Chronicles of Tellus
Cities are not born, they are made; usually through centuries of back-breaking labor and innumerable hardships. But that isn’t the case with Solarion. It was brought into the world in a single moment, ready to grow, ready to flourish, ready to claim its place as a city-state to rival empires. No one knows why the city was created or who created it, they merely know that one day it just…was. No account exists of Solarion’s first moments, for no one saw its creation. Thus, it is no coincidence that the Age of Men is measured in Solarion Reckoning, for this age was ushered in by the Rise of Solarion.
…records of the first few centuries of Solarion are spotty at best. The Founding Law of Solarion, the laws which even the Grand Council may not change or remove, were written in stone within Azlanti Keep, but no other original documents survive. Four millennia of mold, accident, and even intentional sabotage have ruined every book, scroll, and tablet kept before 400 SR. While copies of copies claiming to be true to the original texts can be found throughout the city, even within the Forae Logos different editions of texts often disagree with one another. Much of the first millennium of Solarion is less history and more mythology. For example, the great scholaronce discovered…
…more than four thousand years, Solarion has been the City at the Center of the World. It is a metropolis-sized showcase of the greatest treasures is all of Tellus. The importance and influence of Solarion upon the Sea of Life, the Blue Divide, the Sea of Alduria, and even the whole of Tellus cannot be overstated. The city not only holds a key strategic position for both commercial and military endeavors in the region, but encompasses the site of the ascension of four deities and claims to have been the first city founded in the history of the world. Although no records exist that disprove this claim, many scholars insist that this theory…
Solarion’s many centuries of immigration have provided it with a dizzying array of guilds, houses, religious and martial orders, and other organizations, each with their own symbols. Solarion as a whole, however, has a number of common symbols. The city’s colors are golden yellow and green (for the sea and the island’s lush pastures). Solarion’s mascots are the hippocampus, representing the island’s naval power and Sea Cavalry, and the mother-sphinx, imported from the Drizzaru Dunes. Solarion’s mother-sphinx is typically presented as a winged lion with a female human head and upper body, and occasionally shown pregnant, astride a wave, or with human hands holding a scale and scepter or scroll. The city’s motto is “Ex Prothex”, which is interpreted to mean “From the First” or “First Among Equals”. Solarion’s hybrid nature and long history are reflected some of the in the foreign names for it: the Patchwork City, or the City of Buried Treasures.
This great city even extends beyond the Material Plane; although a pale reflection of its namesake, Shadow Solarion is the greatest city on the Plane of Shadow. Scores of scholars, wizards, and adventurers have ventured to this plane only to find that their greatest…
…also known as the Wise House and the Library of Kortos. The Forae Logos is the largest library in Solarion, located in the Wise Quarter. As one of the greatest sources of knowledge in Aldurian Region, the scrolls, documents and tomes within are jealously guarded. The Grand Council has forbidden the removal of any text from the library (as outlined in the Founding Law), except by unanimous agreement. The Grand Council has ordered that every book brought into the city either be copied or be taxed a silver per page. Although enforcement of this law is haphazard, this has been quite profitable for the city, both in terms of gold and knowledge. The Forae Logos is also home to the Scrivener’s Guild, which cares for the books in exchange for free access to the library. The district watch, known as the Learned Guard, is housed in buildings around the library, ensuring the protection of the Forae Logos above all other concerns. Indeed, it was the Learned Guard that prevented the…
The Grand Lodge is the world headquarters for the organization of explorers known as the Pathfinder Society. Located in the Foreign Quarter of the city of Solarion, it is a massive fortress surrounded by tall stone walls. Within the outer walls sit seven smaller fortified structures, the largest of which is Skyreach, an enormous five-towered building which also houses the Society’s Grand Hall. Those who wish to join the society must present themselves at the gates of the Grand Lodge. If accepted, the initiate lives, trains, and if promoted to full Pathfinder status, the confirmation ceremony all occur within the Grand Lodge’s walls. The Grand Lodge has been the seat of the Pathfinder Society for more than 400 years. Carved out of white stone, it is a five-towered fortress that can be seen throughout the city as a shining beacon of the Pathfinder spirit. Some notable sights inside the Grand Lodge include…
…once common. Solarion is home to imagination; anything one can dream can be found or made in Solarion. The skies of Solarion are filled with men on flying mounts, soaring Valcraft, and the recently added Transport Crystals. The streets abound with a variety of traditional and exotic beasts of burden, automation transport apparatuses, and numerous man-powered vehicles. In addition to the Transport Crystal, Solarion Transportation has also introduced the advanced Portico system. These magical gateways allow instant teleportation inside of the city for a small fee. For a larger fee a user can instantly teleport anywhere in Tellus, or anywhere in the Realms for a still larger fee. These fees serve to…
