From a review of the Inner Sea Primer:
- Golarion is Paizo’s only official setting for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Almost every Paizo product for Pathfinder will include some Golarion information (though it is very light in the official hardbacks). On the other hand, although other companies can support the Pathfinder RPG, they may not (except with special permission) use the Golarion setting.
- Golarion is very much a kitchen sink setting: it spans dozens of cultures and tones, from the magic-dead Alkenstar, home of elite gunslingers, to the Vikings of the Land of the Linnorm Kings to the monks of India. Nearly any fantasy character you can imagine will find a place here.
- It is built almost from the ground up as a platform for adventure. Yes, it’s a kitchen sink – but each of the diverse settings is built with conflict in mind, and threads and sites for adventure fill the history and geography of the place.
- Although it is a “kitchen sink,” Golarion is also modular. Most regions choose a theme or tone and stick fairly closely to it. So you can break off the horrors of Ustalav to run your undead-hunter game, without much intrusion from the magical technology of Numeria or the guns of Alkenstar – unless you want it. All the dishes are in that kitchen sink – but each in their own bin.
- Golarion is a wide-ranging and deep setting. There are a lot of connections to be made, secrets to be uncovered, and areas to explore. There is a ton of support and the river is only flowing faster! Of course one doesn’t need to follow all of this – just take the pieces that interest you – but this is one of Paizo’s goals with the setting.
- The world is strongly human-centric. Elves, dwarves, and orcs have their own nations – but only one each. Humans control the other 35 nations of the Inner Sea. While demi-humans are common, they setting focuses on humans.
- The world follows high magic conventions – lots of wizards, spellcasting clerics, and of course monsters. Magical “technology” is confined to just a couple of areas, but there is a core assumption that magic items are common.
- Golarion has a fairly moderate power level: most “powerful” NPCs are levels 7-10. After a long campaign, the PCs will be amongst the most powerful beings on Golarion.
- The Inner Sea encompasses Europe and the Mediterranean – there are Egyptian and Arabic analogs on the edges, but for the most part it has a “traditional” western European feel.
- Many of the nations have clear real-world analogs. There’s Galt, based on the French Revolution, Brevoy, with Russian influences, Qadira, with Persian influences, etc. That makes it fairly easy to hook into those regions. There are also some more fantastical elements, both inside these analogs and in their own regions, but you’ll often find real-world knowledge helpful in understanding the setting.
The island of Talingarde lies in the Steaming Sea far to the west of the Ironbound Islands. The Talireans are a forgotten and largely isolated colony from Cheliax who have managed to thrown off the worship of Asmodeus in the last eighty years, and now worship Iomedae. In addition to the Talireans, the island is home to the native barbarian settlers of the huge Iraen forest. Tribes of monstrous humanoids and small bands of Varki live in the savage north.
Additions to the timeline official Pathfinder timeline:
4704 AR: Talingarde is invaded by an evil army from the Savage North. During the next years, the army of the bugbear warlord Sakkaroth Fire-Axe lays waste to much of the kingdom.
4706 AR: King Markadian V of Talingarde slays the wyrm Chargammon the Black when it attacks the palace, is fatally wounded. Princess Belinda flees to Absalom and begins to recruit an army.
4707 AR: Cecil, lost heir to the House of Darius, lands on Talingarde with a mercenary army. He leads his forces to victory over the the monstrous army at the Battle of Brandleburn. As revealed in the Liber Darian, Cecil is the first born of the late king Markadian V, and princess Belinda is a bastard born of a silver dragon. Cecil Darius ascends to the throne of Talingarde and takes the name Markadian VI.
4708 AR: After decades of religious persecution, freedom of worship is proclaimed in Talingarde. The formerly banned Church of Asmodeus becomes the state religion.
4710 AR: The rebel army of princess Belinda sails from Varisia and lands on Talingarde. The princess is killed when her army is defeated at the Battle of Tamberlyn.
4714 AR: In a bid to reclaim the lost colony of of Sargava, Imperia Wradoxian is appointed governor by Queen Abrogail II.
- Events in part 1 of the Way of the Wicked adventure path by Fire Mountain Games.
- This is the setup for the Wrath of the Wicked campaign which features characters from the Way of the Wicked.