How Many Runelords Were There?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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This may be a dumb question. But there we are. I had thought that there were only seven runelords, that the original seven survived until the end of the Thassilonian empire.

But a recent Paizo product explained that there had been hundreds of men and women who took those seven positions, and the Big Seven were only the most recent, and so now I'm confused.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Hmmm...

There were 7 runelords at any one time. There were 7 when Earthfall happened. Two of those (Xanderghul and Sorshen) were the same runelords as they were at the start of Thassilon, but in that time the other 5 had multiple wizards fill that role over the course of the nation's history.

The claim that there were "hundreds" who took the position seems WAY over the top. Dozens is closer to the truth, and even then that's probably pushing it.

What Paizo product claimed there have been hundreds?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

"Words of the Ancients," a recent Pathfinder Society scenario. And I haven't read it through, myself, but the GM assured me that he was reading accurately.

Liberty's Edge

As far as I can recall, we have no dates for events that happened prior to the earthfall, so it's hard to say just how long the empires of Azlant and Thassilon (or the empire of the Serpentfolk, for that matter) lasted. It seems like you might be justified in hand-waving contradictory sources by saying that the fragmentary evidence that survives from that bygone age is itself confusing and contradictory.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Chris Mortika wrote:
"Words of the Ancients," a recent Pathfinder Society scenario. And I haven't read it through, myself, but the GM assured me that he was reading accurately.

Ah; that'd be an error then. I don't do editorial/development passes on the scenarios and so wouldn't have caught that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Gnoll Bard wrote:
As far as I can recall, we have no dates for events that happened prior to the earthfall, so it's hard to say just how long the empires of Azlant and Thassilon (or the empire of the Serpentfolk, for that matter) lasted. It seems like you might be justified in hand-waving contradictory sources by saying that the fragmentary evidence that survives from that bygone age is itself confusing and contradictory.

We may have published some of those pre Earthfall dates in Shattered Star. If we didn't, I at least have them on my computer, so they do exist.

In any event... there were not "hundreds" of runelords.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Obliged, James.

The rumelords that were replaced / deposed: have any of their names been published? (Such as: who was the first Runelord of Sloth?)

Scarab Sages

Chris Mortika wrote:

Obliged, James.

The rumelords that were replaced / deposed: have any of their names been published? (Such as: who was the first Runelord of Sloth?)

Wouldn't that really be who was the first Runelord of Zeal?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've read Words of Ancients, and the only time it mentions multiple runelords of one sin it speaks about "dozens". Chris, your GM must have been exaggerating somewhat.

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There likely would have been the most runelods of wrath (because they kept killing each other), and sloth (because they were least effective and therefore shorter lasting in their respective reigns), but to my knowledge we've never said exactly how many of any given runelord there were. Other than the two for which there was ever only one (pride and lust).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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archmagi1 wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

Obliged, James.

The rumelords that were replaced / deposed: have any of their names been published? (Such as: who was the first Runelord of Sloth?)

Wouldn't that really be who was the first Runelord of Zeal?

Nope. The corruption and sin that overtook the runelords did so really quickly, before any of the initial runelords passed on or were whatevered.

We haven't done a full list of all the runelords. Someday we probably should, but the time is not yet right.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Gnoll Bard wrote:
As far as I can recall, we have no dates for events that happened prior to the earthfall, so it's hard to say just how long the empires of Azlant and Thassilon (or the empire of the Serpentfolk, for that matter) lasted. It seems like you might be justified in hand-waving contradictory sources by saying that the fragmentary evidence that survives from that bygone age is itself confusing and contradictory.

We may have published some of those pre Earthfall dates in Shattered Star. If we didn't, I at least have them on my computer, so they do exist.

In any event... there were not "hundreds" of runelords.

Cross-posted from elsewhere where someone was asking for Xin's original power, we definitely have those dates:

Yeah, I was just looking this up the other day for Shattered Star. Xin held power from -6530 to -6420 AR. Earthfall was -5293.

