PathfinderWiki
Log in

Arazni

From PathfinderWiki
This is a PathfinderWiki Featured Article. This article contains spoilers for the following products: Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path
Arazni
Arazni, the Harlot Queen
(Person)
Titles The Red Queen
The Unyielding
The Harlot Queen
Lich Queen
The Red Crusader (formerly)
Herald of Aroden (formerly)
Alignment Neutral evil
Race/Species Human (Arcadian) lich
Class Wizard 20 / Marshal 8
Gender Female
Homeland Mechitar, Geb
Deity Aroden (formerly)
Died -1491 AR
3823 AR
Images of Arazni

Source: Mythic Realms, pg(s). 50-51
Arazni
(Deity)
Titles The Red Queen
The Unyielding
The Harlot Queen
The Red Crusader (formerly)
Herald of Aroden (formerly)
Adjective Araznian
Home Mechitar, Geb
Alignment Neutral evil
Areas of Concern Command of undeath, lichdom
Cleric Alignments
Domains Evil, Nobility, Protection
Subdomains Defense, Leadership
Favored Weapon Rapier
Symbol Rapier and lotus
An upright winged sword on a red field (formerly)[1]
Sacred Animal Scarab beetle
Sacred Colors Gray, red
Images of Arazni

Source: Mythic Realms, pg(s). 51

The lich Arazni (also known as the Harlot Queen) is the unwilling de facto ruler of the Garundi nation of Geb, as Geb himself has been absent or withdrawn from the day-to-day running of the country in recent years.[2]

Background

Arazni was born in the nation of Xopatl in Arcadia, during its golden age. She befriended the Azlanti traveller Aroden, and together they defeated such foes as Imictal and Tlocach, the latter of which also killed Arazni in -1491 AR. Her soul was judged and sent to Nirvana by Pharasma, where she eventually became an astral deva.[3]

In 1121 AR, Arazni met her old friend Aroden again, who asked her to become involved in the affairs of Golarion again. She became his herald, and later a demigod.[3][4] Very little is known of her from this time, although several sources do mention that she was acquainted with Sunlord Thalachos, the herald of the goddess Sarenrae.[5]

She served as the patron saint of the Knights of Ozem, a religious military order that fought against the Whispering Tyrant during the Shining Crusade in the 39th century AR. The Knights summoned her in 3818 AR to lead them in battle, but she was ultimately humiliated and slain by the tyrant in 3823 AR. In an effort to demoralize his opponents, the lich threw her broken body back to her knights during the Battle of Three Sorrows.[4]

After the end of the crusade in 3827 AR,[6] her body was finally interred by the Knights of Ozem in their new citadel in the new nation of Lastwall. Her body did not remain there for very long, however, as it was stolen in 3890 AR at the behest of the ghost-king Geb in retaliation for a failed assault on his kingdom by the Knights of Ozem. Geb himself transformed the assailants, led by Seldeg Bhedlis, into graveknights, and used the Knights of Ozem's own subverted forces in the raid.[7] She was swiftly brought to his nation, where he transformed her into a lich and named her his Harlot Queen.[8]

Over a period of years, Geb used his subtle, yet powerful influence on Arazni until nothing remained of her former personality. He even turned her against her former allies, particularly Iomedae, her successor as Aroden's herald, who herself had been a paladin of Arazni before the death of the demigod.[9][10]

Ruler of Geb

Although not nearly as powerful as she once was as a demigod, Arazni is still a potent force in her own right. She rules Geb from the Cinerarium in the centre of Mechitar, allowing Geb to focus on more esoteric matters, without having to trouble himself with matters of state.[9] Harnessing her will and dedication to become the tyrannical ruler necessary to rule an undead nation, she continues to keep the scheming and independent-minded undead who help run the country from seizing power for themselves, and strives to be a better leader than Geb could fathom. Her leadership has kept Geb stable for the last 800 years.[8][11][12]

Arazni has a retinue of graveknights, re-animated by Geb from the corpses of Bhedlis' former Knights of Ozem: Amaretos Barronmor, Gustari Fallenstag, Tycha Ghuzmaar, Yhalas, Ammar Ilverazto and Andvard Prollin in addition to Bhedlis himself.[13] Rumours in Lastwall and Taldor paint them as her concubines and champions, but their true, little-known role is to watch over her in Geb's behalf, dragging her back to Geb when she tries to flee the nation. Arazni is forbidden from raising her hand against these graveknights, and her phylactery is kept carefully hidden from her, making her as much Geb's prisoner as ruler of his nation. In the meantime, she continues to hear the whispers of her hated foe Tar-Baphon.[2][7][8][12]

In 4719 AR, through their tenuous connection, Arazni felt Tar-Baphon's hope and suspected that he was regaining his freedom soon. She finally escaped her graveknight jailers and moved north, just in time to watch the destruction wrought by the Tyrant's new superweapon Radiant Fire.[8][14]

