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Kyra pulls Merisiel away from a strange portal.

A portal is a gateway that directly links one location to another location, often by magical or supernatural means. Many portals connect locations across great physical distances, and more rarely across planes.1

Interplanetary portals

Aliens from Golarion pass through a portal to Akiton.

All of the worlds of Golarion's solar system, with the exception of Aucturn, are linked by a network of incredibly ancient interplanetary portals that allow instant travel between them.

Only a rare few know some of the secrets of operating them. However, in recent years portals have taken to spontaneously activating for short periods, apparently at random and for no known reason.

The lashunta of Castrovel have some skill with portals, enabling them to maintain close links with the planet of Akiton. Akiton's Contemplatives of Ashok have also managed to gain somewhat sporadic control of a portal that leads to Golarion's Mwangi Expanse, which is known to the Mwangi natives as the Doorway to the Red Star.2

However, perhaps the most famous is the portal linking Iadara in Kyonin with El in Sovyrian. The elves of Golarion use the Sovyrian Stone to control the portal, which enabled many of them to flee to Sovyrian and escape the disaster of Earthfall.3


The creators of these portals are unknown—some speculate that the portals may be older than life in the solar system. There is a particularly unusual and incomprehensible portal on the remote planetoid of Apostae that might be a message or test left behind by its creators. If so, nobody has solved it.42

Other known portals

The arches for which the River Kingdoms town of Sevenarches was named are said to have once served as portals to other worlds. Kyonin has shown great interest in reclaiming this ancient site, but so far the town's rulers have refused to allow elves to enter the town.5

Portals to the Dark Tapestry made of abysium exist in Golarion's underground caves.6

Planar portals

An astradaemon emerges from a portal.

Portals can link planes to each other, allowing entities to travel between them as easily as walking through a passageway.1

Magically created

Several spells can create planar portals of varying levels of stability.1


The most common method of creating short-lived planar portals is the gate spell, which creates — for only a few seconds at a time — a planar portal with a specific and precise destination.1

Magic items

Certain portable magic items, such as wells of many worlds, can create stable portals between planes, or between points on a specific plane.7

Planar breaches

A planar breach, or planar rift, is a tear or gap in the fabric of the planes, often coinciding with powerful magic, or the proximity or relative configuration between multiple planes. Unless held open by extraordinary means, they are typically small and close within a few hours.1

A rift can be opened within a portal between planes, in theory providing access to the space between dimensions and allowing those who pass through to exit at a different point, typically another location between the portal's two connected points. This practice is sometimes referred to as "rifting the portal".8

Planar tears

Demons emerge from the Worldwound, a massive planar tear that once connected the Universe to the Outer Rifts.

A planar tear is a stable planar portal that maintains a specific position. The most commonly known planar tears connect the Universe to Outer Planes or the First World, with perhaps the most renowned (and feared) of them being the former Worldwound to the Outer Rifts.1

Elemental nexuses are planar tears formed by extreme concentrations of elemental energy, and lead to the corresponding Elemental Plane — for example, the heart of a volcano might contain a nexus to the Plane of Fire.1


A soulgate, or planar braid, connects two planes based on alignment. For example, a soulgate in the Universe might connect to other neutrally-aligned9 planes, such as the Astral Plane. They are much less prominent than other planar portals, and require specialized training or attunement to detect and open.1

Naturally occurring

The most prominent natural planar portals lie at the centers of celestial objects, namely stars and black holes. Each star hosts a portal to Creation's Forge and serves as a channel for nascent souls entering the Universe.1011 Conversely, each black hole in theory hosts a portal to the Void, potentially destroying or corrupting matter that passes near and through them.1213

On Golarion, several locations are known to contain natural planar portals:

Extradimensional and extraplanar portals

In religion

Several deities and divine entities represent portals.

Portal-like transportation

Portals are sometimes confused with comparatively more modern elf gates, which only allow travel between locations on the same world.2 A series of portal-like teleportation stones links the Stewards' citadels on Verces.18

Teleportation effects, while instantaneous, are rarely as permanent, stable, or demarcated as true portals. However, stable interplanar transportation gateways can be achieved through magical means. For instance, powerful spells such as greater create demiplane19 and gate20 can create new magical passages between planes.


Paizo published a major article about portals, called "Roads to Hell", in The Inferno Gate.

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 1.6 1.7 James Case, et al. “Planar Travelers” in Plane-Hopper's Handbook, 4. Paizo Inc., 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 James L. Sutter. “Chapter 2: Stellar Adventures” in Distant Worlds, 53. Paizo Inc., 2012
  3. Hal Maclean & Jeff Quick. Kyonin: Kingdom of the Elves” in Elves of Golarion, 18. Paizo Inc., 2008
  4. James L. Sutter. “Chapter 1: The Solar System” in Distant Worlds, 44. Paizo Inc., 2012
  5. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 128. Paizo Inc., 2008
  6. Robert G. McCreary. Voice in the Void, 13. Paizo Inc., 2009
  7. Amber Stewart. Well of Many Worlds” in Classic Treasures Revisited, 59. Paizo Inc., 2010
  8. Tim Hitchcock. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained, 5. Paizo Inc., 2011
  9. Plane-Hopper's Handbook refers to a soulgate from the Material to Astral planes as being between "unaligned planes", but only uses neutral planes in its example. This is not assumed to be a conflict so much as a misuse of "unaligned" meant to convey "not strongly evil, good, chaotic, or lawful".
  10. Amber Stewart. “The Inner Sphere” in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse, 11. Paizo Inc., 2009
  11. Andrew Penn Romine, et al. “Distant Stars” in People of the Stars, 20. Paizo Inc., 2014
  12. Robert Brookes, et al. “Chapter 3: The Great Beyond” in Planar Adventures, 122. Paizo Inc., 2018
  13. Andrew Penn Romine, et al. “Distant Stars” in People of the Stars, 21. Paizo Inc., 2014
  14. Jason Nelson. Crown of the World” in The Hungry Storm, 73. Paizo Inc., 2011
  15. Benjamin Bruck, et al. “Chapter 1: Founts of Mythic Power” in Mythic Realms, 6. Paizo Inc., 2013
  16. Sean K Reynolds. “Other Gods” in Gods and Magic, 45. Paizo Inc., 2008
  17. James Jacobs. Demon Lords of Golarion” in Descent into Midnight, 56. Paizo Inc., 2009
  18. James L. Sutter. “Chapter 1: The Solar System” in Distant Worlds, 20. Paizo Inc., 2012
  19. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 5: Spells” in Ultimate Magic, 213–214. Paizo Inc., 2011
  20. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Spells” in Core Rulebook, 287–288. Paizo Inc., 2009