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Asgorath

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Asgorath (AZ-gore-ath), known as World-Shaper[1] and also known in the Outer Planes as Io[2], was the dragon god of creation. He (or she, as some traditions suggest[3]) was supposed to encompass all alignments, but was often regarded as neutral.[2] His symbol, an unadorned circle, represents totality.[1]

RealmEdit

Asgorath's home plane was unknown.[1]

WorshipersEdit

Asgorath was revered by dragons as the creator of the multiverse and of their race. He was also worshiped by some half-dragons, kobolds, lizardfolk, troglodytes, and even some humans.[4]

ClergyEdit

Asgorath had fewer clerics than most draconic deities, though even the most devout cleric of other dragon gods (and many of Kurtulmak) gave him some homage. Clerics of Asgorath had no hierarchy or fixed dogma; each interpreted the World-Shaper differently, worshiping him in one of his many aspects. Red dragons worshiped him as an evil being, while gold dragons revered him as a paragon of good. Those who would become Asgorath's clerics sought to rid themselves of all such biases, though some never succeeded.[4]

TemplesEdit

Dragon gods, in general, had few temples. There were shrines in Asgorath's honor, usually taking the form of open-air constructions surrounded by pillars and topped with domes. These shrines were placed in open terrain - the middle of a desert, for example, the center of a valley, atop the peak of a mountain, or on a vast, treeless plain.[4]

RitualsEdit

Asgorath's rituals involved the blending of many things in a whole, reflecting Asgorath's own nature. One common ritual involved drinking wine with a drop of blood from each participant dissolved in it. [4]

Prayers to Asgorath were deep and resonating, taking the form of supplication or (for half-dragons) plaintive questions.[4]

Myths and legendsEdit

In draconic mythology, Asgorath created the universe itself, and has not manifested since that time. He did, however, make his existence felt as a powerful presence in the minds of other dragons.[1]

According to the mysterious creation text, the Book of the World, Asgorath cast down the god Zotha and observed the two elements of existence: the world that she had made and the Crystal Sun that Zotha had made. She wrapped herself around the Crystal Sun and breathed on it. This caused the sun to shatter with the fragments piercing her flesh. Drops of her blood fell down upon the world and where they landed, red dragons were brought into existence. The new creatures lamented the loss of their creator, all except one who pulled a fragment of the Crystal Sun out of Asgorath and cut himself with it. The blood fell to the earth and also created life, though this life was metallic in colour, rather than red. Asgorath began to stir so the 'renegade' and his progeny fled to the farthest corners of the world.[3]

Analysis by the scribes of Candlekeep of this text reached the conclusion that this was the red dragons creation myth, and that the Asgorath depicted on it was in fact Tiamat, while the Renegade was Bahamut; many counter-theories existed, however, and no hard evidence was available to prove anything.[5]

Dragonborn of Abeir also had myths about Asgorath, though they knew him by the name of Io. The few dragonborn that believed in gods, believed that was Io the one who created them, though there were many conflicting traditions on how the event happened. Some stories tell that Io created the dragonborn at the same time he created the dragons, establishing a natural order: dragonborn were created to serve dragons. Other stories said that Io created the dragonborn before the dragons or any other humanoid race existed, as the pinnacle of perfection the other gods used as inspiration to create the humanoid races, pale imitations of dragonborn. There was even one story that tell dragonborn weren't created by Io, but instead were born of his blood when Io was killed in the Dawn War.[6]

HistoryEdit

In the final period of the Days of Thunder, a primordial called "Asgoroth the World Shaper" was released from her imprisonment, along with the rest of her kin, by the Batrachi. Asgoroth would prove to be the downfall of her liberator's entire civilization when she hurled an ice moon down to the surface of Abeir-Toril in an event known as the Tearfall, wiping out the Batrachi and creating the Sea of Fallen Stars.[7][8][1] It was this action that finally spurred Ao to clone the planet, giving the original world, Toril, to the gods, and the new one, Abeir, to the primordials.[9] The Tearfall also coincided with the hatching of a multitude of dragon eggs, giving rise to the worship of Asgoroth as a deity, her draconic followers believing that she created their race.[8]

The debate over Asgorath's alignment and nature was responsible for the most far-reaching holy wars of dragonkind. Every species of dragon and other dragonblooded creatures was certain that Asgorath represented the pinnacle of their particular race. While silver dragons could grudgingly accept the gold dragons' insistence that Asgorath was a lawful good gold dragon, neither could tolerate the red dragons' claim that Asgorath was a chaotic evil red. At one time the resulting wars threatened the entire dragon race with extinction. Perhaps it was the subtle influence of Zorquan, god of dragonkind, but eventually most dragons turned away from the war and from religion in general. It is only slowly that some dragons have been drifting back into religious observance.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), p. 25. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), p. 2. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Kolja Raven Liquette (2006). Races of the Dragon. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 155–156. ISBN 0-7869-3913-3.
  5. Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), pp. 2–3. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  6. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 112–113. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  7. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  9. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41–43. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  10. Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
The Draconic Pantheon
Greater Deities
AsgorathNullTask
Intermediate Deities
Sardior
Lesser Deities
AstilaborBahamutGaryxHlalKereskaLendysTamaraTiamat
Demigods
Kalzareinad
Unknown
Zorquan


Primordials
Elemental Lords of Toril
AkadiBazim-GoragGrumbarIstishiaKossuth
Miscellaneous Primordials
AsgorathBoremDendarErek-HusKezefMaegeraMual-TarTelosUbtao

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