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Absalom Station

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Absalom Station
Absalom Station
(Cosmos)

Titles
The Nexus
Type
Diameter
3/5000
Mass
1/100
Gravity
(artificial) 1
Atmosphere
Normal
Year length (PST)
1 year
Day length (PST)
1 day (artificial)
Orbits
System
Inhabitants
Species formerly of Golarion
Source: Pact Worlds (sourcebook), pg(s). 38-47
Absalom Station
Symbol of Absalom Station
(City)

Population
2,130,000
Demographics
46% human, 9% android, 9% ysoki, 7% lashunta, 5% shirren, 4% dwarf, 4% halfling, 4% kasatha, 3% vesk, 2% gnome, 1% nuar, 6% other
Government
Council (Syndicsguild)
Ruler
Source: Pact Worlds (sourcebook), pg(s). 38-47

Absalom Station is a sprawling, densely inhabited space station filling a similar orbit that the forgotten planet Golarion once held around its sun. Absalom Station is inhabited primarily by species descended from natives of Golarion, making it the last relic of the lost planet remaining in the Pact Worlds system. The station is also a focal point of the galaxy due to the Starstone, a powerful magical artifact that acts as an immensely potent Drift beacon and allows travel to Absalom Station from nearly anywhere via the Drift.1

History

While the station is a technological marvel, its history stretches back centuries into the span of lost history known as the Gap.2

Pre-Gap

Absalom Station's origins, builders, and even its reason for existence are lost to the amnesia of the Gap. It occupies the orbit once held by pre-Gap Golarion, and records have linked the name "Absalom" to a city from the missing planet's pre-Gap history. These facts, along with the presence of Golarion-native races on the station, have led scholars to guess that Absalom Station was built by mortal natives of Golarion, but even this is supposition.3

After Gap

Absalom Station has been the focal point of many of the Pact Worlds system's most important events.2

Immediately after the Gap, the station's residents were suddenly without a homeworld, history, or even societal structures, leading to anarchy and violence. If not for a nearly catastrophic atmospheric systems malfunction, the station's residents might not have ended their period of lawless violence to form the Syndicsguild — a governmental council formed by the leaders of the rampant gangs — and elect its inaugural Prime Executive, Loqua Tem. This decision brought much-needed stability to the station and the Syndicsguild and Prime Executive continue to run the station today.3

Triune's gift of Drift travel in 3 AG quickly thrust the station into the galactic limelight. The Starstone that powers the station serves as a powerful Drift beacon that drew in newly Drift-traveling visitors from across the galaxy, turning Absalom Station into the busiest port in the Pact Worlds system.4

In 7 AG, the Bone Sages of Eox launched the Magefire Assault in an attempt to capture the station by force. Absalom Station's powerful defensive batteries, however, held off the undead fleet.3

After vesk incursions into the Golarion system (as the Pact Worlds system was then known) in 36 AG, officials from Absalom Station, Verces, and Castrovel called for the formation of a system-wide defense and governance pact to counter this new threat. The Absalom Pact was signed soon thereafter and was named after the station. This created the new Pact Worlds government for which Absalom Station was chosen as its capital.51

Geography

At five miles in diameter, Absalom Station is a tiny structure compared to the planets and moons of the Pact Worlds system, but is densely populated with over two million permanent inhabitants. Seen from above, it is shaped like an asymmetrical, six-pointed star, spread across a flat disk with the central habitation zone covered in a dome.6 It has artificial gravity in effect throughout most of its structure, where "down" is always perpendicular to the plane of the disk and arms in the direction of the powerful technomagical generators located in the tip of the Spike. The station relies heavily on recycling, and its atmosphere and environmental conditions seem to have been designed to accomdate human residents. Independent regulators and air scrubbers are located throughout for safety reasons.137 Lights in many of the station's sectors are set to a 24-hour light and dark cycle.7

While interior renovations and structural adjustments are near-constant on Absalom Station, outright expansion is quite difficult due to the incredible hardness of its exterior hull. While this is a deterrent to the station's continued growth, the thick hull keeps catastrophic decompression due to major accidents or battle to a minimum.8

Sectors

The station is divided into several sectors. Each has its own identity based on who resides and works there, but in general, the standard of living increases as you move from the station's radial arms into its central districts.1

The Arms
These radial arms extend from the station's center and are home to its many docking bays.9
The Eye
This central dome of the station houses its most upscale residents, largest businesses, and most prominent organizations.10
The Ring
These corridors connect the Arms to the central Eye, forming a decidedly middle-class neighborhood.11
The Spike
These slums and gang warrens fill the space beneath the Eye, extending down to the heavily defended Starstone Reactor.12
The Armada
A flotilla of spaceships, many of them semi-permanent structures comprised of several ships rafted together, the Armada forms a transient and chaotic neighborhood surrounding the station that is the fifth unofficial sector of Absalom Station.13 Its militaristic name is somewhat ironic, as most ships that are docked here are civilian and are docked here because they benefit from the close proximity to Absalom Station without being subject to all of the laws and regulations imposed on permanent residents.1

Economy, trade, & travel

Absalom Station is a hub of intragalactic space travel thanks to the Starstone that allows a starship with a Drift engine to reach Absalom Station in less than a week, even if travel to any other location would take longer.1

The station imposes minimal taxes on those who do business there, but since the volume of trade is so high, it generates a huge amount of income and is rarely short on cash.1 While these taxes provide the poorest of Absalom Station's residents with basic foodstuffs (such nutrient paste and protein bricks, the wealth disparity between the wealthy citizens living in the high towers of the Eye and those who eke out a living in the Spike remains very high. Economic advancement is always possible, however, as the Pact Worlds government and numerous non-governmental organizations such as the Stewards and the Starfinder Society offer jobs to anyone.8