So Thassilon lasted over 1,000 years after the fall of Xin and Xin only ruled it for a comparatively short stretch. Sorshen and Xanderghul (who came with Xin from Azlant and were members of the original 7) must have discovered routes to immortality (perhaps the Immortality level 20 arcane discovery). I suppose that in their Xinless millennium of rule, Sorshen and Xanderghul may have grown in strength, so it makes it tough to rate Xin's strength because we can't necessarily use the current versions of them as benchmarks (and we don't know the other five Runelords at the time at all).

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Rogue Eidolon wrote:

Yeah, I was just looking this up the other day for Shattered Star. Xin held power from -6530 to -6420 AR. Earthfall was -5293.

So Thassilon lasted over 1,000 years after the fall of Xin and Xin only ruled it for a comparatively short stretch. Sorshen and Xanderghul (who came with Xin from Azlant and were members of the original 7) must have discovered routes to immortality (perhaps the Immortality level 20 arcane discovery). I suppose that in their Xinless millennium of rule, Sorshen and Xanderghul may have grown in strength, so it makes it tough to rate Xin's strength because we can't necessarily use the current versions of them as benchmarks (and we don't know the other five Runelords at the time at all).

Cool; we did publish the dates! Excellent!

Xanderghul and Sorshen absolutely did increase in power over their rules... neither started the rule of Thassilon at max level, and both gained mythic power at some point thereafter.

And pretty much all of the runelords discovered various methods to immortality. Some made better use of that immortality than others is all...


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Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Sorshen and Xanderghul (who came with Xin from Azlant and were members of the original 7) must have discovered routes to immortality (perhaps the Immortality level 20 arcane discovery).

Sorshen's immortality was based around "blood magic" and vampirism. It may not have been the first thing she tried as far as extending her life goes, but she first summoned Ayandamahla right before the Runelords ganked Xin, and wound up, with Ayandamahla's help (since the succubus was a servant of Zura and helped "a lot" with that particular project), developing her vampirism-based immortality, which would (thousands of years later) show up in the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP.

In game terms, I suppose she could have had either the Immortality discovery (just "fluffed out" as her blood-based research) or gotten it tacked on to her statblock in general.

James Jacobs wrote:
Xanderghul and Sorshen absolutely did increase in power over their rules... neither started the rule of Thassilon at max level, and both gained mythic power at some point thereafter.

I've poked around for answers on that before. Nice to know they were non-mythic when they took Xin down.

Was Xanderghul the strongest even back then, or were some of the other Runelords (especially Sorshen) much closer to him?

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Alleran wrote:
Was Xanderghul the strongest even back then, or were some of the other Runelords (especially Sorshen) much closer to him?

Unrevealed, but quite likely Xanderghul was the toughest even then.


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Yay, I'm an original! ^_^

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Runelord of Lust wrote:
Yay, I'm an original! ^_^

You are!

Unless you're a clone.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Runelord of Lust wrote:
Yay, I'm an original! ^_^

You are!

Unless you're a clone.

Shhhhhh. >.>

Scarab Sages

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James Jacobs wrote:
archmagi1 wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

Obliged, James.

The rumelords that were replaced / deposed: have any of their names been published? (Such as: who was the first Runelord of Sloth?)

Wouldn't that really be who was the first Runelord of Zeal?

Nope. The corruption and sin that overtook the runelords did so really quickly, before any of the initial runelords passed on or were whatevered.

We haven't done a full list of all the runelords. Someday we probably should, but the time is not yet right.

Mr Zeal the 1st: "Alright people, it is our divine mission from Lissala to master these runes."

Five years later...

Mr Indifference: "Guys, it'll be okay if you master these runes."

Five years later...

Mr Sloth: "If in the offchance you work on rune magic, do so sitting down, but I highly suggest just chilling. Runelords down the street is holding a feast and on further down the street is a naughty party. Why don't you guys send some slaves to bring some of those back, if you feel like it. If not, that's fine too."


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Chris Mortika wrote:

Obliged, James.

The rumelords that were replaced / deposed: have any of their names been published? (Such as: who was the first Runelord of Sloth?)

