Sky Citadel

From PathfinderWiki

Sky Citadels are mighty dwarven fortresses that can be found throughout Avistan and Garund, the first to be built by the stout folk when they emerged onto the surface world during the Age of Darkness.1


At the end of the Age of Darkness (ca. -4987 AR), the dwarves emerged on the surface world, ending their century-long exodus from the Darklands (see Quest for Sky)1. In order to make a mark upon their new-found home and establish an enduring dwarven presence, they built ten Sky Citadels, fortified cities and massive engineering feats.23 Typically metropolis-sized creations, they were decorated ornately in the dwarven fashion, and contained many murals and depictions of events from the Quest for Sky. They were almost exclusively of stone, and such is their craftsmanship that time has only slightly worn away their splendor.4

Although ten citadels were built in total, only a few have survived intact to the present day, and fewer still are held by the dwarves. In the years following the end of the Quest for Sky, many of the cities were overcome by the very creatures of the Darklands the stout folk had displaced during their quest, especially the orcs. These battles continued for millennia, with the tides of war flowing back and forth, until a final push of orc power in 1551 AR overwhelmed many of the remaining dwarven holdings.5

Surviving Sky Citadels

Only a few of the ten original Sky Citadels are held by the dwarves today. The others lie either in complete ruin or are overrun by other creatures. Those still actively inhabited by the dwarves usually maintain connections to the Darklands realm of Nar-Voth that are all heavily guarded and patrolled. In addition, such connections are heavily reinforced by countless doors of stone, iron, and adamantine, not to mention devious traps, deadfalls, fields of fire, and sally ports.2

Located in the Terwa Uplands of the western Mwangi Expanse.67
Dongun Hold
Located in Alkenstar, this city is connected by the Bridge of the Gods to Alkenstar City; its access to the Darklands has been blocked.2
Located in the Five Kings Mountains, this metropolis remains the center of dwarven culture in Avistan to this day.8
Located in Varisia's Mindspin Mountains.2
This Sky Citadel is located in modern day Nirmathas.
Located in the World's Edge Mountains in Taldor.2

Lost Sky Citadels

Located in the Hold of Belkzen, this citadel fell to the orcs in the Battle of Nine Stones, and today is generally known as Urgir. Few outside the dwarven community are aware of the fact that it once belonged to the dwarves.2
This Sky Citadel is located in the Wolfcrags, a largely uninhabited section in the northwest of the Worldwound's Frostmire region. The dwarves here fell to a hryngar9 incursion long ago. These hryngar now control about a third of the city, the remainder being filled with ancient traps and guardians set by the dwarves before their defeat.10 The citadel is partially populated by hryngars who recently converted to the worship of the demon lord Shivaska.3

Possible Sky Citadels

Some claim that Spiro Spero on the Mwangi Expanse side of the Shattered Range is a ruined Sky Citadel. However, this is disputed by most dwarves as it appears to predate the accepted time period when dwarves emerged on the surface world.11


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

  1. 1.0 1.1 Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. Gazetteer, 19. Paizo Inc., 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 James Jacobs & Greg A. Vaughan. “Exploring the Darklands” in Into the Darklands, 8. Paizo Inc., 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 James Jacobs, et al. “Chapter One: Worldwound Gazetteer” in The Worldwound, 8. Paizo Inc., 2013
  4. James L. Sutter. Pathfinder's Journal” in Crown of Fangs, 75. Paizo Inc., 2008
  5. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 1: Characters” in Campaign Setting, 7. Paizo Inc., 2008
  6. Laura-Shay Adams, et al. “People of the Mwangi” in The Mwangi Expanse, 68. Paizo Inc., 2021
  7. Amber Stewart, et al. “Life in Mwangi” in Heart of the Jungle, 13. Paizo Inc., 2010
  8. Mike McArtor. “Chapter 2: Civilization” in Guide to Darkmoon Vale, 29. Paizo Inc., 2008
  9. Paizo referred to hryngars as duergar until the publication of Highhelm and the Sky King's Tomb Pathfinder Adventure Path.
  10. Benjamin Bruck, et al. “Chapter 1: Common Races” in Inner Sea Races, 73. Paizo Inc., 2015
  11. Amber Stewart, et al. “Lost Kingdoms” in Heart of the Jungle, 57. Paizo Inc., 2010