Pathfinder Society - First Steps - Maptools
A Brief History of Golarion
A Brief History of Golarion
A Pathfinder Chronicle
by Lazerus Lencilli
If you are reading this, it means you are one of the paltry few who is actually interested in the knowledge of where we came from, and its influence on where we are going. That alone, never mind actually being able to read, makes you uniquely qualified to be a Pathfinder Agent. The following pages should give you a bit of knowledge about why the world is the way it is, and where it is likely headed. While it may not be as flashy as a sword or fireball, you’d be amazed how far a little bit of knowledge can get you.
Age of Creation – UNKNOWN
The creation of Golarion is a hotly debated subject among scholars and priests, with as many theories attempting to chronicle such an ancient event as there are philosophies and religions. Most of these theories agree that for uncounted ages, mortal life did not exist upon the world of Golarion. yet even this primeval world was far form abandoned. If they are to be believed, the aboleths, vast alien sea creatures of unmatched intellect, ruled the oceans, while land was the domain of even more mysterious races, such as the unknowable Vault Builders. Eventually, mortal life appeared- yet again, whether as a result of aboleth experimentation or divine creation, the truth is unclear. Certainly, the gods themselves had a far more direct role in the world in these early days, for it was during the Age of Creation that the deity Rovagug was confronted and defeated by an alliance of gods and goddesses, primarily through the acts of Sarenrae (who cut open the world and sealed Rovagug in the world’s core) and Asmodeus (who provided a lock and key capable of imprisoning a god).
Age of Serpents – UNKNOWN
Among the first of Golarion’s great empires was that of the serpentfolk. By the time the great human empire of Azlant rose to power, the serpentfolk were already one of humanity’s greatest enemies.
Age of Legend – UNKNOWN
The first, and arguably the greatest, of humanity’s civilizations was the continental empire of Azlant, a realm of powerful magic and technology whose secrets are still valued today. The empire of Tassilon rose near the end of the Age of Legend, founded by exiles from Azlant and ruled by wizards known as Runelords. When the people of Azlant grew too proud of their deeds, their old aboleth enemies decided to end things on their own terms by destroying Azlant by using powerful magics to bring about the Earthfall.
Age of Darkness -5293 AR
Earthfall. The Starstone tumbles to Golarion, creating the Inner Sea and kicking off a thousand years of darkness. Azlant and Thassilon are destroyed. The elves depart Golarion via the Sovyrian Stone or retreat into the far north, the southern jungles, or the Darklands. The dwarves fullfill the Quest for the Sky, emerging for the first time on the surface of Golarion. Unfortunately, the dwarves have also driven their ancient enemy, the Orcs to the surface ahead of them.
Age of Anguish -4294 AR
The darkness of a thousand years lifts. Humanity begins rebuilding. Gnomes first appear on Golarion, fleeing an unknown terror from the First World, at various locations across Golarion where the boundaries between the material world and the First World of the fae are thin.
Age of Destiny -3470 AR
The great human empire of Osirion rises to its height, lead by God-King pharaohs.
Age of Enthronement – 1 AR
Aroden, the last known Azlanti, raises the Starstone from the depths of the Inner Sea, and becomes a living god. Absalom is founded. Most of the remaining modern nations of the Inner Sea are founded. The elves return en masse via the Sovyrian Stone. Cayden Cailean drunkenly survives the Test of the Starstone and is granted godhood, now known as “The Accidental God”. Iomedae is the last known human to pass the Test of the Starstone, attaining godhood and becoming Aroden’s Herald. And most importantly, The Pathfinder Society is born.
Age of Lost Omens – 4606 AR
Aroden dies on the eve of his supposed return failing to fulfill a great prophecy. The Eye of Abendego forms off of Garund’s northwestern coast, drowning the nations of Lirgen and Yamas. The Worldwound opens in the north, consuming the barbarian kingdom of Sarkois. Storms wrack the Inner Sea for weeks. The empire of Cheliax, a religious state founded upon the worship of Aroden, falls into bloody civil war after its clerics connection to their deity is severed. Desperately seeking the divine mandate they once held, the country turns to diabolism.
Writing of this book – 4700 Age of Lost Omens
Tragedy, sorrow, and loss define Golarion’s history. Infrequent cataclysms undo cultural and technological advancements, periodically forcing human society into a state of relative barbarism and flux. Earthfall, the catastrophe that brought about the end of mighty Azlant—the most advanced human society yet to dwell on Golarion—marks humanity’s greatest resetting and the beginning of the Age of Darkness. A thousand years of darkness, fear, and savagery followed Earthfall, during which time the magical, technological, and cultural successes of Azlant and Thassilon were lost. Ever so slowly, though, humanity drew itself from barbarism, as the great empires of Osirion and Taldor arose from the ashes in the Age of Destiny. Human civilization once again spread across Avistan and Garund.
A hundred years ago, humanity stood on the edge of a new age. Prophecies spoke of the return of the great god Aroden and, with him, a new renaissance for his chosen people in the modern empire of Cheliax. Instead, Aroden’s connection to his clerics grew silent, and Golarion was plunged into weeks of worldwide storms and chaos. With Aroden’s apparent death, mighty Cheliax fell apart, its outer territories escaping from its grasp in a series of revolutions and civil wars. In the north, the walls between worlds shifted, and Golarion inched ever closer to the demonic Abyss with the opening of the Worldwound. The great prophecies failed, and humanity looked with apprehension upon an uncertain world. Thus was born the current era, the Age of Lost Omens.