So Aroden was murdered. Discuss!


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


Dead God's Hand Description wrote:
Based on Pathfinder Publisher Erik Mona's multi-year, multi-group office Pathfinder campaign, The Dead God's Hand takes new players and Game Masters on a deadly adventure filled with dungeon exploration, ancient mysteries, and phantasmagoric tests that see them reliving events from the life of Aroden, the dead god of humanity whose murder triggered the beginning of the current age!

(On a side note with Dead God's Hand and the descriptions of the second 2E AP, it looks like we'll learn more about Aroden. Neat.)

Who do you think did it? Why then?

Aroden had a lot of deities who would benefit from his death and many enemies of deity power. Asmodeus gained the most from his death. The Aboleth still have a grudge against Azlant as far as I know. Do they have a deity?

For why then, I think it's just that a god could be literally anywhere, but this time they knew where Aroden would be.

Silver Crusade

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Some moderately optimized Wizard with Sacred Geometry, Leadership and almost-free metamagic rods courtesy of blood money.


I'm mostly interested in how the killer managed to violate a long-standing prophecy back when that kind of thing apparently didn't happen. I mean, if you tried to slip something in his pregnant mother's tea, you should accidentally spill it instead, or she decides she's not thirsty any more, or something. Mere cunning and/or power should not be enough to violate Fate.

But for "why then" I'd say even a god is relatively helpless in the womb and during birth.

(He was scheduled to be born, right? Not to appear as an adult?)

Dark Archive

No, he was just scheduled to return to Golarion.

Anyway, the entities from beyond the multiverse are always easy suspects though not sure if they would have reason to kill Aroden specifically :p

Silver Crusade

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Norgorber, maybe? One of the few things capable of killing a god would be another god, and as a god of assassination it wouldn't be out of character for him.

I have other reasons for believing this as well, but they're more related to my conspiracy theory that Galt's Gray Gardeners are a front for Norgorber's church and they're deliberately keeping Galt from stabilizing to perpetuate a culture of violence, misery and paranoia that thieves, assassins, poisoners and serial killers can thrive in, as opposed to the prophecy in the Book of 1,000 Whispers that "Galiti shall be liberated from the rule of the Crown and become a bastion of peace, prosperity, and learning." All while pulling off the ultimate heist by stealing souls from Pharasma via the final blades!

In a new golden age, there'd probably be no place for a god like Norgorber, so maybe he assassinated Aroden to make Golarion a playground for his kind instead...


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Pharasma did it because she was tired of Aroden's control of prophecy horning in on her schtick as mistress of fate.


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As long as we don't have a sudden reveal where Iomedae finds Aroden in the shower only to learn it was all a horrible dream and he's alive after all!!

:)

More seriously, I have to wonder if Aroden somehow failed to take Groetus into account and this lead him vulnerable. Maybe Aroden died willingly at the last moment, a suicide when he saw what would come AFTER his golden Age?

Shadow Lodge

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Norgorber, maybe? One of the few things capable of killing a god would be another god, and as a god of assassination it wouldn't be out of character for him.

While the rest of your post holds up fine as a theory, Norgorber is god of Murder, not Assassination. That would be Achaekek.

It's interesting, because Norgorber wouldn't BE a god if Aroden hadn't set up the test of the starstone.

I don't agree with it, and think the Gray Gardeners are good guys, but maybe they're just doing too good a job of hiding it for me to notice.


I like the idea that Achaekek was hired once the deities realised that Aroden wasn't the only mortal to acheive divinity via the Starstone, and it took him a couple thousand years to pull it off because the red mantis doesn't have enough raw killing power to take out a full deity so he had to find the Achilles heel. After all, Achaekek is opposed to mortals achieving divinity, and is explicitly the god of assassination.


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For Norgorber, it's established him and Aroden are enemies.

Quote:
Norgorber represents the darkest urges of humanity, the murderous, self-destructing impulses that keep the race unable to escape its worst depravities. That the villain managed to coax divinity from the very Starstone that Aroden had raised from the ocean depths made Norgorber—and his debased followers—sworn enemies of Arodenites everywhere.

