South of most civilized lands, sprawling across a valley of blazing-hot sand, is one of the most incredible and wondrous cities in all of Golarion: the great desert metropolis of Katapesh. Within its sandstone walls, anything one wishes can be bought, sold, or traded—for the right price. Katapesh is a city of organized chaos where cash is king and commerce is the highest god.
While most people point to Absalom as the greatest city of the Inner Sea region, there is no denying Katapesh’s mercantile might, and many groups find this thriving market city more to their liking. Through all of the trials and tribulations Katapesh has weathered, from its beginnings as the “Golden City” to the bustling metropolis of today, it has retained its mercantile importance no matter who or what has occupied it. Some believe that it is Katapesh’s divine purpose to one day become the greatest center of commerce in all of Golarion.
The city holds more than 200,000 souls, and each one wants to sell you something. At first glance it appears there are more businesses than residences in Katapesh, because so many merchants sleep in their shops, as they are there most hours of the day anyway, and it provides a deterrent to thieves.
Thievery isn’t as big a problem as one might expect in Katapesh. Crammed full of stores, stalls, tents, warehouses, hawkers, and purchasers as it is, the teeming city seems a thieves’ paradise. The edicts of the Pactmasters, however, make it clear that anyone interfering with trade in the city faces death—or worse. While the occasional petty theft is to be expected, organized or chronic crime threatens to disrupt a merchant’s everyday business. The Pactmasters come down hard on those who endanger the city’s economy (sometimes using constructs powered by the souls of slaves, called aluum, when necessary), and ignore everyone else.
While the Pactmasters maintain control over the city, day-to-day business and governance is left to Pactbroker Hashim ibn Sayyid. Ibn Sayyid has a reputation for upholding the Pactmasters’ judgments and enacting their laws, whatever his personal feelings. Some suspect ibn Sayyid has a personal agenda that will someday come to light, but for now he enjoys a stable and respected position.
Ibn Sayyid also presides over the merchant council, which makes decisions about Katapesh’s trade policies and ensures the market remains free. In practice, the merchant council rarely interferes in citizens’ daily lives; their attitude is laissez-faire, if not downright apathetic.
The Nightstalls garner the most attention in Katapesh. The bazaars there sell items that are more than unusual— they’re immoral, addictive, or ephemeral. The Nightstalls is where one can buy a dragon’s tongue, feathers from a couatl’s wing, drugs and poisons of all kinds, or a devil’s regret.
After pesh, Katapesh’s biggest export is slaves. Though some slaves are available in the Nightstalls, most are sold through the Fleshfairs of Okeno.
The city of Katapesh, while the largest civilized area in the nation, is by no means the only destination for travelers. Solku, much smaller than Katapesh but still a settlement of decent size, attracts many traders, as well as pilgrims intent on visiting Sarenrae’s Lambent Citadel. In recent years gnolls from White Canyon have besieged Solku in a series of attacks, but the last conflict 2 years ago saw the bands broken and driven off. They have not returned to trouble Solku since, but it seems likely that they will again someday.
Near Solku, a stockade called Fort Longjaw stands as a bastion against gnoll incursions. Giana Secondstride, Fort Longjaw’s leader, sometimes provides shelter and food for travelers, but expects them to contribute to the fort’s defense in exchange.
In the southern deserts, a Pathfinder lodge run by the dwarf Var Pinder serves as a museum of antiquities and also a staging point for many expeditions. Pinder makes no secret of his love of artifacts, and often commissions adventurers to explore the many ruins and tombs of Katapesh.
On an island off the eastern coast, the harbor city of Okeno runs the largest slave trade in the area, and possibly the world. The Fleshfairs draw buyers and sellers from all over, looking for expendable servants, shock troops, or manual laborers. The yellow-sailed slave galleys of Okeno are notorious in the Obari Ocean and Inner Sea.
Near the center of Katapesh, the gnome city of Finderplain provides temporary homes for a steady stream of travelers exploring the area. Most residents of Finderplain stay for a few months to a year and then move on, leaving their homes empty for the next round of travelers.
