Archives of Nethys

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Deities | Systems & Settlements

Burning Archipelago

Source Pact Worlds pg. 12
NG bubble-city cluster
System The Sun
Population 63,510 (45% human, 16% efreet, 7% android, 5% ysoki, 27% other)
Government oligarchy (Archipelago Senate)
Qualities technologically advanced
Maximum Item Level 20

The Burning Archipelago is more stable than its surroundings, consisting of force bubbles of various sizes with cities or large platforms suspended within. Unknown mechanisms, which many believe to be powered by magic, maintain a habitable temperature and atmosphere within the bubbles while deflecting the constant solar radiation. The force bubbles are slightly polarized so that creatures within whose vision is based on sight aren’t immediately blinded by the sun’s brightness. The best minds of the Pact Worlds have thrown themselves into attempting to understand how the Burning Archipelago functions—mainly in case the bubbles ever begin to break down—to no avail. However, incidental knowledge gleaned from this research has paid dividends in technological achievements, from advanced materials able to withstand proximity to the sun to more efficient solar sails.

Dawnshore, the largest and most-connected bubble in the Archipelago, was the first to be explored. It is the stronghold of the Sarenites, as well as home to the civil apparatuses that keep the Archipelago humming. Corona is home to much of the Archipelago’s trade with the Elemental Plane of Fire. Stellacuna is the Archipelago’s center of learning, both mundane and extraordinary. In Fireside, large industrial factories operate in close proximity to their corporate headquarters, while the entire bubble of Verdeon is given over to greenhouses and pleasure domes that simulate the gardens of Castrovel and lost Golarion.

The most-used entrance to the Archipelago is through the narrow tunnel of reduced solar energy that appears whenever a vessel approaches the appropriate area of the sun. This tunnel leads to (and seems to emanate from) Dawnshore, making that bubble the Archipelago’s spaceport. The outer end of the tunnel is protected by the Sarenite-controlled Sunrise Station, which closely monitors all traffic in and out of the Archipelago. Anyone who can prove they have legitimate business in the Archipelago is permitted within, though the Sarenite peacekeeping force known as the Dawn Patrol keeps a close watch on those they deem suspicious.

Tethers of energy hold the bubbles in an unchanging formation, but they also serve as the backbone of interbubble transport. Ferries known as linecrawlers hug the tethers, using them to traverse the turbulent solar atmosphere between the bubbles. Those in more of a hurry or with a need to leave the beaten path can charter sunskimmers, vehicles built by the Sarenites to harness the violently unpredictable solar winds. All vessels must enter and exit the bubbles at their tether points through magic membranes controlled by each city’s government.