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Meet the Iconics: Alahazra

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Only those who refuse to see truth are truly blind. Such is the verdict of Alahazra, bride of the sun and prophet of the burning sands.

Alahazra was born in a small Rahadoumi town east of Manaket, one of the many way stations on the caravan route known as the Path of Salt, which leads from Azir all the way to distant Sothis and takes its name from the waves of the Inner Sea and the dried tears of the slave chains that march along it. The daughter of a wealthy and widowed wainwright, Alahazra wanted for nothing, growing up with the best tutors money could buy, all the time being groomed for a potentially lucrative marriage, or perhaps even induction into the Occularium, Manaket's prestigious wizard's college.

All of that changed on the morning when sixteen-year-old Alahazra woke to find herself suddenly and inexplicably blind, her eyes clouded by a white mist that gave her only vague outlines of her surroundings. Beside himself with grief, her father called in the best healers to be found in the godless land, only to discover that the situation was worse than he could have imagined. For when the bards with the healing touch reached out to the fevered child, they were suddenly cast back by a blast of flames that burned the girl's sickbed but left her magically unharmed. Yet even this might have been bearable, had the fleeing bards not revealed the rest of their discovery: that the girl's flames bore no hint of sorcery or arcana. Though Alahazra's staunchly atheist father could scarcely believe it, his proper Rahadoumi household harbored a burgeoning cleric.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Confronted by her enraged father and frightened by the new abilities that she felt burning inside her skin, Alahazra protested her innocence loud and long, but to no avail. Sickened by what he saw as a betrayal of both his trust and his national pride, Alahazra's father did his daughter a final kindness and cast her out with no more than the clothes on her back, instructing her to run before the Pure Legion arrived to take her into custody—and let her gods be her new family, for she no longer had one in Rahadoum.

Blind, weak, and weeping with frustration and rage, Alahazra stumbled southeast into the desert, seeking what meager shade and water the badlands had to offer. For days she wandered, seeking only to put distance between herself and any pursuers who might still seek revenge for her presumed heresy, until at last she collapsed in the lee of a dune, dehydrated and dying.

It was there, staring up through milky cataracts at the burning ball of the sun and letting the wind slowly bury her in the hot sand of the dunes, that Alahazra had her first revelation. Behind those ruined eyes, a vision of debilitating color suddenly exploded. In it, Alahazra saw herself not as she was, but as she one day would be—strong, proud, and fierce. In that moment, Alahazra understood that she was more than just a girl. She was a force of the desert—a voice of sun, sand, and flame—and she would bring its truth to the people, whether they were ready for it or not. Baking slowly in the hot coals of the great Garundi desert, Alahazra came to know herself, and in doing so first harnessed the magical flames that had been building inside her.

With the aid of her newfound abilities, Alahazra moved steadily east, crossing into Thuvia and following the Path of Salt until she finally came to rest in Osirion. There she roamed as she willed through the great cities and barren plains, offering wisdom and healing to the righteous and cleansing fire to the wicked. In time, her notoriety grew, offering her passage into higher social circles, and it's whispered that she made consorts and admirers of several powerful men, possibly even entering the court of the Ruby Prince. Alahazra herself, however, speaks little of her past. For her, only the future is a concern, and her duty is to defend it as best she can, with a clarity of vision that disdains sight.

Now a grown woman, and still attractive enough to turn the heads of slaves and rich men alike, Alahazra is kind but distant, often letting conversation drop in favor of taking in the sounds and smells of her environment. When she does speak, in her low, throaty voice, her words have the weight of command. Alahazra has little patience for fools (most notably those who let money or pride blind them to truth and justice), yet also has a soft spot for orphans, and in her own stern way often sees herself as the mother to her adventuring companions. Though she maintains that she has never worshiped a god—the cornerstone of her bitterness toward both her father and her homeland—she has come to respect a wide variety of deities, whom she refers to as "powerful and strategic allies." And while her detractors might call her cold, in battle Alahazra's burning rage—especially toward injustice and intolerance—still comes roiling out in a wall of divine flame.

James L. Sutter
Fiction Editor

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Alahazra Iconics Meet the Iconics Oracles Rahadoum Wayne Reynolds
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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ironically, just finished up the art for her as part of my upcoming Iconics set.

Preview available here.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Awesome.

Also, damn! Is it just me or do the Iconics from Garund tend to have the roughest childhood experiences?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pretty cool look forward to the rest.


Yay! Good stuff!

I've missed meet the iconic posts!


I've been waiting for some Rahadoumi awesomeness, and Alahazra delivers it in spades.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

A Fire/Sun Oracle ... Hawtness in more ways then one! ;D

Cheliax

woooo the next iconic!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Slightly higher resolution and that would've been my new wallpaper. :D

Very cool background to the iconic!


Very, very, cool! Looking forward to reading the rest of the iconics stories - and major props for Wayne Reynold's awesome art!


