Abbathor

Abbathor

Intermediate god
Pantheon: Dwarf Pantheon
Titles: Great Master of Greed, Trove Lord, Wyrm of Avarice
Home Plane: Dwarfhome
Portfolio: Greed
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Worshippers: Dwarves, misers, rogues, shadowdancers
Cleric Alignments: CE, NE, LE
Domains: Dwarf, Evil, Luck, Trade, Trickery
Holy Symbols: Jeweled dagger
Favoured Weapons: Heart of Avarice, a diamond-bladed dagger (dagger)

Abbathor the Avaricious is the dwarven god of greed, venerated by most evil dwarves and nearly all evil dwarven thieves. He represents the worst aspect and major weakness of dwarven character. Many dwarves and even nondwarves consumed with treasure lust and greed, or those who seek to steal valuables, make offerings to him.

Abbathor wasn't always evil. The Great Master of Greed was once interested purely in the natural beauty of gems and metals, but became embittered when Moradin appointed Dumathoin the protector of mountain dwarves - a position Abbathor felt should be his. Thereafter he traded the tradition and honor of the dwarven race for trickery and stealth. He had been denied the thing he wanted most, and swore never to be in the same position again. Henceforth, if something appealed to Abbathor, he took it. From that day onward, Abbathor has become ever more devious and selfserving, continually trying to wreak revenge on the other dwarven gods by establishing greed, especially evil greed, as the driving force in the lives of all dwarves.

The Trove Lord maintains an uneasy truce with the god Vergadain, but he is otherwise estranged from the dwarven pantheon. Abbathor particularly hates Dumathoin and Moradin for denying him his rightful place in the pantheon, and he secretly works against both. He hates Clangeddin for Clangeddin's self-righteous noble stance and certain past insult, and Clangeddin returns the favor. Berronar loathes Abbathor's deceitfulness, and Dumathoin shields treasures from the Great Master of Greed, to Abbathor's unending frustration and fury.

Unlike Laduguer, however, Abbathor is tolerated by the other dwarven gods, although none trust him. Despite the fact that he embodies everything they teach their followers to avoid, he has sided with them in epic battles of the past and is still a valued member of the group. Abbathor never helps any non-dwarven deity or being, however, with the notable exception of Task, draconic god of greed.

Though he hatches his plans in secret, Abbathor's entire existence is dedicated to undermining the dwarven way of life. The bulk of the dwarven pantheon has not noticed, however, and most mortal dwarves remain completely oblivious to the Trove Lord's true plans. He directs his church to acquire as much wealth as possible from non-dwarves and hide it away or sacrifice it to him.

Though Moradin himself is quicker to forgive than Berronar, the All-Father has taken a keen interest in Abbathor of late, sending his agents to spy on the clergy of the Wyrm of Avarice. As Moradin's servants generally display a characteristic unsubtlety, such investigations have thus far revealed no treachery.

Abbathor is squat and hunched, despite his height. He seems to slither and sidle along as he walks, never making much noise but often rubbing his hands together. If carrying gems or gold, he often caresses these in a continuous, unconscious, overwhelmingly sensuous manner. At times, this has made ignorant folk attack him, overcome by lust to gain the treasure he holds. The Great Master is said to have burning yellow-green eyes (blazing yellow when eager for treasure or when pouncing upon it, hooded and green while scheming or when thwarted). He has a sharp hooked nose like a giant eagle's beak and always dresses in leather armor and furs, both fashioned from the skins of creatures who have opposed him and died to regret it. He is said to have a harsh, husky, wheedling voice and a quick temper, hissing and spitting when angry. Abbathor is governed by his insatiable lust for treasure, especially gold, and is treacherous in his dealings with dwarves. He roams many worlds in avatar form in search of treasure.

