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Karzoug, Runelord of Greed.

The seven runelords of Thassilon each ruled their own realm in the centuries before Earthfall. Each runelord was a powerful wizard tied to a particular aspect of sin magic.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]

The runelords of Thassilon

The runelords forged alliances with dragons and enslaved giants by using secrets of rune and glyph magic stolen from the aboleths 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.[4][1]

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
Sorshen, Runelord of Lust
Domain: Eurythnia
Weapon of rule: Double-headed guisarme
Xanderghul, Runelord of Pride
Domain: Cyrusian
Weapon of rule: Lucerne hammer made of an unknown type of skymetal
Zutha, Runelord of Gluttony
Domain: Gastash
Weapon of rule: Life-draining scythe of bone

Former runelords

These seven runelords were the last to hold their titles, but only Sorshen and Xanderghul survived the betrayal of King Xin.[5] Previous runelords died or fell to usurpers, including:[6]

Runelords of Greed

Runelords of Gluttony

Runelords of Envy

Runelords of Sloth

Runelords of Wrath

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.[4][7]

In culture

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.[3][8][9][10] Thassilonian ruins across the region still contain artifacts, magic items, treasures, and creatures associated with or crafted by the runelords.[11]

References