Abbathor

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Abbathor
Jeweled Dagger Facing Point Down
Alignment Neutral Evil
Divine Rank Intermediate Deity
1E: Greater Deity
Pantheon Morndinsamman
Portfolio Greed
Domains 2E: All, Charm, Combat, Divination, Guardian, Wards minor: Creation, Healing, Necromantic, Protection, Summoning, Sun
3E: Dwarf, Evil, Luck, Trade, Trickery, Greed
5E: Trickery
Home Plane Glitterhell (Hades or Dwarfhome)
Worshippers Evil Dwarves, Dwarf Rogues, Misers
Favoured Weapon Heart of Avarice (Dagger)

Abbathor is the Dwarf God of Greed in Dungeons & Dragons. He is unique in two aspects; he is not only one of the oldest members of the Morndinsamman, having first appeared in Dragon Magazine #58 alongside the other initial members of the dwarf pantheon - Berronar Truesilver, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Dumathoin and Vergadain, he was also the only evil member of the dwarven pantheon to still recognized as part of that pantheon, instead of being outcast like Laduguer, Deep Duerra, Diinkarazan and Diirinka, until the invention of Roknar in Races of Stone for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition.

His titles consist of: Great Master of Greed, Trove Lord, Wyrm of Avarice and The Avaricious.

1st Edition[edit]

Detailed, as mentioned above, in Dragon Magazine #58, Abbathor is described as a distrusted and unpredictable occasional-ally, occasional-foe of the other dwarven deities. Selfish and greedy to the core, he will only aid dwarves, when he can bothered to aid anybody.

That said, he wasn't always a jerk; once, long ago, he was merely the dwarven god of gems and precious metals, responsible for their admiration but in an artistic sense more than an avaricious one. And then Moradin chose to appoint Dumathoin as the racial protector of the mountain dwarves, and this embittered Abbathor; he believed that such a role belonged to him. So, he distanced himself from the Morndinsamman, sinking into deviousness and self-serving behavior as he became consumed with the urge for revenge. To this end, he seeks to encourage the growth of greed as the dominant force within the dwarven psyche, as an act of spite against his one-time family.

Abbathor is described as being literally compelled by his greed; his statblock gives him a 40% chance to be overwhelmed by greed should he set eyes upon any magical item, or on treasure with more than 1000 gold pieces. If that happens, he has a 50-50 chance of either trying to steal what's caught his eye or trying to kill the original owner; if he can't steal it, he'll try to destroy it out of sheer spite.

He is described as maintaining an uneasy truce with Vergadain, over their shared love of roaming the Prime Material in pursuit of treasure.

2nd Edition[edit]

Like most demihuman deities, AD&D 2nd edition saw Abbathor's lore relegated to a Forgotten Realms splatbook, the simply named "Demihuman Deities".

This lore mostly built upon the fairly brief lore from Dragon #58. As such, it's explained that Abbathor was once merely the dwarven god of gems and precious metals, but fell to evil due to bitterness when he lost out being appointed as patron god of the mountain dwarves to Dumathoin. Now, he strives to promote the worst aspects and major weaknesses of dwarven character out of his spite.

As in D#58, he maintains an uneasy truce with Vergadain, but is estranged from the rest of the pantheon. He deeply hates Moradin and Dumathoin, shares a bitter mutual enmity with Clanggedin Silverbeard, and is loathed by Berronar Truesilver for his deceitful nature. That said, he hasn't been expelled because, for all the distrust and the fact he embodies the worst traits of their people, he's still loyal to the dwarves as a whole and will stand with the Morndinsamman in times of crisis.

Tough luck for anybody else who might need his help if they aren't a dwarf, though.

According to "Demihuman Deities", Abbathor appears as a tall, fat, piggy-eyed dwarf with sallow skin, a squat, hunched build, yellow-green eyes, and a sharp, hooked nose. He seems to slither and sidle along as he walks, never making much noise but often rubbing his hands together. If carrying precious stones or metals, he often unconsciously touches them, frequently caressing them in a sensuous manner. He has a harsh, husky, wheedling voice and a quick temper, hissing and spitting when angry.

...Yeah, you can tell why this was dropped in 3rd edition, can't you?

His greed has gotten even worse than in 1st edition; now he automatically attempts to steal from or murder anybody carrying magical items or treasure worth more than 1000 gold pieces.

