The Onyx Throne
The distant lands of Tian Xia contain the promise of an unlimited number of mysterious and captivating spectacles, but also within this mystical realm is the ever-lurking fear of the unknown and the untrustworthy. After all, not everything is as it seems in Golarion, and this holds doubly true in this part of the world, where the lands themselves seem to constantly change, simultaneously enchanted by the benevolent divine beings, locally known as ‘Kami’, and plagued by the demonic spirits known as ‘Oni’.
Wary adventurers know to carefully scrutinize even the most mundane creature, as it can just as easily change shape into either something equally harmless or a monster of devastating proportions. Regardless of the ever-shifting nature of Tian Xia, one crucial rule remains constant: keep your eyes open.
The vast continent of Tian Xia is made up of many distinct nations, each with its own cultural traditions and rich history. With the collapse of the Imperial Lung Wa over a century ago, much of the continent’s mainland has been thrown into disorder and civil war, though the outlying nations remain independent of these internal conflicts. The Minkai Empire, one the largest nations in Tian Xia, would have been the most powerful region left standing after the collapse of Imperial Lung Wa had it not quickly begun to see the demise of its own power structure as well. The official ruler of Minkai, the unenthused Emperor Shigure Higashiyama, has recently been removed from the Jade Throne and taken into hiding by the Higashiyama clan, supposedly for his own safety. The Higashiyama clan installed a temporary ruler in his place to maintain order as the nation began to fall apart, but the Jade Regent is becoming an increasingly infamous public figure, and none can tell how much longer the instable nation will remain standing.
This story will require you to travel epic distances with a crew of lively NPCs, starting in the familiar nation of Varisia and ending up on the other side of the world. There is a heavy amount of Eastern content, some of which I have removed, some I have emphasized. There will be just as many taverns as tea houses. This campaign is a mix of several modules, two different adventure paths, and a personal home brew. Sounds messy, but the result, I think, is very fulfilling. A story will unfold one way or another and hard choices will be made that will not just feel like, but actually reflect, the will of the PCs on the world.
As a result, the primary element you should keep in mind when creating your character is the fact that while the Adventure Path begins in Sandpoint, it won’t stay there—build your character as someone eager to leave this quiet town to seek adventure elsewhere in the world and you’ll be set! Flexibility of character should be kept in mind more than usual. The journey is long and no one will come out the other side the same as they went in. Therefore I recommend leaving yourself open to many possibilities. You will not get a bigger cup so take care not to fill yours up in the beginning, lest you leave no room for what is to come as the story unfolds.