Pathfinder Chronicles: Heroes of the Mists
Pathfinder Society Organized Play Factions
At present, five shadowy, nation-based factions struggle for secret and subtle dominance of Absalom—Andoran, Cheliax, Osirion, Qadira, and Taldor. These ancient and powerful nations have long been major players in Absalom’s affairs, each waxing and waning with the sands of time. Now, in the year 4708, they all find themselves on equal footing in the City at the Center of the World, each poised to seize control of the city through political and economic maneuvering. They may each have their own, unique reasons for wanting to control Absalom, but they all share one goal in common: they hope to one day turn this secret war into open and total control of the Inner Sea’s most strategically located mercantile metropolis.
The factions of Absalom have long despised one another. History is fraught with their bloody feuds, brutal wars, and oppressions. At the end of Season 0, one faction shall stand higher than the others, their talons sunk deep into Absalom’s affairs reaping grand rewards. With each new season, though, come new opportunities. The winds of Absalom blow hot and fierce and they change direction at the drop of a knife. Will you be a devil scholar of Cheliax, a brave Andoren freedom fighter, a veiled vagabond of Qadira, an Osirian with pharaohs’ blood running in your veins, or a secret blade of Taldor? Choose wisely, for your actions may change the face of Golarion.
From humble beginnings as loggers and merchants, the Andorens proved themselves survivors on a hard frontier. Even before they won their independence they were an impressive people. Brave explorers and canny merchants, they were the first to sail the sea beyond the Arch of Aroden. They settled distant colonies, hewing a life from wild lands and an inhospitable coastline fraught with peril. The power of Old Taldor’s navy rested on the shoulders of capable Andoren commanders whose skill at arms, fiery tenacity, and naval puissance was unrivaled in the empire’s glory day.
When Aroden died, some say the soul of Cheliax perished with him. The once mighty empire tore itself apart, and only through the power of three noble Houses, each steeped in deviltry, was order restored. The empire runs on the backs of fiends now, a perfect machine of hellfire and blood, where morality surrenders to the needs of law and order. It’s easy to curse Cheliax as a nation of devil-lovers, but few can argue with the results of their fiend-binding craft. House Thrune, the greatest of its diabolic noble families, has brought the empire under control once more. Cheliax rises like a dark star, as strong as ever, despite the recent losses of Galt and Andoran to rebellious forces.
Osirion was once the most glorious empire of Golarion. Pharaohs ruled as gods on earth, their monuments towered over even Thassilon’s mightiest, and their armies could churn a kingdom to mud and blot out the sun on wings of death.
Now, Osirion emerges from millennia of foreign rule under the rulership of the youthful Ruby Prince Khemet III, who hearkens back to the ancient days of Osirion’s glory. One year ago, Khemet opened the vast deserts of Osirion—long closed by the Keleshite overlords who held the nation as a satrapy of Qadira—to foreign exploration. Today the great treasures and arcane formulas of the living gods of ancient Osirion are unearthed for the entire world to see, and the ascendancy of the Land of Pharaohs is at hand.
The westernmost satrap of Casmaron’s Padishah Empire of Kelesh, Qadira is a kingdom with the power of a sprawling empire at its back. Qadira is Kelesh’s doorway to Avistan, and is perhaps the single most valuable piece of real estate on Golarion. Rivers of spice and gold flow through its capital of Katheer, and Xerbystes II, the Satrap of Qadira, boasts correctly that his kingdom holds the wealth of any other three on the Inner Sea.
Qadira has long been a power to be reckoned with. Taldor has felt the bite of their scimitars and nearly lost their entire empire in the struggle. Osirion bowed before them for over three thousand years. The war drums of Katheer have been silent for an age, but they never stopped waging their wars. Gold is their weapon now, spices are their shield, and their incredible trading power is their armor.
Old Taldor once ruled the entire northern coast of the Inner Sea, from gold gilded Oppara to the wild frontier of Varisia. Now it’s reduced to a quarter of its former glory. As Old Taldor’s gaze turned ever inward, its vassals and conquered colonies slowly slipped away without a fight. Andoran and Cheliax broke off hundreds of years ago, and few in Taldor had either the desire or the motivation to go to war to stop it. Why bother dealing with petty trifles in the countryside when your own political destruction is taking place in the limelight of Taldan high society?