What's your obscure obsession?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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Pathfinder lore is, at this point, over a decade long and thousands upon thousands of pages deep, offering fertile soil for nerdy minds to take root. Countless NPCs exist only for one or two brief appearances, questions are raised and never answered, and plenty of deities and demigods are completely unknown to the average player; maybe you like a weirdo Ancestry that's not even in 2e yet, or there's a single named spot well beyond the Inner Sea's familiar shores that you're dying to visit.

I want to hear about them! What do you all have tucked away in the most esoteric, indulgent corners of your Lost Omens love?


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Ng is deeply mysterious- no one knows what he(?) looks like, wants, does, or cares about but he's always very purposeful and all of his peers defer to or deeply respect him. As such, it is very easy to put Ng or Ngians in the center of basically anything on the "coincidence to conspiracy" spectrum. Like it is his holy writ to "never let anybody else know who you actually are or what you're actually doing" so Ngians are absolutely the best conspirators since the thing that makes all real conspiracies implausible is "inevitably, somebody is going to talk."

We also know that some of the Eldest have reach and interests that go further than the first world (e.g. Shyka effectively being the "time police" by taking out/absorbing people who get too good at temporal magic). So there's really no limit on what Ng *could* want or actually be in charge of.


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My two current obsessions have been theorizing what happened to the Hellknight Order of the Vise and what happened to the Forsaken (the shadow plane demigod pantheon).


SOLDIER-1st wrote:
My two current obsessions have been theorizing what happened to the Hellknight Order of the Vise and what happened to the Forsaken (the shadow plane demigod pantheon).

I’d welcome either theory, but especially that latter one! The Forsaken seem so cool.


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The Wayang are one of my favorite things in all of PF and I am desperately waiting for them to show up in 2e. We have the other ancestries that showed up in Tian Xia, too. Give me the gangly shadow people, Paizo. Purnama must live again in 2nd edition.


Albatoonoe wrote:
The Wayang are one of my favorite things in all of PF and I am desperately waiting for them to show up in 2e. We have the other ancestries that showed up in Tian Xia, too. Give me the gangly shadow people, Paizo. Purnama must live again in 2nd edition.

They were in Bestiary 3 and get a fleeting mention in the Impossible Lands book - keep the faith! I'd love to have them back, and to properly explore their place in Minata.


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I'm gonna cheat a little, and trot out three in increasing order of how niche they are:

Wyrwoods, as I'm sure everyone is probably sick of hearing about, are one of my favorite Ancestries in the whole setting; as a big fan of Eberron's Warforged and sad "robots" of all kinds, they're fantastic, especially as they do have community and culture with one another. That they're mostly found in Arcadia rocketed them from "I like the cute little construct-folk" to "I need anything you can tell me about them."

Jormurdun is a dwarven Sky Citadel that first fell to duergar and then the Worldwound's fiends, its people scattered across the Inner Sea (settling in Mendev and Numeria, or being absorbed into their distant Pahmet and Taralu kin) thousands of years ago... except the Pathfinder Society cleared it out nearly a decade ago. We haven't heard a peep since, but the thought of the Sarkorian Reclaimer cause gaining a patriotic dwarven element hoping to remake Jormurdun makes my heart sing! That they seem to have had some unique spiritual practices (potentially influenced by the Sarkorians?) is super fun, but I'm really hung up on a singular mention of "hundreds of survivors" trapped in a bubble of suspended time that's never been developed.

Lady Altouna is the ruler of Hajoth Hakados, a Numerian city on the border of the River Kingdoms that enjoys a respectable flow of trade, and she seems to lead the city well enough. Less known is that she's a Lashunta, a psychic alien species native to neighboring planet Castrovel that I'm deeply fond of (they're pretty, they're psychic, and they get a little weird with gender!), and that she (along with a Witchwyrd pal) run a secret network of agents meant to help get fellow aliens in Numeria to safety. Every bit of her deal drips with cool... and the most she's done is be off-screen in a single PFS scenario.


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keftiu wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
My two current obsessions have been theorizing what happened to the Hellknight Order of the Vise and what happened to the Forsaken (the shadow plane demigod pantheon).
I’d welcome either theory, but especially that latter one! The Forsaken seem so cool.

Shadows at Sundown revealed that Zon-Kuthon destroyed the big strigoi nation in the shadow plane. My current headcanon is that after he was released from his prison, he went on a big conquest of the shadow plane to remove anybody that could significantly threaten him, which included the strigoi and the forsaken.


