Zana

From Cheliax to the Mwangi Expanse to far-flung Tian
Xia, nearly every culture on Golarion has legends about
fierce and beautiful fey warriors who defend their
wild, lofty homes and the innocents who visit them.
These wondrous, protective spirits are called zanas, the
guardians of the mountains.
Ecology
Zanas are both male and female, possessing the ability to
shift from one gender to the other. Each zana has a unique
identity in either form, but both forms have the same
strength and skill. They sometimes favor one identity over
another, but often use both to confuse others, making
visitors think that the mountain is populated by more
than one protective spirit. If zanas are familiar with a
visitor, they might playfully shift between forms without
warning, just to see what kind of reaction they can get.
Zanas most closely resemble half-elves, though they
are rarely mistaken for members of a humanoid race.
Poets who write of them have said they embody the best
physical qualities of many races in one being. Zanas tend
to be tall and athletically built with slightly pointed ears
and almond-shaped eyes. They are usually clad in light
clothing or wear no clothing at all. When threatened or
moved to defend others, they can conjure forth armor
and weapons with but a simple thought.

Habitat and Society
A zana calls a single mountain home, though not all
mountains host one. Why one mountain hosts one of these
fey and another will not is a mystery. Those mountains
that do are known as places of power, but also places of
peace where one shows respect to nature and is kind to
children for fear of the spirits’ reprisals.
Zanas follow those who travel on the mountainside.
If they determine the travelers are worthy, or if bribed
with milk, sugar, and other good foods, zanas may reveal
themselves and serve as teachers or guardians. Sagas
have been recounted of noble scions retreating into the
mountains for decades after their houses fell, only to
return to the world with impressive fighting skills. Zanas
have been responsible for at least some of the cases in
which those stories are true.
Zanas tend to be secretive, but are sometimes found
lounging in pools or gently running streams. They
are usually good-natured, especially if approached
peacefully. They might even be persuaded to assist their
visitors if they deem the cause worthy. In particular, they
always help children in need.
Many lost children have
returned to their families and
told of a powerful man or woman who
protected them from monsters or “bad people”
and then helped them find their way home.
Those who invade a zana’s territory with the intent
to harm the land or people under the fey’s protection
find they face a dangerous foe. When hunters
discover strangely realistic “statues” on
a mountain’s slope, they know that
hapless fools somehow managed
to enrage a zana, who can petrify
enemies with a single glance.
When thunder rolls down from
certain mountains, the locals say
that zanas are battling enemies
with their magical weapons.
Zanas are related to bardhas—
the “white ones.” While zanas are
spirits of mountains’ sides and peaks,
bardhas dwell underground and are even
quicker to anger. The two kinds of fey may work
together if they discover derro, the bardhas’ hated enemies,
using tunnels beneath a zana’s mountain to carry out raids
on the surface world. Most of the time, however, zanas
simply wander the mountainside, enjoying its majesty
and watching for signs that a creature needs protection.
Notable Zanas
The following are a few zanas of the Inner Sea region.
Eilia and Leimrin: Mount Aremetrus and Gristleknob
in Ustalav lie on either side of the Cauldheart. Some
believe the same zana guards both mountains, but
in truth, Eilia and Leimrin are twins, torn asunder
by the eldritch forces that created the strange
valley between them. The fey often seek goodhearted
adventurers to take gifts for one another across the
Cauldheart, through which the zanas cannot pass.
Marovania: The zana of Arazlant Mox on the isle of
Kortos is especially powerful. Marovania may have been
changed by the magic that lifted the island above the
waters of the Inner Sea, for the zana has the skills of a great
warrior and the magic of a mighty sorcerer. Marovania
considers all of Kortos to be part of their mountain and
can go wherever they wish—even entering Absalom—as
long as the zana never leaves the island’s shores.
Rhyadid: Mount Anantisha, in the Menador
Mountains, is said to hold the source of the Katharevousa
River. The mountain’s zana, Rhyadid, is hated and feared
in Egorian because they help escaping slaves cross from
central Cheliax and pass downriver to Kintargo. Rhyadid
is strongly connected with the mountain’s wild animals
and wages war

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