This entry into the Pathfinder Archives seeks to chronicle the spectacular changes in north east Galorion, and the truly unique individuals who have wrought such change on the land. If one were to look to the north, where there was once a land of wilderness and warring countries, now there is a mighty bastion of light, protecting the innocent and holding back the tides of darkness for all.
At the time of this chronicle, the Empire of Arboria holds sway over a significant amount of the landmass of north east Golarion. Arboria is composed of 5 states.
The central state is the civilized heart of Arboria, lands formerly known as the River Kingdoms. Stretching from the Varn Mountains in the west all the way to the plains of Pitax to the east, Arboria contains vast deposits of natural resources, from vast forests to deep mineral deposits. Arboria has a diverse population of humans, Elves, , Kobolds, Lizardmen, and a many types of Fey. No other nation in the world has as many natural allies as does Arboria, who has deftly used diplomacy to acquire allies left and right, resulting in a unification not seen in other lands. Where others oppress indigenous group, arboria welcomes them with open arms, and in truth, with free arms and armor to increase the might of her armies. And mighty are the Armies of Arboria. While not bent on conquest, arboria has been known to respond to aggressions of its neighbors by overwhelming and absorbing them into its empire. Take the northern province of Brevoy.
The province of brevoy was once a seperate and sovereign nation split by internal strife. Indeed, it was this internal strife that set up the rise of arboria itself. Civil war broke out in the 8 years after the founding of arboria, and Arboria came to the aid of the southern faction. Through many battles and much political intrigue, when the dust settled Arboria wound up with enough political sway to absorb brevoy into its growing empire, Setting up Arborias Spymaster Kris Longstride as Regional Command, and turning its eyes southward.
Arboria then moved to help its southern neighbors, taking control of all major cities in the river kingdoms and uniting them under the banner of Arboria. Most were quite happy to join, as the incentives offered were extravagant. And don't forget the airships.
Arships. Ships that fly through the air as easily as water. The single greatest thing behind the strength and power of the empire is its creation and monopoly over airships. These majestic vessels can be seen in most major cities now, and while other nation attempt to recreate them, no other nation has as many or as might a fleet as arboria. Its armies move at the speed of birds, and its reach and supply lines are untouchable. Many private captain have paid exorbitant prices to acquire their own airship, and a new age of exploration and battle has dawned above our very heads.
Arboria took the smart approach, and offered airships to those leaders who were willing to join in her righteous destiny. It helps when the diplomats are backed up by fleets of ships full of fanatical warriors, but i digress.
Eventually arboria managed to absorb the splintered nation of Galt to the south, and the barbarian wastes of Numeria to the north. Now her armies protect the land and bring civilization and prosperity to her beloved citizens. With her northern border now touching the Worldwound, arbora has become a staunch ally of mendev, sending her most experienced troops to fight the demons and hold back the touch of chaos.
The brave Companions that lead Arboria to greatness have had interesting lives. Once the fell threat of The Arch Nyad Nirrisa was dealt with, the 6 brave souls took a much needed break, and left the adventuring to the younger generation. I have collected a brief set of stories from their personal memoirs.
For several; more years, Nithlara retains her position as the Marshall of Arboria. During that time, she expands the postal service throughout the kingdom and adds airmail, making it a model of efficiency. She continues commanding the Nomen Thunder, which becomes a crack strike force able to deploy anywhere in Arboria within 48 hours. Between the Nomen Thunder and the rest of Arboria's stellar military, nobody dares to challenge Arboria's might. (Note: the centaurs would prefer home defense to campaigns abroad, so they stick around Arboria for the most part, rather than march to war elsewhere. They remain an elite fighting force.)
As peace descends (or, alternatively, as Shella leads Arborian armies to victories abroad?), Arboria becomes more secure, Nithlara enters middle age, she has a midlife crisis of sorts and becomes bored of the whole "defense of the kingdom" scene. With the centaurs and her scouts securing the home front, she spends a year away at a pathfinder society, retraining her first favored enemy type from humanoid (reptilian) to dragon. She joins the pathfinder society. She begins to take longer and longer leaves of absence with Haiku, hunting and destroying magical beasts, undead, and dragons of legend within a radius of 1000 miles around Arboria. She amasses considerable wealth and fame in the process. She works occasionally with Kris to assassinate powerful individuals who threaten Arboria. Rumor has it that sometimes she teams up with other intrepid explorers and makes her way back to the First World, serving as a guide and testing her skills on the strange creatures she finds there.
Eventually, as she grows older, she decides to hand over the mantle of leadership. At some point, she takes on a promising young centaur as a protege. (Her previous cohort, Marcus Paulus, has since semi-retired himself and remains comfortably the captain of the guard for the Arborian Post and Survey. He's only human, and was aging more rapidly.) When her centaur protege is ready, as demonstrated by beating Nithlara in an archery duel, Nithlara returns SkyBolt (now a +5 Adaptive Thundering weapon) and several other of her most cherished magical items. With Gelros's permission, the centaur assumes the position of Marshall. (You can come up with a name here; it would be a female centaur.)
