What do you want from a Lost Omens: The High Seas?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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Since my other thread was so much fun, I figured I'd make another for another Meta-Region I'm intensely curious about a revisit of - the High Seas! This is all assuming that the Lost Omens line eventually does a hardcover for each of the Meta-Regions established in the Inner Sea region, of course.

I want to start with a note on content I find in severe need of revision: I recently ran my eyes over Isles of the Shackles and a lot of it left me pretty cold, being a mix of "pirates!" and "pulp-y island cannibal terror!" - the tropes seem pretty familiar, but everything to do with the Kuru truly got my hackles up. That these islands are populated by your classic evil tribal savages is bad enough, but the overwhelming number of descriptions lean on them as something to be driven from the isles so that the folks the setting actually considers people can move into their lands is leaning /hard/ on racist old ideas. With the Tian-Min on the far side of the world and everywhere else fairly underdetailed, it's really rough to see the main island native-equivalent be a near-mindless threat to be exterminated. I hope they see a thorough rewrite, with literally any amount of respect being paid to them being the indigenous people of these lands.

Moving on to more broad (and somewhat lighter!) thoughts, I would love to see more hooks for people who aren't big pirate fans (like myself). I think aquatic Ancestries could really shine here, as we glimpse the lands of the Azarketi, aquatic elves, locathah, and others, hopefully presented as just as legitimate as the nations of the air-breathers. The Mordant Spire is a delicious taste of creepy, cosmic weirdness, and I'd really enjoy more looks at just what aberrant threats and Azlanti ruins they preside over. Hermea is desperate for excuses to be visited, in my mind, while Mediogalti is my runaway favorite bit of the whole place, thanks to everyone's favorite assassins.

What I think the greatest challenge of all is making this Meta-Region feel less like a collection of exotic locales to go plunder and more like something coherent and connected. Some love being paid to the major navies in play (I would be over the moon with some attention on Rahadoum's fleets!) or the most popular trade routes and the goods on them would help anchor the ocean in the context of the wider setting, and provide ground for more adventures than just being pirates.

I open it up to everyone else - thoughts, hopes, fears?


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I mostly agree, especially about the aquatic ancestries and civilizations, though I don't mind the pirate stuff at all. Some Ghol-Gan lore would be neat.

I guess it could be interesting to see what Hermea is like after the events of the Age of Ashes adventure path? Not sure if they'd be willing to set the canonical ending in stone so soon, but then again, we don't know when this hypothetical book would release.


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Personally I don't see the same sort of issue with the Kuru, as there are cannibalistic like societies virtually everywhere in Golarion. Like the island of Kalva in the Linnorm Kingdoms. But as with anything I agree that they could use more depth and nuance. I would assume the Kuru's degeneracy is probably connected with the same sort of magical affliction that brought down the Ghol-Gan empire. Also, maybe they are hodgepodge of unlucky human sailors of various cultures that were marooned; stuck and banded together and came in contact with this mysterious illness, in a time long before the existence of the modern communities of the Shackles.

It would be nice as well if Paizo could sprinkle a few more small islands out in the High Sea that is populated by non-human maritime cultures. Orcs, goblins, lizardfolk, dwarves, etc.


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Wanting but certainly not getting:
- Nations in Golarion having roughtly the same level of technology for ships instead of having Viking longships next to ironclads (and worse, still being competitive)
- Ships having believable crew sizes (without a "everything is automated by magic cop out unless it makes sense)
- The size of navies being believable based on the countries location, wealth and how much they value the navy instead of numbers being pulled out of nowhere
- There being a fantasy explanation how ships defend against attacks from below the water which aquatic species can easily perform

Grand Lodge

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One thing I think is fun about High Seas is that the Shackles are only part of it. Hermea, Mediogalti Island, and the Mordant Spire are all primary nations. You could talk about Azlanti ruins, detail the bountiful areas below the sea...

Heck, I could see a lot of the backmatter from Ruins of Azlant and Skull and Shackles getting nice updates, before even delving into Aquatic Adventures and Blood of the Sea.


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I so desperately want the aquatic ancestries back. At least Cecaelias and Locathahs.

Also "there's neat stuff on the bottom of the ocean" is fantasy catnip for me. I loved that 1e setting book that was largely about the oceans.


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While Mediogalti Island is the only thing that overtly interests currently, much like Ixal, I feel like this would be a great book to detail the nautical abilities of the various nations, both their navy and trade fleets.


