Azuth: The High One, Patron of Wizards, the Lord of Spells, the Hand of Sorcery, the Lord of Spellcraft

Symbol: A human left hand, pointed upward, outlined in a nimbus of blue fire
Home Plane: Dweomerheart
Alignment: LN
Portfolio: Mages, wizards, Shining Hand monks, spellcasters
Domains: Illusion, Knowledge, Magic, Law, Spells
Worshipers: Philosophers, sages, sorcerers, wizards
Aliases: N/A
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, LE
Favored Weapon: Old Staff (quarterstaff)

History/Relationships: Azuth (Ah-ZOOTH) is the god of wizards and mages and to a much lesser degree, all spellcasters, as opposed to Mystra, who is the goddess of all magic. Azuth is Mystra’s servant, friend, and advisor. This last role has become even more important in the years since the Time of Troubles. Before the Godswar, he and Mystra were much closer and very affectionate toward one another, but Azuth’s relationship with Midnight/Mystra is much more professional. He regards the new Mystra as an inexperienced daughter facing a taxing and complex job whom he must coach to allow her to best perform her duties. In religious art, Azuth is most often portrayed as a bearded old man unbent by age, wielding a stout, gem-topped staff.

Savras the All-Seeing, a rival god of mages whom Azuth defeated, was Azuth’s foe for centuries. Savras now serves Azuth, albeit uneasily, as a demi-power of diviners and truth-speakers. The two deities seem to cautiously be working toward friendship and a format division of duties, albeit with Savras continuing to serve Azuth. Azuth also works closely to guide the Magister, the mortal spell-wielding champion of magic who serves Mystra. Likewise, Velsharoon, demi-power of necromancy, must pay at least lip service to Azuth’s commands.

Azuth is a sober sort of father-figure deity, but he is not humorless or mean-spirited. He has a rather dry, sardonic wit and appreciates plays on words and subtle humor. He has perfected a straight-faced delivery to such a degree that often those who hear him speak are left wondering whether some of his comments were said seriously or in jest. When he is in good humor, he likes to present those who have called on him with small gifts, such as flowers in unusual colors, magical fabric of elegant drape, or edible delicacies. When he is upset, his wrath is terrible to behold as the air crackles with magical energy around him that seems to flow both into and out of his eyes and the Old Staff, a divine artifact of ancient construction that he wields to devastating effect.

Dogma: Followers of Azuth feel that reason is the best way to approach magic, and that it may be examined and reduced to its component parts through study and meditation. Calm and caution are the watchwords of Azuthan clergy members as they strive to avoid mistakes that even magic cannot undo. They are taught to use Art (magic) wisely and to be always mindful of when it is best not to use magic.

Novices in the faith are charged to: “Teach the wielding of magic, and dispense scrolls, items, and spellbooks throughout Faerun that the use and knowledge of magic may spread. Encourage everyone to try their hand at wielding magic. Drive home the lesson that with magical power comes grave responsibility, and live that lesson yourself. Try to gain a copy of every new spell, spell variant, or magical idea you encounter without regard for its worth or importance—and make a copy of that copy for a temple library. Train others in what you know of magic, not hoarding your knowledge for yourself, and encourage creativity in magic in all ways and at all times.

Avatar/Manifestations: Azuth sometimes appears as a glowing, intangible floating mouth surrounded by mustache and beard and sometimes as a white, glowing, upright hand with its forefinger extended to a point that is outlined with a shimmering silver aura. Most often he appears as an electric blue radiance. Sometimes he manifests merely as an echoing, dry, male voice or such a voice accompanies another manifestation. In all manifestations, he has the power to unleash spells, identify from a distance without triggering the powers of an item or spell, and know the end result of any magic he sees being cast before it takes effect.

Azuth also acts or shows his favor through the appearance or presence of pure gray cats and dogs (which Azuthans consider lucky), gray owls, gray mice, golems, watchghosts, devas, and the Favored. The Favored are human archmages given a second life by Azuth to serve him with their spells and researches. They can fly and employ ESP at will, but are otherwise living mages in all respects.

Agents/Petitioners: (unknown, please fill in)

The Church of Azuth: Azuthan clergy tend to be folk who love magic for its own sake. They do not exeult in power, for that is the tendency of those who enjoy what magic can allow them to do to others, but in elegance, complexities of dweomer, and deft use of spells. Wizards, clerics, specialty priests, and monks serve in the clergy of Azuth. Within the church hierarchy, 45% of the titled clergy are wizards. Another 30% are clerics, who form the strong right arm of the faith, 20% are specialty priests, and 5% are monks. Relationships between the three groups are good, though there is some resentment against a current trend to promote specialty priests into positions of power. However, because of this trend, more novices of the Azuthan faith have chosen the path of a specialty priest than a cleric. Specialty priests of Azuth are known as magistrati.

