Before the arrival of the the lich-king, Adorak was a flourishing city and county seat of the county of Virholt. It had become wealthy due to the nearby iron and nickel mines. In addition to producing some of the finest weapons in Ustalav, Adorak was also the primary source of gems in the nation. Due to its proximity to the orc-dominated Belkzen, Adorak was also intended as a sanctuary and breakwater against the inhuman raiders.2
Whispering Tyrant's Invasion
The Whispering Tyrant attacked the city with an orc army in 3205 AR and overwhelmed the city's defenses in three days. Soon thereafter, the slaves of the lich began the construction of the tower of Gallowspire to serve as their new master's seat of power. Citizens were either killed or enslaved, and the Whispering Tyrant terrified the survivors by publicly immolating his enemies from his tower.3 Those forced to serve as slaves were sent into the mines, which expanded to disturbing depths, and brought forth stubborn metals and dark stone infused with strange energies.1 The skulls and bones of slain crusaders were used to pave roads in parts of the city, creating animated undead walkways that would attack future invaders.4 The lich also turned some of the city's nobility into intelligent undead.
The Shining Crusade
Feeling threatened by the Whispering Tyrant's continued expansion, the empire of Taldor, the dwarves of Kraggodan, and the Knights of Ozem launched a military campaign against him in 3754 AR. For decades their relentless campaign advanced toward Adorak (now generally referred to as Gallowspire), finally reaching the lich's capital in 3827 AR. What little remained of the city was destroyed in the ensuing battles and siege, but eventually the Lich King was overthrown and imprisoned within his own tower of Gallowspire.56
The city's undead nobility were hunted down and destroyed,7 and the Great Seal was put in place to ensure Tar-Baphon's imprisonment within Gallowspire. Despite these efforts, the city was unlivable by this point and was swiftly abandoned by nearly all living creatures. Even so, the ruins remain home to horrific undead creatures,2 although they tend to avoid the haunted presence of Gallowspire, almost as though they fear even to touch the prison of the fallen lich.
Dangers of Adorak
Aside from undead, haunts, and unnatural storms, Adorak is also a dangerous place due to the crumbling, ashen buildings. Furthermore, as the city is built over crisscrossing tunnels of exhausted mines, the city's infamous sinkholes threaten to swallow individuals or entire city blocks without warning.8
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Gallowspire” in Dungeons of Golarion, 15. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Counties” in Rule of Fear, 34. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Shadows of Gallowspire” in Shadows of Gallowspire, 54–55. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Shadows of Gallowspire” in Shadows of Gallowspire, 47–48. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 90. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 202. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Shadows of Gallowspire” in Shadows of Gallowspire, 39. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Shadows of Gallowspire” in Shadows of Gallowspire, 47. Paizo Inc., 2011 .