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Alaznist

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Alaznist
Alaznist.
(Person)

Aliases
Runelord of Wrath
Queen of Bakrakhan
(-5779 to -5293 AR)
Alignment
Ancestry/Species
Class
Gender
Female
Homeland
Deity
Demon worship
Organization
Died
Source: Rise of New Thassilon, pg(s). 72

Alaznist (pronounced a-LAZ-nist)1 was the last Thassilonian runelord of wrath who ruled for many years over her realm of Bakrakhan.2 She is believed to have retreated from view along with the other runelords during Earthfall, and it is unknown whether she survived that cataclysm.3 She was a specialist in wrath magic, now called evocation, and was said to have been a puissant arcane knight.4

Appearance

As she has been gone for almost 10,000 years, no one can be sure of exactly what she looked like, although statues that have been found depict her as a beautiful, yet enraged human woman with long hair, flowing robes, and wielding a charred adamantine ranseur, on which the skull of the first runelord of wrath was impaled.54 She is said to have been impatient and impulsive, caring little for magical research, and preferred modifying her many troops by magical means such as fleshwarping and alchemy.64

Religious beliefs

Alaznist is said to have been a worshiper of many kinds of demons, who shared her enthusiasm for violence and destruction. Most important to her, however, was the pure veneration of anger and wrath. In order to encourage these traits in her subjects, she built many runewells which could absorb the souls of wrathful mortals in order to further her power and create sinspawn.7

Background

Runelord of Wrath Alaznist.

Alaznist grew up among the nobility of Xin-Bakrakhan, the capital of Thassilonian Realm of Wrath, and was apprenticed at a young age to her father, a powerful wizard of wrath magic himself. When she outpaced even his extensive knowledge, she turned for guidance to the qlippoth lord Yamasoth. Her father warned her that a pact with such an entity was foolish and dangerous, but greedy for arcane power, she sacrificed him and the rest of her family to Yamasoth. With the knowledge of fleshwarping granted by Yamasoth, Alaznist created the reefclaws and sinspawn.489

In -5779 AR, during her quest to become the new runelord of wrath, Alaznist travelled to the Ivory Labyrinth to consult Alderpash, the first runelord of wrath, now a lich and Baphomet's prisoner. Alderpash attacked her, but Alaznist emerged victorious and claimed his skull, a wound which he only survived due to his status as a lich. Later that year, Alaznist challenged and defeated the incumbent runelord of wrath Thybidos. She killed his wife and seven children, and transformed Thybidos into an undead creature: he remains conscious and capable of feeling pain, but any damage to his body automatically repairs itself. She chained him within the depths of Hollow Mountain and tasked two ivory sentinels with constantly stabbing him with two ranseurs, while preventing him from the release of true death until he could apologise to Xiren, the predecessor whom he killed and replaced as runelord of wrath: something Alaznist thought he could never do.91011

She ruled from her capital of Xin-Bakrakhan, the City of Wrath, which is believed to have been located on what is now the island of Hollow Mountain in the Varisian Gulf.12 She created her runewell in -5410 AR.9

The Runelord of Wrath seems to have directed most of her anger toward her fellow runelord, Karzoug. The two were in a state of perpetual warfare, constantly battling at the border their two realms shared. She constructed the hellstorm flumes along this border, beginning in -5720 AR at the Rasp,9 in order to scorch harassing armies from miles away.13 She is also known to have used runeslave giants as living siege weapons.14 Alaznist was said to have been on the verge of defeating her rival and conquering Shalast, when her entire realm sank beneath the ocean during Earthfall in -5293 AR.4

In order to escape Earthfall, Alaznist used a runewell to create the demiplane Eye of Fury. In 4702 AR, as Karzoug's runewell flared to life, Alaznist first stirred, but hers was not filled with enough energy until the Castellan of Hollow Mountain was slain in 4716 AR. The next year, she learnt that Karzoug, Krune and Zutha had all awakened and been defeated; Belimarius was still trapped in Crystilan; and Sorshen had awoken. With Karzoug dead, she turned her attention to Xanderghul and travelled to the ruins of Xin-Cyrusian, intent on killing him before he could wake.15

Alaznist discovered Xanderghul had fled into a sanctuary outside of time and space. Frustrated, she rampaged through Xin-Cyrusian until she learnt of his failed plan to use the Scepter of Ages to travel forward in time and escape Earthfall.1516

Alaznist found out from Xanderghul's notes that the Therassic Library contained a copy of the Book of Serpents, Ash, and Acorns: Shadows of What Was and Will Be, said to be the most complete information about the Dimension of Time. Frustrated that the book was absent, Alaznist used a wish to peer back in time; the book's power caused it to manifest in Alaznist's hands, creating a small temporal fracture and marking the first time she damaged the time stream. Alaznist extensively studied the book, eventually finding a route to the Scepter of Ages. Before returning to the normal flow of time and setting off to recover the Scepter of Ages, Alaznist destroyed half of the Book of Serpents, Ash, and Acorns and left the remaining half within the temporal fracture so no one could locate it and track her down.17

