Aroden's Death and the End of Prophecy


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


All the theories about Aroden's death generally have at least one thing in common. They assume that Aroden's death was the cause of the events of 4606 AR. But what if we look at the problem from a different perspective?
What if Aroden's death did not cause the end of prophecy- rather, the end of prophecy caused the death of Aroden?
Looking at the mystery from this angle makes a lot of stuff make much more sense. God's have died before, and as far as we know it hasn't caused bad stuff to happen all over Golarion. Aroden was not the god of prophecy, Pharasma is. And it's hinted that she knows what happened. In fact, the only personal tie Aroden has with the events of 4606 AR is with Deskari, having defeated him earlier.
Suppose someone turned off prophecy right before Aroden was supposed to come back. Suppose they turned it off so much that the near opposite happens.
Instead of retunring to Golarion, Aroden dies. (This also fits with the oracles and seers dying from their prophecies being broken) Instead of Humanity entering a golden age, Golarion is shifted towards the abyss and is wracked by storms. (Perhaps the gods shifted all the storms into one specific location the Eye of Abendago? If so, why did they choose to do it on inhabited land?)
So someone turns off prophecy. Who?
1. The Lirgeni. Okay, not a lot of evidence, but maybe the Eye destroying them was a punishment or backlash? Maybe?
2. Non-human humanoids. Also unlikely, but there's good reason to believe that slower breeding races like the elves (Or those sneaky, tricksy little hobbitses) wouln't want humanity to enter a golden age and shut them out? Maybe this much damage was an unintention side effect?
3. Deskari. Deskari has a personal vendetta against Aroden and got the Worldwound out of the deal, so he's a definiet option. However I don't see him having enough power to pull this off.
4. The most likely culprits are the true movers and shakers of Golarion: The Aboleths. They clearly have a reason for this: humanity entering a golden age via Aroden would lead to a second Azlant, whose power could potentially rival their own. They also likely have the power to pull this off, being able to call down god-slaying/planet destroying meteors, just accidentally snagging a god-rock in the process, and there's no suggestion that they have gotten weaker since then. In fact, thinking about it provokes another question: why didn't the gods destroy the Aboleths once they demonstrated their power? They've had thousands of years to do it, and the Aboleths are clearly the most powerful non-god force. Is it because they are to scared? are the aboleths truly greater than the gods? Maybe.
5. Any/all of these groups could be working together.
What do you guys think?


I feel like you're dramatically overstating aboleths here. Yes, being able to snag a rock out of the sky and send it hurtling into the planet is really impressive, but that's still an entirely different league from somehow rewriting the very nature of reality.

As for why the aboleths haven't been destroyed by the gods. More likely it'd be the exact opposite of your suggestion. They're, frankly, a fairly mid-tier threat. They were a big deal in the distant past, but don't have all that much influence anymore and while they're very insidious and manipulative, they aren't all that scary on their own. The gods don't destroy them because they're too busy dealing with each other and other godlike powers.

Or more practically it's the out-of-game issue of there not being much of a setting if the gods just eliminate all of the dangerous threats to the world.

Quote:


Suppose someone turned off prophecy right before Aroden was supposed to come back. Suppose they turned it off so much that the near opposite happens.

If that's the case why isn't it still true? Prophecies don't invert themselves, they're just not particularly reliable.


Captain collateral damage wrote:


3. Deskari. Deskari has a personal vendetta against Aroden and got the Worldwound out of the deal, so he's a definiet option. However I don't see him having enough power to pull this off.

Big WotR Spoiler:
According to WotR book 6 Deskari didn't create the worldwound, Areelu Vorleesh did, with Oppo and another guy. I think Deskari just wanted to expand it (Can't remember if that's exactly correct - I'll have to check later, not much time right now)

You're overthinking it.

Aroden, and "Prophecy" as a whole, died in the campaign setting material, because Pathfinder and Golarion was opened to the public. Anyone/everyone can run their games differently, choose what published materials they want to use in their own versions of Golarion, change what is canon within their games, players can do different things and cause different chains of events, etc.


I'm well aware that the Real reason is to make the setting interesting, I just want to make a cool theory.
As for the Aboleths, keep in mind that the meteors were so powerful that they killed two gods. throwing porophecy out the window is probably a bit more powerful, but it's not totally out of the ballpark. In addition, there's never been anything to suggest that the aboleths have weakened since Earthfall, in fact we know almost nothing about what they've done since then. If anything they've likely grown in power.


Personally I have always felt Pharasma was involved. Whether as an instigator or victim is unclear. She is/was the god of prophecy, she is stated to know his fate and is at or near the top of the tree of Divine power.

However lots of creatures would want to stop a "Goldern Age of Humanity"

Dragons
Fey
Elves
obviously stand out

Remember Aroden was never a "good" God he was LN. No telling what non humanity would have got out of the Golden Age.

What about an alliance of the surviving Runelords? Aroden's knowledge of Azlanti magic might make him particularly effective at stopping their return (the least likely, as the prospect of the Runelords co operating is far fetched)


Captain collateral damage wrote:
If anything they've likely grown in power.

That they've gone from one of the defining forces on the planet to basically having no meaningful presence at all suggests the opposite.


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My personal belief is that Pharasma intentionally ended prophesy. She's trying to manipulate things. The lack of prophesy is one of the things I dislike most about Golarion.

Edit to add:

That's what's going on in my current game. Pharasma got a prophesy a long time ago foretelling her death. Fearful she "killed" prophesy. However prophesy is a necessary force, so it's empowering a group of adventurers to help them destroy Pharasma, removing her from ever having existed, to replace her and put right what Pharasma made wrong.


