The large town of Solku is located near the western mountains of Katapesh (the Barrier Wall mountains), where it is relatively cut off from the rest of the nation. The settlement is frequently besieged by gnoll slavers, and thus rests within a tall wall, though this does not always provide enough protection to keep the townspeople safe. Today the town is guarded by a small band of paladins of Sarenrae known as the Dawn Vigil who prepare for the rumored war ahead, as gnolls amass in the mountains under the banner of Noor, the Red Sultana, who has her eyes set on Solku as the starting point of a massive campaign eastward.12
Solku is the third-largest settlement in land of Katapesh and attracts many traders and travelers on their way to the capital; the number of residents swells and ebbs with the season. During autumn when overland travel seems more appealing, the population reduces to around 2,000. The traders coming east across the Mwangi Expanse reach Solku exhausted and grateful for a way-post on the way to Katapesh.3 Solku also attracts pilgrims intent on visiting Sarenrae's Lambent Citadel.4
Though large, the town is well governed with low crime rates and a mostly lawful populace. Lord Hazic Kel-Kalaar is the ruler of the town, and holds a reputation for being a level-headed man who thinks for the long term and makes decisions based on keeping Solku secure and prosperous. Lady Chanar Cynore is the head of an order of Sarenrae's paladins supporting the city.3
Solku is a settlement of multi-story stone buildings, most of them walled and subdivided compounds with many owners and a central courtyard. Most buildings have brightly colored doors and the larger ones feature windcatchers to fight the burning heat.5
Solku is an island of civilization in a dangerous area. Its gates remained open during all but the most desperate times, welcoming traders from across Garund and beyond, as well as pilgrims seeking Sarenrae's blessing at the Lambent Citadel. Much of life in Solku centers around the hundreds of caravans that pass through the town each year and Sarenrae's Lambent Citadel. As a major stop for caravans, during the cooler months travelers visit the town en route to or from elsewhere in Katapesh, the Mwangi Expanse, Nex, and Osirion. These visitors include traders, miners, and soldiers, as well as explorers seeking lost desert cities, the Lightning Stones, the fallen city of Kho, and the Fountain of Tabis. Moreover, the town is a holy site for the Dawnflower's church in Garund and pilgrims travel hundreds of miles to visit the Lambent Citadel.6
In 2217 AR, Sarenrae's faithful fled the pogrom in Osirion, and led by a devout priestess named Vedie, built a settlement in the southern desert they called Sarenrae's Bastion. A splinter group broke off and established the Golden City (it would be renamed later as Katapesh) in 2218 AR. In 3256 AR, gnoll slavers began raiding Sarenrae's Bastion. For two years the gnolls were relentlessly selling slaves from Sarenrae's Bastion to Katapesh before the slaving tribes broke apart. The citizens of Sarenrae's Bastion, feeling betrayed by their goddess, renamed the town "Solku" in 3257 AR; it means "ashes" in Kelish.7 In the Year of Rent Sails, (3721 AR), another rash of slave raids from Okeno, hit Solku. City guards drove off the raiders. In 3725 AR, the Pactmasters took over the city of Katapesh. In 4112 AR, paladins of Sarenrae returned to Solku to establish a base of operations to combat regional slavery. In 4115 AR, the paladins of Sarenrae began covert raids out of Solku to free slaves being sold in Katapesh. They had moderate success, but many of them were captured and enslaved. In 4701 AR, gnolls from White Canyon, led by Rath Sandstalker attacked the town, beginning the Siege of Solku. Paladins of Iomedae arrived to reinforce the established faithful of Sarenrae. The siege broke, but the paladins of Iomedae all perished in the Battle of Red Hail.18
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 93. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Land of Adventure” in Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh, 24–25. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “Land of Adventure” in Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh, 9. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “Katapesh” in Legacy of Fire Player's Guide, 16. Paizo Inc., .
- “Solku” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 48. Paizo Inc., .
- “Solku” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 47. Paizo Inc., .
- “Solku” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 45. Paizo Inc., .
- “Timeline” in Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh, 26. Paizo Inc., 2009 .