Pathfinder 2 – Settlements
TRAP Campaign – Absalom
City Overview – Absalom
City at the Centre of the World, Patchwork City, City of Buried Treasures
- Nation Varisia
- Size Metropolis
- Population 303,900
- Demographics ?
- Government ?
- Alignment ?
- Leader ?
For more than 4,000 years, Absalom (pronounced AB-sah-lahm) has been the City at the Centre of the World, a metropolis-sized showcase of the greatest treasures in all Golarion. The importance and influence of Absalom upon the Inner Sea and the whole of Golarion cannot be overstated. The city not only holds a key strategic position for both commercial and military endeavours in the region but encompasses the site of the ascension of four deities and claims to have been founded by none other than the Last Azlanti, the god Aroden. It is not without reason that the passage of time throughout the Inner Sea region is counted in Absalom Reckoning.
Districts of Absalom
- Ascendant Court – The Ascendant Court is the religious center of Absalom, holding the preponderance of the city’s temples as well as the Starstone Cathedral.
- Azlanti Keep – The keep is the home of the First Guard, the major element of Absalom’s military.
- The Coins – The Coins is Absalom’s main commercial district, where all manner of goods are for sale at any time of day. It is also the location of the controversial slave pits of Absalom.
- Docks – It is a bustling area where longshoremen constantly load and unload cargo destined for Absalom’s markets and elsewhere.
- Eastgate – Eastgate is an almost entirely residential district with many of its people working in other parts of the city.
- Foreign Quarter – The Foreign Quarter is the city district in which many of Absalom’s foreign population resides.
- Green Ridge – Part of its namesake comes from the fact that it has a number of extensive gardens and parks, as well as a number of copses of trees scattered throughout the area.
- Ivy District – Filled with theaters, galleries and discrete parlor houses, the district draws an eclectic array of artists, minor nobles and famous actors.
- Merchants’ Quarter – It is essentially the business sector of the city, rather than a marketplace, for which the Coins functions.
- Petal District – Known as the wealthiest district of the City at the Centre of the World, it is also home to the most powerful noble families.
- Precipice Quarter – A quaint and quiet neighborhood featuring tea shops, minor governmental buildings and a few pleasure houses.
- Puddles – Named for the constant flooding at high tide and poor upkeep.
- Westgate – This district is mostly a residential area, yet there are also a number of shops interspersed throughout.
The Ascendant Court is the religious center of Absalom, holding the preponderance of the city’s temples as well as the Starstone Cathedral. Located at the physical centre of Absalom, it serves as a hub between other districts: all roads in the Ascendant Court lead to the Starstone.
At the centre of the City at the Centre of the World lies the Ascendant Court—Absalom’s religious hub, the site of ascension of four gods, and the final resting place of the Starstone itself. The Ascendant Court is the religious centre of Absalom, holding the preponderance of the city’s temples as well as the cathedral of the Starstone. Located at the physical centre of Absalom, it serves as a hub between other districts: all roads in the Ascendant Court lead to the Starstone. Aside from the many temples, the district’s most notable locations include the Avenue of the Hopeful, God’s Market, the Chelish embassy in the former temple of Aroden, and the Black Mask.
Azlanti Keep is a major fortification, and large enough to qualify as a city district in its own right. The keep is the home of the First Guard, the major element of Absalom’s military. Azlanti Keep is a stone fortress in the city of Absalom which is so massive, that it is considered its own city district. From its elevated vantage point along the northern walls of the city, the citadel is in a prime location to defend against overland invaders. In addition to serving as a military stronghold, the keep also houses the city watch and the First Guard, an elite force of warriors, wizards, and scouts dedicated solely to uncovering and quelling threats to the city’s safety. The structure draws its name from its distinctive Azlanti-influenced architecture, including wide balconies and an immense flat roof, both of which provide as much military benefit as they do aesthetic appeal.
All of the roofs of the buildings in the keep are flat, and accessible from inside, in order to provide platforms for siege equipment. Notable locations within Azlanti Keep include the Outer Gate, the Grand Vault, the Little Roofs, the Open, the Craft Vaults, the Bunk Fields, Knight Country, and the Vents.
Rothos of House Vastille is captain of the First Guard, and retired captain Wynsal Starborn holds the district seat on the Grand Council.
The Coins is Absalom’s main commercial district, where all manner of goods are for sale at any time of day. It is also the location of the controversial slave pits of Absalom. The Coins district in Absalom resides just north of the great city’s docks. This area is home to much of the trade, both legal and illegal, that occurs within Absalom and the transient nature of its primarily merchant population facilitates the illicit exchange of drugs, slaves and other contraband. Despite its reputation, some areas of the district remain more respectable, such as the Monger’s Mart and the Grand Bazaar where the potential for profit outweighs the risk of unlawful dealings. But wherever money changes hands tempers and greed can get the best of even the most civil of men, and the Coins reports more murders than any other district of Absalom save the Puddles.
