Absalom and Starstone Isle

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Inner Sea region the serves as the core of the Age of Lost Omens campaign setting is comprised of over 40 independent nation states and unincorporated regions, each home to diverse populations and the setting of countless adventures. And in the heart of the Inner Sea lies the Isle of Kortos (which translated from ancient Azlanti means "Starstone Isle") and on it, the world's largest metropolis—the teeming city of Absalom.

Illustration by Roman Roland Kuteynikov

Founded nearly 5,000 years ago by Aroden, the Last Azlanti, when he raised the isle and the Starstone from the Inner Sea floor, and in so doing became a living god, Absalom is the home of some of the region's most illustrious organizations, including the Pathfinder Society from whom the entire game gets its name. It was here that four mortals attained divinity by passing the Test of the Starstone, and here that countless would-be gods have laid unsuccessful siege to the city to claim the Starstone for themselves. Aptly called the City at the Center of the World, Absalom is a veritable melting pot of all of Golarion's myriad ancestries, cultures, and faiths.

In updating the setting for the Age of Lost Omens World Guide, we looked at scores of sources that fleshed out the vast city, incorporating events, locations, and personalities that grew organically over the last 12 years. Many of these sources were Pathfinder Society Scenarios, and players of the largest Pathfinder campaign in the world will notice a lot of their efforts represented in the current state of the city. Slavery has been abolished; the long-serving primarch, Lord Gyr of House Gixx, has disappeared (retired captain of the city's First Watch, Wynsal Starborn, rules in his absence); the magical cornucopias gifted by Aroden to the people of the city to provide for them in times of siege no longer work. Other updates come from adventures and sourcebooks from distant lands, such as Watcher-Lord Ulthun II of Lastwall's migration from Vigil to Absalom, from which he and his goblin aide-de-camp now coordinate operations for Lastwall's knights throughout the world. Now, why would he have done that?

Illustrations by Valeria Lutfullina and Katerina Kirillova

In large part, the updates to the city proper are the consolidation of hundreds of developments over the game's history, but that's not the case for the Isle of Kortos at large. Despite its prominent location, the island has received very little love in the last decade, so Paizo's Chief Creative Officer and Publisher, Erik Mona, sprang into action and personally filled the island with dozens of new adventure locations, many linked to the island's ancient history and its ties to the dead god, Aroden! Among the many new features gracing the island are a series of Aeon Towers, monolithic towers with glowing pinnacles believed to have been created by the Last Azlanti himself. The Aeon Towers (and much of the interior of the Starstone Isle) play a prominent role in the sophomore second edition Adventure Path, Extinction Curse, which launches in January, but you can get your first glimpse into this expanded world in August!

Illustration by Ainur Salimova

As with all ten new meta-regions in the Age of Lost Omens World Guide, the Absalom chapter presents several new player options, including a magic item, 8 character backgrounds, and the Pathfinder agent archetype!

Illustration by Klaher Baklaher

Check this spot Thursday for the first Tale of Lost Omens, a piece of flash fiction called "The Hopeful," written by none other than Absalom's original co-creator, Paizo's Director of Game Design, Jason Bulmahn!

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder World Guides Tales of Lost Omens
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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Pirate Rob wrote:
Razmir is the 4th, right? :)

Don't be silly, Razmir's power obviously doesn't come from the Starstone! That would be sacrilege. If you understood the steps, you would know, without a doubt that he merely followed the steps to divinity as their true nature had been revealed to him. They are after all his nature, and his path, not subject to some fallen rock.

The misinformation that some people spread these days!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

"ALL HAIL THE LIVING GOD"


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Razmir appeared in the Arch-Duchy of Melcat, in the western part of the River Kingdoms in 4661 AR, having gained divinity by passing the Test of the Starstone.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Fake news


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What REALLY happened is that he passed the Test of the Starstone—proving beyond any doubt that he was worthy of divinity—but declined to touch the stone as it was totally unnecessary for him. He then achieved apotheosis spontaneously, by virtue of his total magnificence and obvious divinity. This was the thirty-first step.

ALL HAIL THE LIVING GOD!


