It is said that she created the Zilart, but once they were destroyed, she wept five tears down on the world that resulted in the creation of the five races: Hume, Elvaan, Tarutaru, Mithra, and Galka. The Twilight god Promathia resented this, and created evil monsters that would seek to destroy Altana's creations. Promathia also cursed each of the five races with one negative trait each, for example, the Elvaans became arrogant. She does not appear in the game, but is very often mentioned and is the central character for the religion in Vana'diel, represented by the San d'Orian Cathedral.
At the end of Chains of Promathia, Altana actually appears in some form. When the battle against Promathia reaches its peak, a burst of light shoots down upon Promathia, and he hears Altana's voice. Then Promathia and his rage are gone.