|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
|Class||Wizard (Illusionist) 20 / Archmage 10|
|Images of Xanderghul|
Source: Inner Sea Magic, pg(s). 7
|Areas of Concern||Mind, body, soul|
|Worshipers||Mages, scholars, aesthetics|
|Domains||Evil, Law, Trickery|
|Favored Weapon||Lucerne hammer|
|Symbol||Large peacock feather with an open eye|
|Images of Xanderghul|
Source: Temple of the Peacock Spirit, pg(s). 65
Xanderghul (pronounced ZAHN-dur-gool) 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; none knew that the Peacock Spirit was none other than Xanderghul himself, a secret which he has managed to keep to the present day. Xanderghul was so powerful that he was even able to seek advice from the legendary first linnorm Fafnheir and survive.
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.
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. In -6448 AR, he secretly gained a divine source, becoming the demigod known as the Peacock Spirit. He introduced the Peacock Spirit to the rest of Thassilon as a demigod that he discovered, keeping its true identity as himself a secret. In -6420 AR, he and the six other runelords betrayed and assassinated Xin.
As the cult of the Peacock Spirit grew strong in Thassilon, Xanderghul started the construction of the Grand Temple of the Peacock Spirit in the Kodar Mountains, which was aided by all six other runelords. In -6401 AR, with the completion of the temple complex, 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.
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.
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.
In -5293 AR, Xanderghul put himself forward as a claimant to the Azlanti throne, only to witness Aroden taking the throne for himself and Azlant being destroyed by Earthfall; he then returned to Avistan, knowing that Thassilon's destruction would follow Azlant's soon. Although Xanderghul 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.
On Earthfall's eve, Xanderghul retreated into his sanctum and devised it so it kept him in suspended animation for just a century, after which he calculated the aftermath of the apocalypse would have faded. 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.
When Karzoug's runewell activated, Xanderghul did not stir due to the lack of a connection between his runewell and sanctum. He never woke from his slumber until Alaznist invaded his sanctum; despite being the most powerful of all runelords, his power diminished during his slumber for unknown reasons, which allowed Alaznist to defeat and kill him. His soul did not enter the River of Souls; instead, powerful illusion magic activated and Xanderghul was reborn in a simulacrum in the inner sanctum of the Grand Temple of the Peacock Spirit, but his power and presence further diminished due to the trauma of this death and resurrection.
Church of the Peacock Spirit
The Peacock Spirit was worshipped by scholars and researchers of rune magic. His worship ended with the decline of ancient Thassilon, and does not seem to have returned in the last few thousand years.
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. Only Xanderghul himself knew that he and the Peacock Spirit were one and the same, although it is said that his most devoted followers were aware of this secret as well. His worship was the strongest in Xanderghul's native Cyrusian, and also spread to all parts of Thassilon, particularly Haruka, before the rise of Runelord Krune, who preferred the church of Lissala.
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. He also founded and sponsored an order of knights known as the Order of the Green Feather, and some believe that the contemporary Monks of the White Feather in Qadira secretly worship him as well.
- One of the few temples to have survived to the present is the Black Tower, now part of the stone giant enclave of Jorgenfist. It was built and run by a group known as the Therassic Order.
- The monastery of Sech Nevali, located in the Mindspin Mountains of the southern Hold of Belkzen, has been occupied by two competing groups of scholars who study the ancient, hanging temple. They have recently begun worshipping the Peacock Spirit based on their research there.
- The Therassic Spire in the Varisian city of Kaer Maga is thought to be associated with the Peacock Spirit as well.
- The only other known surviving temples are said to be located in the mythical city of Xin-Shalast in the Kodar Mountains.
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.
- 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.
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