This article contains spoilers for the following products: Major plot elements of the Gatewalkers Pathfinder Adventure Path, especially They Watched the Stars and Dreamers of the Nameless Spires


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4722 AR: Abandoned
4699–4722 AR: Small city
4722 AR: 0
4699–4722 AR: 6,590
4722 AR: None
4699–4722 AR: Monarchy (House Surtova)
4722 AR: None
4699–4722 AR: Queen Equendia Surtova
Source: Stolen Land, pg(s). 62 (1E)
They Watched the Stars, pg(s). 4–19 (2E)
For another meaning of "Skywatch", please see Skywatch (Starfall).

The abandoned city of Skywatch is built around a massive observatory high in the Icerime Peaks on Brevoy's eastern border. Once a holding of House Surtova, it was mysteriously sealed for 20 years before being reopened and revealed to be abandoned in 4722 AR.12


Early history

A powerful ley line runs through the site upon which Skywatch now exists, up the mountain and then rising into the sky from its center. An indeterminate but long time prior to the city's founding, this site drew the elf aiudara builder Candlaron, who attempted to construct one of the famed gates on the site. However, the aiudara was buried in a landslide within a century.2

The site much later also drew Erutaki stargazers from the distant north. These travelers constructed the observatory around which the city of Skywatch would later be built, but they also left an unknown amount of time prior to the city's founding.2

City founding

The city of Skywatch began as a simple outpost, built by House Surtova, around the observatory during the early years of Issia's history.1 Its founder, Yannet Surtova, was an occultist who could sense the powerful ley line that ran through the site.2

This fortification was overtaken by the Aldori during Issia's constant war with neighboring Rostland, and it served as an Aldori stronghold even after Choral the Conqueror brought both nations to their knees and united them under his rule.1

A few years later, however, Choral and his red dragon allies put an end to the Aldori separatists at Skywatch, burning the fortress to the ground. Choral then showed a great deal of interest in the observatory, began excavating and researching the mysterious observatory after the Aldori defeat, and built the modern city of Skywatch atop the original settlement's burnt ruins.1

After his departure, House Rogarvia took over the endeavour on Choral's behalf. The goals and any results from this examination of the observatory are unknown.1

Recent history

Strangely, on the same day in 4699 AR that every member of House Rogarvia disappeared, Skywatch's Queen Equendia Surtova sealed itself off from all outsiders, including supply caravans. In the years since, no message sent to Skywatch received a response and powerful divination magic failed to penetrate the city's ancient walls.1 Mages and scholars attempted to bypass the seal but were wholly unsuccessful.3

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Unbeknownst to anyone, Equendia Surtova had unilaterally isolated her city to block out distractions from outside lands, directing her people to focus on the stars for anything they could not produce through their labor. This cloistered rule continued until the Missing Moment, an event in 4722 AR that activated aiudara across worlds and caused Osoyo, the Blackfrost Whale, to make contact with Equendia and her stargazing people.4

Under Osoyo's fell telepathic influence and with the Blackfrost Whale's gifts of persuasion, Equendia ordered her people to abandon Skywatch and march north until they reached the Nameless Spires atop the Crown of the World.4 Those who died during the treacherous journey continued on by rising as blackfrost zombies until none remained but Equendia. Osoyo rewarded her by transforming her into a blackfrost mummy, turning the last of the city's population into undead thralls.5

To the outside world, however, the wards simply and mysteriously disappeared, the city gates were opened, and the first outsiders who explored the city found the well-kept city devoid of its residents. The only clue were footprints that led out of Skywatch, but who left them and where they went remained unknown.64 The abandoned city soon became the focus of criminals, treasure seekers, and raiders.47

The observatory

The observatory is older than any known settlement in the region, and its purpose remains a mystery. The ancient structure was obviously built to accommodate beings much larger than humans, and it has been preserved through the ages by powerful magic.1


Paizo set part of the They Watched the Stars issue of the Gatewalkers Pathfinder Adventure Path in Skywatch, including a map of the city on page 12.

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

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 53. Paizo Inc., 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Jason Keeley. “They Watched the Stars” in They Watched the Stars, 4. Paizo Inc., 2023
  3. James Jacobs, et al. Kingmaker Player's Guide, 9. Paizo Inc., 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jason Keeley. “They Watched the Stars” in They Watched the Stars, 5. Paizo Inc., 2023
  5. James Jacobs. “Dreamers of the Nameless Spires” in Dreamers of the Nameless Spires, 51. Paizo Inc., 2023
  6. Erik Mona, et al. Broken Lands” in World Guide, 27. Paizo Inc., 2019
  7. The fate of Skywatch and its residents is detailed in They Watched the Stars and Dreamers of the Nameless Spires.