Official Lost Omens canon conflicts and clarity thread


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Paizo Employee Rule and Lore Creative Director

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Hey, there! As someone who has been working on the Lost Omens setting for almost five years (and playing pretty much since the setting's origin), I've seen my share of confusion and mistakes regarding the setting. Be it conflicting dates (Just when did the Worldwound close?) or things that are unclear about the setting (What's up with that Stasian Calendar?), there's plenty of bits of the lore that could do with a bit of cleaning up.

I figured I would create a thread to help keep track of all of these. If you have found any conflicts with canon or are simply wanting some clarification on certain parts or events within the setting, share them here! It will help us to keep track of all possible clarifications or corrections in one centralized spot. I can't promise that we'll be answer these right away, or even at all within this thread, but we will definitely be able to use the information to clean things up going forward. If I have my druthers, it won't just be rules that get errata or clarifications as time goes on.

For now, thanks to everyone that's been enjoying the game, playing in the setting, and generally been a fan of Pathfinder. We hope you continue to enjoy the Lost Omens setting! :)


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Thanks for the thread, Luis - and congrats on the recent promotion! I've definitely got a couple bits of canon I'd love to have touched on. I'm sure others will spring to mind, but I've got three right now, in order of increasing obscurity:

This might be a moot point with Rage of Elements on the horizon, but there's been some contradictory canon on if the other Good Elemental Lords are free, or if it's just Ranginori who is out (thanks to the Pathfinder Society's aid). Those other three divinities are really cool; I'd love to know if they're actually "in play" or not.

///

Jormurdun, center of a lengthy Society plotline, ended up conclusively liberated from fiends and duergar... and then nothing's been said about it since. With an entire Sky Citadel seemingly made safe nine years ago in-setting, I'd really enjoy an understanding of what's happened to it now that it is something more than just a dungeon in the Worldwound.

In addition, the final Jormurdun scenario makes mention of several hundred surviving Jormurdun dwarves trapped in a bubble outside of time, something neither it nor any other scenario ever mentions, elaborates on, or resolved. If there's time-lost dwarves with a recently-reclaimed home in the Sarkoris Scar, that's worthy of spotlight, and a fascinating extra dimension to the Reclaimer cause beyond just Mendevian crusaders and the Sarkorian diaspora!

///

I'll take whatever you can give me on Wyrwood culture. We know they fled servitude to their Azlanti creators thousands of years ago for Arcadia, and that they come in both sentient and non-sentient varieties (seemingly?), and that's about it. Having any understanding of their culture, their place in Arcadia, or much of anything other than a tragedy now well outside of mortal memory, would be a delight.

EDIT: I'd also love a better understanding of what exactly a spirit is, if elementals and fey can count as spirits, and which elementals are Arcane vs Primal, as my recent thread shows!


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Finds a comfortable chair to sit back and watch keftiu and Michael make All The Stories congruent.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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keftiu wrote:


This might be a moot point with Rage of Elements on the horizon, but there's been some contradictory canon on if the other Good Elemental Lords are free, or if it's just Ranginori who is out (thanks to the Pathfinder Society's aid). Those other three divinities are really cool; I'd love to know if they're actually "in play" or not.

Yeah, that's going to be sorting itself out shortly...


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Thank you for this thread! With the character(s) I've been working on lately, I've been digging into a fair bit of the info that's been published about Golarion's history, and there's been at least a few discrepancies. I'll post as I find them.

In The Mwangi Expanse, there are a number of significant lore inconsistencies regarding Xatramba. For one, in the History section it is spelled "Xatrembra" but elsewhere it is spelled "Xatramba," which seems to be how other books have spelled it (this one would hopefully be an easy fix in future printings of the book). For another, this one a bit more complicated, in the History section, the timeline lists Xatramba's destruction as being in 3705 AR, but the text describes it as having been destroyed during the Age of Destiny (–3470 AR TO –632 AR). What's more, a sidebar in The Slithering notes that it was founded in 3699 AR, but The Mwangi Expanse indicates that it was around for at least decades, if nota centuries. That's a lot of timeline inconsistencies which don't seem to really be reconcilable.

Separately, and I don't have specific references for this off hand because it's one I found a while back and didn't take specific note of the details of, but it seems to be unclear when the Aspis Consortium was founded. IIRC, The Mwangi Expanse implies a drastically different date than other resources do (talking about an order of magnitude difference) but I don't offhand have page number or section references for it.


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At least in 1st edition lore, the Keleshite Interregnum is described in quite harsh terms as the Keleshites not only suppressing the native Osiriani culture and imposing their own elite class on Osirion, first as a Satrapy and then as a Sultanate. The Gods of Osirion are described as being deliberately suppressed. Totra saw intense destruction of Ancient Osiriani statuary that has been partly repaired since the Forthbringers came to the throne. The Destiny of the Sands scenarios are explicitly about recovering knowledge hidden away from such destruction. Yet in Mummy's Mask, the Dead City half of Wati had operational temples to Osiris and Thoth when the Plague of Madness broke out, almost 1000 years after the Keleshites established the Satrapy and about 200 years after it became the Sultanate. The Tomb of Akhentepi even includes religious depictions of Anubis and other Osiriani gods that were, according to canon, still being suppressed. And by the start of Mummy's Mask, Tephu still has a functional temple to Ma'at and Thoth, albeit playing second fiddle to the church of Nethys.

My own explanation for my Mummy's Mask game has been that the Keleshites did engage in such cultural suppression where they were powerful, but like the real history of Egypt that their strongholds were mostly in the north, with An, Wati, Tephu and Ipeq beyond their cultural reach. I suppose my question is, has the Keleshite Interregnum been retconned to be less absolute than originally described? And (if appropriate to answer here) does Paizo plan to keep the long Keleshite colonial legacy as an influence on Osirion?

