Runelords

From the Oracle
Emperor Xin, an exile from the ancient nation of Azlant, was a visionary who founded the empire that would later be divided by the squabbling runelords that he created. Though exact dates from this pre-Earthfall time are hard to gauge exactly, it is believed that Xin began the formation of the Thassilonian empire eleven thousand years ago. His goal was to create a civilized paradise within his empire. To do this Xin bargained with mighty and powerful creatures, including metallic dragons. These creatures granted knowledge of rune magic, said by some to be the language of creation itself, and worship of the goddess of rune magic Lissala. Xin used this knowledge in many aspects of day-to-day life within Thassilon.

As the empire grew beyond the bounds of Xin’s ability to control, both militarily and administratively, he appointed powerful arcanists as governors to oversee his lands. The mightiest of these were the Runelords, seven of the most skilled (and power-hungry) wizards in Thassilon, if not all of Golarion. Working secretly to secure power for themselves, the opportunity to fully escape servitude under First King Xin appeared when he, in his old age and after having ruled Thassilon for more than a century, destroyed himself and much of his palace in a mysterious magical event. The Runelords seized the opportunity and subjugated those loyal to Xin – including his own son, who became a puppet emperor – while each plotted within his or her own lands to become ruler of all Thassilon.

The Virtues of Rule (wealth, fertility, honest pride, abundance, eager striving, righteous anger, and well-deserved rest), passed down from the goddess Lissala and First King Xin himself were seen as the benefits of power, and each of the runelords were drawn towards one of the seven virtues. Over the course of time, the runelords corrupted these into what modern scholars understand to be the “great sins of the soul,” abandoning the positive aspects of each and embracing the negative connotations of each (greed, lust, boastful pride, gluttony, envy, wrath, and sloth) as the rewards of rule. Each of the seven rulers specialized in a single school of rune magic and possessed a mighty weapon which not only served them in battle, but also became a symbol of their rule.

The Runelords of Thassilon

The runelords forged alliances with Chromatic dragons and enslaved giants by using secrets of rune and glyph magic in their efforts to increase their own power. With their enslaved giant armies, the wizards of Thassilon built massive tombs, enormous magical constructs, and staggering monuments that survive today, mute testimonies of a mysterious age long past.
Alaznist, Runelord of Wrath
Domain: Bakrakhan
Weapon of Rule: Ranseur of charred adamantine
Belimarius, Runelord of Envy
Domain: Edasseril
Weapon of Rule: Halberd
Karzoug, Runelord of Greed
Domain: Shalast
Weapon of Rule: Burning glaive studded with meteoric gemstones
Krune, Runelord of Sloth
Domain: Haruka
Weapon of Rule: Dragon-tooth longspear
Sorshen, Runelord of Lust
Domain: Eurythnia
Weapon of Rule: Double-headed guisarme
Xanderghul, Runelord of Pride
Domain: Cyrusian
Weapon of Rule: Lucerne hammer
Zutha, Runelord of Gluttony
Domain: Gastash
Weapon of Rule: Scythe

Brodert determines the collapsed treasury (also known as Crabby commons) has engravings on the wall depicted as legendary Xin- Shalast, a lost city rumored to be hidden somewhere in the Kodar Mountains. Tales speak of the city as having streets of gold and buildings carved from immense gems, but although countless explorers have sought it (and many have died or vanished), none have ever managed to locate this fabled city. Most scholars agree that it never existed at all, that it was a fictitious l cation invented by the ancients. Brodert believes most myths has some factual basis to build upon.

Brodert confirms that the image that keeps repeating the partial message looks like it would be Karzoug. He can’t explain why there is a Runewell of wrath under the city When Karzoug is associated with greed.

Brodert’s information about Thassilon is that it was a vast empire ruled by powerful wizards. The sheer size of the monument s they left behind testifies to their power, and the unnatural way many of these monuments have resisted erosion and the march of time testifies to their skill at magic. Most sages place the height of the Thassilonian empire at 7,ooo to 8,ooo years ago, but Brodert thinks the empire was even older-he suspects it collapsed no sooner than 10 ,000 years in the past.

Much of what Brodert has to say is vague theory based on conjecture-his belief that the Old Light was once a war machine capable of spewing fire from its peak is relatively unpopular among his peers, for example. Yet he can tell the group a few things of interest about the star namely, that it seems to be one of the most important runes of Thassilon. The star itself s known as the “Sihedron Rune,” and signifies not only the seven virtues of rule (generally agreed among scholars to have been wealth, fertility, honest pride, abundance, eager striving, righteous anger, and rest), but also the seven schools of magic recognized by Thassilon (divination magic, Brodert points out, was not held in high regard by the ancients). Brodert notes with a smirk that much of what is under stood about Thassilon indicates its leaders were far from virtuous, and he believes the classic mortal sins (greed, lust, pride, gluttony, envy, wrath, and sloth) rose from corruptions of the Thassilonian virtues of rule. In any event, the Sihedron Rune was certainly a symbol of power, one that may well have stood for and symbolized the empire itself. The fact that the killer carved it into the flesh of his victim might point to the fact that the murderer is some sort of scholar

Runelords

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