If he did it, at least (according to Starfinder), he'll get what he deserves, being devoured by Lao Shu Po (and even if he didn't, he's still an evil god that deserves it).

Achaekek seems like a good candidate.

Silver Crusade

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thistledown wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Norgorber, maybe? One of the few things capable of killing a god would be another god, and as a god of assassination it wouldn't be out of character for him.
I don't agree with it, and think the Gray Gardeners are good guys, but maybe they're just doing too good a job of hiding it for me to notice.

The example Gray Gardener from the Inner Sea NPC Codex is a NE Inquisitor of Norgorber. That's what got me wondering if Norgorber had connections to them and started me down this particular rabbit hole, actually.


Pharasma had Achaekek kill Aroden, because Aroden caught wind of Pharasma's scheme.

I'm not saying the Lady of Graves has a nefarious scheme, but she was the last one out alive from the last version of reality so she's almost certain to take steps to be the last one out alive from this version of reality, even if doing so is not for the ultimate benefit of this reality.


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Colonel Mustard in the Billiards Room with the Candlestick!


With some of Aroden's actions on Arcadia being described in detailed in Tyrant's Graps, revealing he isn't that nice, his murder being revealed (sortish), the setting being called Age of Lost Omens, etc, I think we'll learn how Aroden died in the up coming years.

1e PF started with the Runelords and sort of ended with them. And they appeared all over the APs and modules of 1e. Now, maybe Aroden will be at the center of 2e Pf's APs and modules.


There seems to be doubt as to who created achaekek was created by - what if Aroden (or pharasma or some other god) became aware of a fixed prophecy concerning the apocalypse (likely involving groetus) and created Achaekek for the express purpose of murdering Aroden to mess up prophecies and make that prophecy no longer infallible?


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Personally I choose to believe that Aroden was becoming an evil, human supremacist deity, so a cabal of other gods made a move against him. Think about it, slavery (especially of the other, "lesser" races) was common in Azlant. These beliefs made it to Old Cheliax, surely due to the "God of Humanity" as he was called. Hell, the Starfall Doctrine even talks about that(Old) Cheliax would become the pre-eminent nation of the world and he would lead humans to a newfound age of peace and justice. I think it'd be highly likely that the precursor of that would've been a lot of slavery and one of two genocides.

Silver Crusade

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Smugmug wrote:
Personally I choose to believe that Aroden was becoming an evil, human supremacist deity, so a cabal of other gods made a move against him. Think about it, slavery (especially of the other, "lesser" races) was common in Azlant. These beliefs made it to Old Cheliax, surely due to the "God of Humanity" as he was called. Hell, the Starfall Doctrine even talks about that(Old) Cheliax would become the pre-eminent nation of the world and he would lead humans to a newfound age of peace and justice. I think it'd be highly likely that the precursor of that would've been a lot of slavery and one of two genocides.

I think the "Iomedae is actually EVIL because of that thing what happened in Wrath of the Righteous!" would have a FIELD DAY with that idea. They could spin an entire theory that Iomedae aided this plot ostensibly because she thought he was gonna become evil but really just so she could take his place. T_T


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Here's an interest conspiracy. Norgorber represents the darker impulses of humanity, murder and theft and secrecy and whatnot. Achaekek's followers specifically do not tolerate Father Skinsaw, but Father Skinsaw and Achaekek themselves are allies. Nobody knows much about Norgorber, not who he was before ascension or who he is now. Nobody even really sees his face unobscured. Achaekek exists, in part, to kill mortals who try to become gods. So any who slip through the cracks are a mark against him. What does this all have to do with Aroden?