Arazni's weakness

Many of Arazni's internal organs were removed before her reanimation as a lich and placed in special canopic jars known as the Bloodstones of Arazni. Arazni is concerned that these organs could one day be used against her, and has done her best over the centuries to track them down and destroy them, including using her retinue of former Knights of Ozem to search for them, but with little success. As these jars hold a fraction of Arazni's former divine power, her bodyguard-jailers want them destroyed, while Arazni hopes to recover them.[15][16][7][13]

Relationships

Arazni considers most other deities callous and contemptible, especially Aroden, for having left her to die at Tar-Baphon's hands. Her old acquaintances during her time as Aroden's herald consider her both blasphemous and tragic, and no longer associate with her.[12]

Arazni shares some values with some other divinities: Gyronna for the hatred born from cruel abuse, Lamashtu for how a weak creature can fight their way to power, and Erecura for ruling a realm not quite theirs. However, the cooperation is mostly limited to their followers; Arazni keeps to herself and other deities rarely notice her.[12]

Arazni is both resentful of her successor Iomedae for having reached divinity so successfully and easily, and proud of her for having won the Shining Crusade, and recognises that none should be subjected to her ordeals.[12]

Cults

Worship of Arazni takes two different forms, one within Geb's borders and one outside Geb. Most citizens of Geb view Arazni as a secular head of state, and only a few also venerate her as a spiritual figure of undead nobility and leadership. Clerics of Arazni are very rare; most of her priests serve the bureaucratic role of operating state-sponsored temples dedicated to her. Their incapacity of using divine magic is not viewed as a shortcoming, as that exepctation usually falls to clerics of Urgathoa.[12]

Outside of Geb, Arazni has no priests, and her faith is silently practiced by solitary devotees, who view her as an exemplar of an abused victim who nonetheless manages to guard herself and project confidence, when all control over her circumstances has been taken away. In this way, she is most often worshipped by Taldan women and commoners, Chelish halflings and tieflings, Mwangi natives in Sargava, and intelligent undead who hate their existence but cannot end it. In Lastwall, Arazni is viewed as a dead goddess, but a few still uphold her teachings of protection. Most Knights of Ozem do not want to dwell on the failure that led to her death, but maintain the shrine where she was once interred in the hope that she could find rest there in the future.[12]

Arazni resents her worshippers for venerating what she has become, but also tolerates them, finding a vicarious fulfillment in having followers. She values her privacy, and any cleric who would try to divine her secrets will find their powers taken away.[12]

Herald's Fall

Ever since the death of Arazni at the hands of Whispering Tyrant, a strange phenomenon has been witnessed at various locations in the vicinity of Ustalav. Dubbed Herald's Fall by the Brevic spiritualist Kalara Atroshka, the event appears as a type of mobile haunt that is directly connected to the emotional trauma experienced by Arazni around the moment of her death. This emotional and psychic trauma seems to have created some sort of powerful resonance on the Ethereal Plane that occasionally manifests on the Material, and seems to follow a predetermined path of local Ustalavic ley lines.[17]

References

  1. Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 55. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  2. 2.0 2.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 75-76. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  3. 3.0 3.1 Crystal Frasier. (2019). To Exceed Their Grasp. The Dead Roads, p. 79. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-111-5
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 53. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  5. Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock, Rob McCreary and Sean K Reynolds. (2009). Bestiary. House of the Beast, p. 87. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-160-2
  6. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 90. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Adam Daigle, Dave Gross, Mark Moreland, David N. Ross, Todd Stewart, and Jerome Virnich. (2014). Undead Unleashed, p. 52-53. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-677-5
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Crystal Frasier. (2019). To Exceed Their Grasp. The Dead Roads, p. 76–77. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-111-5
  9. 9.0 9.1 Adam Daigle. (2011). Liches of Golarion. Shadows of Gallowspire, p. 70. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-313-2
  10. Sean K Reynolds et al. (2014). Inner Sea Gods, p. 77. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-597-6
  11. Todd Stewart, Brandon Hodge, and Steve Kenson. (2011). Undead Revisited, p. 26. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-303-3
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Lyz Liddell. (2019). Arazni, the Red Queen. Eulogy for Roslar's Coffer, p. 69–71. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-119-1
  13. 13.0 13.1 Larry Wilhelm. (2019). Last Watch. Last Watch, p. 28. Paizo Inc.. ISBN 978-1-64078-126-9
  14. Ron Lundeen. (2019). The Dead Roads. The Dead Roads, p. 55. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-111-5
  15. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 77. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  16. F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 13. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
  17. Robert Brookes, Thurston Hillman, Brandon Hodge, Thomas M. Reid, and Mark Seifter. (2015). Occult Realms, p. 49. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-794-9