Abadar

With each turn of every tiny wheel, civilization spreads to cover the world.
MASTER OF THE FIRST VAULT
God of cities, wealth, merchants, and law
Alignment LN
Domains Earth, Law, Nobility, Protection, Travel
Favored Weapon Light crossbow

Abadar dwells in the perfect city of Axis in a large district known as Aktun, where he watches over the First Vault, a magical trove that holds a perfect copy of every object ever made, from the f lawless longsword to the faultless law. Abadar is a patient, calculating, and far-seeing deity who wishes to bring civilization to the frontiers, order to the wilds, and wealth to all who support the progression of law. His primary worshipers are judges, merchants, lawyers, and aristocrats, all of who benefit from established laws and commerce. He expects his followers to abide by laws (though not foolish, contradictory, toothless, or purposeless laws) and work to promote order and peace. Abadar is shown as a clean, well-dressed man bearing the markings of riches and civilization, always carrying one or more keys.

Abadar’s basic tenet is simple—people should use their gifts to advance civilization in the world so commerce happens and people can go about their orderly lives and achieve comfort and happiness. He strikes a careful balance between good and evil, seeing the benefits of both sides and refusing to endorse one or the other. His followers believe he is responsible for elevating the civilized races from simple tribes to beings capable of creating huge cities. He puts words of diplomacy in the mouths of men, guides the pens of those who write laws, and steers coins into the hands of those who practice good commerce.

Abadar respects cautious thought and rejects impulsiveness, seeing it as leading to base and destructive whims. He teaches that discipline, keen judgment, and following the law eventually leads to wealth, comfort, and happiness. He does not believe in free handouts, and because of this his temples sell potions and healing spells or scrolls rather than give them to those in need.

Abadar’s personal intervention in the mortal world is usually in the form of hints or opportunities rather than direct gifts. Worshipers who lose Abadar’s favor might find themselves short on money at a crucial time, tongue-tied in the middle of an important deal, or stymied in their craft or art. When he is pleased, deals are more profitable than expected, projects are completed early, and journeys to or within a city take less time than normal. His intervention is subtle, for he expects worshipers to do their own work. Abadar is depicted as a handsome man with black hair dressed in fine garments, often with a gold cloak or cape over a golden breastplate and bearing many keys. Humans, dwarves, and gnomes show him with a beard, whereas elves show him beardless and with long braids tied with golden thread.

Abadar’s herald is the Lawgiver, a Gargantuan golden construct wielding a great hammer. He often uses two-headed celestial eagles as his messengers. Notable outsiders who serve him are Ailrin Fletcher (a golden avoral scout), Cobblehoof (an armored celestial hippogriff known as “Old Cob”), and the Ghost of Malthus (a gloomy spectre seen as a warning against plague-friendly crowding).

Abadar understands that an advanced civilization has many spiritual needs, and different members of a society pray to different gods, thus he tries to maintain an approachable coolness where other deities are concerned. Only those who directly oppose his beliefs and purpose are his declared enemies, and while he might be willing to negotiate with them for some purpose, they routinely refuse to do so. He is friendly with Erastil, Irori, and Shelyn. Abadar knows that his pursuits frequently anger Gozreh, who would like to see the natural parts of the world remain unspoiled, but he believes the two of them can eventually reach a compromise.

Priests, Temples, and the Church

Most of Abadar’s priests are clerics. His priests are the agents of civilization, turning trails into roads and towns into cities while always enforcing law. They eliminate monsters and troublemakers, adjudicate disputes, make legal rulings, and reassure others that the forces of order are watching over them. Many work with the local legal system as judges, lawyers, and clerks (donating their services much as a healing-oriented church might run a hospice). Though the church is mercenary about healing magic, adventuring priests do not charge their companions for healing. Paladins are rare in the church, as their zealous push for good doesn’t sit perfectly within Abadar’s more balanced approach to ethics.

A typical priest has at least 1 rank in Knowledge (local) in order to be familiar with the laws of his home city. Most also dabble in Knowledge of history and nobility or practice a Craft or Profession useful to a settlement. Priests are not permitted to give money to those in need, only to lend it at a fair rate and document the transaction for the church’s record. They are required to tithe, and most invest in local businesses to generate enough income to cover tithing.

A typical day for a priest involves waking, breakfast, prayer, reading or hearing the local news, and a period of work. At night, there is a brief prayer before the evening meal, and the evening is reserved for hobbies, family, or other non-work interests. Spell preparation takes place after morning prayers.

Abadar’s temples are elaborate buildings with rich decorations and high, thick, stained-glass windows. These windows have small frames (to guard against thieves) and usually feature vivid yellow glass that colors everything within the church. Many temples have a secure vault for church treasures and wealth, and many also rent space in their vault. Most also serve as a bank, currency exchange, and moneylender, which helps keep interest rates reasonable and consistent.

The church is well organized and has a city-based hierarchy. Each city’s temple is independent, encouraging friendly competition between cities to promote trade. Church law forbids the clergy from attacking each other regardless of political, national, or financial motivations. If two rival cities go to war, the temples become neutral territory, not participating in the struggle and acting as safe havens and mediation centers in the conflict. Abadar’s primary lay worshipers are judges, merchants, lawyers, and aristocrats. Even the poor worship him, praying he might help reverse their ill fortune.

Ritual garb for ceremonies includes white silk cloth trimmed with gold thread, a belt or necklace of gold links bearing a golden key, and a half-cloak of deep yellow or gold. Ceremonial items are crafted out of precious metals and decorated with gems or inlays, though not to the extent that the items become fragile.

Services to Abadar include songs with complex harmonies, the playing of music (usually hammer-based instruments such as dulcimers and glockenspiels), and the counting or sorting of coins or keys. Services and ceremonies always take place indoors, representing the shelter of civilization. His holy text is the Order of Numbers, each copy an elaborately-decorated tome detailing the beliefs and taboos of the church.

Clerics of Abadar may prepare word of recall as a 5th-level spell if their designated sanctuaries are the temples of their home city; paladins may do so as a 4th-level spell under the same circumstances.