The Test of the Starstone is a test that anyone can take by attempting to reach the Starstone in the Starstone Cathedral at the center of Absalom's Ascendant Court district. The Starstone is surrounded by a large, deadly maze containing traps, guardians and wards.12 The exact nature of the obstacles changes over time, but constant hazards include magic not always working right and prevention of extra-dimensional movement. Those few who pass become demigods, while those who fail usually die, although a select few manage to escape, occasionally with great wealth, but no divinity.3
The first known person to pass the test was Aroden, who did so when he took the stone from the bottom of the sea to the Isle of Kortos in 1 AR when he founded the city of Absalom. Since then, only three of the vast number who took the test have passed: Norgorber, whose life prior to the test is unknown; Cayden Cailean, who took it on a drunken bet; and Iomedae, a worshiper of Aroden who became his herald.4
Clues to the Test
The Test of the Starstone is mysterious; the only publicly known part of the test is that hopefuls must cross the bottomless pit surrounding the Starstone Cathedral without using a bridge.5 Crossing the pit is a necessary first step, but not sufficient to enter the cathedral and continue the test, and what has worked for one hopeful may fail for another.5 Hopefuls have leaped across, flown with magic, or used tightropes, and the spectacle of an attempt nearly always draws an enormous, attentive crowd.5 Each attempt to cross must be unique to the individual, making it more difficult to pass as more people attempt it.6
Many of those who failed the test, collectively known as the failed, are lost to time and obscurity. A few notable ones still have worshippers and temples, including:6
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- Gazetteer, 24. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Heroes of Myth” in Mythic Origins, 5. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 54. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- Gazetteer, 20. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Places” in Guide to Absalom, 17. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Starstone Aspirants” in Assault on Hunting Lodge Seven, 71. Paizo Inc., 2020 .