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Xanderghul

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Xanderghul
A portrait of the runelord Xanderghul.
(Person)
Titles Runelord of Pride;
Satrap of Cyrusian;
holder of the Peacock Throne;
Lord of Illusion;
Master of the Unblinking Eye;
Heir of First King Xin and Rightful Emperor of Thassilon
Alignment Lawful evil
Race/Species Human (Azlanti)
Class Illusionist 20+
Gender Male
Homeland Cyrusian, Thassilon
Died 4718 AR
Images of Xanderghul

Source: Inner Sea Magic, pg(s). 7
Xanderghul
(Deity)
Titles Peacock Spirit
Alignment Lawful evil
Areas of Concern Mind, body, soul
Worshipers Mages, scholars, aesthetics
Cleric Alignments
Symbol Large peacock feather with an open eye
Images of Xanderghul

Xanderghul (pronounced ZAHN-dur-gool)[1] was the Runelord of Pride, Satrap of Cyrusian, and first amongst equals. Xanderghul claimed that the lands of Cyrusian were the ancient heartland or capital of the Thassilonian empire and he was probably right. He wanted Cyrusian to be a paradise for the elite of Thassilon, better than all of the other domains.

Xanderghul held himself above all of the other runelords, priding himself on avoiding the mere squabbles of the other six. He was a master of diplomacy and single-handedly held the empire together. He was publicly known as a devotee of the deity known as the Peacock Spirit; few knew that the Peacock Spirit is none other than Xanderghul himself, a secret which he has managed to keep to the present day.[2][3] Xanderghul was so powerful that he was even able to seek advice from the legendary first linnorm Fafnheir and survive.[4] His features were said to resemble those of First King Xin.

He was a patron of the arts and master of his weapon of rule, which was a lucerne hammer. While this might make Xanderghul sound like a wise and noble ruler, in truth he was arrogant beyond all reason. His ego grew with every new achievement and every passing year.[2]

History

Xanderghul.

Xanderghul was one of the only two runelords who ruled their domain for the entire lifespan of Thassilon, the other being Sorshen. An Azlanti noble and confidant of Xin who saw the ancient empire as moribund and weak, he left with Xin to found a new kingdom in exile where he could rule in splendour and honest pride. Early in Thassilon's history, he secretly gained a divine source, becoming the demigod known as the Peacock Spirit, shortly before he and the six other runelords betrayed and assassinated Xin.[5][6]

In -6401 AR, with the completion of the Grand Temple of the Peacock Spirit in the Kodar Mountains, Xanderghul established the Order of the Green Feather, his cult's order of knights, and the Therassic Order, its core of priests and scholars, while keeping the Peacock Spirit's true identity as himself a secret.[5]

In -6155 AR, Xanderghul began the construction of the Castle of the Green Feather, in response to the completion of Sech Nevali, the so-called greatest temple to the Peacock Spirit, which was neither located in his domain nor built by him.[5]

In -6150 AR, Xanderghul killed three other runelords: Angothane, Atharend and Jurah, during a violent schism that nearly led to civil war and forever set the runelords at odds against each other.[5][7][8]

Later, Xanderghul put himself forward as a claimant to the Azlanti throne before Earthfall destroyed both Azlant and Thassilon. Although Xanderghul was well aware of the cataclysm and had previously learnt how to create a runewell from Sorshen, his pride made it unthinkable for him to copy another's method. Instead, he created his own demiplane sanctum and searched for the Scepter of Ages, which would have transported him and his armies to the future to avoid Earthfall entirely, but he failed to do this before time ran out.[6][3]

On Earthfall's eve, Xanderghul retreated into his sanctum and devised it so it kept him in suspended animation in just a century, after which he calculated the aftermath of the apocalypse to fade. When Belimarius' runewell backfired, a number of her envious followers, trapped in the world, travelled to nearby Cyrusian and attempted to repair it by salvaging Xanderghul's. This triggered a devastating trap that destroyed both the intruders and Xanderghul's timer.[3]

