Absalom Station is a melting pot. Though many see the station as the hereditary home of all Golarion’s races, particularly of humanity, today its corridors are choked with natives of other planets, and its status as the primary waypoint in and out of the Pact Worlds means even the rarest spacefaring species can sometimes be found in its docks.
For all the station’s multiculturalism, however, humans are by far the most numerous. In the wake of the Gap, while elves retreated to Castrovel and dwarves constructed their massive Star Citadels, humanity clung to the station as a key piece of its cultural identity, finding comfort in its tangible—if mysterious—sense of history and continuity. Even today, many humans look to the station’s extensive records of pre-Gap Golarion, seeking a source of pride and a sense of significance, adopting the names of bygone ethnic groups whose DNA they don’t necessarily share, practicing ancient religions, or attempting to revive archaic organizations from scraps of information. Such traditionalists are often at odds with those called Second Age philosophers, who believe the Gap gave human culture a chance to start afresh and build a utopia. Of course, the majority of humans are far more concerned with their own families and livelihoods than metaphysical questions about culture. Still, humans being what they are, most of those on Absalom Station view the station as inherently theirs, with vague exceptions made for other races once native to Golarion, and treat all others as encroaching immigrants or foreign nationals. This naturally raises some hackles with the other common species on the station, many of which have been residents for just as long (as far as anyone can tell). Of late, one of the biggest conflicts on the station has been the rise of the Strong Absalom movement, a group that believes the Starstone belongs only to the refugee races of Golarion and that aliens should be either forbidden from using it as a waypoint or else taxed exorbitantly. This is further complicated by the group’s tendency toward humanocentrism. While the political arm of the Strong Absalom movement officially decries the xenophobic terrorism of its fringe elements, its growing strength poses a grave threat to a government built on interplanetary cooperation.
Even more than race, economic class divides Absalom Station’s citizens. Taxes on trade keep even the poorest on the station fed—if only with unappetizing nutrient paste and protein bricks—yet the people living in the posh corporate towers of the Eye have little in common with the impoverished wretches of the Spike. Money both democratizes and oppresses station residents: those who manage to build a fortune, legally or otherwise, tend to find the upper classes welcoming them with open arms, yet true wealth tends to remain concentrated in the hands of the elites who make the rules. Fortunately, the generally egalitarian government, organizations such as the Starfinder Society and Stewards, and the constant flow of merchants and mercenaries through the station offer even the lowliest Botscrap street rat a chance at social advancement.
On the other hand, religion helps unify the station’s disparate peoples and hold its political apparatus together. Several major churches—most notably those of Abadar and Iomedae—have their headquarters here, but shrines and temples of countless gods can be found throughout the station, and most congregations are decidedly diverse. Nearly as influential are the various powerful gangs and families who look out for their members, from the rough-and-tumble Threepiece Girls of Sparks, with their infamous custom drones, to the Fleurasik family of Kemanis, which knows every politician’s secrets.