Commerce goes on in the district at all hours of day and night: taverns are open 24 hours a day, magical and natural illumination keeps markets open through the night, and public Time Callers shout the hour on the street. The most notable areas and stores of the district include Bail House, the Grand Bazaar, the Red Silk Route, the Saucy Wench, Hackamore House, Misery Row, The Eternal Shackle, The Devil’s Advocates, the Scales of Labour, Mudhaven, the Temple of Lost Coins, and Monger’s Mart. A statue of a two-headed owlbear is a notable landmark in the district.
The Docks is not merely a physical location in Absalom, but is in fact another city district. For most travellers, the docks are the first sight of the city experienced. It is a bustling area where longshoremen constantly load and unload cargo destined for Absalom’s markets and elsewhere. The district itself is a rather rough place, as the Harbor Guard tends to turn a blind eye to most brawls and the like as long as things don’t get out of hand. Young touts are found nearly everywhere, announcing the services of all manner of businesses. These include a number of cheap water side taverns and brothels located here.
Eastgate, a city district of Absalom, lies on the far eastern portion of the walled city. South of Eastgate lies the Precipice Quarter, and to the west is the Merchants’ Quarter. Eastgate is an almost entirely residential district with many of its people working in other parts of the city. The district as a whole is quiet and orderly, in some part due to its nomarch also being the captain of the local guard.
Found here is the eastern gate of Absalom, the Postern, which is manned by the Post Guard.
The Foreign Quarter is the city district in which many of Absalom’s foreign population resides. The Foreign Quarter lies west of the Coins and north of the Puddles. The lower taxes for non-citizens in this section of the city has made it quite popular for immigrants from the rest of the Inner Sea and beyond. Foreign merchants with businesses find the area particularly attractive due to an equivalent extension of ‘citizenry protection’ offered to any resident of the Foreign Quarter who has lived there for greater than 3 months. This area of the city has a distinct culturally exotic feel, even compared to the city as a whole.
A principal attraction would be the Irorium, a combat arena in which daily matches are held.
The Pathfinder Society’s massive fortress, the Grand Lodge, is located here
Green Ridge is located on the eastern side of Absalom, to the south of the Petal District. It is one of smallest and least populated parts of the city. Part of its namesake comes from the fact that it has a number of extensive gardens and parks, as well as a number of copses of trees scattered throughout the area. Interestingly, this district also contains many small farms a result of past sieges. In contrast to much of Absalom, the district tends to be peaceful and quiet.
The largest park in Absalom, Evergreen Park is located here. Also located in the district is the Grand Holt, a massive fig tree that is said to predate the existence of Absalom.
The Watchtower, the tallest tower of the city’s defences, is garrisoned here by the Eagle Garrison, the smallest force of the paid guards of the city.
Absalom’s Ivy District is by far the smallest of the city’s districts; the exclusivity of the tree-lined streets give the neighbourhood its name, which attracts a wealthier and more aristocratic demographic than the seedier parts of town located down the bluff toward the harbor. Filled with theaters, galleries and discrete parlor houses, the district draws an eclectic array of artists, minor nobles and famous actors. The Ivy District is one of the safer parts of Absalom, relatively free from the violent crimes one would expect in Puddles or even the Coins, but with money come extravagances and thus crimes such as prostitution and narcotics thrive among the hedonistic residents.
The Merchants’ Quarter of Absalom is a city district located west of Eastgate and east of the Coins. In this section of the city, much of the business and financial dealings of Absalom are carried out. It is essentially the business sector of the city, rather than a marketplace, for which the Coins functions. Many of these meetings and deals take place in the Grand Dance Hall of Kortos, a theatre where dancing troupe shows are displayed.
The Clockwork Cathedral, an academy of mechanics and constructs is located in this part of the city.
The Taurean Embassy, operated by Nuar Spiritskin is found here.
The Petal District lays in the north east part of Absalom, east of the Ascendant Court. It rests atop the Watercleft cliff face upon a rise of land known as Aroden’s Hill. Known as the wealthiest district of the City at the Centre of the World, it is also home to the most powerful noble families. The district’s name comes from the well-maintained rows of flowers that run down the centre of almost every paved street in brick-framed medians. In the opulent palaces, decadent balconies and elaborate gardens of the rich and powerful lies the dark truth of the life of the upper classes, who constantly vie for power through poison and murder as often as armistice and negotiation.
