The characters of the first adventure path, Rise of the Runelords.
Aldern Foxglove, the Skinsaw Man
- Bishounen: His appearance in life.
- Mask Power: Has a literal magic mask.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: How he originally appears.
- Our Ghouls Are Creepier: He transforms into a ghast between the first and second installments of the adventure, becoming a mentally unstable Serial Killer and cultist of the god of murder in the process.
- Serial Killer: As the Skinsaw Man.
- Split Personality: He has three — the sorrowful "His Lordship", the brutal "Hurter" and the sadistic "Skinsaw Man".
- Stalker with a Crush: Becomes one of these to a particularly attractive female PC.
- Tragic Monster: At first he was just a man looking to redeem his family name, but he made deals with the wrong people and became their patsy, becoming a ghast in the process.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His last act before succumbing to ghoul fever and his turn to outright villainy was to deliver a sample of Vorel's Phage to the Skinsaw Cult, which, as noted below, directly causes the devastating blood veil plague that sweeps Korvosa.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of the Skinsaw cult, and by extension of Karzoug. His actions in the cult's service also unknowingly lead to the creation of the plague that devastates Korvosa in Curse of the Crimson Throne.
- The Virus: He was turned into a ghast by a magic disease and can spread it to his victims. He single-handedly starts a minor plague of ghouls this way.
Ameiko Kaijitsu is best known in the Varisian town of Sandpoint as the proprietor of the Rusty Dragon, the most popular tavern in town. A member of the town's small aristocracy, she is the eldest daughter of Lonjiku Kaijitsu and Atsuii Kaijitsu, and half-sister of both Amaya and Tsuto Kaijitsu (who are unrelated to each other).
- Action Girl: Not in Rise of the Runelords, where she's just a Distressed Damsel despite her history. She gets to shine in Jade Regent. In the IOS game, she's one of the two characters you start off with so she's this trope by default.
- Break the Cutie: Her half-brother Tsuto kidnaps her as a sacrifice for Nualia, has his goblin minions beat her within an inch of her life, ties her up in a basement, and kills their father before the PCs rescue her.
- Faux Action Girl: She has a history as an adventurer, but in Rise of the Runelords she doesn't do much besides get kidnapped. See Action Girl above. This tends to happen frequently in Jade Regent, as well.
- Just Friends: In the comics, it's mentioned she has many admirers and suitors in Sandpoint. She quickly friendzones them.
- Lost Orphaned Royalty: The Kajitsu family was originally one of the five royal houses of Minkai, before being nearly eradicated by oni and being forced to flee across the Crown of the World and go to ground in Varisia, on the other side of the world. As the eldest surviving child of House Kajitsu, Ameiko is thus — unknown to most inhabitants of either Varisia or Minkai — the true heir to Minkai's throne.
- Multicolored Hair: Her bangs are dyed white.
- Non-Idle Rich: The Kaijitsu family are extremely rich and even ended up being aristocrats outside of their homelands, running an inn is just to help out adventurers and pass the time. But don't think that her side-project means she's not serious about making money, in the comics she quickly gives the Seoni, Valeros and friends the boot when Sandpoint stopped paying for their rent and bar tab.
- Royal Blood: As revealed in Jade Regent, Ameiko is the heir to the throne of the Minkai Empire.
- Berserk Button: Harming Tsuto.
- Dirty Coward: Will flee from battle after the first hit she takes, unless she believes the PC's have hurt Tsuto.
- Stalker with a Crush: She's madly in love with Tsuto, and carries a pouch of items taken from him, including hair and fingernail clippings; Tsuto doesn't give her the time of day, being in love with Nualia.
Nualia Tobyn was an aasimar foundling raised by Ezakien Tobyn, the head pastor for the Varisian town of Sandpoint. She was recently found to have planned and executed a raid on the town by local goblin tribes. Although these attacks failed, she was eventually tracked down to the island-fortress of Thistletop, where she met her death.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Meta-example. Many players were quite upset upon finding out her backstory, and many wanted to do something to redeem the poor girl. Officially however, she's killed by the adventurers in the first part of Rise of the Runelords. This hasn't stopped some DMs from editing the campaign to allow the players to do redeem her.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her otherwise quite protective-looking armor has a wide gap stretching from just below her breasts to just above her crotch, in order to show off the grisly scars on her belly.
