Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder | Starfinder

Deities | Systems & Settlements


Marsh World of Poisonous Clouds

Source Starfinder #5: The Thirteenth Gate pg. 44
Location The Vast
Settlements Kalsarsa
Diameter x2/3; Mass x4/9; Gravity x1
Atmosphere Thick
Day 30 hours; Year 244 days

A planet of marshes beneath dense and sometimes poisonous clouds, Arshalin was badly damaged in a planetary calamity thousands of years ago. Some immense space station or megastructure made of ultra-dense steel fractured into massive fragments and crashed into the planet. Now, plates of steel miles high and hundreds of miles long—although rarely more than 1,000 feet or so thick—protrude from the planet’s surface. From the upper atmosphere, Arshalin’s surface resembles the aftermath of a devastating explosion: these enormous jagged sheets of metal jut from the planet, creating long, thin barricades scattered apparently at random to form misshapen lakes, odd valleys, and segmented coastlines.

Rising higher than mountain ranges, the impregnable metal sheets, called worldshards, distort the planet’s weather and ecology. Over the last several eons, native species separated by the worldshards have diverged along separate evolutionary paths, creating staggering biological diversity. Only far-ranging races, such as the intelligent, multiheaded ilthisarians, their brutish mammalian servitors called ethesks, and the planet’s powerful saurian birds, journey around the worldshards with regularity. After many generations, the ilthisarians have accepted the worldshards as part of their planet, treating them as natural landmarks, with Sheltering Hand, Steel Ridge, and Tall Watcher among the most prominent.

The primary intelligent creatures on Arshalin are the ilthisarians, sizable serpentine humanoids with powerful bifurcated tails and a cluster of ophidian heads on long necks. Having built stone and metal cities in their great marshes before their civilizations were shattered by the fall of the worldshards, the patient and tradition-bound ilthisarians slowly recovered and now have a spacefaring society with a cultural sophistication and mastery of science and magic that rivals those of the Pact Worlds. Their long tradition of avoiding exploration has begun to fade only in recent years, so the ilthisarians have in fact spent more time traveling to other worlds than exploring the remote regions of their own.

Most visitors to Arshalin complain of its boggy marshes, where dense fog in low-lying areas concentrates into poisonous sumps, but the world’s diverse ecology produces useful plants and animals unknown on any other planet. As a result, offworlder biologists, climatologists, and Xenowardens are common in ilthisarian cities.

Aliens found at Arshalin

Ilthisarian - CR 4; Large monstrous humanoid (ilthisarian)