Aurorathal Settlement in Golarion | World Anvil


Aurorathal is the beautiful capital of the island kingdom of Xarzhani in the northwest portion of the inland Castrovin Sea in Casmaron.


The population of Aurorathal is around 8,000 individuals.
  1. Elves: 40% of the population - Most of Aurorathal's inhabitants are elves, known for their grace and connection to nature. They reside in the Elven District, surrounding the Drow Citadel.
  2. Humans: 30% of the population - Humans comprise a significant portion of the city and are spread throughout the middle and lower levels. They contribute to the bustling commerce and diverse culture of Aurorathal.
  3. Drow: 20% of the population - Despite being the smallest, the Drow holds political power and resides in the Citadel at the city's center. Their influence extends throughout Aurorathal, shaping its policies and governing structure.
  4. Halflings: 10% of the population - Halflings are scattered throughout the city in cozy enclaves. They contribute to the city's charm and communal atmosphere, often forming tight-knit communities within the larger urban landscape.


  In Aurorathal, slavery is a dark undercurrent beneath the city's surface. The Drow, holding political power, have established a system that involves the enslavement of specific individuals, primarily drawn from the lower classes or captured in conflicts. The enslaved population comprises a mix of races, reflecting the city's diverse inhabitants.   Elven Captives: Despite being the majority, some elves find themselves enslaved due to various circumstances—perhaps due to political intrigue, debts, or being on the wrong side of the law. These unfortunate individuals are forced into servitude, working in mines, as laborers, or performing other arduous tasks.   Human Prisoners: Humans captured in conflicts or deemed as criminals may also become slaves in Aurorathal. Humans' practical and adaptable nature might lead to their use in various roles, from physical labor to more specialized tasks.   Halfling and Drow Outcasts: Halflings and Drow who have fallen out of favor with their respective communities may also find themselves enslaved. This adds an element of internal strife within each race, as some may collaborate with the ruling Drow while others resist.


Aurorathal is ruled by the head of the drow's governing council, Supreme Archmagister Drisaria Nightshade, Shadow Sovereign of Aurorathal.   Aurorathal is broken into several districts, each with its own governing body, which then reports to the Shadow Assembly.
  • The Citadel: A council of influential Drow leaders known as the Shadow Assembly is at the apex of Aurorathal's political structure. This council makes significant decisions regarding city policies, resource allocation, and diplomatic relations.
  • Elven District: The Elven district is governed by an Elven Council known as the Sylvan High Circle, composed of respected elders and leaders. They oversee the affairs of the Elven community, including cultural events, trade agreements, and diplomatic interactions. The leader of the Elven Council is often referred to as the "Luminarum Guardian."
  • Human Representative: The Humans in Aurorathal have a representative who serves on a council alongside the Elven and Drow representatives. This ensures that the human population's interests are considered in city decisions. The Human Representative is chosen through a combination of election and appointment.
  • Halfling Elder Council: Halflings in Aurorathal are governed by an Elder Council comprised of wise and experienced community leaders. The Halfling Elder Council focuses on maintaining communal harmony, overseeing trade within Halfling enclaves, and ensuring the well-being of their people.
  • Luminarum Arcanum Headmaster: The leader of the magical academy, Luminarum Arcanum, holds a position of influence in the city's intellectual and magical circles. The Headmaster oversees the academy's operations, represents magical scholars in city affairs, and contributes valuable insights to the city's decision-making processes.
  • Coalition Council: A collective council brings together representatives from each district, including Elves, Humans, and Halflings. This council provides recommendations to the Drow Council, ensuring that the concerns and perspectives of all races are considered in city governance.


The protection of Aurorathal is primarily handled by the Drow military and a specialized force known as the "Luminarum Guardians." Here's how these entities contribute to maintaining order in the city:   1. Drow Military:
  • The Drow military, consisting of highly trained warriors, spellcasters, and strategically positioned guards, plays a crucial role in enforcing the law. They patrol key areas, guard important structures, and respond to potential threats. The Drow military ensures the overall security of the city and serves as a visible representation of Drow authority.
2. Luminarum Guardians:
  • The Luminarum Guardians are an elite force within the city, specifically dedicated to protecting Lumindrite-related sites, magical artifacts, and important individuals. They are selected for their magical aptitude and combat skills. Luminarum Guardians use Lumindrite-infused weaponry and are equipped with enchanted armour that enhances their abilities.
3. Enchanted Constructs:
  • The Enchanted Constructs and Guardians previously mentioned, such as Luminal Gargoyles, Radiant Sentinels, and Shadowbound Sentries, also contribute to policing the city. They patrol streets, guard entrances, and act as sentinels against potential threats. Their presence serves as a deterrent and assists in maintaining order.
4. Celestial Arbiters:
  • The Celestial Arbiters, anthropomorphic constructs adorned with Lumindrite symbols, serve as judges and enforcers of internal order. They mediate disputes, enforce laws, and ensure that the Drow's vision of stability is maintained within their own community.
5. Advisory Council Oversight:
  • The Advisory Council, which includes representatives from other races, may have a role in overseeing law enforcement activities to ensure fairness and prevent abuse of power. This helps to create a system of checks and balances within the city's governance.