Abbathor manifests his influence in six ways:

  • Inflicting a sudden intense treasure lust that can drive victims to seize treasure even at the expense of killing whoever stands in their way.
  • Causing a dwarf to be suddenly made aware of the precise location, nature and value of hidden gems within 10 feet
  • Dropping a 1-turn-long Silence & Darkness 15ft Radius spell on a dwarf who is trying to escape after stealing something.
  • Trying to make coins & gems leaps from an opened treasure chest or a disturbed hoard pile to conceal themselves so he can pilfer them later.
  • In response to his name being spoken, an invisible hand may snatch and clutch at the purse, pockets, worn jewelry or sacks of the speaker, potential pilfering lose items.
  • Jewels near to either Abbathor's avatar or somebody he is focusing on will begin making a high-pitched, multitoned chiming.

Abbathor-worshipping specialist clerics and cleric-thieves cannot turn undead before 7th level, and suffer a -4 level penalty to determine their turning ability, but gain a +2 bonus to their attack & damage rolls against the undead. Specialist Clerics of Abbathor can use any type of weapon. In the Dwarven language, the specialist priests of Abbathor are called an Aetharnor, meaning "those consumed with greed".

Although he is publically reviled in dwarven society, his influence is strong enough that he is begrudgingly accepted, sort of like a disreputable member of the clan who has nonetheless never done anything bad enough to warrant being kicked out. He temples consist of underground caverns of secret, windowless rooms dominated by massive, plain blocks of stone; these serve as sacrificial altars where offerings are burnt. The rest of the chamber is richly decorated, with gold leaf on the walls and caches of purloined treasure - the holiest temples of Abbathor are the captured lairs of dragons.

Novitates in the faith of Abbathor are called Goldseekers, whilst full-fledged priests are referred to as the Hands of Greed. In ascending order of rank, Abbathoran priests are called: Coveters of Copper, Seekers of Silver, Lusters of Electru, Hoarders of Gold, Plunderers of Platinum, and Misers of Mithral. The high priests are collectively known as the Masters of Greed, but they take their own unique titles.

Abbathor's Dogma is simple: "Seek to acquire all that shines or sparkles, and revel in the possession of such. The wealth of the earth was created for those dwarves strong and crafty enough to acquire it by any means necessary. Greed is good, as it mlotivates the acquisition and holding of all that is truly precious. Do not seize wealth from the children of the Morndinsamman, however, nor conspire against the favored of Abbathor, for such strife in the name of avarice weakens the clan."

This last aspect of Abbathor's dogma is called "Abbathor's Commandment", and is frequently used to chide potentially over-eager dwarven thieves. The Abbathorans do not like to remember that this was uttered purely in order to preserve some members of the faith after angry fellow dwarves had slaughtered thief after thief in the robes of Abbathor's clergy.

That said, Abbathor's more powerful priests do secretly work to slowly undermine the faiths of Dumathoin and Berronar Truesilver. As this must be done without giving themselves away as traitors or endangering the rest of the clan, it's somethign they approach with great care and at a slow pace.

In daily life, the Abbathorans seek to enrich dwarfkind as a whole, and themselves in particular. Whilst every Abbathoran is looking to build up a damn huge cache of loot to retire upon, they also seek to contribute to common dwarven profit. Being who they are, they focus predominantly on shady or underhanded arrangements; smuggling and assassination is common. Perhaps worse still, the Abbathorans are willing to trade with anyone in pursuit of filthy lucre; dwarves have literally fallen to fine-quality dwarven axes wielded by orcs who were sold those axes by the Abbathorans!

Solar eclipses, or any other day when the sun is suddenly blotted out, such as during a volcanic eruption, are holy days in the Abbathoran chuch.

The most holy rite of the Abbathoran church is a yearly sacrifice of an enemy of the dwarf race, which can be "anything from an elf to a boar". Orcs, trolls and giants are preferred. Such a creature is strapped to the altar and killed, then the faithful offer gems, which are placed within the blood staining the altar - the more valuable the offering, the greater it is believed Abbathor will benefit the offerer in the next year. Then the corpse and its gems are all burnt.

Priests of Abbathor always dress in red - a brilliant scarlet, specifically, which is worn as underclothing for everyday use and as over-robes for ceremonial occasions. Over this is worn leather armor with leather caps (never helms), or else dark crimson robes. No priest of Abbathor will ever wear wealth openly.

The holy symbol of the faith is a gold coin (2 inches in diameter, minimum) stamped on both faces with Abbathor's jeweled dagger, point-downwards.

3rd Edition[edit]

In third edition, Abbathor once again returned as part of the Forgotten Realms line, in "Faiths and Pantheons".

