Tiamat (pronounced: /ˈtiɑːmɑːt/ TEE-a-mat or: /ˈtiɑːmɑːt/ TEE-a-maht) was the lawful evil dragon goddess of greed, queen of evil dragons and, for a time, reluctant servant of the greater gods Bane and later Asmodeus. Before entering the Faerûnian pantheon, she was a member of the Draconic pantheon, and for some time she was also a member of the Untheric pantheon.
Tiamat was a unique chromatic dragon, who had one head for each primary color of the most common species of chromatics (black, blue, green, red, white). Each head was able to operate entirely independently of each other and had the powers of a member of the respective race of dragonkind. Her body also had traits in common with a wyvern, including a long tail tipped with a venomous stinger.
The Chromatic Dragon was a dragon with stubby legs and five heads that could be any combination of head belonging to a chromatic dragon, the skin of each merged into three stripes -- blue-green, gray and purple before they merged again into brown skin that covered her tail. Sometimes, The Chromatic Dragon appeared in the form of Tchazzar when manifesting in Chessenta. The Undying Queen was a dracolich version of The Chromatic Dragon.
Tiamat had three manifestations in Avernus as well, one of which never left the gate to Dis. Her manifestation as Azharul was her other 'public' face used for when foes challenged her to combat, meanwhile her original body remained secluded in her lair.
Tiamat was arrogant, greedy, hateful, spiteful and vain. She never forgave any kind of slight and was focused on obtaining more power and wealth. She disdained mortals, regarding them as mere disposable tools in her schemes. When needed, she was charming and fey, but her self-serving and reptilian personality betrayed her sooner or later.
After having experienced relative mortality as an archfiend, she became less reckless but also paranoid.
Tiamat enjoyed the company of dragons, and had many great wyrm consorts of the chromatic varieties.
As a unique type of chromatic dragon with the traits of the five most common chromatic varieties, Tiamat was a foe to be reckoned with in battle.
Along with all the standard powers and godly senses of a deity of her rank, those who saw her fight claimed that her heads were able to cooperate in battle, and that those heads had the ability to use the breath weapons and spell-like abilities common to their species. Although her sheer size prevented claw and kick attacks while on the ground, she was adept of its use while flying. She also had a stinger on her tail that injected a powerful venom on her foes, killing them in agonizing pain.
After the dissolution of the Untheric pantheon, her realm was the Dragonspawn Pits of Azharul, a realm she obtained after having killed Azharul and renamed into the Cave of Greed. It was located in the Dragon Eyrie lowest region, and she somehow connected it to her lair in Avernus.
Tiamat wanted to take control of the Realms, and even as she was thwarted again and again by her enemies, she didn't give up. She had a particular interest in controlling Unther and Chessenta, and after the Spellplague, she also had interest in Murghôm, Tymanther, and the dragon empires of Laerakond. She didn't like to leave her lair, however, and usually acted to advance her agenda by using members of her Church or her agents in the Cult of the Dragon.
Tiamat kept an active watch over evil dragonkind and always stirred them to further actions of avarice, pride and wickedness.
Tiamat was the antithesis of her brother Bahamut, as both of them represented opposing values, and this enmity was reflected in the attitude of each deity's worshipers as well. She was also at odds with her brother Null for some slight lost to history. The god of the kobolds, Kurtulmak, was also her servant.
Being a member of certain pantheons made her some other enemies. She conflicted with Iyachtu Xvim as he was the only significant opposition to her joining the Faerûnian pantheon, then later with his father, Bane. She also counted Ilmater among her enemies. Tiamat had some kind of contract with the githyanki race after their leader Gith treated with her.
Having once been an archfiend living on Avernus, Tiamat was loosely allied with Bel and lent him many Abishai to fight in the Blood War. She resented Mammon for converting some evil dragons away from her. She helped Asmodeus forge his Ruby Rod. She developed an enmity with Asmodeus and the archdevil Bel after they betrayed her.
She maintained a consort from each of the chromatic dragon races. She urged her evil dragonblood followers to populate the world and fill it with her spawn
Inhabitants of the Outer Planes noted that Tiamat was extremely similar to Takhisis, a major goddess worshiped on the world of Krynn. Both appeared as five-headed dragons with an alternate form as a "Dark Lady" and had similar personas and portfolios. Some planar inhabitants claimed they were the same goddess and others that they were as different as night and day, while still others said one was a reflection or avatar of the other. All these theories might have had a bit of truth, but the reality remained unknown. Takhisis did, however, maintain a separate divine realm from Tiamat known as Abthalom, or the Nether Reaches, also in Avernus in Baator.
Tiamat had a reputation amongst the people of the state of Unther for battling with the other members of their pantheon and was blamed for every one of the many setbacks Unther experienced. This later became an advantage when Gilgeam's behavior served to foment rebellion against him and those rebels began to worship her, eventually creating an organized church.
