Rise of the Runelords
From the earliest days to the present age, the history of the Pathfinder campaign setting is exciting, rich in detail and totally engrossing. Take a trip into the past, whether it’s thousands of years, or just yesterday.
These significant, world-wide events had a major impact on Golarion and form part of common knowledge throughout the Pathfinder campaign setting.
Though Golarion is currently home to dozens of powerful nations, it has seen many rise to even greater heights and crumble into ruin. These empires or nations are now merely memory.
The recorded history of the known world is split into ages, each a distinct and fascinating period of its own. Information from before the Age of Darkness is now all but entirely lost.
Age of Creation : Pre-History
The Age of Creation is a term used to describe the uncounted years of mythic time, beginning with the creation of Golarion and ending with the emergence of mortal races upon its face (the Age of Serpents). It was a time when the gods of Golarion played a much more active role than they do today.
Age of Serpents : Pre-Humanity
The Age of Serpents is a term used primarily in the Inner Sea region by those who use the dating system known as Absalom Reckoning for the length of unmeasured time which preceded the rise of humanity on the continent of Azlant. It was marked by the rise of one of Golarion’s first civilizations: that of the serpentfolk.
Age of Legend : Pre-Earthfall
Age of Legend is a general term used to refer to the “prehistoric” time before the destruction of the Starstone led to the Age of Darkness. It is marked by the rise of the first human civilization on the lost continent of Azlant, the establishment of the Thassilonian Empire on Avistan’s mainland
Age of Darkness : −5293 AR to −4294 AR
The Age of Darkness was a thousand year period in which the sun’s light was blocked by the ash knocked into the atmosphere by the meteoric impacts of Earthfall. It began with the impact of the Starstone in -5293 AR and lasted until the sun’s light had been restored, roughly in -4294 AR. During the Age of Darkness, all major civilizations across Golarion were destroyed, ushering in a time of anarchy and destruction. The orcs emerged en masse on the surface from their Darklands homes around -5102 AR, fleeing the dwarves pressing up during their Quest for Sky.
Age of Anguish : −4294 AR to −3470 AR
The Age of Anguish is a term used by historians to describe the roughly 800 year period starting in -4294 AR when the skies finally cleared of the dust of Earthfall. This age was characterized by the conflicts of primitive peoples in a desperate struggle for survival and domination in a world left shattered by the Age of Darkness. The end of the Age of Anguish, and the beginning of the Age of Destiny, was marked by the founding of the Osirion civilization in circa -3470 AR, and the slow re-establishment of human civilizations across the world.[
Age of Destiny : −3470 AR to 1 AR
The Age of Destiny began circa -3470 AR with the founding of the Osiriani civilization and spanned three and a half millennia. It came to an end when Aroden raised the Starstone from the bottom of the Inner Sea and founded the great city of Absalom in the year 1 AR, ushering in the Age of Enthronement. It was marked by the re-emergence of human civilization after the barbarism of the Age of Darkness and the Age of Anguish. Other notable occurrences include the founding of the nations of Taldor and the of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. Wars during this age include the Nex-Geb War and the tarrasque invasion of -632 AR.[
Age of Enthronement : 1 AR to 4606 AR
The Age of Enthronement began with the founding of Absalom, and its inception is also the starting point for the Absalom Reckoning dating system. The Age of Enthronement spans the years from 1 AR until 4606 AR when Aroden, the god of humanity, died.
This age is characterised by the emergence of a number of gods who ascended to divinity through the Test of the Starstone. The mortals who survived the test and became gods were Aroden in 1 AR, Norgorber in 1983, Cayden Cailean in 2765 and Iomedae in 3832. The nations of Andoran and Cheliax were founded as expansion from the kingdom of Taldor. The Oath Wars raged across northwest Garund between 2498 AR and 2560 as the churches of Nethys, Norgorber and Sarenrae vied for dominance. The Whispering Tyrant arose in 3203 AR invoking the Shining Crusade in 3754 AR which burned for three quarters of a century and ended with the founding of Lastwall to defend against the return of the lich king. In 4305 AR Cheliax began an extended period of expansion annexing lands in Molthune and Varisia which would become known as the Everwar.
Age of Lost Omens : 4606 AR to the present day
The Age of Lost Omens is the age in which we find ourselves today, having been preceded by the Age of Enthronement. It began in 4606 AR with the death of the god Aroden, an event whose aftermath threw the continents of Avistan and Garund into terrible turmoil. Aroden himself had prophesied thousands of years before that he would return on the cusp of mankind’s greatest triumph. His priests and followers calculated the supposed exact time of this event and prepared for it with lavish pomp. On the prophesied date, instead of his return, all contact to the god was lost and the world was devastated by terrible storms, the opening of vast planar rifts, and decades-spanning political upheavals. Since then, no major prophecy has come true, a condition for which historians have named the current era.