Mwangi Expanse

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The Mwangi Expanse.

Mwangi Expanse
Alignment Neutral
Capital None
Ruler None
Government Many tribal chiefdoms, utopian enclaves, monarchies, etc.
Demonym Mwangi
Adjective Mwangi
Languages Mwangi, regional dialects
Religions Angazhan, Gozreh, Lamashtu, Ydersius, ancestor worship, demon lords, Green Faith, regional traditions
Images of Mwangi Expanse
For other meanings of "Mwangi", please see Mwangi (disambiguation).

The Mwangi Expanse (pronounced MWAN-gi),[1] archaically also called the Forbidden Jungle,[2][3] is the catch-all term given to the wild interior of the continent of Garund. It is bordered to the north by the lands of Rahadoum, Thuvia, and Osirion, to the east are Katapesh, Nex, Alkenstar, and Geb, and to the west by the Shackles and the Arcadian Ocean.[4][5][6]

The Expanse also extends southwards beyond the Inner Sea region.[4]

There are few records of the region initiating dealings with outsiders, apart from the anti-colonial activities of the city of Mzali. Instead, foreigners (most notably the Aspis Consortium) travel into the Expanse in search of treasure. The usual hazards of jungle exploration are made worse by the existence of evil spirits, sentient plants, and juju cults but legends of lost cities of gold and incredible riches continue to attract visitors.[4]

Wealth has been found in the region, and the existence of heavily-laden treasure ships heading north to Avistan from Bloodcove, Senghor, and also Anthusis (in Vidrian, formerly called Eleder) has encouraged the growth of the pirates of the Shackles to prey upon them.[4]


Dahak scours the forests of the Mwangi Expanse in the wake of Earthfall.
See also: Timeline of Mwangi Expanse

Little is known today of the region's ancient history, but the landscape is dotted with human ruins as old as almost any to be found elsewhere in Golarion.[4]

During the Age of Serpents, the Mwangi Expanse was part of the serpentfolk empire. In the Age of Legend, Mualijae elves began settling the northern Mwangi Jungle and came into conflict with expansionist humans.[7][8] When Azlant rose, it came into conflict with the serpentfolk, and emerged victorious when Savith decapitated the serpentfolk's patron deity Ydersius. The Azlanti established an outpost of Saventh-Yhi but otherwise made no effort to settle the Mwangi Expanse, leaving the power vacuum to be filled by the cyclops empire of Ghol-Gan.[9]

In -5293 AR, the Starstone fell, leading to the fall of both Ghol-Gan and Saventh-Yhi.[9] In its aftermath, Dahak slipped into the Material Plane via Alseta's Ring and devastated the Mwangi Expanse until the Mualijae, at a great cost of lives, managed to trap his manifestation between the planes.[10]

As the Age of Darkness passed into the Age of Anguish, the legendary heroes Old-Mage Jatembe and the Ten Magic Warriors did their best to re-establish civilization. They defeated the sorcerous King of Biting Ants at the Doorway to the Red Star, and established the wizardly academy of Magaambya in Nantambu.[4]

In -2556 AR, as the Age of Anguish gave way to the Age of Destiny, followers of the Magic Warrior Black Heron united some Mwangi tribes to fight the cult of Rovagug. After the cults are defeated, they founded the Shory Empire, whose first flying city Kho took flight in -2323 AR. The Shory's flying cities maintained a nomadic lifestyle, offering knowledge and services to cities they passed over. As they began consorting with daemons and entities from the Dark Tapestry, the Shory began to decline, until Kho fell in -632 AR and Ulduvai followed in -507 AR.[11][4]

In 4138 AR, Cheliax established the colony of Sargava on the western coast. The success of the colony was seriously curtailed by the appearance of the Eye of Abendego upon Aroden's death in 4606 AR. When Abrogail Thrune I ascended to the throne of Cheliax in 4640 AR, Baron Grallus, who had backed a rival of House Thrune, declared Sargava's independence.[12]

The city of Usaro, on the southern shore of Lake Ocota, is home to bloodthirsty apes and charau-ka who revere Angazhan. Led by the Gorilla King, they ensure that the heart of the Mwangi Expanse will always be inimical to humanoid life.[13][4]

The unification of the pirates of the Shackles in 4674 AR [14] had adverse implications for the passage of goods to and from the Expanse, although it was the pirates themselves who established the free port of Bloodcove, through which much of the region's riches now pass en route to Avistan.[15]

In 4717 AR, the anti-colonial resistance in Sargava succeeded, overthrowing the government and establishing the new nation of Vidrian.[12]


Mwangi human, elf, lizardfolk and less recognisable tribes.[4]


Polyglot, regional dialects.[4]