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I like pirates but I would also love to see more nuance in the writing of the shackles, there's all those islands in the shackles just begging to be explored and the Ghol-Ghan stuff seems super cool. There's also plenty of room for mediogalti spire, hermea and the mordant spire and maybe a brief mention of the ruins of azlant from the 1e AP (although thats probably a stretch since its not directly a part of the meta region). I do like me some piraety goodness though and I'd like to see what changes, if any, have come to the shackles since the new hurricane king Tessa has taken over, plus there's also probably tons of underwater civilizations to explore as well that I'd love to see tapped into


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yeah, the Kuru strike me as the biggest question mark for the Shackles. Their story is actually a lot more sympathetic than first meets the eye. Before colonists arrived in the Shackles, they were incredibly peaceful people. But as colonizers drove them from their homes, they were eventually forced to relocate to a cursed island, where they were slowly driven mad. Cannibalism never had anything to do with Kuru culture — it's a curse that was forced upon them. That said, still not a great situation, as it turns victims of mass displacement into enemies pitted against PCs, where the prudent course of action usually seems to be following past colonizers' example and destroying more of what remains of their people. That's not really a story I'd feel comfortable running as a GM, pitting indigenous people defending their homeland as villains. While further discussion of this likely warrants its own topic, I'd love to see an adventure involving the Kuru people throwing off the Blood Queen's influence and reclaiming that island for themselves (or just have that happen in the 1e-2e interim period, à la the Gorilla King), Kuru PC options, and less everpresent conflict between Kuru peoples and pirates. Kuru are supposed to be peaceful and the Free Captains have enough goodly-aligned enemies as it is. I'd kind of like to play a Kuru Free Captain pirating some treasure back from a Chelish galleon or two.

Moving on, there is so much I want from a High Seas book. Honestly, I think there's enough here for both a rulebook and a Lost Omens release. The rulebook would focus on dedicated sailing rules, ship combat and upgrades, sailing-themed downtime activities, tables for generating island and underwater locales and encounters, ocean-themed treasure and nautical equipment, and ship creation rules, with a catalogue of pre-made ships and designs from around Golarion. For the lore segment, maybe a section on taverns as well, with some inside looks at famous ports across the world (especially outside the Inner Sea region) that could help capture the magnitude of Golarion's immensity, and give a taste of life beyond the PC's usual stomping grounds, which is more important in seafaring adventures than in others.

For the Lost Omens book, that's an interesting one. The High Seas region is tricky to cover for a few reasons: (1) while it covers more space than any other meta-region, it is relatively sparsely populated, holding fewer major nations than any other meta-region, (2) it overlaps with other regions, and writing too much about mainland coastal settlements robs from other books (eg Bloodcove), so you're mostly stuck writing about islands, (3) most of this region is a place to pass through, not a place to visit, and (4) most major locations that do belong to this region aren't usually open to visitors (out of the nine locations in LOWG, three welcomed visitation, with one of them being the home of the Red Mantis assassins and another being entirely underwater).

For these reasons, I'd like to see Lost Omens: the High Seas take a different narrative approach from other books in the series. I'd like this book to be less a tourist guide and more a scrapbook, taking a cue from Legends's narrative direction and exploring notable regions through tavern tales, songs, and legends, rather than third-person gazetteers. This is partly because half these regions already have dedicated gazetteers (The Shackles, Hermea), or seem best explored in their own future dedicated adventures (Mediogalti, Mordant Spire). Probably the most important theme of any seafaring adventure is the story's...mystique. Not knowing what lies beyond the horizon, not knowing what's truth and what's fiction, and seeking out the real thing for yourself. So for the primary island locations of the High Seas, I'd like to hear about them from the tales of an old, retired pirate captain, or from the mouth of whoever spread all those disturbing rumors about the Crimson Citadel in the first place. I want to be an outsider looking in, opposite of what The Mwangi Expanse did for its meta-region. Afterward, I'd like to learn about undersea realms in a similar fashion — especially the Ruins of Azlant — perhaps with the exception for the Azarketi city of Kienek-Li (and the Kuru's island, for that matter).

Beyond that, a lot of the High Sea's legacy belongs to its past. The sunken cities of Azlanti, serpentfolk, and elves, and the lost kingdom and ruins of the Ghol-Gan. For the culture-dedicated section of the book, I'd like to learn something new about these people, and some notable sites of archaeological significance (hopefully with some shameless Disney's Atlantis inspirations). Just as importantly, I'd also like to learn more about the cultures of living civilizations in the High Seas, including those of the elves (sea and Mordant Spire), Kuru, alghollthu, Azarketi, and the pirate confederacy of the Shackles.