And speaking of Akhentepi, the tomb seems to reference campaigns against Mwangi warriors, yet as far as I know Osirion neither invaded the Mwangi Expanse (and in fact had already lost the little territory it had inherited from Jistka, with both the late Pharaohs and successive Satraps and SUltant too ineffectual to hold or reclaim it) during this period, nor was there any major Mwangi faction able to invade Osirion or interested in doing so. So I'm a little confused who Akhentepi was meant to be fighting, and why.


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Who was Iomedae a paladin of, exactly? Earlier publication says Aroden, more modern texts suggest Arazni.


Kasoh wrote:
Who was Iomedae a paladin of, exactly? Earlier publication says Aroden, more modern texts suggest Arazni.

Lost Omens: Gods & Magic explicitly calls her a Paladin of Arazni in life, so that's what I'm inclined to follow, but I believe there's some broader hiccups around Iomedae's canon that I don't know much about.


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keftiu wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
Who was Iomedae a paladin of, exactly? Earlier publication says Aroden, more modern texts suggest Arazni.
Lost Omens: Gods & Magic explicitly calls her a Paladin of Arazni in life, so that's what I'm inclined to follow, but I believe there's some broader hiccups around Iomedae's canon that I don't know much about.

My understanding is that she was a paladin of Arazni, but when her patron died she became a paladin of Aroden until she ascended.

---

Unrelated, I have questions about the fae, and I think some about the sceaduinar. I don't remember those questions right now, and it's possible they've been answered already but I'll try to get back to here on that...


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Oh wow, I didn't realize this thread exists! It's so recent too! I picked up the Lost Omens Travel Guide recently and something caught my eye.

The Lost Omens World Guide says that "The Laws of Mortality prohibit obedience to a god—not faith or divine magic itself" in a sidebar on p. 54. Gods & Magic has a section on the Laws of Mortality which doesn't entirely contradict this. It says that sorcerers are viewed with "suspicion and distaste", but not that they're arrested simply for being divine magic users. The Lost Omens Travel Guide, however, says on p. 74 that "The nation of Rahadoum, in the wake of a devastating holy war, banned religion and divine magic from its borders." In the following paragraph it extends that to every class that is considered a divine magic user in 2e, and says explicitly that Rahadoum only let druids off the hook because of how useful they are after learning that they're not actually divine magic users. Should we take the Lost Omens Travel Guide's account as correct?

Radiant Oath

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

Oh my, it's like Crystalhue come early! *rubs hands excitedly*

This is something I discussed at length in these threads here and here, but I'll reiterate it here for clarity and conciseness.

One of the more recent events in Brevoy that's added fuel to the smoldering conflict in the nation was the scuttled marriage of King-Regent Noleski Surtova and Elanna Lebeda. The text describes the intent behind this was a symbolic union between the Issians (represented by Noleski, obviously) and Rostlanders (represented by Elanna) to strengthen the nation's bonds, which were pretty much reduced to rusty copper and glitter-glue thanks to the Vanishing. The reason the marriage didn't go through was because Noleski's sister, Natala Surtova, accused Elanna's brother Lord Lander Lebeda of treason. While many Brevic nobles think the accusation credible given Lander's revolutionary sentiments in his youth, some prominent families in Brevoy disagree, particularly House Orlovsky, who are suspicious of House Surtova at the best of times and have publicly stated they think it was another Surtova power grab, and should the Surtovas press the issue further, House Orlovsky is prepared to rebel in support of the Lebedas, bringing Houses Garess and Medvyed with them (plus there are very convincing rumors that Natala was deliberately sabotaging the wedding plans because she feared she'd lose her influence over her brother by having to compete with his wife).

On the surface, this all seems typical Brevoy politicking, but when you really get into the weeds of Brevoy's history, there's complications. Specifically, while House Lebeda IS considered the "most Rostlandic" of Brevoy's noble houses, thanks to their love of swordsmanship and other such things, those seem to largely be superficial trappings, because pre-conquest Rostland's nobility was tied up in the Swordpact, meaning anyone with political power in Rostland prior to Choral's conquest would have had the Aldori surname, as a symbolic renunciation of previous family ties to instead swear themselves to the Swordlord brotherhood. So it's unclear as to whether House Lebeda is an Issian house like most of Brevoy's other noble families, rewarded with Rostlandic holdings by Choral the Conqueror at the Swordlords' expense, and they merely absorbed aspects of Rostlandic and Aldori culture through ruling those lands for so long, or if they were actual Rostlanders who actively chose to side with the Conqueror against the ruling Swordlords for some reason. Either way, I strongly believe from what I've read that Restov and the Swordlords would regard the idea that House Lebeda represents them or Rostland's people, even in a symbolic capacity, as laughable at best or a duel-to-the-death-worthy insult at worst.

Owlcat's Kingmaker Tangent:
Another aspect that might complicate this is Lander Lebeda's characterization in the Owlcat version of Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Lander actually makes an appearance in the game and can be recruited by the main character to act as their advisor (instead of the Surtova-aligned Shandra Mervey or the Swordlord Kassil Aldori). Lander does commit treason...but not against Brevoy, but rather against the main character, hoping to depose them and claim the Stolen Lands for himself. He'll end up dead from this, and House Lebeda will request his body be returned to them for a resurrection spell (one of the few instances I've seen of such magic being used by non-player characters). The Lander presented in the game is VERY different from the Lander described by Pathfinder texts, to the point of them having different illustrations! The Lander described in books is Lawful Neutral, and while he may have held revolutionary sentiments in the past, appears to have mellowed out as he ascended to be the head of his House, while the Lander of the PC games is Chaotic Neutral, verging on Evil at times given a lot of his "advice" to the main character is sabotage meant to destabilize their rule and make Lander's planned coup attempt easier. I include this in a spoiler because ultimately it doesn't have much bearing on House Lebeda's status one way or the other, especially because Lander's subplot here only appears in the Owlcat version of Kingmaker and is not present in either the original Adventure Path or the recent 2e remaster (and may not appear at all even in the video game if you select Shandra or Kassil as your advisor). Besides, generally speaking the books trump the video game in terms of canonicity. I personally would find reconciling the two versions of the character and tying that to House Lebeda's current political troubles an interesting creative exercise, however!

