ShadowFinder’s Lost Golarion: The Chelaxian Commonrule

Yep, it’s another preview of some of the material from the ShadowFinder book! Nothing on this page is OGL. This is a post of Community Use content of Paizo materials, and is a follow-up to my ShadowFinder Is Coming post from earlier in the week.

ShadowFinder assumes you are applying it’s Play Mode to one of two worlds — Rasputin’s Legacy Earth, or Lost Golarion. Both are at a similar point technologically, magically, and in planar terms, and both are based on worlds Starfinder players are likely to be familiar with (our own Earth, or Pathfinder’s Golarion). But both also have significant differences, in the case of Lost Golarion, centuries of development during a time when the world has lost access to most of the gods and planes, with only segments of reality apparently sectioned off by some kind of cosmic “Gap” accessible even by things such as wish.

While obviously I can’t go into deep detail on the state of entire worlds, both Rasputin’s Legacy Earth and Lost Golarion are different enough from what people are used to that SOME amount of explanation is in order. Chapter Ten of the ShadowFinder core book is the “ShadowFinder Gazetteer,” talking a bit about the who, what, and where of the worlds you can adventure in.

Here is the draft of the entry on the Commonrule of Cheliax, unedited, still with its formatting tags.

[H2]The Commonrule of Cheliax

Among the most powerful nations on Lost Golarion is the Commonrule of Cheliax. Ruled by the Imperial Bureaucracy, of which the most powerful remains the monarchal Majestrix, the Commonrule is a potent economic, scientific, and diabolic powerhouse that can be considered a Global Superpower, on par with the Gokan Republic, Magaambani, New Taumata, and the Padisha Empire of Kelesh.

The Commonrule includes what were once the nations of Andoran, Cheliax, Fangwood, Hold of Belkzen, Isger, Molthune, Nidal, Nirmathas, Thuvia, and Ustalav, each of which retains some local identity as a Commonrule Province. In theory each province is equal in the eyes of the Commonrule Law, but that complex, devil-generated code somehow places the Province of Cheliax above all other regions. Most other Commonrule Provinces accept this as just the way things are, though the Province of Nirmathas continues to produce numerous home-grown, and often violent, independence movements. The region once known as the Worldwound is also controlled by the Commonrule as the Devil Militarized Zone, where mortals are only allowed on official Chelaxian business.

The Commonrule of Cheliax still officially accepts Asmodeus as its patron deity, and devil-worship and fiendish warlock pacts are common parts of everyday life. The fact Torag is the only actual god that responds to petitioners is simply glossed over, and the availability of devils and even archdevils to address prayers, rituals, and business needs makes it easy to forget no one has heard from Asmodeus himself for centuries.

While the majority of the Commonrule’s population is at least partially human or orcish, devils and devilblooded mortals are more numerous here than anywhere else on Golarion. The Commonrule Law is designed to handle such interactions, and explicitly covers both devilish and mortal duties, privileges, and restrictions. Every member of the Commonrule Council, the highest committee within the Imperial Bureaucracy, has a Devil’s Advocate as an advisor, some of which have advised political and noble families for generations.

The Commonrule government is well aware of the dangers of the Shadowblast, but sees it more as a potential source of power than an existential threat. While the Hellknight Order of the Pyre has increasingly focused on rooting out and eliminating Shadowblast cultists in recent decades, the official stance of the Commonrule is that the Shadowblast is little more than a the pesh-induced ranting of Nidalese Nationalist terrorist cells. The idea that an entire demiplane exists and is beyond the control of either the Chelaxian Commonrule of their devilish allies is considered too likely to disrupt the order of the nation, and is not officially acknowledged. Most action against the Shadowblast is either taken on as the pet project of a mid-level official, or by the ShadowFinder Society. Although the Commonrule downplays the ShadowFinder’s claims that the Shadowblast represents a significant, ill-understood threat, the Society is allowed to operate openly (even if any danger they neutralize is “officially” classified as Nidalese in news reports).

(Of course, not ALL warlocks come from the Commonrule…, as shown in this mage by Jacob Blackmon)

Want to ask questions about ShadowFinder? See a huge backlog of game stuff in articles? Just like my stuff and want to support its creation? Check out my Patreon!

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on October 4, 2021, in Adventure Sketch, Anachronistic Adventurers, ShadowFinder, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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