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Tiamat (pronounced tee-a-maht [8]), also known as the Nemesis of the Gods, was the queen of evil dragons and, for a time, a reluctant servant of the greater gods Bane[4] and later Asmodeus[3]. Tiamat was also the eternal rival of her brother Bahamut, ruler of the good metallic dragons.

Appearance Edit

Tiamat had one head for each primary color of chromatic dragon (black, blue, green, red, white), and each head had the powers of a member of the respective race of dragonkind.[citation needed]

Avatars Edit

Tiamat had three avatars. The Dark Lady was a mulan female with long dark hair and completely black eyes. She always wore dark robes and frequently had a seductive smile on her face.[9]

The Chromatic Dragon was a dragon with stubby legs and five heads that could be any combination of head belonging to a chromatic dragon, the skin of each merged into three stripes - blue-green, gray and purple before they merged again into brown skin that covered her tail. Sometimes, The Chromatic Dragon appeared as Tchazzar when manifesting in Chessenta.[9]

The Undying Queen was a dracolich version of The Chromatic Dragon.[9]

Tiamat had three manifestations in Avernus as well. One of which never left the gate to Dis. Her manifestation as Azharul was her other 'public' face used for when foes challenged her to combat, meanwhile her original body remained secluded in her lair.

Worshipers Edit

Main article: Church of Tiamat

Tiamat had a reputation amongst the people of the state of Unther for battling with the other members of their pantheon and was blamed for every one of the many setbacks Unther experienced.[10] This later became an advantage when the increasingly tyrannical Gilgeam's behavior served to foment rebellion against him and those rebels began to worship her, eventually creating an organized church.

For fifteen years, the Karanok family of Luthcheq unwittingly served Tiamat while they were worshiping the primordial Entropy. Tiamat transformed Entropy into a conduit for her power and gained the Karanoks as pawns.[11]

Tiamat had made inroads into the Cult of the Dragon and claimed some members as her worshipers.

Many evil dragons have worshiped Tiamat since their species first appeared on Toril.

Tiamat p93

The Dragon Queen


Being a member of certain pantheons made her some enemies, including Bane and Ilmater.

Tiamat had some kind of contract with the githyanki race after their leader Gith treated with her.

She maintained a male consort from each of the chromatic dragon races. She had children with each of them and they served her as mortal agents.

Having once been an archfiend living on Avernus, Tiamat was loosely allied with Bel and lent him many Abishai to fight in the Blood War. She resented Mammon for converting some evil dragons away from her. She helped Asmodeus forge his Ruby Rod but it was unknown what opinion either held of the other. Her aspects were also known to work with those of Kurtulmak.[citation needed]

She conflicted with Iyachtu Xvim as he was the only significant opposition to her joining the Faerûnian pantheon, then later with his father, Bane. She also developed an enmity with Asmodeus and the archdevil Bel, who both mistreated her after she helped them.

Finally and most importantly, she was the antithesis of her brother Bahamut, although some said that her hatred of him was because she actually lusted after the platinum dragon.[citation needed]


Time of DragonsEdit

Tiamat's worship began after the Tearfall which coincided with the arrival of dragons on Toril. Around 1,000 years later, individual dragons and dragon clans ruled great swathes of territory on Toril and this rulership was uncontested for a further 6,000 years. During this Time of Dragons, all draconic creatures were devout in their belief of the supremacy of one particular member of the draconic pantheon over all others. These holy wars were a fact of life for dragon-kind during the Time of Dragons and dragons died in huge numbers. Eventually, seeing the destruction that they had wrought on their own species in the name of deities who were supposed to be protecting them, most dragons abandoned the worship of their gods.[citation needed]

However, the hatred that had developed between Tiamat, Bahamut and their followers was so intense that they refused to stop fighting. The Dragonfall War as it came to be known, allowed giants to conquer some dragon territories and the ensuing conflicts also led to the rise of humanoid civilisations, especially those of the elves, whose mages created the Dracorage mythal which periodically forced all dragons to go violently insane. This marked the end of the Time of Dragons and the humanoids never allowed dragons to regain as much power as they once held.[citation needed]

Gods of UntherEdit

In -2087 DR the Untheric pantheon was brought to Toril when the Imaskari planar barrier fell. Among them, a lesser 3-headed version of Tiamat and a god named Marduk who was a version of Bahamut. Now that they had humanoid worshipers, the Dragonfall War entered into a new period of intensity and over the next thousand years, the two gods placed more and more of their divine essence into their lesser aspects. Tiamat also worked against the other Untheric gods, with the result of the church of Enlil naming her the "Nemesis of the Gods" and blaming her for every problem the nation encountered.[citation needed]

Then, in -1071 DR, during the Orcgate Wars, Tiamat spied an opportunity to slay Gilgeam while he was completely occupied battling Ilneval. However, Marduk intercepted her and in the ensuing fracas, they killed each other. All of that divine power that had been focused in those mortal forms was lost. Tiamat was reduced from greater deity to the status of an archfiend, her last few followers in Unther not enough even to allow her to remain as a lesser deity.[citation needed]

