Azlanti (human ethnicity)

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Aroden, the last Azlanti.
This article is about the now-extinct human ethnicity. For the language of the Azlanti, see Azlanti.

The Azlanti are now little more than a memory: an ancient, near mythical progenitor of all human civilization native to the lost empire of Azlant. The last true, pure-blooded Azlanti was one of the most famous humans of all time: the god Aroden. He dragged the Starstone from the depths of the Inner Sea at the beginning of the Age of Enthronement, and later became the patron deity of the greatest human empires in the Inner Sea region: Taldor and Cheliax.[1]

Appearance

The ancient Azlanti were, according to contemporary accounts, a regal and aloof people with noble features and haughty attitudes. They had dark hair, ranging in color from dark red to brown and black, and their skin tones ranged from olive to pale white. They were also known for having prominent brows and high hairlines; this was especially true for the men, whose hair would often recede into a widow's peak. One of the most well-known Azlanti physical attributes were their purple-colored eyes, a trait which still crops up in other peoples from time to time, and which is always a sign of Azlanti heritage.[1][2]

History

The Azlanti are believed to have been Golarion's first advanced human civilization. The ancient empire of Azlant, from which the Azlanti gain their name, covered all of the continent in the middle of the Arcadian Ocean. The rise of Azlanti culture was brought about by the interference of the aboleth, an even older race of aquatic creatures fond of genetic manipulation. They took the early cave-dwelling and nomadic humans of Azlant and set them on the path to a complex, centralized, and agrarian civilization.[3]

The Azlanti culture flourished for thousands of years, but eventually began to believe themselves as superior to their aboleth masters. In payment for their disloyalty, the aboleth drew down a massive meteorite to destroy their intellectual progeny. The resulting apocalypse became known as Earthfall; it destroyed Azlant, killed most Azlanti, and sunk the entire continent to the bottom of the ocean.[3]

Some of the survivors sought refuge along the coast of the newly formed Inner Sea, eventually helping to found the nation of Taldor. The history of the Azlanti may be lost to time and the Arcadian Ocean, but their cultural influences can be seen in many of the Inner Sea region's current civilizations.[1]

On distant worlds

Early Azlanti ambitions for the stars resulted in the formation of the Moonscar on Golarion's moon more than 12,000 years ago, as part of a failed magical terraforming experiment that ripped a tear in the planes and allowed demons of the Abyss to infest the moon.[4]

Other Azlanti appeared on Akiton through a portal to Arl. These Azlanti subjugated the Free Peoples of the High Plateau, and to this day the people of Arl speak an accented form of Azlanti and consider their city part of the Azlanti empire.[5]

Culture

Due to the devastation caused by Earthfall, little is known of ancient Azlanti culture. Both Taldans and Chelaxians aspire to be their heirs, both in blood and spirit.[1] Many stylistic elements of their culture are still copied to this day. A newly discovered piece of authentic Azlanti jewelry or architecture can trigger a design trend followed throughout the Inner Sea region.[2]

Language

The Azlanti people spoke a language also known as Azlanti or Ancient Azlanti. Even though it hasn't been actively spoken for millennia, its linguistic legacy is carried on in such languages as Taldane, Polyglot, Hallit, and Varisian.[6]

Naming conventions

Another popular way in which people of today adopt Azlanti culture, is by giving themselves or their children the archaic names found on artifacts, wall mosaics, or manuscripts. Azlanti names almost always begin with a vowel, and never include a surname. Popular males names include Akorian, Olhas, and Ureste, while females are called Iaome, Ommarra, or Ulionestria.[2]

Dress

Little or no actual clothing from Azlant has survived the millennia, but depictions of Azlanti dress can sometimes be found painted on ancient walls or artifacts. These depictions show that deep green and crimson were popular colors among the nobility, a palate which is often followed by those wishing to be perceived as having strong Azlanti heritage.[2]

Slavery

The ownership of sentient humanoid creatures is known to have been a common practice among the Azlanti. Many people who claim Azlanti ancestors therefore see slavery as their natural birthright. This is not the case in Andoran, where the practice is considered anathema to the country's democratic and egalitarian values, despite the fact that Azlanti culture and design are otherwise still a prominent pat of Andoran culture.[2]

Religion

The Azlanti worshiped, among others, the following deities:[7]

  • Abadar, as a god of cities and wealth rather than law
  • Acavna, a goddess of battle and the moon who died prior to Earthfall
  • Achaekek, god of monsters and natural disasters (unlike his modern role as god of assassination)
  • Amaznen, main god of magic, outlawed in Thassilon, presumed killed during Earthfall
  • Curchanus, god of travel, beasts, and endurance, survived Earthfall but killed by Lamashtu
  • Desna, seen as goddess of the stars
  • Groetus, apparently a late addition to the pantheon
  • Nurgal, his worship suffered during the Age of Darkness
  • Pharasma, seen as the patron of prophecies, she paid the price for being the bearer of bad news
  • Shelyn patron of the arts
  • Zura, not worshipped openly

Azlanti descendants

Several other species are said to be descended from the Azlanti, although this connection cannot be known for sure.

  • Gillmen: Also known as the Low Azlanti, these amphibious creatures long ago took to living below the sea. They maintain a connection to the surface world through their presence on the Isle of Kortos, especially in Escadar and the neighborhood of Gilltown in Absalom. They are said to have the best claim for being the true sons and daughters of Old Azlant.[8][9]
  • Dark folk: Descendants of Azlanti who fled the destruction of Earthfall and descended into the Darklands, they can be divided into two related species, the dark stalkers and the dark creepers.[10]
  • Mongrelman: These degenerate descendants live in the Darklands realm of Nar-Voth.[11]
  • Morlock: In an insane drive to maintain racial purity, these Azlanti descendants eventually devolved into the bestial morlocks. They now dwell primarily in the Darklands realm of Sekamina.[12]
  • Some Chelaxians and Taldans carry small amounts of Azlanti blood in them, giving rise to certain typical Azlanti physical traits such as violet eyes or widow's peaks. Such characteristics are generally highly sought-after.[13][14][2]

Azlanti today

Even though the Azlanti as a pure-blooded ethnicity are long extinct, there exists a very small possibility that a true-blooded member of that ancient line still exists today, perhaps in a powerful magical sleep, or as part of a very secret and distant community of their kind.[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 18-19. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 12. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  3. 3.0 3.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 211. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  4. James L. Sutter. (2012). Distant Worlds, p. 14. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-403-0
  5. James L. Sutter. (2012). Distant Worlds, p. 18. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-403-0
  6. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 220. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  7. James Jacobs, Kevin Kulp, Rob McCreary, and Owen K.C. Stephens. (2010). City of Seven Spears. City of Seven Spears, p. 47. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-274-6
  8. Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 6. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3
  9. Owen K.C. Stephens. (2008). Guide to Absalom, p. 24. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-141-1
  10. James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Into the Darklands, p. 23. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-140-4
  11. James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Into the Darklands, p. 27. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-140-4
  12. James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Into the Darklands, p. 36. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-140-4
  13. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 13. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  14. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 19. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2