Aroden (pronounced AIR-oh-den) was the immortal Azlanti human who raised the Starstone from the bottom of the Inner Sea in 1 AR, founded the city of Absalom, and became a living god.
Aroden was an immortal descendant of the ancient human kingdom of Azlant that sank below the waters of the Arcadian Ocean in -5293 AR when the Starstone fell from space. The impact created the Inner Sea and cast the world into a thousand years of darkness (see Age of Darkness).
Somehow Aroden survived. Thus, he is considered the “Last of the First Humans” because he was (by several thousand years) the last “pure-blooded” High Azlanti to die. Other Azlanti survivors of the cataclysm interbred with other humans and died of old age.
He is best known for raising the Starstone to its current resting place on the Isle of Kortos, at the heart of the city of Absalom. He thereafter ascended into the heavens, becoming the patron deity of the Kingdom of Taldor. Before his ascension, he is known to have completed a number of miraculous tasks. The most famous of these is when he traveled to the settlement of Egorian in Cheliax. The town was surrounded by plains of red roses, half of which turned white at Aroden’s mere presence. These flowers maintained their coloration for thousands of years thereafter.
After his ascension, Aroden worked hard to protect and aid humanity. He guided the brightest and finest of humanity to Absalom, and encouraged the growth of the city. He preferred to provide aid from a distance (such as the siege of Absalom in 166 AR, when the Archmage Nex besieged the city). When necessary, Aroden took a very active role in the destruction of humanity’s foes. Soon after his ascension, he led a host of mortal heroes and powerful outsiders into the Abyss to slay the demon lord Ibdurengian, who had harassed Azlanti humans since before Starfall. He also defeated the wizard-king Tar-Baphon in combat in 896 AR.
Over a few thousand years, Taldor (located due east of the Isle of Kortos) spread its borders northwest across the southern reaches of the continent of Avistan, claiming territory in what is now known as Cheliax, and Aroden’s religion spread with it. As Taldor eventually became decadent and effete, the clerics of Aroden took their religion (and their mandate from heaven) west to Cheliax.
Aroden is only known to have appeared once in recent centuries, in 4433 AR in the Kellid nation of Sarkoris, to fight the avatar of the demon lord Deskari and drive him and his followers into the Lake of Mists and Veils.
Aroden was a god of human culture, innovation, and history. An important prophecy known as the Starfall Doctrine suggested that he was to manifest in Cheliax in 4606 AR, marking the beginning of a long-awaited Age of Glory. Instead, at the appointed hour, Golarion was racked with three weeks of storms that left the Eye of Abendego as a lasting reminder. When the weather broke, the clerics of Aroden found themselves disconnected from their god, and all presume Aroden is dead.