Unlike the other district heads that are referred to as nomarchs, the proper form of address of the head of the Petal District council is the satrap.
The oldest school of magic in Absalom, the College of Mysteries, is located here.
What is today called the Precipice Quarter was once Absalom’s Beldrin’s Bluff, a quaint and quiet neighborhood featuring tea shops, minor governmental buildings and a few pleasure houses. In 4698 AR Beldrin’s Bluff ceased to exist when a massive earthquake shook the city, shearing off a large chunk of the bluff on which the district stood, sending earth, structures and citizens plummeting into the sea. What remains are a precariously crumbling cliffside and the ruins of both the district’s infrastructure and the lives of its inhabitants. Law-abiding citizens now steer clear of this part of the city both because of its current population of criminals and because of the persistent rumours of strange hauntings in the ruins of the once idyllic neighbourhood.
What is now known as the Puddles district of Absalom was greatly affected, like much of the city, by a massive earthquake in 4698 AR. It caused this district to drop enough so that it was below sea level at high tide, since which time ongoing flooding and erosion have plagued the area. Unsurprisingly, most of the district’s inhabitants who could leave the area have done so, leaving behind addicts, criminals, and the poor to fend for themselves in an environment as derelict as their squalid lives. Misfortune and destitution aren’t the only reasons someone might live in the Puddles, though. The inhospitable environment and lack of public funds means less attention from the city watch, making the district the perfect hunting ground for those wishing to prey on the weak and an ideal breeding ground for thieves guilds, more than a handful of which operate out of the waterlogged quarter.
Like its namesake, Westgate lies on the western expanse of Absalom’s city districts. To the southeast is the Foreign Quarter, and to the northeast is the Ivy District. This district is mostly a residential area, yet there are also a number of shops interspersed throughout. Some of the oldest families with lineages stretching back thousands of years still call the district home. The area is thought of by some residents as the model of Absalom’s traditions. The Kortos Cavalry patrols the streets of Westgate as the Sally Guard, and man the Sally Gate on the western walls of Absalom.
The Guild of Wonders, a centuries old spy and assassin training school and organization is located here.
Campaign Events as Reported to the People
- AR 4708-01-08
- Week of festivities sponsored by the Lantern Lodge
- AR 4708-01-19
- Death of a group of Centaurs just north of the city by a wild beast, Centaur tribes showing unrest and causing trouble in the region north of the city.
- 2021-08-10 – Update to layout and links.
Other Settlements: Abken, Baslwief, Biston, Galduria, Harse, Ilsurian, Janderhoff, Kaer Maga, Melfesh, Nybor, Palin’s Cove, Ravenmoor, Roderic’s Cove, Sandpoint, Sirathu, Turtleback Ferry, Urglin, Velderaine, Wartle, Whistledown, Windsong Abbey, Wolf’s Ear
Other Locations: Ashwood, Bloodsworn Vale, Brinewall, Calphiak Mountains, Celwynvian, Chorak’s Tomb, Churlwood, Cinderlands, Crystalrock, Crystilan, Curchain Hills, Ember Lake, Fenwall Mountains, Fogscar Mountains, Gnashers, Gruankus, Guiltspur, Hollow Mountain, Hook Mountain, Iron Peaks, Kodar Mountains, Lady’s Light, Lurkwood, Malgorian Mountains, Mierani Forest, Minderhal’s Anvil, Mindspin Mountains, Mobhad Leigh, Mundatei, Mushfelns, Nolands, Red Mountains, Rift of Niltak, Rimeskull, Sanos Forest, Shimmerglens, Skotha Lake, Skull’s Crossing, Spindlehorn, Spire of Lemriss, Stormunder Lake, Stony Mountains, Storval Deep, Storval Plateau, Storval Stairs, Sunken Queen, Syrantula Lake, Varisian Gulf, Velashu River, Velashu Uplands, Viperwall, Wormwood Hall, Wyvern Mountains, Yondabakari River
Class Build: Minion (Mitflit), Barbarian (Nexa Shoanti Half-Orc), Bard (Quest – Goblin), Cleric (Pimwinkle – Halfling, , Krol – Elf Half-Gnome), Druid (Barak – Dwarf, Cangacerio – Human Half-Elf), Fighter (Kordar – Elf Half-Human, Zed – Human), Monk (Willy – Human), Oracle (Luna – Shoanti), Ranger (Duzhar – Orc Half-Human), Rogue (Sparky – Dwarf), Sorcerer (Belath – Cheliax), Wizard (Parry – Elf Half-Dwarf)
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