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HAIL RAZMIR! BEST GOD EVER - SO MUCH WINNING DESPITE NASTY BAD FAKE NEWS FROM B+#~%Y IMODEAE AND STONE COLD SORE DRUNK LOSER CAYDEN!


Excuse me sir, do you have a moment to talk about ALL HAIL THE LIVING GOD!


Hmmm, does Razmir actually do much missionary work? Or do they stay mostly focused on Razmiran where they control everything?

I still need to stat up that atheist Razmiran-born Oracle sometime.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Hmmm, does Razmir actually do much missionary work? Or do they stay mostly focused on Razmiran where they control everything?

We know they've made it at least as far as Nirmathas in an organized fashion.


Joana wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Hmmm, does Razmir actually do much missionary work? Or do they stay mostly focused on Razmiran where they control everything?
We know they've made it at least as far as Nirmathas in an organized fashion.

Nirmathas?! Don't you dare touch my anarchy equivalent, you f$#%in' quacks!! >_<


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It's extremely difficult for Nirmathas to put a stop to anything in particular that's going on within the borders of Nirmathas.


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thejeff wrote:

Hmmm, does Razmir actually do much missionary work? Or do they stay mostly focused on Razmiran where they control everything?

I still need to stat up that atheist Razmiran-born Oracle sometime.

Oh, Razmiran missionaries are totally a thing: "Razmir's temples are located throughout Razmiran, but also have spread into several nearby River Kingdoms, Molthune, Nirmathas, and Ustalav. The governments of Druma, Kyonin, and Lastwall have banned his worship and forbid his clergy from proselytizing." (From the Pathfinder Wiki) Rule of fear includes Ustalav banning the church in 4662. But also there's the fun bit a few years later about Razmiri missionaries claiming some of the lands along the border with Varno. The count of Varno openly ceded hundreds of acres to them... but the region was then plagued by a large number of disapearances and discovery of bloodless corpses, which stops further immigration.

Spoiler:
The count is a vampire of course


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If i recall Nirmathas bans his worship following the events of the Masks of the Living God module. Or at least the city of Tamran.


Vorsk, Follower or Erastil wrote:
If i recall Nirmathas bans his worship following the events of the Masks of the Living God module. Or at least the city of Tamran.

Probably the latter, usually each Nirmathi settlement lays down its own policies independently from all the others.

I partly disagree with PossibleCabbage's assertion about the capability of Nirmathas to efficiently deal with home affairs - they're very bloody-mindedly independent, but they arguably can elect spokespeople to send to national meetings where general courses of action are decided. Also, if they aren't able to reach an agreement, just look at the Chernasardo rangers - if a threat is dire enough capable people will rise and work together against it.

That's my impression at least.

Liberty's Edge

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Roswynn wrote:
Vorsk, Follower or Erastil wrote:
If i recall Nirmathas bans his worship following the events of the Masks of the Living God module. Or at least the city of Tamran.

Probably the latter, usually each Nirmathi settlement lays down its own policies independently from all the others.

I partly disagree with PossibleCabbage's assertion about the capability of Nirmathas to efficiently deal with home affairs - they're very bloody-mindedly independent, but they arguably can elect spokespeople to send to national meetings where general courses of action are decided. Also, if they aren't able to reach an agreement, just look at the Chernasardo rangers - if a threat is dire enough capable people will rise and work together against it.

That's my impression at least.

Nirmathas, like most good anarchies (or other relatively disorganized societies) peopled by those who really believe in their social system, is excellent at dealing with direct and obvious threats via social pressure (ie: ostracism, public censure, and the like), vigilantism, and guerrilla warfare.

They're less good at dealing with things that the populace as a whole does not agree are a threat, as there are not then the built in structures to arrange organized censures on the the things in question. The Church of Razimir tends to fall in the latter category, at least at first. After all, they say the right stuff and many of them are very persuasive.

So I'd imagine that the Nirmathi response to Razmiran missionaries is pretty fractured, with some communities ostracizing, ejecting, or killing them, and others allowing them in on sufferance while keeping a close eye, while a few welcome them with open arms.


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The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Could anyone share the events that leaded to Lord Gyr of House Gixx disaparence?

This is, I believe, the first time it's been mentioned. I suspect it might have something to do with the schemes of Avid of House Arnsen, revealed in Towns of the Inner Sea.

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