Anunnaki
Anunnaki
species_anunnaki.jpg
Biological information
Type Monstrous humanoid
Size Large
Intelligence Sentient
Life span -
Sociological information
Planet of origin -
Achieved warp -
First contact -

Residents of an enigmatic and unknown world that is believed to exist out of phase with the Material Plane, anunnaki are mysterious, god-like beings that shape the very direction of civilizations. Little is known about the anunnaki homeworld, but fragmented information collected by scholars indicates that it comes into contact with the Material Plane only once every few thousand years. During this time, anunnaki travel to other worlds in order to manipulate the course of evolution, creating civilizations and uplifting primitive creatures using their esoteric technology, which includes external power sources called a “lantern of civilization.” The anunnaki do not typically remain to guide these societies, and are often remembered as deities by the civilizations they leave behind. Because the anunnaki can take on various forms, piecing together which civilizations have or haven’t been visited by anunnaki is exceedingly difficult.

The creatures could have arrived to guide one civilization in the guise of powerful, glowing creatures and secretly assimilated into another society by adopting the appearance of members of that society and subtly making changes over the course of decades.

Each anunnaki calibrates its form to fit the mores and prejudices of the specific society it means to advance.

Anunnaki’s role as manipulators of civilization and natural order often puts them into direct confrontation with elohim. The source of the enmity between these mighty creatures is unknown, but the aftershocks of their conflicts can be felt for millennia after the fighting has ended. Some sages believe that the anunnaki and elohim are both working to circumvent some future calamity, but differ along ideological or philosophical lines as to how to prevent this event from coming to pass. Ancient records from cultures that were shaped by the anunnaki reference divine visions of great, devouring rifts in the darkness between the stars and the terrible, unimaginable entities that dwell within them.

For all the knowledge and power anunnaki possess, the civilizations they create do not always see them as benevolent saviors. Some anunnaki might have more sinister agendas not shared by the rest of their people. These rogue anunnaki have free rein over the societies they manipulate as long as they can avoid the notice of their fellow anunnaki—and since it is difficult for other creatures to find or contact any of their race, the renegade anunnaki can often do whatever they please. Some of these renegades use their civilizations for large-scale experiments, creating bizarre hybrid creatures. Others advance their subjects too rapidly by the standards of the other anunnaki, attempting to create creatures as advanced as the anunnaki themselves rather than simply giving cultures the means to advance themselves. In many of these cases, the uplifted society isn’t truly equipped to handle such vast changes. Rather than advancing in a surge of scientific and creative thought, its members become absorbed with existential doubt or fall into madness as they recognize the gulf between their lofty ambitions and the materials and means they have at their disposal.

Anunnaki prefer to interact with most humanoids without being recognized for what they are, and an anunnaki may depart a conversation abruptly if a non-anunnaki reveals that she knows it is not the god or mortal it pretends to be.

Lantern-progeny feel the pull of their ancestors urge to create things and tinker others’ lives. Like their anunnaki forebears, anunnaki-brood have stony gray skin, high foreheads, and dark, sunken eyes. Those who gain the gift of flight grow mechanical-looking wings like their forebears. The anunnaki-brood often feel an urgent need to create; be it offspring, some work of art, construct a building, or even something as simple as farming. So long as they can see tangible progress, they find contentment in their work. Regardless of where they can be found, most come from worlds where anunnaki have visited and steered the course of evolution.

The anunnaki I'm using more as a driving force in the campaign; old anunnaki tech is slowly making appearances as the players level, they've met two so far, and one rogue anunnaki is their current big bad guy. I really play on the whole "ancient beyond belief and the forebearers of human life" aspects. Names and motivations are easy enough to pull from mythology and they're high enough CR as written in Pathfinder that they're intimidating and fascinating for the players to interact with

Anunnaki often come into conflict with elohim, and the aftershocks of their conflicts can be felt for millennia after the fighting has ended. According to some sages, they are both trying to prevent some future calamity but disagree on how to do this. Ancient records from cultures shaped by the anunnaki reference divine visions of great, devouring rifts in the darkness between the stars and the terrible, unimaginable entities that dwell within them.

Some anunnaki have more sinister agendas not shared by the rest of their people. They are often free to do what they wish as long as they are not noticed by their fellow anunnaki, which is very frequently since it is difficult for other creatures to find or contact any of their race. Some renegade anunnaki use their subjects in large-scale experiments to create hybrids, while others advance theirs too rapidly, which often results in the uplifted society unsuited to handle such vast changes.

Anunnaki prefer to interact with most humanoids with their true nature hidden, and might depart a conversation abruptly if their real identity becomes known.

