|Demographics||12,810 humans; 2,745 dwarves, 915 halflings; 1,830 other|
Source: Druma, Profit and Prophecy, pg(s). 35
Kerse is located along the southern edge of the Gulf of Accord, at the mouth of the Profit's Flow in northern Druma. Its northern and western borders are marked by Lake Encarthan; its southern and eastern borders by two distributaries of the Profit's Flow. Although surrounded by the Argent Reach region, Kerse is considered a region by itself instead of being part of the Argent Reach.
Kerse proper is divided into four districts: the affluent, residential Manor District along its northeastern edge; the Resplendent District, which houses many of Druma's government bodies in the northwestern part; the Trade District in the southwest, which is one of the most vibrant markets across Golarion; and the Pilgrimage District, which is entirely leased out to non-members of the Prophecies of Kalistrade. Northwest of Kerse is the High Prophet's Sanctum, an artificial island where the high prophet makes his home and which falls outside the laws of both Kerse and Druma. The area surrounding Kerse consists of mostly well-groomed forests and open plains, and is almost wholly owned by the high prophet, except for the estates of a few families.
Even though the ostentatious display of wealth is a prerequisite in all Drumish cities (thanks to its inhabitants' devotion to the Prophecies of Kalistrade), Kerse is ne plus ultra in this regard. Even the most common dwellings resemble manor homes, with municipal buildings and the homes of the upper classes resembling palaces. The brick used in their construction is flecked with gemstones, and great statues made of valuable alloys line the streets.
Places of Interest
The Guilded Vault Opulent is the city's center of Prophet activity. It includes offices, a bathhouse, a banquet hall, and a sculpture garden, all of which present varied stages for devoted adherents to flaunt their personal wealth.
The peace treaty known as the Kerse Accord was signed in 2332 AR in the capital, ended the 700-year-long civil war (the 19th of the Five Kings Wars) between the five dwarven kingdoms in the Five Kings Mountains (Gardadth, Saggorak, Doggadth, Grakodan, and Taggoret). The treaty was negotiated with the help of the Drumish delegation, who negotiated that the land at the foot of the Five Kings Mountains would become part of the new nation of Druma.
In 2335 AR, the Burning Glove Riots ravaged Kerse as the working class protested the increasing inequality between themselves and the Kalistocrats. After a week, they were pacified when the Kalistocrats changed taxation models and revised key laws to make upward mobility easier.
Shortly after the foundation of Razmiran in 4672 AR, Razmiri faith barges sailed into Kerse. The Razmiris first promised a better way to riches than the Prophecies of Kalistrade, but the debates quickly turned violent as the Razmiris began abducting Kalistocrat rivals, leading the Drumish government to ban Razmir's cult in Druma.
Despite all this wealth, crime is virtually non-existent in Kerse, thanks to the overzealous presence of the country's Mercenary League (also known as the Blackjackets), who make their headquarters here. The Blackjackets, already known for their fanatical devotion to the members of the Kalistocracy, take their devotion to a new level when guarding the homes and streets of their capital; very little escapes their eye, while the buildings are protected with powerful magical wards, bound creatures from the Great Beyond, and diviners constantly scrying for the slightest wrongdoing.
Kerse is a large center for trade in the Inner Sea region. Not only does much of the dwarven trade from the Five Kings Mountains flow through the city (consisting mostly of metal tools, weapons, and armor), but Kerse's location on the Gulf of Accord gives it access to the markets of Molthune, Nirmathas, Lastwall, Ustalav, Razmiran, and Kyonin.
Even though the Drumish government does not forbid the establishment of religion, they also do not encourage it. Underground veiled mystery cults devoted to numerous empyreal lords have sprung up in the city from time to time.
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