The Jade Regent
Sandru's Cultural Observations
Azlanti: The ancient empire of Azlant was highly advanced, but destroyed during Earthfall. The god Aroden was the last pure-blooded scion of that once proud race, and with his demise, the line is now extinct. Those claiming to be Azlanti today are usually Chelaxians or Taldans able to trace their bloodlines back many generations to pure Azlanti stock.
Chelaxian: Chelaxians have a flair for organization and refined cultural taste. The inherent self-confidence of Chelaxians, instilled from birth, has served them well through the death of a god, the fall of an empire, and the rise of diabolists and the official worship of Asmodeus in their nation. They believe they are inherently capable of handling any situation by virtue of their heritage.
Garundi: The Garundi people seem to be among the very oldest in the Inner Sea region, as some truly ancient ruins made by lost Garundi civilizations predate Earthfall and the collapse of Azlant. They have extraordinarily strong bonds to their families and their communities, with intricate social hierarchies and strong customs and rules that date back thousands of years.
Keleshite: The Keleshites are a difficult folk, as their tremendous sense of superiority grates on those unfortunate enough not to be born among their number. Yet their power, learning, and skill are all quite real. They are righteous warriors, jaded mystics, cruel slavers, and hot blooded lovers—a race bred from the heat and fire of the desert. They value boldness, wit, and sly tactics over caution or brute strength.
Kellid: The Kellids are a people shaped by threats. Besieged by savage beasts, ice trolls, wicked fey, mechanical monstrosities, orcs, demons, and more, the Kellid tribes have learned to fight constantly—if not monsters, then each other. Although clearly of common descent, Kellids in different nations live in significantly different cultures, with varied religions and mores. Still, they share a predilection for violence and a well-earned distrust of magic.
Mwangi: The disparate Mwangi peoples are the heirs of an ancient civilization and comprise several different—though related—ethnic groups. The name “Mwangi” doesn’t do justice to the folk who inhabit the Mwangi Expanse—from the hundreds of Zenj tribes of Garund’s interior to the Bonuwat of the Mwangi coast, the sophisticated Osiriani-speaking Mauxi to the Bekyar flesh merchants of southern and western Garund.
Shoanti: The proud Shoanti, descended from the members of Thassilon’s military caste, are considered “barbarians” by the Chelish colonists who drove into the uplands of the Storval Plateau and the hills of northern Varisia. As Varisia becomes increasingly civilized, it’s more common to see Shoanti turn their backs on tradition to dwell in the greater comforts afforded by civilization
Taldan: Taldans are known for being accomplished scholars, artisans, and practitioners of exotic martial skills, but also as perhaps the most self-important and dismissive culture in the Inner Sea. Both of these reputations are well deserved, as proved by the once-bright glory of the Taldan Empire. Despite their empire’s decline, Taldans retain an arrogance better befitting a people at the height of their power and influence.
Tian: Though the people of Avistan and Garund see the distant Tian as a single race, the people of Tian Xia actually encompass several distinct ethnicities. Many Tians consider the family to be of great importance. They learned the art of genealogy from dragons and in some cases can trace their bloodlines back to the time before Earthfall.
Ulfen: The Ulfen are northerners of uncommon height, pale skin, golden hair, and incredible endurance. They face the worst of the northern winters—frigid winds, harsh snows, and vile monstrosities—with battle songs on their lips and swords in their hands. Ulfens are competitive, athletic, and without fear. They love to fight and have taken feuding to a fine art.
Varisian: Wanderers and nomads, Varisians travel the land in caravans, stopping only to put on their shows. Some Varisians use their gregarious natures and dark good looks to swindle unfortunate marks; it is these few scalawags who give the Varisian people a bad name. Most other folk respect the Varisians for their ancient traditions and vast knowledge but mistrust their motives.
Vudrani: The Vudrani come from distant Vudra, but exploration—for the purposes of trade, conquest, or pure curiosity—has put the people of Vudra on nearly every continent of the world. Vudrani culture is steeped in ancient traditions that define roles, and many do not see it as proper to work above or below the station that the fate of their birth dictates.
Dwarf: The dwarves of Golarion are best known for their skill at mining and crafting, their fierce determination in combat, and their stoic demeanors. Dwarves made their mark on the world with their magnificent castles and fortresses, and they have fought and died over every last one since the day they first emerged from the Darklands. They are Golarion’s most diligent workers and steadfast defenders—a people devoted to craft and toil, but equally driven by a potent urge to explore and discover.
Elf: Elves are beautiful, carefree, sometimes ruthless, but always graceful and stylish creatures with large eyes and pointed ears, who dwell in close harmony with nature. Elves—proud, tall, slender, long-lived but fragile— possess an ancient, sophisticated culture and mastery over the arts and magic at least equalling the foremost humans. Just before Earthfall, most elves abandoned the world for their mysterious homeland, but many have since returned to reclaim their ancient holdings.
Gnome: Once an ancient and immortal race of fey, the wily gnomes are a displaced people. Traumatized by their exodus from the First World, they suffer from an affliction they call the Bleaching. All gnomes need new and exciting experiences on a regular basis, or else they start to lose color and awareness, beginning a slow spiral toward insanity and death. This need, paired with their unconventional ethics, has led the race to be recognized as both fickle and chaotic, innovative and daring.
Half-Elf: Unable to ever fit comfortably into either human or elven society, half-elves spend their lives perpetually in-between. They are excellent survivors, able to assimilate into whatever role is needed and find ways to make themselves indispensable as they seek acceptance from without and wholeness within. Outwardly beautiful but inwardly fragile, half-elves strive to master themselves and find in their hearts the strength to command their destiny.
Half-Orc: Half-orcs have long been despised by other races. While many orc tribes value the weaker half-breeds for their natural cunning and conduct raids into human lands specifically to breed more intelligent leaders, humans and most other races see half-orcs as unfortunate and unwanted progeny born of violence or perversion. Their inner conflicts make half-orcs prone to violence and loneliness, with ferocious tempers and burning desires to survive.
Halfling: Despite their involvement in many facets of human society, halflings have a tendency to be ignored and underestimated. Their ability to blend into the background is unparalleled. They know when to bend with the wind, but when they have the chance to seize a grand pile of gold or fame, they never let the opportunity pass by. The small folk cannot resist the temptation of a new adventure, a daring heist, or the lure of the unknown.