With the Scepter of Ages, Alaznist came back in time, altered the past so she could enter Xanderghul's refuge, and killed him just as he awakened, but she was not aware that he was later reborn in the body of a simulacrum in the Grand Temple of the Peacock Spirit. She then travelled back in time to Thassilon seven times to absorb mythic power and further alter history, resulting in a timeline where she ruled over a New Thassilon that stretched from Nidal to Ustalav and the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. She was eventually confronted by a group of heroes, armed with the Sihedron, who disrupted her manipulation of temporal power by using time-locked energy harvested from Crystilan. Alaznist used the Scepter of Ages to trap them within Crystilan, but had to release the artefact into an unknown time and place in order to avoid being trapped herself.15151819

Before the new timeline could wholly displace the original one, a group of adventurers followed Alaznist's path to the Dimension of Time and repaired the timeline, depriving her of her stolen power and confining her to the Eye of Fury until she could defeat her foes, as reality could no longer tolerate both.20 Ultimately, Alaznist emerged as the loser of this battle; she tried to linger on as a ghost, but failed as the numerous qlippoth and demon lords with whom she made numerous dark bargains came to take their due. Alaznist's soul was ripped apart, and was still shrieking as she was condemned to an afterlife of eternal torment in the depths of the Outer Rifts.21

Alaznist's legacy

The Irespan near Magnimar.

Little remains of Bakrakhan and Alaznist's legacy, as most of it lies at the bottom of the Varisian Gulf, but there are a few exceptions. The Irespan, whose eastern end dominates the skyline of the city of Magnimar once stretched across Bakrakhan's mountains all the way to the capital of Xin-Bakrakhan, now known as Hollow Mountain. The face of Alaznist is carved into the side of this honeycombed massif, although time and the elements have scraped away much of her likeness. The dungeons of Hollow Mountain stretch all the way down to the Darklands realm of Gongorina, once the lair of the qlippoth lord Yamasoth itself.4

The Hellstorm Flumes were destroyed during Earthfall, although one still partially stands in the village of Sandpoint, where it is simply known as the Old Light.22 One of her runewells was recently discovered below Sandpoint, still capable of creating sinspawn.7 It is also thought that Alaznist created reefclaws in order to protect her rivers and other bodies of water, creatures still common along the coasts of Varisia.23

Magical legacy

Although it is said that Alaznist herself was not particularly interested in the creation of magical items or spells, she or her predecessors did manage to create a few that have survived to the present day:4

References

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Erik Mona, et al. “Appendices” in Campaign Setting, 246. Paizo Inc., 2008
  2. Jason Nelson, et al. “Magic of the Inner Sea” in Inner Sea Magic, 5. Paizo Inc., 2011
  3. Wolfgang Baur & Greg A. Vaughan. “Fortress of the Stone Giants” in Fortress of the Stone Giants, 51. Paizo Inc., 2007
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Robert G. McCreary. Runelords of Thassilon” in The Dead Heart of Xin, 69. Paizo Inc., 2013
  5. Stephen S. Greer. “Sins of the Saviors” in Sins of the Saviors, 23. Paizo Inc., 2008
  6. Stephen S. Greer, et al. “Magic of Thassilon” in Sins of the Saviors, 62. Paizo Inc., 2008
  7. 7.0 7.1 James Jacobs, et al. Burnt Offerings, 30–31. Paizo Inc., 2007
  8. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 33–34. Paizo Inc., 2011
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 James Jacobs. “The Runelord Legacy” in Secrets of Roderic's Cove, 79. Paizo Inc., 2018
  10. Mike Shel. “It Came from Hollow Mountain” in It Came from Hollow Mountain, 53. Paizo Inc., 2018
  11. Mike Shel. “It Came from Hollow Mountain” in It Came from Hollow Mountain, 58. Paizo Inc., 2018
  12. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 146. Paizo Inc., 2008
  13. James Jacobs, et al. Burnt Offerings, 59. Paizo Inc., 2007
  14. Wolfgang Baur, et al. “Preview” in Fortress of the Stone Giants, 98. Paizo Inc., 2007
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 James Jacobs. “The Runelord Legacy” in Secrets of Roderic's Cove, 75. Paizo Inc., 2018
  16. Jason Keeley. “Temple of the Peacock Spirit” in Temple of the Peacock Spirit, 3. Paizo Inc., 2018
  17. Jason Keeley. “Temple of the Peacock Spirit” in Temple of the Peacock Spirit, 7. Paizo Inc., 2018
  18. Mike Shel. “It Came from Hollow Mountain” in It Came from Hollow Mountain, 3. Paizo Inc., 2018
  19. Greg A. Vaughan. “Rise of New Thassilon” in Rise of New Thassilon, 3. Paizo Inc., 2019
  20. Greg A. Vaughan. “Rise of New Thassilon” in Rise of New Thassilon, 55. Paizo Inc., 2019
  21. Greg A. Vaughan. “Rise of New Thassilon” in Rise of New Thassilon, 69. Paizo Inc., 2019
  22. James Jacobs, et al. Burnt Offerings, 61. Paizo Inc., 2007
  23. Mike McArtor & Nicolas Logue. “Bestiary” in Edge of Anarchy, 89. Paizo Inc., 2008