- We are small and humble, they say, and so what do we have to be proud of? 1 say we have our liberty! We have a sharp sword in every home and under every soft bed! Not one child in llsurian has been bound by the slaver's shackles or the edicts of corrupt noble masters. Every person is free to be judged by his own merit, and to live life without such condemnation. We're too willing to forgo our independence for agreements with unworthy sorts. What good is one's own propriety when a trusted neighbor treats with the nobility, bandits, or vagrants? There remains one true maxim for any llsurian: Keep your eyes sharp and your sword even sharper.
- -Genthus Ouggern, in his tract llsurian's True Legacy
Après l’effondrement de l’empire du Chéliax, les fidèles à l’empire qui partirent fonder Magnimar ne furent pas les seuls à rejeter le gouvernement noble de Korvosa. Ilsur, ancien chevalier d'Aroden, partit avec ses hommes et fit campagne contre les troupes de Korvosa. Il fut battu en 4631AR, il emmena ce qu’il restait de son armée sur la rive du lac Syrantula. Il y bâtit le village indépendant d’Ilsurian en attendant le moment de sa vengeance. De nos jours, Ilsur est mort, mais les pêcheurs et les bûcherons de ce village sont toujours prêts à défendre leur indépendance contre toute domination. 
The people of Ilsurian pride themselves on their independence. Founded by the military commander Ilsur and other expatriates from Korvosa, the town still follows its old ideals ofmeritocracy and military principles-or at least pays lip service to them. The fishers, traders, and loggers who now inhabit the town are a far cry from the Chelish soldiers who founded it, but in their minds the pride oftheir ambitious past far outweighs the modest achievements of their present. To Ilsurians, the mere fact that Korvosa never overtook the town proves the truth oftheir ideals. And they're confident that their sword arms are strong enough to discourage any who would try to take their liberty.
Situated at an important cros sroads for waterborne trading vessels, Ilsurian sees many travelers. But the residents, predominantly descended from Chelish stock, could do without their Varisian visitors and settlers. The people of Ilsurian buy into the negative stereotypes of Varisians, making it difficult for such people to move into the town or even bring their caravans nearby. Some still try, enduring the insults and dirty looks, because the Ilsurians have rarely resorted to violence to deal with Varisian visitors.
HISTORY OF ILSURIAN
After the fall of the Chelish Empire, Korvosa's new monarchy displeased many the citizens now subject to it, including Ilsur, who had been a First Sword of the Knights of Aroden. Ilsur struck out from his home city with as many followers as he could muster and founded a new town in 4631 AR. Although he lent his name to the settlement, he expected that he would only live there temporarily until the time was right to return and overthrow Korvosa's leadership. His efforts ran into serious difficulties, however, and after only a few short years he had given up on gathering enough allies to realize his dream. Ilsur re signed himselfto taking pride in his achievements within his town, rather than seeking greater glory in Korvo sa-particularly as his more militaristic followers, displeased with his failure, left to take on mercenary work or join other armies.
Ilsur had believed Korvo sa, under his rule, would be run by military leaders chosen by their ability and the strength of their convictions, and he applied these principles to his leadership of Ilsurian. He established the town's original legal code, one that favored military veterans and encouraged the cultivation of skill with arms and strong leaders. Until Ilsur grew frail, he served as Grand Commander ofllsurian. During his command, he defused many tense situations without violence: a series of nighttime raids by creatures from the Ashwood in 4637, a trade embargo by old rivals from Korvo sa in 4643, and a threat of pillaging from raiders traveling the Yondabakari River in 4656. Ilsurian's reputation as a safe haven against invaders grew.
After Ilsur's death from natural causes in 4665, his successor Mirian refused to take on the title of Grand Commander out of respect for the founder. Since then, a council has led the town, with each council head posses sing a different level of power. The place has moved away from the military hierarchy after which it was modeled to a simpler, more practical form ofgovernment.
When Ilsur selected a site for the town, he was looking for a prime location, not worrying about whether such locations were already occupied. The land he chose was a common camp site for traveling caravans ofVarisians, and Ilsur drove off the group he found there with the threat of violence. Since then, Ilsurian's Chelaxian descendents have been on bad terms with the Varisians. In 4634, Uresina Rofennela convinced several prominent trade caravans to bypass Ilsurian, causing Ilsur to eventually sign an agreement to allow Varisians to legally dwell in the town. This agreement has been followed begrudgingly, except in 4667, when Gaddin Vrance-the second council head of llsurian and an autocrat-declared a purge of all Varisians within the town borders. Most were driven out, but a few who refused to leave or were physically unable do so were put to death. Vrance didn't last long, and while most residents agree his methods were too extreme, a few still whisper that it was the right thing to do.
