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Asmodeus

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Asmodeus
Asmodeus' holy symbol
(Deity)
Titles The Archfiend
Dark Prince
The First
God-Fiend
Lord of Darkness
Lord of Hell
Lord of the Pit
Master of Witches
Prince of Darkness
Prince of Devils
Prince of Hell
Prince of Law
Ruler of Hell
Adjective Asmodean
Home The Catafalque, Nessus, Hell
Alignment Lawful evil
Portfolio Tyranny
Slavery
Pride
Contracts
Worshipers Slavers, bureaucrats, tyrants
Cleric Alignments
Domains Evil, Fire, Law, Magic, Trickery
Subdomains Arcane, Ash, Deception, Devil, Divine, Smoke
Favored Weapon Mace
Symbol Red pentagram
Sacred Animal Serpent
Sacred Colors Black, red

Asmodeus (pronounced as-MO-day-us)[1] is the most powerful of the nine archdevils that inhabit Hell, and the only one of Hell's rulers to claim full divinity. It was he who is credited with the penning the contract of creation, within which his followers believe is hidden the means for their patron's eventual rise to supremacy.[2]

Contents

History

According to the Book of the Damned, Asmodeus is one of the two primeval entities with his brother and equal, Ihys.[3]

The Birth of the First

Born spontaneously from the mysterious source of life known as the Seal, the two, together known as the First, began as formless motes of energy. When the Seal birthed other, lesser motes, the First became self-aware. Eons passed, and slowly the First, and the lesser motes, began exploring creation. These were the first gods.[3]

One of the First came upon a sigil upon the Seal, and with its discovery, symbols and meaning came into existence. His brother uttered the first sound and discovered speech; he named himself Ihys. His brother, the creator of meaning, he named Asmodeus.[3]

Creation of Mortality

Ihys and Asmodeus, together with the lesser gods, began to sculpt creation to their liking and slowly introduced the concept of order into reality, creating stars, planets, and the fundamental laws that bind them. Then Ihys forever changed their creation: he created the first mortals, discovering the concept of souls and worship, and the other gods followed his example. Ihys bestowed upon mortals free will, causing the first schism of the gods, between those (like Asmodeus) who viewed mortals as mere tools and those (as Ihys) who desired freedom for their creations.[4]

War in Heaven

Asmodeus, devastated by his brother's treachery, showed Ihys the chaos and destruction that he had sowed; but Ihys, believing good came from mortals' free will, opposed Asmodeus. War tore the gods, the first conflict between order and chaos. Ihys defended the right of mortals to choose their own destiny with the empyreal lord Sarenrae at his right hand. Finally, on a distant world, Ihys and Asmodeus met for the last time on the field of battle. Asmodeus offered his hand in brotherhood, and then performed the first act of treachery, murdering Ihys with a great spear.[5]

Exodus

In a last act of sympathy for his brother, Asmodeus allowed Ihys's dream of freedom to stand. He then created Hell as a monument to the old ways of absolute, merciless order and as a warning of what he would one day make anew.[5]

Other Deeds

Asmodeus forged the contract of creation, then accepted by all the gods and rumored to contain a secret that will one day lead to its author's rise to power above his fellow deities. The God-Fiend also played a key role in the defeat and imprisonment of Rovagug. The Rough Beast was sealed away in the Pit of Gormuz, the only key to his prison kept by the Prince of Darkness himself.[2]

Relationships

Of the evil deities, the Prince of Darkness is the most respected and trusted by his divine peers, though they realize his aid is not to be sought or accepted lightly.[2] For his part, Asmodeus typically regards other faiths with mild amusement, seeing them as weak, temporary distractions to mortal worshipers. Unsurprisingly, he gives more respect to other lawful deities.[6]

Appearance and Emissaries

A depiction of Asmodeus.

