Couatl

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Couatl
A chicome couatl.
(Creature)

Feathered serpents that usually serve the highest powers of good, couatls—also known as the Plumed Ones, among other monikers1—are not only powerful creatures but are also powerful symbols of goodness. There are a few varieties of couatl with differing philosophies and appearances.23 Couatls often serve as messengers for good deities or directly intercede in the lives of mortals under their own powers, but all couatls seek to drive mortals to their highest possible potential.4

History

Arcadian legend states that sahkils and couatls both rose after the creation of mortals and work in opposition to each other. Sahkils seek the decline of mortals into fear, while couatls seek to uplift them. Couatls thus work to combat the sahkils when possible.5 Azlanti legends suggest couatls contributed to the development of agriculture in the nascent empire, and Arodenite tales suggest that couatls accompanied him in his travels as a living god. Elven legends attribute the development of early humanity to couatls, which some elves use to suggest couatls might not be as wise as believed.6

Variants

Quetz couatls are the most common type, and many scholars and adventurers refer to them generically as "couatls". However, there are several types of couatls (see navbox), each with their own personalities, goals, and tendencies.7

Pantheon

Couatls themselves have three deities whose word and missions trump all others: Cihua Couatl, Pahti Couatl, and Tolte Couatl.4

On Golarion

Couatls predominantly live in Arcadia,6 where they commonly ally with amurruns in their battles against evil.8

In the Inner Sea region couatls live around the southern reaches of the Zho Mountains of Qadira9 and have long been influential across the Mwangi Expanse.6 Couatl feathers are prized among collectors of the Inner Sea.10

The Winged Serpent card of the Varisian Harrow is depicted as a quetz couatl.11

References

  1. Anthony Pryor. Couatl” in Mythical Monsters Revisited, 11. Paizo Inc.,
  2. In the Bestiary section of For Queen & Empire, Paizo started to discuss varieties of couatls renaming the standard couatl, found in the Bestiary, a "quetz couatl" and introducing new couatl variants. This article discusses the broader family of couatls, whereas the standard couatl in the Bestiary is now discussed at quetz couatl. Please note that Paizo always uses the full name when referring to a particular variant of couatl, so always "quetz couatl" and never "quetz".
  3. Steven Helt, et al. “Bestiary” in For Queen & Empire, 86. Paizo Inc.,
  4. 4.0 4.1 Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 3, 56. Paizo Inc.,
  5. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 3, 57. Paizo Inc.,
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Anthony Pryor. Couatl” in Mythical Monsters Revisited, 14. Paizo Inc.,
  7. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 2, 54. Paizo Inc.,
  8. David N. Ross. “Catfolk of Golarion” in Legacy of the Lost God, 71. Paizo Inc.,
  9. Jessica Price. “Adventuring in Qadira” in Qadira, Jewel of the East, 41. Paizo Inc.,
  10. Paizo Inc., et al. “Pastimes” in Travel Guide, 59. Paizo Inc.,
  11. Luis Loza. “Worst of All Possible Worlds” in Worst of All Possible Worlds, 13. Paizo Inc.,