In 4705, the traveling Umbra Carnival stopped in Ilsurian for the first time. It's since become a welcome sight, and citizens anticipate its return. The Umbra Carnival is detailed in Patlifinder Module: Murder's Mark (for ist-level characters) and Paflifinder Module: The Harrowin.!J (for 9th-level characters).
LIFE IN ILSURIAN
People in Ilsurian live charmed lives compared to the residents ofmany towns on Golarion. Raids by bandits and monsters are rare, the criminal element in town prefers to stay under cover and thus rarely causes major trouble, and the town has gone unconquered since Ilsur founded it. Most Ilsurians make their livelihood as hardworking fishers and loggers. Fishers ply Lake Syrantula in small canoes to haul in its plentiful stock. About half of them collect only enough to feed their families, content with having plenty of free time and needing little. The others take out larger nets and bring back enough to sell to the other townsfolk and trade for drink at the Two Waters Tavern. Loggers take ferries acro ss the Skull River to topple trees in the Ashwood and sell them to trading barges or residents building new structures in town. The loggers don't stay longer than they have to, preferring the relative safety of the day over the notorious dangers that roam the Ashwood in the dark. Most loggers pray to Erastil every day before heading out, and some even hire rangers of upstanding reputation to accompany their expeditions.
The wealthier residents of Ilsurian got that way through clever trade agreements, investments, and stakes in the town's busy warehouses and docks. The soil around Ilsurian is poor for farming, so the town must import most crop s. They trade timber and fish to nearby settlements, but the warehouse and dock owners get a cut of nearly every transaction. The most profitable enterprises belong to Arhaneem Braeton (owner ofseveral small warehouses and the prime docks) and Borvius Monchello (who owns Ilsurian Storage &. Hauling).
Especially valuable items that arrive for trade go through the Locked Box.
A six-person council adjudicates laws and settles disputes in Ilsurian. The townsfolk take great pride in their civic duties, and turn out in great numbers for the biennial democratic elections. Since Ilsurian is meant to be a meritocracy, citizens are instructed to vote based more on the quality and experience ofthe candidates than their stances on issues, though people have slowly moved toward the latter over the last several years. This meritocratic system is also why only former council members-who have supposedly proven their merit-can nominate new candidates. Council heads, too, are chosen by the rest of the council, and serve 2-year terms. The laws don't allow council heads to be voted in for successive terms except in rare emergency situations, and only in cases where the council unanimously allows it.
Citizens celebrate many prominent festivals throughout the year, especially during the summer. Usually, they gather in the courtyard around the statue of llsur at the heart of town or along the shore of Lake Syrantula. Festivals occur on religious holidays, with the largest, Archerfeast, on the 3rd of Erastus. Not only is this one of the holidays closely associated with Erastil, the most revered god in Ilsurian, but it also speaks to the town's love ofphysical competition and martial skill. The arena fills with competitors in archery contests and a mock gladiatorial tournament that lasts all 24 hours of Archerfeast, and an aquatic obstacle course brings fishers out to use their canoes for sport instead ofwork.
The other major holiday is Founding Day on the 10th of Arodus, when Ilsurians gather to read poems and political essays expounding on Ilsur's foresight in founding the town. At least, that's the prescribed form of celebration; the long, drunken party that continues on late into the night is the true festival to most residents.
Though Ilsurian is divided into the haves and the have-nots, the two group s coexist well enough, united by a rare spirit of civic cooperation. This disregard of social class doesn't extend to ethnic Varisians, though. A wealthy trader and a humble fisher who'd sit down for a drink together at the Two Waters Tavern would scowl and make quick work of their beverages if a group of Varisians walked into the joint. This prejudice isn't re stricted to the visits of nomadic Varisian caravans it rears its head every day. A few dozen Varisians have taken up permanent residence in Ilsurian, and some are even second-generation residents. Their live s aren't easy. They're forced to sell their fish, crafts, or service s for lower rates than their Chelaxian counterparts, and pay more for goods and service s. Most of the residents refuse to socialize with them, and many businesses hang "No Varisians" signs in their windows. By the letter of the law, Varisians have all the rights ofany other citizen, but the town's commitment to pers onal freedom means that the individual residents can be just as bigoted as they like. This adds up to an unwelcoming and distrustful atmo sphere for many visitors.