Industry & Trade

Rare Resource Extraction

  The city thrives on extracting a rare and magical resource found deep underground called Lumindrite. The Drow, in control of the extraction process, tightly regulated its mining and trade. This resource is highly sought after for its magical applications and may attract scholars, wizards, and traders from distant lands.  

Trade and Commerce

Aurorathal's central market plaza is a hub for trade between the different races. Merchants from the Elven, Human, and Halfling districts converge to exchange goods, creating a bustling marketplace. Lumindrite is a primary commodity, but other exotic goods, enchanted items, and magical artifacts are traded.  


Each race contributes unique craftsmanship to the city's economy. Elven artisans create intricate magical items and delicate crafts, while human blacksmiths produce practical and durable goods. Halflings might specialize in herb cultivation and alchemy. Combining these skills results in a diverse range of products that attract buyers from far and wide.  

Magical Academia

Aurorathal's prominence in magical resources and artifacts draws scholars and mages. The city hosts magical academies and research institutions such as the Luminarum Arcanum, creating a demand for knowledge-related services and contributing to the city's intellectual and magical atmosphere.  

Labor and Slavery

The labour force includes both free citizens and enslaved individuals. Slaves may work in mines, construction, or other physically demanding tasks, contributing to the city's productivity. The existence of slavery, while morally questionable, is a key factor in the city's economic structure.  

Taxes and Tribute

As the ruling class, the Drow imposed taxes and collected tribute from the different districts. This revenue is used to maintain the citadel, fund military endeavours, and ensure the stability of their rule. The economic disparity between the ruling Drow and the lower classes adds tension to the social fabric of Aurorathal.


The Citadel

At the city's center, the Drow Citadel stands tall and imposing. The citadel is a complex structure, with chambers for political meetings, arcane studies, and private residences for the ruling class. Drisara Nightshade rules Aurorathal from the Citadel.  

Elven District

Surrounding the citadel, the Elven district boasts majestic treehouses connected by suspended bridges. The streets are adorned with bioluminescent flowers and ethereal sculptures. Elven shops sell enchanting trinkets, rare herbs, and magical artifacts. The district's aesthetic reflects a harmonious blend of nature and elven craftsmanship.  

Human Quarters

Sturdy stone buildings characterize the human quarters in the middle and lower levels of the city. The streets are bustling with activity, filled with market stalls, blacksmiths, and taverns. The architecture is practical and functional, catering to the needs of the diverse human population.  

Halfling Enclaves

Scattered throughout the city, Halfling enclaves are clusters of interconnected homes. These cozy dwellings create a sense of community, and the Halflings are known for their beautiful gardens and communal spaces. The enclaves contribute to the overall charm of Aurorathal.  

Market Plaza

At the city's heart, there's a bustling market plaza where all races converge. Stalls and shops line the area, selling goods from all city corners. It's a melting pot of cultures, fostering interaction and trade among the different races.  

The Depths

Beneath the city lies a network of tunnels and catacombs known as "The Depths." This mysterious underground expanse holds secrets from Aurorathal's past and may house hidden factions or creatures.  

The Royal Palace

Empress Olina Tor'lyn governs the kingdom of Xarzhani from the magnificent Royal Palace of Xarshani. The Royal Palace is a sprawling complex boasting opulent architecture, expansive gardens, and luxurious chambers befitting the ruler of a prosperous kingdom. Empress Olina's throne room within the Royal Palace is a focal point for state ceremonies, diplomatic receptions, and council meetings. Lumindrite-infused chandeliers cast a warm, inviting glow over the chamber, while ornate furnishings and regal banners would convey the empress's authority and prestige. Her seat on the Onyx Throne is a position many throughout the kingdom, including the Supreme Archmagister herself, long to possess.