And finally...I'm going to stop writing now. This is seriously my most wanted Pathfinder book. :3

Dark Archive

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Kuru is pretty awkward subject to deal with yeah since they are literally "not human" by virtue of being separate race in 1e <_< Made extra awkward since "kuru" isn't term for "human transformed into cannibal" but entire tribe of humans who got transformed by Blood Queen.

On one hand it would have been cool to had blood queen related adventure, but its really hard to do that without coming across as "well foreigners caused the problem and fixed the problem". But either way yeah, kuru are tragically the victims of situation even though 1e books speak as if they were loathsome monsters.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Kuru is pretty awkward subject to deal with yeah since they are literally "not human" by virtue of being separate race in 1e <_< Made extra awkward since "kuru" isn't term for "human transformed into cannibal" but entire tribe of humans who got transformed by Blood Queen.

I'm not completely sure this is true. The Kuru aren't incredibly well documented — what we do know comes primarily from the Isles of the Shackles and the Inner Sea World Guide. From what we can chart out, colonization of the Shackles possibly began as far back as six hundred years before the present day, after the founding of the Chelish colony of Sargava. The original colonizers had made a cursory inspection of the Shackles region, but decided against founding communities there after stumbling upon disturbing Ghol-Gan ruins, writing off the region as "cursed and haunted." These qualities were not sufficient to ward off pirates who preyed upon emerging Sargavan trade routes, however, who built small communities in the Shackles islands and continued to expand after their exploits met with greater success. To my knowledge, it is unknown when exactly the Kuru people transitioned into the "monstrous humanoids" they are today, but given that the Kuru (who likely lived in numerous settlements throughout the Shackles) had to be basically rediscovered in Shackles society by survivors like Strong-Arm Hix, and pirates seemed to have been widely unaware of the Kuru before discovering their threat on the Cannibal Isles, it stands to reason that this transition happened at least many decades ago, enough time for the Shackles community to forget about the Kuru people's existence.

With that established, there are several clues that need to be identified about the Kuru of the Cannibal Isles. First, that they are called "cannibals" at all implies they are human (or close enough, like an elf or dwarf). Second, the type of transformations the Kuru went through upon relocating to the Cannibal Isles are described twice: first, it is documented that there is speculation that Kuru are possessed by the ghosts of the Ghol-Gan people (ISWG). Second, and I quote: "...and the once friendly, peaceable race transformed into monstrous, degenerate cannibals" (Isles of the Shackles).

If we are to take this information literally, and the Kuru suffered physiological changes during their thralldom to the Blood Queen, there is a reasonable chance people in the Shackles would not have even been able to recognize Kuru who were not subjected to the influence of the Blood Queen as such. As the Kuru civilization seemed to have been consigned to the pages of a history book prior to its reintroduction by the populations of the Cannibal Isles, it is possible those descendants of the Kuru who refrained from resettling onto that island would not only bear distinct cultural differences from their cursed siblings, but would also physically look different, too, such that any who didn't belong to the notorious cannibalistic tribes may not have even been widely recognized as Kuru at all (but for fellow, contemporary kurus or the discerning anthropologist). Especially if these people had long since melded with wider Shackles culture or lived in other isolated communities as of yet unknown to the wider Shackles.

All that to say: we know what happened to some of the Kuru. If there were other Kuru that were not subjected to the Blood Queen's influence, there are several good reasons why we might not know about them. So I'm not sure that it would be necessarily accurate to describe the entirety of the Kuru tribes as monstrous degenerates. This is not true even in the source material, which at several points depicted them not as mere monstrous enemies, but as people capable of (and actively moving toward) overcoming their curse and reclaiming their lost identity. Here are two sections about this in particular that I recall:

Isles of the Shackles spoiler:
"The village of Kukgukmol has been at war with neighboring Heggapnod for so long, most of the warriors have forgotten why they began fighting in the first place. Their rapidly dwindling numbers ensure that should no intermediary force step in to stop them, they will surely obliterate one another." — Implications here being that it is possible for the Kuru to suspend their violent war, and that there is even a reason to consider doing this.

Isles of the Shackles spoiler:
"Zhenbarghua: The westernmost kuru settlement in the Cannibal Isles, Zhenbargua is perhaps also the least dedicated to the Blood Queen, and those few kuru who manage to escape the barbarity of their homeland in search of greater meaning often originate from this small, progressive society."

CorvusMask wrote:
On one hand it would have been cool to had blood queen related adventure, but its really hard to do that without coming across as "well foreigners caused the problem and fixed the problem". But either way yeah, kuru are tragically the victims of situation even though 1e books speak as if they were loathsome monsters.