Guardian of the AvernusEdit

As an archfiend, she was given rulership of Avernus by Asmodeus. Her job was to prevent outcast devils on that layer of Hell from becoming a threat but performed so poorly that Asmodeus demoted her. Knowing her failure was not deliberate (by reading her thoughts), Asmodeus deigned to allow Tiamat to remain in Avernus unpunished, and even gave her a chance to regain her position if she impressed him in her new role as the guardian of the main gate to Dis.[12]

This state of affairs lasted until 1346 DR when some Untherite cultists managed to summon another aspect of Tiamat to Toril. This aspect, known as the Dark Lady, fomented rebellion all over Unther against the church of Gilgeam. Gilgeam was so hated that the membership in her own church swelled. She also took the opportunity to influence the lich Sammaster into tracking down the Dracorage mythal.[citation needed]

Gilgeam battles Tiamat, by Dana Knutson

During the Time of Troubles, the Dark Lady was transformed back into her three-headed Untheric avatar which was promptly slain by Gilgeam's. Her divine essence though was somehow divided into three and came to inhabit Tchazzar, Gestaniius and Skuthosiin, three powerful chromatic dragons. Tchazzar devoured the other two, combining the three essences and ushering in the reappearance of Tiamat's more powerful five-headed form, which she used to kill Gilgeam and therefore cause Ao to dissolve the Untheric pantheon completely.[citation needed]

Re-taking a place as a lesser deity of the draconic pantheon in the wake of the Time of Troubles, Tiamat was able to manifest avatars once more but not a year had passed until one of them was destroyed by King Gareth Dragonsbane who had been tasked by Bahamut to destroy the Wand of Orcus in her heartsblood. Having done so, the king of Damara also brought the worship of Bahamut back to his people, elevating Bahamut to the status of lesser deity of the Faerûnian pantheon and re-kindling the Dragonfall War once more.[citation needed]

Tiamat joined the Faerûnian pantheon too in 1371 DR after gaining the worship of a cult in Luthcheq. She projected her wishes through the transformed primordial Entropy and in this guise, expanded her base of humanoid worshipers.[11] She also sent many of her draconic servants to Vaasa to make trouble for the Church of Bahamut in Damara[9] and gained some followers among disaffected members of the Cult of the Dragon.[9]


The Cult of Tiamat, by Wayne Reynolds

A race was on between her and Bahamut to gather worshipers to increase their powers before the Dragonfall War was truly joined once more. Tiamat started with the upper hand in this endeavor, being a deity of two pantheons and her nefarious plans were starting to come to fruition.[citation needed]

Tiamat's body had been suffering from aches and pains that had been growing worse over time but her elevation back to deity-hood had reinvigorated her, however the relative mortality she had experienced as an archfiend had made her less reckless and more paranoid. She misinformed her clergy that she no longer resided in Avernus, but instead maintained a grand divine realm in Heliopolis.[12]

When members of the Twisted Rune discovered that her only asset in Heliopolis was a disturbed lichnee netherese archwizard, known as the Listener, and attempted to steal his magic, she manifested an aspect that defeated the intruders and forced them to kill the minor draconic deity Azharul in his home in Dragon Eyrie. With the Listener and the Twisted Rune's forced help, Tiamat subsumed Azharul, taking his body and divine realm, completely unbeknownst to anyone but herself. All the while, she had already begun creating her real divine realm in the mountains of Avernus.[12]

In 1373 DR Sammaster had managed to alter the Dracorage mythal to cause permanent insanity in all dragons, unless they allowed themselves to become dracoliches. In one of the worst dracorages ever seen on Toril, Tiamat resurrected Tchazzar, Gestaniius and Skuthosiin to act as emissaries which she would use to solidify and expand her power base in Chessenta, Mulhorand, Threskel and Unther.[citation needed]

Sammaster and the Dracorage mythal were destroyed by adventurers and dragonkind all over Toril soon realised that the Time of Dragons could once more be a reality. This coincided with a great storm, after which thousands of dragon-like eggs were discovered. Tiamat instructed her followers to find and collect as many of these eggs as they could. They obeyed and more than half of the total number of eggs were brought to Unthalass where they began to hatch.[citation needed]

Tiamat spent her new forces mostly in her efforts to conquer the east but that task proved more difficult than she envisioned. Only Tchazzar met with success, cementing his rule in Chessenta while Unther was conquered by Mulhorand. Her tentative ally Alasklerbanbastos also ruled Threskel and allowed Tiamat's church to establish a stronghold there. A short-lived but powerful cult of humanoid fanatics was also lost to her in the Wyrmbones.[citation needed]

Her losses outweighed her gains however: during the Spellplague, Entropy ceased being a simple vessel for communication and spells, taking away her power base in Luthcheq. The dissolution of her subsumed realm in Dragon Eyrie also saw the badly-wounded body of Azharul fall into the hands of Bane. Tymanchebar's transplantation from Abeir to Toril saw some of the strongest bastions of her faith disappear overnight to be replaced with people who would become staunch enemies. In 1479, Tchazzar managed to conquer Threskel for himself but this just drew him into a war with the Abeiran nation of Tymanther in which he was killed.[citation needed]