His entry in this book was quite unremarkable, being mostly a cut-down version of his lore from "Demihuman Deities" (as was the case for most such gods). It did specify that the yearly sacrifice involved ripping open the victim's ribcage to create "Abbathor's purse", making it easier for the gems to be soaked in the sacrifice's blood.

4th Edition[edit]

In 4th edition, because of new design directions, Abbathor fell under the radar; the developers decided that most of the racial pantheons had boiled down to just "God of X, but for Race Y". As such, Abbathor was downgraded in this edition from a full-fledged god to an Exarch and mentioned only in passing.

5th Edition[edit]

Abbathor is only of note in 5th edition for his brief appearance in "Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes". Whilst still the god of greed, he is given a more nuanced portrayal, with greed being portrayed as not just an inspiration to be a thief and a murderer, but also a motivator for change, improvement, and innovation. Thus, disreputable as he is, Abbathor's influence is described as also helping the dwarven race from succumbing to stagnation, given its naturally conservative mindset.

The non-human deities of Dungeons and Dragons
Leader Others
Dragons: Io Aasterinian - Astilabor - Bahamut - Chronepsis - Falazure - Garyx - Hlal - Lendys - Sardior - Tamara - Tiamat
Drow: Lolth Eilistraee - Ghaunadaur - Keptolo - Kiaransalee - Malyk - Selvetarm - Vhaeraun - Zinzerena
Dwarves: Moradin Abbathor - Berronar Truesilver - Clangeddin Silverbeard - Deep Duerra - Dugmaren Brightmantle - Dumathoin - Fortubo
Gendwar Argrim - Gorm Gulthyn - Haela Brightaxe - Hanseath - Laduguer - Marthammor Duin - Muamman Duathal
Mya - Roknar - Sharindlar - Thard Harr - Tharmekhûl - Thautam - Ulaa - Valkauna - Vergadain
Elves: Corellon Larethian Aerdrie Faenya - Alathrien Druanna - Alobal Lorfiril - Angharradh - Araleth Letheranil - Darahl Firecloak - Deep Sashelas
Elebrin Liothiel - Erevan Ilesere - Fenmarel Mestarine - Gadhelyn - Hanali Celanil - Kirith Sotheril - Labelas Enoreth
Melira Taralen - Mythrien Sarath - Naralis Analor - Rellavar Danuvien - Rillifane Rallathil - Sarula Iliene - Sehanine Moonbow
Shevarash - Solonor Thelandira - Tethrin Veraldé - Tarsellis Meunniduin - Trishina - Vandria Gilmadrith - Ye'Cind
Giants: Annam Diancastra - Grolantor - Hiatea - Iallanis - Karontor - Memnor - Skoraeus Stonebones - Stronmaus - Surtr - Thrym
Goliaths: Kavaki Kuliak - Manethak - Naki-Uthai - Theleya - Vanua
Gnomes: Garl Glittergold Baervan Wildwanderer - Baravar Cloakshadow - Bleredd - Callarduran Smoothhands - Flandal Steelskin - Gaerdal Ironhand
Gelf Darkhearth - Nebelun - Rill Cleverthrush - Roykyn - Segojan Earthcaller - Sheyanna Flaxenstrand - The Glutton - Urdlen
Goblinoids: Maglubiyet Bargrivyek - Grankhul - Hruggek - Khurgorbaeyag - Kikanuti - Nomog-Geaya - Skiggaret
Halflings: Yondalla Arvoreen - Brandobaris - Charmalaine - Cyrrollalee - Dallah Thaun - Sheela Peryroyl - Urogalan
Illumian: Tarmuid Aulasha - Glautru - Soorinek - Syeret - Wathaku
Orcs: Gruumsh Bahgtru - Ilneval - Luthic - Shargaas - Yurtrus
Raptorans: Tuilviel Glithien Duthila - Kithin - Lliendil - Nilthina - Ventila
Others: Aventernus - Blibdoolpoolp - Diinkarazan - Diirinka - Eadro - Gaknulak - Great Mother - Gorellik - Gzemnid
Hleid - Iborighu - Ilsensine - Jazirian - Kuraulyek - Kurtulmak - Laogzed - Maanzecorian - Mak Thuum Ngatha
Merrshaulk - Parrafaire - Psilofyr - The Patient One - Quorlinn - Ramenos - Raxivort - Sekolah - Semuanya
Sess'innek - Shekinester - Skerrit - Solanil - Ssharstrune - Syranita - Vaprak - Wastri - The Whale Mother - Zehir