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Azi, Dahaka

Armenian History in Italian Art - Date Juliano Zasso (1833-1889), Azi, Dahaka
Armenian History in Italian Art – Date Juliano Zasso (1833-1889)

Originally from The Book of Fiends

Designed By Aaron Loeb, Erik Mona, Chris Pramas, and Robert J. Schwalb

The Dragon of the Lie

Layer: Sraosha
Areas of Concern: Torture, truth, lies
Domains: Chaos, Evil, Fear, Pain
Favored Weapon: falchion

Aeons ago, not long after the solar Eblis fell from the Seven Heavens for refusing to serve mortals a fierce king named Zohak ruled one of the most prominent early human kingdoms. Once a powerful and chaste noble who served the Lords of Good as a paragon of truth, Zohak achieved his position after murdering his predecessor, Jamshid, who had become so corrupt with power that he forced his subjects to worship him as a god. Despite his
greatness, Zohak knew he would not be able to defeat the god-king alone. Instead, he employed the mighty Eblis, who granted him the service of an army of divs, outsiders who had inhabited the world prior to the rise of humanity but who had been cast out by the Lords of Good fortheir arrogance. Zohak gained the throne and freed his people from the tyranny of Jamshid, but at a terrible cost.

Eblis planted a seed of paranoia within his ally’s heart. Shortly after becoming king, Zohak came to believe that his subjects secretly schemed against him. Where as the king had previously sworn himself to defend the truth, now he attempted to wrest it from the hearts of his assumed enemies by subjecting them to gruesome tortures. Unsurprisingly, these tortures brought more and more confessions, confirming Zohak’s fears and fueling more seizures of enemies and greater and more perverse means of getting the truth from them. Within two years, Zohak’s fears had manifested in the form of twin snakes growing from his shoulders. These terrible beasts kept Zohak alive through the singular means of devouring the brains of his victims. Finally beset by enemies on all sides (enemies he had created thanks to his vicious pogroms), Zohak realized he had been betrayed the moment he joined forces with Eblis. Shamed, broken, and alone, Zohak hanged himself from his castle’s highest tower. His name went down in the lore of his people as a watchword for the corrupting influence of power.

Moments after dying, Zohak emerged upon the Howling Threshold. Seeing his rebirth in the afterlife as a second chance, he took the name Azidahaka and vowed to create in The Abyss that which he could not maintain in the material world— a kingdom of subjects who honored him for his character and his dedication to truth. Eventually, he became a demon. Centuries later, he wrested a layer of The Abyss for himself (Sraosha, a term meaning obedience,” or“discipline”) and set his plans into motion. The Abyss being the Abyss, however, he came up somewhat short of his goal.

Sraosha boasts as many traitors and schemers as hishuman kingdom ever did, but as Azidahaka’s current subjects are demons and the souls of the chaotic evil dead, the dangers posed by his enemies are a thousand times greater than they were on the Material Plane. To protect his rulership he’s again turned to torture— indeed, the layer seems dedicated to perfecting that ancient art. Souls and demons alike hang on great metal hooks from the kingdom’s parapets. Body parts and unidentifiable fluids stain the cobblestones of great cities, and countless screams issue forth from countless chambers filled with racks, brazen bulls, iron maidens, and worse.

Such perfection has brought with it the respect of mortal torturers the world over, as well as (ironically) pleas of guidance from those about to go under the torturer’s knife. Both tormentor and tormented are equally likely to pray to Azidahaka— one for the skill to extract the truth, and the other in hopes of easing inevitable pain.

Azidahaka appears much as he did in life. A regal warrior of handsome (if worry-worn) features, the so-called Dragon of the Lie decks himself in the finest garments of royalty. Blood and ichor stain his vestments, however, revealing the means to which he must resort, to which he has always had to resort, to maintain his tenuous grasp on power and status. The only being Azidahaka truly trusts is his head torturer, the demon lord Rahu the Tormentor, who seems tailor-made for the nightmarish parody that is the Kingdom of Sraosha. Azidahaka’s heart still burns for revenge against the traitorous liar Eblis, whom he has sworn to put to the blade in payment for his ancient betrayal.

Obedience

All thaumaturges devoted to Azidahaka possess a dried heart extracted from a sentient creature killed though an overzealous application of torture (usually, but not always, at the hands of the thaumaturge). By channeling divine power into the heart during a daily ritual, the thaumaturge causes it to once again beat with life and seep with diseased blood. The thaumaturge manipulates the organ with jagged stickpins and sharp needles, opening a direct link to the cursed power of his patron. After the ritual, which lasts an hour, the thaumaturge’s spells are replenished. Should the heart be lost or destroyed, a replacement must be harvested. The organ must undergo a special immersion for three hours in a preparation of spices and juices sacred to the Dragon of the Lie, costing 200 gp.

Originally Posted by Shade of the En World forums.