The station is also home to numerous corporations, most prominently the home offices of AbadarCorp.1

Government

See also: Syndicsguild and Prime Executive

Absalom Station is governed by the Syndicsguild and its term-limited elected leader, the Prime Executive or Primex (currently Kumara Melacruz). The Primex theoretically has absolute authority over the management of the Station and any legislation that pertains to it. Members of the Syndicsguild (called syndics) are elected to advise the Primex and to represent electoral districts that are frequently gerrymandered to favor certain factions (from corporations to criminal gangs) over others.148

The station is a neutral space for the inhabitants of the Pact Worlds system and is dedicated to free trade among its peoples and beyond. Security robots manufactured by AbadarCorp help to enforce its laws, though some complain that the best-equipped models patrol only the station's wealthiest neighborhoods.15

Stewards

Security on Absalom Station is overseen by the Stewards, who keep the peace and defend the station from threats. Although their headquarters in on the station, the Stewards' remit covers all of the Pact Worlds and their colonies. The station's defenses are also augmented by powerful mounted turrets.1 Policing on the station is augmented by private forces hired by the various local corporations, making Absalom Station's legal system complicated to navigate and letting some take advantage of the overlapping authorities while others fall through the cracks.16

Pact Council

Absalom Station is also the home and meeting place of the Pact Council, the legislative and deliberative body that holds together the Pact Worlds alliance.1 Because of this, the station is consistently flooded by diplomats and other delegates from the various other Pact Worlds members. This creates a fertile environment for those who need to be in close contact with the system's movers and shakers, but can lead to headaches for law enforcment trying to work around various diplomatic immunities.16

Inhabitants

Although humans make up the majority of Absalom Station's inhabitants, its status as the Pact Worlds system's primary entrepot for interstellar travel means that even the rarest of species can be found here.8 This unfortunately means that due to the large number of cultures, corporations, and other political and economic interests represented there, the station is ever only a small step from chaos. Private security firms wage clandestine and sometimes even open wars with street gangs and cults, diplomats and ambassadors negotiate tense treaties, and explorers fight one another over newly discovered worlds. This neverending back and forth between countless factions and points of view has one side benefit: it marks Absalom Station as a place where you can be anyone or anything and make a fresh start.1

Humans

Humans are by far the most populous inhabitants of Absalom Station. Having lost their homeworld, they see the station and its ancient pre-Gap records as an important part of their cultural identity, which gives them a sense of pride. Unlike the dwarves, who have their Star Citadels, and the elves who retreated to Castrovel, the humans of the Pact Worlds system have no other place they can truly call home. Because of this, humans on the station will often adopt the cultural identity and religious practices of Golarion's ancient human ethnic groups, even if they themselves are not their genetic descendants. This puts them at odds with a group known as the Second Age philosophers, who believe that the amnesia of the Gap gave human cultures a chance to reinvent themselves in whatever manner they chose and to create a utopia unburdened by the past.8

Organizations

See also: Starfinder Society

The explorer organization known as the Starfinder Society is headquartered at Absalom Station and launches frequent expeditions into the unknown from there. Other important organizations include the Arcanamirium, a magical university that has a good reputation for training exceedingly skilled technomancers, the Cosmonastery, where solarians study their trade, and the Eyeswide Agency that employs psychic investigators.1 The station's less formal gangs also are politically and socially influential, most notably the the Threepiece Girls of Sparks with their custom drones, and the Fleurasik family of Kemanis who know the secrets of every politician.8

Factions

Numerous political and social factions exist on Absalom Station. One of the most dangerous of late is the Strong Absalom movement, which believes that the Starstone should only be used free of charge by the species who can trace their origins back to the lost planet of Golarion in compensation for the loss of their homeworld. Any other species should either be highly taxed for using it as a Drift beacon, or should be be barred from its use entirely.1

Religions

While the station contains major temples to the gods Iomedae and Abadar, it remains a religiously pleuralistic location with countless churches and shrines to numerous deities.8

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Paizo Inc., et al. Core Rulebook, 440–441. Paizo Inc., 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 Alexander Augunas, et al. Pact Worlds, 38–39. Paizo Inc., 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Rob McCreary, et al. “Absalom Station” in Incident at Absalom Station, 40. Paizo Inc., 2017
  4. Rob McCreary, et al. “Absalom Station” in Incident at Absalom Station, 39–40. Paizo Inc., 2017
  5. Paizo Inc., et al. Core Rulebook, 426. Paizo Inc., 2017
  6. Rob McCreary, et al. “Absalom Station” in Incident at Absalom Station, 43. Paizo Inc., 2017
  7. 7.0 7.1 Alexander Augunas, et al. Pact Worlds, 39. Paizo Inc., 2018
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Alexander Augunas, et al. Pact Worlds, 40. Paizo Inc., 2018
  9. Rob McCreary, et al. “Absalom Station” in Incident at Absalom Station, 43–44. Paizo Inc., 2017
  10. Rob McCreary, et al. “Absalom Station” in Incident at Absalom Station, 44–46. Paizo Inc., 2017
  11. Rob McCreary, et al. “Absalom Station” in Incident at Absalom Station, 46–47. Paizo Inc., 2017
  12. Rob McCreary, et al. “Absalom Station” in Incident at Absalom Station, 47–49. Paizo Inc., 2017
  13. Rob McCreary, et al. “Absalom Station” in Incident at Absalom Station, 49. Paizo Inc., 2017
  14. Rob McCreary, et al. “Absalom Station” in Incident at Absalom Station, 40–41. Paizo Inc., 2017
  15. John Compton, et al. First Contact, 13. Paizo Inc., 2017
  16. 16.0 16.1 Alexander Augunas, et al. Pact Worlds, 41. Paizo Inc., 2018