Guilds and Factions

The Luminarum Arcanum

  This prestigious institution is dedicated to studying and mastering Lumindrite and other magical arts. The academy is known for its towering spires and shimmering domes, showcasing the grandeur of elven and Drow craftsmanship combined. Some of the key details about Luminarum Arcanum:
  • Focus on Lumindrite Studies: Luminarum Arcanum specializes in studying, refining, and applying Lumindrite. Students and scholars at the academy explore the crystal's various magical properties, learning to harness its potential in spellcasting, enchantments, and healing arts.
  • Schools of Magic: The academy is divided into distinct schools of magic, each focusing on a particular aspect of Lumindrite's power. These schools include Divination, Enchantment, Abjuration (warding and protection), and Healing. Students choose their specialization based on their magical affinities and interests.
  • Ancient Texts and Artifacts: Luminarum Arcanum houses an extensive library containing ancient texts, scrolls, and artifacts related to Lumindrite and arcane lore. Scholars and mages from across the city and beyond come to study these rare and valuable resources, seeking to unlock new mysteries and applications of Lumindrite.
  • Magical Workshops: The academy provides well-equipped magical workshops where students and researchers can experiment with Lumindrite and create magical items. These workshops are supervised by experienced mages who guide aspiring enchanters in their studies.
  • Research Expeditions: Luminarum Arcanum organizes expeditions into the depths of Aurorathaland the surrounding areas to discover new sources of Lumindrite and other magical phenomena. These expeditions often become quests for knowledge and adventure as scholars seek to expand the academy's understanding of magic.
  • Cultural Exchange: The academy serves as a hub for cultural exchange between the different races in Aurorathal. Elves, humans, Halflings, and Drow, come together to share their magical traditions and contribute to the collective knowledge of Lumindrite. This collaborative environment fosters a sense of unity despite the city's social hierarchy.


  1. Founding of Aurorathal (3987 AR): Aurorathal was founded as a strategic outpost by a coalition of Drow houses seeking to establish dominance over a region rich in magical resources, including the coveted Lumindrite. The city's location, with access to the surface and the Underdark, made it an ideal hub for trade and control over subterranean passages.
  2. The Lumindrite Discovery (4223 AR): Drow scouts discovered Lumindrite deep within the caverns beneath Aurorathal. Recognizing its magical potential, the Drow swiftly moved to extract and harness the resource. This discovery became the cornerstone of the city's economy, culture, and the Drow's claim to supremacy.
  3. Battle of Shadowfall (4571 AR): Aurorathal faced a significant external threat from a coalition of rival Underdark factions seeking control over Lumindrite. The Battle of Shadowfall ensued, with the Drow successfully repelling the invasion. This victory solidified Aurorathal's reputation as a formidable power and established the Drow as the uncontested rulers of the city.
  4. Construction of the Drow Citadel (4683 AR): In an ambitious project, the Drow initiated the construction of the grand Drow Citadel at the heart of Aurorathal. This architectural marvel served as a symbol of Drow dominance and a strategic stronghold overseeing the entire city. The Citadel's construction further elevated the status of the Drow Council.
  5. Drow Civil Strife (4701 AR): Internal power struggles among prominent Drow houses led to civil strife. The Drow Council faced challenges to its authority, and political instability threatened the city's cohesion. The conflict was eventually quelled through a combination of diplomatic maneuvers and displays of magical might by the ruling council.
  6. The Dark Uprising (4712 AR): A faction within Aurorathal, discontent with Drow rule, staged a rebellion known as the Dark Uprising. The rebels sought to challenge the Drow Council's authority and create a more egalitarian society. The rebellion was suppressed with force but left a lasting impact on the city's politics, prompting the Drow Council to be more vigilant in maintaining control.
  7. Trade Agreement with Surface Cities (4716 AR): In recent years, the Shadow Assembly, recognizing the strategic importance of alliances, negotiated a groundbreaking trade agreement with select surface cities. This agreement facilitated the exchange of goods, knowledge, and diplomatic ties, expanding Aurorathal's influence beyond the island kingdom. Using their magic, Aurorathal reached trade agreements with cities as far away as Absalom.
  8. Cultural Exchange and Integration (Current Era): Efforts have been made to foster cultural exchange and integration among the various races within Aurorathal. Establishing Luminarum Arcanum, the magical academy, was pivotal in bringing scholars, wizards, and individuals from different races together for shared learning and understanding.

