Rovagug

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Rovagug
Rovagug's holy symbol
(Deity)
Titles The Rough Beast
The Destroyer
Enemy of the Gods
The Great Destroyer
The Unmaker
The Worldbreaker
Adjective Rovagug
Home Dead Vault
Alignment Chaotic evil
Portfolio Wrath
Disaster
Destruction
Worshipers Orcs, gnolls, savage tribes
Cleric Alignments
Domains Chaos, Evil, Destruction, Weather, War
Subdomains Blood, Catastrophe, Demon, Protean, Rage, Storms
Favored Weapon Greataxe
Symbol Fanged spider
Sacred Animal Scorpion
Sacred Colors Brown, red

Imprisoned since the Age of Creation, the god Rovagug (pronounced ROH-vah-gug)[1] seeks only to destroy creation and the other gods. Believed to be imprisoned in a state of torpor somewhere deep within Golarion, his increasingly restless stirrings are taken by many to be the cause of volcanic activity and earthquakes.[2][3]

History

In a time so long ago that perhaps even the aboleth do not remember it, and before the entity known as Zon-Kuthon emerged from the Outer Darkness, Rovagug sought to destroy the world. Already an ancient being even then, Rovagug was responsible for the destruction of countless worlds. When he turned his gaze upon a new world he was opposed by an unlikely collection of gods: Abadar, Apsu, Asmodeus, Calistria, Dahak, Desna, Dou-Bral, Erastil, Gozreh, Pharasma, Sarenrae, Torag, along with a number of other gods from more remote parts of the world.[2][3] Many gods died in this battle, but their names have been forgotten; certainly the gods who sided with the Rough Beast will never be remembered.[3] Unable, or perhaps unwilling, to destroy him, the goddess Sarenrae sliced open a hole in the Material Plane, and the archdevil Asmodeus bound him with a key only the Prince of Darkness held. This prison, known as the Dead Vault, is believed to be connected to Pit of Gormuz on the continent of Casmaron, in a region known as the Windswept Wastes and was sealed by the legendary Star Towers.[4][3]

It was an imperfect captivity, and 3923 years before Aroden raised the Starstone, his prison split open a tiny fraction, and one of the terrible Spawn of Rovagug was discharged into an unsuspecting and already miserable world.[5] It would be the first of a dozen such creatures unleashed over the next 5,000 years.[6] Some of his followers claim that Earthfall awoke Rovagug from his torpor, and that the time of his release is fast approaching.[7]

Relationships

While Rovagug hates most deities equally, his rage is primarily directed at Sarenrae. She was instrumental in keeping him subdued long enough so that Asmodeus could contain him. They had already been at war against one another numerous times when Rovagug was imprisoned, and it is said that Sarenrae placed the fire of the sun at the heart of Golarion to eternally burn the Rough Beast in his prison.[7] All other deities hate the Devourer as well, and even feuding gods join together to oppose his release. Rovagug is believed to have some relationship with the mysterious Groetus because of their mutual interest in destruction, but he has no overt ties with the God of the End Times.[8]

Appearance

A depiction of Rovagug in conflict with Sarenrae.

The Rough Beast's avatar appears as a monstrous, worm-like being, with innumerable limbs, eyes, claws, teeth, and other, more unmentionable parts. Although it is unknown exactly what Rovagug is or where he originated from, several theories have long been debated by scholars and theologians. One popular theory is that he is a weaker member of the dreaded Outer Gods, bent on destruction and entropy. Another hypothesis, supported by some blasphemous texts, whisper that Rovagug is instead the mightiest of the alien Qlippoth race. This latter theory holds some validity when one considers the bizarre and alien appearance of the Rough Beast[9].

