Rise of the Runelords
For more than 4,000 years, Absalom (pronounced AB-sah-lahm) has been the City at the Center 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 can not 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 founded by none other than the Last Azlanti, the god Aroden. It is not without reason that the passage of time throughout the world is counted in Absalom Reckoning. This great city even extends beyond the Material Plane; although a pale reflection of its namesake, Shadow Absalom is the greatest city on the Plane of Shadow, inhabited by fetchlings, other humanoids, and undead.
Founded in 1 AR by the god Aroden when he raised the Starstone from the depths of the Inner Sea, there is nothing ordinary about Absalom’s history even from its very first day in existence. Its whole-cloth creation allowed for a quick inhabitation and Aroden tasked the best and bravest from throughout Inner Sea region to protect the Starstone and prevent any from moving it.
But given Absalom’s tactical positioning and its undeniable influence, countless ambitious nations or greedy warlords have set their sights upon the walls of the city over the millennia, and the guarding of the city and the Starstone within has never been easy. For centuries on end the city was besieged by one army after another, attempting to bring Absalom to its knees and wrest control of it from all others. Despite the relentless onslaught, the city has never fallen. Relics of these ongoing wars still litter the plains of the Isle of Kortos surrounding the city and sunken warships clutter the harbor.