From PathfinderWiki
(Redirected from Ruins of Kho)
Location of the Ruins of Kho in the Barrier Wall mountain range.

The ruins of Kho were once the first flying city of the Shory Empire.12 Located in the Kho-Rarne Pass of the Barrier Wall Mountains between the Mwangi Expanse and Osirion, the former Shory capital fell to earth millennia ago.3


Kho was once a true wonder to behold held aloft by magical engines that carried it through the skies. Built as the first of the Shory flying cities in -2323 AR, the city was a utopian blending of technology and magic.45

In -632 AR, Kho was attacked by the Spawn of Rovagug known as Tarrasque, who caused the city to come crashing down into the Barrier Wall Mountains before finally coming to rest on its side in a narrow canyon.6 Thousands died in the attack; the few survivors quickly fled into the jungle and perished, taking the mysteries of their mystical homeland to their graves,37 or assimilated into local populations.5

The ruins today

Exploring the Ruins of Kho.

Today, Kho is a strange and disturbing place that howls with the dying sputters of unknown magics. Those Mwangi spellcasters who possess the ability to tap into the latent spiritual energies of Mwangi ruins say that the ruins of Kho are the most potent of all the Expanse's many ruins.8 The ruins are claimed by faydhaans9 and other outsiders who were bound there by its creators thousands of years ago. They fight for control with morlocks and other creatures from the surrounding wilderness.7

Most who seek to plunder the ruins do not survive the attempt, and those who do are plagued by bad luck, with most dying within a couple of years.10 Evidence of the Tarrasque attack can still be seen on some of the larger ruins, in the form of huge claw marks.1

Several Uomoto settlements are located near the ruins, their inhabitants nearly indistinguishable from the other lowland Mwangi tribes. The unusually high percentage of adepts and sorcerers claim their powers come from the ruined city.311 Highly skilled Uomoto scavengers, who typically work only in pairs, carefully pluck items of interest from Kho but are reluctant to lead strangers there for fear of causing harm or dangerous disruption to the site.12

The ruins are prone to tears in magical stability that the Uomoto refer to as rogue spheres, which upon creation move randomly until attracted to active sources of magic or powerful latent magic.13


The ruins of Kho are broadly divided into three main regions: the Upper City, the Lower City, and the Fields of Glass.1415

When Kho crashed to the ground, the Upper City collapsed into the impact crater and portals to the Plane of Water that supplied the city's cisterns flooded the Upper City's ruins, turning it into a nameless lake. The Upper City, which largely remains intact, is now also known as the Sunken City. The lake feeds what is now known as the Uomoto River, which divides the Lower City from the Fields of Glass as it flows south, and beyond the ruins the river supplies water to the Uomoto people.1615

The Lower City and Fields of Glass are connected by a downed rune-etched residential tower of stone and crystal now referred to as the Obelisk Bridge, which provides a crossing of the Uomoto River.1715

A concentration of magical energy known as the Well of Axuma extends in a half-mile radius beyond the ruins' borders as well as into the air above them, and while its Aeromantic Infadibulum powers no longer raise the city, they still reduce the power of gravity in the area, empower magic items, and allow even those otherwise incapable of spellcasting to invoke minor cantrips.18

Upper City

The only significant features above the lake's surface are the Aerie Monoliths in its southeastern shallows, which are now home to derhiis.15 Shards of broken glass also reach from its depths to crest the lake's surface.5 The rest of the Upper City is submerged and home to an illusory faydhaan labyrinth and many undead beings.1519

The waters of the Upper City are fed by the Cistern Major.15

Lower City

The Lower City consists of the parts of Kho not submerged in its lake. Its buildings have degraded more over time, with considerable overgrowth from flora native to the Mwangi Jungle, but much of its signature Shory architecture of glass and crystal remain visible.17 The Lower City also includes the remnants of Kho's arcane academies, including the Domes of the Polymatum and the Phantom Academy,20 and unique and colorful alchemical oozes slowly roam the area.21

The Lower City remains patrolled by deteriorating crystal sentinels who continue endless patrols on guard. A malfunctioning portal to the Netherworld is located on what is now known as Shadow Hill17 and attracts undead beings, dangerous magical phenomena, and at night morlock scavengers who emerge from the Pit of Endless Night.15