Asmodeus is generally depicted in art as a large, flame-enshrouded man with red skin, cloven hooves and horns. He is often shows wielding a contract or a flaming mace. Though many believe that this is his true form, some speak of a more fiendish form with constantly bleeding wounds. Asmodeus is also capable of taking the shape of any creature, an ability he uses to gain an advantage in negotiations through intimidation, comfort, or pity. He is also represented by his holy symbol, an upside down red pentagram.[7]

Servants

The Prince of Darkness has many servants who rise and fall in popularity according to his whims.[7]

Basileus 
This devil serves as the Prince of Darkness' current herald. He appears as a handsome young male possessing blond hair, perceived to be of the same species as that of any creature that encounters him. Additionally, Basileus can freely take a form of supernatural terror; this form differs from one viewer to another, each faced with the greatest fear he or she can imagine.[7][8]

Church of Asmodeus

Asmodeus' faith is strongest in Infernal Cheliax and several of its vassal states, including Isger and Nidal. He preaches strict discipline and unwavering devotion from his worshipers; the strong should rule the weak. The Prince of Darkness expects flattery from his followers, appreciating it for what it is, and delights in deals and contracts that secretly favor one party over another.[2]

Worshipers and Clergy

A priestess of Asmodeus.

Asmodeus' priests usually dress in black decorated with red, and often wear horned masks or helmets, and his clergy includes clerics and wizards. Clothing worn is usually expensive, and clearly so, as the faith preaches that wealth attracts wealth.[9] Followers of the Prince of Darkness often include nobles and bureaucrats, especially those participating in the slave trade and in those nations where his worship is openly accepted. In countries not under Cheliax's yoke, priests are expected to abide by local laws and take sacrifices only from willing victims.[10][2][7] It is also common for individual priests to offer the sacrifice of a small animal before preparing spells.

Knights of Asmodeus wear the typical black and red associated with the Dark Prince, often wielding a spiked mace. They seek out order to gain power. Some call themselves paladins to give their behavior a gloss of righteousness.[11]

Clerics of Asmodeus may prepare lesser geas and a variant of geas, and the Prince of Darkness grants access to infernal healing and greater infernal healing.[7]

The Church of Asmodeus is taking an active role in caring for the orphans left by Isger's Goblinblood Wars. Monasteries have been established to look after these unfortunates, and indoctrinate them in the worship of Asmodeus. The most well known are the Sisters of the Golden Erinyes.[12]

Beyond humans and other "civilized" races, Asmodeus is commonly worshiped by kobolds. His dogma of subjugation of the weak through trickery appeals to kobolds, who live in a society with a strict hierarchy and use deception to make up for their physical weakness. Asmodeus is also a god of fire, which kobolds use extensively in mining and metalworking. Kobold priests of Asmodeus appeal to their kindred's insecurity and lust for power, making them easily manipulated pawns.[13]

Temples and Shrines

Public temples dedicated to Asmodeus can be found in Cheliax, often existing alongside and within the nation's government buildings. Secret houses dedicated to the Prince of Darkness exist throughout Golarion.[2] The Midnight Temple in Egorian regularly features human sacrifices upon the Black Altar.[14] Many of his temples were originally dedicated to other gods, but were abandoned or purchased by his faithful and profaned to serve their purposes.[2]

Unholy Texts

The Asmodean Disciplines 
Asmodeus' doctrines and the practices of his faithful can be found within this document. It is accompanied by various additions and supplemental documents.[2]
The Asmodean Monograph 
This text records a simplified version of the doctrine of the Prince of Darkness, although it relies on many supplemental volumes and appendices.[7]

External Links

References

  1. Sean K Reynolds. (2010). Asmodeus. Mother of Flies, p. 62. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-199-2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 160. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 F. Wesley Schneider. (2009). Princes of Darkness, p. 2-3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-189-3
  4. F. Wesley Schneider. (2009). Princes of Darkness, p. 34-5. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-189-3
  5. 5.0 5.1 F. Wesley Schneider. (2009). Princes of Darkness, p. 62-3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-189-3
  6. Colin McComb. (2011). Faiths of Corruption, p. 5. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-375-0
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 6. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  8. Adam Daigle, James Jacobs, Tim Nightengale, and F. Wesley Schneider. (2010). Bestiary. Mother of Flies, p. 78-79. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-199-2
  9. Colin McComb. (2011). Faiths of Corruption, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-375-0
  10. James Jacobs, & Mike McArtor. (2008). Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide, p. 10. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-087-2
  11. Gareth Hanrahan, Steve Kenson, Patrick Renie, Tork Shaw, and Jerome Virnich. (2012). Knights of the Inner Sea, p. 18. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-460-3
  12. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 83. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  13. Mat Smith. (2013). Kobolds of Golarion, p. 12. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-512-9
  14. Adam Daigle, F. Wesley Schneider, Neil Spicer, and Hank Woon. (2010). Bestiary. The Twice-Damned Prince, p. 83. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-226-5


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