheliax and Andoran over control of Arcadia - losing that colony could be the death-knell of Cheliax as an empire.

Perhaps, with the Arch of Aroden destroyed and the Chelaxian Navy in disarray, Rahadoum has been able to fill the gap and protect trade Cheliax no longer can? Right back to Jistka, that part of northern Garund was an analogue of Carthage to Osirion's Rome, and with multiple Romes in Avistan, it would be nice to give the most obvious analogue to Western Rome, Cheliax, an equivalent long-term strategic rival to its south. Or perhaps as part of its military build-up, Osirion launches a navy powerful enough to stop anyone else invading up the river Sphinx and so it can patrol the Scorpion Coast rather than depend on Qadira's fleet to police that region? The real-life Ptolemaic Kingdom was one of the greatest naval powers of the Mediterranean, with an extensive naval empire that brought it into contention with Macedon and the Seleucids frequently, and its loss to Rome was far from a foregone conclusion. Having Osirion develop naval aspirations would be neat to see. I can't see Thuvia being much of a naval power in itself, despite its trade with Absalom and being a link along the Golden Road, but it's certainly wealthy enough to buy the protection of mercenary fleets. Maybe, with Vidrian refusing to pay the tribute Sargava once did, some old hands from the Shackles decide to find a new employer to the north and ply new waters?


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Morhek wrote:
[...]it's lost control of the Arch of Aroden,

Where was this stated? LOWG has Khari still in Cheliax, but I'd be interested to know if it's true.

Rahadoum has a really potent geographical position, as one of few powers that can utterly sidestep Cheliax to play in both the Arcadian Ocean and the Inner Sea, and it's always seemed amiss that we don't hear more about them as a naval power. Rahadoum's a nation of engineers! Surely they have the knowhow to put together incredible ships. I'd love to play as Rahadoumi privateers...

Quote:
If I was going to write something, I'd guess the next conflict would be a naval war between Cheliax and Andoran over control of Arcadia - losing that colony could be the death-knell of Cheliax as an empire.

I don't know that there's much reason for that fight: the Segada Protocol limits both Cheliax and Andoran to only the three settlements they had at the time of the Protocol's signing, Cheliax has already abandoned one of those two settlements they owned, and any Avistani colonial violence will be met with a coalition of the four Arcadian nations that agreed to the plan. Why go to war over what Distant Shores literally describes as two "villages," located on the other side of the world? You're going to lose more ships to the perils of Azlant than you will to enemy action, and the victor's reward is... a hostile, unified front with the homefield advantage?


Update: it seems like Khari has some dubious canon around it, with Hell's Vengeance clashing with the 2e map. I made a separate thread about the matter here.


I haven't played Hell's Vengeance, but the impression I got was that part of it covers the Arch of Aroden being destroyed or made unusable for trade by Cheliax. Without that bridge, Khari loses much of its strategic importance and Avistani/Garundi trade gets rerouted to Absalom. However, checking pathfinderwiki it seems I was wrong, that the bridge has been broken long before the Glorious Reclamation, and that the effects of this economically on Corentyn and Khari was already established in Cheliax: The Infernal Empire. Now that I know though, I do like the idea of Rahadoum finally deciding it doesn't want to tolerate Cheliax's foothold, maybe even wanting to repair the bridge themselves to try and reroute trade from Absalom, and decides to take Khari back. Despite being Chellish citizens, Khari no longer presents as vital an outpost as it once did for Cheliax now that its foreign provinces consist solely of that one Arcadian colony it has left.

As for the Segada Protocol, does that apply to Chelaxian Man o' Wars intercepting Andoran shipping long before they reach Arcadian waters to try and starve them out so they can take control? Or vice versa, if Andoran decides to try its luck? Or is it concerned with stopping violence on Arcadian shores? I'm not well versed on Arcadia, but it doesn't sound like they're especially interested in who's in charge of those colonies, as long as it doesn't spill across their borders into their own territories.

But I guess that's for another thread.

Dark Archive

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Ya know I realized something I definitely want in Golden Road:

More gnoll feats and cultural info about non kholo gnolls! I have bit hard time figuring out how to name Alkenstari ant gnoll so while that isn't on Golden Road, having Katapeshi gnoll names would still help x'D


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CorvusMask wrote:

Ya know I realized something I definitely want in Golden Road:

More gnoll feats and cultural info about non kholo gnolls! I have bit hard time figuring out how to name Alkenstari ant gnoll so while that isn't on Golden Road, having Katapeshi gnoll names would still help x'D

Yes, please! I want to know about the non-kholo Gnoll cultures of the world, the good and the bad.


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One (perhaps needlessly nitpicky) thing which could set the Golden Road apart from Avistan is having a calendar of its own. Lost Omens Travel Guide has some neat alternate names for the months used by Absalom Reckoning, and has some scant details of other systems used elsewhere - the Mwangi Expanse calculating the year starting from Old Mage Jatembe's birthdate, for example. But it mostly leaves those details unaddressed, probably to leave room either for players to come up with their own stuff or in case something is made up later so it doesn't contradict.

In the real world, many of the countries of North Africa use the Gregorian calendar for standardisation with trade, though with their own names. The Islamic calendar_(the Hirji) is common across the region, but the Berber calendar of former Mauretania was descended from the original Roman Julian calendar and the Rumi calendar of the Ottoman Empire was a lunar calendar realigned to the Julian. Iran uses the Solar Hijri, and although Egypt uses the Gregorian calendar, Coptic Christians and Ethiopia use the Coptic calendar or derivations.

For my Mummy's Mask game, I've been using a modified version of the Coptic calendar as a liturgical calendar for Osirion's temples, particularly clergy of the Old Gods, with names based on their Middle Egyptian versions. The current in-game date is Gozran 5th, 4714, but also Month III (Rekh Nedjes - Little Burning) Peret, Day III, Year XXXIII of the Ruby Prince. I haven't gone much further on my own, but it would be interesting to look at how the Absalom calendar has spread across the region with their own names and influenced by history (as the influence and popularity has waxed and waned). I would also keep Qadira using a lunar calendar, though it would be a bit culturally insensitive to import the Hijri wholecloth. I think it would be neat if Rahadoum, in an effort to get away from the old gods-based time measurements, had an analogue to the French Republican calendar, or at least dabbled with it. And it's just occurred to me that Ancient Greece had more calendars than you could shake a stick at, and that a world like Golarion would absolutely having something like the Antikythera device to align different calendars for trade or religious reasons.

And I would guess every country would count Year 0 differently - Osirion from its founding by Nethys/Azghaad, Nex and Geb by the start of their war, Qadira from its own founding or when its royal family was made hereditary starting with Xerbystes I, as opposed to perhaps the Imperial calendar when Kelesh itself was founded, and so on. As mentioned, Nantambu is mentioned to calculate its year from the birth of Old Mage Jatembe, but unhelpfully it doesn't actually say how long ago Jatembe was actually born.


^I've thought of something related: Campaign setting calendars and the relevant orbital periods seem to gravitate strongly to simplifying the math. Would that Earth had a similarly simple calendar . . . .

One nitpick: Most (all?) calendars on Earth had no year 0 -- most (all?) of them start with year 1, and when they address times before that they either reference a previous cycle of the calendar (with the cycles often named according to whoever was ruler) or count backwards starting from 1 before, with no 0 in between. Idiocy, I know, but that's the way we do it on Earth.


That seems to be how the Absalom Reckoning calendar is already structured, since the books date the raising of the Starstone to 1 AR. Usually I prefer when fantasy worlds use a year 0 for convenience, but in this case I sort of understand the choice because of the whole Gregorian calendar+2700 thing.

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