Some have.

Per Artifacts & Legends, Gorparlis was the Runelord of Gluttony, replaced by Krune.

Since Krune is also the Runelord of Sloth, it is either a different Krune, or they meant Zutha.

Speaking of Sloth, Ilthyrius is also listed in Artifacts & Legends as a previous Runelord of Sloth.

Thybidos was the Runelord of Wrath killed by Alaznist, to become Runelord in her own right.

Tannaris was a previous Runelord of Envy, killing and killed by his son with the same name.

Grand Lodge Contributor

Samasboy1 wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

Obliged, James.

The rumelords that were replaced / deposed: have any of their names been published? (Such as: who was the first Runelord of Sloth?)

Some have.

Per Artifacts & Legends, Gorparlis was the Runelord of Gluttony, replaced by Krune.

Since Krune is also the Runelord of Sloth, it is either a different Krune, or they meant Zutha.

Speaking of Sloth, Ilthyrius is also listed in Artifacts & Legends as a previous Runelord of Sloth.

Thybidos was the Runelord of Wrath killed by Alaznist, to become Runelord in her own right.

Tannaris was a previous Runelord of Envy, killing and killed by his son with the same name.

There's a some clarification in the article on the 'Final 7' Runelords in the last part of Shattered Star: AP66:The Dead Heart of Xin.


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Thanks for that.

So Shattered Star: Dead Heart of Xin confirms Gorparlis was replaced by Zutha as Runelord of Gluttony.

Also, new names to add to the list.

Belimarius defeated Phirandi to become Runelord of Envy.

Karzoug is specifically called the 8th Runelord of Greed. Haphrama is a predecessor.

Krune inherited his position as Runelord of Sloth from Ivarinna.

Sorshen and Xanderghul are specifically the only two to rule for the entire length of the empire.

So in total, we know:

Sorshen, only Runelord of Lust
Xanderghul, only Runelord of Pride
Tannaris and Phirandi were predecessor Runelords of Envy to Belimarius
Ilthyrius and Ivarinna are predecessor Runelords of Sloth to Krune.
Harhrama is one of seven previous Runelords of Greed before Karzoug.
Gorparlis is Zutha's predecessor as Runelord of Gluttony
Thybidos is Alaznist's predecessor as Runelord of Wrath, but several more are implied

That puts us at 20, with probably several more coming from Wrath, st the least

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I'm glad I looked over this thread. From what I'd read, I hadn't twigged that there were more than seven. (I've not read RotRL in complete detail, and certainly not recently enough to pick that up!) Good to know before I confused my PCs...!


Aotrscommander wrote:
I'm glad I looked over this thread. From what I'd read, I hadn't twigged that there were more than seven. (I've not read RotRL in complete detail, and certainly not recently enough to pick that up!) Good to know before I confused my PCs...!

Agreed!


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Samasboy1 wrote:

Per Artifacts & Legends, Gorparlis was the Runelord of Gluttony, replaced by Krune.

Since Krune is also the Runelord of Sloth, it is either a different Krune, or they meant Zutha.

Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed how often these two guys get mixed up? It seems to happen a lot, either referring to the Runelord of Gluttony as Krune or the Runelord of Sloth as Zutha. Not sure where this force of habit started but it seems like it gets picked up by most authors.

Shattered Star does it (Book 5), Artifacts and Legends does it (as mentioned), Lost Kingdoms does it, and now Mythic Realms has done it as well. I know there were a few books before Shattered Star that did it as well (though I can't think of them off the top of my head).

I'm actually sort of curious where this phenomenon stems from.

EDIT: Changed "bad habit" to "force of habit". "Bad" made it sound more negative than I intended.


Just checking since I'm running Shattered star and the first book is nearing it's end. Is there any information on the original seven runelords besides Xanderghuul and Sorshen? Names or fates or anything.

Shattered Star stuff:
The PC's got a result over 30 to identify the image of original seven runelords and I was looking if there's any info on them.