All contact between anunnaki and xiomorns has ended in violence, due to misunderstanding and circumstance. It is possible that some farsighted race might be actively trying to prevent them from working together.

The enigmatic anunnaki homeworld comes into contact with the Material Plane only once every few millennia. During this time, anunnaki travel to other worlds in order to manipulate the course of evolution, uplifting civilisations with their esoteric technology. After a few decades, they leave and are often remembered as deities, but not always as benevolent saviours, by their former charges.

The anunnaki are responsible for the creation of the hive, an invasive alien species that seek to spread and devour all other life.


We know him as the God of Humanity, a shining beacon of civilization and law that pierced the Age of Darkness and brought order back to the Inner Sea. We know he founded Absalom, dragging the Starstone out of the ocean and planted it in the center of his capital. We know he made great efforts in uplifting Humanity, helping them realize their true potential while taking an active role against threats simply too large for a mortal to handle. We know he disappeared at the dawn of the Age of Glory, bringing an end to Prophecy and separating his followers from his divinity.

But was the Last of the First Humans truly a Human to begin with? Was the Last Azlanti an Azlanti at all?

After getting a chance to read through Bestiary 5, I chanced upon a curious humanoid called the "Anunnaki." The text describes them as powerful shapeshifters that visit worlds in crisis, using their powerful mythic abilities and pseudo-divinity to pose as gods and guide their wayward subjects to civilization, and at the apex of their follower's glory… They leave, if just because they can no longer keep up the charade.

Sound familiar?

Aroden was never human to begin with. Aroden was a being from beyond the stars that came to Golarion during a period of strife and hardship, and using his formidable abilities shaped Humanity into something great under the guise of being the "last" of Humanity's "greatest." Isn't it awfully convenient a pure Azlanti somehow survived Earthfall after all those years of darkness, or the Starstone Test he put in the center of his capital only turned Humans into gods?

And at the end of it all, at the dawn of a new Age, he left. Can you really say he died? How? How does a god die and ensure their divinity can no longer grant spells? It didn't stop Acavna, it didn't stop Lissala, but why did it stop Aroden? The answer is simple; Aroden never died, he simply knew his time was up, his work was done, and left. Not as an Azlanti, but as an Anunnaki.

If Aroden was an Anunnaki then he would have certainly been an Anunnaki of unusual power, which seems like a thing that *can* happen with the Anunnaki as they aren't bound to the level (either base or mythic) given to them in the bestiary.

Aroden was operating in Avistan for 890 years before fighting Tar-Baphon, and 4,433 years before fighting Deskari, it makes perfect sense for a being of his magnitude to pick up a few tricks and tiers along the way.

This could even factor into the Aroden = Anunnaki theory; the Anunnaki, regardless of their power, are still bound by the rules and regulations of their civilization, and "rogue" Anunnaki are often removed from power when discovered. Maybe Aroden grew too powerful (he was certainly a proper god by the end) and too personally invested (the extent of Aroden's worship and adoration by the Age of Glory was pretty up there) in the affairs of Humanity to be within the acceptable scope of his original mission, and either voluntarily left or was forcibly removed by his brethren.

It almost makes too much sense for Aroden to have been an annunaki. It's possible he might even have indirectly caused Earthfall. The Veiled Masters might've discovered what he really was, realized ", we aren't going to be able to control this guy", then hit the reset button a couple dozen times for safe measure.

That, of course, backfired spectacularly since humans managed to crawl back up as one of (if not the) dominant species, with Aroden as their god. Almost makes you wonder if Aroden WANTED Earthfall to happen, engineering all of it in some Biblical flood plot to set humanity straight. After all, as great as Azlant and Thassilon were, they were neck-deep in sin, debauchery, and evil outsider influence.

Guess it kinda paid off in the end.

As for what happened to him? That question's easy to answer.

It was aliens.

Or her Dawn is Breaking, literally. She's just fading out, and the sun might be having a harder and harder time coming up over the horizon every day, dragged down by the metaphorical weight or drag of her slipping divinity. She'll do anything to keep her own candle burning, even at the cost of the world's destruction.

What's interesting about Iomedae is that there's those "Acts of Iomedae" which can by symbolically re-enacted by the PCs throughout the course of the campaign, leading up to a cataclysmic moment when they must cross the Pit of the Starstone and defeat the failing goddess amidst the shadows of the Starstone Cathedral during what might be Golarion's last twilight should they fail…

Unchained Rogue (Gray Master), Alchemist (Blackfingers), Barbarian (Father Skinsaw) and Bard (Reaper of Reputation) might be more thematically appropriate.