So in summary, "What's the deal with House Lebeda?!" By what authority do they claim to speak for Rostland and its people when they themselves don't seem to have any ties to the Swordpact at all? Was the marriage between Noleski and Elanna actually going to BE a symbolic union, or would the Rostlanders have viewed it as a sham, just one Issian oppressor marrying another Issian oppressor in a dog-and-pony-show that only other Issian oppressors would find meaningful? ARE the Lebedas Issian, or are they Rostlanders who went Benedict Arnold on the Swordlords?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
GM_3826 wrote:

Oh wow, I didn't realize this thread exists! It's so recent too! I picked up the Lost Omens Travel Guide recently and something caught my eye.

The Lost Omens World Guide says that "The Laws of Mortality prohibit obedience to a god—not faith or divine magic itself" in a sidebar on p. 54. Gods & Magic has a section on the Laws of Mortality which doesn't entirely contradict this. It says that sorcerers are viewed with "suspicion and distaste", but not that they're arrested simply for being divine magic users. The Lost Omens Travel Guide, however, says on p. 74 that "The nation of Rahadoum, in the wake of a devastating holy war, banned religion and divine magic from its borders." In the following paragraph it extends that to every class that is considered a divine magic user in 2e, and says explicitly that Rahadoum only let druids off the hook because of how useful they are after learning that they're not actually divine magic users. Should we take the Lost Omens Travel Guide's account as correct?

It has to do with the rules changes from 1e to 2e. Now that we have Arcane, Occult, Divine, and Primal fonts of magic, and Druids use primal magic, the setting lore runs into an issue. Should Rhahadoum be opposed to primal magic or not? They went with no. I assume that how this is explained in lore and rules books will get clearer and more refined with time.

Beyond that, I think there is an issue with the World Guide here, because I'm pretty sure oracles are still banned from the region despite not choosing to be able to tap into divine magic. And I think divine sorcerers would also be a problem.


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YlothofMerab wrote:
GM_3826 wrote:

Oh wow, I didn't realize this thread exists! It's so recent too! I picked up the Lost Omens Travel Guide recently and something caught my eye.

The Lost Omens World Guide says that "The Laws of Mortality prohibit obedience to a god—not faith or divine magic itself" in a sidebar on p. 54. Gods & Magic has a section on the Laws of Mortality which doesn't entirely contradict this. It says that sorcerers are viewed with "suspicion and distaste", but not that they're arrested simply for being divine magic users. The Lost Omens Travel Guide, however, says on p. 74 that "The nation of Rahadoum, in the wake of a devastating holy war, banned religion and divine magic from its borders." In the following paragraph it extends that to every class that is considered a divine magic user in 2e, and says explicitly that Rahadoum only let druids off the hook because of how useful they are after learning that they're not actually divine magic users. Should we take the Lost Omens Travel Guide's account as correct?

It has to do with the rules changes from 1e to 2e. Now that we have Arcane, Occult, Divine, and Primal fonts of magic, and Druids use primal magic, the setting lore runs into an issue. Should Rhahadoum be opposed to primal magic or not? They went with no. I assume that how this is explained in lore and rules books will get clearer and more refined with time.

Beyond that, I think there is an issue with the World Guide here, because I'm pretty sure oracles are still banned from the region despite not choosing to be able to tap into divine magic. And I think divine sorcerers would also be a problem.

To my limited understanding of the region, while the Laws may only prohibit theistic worship (whether you get magic from it or not), if anybody turns up with the ability to cast Divine magic, they're probably still going to attract a lot of attention of the, "Where exactly did you say you got that Divine magic from?" variety, with their friends, "Can you prove that power didn't come from a god?" and "Are you sure you're not trying to subvert the Laws of Mortality by flaunting your divine powers around here?"

Like, I believe the former iconic Oracle, Alhazra's whole backstory was centred on her being forced to leave Rahadoum before the Pure Legion found out that she had been 'blessed' with divine power with no readily apparent explanation. Likewise, there's a short story around here that features a druid of the Green Faith brought in to look at the desertification crisis going on in Rahadoum who is treated with intense suspicion despite neither being a cleric nor a divine caster (this coming after the 2e tradition split) because the distinction between the magic of faith and nature and magic of faith and spirit isn't even widely understood, much less the difference between clerics and less common divine casters.

If you could successfully prove your divine powers don't come from a deity (or that they're not even divine in nature), you will probably avoid arrest, but it probably would take some convincing and even then you may not assuage everybody's suspicions.

Liberty's Edge

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

Like, I believe the former iconic Oracle, Alhazra's whole backstory was centred on her being forced to leave Rahadoum before the Pure Legion found out that she had been 'blessed' with divine power with no readily apparent explanation. Likewise, there's a short story around here that features a druid of the Green Faith brought in to look at the desertification crisis going on in Rahadoum who is treated with intense suspicion despite neither being a cleric nor a divine caster (this coming after the 2e tradition split) because the distinction between the magic of faith and nature and magic of faith and spirit isn't even widely understood, much less the difference between clerics and less common divine casters.

If you could successfully prove your divine powers don't come from a deity (or that they're not even divine in nature), you will probably avoid arrest, but it probably would take some convincing and even then you may not assuage everybody's suspicions.

It is not only the Pure Legion you have to be wary of, but basically everyone. Especially those who do not know enough about magic to make the subtle distinctions that mean the difference between life and death.

And anything that looks like worshipping (even just meditating / communing with Nature) will get you into trouble.


Will it get you into trouble? The state is literally hiring Druids to help Rahadoum, and we got an entire fiction piece about a Druid and a member of the Pure Legion chatting.

