Curse of the Crimson Throne
Abadar (pronounced AH-bah-dar), the god of cities, law, merchants, and wealth, is known to be a patient deity. Maintaining a strong neutral stance in his actions, he sets forth to expand civilization and order among the peoples of Golarion.
Abadar and his followers wish to bring the light of civilization to the wilderness, to help educate all in the benefits of law and properly regulated commerce. He expects his followers to obey all meaningful laws, but not those which are ridiculous, unenforceable, or self-contradictory. He is also a great proponent of peace, as war inevitably leads to the degradation of trade and the stifling of prosperity for the general public. He advocates cautious, careful consideration in all matters, and frowns on impulsiveness, believing that it leads to the encouragement of primitive needs. Abadar discourages dependence on government or any religious institution, believing that wealth and happiness should be achievable by anyone with keen judgement, discipline, and a healthy respect for all sensible, just laws.
During the Age of Creation, Abadar was among the original gods who battled the Rough Beast who sought to destroy Golarion, and were eventually able to contain him in the Dead Vault.
Abadar has long served as the guardian and protector of the First Vault in the city of Axis, a repository said to be crafted by the deity’s own hand that contains perfect versions of everything ever created or seen by civilized peoples. He is also credited with guiding the advancement of humanoid races towards the point where they could establish civilized societies of their own.
He was worshiped by the ancient Azlanti before Earthfall, who focused more on his aspects as a god of cities and gold, rather than of law.
Abadar is often described as a clean, refined and cultured Taldan human, with dark hair and wearing a golden breastplate. Dressed in an embroidered cloak and fine clothes, Abadar is often depicted possessing a number of keys. Humans, dwarves and gnomes depict Abadar with a beard, whereas elves show him beardless, with braids tied in gold thread. In a common myth, Abadar assumes the form of a two-headed (to represent his balanced viewpoint) eagle for a single day each year and grants favor to those faithful that recognize him as he soars overhead.
In Tian Xia, Abadar is generally portrayed in painting and sculpture as a good-looking and handsome Tian-Shu man who wields a golden crossbow and is dressed in golden robes which are muddy on the bottom.
Abadar strives to maintain agreeable relationships with the other deities, recognizing their influence is conducive to the further advancement of civilized life. In particular, he cultivates strong alliances with Iomedae, Irori, Shelyn, Asmodeus, and Erastil, though differences in opinion often result in conflicts between Abadar and Old Deadeye. Gozreh often opposes Abadar’s actions, though the Judge of the Gods only recognizes Rovagug and Lamashtu as true enemies. Abadar is sometimes seen as a paternal authority figure, especially to others possessing origins in Taldor. Because he is the patron god of merchants, Abadar is often associated with the philosophy known as the Prophecies of Kalistrade. The god Aroden respected Abadar and consulted Abadar’s The Manual of City-Building to aid in his establishment of the country of Taldor and of the city-state of Absalom. Once, Abadar opened channels to the archdevil Mephistopheles to cement an alliance based on the archdevil’s interest in contracts but these negotiations failed.
The faithful of Abadar believe that sudden windfalls of financial good fortune are signs of the god’s approval, while increases in expenses that lead to poverty are proof of his anger.
Abadar and his faithful hold creatures that symbolize law and perfection in high regard. Of particular favor are eagles, hippogriffs, griffons, and his divine servitors, the horse-like orshevals. On the plane of Axis (and sometimes beyond), he is also served by races that share his philosophy, including archons, axiomites, and inevitables.
- Cobblehoof — This highly intelligent celestial hippogriff usually appears in full barding, ready to bear a rider into battle.
- The Ghost of Malthus — Believed to have once been a priest of Abadar, this spirit is known to appear as a sign of impending plague or suffering.
- The Lawgiver — Appearing as a massive statue of gold and steel, this construct is the herald of Abadar. It wields the Gavel of Abadar in battle, and arrives in order to thwart the spread of chaos. Alternatively, the Lawgiver has been known to take the form of a two-headed eagle.
Church of Abadar
The temples of Abadar are designed to function independently of one another, usually serving a single community or region. The individual clergy are usually aligned with the local government, but are forbidden to fight amongst themselves and often stand as a neutral faction during legitimate conflicts. Worship of the Master of the First Vault in the Inner Sea region is commonplace in the nations of Absalom, Andoran, Brevoy, Cheliax, Druma, Katapesh, the Mana Wastes, Molthune, Nex, Osirion, Sargava, Taldor, and Varisia, and among Chelaxians, dwarves, halflings, Keleshites, Taldans, Tian, and Varisians in all parts of the Inner Sea region.
Abadar is primarily worshiped by judges, merchants, lawyers, and aristocrats, though many others turn to the worship of the Master of the First Vault in the hope of attaining wealth and happiness. He is also an object of veneration by the poor, or those who have suffered at the hands of others. These latter groups pray that their suffering is alleviated, and that justice is restored to them. Abadar’s faithful believe structures represent the protection provided by society and always hold formal ceremonies indoors. Regular services are generally held in the morning and often involve songs which require the congregation to harmonize, which may symbolize the community working together. Lay worshipers will maintain the appearance of prosperity in manner and dress and, even in periods of hardship, a tidy appearance.
