Most dwarves in Golarion are natives of the Five Kings Mountains, although dwarven settlements are scattered over Avistan and Garund. Dwarves were originally from the dark lands beneath the earth, but tunneled to the surface during an ancient event known as the Quest for Sky. Many of the ancient Sky Citadel they built at that time have been overrun but orcs, goblins, or worse. Most dwarves revere Torag, the stoic god of smiths who is the head of the dwarven pantheon.
The gnomes of Golarion are descendents of immigrants from the realm of the fey, known to most people as the First World. The transition to Golarion has been difficult for the gnomes, who must constantly seek out new experiences and adventures in order to maintain their interest in life. Those who fail to retain their curious spirit may suffer from the bleaching, a lethal magical disease that drains the color from a gnome. Gnomes are extremely diverse. They often revere Desna or Shelyn; the only racially gnomish deity is Nivi Rhombodazzle.
Humans are among the most numerous and diverse races of Golarion, dominating most nations. Humans belong to a wide variety of ethnicities, from northern Ulfen barbarians, dark-skinned Garundis from the south, decadent and civilized Chelaxians and Taldans, and Tian and Vudrani immigrants from distant, exotic eastern lands.
- Full Article: Portal:Geography
The most well-known nations of Golarion are distributed over three continents: the freezing mountains and fertile plains of Avistan in the north, the tropical jungles and sand-blasted deserts of Garund in the south, and the vast steppes and deserts of Casmaron in the east. Far to the east lie the distant and little-traveled continents of Vudra and Tian Xia. The Inner Sea separates Avistan from Garund, and the Arcadian Ocean lies to the west of both.
The city at the center of the word, Absalom is a city-state on an island at the center of the Inner Sea. Many natives believe Absalom is the most representative descendant of the culture of Ancient Azlant, the first human civilization that sank beneath the ocean in ancient times. Absalom is the largest city in the world, with a diverse human culture influenced by Taldor, Osirion, and other nations of the Inner Sea. It is the ultimate urban civilization of Golarion.
Formerly a province of Taldor and Cheliax, Andoran is a newly free nation committed to emancipation, liberation, and republican government. Andoran revolted following the death of Aroden and the descent of Cheliax into diabolism, and its navy and Eagle Knights are a powerful force against slavery in the Inner Sea. In contrast to bloody, anarchic Galt, Andoran demonstrates the positive side of revolution and freedom.
Five Kings Mountains
- Nex is a Garundi nation rich in magic, founded by an archmage centuries ago.
- Geb is a Garundi nation of undead ruled by a lich and a ghost.
- Alkenstar, lying in a magic dead zone, relies upon the firearms it has devised.
- Full Article: Portal:History
The oldest and most prehistoric era saw the rise of the first human civilizations, Thassilon and Azlant. The humans of this time warred with the serpentfolk, and drove them to refuges deep beneath the earth. However, the hubris of the ancient human empires earned them the wrath of the aboleths, who destroyed these empires by calling down a star, in an apocalyptic event known as Earthfall. During the Age of Darkness that followed, shattered civilizations retreated into what refuges they could find, or descended into anarchy and barbarism. The orcs first emerged into the world, driven forth by the dwarves in the Quest for Sky. During the Age of Anguish, the sky finally cleared of the ash and debris from Earthfall, and humanity struggled forward towards the foundation of new civilizations.
Age of Destiny
The Age of Destiny begins with the foundation of Osirion by a prophet of Nethys circa -3470 AR. Taldor was later founded on the southern coast of Avistan, and Nex and Geb descended into destructive war.
Age of Enthronement
The Age of Enthronement begins when the god Aroden raises the Isle of Kortos from the Inner Sea and founds Absalom there. The dark lich known as the Whispering Tyrant, once killed by Aroden, returns to gain sway over the region around Ustalav. Over time, power shifts from Taldor to Cheliax.
Age of Lost Omens
The current era, the Age of Lost Omens, began with the disappearance of the god Aroden a century ago, in 4606 AR. Following the death of the god, Cheliax fell to diabolism, which precipitated the revolt of Andoran and many other important provinces. In the far north, a passage to the Abyss opened and swallowed a kingdom, created the demonic Worldwound.
- Full Article: Portal:Religion
Although Aroden, the god of humanity, is believed to be dead, his disappearance a century ago was one of the most defining events in the history of Golarion. Aroden was known as the last Azlanti, a member of the first human civilization that was sunk beneath the ocean in an ancient time. During his ascent to godhood, he raised the island of Absalom from the ocean and became the patron deity first of Taldor and then of Cheliax. His disappearance in 4606 AR ushered in the Age of Lost Omens and began the breakup of the breakup of the Chelish empire, the independence of Andoran and other territories, the descent of Cheliax into diabolism, and numerous other events throughout Golarion.