Liberty's Edge

keftiu wrote:
Will it get you into trouble? The state is literally hiring Druids to help Rahadoum, and we got an entire fiction piece about a Druid and a member of the Pure Legion chatting.

And the Druid needed to be pretty convincing that her magic was not based on any kind of worship.


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The Raven Black wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Will it get you into trouble? The state is literally hiring Druids to help Rahadoum, and we got an entire fiction piece about a Druid and a member of the Pure Legion chatting.
And the Druid needed to be pretty convincing that her magic was not based on any kind of worship.

Sure - but the Legionnaire could be convinced, and again, Rahadoum itself has invited these Druids. There’s a fair bit more grey than this talk seems to suggest; it’s not instantly getting you lynched or imprisoned, y’know?

Rahadoum has one of the greatest magical schools in the Inner Sea, and is broadly pretty proud of its education; the idea that nobody knows there’s four traditions of magic there is absurd.

Liberty's Edge

I didn't mean nobody, and I believe the Pure Legion knows more than most. It is the prejudiced and uneducated that are more dangerous IMO.


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Isn’t Rahadoum one of the most educated nations in the Inner Sea? The new Iconic Psychic’s backstory painted a picture of them as such.


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It does feel like the internal tension within Rahadoum is people who are very serious about preventing bad ideas from even entering their borders and the people who think worshiping some outsider is ridiculous and destructive but honestly have a lot more important things to worry about. There's a significant strain of atheism that's just "I don't ever think about divine forces or gods- they don't really matter to me."

I'd like to see that tension explored more than the "Rahadoum vs. the rest of the world" thing.

But it is a real change that Rahadoum now has access to basically all the magic they'd need to arrest and reverse desertification whereas in first edition that was a major problem (since those spells were divine magic.) So I'm wondering if something changed on that front in Rahadoum, obviously they were aware "there's more and more desert, and that's bad" but they have different tools to address it than they did 7 5 years ago, and presumably are. So what happened here diagetically?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

It does feel like the internal tension within Rahadoum is people who are very serious about preventing bad ideas from even entering their borders and the people who think worshiping some outsider is ridiculous and destructive but honestly have a lot more important things to worry about. There's a significant strain of atheism that's just "I don't ever think about divine forces or gods- they don't really matter to me."

I'd like to see that tension explored more than the "Rahadoum vs. the rest of the world" thing.

But it is a real change that Rahadoum now has access to basically all the magic they'd need to arrest and reverse desertification whereas in first edition that was a major problem (since those spells were divine magic.) So I'm wondering if something changed on that front in Rahadoum, obviously they were aware "there's more and more desert, and that's bad" but they have different tools to address it than they did 7 5 years ago, and presumably are. So what happened here diagetically?

It definitely feels like Rahadoum pinballs between "reasonable folks who pursue non-Divine solutions to their problems" and "militant atheist zealots frothing at the mouth to crush anything they can convince themselves is religion" depending on the author. Given that they're LN and not LE, I wish that latter depiction was less common.

Radiant Oath

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

It doesn't help that before the focus on Rahadoum's current plotlines (the desertification issue and Kassi Aziril singlehandedly revolutionizing the field of non-magical medicine), much of the discussion about Rahadoum was in the context of roleplaying underground religious PCs (especially Sarenites) in a "Help, help, I'm bein' repressed!" way, with Salim Ghadafar's Excellent Extraplanar Adventures on the side.


Oh, another canon question: does Storasta still stand? Some sources have said that all the old Sarkorian cities were razed to the ground, but others claim Storasta still stands.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
Oh, another canon question: does Storasta still stand? Some sources have said that all the old Sarkorian cities were razed to the ground, but others claim Storasta still stands.

My understanding was after the final victory over the Worldwound, the Crusaders and the fledgling Sarkorian Reclaimers determined Storasta was unsalvageable, so the razing was essentially a mercy-kill for the city (and for poor Carrock).

Shadow Lodge

keftiu wrote:
Will it get you into trouble? The state is literally hiring Druids to help Rahadoum, and we got an entire fiction piece about a Druid and a member of the Pure Legion chatting.

The state druid program immediately suggests that state druids are probably privileged over and have more immunities than non-state druids, and that being unable to produce a state license to practice druidism could be dangerous to your health.

Liberty's Edge

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Will it get you into trouble? The state is literally hiring Druids to help Rahadoum, and we got an entire fiction piece about a Druid and a member of the Pure Legion chatting.
The state druid program immediately suggests that state druids are probably privileged over and have more immunities than non-state druids, and that being unable to produce a state license to practice druidism could be dangerous to your health.

Maybe not a licence, but I guess having a Pure Legionnaire vouching for you can help with any misunderstanding.


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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Oh, another canon question: does Storasta still stand? Some sources have said that all the old Sarkorian cities were razed to the ground, but others claim Storasta still stands.
My understanding was after the final victory over the Worldwound, the Crusaders and the fledgling Sarkorian Reclaimers determined Storasta was unsalvageable, so the razing was essentially a mercy-kill for the city (and for poor Carrock).

Mine as well… until a 2e PFS scenario took place on the outskirts of Storasta.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Will it get you into trouble? The state is literally hiring Druids to help Rahadoum, and we got an entire fiction piece about a Druid and a member of the Pure Legion chatting.
The state druid program immediately suggests that state druids are probably privileged over and have more immunities than non-state druids, and that being unable to produce a state license to practice druidism could be dangerous to your health.

I truly don’t understand why you assume the worst possible anti-state case in literally every situation without defined canon.

Dark Archive

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Wait we have official unofficial official lore error thread and I didn't notice? x'D My status as lore nerd is threathened!

So here is one obvious one: Timeline of Minkai and how exactly did Five Storms take care of imperial families and when AND exact nature of it.

