The Azlanti Empire, or Old Azlant, is an ancient empire that existed on what is now the lost and shattered continent of Azlant in the Arcadian Ocean. It was the first center of human culture on Golarion. Brought together by the alien intelligence of the aboleths (the name used by the alghollthu for themselves and other related creatures such as the veiled masters), Azlanti society and culture grew by leaps and bounds until their arrogant leaders began to think of themselves as superior to their inhuman masters. In retribution, the alghollthus called down the Starstone in -5293 AR,1 sinking the entire continent and condemning Golarion to the Age of Darkness.23 Now all that remains of the once-mighty continent are a string of islands and atolls spread across a large swath of the mid-Arcadian; they are the only parts of the continent still above sea level.4
Earthfall shattered the Azlanti Empire and the continent of Azlant, sinking it to the bottom of the sea, where it was reduced to a maze of sea-canyons.5 The island of Mordant Spire, on the far western edge of Varisia, remains one of the few inhabited remnants of this once great continent. The elves who live there guard closely the secrets of old Azlant for fear that trespassers would bring a second doom upon the world.4
Little is known of the history of the the Azlanti Empire, the first human civilization, other than the sad story of its destruction. Many scholars believe that the Azlanti people arose from the slave pits of the alghollthus, possibly indicating that their masters had engineered the Azlanti from primitive human stock and gifted them with intelligence and power, though there is no known evidence to back this theory. Others claim that the alghollthus simply set the early nomadic and cave-dwelling humans on the path to an advanced culture. Whatever the case may be, the Azlanti culture flourished for thousands of years upon the large continent in the middle of the Arcadian Ocean, reaching heights of art, philosophy, and science previously undreamt of by humans.5 What is certain is that not even the highest ranking or most enlightened humans knew they were being manipulated by supernatural forces until just before Earthfall.6
War with Ydersius
Myths tell of an ancient war between the Azlanti and a race known as the serpentfolk. The Azlanti are said to have driven their enemies off the face of Golarion and into the Darklands. In the war's final battle, Savith, an Azlanti hero, beheaded the serpent god Ydersius in the Darklands realm of Sekamina.7
Founding of Thassilon
The empire of Thassilon was originally founded by Azlanti exiles.8 These refugees were led by Xin, a powerful mage who was cast out due to his belief that "lesser races" of the world could rival Azlant's greatness.9
Some legends state that the demon lord Zura was once a queen of Azlant who lusted after eternal life. In these tales, Zura's depraved acts led to Azlant falling into decadence and was one of the catalysts for the Age of Darkness.10
Ancient Azlant was the most magically and technologically advanced human culture that ever existed,4 and the few artifacts which surface in the markets around the Inner Sea region from time to time still draw great wonder and praise. Azlanti architectural styles or symbols have been copied from ruins and have inspired countless cultures throughout the centuries.11
The Spindle Solution
The Spindle Solution was an Azlanti organization that sought to enhance human life through the development and creation of ioun stones. Even though the work of this group benefitted thousands of Azlanti at the height of the empire, it was actually just a front organization for the Ioun Imperative, Azlant's espionage agency. This latter agency operated by a direct mandate from the emperor, who directed it to foster and defend Azlant's interests throughout the world, particularly in its ongoing struggle with the serpentfolk.6
Perhaps the most persistent legacy of Azlanti magic are the renowned aeon stones that they are believed to have first developed (or at least discovered). Since the fall of the Azlanti, no one has managed to match their knowledge or understanding of the arcane device. The leadership of the Pathfinder Society are especially enraptured by the aeon stones, but have limited real understanding about them.12
The epic poem Thallai, sometimes also called Far Thallai, is one of the few pieces of Azlanti literature to have survived to the modern era. Written by Zeneus of Azlant, Thallai is said to be such an incredible masterpiece of literature that it transports its reader to a different world of beauty, splendour, opulence and eroticism.13
- “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 201. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 222. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Introduction” in Lost Kingdoms, 2. Paizo Inc., 2012 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 203. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 210–211. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “The Lost Outpost” in The Lost Outpost, 5. Paizo Inc., 2017 .
- “Sekamina” in Into the Darklands, 30. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Shadow in the Sky” in Shadow in the Sky, 7. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “The Shattered Star” in Shards of Sin, 67. Paizo Inc., 2012 .
- “Demon Lords of Golarion” in Descent into Midnight, 63. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “Chapter 1: Characters” in Campaign Setting, 18. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Tools of the Trade” in Seekers of Secrets, 43. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “Pathfinder's Journal: The Treasure of Far Thallai 6 of 6” in From Hell's Heart, 74–75. Paizo Inc., 2012 .