Lore Question: Humans After the Gap


General Discussion


I'm fairly new to Starfinder and I'm trying to understand the game setting of the Pact Worlds. I know the campaigns are set to begin in 317-318. Once the Gap happened, and Galorian disappeared, did that mean most of human civilization disappeared, too?

I know Absalom Station has a little over 2 million people by 317-318, but are there no other human colonies? Are dwarves and halflings an endangered species now? Have elves, formians, and lashuntas carved up Castrovel for themselves?

I'm wondering if humans are now looking for a new home (since Galorian is gone), or have they established colonies throughout the Pact Worlds, or do they have established settlements in the Pact Worlds, Near Space, and the Vast? And are there different human governments? I'm trying to understand the political, economic, and cultural situation of the human race from the time of the Gap to 317-318.

Thanks in advance for your assistance and insights.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think its much like starwars where humans are everywhere and come from more places then just Galorion


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There are many times more humans on aballon and akiton than on absalom station.

And then there's the Azlanti Star Empire... and any colonies... and random starships with humans on them...

They seem to be a politically and economically powerful minority in the galaxy.

So everyone in the pact worlds knows about humans, but outside places with large human populations, they're still pretty uncommon to see.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Exactly...by all accounts, humans and other Golarion-originating species like dwarves, halflings, orcs, hobgoblins and drow were already spacefaring prior to the Gap. Pre-Drift space travel was just more complicated, with things like Shadow Drives and Prayer Engines, but it wasn't impossible.

Besides that, the human species already had a head start populating Akiton thanks to the Hylki.

The Gap didn't essentially CHANGE the galactic status quo so much as it removed its context.

Sovereign Court

There were significant human populations on at least five different planets prior to the Gap:
- Golarion
- Akiton
- Earth (Reign of Winter)
- Androffa (Iron Gods)
- New Thespera (Azlanti Star Empire)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Though it should be noted that Earth's population kinda needs to be discounted as the devs have stated Starfinder's galaxy is NOT our Milky Way.

I don't know if they've stated if it's possible to travel between galaxies via the Drift.

Wayfinders

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Speaking as an observant gnome who's been on a lot of Starfinder Society teams, there is a sad underrepresentation of humans in Society ranks. I think we must have lost most of the Starfinder human agents in the Scoured Stars, poor souls. That's why I'm glad that Luwazi Elsebo is first seeker, and that two of the candidates for the first seeker position were human. Humans need all the role models they can get!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Though it should be noted that Earth's population kinda needs to be discounted as the devs have stated Starfinder's galaxy is NOT our Milky Way.

I don't know if they've stated if it's possible to travel between galaxies via the Drift.

I think they actually said that you cannot travel between galaxies via the Drift, so Earth and Androffa are both out of reach.


Most of the core races in Starfinder are actually rather small minorities.
Although you still have the Atlanti for a sizeable population of humans. There are also a native variant of humans on Akiton and many humans migrated to Aballon (much more than the population of Absolom Station).

But yes, humans would be rather uncommon in in the Pact Worlds.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Eh, not that uncommon. My read is that, pretty much everywhere, you'll find at least a minority of humans. The thing is, even if there are tons of places where only 5-10% of the populace are human, that still easily adds up to billions and billions of humans. Humanity lost the center of its culture, but probably not more than half its total numbers IMO, at worst.

Sovereign Court

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Metaphysician wrote:
Eh, not that uncommon. My read is that, pretty much everywhere, you'll find at least a minority of humans. The thing is, even if there are tons of places where only 5-10% of the populace are human, that still easily adds up to billions and billions of humans. Humanity lost the center of its culture, but probably not more than half its total numbers IMO, at worst.

The humans on Akiton and New Thespera are not that impressed with the pretensions of Golarian stock humans. They've had their own civilizations for millennia.

Scarab Sages

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"Humans are known for a malodorous if effective cooling mechanism of exuding diluted urea through their skin, their distinctive flat faces, and forming xenophobic empires when in large numbers. Great as individuals or small groups though. "


Metaphysician wrote:
Eh, not that uncommon. My read is that, pretty much everywhere, you'll find at least a minority of humans. The thing is, even if there are tons of places where only 5-10% of the populace are human, that still easily adds up to billions and billions of humans. Humanity lost the center of its culture, but probably not more than half its total numbers IMO, at worst.