My players haven't gotten to the Shackles yet, but based on what existing lore we know about them, I have a headcanon going on with this. I always imagined the Blood Queen occupying a Te Kā/Makuta type role as a villainous god in Kuru religion. As a goddess of bloodshed and mindless violence, the Kuru quelled her influence in their lands by not being violent and avoiding confrontations in her places of power, like the Cannibal Isles and other Ghol-Gan ruins. When violence was thrust upon the Kuru people by external threats, however, their way of life was crippled as they were forced to reconcile with a situation where violence was mandatory for their own survival. Many of the Kuru of that time largely only recognizing two kinds of lifestyles — pacifism and the warring ways of the Blood Queen — felt compelled to make a compact with the very evil they once fought to contain, to preserve their very future. In the aftermath of this tragedy, the Kuru survive as two distinct groups: the pacifist factions, having been scattered by colonization and surviving by blending into new Shackles communities (unrecognized as such) or living in well-hidden, secluded communities — and the better-known warring faction, struggling against the dark powers and psychic influence bestowed upon them by the Blood Queen in their great wars of yore. Today, as these two groups begin to reconnect, they work to reconcile the value of strength with the peaceful ideals of their ancestors — mastering violence without letting it master them — to reclaim the hope and spirit of their people from the despair of the Blood Queen's shackles.


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

A High Seas book would be perfect to introduce aquatic ancestries/heritages, and I would expect to see them there (and hopefully some new ones!) Something else I would like to see is a section on trade (trade routes, who exports what, who imports what, so on), which would include a bit about trade with Arcadia. Any discussion of Hermea has to include the canonical end to Age of Ashes, which I want, and it would also cover the fallout of Ruins of Azlant, which I also want. An in-depth look at the Mordant Spire is most welcome.


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Scraping the barnacles off this thread as I revisit some 1e sources, and I have to say: I really like the Ushinawa Isles. Having an outpost of Tian-Min culture in the Inner Sea is fun and useful, but having it be one of arrogant pirates who have to constantly consecrate and bless their cities to ward off the local ancient curses? With populations of elves and Tengu? Chef's kiss. It rules.

What other "home ports" on the High Seas do folks like?

EDIT: Just realized I wrote Tian-Min where I meant Tian-Sing in the OP. Oops!


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I want rules for more ships, rules for running a crew and how that affects ship mechanics, story hooks and boons to help facilitate a high sea or island hopping campaign. Yaaar!

Liberty's Edge

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Everything on the water.

Everything below the water.

Everything above the water. Yes, in the open sky.


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I raised the idea in another thread that a High Seas book may want to touch on some of the Azlanti islands and ruins further west of the Inner Sea, and I'm curious how others feel about its place in such a book! This might be my own inexperience with this Meta-Region, but I feel like Mediogalti Island, the Shackles, and some undersea locales still feels a little thin for a full LO release, but I'd also understand if folks think Azlant deserves a book to itself.

Shadow Lodge

Cecaelias and Mermaids.

Shadow Lodge

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The Raven Black wrote:

Everything on the water.

Everything below the water.

Everything above the water. Yes, in the open sky.

You forgot "the water itself." It is sentient often enough, and even when it isn't it is chemically interesting.

Dark Archive

I am curious though if underwater ancestries and kingdoms are part of their own meta region or the high seas region hmm.

Besides shackles, High Sea did include Hermea and Mediogalti too now that I think about it. Hermea could use some sort of post age of ashes write up, but its super self contained place anyway. Mediogalti could use bit of fleshing out though since its supposed to be secret where red mantis are there on their secret citadel, but we need bit more to sell the idea the idea of island as red mantis legal front.


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Mediogalti is one of my favorite parts of the region; it’s fitting that the greatest Lawful force is a band of killers. There’s been some fascinating hints across Pathfinder history about Achaekek’s changes and motivations (from an older form to Azlanti disaster deity, then from that to master of assassins), and I’d love further insight into him and his cult both.

His relationship with Grandmother Spider is fascinating.


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Very neat tidbit from the Travel Guide: rumor has it that Mengkare no longer rules Hermea! No further details on what's going on instead.

It seems like they've gone ahead with what Luis hinted at in a Reddit thread a while back, and are experimenting with 2e APs being canon within the edition as they release, rather than the 1e approach.


keftiu wrote:

Very neat tidbit from the Travel Guide: rumor has it that Mengkare no longer rules Hermea! No further details on what's going on instead.

It seems like they've gone ahead with what Luis hinted at in a Reddit thread a while back, and are experimenting with 2e APs being canon within the edition as they release, rather than the 1e approach.

Is there any indicator that that’s the result of an adventure, or are we going to have to be very cognizant of publish dates going forward?