When Karzoug's runewell activates, Xanderghul does not stir due to the lack of a connection between his runewell and sanctum. He doesn't wake from his slumber until Alaznist invades his sanctum, only to be defeated and killed by Alaznist. His soul does not enter the River of Souls; instead, powerful illusion magics activate and Xanderghul is reborn in a simulacrum in the inner sanctum of the Temple of the Peacock Spirit.[3]

Church of the Peacock Spirit

The Peacock Spirit was worshipped by scholars and researchers of rune magic.[9] His worship ended with the decline of ancient Thassilon, and does not seem to have returned in the last few thousand years.[10][11]

Even in its heyday at the height of Thassilon, little of the Church of the Peacock Spirit's dogma was understood by those outside the church, and so even less can be inferred by modern scholars.[9] Only his most devout followers knew that Xanderghul and the Peacock Spirit were one and the same.[12] His worship was also popular in the domain of Haruka before the rise of Runelord Krune, who preferred the church of Lissala.[13]

Temples, monasteries and followers

The Peacock Spirit was served by an ascetic order of monks, many of whom built monasteries on the Storval Plateau in the ancient domain of Shalast.[14] He also founded and sponsored an order of knights known as the Order of the Green Feather,[9] and some believe that the contemporary Monks of the White Feather in Qadira secretly worship him as well.[15]

Holy texts and artifacts

Emerald Codex of the Therassic Order
A collection of spells and rituals devoted to the Peacock Spirit, penned by the Therassic Order. One known copy of the text was written on wyvern hide, and consisted of 18 scrolls.[17]
Revelation Quill
Originally created by Xanderghul's worshippers from a peacock feather, this quill is said to still be tied to the power of the Peacock Spirit. When properly used, it can answer questions posed to it.[21]

Reference

  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wolfgang Baur. (2007). The History of Thassilon. Burnt Offerings, p. 77. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-035-3
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 James Jacobs. (2018). The Runelord Legacy. Secrets of Roderic's Cove, p. 77. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-062-0
  4. Matthew Goodall, Jonathan Keith, Colin McComb, and Rob McCreary. (2011). Lands of the Linnorm Kings, p. 56. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-365-1
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 James Jacobs. (2018). The Runelord Legacy. Secrets of Roderic's Cove, p. 78. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-062-0
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rob McCreary. (2013). Runelords of Thassilon. The Dead Heart of Xin, p. 74. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-491-7
  7. James Jacobs. (2018). The Runelord Legacy. Secrets of Roderic's Cove, p. 76. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-062-0
  8. Template:Cite book/It Came From Hollow Mountain
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Wolfgang Baur. (2007). The History of Thassilon. Burnt Offerings, p. 78. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-035-3
  10. Rob McCreary. (2010). The Godsmouth Heresy, p. 6. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-280-7
  11. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 235. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  12. Wolfgang Baur. (2007). Fortress of the Stone Giants. Fortress of the Stone Giants, p. 41. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-039-1
  13. Brandon Hodge. (2013). The Dead Heart of Xin. The Dead Heart of Xin, p. 7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-491-7
  14. Wolfgang Baur. (2007). The History of Thassilon. Burnt Offerings, p. 75. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-035-3
  15. Brian Cortijo. (2009). Qadira, Gateway to the East, p. 23. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-180-0
  16. Wolfgang Baur. (2007). Fortress of the Stone Giants. Fortress of the Stone Giants, p. 25. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-039-1
  17. 17.0 17.1 Wolfgang Baur. (2007). Fortress of the Stone Giants. Fortress of the Stone Giants, p. 27-28. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-039-1
  18. Tyler Beck, Jason Garrett, Alex Greenshields, and David Schwartz. (2014). Belkzen, Hold of the Orc Hordes, p. 12-13. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-710-9
  19. James L. Sutter. (2010). City of Strangers, p. 18. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-248-7
  20. Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Spires of Xin-Shalast. Spires of Xin-Shalast, p. 30. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-041-4
  21. Stephen S. Greer. (2008). Sins of the Saviors. Sins of the Saviors, p. 17. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7