There aren't that many human population centres in the Pact Worls. Akiton is a small, harsh world so unlikely to have a sizeable population. And the colony on Aballon is in the tens of millions.

Except for Kasathas and Ysok, humans would probably be the 3rd smallest core race in terms of population and nothing compared to NPC races like Ryphorians or Verthani who basically have a complete earth type planet for themselves.


So, are Golarian-stock humans now "refugees"? Roaming from place to place, no home of their own, looking for scraps and handouts from other races for their survival? Only a handful of colonies (apart from a sizable population on New Absalom)?

It sounds like the remains of human culture is fading and being destroyed while the survivors are left to be absorbed into the other civilizations (like maybe living in the slums and ghettos of other civilizations... with a few exceptions here and there). Is that a more accurate picture of the current status of humans in the Pact World? Are we seeing the rise of other cultures to dominate the Pact Worlds?

A second, related question...
Would the humans of the Azlanti Star Empire have pre-Gap records of what happened to the humans of the Pact Worlds? I'm assuming that, for whatever reason, the Azlanti Star Empire and Golarian humans are connected (perhaps not just racially, but culturally as well). Which leads me to ask, is the Azlanti Star Empire "from" Golarian -- humans affected by the Gap have lost their memories... maybe Golarian-stock humans were just as fascist originally until the Gap wiped their memories? So could the Starfinder Society seek to retrieve those pre-Gap records to find out more about Galorian's past? (The Azlanti Star Empire does not strike me as the sort who would give over those records willingly even if they had them.)

I understand from interviews I've watched that the Developers don't want to reveal the Gap secret (makes too good of a story/plot device). I get that (and agree). So how would we explain the lack of records in other starfaring races (like the Vesk) that were not in Pact Worlds about the Galorian system?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are also humans on Suskillion and Grascha. In the case of the former, it's implied that these humans were true natives rather than transplants from Golarion (as was the case with New Thespera and Akiton), and in the latter case its outright stated that they were independently native.

Given that parallel evolution allows for things like mountain eels and barathu, humans don't seem too far a stretch in this particular universe. Especially when you take divine intervention into account.

Also, don't forget literal actual Earth.

As for do the Azlanti Star Empire have Golarion-centric info? Yes and no.

New Thespera was cut off from Golarion prior to Earthfall, so they *might* have access to historical records of early to middle Azlant, but most of Pathfinder's modern history would be simultaneously unknown and irrelevant to the Star Empire. They didn't know how or why Azlant fell. They certainly never learned about Aroden (and would probably have found his claim as the Last Azlanti as extremely insulting, all things considered), and it's unclear how much they even know about comparatively "modern" things like the existence of dwarves or the Thassilonian Empire (the latter being uncertain, since the only thing we know for certain is that New Thespera was founded prior to Earthfall...but not when prior to Earthfall). And I say they wouldn't care since with the exception of Thassilon, none of that "human" culture is Azlanti, and therefore as far as they are concerned, not even legitimately human. That being said, their few surviving records of pre-Earthfall Azlant might be pretty decent, since it was far enough from the Gap to be possibly unaffected and if they wrote things down accurately enough, could be quite accurate. Given how revisionist totalitarian regimes are, though, even this might be false. We know the Ixomander dynasty has already played fast and loose with Imperial history (they claim their ancestors created the Aeon Throne...which happened during the Gap so that is...a guess), so who knows what else they edited.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Rohne wrote:

So, are Golarian-stock humans now "refugees"? Roaming from place to place, no home of their own, looking for scraps and handouts from other races for their survival? Only a handful of colonies (apart from a sizable population on New Absalom)?

It sounds like the remains of human culture is fading and being destroyed while the survivors are left to be absorbed into the other civilizations (like maybe living in the slums and ghettos of other civilizations... with a few exceptions here and there). Is that a more accurate picture of the current status of humans in the Pact World? Are we seeing the rise of other cultures to dominate the Pact Worlds?

I understand from interviews I've watched that the Developers don't want to reveal the Gap secret (makes too good of a story/plot device). I get that (and agree). So how would we explain the lack of records in other starfaring races (like the Vesk) that were not in Pact Worlds about the Galorian system?

