Pazuzu


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Pazuzu
abyssal lord, "Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms"
Pantheon: Miscellaneous Powers
AoC: Corruption, Flight, Protection from Curses or Sickness
Worshippers: Any evil winged beings
AL: CE WAL: CN,CE,NE,LE
Symbol: A twisted bird talon gripping an eye
Home p/r: Abyss/Torremor
Allies: Ardat, The Fated, Harpies, Kenku, Malcanthet, Perytons
Enemies: Bechard (dead), Cabiri, Graz'zt, Lamashtu, Pale Night, Ubothar
Favored Weapon: Natural weapon (talon) or greatsword
Domains: Animal, Evil, Trickery
Subdomains: Deception, Feather, Tanar'ri, Thievery
Known Proxies: None

One of the oldest figures still active (let alone significant) in the Abyss, Pazuzu (also known as Fazuzu, Ghlaunder, Pazrael) is an ancient figure dating back long before the coming of the tanar'ri, perhaps to the very dawning of the Abyss. Said by some to have spawned from Hanpa, a minor power of the Ananaki (although the chronology of this claim is odd, the powers are often strange in this way), Pazuzu is one of the last surviving obyrith lords, though one would hardly know that to look upon him anymore. Always an independent figure, he was once one of the greatest of the obyriths, holding his own in a seemingly-eternal war for dominance with Cabiri, Bechard, and Ubothar. In spite of his status, though, he was saved from the obyrith purge of the tanar'ri following the War of Law and Chaos by the fact that he never deigned to stand with the Queen of Chaos, nor even involve himself in the War, a lack of interest that carries to the Blood War today. In the interests of self-preservation, he has far removed himself from his obyrith origins and associated himself more and more with the new rulers of the Abyss, transforming his appearance to one more in line with the tanar'ri, even able now to call upon them as any other abyssal lord.

Though most commonly associated with his personal realm of Torremor or his preferred stalking ground of the skies of the Plain of Infinite Portals (or Pazunia, as it is often known due to his presence), Pazuzu sees himself as holding dominion over the skies of all layers of the Abyss, as well as over all evil fliers throughout the multiverse, looking down upon the petty local struggles and continuing to hold himself apart from the strife that saturates his plane. Few choose to challenge this claim of dominion, either through acceptance or apathy, though Graz'zt has been known to speak out against it, and even occasionally act to drive Pazuzu's agents from the skies of Azzagrat. Still, Pazuzu makes this claim almost offhandedly, having little interest in the Abyss itself. No, instead his interests fall far more commonly upon the Prime, seeking out not those that have already accepted his ways, but rather those that he can potentially yet bring into the fold; it is said by some that amongst those that have yet to fall, merely speaking his name aloud three times is enough to bring his eye upon you. Indeed, at times he almost seems to ignore his oldest cults in favor of the newest yet formed, those that still have a ways to go before truly converting to his outlook. His greatest focus is most commonly upon those that have much yet to learn, believing that those that have fully converted to him have little need for him as a result.

Of course, this is not to say that he does nothing for those that act in his name. He clings tenaciously to those that follow him, watching for any sign of the intrusion of others. He's almost fatherly in his own twisted way, doing his best to ensure that those under his wing suffer no harm from not only forces of Good, but even from the other various powers of the Abyss that may try to draw others from him, wherever they may dwell. As a result, though he's far from a true power as of yet, limited only to the lesser boons he can grant as an abyssal lord, his cults are still among not only the largest of the demon cults, but the most loyal as well, trusting that their lord truly does look after their interests to a degree few tanar'ri legitimately match.

Appearance

Unlike other obyrith, Pazuzu in his long time associated with the tanar'ri has reshaped his own form to fall more in line with their traditional appearances, to the point where he no longer causes even the slightest mental distress to look upon (his natural aura having been twisted instead towards enforcing his dominion over those of the air). Today, he appears as a nearly eight-foot-tall, well-proportioned male harpy with four black-feathered wings stretching from his back and leaving a trail of smoke in his wake, a vicious, hawk-like hooked beak lined with hundreds of needle-thin teeth upon his face.

Priesthood

Cults of Pazuzu dot nearly the entirety of the Prime, as well as having a surprising spread throughout the Outer Planes and the Plane of Air. Given his stance apart from the Blood War and even occasionally against the tanar'ri, many neutral and even a small handful of good powers or forces are, if not accepting of Pazuzu, at least more tolerant of him than other Abyssal forces, even given the blood sacrifices he demands in his name. Arborea, surprisingly enough, has one of the larger populations of Pazuzu disciples outside the Abyss, given the high population of harpies, a people he claims not merely dominion over, but creation of.

In his own realm, most of his followers consist of the various flight-capable castes of the tanar'ri — chiefly anzu, vrocks, chasme, and nabassu — although he is known to keep a personal collection of retrievers as necessary. There are a few more traditional mortal cults amongst its peaks — including the Wire-Stringers, a branch sect that believes the weakest must be weeded out via the suspension of nearly-invisible wires or nets throughout the realm — but only the strongest can survive in the harsh environs of Torremor. Granted, that is precisely why many choose to settle there, to better prove themselves in his eyes.

Dogma

Life is only deserving of those that can hold it. What you can take, you deserve to keep. There is no shame in asking for aid against a truly overwhelming challenge, but there is great shame in needing aid against that you ought be able to face.

The core of Pazuzu's dogma ought be familiar to many that know the tanar'ri well, but unlike many, Pazuzu respects the ability of a group to overpower that which individually they would be powerless against. Similarly, while he has much ill will from some of the more strident tanar'ri as a result, he holds great respect for acts of deception, trickery, or exploitation that many of his kin see as almost baatezu-esque. A common saying amongst Pazrealites sums up his philosophy succinctly: "Strike for the eyes, as the blind cannot fly. Let enemies hate, so long as they fear. The young must fly or fall."

See Also

References

  • Dragon #329 - Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Pazuzu, pp.56-67
  • Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, pgs.76-77,115
  • Hellbound: The Blood War - Dark of the War, pg.51
  • Planes of Chaos: Book of Chaos, pp.32-33
  • Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II, pg.83
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