Sa'har Order Organization in Golarion | World Anvil

Sa'har Order

The Sa'har were an ancient order of monks that followed the Old Ways, a combination of mysticism and the forces of living magic that is the oldest and the origin of much of the magic used presently.   Akasha, or the Old Ways, is an ancient form of magic whose use predates most forms of spellcasting known to the mortal world. Long before wizards began unravelling the secrets of the cosmos and codifying them into arcane formulae, and even before dragons, demons and other beings of magic began mingling their blood with lesser species, wise mystics and abstruse visionaries bound the raw magical essence known as akasha into crude physical forms and bent its might to their enigmatic purposes.   Akasha is the power of creation itself, the very essence of magic. Akasha resonates with arcane, divine, and psionic energy, often acting as a natural amplifier for those power sources, though it is potent in its own right. Sages and scholars have debated whether akasha is the result of those power sources mixing and meshing with the life energy of mortal beings or if perhaps it is the undiluted source from which those diverse powers sprang. What is known is that all creatures have some facility to access this power or be accessed by it.   Akashic Monks, the predecessors to Qinggong Monks, could tap into the akasha to enhance their ki. The masters of these orders were Elves, whose extended lives gave them the centuries necessary to truly master the Old Ways.


The Sa'har High Council led the Sa'har Order, informally referred to as the Sa'har Council or the Council of Knowledge, and was the primary ruling body of the Order. The Council consisted of five Sa'har Masters, chaired by a High Consular, who oversaw and governed the Order as a whole. Though the Order's allegiance was to the Elven people of Kyonin, the Council was given the autonomy to manage Sa'har affairs without interference. This was especially the case when Humans gained admittance to the Order.


When the elves first settled on Golarion, their culture began to change. They no longer worshipped their ancestor spirits but came to embrace the new divine beings of their new world. Many elders, who called themselves the Akashics, rebelled against this trend, as they were the keepers of the Old Ways. They used their mystical powers to settle in the Isle of Meropis, away from the "corruption of their society." They frequently returned to the Mainland to offer advice and guidance in Celwynvian, however.   The Winter Council tried to use their political powers to influence the Sa'har. They wanted to use the order's power as frontline attackers in their war against the humans (and by proxy, the aboleth). The Sa'har refused. Their intent was not offensive. The order was meant to be a shield, not a sword. While the royal family grudgingly respected the beliefs of the order, many other political forces tried to maneuver them into being used for more offensive pursuits. Eventually, some of the Sa'har consulars joined the ranks of the Winter Council but only as advisors.   Just before Earthfall, the order had begun to allow humans to join their ranks. The elves vehemently opposed this, but the Sa'har order felt that by showing humans a path of understanding and harmony, it could end the conflict between them.   This all became a moot point a few years later when the aboleth brought a star down to Golarion, wiped out the Azlanti, and brought about Earthfall and the Age of Darkness.   The Sa'har, having seen the coming of Earthfall, warned the elves of the upcoming disaster. Most of the elves of Golarion fled through a magical portal to the mysterious realm of Sovyrian. Most members of the Sa'har order made the trip, leaving behind pyramoids of their personal libraries in case they never came back. A few, though, chose to return to their temples across Golarion, as well as Meropis, in hopes to preserve and protect the knowledge they had amassed over the centuries.   All temples, as well as their guardians, were believed to have been destroyed during Earthfall and the subsequent Age of Darkness. However, from the ashes spawned many of the martial classes that exist across Golarion today.  