ILSURIAN AT A GLANCE
Most of Ilsurian's residents live in small wooden home s made of timber hauled in from the Ashwood to the north and with simple shingled roofs; these are often set up as communal dwellings. The wealthier residents instead built dwellings of imported stone s, typically situating them higher up on the hill upon which the town was built. Packed dirt roads lead down the gentle slope to the docks on the Skull River and Lake Syrantula, meeting up with larger roads leading to the north and we st. Various interests control the docks, but the most prominent and central docks are owned by Arhaneem Braeton.
The council frequently attempts to purchase them or build public docks to make citizens' travel less reliant on Braeton, but have so far been blocked.
1. The Locked Box: The town's primary pawnbroker and moneylender, Archivin Walder (N old male human expert 2) owns and operates the Locked Box. His wife Agnes Walder (N old female human expert i) assists around the shop, dealing with customers while Archivin works on the books in the back. The building's large showroom, filled with cases dis playing jewelry, antiques, and ornate weapons, even brings in people who have no intention of buying. Archivin has no time for these sightseers, but Agne s acts pleas antly enough when they come through. Several trap s protect The Locked Box against intruders, though they're built to capture or wound , not to kill. Proud and elitist, Archivin takes in only the finest pawned merchandise. He refers poorer and less socially acceptable people to Mistre ss Rob ella's Curiosity Shoppe, and rarely disgui ses the dis dain in his voice when he sends them along.
2. Temple of Erastil: The respected cleric Sister Esrelda Woodmere maintains the Temple of Erastil. Though she's not particularly powerful, she keeps a strongbox full of scrolls that allow her to cast many divine spells of 4th level or lower. The temple is a wooden building decorated with wooden sculptures of beasts that are common to the forests and rivers surrounding the town. Both the building and sculptures are weathered and mo ssy, and trees surround the temple, their branche s shading a courtyard open to the air and sheltering the small garden growing inside. Sister Woodmere tends the garden with the assi stance ofsome ofthe town's children, and anyone is free to eat ofits bounty when in need. Sister Woodmere holds services here only a few times a year, at the major holidays of Erastil's faith. The rest of the time she's rarely even at the temple, preferring to demonstrate her faith by socializing with the people ofthe town and helping them with their work. Though at time s this means helping them haul lumber back to town or track down a dangerous wild animal, usually she provide s negotiation and mediation. Born to a Varisian mother and Chelish father, Sister Woodmere has the rare ability to pass in both circle s and sp eak to both group s. Her peacemaking tactics have kept violence from erupting in Ilsurian many times over.
3. Town Jail: Sheriff Kyra Feldane oversees the town guard, based in the jail near the heart of town. Usually, there are no more than two or three people in the cells, and only rarely are they brought in for anything more than public inebriation or disturbing the peace. Sheriff Feldane has been at the job for is years, after starting at a young age.
Both her parents were members of the guard, so she came into the job already knowing many of the veterans with whom she now works. One of her closest friends on the force is the jailer Toma Driphus (LG male middle aged human exp ert 4), who prefers to stick around in the jailhouse rather than patrolling the city-but in his younger days, he saw enough to provide valuable advice to the sheriff on certain cases. Sheriff Feldane knows how deeply racial tension runs in Ilsurian, and prides herself on staying above it and remaining fair to both sides. The members of the guard don't all agree with her, and she continuously struggles with keeping them in line. Because ofllsurian's martial culture, there's no shortage of townsfolk chomping at the bit to join the guard, but most of them are too militant and independently minded to take orders and do the job well.
4. Semere Arms: Expert weap onsmith Vea Semere (C G female half-elf exp ert s) satisfies the demands of Ilsurian's residents for quality weapons. Because the townsfolk consider weaponry a part of their heritage, they're constantly seeking to repair or maintain their heirlooms and purchase new weapons. It's common practice to buy a brand new weapon when a child come s of age, and not unheard of to commission a tiny weapon typically a thin thrusting blade-for a young child to carry. Vea has lived in Ilsurian for only 5 years, and is one of the few half-elve s in town, but she has been accepted wholeheartedly because of her skill in forging weap ons . She still struggles to understand the citizenry's fixation on weap ons, even knowing that the laws mandate owning them. In order to keep her customer base, however, she's endured plenty ofmartial po sturing and overly long conversations about the advantages and disadvantages of different typ es of weapons in her efforts to indulge people who've never actually had to use them.