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SOLDIER-1st wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Very neat tidbit from the Travel Guide: rumor has it that Mengkare no longer rules Hermea! No further details on what's going on instead.

It seems like they've gone ahead with what Luis hinted at in a Reddit thread a while back, and are experimenting with 2e APs being canon within the edition as they release, rather than the 1e approach.

Is there any indicator that that’s the result of an adventure, or are we going to have to be very cognizant of publish dates going forward?

Nothing is said to that effect here, but

Spoiler:
Age of Ashes wraps up with the party confronting Mengkare, with the option to either slay him in battle or convince him of the error of his ways. It seems like they don't want to firm up exactly what his fate is (I assume talking him down will be canon), but at the very least, Hermea has been changed by the events of the AP.
I'm personally okay with this approach, but I understand how it could get frustrating.
Dark Archive

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Mengkare:
I do hope they don't go with him being dead because I kinda find it bummer when lot of minor redeemable villains seem to be just assumed to be dead in 2e x'D Mostly because they are minor enough there is no real reason to bring them back up and it shouldn't be hard for gm to bring them back. Mengkare would be major villain yeah, but I do think its more interesting outcome for atoning gold dragon to be alive and settping down peacefully, since if he is killed that is just gonna lead to very chaotic situation

Dark Archive

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Ya know, even if all of these don't really fall in the "High Seas" region, I figured out its better to summarize Golarion's seas here than make own thread for them since while "Ocean" could be considered additional "continent" for purpose of meta regions and such just like Darklands, I'm extremely surprised if we ever get dedicated Ocean book instead of "Aquatic Adventures and PC options for aquatic campaigns" book.

I do want 2e version of Aquatic Adventures, but I digress ;P

Anyway, I think any major underwater shenanigans likely get incorporated into continental regions, (like with high seas, I'm also certain that at least Tian Xia will have its own "sea adventures region", Arcadia doesn't seem to have one unfortunately though it could still be added tbh. Azlant will definitely have these if it ever gets both book and meta regions) mostly because that even if we one day get darklands map, I think getting ocean topology map would be just writers getting mad with power. But that aside, summary of what is under the sea~

(it probably doesn't come to surprise to anyone, but seas we hear most about in pathfinder are ones adjacent to Inner Sea, so Steaming Sea, Obari Sea and Arcadian Sea.)

Aquatic Adventures 1e Lists Antarkos Ocean, Arcadian Ocean, Embaral Ocean, Obari Ocean and Okaiyo Ocean as "major waterways" and Castrovin Sea, Fever Sea, Inner Sea, Ivory Sea, Shining Sea, Sightless Sea, Songil Sea, Steaming Sea and Valashmai Sea as more minor ones. Luckily I managed to find on google the map from Aquatic Adventures so we can see the seas marked down on the map. I'm not good at estimating fictional maps, so I can't tell if map is clearly missing some seas from map (especially since they aren't color labelled or something) but this does cover most of the planet at least plus darklands So, what is in these seas?

Antarkos Ocean, the Great Southern Ocean, aka our south pole ocean. Largest and most unknown ocean on the planet, freezing waters, whales, ice sheet, glaciers... All of major waterways have quite bit of detail to them since each of them gets four pages(while minors get two) so I'm not going into super huge detail here because there are a LOT of them, but here is cool detail:

"Among the most unusual denizens of the ocean are a race of enigmatic aquatic giants. They appear similar to ocean giants, but they are much larger, standing over 30 feet tall. These towering Antarkos giants have navy blue, black, or pure white skin, and they speak their own language, one not yet deciphered by linguists.

The Antarkos giants possess powers related to dreams and spirits. The few explorers who have encountered them speak of the giants’ ability to view the dreams of others and communicate through those dreams. Some Antarkos giants are even able to manipulate dreams, causing deeper, more restful sleep or seeding terrible nightmares. The most powerful giants can even kill a sleeping victim through dreams."

Besides mysterious dream power giants, there is also displaced Kalo here with their own settlement they named New Mahoi ;D Woo for aliens! Besides them, ocean seems to be home for ice trolls, dragons and deep merfolk.

Arcadian Ocean, "Dynamic Ocean Craddling A Shattered Continent" is something that likely would get even more fleshed out if Azlant got a book since its basically the secondary adventuring setting of Ruins of Azlant ;D I still think we need more arcadian presence in arcadian ocean and azlant but anyway, tbh this is something we can discuss more in the Azlant thread. Its where Talisantri(aquatic city from ruins of azlant) is, its where mordant spires are, its hard and risky to travel(lot of evocative fancy sea adventures basically) hence why Inner Sea and arcadia were mostly isolated from each other, as said my only real problem with Arcadian Ocean is that we only hear about people from Inner Sea trying to travel to isles of Azlant or to arcadia but nothing about arcadians trying to travel to azlant or inner sea, so even if they were having isolationist policy because of ancient azlant, its kinda weird that on "western shores" (whatever that means in ocean's case) there is big shackles pirate presency.

