The historical Kellid realm of Sarkoris (pronounced sah-KOHR-ihs)1 was a savage land of fiercely painted warriors and witches located in north-central Avistan.2 Established in 3672 AR after a confederation of tribes defeated the frost giants of the Northmounds, Sarkoris lasted until the opening of the Worldwound in 4606 AR, after which it was quickly overrun by armies of demons who destroyed or corrupted all in their path.3 Today, the lands of Old Sarkoris are known as the Sarkoris Scar, which the Kellid descendants of its original inhabitants are attempting to resettle.4
Aroden and Deskari
Sarkorian mystics had long identified that the barrier between planes was thin in Sarkoris. Historically, the central region of barrows known as the Northmounds was haunted by strange monsters, and infested by cultists of Deskari, demon lord of the Locust Host. In 4433 AR, Aroden drove the cult into the Lake of Mists and Veils and, for a while, made the region safe from further demonic incursions.5
Society before the Worldwound
The people of Old Sarkoris worshiped a host of different gods, hero gods, and heroes. While many of them have been forgotten, some are still known today including Alglenweis, daughter of Kostchtchie, the Stag Mother of the Forest of Stones and the dawn-feathered children of Sturovenen the Dragoneagle.6
The shaman-ruled southeastern city of Storasta remained an independent city for centuries. Following an incident in 4000 AR, the high witch-wardens of the three other major cities, Iz, Dyinglight, and Undarin, and the Warlord Uloric Dziergas annexed the city and brought it into the nation of Sarkoris.9
A few years before the prophesied return of Aroden, stirrings of new demonic cults began. Sarkoris' strange mystics made grim predictions of the nation's fall, speaking of ascendant chaos and a thinness between the planes in their haunting orations.10 Most of the people, however, were confident that Aroden's return would directly lead to a final end of these cults. Unfortunately, the mystics were proven correct.5 The planar instability of Aroden's death in 4606 AR allowed for the opening of the Worldwound, a gaping gateway to the Outer Rifts in the heart of Sarkoris.11 The nearby city of Iz was the first to fall to the demonic forces that streamed from the planar rift, and the other clan-holds soon followed, and soon the very land became warped and twisted.12
The city of Storasta was the last to fall, its sacred circles defended ferociously by tribal witches and shamans, aided by druids from Mendev and Numeria. Their bloody last stand is commemorated in the tragic Song of Sarkoris.9
The church of Iomedae, appalled by the demonic invasion, declared the Mendevian Crusades in 4622 AR in order to drive back the demons. The first several crusades were somewhat successful at containing the threat but still the majority of Sarkoris remained firmly under demonic control.13
Only the remote southern town of Gundrun remained free during this time, mainly because the demons had more or less forgotten about it in their larger conflict with Mendev. Refugees of lost Sarkoris huddled there, all that remained of a once-proud culture.7
The Sarkoris Scar
In 4718 AR, the Fifth Mendevian Crusade succeeded at vanquishing Deskari and closed the Worldwound. Since then, the land has been known as the Sarkoris Scar, and the tribes that once called it home are beginning to resettle it. Several cities, including Storasta and Iz, have been reclaimed, but demons still rove the hills and plains and Sarkoris is far from returned to its old glory.4
The tribes of Old Sarkoris magically preserved the collective memories of their chiefs and witch-wardens in the skulls of animals with whom they had a strong historical or cultural connection. These skulls, called huzuris, were believed to house the spirit of the tribes themselves, and any tribe that lost its huzuri was believed to have lost its soul as well.4
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Appendices” in Campaign Setting, 247. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 212. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Worldwound, inside back cover. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “Broken Lands” in World Guide, 32–33. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 198. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- Inner Sea Gods, 192. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 200. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 201. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Storasta” in Lost Cities of Golarion, 25. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Humans of Golarion” in Humans of Golarion, 9. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 36. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 198–9. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 199. Paizo Inc., 2011 .