To keep herself content in her work, she create s every weapon as a unique work of art. She frequently sees commissions for masterwork weapons from the wealthier citizens, and relishes the rare chance she gets to collaborate on magic weapons. Armor is in le ss demand since it doesn't have such an important place in the town's cultural identity, and is instead usually imported.
5. Shiver Den: A dozen hammocks strung up in this rotting shack hold people who are addicted to the narcotic shiver (see below) and are too far gone to be accepted elsewhere in the town. Most ofthem used to be fishers in Ilsurian, and a few were river or lake traders from out of town who got drawn in, became addicted, and never went back. Most do everything they can to stay unnoticed, stealing out during the night to loot docked boats and unlocked houses for minor items to trade for shiver. Better known than most of the addicts, Filton Legg (N male human commoner i) wanders about the town most of the day. He was a beloved fisherman-though he was never very good at actually catching fish-and most people take pity on him since they remember him fondly. Lately he's been trying to clean up and kick the habit, even attending the periodic service s at the Temple of Erastil and seeking honest work. Still, he doesn't have gainful employment, so he sleeps in the one place where it's free: the shiver den. All worry that this makes it less likely he'll stay clean.
Type injury or ing ested; Addiction majo r; Fortitude DC 18
Price 500 gp
Effects va riable; 500/o cha nce to sleep for 1d4 hours or gain immuni ty to fea r for 1d4 min utes
Damage 1d2 Con damage
6. Two Waters Tavern: Every day, multiple ships put in at Ilsurian even if they don't need to drop off any cargo, just for the chance to stop in at Ilsurian's tavern. Noria Arephion (CN middle-aged female expert 3/rogue 2) keeps a welcoming atmos phere in her establishment, and serves anyone who has the coin. Some natives grumble about the Varisians or shiver addicts coming in, but once they return to the bar they find out that Noria has upped her prices a good measure with a special complainer's fee. Anyone who gets confrontational or violent gets dealt with by one of the burly regular s, usually Willik Brandeboyd (N male fighter 2) or Ve speria Corsicare (C G female rogue 3). These two are particularly clo se to Noria, and people whi sper that they used to all be members ofa crew ofriver pirates before seeing fit to go straight and settle in Ilsurian. Any time someone gets thrown out bodily or turned over to the guards, Noria laments that she'd have been right in there giving them a pounding if she were as spry as she was in her younger days.
Noria carries a selection of ales, wines, and spirits unmatched anywhere in town, in no small part because of a secret agreement she has with the dockhand s. They guarantee that she gets first pick when shipments of alcohol come through, and she guarantees they get free drinks and a taste ofbeverages they'd never be able to afford. Noria uses mugs with the Two Waters' seal, and lends them out to townsfolk when they need a drink to go. They're a common sight all over town.
Some of the local fishers feel Cayden Cailean best repres ents the ideals of the town, and they built a prominent shrine to him on the second floor of the tavern. Called the Wheel of Freedom, it's really nothing more than a drinking game with a fancy name. It's made of an old ship's wheel laid horizontally, each spoke painted a different color. To "worship at the wheel," a patron spins it , turns around, and tries to grab one of the spokes as it spins. If she gets a solid grip, everyone gathered around calls out the color as she walks downstairs to purchase the drink that matche s. A patron who can't make it downstairs and back up has "paid Cayden his due."
7. Braeton Manor: A successful river merchant, Arhaneem Braeton (LN male human expert 5) owns the largest estate in Ilsurian. At the crest ofthe hill, a private road leads to the two -story structure surrounded by trees.
