Journal Posts

Tag: background

Introduction to Golarion
Ten thousand years ago the Starstone fell to Golarion, creating the Inner Sea, obliterating the human civilizations of Thassilon and Azlant, seeing the elves depart to parts unknown, and kicking off a thousand years of darkness from dust and ash in the atmosphere. During this Age of Darkness, dwarves and orcs migrated from the Darklands below to claim territories on the surface. Aroden, the Last Azlanti, used the Starstone to gain divinity and housed it in his own temple at the center of Absalom, the island city he brought into being in the heart of the Inner Sea. As the darkness lifted, the following ages saw human cultures rebuild along the edge of the Inner Sea. On Avistan, the Taldor Empire sprang up under the watchful eye of Aroden. While on Garund Osirion developed under the rule of the Four Pharaohs of Ascension, Taldor expanded across Avistan under a number of Armies of Exploration, settling the lands to the west that would later become Cheliax and Andoran, and coming into conflict with Katapesh to the east and the returning elves seeking to reclaim their abandoned holdings to the north. Growing decadence within Taldor lead to Cheliax seceding from the Empire. Cheliax become the heart of Aroden worship and awaited the First Man’s return to reclaim the crown of the empire. One hundred years ago, the day of Aroden’s prophesied return was instead met by the god’s death. Storms raged across Golarion and prophecy itself became unreliable, ushering in the Age of Lost Omens. In the absence of its god, Cheliax fell to devil worship under the banner of Asmodeus. In the chaos, Chelaxian territories, such as Andoren to the east and Varisia to the north, asserted their independence.

The inner sea region of Golarion is made up of two continents; Avistan to the north and Garund to the south. Spread across Avistan are many nations of varying peoples and beliefs; these include the frozen kingdoms occupying the Land of Linnorm Kings; devil-aligned Cheliax, freedom-loving Andoran, the fading former empire of Taldor and the city-states of Varisia. While the majority of the area's nations may be on its northern neighbor, Garund contains the dark jungle of the Mwangi Expanse which is surrounded by such as the pyramids of the celestial monarchy Orision, the grasslands of undead-run Geb, the bazaars and markets of Katapesh and the magic-blasted wasteland of Nex.

These nations are peopled with gnomes, refuges of the First World who constantly look for new experiences and wonders to stave off the Bleaching; dwarves, grim and determined warriors and craftsman who find joy in hard work; elves, masters of arcane magic who share a bond with the natural world and whose long lives lead some to believe they are unpredictable and flighty; halflings, often overlooked because of their small stature but are filled with unparalleled optimism and a willingness to endure; and most populous of all, humans. The light skinned and pale haired Ulfen sailor and traders; the cultured and aggressive Chelaxian aristocrats and wizards, the proud and noble Garundi clans; and the colorfully clothed Varisian wanderers are just some of the many human cultures on Golarion. There are also numerous other humanoids living in the area. Humans have cross bred with several of these species with the most successful pairings resulting in half elves who live “in between” their parent cultures and half orcs who are often seen as unfortunate or unwanted.

The peoples of Golarion pay homage to scores, perhaps hundreds, of gods. While the gods do not walk amongst their worshippers, the do talk an active role in the world. Some of the more widely spread deities are Iomendae, goddess of justice and valor; the drunken hero, Cayden Cailean patron of freedom; Desna, goddess of travelers and good luck; the goddess of beauty and love, Shelyn; the uncaring Nethys, god of magic; and diabolical Asmodeus, god of tyranny.
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