In areas where Azuth has temples, shrines, and monastic communities, the ruling (not necessarily the most powerful) clergy member holds the title of “the First” and is addressed as “Revered One.” Other clergy members in large clerical communities have expanded on this idea: The most powerful user of alteration magic is called First Transmuter, the leading specialist in divination magic is First Diviner, etc. The First may bestow or revoke such titles within his or her parish. Clergy members of high rank and long years in the church are granted the title of Master. Azuthan clergy eschew most other titles.

Day-to-Day Activities: Azuthan clergy members very often serve as messengers between mages. They strive to remain above reproach and to be regarded as trusted neutral parties by all. They organize annual Mage Fairs, and at those Mage Fairs they try to settle feuds, curb overly destructive or deceitful magic, and sponsor spellweaving contests. They also give out scrolls of the winning spells from previous years and small, useful magical items as prizes in these contests.

Most wizards see the priesthood as helpful, but members of the church of Azuth may go to great lengths to serve a prime goal that many wizards do not find so pleasing: They try to ensure that no spell or magical item is unique to one mage in Faerûn so that the death of a single wizard does not take any spell or the knowledge of how to construct an item out of the world forever. Azuthan clergy members do this by magical spying (and even temporary thefts), by copying every wizardly writing they can find including command words and cryptic phrases (not just complete incantations), by encouraging the barter of spells, and by organizing tome drives in which wizards are paid handsomely to contribute a spell to the latest folio of the ongoing Azuthan spell-syclopedia (a written collection of spells from various mages duplicated magically in bulk, bound, and distributed by the priesthood for a minor fee covering production costs).

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: The church of Azuth holds a holy revel to mark the ascension of a new Magister and of any mage to the ranks of the Favored. Every twilight the faithful of Azuth pray silently to the High One for guidance in all their doings that day and the next. Azuthan priests otherwise avoid a lot of ceremony, but in temples and abbeys of the Lord of Spells, all three major meals of the day are accompanied by readings from the writings of great mages on the ethics of magic use, speculations as to what magic can be made to do in the future, and various philosophies of magic.

When a being is confirmed as a priest of Azuth, she or he must undergo the Transforming, a ritual in which the novice spends a tenday in thrall to an involuntary, ongoing shape change cast on him or her by a Master. In this ceremony, the novice must see life through the eyes of a bewildering variety of shapes forced upon him or her in succession by the magic. No shape the novice is placed in is unable to survive in the environment in which this ritual takes place, but the experience is typically humbling. The ritual is typically held in a walled, secluded temple garden that is temporarily off limits to all others, but which normally serves as a place for contemplation. The spell used in this ritual is a church secret, and it has been used by some Masters on foes in the defense of temples and abbeys under attack.

Azuthan clergy and laity alike also celebrate occasional Wild Nights, in which they dance in the midst of unleashed wild magic just to feel its power and effects. (Other wizards and priests stand by to rescue anyone who runs into harm.)

Major Centers of Worship: The House of the High One in Saerloon is the most revered temple of the Azuthan faith. It is run jointly by six Masters (all human male priests or wizards of 18th or greater level): Helven, Lhun, Mirren, Ormil, Riilath, and Thelcaunt. Another very powerful temple of Azuth is the House of the High One Ascendant. It is located in the mountains near Lhair in western Halruaa. Here First Arleenaya Kithmaer runs a huge temple complex expanded out from natural caverns in the mountains and fronted by a grand formal stone archway and portico ornamented by the finest carvings stone shape and grand master sculptors can achieve.

Affiliated Orders: Azuth clergy members who have done great service in recovering magical knowledge thought lost are often voted into the Order of the Forgotten Page by the Firsts of the church and allowed to wear a special silver trim on the collars of their ceremonial vestments. Members of the faith who have served the church in helping to eliminate a magical imbalance or monstrosity are granted the title “Shield of the High One,” given a minor protected magical item, and told a secret phrase or word that allows them aid from any temple or shrine of Azuth in the form of healing, shelter, and small loans, when necessary.

Priestly Vestments: The vestments of the priesthood of Azuth are shimmering gray and usually made of silk, though these are layered with heavier and more sensible materials in the North. The symbol of Azuth is worn on the chest, and the color of the aura on the symbol denotes an individual’s rank in the church. Most acolytes, monks, mage apprentices, and adventurers have a yellow aura surrounding the symbol of Azuth. Higher level adventurers and clergy members at large without official position wear symbols with a red aura. When not used to identify rank, the symbol of Azuth has a blue aura. In the North, usually only the forefinger of Azuth’s symbol is shown ablaze. From Chessenta southward—notably in Halruaa—the entire hand is surrounded by flame.

Adventuring Garb: In the field, clergy of Azuth wear sensible clothing, predominantly in shades of gray. They wear the symbol of their faith over their hearts, either stitched onto a tunic or robes or inlaid in metal armor.

Last updated byDispater