Bahamut (pronounced bah-HAHM-ut) was the god of justice and a subservient deity to Torm, god of law. Before entering the Faerûnian pantheon, he was an elder draconic deity of good dragons, metallic dragons, wisdom, and enlightened justice (justice tempered with mercy and punishment with forgiveness) known by the name of Xymor.
Sages debated for ages whether he actually was a deity or not. According to draconic legend, he has existed since the beginning of time (which, in a dragon's reckoning is since the first dragon appeared on Toril). Whatever he is, he was certainly powerful, venerated by many good dragons and respected by evil ones. One of the most compassionate beings in Realmspace, his name was known throughout the Crystal sphere and in some aspect all over Toril.
The fact is that Bahamut was a god. He came into existence as a lesser deity when the dragons first came to Faerûn, along with the rest of the draconic pantheon. In those ancient times he was known by the name of Xymor by his dragon followers. In some traditions, he was the son of Asgoroth and brother of Tiamat and Null; other traditions claimed that he was the son of Lendys and Tamara. Whatever the truth, his cult grew rapidly in the communities of metallic dragons, especially among young gold dragons.
Once dragons as a race had established themselves by about -30000 DR, the draconic gods encouraged their followers to battle each other in their divine names. This lasted for about six millennia until various draconic philosophers decided that all of the fighting was wasteful and that gods who encouraged such behavior were not worthy of the religious fervor that they had been given since their conception (This is the event that started the draconic apathy towards their gods which has lasted, for the most part, throughout recorded history). That is, all except the followers of Bahamut and Tiamat. Their followers continued fighting in what was known as the Dragonfall War. The war waxed and waned in intensity, with the last era of intense fighting occurring between -2087 and -1071 DR.
It was during this time that the Untheric empire began and with it, their pantheon became prominent. Tiamat was worshiped by a cult of Untheric humans, forced underground because of her status as nemesis of the gods, especially Gilgeam, whilst Bahamut had an aspect in the form of Marduk who was more widely worshiped. A second front in the Dragonfall war had opened between the humans and the two gods fought each other personally, with neither being able to gain the upper hand. In 1071 the Untheric pantheon went to war with the Orc pantheon and, in a fight known as the Battle of the Gods, while Gilgeam fought with Ilneval, Tiamat saw her chance to strike, but before she could kill the God-king, Marduk struck a wild, lethal blow at Tiamat, saving Gilgeam's life at the expense of his own.
With both of their Untheric aspects dead, Tiamat and Bahamut were both stripped of their divine power. Marduk's church was eradicated and Bahamut was reduced to the status of Celestial paragon. He was forced to stay like this, without enough followers to worship him as a god, living in the Upper planes or wandering the Material plane, doing whatever good he could until 1359 DR, when Gareth Dragonsbane and his party returned from the Abyss after destroying the Wand of Orcus. They brought with them the Tree-Gem which Bahamut gave back to the party as a sign of his covenant to protect Damara from Orcus and other demons. It also brought renewed interest in the worship of Bahamut as a god and mortals began flocking to his faith once more, at last restoring his deific status as a lesser deity once again. However, at some point Bahamut was trapped in an ancient prison.
The Present AgeEditIn 1373, after the destruction of Sammaster and the end of the High Magic that sustained the Dracorage mythal, Bahamut was able to free himself from his prison and reappeared in Celestia, soon invading Tiamat’s demesne in Dragon Eyrie.
With the renewed faith in him, Bahamut began preparing for the resurrection of the Dragonfall War as Tiamat had regained her status as lesser deity thirteen years prior. He gifted his most devout followers with the ability to turn themselves into Dragonborn of Bahamut, the antithesis of the Spawn of Tiamat so that the war could continue between mortals again, albeit now with special 'weapons' on both sides of the conflict.
The destruction of the Dracorage mythal also heralded the prophesied "Turning of the Great Cycle" which sparked off the religious fervor lacking in dragons since the beginning of the Dragonfall War.
In 1374, lightning strikes and meteor showers pounded Faerûn, Bahamut and Tiamat instructed their respective followers to seek out such sites as they would each contain some form of dragon egg. Unfortunately for Bahamut, Tiamat's followers were much more effective in retrieving the eggs than his own. The Dragonfall War was set to begin anew and Tiamat seemed to have the upper hand.
Bahamut was depicted as a massive dragon (approx 180 feet (55m)) long with a tail the same length as his body) with platinum scales and blue eyes, the exact color of which was hard to specify and may have depended on Bahamut's mood. As Xymor, he was described as a huge dragon wrapped in a scintillating aura of light so brilliant that it was impossible to tell his color.
