Seryzilian

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Why did Xanderghul think it was a wise course of action to send his cultists to attack “Sorshen” in Korvosa? I understand he’s incredibly vain, but he doesn’t direct any attacks against Alaznist. Which made me question what his rationale behind attacking Sorshen was.


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Of the final runelords which one was the pettiest?


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Runelord Alaznist had a profane pact with a lilitu named Ariashrael. Has this demon popped up anywhere before or is this just a cool tidbit of info for GM use?


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I took what happened to Alaznist’s soul to mean that multiple demons snatched parts of her soul away. It didn’t seem like she could possibly even be brought back after that. Is that a fair read of the event that transpired? For clarification I have no interest in seeing my favorite runelord brought back to life, her story was great as is.


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If I remember correctly, the runelords were loosely based off a cabal of wizards from your homebrew game. Would you mind talking a bit about that cabal and what they did in your game?


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I feel like the choice came back to haunt him.

Are you currently reading anything for leisure?


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Xanderghul paid Alaznist a visit on the eve of Earthfall just before the runelords were to activate their contingency plans to survive the apocalypse. Did Xanderghul visit each runelord that day or was Alaznist the only “lucky” one?


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Was Xanderghul always so obsessive (like obsessing over what Sorshen was up to) or was that only after his first defeat?


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My preference is that their transition into mythic power (Sorshen's as well) was merely the combination of destiny and magical research. Not super sexy as far as legendry goes, but you can also see it as open waters for you as the GM to come up with your own stories too.

Thank you for the great answer. I think you did a pretty stellar job of keeping the canon straight and adding game elements into the lore, as they were developed.

Reading Rise of the Runelords again, I noticed that Karzoug had to have a silver tongue to convince Mokmurian to serve him. That got me wondering how did the runelords rank in their diplomatic ability? For the life of me I cannot imagine Zutha being great at diplomacy.


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How did Xanderghul and Alaznist achieve mythic power respectively? If it was stated in Return of the Runelords I apologize, I must have missed it.


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How do you think Xin would look upon New Thassilon?


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Were any of the final runelords parents?


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How’s Socothbenoth managing now that his sister has turned a new leaf?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
What has been your favorite adventure to write?

I would have said "Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk" because it was a BLAST to do a deep dive into Greyhawk lore and tie things together and explore one of D&D's most iconic locations, but the delve format took a lot of the joy out of writing that one, alas.

"Burnt Offerings" was my favorite for a long time, since it let me put so much of my own ideas and elements in and it was an adventure that was pretty much 100% me and not so much a collaboration with anyone else.

But now, I thinks I'll say "Song of Silver," since it was surrounded by so many amazing authors that their amazing work helped to inspire me to build what I think is a pretty fun action-packed adventure that still has a lot of fun roleplay moments.

“Burnt Offerings” and “Song of Silver” have been two of my favorite adventures to read. Silver is especially cinematic and grandiose in all the right ways. I especially loved the villains striking back at the end. It feels like the ending of the AP, but you still have two more volumes to go. It’s one of my favorites.

I’m going to have to track down Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk. I have the Expedition to the Demonweb Pits, and the format of that book is so confusing, but the adventure is great. Is Greyhawk your favorite D&D setting, if so, why?


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What has been your favorite adventure to write?


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Canonically who slew Deskari? I didn’t think he died at the end of Wrath of the Righteous. Then I read Rasping Rebirth, and see that he’s deceased. So, who did the noble deed?


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How would you rank the final runelords in terms of your personal preference and interest in them?


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If given the option, would Xanderghul accept the call of resurrection? Or would that wound his pride too much?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
Will Sorshen be inclined to keep Karzoug’s visage looming over Xin-Shalast, as a part of rembering the old Thassilon?
Let's hold off on 2nd edition lore questions for a few months, please.

My apologies, I didn’t realize I was tipping into 2nd Edition.

How did you decide on which two runelords would survive to rule New Thassilon?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
If there were no heroes to thwart the Yamasoth cultists’ effort to resurrect Krune, how would Krune have reacted to their demands for his resurrection?
Honestly I think he'd deny the request. Fits his personality to be too lazy to come back to life.

You have no idea how much that answer pleased me. It then made me wonder where did Krune end up in the afterlife? As the high priest of Lissala did he end up somewhere cushy?


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What caused Xanderghul to slay the other two runelords during the schism that almost led to civil war? I know what the runelord of wrath did, but I can’t recall the reasons that the other two were slain.


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Will Sorshen be inclined to keep Karzoug’s visage looming over Xin-Shalast, as a part of rembering the old Thassilon?


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Is Queen Ileosa the closest analog to Sorshen back in CE heyday?


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If there were no heroes to thwart the Yamasoth cultists’ effort to resurrect Krune, how would Krune have reacted to their demands for his resurrection?


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James Jacobs wrote:


Glad you like it! It's probably the most complicated single Adventure Path volume I've ever had to do (although far from the HARDEST one to do).

