Archives of Nethys

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Deities | Systems & Settlements

Citadel of the Black

Source Pact Worlds pg. 142
CE cyclopean tower
System Aucturn
Population 153,130 (45% human, 14% orocoran, 11% ysoki, 6% android, 24% other)
Government autocracy (Carsai the King)
Qualities academic, notorious
Maximum Item Level 18

The Citadel of the Black is Aucturn’s largest settlement in both size and population. Located on the shores of the Undulating Sea, it is a massive building almost a mile tall and with a base of several dozens of acres, made of a jumbled collection of dense stone, black iron, pulsing flesh-bricks, spires of jagged bone, and tough organic membranes. Due to eldritch atmospheric pumping engines within the building, the yellow smog of Aucturn is rendered nontoxic, allowing a large number of humans, ysoki, and other races of the Pact Worlds to congregate within the ominous structure and in the many smaller buildings clustered at the Citadel’s base like barnacles on a ship.

Despite its immense size, the Citadel seems mostly abandoned, as fewer than 160,000 residents inhabit its multitude of floors and cavernous chambers. Many residents go days without seeing another living soul, which suits its many misanthropic hermits and obsessed scholars of arcane lore just fine. Some even believe that the tower is larger on the inside than on the outside or that the building actually has multiple interiors, each its own demiplane.

The undisputed ruler of the Citadel of the Black is Carsai the King, immortal high priest of Nyarlathotep and, some whisper, an avatar of the Empty Traveler himself. Carsai appears in public frequently; each appearance draws large crowds of fawning cultists, and his charismatic speeches are often broadcast throughout the Pact Worlds; cries of adoration and spontaneous ecstatic suicides are not uncommon during these spectacles. Despite Carsai’s position, the Citadel of the Black is not a theocracy, and the city has just as many agnostic scholars of forgotten or forbidden lore as it does devout cultists of Nyarlathotep. These scholars study in the tower’s many libraries of blasphemous tomes, such as the tumorous Weeping Cathedral or the magically silenced Repository of Errant Lore. Other citizens work the fleshfarms in the vaults beneath the building to feed the populace, or serve as the Highstalkers—a security firm that straddles the line between a police force and sanctioned serial killers.