|Demographics||216,750 humans; 34,680 giants; 26,010 lamyros; 11,560 others|
|Images of Xin-Shalast|
Source: Spires of Xin-Shalast, pg(s). 25
The fabled city of Xin-Shalast was once the capital of the Thassilonian realm of greed, Shalast, under the reign of Runelord Karzoug. Located far from civilization in the heart of the Kodar Mountains, Xin-Shalast's existence was considered mythical until it was recently rediscovered.
Xin-Shalast is located on Mhar Massif, high in the Kodar Mountains, on an altitude of more than 15,000 feet. Karzoug chose this location to build his capital city due to the strange thinness of the veil between the Material Plane and Leng. Leng's influence cloaks Xin-Shalast in magic that prevents most from reaching it; an idle explorer could walk up one side of Mhar Massif and down the other without ever seeing the city, and those that try can do so for their entire lives and still cannot find the city. Anyone who can find the River Avah can track down Xin-Shalast at its headwaters, but even this is difficult.
Xin-Shalast was built during the reign of Runelord Karzoug by hundreds of thousands of slaves under the lash of lamyros and giant enforcers. When Earthfall came, as Karzoug abandoned the city, Xin-Shalast was wracked by avalanches and volcanic eruptions. For more than ten millennia, he slept within the Eye of Avarice as his minions tried to keep their culture to prepare for his prophesied return.
In 4702 AR, Karzoug was awakened by the stone giant Mokmurian, and spent the next five years gathering minions from the denizens of the ruins of Xin-Shalast. His disciples returned to him, but in 4707 AR, a band of adventurers invaded the Eye of Avarice and killed Karzoug. With Karzoug's fall, many of his loyal servants vowed retribution. Violence erupted across the city as dozens of petty warlords sought to become Xin-Shalast's next ruler, further dividing the city into a tumultous civil war between numerous bands of survivors. More recently, news of Xin-Shalast's wealth spread across Varisia, leading many local governments to send teams of explorers, soldiers and colonists to salvage what they could.
At its height, Xin-Shalast had a varied population. At the top were the lamyros and giants, Karzoug's favoured servants and soldiers. The giants were controlled by a rune giant tribe with the purpose of dominating them. Below them were the humanoids, who made up the majority of the population and produced most of its goods. Below all were the slaves, most of whom were abducted from Bakrakhan. They lived in a fortified, isolated ghetto, and rarely survived past middle age. Many dragons affiliated with Karzoug also lived in or near Xin-Shalast, answering to no one but the runelord himself and the highest-ranking lamia harridans. Xin-Shalast's architecture is cyclopean, as it was designed with housing giants and hundreds of thousands of people in mind.
Since Earthfall, most of Xin-Shalast has been abandoned, although the giants and lamyros dwell there still, having maintained their presence for ten millennia. Most of the giants are cloud giants and frost giants, with some small tribes of stone, taiga and storm giants.
In recent years, Xin-Shalast has been the site of a power struggle between numerous petty factions seeking dominance. Due to constantly shifting alliances, the borders between their territories are never static, as factions are displaced by invasions and forced to intrude on another's territory. The most prominent of them are Karzoug's former rune giant and lamyros servants, whose internal struggles prevent them from controlling the entire city.
Xin-Shalast is also home to a predatory yetis, who have no need for wealth and were drawn there by the promise of humanoid prey. The remainder of the city's population are humanoid colonists from various Varisian cities, seeking to claim its wealth; the most powerful colonists are currently those from Janderhoff, Riddleport and Magnimar.
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 197. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- F. Wesley Schneider and James L. Sutter. (2017). Runescars 5, p. Appendix. Dynamite Entertainment.
- Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Spires of Xin-Shalast. Spires of Xin-Shalast, p. 7–8. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-041-4
- Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. 56. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2
- Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Spires of Xin-Shalast. Spires of Xin-Shalast, p. 24–25. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-041-4
- James Jacobs et al. (2012). Appendix Five: Xin-Shalast. Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, p. 399. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-436-8
- Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. 57. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2