- BFS: She wields a bastard swordnote , that's usually shown to be black and serrated.
- Fetus Terrible: She unknowingly conceived her child in an area desecrated by Lamashtu, the goddess of monsters. As a result, it was born stillborn and monstrously deformed. This threw her over the edge into insanity.
- Freudian Excuse: Her hatred of the angelic and of Sandpoint stem chiefly from being treated as an object of superstitious awe by Sandpoint locals and by an adoptive father who saw her more as a prestigious status symbol to be groomed for a life of chastity than as a daughter. She eventually snapped under the pressure of living up to an idealized angelic heritage and being constantly objectified by her community, leading to her eventual fall to evil.
- Light Is Not Good: She's an aasimar, which is a race of humans who have been blessed with the blood of angels, but is the first major arc antagonist of the campaign.
- Red Right Hand: She had a literal demonic hand (usually her left, though in Inner Sea Magic, it's her right). Also a huge gash across her abdomen from the aforementioned pregnancy's end.
- Sinister Minister: A priestess of Lamashtu, the Chaotic Evil Mother of Monsters.
- Starter Villain: She and her goblins are this for the campaign and, more broadly, for Pathfinder's adventure paths as a whole, being the first major villain in the very first adventure path.
- Shout-Out: James Jacobs confirmed that her adoptive father Ezakien, and by extension herself, are named after Tobin Bell, the actor who plays Jigsaw in the Saw movies.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Because of her angelic heritage, Nualia was gifted with unearthly beauty. Unfortunately, the townsfolk became obsessed with her and constantly begged her for blessings she couldn't provide. That was the start of her spiral into madness.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Averted in her backstory, later played straight after her HeelFace Turn from the Trauma Conga Line.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She was put on a pedestal by her neighbors, restricted in her activities by her adoptive father, knocked up by her Bastard Boyfriend who then left her, disowned by her father, and gave still birth to a deformed monster thanks to being in an area desecrated by Lamashtu at the time. No wonder she went crazy.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: If reduced to five hitpoints, he'll drop to his knees and beg for his life.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: He has a crush on Lyrie, but knows about her obsession with Tsuto, so he's been planning on killing him.
- Noodle Incident: He was forced to flee Riddleport after a scam involving a tiefling prostitute, a shifty alchemist, and an elixir of love.
- Only in It for the Money: He's the only member of Nualia's organization who isn't evil, and is rather uncomfortable with what she's planning. But she pays in platinum.
- The South Paw: Art depicts him as wielding his bastard sword in his left hand.
- Arch-Enemy: She and Bruthazmus have been trying to kill each other for years, and the hatred between them is very mutual.
- The Cameo: She reappears, leveled up, as an elf captain in the Second Darkness campaign.
- Hunter of Monsters: Goblins piss themselves when they hear her name.
- Memetic Badass: "Some say she was the first elf to ever set foot on Groeteus. Some say her face appears on ancient Azlanti coins of high denomination. Some say she overcame a troll's regeneration by insulting its mother. All we know is, she's called Shalelu."
- Bastard Bastard: He's the result of infidelity and one of the more despicable villains in the first book.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Ameiko's Abel.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Kills his legal father by encasing him in glass.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Human mother, elf father.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: His birth really stirred up the rumour-mill in Sandpoint, as he's a half-elf "somehow" born to two human parents who are pillars of the community.
- Unholy Matrimony: His relationship with Nualia seems surprisingly healthy, though he does express worry that she won't be attractive anymore after her demonic transformation.
- Enemy Mine: If freed from Xanesha's charm spell he's instantly willing to cooperate with the P Cs, though with the condition that he have twelve hours to leave Magnimar forever.
- Religion of Evil: He's the leader of the Magnimar branch of the Skinsaw Cult, who worship Norgorber in his aspect as the god of serial killers.
- Villain with Good Publicity: As a Justice of the city of Magnimar, he's considered to be a keeper of law and order, and none but the Skinsaw Cult know his true nature.
- Unwitting Pawn: In the end he's little more than a charmed slave of Xanesha.
- Arc Villain: She's the main instigator of the plot of The Skinsaw Murders, and the final boss of that book.
- Literal Maneater: The lovers she meets in human guise either get ditched or brought back home as food.
