Takhisis

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Takhisis
Takhisis Symbol.jpg
Alignment Lawful Evil
Divine Rank Greater God/Dead God
Pantheon Krynn (Gods of Darkness)
Portfolio Evil, Hate, Darkness, Tyranny, Evil Dragons
Domains Destruction, Evil, Law, Trickery
Home Plane 2E: Abthalom, the Nether Reaches (Baator)
3E: Abyss
Worshippers Conquerors, The Ambitious, The Power-Hungry, The Malicious, Blackguards, Chromatic Dragons, Ogres, Goblinoids, Draconians
Favoured Weapon Crusher of Hope (Heavy Mace)

Takhisis is the now-deceased Supreme Goddess of Evil in the Dungeons & Dragons setting of Dragonlance. She is best known amongst D&D fans for her enormous ambition and for being an incredible douche.

History[edit]

Takhisis was one of the three greater gods created by the High God at the creation of Krynn, matched by Paladine, God of Good, and Gilean, God of Neutrality. Originally supposed to be Paladine's wife, she quickly got sick of that idea and abandoned him, shacking up with Sargonnas to rule over the Gods of Darkness, a sub-pantheon of the Krynnish deities.

During the dawn of time, the Age of Starbirth, Takhisis corrupts the original five dragons, creating the five races of Chromatic Dragons and sparking the All-Dragons War when Paladine creates the five races of Metallic Dragons. When this war threatens the survival of Krynn itself, the gods are forced to withdraw into other realms.

Here, Takhisis begins the All-Saints War, where the gods fight for control of the spirits that will ultimately become the mortal races of Krynn - the fighting gets so bad that the High God forces them to put an end to it.

In the Abyss, a resentful Takhisis breeds with the first five Chromatics to ensure that they will never go extinct, mothering the entire race of Chromatic Dragons singlehandedly. Brooding for revenge, she founds her church upon Krynn and seeks total domination. The Three Dragon Wars are born of her machinations, and the Third Dragon War actually sees her stride Krynn in physical form for a while, before she is defeated by the knight Huma Dragonbane and made to withdraw back to the Abyss.

It's unknown just what Takhisis's connections to the Cataclysm were, but it's clear she used it to her advantage. Whilst the other gods withdrew from Krynn altogether, she maintained a slender conenction, deftly manipulating her loyal worshippers on the world and building her strength, igniting the War of the Lance in an attempt to conquer Krynn for herself before the other gods realized she'd betrayed their oath.

Unfortunately for her, the other gods realized that she lied and quickly rallied to return, thwarting her schemes. Undaunted, Takhisis kept scheming until the Chaos War erupted, after which the gods withdrew from Krynn entirely for a second time, beginning the Age of Mortals.

Personality[edit]

Takhisis is, without a doubt, the biggest damn dick in the entire pantheon of Krynn. And considering the kind of company she keeps, that's saying something. She's so awful that one of her own followers abandons her faith in Takhisis after realizing just how untrustworthy, self-centered, narcissistic and cruel Takhisis is. Said follower was a Black Dragon, a breed often considered the cruelest and most sadistic of the Chromatics. When you can disgust one of them, you're a damn awful person.

Arrogant, cruel and domineering, Takhisis cares for only one thing; absolute power. She burns with the desire to enslave all that is, reducing them to playthings for her cruel appetites. Selfish, conniving and an all-around backstabbing bitch, the only beings she shows any respect for are her Chromati Dragon children.

Aspects[edit]

Takhisis, like most deities, has several different "aspects", or physical forms that she takes to appear before mortals.

The Dark Warrior is Takhisis as a male or female warrior, usually of the same race as whatever follower she is interacting with. In the Age of Mortals sourcebook, the Dark Warrior is described as a coldly beautiful woman with eyes that burn like funeral pyres, a gaze that pierces the soul, talon-like nails and long and ragged hair, clad in armor wrought from black fire and wielding a massive, blood-stained weapon.

The Dark Temptress is Takhisis as a seductively beautiful female, again of different races.

There has been some overlap between the Dark Warrior and the Dark Temptress in some sourcebooks.

Her true form is a five-headed Chromatic Dragon, referred to as The Dragon of All Colors And None.

She has also been known to appear in the guise of any mortal creature with multiple heads, and in the guise of a giant serpent.

During the Age of Mortals, she created a new aspect called the Shadow Sorcerer. In this guise, she appears as a stooped figure (usualy female, but not always) hidden under layers of wispy, grey-black robes, with the head concealed by a cavernous hood and a silver or blue-black mask. This is the aspect she used to teach the arts of Sorcery to mortals.

