The Taldan people are known the world over for being accomplished scholars, artisans, and
practitioners of exotic martial skills. They are also known to be perhaps the most arrogant, selfimportant, and dismissive culture in history. Both these reputations are well deserved.
On the shores of the Inner Sea sits the kingdom of Taldor, the oldest of the surviving Avistani nations in the region. From its humble beginnings as a trading post where Azlanti fleeing the devastation of their homeland could exchange goods with Keleshites living on the frontier of ancient desert empires, Taldor grew to become a world power in its own right. At one time, the Empire of Taldor spanned most of southern Avistan, north to the River Kingdoms, and west through most of modern Cheliax. Yet today the kingdom of Taldor is a mere fraction of its former size.
Despite the loss of their empire, Taldans retain an arrogance and aloof spirit more befitting a people at the height of their power and inf luence. Wealthy merchants, royals, and landowners across the Inner Sea do their best to cultivate the style, air, and sophistication of Taldor, but
observers can always tell the difference between a poseur and the genuine article. The way a Taldan man wears his neatly trimmed beard is as much a birthright as a matter of grooming. And the elaborate, ribbon-festooned wigs worn by the women are heirlooms passed down from generation to generation.
Outsiders sometimes find it difficult to fit into Taldan society. The local populace considers anyone who does not have the advantage of Taldan birth and training to be hopelessly provincial, an opinion they express loudly and often. They generally seem to be of the opinion that anything of importance must happen in Taldor and, conversely, anything that
happens outside the kingdom must be trivial and banal.
Taldans justifiably take pride in the strong inf luence their native gods have exerted across not
just the Inner Sea region, but across most of Golarion. Of the 20 most widely worshiped deities, four hail originally from Taldan traditions or were themselves Taldan in their mortal lives: Abadar, Cayden Cailean, Norgorber, and Shelyn. Taldans gladly point out to anyone around that
two of the three mortals who ascended to godhood thanks to the power of the Starstone are of Taldan descent. By the same token, they become petulant whenever someone has the bad manners to point out that the third and most widely worshiped of the ascendant gods—Iomedae the Inheritor—is of Chelish stock.
Taldan arrogance manifests differently for the two sexes. Male Taldans exhibit an overbearing machismo that usually falls just shy of outright misogyny. They speak of conquests and territorial disputes when they discuss Taldan women, and of “bringing civilization to the barbarians” to brag of their exploits with women of other ethnicities or races. Taldan women express their ethnic superiority complex via biting commentary of the dress, hairstyle, body shape, or facial features of other females they see. Although they tend to focus their overly critical judgments on women from other ethnicities or races, when bored or among only close friends they sometimes casually insult one another (albeit with considerably less bile than when their attentions are drawn outside their close circles).
Obviously, not every Taldan exhibits the most extreme arrogant personality traits described here, but enough do to make the pride of Taldans an unfavorable stereotype known throughout the Inner Sea region. On the other hand, when moved to better emotions, Taldans express their concerns with nigh-unparalleled charity of time and wealth. In fact, the success with
which wide-eyed impoverished children (especially those of obviously Taldan descent) and those with hard-luck tales can convince a Taldan to donate hard-earned coins further leads to the view among others that Taldans throw about their wealth with little concern for the future. This hedonism, critics observe, frequently is the reason why many adults fall on hard times and must turn to their fellows for additional aid.
Taldans generally have long, flowing brown hair and naturally bronze skin (gifts from their Keleshite ancestors). Their eyes tend to be small but expressive, with green, gray, and sometimes more exotic amber coloration.