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Karzoug

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Karzoug
Karzoug, the Claimer.
(Person)

Aliases
The Claimer
Tyrant of Xin-Shalast
Suzerain of Greater Shalast
Protector of Thassilon
Champion of the Rune Law
Titles
Runelord of Greed
Alignment
Ancestry/Species
Class
Gender
Male
Homeland
Organization
Born
Died
4707 AR (age 10543)

Karzoug (pronounced kahr-ZOOG)1 was the final runelord of greed and ruler of the Thassilonian realm of Shalast in the Age of Legend.2

History

Karzoug as runelord, with his burning glaive.

Early enslavement

Karzoug was born in -5836 AR, during the reign of Runelord Haphrama, in the city of Malistoke as a slave to the lich Zinlun. Most details about his early life are unknown, removed from historical records by his command. At the age of 27, Karzoug tricked Zinlun into selling him to a cannibal in a fit of pique; he then killed his new master and used his gold teeth to become apprentice to the demon binder Thurbel.345

Karzoug served Thurbel for seven years as a slave and lure for summoned demons, who killed him many times, but after every death Thurbel resurrected him. During this time, he learnt magical powers, rulership, and the exercise of power from the demons.3

Deception and ascent

When Haphrama called for new apprentices in -5802 AR, Karzoug sabotaged one of Thurbel's conjurations, let the summoned demon devour his master's soul and looted his belongings. With this wealth, he impressed Haphrama enough to be chosen as an apprentice, and learnt much about transmutation from the runelord.34

Karzoug found himself fascinated by the thinning of reality in Mhar Massif, and eventually secured an alliance with the almost-humans of Leng, who secretly taught him eldritch reality-warping powers in exchange for easier access to the Material Plane. In -5759 AR, Haphrama discovered Karzoug's plots, only to be killed alongside his other apprentice Vhage by a spell that the almost-humans taught Karzoug.346

Reign

A year after succeeding Haphrama as runelord of greed, Karzoug razed his own home town of Malistoke and erased most details of his embarrassing early life as a slave. He also destroyed his first master Zinlun's lair, but failed to completely destroy the lich. In the same year, on the site where Malistoke once stood, Karzoug quarried miles of stone to build monuments, creating the Storval Deep.47

During Karzoug's reign, Shalast grew in power and Xin-Shalast became one of the most breathtaking cities in Golarion, though this grandeur only benefited Karzoug himself and the nobles. He ruled with corruption and ruthlessness: he once ordered an entire city to be burnt because the local tax collectors were short a few silvers. He and Alaznist, ruler of Bakrakhan, were in a state of perpetual warfare, constantly battling at the border between their two realms.389

In -5620 AR, Karzoug built the Cyphergate and murdered its engineer Draveenzi to ensure that no one but himself would know of its secret as a portal to the Dimension of Time. Karzoug devised an occult ritual to do so and travel to the past in the process, but never finished the research before Earthfall.41011

In -5353 AR, Karzoug established Guiltspur to serve as an embassy between Shalast and Leng. In -5319 AR, he achieved a triumph over his rival Zutha by stealing the Shard of Gluttony, which he then tasked the Dark Rider with guarding. By the end of his reign, Karzoug was the strongest runelord of greed to have ever ruled Shalast.3412

Earthfall

In order to survive Earthfall and the destruction of Thassilon, Karzoug used a runewell to create a demiplane sanctuary known as the Eye of Avarice. After she failed to create her own runewell, the runelord of envy Belimarius paid Karzoug an obscene amount of money and treasure and asked for his help. Karzoug accepted the payment, but he had no intention to aid a rival, so he gave her bad advice, and Belimarius never had the time investigating Karzoug's aid to discover his trap.131415

Awakening and death

In 4702 AR, the stone giant wizard Mokmurian accidentally triggered the runewell and awoke Karzoug. However, he was not yet capable of stepping out of the runewell, so he used his force of will to turn Mokmurian into his agent and spent the next five years gathering minions from the denizens of the ruins of Xin-Shalast. In 4707 AR, as Karzoug's runewell gathered enough power to allow him to manifest in flesh and blood in the Eye of Avarice, a group of heroes invaded it and killed Karzoug before he could properly return to the Material Plane.141617

Karzoug's soul travelled to the Boneyard after his death. Pharasma temporarily delayed his judgement because she knew that he was destined to be of use to another group of heroes. His soul eventually fell into the hands of the High Justice, who uses it to measure the weight of sin of other souls that fell into his hands.1418

References

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

  1. Erik Mona, et al. “Appendices” in Campaign Setting, 247. Paizo Inc., 2008
  2. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 222. Paizo Inc., 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Greg A. Vaughan. Karzoug the Claimer” in Spires of Xin-Shalast, 63. Paizo Inc., 2008
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 James Jacobs. “The Runelord Legacy” in Secrets of Roderic's Cove, 79. Paizo Inc., 2018
  5. Greg A. Vaughan. “NPC Gallery” in Rise of New Thassilon, 77. Paizo Inc., 2019
  6. Alexander Augunas, et al. “Runes of Wealth” in Arcane Anthology, 18. Paizo Inc., 2016
  7. Greg A. Vaughan. “Rise of New Thassilon” in Rise of New Thassilon, 10. Paizo Inc., 2019
  8. James Jacobs, et al. “Appendices” in Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, 399. Paizo Inc., 2012
  9. James Jacobs, et al. Burnt Offerings, 59. Paizo Inc., 2007
  10. Greg A. Vaughan. “Rise of New Thassilon” in Rise of New Thassilon, 52. Paizo Inc., 2019
  11. Greg A. Vaughan. “Rise of New Thassilon” in Rise of New Thassilon, 26. Paizo Inc., 2019
  12. James L. Sutter. “The Asylum Stone” in The Asylum Stone, 7. Paizo Inc., 2012
  13. James Jacobs. “The Runelord Legacy” in Secrets of Roderic's Cove, 75. Paizo Inc., 2018
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 James Jacobs. “The Runelord Legacy” in Secrets of Roderic's Cove, 76. Paizo Inc., 2018
  15. Amanda Hamon. “The City Outside of Time” in The City Outside of Time, 4. Paizo Inc., 2018
  16. Greg A. Vaughan. “Spires of Xin-Shalast” in Spires of Xin-Shalast, 7. Paizo Inc., 2008
  17. Greg A. Vaughan. “Spires of Xin-Shalast” in Spires of Xin-Shalast, 59. Paizo Inc., 2008
  18. Greg A. Vaughan. “Rise of New Thassilon” in Rise of New Thassilon, 19. Paizo Inc., 2019