Elf gate

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An elf gate...
...or aiudara as the elves call them.

Elf gates, or aiudara as the elves call them, are magical local transportation devices located in Kyonin, across Golarion,1 and on Castrovel.2 Some elves only use the term aiudara, as they consider the term "elf gate" to be vulgar.3 Elf gates appear as sculpted stone arches, and when activated instantly transport anyone to another specific elf gate.1

History

The aiudara network on Golarion is believed to have been created during the Age of Legend by the legendary elven hero Candlaron the Sculptor, inspired by the magical non-elven gate that linked Golarion to Castrovel, beginning with the portals known as Alseta's Ring.45 The secret of their creation was lost when Candlaron vanished through a mysterious archway.6 He also created the Sovyrian Stone, and used the artifact to power all of the elf gates.1

The creation of the aiudara network on Castrovel was also allegedly established by Candlaron.7 Some of the largest Sovyrian cities such as El and Telasia contain multiple aiudara that can help transport elves all across Castrovel with ease. However, due to the return of many elves to Golarion and to a subsect of Castrovelian elves moving to Ukulam, Sovyrian has seen a notable decline in population and some gates have become unused and fallen into disrepair.8

Missing Moment

The Missing Moment was a paranormal event on 21 Erastus 4722 AR in which an unknown number of people entered strangely behaving aiudara. Many never return, and those who do are physically marked and changed by the experience. Those affected become known as gatewalkers.9

Travel

Elf gates are activated using a key, which can be a physical token but might also be a password, piece of music, spell, or stellar conjunction. Some gates have multiple keys, each linked to another specific elf gate. Most elf gate keys have been forgotten over the millennia, and, therefore, some elf gates have been abandoned.110

Only the first traveller in a group needs a key; the rest can follow to the same destination. Travel through an elf gate is instantaneous,11 and because of this, elf gates represent a significant part of the elves' historic power, as it allows them to move people and goods with incredible speeds across vast distances.1

A gate can lead to another specific elf gate, or to a hub that connects several possible locations. The system of elf gates is sometimes referred to as the aiudara network.11

Elf gates (other than the Sovyrian Stone) do not allow travel between planets or planes, unlike the incredibly ancient or naturally occurring portals that they resemble. These interplanetary portals predate the elves, and perhaps even all life in the solar system.12

Religious significance

Alseta observes elves passing through an elf gate.

The elves consider Alseta, goddess of doorways, to be the unofficial patron deity of elf gates.13

Known elf gates

The following aiudara are known to exist on Golarion, although not all of them continue to be active to this day:

References

Paizo published a Pathfinder Adventure Path about aiudara titled Gatewalkers.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 95. Paizo Inc., 2011
  2. James L. Sutter. “Chapter 1: The Solar System” in Distant Worlds, 10. Paizo Inc., 2012
  3. Hal Maclean & Jeff Quick. Kyonin: Kingdom of the Elves” in Elves of Golarion, 18. Paizo Inc., 2008
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 James Jacobs, et al. “Adventure Toolbox” in Hellknight Hill, 75. Paizo Inc., 2019
  5. Amanda Hamon. “Hellknight Hill” in Hellknight Hill, 4. Paizo Inc., 2019
  6. 6.0 6.1 Hal Maclean & Jeff Quick. Elves of Golarion” in Elves of Golarion, 13. Paizo Inc., 2008
  7. James L. Sutter. “Lost Aiudara” in Against the Scarlet Triad, 71. Paizo Inc., 2019
  8. James L. Sutter. “Adventures on Castrovel” in The Seventh Arch, 69. Paizo Inc., 2023
  9. Patrick Renie. “Gatewalkers: A Campaign Introduction” in The Seventh Arch, 5. Paizo Inc., 2023
  10. Joshua J. Frost, et al. Lantern Bearers” in Faction Guide, 27. Paizo Inc., 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 JD Wiker. “A Memory of Darkness” in A Memory of Darkness, 19. Paizo Inc., 2009
  12. James L. Sutter. “Chapter 2: Stellar Adventures” in Distant Worlds, 53. Paizo Inc., 2012
  13. Sean K Reynolds. “Other Gods” in Gods and Magic, 45. Paizo Inc., 2008
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 James Jacobs, et al. “Adventure Toolbox” in Hellknight Hill, 71. Paizo Inc., 2019
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 JD Wiker. “A Memory of Darkness” in A Memory of Darkness, 19–22. Paizo Inc., 2009
  16. Ron Lundeen, et al. Tomorrow Must Burn, inside back cover. Paizo Inc., 2019
  17. Luis Loza. “Broken Promises” in Broken Promises, 17–19. Paizo Inc., 2019
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 James L. Sutter. “Lost Aiudara” in Against the Scarlet Triad, 71–75. Paizo Inc., 2019
  19. Joshua J. Frost, et al. Lantern Bearers” in Faction Guide, 26. Paizo Inc., 2010
  20. F. Wesley Schneider. “Endless Night” in Endless Night, 40. Paizo Inc., 2008
  21. Paizo retroactively removed drow from the Pathfinder campaign setting as part of the Pathfinder Second Edition Remaster Project. A canon replacement for drow in this context might not exist. See Meta:Drow.
  22. Jason Keeley. “They Watched the Stars” in They Watched the Stars, 4. Paizo Inc., 2023