Arhaneem's family all live here: his wife Canalee Braeton (LN female human aristocrat 4) and their 10 -year- old son Martim and 9-year- old daughter Summer. They're attended by the married servants Nesmia and Werros Claseria (LG old human commoners 3). The mansion isn't enormous, but by the standards of a small fishing town it's practically a palace. The Braetons frequently invite other traders and merchants to the mansion for private dinners, and most of these rugged travelers are impressed and a little intimidated by the accommodations . Canalee believes propriety matters a great deal, and refuses to allow Varisians or other "unde sirable sorts" to attend any functions at the manor. Her children, though, have more adventurous spirits, and often spend time with Varisian children when they're let loo se to play in town. They receive sound paddlings from the servants each time their mother finds out. Arhaneem has a reputation for arrogance and overreach, especially in his business dealings. Over the years he's lost many contracts by as suming that potential business partners would never think of going with any company with a lower social standing in Ilsurian-and saying as much to their faces.
8. Council House: In this long, low- ceilinged building, the town council of Ilsurian meets and hears issues. The building's capacity can't keep up with the public's interest in civic matters, so the benches overfill for almost every meeting, with more citizens clustered around the windows to watch the proceedings. The council has even contracted Genthus Duggern to print the minutes from the weekly meeting for public consumption, though the secretary Milon Kesseric (LN male human aristocrat 3) believes he's been changing some ofthe wording and altering Milan's original notes to fit the new trans cript s.
Irriley Braeton, the head of the council, belongs to one ofthe mo st prominent families in Ilsurian. Rumors constantly fly that she schemes with her brother Arhaneem to bend the law in his favor, which would explain his success as a merchant and his control of such a large portion ofthe town's docks. In fact, Irriley works incredibly hard, and spends so much time at the council hou se that she's far more likely to sleep at her desk than at her home in the northwe stern part of the town. (She no longer live s in Braeton Manor; it 's entirely the property of her brother.) She's devoted to what she calls the "traditional ideals" of Ilsurian, and works toward what she considers the best interests of it s people particularly those people with lineages that trace back to its founding. This also means she's instructed various trusted informant s around town to report back to her ab out the activities of Varisian travelers and any other strangers who pass through. She commands the guard to act on even light suspicion, frequently clashing with Sheriff Feldane, but imposes no penalty greater than a night in jail or expulsion from town. She won't have mob ju stice or vigilantism happening while she's in charge.
In additionto Irriley and Milon, the council is made up ofAmbator Ausperius (LN middle aged male human aristocrat 3), Palaxarn Hespion (LE female human aristocrat 2), Dharla Khesteror (NE female human expert 3), and Vea Semere. All these council members are of Chelaxian descent, and Vea is the only non-human and the only member of a family line that arrived in Ilsurian after the city's founding. Vea was a dark horse in the council election, nominated by people who hoped that the weaponsmith would push for even looser laws about weapons within the town's borders. The wealthier humans on the council freeze her out of discus sions and vote down most measures she presents.
9. Statue of Ilsur: When designing the basic structure of the town, Ilsur plotted a garden courtyard in what was then the center. After his death, citizens commissioned a large stone statue of him to stand in the center of this green. He faces east-northeast toward Korvo sa, symbolically guarding the town and its water traffic against the depredations of the nobles. Town rallies take place around the statue, with speakers mounting a platform next to it while the rest ofthe town surrounds them. This would be intimidating in normal circumstance s, but is made even more so since an old law mandates that the citizens bring their weapons to such rallies. This practice is almost entirely for show, but when people dislike a speaker's words, it's common practice to draw their weapons and hold them aloft until the speaker either makes amends or exits the courtyard. Former allie s ofllsur or their des cendants stop at the statue when they pass through town, some to pay their respects and others to spit at the base ofit because Ilsurian never made good on his promises to retake Korvo sa.
10. Market Stalls: All around the courtyard that sunounds the towering statue of llsur, small merchant stalls and tents peddle a variety of ware s. Though permanent residents operate some of these, most belong to itinerant ethnic Varisians who stay for only a few weeks before moving on to sell their goods in other towns. For a town plagued by racial tensions, this is a contentious practice. Angry Ilsurian residents often start shouting matches with the Varisian merchants, and the guards typically throw both parties in the jail overnight, since jailing only the resident would provoke a backlash from like-minded towns people.