Titles[edit]

Because Dragonlance ran on a variant of the polytheistic model, different gods are worshipped with different names, titles and identities by various cultures across Krynn. As one of the three Supreme Gods, Takhisis had a lot of names:

  • Dark Queen
  • Her Dark Majesty
  • The Many-Headed Dragon
  • Mistress of Dragons
  • Queen of Darkness
  • Darklady (amongst Ogres)
  • Dragon Queen (in the lands of Ergoth and Silvanest)
  • Erestem (in Taladas)
  • Five Great Dragons (amongst the Jarak-sinn lizardfolk)
  • Kadulawa'ah (in Tarmak)
  • Lady Chaos (in Mithas)
  • Lady Duerhelis (amongst Irda)
  • Lady of Hell's Anger (amongst Irda)
  • Mai-tat (in Tarsis)
  • Matat (to the ancient Plainsmen)
  • Mwarg (amongst Hobgoblins)
  • Nilat the Corruptor (in Icereach)
  • She of the Many Faces (amongst the Hylo dwarves)
  • Tamex the False Metal (amongst the Thorbardin dwarves)
  • Ti'Mhut (in the days of Istar)
  • Ysoruh (Amongst the Ice People)

Church[edit]

Takhisis' church is traditionally found amongst the power-hungry, the afraid, and the hopeless; anyone to whom her message of assuring personal power through cruelty and corruption can find root in. Her worship is particularly concentrated amongst Ogres, Goblinoids and Chromatic Dragons - the Draconians initially worshipped her, but eventually turned their backs on her after realizing her selfishness.

Members of the church are taught to embrace power and ambition above all else - one of the first duties of a cleric upon attaining their divine magic is to ritually murder a lover or family member to reinforce their committment to Takhisis. Any and all means are acceptable in pursuit of attaining power, and that power should be used to spread the power of Takhisis.

Most prayers to Takhisis are self-deprecating, espousing her supremacy and the supplicant's inferiority - literally groveling to the goddess.

Dogma[edit]

Those who follow Takhisis are meant to rule the world and bring order out of chaos. Power must be attained at any costs. Trust none except for those you control. Do not let compassion or love weaken you or blind you to what must be done. Betrayal is punished by eternal torment. Service is rewarded with dominion.

Takhisis, the One God[edit]

The One God
Human skull split asunder by a lightning bolt.
Alignment Lawful Evil
Divine Rank Greater God/Dead God
Pantheon Krynn (Outsider)
Portfolio Conquest, Death, Law, Secrets, Tyranny
Domains Death, Evil, Law, War
Home Plane Ethereal
Worshippers Any
Favoured Weapon Flail

The Age of Mortals began when the gods supposedly left Krynn yet again at the end of the Chaos War. In fact, Takhisis had seized an opportunity to advance her own goals by mystically hiding the entire world away from all of the other gods, rendering them incapable of finding it or granting their power to the mortal races.

Takhisis rebranded herself as "The One God", the "only true god" who still cared for Krynn, using a champion named Mina and powerful necromancy to spread her cult rapidly across a vulnerable world.

But, in the end, she was foiled thanks to mortal heroes, who manages to lead the gods back to Krynn, where Takhisis's true nature was revealed to the mortals.

This was the last straw for the gods; Takhisis had to be punished. Paladine gives up his own immortality so that Takhisis can likewise be stricken of her divine state and reduced to a mortal. Shortly afterwards, she is slain by one of her mortal victims, an ironic end for the greatest evil to ever plague Krynn.

One God Church[edit]

The Clerics of Takhisis the One God are chosen from the ranks of the charismatic, ambitious and powerful; they must be strong enough to dominate others, but yet also subservient to their god. They are expected to be theocratic warlords, leading armies of the living and the dead to conquer unbelievers and convert them with words and blades.

The faithful must not show fear or doubt, and cannot allow themselves to love any but their Queen. They must understand that everything they are and everything they do has only one purpose: furthering the ambitions of the One God.

The One God's faithful usually takes over and converts existing temples of older deities, emphasizing their abandonment of Krynn and the One God's claim of being the only power both left to mortals and actually "concerned" for them.

Respect, reverence, humility and sincerity are expected amongst the petitioners of the One God's church. Anything else is heresy.

One God Dogma[edit]

The One God has only one goal; the complete and utter domination of the world. All people must worship her as the one and only god. All people must serve her and obey her dictates without question. This includes the living and the dead.

Those who follow the One God must recognize the ultimate authority of their goddess. Her power must be absolute. The weak must bow before the strong, and none can be stronger than those who serve the Queen.

In the heart of her followers, the One God comes first. Love and compassion for others opens a person to weakness. Betrayal will be punished with eternal torment. Loyalty is rewarded with domination over others.

Takhisis vs. Tiamat[edit]

Now, you're surely wondering: isn't Takhisis just an alternate setting's take on Tiamat? They have a broadly similar attitude, they both claim dominion over the Chromatic Dragons, they even take the same form of a monstrous she-dragon with one head for each of the chromatic breeds!

Well, the official answer has... wavered. See, Tracy Hickman (and presumably Margaret Weis) both insist that she is an entirely seperate deity to Tiamat - tis belief was also echoed by Roger E. Moore, in his brief article on Takhisis in Dragon Magazine #98.

But, on the other hand, some D&D writers support the claim that she is literally the same being known in other realms as Tiamat. Jeff Grubb is one prominent proponent of this claim.

Mostly, the game ignores this, although they were presented as one and the same being in the 4th edition "Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons" sourcebook.

The deities of Dragonlance
Leader Others
Good Paladine Branchala - Habbakuk - Kiri-Jolith - Majere - Mishakal - Solinari
Neutral Gilean Chislev - Lunitari - Reorx - Shinare - Sirrion - Zivilyn
Evil Takhisis Chemosh - Hiddukel - Morgion - Nuitari - Sargonnas - Zeboim