When he wished to interact with mortals, he appeared as an old man, accompanied by seven gold great wyrms polymorphed into canaries. Some claimed that these wyrms were reincarnations of dead kings, renowned for their sense of justice.
Bahamut disdained combat, usually getting goodly adventurers of great power to do his fighting for him. Despite this, he was easily capable of defending himself. Those who saw him fight claimed that he had two breath weapons, one a powerful cone of cold, the other a vapor that turned his enemies into gaseous forms. A third special attack was his roar, which disintegrated creatures or objects within 100 feet (30m). If facing off against more powerful creatures, this roar would still permanently deafen those who weren't turned to dust. On top of that he was a powerful warrior and was also reputed to know every arcane and divine spell.
The majority of Bahamut's worshipers prior to the Spellplague were metallic dragons. His few nondraconic clerics typically learned the Platinum Dragon's teachings at the foot of a wyrm, typically a gold or silver dragon in humanoid form. Teacher and student often traveled to see the effects of injustice and cruelty firsthand.
In the aftermath of the Spellplague and following the death of Tyr during an attempted demonic invasion of Celestia, Bahamut gained the portfolio of justice and presumably gained many converts from the church of the Maimed God.
The Talons of Justice was an order of dragon paladins dedicated to Bahamut that followed the Ptarian Code. No one knew exactly how many Talons there were, but the group probably numbered in the scores. Group members were spread throughout Faerûn, many living in human and demihuman form in cities and towns.
Bahamut's antithesis was Tiamat, the chromatic dragon and Queen of Evil Dragons, worshiped by most evil dragons. Legends of their hatred of each other date back to times before Tiamat is supposed to have arrived on Toril.
The dogma of Bahamut is based on Justice, Nobility, Protection and Honor. He taught his followers to always uphold the highest ideals of honor and justice, to be constantly vigilant against evil and to oppose it from all fronts, and to protect the weak, liberate the oppressed and defend just order. The God of Dragons advocated a “greater justice” that included fighting against evil and toppling oppressive regimes.
He also liked to reward strength of purpose and character in his followers.
His dragon adepts followed the Ptarian Code. This draconic code of honor was created several millennia ago by the Gold dragon Ptaris. Originally intended as a guide to conduct for the lords who attend the King of Justice, ruler of good dragons, the Ptarian Code has since been adopted by other members of the gold species, and even by certain silvers.
The Ptarian Code was similar to other codes of chivalry adopted by knightly orders of the humanity. It included paying homage to Bahamut, as well to his parents Lendys and Tamara. The major precepts were:
Justice and Good above all. Honor and Fealty to the King. Honor and Respect to Righteous Innocence. Honor and Duty to the Balancer (Lendys), to Her Mercy (Tamara), and to the Justicemaker (Bahamut). Honor and Protection to the Lesser Races. Honor and Correction to the Enemies of Justice and Good. Honor and Forbearance for oneself.
- ↑ Robert J. Schwalb (August, 2009). “Deities & Demigods: Bahamut”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #378 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 70–78.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 David Noonan (May 2004). Complete Divine. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-3272-4.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 58. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 165. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Logan Bonner (August, 2009). “Domains in Eberron and the Forgotten Realms”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #378 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 32.
- ↑ Robert J. Schwalb (August, 2009). “Channel Divinity: Bahamut's Champions”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #378 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), p. 57. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), p. 28. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 154. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), p. 58. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
- ↑ David Noonan (May 2004). Complete Divine. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 108–109. ISBN 0-7869-3272-4.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 99. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), p. 44. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
- ↑ Richard Lee Byers (May 2010). The Captive Flame. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786953969.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Logan Bonner (August, 2009). “Domains in Eberron and the Forgotten Realms”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #378 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37.
- ↑ Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 100. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
- Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
- Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
- David Noonan (May 2004). Complete Divine. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108–109. ISBN 0-7869-3272-4.
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|Other Deities of Faerûn|
|Auppenser | Abbathor | Arvoreen | Auril | Baervan Wildwanderer | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Duerra | Deep Sashelas | Dumathoin | Erevan Ilesere | Flandal Steelskin | Gond | Hanali Celanil | Helm | Ilmater | Isis | Labelas Enoreth | Laduguer | Lolth | Mask | Mielikki | Nephthys | Osiris | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Segojan Earthcaller | Selûne | Set | Sharindlar | Sheela Peryroyl | Solonor Thelandira | Thoth | Tymora | Umberlee | Urdlen | Vergadain|