Refugees isn't the right word in this instance, from my perspective. They were already exploring and colonizing the Pact Worlds before the Gap happened, the advent of Drift travel at the end of the Gap just made it a heck of a lot easier to get out and colonize.

I'd hesitate to say "human culture" is fading or dying, since the culture of humans on Absalom Station is very different from that of the humans of Akiton, and again very different from the humans of Suskillon. Humanity is far from a monoculture, and each planet humans live on is going to influence how their culture developed differently. Humans are FAR from second-class citizens in the Pact Worlds, especially as they lean on that "humans are ambitious" trope to explain why they're doing so well for themselves. Golarion disappeared and while some saw this as a tragedy, they took it as a challenge. What we're seeing due to the impact of the Gap and Drift travel is the emergence of a "Pact Worlds Culture" that applies equally to all its member species, not just humans.

And as for why the vesk don't have records of this, the reason is two-fold: the Gap affected the Veskarium as well as the Pact Worlds, and their space-faring technology was limited until they got Drift travel. Up until then the Veskarium was basically limited to their own star system, which they conquered and stabilized, and their first contact with humanity and the other Pact Worlds species was the Silent War, where they were enemies.


The Drunken Dragon wrote:

There are also humans on Suskillion and Grascha. In the case of the former, it's implied that these humans were true natives rather than transplants from Golarion (as was the case with New Thespera and Akiton), and in the latter case its outright stated that they were independently native.

Given that parallel evolution allows for things like mountain eels and barathu, humans don't seem too far a stretch in this particular universe. Especially when you take divine intervention into account.

Also, don't forget literal actual Earth.

As for do the Azlanti Star Empire have Golarion-centric info? Yes and no.

New Thespera was cut off from Golarion prior to Earthfall, so they *might* have access to historical records of early to middle Azlant, but most of Pathfinder's modern history would be simultaneously unknown and irrelevant to the Star Empire. They didn't know how or why Azlant fell. They certainly never learned about Aroden (and would probably have found his claim as the Last Azlanti as extremely insulting, all things considered), and it's unclear how much they even know about comparatively "modern" things like the existence of dwarves or the Thassilonian Empire (the latter being uncertain, since the only thing we know for certain is that New Thespera was founded prior to Earthfall...but not when prior to Earthfall). And I say they wouldn't care since with the exception of Thassilon, none of that "human" culture is Azlanti, and therefore as far as they are concerned, not even legitimately human. That being said, their few surviving records of pre-Earthfall Azlant might be pretty decent, since it was far enough from the Gap to be possibly unaffected and if they wrote things down accurately enough, could be quite accurate. Given how revisionist totalitarian regimes are, though, even this might be false. We know the Ixomander dynasty has already played fast and loose with Imperial history (they claim their ancestors created the Aeon Throne...which happened during the Gap so that is...a guess), so who knows what else they edited.

As I understood it, the Gap affected everyone, everywhere, so the Azlanti Star Empire would have no more records than anyone else. Any knowledge they had would be ancient enough to have been lost or changed over the millenia even without official revisions.

I had thought that Akiton's humans were native, not transplants from Golarion? Or at least that it wasn't known. Has that been explicitly confirmed?


Do people link the gap with golarion going missing or is golarion just one of a billion things tha happened during the gap?


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Do people link the gap with golarion going missing or is golarion just one of a billion things tha happened during the gap?

Losing a whole planet is a pretty big mystery and at least in the Pact Worlds many assume there's a link. Obviously out in the rest of the galaxy there are species that have never even heard of Golarion and thus don't make a connection.

As far as I know, it's the single biggest mystery from the Gap. There's plenty not known, but nothing we know of that compares to a planet disappearing.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
thejeff wrote:
I had thought that Akiton's humans were native, not transplants from Golarion? Or at least that it wasn't known. Has that been explicitly confirmed?

The fact that independent strains of seemingly-genetically-identical humanity can be found on a huge number of worlds across and even beyond the known galaxy is a setting mystery that hasn't really been explored. on Old Golarion, there was a theory that suggested the hylki and Golarion's humans were perhaps the same species that had migrated from one planet to the other via magic/aiudara etc., but the Androffans and the Terrans and Suskillians and who-knows-who-all-else-might-be-out-there suggests that there's something more complicated than that afoot.