Certain dedicated worshipers of Abadar perform daily obediences in order to receive divine blessings known as a boons from their god. The obedience takes the form of a ritual in which the worshiper places a collection of keys, gems, and coins on a scale, and moves them back and forth until both sides are balanced, all the while meditating on passages from The Order of Numbers, one of Abadar’s holy texts.
Abadar’s association with cities and trade means he is worshipped by many halflings, who tend to congregate in Golarion’s larger settlements. Abadar is also venerated by dwarven engineers and architects.
Worship in Tian Xia
Abadar is also a popular deity on the continent of Tian Xia on the other side of Golarion from the Inner Sea region. There he is known as the god of walls and ditches, and closely associated with the building of earthworks, both for defense and the expansion of land. A temple of Abadar exists in almost every major city on the continent, and the independent city of Goka is said to contain the greatest church in all the Dragon Empires, if not the entire world.
The clergy of Abadar is primarily composed of clerics, but inquisitors and occasionally paladins are called into his service as well. Clerics and paladins of Abadar are granted special favor with the preparation of the spell word of recall, provided it is used to return them to the designated sanctuary of the temple of their home city.
Knights of Abadar fight against corruption and anarchy. They understand both the letter and spirit of the law. They often serve as judges in places where the application of law is starting to dissolve.
Clerical orders include Taxmasters, Justiciars, and the Balanced Scales, primarily based in Katapesh. Taxmasters are primarily inquisitors and include both the less intimidating, desk-bound investigators and the enforcers in the field, which may be charged to mete out justice directly. Justiciars are a prestigious order of devout clergy, dedicated to spreading their deity’s ideals of civilization and order, at the point of a crossbow bolt, if necessary. Balanced Scales of Katapesh fill a unique role searching out hidden, misplaced or ill-gotten wealth for the benefit of the church and in return gain access to the First Vault
The clergy structure their orders like mercantile houses, with Bankers and Archbankers responsible for territories of increasing size with each church counting each coin in its vault as a blessing unto itself.
The priesthood sees their role as responsible for encouraging civilization, trade, and law by promoting co-operation and fairness and by providing loans and other banking services. They encourage thrift and neighborly behavior as a means to enhance each individual’s self-interest. Their own service to the community may include pro-bono legal services but they do not donate healing services—except those that help overall community and public health.
Knowledge of the law and community news are important areas of concern and part of the daily routine to the priesthood. Younger members are expected to carry news and administer justice, typically carrying a golden bolt to compensate the family of any criminal executed.
The clergy never give money, regardless of the need, but will instead loan the required funds at a reasonable rate, recording the details in the books and records of the church. Conversely they themselves are expected to tithe to the church and often ensure the funds are available to tithe from income generated by their direct investments in the local community.
Most Abadaran priests attired for formal services dress in robes of white silk trimmed with golden thread with a belt or necklace of gold holding a single, golden key. They also often wear half-cloaks of deep yellow or golden color.
Temples and shrines
Temples dedicated to Abadar are usually large, elaborately decorated buildings designed for multiple functions; in addition to being centers of worship, they often provide the surrounding community with banking and other services. Such sites are often built near courthouses, and led by a Banker or Archbanker. Most temples contain elaborate stained glass windows of predominantly yellow color that bathe the interior with a soft, golden light. These windows are generally high and narrow to discourage thieves.
With the clergy of Abadar often serving their communities as clerks, a given temple is likely to have extensive records within its vaults. Among these many documents, the following texts have primary importance among the god of cities’ faithful.
The Order of Numbers
Usually bearing elaborate decoration, writing, and binding, this book serves as the core text of the Church of Abadar.
The Manual of City-Building
Often stored prominently in a place of honor, this text contains advice on the topic of founding and running a community.
The first month of the year, Abadius, is named in honor of the Master of the First Vault, and in conjunction with spreading Abadar’s ideals, the Church celebrates festivals associated with his goals.
—This day, which varies from year to year, marks the arrival of the first shipment of goods from the fall harvest.
—After taxes have been collected, the clergy of Abadar celebrates with a feast open to the community and its leaders.
The Brotherhood of Abadar
—Enforcers of the Ivy District and Vault of Abadar in Absalom.
The Korvosan Guard
—The primary law enforcers for Korvosa, which works closely with the church.
The Order of the Godclaw
—This religious Hellknight order venerates the lawful aspects of Abadar, along with those of a number of other like-minded deities, but is not affiliated with his church.
The Sea Dragons
—An independent fleet, available for hire, which provides protection, escort, or carriage services to merchants at the right price.
Abadar • Asmodeus • Calistria • Cayden Cailean • Desna • Erastil • Gorum • Gozreh • Iomedae • Irori • Lamashtu • Nethys • Norgorber • Pharasma • Rovagug • Sarenrae • Shelyn • Torag • Urgathoa • Zon-Kuthon