Abbathor uses any means, no matter how evil, to further his ends, which typically involve the acquisition of wealth. Should the Great Master of Greed see treasure worth more than 1,000 gp or any magical item, he attempts to steal it outright or slay the owner and then take it anyway. If frustrated in an attempt to steal an item, Abbathor tries to destroy it so as not to he tortured by the memory of his failure.

Dogma

The wealth of the earth was created for those dwarves crafty enough to capture it by any means necessary. Revel in the possession of all wealth that shines or sparkles, for its pleasing form was meant to bring you pleasure. Greed is good, as it motivates the possession and holding of all that is precious. Do not seize wealth from the children of the Morndinsamman, however, nor conspire against the favored of Abbathor, for strife in the name of avarice weakens the clan.

Clergy

Clerics of Abbathor are known as aetharnor (a dwarven word meaning "those consumed by greed"). Clerics of Abbathor frequently multiclass as divine seekers or rogues, occasionally going so far as to join the ranks of the shadowdancers.

Like their deity, priests of Abbathor strive to enrich themselves, taking advantage of their positions and influence to steal or deal themselves some personal wealth. Such funds are typically cached in remote, fiendishly well trapped hideaways, as amassing enough loot to retire in luxury is a game and a driving motivation among priests of this god. As noted above, however, there is one strict rule: No priest of Abbathor can steal from any other dwarf, or influence events to cause harm to the person or wealth of any rival priest of Abbathor. This is the infamous Abbathor's Commandment, of which dwarven thieves are often reminded. Priests of Abbathor do not like to remember so readily that it was uttered purely in order to preserve some followers of the god after angry fellow dwarves had slaughtered thief after thief in the robes of Abbathor's clergy.

The wider aims of the priesthood are to enrich all dwarves, working with the clergy of Vergadain and Dumathoin where possible toward that end. Priests of Abbathor are always looking for a chance for common dwarven profit (and their own personal gain) through underhanded and shady arrangements. The underground ways known to dwarves make them ideal smugglers, and many borders are undercut by tunnels enabling dwarven merchants to avoid duties and restrictions in transporting goods from one land to another. Dwarves are prevented from dominating the smuggling trade purely by their aversion to water, which effectively excludes them from shipborne activity.

Priests of Abbathor trade (on the sly) with anyone, including duergar, drow, illithids, Zhentarim, ores, giants, and other undesirable creatures or traditional enemies of the dwarves. Dwarves have been slain by axes sold to ores by priests of Abbathor on more than one occasion. This contrariness, however, is an essential part of the dwarven nature, as is the goldlust that drives many dwarves on occasion - at such times they are said to be under the spell of Abbathor or in Abbathor's thrall. Priests of Abbathor can be considered to he permanently in this condition, but to have learnt subtlety and devious cunning in its pursuit, rather than simple, crude acquisitiveness. Beings who need something underhanded done can always contact priests of Abbathor if they know where to find them. (Usually only dwarves know how to do so.) For a fee, a known worshiper of Abbathor will often arrange a meeting between an outsider (such as a human) and one of the god's priests. The priest and the worshiper will both work to arrange the meeting so that the priest is in little danger of attack, kidnapping, or arrest.

Priests of Abbathor secretly work to undermine the faith of Dumathoin and Berronar - the former in revenge for the Silent Keeper's assumption of a position meant for the Trove Lord, and the latter in response to the Revered Mother's concerted efforts to prevent thefts. Since such actions must always be kept secret from all but their fellow clergy members and may never endanger the immediate safety of the clan, the Hands of Greed must proceed very slowly in this task.

Priests of Abbathor always dress in red - a brilliant scarlet, worn as underclothing for everyday use and as over-robes for ceremonial occasions. Over this they wear leather armor with leather caps (never helms). If this armor must be discarded, dark crimson robes are worn to echo - and yet conceal the brightness of - the scarlet underclothing. Clergy of Abbathor never wear wealth openly because of the god's saying: "The best is always hidden." The holy symbol of the faith is a gold coin at least two inches in diameter, which is stamped with the symbol of Abbathor on both faces.

