Scales of War
Dragon Deity of Justice, Honor and Law
Bahamut is revered in many locales. Though all good-aligned dragons pay homage to Bahamut, gold, silver, and brass dragons hold him in particularly high regard. Other dragons, even evil ones (except perhaps his arch rival Tiamat), respect Bahamut for his wisdom and power.
In his natural form, Bahamut is a long, sinuous dragon covered in silver-white scales that sparkle and gleam even in the dimmest light. Bahamut’s catlike eyes are deep blue, as azure as a midsummer sky, some say. Others insist that Bahamut’s eyes are a frosty indigo, like the heart of a glacier. Perhaps the colors merely reflect the Platinum Dragon’s shifting mood.
Bahamut is stern and very disapproving of evil. He brooks no excuses for evil acts. In spite of this stance, he is among the most compassionate beings in the multiverse. He has limitless empathy for the downtrodden, the dispossessed, and the helpless. He urges his followers to promote the cause of good, but prefers to let beings fight their own battles when they can. To Bahamut, it is better to offer information, healing, or a (temporary) safe refuge rather than to take others’ burdens upon oneself.
An equally important aspect to Bahamut is his constant conflict with Tiamat. He continually stands in opposition to her world-dominating schemes. Most recently, she has begun a campaign to heavily populate the world with her spawn. Bahamut has answered this outbreak of evil by recruiting stalwart heroes to his side — the dragonborn.
Bahamut accepts only good clerics. Clerics of Bahamut, whether they are dragons, half-dragons, or other beings attracted to Bahamut’s philosophy, strive to take constant but subtle action on behalf of good, intervening wherever they are needed but striving to do as little harm in the process as possible.
Temples to the Platinum Dragon are very rare. Those few that exist are beautiful, elegant edifices characterized by clean, simple architecture and furnishings. Within them will be public rooms in which the faithful can gather and private rooms for meditation and recuperation.
Dragons will not normally build temples, contenting themselves with simple symbols on the wall that they treat as shrines. Bahamut prefers his followers to worship him with deeds, not objects.
Most of the quests that Bahamut’s followers go on are apt to involve opposing Tiamat in some way. They have few formal rituals. Instead of praying aloud, they count their deeds as prayers, supporting goodness and opposing evil. Bahamut cares little for mere words.
- The Rite of Rebirth
Rarely, humans, elves, halflings, or other humanoid races may hear a call, like a faint question in their hearts, asking them if they want to devote themselves completely to Bahamut. Normally it is first heard before adolescence, but sometimes adults hear it as well. Not all those who are called answer, but those who do may undergo the Rite of Rebirth. Those who commit to this demanding ritual put aside all their weapons and equipment, dressing in a simple linen shift. They meditate for a full day and night, their head filled with reminders of all they are giving up. If they elect to go on, they then enter an egg-shaped chamber at dawn and sleep until dawn the next day, emerging as a dragonborn, a noble, draconic, platinum-scaled version of their previous shape, ready to become a permanent champion against Tiamat and her spawn.
Myths and Legends
- The Prodigal Son
One myth has it that Bahamut is known as the Grandfather of Dragons because he has a son who is the true father of metallic dragonkind. This son rebelled against Bahamut long ago, but if he defeated Bahamut in battle he would be able to claim his father’s place among the gods. Divinations are unable to reveal this son’s location or even his name, though Tiamat’s agents are always on the lookout for him.
- Bahamut’s Death
Legend has it that Bahamut can be permanently slain by his own offspring, or he can be forced to abandon his divinity if he ever commits a dishonorable deed.
- Bahamut’s Rebirth
Bahamut infuses certain chosen warriors, known as Bahamut’s vessels, with a portion of his divinity. Should his divine form be destroyed, these godly sparks may act as embryos that, if certain conditions are met, will allow the Platinum Dragon to be reborn into the world. When every condition is fulfilled, the Vessel will be consumed with divine fire, sacrificing his or her very essence to allow the dragon god to live again. Only the memory of the champion will live on in the god.
Bahamut’s Palace is a glittering wonder built entirely from the great dragon lord’s treasure hoard, with windows of gemstones in settings of gold and silver, walls of inlaid copper and ivory, and floors of beaten mithral. The entire exterior is of pure platinum with gold trimmings. The realm exists simultaneously on the first four layers of Mount Celestia. It travels in a whirlwind from layer to layer, appearing and disappearing at will. (In addition, the realm has open unkeyed portals on each of the first four layers that lead through other gates to his palace on the Elemental Plane of Air, “behind the east wind,” and the Astral void. Yonel is the warden archon responsible for guarding the gate to the North Wind on the first mountain. The guardians of the other three are Kerkoutha at the gate of the South Wind, Moriel at the West, and Ruhiel at the East.)
Within the palace walls are the seven great gold wyrms who attend Bahamut as proxies, as well as his treasures, petitioners who are shepherded by gold dragons, and the spoils of aeons of treasure- gathering – as well as the bones of thousands of would-be thieves.
All of the faithful of Bahamut must follow the Ptarian Code of Honor developed several millennia ago by a great golden wyrm venerated by the Old Empires. The Code is similar to the code of chivalry adopted by certain segments of humanity. In its full form, it comprises several hundred lines of elements, nuances, and commentary. The major precepts, however, include: Justice and Good above all; Honor and Fealty to the King; Honor and Respect to Righteous Innocence; Honor and Duty to the Justicemaker; Honor and Protection to the Lesser Races; Honor and Correction to the Enemies of Justice and Good; and Honor and Forbearance for oneself. Notably, the third precept refers to the protection and respect for good aligned innocents. The fifth precept is also noteworthy in that, destroying an enemy of the Law and the Good is a second-best solution. The ideal outcome would be the conversion of the enemy to the ethos of lawful good. For this reason, the faithful always try to parley before fighting and they always give an opponent a chance to surrender and recant their evil ways.
Bahamut is very stern and disapproving of evil. He accepts no excuses for foul deeds. On the other hand, he is very compassionate, and has boundless empathy for the weak and downtrodden. He urges his followers to promote good, but to let people fight their own battles when they can, providing healing, information, or temporary safe refuge rather than fighting alongside those who can fight for themselves.
Bahamut’s own greatest priority is his endless war with his sister Tiamat. He opposes all her schemes, answering them move for move. He values wisdom, knowledge, prophecies, and song. For a dragon, he is neither vain nor greedy.