|Erik Mona Publisher, Chief Creative Officer|
|3 people marked this as a favorite.|
There is a huge article on Aroden written by me in Pathfinder #100 that covers pretty much all of this.
Before the fall of Azlant, Aroden was a mortal man of great importance.
After Earthfall, he dedicated himself to helping Azlanti survivors reach safety in Avistan and to preserving what was left of Azlanti culture.
During this period, he became immortal (but did not become divine).
In the long, long period of time between the Age of Darkness and the raising of the Starstone, Aroden was essentially a high-level adventurer who spent time fighting demon lords, founding nations, and shifting his attention from Azlant in particular to humanity in general.
When he raised the Starstone he used it to go on a phantasmagoric spiritual journey (the first "Test of the Starstone") and emerged as a "living god" (basically a demigod). It's at this time that Aroden's cult of personality turned into an actual cult, and his clerics began to cast spells.
Aroden founds the city of Absalom at this point (or very shortly thereafter).
By 400 AR, Aroden is growing more and more interested in the Great Beyond, and while he is still present on Golarion, his interactions with humans grow further and further between.
He defeats Tar-Baphon in the 800s, but tellingly his attention is not lured to Tar-Baphon when the villain arises centuries later as the lich known as the Whispering Tyrant.
Some years later (in 4433), Aroden returns to Golarion to put down the demon lord Deskari in the north, which is his final bombastic appearance before the current era (basically some 300 years ago, give or take).
The Starfall Doctrine predates the fall of Azlant, and specifies the rise of a "Last Azlanti" who will lead humanity to a new Age of Glory. After Cheliax seceded from Taldor, hard-liners within the church of Aroden focused heavily on the Doctrine, proclaiming Cheliax (and Westrcrown specifically) as the spot where Aroden would manifest to usher in this Age of Glory.
It didn't go according to plan.