The bravest pirate captains of the Inner Sea abandon the coastlines of the civilized world and set off across the ocean in search of completely uncharted waters. A thousand miles west of the Arch of Aroden is a nightmare maze of jutting cliffs, swirling tors, and jagged channels that once formed the proud island continent-kingdom of Azlant, first of the great human realms of prehistory. When the arrogant elite of Old Azlant revolted against the aboleth lords that had raised them from barbarism, the aquatic masterminds brought down a great rock from the sky, triggering a world cataclysm that sank most of Azlant below the waves. The mysterious Mordant Spire sea elves still ply the cutways of continental ruin in their skimmers, guarding the few remaining secrets of their ancient enemies — the most technically and magically advanced human culture in history.
Despite its ferocious sea monsters and turbulent seas, Azlant draws numerous explorers. Along with the Mwangi Expanse, expeditions to Azlant make up a significant portion of the entries in the Pathfinder Chronicles. Rightfully or not, many humans trace their lineage to Azlant, believing it to be the first and mightiest of their great empires, and the periodic appearance of some priceless relic rescued from what remains of Azlanti culture serves to stoke the interest of anthropologists and tomb-robbers alike. And there are plenty of tombs.
Despite the fact that most of Azlant lies deep below the sea, the towering cutways that remain are shot through with ancient subterranean passages and complexes still visible from the frothing sea. Crumbling towers and statues regaling the unparalleled splendor of Old Azlant perch at odd angles atop the ocean ravines, beckoning the reckless to explore their timelost chambers. Very few spots descend to sea level, so adventurers must usually access the ruins by magic or by foolhardy ascents with ropes and pulleys. The moldering wreckage of countless ships dashed against sheer cliffs churn in the whirlpools and eddies of Azlant’s channels, grim reminders of the dangers at play in these ruins of ancient glory.
At the height of Taldor’s imperial power, colonists from the vassal-state of Andoran sailed west through the Arch of Aroden to expand the grasp of the empire. After battling relentless storms that sank more than a dozen ships, the surviving vessels put in at one of Azlant’s few approachable harbors at sea level, beaching themselves on the razor rocks and scuttling their chance of safe return to Avistan.
Instead, the explorers salvaged what they could from the wreckage and trecked 3 miles up a natural rise to the peak of a large tor. There they discovered an ancient temple presumably dedicated to a forgotten Azlanti sun god, along with several mostly intact stone structures. Thanking Abadar for their deliverance, some 200 men and women inhabited the temple and made their best effort to establish a colony here on the edge of the world. Throughout the passing centuries, travelers often reported strange lights in the temple, and for the first few hundred years scattered communications from the temple community reached the Taldorian viceroy in Augustana. As time passed, however, the communications grew more sporadic and erratic, until the last message 300 years ago consisted only of gibberish about a “weeping gate” and an “inner eye in the minds of us all.” Further investigation of the community was thwarted by revolution in Andoran and the savage storms of the Arcadian Ocean, but still the strange lights flicker from the Sun Temple Colony, and still the mystery of what happened to its people remains unsolved.
Sources: Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Guide