On this Thread

This snakelike, draconic monstrosity sports three horned heads. Its body is covered with crawling vermin. Two gigantic wings block out the sun, and spittle drips from its massive fangs.

Azi Dahaka has two forms. The first is that of a three-headed winged serpent crawling with scorpions and other vermin. The second is that of a dark-skinned human man with two fanged snakes springing from his shoulders.

Azi Dahaka
male human Sor20
Gargantuan outsider (Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar)
Hit Dice26d8+182 (299 hp)
Initiative+3
Speed40 ft. (8 squares), Fly 120 ft. (average)
Armor Class35 (-4 size, +3 Dexterity, +16 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 32
Base Attack/Grapple+26/+51
AttackBite +35 melee (4d6+13/19-20)
Full Attack3 bites +35 melee (4d6+13/19-20) and 2 wings +32 melee (2d6+6) and tail slap +32 melee (2d8+19)
Space/Reach20 ft./15 ft.
Special AttacksBreath weapon, frightful presence, poison, spell-like abilities
Special QualitiesAlternate form, Blindsense 120 ft., damage reduction 10/good, keen senses, immunity to disease, electricity, Paralysis, poison, and sleep, Scent, Spell Resistance 29, verminous wounds
SavesFort +22, Ref +18, Will +20
AbilitiesStrength 36, Dexterity 16, Constitution 25, Intelligence 22, Wisdom 21, Charisma 22
SkillsBalance +5, Bluff +35, Concentration +36, Diplomacy +10, Disguise +35 (+37 acting), Hide +20, Intimidate +37, Jump +19, Listen
+34, Knowledge (the planes) +35, Knowledge (religion) +35, Move Silently +32, Search +35, Sense Motive +34, Spot +34, Survival+5 (+7 on other planes, +7 following tracks), Swim +42, Use Magic Device +35
FeatsCombat Reflexes, Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Critical (bite), Multiattack, Power Attack, Snatch, Wingover
EnvironmentAn Evil Aligned Plane
OrganizationSolitary
Challenge Rating21
TreasureStandard
AlignmentAlways chaotic evil
AdvancementNone
Level Adjustment

Combat

Azi Dahaka generally opens combat with his breath weapon, then uses Flyby Attacks to poison different opponents with each pass. He nearly always fights in his draconic form, only using his humanoid form if the space cannot accommodate a Gargantuan creature.

Azi Dahaka’s natural weapons, as well as any weapons he wields, are treated as chaotic-aligned and evil-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Breath Weapon (Su): Azi Dahaka has one type of breath weapon, a 60-foot cone of thunderous electricity. The breath weapon inflicts 10d6 points of electricity damage and 10d6 points of sonic damage (Reflex DC 30 half). Additionally, anyone in the area must succeed on a DC 30 Fortitude save or be deafened permanently. It may use this breath weapon once every 1d4 rounds. All three heads can use the breath weapon, but only one head breathes in a given round. The save DCs are Constitution-based.

Frightful Presence (Su): When Azi Dahaka attacks, he exudes an aura of fear to a radius of 120 feet. All creatures in this area must make a DC 29 Will save each to avoid the effects of this fear. Creatures with 12 Hit Dice or less are paralyzed with fear for 1d4 rounds, while those with more Hit Dice are panicked for 1d4 rounds. Creatures who make the save are shaken for 1d4 rounds. A creature can be affected by Azi Dahaka’s frightful presence only once per encounter. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Poison (Ex): Bite, Fortitude DC 30; initial and secondary damage 2d6 Constitution.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will–greater teleport;

3/day–call lightning storm (DC 21), control weather (DC 23), control winds (DC 21), true seeing;

1/day–plane shift.

Caster level 20th.

Alternate Form (Su): Azi Dahaka can shift between his draconic and humanoid forms as a standard action. In humanoid form, he is Medium size (6 ft., 0 in. tall). He cannot fly or use his breath weapon or frightful presence abilites, but he can use his spell-like abilities. He loses the natural attacks listed in the statistics above, but gains two snake attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage plus poison.

Azi Dahaka remains in one form until he chooses to assume a new one. A change in form cannot be dispelled, nor does Azi Dahaka revert to any particular form when killed. A true seeing spell reveals both forms simultaneously.

Keen Senses (Ex): Azi Dahaka sees four times as well as a human in low-light conditions and twice as well in normal light. It also has Darkvision with a range of 120 feet.

Verminous Wounds (Su): If damaged by a piercing or slashing weapon, a swarm of vermin appears in a square adjacent to Azi Dahaka. It appears in the closest adjacent square to the origin of the damage. Swarms remain until destroyed. Roll 1d6 to determine the type of vermin: 1-2: spider swarm; 3-4; centipede swarm; 5-6: scorpion swarm (see Sandstorm). [If you don’t have Sandstorm, just roll 1d4.]

Azi Dahaka and the Draconomicon

If you are using the Draconomicon, the following changes are recommended.

Feats: Replace Combat Reflexes with Tempest Breath.

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