- Sibling Rivalry: She and her sister Lucrecia are both trying to harvest souls for Karzoug, and it's turned into a sort of competition between Xanesha's approach of hunting down and killing as many greedy people as she can and Lucrecia's approach of corrupting people to turn greedy before killing them en masse.
- Snake People: As a lamia matriarch, her lower body is that of a snake.
Hook Mountain and Turtleback Ferry
- Big Bad Duumvirate: He and Lucrecia act as the two main villains of The Hook Mountain Massacres.
- The Caligula: Barl's become more than a little unstable, having one of his bodyguards killed merely for pointing out that they were behind schedule.
- Orcus on His Throne: For the most part he just sits around on the Dread King's throne, giving orders and letting Lucrecia figure out the details of the plan to drown Turtleback Ferry. He doesn't even get off of it to fight the P Cs until his remaining bodyguard and Lucrecia are defeated.
- The Starscream: He's gone a little mad with power after taking control of the Kreeg ogres, and is deliberately ignoring Momkmurian's orders to extend his time as "king".
- The Corruptable: Though Lucrecia started out controlling him with magic, he's eventually become loyal to her even without it.
- Dirty Coward: Described as such in the text, though he's smart enough not to reveal it to his allies unless he thinks he can get away with it.
- The Mole: Sold out the rest of the Black Arrows to Lucrecia and the Kreegs, leading to all but three of them being slaughtered.
- The Atoner: After being reunited with Shalelu, he becomes very protective and eager to make up for his past failure.
- Death Seeker: Before he reunites with Shalelu, he's just looking for an opponent to finish him off. Thankfully, she gives him a reason to live again.
- Disappeared Dad: Or rather disappeared stepdad, to Shalelu, who he abandoned out of guilt for not being able to save her mother.
- Eyepatch of Power: He's considered the toughest Black Arrow ranger save for the (now deceased) commander, and he's got a patch over his right eye.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: She acts as the main antagonist of The Hook Mountain Massacres alongside Barl Breakbones. Though she's encountered and potentially killed much earlier than he is, she's also the one that does most of the work.
- The Corrupter: As opposed to her sister's approach of getting serial killers to hunt down as many greedy souls as possible, Lucrecia's been spending the past few years corrupting the townsfolk of Turtleback Ferry into worthy sacrifices through her gambling barge. She's also corrupted Kaven Windstrike into her loyal servant and lover.
- Kick the Dog: Her treatment of the nymph Myriana was as brutal as it was unnecessary.
- Sibling Rivalry: She's sent at least one letter to taunt her sister about the superiority of her methods.
- Snake People: As a lamia matriarch, her lower body is that of a snake.
- Disc-One Final Boss: He serves, directly or indirectly, as the main antagonist for the first two thirds of the adventure path, but is killed at the end of book four. Unlike most of the boss fights, which can end with the villain fleeing and becoming a more dangerous foe later on, there is no scenario where the P Cs progress past this part of the AP without his death.
- The Dragon: Though technically not the most high-ranking of Karzoug's servants, he is the one who Karzoug sends out into the world to actively do his will.
- Evil Sorcerer: Though he is in fact a wizard, not a sorcerer, which is in fact a major distinction which caused his Start of Darkness.
- The Quisling: In ancient Thassilon, giants were slaves of the Runelords. When Mokmurian awoke Karzoug, he willingly let the wizard enslave his people.
- Till Death Do Us Part: He murdered his wife after she discovered that he gained his magic from books rather than innate sorcerous powers.
- You Have Failed Me: When he tries to flee after his boss fight, Karzoug pulls a Villain Override to give a monologue through him to the P Cs, and then kills him.
The Kodar Mountains and Xin Shalast
- Full-Frontal Assault: As like other nymphs, she doesn't wear anything but will not fight the players unless attacked or provoked first.
- Hand-or-Object Underwear: Her artwork in the Anniversary Edition depicts her covering her left breast with her right hand.
- An Ice Person: Part of her powers as an ice nymph.
- Retcon: She was Chaotic Neutral in the original print, but changed to Chaotic Good in the Anniversary Edition.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If the players engage in battle against her, she fights until brought below 25 hit points, at which point she teleports to the opposite side of the Icemists; she does not seek another confrontation with the players.