- Great Master of Greed, Trove Lord, Wyrm of Avarice
|Power Level:||Intermediate deity|
|Worshipers:||Dwarves, misers, rogues, shadowdancers.|
|Domains:||Dwarf, Evil, Luck, Trade, Trickery|
|Arelith worshippers' alignments:||CE, NE, LE|
Abbathor (AB-bah-thor) 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.
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. 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 Silverbeard for Clangeddin's self-righteous noble stance and a certain past insult, and Clangeddin returns the favor. Berronar Truesilver 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 nondwarven deity or being, however, with the notable exception of Task, draconic god of greed.
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 often roams in avatar form in search of treasure.
Abbathor is a miserly god, and he reveals his pleasure through the discovery of gold and jewels of all sorts and his displeasure through the despoiling of treasure - causing gems to split apart, sacks of gold to tear, and so on. He manifests purely to work his own ends, typically in one of four ways:
- He can create a sudden treasure lust in dwarves, gnomes, humans, or halflings. Affected beings do anything Abbathor wants in an attempt to seize known treasure and keep it, slaying all witnesses if that seems necessary. Combat with friends or loved ones allows for the victim to fight against the god's will and 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.
- 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.
Sometimes, when Abbathor's avatar is present in the Realms, two other manifestations occur. First, when Abbathor hears his name spoken (in the way all avatars can), a hand-like invisible force snatches and clutches at the purse, pockets, worn jewelry, or sacks of the speaker, by way of warning. If anything comes loose the objects may leap into hiding for Abbathor to claim later. Second, 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 may sing with a high-pitched, multi-toned 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.
Abbathor is served by aurumvorae, crysmals, dragons consumed with avarice, earth elemental vermin, earth weirds, ghost dragons, hetfish, incarnates of covetousness, khaasta, rappers, rust monsters, tso,werebadgers, and xavers.
While Abbathor is publicly reviled in dwarven society ("gone to Abbathor" is a dwarven expression for lost treasure), most dwarves have been consumed on more than one occasion with the lust for treasure that he embodies. Rare is the dwarf who does not recognize the streak of avarice infecting the Stout Folk, and thus the Trove Lord's rightful place in the dwarven pantheon. Like an unliked and self-serving member of the clan who nonetheless is not known to have ever betrayed his kinfolk, the Great Master of Greed is venerated as a member of the Morndinsamman by most dwarves, even as they decry his beliefs.
Temples of the Great Master of Greed are always in underground caverns or secret, windowless rooms. Sacrificial altars are massive, plain blocks of stone, blackened by the many fires laid and burnt upon them. (Note that nondwarves tend to panic when sacrificial fires are lit, and the smoke begins to billow!) Abbathor's places of worship can easily be mistaken for treasure vaults, as they are typically painted in gold leaf and filled with a cache of purloined treasures. In fact, the most sacred places of the Trove Lord are caverns that once housed the hoards of ancient wyrms.
Novices of Abbathor are known as Goldseekers; full priests are known as the Hands of Greed. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Abbathoran priests are:
- Coveter of Copper
- Seeker of Silver
- Luster of Electrum
- Hoarder of Gold
- Plunderer of Platinum
- Miser of Mithril.
Finally, there are the High Old Ones. These leaders of the clergy have unique, individual titles but are collectively known as the Masters of Greed. Specialty priests are known as aetharnor, a dwarven word that can be loosely translated as "those consumed with greed". The priesthood consists of gold dwarves (50%), shield dwarves (40%), gray dwarves (9%), and jungle dwarves (1%). Abbathor's clergy is nearly evenly divided between specialty priests (35%), cleric/rogues (33%), and rogues (32%), with the remainder being clerics (10%). Male priests still constitute most of the priesthood (97%). Abbathor secretly supports some leaders of the Wyrm Cult (described below); such specialty priests are known as noroghor, a dwarvish word that can be loosely translated as "beast followers".
Seek to acquire all that shines or sparkles, and revel in the possession of such. The wealth of the earth was created for those dwarves strong and crafty enough to acquire it by any means necessary. Greed is good, as it motivates the acquisition and the holding of all that is truly precious. Do not seize wealth from the children of the Morndinsamman, however, nor conspire against the favored of Abbathor, for such strife in the name of avarice weakens the clan.
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 welltrapped 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. Across the Realms, 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, orcs, giants, and other undesirable creatures or traditional enemies of the dwarves.
Priests of Abbathor are considered to be in a permanent state of goldlust, but have learned 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. 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.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies
Solar eclipses and days when volcanic eruptions or other causes bring darkness during daytime are always considered holy days.
Once a year, priests of Abbathor sacrifice a creature on an altar. It must be an enemy of the dwarves, but can be anything from an elf to a boar. Orcs, trolls, and giants are the most favored sacrifices. The faithful of Abbathor then bring gems in offering to the god; as these are placed upon the body, they must touch the blood of the sacrifice. The value of the sacrifice is said to determine the amount of Abbathor's favor that will benefit the giver in the year to come. Priests refer to this practice as "buying grace." The sacrifice is then burnt to ashes, gems and all. If magic or especially valuable gems are sacrificed, these sometimes disappear before the body is consumed, taken by Abbathor for his own hoard (or pocketed by the priests for their own use, some say).
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 giving a trapped rogue aid in their attempts. 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.
Major Centers of Worship
Aefarn, the House of Gold, is a fortified temple complex housing much of the collected wealth of Abbathor's clergy. The temple is located deep beneath Turnback Mountain, the southernmost peak of a mountain range of similar name running north-south along the eastern border of Anauroch and north of the frozen steppes known as the Tortured Land. The treasure vaults of the Hands of Greed are located in a cavern complex carved a millennia ago from the surrounding granite by the great red wyrm Ragflaconshen, Spawn of Mahatnartorian, before he died defending his hoard from the avaricious Abbathor. In the Year of the Wailing Winds (1000 DR), a trio of Abbathoran priests stumbled across the wyrm's long-hidden lair after following a trail of gold coins placed - or so they suspected - by the Great Master of Greed.
While Abbathor has no knightly orders associated with his faith, the Great Master of Greed has secretly embraced one of the most prominent cults in dwarven society as his own and begun granting spells to its priests, who are known as noroghor. The Wyrm Cult can be found in isolated dwarven communities throughout Faerun, but it seems more common in the North than in areas south of the Inner Sea lands. Its priests are few and secretive, employing dwarven sympathizers as spies and rewarding them for their aid by allowing them opportunities for recreation or revenge in beast form. The Wyrm Cult worships various beasts (especially dragons and other powerful creatures that dwarves treat with respect) and seeks to increase the power and wealth of its adherents by slaying and confounding enemies with the powers of beasts.
Consumed by a burning anger against all types of creatures who have oppressed or slain dwarves in the past, Wyrm Cult priests have taken to attacking all nondwarven adventurers who wander within their reach throughout the wildlands of the North. Currently in need of wealth and power, they seek both through increased influence and greater numbers of worshipers as well as through the acquisition of magical items and controlled territories.
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 mute 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, 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.
- On Arelith, the restriction for D&D clerics also applies to blackguard, paladins, rangers, and divine champions