|Titles||The Headless King, Lord of Coiling Poison, the Father of Serpents, the Primal Coil, the Sundered God, the Slumbering Speaker Below, the Severed God|
|Home||Darklands (formerly Sydrixus, Maelstrom)|
|Areas of Concern|| Serpentfolk|
|Worshipers||Serpentfolk, lizardfolk, troglodytes, boggards, nagas, sorcerers with the serpentine bloodline, human snake cults, assassins|
|Domains||Chaos, Evil, Nobility, Scalykind, War|
|Subdomains||Demon, Leadership, Martyr, Saurian, Tactics|
|Symbol||Snake skull and ouroboros|
|Sacred Colors||Green, red|
|Images of Ydersius|
Source: Sanctum of the Serpent God, pg(s). 66ff.
|Avatar of Ydersius|
(chaotic, evil, extraplanar)
Source: Sanctum of the Serpent God, pg(s). 54
The ancient deity Ydersius (pronounced yeh-DER-see-us) is the patron of the serpentfolk, a race of snake-like monstrous humanoids who battled humans of ancient Azlant during the Age of Legend. A deity of unquenched passion and anger, the generally more cerebral serpentfolk used him as an example of all that was potent and primal in their psyche.
In the Age of Serpents, Ydersius walked among his people as the embodiment of their might and power, commanded their armies to countless victories, raised great cities, and sired semi-divine offspring who ruled in their father's name.
In one of the final battles of the war between the serpentfolk and the Azlanti, the mighty Azlanti champion Savith led an army to the depths of Garund and decapitated Ydersius in his hallowed sanctum of Ilmurea. However, Savith was unable to kill Ydersius. She threw his headless body to the lightless Darklands deep below, and cast his still-conscious skull into a lake of fire, before succumbing to his venom. His clerics still receive divine magic, a sure sign that he has not followed Aroden into true death.
Although he was not yet dead, Ydersius' defeat marked the terminal decline of the serpentfolk empire. However, the serpentfolk have survived, vow to restore the Headless King. They believe that should his body and head be reunited, Ydersius would return to full power and lead his people on an attack against the surface world.
Yderius once made his home in Sydrixus, a pocket plane within the Maelstrom near the border with the Abyss. He has not returned there since his defeat, and Sydrixus is no longer accessible to his servants; it is unknown if this place still exists anymore.
Ydersius takes the form of a giant, muscled serpentfolk with an impossibly long tail, adamantine-hard scales and iron-like fang. Ydersius is famous for his threefold poison: fang venom, toxic blood, and a cloud of poison exuded from his body. Statues often depict him standing on a pedestal made from the coils of his tail, and wearing an elaborate crown or headdress, although his clothing is simple.
Ydersius' headless body now mindlessly rampages through the depths of Orv, while his skull still lies in the cooled lava lake near Ilmurea where Savith disposed of it, luring serpentfolk to that region and sending them visions and thoughts. Having been divided in two for so long, Ydersius is scarcely conscious or aware of his own followers, and his communions with them are confusing and often conflicting.
Since his fall, no gods have had relationships with Ydersius. Prior to his fall, the pantheon of Azlant led by Abadar, Desna, and Shelyn stood together against the Father of Serpents, and it is extremely likely that these three gods would re-engage their battle against a resurgent Ydersius. He has also long been opposed to Yig, who has turned his attentions elsewhere after Savith defeated Ydersius.
Another enemy of Ydersius was the demon lord Abraxas whose portfolio includes snakes. This initiated a clash of power over the serpentfolk population dear to Ydersius. Some serpentfolk still worship Abraxas, and the cult of Ydersius does not tolerate such heresy.
Three other servants are commonly known within the cult:
Church of Ydersius
Ydersius is the patron deity of the serpentfolk, who are his still-active mortal kin, and an organization known as the Coils of Ydersius dedicated to bringing about his triumphant return. At the height of their empire, the serpentfolk venerated Ydersius as the paragon of their species and embodiment of their eternal empire. Since his defeat, the degenerate serpentfolk have worshipped him as their progenitor and a god of war and poison, while the few remaining advanced serpentfolk see him as the one who would revive the old serpentfolk empire.
In addition to serpentfolk, Ydersius is also worshipped by a few iruxis, boggards and xulgaths as a god who will bring their species back to their old glories. He is also venerated by some nagas and sorcerers as a god of snakes, by human snake cults as a god of immortality, and by fringe assassin groups as a god of poison and murder.
The Skull of Ydersius, a powerful artifact, can be attached to his headless body to allow him to return to full power. Destroying it would permanently kill Ydersius, but this is an almost impossible task. For instance, one method requires Ydersius' manifestation to be dragged to the Boneyard and slain in the presence of Pharasma for her immediate judgment, which would cause him to disintegrate.
For additional resources, see the Meta page.
- Older sources, such as Gods and Magic, grant Animal domain, but all modern sources are consistent in replacing it with War domain instead.
- Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- Sean K Reynolds et al. (2014). Inner Sea Gods, p. 192. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-597-6
- Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 52–53. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
- Rob McCreary. (2011). Ydersius. Sanctum of the Serpent God, p. 67. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-307-1
- James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Into the Darklands, p. 57. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-140-4
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 235. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Tim Hitchcock et al. (2010). Heart of the Jungle, p. 41. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-247-0
- Jesse Benner, Rob McCreary, and Neil Spicer. (2011). Bestiary. Sanctum of the Serpent God, p. 83. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-307-1
- Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 186. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
- Tim Hitchcock et al. (2010). Heart of the Jungle, p. 15. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-247-0
- Neil Spicer. (2011). Sanctum of the Serpent God. Sanctum of the Serpent God, p. 53. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-307-1
- Rob McCreary. (2011). Ydersius. Sanctum of the Serpent God, p. 71. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-307-1
- James Jacobs. (2016). The Elder Mythos. In Search of Sanity, p. 73. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-882-3
- Jesse Benner, Rob McCreary, and Neil Spicer. (2011). Bestiary. Sanctum of the Serpent God, p. 82. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-307-1
- Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 198. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- Rob McCreary. (2011). Ydersius. Sanctum of the Serpent God, p. 68. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-307-1
- Rob McCreary. (2011). Ydersius. Sanctum of the Serpent God, p. 70. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-307-1
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 48. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
- James Jacobs. (2011). Beyond Serpent's Skull. Sanctum of the Serpent God, p. 60. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-307-1
- James Jacobs. (2011). Beyond Serpent's Skull. Sanctum of the Serpent God, p. 61. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-307-1