Embaral Ocean, "the prize and power of the east" aka sea between Casmaron and Tian Xia. *sigh* Still funny to me the ocean between Casmaron and Tian Xia got detailed after Tian Xia but before Casmaron x'D Poor Casmaron. Anyway, smallest major ocean with noteworthy detail of "unusual marine desert ecology". Right, its kinda easy to forget that is an actual real life thing, so fantasy take on that is nice. As a marine desert, there aren't lot of local underwater people living here, but there are ruins that might be remnant of ancient cecaelia empire judging by amount of tentacles. Also lot of local pirates Chu Ye, Wanshou and Kaoling makes deal with. Also a local dragon turtle protects whales from whalers in area. He defeated local Captain Ahab wannabe who called himself Shellsplitter.

Here is fun trivia for this one:

"A rare species of gray dolphin with blush-pink sides swims in the southern regions of the Embaral Ocean. Sailors believe these dolphins to be sacred to Hei Feng, the Duke of Thunder, and carry strong taboos against killing them. Only the most dissolute and desperate hunters dare go after these sacred dolphins, selling their meat, blubber, and hide in black markets."

Obari Ocean, the "Deadly Ocean Passage". The sea between Garund and Casmaron we hear lot about and likely will hear bit more about in Impossible Lands as well since Jalmarey and such. I probably should have noted it before but pretty much every sea in this world has pirates, I wouldn't at this rate be surprised if there were weirdo pirates hanging out in Antarkos Ocean despite there not being lot of trade to plunder there. Anyway this one has cool CE The pirate captain Bekyva Stormtouched who got hit by lightning three times and survived. She has awesomely grotesque scars as result. I also like description of the Obari Ice Forest

"On the ocean floor, vents stream gases into the cold water of the Obari Ocean. Through a combination of pressure and temperature, the gas in the central regions of the ocean solidifies almost as soon as it enters the water, freezing into beautiful but eerie organic formations. From above, the sea floor resembles an immense garden or forest made of dense white crystals. The ice forest stretches several miles in diameter, covering a roughly circular area east of Geb and south of Qadira."

This ocean seems to be also notable for lot of cyclones, and I spot several dragons being mentioned including a cetus and a great wyrm brine dragon. Obari ocean seems to be especially stormy and deadly.

Okaiyo Ocean, the "Vast and mysterious sea lapping on faraway shores" is something I remember first time mentioned in Dragon Empires book, but I assume it will get some feature to it from Arcadia book too due to being between arcadia and tian xia(unless arcadia doesn't have any interest in sea travel) I see this ocean being possible part of Tian Xia's equivalent of High Seas region. Anyway, quite lot of Golarions' oceans have storms and sea monsters as well so I'm wondering why book bothers mentioning them as hazards each time ;D Joking aside, I was briefly excited that "oh are there gigas on this ocean?" until I read next word of "clams". Apparently there are "gigas clams" threatening mollusk hunters.

Well that aside, Okaiyo ocean has huge sahuagin/sea devil presence. Its kinda funny since you'd likely expect largest sahuagin presence to be in arcadian ocean or nearer inner sea, but nah, Okaiyo Ocean is where largest sahuagin empire lies. Sintos Trench's sahuagin empire doesn't unfortunately have name in the book even though it got several paragraphs dedicated to it. Anyway, so for everyone wondering why there was giant hermit crab stealing ships in monsters of myth, this book is where its mentioned that there is huge crab presence in Minata.

"A hundred miles east of the wandering isles of Minata is a massive spawning ground for crabs. Millions of the crustaceans crawl across the ocean floor like an armored carpet. While these crabs are mindless creatures, a large population of heikeganis often whips them into order. These strange aberrant crustaceans and the result of samurai who are too obsessed with what they deem is their purpose that their souls refuse to depart for the Boneyard, and instead become bound with that of a newly hatched crab zoea. Hundreds of these creatures live in the crab spawning ground where they act as feudal warlords controlling vast armies of mundane crabs. The most powerful among them is a brutal and vicious warrior named Shaponen (LE male heikegani samurai 9). Under his command, his crab army clashes in magnificent and orderly battle with the armies controlled by other heikeganis. When not fighting against each other, the heikeganis enact mock battles and drill their crab armies in the ways of war. The spawning ground is a place best left alone. Stories claim that a wayward traveler can be stripped of his flesh in less than a minute by thousands of snipping claws."