And visiting that spirit in the Great Beyond has been one of the core ideas of Return of the Runelords from the start. So... how early on? While I was developing Rise of the Runelords.

Wow! That was impressive foresight. That was such a cool moment to read about. Something that struck me about this AP is how much it humanizes these major villains. The little touches like Xanderghul possibly looking out on his old kingdom sadly, was actually a bit sad. Sorshen’s redemption is well thought out and read as completely genuine. Great work on all counts.

What was the hardest volume you ever did and what made it so challenging?


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So, The Rise of New Thassilon, wow. It’s good. Really, really good!

When you were outlining this adventure path, how early on did you know that you wanted the PCs to visit that particular spirit in the great beyond?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
Of all the demonlords that you’ve ever worked on, 3.5 and Pathfinder, which one is your favorite and why?
Demogorgon, because he was always my favorite demon lord from the start and has a lot of nostalgia to back him up, but Nocticula's giving him a run for his money.

Your Demogorgon article, and the Savage Tides adventure path, really sold me on Demogorgon being the prince of all demons.

Nocticula was a great demonlord, I really enjoyed her assassinating other demonlords. Are you going to miss her being a demonlord at all?

No, because I told the story I wanted to tell with her being a demon lord in Wrath of the Righteous (and to a lesser extent in Moonscar). I'm much more interested going forward in exploring her story as a goddess of exiles and artists.

I've also spent a HUGE part of my time doing RPG stuff doing demon stuff... be it the Demonomicon articles in Dragon, the Fiendish Codex for D&D, or the Book of the Damned stuff for Pathfinder. I pretty much feel like I've mostly said what there is to be said from me on the topic of demons, with the possible exception of Treerazer, who DOES still have a story still waiting for telling.

I’m really curious to see where Nocticula will go in her new life. I think it will be cool to see.

Your work on demon lore and Abyssal lore has been great from Hordes of the Abyss to Planar Adventures, it’s all been grand. I’m excited to see what Treerazer has up his sleeve. He’s a cool demon. I think he even answers questions on this website. What a swell guy.

What was your favorite contribution to the Hordes of the Abyss book?


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Was Runelord Zutha religious at all? I’m curious if he worshipped the Pallid Princess.


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Did you ever do a Demonomicon article on Orcus that I missed? Speakibg of the big man, do you much care for Orcus?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
Of all the demonlords that you’ve ever worked on, 3.5 and Pathfinder, which one is your favorite and why?
Demogorgon, because he was always my favorite demon lord from the start and has a lot of nostalgia to back him up, but Nocticula's giving him a run for his money.

Your Demogorgon article, and the Savage Tides adventure path, really sold me on Demogorgon being the prince of all demons.

Nocticula was a great demonlord, I really enjoyed her assassinating other demonlords. Are you going to miss her being a demonlord at all?


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Of all the demonlords that you’ve ever worked on, 3.5 and Pathfinder, which one is your favorite and why?


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What has Zutha’s existence been like in the ages between Thassilon’s fall and his tome being reassembled? Is a lich essentially asleep within their philactery or are they aware whiling away the time?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
Of your old Demonomicon articles in The 3.5 days (which were all great by the way) which one did you have the most fun writing and why?
That's probably a tie between Dagon (because it let me tread some Lovecraft waters, which was a tricky place to go in 3.5 D&D), and Malcanthet (because all of her lore was brand new—I got to invent her pretty much from the ground up and not cleave to established D&D lore).

The Malcanthet article was one of my favorites. She came across to me as a very savvy politician. She and Nocticula were very different in their similar role. I found it to be pretty cool that you made them so different.

Is Shamira more like Malcanthet, than Nocticula, in terms of personality and governing styles?


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In your home game, does Obox-ob still have a place of prominence?


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Of your old Demonomicon articles in The 3.5 days (which were all great by the way) which one did you have the most fun writing and why?


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Of the final seven runelords, which one was the most depraved? By that I mean, which one caused the other six to maybe raise an eyebrow or two in shock.


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Was King Xin Mythic? I ask because I don’t think we’ve ever seen what Xin was capable of in his heyday. I remember him putting Xanderghul firmly in his place only to fall for one of Sorshen’s spells, which is impressive on her part. I’m not sure, but I think both Xanderghul and Sorshen were Mythic at this point.

Thanks for your answers to my questions.


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Xanderghul and Sorshen were peers for the long haul of Thassilon. Did they regard each other differently from their peers, and was their mutual respect for each other? I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that Xanderghul was incapable of showing respect to anyone else.


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Of the Runelords, which one was the most obnoxious and difficult to be around, and how were they so difficult?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:

Well, hopefully New Thassilon turns out better than its predecessor. The ideas that Xin had for the creation of Thassilon were noble and it's a shame that it failed so spectaculalry.

The fashion of Thassilon seems extremly varied, given how each Runelord dresses so differently. Did each provence of the empire dress in a particular fashion, and if so what were they?