SOLDIER-1st wrote:
keftiu wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
My two current obsessions have been theorizing what happened to the Hellknight Order of the Vise and what happened to the Forsaken (the shadow plane demigod pantheon).
I’d welcome either theory, but especially that latter one! The Forsaken seem so cool.
Shadows at Sundown revealed that Zon-Kuthon destroyed the big strigoi nation in the shadow plane. My current headcanon is that after he was released from his prison, he went on a big conquest of the shadow plane to remove anybody that could significantly threaten him, which included the strigoi and the forsaken.

It's interesting, then, that he and the Velstracs get along so well - though I suppose their interests are so aligned that wiping them out was less important.

Dark Archive

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Does Vancaskerkin family tree and random connected treasure loot items in various APs count? ;D


CorvusMask wrote:
Does Vancaskerkin family tree and random connected treasure loot items in various APs count? ;D

I'm unfamiliar with this!

Dark Archive

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keftiu wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Does Vancaskerkin family tree and random connected treasure loot items in various APs count? ;D
I'm unfamiliar with this!

Vancaskerkin family is just recurring family of (mostly) CN screw ups that show up in lot of aps, mostly the varisian ones. Lot of them can be shown errors of their ways, thought not all of them xD

Orik is in Rise of the Runelords, Verik(Orik's brother) is in Curse of the Crimson Throne, Saul (father) is in Second Darkness, Natalya(Saul's eldest daughter from different mother than Orik and Verik) is in Shattered Star, Lullaby (daughter of one of Saul's brothers) is in Return of the Runelords, Damon(one of Saul's brothers) is bonus npc for Giant Slayer and Reginald(I have no idea because gm hasn't told me x'D) is in Agents of Edgewatch.

The latter was about how there are lot of treasure items that are part of a set of art items or such. Most famous one I see most players referencing being Entwined Succubi statues

Dark Archive

Okay, in the season 4 PFS scenario 'The Disappeared,' there is a reference to a blasphemous painting of Sarenrae engaged in some explicit acts with a few succubi. I've been curious ever since playing what other kinds of weird, possibly blasphemous, possibly pornographic, art has been made out of the gods. Who are the people making this stuff? Is there enough demand that prints are being sold in markets, or is this all on a commission system? What about the artist debates? Do people argue over whose art they consider the best? Do these artists worry about being hunted by certain churches for their works? Or is there an understanding between them?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:
keftiu wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Does Vancaskerkin family tree and random connected treasure loot items in various APs count? ;D
I'm unfamiliar with this!

Vancaskerkin family is just recurring family of (mostly) CN screw ups that show up in lot of aps, mostly the varisian ones. Lot of them can be shown errors of their ways, thought not all of them xD

Orik is in Rise of the Runelords, Verik(Orik's brother) is in Curse of the Crimson Throne, Saul (father) is in Second Darkness, Natalya(Saul's eldest daughter from different mother than Orik and Verik) is in Shattered Star, Lullaby (daughter of one of Saul's brothers) is in Return of the Runelords, Damon(one of Saul's brothers) is bonus npc for Giant Slayer and Reginald(I have no idea because gm hasn't told me x'D) is in Agents of Edgewatch.

The latter was about how there are lot of treasure items that are part of a set of art items or such. Most famous one I see most players referencing being Entwined Succubi statues

I drew up a family tree for the Vancaskerkins, and it's... complicated. And not QUITE as incestuous as one might expect... or maybe a little more incestuous than one might expect, depending on where you're coming to the family from. Most of them fit together, but I'm not 100% sure if or how Reginald fits in since that Vancaskerkin was largely introduced outside of stuff I've worked on... I think? Maybe?


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There's a picture in Mythic Realms about beneath the Mordant Spire where Acavna's corpse fell to Golarion after Earthfall and I always keep an eye out for more information about it.

And its more trivia than obscure obsession, but my group mentions the wizard that lives on the Sun an awful lot.

Liberty's Edge

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Don't have my copy of the Great Beyond nearby, but IIRC there is a sphere at the center of the Negative energy plane that basically says, in words immediately understandable to any onlooker, that the game has already been played and lost and that reality is but an illusion to conceal this abominable truth.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Don't have my copy of the Great Beyond nearby, but IIRC there is a sphere at the center of the Negative energy plane that basically says, in words immediately understandable to any onlooker, that the game has already been played and lost and that reality is but an illusion to conceal this abominable truth.

Ah, I love Eternity's Doorstep. The sheer mystery is so tantalizing you could almost never answer what it's actually about without downgrading (but then I guess mysteries exist for plot hooks).

