Pazuzu

Greyhawk Deity
Pazuzu
Pazuzu01.jpg
Pazuzu, Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms, as depicted in Fiendish Codex I (2006).
Title(s) Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms
Dark Angel of the Four Winds
Home Plane Abyss
Power Level Demon lord
Gender Male
Class(es) n/a
Alignment Chaotic evil
Portfolio Corruption, winged beings, the Abyssal skies
Domains Air, Chaos, Evil, Temptation
Alias(es) Pazrael, Pazuzeus, Imdugud, Typhon, Ghlaunder
Superior None

Pazuzu is a powerful demon prince, called the Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms. He rules the skies above all layers of the Abyss. He is sometimes known as Pazuzeus, and he uses the names Pazrael, Imdugud, Ghlaunder, and Typhon when in his guise as a supposedly benevolent entity that protects against pestilence and blesses childbirth. Those who call to these ostensibly good spirits become unwittingly dependent on Pazuzu, who slowly corrupts them to vile acts.

Pazuzu is viewed by the denizens of the Abyss with resentment and grudging respect. Unlike most demon lords, he is not interested in conquest of the Abyss. His main concern is winning followers on the Prime Material Plane by tempting or deceiving those of good alignment. He aids any good creature who summons him, in order to tempt him or her to evil.

His symbol is a gnarled raptor's talon, often depicted clutching an eye and possibly glittering with rubies or gold. He also sometimes uses a swooping bird of prey as his unholy symbol.

Contents

Description

In his true form, Pazuzu is a 7' tall well-proportioned humanoid with four wings. His face combines the features of a handsome man and a hawk. His hooked beak is filled with sharp teeth. He has a noble brow, a large head, and glowing red eyes. His avian feet have long, sharp talons. He wields a + 5 anarchic greatsword of speed, and can breathe swarms of locusts and acidic, poisonous clouds.

Pazuzu is one of the oldest demon lords in the Abyss, as he is one of the few surviving obyrith demon lords. While the Queen of Chaos was in power, Pazuzu remained an independent demon lord. This saved himself during the tanar'ri revolt against the Queen of Chaos, as he was not affiliated with her. Following the tanar'ri conquest of the Abyss, Pazuzu was quick to adapt with the change. This has manifested in several ways: While most obyriths, having been conceived out of the Abyss's chaotic will itself, have characteristically bizarre physical appearances, Pazuzu appears as human-like as any tanar'ri. Pazuzu's abilities have changed as well: He can now summon tanar'ri, and the obyrith form of madness ability has changed as well. While most obyriths' visages are so chaotic that merely looking at one causes insanity, Pazuzu's newfound appearance has changed his form of madness into an "Aura of Servile Avians." This ability causes all evil flying creatures to feel an affinity towards Pazuzu, making it hard for them to bring themselves to attack the demon lord.

Relationships

Pazuzu, as depicted in Planes of Chaos (1994). Art by Tony DiTerlizzi.

Dragon #329 (2005) and Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), list Graz'zt as Pazuzu's most notable enemy. Graz'zt alone takes umbrage at Pazuzu's claim to dominion over the skies of the Abyss, though the Prince of Tyrants has never taken action against him beyond the occasional insult. Pazuzu is also opposed by the obscure demon lord Lamashtu, the Demon Queen of Monstrous Births and Deformity. Lamashtu, a former consort of Pazuzu, is the only being who knows Pazuzu's true name. She betrayed him, and in response he ate her eyes and imprisoned the Queen of Monstrous Births in his realm of Torremor, where she has remained ever since.

Though Pazuzu counts many kenkus among his worshippers, the feelings of the kenku deity Quorlinn on the subject are unknown.

In the Monster Manual II (1983), Pazuzu is said to be on good terms with daemons (now known as yugoloths) and the dukes of Hell.

According to Iuz the Evil (1993), Pazuzu has major dealings with the demigod Iuz. With his great age, he is very knowledgeable of the Abyss and its ways, and he has many captive souls in his possession who also have knowledge useful to Iuz. In 583 CY, in the month of Coldeven, Pazuzu aided Iuz in magically transporting over 200 demons to the palaces of Molag to assassinate the Hierarchs of the Horned Society. In exchange for the demon lord's aid, a string of estates along the Ritensa River in the Horned Lands were given to a dozen or so demonic nobles in the service of Pazuzu, who had the right to administer their lands as they wished independently of Iuz. Each noble controlled platoons of babau, bar-lgura, major cambions, as well as mortal gnolls, and flinds serving the demons. Nabassu and chasme were also common menaces in the fiendish estates. A marilith serving Pazuzu ruled in the village of Stahzer. All these demons, along with the rest of the demonic troops that Iuz had available to him, were banished back to the Abyss after the Flight of Fiends.

Pazuzu allies himself with Iuz partially in order to spy on Graz'zt's minions in Iuz's domain (conflict between the two demon lords' minions is not uncommon). Partly he uses the opportunity provided by Iuz to send his nabassu to the Prime Material Plane in order to grow fat on the deaths of mortals. And partly he hopes to supplant Iuz as ruler of his empire; unknown to Pazuzu, Iuz is fully aware of Pazuzu's ambitions and uses this knowledge as leverage against Graz'zt. "You'd best help me, or your rival Pazuzu will gain control of my domain." Pazuzu is also eager to discover the secrets of magic items such as blackwands and ghastrobes.