Although Investigator (Reaper) and Slayer (Skinsaw) might also be good choices.

Joke aside, Norgorber is very much like real world deities, who often absorbed and syncretized bits and pieces of other popular regional gods, over the centuries, so that the longer they were around, the more oddly-fitting bits got strapped on, leading to Athena being god of battle and wisdom and crafts and this city over here, or whatever. Given that he's so much younger than various 'one-theme' gods (like Gozreh or Abadar), that's kind of funky.

There's also the notion of who certain types of people worshipped before Iomedae, Norgorber and Cayden came along. Up until Norgorber, the only 'god' of alchemy was the demon lord Haagenti, for example, and it's kind of freaky that Norgorber's rise might have made alchemy a more respectable profession, since it lessened the connection to demon worship…

Is the Anunnaki's primal chisel considered a natural attack? I'm not used to reading monster pages, but the fact that it shows BAB after, I'm thinking not. Follow up, if it's not, and I Monstrous Physique 2 into this, can I attack with my manufactured weapon without missing out on any of his natural attacks? Added: I don't see it, but is there a limit to what you can MP2 into? I know from tiny to large, but what about this. Would I get the insane damage from their natural attacks?

Bolded the important part for you. Natural Weapons are neither Masterwork nor One-handed, so it is not a Natural weapon.

As for your follow up question, its natural weapons are a bite and wings, none of which would take up hand slots.

And as a final note, theoretically you could turn into those, but I would suggest confirming with your DM before becoming anything Mythic. Mythic is typically far outside balanced gameplay. The Anunnaki doesn't seem too bad (the only stuff you get besides natural weapons is anything that overlaps with the list in the spell description) but the Grendel seems probably too OP for a mere level 4 spell

An Anunnaki is actually fairly weak as far as Monstrous Physique goes. Also, as far as I know, Grendel is a specific individual, and therefore not an option for polymorph. Same goes for Bokrug and Beast Shape.

1) There is no suggestion in the upcoming Bestiary 5 that the Annunaki have anything to do with Garundi or Mwangi or Keleshite cultures of Golarion, so your accusation is bankrupt.

2) We’ve published three entire Adventure Paths (18 96-page adventure books) set in Garund or the Mwangi Expanse, which compares favorably to the 1 adventure we’ve set in fantasy Russia.

3) Pathfinder Campaign Setting products covering regions of Garund include Heart of the Jungle, Osirion: Land of Pharaohs, Osirion: Legacy of Pharaohs, Dark Markets: A Guide to Katapesh, and others. While these books are not perfect, they definitely cover the lands and peoples you seem to want us to cover.

4) There’s a lot more coming on southern Garund in particular, especially in the upcoming Campaign Setting book Distant Shores.

5) We take great effort to include positive images and content tied to a variety of ethnicities. Our iconic characters, ambassadors of our game that appear in literally every book we publish, are drawn from a wide variety of cultures and ethnicities, as we believe it is crucial that all potential players feel welcome by the way we represent heroes in our books.

6) On issues of diversity, Paizo is a strong, strong ally. But by all means, I encourage you to keep eating your allies alive. Eventually you will have no allies left, which should provide lots more fodder for your Tumblr.

I understand the concern over using the ancient aliens trope: as it’s used in the real world, the trope comes along with some racist implications–most of which can be summarized as the assumption that the non-white cultures it’s usually applied to couldn’t possibly have come up with advanced technology and civilization themselves, ergo the only explanation is aliens. Aliens are far easier to believe in, for some people, than brown people who figured out flush toilets back in 2000-whatever B.C.E. or that the Alexandrians worked out the value of pi and heliocentrism, because none of that stuff is legit until it was “discovered” or “invented” by white people, centuries later.

That said, while that trope has been applied, in the real world, in a racist way, I don’t think the idea that some civilization was–or is–being influenced by aliens is automatically inherently racist.

This is a Bestiary monster from the rules hardcover line – that is, setting agnostic, presented independently without context within Golarion history. It’s intended to be, hey, you want a cool Assyrian-looking alien to drop into your campaign? Here it is. Which is the same way we use trolls and dire wolves and krakens.

There are no plans to start saying that the Anunnaki are the ones responsible for the Garundi founding the schools of arcane magic as they’re known in Golarion today or raising massive civilizations like Osirion, the Mwangi building empires on flying ships, Keleshite sophistication, Vudrani mastery of psychic magic, or any of the other great accomplishments of non-European-flavored peoples on Golarion. They’re a bestiary monster, to be used in people’s own campaigns.

