Dragons
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Io, otherwise referred to as Asgorath, is the greater deity and primordial of all dragonkind as well balance and peace, creating all dragons in his image and is responsible for the destiny of each and every dragon in the multiverse. According to legends, Io is said to have created the multiverse itself, holds the memory of everything in existence, knows all spells, carries one version of every magic item in existence, and perceives the future.[1]

Appearance

Io’s true form is unknown, with Io being said to have only once appeared in his physical form, which was during the creation of the multiverse, and has never appeared since, not even to his worshipers. That being said, Io has manifested as an avatar before when communicating with mortals he deems exceptionally intelligent, which he does by drawing the mortal's astral-body to fly with his avatar in the Astral Plane. Those that have this experience regard it as a wondrous dream.[1]

Io's avatar is said to be covered with a coat of blue scales edged with silver and dark purple.[1] His avatars are also described to be massive, with an individual scale being bigger than the largest mortal dragon.

History

The history of Io is shrouded in mystery, the only material focused on his history being myths and legends.

Myths

Io (right) facing off against Erek-Hus, the King of Terror (left)

According to a tale formed by Dragon Sages, there are two voids of existence, the First Void, a realm that predates the multiverse where Io and nothing else exists, and the Shadow Void, where Io is said to have shed his blood into. His blood would then become the source of all creation. This tale is meant to explain why other non-dragon races don’t see Io as their creator deity, as they only know of the Shadow Void.[1]

According to a different dragon cosmology, it is believed that Io had arisen from the Elemental Chaos and had created dragonkind as the first mortal creatures, the dragons being composed of the primal elements themselves. After creation, an event known as the Sundering would take place where the primordials and deities would engage in a great war. During the war, the primordial Erek-Hus, the King of Terror, would kill Io and several of his descendants, the two halves then forming into Io's two children, Bahamut and Tiamat (either this, or Tiamat and Bahuamat were Io's eldest children and recieved Io's divine spark upon death, according to a different legend).[2]

According to a folktale described by draconic descendants, Io emerged from inside the shell of nothingness that held everything within it between the inside of the shell and the yolk. Foreseeing the creation of all living creatures from nothingness, Io blended with and became one with the nothingness, and then began to enlarge until he encompassed the night sky outside of the shell. When everything within the shell subsequently expanded, Io became one with everything as well. The dragon god then started to spin, the worlds, sky, and stars coming from the spinning as well as various colors and "gleaming streaks of metal" that separated into two rings. These two rings became Tiamat and Bahamut respectively as well as all other dragons, the dragons being the first creatures to exist. Io still spins to this day, although at a much slower rate, and when he stops the nothingness will encase him and form an egg that will contain all of the worlds and futures to follow..[3]

In another folktale told by draconic descendants, Io created the Spheres of Concordance, magical demiplanes designed to bring peace and rest to dragons that could find them, as a final act of creation. The Spheres used to be able to be found by all dragons, however after the dwarven deity Roknar found a sphere and took it for himself alongside slaughtering all of the dragons that came to it, Io hid the spheres after defeating Roknar and reobtaining the sphere. Furthermore, Io began to sing, and after mixing the blood of every dragon with his tears, the song spread out across the multiverse and metaphysically linked the spheres and all of dragonkind so that no other creature could enter or harness the sphere's energy. Finally, Io gave the exact locations of the spheres to his high priest, Noathirthos the Treasure Keeper, making him and those he teaches the only ones who know where the spheres reside.[3]

According to the dragonborn, Io's first child was Vorel, a dim-witted yet good natured dragon who had the perfect physical characteristics of dragonkind. While Io loved Vorel, he decided that one dragon could not embody all aspects of dragonkind and went on to create Bahamut and Tiamat, the two dragons embodying all aspects of dragonkind. While Io intended for the two to eventually mate and produce the perfect dragons, Bahamut and Tiamat instead formed an immediate rivalry and strived to get their father's affection over the other. When Bahamut started to gain more attention, Tiamat started to scheme and took notice of Io's love for Vorel. After failing to get her brother to form a hatred for Vorel, Tiamat resorted to slaying Vorel and framing Bahamut. While Tiamat expected Io to become enraged, Io deducted Tiamat as the true killer and banished her from his presence. With all of her love for her father gone, Tiamat created all of evil dragonkind, prompting Bahamut to respond back by creating all of good dragonkind.[3]

According to kobolds, after Io had taught dragons to create life by sacrificing a piece of themselves, the Green Dragon Caesisnsjach created the first kobold, Kurutlmak, from her blood. After Kurutlmak's mine collapsed on him and the rest of the kobolds at the hands of the gnomish diety Garl Glittergold, Io found him and gave him two choices: either Io could give the kobold the strength to rebuild the mine or he would make Kurutlmak the champion of his race for eternity at the cost of his mine not being rebuilt. Not willing to give up on his people, Kurutlmak chose the latter option.[3]