Well, Aroden and Norgorber are enemies, and Achaekek is theoretically opposed to both in the past for being mortals that ascended (when that is a big no-no). Norgorber sows some hints that he is secretly Aroden in disguise, using the face of Aroden to represent all of the good aspects of humanity and the faces of Norgorber's aspects for the darker sides. Achaekek picks up these hints and decides to kill Aroden to take care of both Aroden and Norgorber, believing them to be the same person. So Achaekek kills one of Norgorber's enemies for him. After this, Father Skinsaw sees Achaekek as an ally because he can be used to kill powerful enemies, but Achaekek instructs followers not to trust Father Skinsaw because he does not like being tricked.

This still requires Achaekek to do something that he shouldn't ordinarily have the power to do, his powers are restricted to only being able to kill demideities, not proper deities. However, Achaekek taps into another source of power centered in the ocean between Mediogalti Island (the home of the Red Mantis Assassins on Golarion) and Garund. After he uses this, the Eye of Abendego opens up in response to the destructive forces needed to kill a deity.

Dark Archive

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Aroden realized that, as god of prophecy, and the, by that point, clearly failed Azlanti people, he was holding humanity back. The only way to break the prophecy was to shatter prophecy itself by killing himself and making it unfulfillable. He died willingly, to free humanity to rise beyond some petty 'trying to recapture the glory of failed Azlant' schtick.

As god of both history *and* innovation, he recognized that there could be no innovation, if everyone was too busy trying to reinvent the discoveries of the past, no real *future* for mankind, if everyone was looking back.

The rise of 'New Thassilon' would be, in that vein, terrible thing, as it represents a rise of Azlant, yet again, dragging humanity backwards towards recapturing some frail echo of what was already done, and done better, thousands of years ago, while true progress is going to involve more than just new spells or new gadgets or spreading to new lands, but new forms of government (such as being attempted in Andoran), new expressions of faith, and more groundbreaking things.

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Aroden wasn't really a god of prophecy, though. The only related concept in his sphere of influence was "fulfillment of destiny." Prophecy was Pharasma's sphere of influence. The hypothesis still kind of stands, though (especially given that Pharasma's servant, Echo of Lost Divinity, has an uncanny resemblance to Aroden and has a suspiciously specific denial that they are Aroden).

Shadow Lodge

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Smugmug wrote:
Personally I choose to believe that Aroden was becoming an evil, human supremacist deity

"Becoming?"


I personally think that if ANYTHING was to have a hand in the death of Aroden, it would be Deskari.

Because one of THE big immediate things that happened right after the Death of Aroden was the opening of the Worldwound. Also lets not forget that Deskari and Aroden had fought before. So Deskari not only wanted Aroden dead due to fights in the past, but also benefited directly from his death. Seems like pretty good motives to me.


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Deskari seems far too weak to take out Aroden, particularly since the WotR party wipes the floor with him.


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Norgorber, maybe? One of the few things capable of killing a god would be another god, and as a god of assassination it wouldn't be out of character for him.

I have other reasons for believing this as well, but they're more related to my conspiracy theory that Galt's Gray Gardeners are a front for Norgorber's church and they're deliberately keeping Galt from stabilizing to perpetuate a culture of violence, misery and paranoia that thieves, assassins, poisoners and serial killers can thrive in, as opposed to the prophecy in the Book of 1,000 Whispers that "Galiti shall be liberated from the rule of the Crown and become a bastion of peace, prosperity, and learning." All while pulling off the ultimate heist by stealing souls from Pharasma via the final blades!

In a new golden age, there'd probably be no place for a god like Norgorber, so maybe he assassinated Aroden to make Golarion a playground for his kind instead...

Maybe Norgorber got him in the same way as "Darth Vader killed your father, Luke" actually played out. It would explain the whole "kill anyone who knows my secret identity" bit.

Shadow Lodge

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I do like the idea of, "Oh Me, what have I done?" but instead of murder, Aroden could always have faked his death and left humanity to decide on their own collective destiny, instead of being told what to do from on high. That also fits in nicely with the writing staff wanting to avoid PCs' actions being pre-ordained by Fate/Destiny/Prophecy, so that they can adjust the present to make their own future.

Or something like that. It also has the god of humanity realize he was being a human supremecist there, and avoid an explicit suicide.