Shamanism, ancestor worship, Angazhan and other Demon lords, Gozreh, Lamashtu, Ydersius, the Green Faith.[4] Angazhan is worshipped mainly by the Expanse's sentient apes. Most Mwangi see shamanism, ancestor worship, and worship of Gozreh as being complementary belief systems rather than competing ones.[16]


Some of the tribes of the region are as follows:

Dwarf tribes

There are two main groups of dwarves in the Mwangi Expanse, with virtually no contact between them:[17] the Mbe'ke, who migrated to the Terwa Uplands and founded the Sky Citadel of Cloudspire in -4372 AR, soon after the Quest for Sky; and the Taralu, who live in scattered clans across the eastern Mwangi Jungle.[10][18]

Elf tribes

See also: Mualijae

Unlike most elves of Avistan, the elves of the Mwangi Expanse did not relocate to Sovyrian or retreat underground during Earthfall. Instead, these tribes, collectively known as Mualijae, continued to live as they always had.[19][20][21]

The Mualijae are descendants of elven explorers who established a nation spanning most of the Mwangi Jungle in the Age of Legend.[7][8] After Earthfall, the Mualijae stopped Dahak's rampage through the Mwangi Expanse at a great cost of lives, and some claim that the modern tribes were left behind in order to fight the Great Darkness (as Dahak becomes later known as) when it returns.[10][19] The epic poetry inscribed in elven on the walls of the ruined city of Nagisa is the sole known non-oral depiction of this legend.[17] After defeating Dahak, the Mualijae split into three groups: the Ekujae, who stayed around Alseta's Ring; the Alijae, who settled near Nagisa in -5014 AR; and the Kallijae, who fled Nagisa in fear of being corrupted, and subsequently settled near Lake Ocota.[10]

Other tribes


The region is dominated by Lake Ocota, the numerous rivers which drain into the lake—mightiest of which is the Vanji River—and the Mwangi Jungle which surrounds them. However, there are two other jungles—the Kaava Lands in the southwest, and the Screaming Jungle in the southeast.[22]

The two other major lakes are Terwa Lake and the Lake of Vanished Armies.[4][23]

The Barrier Wall mountains mark the Expanse's northern border, while the Brazen Peaks and the Shattered Range lie on the eastern border. The Kho-Rarne Pass links the region with Osirion, while the Ndele Gap leads into Nex.[24] The Gorilla King's forces used tunnels beneath the Shattered Range to raid Alkenstar, but following the highly successful raid of 4690 AR the forces of Alkenstar collapsed the tunnels.[4]

The other significant highland regions are the Terwa Uplands and the Bandu Hills.[25]


  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. James Jacobs. (April 30, 2011). Comment on "Pathfinder Chronicles Questions", Paizo messageboards.
  3. Tim Hitchcock, Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor. (2009). Seekers of Secrets: A Guide to the Pathfinder Society, p. 41. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-178-7
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 126–128. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  5. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). World Guide, p. 91. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  6. In First Edition, the Mwangi Expanse was treated as a pseudo-'nation' that excluded Sargava and the Sodden Lands. In Second Edition, it is considered a geographical region encompassing both of these countries.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Laura-Shay Adams et al. (2021). The Mwangi Expanse, p. 14. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-340-9
  8. 8.0 8.1 Tim Hitchcock et al. (2010). Heart of the Jungle, p. 13. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-247-0
  9. 9.0 9.1 Laura-Shay Adams et al. (2021). The Mwangi Expanse, p. 15. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-340-9
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Laura-Shay Adams et al. (2021). The Mwangi Expanse, p. 16. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-340-9
  11. Laura-Shay Adams et al. (2021). The Mwangi Expanse, p. 17. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-340-9
  12. 12.0 12.1 Laura-Shay Adams et al. (2021). The Mwangi Expanse, p. 21. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-340-9
  13. James Jacobs. (2010). Lords of Chaos, p. 63. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-250-0
  14. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 170. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  15. Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). River into Darkness, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-075-9
  16. Tim Hitchcock et al. (2010). Heart of the Jungle, p. 18. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-247-0
  17. 17.0 17.1 Tim Hitchcock et al. (2010). Heart of the Jungle, p. 56. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-247-0
  18. Laura-Shay Adams et al. (2021). The Mwangi Expanse, p. 72. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-340-9
  19. 19.0 19.1 Hal Maclean and Jeff Quick. (2008). Elves of Golarion, p. 13–14. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-143-5
  20. Logan Bonner et al. (2019). Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p. 431. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-168-9. The terms wild elf/elves, which appeared prior to this book, are no longer used.
  21. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). World Guide, p. 92–93. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  22. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 128. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  23. Tim Hitchcock et al. (2010). Heart of the Jungle, p. Inside front cover. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-247-0
  24. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 128. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  25. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 128, 172. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2