In her old age, Nithlara retires and opens a pathfinder society at the long abandoned ruins of the Great Wyrm's tower and lair in Thousand Breaths. She names it Valhalla and makes it a veritable natural fortress, self-supported by sustainable hidden farms nearby. (Note: there are many high-level ranger spells for this sort of thing.) She accepts rangers, druids, and archers of all stripes for training, provided they are willing to pay an appropriate fee. She uses her wealth and continued income to acquire vast swaths of land throughout Arboria, some of which she preserves as private game reserves and natural areas, and others of which she leases out for sustainable forestry, mining, etc., under the direction of her lieutenants.
Occasionally, when someone of her talents is required, Nithlara continues to accept paid contracts to drive out powerful magical beasts and other unwanted creatures. Although it's clear that her strength is no longer what it once was, she is not content sitting in one place for long. On one such occasion, she leaves on a pursuit and is never seen again. (I'll leave it up to you what happens here.) The many journals she leaves behind become a treasure trove for historians and explorers for centuries. They are impounded as an Arborian national treasure, kept in the archives at the Arborian Post & Survey under heavy guard.
The End of Time
Time, ever forward never back, sweeping all that is and all that will be into its eternal web of unending decay. I walk now into a realm that is beyond your touch. Beware my return, for it will mark your undoing.
– Narzeth Cenisan.
Raven’s malady returned two years after the defeat of Narissa. Narzeth grew frantic as he searched for anything that would cure his beloved and traveled without rest across the planes in search of any means to save Raven from the decay that withered her body and dulled her mind. For three years, he searched and his mastery of the arcane grew exponentially as he defeated the most deadly of adversaries and captured the most ancient of relics and tomes, all of which he brought back to his tower for study. In the end, however, his efforts were all in vain and Raven died alone while Narzeth was away in search of a cure.
When Narzeth returned, he went mad with rage and used the power of his rage to fuel the mightiest spell he knew: Create Greater Demiplane (Permanent). He needed time, or rather he needed a place where time wasn’t such a nuisance so that he could master its power and turn the clock back to save the women he loved.
Kris was just coming up the steps into Nazareth chamber to check on Raven, when he saw Narzeth step through a swirling silver portal, carrying a lifeless Raven over his shoulders and pulling Alyssa (Narzeth and Raven’s six year old) into the portal behind him. Before Kris even knew what was happening, the portal closed, leaving behind an ominous stone doorway that had definitely not been there before.
Ten years later…
It has been 10 years since Narzeth departed through the portal and his black tower sits vacant. There are stories from several villagers about young people going near the tower and returning as elders and it is these stories that keep people away from the cryptic tower that once belonged to the sorcerer with the glowing eye. But those stories couldn’t really be true, could they?
High Cleric Jaric retired from adventuring life, returning to bandits rest to lead the church of iomedae. He spent the next few years in service to the people, and went on the crusade to help tame the land of Galt to the south. Jaric now serves as the Regional Commander of Galt, providing stability to that once fractured nation, and ensuring the will of Iomedae to protect those who are downtrodden is seen. Under his care Galt has begun the long healing process, and the number of followers of Iomedae in the Empire slowly grows.
Kris was instrumental to the eventual victory of Arboria over the faction of Issia in Brevoy, and in the willingness of The remaining nobels of Brevoy to decide that becoming an empire suited them well. No one really asks how he did it, as that would lead to awkward questions. He now rules as regional commander, having goten married to Sylvanna Orlovsky of house Orlovsky. His personal entourage includes his famous companion spike they flying dinosaur that has no wings, and he has been known to put on the ocasional airship to the delight of his loyal followers.
The iron Lady serves as Arborias mighty fist, leading the armies and overseeing the imperial games. No nation on the face of Arboria has as many followers of Gorum as does arboria. Some say it's a good thing Arboria eventually wound up as having a border with the world wound, as what its armies would have done without a constant stream of battle to whet its whistle, no one cares to comprehend.
Mighty Emperor Gelros, 1st of his name, his royal eminence, Keeper of the Keys of Candlekeep, Champion of Sarenrae, Grand Admiral of the Skyfleet. The number of titles goes on and on, showing how grand a king, and emperor, the lowly bard from brevoy has become one of the mightiest rulers in Golarion. His allies are many, his word is law, and his kindness and compassion are matched only by his cunning and his ruthlessness on the political battlefield. Gelros has managed to lead his people to fame and glory, and it was with his help that the miracle that is the airship came to be. Married to the Lovely Ariel Zeverons, He has fathered 5 children, and leads a happy life in the safety of his mighty bastions of power. His library Of Candlekeep has become the the greatest repository of knowledge on the face of golarion, and from its hallowed halls great scientists and sages and wizards have been born.
Arboria, an Empire born from the efforts and struggle of simple adventures. What lies in the future no one knows, but this record is set down on this day, the 23rd of Arodus 4850. All Hail ARBORIA. A wonderful place to live, if i do say so myself.
~Gelros Zhevons, Bard.