Independent Ilsurian

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Illustration by Mark Molnar

The many settlements from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Towns of the Inner Sea show smaller locations throughout the world of Golarion that are perfect for telling stories on a small scale. Radically changing the political or cultural face of a large city make be a massive ordeal taking up most of a campaign, but doing so in a town might take only the course of one adventure and happen at a lower level. The Varisian town of Ilsurian is a primarily peaceful place, but the dangers around the town could close in at any moment!

Ilsurian was founded by the Chelish expatriate Ilsur, and their independence from the tyranny of that diabolic state gave the town their identity. They pride themselves on their independence and discipline, and everybody who comes of age in the town knows how to use a weapon. Think of them like fairweather patriots: they talk a good game and know a few things, but they're no soldiers.

If you want a good kick-off to a campaign that starts in Ilsurian, Pathfinder Module: Murder's Mark takes you there, and you can use the description in Towns of the Inner Sea to flesh out the adventure further. And not to say too much about the plot of that adventure, but it's possible some real estate might free up in town for the PCs to snag on the cheap so they can set up a home base...

Logan Bonner

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Tags: Golarion Mark Molnar Pathfinder Campaign Setting
Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4


Grand Lodge

Ilsurian has been one of my favorite place-names since this campaign world was first published. Glad to see it finally get some published info to build on. (There is, afterall, no info whatsoever in "Murder's Mark" -- the word "Ilsurian" pretty much stands alone.)

I admit, my own map of Ilsurian has a special fondness for me; I've used it to kickstart a campaign and a couple small one-shot adventures over the years, But it's time to put it aside for the real deal.

I'll say this, though -- of all the possible geographic landmarks that I hollored and screamed about in my complaints about how Paizo is publishing the setting material, mountains in the background were the one thing I didn't consider for Ilsurian.

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

My theory is that unless told not to, fantasy artists illustrating a city will always add mountains in the background.

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

More gorgeous illustrations, excellent.

The Exchange

Hmmm, a settlement in Varisia that was founded by Cheliax, yet is now independent and takes pride in that... sounds a lot like Korvosa.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:
Hmmm, a settlement in Varisia that was founded by Cheliax, yet is now independent and takes pride in that... sounds a lot like Korvosa.

If I remember correctly, I think Ilsurian is actually under Korvosa's aegis.

According to Varisia: Birthplace of Legends, Ilsurian is one of those communities which is proudly independent of either Magnimar or Korvosa.

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This is the kind of artwork that is BY FAR the best in any PF/D&D book.

This is the most evocative, and most helpful, to my players (and me). Not the ones with the annoying iconics front-and-center that get in the way of what could otherwise be useful artwork for our games.

My players hate the iconics. "Who are these idiots that get in the way of the picture?!"

Grand Lodge

Lord Snow (and ArchPally),

From AP Vol#3 we get our first primer on Varisia and it includes Ilsurian and the following info:

I guy named Ilsur, who lived in Korvosa and didn't like how devilishly close it was staying to Mother-Cheliax, left Korvosa to found Ilsurian. Thus Ilsurian is very anti-Korvosa as far as Chelaxian influence goes, and it's very LN.

All the info published outside of AP#3 (RotRL Guide, Inner Sea Guide, Varisia: Birthplace, etc.) just have a Copy/Paste from AP#3.

I'm pretty sure Ilsur left Korvosa before the Magnimarian exodus from Korvosa, thus making Ilsurian older than Magnimar (just a WHOLE LOT smaller).

Grand Lodge

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Arnwyn wrote:
My players hate the iconics. "Who are these idiots that get in the way of the picture?!"


Your Players aren't the only ones!

I understand the position that D&D is about PCs fighting monsters so covers should feature PCs fighting monsters.
I just don't agree.

(Historically, I'm pretty sure TSR/WotC/Paizo took this stance of putting PCs on the covers, ruining the background, due to angry mothers from heck letters. I remember as recently as Dungeon 142 & 98 getting lots of angry letters (from mothers from heck) because of the cover illustrations.)

I just got done reading the Ilsurian entry yesterday and I like it. It's like a town of classic Republicans. Everyone has to own a weapon, they're clean-cut, freedom-loving, independent, a little racist... It's these kind of realistically complex bits of writing that keeps Paizo way above the pack.

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Agreed - the art I like best is "clean" of iconic characters. They have their place and I like them but not blocking the view of a town the playing characters are seeing for the first time. I don't want to be too distracted by them either. I just can't get enough of the artwork that shows towns, surrounding land, or important landmarks.

It's so hard to wait for this to show up in the mail! It looks soooo good.

Liberty's Edge

I like the art that includes the iconics, for instance the covers of the APs. I also dig the art that is like the piece featured in the blog, where it is just a view of the town, or other location. In other words I like a mix.

Never envisioned hills like this when I've played or run Murder's Mark, but then I live in Illinois...I would buy a home here in a heartbeat!

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