Tiamat had made inroads into the Cult of the Dragon and claimed some members as her worshipers. Also, for fifteen years, the Karanok family of Luthcheq unwittingly served Tiamat while they were worshiping the primordial Entropy. Tiamat transformed Entropy into a conduit for her power and gained the Karanoks as pawns.
Many evil dragons have worshiped Tiamat since their species first appeared on Toril, and kobolds believed she was their creator, and although they didn't worship her as god, they revered her as their creator. After the Spellplague, she also gained a few dragonborn followers.
Tiamat accepted only evil clerics. They, like Tiamat herself, sought to place the world under the domination of evil dragons.
Church of Tiamat
The church of Tiamat was regimented by a strict hierarchy of ranks and titles. Her clerics were occupied by the twin tasks of acquiring an ever-increasing hoard of wealth for the faith and sabotaging the faiths of other deities. As a result, they occupied most of their time with an unending series of thefts, assassinations, acts of vandalism, and arson. In Unther and Chessenta they were primarily concerned with seizing as much power as possible, while in western Faerun, the cult's agents were focused on subverting the Cult of the Dragon.
For ages, sages debated whether Tiamat actually was a deity or not. Many believed she was the archetype of evil dragonkind, a devil or demon, the avatar of another deity or even a mortal dragon so powerful that chromatic dragons revered her as their queen and creator. Whatever she was, sages knew for certain that she was powerful and worshiped by evil dragons as a goddess.
According to sages of the 14th century DR, Tiamat was actually a goddess. She came into existence alongside the rest of the draconic pantheon when the first dragons were born. However, sages of the 15th century DR suggest that, while Tiamat was divine in nature, since her origins were tied with those of the Material Plane, she was ontologically different from the gods that hail from the Outer Planes.
Her origins were highly conflicting, however, as there were many accounts about how she came into being. In the more commonly accepted traditions, she was the daughter of Asgorath and sister of Bahamut and Null; while in the myths of the dragonborn of Abeir, Bahamut and Tiamat were born from the sundered corpse of Io (the name by which dragonborn knew Asgorath) instead, when Io was killed in the Dawn War. According to the ancient draconic myth Elegy for the First World, Bahamut and Tiamat both coalesced from the primordial chaos at the beginning of time.
Whatever the truth, her cult grew rapidly in the communities of chromatic dragons, especially among blue, green, and red dragons.
Creation of the First World
According to Elegy for the First World, after Bahamut and Tiamat awakened from the primeval chaos they partnered and worked together to create a world. This world was known as the Prime Material plane, but in the poem was known as the First World. After the creation of the First World, they created the dragon god Sardior to help them to create the rest of the dragonkind: the first metallic and chromatic dragons. When the gods of the Outer Planes came to invade the First World, Tiamat resisted and opposed them even after Bahamut was defeated. She was eventually defeated by the combined might of the gods and sealed away in "a prison of darkness".
Imprisonment in the Nine Hells
According to giants myths, the Thousand Year War ended as a result of a curse that struck Tiamat after she slew an unknown giant deity. She was doomed to become a prisoner of Tiamat's Lair in Avernus, only able to leave the plane if summoned by a powerful ritual. Other accounts say that Tiamat was sent to the Nine Hells as a punishment for opposing the gods when they first came to the Material Plane, while other accounts even say that Tiamat went to the Hells by her own choice.
The Dragonfall Wars
Once dragons as a race had established themselves during the Time of Dragons, the various religious factions of dragons began to battle one another over their different ideologies. Over time, religious fervor waned and draconic philosophers came to the conclusion that gods who allowed such behavior were not worthy of their worship. This started the draconic apathy toward their gods which lasted for thousands of years. However, the hatred that had developed between Tiamat, Bahamut and their followers was so intense that they refused to stop fighting. Their conflict came to be known as the Dragonfall War. During the first years of the war, Tiamat bred horrific and aberrant draconic creatures known as the Spawn of Tiamat, in an attempt to wipe out the followers of Bahamut.
The war waxed and waned in intensity, with the last era of intense fighting occurring between −2087 DR and −1071 DR. It was during this time that the Untheric empire began and with it, their pantheon became prominent. Tiamat became one of their deities by using a three-headed aspect, and her purpose in the Untheric pantheon was to balance the "order" represented by the other Untheric gods with her "chaos". However, the plane of Zigguraxus increased the worst traits of her nature, making her something too powerful to be balanced by the other Untheric gods alone.
Now that both Bahamut (who had become a member of the Untheric pantheon under the alias of Marduk) and Tiamat had humanoid worshipers, the Dragonfall War entered into a new period of intensity. The two siblings fought each other personally, with neither being able to gain the upper hand. Tiamat also worked against the other Untheric gods, with the result of the church of Enlil naming her the "Nemesis of the Gods" and blaming her for every problem the nation had.
