Osirion (pronounced oh-SEER-ee-on) is not only one of the oldest human nations currently in existence in the Inner Sea region, but has been one of the most powerful and influential since Earthfall.
The founding of Osirion in -3470 AR is used by historians as the marker for the beginning of the Age of Destiny. Osirion served as the trailblazer, marking humanity’s re-emergence from barbarism of the Age of Anguish. A follower of Nethys named Azghaad united the warring tribes along the Sphinx River and became the first pharaoh, a tradition of rulership that has continued (with long interruptions) to the present day. Under the rule of successive God-Kings the land prospered and expanded, at its height ruling much of northern Garund, including land ruled today by the countries of Geb, Katapesh, Nex, Thuvia, and Rahadoum. Osiriontologists often refer to the nation during its roughly 5,000-year span of pharaonic rule between its founding and the Keleshite takeover in 1532 AR (see below) as Ancient Osirion.
A period of decline followed, which was halted when the country was re-unified under the Four Pharaohs of Ascension, marking the country’s Second Age.4 However, the decline continued when the reign of the Four Pharaohs came to an end.6
Qadira satrapy and Keleshite sultanate
Osirian independence ended following the assassination of Pharaoh Menedes XXVI in 1532 AR, which led to the overthrow of the pharaonic dynasty. The country became a satrapy of the Empire of Kelesh.
By 2217 AR, a sect of Sarenrae known as the Cult of the Dawnflower was flourishing in Osirion, but the Qadira satrapy viewed it as a threat. The cult’s leaders were driven into exile in the desert.
In 2253 AR, the Cult assassinated the last Qadira satrap, ending their exile and leading to the establishment of a line of Keleshite sultans independent of the Empire.
After 3,000 years, Osirian independence was restored in 4609 AR, when the Keleshite sultan was overthrown and replaced by Prince Khemet I, who traced his ancestry back to the ancient pharaohs.
Khemet I was succeeded by his son Khemet II, who in turn was followed by his son, the current ruler Khemet III. Under his rule, parts of the country have been opened to foreign treasure hunters and researchers.
The Ruby Prince Khemet III rules as the divine monarch of the re-emerging nation. His chief advisor is the invisible fire elemental Janhelia. Some fear that Khemet is becoming embroiled in the complex politics of the savage elemental clans that inhabit Osirion’s desert regions. Khemet and his family are protected by an elite unit known as the Risen Guard. While Khemet’s rule is absolute, the day-to-day administration of Osirion is handled by the Council of Sun and Sky. In theory the Council is an independent body, but most Osirians realise the true power is held by the Ruby Prince.
This primarily desert nation occupies the northeastern corner of the continent of Garund. It is bordered on the north by the Inner Sea and the east by the Obari Ocean. Its western border (where it meets the nation of Thuvia) is established by the banks of the Junira River, while the Barrier Wall and the Brazen Peaks provide a natural barrier to the south, where Osirion’s former holding of Katapesh stretches into further expanses of desert. The two mountain ranges are separated by the Kho-Rarne Pass which leads to the Mwangi Expanse.
The desert interior dominates the country, which contains some of the largest arid wastelands on Golarion. The western desert has the Alamein Peninsula on the north coast, while to its west lie the the Cliffs of Kusha-ta-Pahk; to the east of the peninsular is the Coast of Graves. South of the peninsular is the Glazen Sheets, separated from the Footprints of Rovagug by the Scarab River. The central desert has the Sahure Wastes to the north and the Parched Dunes to the south. Separating them are the mountain range known as the Pillars of the Sun. The desert is then bisected by the mighty Sphinx River. Most of the country’s major cities lie on the river or its tributaries, with the capital, Sothis, at the mouth where it reaches the Inner Sea. The eastern desert has the impressive Underdunes to the north and the Salt Hills to the south, separated by the Shining Mountains. Features of the eastern coastline include the Burning Cape and the Scorpion Coast.
Osirion could not exist without the Sphinx River and its tributaries (the Asp and the Crook). They provide a yearlong source of fresh water to this otherwise inhospitable land, and it is not surprising that the vast majority of the nation’s inhabitants live along their banks. The rivers are not without danger, however, as they flood seasonally and are also home to the black-scaled crocodiles known as hetkoshu.