Fields of Glass

The Fields of Glass are named for the crystalline shards of the city's structures, which were fused together by the impact and became an unstable, growing mass of crystal. The shards reflect light into a glittering display, though the shards make traversing the terrain difficult. The ecological effects of the flying city's crash turned the valley into a cloud forest with fertile terrain and abundant life.2223

The Obelisk Vault museum and glittering ruins of the Sunset Towers are notable landmarks within the Fields of Glass.15

Crystalline mutant xorn roam the Fields of Glass during the day and have named the fields the Vokthavaravat Cluster. These xorn carry a curse known as crystal corruption, which slowly transforms creatures who are not earth elementals or closely related beings into petrified crystalline formations.2425

Notable inhabitants

See also: Category:Kho/Inhabitants


Paizo set part of the Stolen Fate Pathfinder Adventure Path issue The Destiny War in Kho, which included a map of the city ruins, and published a major article on the ruins of Kho in The Mwangi Expanse.

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

  1. 1.0 1.1 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 129. Paizo Inc., 2011
  2. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 201. Paizo Inc., 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Amber Stewart, et al. “Lost Kingdoms” in Heart of the Jungle, 53–54. Paizo Inc., 2010
  4. Erik Mona, et al. “Overview” in World Guide, 7. Paizo Inc., 2019
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Laura-Shay Adams, et al. “Geography” in The Mwangi Expanse, 169. Paizo Inc., 2021
  6. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 16. Paizo Inc., 2011
  7. 7.0 7.1 Erik Mona, et al. Mwangi Expanse” in World Guide, 93. Paizo Inc., 2019
  8. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 107. Paizo Inc., 2008
  9. Paizo referred to faydhaans as marids until the publication of Rage of Elements. See Rage of Elements pg. 3 and Pathfinder Core Preview pg. 2.
  10. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 205. Paizo Inc., 2008
  11. Laura-Shay Adams, et al. “People of the Mwangi” in The Mwangi Expanse, 31. Paizo Inc., 2021
  12. Laura-Shay Adams, et al. “Geography” in The Mwangi Expanse, 168. Paizo Inc., 2021
  13. Chris S. Sims. “The Destiny War” in The Destiny War, 25. Paizo Inc., 2023
  14. Laura-Shay Adams, et al. “Geography” in The Mwangi Expanse, 168–171. Paizo Inc., 2021
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Chris S. Sims. “The Destiny War” in The Destiny War, 22. Paizo Inc., 2023
  16. Laura-Shay Adams, et al. “Geography” in The Mwangi Expanse, 168–169. Paizo Inc., 2021
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Laura-Shay Adams, et al. “Geography” in The Mwangi Expanse, 170. Paizo Inc., 2021
  18. Chris S. Sims. “The Destiny War” in The Destiny War, 20. Paizo Inc., 2023
  19. Laura-Shay Adams, et al. “Geography” in The Mwangi Expanse, 169–170. Paizo Inc., 2021
  20. Chris S. Sims. “The Destiny War” in The Destiny War, 21–22. Paizo Inc., 2023
  21. Chris S. Sims. “The Destiny War” in The Destiny War, 23. Paizo Inc., 2023
  22. Tim Hitchcock, et al. Kho” in Lost Cities of Golarion, 19. Paizo Inc., 2011
  23. Laura-Shay Adams, et al. “Geography” in The Mwangi Expanse, 170–171. Paizo Inc., 2021
  24. Laura-Shay Adams, et al. “Geography” in The Mwangi Expanse, 171. Paizo Inc., 2021
  25. Chris S. Sims. “The Destiny War” in The Destiny War, 42. Paizo Inc., 2023
  26. Paizo referred to nobles of each type of genie by different titles until the publication of Rage of Elements, which refers to genie nobles of all types as shuyookhs. See the genie articles in Rage of Elements and Pathfinder Core Preview pg. 14.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Tim Hitchcock, et al. Kho” in Lost Cities of Golarion, 17. Paizo Inc., 2011