With her most powerful servant dead, her forces beginning to crumble and Bahamut's power increasing after he replaced Tyr as the god of justice, the Dragonfall War stalled. In Banehold, Bane discovered that Azharul was merely a vessel for Tiamat and enslaved it. Furious but overwhelmed by other events, Tiamat did not immediately retaliate against her enemy, instead serving Bane loyally despite his harassment all the while, discovering his secrets and passing them on to Asmodeus.[12]

Some time in the next decade, Tiamat saw an opportunity and took it, wrenching Azharul out of Banehold, along with much of Bane's divine energy, which she used to mend Azharul's broken body and increase her own divine power. Delighted, Asmodeus offered her the rulership of Avernus once more but to avoid disappointing Asmodeus again and to prevent a conflict with Bel, Tiamat refused, instead offering to be Asmodeus' champion, devouring all who opposed him (and offering covert aid to Zariel to prevent Bel from becoming too powerful).[12]

Agreements in the Hells are binding however, and Tiamat's placed her under the direct compulsion of Bel. Her brief attempt at resistance allowed her to see into Bel's mind and the directions Asmodeus had given him to imprison her in her divine realm and prevent her from becoming ambitious.[12]

Betrayed and angry, Tiamat instructed her followers in the Cult of the Dragon to assemble the Mask of the Dragon Queen that would allow her to finally escape Avernus and enter Toril.[13]

Myths and Legends Edit

Tiamat was thought to be the third child of Io, born after Bahamut, his second, and Vorel, Io's first child. Io intended the qualities of Bahamut and Tiamat to combine in their children when they grew up and mated with each other, but the two developed a strong rivalry early on. Tiamat attempted to frame Bahamut after murdering Vorel but Io realized that Tiamat was the true culprit and banished her from his presence.[14]

Dogma Edit

Rival deities of all creeds and from every pantheon are inherently tyrannical. They seek only power, at any cost, despite their honeyed words. The Dragon Queen is the only being powerful enough to defy the gods and overthrow their despotic rule, as demonstrated by her overthrow of the other Untheric deities. Work tirelessly toward the day when Tiamat will banish the gods from Faerûn and unite the world under her rule. Toward this goal, follow her commands unquestioningly and be willing to sacrifice yourself in her service. To overthrow the gods requires power, and power is acquired through the accumulation of wealth and magic. Power demands respect. Chromatic dragons everywhere are to be venerated as the spawn of the Dragon Queen and paid homage. When Tiamat assumes her throne, her draconic children shall serve her as dukes, and her clergy as their mortal vassals.[15]

Death in The Throne of Bloodstone Edit

The adventure The Throne of Bloodstone depicts Tiamat being slain by Gareth Dragonsbane and his party on the instructions of Bahamut, as her heart was needed to destroy the Wand of Orcus. As originally written, this adventure took place in 1148 DR: too early for Dragonsbane to be included in the modern Forgotten Realms. The date was thus retconned to 1359 DR.[16]

Faiths and Avatars suggested several theories for the survival of Tiamat: that the actual dragon slain was actually Takhisis (a deity from a different Crystal Sphere), that a deity can only truly be slain on their home plane (unless they are stripped of their divinity, as happened during The Time of Troubles) and so Tiamat simply reappeared in Dragon Eyrie, or that Dragonsbane simply slew a different multi-headed dragon or even an imposter.

Dragons of Faerûn ultimately clarified the Dragonsbane party merely destroyed an avatar of Tiamat. Although Tiamat's avatar was also slain by Gilgeam, this indicates the death of the avatar did not destroy Tiamat herself but merely slowed her plans for a time.[17]


  1. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 235. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 58. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Warning: edition not specified for Fire in the Blood
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 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.
  5. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  6. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 165. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  7. Logan Bonner (August, 2009). “Domains in Eberron and the Forgotten Realms”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #378 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 32.
  8. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 134. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  10. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 136–137. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Ed Greenwood (2015-02-12). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2015). Candlekeep Forum. Retrieved on 2015-02-16.
  13. Wizards RPG Team (2014). Hoard of the Dragon Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 5. ISBN 978-0786965649.
  14. Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Kolja Raven Liquette (2006). Races of the Dragon. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-3913-3.
  15. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  16. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 144. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  17. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
The Draconic Pantheon
Greater Deities
Intermediate Deities
Lesser Deities
The Faerûnian Pantheon
Major Deities
AzuthBaneBhaalChaunteaCyricGondHelmIlmaterKelemvorKossuthLathanderLoviatarMaskMielikkiMyrkulMystra (Midnight) • OghmaSelûneSharShaundakulSilvanusSuneTalosTempusTormTymoraTyrUmberleeWaukeen
Other Members
AkadiAurilBeshabaDeneirEldathFinder WyvernspurGaragosGargauthGrumbarGwaeron WindstromHoarIstishiaIyachtu XvimJergalLliiraLurueMalarMililNobanionThe Red KnightSavrasSharessShialliaSiamorpheTalonaTiamatUbtaoUlutiuValkurVelsharoon
The Untheric Pantheon
The Lords of the Nine
The Archdevils
Other Lords of the Nine
The Hag CountessTiamat

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