Changes and Politics

  In the time before Earthfall, the Sa'har monks were advisors. They had no interest in being directly involved in the affairs of the elves. Despite the conflict between humans and elves, the Sa'har went so far as to allow humans the opportunity to join their ranks and develop an understanding of the larger picture around them. This offended many in power throughout the elven population, but with the immense power the Sa'har possessed, none dared to move against them. The politicians and noblemen used their guile and charm to manipulate the order, and managed to sway some of the Sa'har to join the Winter Council as personal advisors.   After returning to Sovyrian, the Order was approached by many of their people who wished to join them. Most were not Akashic Sensitive, but they were curious and wanted to study the Akasha. Over the millennia, there was a schism in the Order between those who wished to study the Akasha, and those who wished to practice it.     When the elves returned to Golarion after Earthfall, the Sa'har Order had changed. Those members of the Order who had remained on Golarion were gone. Meropis had vanished, either destroyed or disappeared into a pocket dimension. Those Akashic monks that had not left Golarion had fought to survive, but most were wiped out during the Age of Darkness. Those that remained were scattered into isolated cloisters, becoming the present-day Qinggong Monks.   The Sa'har Order that returned to Golarion had also changed philosophy. They were academics pursuing knowledge, preferring to study the mysteries of the Universe rather than embracing the Universe itself. They formed the library of Minas Amer and sent many of their monks out into the world in a quest for knowledge and understanding. They formed the Council of Knowledge and were called upon by the royal family as advisors.   The Akashic practitioners were not all gone, however. Led by the Winter Council, they became the Akashic Brotherhood. The Brotherhood practiced in secret but put on a public appearance of being wizards, sorcerers and clerics rather than Akashic Sensitive. They remained loyal to the Old Ways, both in the Akasha and of their people.


While the Sa'har train their bodies and minds, they acknowledge that a more militant presence is needed to protect the people of Minas Amer. The swordmages are the answer to that necessity - a sect of the Sa'har order comprised of elves who have blended art, swordplay, and arcane magic into a seamless whole. They use discrete tactics and precise movements during battle to maintain a highly effective combat defence. Using a mixture of arcane and martial abilities, swordmages act as guardians of Minas Amer, preserving the knowledge gathered from across Golarion and contained within the Great Library.

Foreign Relations

The Sa'har are loyal to the crown of Kyonin. However, they maintain fair relations with most other intelligent races so as to build on their library in Minas Amer by gleaning knowledge from other cultures across Golarion.

Divine Origins

The Sa'har Order is a powerful group that possesses immense amounts of knowledge and power. The Sa'har Order was notable for indirect development of magic and mysticism long before there was a name for it. For the Sa'har Order, the Old Ways, or the Elder Way, was the name for their practice. The Old Way, or the Elder Way, was a philosophy of meditation and study that could bind the forces of nature to an individual's will.   After Earthfall, it was believed that the Sa'har had been wiped out. Meropis was gone, as were the few temples scattered across Golarion. However, during the ten thousand years since then, Meropis and various temples have been stumbled across by various explorers. The suspicion is that the Sa'har is able to teleport their temples, as well as their entire island, from Golarion. Whether this is true, or where they teleport to, is unknown.  

Inductions into the Sa'har Order

The anciety Sa'har Order chose its members through a complex and ritualized method not well understood by outsiders. Ancient Azlanti scripts that have surfaced throughout history notes how in roughly 1,000 years, up until Earthfall, only seventeen new members were added to the order. This fits with the history of the order, which is heavily steeped in tradition. Two of those were humans who had already achieved a master rank in their own monastic studies and approached the Sa'har for further guidance.  

Training and Attunement

  Not much is known about the training practices of the Sa'har. The monk undergoes a ritual known as the Way of Attunement after many years of physical training and theoretical understanding of the Akashic. The monk enters a state of deep meditation, tapping into the Akashic energy around them to keep their bodies alive while their minds travel through the Akashic flow. It is very much a spiritual journey in that the spirit, the mind, leaves the body to understand and become more attuned to the Akashic around them.   There are many dangers involved with the Way of Attunement. The monk's spirit leaves the body for years, decades at a time until they attune to the Akashic. During that time, while the body does not need to eat or drink, and ages very slowly if at all, it is still vulnerable. If the body is killed, the spirit loses its tether and becomes one with the Akashic. In other cases, the spirit can spend too much time in the Akashic and find themselves lost in the flow, the silver cord tethering the spirit to the body being stretched so thin that it either breaks or cannot be followed back to the body.
Religious, Monastic Order
Major Exports
The Sa'har tithe to Kyonin through the selling of spells through their collection of various spellbooks, scrolls, and other magical iconography.
Subsidiary Organizations
Controlled Territories
Notable Members