Five Storms escaped House of Withered Blossoms 7151 and Dragon Empires Gazetteer states they destroyed imperial families by 7152 which doesn't make sense when first family to have perished is mentioned to have been poisoned to death over years, one of them went through series of madness and dark magic until their palace exploded and one of them was dealt in military manner. Higashiyama family was around until 4707 when Jade Regent finally killed the final Higashiyama family member/emperor(though there might be more of family members alive in secret prison somewhere, presumably they weren't part of inheritance or Jade Throne wouldn't require Ameiko to die before Jade Regent becomes Jade Emperor)

(note: Dragon Empire Gazetteer timeline mistake is extra silly because it condradict's same book's gazeetteer on minkai:

"can be directly attributed, it seems, to the fact that four of her five ruling families have vanished over the course of the last several decades—some have fled the country in self-imposed and mysterious exile, while others were assassinated or hunted to extinction by mysterious enemies."

(this also creates weird detail that Amatatsu family escaped Minkai the same year Five Storms started their infiltration operation, so presumably one of oni really screwed up)

Another detail from Gazetteer compared to AP is that Minkai gazetteer says the three volcanoes are active while gazetteer says that caldera of dormant volcano(one of the three fires) is access point to darklands oni city.

I also have comment on the spirit thing: So secrets of magic implies Animated Dreams are made mostly out of spiritual essence, but they don't have spirit trait despite being incorporeal creatures. I thought definition of spirit was creature mostly composed of spiritual essence(that doesn't have physical body made out of quintessence) so I'm confused of how Animated Dreams differ from Spirits then.

Dark Archive

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Oh my, it's like Crystalhue come early! *rubs hands excitedly*

This is something I discussed at length in these threads here and here, but I'll reiterate it here for clarity and conciseness.

One of the more recent events in Brevoy that's added fuel to the smoldering conflict in the nation was the scuttled marriage of King-Regent Noleski Surtova and Elanna Lebeda. The text describes the intent behind this was a symbolic union between the Issians (represented by Noleski, obviously) and Rostlanders (represented by Elanna) to strengthen the nation's bonds, which were pretty much reduced to rusty copper and glitter-glue thanks to the Vanishing. The reason the marriage didn't go through was because Noleski's sister, Natala Surtova, accused Elanna's brother Lord Lander Lebeda of treason. While many Brevic nobles think the accusation credible given Lander's revolutionary sentiments in his youth, some prominent families in Brevoy disagree, particularly House Orlovsky, who are suspicious of House Surtova at the best of times and have publicly stated they think it was another Surtova power grab, and should the Surtovas press the issue further, House Orlovsky is prepared to rebel in support of the Lebedas, bringing Houses Garess and Medvyed with them (plus there are very convincing rumors that Natala was deliberately sabotaging the wedding plans because she feared she'd lose her influence over her brother by having to compete with his wife).

On the surface, this all seems typical Brevoy politicking, but when you really get into the weeds of Brevoy's history, there's complications. Specifically, while House Lebeda IS considered the "most Rostlandic" of Brevoy's noble houses, thanks to their love of swordsmanship and other such things, those seem to largely be superficial trappings, because pre-conquest Rostland's nobility was tied...

I think important thing to realize is that Lander Lebeda was originally featured in 1e Pathfinder society scenario that was more or less about baby sitting him and there was result tracking for whether PCs set him on straight path(I don't think they did canonically but I don't remember, either way point is that he was meant to be obnoxious npc for PCs to rescue and escort alive x'D)

Radiant Oath

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keftiu wrote:
Mine as well… until a 2e PFS scenario took place on the outskirts of Storasta.
CorvusMask wrote:
I think important thing to realize is that Lander Lebeda was originally featured in 1e Pathfinder society scenario that was more or less about baby sitting him and there was result tracking for whether PCs set him on straight path(I don't think they did canonically but I don't remember, either way point is that he was meant to be obnoxious npc for PCs to rescue and escort alive x'D)

See, THIS is why I get frustrated with the lore sometimes: if you're like me and haven't participated in PFS, there's lots of stuff like this that later books reference that you have no context for. I felt this recently with the Impossible Lands book did this to me with all the chapter on Bhopan, a place that LITERALLY only exists in PFS scenarios. >.<


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Mine as well… until a 2e PFS scenario took place on the outskirts of Storasta.
CorvusMask wrote:
I think important thing to realize is that Lander Lebeda was originally featured in 1e Pathfinder society scenario that was more or less about baby sitting him and there was result tracking for whether PCs set him on straight path(I don't think they did canonically but I don't remember, either way point is that he was meant to be obnoxious npc for PCs to rescue and escort alive x'D)
See, THIS is why I get frustrated with the lore sometimes: if you're like me and haven't participated in PFS, there's lots of stuff like this that later books reference that you have no context for. I felt this recently with the Impossible Lands book did this to me with all the chapter on Bhopan, a place that LITERALLY only exists in PFS scenarios. >.<

The first mention of Bhopan was waaay back in the Rise of the Runelords' first book, fleetingly in the backmatter fiction... but yes, the entire Qxal plotline was in organized play.

I don't play Society (I've never played PF2!), but I still scoop up interesting scenarios to pick through them for lore. Many locations or topics are so obscure, they don't get coverage literally anywhere else - I'm giddy to have found out there's a cult of Geryon in Nagajor's capital thanks to an obscure 1e PFS release! Society scenarios are just as much a Paizo release as a Lost Omens book or an Adventure Path, even if I'm not partaking in the framing device of organized play.


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keftiu wrote:

...

I don't play Society (I've never played PF2!), ...

Careful you might get attacked for saying this type of stuff (know from personal experience).


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Temperans wrote:
keftiu wrote:

...

I don't play Society (I've never played PF2!), ...
Careful you might get attacked for saying this type of stuff (know from personal experience).

Plenty of people on these forums dislike me for much pettier reasons, I'm not worried :p


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Oh, another canon question - what's the nature of Couatls?