Just out of curiosity, is it possible that a Runelord might have changed traits at some point? For example, say that the Runelord of Lust became increasingly warlike, and began to embody the traits of Wrath more fully.

Would such lateral movement have been allowed or are they eternally "locked in" to whatever sin/virtue they began with?

(I know that there are mechanics that are essentially schools from Inner Sea Magic, but even wizards can retrain schools using the mechanics from Ultimate Campaign, so even from a "by the books" approach, it should still be theoretically possible.)

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It's possilbe, I suppose, for a runelord to have changed training ... but VERY unlikely. It would require at the very least retraining, sicne they would need to retrain their wizard specialty school.

More to the point though, I can confirm that canonically... this never happened.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The Block Knight wrote:
Samasboy1 wrote:

Per Artifacts & Legends, Gorparlis was the Runelord of Gluttony, replaced by Krune.

Since Krune is also the Runelord of Sloth, it is either a different Krune, or they meant Zutha.

Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed how often these two guys get mixed up? It seems to happen a lot, either referring to the Runelord of Gluttony as Krune or the Runelord of Sloth as Zutha. Not sure where this force of habit started but it seems like it gets picked up by most authors.

Shattered Star does it (Book 5), Artifacts and Legends does it (as mentioned), Lost Kingdoms does it, and now Mythic Realms has done it as well. I know there were a few books before Shattered Star that did it as well (though I can't think of them off the top of my head).

I'm actually sort of curious where this phenomenon stems from.

EDIT: Changed "bad habit" to "force of habit". "Bad" made it sound more negative than I intended.

It likely stems from me.

In my homebrew, Zutha and Krune were BOTH powerful necromancers; Krune was not a conjurer originally, but I stole his name for one. I'm trying to be better about it though! :P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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FranKc wrote:

Just checking since I'm running Shattered star and the first book is nearing it's end. Is there any information on the original seven runelords besides Xanderghuul and Sorshen? Names or fates or anything.

** spoiler omitted **

We haven't said much at all about the original Runelords, other than that Sorshen and Xanderghul were there, and that Alderpash was the first Runelord of Wrath.

AKA: The Knowledge check DC to learn about the others is a lot higher than 30 for now. ;-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
"Words of the Ancients," a recent Pathfinder Society scenario. And I haven't read it through, myself, but the GM assured me that he was reading accurately.
Ah; that'd be an error then. I don't do editorial/development passes on the scenarios and so wouldn't have caught that.

If it's a reading of a legend, I would like to point out that there's a distinction between legend and history. And if you figure a changeover, due to retirement, coup, or outright assasination, on the average of once say every 5-10 years, multiplied by 5, over the history of the empire, that's a LOT of runelords.

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LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
"Words of the Ancients," a recent Pathfinder Society scenario. And I haven't read it through, myself, but the GM assured me that he was reading accurately.
Ah; that'd be an error then. I don't do editorial/development passes on the scenarios and so wouldn't have caught that.
If it's a reading of a legend, I would like to point out that there's a distinction between legend and history. And if you figure a changeover, due to retirement, coup, or outright assasination, on the average of once say every 5-10 years, multiplied by 5, over the history of the empire, that's a LOT of runelords.

Of course when you're talking about legends there's always the possibility of a disconnect between legend and history...

But that's not the way we present material to the GM of a game. As a general rule, when we try to give out information along those lines, we DO try to make sure it's accurate. It's fine to present information in a way to trick or obfuscate the truth as far as the player characters know... but tricking the GM, even accidentally? Not cool.

Especially when you consider that once something is in print, future authors might run with something that is wrong and accidentally treat it as right.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
"Words of the Ancients," a recent Pathfinder Society scenario. And I haven't read it through, myself, but the GM assured me that he was reading accurately.
Ah; that'd be an error then. I don't do editorial/development passes on the scenarios and so wouldn't have caught that.
If it's a reading of a legend, I would like to point out that there's a distinction between legend and history. And if you figure a changeover, due to retirement, coup, or outright assasination, on the average of once say every 5-10 years, multiplied by 5, over the history of the empire, that's a LOT of runelords.

