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.
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?
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!
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!
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!