The City of Fogdown
Fogdown Player Guide
Player’s Guide to Fogdown
Also known as the City of Stolen Splendor, The Twice Fallen Republic, Thieves’ Down, The Bay of Fog, Fogdown is a massive city-state metropolis built on an island now located in the Inner Sea of Golarion. Historically it has been a center point of trade, seeing thousands of ships coming and going from its harbors. Fogdown’s massive lighthouses have always been a welcome sight while passing through the dense fogs that persistently haunt the area.
Fogdown’s history is a difficult web of competing interests from the deranged and corrupt many who have have waged an endless war of theft and murder seeking power and wealth to the just and courageous few who have stepped on her shores seeking the once noble city’s redemption. It has been a unique series of struggles over the cities ebbs and flows of resources which have given rise to it’s current state.
Throughout it’s history, few can afford to leave the island, and fewer can afford to live. It can breed the worst, malevolent criminals or the most disciplined, unmovable protectors.
Life and Society
If something needs to happen, this is where it gets done. Just below the surface of Fogdown is a world of deviance, murder, corruption, theft and despair. The only life for many is a life of crime; survival by any means.
People are packed into decaying towering tenements, while the wealthy merchant class and noble houses live in decadent luxury. The majority work as day laborers, sailors and fishermen. Others make a living as shop clerks, attendants, apprentices and petty craftsmen.
Despite Fogdown’s notoriously harsh legal system, most live as criminals, stealing their way through life, competing for scraps of wealth and power left over from the Houses and criminal organizations. It is not uncommon for a criminal to have passed through several organizations in their career, due to changing interests, agendas and goals.
Fogdown is controlled by a select group of noble families called Houses, organized in a City Senate. Houses are recognized formally by a vote in the City Senate, with new Houses having to apply for recognition, usually accompanied by a large sum of money. Five House: Ashenfey, DeMay, Venolay, Samreich, Mai trace their founding back to the founding of the first Senate.
Each noble family is allotted a number of seats on the senate based on an internal senate vote, influenced by favor, bribe and threats. The equality of corruption in the senate has ensured that no one House has consolidated power. Election to each seat a House is allotted, differs from House to House, with some being filled based on patrilinear heritage to others by internal elections, divine prowess or sheer force.
Since the Sundering, Fogdown has found itself in a fairly lucrative position. Trade routes in the Inner Sea typically take one of two paths: The Northern Track, from Taldor, Andoran, and Cheliax or the Southern Track, from Rathadoum, Thuvia and Osirion. Fogdown as of recent has acted as the cross point across the Inner Sea, allowing merchants to now travel part of the Northern Track and part of Southern Track.
Besides being a trade post, Fogdown has also recently started to specialize in light manufacturing including simple clockwork devices such as clocks, drills, toys and music boxes.
Several trade organizations of merchants compete with one another to monopolize different areas of trade, turning to the City Senate with bribes for legislation in their favor, or even the criminal guilds for cohesion.
Numerous religions call Fogdown home, each competing for their deities’ influence over the citizens and denizens of Fogdown. Each one typically has an organization of their faith practicing on the island, sometimes publicly sometimes not, and at least a shrine to their deity.
Shrines on Fogdown are a fairly new phenomena. While there were some to the old gods of Faerun, as missionaries and clerics from Golarion’s many religions swarmed onto the island, to help better establish a following, many constructed or took over abandoned shrines for worshipers to gather at. Occasionally these shrines manifested strange divine powers, which certainly helped attract would-be followers. When religions gathered enough followers, some went on to build one, or several temples again increasing their numbers.
Because Golarion’s general religious structure is polytheism, worshiping or at least acknowledging different gods, even opposed gods, is quite common. Churches in Fogdown are more concerned with spreading their domain and in turn gathering more worshipers.
Countless notorious organizations nest in the City of Fogdown’s seemingly endless alleys, back ways, sewers and rooftops, each with their own Darwinian niche of criminal activity. The most infamous at this time are The Nightsend, The Hangmen, The Thousand Hands, Thieves of the Last Dance, and Windsong.