Pazuzu also had an alliance (according to Ivid the Undying) with Duke Szeffrin of Almor. He lent much strength, magic, and demonic minions to Szeffrin through a portal in Onyxgate. Pazuzu's reasons for doing this, other than providing yet another place for his nabassu to hunt, were primarily simply to test his magical strength on a scale he was loathe to trust Iuz with. One major example was the Abyssal artifact (perhaps the Blinding Claw) that Pazuzu used to create the fortress of Bloodcrystal. Iuz was aware of this, and sent many spies to observe Pazuzu's tests. Pazuzu also hoped that Szeffrin would establish power over much of Aerdy, granting the demon lord humans and other humanoids to bring against Iuz when the time was right. Szeffrin had been introduced to Pazuzu in 584 CY when the disguised lich Xaene pressed a medallion in his hand and told him to "Call the name upon this gold." When Szeffrin, burning with hatred over his transformation to an animus, whispered the name "Pazrael," the demon lord appeared in person to make a deal.

Minions

Pazuzu commands a retinue of six balors, who are known as the Six Wings of Pazuzu and serve as his bodyguards and assassins. The balor Zengrunddin ruled an estate in the Horned Lands prior to the Flight of Fiends as part of Pazuzu's pact with Iuz. Presumably he is back in the Abyss serving Pazuzu at present; it is not known if he is one of Pazuzu's Six Wings. Marionnen is a cambion in the service of Pazuzu at least at one point was busy practicing empire-building in Trallant.

Pazuzu favors vrocks, nabassu, and chasme, but also perytons, harpies, and gargoyles on his Abyssal layer. If his goal is simply destruction, he summons swarms of demonic ants or locusts. His signature minions are the anzu, four-winged, four-legged birdlike demons the size of elephants, with the heads of lions.

Realm

Pazuzu's lair is Torremor, a tangled mass of beams, pinnacles, arches, ladders, and other structures, held together by rope and chain. Torremor is located on the 503rd layer of the Abyss. However, Pazuzu spends most of his time on Pazunia, the 1st layer of the Abyss. He maintains no permanent lair, but sometimes resides on top of tall Abyssal peaks or in the castles of wicked cloud giants that worship him.

Dogma

Pazuzu's overriding goals are to corrupt and devour the virtues of purity, innocence, and honesty wherever he finds them. He seeks good-aligned souls and turns them to chaos and evil. This is the reason why Abyssal politics interests him little; those of the Abyss have little for him to corrupt. Too, the Upper Planes do not interest him much, for there is not much in them that is readily corruptible. Instead, the lion's share of his interest is in the Prime Material Plane. He hopes to conquer the Material Plane utterly and corrupt every virtuous soul in it.

Worshipers

Pazuzu, as depicted in Monster Manual II (1983). Art by Jim Holloway.

Pazuzu is the lord of all evil flying creatures. His worshipers rarely emerge in societies; usually he is worshiped by lone individuals. His worshipers include kenku, harpies, gargoyles, manticores, wyverns, and sometimes evil cloud giants, fey or dragons.

Cults of Pazuzu are started when someone in desperate need discovers Pazuzu's name and pleads for his help. When someone utters the name "Pazuzu" or one of his other names three consecutive times, the demon lord is telepathically linked to that person for one minute. During that time, Pazuzu is capable of reading the thoughts of whoever he is linked to, in addition to checking whether they are lawful or good. After confirming that whoever said his name isn't endeavoring to capture him on the Material Plane, Pazuzu appears before the speaker. Pazuzu grants the person aid, usually via his wish spell-like ability, and in reply asks that his name be repeated to others. The mortal's miraculous turn of fortune attracts other desperate souls. Pazuzu continues to grant aid when called upon, each time producing more evil results. Eventually the cultists come to depend on him for their success, at which point he reveals his true nature. Those who try to repent are tortured and sacrificed. After a cult has committed its first sacrifice, Pazuzu abandons it and seeks out other prospects. Eventually the cult is destroyed by lawful and good forces; looters discover Pazuzu's name and the cycle's continuance is assured.

Clergy

Pazuzu's priests, who sometimes call themselves the Talons of Pazuzu, wear multicolored robes, often with feathers stitched into them, or they wear nothing at all.

Temples

Pazuzu's temples lie in areas unreachable by those incapable of flight: in wildernesses, atop cliffs, or on mountain peaks.

