Pazuzu (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Pazuzu
D&DPazuzu.JPG
Pazuzu.
Game background
Title(s) Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms
Home plane Abyss
Power level Demon lord
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Domains Air, Chaos, Evil, Temptation
Superior None
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game, 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 Pazrael or Pazuzeus.

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.

Creative origins[edit]

Pazuzu is derived from the Mesopotamian god of the same name.

Publication history[edit]

Pazuzu made his first appearance in the first edition Monster Manual II.[1]

He appeared in the second edition Greyhawk campaign setting as the Abyssal Lord, Pazrael, in the sourcebook Iuz the Evil (1993),[2] and later for the Planescape setting in the Planes of Chaos boxed set (1995).[3]

Pazuzu appeared in third edition in the Book of Vile Darkness web enhancement, "Yet More Archfiends" (2002).[4] He is covered in depth in Dragon magazine #329, in the "Demonomicon of Iggwilv" feature,[5] as well as the supplement Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006).[6]

Pazuzu was detailed in the fourth edition book, Demonomicon (2010). He is still the master of Pazunia and is one of the few demon princes explicitly identified as an obyrith.[7]

Description[edit]

In his true form, Pazuzu is a 2.1m (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 commands a retinue of six balors, who are known as the Six Wings of Pazuzu and serve as his bodyguards and assassins.

History[edit]

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 him during the tanar'ri revolt against the Queen of Chaos, as he was not affiliated to 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.

Goals[edit]

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

Relationships[edit]

In the "Demonomicon of Iggwilv" and "Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss," Graz'zt is listed 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, "She Who Erases", the Demon Queen of Monstrous Births and Deformity. She was a former consort of Pazuzu, and 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 on Torremor, where she has remained ever since.

The 4th edition Demonomicon establishes that Pazuzu's most powerful and secret ally is Asmodeus. In the new default setting, Pazuzu aided Asmodeus in obtaining a sliver of the shard of pure evil that festers at the bottom of the Abyss. The sliver became Asmodeus's signature Ruby Rod, which the angel used to slay the god he served. Those few who know of the ancient deal believe that the King of Hell has yet to repay Pazuzu for this "favor".

Cult of Pazuzu[edit]

Pazuzu is the lord of all evil flying creatures. His worshippers rarely emerge in societies; usually he is worshipped by lone individuals. His worshippers include Kenku, harpies, gargoyles, manticores, wyverns, and sometimes evil fey or dragons. His temples lie in areas unreachable by those incapable of flight: in wildernesses, atop cliffs, or on mountain peaks.

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" 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.

Other publishers[edit]

Pazuzu appeared under the "demon" heading in the Tome of Horrors (2002) from Necromancer Games.[8]

Pazuzu appeared in Paizo Publishing's book Book of the Damned, Vol. 2: Lords of Chaos (2010), on page 23.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  2. ^ Sargent, Carl. Iuz the Evil (TSR, 1993)
  3. ^ Smith, Lester W., and Wolfgang Baur. Planes of Chaos (TSR, 1994)
  4. ^ Cook, Monte. "Yet More Archfiends: a Book of Vile Darkness Web Enhancement" (Wizards of the Coast, 2002). Available online: [1]
  5. ^ Jacobs, James. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Pazuzu." Dragon #329 (Paizo Publishing, 2005)
  6. ^ Jacobs, James, Erik Mona, and Ed Stark. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  7. ^ Mearls, Mike, Brian R. James, and Steve Townshend. Demonomicon. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2010
  8. ^ Green, Scott; Peterson, Clark (2002). Tome of Horrors. Necromancer Games. pp. 87–88. ISBN 1-58846-112-2. 
  9. ^ Jacobs, James. Book of the Damned, Vol. 2: Lords of Chaos (Paizo, 2010)

Additional reading[edit]