I love this detail xD

So moving onto "minor" oceans.

Castrovin Ocean ("untamable heart of an ancient continent") aka the inland sea of Casmaron. Weird they didn't list Grass Sea of Casmaron as Ocean ;D Okay bad joke aside, for minor seas I'm just gonna list one detail I liked because giving info on big oceans took lot of out of me and I'm not planning to quit lore binging for today yet.

"What separates this sea from others in this book is that the Castrovin Sea has a relatively low salinity. Despite this, the sea contains creatures that would normally live in salt water but have adapted to the relative freshness of this body of water."

Besides that locathah seem to have huge presence here. Local locathah seem particularly isolationist and territorial compared to usual less shy and more peaceful kind.

Fever Sea("hunting grounds of pirate lords and sea monsters") is basically shackles and eye of abendago's sea. This book does add detail to underwater regions though(like triton communities), but you'll likely know about this ocean if you know about Shackles or areas Eye of Abendago sunk.

Inner Sea, "hub of western civilization", do i even need to detail this one? Yeah I don't, this is the sea we know about the most in the world, none of the underwater residents come as surprise either and its not like this two pages adds us underwater city maps xD

Ivory Sea ("icy inland sea rich with whaling") so one of two minor seas that I think are likely first time detailed here. You can think of this as "Crown of the World's sea" and I think it would likely get more detail in book about that.(that said Crown of the world is adjacent to Ivory, Songil, Steaming and Shining Seas so... I'm probably wrong here, but it is two of northern arctic oceans) Well either way, this ocean seems fairly isolated from people since not much mention of piracy. It does have cool new detail though

"Near the center of the Ivory Sea stands a twisted city made from sharp pieces of coral, jagged rocks, and the bones of sea creatures. This is Kuvyno, a city of gutaki and devilfish, and holy site to Dagon, the Shadow in the Sea. The gutaki are barbed creatures with seven tentacles, monstrously evil and supposedly descended from krakens. Though no kraken currently lives in the Ivory Sea, the gutaki of Kuvyno believe, with enough death and sacrifice, they will draw one of their progenitors to the region. It will then tear apart any ship crossing the water, feast on the crew, and leave the treasure and scraps for its faithful."

So a city of intelligent devilfish :O

Shining Sea("icy sea where auroras dance") is second ocean you can think of as "Crown of the World's" sea as the icy northern ocean. Another ocean that doesn't really make mention of pirates, I guess they don't like cold. Anyway Pulura is popular here and there is cult called "Cetaceal Keepers" who revere whales and protect them from whalers, but then ritual massacre them because they believe that by doing so they will gain great power. Weirdest take on evil environmental hypocritical druid cult I've seen

Sightless Sea(vast underground waterway) is the one with Munavri and something we will get more info once we get darklands book because Sightless Sea seems to be location in darklands writers like(and I know why, because idea of underwater sea is just that cool). Its also location of The Braid and aboleth civilization so yay for tentacle fishes. I wonder how big Sightless Sea actually is though, hope we one day get to see full scope of it.

Songil Sea ("rich northern sea"), actually more of temperate body of water. Hence why I kinda don't connect it as an "arctic ocean" though tbf, Shining Sea and Ivory Sea are probably more of "casmaron seas" than "crown of the world". Well hard to say until we get more details on casmaron and crown of the world seafaring. Still though there are smaller icebergs on northern parts of Songil Sea. Anyway Songil Sea section actually details more on Sintos Trench(its located between border of Songil and Okaiyo) besides largest sahuagin empire, Sintos Trench is apparently location of largest Iku-Turso city as well.

Steaming Sea ("cold and rocky sea") is also one we hear lot about, also where Mordant Spire is actually located even though mordant spire elves operate mostly in arcadian ocean. Also location of Ironbound Archipelago and Hermea.

Valashmai Sea("sea of legendary dangers and savage storms"). Ya know after all mentions of big sea monsters and storms in lot of other seas, hard to see Valashmai Sea being that special, but with all the kaiju in Valashmai Jungle I better believe that Valashmai Sea is most mythic epic sea of all the dangerous seas :P Besides Antarkos Ocean(which is largest sea and remote), Valashmai Sea is most unmapped and unexplored sea in golarion because most people who try get sunk by sea monsters. Besides amount of kaiju and large sea monsters in ocean, it also has very much supernaturally type of "Well shit" weather. Like you can in same day run into blizzard and scalding hot rain. Also reason why only rare few get chance to visit Sarusan only to get memory wiped anyway :P

Blergh yeah we we'll never get book that is likely just about fleshing out ocean civilizations because ocean is HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE x'D


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The Travel Guide mentions the Arcadian Triangle, a trade route that connects Garund and Arcadia through Azlanti colonies, and it gives the briefest taste of something I want more of - Arcadians on the seas! We know the Caldaru sailed over from that continent to found Senghor, but it feels like there's no concept of curious or confident folks on boats coming from the west.