Despite these occasional conflicts and the reputation they've given Ilsurian among the nomadic traders, Varisians still come to this lucrative spot. The trade acro ss the river and lake makes it an excellent spot to pick up items and delicacies that are in demand elsewhere. The Varisians, particularly the elderly Trumori Kadarru (CN old male human expert 4), also do good business by selling illegal goods under the table. Because ofllsurian's lax laws generally if you're not hurting anyone, it's not illegal-this mostly consists of dangerous drugs like pesh and shiver, plus imported Korvo san items that are banned because their sale benefits that city's nobles or promote their way of life. Trumori has a wide anay of items available, and his children funnel more goods his way all the time. Tatto os cover his body, and he uses a secret code that involve s the customer pointing at sp ecific tattoos to indicate what she want s to purchase.
11. The Patriot's Library: Owned by Genthu s Duggern (s ee page 33), this public library purports to be a repository for books about Ilsurian's history and other topics of interest to its citizenry. In truth, Genthu s carefully curates his collection to suit his sp ecific interests. His own tracts are the most prominent books in the establishment, and are among the few publications ofwhich he keeps multiple copie s. Another popular choice, The Annotated Annals of Ilsurian, comes from a previou s, rigorous publication that Genthus pers onally expurgated and annotated to emphasize the martial successes of llsur and the town over diplomatic ones, and to oversell the danger that "foreign threats" pose to the citizens . Des pite it s massive shortcoming s, the Patriot's Library remains the only free public library in town. Many a citizen has become literate thanks to it s collection, and many parents find books for their children there-though the smart ones read first and check out books selectively. A cadre ofGenthus's devoted followers, who call themselves the Truth Advocates (see page 33), volunteer at the library and try to impre ss their agenda on it s patrons .
12. Ilsur's Arena: The establishment with the longest legacy in Ilsurian, the arena was founded when Ilsur and his followers first came to Ilsurian. The troops trained there extensively to prepare for their overthrow of Korvo sa, and it 's still used today for weapons training. The arena shrank over the years as new buildings were erected around it (mo stly warehou ses and other establishments that don't have to worry ab out noi se from the combatants).
Ilsur's Arena is sanctified in the name of lomedae, and three time s per day all fighting mu st stop for i hour to allow for prayer. There's no dedicated caretaker for Ilsur's Arena, but several townsfolk serve as experts on different fighting style s. Most of them once served as soldier s, but were injured or got too old for the job. They include polearms master Kyresti Peorus (LN middle-aged female wanior 2), archer Pryannion Varaccus (LG male ranger i), and the popular swordmaster Lidia Chegarre (N female warrior 3). The city subsidizes their work as part of their mandate to keep all citizens ready to defend themselves.
13 Mistress Robella's Curiosity Shoppe: Robella Monchello (NE female human alchemist 4) op erates this run- down old shop stuffed with shelf after shelf of odd, mostly useless items. The business formerly belonged to an old man with no des cendants who died from a slow illne ss-actually the result of deliberate pois oning by Robella. She befriended him so that she would inherit the business after his death, and made only minor renovations to the stock and the dilapidated store. Most of the work she put in was underground: a secret bas ement and tunnel leading to Ilsurian Storage &: Hauling, the business of her husband Borvius. A few of Robella's wares have been revealed to be fenced goods pilfered from trading ve ssels. She maintains it's law enforcement's job to worry about such things, not her s, but always complies with their demands on those rare occasions such items are found. She and her husband Borvius curtail their illegal activities for a short time whenever this happens.
14 Ilsurian Storage &. Hauling: Two operations in one location-one legitimate business and one criminal enterpris e-the Ilsurian Storage and Hauling site includes both an aboveground warehouse and a hidden bas ement packed with illegal goods. The Korvo san expatriates Borvius Monchello (LE male human ranger [urban) 3) and Robella Monchello run the Gilded Hands thieve s guild from the bas ement, and Borvius also owns and operate s the profitable warehouse and hauling business. He constantly vies with Arhaneem Braeton over control of the docks and preferential or exclusive agreements with various traders.
The Gilded Hands secretly control the criminal underground ofllsurian, most ofwhich revolve s around smuggling in illicit goods in the middle of the night from incoming ship s, storing them under Ilsurian Storage &: Hauling for weeks or months, and then fencing them. A few of these items go through Mistress Robella's Curiosity Shoppe, but the Monchello s send most along to other settlements to keep from being caught by the local authorities. Robella also alchemically creates doses of shiver to both sell and trade for service s. Among tho se who owe the Monchello s for shiver are a tribe of skulks who live near Ilsurian (s ee sidebar). They're used for risky tasks that require the stealth they're known for, and they always receive orders through go -betweens so the Monchellos can't be implicated.
