The Lord of the Green Dragons
The Chained God
“Long before the Gods appeared, in the dim past, uncounted ages ago, there was only the formless confusion. Chaos brooded over by unbroken darkness…”
Tharizdun is the Dark God, described as an incorporeal wraithform, black and faceless, a primordial deity, that of matter at rest and decay of energy, viz. entropy.
The chained god’s name Tharzdu’un derives from the ancient Flan language of sulmitic (សារៈសំខាន់នៃភាពអត់ឃ្លានភាពងងឹត) and translates into common as: “Essence of the Dark Hunger”
The Arch-Lich Vecna worshiped Tharzidun when he began studying magic in the lost city of Fleeth, somewhere south of the Yatil Mountains within what is now the Sheldomar Valley. Cadmus followed in Vecna’s footsteps and also began worshiping the Chained God before he became a lich.
His holy symbols are a dark spiral rune and a two-tiered inverted ziggurat known as an obex. Tharizdun’s “free” holy symbol is a “black sun with variegated rays”. His second holy symbol of an inverted ziggurat indicates that the work of those who bound him would be overturned, according to his clerics.
Tharizdun created the Abyss and the demons that live there by corrupting a portion of the elemental chaos using a shard of pure evil. For this, all the other gods (good, unaligned and evil alike) banded together to seal him away.
He is also known as: The Dark God, The Ender, He of Eternal Darkness, the Ebon God, the Black Sun, the Patient One, He Who Waits, the Anathema, the Father of Elder Evils, the Author of Wickedness, the Eater of Worlds, the Despised, the Undoer, the Chained God
Tharizdun is sometimes worshiped as an entity called the Elder Elemental God, but few of these worshipers recognize the two as being the same entity. Many scholars believe that the two creatures were separate beings. The Elder Elemental God is described as a huge, mottled, tentacled being, or as a pillar of vast elemental force with a body of burning magma, radiating steam.
It is believed that Tharizdun has no allies, given his desire to destroy the entire universe. Should he ever escape from his prison, it is thought that even the most evil of deities would work with their good counterparts to return Tharizdun to his prison. However, the Dark God has been known to work his will secretly by employing various demons (with or without their knowledge) to do his bidding. Examples of fiends so used include Iuz and Zuggtmoy, and the Princes of Elemental Evil.
On Oerth, Tharizdun is particularly opposed by Pelor and Boccob.
Tharizdun created an avatar called Shothragot at the time of the Twin Cataclysms. The avatar was thought to have been destroyed, but in reality it only went into dormancy. Recently freed, Shothragot hopes to collect the 333 gems of Tharizdun and set its master free.
The Demiplane of Imprisonment is hidden somewhere in the depths of the Ethereal Plane, resembling a swollen, crystalline cyst nearly a mile in diameter. The ethereal substance surrounding the demiplane boils with the dreamscapes of Tharizdun’s worshipers and others whose dreams the dark god invades.
Tharizdun’s doctrine is to destroy all and everything encountered.
Most of Tharizdun’s ancient scriptures are long lost. The only one known to remain is the Lament for Lost Tharizdun, penned by his “last cleric,” Wongas.
Tharizdun’s worshipers are often insane. Their ultimate goal is to free their dark deity from his prison. He is rumored to be worshiped by the Scarlet Brotherhood, though these followers may actually be a splinter sect of the organization known as the Black Brotherhood or The Blackthorn.
Tharizdun is sometimes worshiped by nonhuman aberrations such as aboleths, neogi, and grell.
Like his lay worshipers, many of Tharizdun’s priests are mad. Those who are not mad believe that they will reap great rewards and privileges for their aid in freeing him. All of his clerics are extremely secretive and trust only fellow cultists. They lead foul rituals, including human sacrifice, and search ancient sites for clues to freeing their deity. Due to Tharizdun’s imprisonment, his priests must remain in contact with a site or object holding some of the Dark God’s power in order to use their magic. Their favored weapon is the “spiral of decay,” a bizarre weapon about which little is known. Those priests who follow Tharizdun’s Elder Elemental Eye aspect have used a weapon known as a “tentacle rod” (a rod topped with animate tentacles), but it is unknown if this is the same object.
Tharizdun’s temples (often in the shape of black ziggurats) are usually hidden, due to necessity. Known places of worship include an ancient temple located in the Yatil Mountains, as well as a more recently discovered temple in the Lortmils, near the Kron Hills. Although not many people in the Flanaess are aware that Tharizdun exists, it is said that public knowledge of one of his ziggurats would be enough to “raise an army of paladins”.1
Tharizdun has many known artifacts. “One” that is known is actually many: a collection of gems known as the 333 Gems of Tharizdun. Their current location is unknown, but it is certain that the collection was split up long ago. Other artifacts associated with Tharizdun include the horn known as the Wailer of Tharizdun, the sword Druniazth and the Spear of Sorrow. The Scorpion Crown was gifted by him to the last king of Sulm. Still another artifact, the Weeping Hexagram, is in the hands of the Scarlet Brotherhood.
Some say that Tharizdun originated in the Far Realm or in a previous universe. Tharizdun was imprisoned eons ago by the forebears of those beings known as the Great Powers, although it is said that Pelor was also involved. It’s said that both good and evil deities worked together to ensure his imprisonment. As the Dark God, he is credited with the corruption of the Seelie Court. Through the Scorpion Crown, he is said to have destroyed the ancient kingdom of Sulm.
Tharizdun was imprisoned long ago, but his prison may weaken at times, allowing his influence to creep out into the worlds beyond. Tharizdun’s temple in the Yatils is thought to have been originally defeated with the aid of the legendary Six from Shadow.