Pathfinder is digging into Afro-fantasy with a newly announced book. Explore a different side of fantasy and, visit the Mwangi Expanse.
Saying that Pathfinder’s Mwangi Expanse has its roots in real-world Africa is like saying that the realm of D&D’s Barovia is “inspired” by Romani folklore. That is to say, the Mwangi Expanse is about as African as it gets, and one only needs to look at the vibrant art:
…the characters that populate the Expanse, like Alijae elves, or gods like Grandmother Spider:
or take a look at the creatures one can find within to see it. It’s a little-visited place in Golarion’s lore, and understandably so, because previously the Mwangi Expanse has very much been “the dark heart of Africa, but it’s fantasy.” That feels poised to change, as Paizo announced at their PAX Online stream earlier this week.
The Mwangi Expanse is a massive new book, more than 300 pages, which is a vibrant, colorful new look at a world that’s one of Golarion’s lesser-known places. It gets the attention a big chunk of the world deserves. You can find all sorts of history, details on culture, including how faith plays into the different peoples there, as well as new rules for players to create characters from or in the Expanse:
Mwangi Expanse will be exploring various subjects that make the region what it is today. You’ll get to learn about the events that shaped the history of the Expanse, like the rise and fall of the serpentfolk empire and Old-Mage Jatembe’s rediscovery of magic. Learn about the dozens of cultures and people of the Expanse—from Alijae elves to Zenj humans. You’ll also get to understand the role of faith in the Mwangi Expanse and learn about the different gods of the region, which include established deities like Grandmother Spider as well as newer deities like Adanye, the catfolk deity of imagination and protection.
Beyond the peoples and beliefs of the Mwangi Expanse, we’ll get to show you the region itself, traveling along the waterways of the area and trekking into its misty rainforests. The book will also take you to the various important cities of the region, like Nantambu, home of the fabled Magaambya academy, and Mzali, the temple-city home of the evil god-child, Walkena. Finally, we’ll get to experience the dangers of the Mwangi Expanse by showcasing some of the region’s nastier monsters, including old classics like chaura-kas and new threats like corpse-eating karina.
There’s a lot to get excited for in this upcoming book, though you’ll have to wait until June 2021 to check out the book.
What do you think of the announcement?