…greatest attraction Solarion has to offer is by far the Ascendant Court Rialtais. This wondrous edifice defies gravity and floats over a bottomless pit. No wizard or scholar has ever been able to determine how this works or why the Rialtais was created. Viewing it as the most important spot in the city, the First Grand Council chose it as the home of all governmental functions in the city. This proved to be a wise choice as yet another fantastic property of the Rialtais is that the rooms inside will rearrange themselves and change their size based on the needs of the government. Again, how this functions is unknown, but greatly appreciated by officials of such a large, powerful, and busy city. The Ascendant Court Rialtais marks the spot where Sha’ra’a…
…due to the grandness of the Ascendant Council Rialtais and the strategic location of Solarion that the city has come under siege from enemies no less than three hundred times in its estimated four millennia life, and not once has it been sacked. The countryside around Solarion is littered with the remains of fallen soldiers and destroyed siege engines. Any valuables are picked clean by local scavengers and the rest is left as a warning to other would-be invaders; a warning too often ignored. The result of millennia of warfare is ruined battlements and remains stretching for miles outward from Solarion. This region is now called the Cairnlands. This region has become inhabitated mostly by…
…like the Cairnlands, Solarion Harbor is ringed by the sunken remains of warships and naval armadas forming what is called the Flotsam Graveyard. The numerous rotting hulls have forced the Solarion Harbormaster’s Grange to prevent any ships from maneuvering the Flotsam Graveyard if they are above a certain size and draft. A certified navigator will ferry out to the vessel and navigate it through the graveyard and into dock for a small fee. One of the greatest naval disasters on record occurred when the…
…happens to be the largest in the land. As for the city itself, it stretches an astounding seven and a half miles from Starwatch Keep to Azlanti Keep and more than five miles from Westgate to Eastgate. Solation boasts a population more than three times the size of the next largest city in Alduria. The city is so massive that it must be separated into individual districts, each a city unto itself both in terms of population and culture. Each district holds its own council, creates its own laws, and manages its own affairs. The main Solarion government manages the districts and the Solarum Guard. The current Master of the High Council is King Lews Thorndale XIV of House Gixx. Many view him as a strong and capable rule. His rise to the throne was marked by…
…how, in its early years, the people of Solarion defended themselves against larger forces. Records of these early battles have long been lost, but many theories exist. One is that, due to the age of the city, it was found and populated before any other cities could reach large enough size to pose a threat. Other tacticians maintain that the strategic location of Solarion offers such superb defenses that small armies can hold off large attackers for years while waiting for aid to arrive. This method has proved true numerous times in the past thousand years or so and holds the most weight as truth. Finally, a popular theory among obscure mages is that the city actually defends itself against mal-intent invaders if the current inhabitants cannot. No ideas have been put forth as to how this is accomplished and the theory itself raises more questions than answers. How does the city know when to initiate defenses? How do these defenses determine which side is preferable? Or if it does not choose and only defends the inhabitants, does that mean the city selects who inhabits it or does it default to the current “owners”? No records indicate the validity of this theory and questions such as these often serve to debunk the idea. Thus, this question remains…
At the center of the City at the Center of the World lies the Ascendant Court—Solarion’s religious huband the site of ascension of four gods. The Ascendant Court is the religious center of Solarion, holding the preponderance of the city’s temples. Located at the physical center of Solarion, it serves as a hub between other districts. 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.
Not far from the Ascendant Court Rialtais one can find a number of major temples such as Sarenrae’s Temple of the Shining Star, the Pleasure Salon of Calistria, Cayden’s Hall, and the Seventh Church, site of one of Iomedae’s miraculous acts. Even the Cathedral of the Fallen honors those who attempted and failed at breaking through Solarion’s walls. Religious fervor and zealotry can be found in the streets and plazas of the Ascendant Court as well. With the crowds, of course, come those interested in pilfering a few purses or running a little racket at the expense of the out-of-town rubes. Religious conflicts are rare; the last major riot happened on Devil’s Night in the late 4360s SR, when displaced nobles from Cheliax fought the guard to burn down the temple of Asmodeus.
The Graycloaks are the Ascendant Court’s district guard, and consists only of declared nonbelievers who reject the status of the gods as anything other than powerful entities unworthy of worship. They wear light gray wool cloaks, but have no other symbols of affiliation or allegiance. Runewulf the Unbeliever, a cousin of Estrid the White, is Captain of the Graycloaks.
Azlanti Keep is a stone fortress in the city of Solarion 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. All of the roofs of the buildings in the keep are flat, and accessible from inside, in order to provide platforms for siege equipment. Because it is the most strategically defensible location in Solarion, the Azlanti Keep is also home to the High Council. 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.