It's kind of a goofy pull for inspiration, but the sixth Assassin's Creed game was all about the Golden Age of Piracy, and I really loved that it had a prominent Maya character and a very cool Taino character in a smaller role. In a fantasy world where we already know Arcadian people have the knowhow, I want them to be a player on the high seas. They don't have to be blockading Cheliax or anything, but old salts who sail through Azlant often should know what Arcadian sails look like on the horizon, maybe know a few polite phrases in Calda.


Is there a name the Mordant Spire elves use for themselves? Surely there's a term in elven.

Wayfinders

Spiresworn and gray elves is all I can find, but I can imagine there's an elven endonym as well, and with the PF2 push to use those more, it'd be nice to have eventually. Then again, the Spiresworn are a particularly reclusive and secretive bunch, so who knows.

Dark Archive

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Honestly Mordant Spire elves make most sense to have no known name outside of them because of how extremely secretive they are :'D


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

Agreed. I think we might get the name, but it will be made clear that only they know it.

Liberty's Edge

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Other elves might have a special name for the Mordant elves.


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I have finally caved to my partner’s One Piece special interest… and I’m really liking it! It does killer job of presenting novel things to encounter on the fantastical seas than just pirates and island towns; I just hit Reverse Mountain, a massive wall of stone that has a current capable of carrying ships up and over it, and would love weird stuff like that in this book.

Ideally, the meta-region extends out far enough to touch on shattered Azlant, because I want the side effects of broken magical infrastructure and supernatural fallout to be a huge threat for any would-be pirates.

Sovereign Court

I have to admit, when Skulls and Shackles came out for 1e...it was fun to play and on a whim I ended creating what would be one of my favorite characters. I made a Swashbuckler/Witch.

For something in 2e, I would love to see more information about the cultures of the oceans. Such as more about the Azarketi, info about the Bonuwat, etc. Maybe the introduction of either just spells for... or an actual witch build of a Sea Witch. I would love some spells (or maybe a magic item) like in 1e where you could polymorph yourself into sea creatures such as a Cecaelia.

I also agree about more info on ships, maybe even a way you can even get one as a PFS player character?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Hope for factions being done in a way that help creates some immidiate conflict and build on top.

And fear they won't release anything mechanicaly significant.


Andrew the Warwitch wrote:

I have to admit, when Skulls and Shackles came out for 1e...it was fun to play and on a whim I ended creating what would be one of my favorite characters. I made a Swashbuckler/Witch.

{. . .}

Now you've got me curious. How did that work?


Wait, there's a cannibal tribe called the Kuru? Kuru is, IRL, a prion disease that causes "laughing sickness" that spread through cannibalism in PNG (although even then it's not "people hunting people to eat" but via a ritual meal to honor their deceased). So even the name is a bit too on the nose.

Anyway, if there's a Tian-Sing colony there, then I totally want something done like Legend of the Tsunami Warrior which has some of the best over-the-top fantasy involving aquatic action anywhere.

The High Seas would be a great place for something like Armada from China Miéville's book The Scar and uncharted islands only reachable by luck.

Hints about the Eye of Abendego would be needed, as would a discussion of storms in general, both above and below the surface.

A whirlpool leading to a dry section of seabed. Intelligent reefs. Go wild.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not sure if it would be the best place for it, but I could maybe see some discussion about Shimye-Magalla. The Janiform of Desna and Gozreh worshipped by the Bonuwat people. Actually I need to go back and check Mwangi Expanse if they are mentioned in the Mwangi Expanse book...

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Wrong John Silver wrote:
Wait, there's a cannibal tribe called the Kuru? Kuru is, IRL, a prion disease that causes "laughing sickness" that spread through cannibalism in PNG (although even then it's not "people hunting people to eat" but via a ritual meal to honor their deceased). So even the name is a bit too on the nose.

Yeh, that's why they haven't been discussed in a long while and are probably best left in 1e's past if not outright retconned.


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Opsylum has convinced me that the Kuru are worth keeping around, but they probably need both rules as a PC Ancestry and a new name.

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