Of course when you're talking about legends there's always the possibility of a disconnect between legend and history...

But that's not the way we present material to the GM of a game. As a general rule, when we try to give out information along those lines, we DO try to make sure it's accurate. It's fine to present information in a way to trick or obfuscate the truth as far as the player characters know... but tricking the GM, even accidentally? Not cool.

Especially when you consider that once something is in print, future authors might run with something that is wrong and accidentally treat it as right.

But given how long Thassilon existed, the constant scheming of power, it's history of upsets and betrayals, and the fact that only two runelords held their position from start to finish, couldn't the hundreds figure have been accurate? Even Rome went through a period where a lot of Emperors had very short reigns.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

One of the ex-Runelords pops up in WotR book 5. Can't remember his name off the top of my head.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That'd be Alderpash, who was name-dropped by James just a bit upthread.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
"Words of the Ancients," a recent Pathfinder Society scenario. And I haven't read it through, myself, but the GM assured me that he was reading accurately.
Ah; that'd be an error then. I don't do editorial/development passes on the scenarios and so wouldn't have caught that.
If it's a reading of a legend, I would like to point out that there's a distinction between legend and history. And if you figure a changeover, due to retirement, coup, or outright assasination, on the average of once say every 5-10 years, multiplied by 5, over the history of the empire, that's a LOT of runelords.

Of course when you're talking about legends there's always the possibility of a disconnect between legend and history...

But that's not the way we present material to the GM of a game. As a general rule, when we try to give out information along those lines, we DO try to make sure it's accurate. It's fine to present information in a way to trick or obfuscate the truth as far as the player characters know... but tricking the GM, even accidentally? Not cool.

Especially when you consider that once something is in print, future authors might run with something that is wrong and accidentally treat it as right.

But given how long Thassilon existed, the constant scheming of power, it's history of upsets and betrayals, and the fact that only two runelords held their position from start to finish, couldn't the hundreds figure have been accurate? Even Rome went through a period where a lot of Emperors had very short reigns.

Hundreds COULD be accurate, but some day I do want to list them all, and that means that hundreds would be too complicated.

We'll see!

Liberty's Edge

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One factor that would limit the ability to kill Runelords (and keep the list to a manageable level) is that magic can do things that a Roman emperor would have sold his soul to do. Divinations and magic generally will help put down plots.

I am thinking somewhere between twenty and thirty-six runelords could work. Those are manageable numbers for a project.

Perhaps one factor also to consider is that sometimes a Runelord might consider it in his interest to stop a rival to another runelord. (Sometimes the devil might be the one you want to deal with as you are focusing on someone else. Note that this is not to be mistaken for altruism, merely self interest.)

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William Ronald wrote:

One factor that would limit the ability to kill Runelords (and keep the list to a manageable level) is that magic can do things that a Roman emperor would have sold his soul to do. Divinations and magic generally will help put down plots.

I am thinking somewhere between twenty and thirty-six runelords could work. Those are manageable numbers for a project.

Perhaps one factor also to consider is that sometimes a Runelord might consider it in his interest to stop a rival to another runelord. (Sometimes the devil might be the one you want to deal with as you are focusing on someone else. Note that this is not to be mistaken for altruism, merely self interest.)

Also keep in mind things like resurrection, clones, wishes, and all sorts of other magic that can help bring a runelord back to life if he/she DOES get killed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
William Ronald wrote:

One factor that would limit the ability to kill Runelords (and keep the list to a manageable level) is that magic can do things that a Roman emperor would have sold his soul to do. Divinations and magic generally will help put down plots.

Remember while some magic can put down plots, others enable them. After all, it pretty much seems clear that the bulk of the runelords in Thassilonian history got the job by causing the downfall of the reigning incumbent. Some, however proved tougher nuts to crack, and/or had particular advantages, such as being the most capable Enchantress in the empire's history.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
William Ronald wrote:

One factor that would limit the ability to kill Runelords (and keep the list to a manageable level) is that magic can do things that a Roman emperor would have sold his soul to do. Divinations and magic generally will help put down plots.

