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Capital Xin
Ruler Xin / runelords
Government Imperial

The ancient empire of Thassilon (pronounced THAH-sih-lon)[1] occupied most of western Avistan for over a millennium.[2] While its power was great, struggles for control within the nation itself tore Thassilon apart. All that now remains are mysterious ruined monoliths scattered throughout the landscape of Varisia.


Emperor Xin[]

Emperor Xin was a visionary who founded the vast and powerful empire of Thassilon. Though exact dates from this pre-Earthfall time are hard to gauge exactly, it is believed that Xin began the formation of the Thassilonian empire approximately eleven thousand years ago. He helped to create not only his empire but many orders of knights and wizards and is also credited with fostering monastic orders. His goal was to create a civilized paradise within his empire. To do this, Xin bargained with mighty and powerful creatures, ancient dragons and inscrutable outsiders. These creatures granted knowledge of rune magic, said by some to be the language of creation itself, and promoted the worship of the goddess Lissala. Xin used this knowledge in many aspects of day to day life within Thassilon. Xin lived longer than your average man, ruling until the age of one hundred and ten and his death was as exceptional as his life. Rather than succumbing to the ravages of age or disease he was consumed by his own magics which immolated him in crimson flames and destroyed much of his palace, leaving no remains whatsoever.[3]

The Runelords[]

After Xin's death, Thassilon was ruled by seven runelords, each of whom mastered one of the seven schools of arcane rune magic harnessed from the very sins of mankind. Their constant ambition for dominance over the rest led to much strife and death in the empire. Eventually they agreed to suspend open warfare in favor of combat between chosen champions. These generally short-lived warriors were each given one of the Alara'hai, magical swords of great power tied to the runelord's power.[4]


Today, no cities or settlements are known to exist from Thassilon, though remnants of past metropolises remain in the dilapidated forms of countless ruins throughout the land. Built by enslaved giants, these imposing, magically preserved structures are now prominent, if mysterious, landmarks in current cities, such as Magnimar, Riddleport, and Kaer Maga. Each of the seven nations of Thassilon was said to have its own thriving capitol, but these have been lost to time.[citation needed]

The Seven Domains of Thassilon[]


Founding & Rise to Power[]

Thassilon was founded by the benevolent emperor Xin, who first harnessed the power of rune magic. Due to the immense size of the empire, Xin established seven fiefdoms run by his most trusted advisors and the most powerful arcanists in the land. As his personal influence over the nation became smaller, his ideals were also pushed to the wayside, making way for the villainy of the sinful runelords, who gained even more power than Xin, but did so on the backs of the people of Thassilon.[3]

The Fall of Thassilon[]

The true reason for Thassilon's destruction has been lost to time, but several theories exist. It is quite likely that the constant feuding between the power-hungry runelords ruined the nation from within. Some historians theorize that the enslaved stone giants revolted and tore apart the very structures and edifices they were forced to build, outlawing the use of rune magic. A smaller number of Thassilonian scholars hypothesize that, in their efforts to explore newer and darker realms of rune magic, the runelords unleashed an evil power so immense that even they could not control it, resulting in the downfall of their arcane empire.[6] Whatever the reason, Thassilon is no more than a thing of legend in the modern world—a reminder that even the mightiest can fall.


The preeminent divinity in Thassilon was the rune goddess Lissala, whose worship was introduced by Emperor Xin himself. It was her teachings of rune magic that gave the empire its power.[3] Even though she was not believed to have been an evil goddess, her message was eventually corrupted by the runelords. Other churches included the monasteries of the Peacock Spirit, Minderhal, Lord of the Giants, Desna, and the worship of numerous fiends.[7]

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