Heaven knows we’ve fucked up in the past, especially in regards to race, and we will fuck up again because there are a ton of ways to go wrong, but I think denying the ability of African- or Middle Eastern-inspired civilizations to build and discover cool shit without it being dictated to them by aliens has enough red flags that we’re going to attempt to avoid it.

That said, it’s good to know it’s an area of concern for some people, as it’s a reminder to be careful if we choose to use these Bestiary monsters in-world.

For people who are interested in the Garundi and the Mwangi, the two largest civilizations of the African-inspired continent, or who are interested in the Keleshites (the occupants of the Middle Eastern-inspired empire of Kelesh), they’re getting a lot of love in the upcoming Inner Sea Races, where we spend many pages fleshing out the many human ethnicities of the Inner Sea Region (in addition to the non-human races of the area), and a third major civilization in southern Garund is getting its own chapter in Distant Shores.

If Crystal has her way, that southern Garundi culture will continue to get air time, and if I have my way, the same will go for the Keleshites (who, I mean, not to be dismissive of other cultures, are objectively speaking the best culture on Golarion).

As a sort of spiritual sequel to The Serpent’s Skull Adventure Path, which described the first of many planned attempts for the coming return of the Serpent Empires to power, this campaign arc follows the previous activities by the serpentfolk, and their failed attempt to raise their own lesser empire to power once again, one of several backup plans begins to unfold. Awaiting the foretold events of an ages-old prophecy of the return of the blooded lineage of the Ancients – serpentine beings known commonly among all snake-like intelligent beings as the Ancients, or Annunaki – these central divine figures’ return seems to be much less likely than the destructive actions of those individuals most prominently found among their blood cults, who are known as much for their sacrifices of innocent victims, as they are for their intricate observations of time and the motions of the stars and planets over vast periods of time.

In this adventure series, the player characters find themselves on the tail end of a mystery that far predates the more well-known Serpent Empires of serpentfolk and nagas, and eventually leads to the return of the Ancient Serpent Overlords, to once again reclaim dominion over the lands of Golarion and their slumbering empires. As they reveal more and more of the ancient secrets, the PCs must also reclaim ages-old treasures in an attempt to prevent the rise of the Serpent Empires once more, and seek out new information about the coming of the ancient Serpent Overlords, who shall return from the stars to reclaim their prized lands in Golarion, and on nearby Castrovel.

When a group of thugs and robbers turns into a crime spree by a new, unknown force for chaos and death in an otherwise peaceful region, a mystery to reveal its origin unfolds a much older prophecy and the events which may yet again lead to the rise of a beyond-ancient, imperial reptilian foe with incredible knowledge of the skies and stars. As the party journeys to far-off lands tracking down the clues and evidence of this eons-old mystery, Golarion’s most exotic and distant lands are explored.

Beginning in the eastern regions of the southern Tian Xia nation of Minata, and trekking not only across the foreboding lands of the Valashmai Jungle and Nagajor, but utilizing an ancient magical system of teleportation gates and other means of transport, our adventurers find that the riddle of the serpentfolk (or Anakim/Annunaki) not only spans many lands and unknown centuries and millennia, but even between two or more worlds as well, and possibly much further still – to worlds which stretch the very limits of the imagination in their distance from their homes.

It begins in Tian Xia, the oriental nation of the far east, in the southern part of the continent, beginning in a quiet part of Minata, and which touches upon mysteries left to unfold from many hundreds and hundreds of years ago, unfolding a prophecy of a divine return of beings which may yet bring the rise of the serpent once and for all. These ages-old clues are explored and uncovered across many lands, including the Tian nations of Nagajor and the Valashmai Jungle territory – to the regions of Vudra where naga elder sages rule as raja of their city-states of the peninsular lands west of our adventurers’ homes – to the southern expanse of Garund, whose northern reaches are much more known to the Inner Sea’s inhabitants than the vast wilderness and ancient temples of its southern extent – to the mind-boggling lost continent known as Sarusan, whose very nature represents hazards unknown to our mortal heroes – and even to the distant worlds of Golarion’s skies, to Castrovel the Green, and its cursed northwestern continent, where millennia-old riddles and life-threatening curses guard temples to beings known as the Ancients, who are said to one day return, and even the ruling Lashunta fear and avoid these terrors. Once our heroes master the means to travel between these places, they will have to uncover the clues piece by piece, often by journeying to far-away lands on a whim, in order to discover the next piece in this eons-old puzzle. Toward the end of the adventure, a trek into the First World to commune with the elder being known as Imbrex will also solidify the quest to defend the world from a future of several hundred years of enslavement by reptilian overlords. Finally, the Serpent Overlords will descend to earth in their massive metal sky-ships to once again reclaim their dominion over the mortals of Golarion, and the PCs will find themselves face to face with the ancient mysteries brought before them.