Points of interest

The Duskstone Orb

  The Duskstone Orb is an ancient and powerful magical artifact crafted by forgotten shadow mages at the zenith of their arcane prowess. The orb pulsates with a deep, shadowy light about the size of a human head. Its surface is a flawless black crystal, absorbing light rather than reflecting it, yet within its core, a faint twilight glow can be seen, mimicking the perpetual state of dusk it imposes upon the land.   Legend has it that the Duskstone Orb was created as a weapon during a great war between deities, intended to weaken the sun god's followers by enveloping their kingdom in eternal twilight. However, its power was deemed too great and unpredictable, capable of permanently upsetting the balance between day and night. Fearing its potential for destruction, it was hidden away by those who wished to prevent its misuse.   Centuries passed, and the orb was forgotten by time, buried in the depths of an ancient, sealed tomb. It was rediscovered by a cabal of dark sorcerers who sought to harness its power for their own dominion, placing it atop a dark spire in the heart of their kingdom. The Duskstone Orb began to weave its magic, casting a vast shadow over the land, creating an eternal twilight that neither fully brightens into day nor darkens into night.   The Duskstone Orb sits within the halls of the Royal Palace, ensuring the sunlight never touches the soil of Xarzhani and allowing the Drow to function within their lands.


Entering Aurorathal as a visitor involves navigating through a series of checkpoints and security measures designed to ensure the safety and control of the city. Here's a step-by-step guide on how a visitor might enter the city and the security measures they would encounter:   1. Outer Gates:
  • Tall, fortified outer gates surround the city. Visitors must approach these gates and announce their intent to enter. Drow guards stationed here assess the purpose of the visit, checking for valid reasons such as trade, diplomacy, or cultural exchange.
2. Initial Screening:
  • Upon receiving approval at the outer gates, visitors undergo an initial screening. Drow officials may question them about their business in Aurorathal, affiliations, and any items they carry. This step ensures visitors align with the city's regulations and pose no immediate threat.
3. Lumindrite Detection:
  • As visitors proceed through the city's entry points, magical scans are conducted to detect the presence of Lumindrite or any magical items. This measure prevents unauthorized trafficking of the city's valuable resources and ensures visitors comply with trade regulations.
4. Declaration of Magical Items:
  • Visitors must declare any magical items, artifacts, or enchanted possessions they carry. This information helps city authorities monitor the flow of magical goods and control potentially powerful items that could disrupt the city's stability.
5. Visitors' Registry:
  • All visitors are registered in the city's official log, including their names, affiliations, and the purpose of their visit. This registry serves as a security measure and a diplomatic and trade relations record. Visitors may be issued identification tokens or papers to carry during their stay.
6. Escort by Luminarum Guardians:
  • Depending on the nature of the visit, certain visitors may be assigned Luminarum Guardians as escorts. These elite guards guide visitors through the city, ensuring they follow designated routes and do not access restricted areas. The escort serves as both a security measure and a means to provide assistance or information to visitors.
7. Random Magical Inspections:
  • To maintain unpredictability, random magical inspections may be conducted on visitors within the city. This involves brief scans or checks to ensure no unauthorized or dangerous magical items are brought into Aurorathal.
8. Ongoing Surveillance:
  • Once inside the city, visitors should be aware that magical surveillance is ongoing. This includes enchanted constructs, Lumindrite-infused mirrors, and other surveillance measures. While this surveillance is primarily for security, it also serves as a reminder of the Drow's dominance and control.
By implementing these security measures, Aurorathal aims to balance openness to visitors with the need to protect its resources, maintain order, and ensure the safety of its residents. Visitors who comply with these measures can explore the city's unique features, engage in trade, or participate in cultural exchanges without unnecessary hindrances.

Natural Resources

The wines from Aurorathal are especially fine. They have a magical aura but no discernable school associated with it. The wine known as Silken Shadow is black, and in dim light, it gives off a faint purplish glow. The magic seems harmless, and the wine itself is delicious. Bottles of white wine called Celestial Nectar are also available, with the occasional sparkle as if infused with diamonds. But no solid particulate can ever be found. "Diamond drinking" and "tasting the night" are phrases often associated with Aurorathal wine. Both wines are slowly spreading, and fetch top price.
Founding Date
3987 AR
Alternative Name(s)
New Celwynvian
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