Has all prophecy across the Multiverse (or all of Pharasma's domain, anyway) stopped, or is it just on Golarion? If it's local, the aboleths are plausible. If it's universal, they're not.

It's likely that the aboleths took a whole lot of damage from Earthfall and they've been rather slow to recover. But they're the type to skulk in the shadows until they need to intervene rather than showing their hand. Perhaps the gods did give them the retributive smackdown and they've been hiding ever since. Knocking out prophecy sounds like a good way to stay hidden.

As to how they did it, there are lots of options, limited only by magic (ie, not limited).


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There was a really good fan theory about Aroden and Pharasma. Basically Aroden found out man was prophesied to fall. SO he went to Pharasma and asked what he could do. She said since prophecy says he's make a big return in the enxt age if he dies he'll break that prophecy and thus all prophecies. He asks if man will survive. She says she doesn't know, without prophecy though there's at least a chance. But she says if he ever find a way to come back all the prophecy will return and man will be wiped out. So he basically has her kill him.

I forget where it is. You can probably google it, but that is my favorite Aroden theory.


For me the aboleths seem like they'd have all sorts of protections to weather Earthfall, and are quietly building up their empire under the sea, monitoring the progress of other civilizations, intervening if they could become too powerful. But that's just my take.
We'll almost certainly get answers as to how powerful they really are with the Ruins of azlant AP coming up. :)
The coalition of runelords idea and pharasma both sound pretty plausuible and cool as well.


think piazo stated that prophesy is only dead on golarion.

and here is something else to consider.

the prophesy of his return might actually be this

thereturn

would make sense, you see prophecies do happen and never like one would expect.

it could be that aroden never was a human to begin with but the son of pharasma thus a godling and the prophesy was that he was going to return to his mother's side.....

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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The Knights of the Ioun Star connection is notable in regard to that hypothesis.


Steelfiredragon wrote:

the prophesy of his return might actually be this

thereturn

would make sense, you see prophecies do happen and never like one would expect.

Interesting. Namzaruum does mean "the sword", and Aroden's favored weapon is... a longsword.

Acquisitives

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
The Knights of the Ioun Star connection is notable in regard to that hypothesis.

an absolutely amazing entry in Occult Realms.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Thank you kindly.


what does it say? I dont want a book for an article in it.

and thse books dont show up in the bookstore that much anymore.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Yakman wrote:
an absolutely amazing entry in Occult Realms.

It's actually in Occult Mysteries.

STeelfiredragon wrote:
what does it say?

I'll refer you to the (admittedly short) entry in the Pathfinder wiki.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WormysQueue wrote:
Yakman wrote:
an absolutely amazing entry in Occult Realms.
It's actually in Occult Mysteries.

I stand corrected.

Still, it's maybe my favorite part of the book.


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Apupunchau wrote:

There was a really good fan theory about Aroden and Pharasma. Basically Aroden found out man was prophesied to fall. SO he went to Pharasma and asked what he could do. She said since prophecy says he's make a big return in the enxt age if he dies he'll break that prophecy and thus all prophecies. He asks if man will survive. She says she doesn't know, without prophecy though there's at least a chance. But she says if he ever find a way to come back all the prophecy will return and man will be wiped out. So he basically has her kill him.

I forget where it is. You can probably google it, but that is my favorite Aroden theory.

Do you mean this old story I wrote a long time ago?

https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder_RPG/comments/369t1r/fiction_the_death_o f_aroden/


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interestingly, there's a faction of the Knights of the Ioun Star called the Apotheosis Almorain, who believe that Namzaruum will be the next emperor of Azlant. It's not too far-fetched to think that Namzaruum is in some way related to Aroden. Namzaruum was said to have defeated a beast known as the "Star-worm" which will awaken to destroy the world but be defeated by Namzaruum. Ninshabur is said to be the "first and most powerful of the originlands" suggesting it is very old, possibly having been visited by Aroden, as well as being one of the greatest human empires of that time, with magical artifacts to rival that of the Azlanti such as the Scepter of Ages. If Aroden did indeed visit Ninshabur and give them some prophecy of his death or disappearance and eventual return, it would be plausible to interpret the prophecy of the Star-worm as the return of Aroden to defeat Rovagug.

Tying it all together, we can theorize that since Namzaruum was the hero-god of Ninshabur, and was active around the time of Aroden, the hero-god of all mankind, the two could easily be the same person, backed up by the fact that the Knights of the Ioun Star believe that Namzaruum will take the throne of Azlant to bring it back to glory. If they are indeed the same person, the disappearance of Aroden is a parallel to the disappearance of Namzaruum. Given that Namzaruum is prophesied to return in an "age of uncertain prophecy" which is most definitely the Age of Lost Omens, sooner or later, Aroden may return to defeat Rovagug as prophesied by the Ninshaburian imams.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Another interesting note, not too related to the theory. The word "namṣāru" is Akkadian, which Ninshabur is heavily based off. Namṣāru roughly translates to "divine sword." That description fits both Namzaruum and Aroden very well.


Captain collateral damage wrote:

For me the aboleths seem like they'd have all sorts of protections to weather Earthfall, and are quietly building up their empire under the sea, monitoring the progress of other civilizations, intervening if they could become too powerful. But that's just my take.

We'll almost certainly get answers as to how powerful they really are with the Ruins of azlant AP coming up. :)
The coalition of runelords idea and pharasma both sound pretty plausuible and cool as well.

My impression was that Earthfall ended up being even more destructive than planned so they got a major setback for it as well- sure they had preparations, but nothing could stop that level of damage from doing a number on them.

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