The Fifth Crusade! Worldwound Adventures
Golarion’s prehistoric eras are the subject of myth and legend—no written documents exist from such ancient times. Some scholar-priests and past-scrying mages have managed to piece together some bits of information, but these visions and glimpses of the past tend to raise far more questions than they answer. And so one must turn to parable and the myths of the faithful to piece together what happened so long ago. Yet by cross-referencing these various legends with those divinatory glimpses of the past and strange whispers of ancient races, something of a clear picture can be constructed for the modern mind to grasp.
At the dawn of mortal life, the Rough Beast Rovagug was already ancient—a force of entropy and destruction responsible for the ruin and wrack of countless worlds. The other gods opposed Rovagug—among these ancient divinities were Abadar, Apsu, Asmodeus, Calistria, Dahak, Desna, Dou-Bral, Erastil, Gozreh, Pharasma, Sarenrae, and Torag, as well as numerous other gods from remote parts of the world. Even more gods died in these battles, though no known records exist of their names—certainly those deities who may have actively supported Rovagug are forever forgotten.
When Rovagug was finally defeated, Sarenrae chose Golarion as his tomb. She cut open the world and cast the defeated but not dead god into a prison realm hidden inside or behind the Material Plane that would come to be known as the Dead Vault, but had to rely upon one of her greatest enemies, Asmodeus, to seal the planar oubliette. The other deities played a role in the Rough Beast’s defeat as well, although their contributions are less well known.
Once the Rough Beast was imprisoned, the surviving gods nursed their wounds and returned to their homes in the Great Beyond. During this time new gods emerged, such as Shelyn, sister of Dou-Bral. For unknown reasons they quarreled, and Dou-Bral went beyond to the spaces between the planes and was transformed by something outside of reality called Zon-Kuthon. The slain mortal Urgathoa f led Pharasma’s Boneyard and returned to the world as a goddess and the first undead. And demonic Lamashtu ascended from the Abyss, a transformation made possible in part by her murder of a minor god.
Earthfall brought an age of strange godly births. Zon-Kuthon fulfilled the conditions of his banishment and reclaimed a twisted aspect of his old powers. Orcs emerged upon the surface world and battled humans, and the god Gorum made his first appearance during these wars (although which side he favored in those wars remains hotly contested).
Then came the Age of Enthronement. The Last Azlant Aroden became a living god when he raised the Starstone from the Inner Sea. The existing gods took no action to prevent this usurpation of their divine prerogative with mortal magic, and as a result, the following millennia recorded the ascension of Norgorber, Cayden Cailean, and Iomedae to godhood, also with the help of the Starstone. Irori became a god seemingly without any external help at all.
And finally, as the Age of Lost Omens began, the death of Aroden rocked the world in a physical and metaphysical sense. Even more so than the mortals, the gods themselves were stunned that one of their own might die for unknown reasons and completely unexpectedly. For ages they were guarded, and then reticent, and then the gods knew fear.
Were they doomed to sudden and unpredictable destruction? With the loss of prophecy, none of them knew… except Pharasma, for death is her domain, but she has little to say on the subject.
God – Spheres of Influence
Abadar – Cities, Law, Merchants, Wealth
Asmodeus – Contracts, Pride, Slavery, Tyranny
Calistria – Lust, Revenge, Trickery
Cayden Cailean – Ale, Bravery, Freedom, Wine
Desna – Dreams, Luck, Stars, Travelers
Erastil – Family, Farming, Hunting, Trade
Gorum – Battle, Strength, Weapons
Gozreh – Nature, The Sea, Weather
Iomedae – Honor, Justice, Rulership, Valor
Irori – History, Knowledge, Self-Perfection
Lamashtu – Madness, Monsters, Nightmares
Nethys – Magic
Norgorber – Greed, Murder, Poison, Secrets
Pharasma – Birth, Death, Fate, Prophecy
Rovagug – Destruction, Disaster, Wrath
Sarenrae – Healing, Honesty, Redemption, The Sun
Shelyn – Art, Beauty, Love, Music
Torag – The Forge, Protection, Strategy
Urgathoa – Disease, Gluttony, Undeath
Zon-Kuthon – Darkness, Envy, Pain, Loss
Many other gods are worshipped, most of whom possess a limited sphere of influence (like Besmara, God of Pirates).