Will these vast explorations, hot on the tail of a mystery that unfolds and stays abreast of our adventurers like a high-speed chase wrapped in a detective story, uncovered through the oldest, least known ruins of Golarion and its neighboring worlds, become a tale of epic heroism that saves all the modern empires of mortalkind from tyranny and bloodshed, or will the kingdoms of humans and other races be brought low before the scaly rule of ancestral snake-beings who desire bloodshed and dominion over peace and the ascension of their subjects? What begins as a criminal ring with potential ties to a naga overlord financing the corruption of a peaceful region, and leads to an enigmatic prophecy and the first of many possible plans by the serpentfolk and their kin to rise to ultimate power, could be the most revealing campaign arc set on Golarion, taking place across vast spans of space and time.


Though not much is known about the Engineers, it is shown that the Engineers have displayed advanced forms of culture that exist within their society, such as language, visual arts, music and clothing.

The Engineers' writing system is strikingly similar to Mesopotamian cuneiform that can be found in the middle-east, and their hieroglyphs are identical to what is found in Egypt, Mesoamerica, and other places on Earth. When the android David talks to the last Engineer on LV-223 and is seemingly understood by it, he appears to be using a form of proto-Indo-European Ursprache ("original language") that was spoken by the first Indo-Europeans circa 3,000 BCE and that David has learnt on the flight there, where earlier we've seen him practicing the language with Schleicher's fable, which is written in a modern reconstruction of proto-Indo-European. While the Urheimat ("original home") of the first Indo-Europeans is still under scientific dispute, the most respected theories locate it either in the Asian or Pontic steppes (Kurgan hypothesis), near the Black Sea, or in Anatolia.

As Ridley Scott has stated that he has developed the mythology of the Alien/Prometheus universe with Erich von Däniken's book Chariot of the Gods in mind (where Däniken dwells on the possibility of the source of life, intelligence, and civilization on Earth being extraterrestrial), it is interesting to note that according to the Kurgan hypothesis, the chariot was instrumental in the belligerent spread of the Indo-European language and culture in Asia and Europe, as the first Indo-Europeans had been first to domesticate, breed, and worship the horse, which would add an interesting new aspect to the phrase Space Jockey. According to Wikipedia, the word jockey in the English language itself derives from the name John also colloquially used for boy, as cognate to the custom found in many Indo-European languages to have the same or similar words for boy or child as well as for colt, i. e. the male offspring of horses, which in turn points to the significance held by horses and chariots in early Indo-European culture.

The Engineers are a technologically-advanced race of creatures. They are extremely advanced in genetic engineering and have built their own spacecraft.

The cargo hold of the Space Jockey's ship was filled with eggs of Xenomorphs (the first stage in the Xenomorph life cycle), which were held in stasis beneath a blue electrical mist. It has been speculated by fans that the Space Jockey's race are the creators of the xenomorphs because of the similarities in design between the spacecraft and the biomechanical xenomorphs.

The novelization by Alan Dean Foster, on the other hand, states that Space Jockey's race found them on LV-426, and there has been no conclusive evidence shown in the feature film series supporting that the Space Jockey's race created the xenomorph. Clearly, however, the Space Jockey's race have advanced technology, leaving open the possibility that they had a hand in the Xenomorph's creation. The image of a Xenomorph on the wall of a room inside the structure on LV-223 suggests that the birth of The Deacon at the end of the film is not the very first Xenomorph.

Director Ridley Scott also makes note that he would like to make "an Alien 5 or Alien 6" where the audience would be privy to the home planet of the Xenomorphs and learn more about the Space Jockeys, but makes no reference to whether this is the same planet that the Space Jockey's race hails from.

While exploring the interior of the Engineer-constructed spacecraft, Juggernaut, David observed a type of slime with an energy inside that was used to press buttons, activate doors, and objects. Also show there was one Engineer alive in a form of stasis similar to that used by Humans. Engineers were capable of holograms, terraforming atmospheres, flying, bio-engineering, and perhaps even accelerating evolution.

Though not much is known about the Engineers, it is shown that the Engineers have displayed advanced forms of culture that exist within their society, such as language, visual arts, music, and clothing.

The Engineers' writing system is strikingly similar to Mesopotamian cuneiforms that can be found in the middle-east, and their hieroglyphs are identical to what is found in Egypt, Mesoamerica, and other places on Earth.

On audio commentary of Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott explained that the large stone heads inside the Citadel on Planet 4 represent the six Elders of the entire civilization: the intellectuals, the artists, the wise men.

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