Sweet.

Just a heads up for the techs, in Google Reader the first half of the post came up in size 24 Arial, from "Meet the Iconics" to "burgeoning cleric."


Also, now I'm torn between Rahadoum and Ustalav as the region I most want an AP around. And Irrisen. And Nidal. And Numeria. And...


Great story, James!

Andoran

Amazing. We need to meet the rest ASAP.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Very nice back story.

(I still think "Oracle" is a misleading name...)
Oh, let's not start that again.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
lavi wrote:
Also, now I'm torn between Rahadoum and Ustalav as the region I most want an AP around. And Irrisen. And Nidal. And Numeria. And...

Well, Ustalav's getting an AP treatment, right after Serpent's Skull, so that's one off the list. :D

And I'm needling them about Numeria at every possible opportunity. They'll never do a Numeria AP, but a man can dream...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

N'wah wrote:
lavi wrote:
Also, now I'm torn between Rahadoum and Ustalav as the region I most want an AP around. And Irrisen. And Nidal. And Numeria. And...

Well, Ustalav's getting an AP treatment, right after Serpent's Skull, so that's one off the list. :D

And I'm needling them about Numeria at every possible opportunity. They'll never do a Numeria AP, but a man can dream...

Never say never.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:

Awesome.

Also, damn! Is it just me or do the Iconics from Garund tend to have the roughest childhood experiences?

I dunno- while it's a relatively common theme, it's pretty much true of most of the iconics, and adventurers in general (Seltyiel's is pretty brutal, for instance, but that just made him Emo). After all, if your background involves growing up in Floppy Puppy Valley with your intact family harvesting cookie trees and moonbeams, why did you take up the arms of an adventurer in the first place?

"'Cuz I HATE the taste of moonbeams."

Well, there's that. :P

Though the backstory for a Rahadoumi character I made was similarly awful, if not more so. I'm gonna blame the heat down there. Makes people do crazy things.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Chris Mortika wrote:

Very nice back story.

(I still think "Oracle" is a misleading name...)
Oh, let's not start that again.

I have deducted 2 "cool" points from your folder in the giant room where we track how cool each of our customers are for attempting to rekindle the Oracle Name Wars. Just so you know. The next infraction will result in a shipment of hungry pugwampis...

Qadira

Alhazara's dad was just trying to save her life, is the way I see it. If he'd done anything more for her, the Legion would have killed him too, for aiding and abetting a "known cleric".

As far as backstory goes, hers certainly isn't the worst.


Darkeyes777 wrote:
Amazing. We need to meet the rest ASAP.

+1!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
N'wah wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

Awesome.

Also, damn! Is it just me or do the Iconics from Garund tend to have the roughest childhood experiences?

I dunno- while it's a relatively common theme, it's pretty much true of most of the iconics, and adventurers in general (Seltyiel's is pretty brutal, for instance, but that just made him Emo). After all, if your background involves growing up in Floppy Puppy Valley with your intact family harvesting cookie trees and moonbeams, why did you take up the arms of an adventurer in the first place?

"'Cuz I HATE the taste of moonbeams."

Well, there's that. :P

Though the backstory for a Rahadoumi character I made was similarly awful, if not more so. I'm gonna blame the heat down there. Makes people do crazy things.

I'm going to make the most eeeeeeevil witch to have ever grown up in Fluffy Puppy Valley ever!


Very nice James!

Osirion

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I'm going to make the most eeeeeeevil witch to have ever grown up in Fluffy Puppy Valley ever!

Our teenaged witch, growing up in a community that raised bunny rabbits and lambs and ducks and other cute animals (and, well, obviously, butched them, but not in sight of the children!), has had enough of this bucolic nonsense, and after running around putting the evil eye on half the community, whom she found unspeakably boring and uptight and treacly, has fled her idyllic pastoral home just ahead of a lynch mob!

The lynch mob had a truly terrible fate in mind, too. No burning for this witch. They were going to march her to the temple and give her a stern talking-to! And then they'd sing songs, about forgiveness and community and love. She might have been forced to swallow her own tongue to escape that inhuman torture...

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
The next infraction will result in a shipment of hungry pugwampis...

send some home with Mark


Set wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I'm going to make the most eeeeeeevil witch to have ever grown up in Fluffy Puppy Valley ever!

Our teenaged witch, growing up in a community that raised bunny rabbits and lambs and ducks and other cute animals (and, well, obviously, butched them, but not in sight of the children!), has had enough of this bucolic nonsense, and after running around putting the evil eye on half the community, whom she found unspeakably boring and uptight and treacly, has fled her idyllic pastoral home just ahead of a lynch mob!

The lynch mob had a truly terrible fate in mind, too. No burning for this witch. They were going to march her to the temple and give her a stern talking-to! And then they'd sing songs, about forgiveness and community and love. She might have been forced to swallow her own tongue to escape that inhuman torture...

