This article reflects recent canon updates.
Origin of the runelords
Thassilon was founded in -6530 AR by First King Xin who had been exiled from his homeland of Azlant for promoting heretical beliefs. As the empire grew beyond the bounds of Xin's ability to control, both militarily and administratively, he appointed powerful wizards 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. In -6420 AR, the runelords assassinated Xin and subjugated those loyal to him—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 (generosity, love, humility, temperance, charity, kindness, and zeal), passed down from the goddess Lissala and First King Xin himself were seen as the benefits of power, and each of the runelords was drawn towards one of the seven. 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 dragons and enslaved giants by using secrets of rune and glyph magic stolen from the alghollthus 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.
At the time of Earthfall, the following runelords were in power:
- Alaznist, Runelord of Wrath
- Domain: Bakrakhan
- Weapon of rule: Charred adamantine ranseur impaled with the skull of the first Runelord of Wrath
- Belimarius, Runelord of Envy
- Domain: Edasseril
- Weapon of rule: Ornate memory-stealing halberd of gold and mithral
- 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 that can move and attack of its own volition
- Xanderghul, Runelord of Pride
- Domain: Cyrusian
- Weapon of rule: Lucerne hammer made of an unknown type of skymetal
The runelords' slumber
Thassilon met its end when the alghollthus called down Earthfall to destroy Azlant. As the end drew near, the seven runelords retreated into the depths of their greatest monuments, put themselves into stasis and tasked their minions to free them once the dangers have passed. Due to the sheer devastation of Earthfall, no one was left to waken them, and so the wizard kings of Thassilon slumbered for countless ages.
Thassilon, and the runelords' reign over it, left indelible marks across the Inner Sea region. The Shoanti quahs of Varisia all still tell stories about the runelords, but refer to them as a pantheon of gods called the Azghat who turned evil and needed to be destroyed. Thassilonian ruins across the region still contain artifacts, magic items, treasures, and creatures associated with or crafted by the runelords.
For additional resources, see the Meta page.
- Rob McCreary. (2013). Runelords of Thassilon. The Dead Heart of Xin, p. 69ff. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-491-7
- Brandon Hodge. (2013). The Dead Heart of Xin. The Dead Heart of Xin, p. 7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-491-7
- Wolfgang Baur. (2007). The History of Thassilon. Burnt Offerings, p. 74–76. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-035-3
- James Jacobs. (April 22, 2007). Raising the Runelords, Paizo Blog.
- Wolfgang Baur. (2013). NPC Gallery. Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth, p. 59. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-586-0
- James Jacobs. (2018). The Runelord Legacy. Secrets of Roderic's Cove, p. 76. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-062-0
- Wolfgang Baur, Adam Daigle, Jeff Erwin, and F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Lost Kingdoms, p. 56. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-415-3
- Eric Boyd & Michael Kortes. (2008). People of the Storval Plateau. A History of Ashes, p. 67. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-093-3
- Benjamin Bruck, et al. (2015). Inner Sea Races, p. 43. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-722-2
- Wolfgang Baur, Adam Daigle, Jeff Erwin, and F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Lost Kingdoms, p. 59. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-415-3
- Wolfgang Baur, Adam Daigle, Jeff Erwin, and F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Lost Kingdoms, p. 57. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-415-3