The deserts of Katapesh are a vast wasteland of varied threats. Heat, exhaustion, thirst, starvation, fell beasts, and roaming slavers all look menacingly on those that wander the wastes, awaiting their chance to claim new victims. The ruins of ancient Osirion and the remains of attempted settlements call to brave and hardy adventurers, but so too do the sun-bleached bones of travelers lost to sand and wind. Courage is not nearly so important as planning and wisdom when attempting to brave the wild lands between Katapesh and Sothis.
The deserts of Katapesh, the ruins of Osirion, and the city of Sothis all await the heroes. Will they overcome the adversity that surely awaits them?
The current adventuring party members are detailed below.
|Hahn, Centaur Guardian||Description|
|Hahn is a centaur who didn't like other centaurs, or the barbaric tribal lives they often lived. As such, he moved to Katapesh, a large humanoid metropolis far removed from his green homeland. There he found work as a guard for trading caravans, a job which he found himself most suited.|
|Download character sheet||Specs: LG male centaur, paladin 2; Player: Alethea Geiger|
|Having irriconcilable differences with his rich parents, Lenart left home at a young age to make a life for himself in the manner he saw fit. He apprenticed himself to a number of spellcasters, though none of the arrangements lasted for more than a few weeks. Though he did learn a few magical tricks and minor rituals, Lenart had largely failed at achieving his dream. Not knowing what else he could do, he returned home to his family in hopes of reconciling his differences with them.
Upon his arrival, however, he found his home city in turmoil. The rich upper class had abused those below them for far too long, and riots had begun breaking out. One such group of rioters invaded his parents’ home, murdering everyone in their path.
Lenart arrived too late to save his parents or their servants, but he found his sister, Naoise, lying crumpled at the base of their home’s stairs, alive but mortally wounded. As she lay dying, Lenart began a complex magical ritual he believed would save her life. However, something went terribly wrong, and by its conclusion, where his sister lay, laid instead a bestial canine. Horrified at what he had done, Lenart fled the ruins of his family home, eventually going into hiding in a far off desert land for fear of being found by his family’s killers. To this day, Lenart truly believes that the monster that follows him is his sister transformed.
|Download character sheet||Specs: CG male human, summoner 5; Player: Travis Goodale|
|Macellano "Marcy" Allamander is an abnormally tall, for a human. His fair skin and long, light hair are also unusual, even for one from the desert city of Katapesh (hense his rather feminine nickname). Despite his fair appearance, Marcy is a soldier, first and foremost. And a good one at that. He has trained from an early age in a number of martial academies, honing his ability to defend or to kill as necessary. He has long since grown into a formidable mercenary working for guild leaders as a bodyguard, trade caravans as protection, or as a hunter hired to cull the region's dangerous gnoll population. His reputation as an effective mercenary is beyond reproach.|
|Download character sheet||Specs: N male human, fighter 5; Player: Juddson Ivines|
|Mikel the Mold Speaker||Description|
|An accomplished archer, Mikel, often worked as an honorable warrior for hire. While working with a tade caravan in the deserts around Katapesh, he found a magical axe buried under the ruins of a temple to the god of magic. Upon touching it, it bestowed upon him the memories of its past wielders. Since wielding the axe, he has earned the title "Mold Speaker," a title of respect reserved by the locals of Katapesh for wielders of that specific weapon.|
|Download character sheet||Specs: CG male human, fighter 5; Player: William Fletcher|
The following characters have fallen to the perils within the Stolen Lands:
Named NPCs who actively help or hinder the party:
In the desert nation of Katapesh, the heroes have retaken a fallen village from a tribe of ferocious gnolls and their mysterious warlord, claiming a ruined temple of the god of magic as their own in the process.
In order to root out a new evil at its source, the heroes also ventured into the ominous and ancient fortress known as the House of the Beast, from which the Carrion King and his gnolls raid the surrounding countryside—and guard a treasure even they fear to claim.
This campaign has been put on hold indefinitely.CURRENT XP: 11,385 XP
Below is the Legacy of Fire Players' Guide, which contains everything you need to know before starting this adventure path. It is listed here for ease of reference.