I don't recall it being in the centre of the Void tho, but that would give it even more cool mystery prestige


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Would love to learn more about the Riftwardens, especially about those higher up in the organization.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am super interested in the Korrir River. It runs through the screaming Jungle, which is a super underutilized setting, past two demon overrun cities, has a waterfall that separates the lower Korrir from the Upper and is thus two very different animal habitats, and still seems like it should be a massive trade route between the East and the West of Garund, but is underdeveloped in world and in the game, featuring as a minor exploration scene in Serpent's skull. With Vidrian really getting interesting in the lore, and everything going on with Umnyango, pinapple capital of Golarion, it is a setting quite literally ripe for story telling.

Researching it to set a homebrew setting there required deep reading in about 5 different books and still left me with a ton of big empty gaps to fill with whole nations, cities and adventure sites.


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The Harbingers of Fate and their Book of 1,000 Whispers.

Golarion's timeline has now progressed beyond the canonical scope of their prophecies for what should have been happening in the Age of Glory had Aroden not died, IIRC, but I'd still love to have details of what they expected, and which bits they were trying to make happen to "fix" things; I have toyed with the notion of homebrewing something in which a second volume of that shows up so that the basic idea can still be relevant for some decades to come.

The Dominion of the Black don't IMO count as obscure, but the sort of questions I'd like to see answered about the scope of their operations feel more on a scale to fit in Starfinder than Pathfinder.


Oh, and also I have a pretty fierce craving for detailed ecology information on some of the odder new monsters introduced in the PF2 bestiaries, and seeing where they fit in and interact with established monsters and their relationships.

I know if I run the numbers for ecosystems supporting stable breeding populations of that many different large predators it will just make me cry. I remind myself about suspension of disbelief, and also headcanon fungal crawlers as extremely numerous and ecosystem-basal in basically every bit of the upper Darklands we've not explicitly seen.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Pest drakes and rainbow races. I always feature them in the larger cities and even have a homebrew city that runs a dedicated postal service using them.

Would love to see them featured again in 2E in some capacity.

To clarify a bit; pest drakes are like a mix between carrier pigeons and betta fish, all wrapped up into a tiny acidic dragon. They are featured in Tyrant's Grasp Last Watch.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The wilds of Iobaria and north Casmaron. I love the idea of this cold, dark, plague-ridden wildernesses full of cyclopean ruins, adlet packs, creeping miasma, and silent pines.

Shadow Lodge

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The constitutions and political parties of the revolutionary and democratic republics.

Contributor

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The Raven Black wrote:
Don't have my copy of the Great Beyond nearby, but IIRC there is a sphere at the center of the Negative energy plane that basically says, in words immediately understandable to any onlooker, that the game has already been played and lost and that reality is but an illusion to conceal this abominable truth.

I had fun creating Eternity's Doorstep. It gets touched upon further in 'Planar Adventures'.

>:)

Contributor

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My own personal obscure obsession is Maelstrom prehistory and its earliest interactions with the Qlippoth and the Abyss, and the activities of obscure protean choruses (such as the Wyrms of Paradox/Chorus of Malignant Symmetry, Chorus of Razored Discord, Chorus of the Burning Spiral, Chorus of the Broken Spire, etc).

Secondly I adore the perpetually revisionist history of Abaddon as each new Horseman alters their own history books, and how the original Horsemen all but erased the Bound Prince/The 1st Horseman/The Oinodaemon from cosmic historical memory when they overthrew them. Plus the notion that there was an original hideously NE soul that developed into the Oinodaemon and really what sort of acts in life would that have taken to seed?

Basically I adore planar historical mysteries and dangling, open-ended plot hooks (like the Lethe Wall in Galisemni, the nature of the Prison of the Laughing Fiend, etc) and I promise I will make more of them given the opportunity.


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:

The Harbingers of Fate and their Book of 1,000 Whispers.

Golarion's timeline has now progressed beyond the canonical scope of their prophecies for what should have been happening in the Age of Glory had Aroden not died, IIRC, but I'd still love to have details of what they expected, and which bits they were trying to make happen to "fix" things; I have toyed with the notion of homebrewing something in which a second volume of that shows up so that the basic idea can still be relevant for some decades to come.

If you aren't aware, it does seem like 1e's PFS #7-00 may have tied a bow off on them as a faction. Spoilers for a Society scenario from 2015 below...

Spoiler:
The Pathfinder Society reassembled an ancient Numerian machine called the Sky Key, intending to use it as a "projector" to study the ancient past. The Harbingers of Fate, despairing at the last of their prophecies having come and gone without incident, instead decide to try and hijack the Sky Key's activation, intending to use it for time travel; their goal is to bodily steal Aroden out of the timestream in the moments before Earthfall, and just bring him to the present that way.