The actual members ofthe Gilded Hands arejust street toughs, sometimes armed with alchemical concoctions made by Robella. The more comp etent members of the guild don't sp end much time in Ils urian. Instead, they travel with important shipments to other settlements, where they look for opp ortunities the guild can exploit. The guild faces a serious challenge: It 's growing too large for Ilsurian, and there's not much more activity they can expand into before they're too high profile. Borvius and Rob ella haven't found any new rackets to start up, and returning to Korvo sa isn't an option, so they're looking seriou sly at making a major public push to remove some ob stacles in the way oftheir control over Ilsurian. (One potential method for executing this plan is detailed in the 1st-level adventure Pathfinder Module: Murder's Mark.)
Braeton Docks: Owned wholly by Arhaneem Braeton, the busiest docks in Ilsurian operate from dawn till dusk, plu s night shifts when there's a particularly important shipment expected. Arhaneem draws exceptional profits because his docks are positioned near the warehouses on the north shore of Lake Syrantula, and because he's struck an agreement with several local businesses that guarantees they'll trade more favorably for shipments that pass through his docks. Ownership of these docks is contentious, with other business interests taking great offense that Braeton was able to claim the best lo cations for his docks. Some claim his business has attained unearned privileges-a grave insult-because the Braeton family line stretches back to the town's founding, and he was able to buy up the interests of old family friends. Borvius Monchello of Ilsurian Storage &: Hauling leads the traders who continue to raise the is sue and complain that the council can't possibly be impartial when Arhaneem's sister Irriley leads them. Though the unified coalition against Braeton demands the docks be opened up for public use, Borviu s secretly want s sole ownership.
A self-proclaimed protector of Ilsurian's core values, Genthus Duggern believes that the town has become soft and forgotten too much ofits military heritage.
GENTHUS DUGGE RN CR 3
Male human fi gh ter 4
NE Med ium hum an oid (human)
lnit +2; Senses Perce ption -1
AC 18, to uch 12, flat-footed 16 (+5 armo r, +2 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 30 (4 d10+ 4)
Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +O (+1 vs. fea r)
Defensive Abilities bravery +1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk bastard swo rd +9 (1 d10 +5/19 -20)
Ranged mwk heavy crossbow +7 (1 d1 0/1 9-20)
Str 16, Dex 1 4, Con 13, Int 1 0, Wis 8, Cha 14
Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 19
Feats Exotic Wea pon Proficiency (ba sta rd sword), In timidating Prowess, Persuas ive, Power Attack, Wea pon
Focus (bastard sword), Wea pon Special ization (ba sta rd sword)
Skills Di plomacy +8, In tim idate +1 4, Knowledge (histo ry, local) +4
SQ armor training 1
Combat Gear potion of bull's strength, potions of cure mo derate wounds (2), potion of eagle's splendor, + 1 baits (5), thunderstone (2); Other Gear sca le mail, light wooden shield, mwk basta rd swo rd, mwk heavy crossbow with 20 bol ts, 170 gp
To shift the town closer to his ideals, Duggern eagerly seeks a place on the town council, though none of its members are willing to nominate him. So instead, he's gone to the people, spreading propaganda about himself and trying to recruit them directly; he believe s that if he can get popular support, the council will have no choice but to nominate him if they want to maintain their own po sitions.
All of his tracts are well-written, rabble-rousing pieces. He recounts events with a loose interpretation of the truth, and applies his own spin to them. To focus on his political aspirations, Genthus has pushed most of the day-to- day work ofmaintaining the library onto his small group of dedicated acolytes: the Truth Advocates.
Mostly young men in their late teens to early twenties, they've bought into Genthus's beliefs wholeheartedly. There's always one of them operating the library during the day, while the rest visit other residents of Ilsurian. They have long conversations in the taverns, public spaces, or in any home whose residents will invite them inside, mostly talking about events around town and gossiping about the Korvosans. They follow very specific directions from Genthus that they should be unfailingly polite, proper, and helpful, but they must correct anyone who makes a statement that contradicts history as Genthus sees it. Deeply committed to the betterment ofilsurian, they also assist people with their chores, smooth out unpaved roads, and clear up rubbish around Ilsur's statue. They wear fine clothing with a few adornments reminiscent of military uniforms, including a simple medal awarded to each Truth Advocate, a silk neck scarf, and a well-maintained weapon strapped to the belt. Despite their military appearance, they resemble a proselytizing religious group more than a militia.
