Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tiamat on my Mind

Been doing some research on the end game of my kids D&D 3.x game and I have been thinking a lot about Tiamat.  The kids are going to fight her in the end, but I wanted something more than the big five-head dragon of the AD&D Monster Manual, and not exactly like the Takhisis of Dragonlance.


So I hit the "books".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiamat
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehom
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiamat_(Dungeons_%26_Dragons)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takhisis
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Tiamat (for the Forgotten Realms info)
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/t/tiamat.html

And inspirational posts:
http://gorgonmilk.blogspot.com/2012/01/tiamat.html
http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com/2012/05/percentile-systems-girl-voices-and.html
http://blackmoormystara.blogspot.com/2011/09/divinity-of-dragons.html


http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2010/03/drow-should-be-lawful-evil-among-other.html
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2010/01/going-up-to-hell-cosmology.html
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2011/05/post-666.html
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2010/11/sohave-you-ever-killed-god.html


Well I also hit the real books too.

One thing I recall thinking up years ago was that Tiamat in the old myths was the personification of Chaos.  This idea was reaffirmed with me when I, like many others, dabbled in Chaos Math and Science (it was the 90s, all the cool grad students were doing it).   Tiamat is primordial chaos.   Well what is that in D&D?  Simple, the Abyss.  So I have placed Tiamat in the Abyss, but it is not-quite-the-Abyss.  Her realm is Tehom, the Hebrew word for abyss or deep.  It is also related to the Kabbalah, being one of the Qliphoth.  Tiamat and Tehom also are have etymological relations.

Zak even talks a bit about fighting Tiamat and the mytho-historical Tiamat near the end of his interview over at Penny Red. (1:20:00 or around there).

Tiamat and Lolth
In my games Tiamat and Lolth are strong allies (no, not like this). Mostly because I have effectively had them swap places; Lolth becoming LE and in Hell, Tiamat CE and in the Abyss.  But also because they have similar backstories.  Both were (are) gods. Both were cast out by male Gods to establish some new order.  I can see each seeing something of herself in the other, and not in a self-loathing way (Lolth in my world is full of self-loathing, no pun intended) but rather as solidarity.  Their views are radically different, but their plans for conquest do not conflict really.  So they see each other as an ally.  Not best friends or anything like that, but there is mutual trust built up over centuries.  They are evil, not stupid.   If I were to play this out then I would have an alliance between the Drow and a group of dragons.  Most likely the red dragons, like what the Githyanki do.  I might even revise that a bit and say it was a select group Drow that went to serve Tiamat and she in return had some dragons serve Lolth.  Of course they are spies, but everyone knows this.

Here is an odd entry, attributed to the Demonomicon that Lolth is the offspring of Tiamat and Alrunes, the Queen of Sorcery.   Not quite sure about that one really.  But I have conjectured that Orcus is the offspring of Tiamat.  That would give me a hook too.

Of course I had this evil thought of using  the Scales of War material for the last few adventures.

Just a little late night research.

Anything cool about Tiamat or Lolth I should know?

2 comments:

Mark Craddock said...

I'm using cult devoted to her in my D&D Next Playtests, but I chose to use the name Nilat the Corrupter, for some added spice (its a alternative name for Takhisis).

It would be great to have those characters fight her someday.

So far the groups have fought drakes that her Cult has created and released upon the Duchy the game is set in.

Timothy Brannan said...

I like "Nilat the Corruptor".
I might have to name drop that one with my kids.

I am adopting the plot angle that Tiamat is trying to kill Bahmut.

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