Humanity is also the only species whose patron deity has explicitly died. Coincidence? Um... maybe?


Ok, so help me understand "the Gap" phenomena... I haven't read all the modules (adventure paths) - only the core books.

"The Gap" seems to be more than a simple case of amnesia. Those awakening from "the Gap" - did they have their personal memories intact? Did they know who they were? Where they lived? How to access their personal bank account or laptop? Or was there a struggle to regain their identities? Figure out who was who? Did those who just awoke from "the Gap" retain job skills? Did they retain language (the ability to speak)? Or did people have to 'invent' new languages and ways to communicate?

I ask because amnesia works differently depending on what type it is. Head trauma, for example, can cause damage to the brain where the person loses memories, skills, speech, and so forth. That's physical amnesia. But psychological amnesia, brought on by say a moral dilemma, can cause the person to forget history or even their own identity, but keeps their speech and previous skills intact. The Bourne Identity series is an example of psychological amnesia.

But "the Gap" seems to be something more. Was it universal for all people in all places at the same time? Or was it asymmetrical affecting people differently in different places.

It couldn't be a temporal affect if people could figure out there was a "Gap;" temporal incursions would make people even unaware that something happened. Time would just continue as if nothing happened.

Therefore, it would seem to be something 'magical' or 'divine' - altering reality but in a way that left the timeline unaffected so that people would be aware.

But are there pre-Gap records if it affected everyone? Like a printed history book in a library or a data file in a secured vault - something that somehow escaped being erased?

Did other worlds disappear like Galorian? Did any other civilization lose a colony, moon, or home planet? Are there traces of "Ancient" civilizations from the pre-Gap era out there to be discovered?

- - - - - -
So those are a lot of questions. I realize that not all of them can be answered since Paizo is creating lots of plot hooks, but any answers that can be given would be appreciated.

Silver Crusade

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The Gap is, by the definitions you've given, more of a psychological amnesia. When it more or less ended, people remembered the basics, who they were, what they did, how to access their bank accounts, etc. They remembered cultural aspects, but not the context for them: Elves knew some other species had committed a great betrayal to them as a whole, but not who did it or what that betrayal was. Hobgoblins knew there was a prohibition on arcane magic in their society, but not why they had it, and since it didn't seem useful, they discarded it. Drow knew women were naturally superior and in charge in their society, but not why that was rhe case.

Historical records are more interesting. Ones created BEFORE the Gap are mostly intact, but ones covering the Gap itself were corrupted or scrubbed, leaving only fragments. It's like if our records of ancient Greece and Rome were intact, but historical records of the 20th century suddenly disappeared. Carbon dating still works and is one of the ways they figured out approximately how long the Gap was, and that there seems to be some disparaties as to when exactly it ended, which seems to vary from planet to planet by a few years.

As far as we're aware, Golarion is the only world that actually disappeared, and all the Gods have said is "don't worry, it's safe." This naturally led to the speculation that if they didn't cause the Gap to cover their butts for something they did, it was at least very convenient.


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

The Gap is, by the definitions you've given, more of a psychological amnesia. When it more or less ended, people remembered the basics, who they were, what they did, how to access their bank accounts, etc. They remembered cultural aspects, but not the context for them: Elves knew some other species had committed a great betrayal to them as a whole, but not who did it or what that betrayal was. Hobgoblins knew there was a prohibition on arcane magic in their society, but not why they had it, and since it didn't seem useful, they discarded it. Drow knew women were naturally superior and in charge in their society, but not why that was rhe case.

Historical records are more interesting. Ones created BEFORE the Gap are mostly intact, but ones covering the Gap itself were corrupted or scrubbed, leaving only fragments. It's like if our records of ancient Greece and Rome were intact, but historical records of the 20th century suddenly disappeared. Carbon dating still works and is one of the ways they figured out approximately how long the Gap was, and that there seems to be some disparaties as to when exactly it ended, which seems to vary from planet to planet by a few years.

