“Never have I visited a land so at ease with its own wonders. In fields groomed and cultivated for centuries on end, generations of peasants go about their daily rituals, not even lifting their heads as spirit creatures take shortcuts through their crops. In the cities stern parents warn their children not to dally near the docks or on bridges, lest they make themselves prey for what lives beneath. In the capital rise monuments to rulers past, honored still as beings as wise and mighty as the gods, while upon a throne of jade their worldly inheritor rules over a realm of wonders.” Prince Brylynn Obarskyr second son of Princess Regent Alusair Obarskyr and rightful King of Stolen Lands.
The history of Element Master’s is long and rich, but mostly unknown in the texts of Golarion’s scribes. What is known is that it began in the continent of Tian Xia and that the four elements were developed in specific regions. Once these element regions lived in balance and peace until one day the fire nation attacked. It threw all of Tian Xia into a 100 years’ war and only was brought to peaceful resolution when the Avatar was found.
Since that time the regions of pure element mastery has passed and most of its history has become legend. With the rise of Minkai and the development of other forces such as the arcane arts and divine worship the element mastery went into decline. The tapping of the elements and access to the spirits subtle changed the very foundation of the Tian Xia society.
After years of relative internal peace, Minkai is close to exploding into all-out civil war again. Many of the smaller islands once controlled by the empire have recently declared their independence. The successor to the Sakura Throne, Emperor Shigure Higashiyama, was imprisoned by the Higashiyama clan at their compound near the edge of the capital, supposedly to protect him. It is due to the clan’s strength, that war has not broken out already, but there is a growing movement to release the Higashiyama’s hold on the emperor, either by freeing or by killing him. The family clan has replaced Shigure Higashiyama with a temporary ruler to quell the instability arising in the country, called the Jade Regent, who is, however, proving quite unpopular since it was believed that the true ruler should once again be the Avatar of this generation. Rumors and whispers of the Avatar, to be known as the Jade Avatar, grew in the west and hope grew that he would once again make his presence known to all of Tian Xia. Its is unknown what truly happened to the Jade Avatar, some say he was lost in the crown of the world, others say that he was assassinated by the current government or that he never truly existed.
With the knowledge that the next Avatar in the cycle of reincarnation Fire, Air, Water, and Earth, that the Earth Masters are searching their ranks for any that show signs of the gifted one. All that most common people can hope for now is that the next Avatar can be found and bring balance to Minkai, Tian Xia and all of Golarion.
The 4 Element Regions
Wall of Heaven (Water Tribe): The Wall of Heaven (known locally as the Qiang Tian) is the dominant mountain range on the continent of Tian Xia, running along practically the entire western coast of that enormous land mass. They begin in the northern realm of Hongal and runs all the way down to the Naga Empire of Nagajor, far to the south and east. They are generally steep and impassible, with few navigable passes, which means that most trade and travel runs parallel to them. This is where the beginnings of the Elemental Masters of Water came from. Watching and learning the push and pull from Golarion’s moon itself interplay with the great oceans along the coasts.
The Three Fires (Fire Nation): The collective name for Mount Kazunan, Mount Kumijinja, and Mount Yogan, the Three Fires are a trio of active volcanoes that run along the spine of the Kamifushi and Kyojin Mountains. Legends say that each is a passage to a vast realm of fire deep beneath Minkai, where underworld dragons hoard the greatest treasures of the earth. It is also the main hub of the fire nation’s beginnings and the stronghold from where they struck out in their 100 years’ war. It is said that they learned to master fire from the dragons that lived within the heat and magma of the volcanos.
Sangoshi (Air Nomads): The island city of Sangoshi crumbed into the sea long ago, drowning a metropolis of air mastery culture, beauty, art, and science beneath the waves. In the time since, the nearby coral reefs have overgrown the underwater ruins, transforming them into a vast maze of living caves. Large numbers of eel-like siyokoys dwell in the sunken city, from which they raid the western coast of Minkai. Legends say that every 44 years the strange wonders of Sangoshi rise from the water for one day, only to sink again at day’s end. What most do not know is that there is another Island, the Air Element Monastery that floats miles above this region, high in the clouds. The island is held aloft by the magics of the first air masters spirits.
Uddo (Earth Kingdom): The Earth nation’s capital under the rule of the Teikoku Shogunate, Uddo was razed during the battle of Fire Nation that marked the downfall of the Teikoku family and the rise of the modern nation of Minkai. In the time since its destruction, the city has largely been reclaimed by nature, leading bandits to frequently use the maze-like ruins as hideouts, tempting tomb raiders to plunder the ancient tombs of Teikoku shoguns, and serving as the source for endless tales of deathless soldiers and enraged rulers past.