The planet Golarion orbits a yellow sun in the far reaches of the Material Plane. 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. 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.
Major Land Masses
Arcadia is a continent of Golarion located 4,000 miles west of Avistan and Garund over the Arcadian Ocean. Because of the long and dangerous sea journey needed to reach it, few folk of the Inner Sea region have visited it, and fewer still have returned. People who live in Arcadia are known as Arcadians.
Avistan (pronounced AV-ihs-tan) is a continent on the world of Golarion. One of the most heavily-settled areas on the planet, Avistan possesses as many varied cultures and environments as any other continent in the world and an ancient history stretching back tens of thousands of years. The continent is home to once-great empires like Cheliax and Taldor, rising powers like Andoran and Molthune, and the ancient ruins of Thassilon in the wild frontier of Varisia.
Azlant (pronounced AZZ-lant) is a lost continent in the Arcadian Ocean that was the first center of human culture on Golarion. Brought together by the alien intelligence of the alghollthus (the name used by the aboleth for themselves and other related creatures such as the veiled masters), Azlanti society and culture grew by leaps and bounds until their arrogant leaders began to think of themselves as superior to their inhuman masters. In retribution, the aboleth called down the Starstone in -5293 AR, sinking the entire continent and condemning Golarion to the Age of Darkness. Now all that remains of the once-mighty continent are a string of islands and atolls spread across a large swath of the mid-Arcadian; they are the only parts of the continent still above sea level.
Casmaron is the large continent to the east of both Avistan and Garund. It is dominated politically by the Empire of Kelesh, a vast realm that extends even into Avistan: Qadira is its westernmost satrapy. The second-most renowned nation of Casmaron is the impossible kingdom of Vudra. The adjective to describe something of Casmaron is Casmar; the people of the continent may be referred to generally as Casmars, although other ethnicities exist on the continent in addition to the specific Casmar ethnicity.
Garund (pronounced gah-ROOND) is a Golarion continent located south of Avistan, across the Inner Sea, and west of Casmaron, separated by the Obari Ocean.
The least-understood of Golarion’s continents (and also its smallest), Sarusan is located in a trackless sea south of Tian Xia’s Valashmai peninsula. Far from the trade winds, all available information on Sarusan comes from ancient accounts, because no modern expedition has successfully returned after journeying there. According to these stories, Sarusan is completely alien from the modern world. It is said to be a diverse land, containing dense jungles, expansive plains, and harsh deserts.
Tian Xia (pronounced TEE-yawn-shaw) is the continent geographically farthest from Avistan, and lies across the Embaral Ocean that borders the eastern shore of exotic Casmaron. Often referred to as the Dragon Empires, Tian Xia is most easily accessed by the residents of Avistan via the dangerous land route over Golarion’s northernmost continent, the icy Crown of the World. As a result of its distance from the Inner Sea region, not much is known of this mysterious continent. It has acted as a cradle of civilization for nearly 7,000 years, and in that time has boasted three continent-spanning empires, the most recent of which, Lung Wa, ruled up until a century ago. Mainland Tian Xia today has many different sovereign nations, many of which have experienced a cultural renaissance since the fall of Lung Wa.