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The Rune of Golarion

The Cage, the Child
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The planet Golarion orbits a yellow sun in the far reaches of the Universe. Third of eleven in orbit, this blue planet contains vast oceans and lush green lands, the perfect environment for countless cultures to thrive. Indeed, Golarion is the most populous planet in its solar system.2 Golarion's crater-scarred moon, Somal, fills its night sky, and its nearest planetary neighbors, Castrovel the Green World and Akiton the Red Planet (second and fourth from the sun, respectively), are easily visible as colored stars.34

Due to its innately hospitable and life-sustaining environment compared to other worlds, presumably the work of the gods, astronomers sometimes refer to Golarion as "the Child". Astronomers on other planets, however, often refer to Golarion as "the Cage" in reference to its cosmic role as the prison of the mad god Rovagug, who lies bound at the world's core.5

Artist's impression of the known world showing the continents (from left) of Arcadia; Azlant; the Crown of the World, Avistan and Garund; Casmaron; and Sarusan and Tian Xia.
Another equirectangular estimation of the known world based on multiple sources.

Rune representation

In scholarly astronomical or astrological works, Golarion is sometimes represented by a rune: a circle with three vertical bars overlaying it. One might suggest this symbol is more in keeping with Golarion as 'the Cage', rather than as 'the Child'.5


Ancient ages

Golarion is more than 50 million years old, at which primeval point its environment was hostile to modern forms of life, and its landscapes were dominated by prehistoric beasts. Dragons joined such beasts in the planet's prehistoric ages from that period to approximately 1 million years ago.6

Serpentfolk and other non-human beings became predominant from that point until approximately -10000 AR, which marked the dawn of human communities,6 included the rise of Azlant, and also marked the end of the Age of Legend and beginning of the Age of Darkness with Earthfall occurring in -5293 AR.7


Golarion contains eight continents amid immense seas.

  • Arcadia is a lush continent that lies west from Avistan and Garund across the Arcadian Ocean, which bears its name. Located about 4,000 miles from the shores of Avistan,8 recent travel and colonization efforts have introduced Arcadian culture to a growing portion of the rest of the world.
  • Avistan is a large peninsular continent that expands westward from Casmaron, bordered by the World's Edge Mountains. Avistan plays host to a number of civilizations built upon the ruins of great past empires, such as Thassilon and the colonies of Azlant. The Avistani nations of Taldor, Cheliax, Andoran, and Qadira are shaping up to become world powers, and the city of Absalom on an island off its coast is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the world.
  • Azlant is a once-great island-continent a thousand miles to the west from the Arch of Aroden. Azlant saw the rise of the first human civilizations. All that remains of Azlant today is a series of jutting crags and narrow, twisted channels; most of the continent sunk beneath the sea when the Starstone fell from the sky.9
  • Casmaron is the largest continent, spanning much of the world's northern hemisphere and containing the two largest and most powerful empires in the world: Kelesh and Vudra.
  • The Crown of the World is an immense frozen desert that spans the northern pole of the planet. While much too cold and harsh-weathered for permanent and successful habitation save for a few hardy nomads, the Crown is an invaluable trade route between Avistan and Tian Xia.8
  • Garund is a largely unexplored continent that lies southeast of Avistan, across the Inner Sea. Whether one is scouring its northern deserts for lost relics of the Osiriani pharaohs or trekking through the near-impenetrable jungles of the Mwangi Expanse, Garund provides endless adventures for those willing to risk its many dangers.
  • Sarusan is the smallest and least-known continent on Golarion. It lies amid the least traveled portions of the sea.9
  • Tian Xia is a great supercontinent across the ocean east from Casmaron and west from Arcadia. Like Avistan, it is home to many ancient and powerful empires, including Minkai and the Successor States of Lung Wa. Despite its remote location, merchants from Tian Xia travel the entire world.


Five great oceans cover the remainder of Golarion.


The nine most important seas on Golarion are:


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

  1. Mark Moreland. (April 14, 2016). Comment on "Using Names of Places from Pathfinder in a Store Name", Paizo Messageboards.
  2. Andrew Penn Romine, et al. Lashunta” in People of the Stars, 11. Paizo Inc., 2014
  3. Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. Gazetteer, 18. Paizo Inc., 2008
  4. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 209. Paizo Inc., 2011
  5. 5.0 5.1 James L. Sutter. “Chapter 1: The Solar System” in Distant Worlds, 14. Paizo Inc., 2012
  6. 6.0 6.1 F. Wesley Schneider. “Legendary Artifacts” in Artifacts & Legends, 43. Paizo Inc., 2012
  7. Greg A. Vaughan. “Shadow in the Sky” in Shadow in the Sky, 7. Paizo Inc., 2008
  8. 8.0 8.1 Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. Gazetteer, 23. Paizo Inc., 2008
  9. 9.0 9.1 Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. Gazetteer, 22. Paizo Inc., 2008
  10. James Jacobs. (September 15, 2011). ">>Ask *James Jacobs* ALL your Questions Here!<<", Paizo Messageboard.
  11. Adam Daigle, et al. “Oceans of Golarion” in Raiders of the Fever Sea, 65. Paizo Inc., 2012
  12. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 7. Paizo Inc., 2011
  13. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 47. Paizo Inc., 2011
  14. Adam Daigle, et al. “Oceans of Golarion” in Raiders of the Fever Sea, 66. Paizo Inc., 2012
  15. Adam Daigle, et al. “Oceans of Golarion” in Raiders of the Fever Sea, 66–67. Paizo Inc., 2012
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Adam Daigle, et al. “Oceans of Golarion” in Raiders of the Fever Sea, 68. Paizo Inc., 2012
  17. Adam Daigle, et al. “Oceans of Golarion” in Raiders of the Fever Sea, 68–69. Paizo Inc., 2012
  18. Adam Daigle, et al. “Oceans of Golarion” in Raiders of the Fever Sea, 69. Paizo Inc., 2012
  19. Adam Daigle, et al. “Oceans of Golarion” in Raiders of the Fever Sea, 69–70. Paizo Inc., 2012
  20. Adam Daigle, et al. “Oceans of Golarion” in Raiders of the Fever Sea, 70. Paizo Inc., 2012