Pathfinder - The Inner Sea
The mighty empire of Taldor once stretched from the Arcadian Ocean to the border of the Padishah Empire of Kelesh. Taldor’s ancient Armies of Exploration established footholds for the empire, and during the Shining Crusade, its mighty phalanxes marched for thousands of miles to beat back the Whispering Tyrant and imprison him in Gallowspire. Yet despite these legacies, modern Taldor is a stunted remnant of its old glory, a declining empire that seems destined for little more than a footnote in the ultimate annals of history unless something can be done to reverse its fate.
Grand Prince Stavian III is emperor of Taldor, but the awkward and bitter sovereign is as dissolute as his empire. Surrounding himself with grandiose titles and sycophantic courtiers, he dallies in whatever takes his fancy. Meanwhile, the bloated ranks of the aristocracy send representatives to the ineffectual senate to argue endlessly and pointlessly over trivial matters. In the end, the actual daily management of Taldor is left in the hands of its overtaxed bureaucracy—a sprawling, labyrinthine mess, with different bureaus and ministries constantly squabbling over jurisdiction. Even so, the civil service remains the clearest means of advancement to aristocratic status for the hordes of citizens without the benefit of titles to their names. Taldor has always followed the right of primogeniture, but Grand Prince Stavian has no male heir. His only child, Princess Eutropia, is disgusted with the stagnation of Taldan society and decided in her recent youth to force Taldor to join the modern world. She intends to inherit the throne upon her father’s death, by force if necessary, and has grand plans to restore Taldor to
its former glory. To this end, Eutropia has commissioned a new modern ship named the Coaltongue. This ship combines both the best technology with the best magic. She hopes this ship will cause the neighboring nations to take note that Talbor will rise again!
Cassomir: This large trade city on the Sellen River handles the river trade from the River Kingdoms and the Verduran Forest, as well as much of Taldor’s Inner Sea trade. While the Taldan navy is stationed in Oppara, its best shipyards are found in Cassomir.
Fog Peaks: Taldor’s northernmost border, the Fog Peaks are so named for the perpetual clouds that shade their mountaintops. These mountains are constantly soaked in rain or snow, and when the temperatures plummet in late fall, vicious, razor-sharp ice storms plague the higher elevations. Populous frost giant clans prevail here, along with large roosts of rocs that live in the northern reaches near Boarwood. Other dangers in the Fog Peaks include frost worms, remorhazes, winter wolves and ettins.
Maheto: The city of Maheto, in the foothills of the World’s Edge Mountains, is home to a sizeable population of dwarves, and is well known for the high quality of its metalwork and bladesmithing.
Oppara: The towers and villas of Taldor’s capital, Oppara, were once plated with gold, granting it the title the Gilded City, a name that remains to this day. The precious metal was long ago stripped by vandals and salvagers. The Imperial Palace and Senate are located here, as are two renowned bardic schools—Kitharodian Academy and Rhapsodic College.
Sellen River: One of the longest rivers on Golarion, the Sellen River ends its journey by spilling into the Inner Sea at Star Bay. Fed by dozens of tributary rivers and thousands of high mountain lakes and streams, the Sellen doesn’t experience typical flooding and dry seasons like most temperate rivers. It simply flows, as faithful as the sun rises.
Verduran Forest: The portion of the Verduran Forest that resides within Taldor’s borders is a semiautonomous prefecture of the empire—the monarchy still honors the Treaty of the Wildwood, an ancient pact with the druids of the region that allows Taldor to use the forest’s resources but limits logging and hunting to specific regions of the forest.
Wispil: In the Verduran Forest, the town of Wispil provides most of the kingdom’s woodcraft and timber. Cassomir’s bustling yards would not exist without the steady supply of lumber and shipwrights Wispil provides.
Zimar: Zimar is a heavily fortified garrison town near the Qadiran border. Long the home of Taldor’s armies, even after a century of peace with Taldor’s ancient enemy, Zimar remains a disciplined, militaristic city.