Realm

Rovagug lies sleeping within the Dead Vault, claimed by some to lie within Golarion's molten core, but by others to be some kind of demiplane. Whichever is the case, it is the Rough Beast's prison and has held him since he was placed here by an alliance of gods during the Age of Creation.[10]

Providence

Volcanic eruptions are said to be the result of the Devourer turning in his sleep, while violent winds are the result of his breath erupting from the dark places of the world.[7]

Servants

The horrific Tarrasque is Rovagug's current herald, although prior to its birth, other spawn have served in this capacity.[11]

Rovagug's most famous emissaries are the great beasts known as his spawn, of which the Tarrasque is the greatest.[citation needed]

Known Spawn of Rovagug, -3923 AR—ca. 1000 AR

  • Unnamed Spawn (-3923 AR): The first of these terrible monsters. Its status and whereabouts are unknown. The orc oracles of the Brimstone Haruspex claim that its name is Gormuz (as in Pit of Gormuz) and that it will return again when a dark comet appears in the sky. The few remaining records of the time state that it was impervious to weapons and spells, but headed west across the sea and was never seen again. Many consider it was in fact Ulunat. [12]
  • Ulunat (ca. -3470 AR): A colossal beetle, around whose shed carapace the Osirian capital of Sothis has grown up.[13]
  • Kothogaz (before -632 AR): Attacked Ezida, and in the 300s AR more famously Vudra. Its heart is in 101 pieces.
  • The Tarrasque (-632 AR): Also known as the Armageddon Engine. The most terrible of the spawns of Rovagug. Destroyer of Ninshabur. Currently sealed away in a hidden cavern beneath Avistan.[5]
  • Trilochan (before 300 AR): Three-eyed dragon, fought Kothogaz in Vudra.[citation needed]
  • Xotani (??? AR): Also referred to as the Firebleeder.[14] Its grave lies in the Garundi nation of Katapesh.[citation needed]
  • Chemnosit (??? AR): Also known as the Monarch Worm. Feared throughout the Darklands; possibly still active.[4]
  • Volnagur (909? AR): A winged beast.[4] Likely still active.[citation needed]

Other Servants

These three beings have only been sighted in The Pit of Gormuz.[11] Their servitude indicates that they are probably not spawn.[citation needed]

Church of Rovagug

A cleric of the Rough Beast

Rovagug has no large-scale, organized church, but is revered in gatherings large and small throughout Golarion. His worship is most concentrated in the savage Darklands,[16] the Hold of Belkzen, the frozen Realm of the Mammoth Lords, and the harsh deserts of Osirion and Qadira. Rovagug is certainly respected for his destructive power in all nations; the bombard known as the Great Maw of Rovagug in Alkenstar is evidence of this.[citation needed] He is also a frequent object of veneration by Keleshites,[17] Kellids,[18] and half-orcs throughout the Inner Sea region.[19]

Worshipers

His worshipers are savage monsters or human nihilists. They glory in destruction for its own sake and dismiss building and creating as a pastime for those too weak to destroy. Some worshipers do so out of nihilistic misery, others out of self-loathing, and yet others through a simple, burning rage towards the universe. All are dedicated to Rovagug's destructive mission.[citation needed]

He is the primary deity of the orcs,[20] and troglodytes,[7] and ropers consider him to be their creator-deity.[21] The Carrion Tribe gnolls in Katapesh have abandoned the worship of Lamashtu for the favor of Rovagug — how the Mother of Monsters feels about this is unknown.[22]

In the Garundi nation of Katapesh, the worshipers of the Great Beast are driven in a mad quest to blot out the very sun itself as an act of revenge against the hated Sarenrae.[23]

The numerous boggard tribes of the Sodden Lands revere Rovagug. They view the appearance of the Eye of Abendego (an event which greatly benefited them even as it destroyed the surrounding nation of Lirgen) as a manifestation of the Rough Beast, and it sparked off a religious pogrom which led to the slaughter of their priests of Gogunta.[24]

Rovagug is one of the Three Feasters, the deities worshipped by the Koboto tribe of the Sodden Lands.[24]

Clergy

Priests wear shaggy coats dyed in strange colors and hideous masks representing monstrosity and dissolution. A priest of Rovagug makes no contribution to normal society; at best, they may be (unreliable) mercenaries[11]. They typically spend their day hunting beings and things to kill and destroy, saving only that which can be utilized in creating greater destruction. The hierarchy is based solely on raw destructive might, and to rise in the hierarchy, another must be thrown down.[citation needed]

Church services are brutal and primitive, featuring sapient sacrifices, stomping, shouting, and breaking valuables.[25]

Temples & Shrines

Churches to The Beast are banned in nearly every civilized city, and his worship is suppressed in most nations.[2] Secret shrines and sacrificial sites may be recognized by the presence of the famous Fanged Maw (seen on this page), or the less common symbol, a claw surrounded by a spiral.