As far as we're aware, Golarion is the only world that actually disappeared, and all the Gods have said is "don't worry, it's safe." This naturally led to the speculation that if they didn't cause the Gap to cover their butts for something they did, it was at least very convenient.

I thought the implication was that even the Gods didn't actually know what happened in the Gap.

But otherwise yeah, people seemed to know basic stuff about their lives, though it's not really clear how much. Immediate post-Gap was chaotic. People remembered skills and personal attachments - but not how those formed. It's not clear to me if they remembered what their jobs were, even if they still had the skills to do them.


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:denim joke:

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
I thought the implication was that even the Gods didn't actually know what happened in the Gap.

If that's true then the Gap is even scarier than it already was! Erasing the memory of the Gods would require something disgustingly powerful!

And I was under the impression that at the very least, Pharasma specifically knows and is not telling, much like she did with Aroden's death in Pathfinder, and in keeping with how she's steadily been revealed as the Paizo universe's most powerful being.

Quote:
But otherwise yeah, people seemed to know basic stuff about their lives, though it's not really clear how much. Immediate post-Gap was chaotic. People remembered skills and personal attachments - but not how those formed. It's not clear to me if they remembered what their jobs were, even if they still had the skills to do them.

I imagine they did, considering hobgoblins retained the militarized structure of their society and most hobgoblins slid back into their roles pretty easily, and the drow returned to a matriarchal society as the women found they had greater magical strength than the men did.


The gods know, but they aren't telling. All they've shared is that Golarion is safe, intact, and being cared for by Torag. Everything else is hush hush.

Also, I find the idea that there are accurate records before the gap erronious, as from my understanding. The gap doesn't have a "before". 319 years ago, the gap ended. Everything, EVERYTHING, that happened before is lost in the gap. What records we have of events that happened during the gap are either contradictory, heavily corrupted, or both. In fact the elves didn't wake up already knowing they had been betrayed, it took some heavy investigation from their civilization to reach that conclusion. To best describe the gap, it's like in the moment that it ended, the universe took a snapshot. In that snapshot, everything that was true carried forward. Everything prior, lost.

Also, to answer an earlier question, the gap affected everybody, but didn't end at the same time for everybody. Some places it was sooner, some later.


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Pogiforce wrote:

The gods know, but they aren't telling. All they've shared is that Golarion is safe, intact, and being cared for by Torag. Everything else is hush hush.

Also, I find the idea that there are accurate records before the gap erronious, as from my understanding. The gap doesn't have a "before". 319 years ago, the gap ended. Everything, EVERYTHING, that happened before is lost in the gap. What records we have of events that happened during the gap are either contradictory, heavily corrupted, or both. In fact the elves didn't wake up already knowing they had been betrayed, it took some heavy investigation from their civilization to reach that conclusion. To best describe the gap, it's like in the moment that it ended, the universe took a snapshot. In that snapshot, everything that was true carried forward. Everything prior, lost.

Also, to answer an earlier question, the gap affected everybody, but didn't end at the same time for everybody. Some places it was sooner, some later.

There is definitely a "before". There generally aren't accurate records, since before was several millennia back, but what exists from back then isn't subject to the same magical effect that's confused records from the Gap itself.

From the setting section of the CRB: "historical records go back a few centuries and then suddenly go blank or contradictory, shifting randomly between readings and becoming reliable again only when referring to the dim and misty ages of the ancient past."


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Starfinder Superscriber

The Gap is literally that, a Gap. As in, a space between two things. It has a beginning and it has an end. Noone knows for sure how long it was, as all measurements show conflicting information. It's mentioned in several places that carbon dating (and other radioactive dating methods) give conflicting results, and several stars and planets in the galaxy aren't where they 'should' be based on the estimated length of the Gap. Any records kept during the Gap (such as ledgers, newsprint, or history texts covering that period) are now filled with nonsense, or with data that changes on every reading, or are blank, mostly.

To people that lived during the Gap, nothing was amiss. They lived their lives as normal. History happened. People had Jobs. On the day the Gap ended (319 years ago in the Pact Worlds), everyone woke up and couldn't remember any contextually important data.