Lady Arodeth, the leader of the bunch, has a number of Harbinger mages overload the Sky Key with lightning magic, turning it from a projector to an actual temporal bridge (and breaking it in the process). There's an interesting note on her motivations:

Quote:
Lady Arodeth is convinced her actions would have led to a better world and spared untold millions of people from suffering, and she has used that logic to justify a number of monstrous acts in her career. But now, without the prophecies from the Book of 1,000 Whispers to guide her, she has grown increasingly panicked that her atrocious acts were nothing but needless cruelty, and her fanaticism has slowly given way to desperate despair.

The scenario sets up (and seems to strongly assume) that players can talk down Lady Arodeth, eventually convincing her of the error of her ways, in which case she sacrifices herself to sent the gathered Pathfinders back to the present day, the timestream intact.

A Boon available for those who complete the scenario allows them to create ex-Harbingers as Society characters, with the events that took place drawing members of the group with "courage and reliability" to take up the Pathfinder banner. While it's not explicitly stated, it certainly reads to me like the Harbingers of Fate are defunct after The Sky Key Solution.

Not to say their good book of dead prophecies couldn't still drive awesome stories, of course.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Interesting that the Harbingers and Lady Arodeth got mentioned. VERY INTERESTING...


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James Jacobs wrote:
Interesting that the Harbingers and Lady Arodeth got mentioned. VERY INTERESTING...

But James, I very clearly just made the case that they're defunct!

remembers that Stolen Fate exists

...oh!

Liberty's Edge

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keftiu wrote:
Spoiler:
The scenario sets up (and seems to strongly assume) that players can talk down Lady Arodeth, eventually convincing her of the error of her ways, in which case she sacrifices herself to sent the gathered Pathfinders back to the present day, the timestream intact.

Spoiler:
A little off-topic for the theme of the thread, but this was my first multitable special I played, and this was such a cool moment. You were given an option to hold off different versions of Lady Arodeth from different times at the entrance to where she was, or you could go in and confront her - either violently or to talk her down. If I'm remembering correctly, her stats weren't scaled regardless of the level you were playing at. My first tRPG character was only level 2, so we held off versions of Lady Arodeth from other times, but it was a small con with ~8 tables or so, and the two ones next to us were the "high-level" tables; one in the max subtier, one in the two below it - the latter very much outclassed by Lady Arodeth. Both of them chose to go in, the high-tier one tried to talk but needed significant assistance from the rest of the tables (I can't quite recall the mechanics on that - or maybe it was being exaggerated for effect on us new players). The lower-level of the two high level tables had to desperately survive against Lady Arodeth for as many rounds as possible despite being utterly outclassed, and we needed to provide help by passing these tokens onto the high-level table. It was a really satisfying introduction to multi-table specials, none of the others I've played quite lived up to it.

There are likely some errors in there, it was many years ago now, and I was very new to ttRPGs, but that's how I remember it at least!


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keftiu wrote:


If you aren't aware, it does seem like 1e's PFS #7-00 may have tied a bow off on them as a faction.

now that you mention it, I believe I had seen that said before, but was not remembering it when I made the post above, thank you for reminding me. Does that scenario actually detail any of what the Harbingers expected to happen in the Age of Glory, beyond the mere fact of Aroden returning?


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
keftiu wrote:


If you aren't aware, it does seem like 1e's PFS #7-00 may have tied a bow off on them as a faction.
now that you mention it, I believe I had seen that said before, but was not remembering it when I made the post above, thank you for reminding me. Does that scenario actually detail any of what the Harbingers expected to happen in the Age of Glory, beyond the mere fact of Aroden returning?

Their motivations in the scenario are much more about preventing the chaos and bloodshed that followed in Aroden's death; there's not really anything about the positives they're aiming for, other than "the bad things don't happen."


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I wrote a 300 or so page setting guide, complete with homebrewed Greek gods, for Iblydos that nobody but me will probably ever see, if that counts as "obscure" :P


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The Raven Black wrote:
Don't have my copy of the Great Beyond nearby, but IIRC there is a sphere at the center of the Negative energy plane that basically says, in words immediately understandable to any onlooker, that the game has already been played and lost and that reality is but an illusion to conceal this abominable truth.

It made it into Starfinder, too.