Here’s a question- do we know for absolutely sure, that Aroden is dead?

Why couldn’t he have just continued his lessening involvement and left reality? No phone to call, no forwarding address to send the mail. He’s just gone.

I would think that the result would be the same as dead - no spells, no connection to holy places, etc

And the other gods, Pharasma in particular, know he’s gone, but don’t want to let that knowledge out so if/when he comes back, things can go back to the way they were.


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CzarGarrett wrote:

Here’s a question- do we know for absolutely sure, that Aroden is dead?

Why couldn’t he have just continued his lessening involvement and left reality? No phone to call, no forwarding address to send the mail. He’s just gone.

I would think that the result would be the same as dead - no spells, no connection to holy places, etc

And the other gods, Pharasma in particular, know he’s gone, but don’t want to let that knowledge out so if/when he comes back, things can go back to the way they were.

If he was still alive, wouldn't his clerics still receive spells? I always thought only death of the god can stop that.

And Pharasma had said that yes Aroden is gone. Out of game some Paizo staff had said so too.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CzarGarrett wrote:

Here’s a question- do we know for absolutely sure, that Aroden is dead?

Why couldn’t he have just continued his lessening involvement and left reality? No phone to call, no forwarding address to send the mail. He’s just gone.

I would think that the result would be the same as dead - no spells, no connection to holy places, etc

And the other gods, Pharasma in particular, know he’s gone, but don’t want to let that knowledge out so if/when he comes back, things can go back to the way they were.

He's dead, never fear. At least, as far as anything we print for the setting is concerned. What his fate might be in any one individual home game is 100% up to that game's GM.

Scarab Sages

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lowfyr01 wrote:
If he was still alive, wouldn't his clerics still receive spells? I always thought only death of the god can stop that.

A god can refuse to grant spells to a cleric, for example, in a situation where they have had an alignment change that precipitated the need for an Atonement. If, in someone's home Golarion, Aroden's playing the Long Con, he can simply just not give his clerics the spells they're praying for.

Same goes for divination. PF1 has plenty of instances where deities (and below) can avoid or outright ignore divination or summoning magics.


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This thread was very helpful to me in presenting alternatives to my favored theory that Asmodeus killed him. For a while, I simply could not imagine any alternative explanation that made any sense. Still -- Asmodeus does remain my prime suspect.


JJ, is it known for a fact in Golarion that his death was a murder? Did Pharasma spill it or something?


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The Paizo folks spilled it in a product description as quoted at the top of this page.

But it would be interesting if there is a way they can back off on this one. They are dropping more clues about this matter than I ever thought they would.


David knott 242 wrote:
The Paizo folks spilled it in a product description as quoted at the top of this page.

Yes, I know; that's why I asked whether it's known in Golarion. I'm pretty sure Paizo product descriptions are not perusable from there....

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
JJ, is it known for a fact in Golarion that his death was a murder? Did Pharasma spill it or something?

It's not known. Some folks think it is, others do not. AKA a product's sales text or early desctription for a solicitation isn't automatically canonical.

Scarab Sages

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James Jacobs wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
JJ, is it known for a fact in Golarion that his death was a murder? Did Pharasma spill it or something?
It's not known. Some folks think it is, others do not. AKA a product's sales text or early desctription for a solicitation isn't automatically canonical.

I guess so pretty much like Razmir's divinity. Something that learned people in the setting could reasonably infer or discover, but to the average townsfolk, merchant, or adventurer "Razmir could be a deity" and "Aroden is dead" would be the result of their DC10 common knowledge rolls.

Paizo Employee

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deuxhero wrote:
Dead God's Hand Description wrote:
Based on Pathfinder Publisher Erik Mona's multi-year, multi-group office Pathfinder campaign, The Dead God's Hand takes new players and Game Masters on a deadly adventure filled with dungeon exploration, ancient mysteries, and phantasmagoric tests that see them reliving events from the life of Aroden, the dead god of humanity whose murder triggered the beginning of the current age!

