From PathfinderWiki
Desna's holy symbol.

The Guiding Star
Strongly chaos-aligned, strongly good-aligned
Realm of Desna
Source: Planar Adventures, pg(s). 211

Pole star, or North Star
Source: Distant Worlds, pg(s). 50
SFW compass rose 150.png

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Cynosure is the realm of Desna, a demiplane that manifests on the Material Plane as the pole star, or the North Star of Golarion.12


Despite the rotation of Golarion, which causes the other stars and planets to move in the night sky, Cynosure remains stable in the heavens providing the direction of the North Pole.3452

There is a constellation called the Stair of Stars which, astronomically, points the way to the pole star and, theologically, points the way to Desna's palace.325 Sometimes, this constellation is referred to as the pointers; these pointers are used by travellers at night to find Cynosure in order to calculate which way is north.6

Stellar travellers that approach Cynosure, while welcomed by Desna, are basked in warmth before being deposited on the surface of the demiplane. The 'sky' of Cynosure is filled with stars that provide plenty of light despite its perpetual night time. The majority of Cynosure is a tranquil landscape of glades, pools, delicate dwellings of fluted crystal and many-pillared alabaster, and marble temples dedicated to Desna, Black Butterfly, or Pulura. Gazing through one of these luminous bodies of water is like gazing through Cynosure itself, and they allow swift travel for those who know the secret.1

Desna's palace, the Sevenfold Cynosure, rests at Cynosure's heart, and serves as a reference point for navigation.1


Desna, the goddess of dreams, stars, travellers, and luck, is the ruler of Cynosure. She rules it with the lightest touch and is usually off wandering the cosmos. When she is present, she usually prefers to host friends or lovers privately, rather than holding court; but nothing transpires on Cynosure without her knowledge. Pulura and Black Butterfly are the most common of these, and Black Butterfly keeps a small realm within Cynosure. Many others have been known to visit Desna, from Sarenrae, Shelyn, Calistria, to, allegedly, Pharasma.132

The majority of Cynosure's inhabitants are chosen dreamer shades who followed Desna, Pulura, or Black Butterfly in life and radiate soft nimbuses of glittering starlight. The azatas of Cynosure are more serene and less wild than their Elysian kind, and rarer are the cynosomas, who prefer the secluded corners of the demiplane.1

Cynosure is mostly a peaceful place. The most common threats are evil invaders from the Dimension of Dreams, Leng, or the Dark Tapestry like the mi-go and the Dominion of the Black. The natives are long accustomed to defending Cynosure, and are willing to reward visitors who stand alongside them with blessed dreams, wanderers' lore, solace, and secrets.1


The capital city of Osirion, Sothis, was named by the first pharaoh, Azghaad, after the Ancient Osiriani word for Cynosure.7


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Robert Brookes, et al. “Chapter 3: The Great Beyond” in Planar Adventures, 211. Paizo Inc., 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 James L. Sutter. “Chapter 1: The Solar System” in Distant Worlds, 50. Paizo Inc., 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 James L. Sutter. “Into the Black” in Children of the Void, 52. Paizo Inc., 2008
  4. Elaine Cunningham & Dave Gross. Winter Witch, 187. Paizo Inc., 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 Elaine Cunningham & Dave Gross. Winter Witch, 258. Paizo Inc., 2010
  6. Robert E. Vardeman. Plow and Sword, 2. Paizo Inc., 2012
  7. Alex Greenshields, et al. “Land of the Pharaohs” in Osirion, Legacy of Pharaohs, 4. Paizo Inc., 2014