The rare, true temples of Rovagug are built in caves and other underground locations, with a deep pit in the center (representing Rovagug's prison) that doubles as a midden. These temples also feature a "tame" monster, barely controlled by the priests, which serves as a guardian.[25] The House of the Beast is a nigh legendary temple of Rovagug, said to have been built by a spirit birthed from the very heart of a volcano, and was the center of a multiracial cult that gained strange and terrible powers in return for sacrifice to the Great Beast[26]. Located in Pale Mountain, this currently ruined temple is widely avoided because of its dark reputation.[citation needed]

Holy Texts

Rovagug has and needs no official holy text. He makes his desires known to his faithful by pressing his primordial and awesome thoughts directly upon their minds. These thoughts primarily concern the destruction of all that exists, and freeing the Rough Beast from his ancient tomb.[25]

Although a codified holy text would be contrary to the destructive nature of Rovagug, some unofficial writings do exist. The lunatic Chalmus Col penned the Cycle of the Beast and The Red Mark of Xhor, a bloody spiral imprinted with curses in the name of Rovagug.[27]

Holidays

Any holidays celebrated by Rovagug's dedicated would be suppressed in civilized lands. There are no holidays common to all congregations.[25]

However, some orc shamans celebrate the Waking in early spring. Also, in circumstances of celestial conjunctions in the night sky, the celebration of Lastday may occur. This holiday is irregular, but more often than not occurs in autumn.[28] The stormy month of Rova is named after the Rough Beast.[29]

References

  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 167. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 216. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 153. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  5. 5.0 5.1 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 201. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  6. Todd Stewart. (2009). The Great Beyond: A Guide to the Multiverse, p. 50. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-167-1 "Other the next 5,000 years [after -3923 AR] the cyclic eruption of horrors continued to issue forth from the lip of the Pit [of Gormuz]". Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 153. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1 "The Tarrasque... was but one of a dozen titanic monstered disgorged by the Pit of Gormuz in the last 5,000 years". The Great Beyond is more likely correct given the span from -3923 to 4708 AR.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 225. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  8. Sean K Reynolds. (2012). Groetus. Beyond the Doomsday Door, p. 73. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-474-0
  9. James Jacobs. (2012). Before Sin. Beyond the Doomsday Door, p. 64. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-474-0
  10. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 245. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 32. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  12. Rob McCreary. (2009). The Final Wish. The Final Wish, p. 49-50. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-185-5
  13. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 119. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  14. Pathfinder Staff. (2009). Legacy of Fire Outline. Howl of the Carrion King, p. 88. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-159-6
  15. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 202. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  16. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 58. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  17. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 15. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  18. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 16. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  19. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 29. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  20. James Jacobs et al. (2008). Classic Monsters Revisited, p. 55. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-079-7
  21. James Jacobs et al. (2009). Dungeon Denizens Revisited, p. 50. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-172-5
  22. Stephen S. Greer & Amber E. Scott. (2009). Dark Markets: A Guide to Katapesh, p. 16. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-166-4
  23. Stephen S. Greer & Amber E. Scott. (2009). Dark Markets: A Guide to Katapesh, p. 22. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-166-4
  24. 24.0 24.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 175. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 33. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  26. Stephen S. Greer & Amber E. Scott. (2009). Dark Markets: A Guide to Katapesh, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-166-4
  27. Colin McComb. (2011). Faiths of Corruption, p. 11. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-375-0
  28. Colin McComb. (2011). Faiths of Corruption, p. 31. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-375-0
  29. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 248. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2