Horizons of the Vast #6, Eternity's Doorstep wrote:

This pitch-black sphere of glass remains the greatest mystery floating within the Void. Previously the size of a terrestrial planet, Eternity’s Doorstep has swollen to the size of a gas giant since the Gap. Its surface is etched with the same phrase in thousands of languages: “What you think of as life is a great deception. The faithful have already been claimed, taken, and saved. You are ours.”

Eternity’s Doorstep attracts undead of all types; once caught in its gravitational pull, they’re dragged to the sphere’s surface where they vanish forever. Magical investigation of the sphere made peripheral contact with an intelligence of some sort, which seems aware of observers and studies them in return.

A faction among Eox’s most powerful bone sages has taken great interest in the construct, making regular pilgrimages to pause on the edge of the deadly event horizon that summons all undead to destruction. These bone sages don’t speak of their experiences there, even to their fellows, but it’s rumored they stare at Eternity’s Doorstep for days, their mouths moving in a soundless chorus.


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I have a few!

- I always theorized a connection between Brigh and Amaznen. I actually wrote a unique clockwork dragon, a former herald of Amaznen, "adopted" by Brigh- but I love the idea that the two are connected in more than that.
- The eclipse on Abbadon and the Oinadaemon are an obscure obsession, with a major storyline in one of my games about a Daemon loyal to the bound prince, that was trapped in the body of a Possessed Oracle.
- I adore Shizuru and Tsukiyo, and especially Shizuru's Paladins. In my setting, I gave the Empress of Heaven a role in the cosmos that is more befitting for this name.
- Red Mantis Assassins are actually one of the more underused factions of the game and their Island as well.
- The Cinder Seekers were mentioned only in Goblins of Golarion, but are my favorite Goblin Organization. A rebelious movement, trying to free goblins from the hobgoblin control.
- Lady Nanbyo going through the Abyss breaking anything in her way was actually something I wanted to use as a "natural disaster" in the Abyss. Also, Lady Nanbyo herself is an obscure favorite of mine among the gods.
- Lastly, Hei Feng Antipaladins who actually fight evil but in the most destructive way possible to please their god.

Radiant Oath

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

I just learned horses are banned on the Isle of Kortos because centaurs regard them as invaders, so the standard beasts of burden on the Isle are camels and trained axebeaks!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I just learned horses are banned on the Isle of Kortos because centaurs regard them as invaders, so the standard beasts of burden on the Isle are camels and trained axebeaks!

That's one of those "weird early things" we tried out in the first few months of Pathifnder and then kinda just ignored, just so ya know... ;)


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I love trying to put Age of Worms in Golarion. The Eye of Abdendego vs. Tilagos, the Whispering Tyrant vs. Kyuss, Varisia vs. the Cairn Hills (complete with lizardfolk marshes, small towns and a big city all clustered in the same rough area!), the focus on prophesied Ages, Arazni vs. Lashonna... it fits so well it's almost scary.


Dark Oni wrote:

I have a few!

- I always theorized a connection between Brigh and Amaznen. I actually wrote a unique clockwork dragon, a former herald of Amaznen, "adopted" by Brigh- but I love the idea that the two are connected in more than that.
- I adore Shizuru and Tsukiyo, and especially Shizuru's Paladins. In my setting, I gave the Empress of Heaven a role in the cosmos that is more befitting for this name.

Can you share a little more about both of these? I'm a big Brigh fangirl, but totally unaware of any connection to Amaznen, and I've always wished Shizuru had a little more to do.


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keftiu wrote:
Dark Oni wrote:

I have a few!

- I always theorized a connection between Brigh and Amaznen. I actually wrote a unique clockwork dragon, a former herald of Amaznen, "adopted" by Brigh- but I love the idea that the two are connected in more than that.
- I adore Shizuru and Tsukiyo, and especially Shizuru's Paladins. In my setting, I gave the Empress of Heaven a role in the cosmos that is more befitting for this name.

Can you share a little more about both of these? I'm a big Brigh fangirl, but totally unaware of any connection to Amaznen, and I've always wished Shizuru had a little more to do.

That's actually more of my own ideas. I don't know of any connection between Amaznen and Brigh "officially". But the 2 deities share similar themes of invention, and I didn't find any sign of Brigh worship pre-Earthfall, and Brigh's origin is a mystery. I just like to fill the dots there myself.

Shizuru in Faiths of Golarion is living in the Palace of Eightfold Mirrors on Clarion. While the Place still exists in my setting, it's used only to house the Tian Deities when they need to gather (The archons are not so pleased to let neutral and evil deities to the higher levels of Heaven). Shizuru is actually the Head in the Council of Vision, the council on Iudica who governs Heaven- and therefor is really the Empress of Heaven.

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