When expecting open combat, the Trove Lord's priests gird themselves in the best available armor and weapons with which they are proficient, in the fashion of most dwarven warriors. When stealth is required, however, members of Abbathor's clergy prefer the garb and tools of rogues. In all cases, however, the Hands of Greed keep the signs of their calling - including their scarlet underclothes and their holy symbols - concealed, as it is considered an affront to Abbathor to proclaim his name or his symbol openly.

Temples

Abbathor's secret, windowless subterranean temples feature sacrificial altars of massive stone blocks blackened by countless fires. Commonly painted with gold leaf and filled with purloined valuables, strangers frequently confuse Abbathoran temples for treasure chambers, a problem that has resulted in more than a few adventuring parties raiding for loot in the midst of some religious ceremony.

Rites

Aetharnor pray for spells at night. Solar eclipses, volcanic eruptions, or any other natural phenomenon that blocks the light of the sun during the day are causes for great religious celebration among the aetharnor, who use the cover to hatch their larcenous schemes. Once annually, aetharnor sacrifice an enemy of the dwarves (ranging from elves to umber hulks), opening the unfortunate's ribcage to create "Abbathor's purse," into which the penitent cast coins and gems. The entirety is then burnt in offering to the Trove Lord. Favorite sacrifices include orcs, trolls, and giants.

Abbathor's favor is said to include minor things like causing guards to sleep or become distracted, shaping shadows and moon-cloaking clouds to hide the features or exact position of a fleeing dwarven thief, or allowing a trapped thief an occasional battle-aid (in the form of an initiative roll bonus). Dwarves in need of Abbathor's immediate favor may make offerings at other times throughout the year. It is also customary to make an offering when one first worships at a particular temple.

Aspects

Avatar: Abbathor's avatar appears as a very large dwarf clad in leather and furs. He is fat and piggy-eyed with sallow skin. The avatar always wields a diamond-bladed dagger with jewels set into the hilt.

Manifestations: Abbathor manifests purely to work his own ends, typically in the following ways:

  • He can create a sudden treasure lust in dwarves, gnomes, humans, or halflings (to avoid, succeed at a saving throw vs. spell at a -2 penalty; -4 if dwarven). Affected beings do anything Abbathor wants for 6 rounds, in an attempt to seize known treasure and keep it, slaying all witnesses if that seems necessary. Combat with friends or loved ones allows repeated saving throws, one per round, to break free of Abbathor's power.
  • Abbathor can cause any dwarf to be suddenly made aware of the precise location, nature, and value of hidden gems within 10 feet.
  • Abbathor can cause magical silence and darkness, 15' radius, both lasting 1 turn, to aid the escape of a dwarf who has stolen something.
  • Finally, whenever a treasure chest is opened or a hoard pile is disturbed, Abbathor tries to cause gems and/or coins to leap of their own accord. He makes them fall and bounce or roll away into crevices or other hiding places from which he may recover them later. Allow a 2 in 6 chance of this happening; if it occurs, roll d12 to determine how many valuables are affected, and allow PCs to make Dexterity checks to trap, catch, or retrieve them, according to how they act.
  • If Abbathor's avatar is nearby and hears his name spoken (in the way all avatars can), a handlike invisible force snatches and clutches at the purse, pockets, worn jewelry, or sacks of the speaker, by way of warning. If anything comes loose (apply item saving throws and/or Strength and Dexterity checks as the circumstances suggest), treat the objects as leaping into hiding (as above) for Abbathor to claim later.
  • When Abbathor's avatar or a being (almost always a dwarf) upon whom he is concentrating walks close to gems (either cut and finished or natural and still embedded in stone), the jewels sing with a high-pitched, multitoned chiming, rather like the sounds made by the glass and metal wind chimes popular in the South. This singing is audible to all and serves to guide Abbathor or his chosen being to the gems.
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