(On a side note with Dead God's Hand and the descriptions of the second 2E AP, it looks like we'll learn more about Aroden. Neat.)

Who do you think did it? Why then?

Aroden had a lot of deities who would benefit from his death and many enemies of deity power. Asmodeus gained the most from his death. The Aboleth still have a grudge against Azlant as far as I know. Do they have a deity?

For why then, I think it's just that a god could be literally anywhere, but this time they knew where Aroden would be.

My elaborate personal theory is that Aroden is responsible for his own death, and his "murder" was in fact a carefully considered suicide.

Once upon a time, Aroden ran all over the Inner Sea Region messing with whatever he felt like messing with, completely unaccountable for his actions in a way the gods have never been since. He punched demon lords in the face, shared Azlanti secrets with the new scions of humanity, and at one point even personally killed a wizard. That wizard was the mortal Tar-Baphon, and I think the moment Aroden killed him he also sealed his own fate.

Tar-Baphon had sacrificed thousands of undead legions to the Cenotaph for reasons before coming out with tons of power and immediately picking a fight with Aroden. It's heavily implied that even though Aroden won that fight, that was Baphy's plan all along- to die at Aroden's hand so he could become a special lich. But what was so special about him, really? We've seen a few Tar-Baphon write-ups and it could be that it was simply a way to gain mythic power, or it could have been something else entirely. What if Tar-Baphon, being a wizard who was powerful enough to fight Aroden one on one, was already mythic? What did he get from the Cenotaph, and why did he pick this fight?

The Cenotaph was created by, or at least controlled by, the Runelord Zutha. Zutha was a special type of lich who could power himself indefinitely by devouring mortal life-force. What if the secret inside the Cenotaph was something Zutha had discovered but could no longer take advantage of because he'd already transformed into a lich? What if it was a ritual that could create a lich who could devour a god and steal his power, as long as certain conditions were met?

So convincing Aroden to kill him transformed Baphy into that type of lich, and that's why Aroden never fights him face to face again. Aroden had already stomped Baphy once, but the next time Baphy comes looking for trouble Aroden loses a herald and an artifact to the lich and still refuses to face him head on. I think that's because Aroden knew that Baphy would kill him and claim Aroden's godhood for himself.

So what does Aroden do? He spends a few centuries pondering things and comes to an inevitable conclusion: now that Baphy has reached this point in the process, the outcome is inevitable. Sooner or later, Baphy will break free, kill Aroden, and become a new dark god ruling over humanity. But since the ritual Baphy performed required him to be personally killed by the same god he intended to devour, Aroden had an out- if he died while Baphy was still locked up and burned up all of his godly energy in the process (creating things like the Eye of Abendego and setting the stage for the Worldwound), he'd create a world where the heroes and deities left behind could deal with any of the remaining threats. So Aroden destroys himself to save humanity and thwart Baphy. Sure, it creates a massive fallout and suddenly the world is at risk from all these emergent threats, but they're also freed from the bonds of fate, free to carve their own path to the future.

Tyrant's Grasp spoilers:

I think this also why Baphy takes the time to build up an army and commence this giant war effort in Tyrant's Grasp instead of just throwing a cloak over his shoulders and using a few illusions and enchantments to walk through Absalom while no one was looking and claim the Starstone that way. He wasn't really after the Starstone, at least not until the very end, he was trying to draw Aroden out, because he couldn't believe that Aroden was really dead.

Baphy is arrogant enough that he could have legitimately believed that Aroden's death was a ploy by Aroden to throw Baphy off his trail. The whole time Baphy is tearing up the Inner Sea, he keeps waiting for Aroden to show up so he can claim the god's divinity for himself, like a proper tyrant. It's not until his last failed assault that he thinks he's actually going to need the Starstone to become a god, and he's so distracted by his frustration and fury over being thwarted by Aroden again that he leaves himself open to a counter-nuke he should have totally seen coming.

