Rise of the Runelords
One hundred years ago, a god died.
Aroden, founder of Absalom and the god of mankind, perished from this world.
The year was 4606 AR. Aroden, the protector of humanity, prophesied that man’s greatest triumph would occur on that year. His Oracles and Clerics divined the exact time and day, and all the world celebrated with much pomp and circumstance for the occasion.
For Aroden had told us to. Aroden was my savior. Our savior. The savior of all the human race.
In the year 1 AR, Aroden, the last Azlanti Human, lifted the Starstone from deep below the ocean, and heaved it upon the Isle or Kortos, establishing the city of Absalom, the center of the world with it. By doing so, he himself ascended to godhood.
Using his newfound power, Aroden guided the future of humankind. Various other men and women took the test of the Starstone, both good and evil, and ascended to godhood as well under the power of Aroden. Humankind pushed back against its infernal and divine oppressors, and by Aroden’s leadership, ushered in a new age of advancement, technology, and power for the human race.
And by the sheer divine power of Aroden’s very being, his Oracles and Clerics had an utterly clear and precise vision of the future.
In other words, under Aroden’s leadership, the history and future of humankind was both certain and pre-determined. And it was comfortable. And it was good.
And then that day that even Aroden himself had prophesied came to pass. “Man’s greatest triumph”, Aroden told us. “Where our futures and possibilities would become limitless” our god told us.
On that day, as the celebrations reached their climax, and all of humankind looked eagerly at just what would happen on that day…
Terrible storms, planar shifts, and political upheavals devastated the land.
Andoran broke from Cheliax in the people’s revolt. Taldor fell from grace. Cheliax fell to the temptation of the infernal, and Qadira declared war on Taldor. Osirion declared its independence from Qadira.
And without the power of Aroden, his Oracles and Clerics lost their power to see into the future. All other deities’ priests’ attempts at Divination into the far future failed, and mankind entered The Age of Lost Omens.
Our future became limitless indeed. For with the old gods banished and mankind now left to its own power, for the first time in over 4000 years, we had been given a great gift. A gift that I don’t think any of us had been prepared for.
True, unfettered, free will. The power and ability to set our own destinies.
And so the heroes of this new age pushed forward. One wielding spells, the other holding swords. One clutching the symbol of a newborn god, and the other, daggers. With the power to push forth into an unknown future, it was their duty to find the own path in life, rather than sit idly by and let someone else tell their story.
They called themselves… Pathfinders.