Kezef appeared as a huge mastiff with unearthly malevolent red eyes and a ratty tail. Maggots teemed in his fur, which made the coat shift incessantly over barely covered sinews and bones. His flesh oozed like pus from an old sore, and his paws left burning prints in the ground that spread into pools of burning ichor in his wake. Pointed teeth glittered like daggers of jet in the light. His blood was a dark, corrosive, liquid ooze, and he radiated a pestilent aura of decay. The fetid air of his breath extinguished all nearby fires, and he reeked with the sweet stench of ancient death. Those with a sense of smell could catch this scent from many miles away. The Chaos Hound spoke in a low and rumbling growl.
He was a unique being who roamed the Outer Planes constantly hunting the Faithful, which were the souls of those who had chosen to venerate one god above all others. He had no taste for the Faithless or the False, and was sickened by the taste of the spirits of the still-living. When Kezef destroyed one of the Faithful, the maggots that made up his pelt swarmed away from his jet-boned skeleton to devour the corpse. The gorged creatures then milled slowly over Kezef's body, making him appear bloated. Any of the Faithful who were eaten in this fashion were forever and truly destroyed, beyond even the recall of the gods.
Kezef relished the scent of hatred, and he sometimes paused and became substantial so that he could savor a particularly juicy emotional scent. In his wake, he left screaming nightmares particularly cherished by Dendar the Night Serpent. He was nauseated by the scent of cloying, reckless happiness.
Kezef was one of the primordial beings who appeared at the dawn of time, after the creation of Realmspace, although a few sages believed he was instead a creation of the god Jergal, who during a fit of madness created Kezef to deny the other gods the souls of their followers. Some believe that it was this event what eventually drove Jergal to step down from godhood as a penance.
Centuries ago, an alliance of Faerûnian gods chased Kezef across the Barrens of Doom and Despair to stop him from festering the souls of the Faithful, and when he was finally surrounded, the gods bet Kezef he could not break a leash forged by Gond the Wonderbringer. Kezef allowed Gond to place a short length of sturdy chain around his neck in exchange for Tyr placing his right hand in the Chaos Hound's slavering jaws. Gond anchored the chain miles deep in the floor of the Barrens' caves, and Mystra wrapped the beast in an unbreakable, glowing curtain of magical energy that automatically repaired itself. From these two traps, Kezef could not escape, and no one could reach him. When Kezef discovered he was truly fettered, he bit off Tyr's hand and feasted on its divine essence for centuries as he strove to free himself.[note 1] After imprisoning him, the gods forbade traffic by deity or mortal with the beast.
Having been double-crossed by Mask, the Chaos Hound spent every moment hunting down the elusive Lord of Shadows, chasing Mask across the planes. Only when Mask acquired a powerful blade called Houndsbane from Mystra did Kezef relent and stop hunting the cornered deity.
- ↑ Since 2nd edition, Forgotten Realms sourcebooks have stated that Tyr lost his hand to Kezef the Chaos Hound. Since 1st edition, core sourcebooks have instead recounted the real-world myth of Tyr losing his hand to the monstrous beast Fenris Wolf, who was the offspring of Loki. While the 3rd-edition sourcebook Faiths and Pantheons states that Tyr lost the hand in battle with Kezef, all earlier and later sources claim that it was rather a test of strength of will, and the most detailed version of the story was elaborated in full in Champions of Ruin. In that Realmsian tale, Gond created chains with which to bind Kezef, and Mystra enchanted them. The gods made a deal with Kezef that they would lift a ban against him if Kezef could successfully escape from bonds. He only agreed to be bound if Tyr would insert his hand into the hound's maw. Tyr agreed, and Kezef bit his hand off, consuming it slowly over centuries. This tale undoubtedly was inspired by the real-world myth, which differs in that the evil canine was Fenris Wolf, the chains were created by the dwarves, and the gods involved were Tyr and the rest of the Aesir. Champions of Ruin goes on to explain that Kezef was later freed from his bonds by Cyric.
In the planar multiverse in which the world of Toril is found, the Norse pantheon canonically exists, and Tyr is stated in multiple FR sources to be the same individual as the Norse deity and to make one of his two divine realms in Asgard with the rest of that pantheon. Also, in core 1st edition and Planescape settings, Fenris Wolf is an entity still bound on an island outside of Asgard, so both Fenris Wolf and Kezef the Chaos Hound must coexist in the D&D multiverse, with one bound and the other free.
Ultimately, as this is a wiki for the Forgotten Realms setting, we assume that the story of Tyr's loss of his hand to Kezef is the true tale, and that the version told by the Asgardians must simply be a legend, likely inspired by a similar tale about another evil, primordial canine, although it is certainly possible that the alternative is true.
- Eric L. Boyd (April 1996). “Forgotten Deities: The Elder Elemental Evils: Dendar and Kezef”. In Duane Maxwell ed. Polyhedron #118 (TSR, Inc.), p. 18–21.
- Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), pp. 189–190. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
- Thomas M. Costa. Bane of the Gods: The Elder Eternal Evils of the Forgotten Realms. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2006-01-05. Retrieved on 2019-11-22.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 144–147. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
- ↑ Richard Baker, Robert J. Schwalb (February, 2012). Heroes of the Elemental Chaos. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 78-0-7869-5981-5.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 79. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 254. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 139. ISBN 978-0786965809.
Akadi • Bazim-Gorag • Grumbar • Istishia • Kossuth
Achazar • Arambar • Asgorath • Atropus • Borem • Bwimb • Cirotralech • Dendar • Draunn • Dur-baagal • Entropy • Erek-Hus • Karshimis • Kezef • Maegera • Maram • Miska • Mual-Tar • Nehushta • Petron • Queen of Chaos • Rorn • Telos • Ubtao