I am thinking somewhere between twenty and thirty-six runelords could work. Those are manageable numbers for a project.

Perhaps one factor also to consider is that sometimes a Runelord might consider it in his interest to stop a rival to another runelord. (Sometimes the devil might be the one you want to deal with as you are focusing on someone else. Note that this is not to be mistaken for altruism, merely self interest.)

Also keep in mind things like resurrection, clones, wishes, and all sorts of other magic that can help bring a runelord back to life if he/she DOES get killed.

If you're savvy enough to take down a runelord, you're going to do your dammedest to make sure he or she stays out of the picture. Soul Bind in particular, is a great way to make sure someone would have to go to extreme lengths to bring that person back.

I think it can be safely said that there were a lot more than seven, and many of those who only held the title briefly were not necessarily very competent mages. Some may have been been puppets and not wizards at all, or not much of one. Their title as merely titular as many Emperors were in our real history

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LazarX wrote:

If you're savvy enough to take down a runelord, you're going to do your dammedest to make sure he or she stays out of the picture. Soul Bind in particular, is a great way to make sure someone would have to go to extreme lengths to bring that person back.

I think it can be safely said that there were a lot more than seven, and many of those who only held the title briefly were not necessarily very competent mages. Some may have been been puppets and not wizards at all, or not much of one. Their title as merely titular as many Emperors were in our real history

Sure... but for story purposes... being "savvy enough" to take down a runelord is a role I'm restricting to two types of characters:

PCs, and NPCs who end up replacing the runelord they took out.

That's a VERY small number. There's plenty of other would-be assassins who aren't savvy enough, because that's good story to have a runelord that keeps coming back despite the fact that he's been killed multiple times.

Silver Crusade Contributor

Since I don't see it in the thread (maybe I missed it), I believe Runelord Kaladurnae was the founder of Xin-Shalast and the builder of the palace on Mhar Massif. He may also have been the first Runelord of Greed.

I'll double check once I drag myself out of bed. :)

Silver Crusade Contributor

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Kalindlara wrote:

Since I don't see it in the thread (maybe I missed it), I believe Runelord Kaladurnae was the founder of Xin-Shalast and the builder of the palace on Mhar Massif. He may also have been the first Runelord of Greed.

I'll double check once I drag myself out of bed. :)

Yep. Kaladurnae, original Runelord of Greed, established the city of Xin-Shalast on the slopes of Mhar Massif, as well as the House of Divine Consumption (the state religion), per the Anniversary Edition. :)


James Jacobs wrote:
The Block Knight wrote:
Samasboy1 wrote:

Per Artifacts & Legends, Gorparlis was the Runelord of Gluttony, replaced by Krune.

Since Krune is also the Runelord of Sloth, it is either a different Krune, or they meant Zutha.

Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed how often these two guys get mixed up? It seems to happen a lot, either referring to the Runelord of Gluttony as Krune or the Runelord of Sloth as Zutha. Not sure where this force of habit started but it seems like it gets picked up by most authors.

Shattered Star does it (Book 5), Artifacts and Legends does it (as mentioned), Lost Kingdoms does it, and now Mythic Realms has done it as well. I know there were a few books before Shattered Star that did it as well (though I can't think of them off the top of my head).

I'm actually sort of curious where this phenomenon stems from.

EDIT: Changed "bad habit" to "force of habit". "Bad" made it sound more negative than I intended.

It likely stems from me.

In my homebrew, Zutha and Krune were BOTH powerful necromancers; Krune was not a conjurer originally, but I stole his name for one. I'm trying to be better about it though! :P

But wouldn't that be a thought, though? Where Zutha and Krune are actually the same person, the one Runelord who, however briefly, mastered two positions at once. He would have had pose as two different people to throw off the other Runelords' suspicions, but that is something that can go on for only so long. Seeing the threat in their midst, the others would have a rare time of cooperation and band together to destroy Zutha/Krune, and afterwards they would naturally fight over who can claim the deposed's secrets first and try to decipher them.

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