1e has them as Celestials, something 2e's Bestiary 3 repeats in their description, but Trait-wise they're instead Beasts, seemingly mortal. The lore casting them as enemies of Sahkils, who are Fiends, since the earliest of mortal days seemingly reinforces that they're cosmic embodiments of hope to contrast against Sahkil fear.

I would quite like if Aasimar or divine Sorcerers could claim Couatl descent, but that gets significantly weirder if they're living Beasts and not immortal Celestials. I think James jacobs has said the change was intentional... but it doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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keftiu wrote:

Oh, another canon question - what's the nature of Couatls?

1e has them as Celestials, something 2e's Bestiary 3 repeats in their description, but Trait-wise they're instead Beasts, seemingly mortal. The lore casting them as enemies of Sahkils, who are Fiends, since the earliest of mortal days seemingly reinforces that they're cosmic embodiments of hope to contrast against Sahkil fear.

I would quite like if Aasimar or divine Sorcerers could claim Couatl descent, but that gets significantly weirder if they're living Beasts and not immortal Celestials. I think James jacobs has said the change was intentional... but it doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

I'm largely staying out of lore questions for the moment, but since I was mentioned here... at this point in my life, I'm not sure why the change was made to them not being Celestials.


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James Jacobs wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Oh, another canon question - what's the nature of Couatls?

1e has them as Celestials, something 2e's Bestiary 3 repeats in their description, but Trait-wise they're instead Beasts, seemingly mortal. The lore casting them as enemies of Sahkils, who are Fiends, since the earliest of mortal days seemingly reinforces that they're cosmic embodiments of hope to contrast against Sahkil fear.

I would quite like if Aasimar or divine Sorcerers could claim Couatl descent, but that gets significantly weirder if they're living Beasts and not immortal Celestials. I think James jacobs has said the change was intentional... but it doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

I'm largely staying out of lore questions for the moment, but since I was mentioned here... at this point in my life, I'm not sure why the change was made to them not being Celestials.

That's heartening, then! It'd be good news if Bestiary 3 had simply been a mistake on the Trait front, someone seeing giant snakes and deciding they seemed like Beasts.

I hope you're doing well!


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I found the thread in question! Apparently this topic was on my mind a year and a half ago - thank you to everyone in this community for putting up with my obsessive tendencies! For posterity's sake:

James Jacobs wrote:

They're still what they were before, but since the category of "Outsider" didn't make the transition over, that means some critters like couatls got a bit shifted around. Had 2nd edition kept Outsider as a trait, then couatls would have it still.

This is in part, as I understand it, to prevent EVERYTHING you encounter on the outer planes from being the same category of creature. When I was developing Bestiary 2, for a time I had them with the "Celestial" trait, but that felt weird to me for various reasons (the main one being that we didn't have couatl-blooded aasimars). So instead they got their own brand new trait: "Couatl". Which is defined later, on page 308 of Bestiary 2, as:

"A family of supernatural feathered serpents who serve as guardians and messengers on the Material Plane for various good-aligned divinities."

Which pretty much means they're the same as they were in 1st edition.

EDIT: The use of the word "celestial" in the description was a poor word choice. Probably should have said something more like "These serpentine guardians..." or "These serpentine creatures..." or the like.

James Jacobes wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Is there a particular reason you don’t want couatl-blooded Aasimar? They’re in at least one other setting, and they make good sense as an Arcadia PC option.

In part, because we didn't do that originally, in Blood of Angels, and didn't advance that into Inner Sea Races. Doesn't mean we can't do a couatl-themed ancestry in the future at all, but I'd rather them not be aasimars, since the word "aasimar" is a D&D word that we can only use in OGL products.

But also because doing so would have made them MORE difficult for us to do things with. What we're doing with couatls is something that D&D didn't do, and since they're inspired from real world mythology and not something that is owned by D&D, I would prefer to keep expanding them in a way that doesn't limit us from using them in future products like novels or other things that can't or don't use the OGL.

If we decide to do a couatl ancestry for Pathfinder, it can be a Paizo thing, not something we're following D&D in doing.

EDIT: Honestly, I'm more interested in a couatl ancestry than an aasimar (couatl-blooded) ancestry anyway. Although I'd want to handle them in a way similar to how we did the anadi, so that couatl PCs can wear magic boots or rings or gloves or use weapons or otherwise interact with the setting in the way we assume PCs can interact with things, and so that we can spread out the powers across 20 levels without making it look weird.

I was definitely bummed to see Couatl Aasimar tossed out here; that's an option I'm holding out hope to see someday in canon!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ah... that answers that. Guess I should have looked in Bestiary 2 first. The Couatl trait does everything it needs to do to make them supernatural entities from another reality. Not every good "what we called outsiders in the other edition" creature needs to be a celestial.


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Michael Sayre wrote:
keftiu wrote:


This might be a moot point with Rage of Elements on the horizon, but there's been some contradictory canon on if the other Good Elemental Lords are free, or if it's just Ranginori who is out (thanks to the Pathfinder Society's aid). Those other three divinities are really cool; I'd love to know if they're actually "in play" or not.

Yeah, that's going to be sorting itself out shortly...

Didn't you say that when Gods and Magic came out????? How long do you plan this stuff in advance???

Also technically lore wise they are free but not known what they are up to. In fact Mark Seifter pointed out that a Paladin archetype he wrote in 1e hinted at the water deity escaping.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:


Yeah, that's going to be sorting itself out shortly...

Didn't you say that when Gods and Magic came out????? How long do you plan this stuff in advance???

Well, the edition cycle is about three years old and the stuff I'm currently actively working on is stuff you won't hear about for a year or see in person for two, so... 'Bout that far. One of the books we're looking at for the 2024 schedule first came up in planning talks about 18 months ago. Devs and designers often live 12-36 months (and sometimes even longer) in "the future" of the lore, due to publishing cycles, proactive planning, etc.


