Dagon (pronounced: /ˈdeɪgɒn/ Day-gon) was an obyrith and a demon lord, also called the Prince of the Depths. His realm was the 89th layer of the Abyss, and was known as the Shadowsea.
Dagon's form was a mixture of both octopus and fish. Dagon sprouted countless tentacles and was covered in black, rubbery skin that was punctuated with many red, unblinking eyes. Fish scales shielded his flesh, and row upon row of long fangs jutte from his maw. He stood more than 40 feet (12 meters) tall and was considered one of the most fearsome of the demon lords.
Dagon's history on Toril lay below the surface of the Sea of Fallen Stars and the waters in the west of Maztica. He and his minions lurked for a long time in the Trench of Lopok and were only known as "Those who Sleep Below". They infested the dreams of those who swam in the Sea of Fallen Stars with nightmares. The most ambitious of the demons was Prince Dagon, who planned to overcome a pantheon of sea creatures and achieve their divine powers. To reach this goal he brought the depths of the Sea of Fallen Stars under the control of his servants and their forces. The next step was made with long-forgotten eldritch magic. He restricted the influence of the deities of the shalarin in the Sea of Corynactis, on the west of Maztica.
The next step was the creation of five "wild tides" to sweep large numbers of shalarin into the Sea of Fallen Stars, where his minions could slaughter them. The first wild tide began in −1509 DR with the opening of the Wildtide Portals connecting the two ocean realms. Many shalarin were swept into the Sea of Fallen Stars, where roughly 70% died under the attacks of Dagon's servants. The rest were only rescued by the intervention of enemies of Dagon, like merfolk.
Dagon repeated this tactic every 720 years and the last wild tide was in the Year of the Unstrung Harp, 1371 DR. This time, the portal stayed and became permanent. The shalarin of Faerûn kept the portal a secret, fearing that others could use it for their own ends. But another fact was more disturbing for them. Between the fourth and fifth tide, the shalarin of their homelands near Maztica all but abandoned their gods because they had grown silent. Instead of the gods, they began to venerate the demon Dagon and his cult became the dominant religion in the Sea of Corynactis. The shalarin of the Sea of Fallen Stars cut off the travel between their communities. But it was too late and the cult of Dagon had already taken root among their ranks and grew in secret.
Cult of DagonEdit
Dagon also seems to have had heroic, "good" progeny in Faerûn, one for certain in the form of Captain Aulruick Thoster, one of the heroes attempting to stop the eladrin Malyanna from opening the Far Manifold with the Key of Stars in the Year of the Secret, 1396 DR. Thoster's heritage manifested itself in increments periodically during his quest; originally, he believed it to be of kuo-toa origin, but eventually it was revealed to him (via an extremely painful transformation) that he was in actuality a 'demon scion' and a direct descendant of Dagon.
The Outcast DagonEdit
The demon lord Dagon should not be confused with the exiled devil of the same name, who dwelled on Avernus, first layer of the Nine Hells. Originally known as Jaqon, Asmodeus forcibly changed Jaqon's name to 'Dagon' to thwart attempts to summon the offender.
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Outside of the Dungeons & Dragons universe, the name 'Dagon' was originally that of an ancient Mesopotamian and Canaanite fertility god, named Dagon or Dagan, who was mistakenly interpreted as a fish-god. Dagon, mainly the fish-god version, appears often in popular culture, most notably H.P. Lovecraft's influential horror short story "Dagon". This appears to be the basis for the D&D Dagon.
Dagon is first mentioned in the 1st-edition Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook Monster Manual II, where it is said in passing that he rules a liquid layer dominated by marine dretches, hezrous, krakens, and horrible fish-monsters.
- Ed Greenwood (November 1984). “Nine Hells revisited”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #91 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 18–34.
- Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
- James Jacobs (November 2006). “The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Dagon: Prince of Darkened Depths”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #349 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 30–45.
- Eric L. Boyd and Ed Greenwood (May 2007). “Volo's Guide: Demon Cults of the Realms”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #355 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 70–73.
- James Jacobs, Erik Mona, and Ed Stark (2006). Fiendish Codex I: The Lost Annals. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-04-11.
- Bruce R. Cordell (September 2010). Key of Stars. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786956289.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Ed Stark, James Jacobs, Erik Mona (June 13, 2006). Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 59–61. ISBN 0-7869-3919-2.
- ↑ Rob Heinsoo, Stephen Schubert (May 2009). Monster Manual II (4th edition). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 978-0786951017.
- ↑ Robert Adducci (2018). Cauldron of Sapphire (DDAL07-17) (PDF). D&D Adventurers League: Tomb of Annihilation (Wizards of the Coast), p. 3.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Eric L. Boyd and Ed Greenwood (May 2007). “Volo's Guide: Demon Cults of the Realms”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #355 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 71.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell (September 2010). Key of Stars. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 300. ISBN 978-0786956289.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (November 1984). “Nine Hells revisited”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #91 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 21–22.