Return of the Annunaki
The Ancient Ones
The Ancient Ones (Annunaki)
N ancestral god-beings of the Serpent Empires
Domains Artifice, Knowledge, Magic, Nobility, Rune, Scalykind
Subdomains Arcane, Construct, Divine, Dragon, Leadership, Memory, Saurian, Thought, Toil, Wards
Mysteries Ancestor, Lore, Metal, Time
Favored Weapon kyoketsu shoge (or spiked chain)
Sacred Animal snake, lizard, or feathered serpent; Symbol reptilian eye within a winged circle
Centers of Worship Castrovel, Darklands, Minata, Mwangi Expanse, Nagajor, Sarusan, Valashmai Jungle, Vudra, Xa Hoi
Nationality unknown (alien, dragon, naga, serpentfolk)
The Ancients, the Annunaki, the Ancient Ones (not to be confused with the Lovecraftian horrors of the same name), or simply, the Ancestors or Ancestral Races, are a conglomerate divine entity composed of all the divinities with the Annunaki blood (or gene) that have ever lived or ever will live, throughout all time. Most specifically, they are known to be the ancient ancestral beings who created humanoid races, and brought culture and civilization to the worlds, and many believe them to be the ancestral root of all people and living things. Some believe they created the universe from pure thought, while others believe they are not truly divine at all (not arguing the obvious benefits of clerics who worship them), but once-mortal beings who traveled to this world from another, and possibly even another universe altogether.
Often symbolized as dragons, feathered serpents, tall reptilian humanoids, and even as abstractly as their heraldic sign, the reptilian eye in a winged circle, these beings are both malevolent and benevolent, wise and petty, merciful and wrathful, all at once, and tend to promote neutrality in their devotees – however, extremists of any walk of life also find comfort in their divinity, and it is true that any devotee of any alignment may worship them. They are a divine and noble pantheon of blood-kin, whose actions on the soil of Golarion have led to the creation of many creatures, architecture and various technical advancements, and even the origins of some of the noble lineages of the ancient past.
Many believe they are draconic, reptilian, or snake-like in some way, while others do not attribute this characteristic to them except in certain circumstances or points in history. Among those said to be human-like or otherwise not fitting this reptilian description are the ancient rulers, Marduk, Enki, Apollonis of Io, Hecate of Yrulan, Isis of Hyperion, and Ashram the Benevolent, whose empires it is said were to have fallen during the demise of ancient Thassilon (including the Azlanti, Valashaian, and Trueblood Serpentfolk empires, as well as some of the nobles of ancient Osirion). The nagas of Vudra and Nagajor still claim to have successors to this ancient lineage, but will not reveal their identities to anyone, instead awaiting the return of their living gods to reinvigorate their sleeping empires.
The Annunaki (whose name is said to mean, “those who came from the heavens to the earth”) were said to rule in the many hundreds of thousands of years leading up to the actual Serpent Empires, and the symbolic starting point of the so-called Age of Serpents. However, their settlement of early Golarion and other nearby worlds was a slow process that began with a colonization effort, a slow rise to power, and the creation of a series of slave races to do their bidding, and too many hundreds of years, if not more than a thousand years. This was said to be made all the more difficult and time-consuming by the intercession and antagonizing of other powerful races such as the aboleths, who vehemently opposed the dominion and activities of this infestation on their home world. The creation of many forms of life on Golarion is attributed to them, and the entirety of culture, civilization, architecture, engineering, arcana, psionics, and the sciences can be said to be inherited from them by the modern sentient races. According to mythology, the world of Golarion is said to be created from the dead or sleeping body of a great divine serpent named Tiamat, and call the world by that name.