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

In a smililar line of quasi-lore questions, I noticed the Centaur and Girtablilu have the Beast Trait, and do not also have the Humanoid Trait. Same issue with Grindylow having the Aberration Trait but not also having the Humanoid Trait.

My personal sense is if they mechanically carry one trait without the other then we need strong lore to support this.

For something like a Sphinx or Lamia, I can understand as the lore generally indicates they have both physical and mental qualities that are alien to humanoids, to the point they are something very different. But for the Centaur, Girtablilu, and Grindylow their lore suggests they straddle the line between Beast/Humanoid or Aberration/Humanoid respectively.

This isn't necessarily a big issue, but it is something I noticed.


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We know the Gnolls of the Mwangi Expanse call themselves Kholo, but didn't get an equivalent term for the Gnolls in the Mana Wastes, and we don't know of any other ethnicity or endonym for the more 'traditional' Gnolls found across the Golden Road. As a big fan of our hyena friends, I've to at least have some verbiage for describing their different groups.


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

For the Primal Dragons, the fifth member of that group is the Umbral Dragon. This insinuates that there are some Elemental like qualities to the Shadow Plane. And it suggests that there are some traditions on Golarion that treat Shadow as an Elemental like substance. While the Shadow Plane is clearly established as not being an Elemental Plane, it would be nice to see some discussion on how the substance of the Shadow Plane is treated like an elemental substance in some traditions.

The same is true for the Ethereal Plane, which has Aether Elementals. While Aether Elementals are not true Primal Elementals they are similar enough that the Ethereal Plane has Elementals. And this suggests that aether is a substance that is treated like an elemental substance in some traditions on Golarion. When considering the Aether Elementals, that raises the distinct possibility that there are Umbral Elementals/Void Elementals native to the Shadow Plane. In 1E we see the subject of Umbral/Void Elementals being lightly approached through Creature Templates such as Shadow, Shadow Creature, and Shadow Animal, and to a lesser extent Templates such as Shadowbound Creature, Shadow Lord, and Shadowfire Creature.

So while we have clearly established Elemental Plane Elementals, are there Transitive Plane Elementals (Astral, Ethereal, Shadow)?

And to go further down the rabbit hole, are there nine Primal Dragon types, Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Metal, and Wood for Primal Elementals and Astral, Ethereal, and Shadow for Transitive Elementals?

And if this is the case, are the Esoteric Dragons families of Astral Dragon and Etheric Dragon pulling double duty as both Esoteric Dragons and Transitive Plane Elemental Dragons?
If so, then should Umbral Dragons also be counted among the Esoteric Dragons?
Looking at the Outer Dragons, where do the Void Dragons fit into all of this?
With Dream Dragons, Nightmare Dragons, and Time Dragons the Dimension of Dreams and the Dimension of Time are represented, but are we seeing the Time Dragons pull double duty as both an Outer Dragons and an Esoteric Dragons?

With regards to Dragon Families, the Metallic, Chromatic, and Imperial families being set at five works fine, but attempting to force sets of five for other types of Dragon Families was always a little odd and wasn’t really supported in the lore. To be fair by the end of 1E we saw some movement away from the sets of five with the Planar Dragons being nine in total.


Brinebeast wrote:

For the Primal Dragons, the fifth member of that group is the Umbral Dragon. This insinuates that there are some Elemental like qualities to the Shadow Plane. And it suggests that there are some traditions on Golarion that treat Shadow as an Elemental like substance. While the Shadow Plane is clearly established as not being an Elemental Plane, it would be nice to see some discussion on how the substance of the Shadow Plane is treated like an elemental substance in some traditions.

The same is true for the Ethereal Plane, which has Aether Elementals. While Aether Elementals are not true Primal Elementals they are similar enough that the Ethereal Plane has Elementals. And this suggests that aether is a substance that is treated like an elemental substance in some traditions on Golarion. When considering the Aether Elementals, that raises the distinct possibility that there are Umbral Elementals/Void Elementals native to the Shadow Plane. In 1E we see the subject of Umbral/Void Elementals being lightly approached through Creature Templates such as Shadow, Shadow Creature, and Shadow Animal, and to a lesser extent Templates such as Shadowbound Creature, Shadow Lord, and Shadowfire Creature.

So while we have clearly established Elemental Plane Elementals, are there Transitive Plane Elementals (Astral, Ethereal, Shadow)?

And to go further down the rabbit hole, are there nine Primal Dragon types, Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Metal, and Wood for Primal Elementals and Astral, Ethereal, and Shadow for Transitive Elementals?

And if this is the case, are the Esoteric Dragons families of Astral Dragon and Etheric Dragon pulling double duty as both Esoteric Dragons and Transitive Plane Elemental Dragons?
If so, then should Umbral Dragons also be counted among the Esoteric Dragons?
Looking at the Outer Dragons, where do the Void Dragons fit into all of this?
With Dream Dragons, Nightmare Dragons, and Time Dragons the Dimension of Dreams and the Dimension of Time are represented, but are we seeing the Time...

As far as primal elementals go, the ethereal plane has aether elementals. The shadow plane has shadows, which are sort of elementals. The astral plane I am not sure.

The primal dragons are directly related to the basic elemental planes with the exception of umbral as you pointed out. But its the umbral dragon that is pulling multiple duty by being part of the shadow and ethereal planes. The astral plane is its own thing.

The relationship between dragons and elementals is not 1-to-1 and trying to find a link would be extremely hard.

*****************

* P.S. My favorite elementals in PF1 are Aether elementals since they get Kinetic Blast as their attack and can turn invisible. So you could effectively double up if you got elemental whispers as a kineticist.

Sadly they were under used.


I've remembered one of the lore questions I've wondered about in the past. On the other hand, I'm not completely certain this hasn't actually been answered in bits and bobs while I haven't been keeping track, but

It seems like not all creatures of the First World are fey. Is this just a consequence of 1st edition not permitting more than one Type per creature, or is there a meaningful difference behind what defines a fey vs. say a First World animal? Is it that fey are specifically the creatures spawned when a soul sheds soulstuff into the First World, while the others are not?

