Parsantium: City at the Crossroads is a city sourcebook for all editions of D&D and Pathfinder, which I wrote and published in 2014. Parsantium is a melting pot, a city where trade routes meet and where cultures collide.
Inspired by Byzantium with its rich Greco-Roman heritage, Parsantium incorporates characters, monsters and magic from the Tales of the Arabian Nights, ancient India, and the Far East alongside more traditional European fantasy elements. There are evil cults and unfamiliar gods, unscrupulous politicians and nobles, scheming rakshasas and serpentfolk, ancient dungeons beneath the city streets, powerful criminal gangs, gladiators and chariot racing.
While Parsantium is not set in Kobold Press’ Midgard setting, the city is designed to be highly portable, and the fact that both settings have geography inspired by medieval Europe makes transposing Parsantium into Midgard relatively easy. In fact, I ran many Midgard adventures, including Wrath of the River King, Halls of the Mountain King, and Courts of the Shadow Fey, as part of the Parsantium campaigns I ran from 2008 – 2015, and Zobeck and the Ironcrag Cantons both appeared on the original campaign map.
Ideally, Parsantium should be located somewhere in the Dragon Empire region of Midgard, at a place where trade routes converge. The historical location of Byzantium has already been taken by the Mharoti capital, Harkesh, so we need to find somewhere else to put the city.
One option is to locate Parsantium on the Ruby Sea, either on the western side at the mouth of the River Argent, replacing Orkasa, or somewhere just outside the borders of the Mharoti Empire on its eastern shores. Alternatively, it could be situated on the coast at the southeastern end of the Middle Sea, southwest of Prezhan and connected to both Siwal and Sarkland by trade roads.
But there’s a better solution – replacing the ruins of Pharos with Parsantium and narrowing the Mavressa Strait so the city can sit astride two continents. Parsantium is lucky enough to have its own dragon – the bronze dragon Naelere, who has lived in the city for over 700 years and acts as its unofficial protector. Naelere’s presence explains why the Free City of Parsantium remains free instead of being absorbed into the Mharoti Empire.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the Great Dragon Lords don’t have designs on Parsantium – far from it! Their agents are everywhere in the city, scheming with unscrupulous nobles to undermine the Basileus and the government, spying on its army and fleet, and attempting to undermine Parsantium’s trade links with Nuria Natal, Khandiria, the Seven Cities, and Zobeck.
If you’d like to read more ideas on using Parsantium with Midgard, there are some cool suggestions in this thread on The Piazza forums. You can also download the free Midgard fanzine Yggdrasil from Paizo which features my article The Other Crossroads City, as well as lots of other great stuff.
Download a free preview of Parsantium: City at the Crossroads to find out more.
Main image by Jonathan Roberts