The Coins district in Solarion resides just north of the great city’s docks. In this section of the city, much of the business and financial dealings of Solarion are carried out. It is essentially the business sector of the city, rather than a marketplace, for which the Merchants’ Quarter functions. Many of these meetings and deals take place in the Grand Dance Hall of Kortos, a theater where dancing troupe shows are displayed. The Clockwork Cathedral, an academy of mechanics and constructs is located in this part of the city. The Nanoian Embassy, operated by Nuar Spiritskin is found here. Interestingly, the Irorium, a combat arena in which daily matches are held, is located here as a sharp contrast to the otherwise peaceful businesses.
The Docks is not merely a physical location in Solarion, but is in fact another city district. For most travelers, the docks are the first sight of the city experienced. It is a bustling area where longshoremen constantly load and unload cargo destined for Solarion’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.
Eastgate 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 Solarion, the Postern, which is manned by the Post Guard.
Foreign Quarter: The Foreign Quarter is the city district in which many of Solarion’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 Alduria 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. The Pathfinder Society’s massive fortress, the Grand Lodge, is located here. The tallest building in the city, Skyreach, is part of the Grand Lodge and can be seen from anywhere inside the city walls.
Green Ridge is located on the eastern side of Solarion, 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 Solarion, the district tends to be peaceful and quiet. The largest park in Solarion, 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 Solarion. The Watchtower, the tallest tower of the city’s defenses, is garrisoned here by the Eagle Garrison, the smallest force of the paid guards of the city.
Solarion’s Ivy District is by far the smallest of the city’s districts; the exclusivity of the tree-lined streets give the neighborhood 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 Solarion, 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 Solarion is a city district located west of Eastgate and east of the Coins. This area is home to much of the trade, both legal and illegal, that occurs within Solarion 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 Merchants’ Quarter reports more murders than any other district of Solarion 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 Labor, 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 Merchants’ Quarter Guard is colloquially known as the “Token Guard”, and takes a lenient view of crime. The guard only responds to offenses when paid to do so by a private concern or to avoid the attention of the primarch. The Token Guard’s most typical response to a disturbance is to arrest everyone at the scene and hold them for disturbing the peace at Bail House until someone posts bail
The Petal District lays in the north west part of Solarion, 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 Center 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 center 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 Solarion, the College of Mysteries, is located here.
What is today called the Precipice Quarter was once Solarion’s Beldrin’s Bluff, a quaint and quiet neighborhood featuring tea shops, minor governmental buildings and a few pleasure houses. In 4698 SR 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 is 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 rumors of strange hauntings in the ruins of the once idyllic neighborhood.
What is now known as the Puddles district of Solarion was greatly affected, like much of the city, by a massive earthquake in 4698 SR. 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 Solarion’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 Solarion’s traditions. The Kortos Cavalry patrols the streets of Westgate as the Sally Guard, and man the Sally Gate on the western walls of Solarion. The Guild of Wonders, a centuries old spy and assassin training school and organization, is located here.
The Wise Quarter is located between the Ivy District and Azlanti Keep. Most of Solarion’s government buildings are located in the Wise Quarter. It is also the home of the Arcanamirium, one of Tellus’ most well-known magical schools. Scholars and philosophers from the world over congregate in the Wise Quarter to teach, research and debate any topic known to mortals on Tellus.
Demographics and Statistics
Town Size: Metropolis
Population: 303,900 Adults (+121,560 non adults)
Gp Limit: None
Ready Cash: Essentially Limitless
Power Center: Conventional (Grand Council)
Racial Demographics: 64% Human, 11% Halfling, 8% Dwarf, 7% Gnome, 5% Half-Orc, 4% Elf or Half-Elf, 1% Other
Guards: 3039 full-time (Solarum Guard); 15,195 militia
Highest Characters of Each Class (Multiples Spawn Separate Lower Levels, Except Those Marked *):
- Adepts: One 18th, One 17th, One 16th, and One 15th Level
- Aristocrats: Three 16th and One 13th Level
- Barbarians: Two 19th, One 18th, and One 17th Level
- Bards: One 18th, Two 17th, and One 16th Level
- Clerics: One 18th, One 16th, and Two 14th Level
- Commoners: Three 20th and One 19th Level
- Druids: One 18th, Two 15th, and One 13th Level
- Experts: Two 20th, One 17th, and One 16th Level
- Fighters: Two 20th, One 15th, and One 13th Level
- Monks: One 19th, One 18th, One 15th, and One 13th Level
- Paladins: Two 18th, One 16th, and One 13th Level
- Rangers: One 17th, One 15th, One 14th, and One 13th Level
- Rogues: One 18th, Two 18th, and One 14th Level
- Sorcerers: One 17th, One 16th, and Two 15th Level
- Warriors: One 19th, One 18th, Two 15th Level
- Wizards: Two 19th, One 15th, and One 14th Level
Source: Description largely based on “Absalom” from the Pathfinder® roleplaying game
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