Though most Ilsurians believe the Varisians are the biggest scourge on their town, Genthus likes to fall back on the biggest bogeymen of Ilsurian, the one s who have been there since the beginning: the Korvo san nobles. Many of his tracts detail the shortcomings and cruel acts of specific noble s, with counterexamples showing how Ilsurian residents would never have such failings.
Genthus still describes Varisians as inferior to Ilsurians of Chelish descent, but largely depicts Varisians as objects of pity, not true villains. In his des criptions, he portrays them as people who will corrupt Ilsurians and degrade their way of life, if given the chance, but makes it clear that if Ilsurians simply stand up against these ne'er-do wells they have nothing to fear because they are far stronger in body and mind.
Rumors in Ilsurian
Given their generally tame lives, llsuria n's citizens spread rumors consta ntly. Many paint outsiders as the cause of most of the town's troubl es-whether those troub les a re rea l or imaginary.
Gilded Goods: A di sta nt co usin of Petra Monnisio fo und one of their fa mily's heirlooms for sale at a ma rket clear off in Wa rtle. Asked about it, the merch ant said, "The Gil ded Hands send good wares." None of the known thieves around here seem to have the wherewithal to fence someth ing so fa r away. There mu st be a bolder class of crook behind this. Heir to llsur: Official reco rd s say that llsu r's line died out, but that's not quite true. He had a child out of wed lock, and sent the daug hter to another town to keep her out of dange r. Turns out she was Genthus Dugge rn's own mother, and he's got the blood of llsur in his ve ins. This does n't give him any legal clai ms, but it ce rta inly refl ects we ll on his character.
Korvosan Entanglements: The Brisdell Trading Co mpany ship comes through from time to ti me, and people say they've seen the sailors cove rtly passing out Korvosan co ins to known scofflaws. Clearly they're spyi ng on the town for the Ko rvosa n govern ment so they can inva de. Be vig ila nt, and keep the criminal element fa r from im porta nt ma tters.
Varisian Thefts: Wa ndering, no-good Va risians have been sneaking in to peopl e's homes and ta king their va lua bles. Denius Vo rsa te ll os says he got home in time to sta b one ro bbing his home, but did n't get a good look at the va grant. He fo llowed the trail of blood with great ha ste, but strangely enough it we nt nowhere.
Adventure in Ilsurian
llsuria n's intrigue is typica lly on a small sca le that interests only the locals. Most dang ers co me fro m ra iders traveling down the Skull River or eth nic co nflicts.
The Skulk Tribe: Chi efta in Gwan leads a tribe of skulks who live to the sou thwest of ll surian on the shore of Lake Syrantula. Most of the skulks are addicted to sh iver, and they fo ll ow secret orders from the Gil ded Hands to get more, ra iding riva l shipments cross ing the lake and stea ling from houses in ll surian. The tribe lives in a shal low natural cave with ba rricades made from bits of crashed boats. They're always camouflaged, and have rigged their barricades with simple traps to wea ken intruders.
Fey Plunderers: Em pty trading boats float down the Skull River and wash up on the shores of ll surian, their ca rgos lost. In a ra re spate of coo peration, Arhaneem Braeton and Borvi us Monche llo posted a sizable rewa rd for finding the source of the disruption. In truth, in the Shim merglens to the north, a ke lpie calls in crew mem bers on passing boats. A trio of satyr cronies boards the boats afte rwa rd, co ll ecting their favo rite pieces of the ca rgo-pa rticularly ra re wines meant for the Two Waters Tavern.
Rosarennic Returned: Noble fa mil ies in Korvosa have long memories. Orsidey Rosa rennic feuded with llsur before his exit from the ci ty, and her granddaug hter Oboria Rosarennic (LE fe male human bard 7/rogue 3) has never fo rg iven the insult. Finally co nfident in her fa mil y's position in Ko rvosa, she plans to send ships across La ke Syrantula, teeming with el ite mercenaries ready to seize ll surian. Oboria knows the townsfolk will put up a fig ht, and has instructed the mercenaries to ki ll anyone who dissents, and to save for her the honor of smashing down the statue of llsur.
- Pathfinder - [EN] - Campaign setting - 54 Towns of the Inner Sea (PZO9263)