Shining Kingdoms

From PathfinderWiki

The Shining Kingdoms is the region of eastern Avistan centered around the once-great nation of Taldor. It also includes democratic Andoran, money-driven Druma, the dwarven Five Kings Mountains, tumultuous Galt, and the elven kingdom of Kyonin.1


The history of the Shining Kingdoms region is rich and extensive, primarily as the core of the once-powerful Taldan empire. Although Taldor's influence continues to shape the area significantly—encompassing aspects like ethnicity, language, cultural practices, and even infrastructure—this land had an established populace long before Taldor's Azlanti ancestors settled here. Over the ages, humans of Kellid heritage, as well as elves, dwarves, and gnomes established their communities here, and their descendants persist today, bearing witness to the ascension and decline of heroes, empires, and even deities.2

The aftermath of Earthfall left a lasting imprint on this region, as it did on others. The elves, possessing some advance knowledge of the catastrophe, escaped through their magical portals known as aiudara to the realm of Sovyrian, leaving only a small contingent behind to struggle for survival in the post-apocalyptic world. During this era, the dwarves embarked on their Quest for Sky, emerging from their subterranean abodes to establish the nation of Tar Taargadth, in the process, pushing orcs to the surface as they advanced. Shortly thereafter, gnomes, fleeing from an enigmatic threat originating from the First World, arrived through planar gateways and settled in the region's lush, untamed woodlands. It wasn't until humanity began to recover from the Age of Darkness that refugees from ancient Azlanti bloodlines united with local Garundi, Keleshites, and Kellids to create settlements along the northwestern fringe of the Inner Sea. Many centuries later, the First Emperor Taldaris unified these city-states, laying the foundation for what would eventually become Taldor, the largest human empire in Avistan.2

A landscape in the Shining Kingdoms

The region has been profoundly shaped in the millennia since Taldor's founding. When Aroden ascended to godhood and raised the Isle of Kortos from the depths, his worship became centered in Taldor's capital, Oppara. It was the Taldan Empire that spearheaded the Shining Crusade to combat and ultimately imprison the Whispering Tyrant. However, the empire was not immune to imperfections, and with time, segments of it began to break away. Elves returning from Sovyrian reclaimed Kyonin as their homeland, while the dwarves of the Five Kings Mountains maintained their independence despite internal upheaval. The true extent of the empire's decline became evident when its western territories rebelled, peacefully seceding to form the Chelish Empire. The death of the god Aroden and the ensuing turmoil in Cheliax further fueled divisions, leading to Galt and Andoran breaking free from Cheliax. Though both nations shared similar principles during their secession, Andoran has thrived as a functional democracy, while Galt continues to grapple with perpetual revolution. Even the regions that remained under Taldor's control underwent significant transformations over the centuries, culminating in the recent crowning of the realm's first grand princess, Eutropia Stavian.2


The most commonly-found peoples of the Shining Kingdoms include humans of Keleshite, Kellid, and Taldan heritage in addition to dwarves, elves, half-elves, and gnomes. Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnomish, Hallit, and Kelish are the most frequently spoken languages. Popular religions in the region include the worship of Abadar, Calistria, Erastil, Iomedae, Sarenrae, and Torag.3


The ancient red dragon known as Daralathyxl, a mighty wyrm, has wandered this part of the world for over two millennia, establishing its lair in the Five Kings Mountains around the year 3001 AR. This formidable dragon, one of the mightiest on all of Golarion, has earned the title of the "Sixth King of the Mountains." The dwarven dwellers here remain ever vigilant, wary of the possibility that their wrathful neighbor might resurface and unleash havoc upon the Shining Kingdoms.4


The Shining Kingdoms region thrives on its abundant resources, driving the economies of its nations primarily through the export of various materials and products. Andoran's economic foundation lies in the timber industry, whereas the Five Kings Mountains are renowned for their top-notch metalwork, gemstones, and other crafted items. Kyonin also boasts exceptional artistry and focuses primarily on exporting finished goods, while Druma wields its unparalleled mercantile influence and extensive trade networks. Taldor remains a regional leader in art, music, and culture, with shipbuilding serving as a long-standing economic force along its coastline. The region's imports typically consist of luxury and high-end goods, especially through Taldor's capital, Oppara.5


  1. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Shining Kingdoms". World Guide, p. 121. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Shining Kingdoms". World Guide, p. 122. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  3. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Shining Kingdoms". World Guide, p. 120. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  4. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Shining Kingdoms". World Guide, p. 127. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  5. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Shining Kingdoms". World Guide, p. 125. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6