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Apsu

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Apsu
Apsu's holy symbol.
(Deity)
Titles Waybringer
The Exiled Wyrm
Maker of All
Home Immortal Ambulatory (travelling demiplane)
Alignment Lawful good
Areas of Concern Good Dragons
Glory
Leadership
Peace
Worshipers Dragons
Cleric Alignments
Domains Artifice, Good, Law, Scalykind, Travel
Subdomains Archon, Construct, Dragon, Exploration, Judgment, Toil, Trade
Favored Weapon Bite or quarterstaff
Symbol Silver dragon above mirror or pool
Sacred Animal None
Sacred Colors Metallic colors
Images of Apsu

Source: Inner Sea Faiths, pg(s). 16-21

Apsu is the patron deity of all good and metallic dragons, and one of the oldest gods of the Great Beyond. Along with Tiamat, he is (at least according to draconic lore) believed to be one of the two original creator beings of the multiverse.[1]

History

Apsu battles Dahak.

According to draconic lore, in the dawn of time there flowed two waters, fresh and salt, which became Apsu and Tiamat, parents of the first gods. However, their eldest son Dahak came to Hell to rampage, then killed his siblings, whose shattered remains fell into the Material Plane and became the first metallic dragons. Enraged, the fresh water descended upon the Material Plane to confront his son, saying the eternal words:[2]

I shall then be Apsu, for I am the first.

Apsu and the metallic dragons defeated Dahak, but as Apsu prepared to land the killing blow, Dahak beseeched his mother, the salt water, for help. The salt water offered to heal the injured metallic dragons in exchange for their aid against Apsu, and some accepted, turning from goodness to evil and becoming the first chromatic dragons. Dahak escaped the ensuing battle between the metallic and chromatic dragons, but Apsu bade his followers to not pursue him. He then asked the salt water why she aided their son, but she only named herself Tiamat, blamed Apsu for the deaths of their children, and expelled him from their primordial realm.[2][3][4][5]

Some time after, Apsu came to Golarion to join numerous other deities in the battle against Rovagug, where he was unexpectedly aided by his wayward son. After Rovagug was defeated and contained in the Dead Vault, Apsu spoke to Dahak, expressing his surprise at how he was not betrayed. Dahak then vowed to kill Apsu, who declared that Golarion would be their battlefield; the battle between Apsu and Dahak still rages on Golarion.[6]

Home

Apsu makes his home in the Immortal Ambulatory, a demiplane of wandering stars and floating islands that moves about from plane to plane in the Great Beyond.[7] The Immortal Ambulatory can embed itself in different planes, and can often be found in Heaven. Apsu is most often found in the Opalescent Cathedral, which resides on an island at the center of the demiplane.[8]

Appearance

Apsu appears as a regal silver dragon dwarfing the largest great wyrms. His scales sparkle with a pearlescent glow.[2]

Relationships

Apsu maintains strong relationships with good deities, in particular lawful ones like Torag. Sarenrae remembers his contribution in imprisoning Rovagug in the Dead Vault. Cayden Cailean views the coming battle between Apsu and Dahak as a 'good rumble', while Gorum sees it as a war where his followers could fight. Iomedae approached him after having completed the Test of the Starstone, seeking to ask him to involve more deeply in worldly affairs; although a formal alliance is impossible due to Apsu's focus on the battle against Dahak, the two deities still agreed to defend each other, symbolised by Iomedae's gold dragon servant Peace through Vigilance.[8]

Apsu and Dahak are arch-enemies, the two having battled countless times across history. They once worked together to imprison Rovagug, but Dahak has no intention of ever doing this again and focuses his entire existence on the eventual final battle against Apsu.[8]

Asmodeus, the only evil god known to approach Apsu, has offered his services for some unknown reason and price, but Apsu has politely refused every time. It is rumoured that he has offered to weaken both Apsu for Dahak and Dahak for Apsu, making his true intent unclear.[8]

Church of Apsu

Apsu surrounded by dragons.

Unsurprisingly, most of Apsu's worshipers are metallic dragons, although some non-aligned draconic creatures such as primal dragons and wyverns worship him as well.[9] Few dragons practice divine magic, preferring to leave that to their humanoid allies.[10] As Apsu's prime purpose is the destruction of Dahak, few non-dragons take up his cause, although honourable humanoids with an interest in draconic lore have taken up his faith from time to time. They typically wear a gold dragon's foot brooch, or have other custom-made equipment in the shape of a dragon's foot.[11]

Golarion lacks much of a centralized humanoid church of Apsu. The largest congregation of humanoid Apsu worshipers on the planet is known as the Platinum Band, which maintains relatively small centers of worship in Oppara and Absalom.[12] Apsu is more widely worshiped by humanoids on the planet Triaxus, where he is the patron deity of the Dragon Legion. The Legion's leaders prohibit their priests from revealing Apsu's connection to Golarion, so younger legionnaires would not be tempted to prematurely journey there to help him. Instead, they hope to raise a grand army to offer Apsu when the time comes for him to fight Dahak.[13][14]

Brass dragons, gregarious in the extreme, generally fill the role as Apsu's servants and diplomats, although few of them could be considered particularly devout. Nevertheless, they always come when they are needed.[15]

The church's holy text is the Draconic Apsu, an epic poem written by the blind gold dragon sage Gunnarrex. Both the first day of the winter solstice and the first day of summer are considered holy days by the church.[14]

Followers

Apsu's herald is Oreganus, a bespectacled celestial silver dragon with the ability to create solid fortifications with his breath.[8]

Apsu's other planar allies include:[8]

References

Paizo published a major article on Apsu in Inner Sea Faiths.

For additional resources, see the Meta page.

  1. Mike McArtor. (2007). Dragons of Golarion. Fortress of the Stone Giants, p. 61-62. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-039-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Robert Brookes et al. (2016). Apsu. Inner Sea Faiths, p. 18. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-825-0
  3. Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 52. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  4. Mike McArtor. (2007). Dragons of Golarion. Fortress of the Stone Giants, p. 60. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-039-1
  5. Anson Caralya. (2007). Guardians of Dragonfall, Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-056-8
  6. Robert Brookes et al. (2016). Dahak. Inner Sea Faiths, p. 36. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-825-0
  7. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 245. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Robert Brookes et al. (2016). Apsu. Inner Sea Faiths, p. 21. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-825-0
  9. Sean K Reynolds et al. (2014). Inner Sea Gods, p. 188. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-597-6
  10. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 228. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  11. Colin McComb. (2011). Faiths of Purity, p. 18. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-314-9
  12. Robert Brookes et al. (2016). Apsu. Inner Sea Faiths, p. 18. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-825-0
  13. Matthew Goodall. (2013). The Frozen Stars. The Frozen Stars, p. 22. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-495-5
  14. 14.0 14.1 Robert Brookes et al. (2016). Apsu. Inner Sea Faiths, p. 19. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-825-0
  15. Mike McArtor. (2009). Dragons Revisited, p. 19. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-165-7