LOL..good one Set

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
N'wah wrote:

Ironically, just finished up the art for her as part of my upcoming Iconics set.

Preview available here.

I think you're gonna like the art my wife's got in store for you...heh, heh.

Cheliax

But how do you know she's a witch?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Snorter wrote:
I think you're gonna like the art my wife's got in store for you...heh, heh.

"Like" being a relative term. Still, I dug my own grave on that one. Even paid the bill for the bullet. :P


dm4hire wrote:
But how do you know she's a witch?

She turned me into a newt...................................I got better.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Sutter, great story. I especially like the Path of Salt bit, is that yours or did you find that somewhere?

James Jacobs wrote:
I have deducted 2 "cool" points... yada yada

Ha! Adopted.


I have a problem.
no stats
the others had stats.
she has no stats, thus she is a wimp

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The others' stat blocks were to demo the new finalized version of the Pathfinder RPG. Alahazra will get stats when she shows up in adventures.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Steelfiredragon wrote:

I have a problem.

no stats
the others had stats.
she has no stats, thus she is a wimp

Actually... we reserve the "no stats" rule for full-on deities. Because you can't kill them.

For now, she's in good company, in other words.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is Fluffy Puppy Valley going to show up on the new Inner Sea map?


since when is Alahazra a goddess???

sides Iomedae could wup her,

anyway bring on the witch

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Dude, she has stats. Master of the Fallen Fortress, page 13.

Steelfiredragon wrote:
since when is Alahazra a goddess???

And, her bikini makers her a GODDESS!!!!


Lord Fyre wrote:

Dude, she has stats. Master of the Fallen Fortress, page 13.

Steelfiredragon wrote:
since when is Alahazra a goddess???

And, her bikini makers her a GODDESS!!!!

and each and every other Iconic has a statblock in each of the adventure paths or standalones they appear in, and on top of that; they have their stats in the blog they appear in too.

the Oracle does not, thus she is a wimp.
Seoni could take her out, and seoni's outfit makes her an overgoddess

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The other iconics have their stats (or one possible set of stats for them) posted in the PFRPG Preview series of blog posts, not in their Meet The Iconics blog posts.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

So far, Alahazra has only appeared in Master of the Fallen Fortress and she has a rather lengthy stat block in that particular product. I don't see a problem here.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

To be more serious; the rest of the folks are correct. "Meet the Iconics" has NEVER been about stats. It's 100% flavor and story, and that won't be changing.

Nor will we be using the APG iconics as pregenerated characters anytime soon.


James Jacobs wrote:
Nor will we be using the APG iconics as pregenerated characters anytime soon.

You already did in the giveaway module, Master of the Fallen Fortress. Only level 1, but still :)


The region this backstory is based on just gives me a headache.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
Nor will we be using the APG iconics as pregenerated characters anytime soon.

A pity, because they are pretty cool. :( (Understandable, since you don't want to make the Player's Guide manditory. Still ...)


So, to sum it up:

1. Milky eyes
2. Outcast
3. ???
4. Prophet


Cartigan wrote:
The region this backstory is based on just gives me a headache.

It's the Kingdom of Man. They can be happy they're not on the Discworld, because then the gods would go to their houses and break their windows.


KaeYoss wrote:

So, to sum it up:

1. Milky eyes
2. Outcast
3. ???
4. Prophet

5. Hottie :D

6. Motherly affection
7. Stern

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ellington wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Nor will we be using the APG iconics as pregenerated characters anytime soon.
You already did in the giveaway module, Master of the Fallen Fortress. Only level 1, but still :)

What I meant to say: "We won't be putting the APG iconics in Adventure Paths or modules as pre-gen characters anytime soon."


KaeYoss wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
The region this backstory is based on just gives me a headache.
It's the Kingdom of Man. They can be happy they're not on the Discworld, because then the gods would go to their houses and break their windows.

That's my point. You are going to ban religion in the entire nation in a world where people can spontaneously be given magic powers by the gods? Or the gods themselves can take human form and walk into your town and ruin your stuff? What are you going to do when the God of Slaughter decides to come hang out? Have the city guard arrest him and toss him out?

Contributor

Cartigan wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
It's the Kingdom of Man. They can be happy they're not on the Discworld, because then the gods would go to their houses and break their windows.
That's my point. You are going to ban religion in the entire nation in a world where people can spontaneously be given magic powers by the gods? Or the gods themselves can take human form and walk into your town and ruin your stuff? What are you going to do when the God of Slaughter decides to come hang out? Have the city guard arrest him and toss him out?

Yeah, because Golarion's the sort of world where the gods routinely walk around in human form just to hang out in town. You know, like high-level adventurers do. :p


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Yeah, because Golarion's the sort of world where the gods routinely walk around in human form just to hang out in town. You know, like high-level adventurers do. :p

High-level adventurers are such jerks. They don't even apologize for tracking mud or blood in on the carpets.

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