Myths and legends

The corruption of Tharizdun

The 4th edition book Demonomicon claims that in the Age before Ages the obyriths were trapped in a dying universe that they themselves had mostly destroyed. Pazuzu convinced his fellow obyriths to help him create a shard of pure evil that breached the barrier from their universe to this one. A power-hungry deity known as Tharizdun discovered and seized the shard of evil, which corrupted him and drove him insane. The link between Tharizdun and the shard allowed the remaining obyriths, Pazuzu included, to escape into this reality. Tharizdun planted the shard of evil in the primordial Chaos, which formed the Abyss around it. The power of the shard gave Tharizdun much more power than the obyriths had anticipated, and they and Tharizdun warred against each other for dominance, finally forming a stalemate. Next the shard was claimed by Obox-ob, who lost it deep in the Abyss when rivals attacked. Later, Tharizdun marshaled the Princes of Elemental Evil to his side to invade the Abyss again and steal the shard back, but the other gods discovered his plan and, with their combined might, imprisoned Tharizdun for what they hoped would be all of eternity.

The corruption of Asmodeus

According to the 4th edition book Demonomicon, Pazuzu secretly left the Abyss after the Battle of Pesh and introduced himself to one of the angels who guarded the prison of Tharizdun. This angel, a "paragon of chastity and virtue" called Asmodeus, listened as Pazuzu flattered him and expressed sympathy that a being of Asmodeus's great loyalty had been repaid with an eternity of mere guard duty. Asmodeus listened, and vanity grew in his breast. Soon he began to believe he was more virtuous than the god he served, and the shard of pure evil that had corrupted Tharizdun long ago began to whisper to him. Asmodeus abandoned his post and sought out the shard. He cut a sliver of it away and used it to create his ruby rod. Soon after he conquered the plane of Baator, the Nine Hells. Pazuzu, disguised as as an angel called Pazrael, served as of Asmodeus's generals. Asmodeus knows that Pazuzu was Pazrael, but this remains a secret known only to the two of them. Asmodeus still owes Pazuzu a boon in exchange for his aid in that ancient campaign.

Throughout the ages, Pazuzu helped foment the Blood War, using his secret alliance with Asmodeus to ensure the devils and demons remained evenly matched. Both Asmodeus and the hidden conclave of the Queen of Chaos used the Blood War as a cover for the goal of locating and wielding the power of the shard of evil still buried somewhere in the Abyss.

The corruption of the kenkus

According to Dragon #329, a race of large, intelligent ravens was dying from a terrible plague. They called out for someone to save them, and Pazuzu appeared in the form of an albino raven soaked in blood and gore. In exchange for calling Pazuzu their master, the demon lord cured their plague and destroyed the eggs of the birds' rivals, the giant eagles. The ravens were fickle, however, and within a generation they had forgotten their promise to the Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms. In vengeance, Pazuzu slaughtered many of them and cursed their offspring to be born without wings. Thus, the kenkus were born.

Creative origins

Pazuzu is derived from the Mesopotamian and Assyrian wind demon. Statues depicted him as a humanoid with a lion's face, four wings, bestial talons, and a snake-headed phallus. He was worshiped to protect his followers against pestilence and troubled childbirths, though some sources indicate he was also responsible for them.

Publishing history

Pazuzu first appeared in The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982). He has also appeared in Monster Manual II (1983). In 2nd edition, his name was changed to "Pazrael" in accordance to the policy by TSR at the time of avoiding overtly demonic names. He appeared as Pazrael in Iuz the Evil (1993) by Carl Sargent, and his description in Planes of Chaos (1994) was based on Carl Sargent's treatment of him.

In the 3rd edition Book of Vile Darkness web enhancement (2002) he was Pazuzu again. He is covered in depth, again as Pazuzu, in Dragon magazine #329 (2005), in the "Demonomicon of Iggwilv" feature, as well as the supplements Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006) and Demonomicon (2010).

In Gary Gygax's Gord the Rogue novels, Pazuzu is called Pazuzeus, depicted there as an elder proto-demon (conceptually similar to the obyriths of 3rd and 4th edition) with burning eyes and four avian wings. He is an agent for Infestix and also a servant of Gravestone.

Apocrypha

In The Tome of Horrors by Necromancer Games, Pazuzu is called the Demon Prince of Air. He appears in City of Brass by the same company, given the additional title "Thrice-Cursed of the Rotting Genitals." The latter source describes him as "a great bird-like man" whose head may alternately appear as a lion, jackal, or hawk. The stench of death wafts from his mouth and crotch, and the air around him becomes full of disease.

In Lords of Chaos from Paizo Publishing, Pazuzu is said to be the father of Deskari, the demon Lord of the Locust Host. Deskari was supposedly spawned by Pazuzu's first breath of air on the Material Plane. Pazuzu is known in this book as the King of the Wind Demons and said to have a scorpion tail and, in place of his genitals, a writhing snake, and his breath is a cloud of locusts.

Bibliography

  • Cagle, Eric. "Ecology of the Kenku." Dragon #329. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2005.
  • Christofferson, Casey, and Scott Greene. City of Brass. Necromancer Games, 2007.
  • Greene, Scott. The Tome of Horrors. Necromancer Games, 2002.
  • Haener, Timothy J. "The Forsaken Arch." Dungeon #120. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2005.
  • Mearls, Mike, Brian R. James, and Steve Townshend. Demonomicon. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2010.
  • Smith, Lester W., and Wolfgang Baur. Planes of Chaos. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1994.

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