This month sees the epic* conclusion to the Ruins of Azlant Adventure Path. Subscribers have already got their hands on digital copies of Pathfinder Adventure Path #126: Beyond the Veiled Past and print copies are soon to follow. As the author for "Beyond the Veiled Past," I'm thrilled to see this adventure finally getting out into the wild... because I've been holding onto some secrets.
After our glorious Managing Developer, Adam Daigle, assembled the Ruins of Azlant writing team, all of us writers began conspiring together. As the author of the final adventure, I ended up with the challenging task of ensuring that various plots established earlier in the adventure path came to a suitably climactic conclusion. Ever a fan of traditional RPG video games, I've always had a soft spot for the "searching for friends" moment; a portion of the story where the PCs end up doing a montage journey to places they've visited in earlier adventures. I worked close with a lot of fellow authors, especially those handling the earlier adventures, to weave in some strong connections between past events and the end of the campaign. So, expect to see a lot of familiar faces and vistas in the opening act of this adventure!
Azlant was (and still is) a very crazy place. Researching all the written Azlanti lore in Paizo products was one of the more fun projects prior to writing the adventure. Myself and other authors would banter back and forth about some random revelation we had discovered in a sourcebook about the Azlanti or their alghollthu foes. Chats were alight with things like "They literally created new races" to "They colonized other solar systems!" (turns out that last one might have some ramifications.) Getting a chance to play with alghollthu and Azlanti toys in a high-level setting turned out to be really rewarding, and led to the creation of some pretty ridiculous inventions and NPCs.
In my mind, it's not a good adventure if you can't sneak in a few setting references. Whether it be inserting a reference to an NPC who led the invasion of your developer's pet continent or putting in a named version of a monster you wrote for a previous adventure path backmatter, being the author has its perks. While "Beyond the Veiled Past" is laden with new revelations and further hints for ongoing campaign setting mysteries, I'd have to say that there's one reference that stands above the rest. As someone with strong ties to Paizo's Organized Play program, I've always had a strong interest in the Pathfinder Society organization. With this adventure, I had the opportunity to answer a question about one of the more mysterious elements of the Pathfinder Society's leadership: what's up with the Decemvirate Helms? Turns out, these artifact level helmets had a completely different role in ancient Azlant. You'll need to read (or play) this adventure to find out what!
Overall though, Ruins of Azlant is really about one thing: the alghollthu and Azlanti conflict. Such was the power of these two great empires, that even millennia after their war's cataclysmic conclusion, the echoes of their conflict can potentially reshape the world. Along with the adventure I had the pleasure of writing, the backmatter articles in this adventure go on to give GMs the ability to take their campaign, even new campaigns, "beyond the veiled past" and into modern Golarion. Exploring the ruins of Azlant was just the beginning; now it's up to the players to stop the veiled masters.
Starfinder Society Developer
*I choose my words carefully. If the PCs aren't equally as careful, that last encounter goes well into the epic CR range. But don't blame me, I was just writing to spec; you can blame Adam for the [REDACTED].