I think that about covers it. Once upon a time I thought of the fey as embodiments of natural forces or concepts, but the more I dug into the First World the more I realized this wasn't quite accurate. In I don't remember what book I learned that the First World was filled with the first drafts of creatures which would populate the Material, but that left the nagging question: What defined the fey other than the circumstance of their plane of origin?

---

On a separate note, I remembered I had a question about the primordial conflict between the Positive and Negative Energy Planes but I suspect most of this lies squarely in the field of 'unanswerable/unrevealed'. As I've mentioned elsewhere this strife which possibly damaged the early multiverse/possibly was a necessary birthing pain to stir it into activity captured my attention when I first saw it.

For a time I wasn't sure this obscure bit of lore would make it to 2e (even now I can't remember where I saw reference in a 2e product) but I am fascinated for any other hints surrounding the event that sundered the power of creation from the Negative Energy Plane (so say the sceaduinar anyway). As an example--while an official timeline with regards to this mythic time period may well be antithetical to the authors' aims, how early is this speculated to have happened? The Windsong Testaments suggest that at least the Maelstrom existed in the nascent multiverse before Pharasma arrived, and possibly the energy planes, too. Could this sundering have happened (if it happened!) before any of the gods came into existence, especially since even the majority of the gods seem to be positively-aligned?

Oh look, that's two questions (more like clusters of questions) in one post already.


Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I've remembered one of the lore questions I've wondered about in the past. On the other hand, I'm not completely certain this hasn't actually been answered in bits and bobs while I haven't been keeping track, but

It seems like not all creatures of the First World are fey. Is this just a consequence of 1st edition not permitting more than one Type per creature, or is there a meaningful difference behind what defines a fey vs. say a First World animal? Is it that fey are specifically the creatures spawned when a soul sheds soulstuff into the First World, while the others are not?

I think that about covers it. Once upon a time I thought of the fey as embodiments of natural forces or concepts, but the more I dug into the First World the more I realized this wasn't quite accurate. In I don't remember what book I learned that the First World was filled with the first drafts of creatures which would populate the Material, but that left the nagging question: What defined the fey other than the circumstance of their plane of origin?

---

On a separate note, I remembered I had a question about the primordial conflict between the Positive and Negative Energy Planes but I suspect most of this lies squarely in the field of 'unanswerable/unrevealed'. As I've mentioned elsewhere this strife which possibly damaged the early multiverse/possibly was a necessary birthing pain to stir it into activity captured my attention when I first saw it.

For a time I wasn't sure this obscure bit of lore would make it to 2e (even now I can't remember where I saw reference in a 2e product) but I am fascinated for any other hints surrounding the event that sundered the power of creation from the Negative Energy Plane (so say the sceaduinar anyway). As an example--while an official timeline with regards to this mythic time period may well be antithetical to the authors' aims, how early is this speculated to have happened? The Windsong Testaments suggest that at least the Maelstrom existed in the nascent multiverse before...

Regarding the first world question this thread answers your question.

A template not listed there is the First World Creature template, and its purpose is simple: Its mechanically what allows a first world creature to revive when they are killed in the first world. It being a template allows you to create your own creatures with that template without having to add any of the other weird fey stuff (ex: First World Gnomes).

In general what defines a fey is that they are made from souls directly and that while they are on the material plane they are immortal.


Ah that does resolve most of my questions!

Though,

Temperns wrote:
In general what defines a fey is that they are made from souls directly and that while they are on the material plane they are immortal.

Surely you meant while they're in the First World, not Material plane? Also I have reservations about Fey being defined by being made up of souls, since that is a significant part of what defined the old Outsider category. I dont know how true this remains but their soul and body were explicitly the same unit, infused with the essence of their plane of origin (with material-native Outsiders in a bit of an exception) so if Fey are defined also by being made out of a soul directly I would think they would have qualified.

Nevertheless, it seems clear that fey are made up at least of soulstuff, probably when it interacts with the substance of the First World.

(Tangent, because I'm sure this was also answered somewhere but I'm not free to search right now--are all fey born on the First World, or are there Material plane fey who might not have ever seen the First World?)


Yes that was a mistake from when I was editing the post. I did mean that fey are immortal while in the first world.

As for fey vs outsider the difference comes from how connected they are to their bodies. A fey is not bound to its body as the body is closer to that of creatures on the material plane. When the body of a Fey dies a few days later a new body is created with the same soul. Meanwhile, outsiders are created from the quintessence of their home plane is fused to the soul and a prestablished body is created.

This is why you previously could cast raise dead on a fey but not an outsider.

TL;DR: What defines a fey different from a normal creature in the material world is its soul. What defines it different to creatures in other planes is its body.


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In Lost Omens Impossible Lands, page 14, the timeline lists "-1000 AR The Queen of Ebon Feathers forges a rebel kingdom in the Southern Reach.", followed by, "-1456 AR The Fiend Pharaoh Hetshepsu defeats the Queen of Ebon Feathers at the Fields of Charish."

Although that appears to be the correct order of events, -1456 AR would be before -1000 AR. What's more, the dates don't appear to simply be swapped; Osirion, Legacy of Pharaohs page 5 indicates that the Pharaohs of Ascensions' rule came to an end in -1431, which has to have come before the defeat of the Queen of Ebon Feathers.

My best guess would be that the "-1000 AR" in that timeline should be something more in the range of "-1900 AR".

Wayfinders

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The 1e Distant Shores book mentions that the amurrun city-state of Murraseth is in close proximity to Anuli, a city in northern Holomog, near the border with Geb.

However, there's...Basically no room for it on the map of Holomog in Blood Lords #3, especially if it's supposed to be allied with three other catfolk city-states.

So uh, where is it then?

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