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Doorway to Absalom; Back Door of Absalom;
Derelict (possible older name)
Large town
4,732 humans, 37 gillmen, 33 aiuvarins, 21 halflings, 16 elves, 8 dwarves, 12 other
Source: Towns of the Inner Sea, pg(s). 4–13

Diobel is one of the larger towns under the rule of the city-state of Absalom. While not as large as Escadar off the Isle of Kortos' northern coast, Diobel plays an important role in the commercial and political affairs of the City at the Center of the World.1


On the western coast of the Isle of Kortos, where once stood a mighty siege town, rests the flooded port city of Diobel. The city's inner harbor is protected by a giant maze of shipwrecked war-barges, crumbling walls, and haphazard jetties of iron and wood. These defenses prevent larger trading vessels and warships from entering the harbor itself, and the deeper waters of the bay are often crowded with ships at anchor.2 Inside the maze lies a wide bay called the Shallows, which provides calm waters and safe passage to the smaller rowboats and flat-bottomed cargo vessels. The Shallows flow into a series of wooden and stone walkways, which stretch below the city, possessing various docks and bunkers called the Underdocks.2 Most of the town stands suspended on pylons above the Underdocks, or hangs precariously on the rocky shore of the bay.2 The shipwrecks and debris that protect Diobel's harbor from pirates and sea monsters were erected in imitation of Absalom's Flotsam Graveyard.3

The town has a narrow river that flows through it and into the sea, the Deluge, on which timber cut in the Immenwood is floated down for market.4


See also: Category:Diobel/Locations
  • The Bristles District is the southern district of Diobel and home to low-rate inns, markets, and taverns, as well as warehouses and poorer family homes. Ship builders and gillmen also operate heavily in the district.5
  • The Claw District or Claw is a region on the northeastern outskirts of Diobel. It is part of the "in-land" that Diobelians rarely refer to fondly. Old Diobelian families maintain camps here and explorers make this their last stop on the way to explore the island.6
  • The Snout District or Snout is in the north-central part of town and is home to the middle-class, old families, traders, and artisans.7


Diobel has become a bustling trade town controlled by the merchant lords of the Kortos Consortium, who oversee much of Absalom's mining, farming, trapping, and fishing industry.8 Smugglers and food merchants have preferred to ship goods to Absalom through Diobel for centuries in order to avoid Absalom's stiff harbor taxes, its law enforcement, and its criminal element.3 This popularity has made Diobel one of the largest markets for contraband in the Inner Sea region.9

Diobel began mainly as a fishing village before it developed an oyster- and pearl-gathering industry that supplies pearls not only to the Arcanamirium, Absalom's premier school of magic,3 but exports them throughout the Inner Sea region. These pearls are considered some of the finest to be found anywhere. The skymetals harvested from the hills surrounding Diobel or recovered from the ocean floor and traded by Low Azlanti are also a highly-prized export. Timber, iron, and precious metals are shipped down the Deluge River to Diobel where they are shipped off to supply Absalom's many crafters.4

Ships anchor in the harbor and transport their goods to shore over the Shallows in large barges. Traders meet with caravan captains at the Harpy's Gate to arrange overland transport.10 The caravans between Diobel and Absalom, which trade furs, timber, and food from independent farms along the dangerous route, are a major source of Absalom's food supply.3


Diobel's chief governor is known as the Teriarch, a position appointed by the Grand Council of Absalom.3 The current ruler of the city is Lord Avid of House Arnsen, a childhood friend (and now bitter rival) of Absalom's former primarch, Lord Gyr.13

Lord Avid's main political rival in Diobel is the Kortos Consortium, a guild of merchants that controls significant parts of the town's trade.3 The Consortium is a merchant's guild, claiming to be dedicated to eliminating the smuggling of contraband, stolen merchandise, and tax-free imports, as well as the exporting of Kortosian artifacts that fall outside Absalom's enforceable jurisdiction.2 Terms of office are generally long, thus members with higher levels of responsibility often give up their primary business ventures and settle in Diobel for lives of public service.2 Despite the Consortium's best efforts, smuggling still occurs, and illicit merchandise travels in both directions overland to and from the city of Absalom. Because of the commercial repercussions of controlling Diobel's harbor, ambitious factions looking to gain influence in the City at the Center of the World are often first seen targeting Diobel.2 This political and economic jockeying creates a somewhat chaotic atmosphere in Diobel, one which threatens to collapse at any moment.8


See also: Category:Diobel/Inhabitants

Many of the trapper families around Diobel are of Kellid descent, and speak Hallit rather than Taldane. Some of these "inlanders" visit Diobel only once or twice a year, and are trusted little more than the minotaurs or harpies of the island's interior.3

Notable residents

  • Mason Karbie: leader of the Barge Gang, walks with a limp, possibly acquired in his dealings with the Kaldroon family.7
  • Prince Lyrel Rambas: the "prince" leads a crew of thugs and murderers in the Kortos Consortium and gains his wealth on the high seas. Rambas and his crew are in a secret battle with the Barge Gang.13


Paizo published a major article about Diobel, including a map and gazetteer, in Towns of the Inner Sea, 4ff.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 57. Paizo Inc., 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Tim Hitchcock. The Hydra's Fang Incident, 4. Paizo Inc., 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Owen K.C. Stephens. “Places” in Guide to Absalom, 10–11. Paizo Inc., 2008
  4. 4.0 4.1 Erik Mona, et al. Absalom and Starstone Isle” in World Guide, 17. Paizo Inc., 2019
  5. Judy Bauer, et al. Diobel” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 12. Paizo Inc., 2013
  6. Judy Bauer, et al. Diobel” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 8–9. Paizo Inc., 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 Judy Bauer, et al. Diobel” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 9. Paizo Inc., 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 Erik Mona, et al. Absalom and Starstone Isle” in World Guide, 19. Paizo Inc., 2019
  9. Tim Hitchcock, et al. “Where Secrets Sleep” in Seekers of Secrets, 33. Paizo Inc., 2009
  10. Judy Bauer, et al. Diobel” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 11. Paizo Inc., 2013
  11. Judy Bauer, et al. Diobel” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 13. Paizo Inc., 2013
  12. Paizo referred to cambion planar scions as tieflings until the publication of Player Core. These cambions are unrelated to the type of demon with the same name.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Judy Bauer, et al. Diobel” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 8. Paizo Inc., 2013
  14. Tim Hitchcock. Year of the Shadow Lodge, 5. Paizo Inc., 2010