Ahazu

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Greyhawk Deity
Ahazu
Ahazu00.jpg
The seal of Ahazu, as depicted in Dungeon #148 (2007)..
Title(s) The Seizer
Home Plane Abyss
Power Level Vestige (former demon lord)
Gender Male
Class(es)
Alignment Chaotic evil
Portfolio The Night, Abduction
Domains
Alias(es)
Superior

Ahazu the Seizer is a demon lord that now functions as a vestige as a result of his self-imposed imprisonment in the Abyssal layer known as the Wells of Darkness.

Description

Ahazu appears as a dark-skinned naked humanoid with bat-like wings, long thin arms, and an elongated head dominated with a mouth filled with needle-sharp teeth. Ahaz has long sharp talons and his legs appears to trail away into nothingness.

Relationships

History

The demon lord Ahazu earned his title as the Seizer for his portfolios of the night and of abduction. Ages past, Ahazu stumbled upon the Abyssal layer that would become the Wells of Darkness. This layer apparently lies in an infinite void called Shattered Night. The layer itself is surrounded by a planar "membrane" that separates it from the void itself. Ahazu discovered that by digging shafts into the terrain of the layer itself, he can reach thin spots in the membrane which would act as "windows" to Shattered Night. After many years of digging (creating hundreds, if not thousands of shafts, or wells, as they eventually became), Ahazu finally found a planar tear that enable him to actually step into the void, which he did, never to return.

Ahazu's cult and followers eventually discovered that their patron can be contacted by pact magic and they built a fortress, called the Overlook, over the planar tear that Ahazu have stepped in. Ahazu demanded that his cult abduct other beings, dead or alive, and bring them to the layer in order to join him in the void of Shattered Night. His cult would place these beings near one of the windows/wells that Ahazu himself have dug, and Ahazu himself, as befits his title, would seize the creature through the well and into Shattered Night.

The cult soon made a fatal error in trying to capture and imprison Orcus, the Prince of the Undead. They launched an assault on his layer of Thanatos and was soundly defeated. In retaliation, Orcus' hordes swept the Wells of Darkness, destroyed Ahazu's surviving cult, and left the fortress of Overlook in ruins.

Years later, a coven of varrangoins discovered the ruins, Ahazu, and the nature of the layer itself. These canny new arrivals pledged their service to Ahazu, but instead of abducting prospective prisoners on their own, they offered to use the Wells of Darkness to imprison the enemies and undesirables of others in exchange for wealth, power and prestige.

Ahazu himself can free a prisoner (although he cannot free himself) through one of the wells, or create a binding pact with other beings that whisks a creature into Shattered Night based on certain conditions. Ahazu can also absorb the life essences of those who entered Shattered Night, hence lies his primary motive for his self-imposed imprisonment. Given enough life essences, Ahazu can emerge from the void as a true deity.

Artifacts and relics

The Tooth of Ahazu, as depicted in Dungeon #143 (2007).

The Tooth of Ahazu, one of the fabled Teeth of Dahlver-Nar, is the only magic item known to be associated with Ahazu.

Creative origins

Ahazu was one of the many demon lords listed (but not statted) in first edition Monster Manual II. His name and title of "the Seizer" is based on a demon in Semitic mythology. The mythological Ahazu is also associated with disease while the Dungeons & Dragons Ahazu downplayed this aspect. Ahazu himself is not mentioned until in the game's third edition supplement Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, and then in the Savage Tide adventure path in Dungeon magazine. In Gary Gygax's Gord novel Come Endless Darkness, there was a character by the name of Talonclasp who was an ahazu-demon. He is described as a square-bodied creature with long lanky arms and huge talons.

Bibliography

  • Boyd, Eric. "Wells of Darkness." Dungeon #148. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, July 2007.
  • Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1983.