Eto is the largest city of central Osirion, located just north of the mountain range known as the Pillars of the Sun. It sits at the crossing of numerous overland trade routes, including the major one between Sothis to the east and Shiman-Sekh to the west, and has seen its fortunes wax with the increase of foreign trade since Osirion's independence. In addition to benefiting from this increased trade, it has also become a launching pad for adventurers seeking to plunder the country's many ancient tombs.1
Eto is built on the inside of an oddly cylindrical crater roughly a mile wide and 60 feet deep whose walls protect it from dangerous sandstorms of the central Osirian desert.23 Small springs can be found in the walls of the cliff and its water is carefully collected in the city's cisterns, making it a valuable commodity. The spring water is supplemented by a number of deep wells that have been dug into bedrock beneath the city. The tall ring wall of the city makes it quite defensible, and the only way in and out is through one of two well-guarded entrances.3 These gates remain open during the day and are always guarded (see Economy below).4 Many of Eto's stone and clay buildings are quite old, and many common laborers live in buildings decorated with ancient writings that would make the occupant the envy of any Osirionologist.3
Eto has become one of the centers of Osirion's trade in antiquities since Pharaoh Khemet III opened the nation to foreign explorers in 4707 AR due to its proximity to the sprawling ruins of the deep Osirian desert, including the nearby Gozarin Necropolis.78 Eto's centrality in the antiquities trade is strengthened as the only other major city of central Osirion, Shiman-Sekh, discourages treasure hunters.3 Generations of families have honed their skills to bypass ancient traps, defeat undead, and avoid attracting the attention of rivals. Some of the more honest ones sell their abilities to treasure hunters for a cut of their earnings, while others arrange unhappy "accidents" to befall their clients, so that they can take everything for themselves.8
The city charges a small fee on anyone passing through its gates. Although this tax is small, the thousands of caravans that come to Eto yearly make sure that money is constantly flowing into its coffers.3 Because Eto's guards check the belongings of every person that enters the city in order to find contraband and to accurately calculate the entrance tax, it is not unusual to see long lines of waiting caravans at the gates. When such queues form, countless of Eto's citizens swarm outside the gates in an attempt to sell food, water, goods, and services to the newcomers.4
Since the opening of Osirion's borders to outside explorers, Eto's population has grown by leaps and bounds. As the primary staging point for those exploring the deep desert, the city is full of merchants (both honorable and not) along with many Osirionologists and countless glorified grave robbers. Eto's population can fluctuate as much as 20%, especially during times of good weather and when caravans of hundreds of individuals occupy the caravansaries surrounding the city.3 Due to the abundance of treasure hunters, Eto has more than its share of Osirian government agents who closely watch the markets to make sure that the nation's heritage is not stolen.9 These agents are overseen by Field Director Safira Neda of the Ministry of Culture who charges a small tax on any artifacts brought into the city, and confiscates those that are deemed of too great a cultural value to be let out of the region. This oversight means there is a significant black market in cultural artifacts within Eto that is currently overseen by the influential Rafa Dan.3
- See also: Category:Eto/Locations
The city is divided into several residential neighborhoods that surround the central Eto Bazaar. This market is nearly always bustling with activity except for the hours around noon when shopkeepers close their awnings to hide from the baking sun. The only permanent structure in the Eto Bazaar is the Government House, which houses the home and offices of the city's governor, currently a man named Asep Ma. The city's heavily guarded Central Cistern is also nearby. The city's two best-known taverns (the Bent Coin and the Night Oasis) are located across the Bazaar from one another and they share a strange tradition. One is always the haunt of the less law-abiding of Eto's citizens and visitors, while the other is preferred by the more respectable ones. Once the reputation of the less respectable establishment is well established, however, its clientele begin to get nervous and begin frequenting the other tavern to avoid drawing attention to themselves. This change eventually causes the well-respected tavern-goers to flee that establishment and the process repeats itself.3 Finally, Eto is the home of one of the most pre-eminent libraries of the Inner Sea region, the Grand Library. Its collection is regarded as comparable to such august institutions as the Kitharodian Academy in Oppara and the Forae Logos in Absalom.10 One of its most prolific scholars is Khamos Al-Awlaq, who also owns a small antiquities shop. There is more to him than meets the eye.8
Other places of interest
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Osirion” in Osirion, Land of Pharaohs, 3. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- A Bitter Bargain, 3. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Land of the Pharaohs” in Osirion, Legacy of Pharaohs, 21–22. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- A Bitter Bargain, 5–6. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Ancient Osirion” in Lost Kingdoms, 18. Paizo Inc., 2012 .
- “Osirion” in Osirion, Land of Pharaohs, 6. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Land of the Pharaohs” in Osirion, Legacy of Pharaohs, 7. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Ancient Osirion” in Lost Kingdoms, 22–23. Paizo Inc., 2012 .
- “Land of the Pharaohs” in Osirion, Legacy of Pharaohs, 20. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Masters of Intrigue” in Inner Sea Intrigue, 46. Paizo Inc., 2016 .