The examples given in various places have included:

1. Knowing someone was your spouse but not remembering when or how you got married, met, or what your partner's favorite food was.
2. Knowing (as in the case of the elves, formians, and lashunta) that you were at war with someone (or in a diplomatic pickle, for the elves), but not remembering why or who (in the case of the elves of Sovyrian).
3. Noone knows what happened to Golarian, though many 'felt' its loss (as if it was recent), and some reported that they remembered being there, but no one knows and the gods won't say anything beyond that it's 'safe' and 'in tact'. The Dwarves also have no idea what happened to Torag. People assume he's protecting Golarian, but no one is sure, and the gods aren't saying.

Some people knew things like their names and bank account numbers, but that wasn't universal. It seems it was slightly different for everyone that woke up that day. The few individuals 'alive' who had histories longer than the Gap refuse to talk about it, but can't seem to remember anything about that period or its edges.

Oh, and the edges are fuzzy. The Kasathan's homeworld came out of the Gap decades before the Pact Worlds did, they were already on their way to Akiton when the Pact Worlds awoke to the Gap. There are also randomly placed 'islands of stability' in the record. One example mentioned is that you could look at the annual ledgers for a particular corporation and find that nearly all of it is nonsense, but there be a single 'page' of data somewhere in there somewhere which seems entirely in tact. One of the early 'mandates' in the Starfinder Society was to collect as much of this data as they could.

You can't think of the Gap as a single event. The event (at the end of the Gap) where everyone forgot everything is just a part of the story. That may have been the trigger, or it may have been the result of some long process that began at the beginning. There is even a suggestion that the creation of the Drift (which happens 3 years after the Gap) 'stole' the information in the same way it steals bits of other planes whenever you use it. Hell, it could have stolen Golarion, too.

Humans, though, as a species are mostly 'over' the Gap at this current point in history. Few, if any, humans that were alive that day are still around. As a species they have a short cultural memory. What is happening this week is far more important to the daily activities of most humans than something that happened before their great-grand-rennie was even born.


This being a fantasy world however, there are creatures still around who not only were there when the Gap ended, but still have memories from before it. Not just Gods, but some monsters and undead and other things.


Starfinder Superscriber

Yeah, and as I said, the Devs have said that they all refuse to talk about it. That includes Dragons and Liches and anything else that could be old enough to have gone through both ends.

The universality of the 'we won't talk about fight club' rule leads me to believe that, in universe, none of the gods/amortals/et al actually know the answer but would rather say they won't talk about it than that they don't know. Another possibility is that there's some kind of Gaes that is really powerful preventing them from talking (and possibly even thinking) about it.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Eh, not that uncommon. My read is that, pretty much everywhere, you'll find at least a minority of humans. The thing is, even if there are tons of places where only 5-10% of the populace are human, that still easily adds up to billions and billions of humans. Humanity lost the center of its culture, but probably not more than half its total numbers IMO, at worst.
The humans on Akiton and New Thespera are not that impressed with the pretensions of Golarian stock humans. They've had their own civilizations for millennia.

Well, yeah, but the Hylki have done a right good job running their millenia old civilization into the dust, too. ;)

( As for New Thespera, they can count as a cultural center for humanity right after they acknowledge that non-Azlanti Homo sapiens count as "human". *eg* )

Grand Lodge

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Dead Suns Spoiler:
There is a very long-lived undead who was guarding a temple. He had made himself into an undead specifically so that he could guard the temple. When he met the party, he invited them to talk, and explained regretfully that they would have to fight him if they progressed further. So they stayed a while.

They asked Panelliar how long he had been guarding the temple.

"Alas, I cannot tell you exactly. To measure the passage of time as does the universe, my vigil has been but a moment. By the revolutions of Castrovel, I have been here for millennia.”

Then they got excited, and asked him what the Gap was like.

"One day I woke up, and the constellations had shifted in the heavens, and saplings that I had planted had grown into fantastically large trees. Or perhaps they had grown, fallen, and been replaced yet again. Perhaps this was the sixth generation of trees to replace the ones that I had planted. The not knowing disturbed me for a while. How long had I been asleep? I frantically checked temple records, and discovered that they had lost time as well. So I thought a bit. I was still here. The temple that was my duty was still here. I had a purpose, and I still could fulfill it. Did anything else matter? I have been here ever since, watching the stars, and taking care of my trees."

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