Scarab Sages

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I like your theory. I hope with TB moving back to the Isle of Terror that we'll get more info one day about Xin-Grafar and the Wizard-King's Pit.

I like the idea that his trap in the Well of Sorrows didn't completely fail, but maybe poisoned the divinity of Aroden to the point where had he come back, it would have been under TB's thumb. Aroden squeezed some prophesy out of Pharasma to find that out, then offed himself to prevent TB from having a God as a lackey.


deuxhero wrote:
Dead God's Hand Description wrote:
Based on Pathfinder Publisher Erik Mona's multi-year, multi-group office Pathfinder campaign, The Dead God's Hand takes new players and Game Masters on a deadly adventure filled with dungeon exploration, ancient mysteries, and phantasmagoric tests that see them reliving events from the life of Aroden, the dead god of humanity whose murder triggered the beginning of the current age!

(On a side note with Dead God's Hand and the descriptions of the second 2E AP, it looks like we'll learn more about Aroden. Neat.)

Who do you think did it? Why then?

Aroden had a lot of deities who would benefit from his death and many enemies of deity power. Asmodeus gained the most from his death. The Aboleth still have a grudge against Azlant as far as I know. Do they have a deity?

For why then, I think it's just that a god could be literally anywhere, but this time they knew where Aroden would be.

I like the idea that the alghollthu (aboleth and co.) didn't have anything to do with Aroden's death personally. I prefer to think that it takes more power than most individual deities have, barring deities of death and destruction, to kill a proper deity. The alghollthu would never ally with the deities because they believe themselves to be strictly better than deities in every way, seeing the material plane's deities as upstarts and little more. They do have the power to kill deities, but I think the fallout from them exercising such power would be a bit more severe than just opening the Eye of Abendego, considering the last time they used it they broke the planet.

Instead I prefer the idea that it was a conspiracy of a couple deities working together to kill him. That or him willingly dying one way or another. Or going into hiding permanently. I think if it were the alghollthu we would see a lot more fallout.


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It was probably the Dominion of the Black.

Liberty's Edge

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James Jacobs wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
JJ, is it known for a fact in Golarion that his death was a murder? Did Pharasma spill it or something?
It's not known. Some folks think it is, others do not. AKA a product's sales text or early desctription for a solicitation isn't automatically canonical.

See, fellow Asmodeans, this is how it is done :-)


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Now we only need to wait until February to check whether the Dead God's Hand adventure itself makes any mention of Aroden being murdered....


Probably Tar-Baphon. As for how: he probably had some artifact thing that can kill anything (even a god) in one hit, and, Aroden being his arch-enemy, he decided to use it on him.


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if some power murdered Aroden, the prime culprit would be Norgorber.

Aroden represented humanity in general.

Iomedae represents the best of humanity.

Norgorber represents the worst of humanity.

Now, there's kind of a trifecta, wherein Abadar fills in for Aroden.

in any event, it's not going to be answered, but there's many alternate culprits, Asmodeus being chief amongst them, as he soon thereafter took over Aroden's prime territory on Golarian. Erastil is arguably another, as a rejection of the centralizing power which Aroden/Abadar represented. Perhaps Aroden was on the edge of figuring out how to grant humans eternal life, or break the cycle of death and rebirth and Pharasma did him in. Zon Kuthon just might have done it for XXX reason.

You could arguably come up with motives for the murder from almost all of the Gods. Personally, I would like it to go unanswered, but a DM could make an amazing planar campaign to solve the greatest murder mystery in Pathfinder.


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I'm pretty sure it was James Jacobs who made the call to kill him. Think about it, how else would we have even known he was dead?

It's all very suspicious.


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MadMars wrote:

I'm pretty sure it was James Jacobs who made the call to kill him. Think about it, how else would we have even known he was dead?

It's all very suspicious.

=-O

Silver Crusade

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OH CRAP! THE FOURTH WALL!


And Pharasma saw that not only was there a Survivor and a Watcher, but also an Author....


I know who killed him. IT was Seoni in the hallway with a Fireball spell

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