What I mean by this is that Zutha's outfit seems very reminiscent of Henry VIII, while Karzoug's attire seems more akin to ancient Chinese attire. So is it a matter of their personal tastes or rather a Gatash - Shalast fashion trends thing.

We've not gone into much detail about Thassilonian fashion. I suspect there were lots of fashions that came in and out of style over the many centuries the nation existed, but no attempt to codify them is really something we've made attempts to do.

Ah, that would make sense for such a long lived empire. Well thank you for answering these questions on my favorite Pathfinder subject, the Runelords. congrats on finishing your Runelord trilogy. Return of the Runelords has been most interesting thus far.

One final question for you. Since Areelu Vorlesh presumably died during the events of Wrath of the Righteous, in Pathfinder 2, will she have risen to a place of prominence in the Abyss?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
So, what exactly kept the Runelords together? Besides the fact that they had an empire to run. They all seem to hate each other. I guess I’m surprised they made it work for so long.
Tradition, a shared obsession with magic, a general detachment from the day-to-day (I suspect that for a runelord, spending a decade or three here and there on a retreat or some experiment or whatever was the norm, leaving the rule of the land in the hands of minions who were more able to cooperate), and the fact that them all enjoying being the boss of their own little nations outweighed self-destructive elements.
That makes a lot of sense to me. Of the final seven runelords, did any of them have cordial relationships with one another? Or was it like estranged family with Alaznist and Karzoug actively warring.
Karzoug and Alaznist's war was the "hottest" war of the final seven. None of them really had full-on friendships, though. They were all competitors and kinda broken people who were incapable of working together. That's one of the themes of Thassilon—the nation was initially founded with a goal of inclusivity and working together to an extent that was more progressive than Azlant's norms, but ended up being consumed from within by the original runelords in a "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" sort of way that ended up making Thassilon much more broken than the nation it fled from. Thassilon is in this regard a tragic example of civilization, and not intended to be a "successful" one. The ramifications of Return of the Runelords sort of hit the reset button on Thassilon, with the fate of New Thassilon being in the air and potentially something that PCs can have a hand in influencing in home games as GMs see fit. We might, in time, explore more there in print. We'll see.

Well, hopefully New Thassilon turns out better than its predecessor. The ideas that Xin had for the creation of Thassilon were noble and it's a shame that it failed so spectaculalry.

The fashion of Thassilon seems extremly varied, given how each Runelord dresses so differently. Did each provence of the empire dress in a particular fashion, and if so what were they?

What I mean by this is that Zutha's outfit seems very reminiscent of Henry VIII, while Karzoug's attire seems more akin to ancient Chinese attire. So is it a matter of their personal tastes or rather a Gatash - Shalast fashion trends thing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
So, what exactly kept the Runelords together? Besides the fact that they had an empire to run. They all seem to hate each other. I guess I’m surprised they made it work for so long.
Tradition, a shared obsession with magic, a general detachment from the day-to-day (I suspect that for a runelord, spending a decade or three here and there on a retreat or some experiment or whatever was the norm, leaving the rule of the land in the hands of minions who were more able to cooperate), and the fact that them all enjoying being the boss of their own little nations outweighed self-destructive elements.

That makes a lot of sense to me. Of the final seven runelords, did any of them have cordial relationships with one another? Or was it like estranged family with Alaznist and Karzoug actively warring.


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So, what exactly kept the Runelords together? Besides the fact that they had an empire to run. They all seem to hate each other. I guess I’m surprised they made it work for so long.


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The Runelords are one of my favorite parts about Golarion. I was curious about their relationships with each other. I understand it was rocky, at best, but in some cases it seems like they got along okay.

In the Hollow Mountain comic, Xanderghul says to Alaznist that she was always his favorite. Why was that? I do find that pretty funny given the way their relationship ended up.

Were Zutha and Krune pretty easy to get along with?

How did/does Sorshen see her peers?

How did/does Alaznist see her peers?

Also the war between Karzoug and Alaznist, I seem to recall contradictory info on who was about to win that war. So, for the record, which runelord was about to triumph?

Thank you for your time!


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I recieved the updated email.

Thank you again!


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Thank you so much Sam.

Will the Return of the Runelords dice set in my side art be included in this shipment or in the next one? No worries either way.

Thank you again!


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Hey there,

I haven't had my Adventure Path subscription order for October generated. Your help in getting the Runeplague to infict my table, would be much appreciated!


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Hello there you wonderful Customer Service Rep!

It looks like my Adventure Path Subscripton is showing my next shipment being issue #136 Temple of the Peacock Spirit. It looks like issue #135 Runeplague is being skipped.

Is this an error or am I missing something? I haven't recieved a shipping email about it or anything. I just don't want to miss a crucial part of the adventure path.

Thank you so much for your time.

Best regards,

- Kyle


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All of the Runelords look amazing! I’m super stoked to read this AP!


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I'm loving the blog posts! Keep up the great work!

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