Laogzed (pronounced: /leɪˈɑːgzɛd/ lay-AG-zed), also known as The Devourer and The Eater of Souls, was an abyssal demigod of gluttony and wanton destruction. His symbol was an oozing toad-lizard.
Laogzed resembled a combination between a lizard and a toad, covered in dead patches of rotten skin. His body was 10 feet (3 meters) tall and 12 feet (3.6 meters) long, made monstrously fat by his constant acts of voracity. He was known to be a disgusting creature that constantly exuded a gross acidic ooze from his body. Rows upon rows of needle-like teeth were made visible as he exhaled noxious clouds of putrid gas.
Practically mindless, Laogzed was concerned only with his next meal whatever that may be. He held no loyalty to troglodytes when they could no longer provide him with food. Bothering him for any reason other than to provide him with food was sure to get one eaten. He provided no standard for his followers' behavior and granted divine power to any creature willing to consume food and pass it on to himself.
Laogzed spent his time in the Abyss stalking the Rotting Plains of the Dismal Caverns. Planar refuse from the River of Blood would pool into the subterranean lakes, which he would soon feed upon, providing him with endless "meals". He wandered his caves searching for any creature that came inside to gorge upon. Despite his lack of pickiness, he had a preference for juicy food he could swallow whole so as to enjoy as it wriggled inside of him.
Despite the heavy stench of his lair, Laogzed could hunt for creatures in his cavern via smell. His breath was foul and nauseating, creating a powerful stench that sickened anything that came near him. In addition, his ooze was both acidic and poisonous, melting any weapons that came into contact with it, and potentially killing anyone who touched it. He could also swallow creatures smaller than him whole and digest them while alive, although if needed he could rend flesh with his numerous rows of teeth. He was not restricted to eating simply organic matter, being able and willing to digest nearly anything. Attempts to paralyze or poison him were futile, owing to his fetid oozes and slimy body. When his followers digested food, he would siphon a portion of it into himself, allowing him to feed from those who worshiped him.
Laogzed's origins were shrouded in mystery and he did not appear to fulfill any cosmological role. He was believed to act as a kind of cleansing scavenger, which was the only reason his existence was tolerated by other deities. It was thought he came into existence when a female reptilian tanar'ri coupled with an evil deity. The father was unknown, theorized to be Panzuriel, or otherwise a dark elemental elder god.
Laogzed was often worshiped by troglodytes who desired to emulate his great corpulence and self-satisfaction. While he did not offer anything to his worshipers, the standard for his worship was so low that it was extremely convenient to do so. The drawback was that, upon death, Laogzed would just as quickly devour his devoted as he would any other being, and he did not give any omens or other divine assistance when they were in danger. When present on the Material Plane, his followers would be wise to give him a wide berth to avoid the risk of being greedily devoured, including his shamans.
Contrary to most evil deities, Laogzed did not demand sacrifices, but would accept them regardless, typically those of burnt humanoids. It was believed by troglodytes that by consuming flesh some would be sent to Laogzed to enjoy, making simply eating a ritual. For providing him with feasts, he would grant his followers spells, making him remarkably easy to gain power from. The greatest ritual was known as the Shedding of the Skins, a yearly event officiated by the troglodyte shamans. Every year on Midwinter's Day troglodytes would discard their shedded skins and offer them to Laogzed to feast upon, resulting in him appearing on the Material Plane to take part.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Rich Redman, James Wyatt (May 2001). Defenders of the Faith. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 0-7869-1840-3.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 221. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 148–149. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 100. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
- ↑ Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 177. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- ↑ Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 28.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1988). The Throne of Bloodstone. (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 0-8803-8560-X.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 97. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
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