Dogma

Io cares only for his creations, dragonkind, and wishes to sustain their existence. He does not show any favoritism to any of his children, and if one of his children were to be a danger to the rest of his children he will aid whoever seeks to destroy that individual. Beyond that, Io does not tend to engage in conflicts involving dragons unless the situation were to escalate, in which case he would send a servitor to represent him.[4]

Clergy and Temples

Due to encompassing all alignments of dragonkind at once and at the same time remaining technically neutral, Io has the fewest active clerics out of almost any draconic deity. Several clerics of other draconic gods however have paid homage to Io regardless of alignment along with clerics of the reptillian gods such as kobolds and lizardfolk.[4]

Those who are devoted to Io have no specific dogma, and embark on an internal journey to achieve an overall neutral outlook of the world and washing away all judgements or biases they might have of it, akin to their deity. This can be seen in Half-Dragon priests of Io, who are ascetic, and Kobold priests, who seek to judge all races, even their enemies, with objectivity.[4]

Io has few temples, with shrines being preferred to be placed in wide open spaces by his worshippers. Io's shrines are simple pilled constructions open to the air and covered with a half dome, the inside of which contains dragon lore.

Prayers

Prayers to Io are known to emit a deep pleasant feeling throughout the prayer's body, strengthening them. A common prayer, in the form of a request, is "Io, Swallower of Shades, shine in the face of your servant". Prayers to Io from Half-Dragons usually take the form of questions, such as "Why, though I walk with you, are my steps in darkness?". [3]

Io does not answer prayers, however he does listen to them.

Rites

Rites to Io usually involve "blending". A typical activity might be mixing wine with a drop of blood from each participant in the ritual, then passing the cup around for everyone to drink.

The name of Io is invoked in regards to dragon heritage and history, as well as when predicting the future of dragonkind.

Quests

Io's quests are random and often given no explanation, with Io expecting his followers to trust his requests. Common missions for clerics might involve locating or consecrating a lost shrine possibly in hostile territory. A rarer mission might be finding the lair of an ancient dragon, facing the inhabitant, and taking away a peice of essential draconic lore. Quests given to half-dragons often involve searching for other half-dragons who they can reveal Io's love to.[3]

Relations

Io's association with neutrality and balance gets him paired with Chronepis, the Draconic God of Death. The two are even occasionally seen as brothers, this relationship represented with the symbol a nine-headed dragon with nine tails at the symbol's center, each head eating one of the tails.[1]

Heralds

Io's most notable herald is Aasterinian, who can intervene in matters of importance in Io's place. Otherwise, Io will send a herald that matches the blood of the dragonblooded recipient. Planar Dragons can also be called to Io's assistance.[3]

Allies

Io is revered and worshipped by the Singers of Concordance, a small group of wandering priests who were taught the locations of the Spheres of Concordence and guide dragons to them, in addition to being entrusted by Io to protect them.[3]

In the cosmology where Io is dead, Io's spirit is served by the Mithral Dragons, who act at his will.[5]

Powers and Abilities

As an avatar, Io has the statistics of a Great Gold Wyrm with additional benefits. His breath weapon matches the dragon he has current taken the form of, and if his avatar is neutral he can use the spells Cone of Cold, Cloud of Fire, and Lightning Bolt in the form of breath weapons. His fear aura is also extended to 200 yards.[1]

Io's avatar uses spells from all spheres and schools. He possesses immunity to all spells that are 7th level or lower, weapons that have below a +4 enchantment bonus, as well as poison, paralysis, petrification, death magic, mind-affecting spells, spells such as imprisonment and trap the soul, and spells like wish if they were to affect his true nature. It also resists cold attacks, fire attacks, and electricity attacks.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Carl Sergant (1992) Monster Mythology TSR Inc.
  2. Bruce R. Cordell, Ari Marmell, Robert J. Schwalb (2008) Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons Wizards of the Coast
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Gwendolyn F.M. Krestel, Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Kolja Raven Liquette (2006) Races of the Dragon Wizards of the Coast
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Andy Collins, Skip Williams, James Wyatt (2003) Draconomicon: Book of Dragons. Wizards of the Coast
  5. Bruce R. Cordell, Ari Marmell (2009) Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons Wizards of the Coast

External Links

  • Asgorath on Forgotten Realms Wiki
  • Io on Ebberon Wiki
  • Io on Dungeons & Dragons Lore Wiki
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