Then, in −1071 DR in a fight of the Orcgate Wars known as the Battle of the Gods, Tiamat saw an opportunity to slay Gilgeam while he was battling Ilneval. However, Marduk intercepted her and in the ensuing battle they killed each other. With both of their Untheric aspects dead, Tiamat and Bahamut were both stripped of their divine power. Tiamat was reduced to the status of an archfiend, her last few followers in Unther not enough to allow her to remain even as a lesser deity. However, as Gilgeam became a tyrannical God-King, the people of Unther never forgot the Nemesis of the Gods and they increasingly turned to her in secret for succor.
As an archfiend, she was given rulership of Avernus by Asmodeus. Her job was to prevent outcast devils on that layer of Hell from becoming a threat but performed so poorly that Asmodeus demoted her. Knowing her failure was not deliberate (by reading her thoughts), Asmodeus deigned to allow Tiamat to remain in Avernus unpunished, and even gave her a chance to regain her position if she impressed him in her new role as the guardian of the main gate to Dis.
Rise of the Dragon Queen
This state of affairs lasted until 1346 DR when some Untherite cultists managed to summon another aspect of Tiamat to Toril. This aspect, known as the Dark Lady, fomented rebellion all over Unther against the church of Gilgeam. Gilgeam was so hated that the membership in her own church swelled, and Tiamat was elevated to status of a demigoddess. She also took the opportunity to influence the lich Sammaster and his Cult of the Dragon into tracking down the Dracorage mythal.
During the Time of Troubles, after Ao banished the gods from the planes, the Dark Lady was transformed back into her three-headed Untheric avatar, which was promptly slain by Gilgeam's. Even so, her divine essence was somehow divided into three and came to inhabit Tchazzar, Gestaniius and Skuthosiin, three powerful chromatic dragons. Tchazzar devoured the other two, combining the three essences and ushering in the reappearance of Tiamat's more powerful five-headed form, which she used to kill Gilgeam and therefore cause Ao to dissolve the Untheric pantheon completely.
Having attained the status of a lesser deity once again, she was able to manifest avatars once more, until one of them was destroyed in 1359 DR by King Gareth Dragonsbane who had been tasked by Bahamut to destroy the Wand of Orcus in her heartsblood. Having done so, the king of Damara also brought the worship of Bahamut back to his people, elevating Bahamut to the status of lesser deity and rekindling the Dragonfall War once more. In response, Tiamat unleashed her aberrant dragonspawn and many of her followers to Vaasa to make trouble for the Church of Bahamut in Damara, while gaining some followers among disaffected members of the Cult of the Dragon in the process. This time, however, the Platinum Dragon countered them by reviving the ancient race known as the dragonborn of Bahamut.
She projected her wishes through the transformed primordial Entropy, and while in this guise expanded her base of humanoid worshipers. She eventually joined the Faerûnian pantheon in 1371 DR after gaining the worship of a cult in Luthcheq. Tiamat's body had been suffering from aches and pains that had been growing worse over time, but her elevation back to deity-hood reinvigorated her. However, the relative mortality she had experienced as an archfiend made her less reckless and more paranoid. She misinformed her clergy that she no longer resided in Avernus, but instead maintained a grand divine realm in Heliopolis.
When members of the Twisted Rune discovered that her only asset in Heliopolis was a disturbed lichnee netherese archwizard, known as the Listener, they attempted to steal his magic. In retaliation, Tiamat manifested an aspect that defeated the intruders and forced them to kill the minor draconic deity Azharul in his home in Dragon Eyrie. With the Listener and the Twisted Rune's forced help, Tiamat subsumed Azharul, taking his body and divine realm, completely unbeknownst to anyone but herself. All the while, she had already begun creating her real divine realm in the mountains of Avernus.
In 1373 DR, Sammaster managed to alter the Dracorage mythal to cause permanent insanity in all dragons unless they allowed themselves to become dracoliches. In one of the worst dracorages ever seen on Toril, Tiamat resurrected Tchazzar, Gestaniius and Skuthosiin to act as emissaries which she would use to solidify and expand her power base in Chessenta, Mulhorand, Threskel, and Unther.
The destruction of the Dracorage mythal also heralded the prophesied "Turning of the Great Cycle" which sparked off the religious fervor lacking in dragons since the beginning of the Dragonfall War, and Tiamat gained new draconic converts. In 1374 DR, lightning and meteor showers pounded Faerûn, and Bahamut and Tiamat instructed their respective followers to seek out specific sites that would each contain some form of dragon egg. Unfortunately for Bahamut, Tiamat's followers were much more effective in retrieving the eggs than his own. Tiamat's followers brought the eggs they collected to Unthalass in preparation for a new battle of the Dragonfall War.
Tiamat spent her new forces mostly in her efforts to conquer the east, but that task proved more difficult than she envisioned. Only Tchazzar met with success, cementing his rule in Chessenta while Unther was conquered by Mulhorand. Her tentative ally Alasklerbanbastos also ruled Threskel and allowed Tiamat's church to establish a stronghold there. A short-lived but powerful cult of humanoid fanatics was also lost to her in the Wyrmbones.
Her losses outweighed her gains, however: during the Spellplague, Entropy ceased being a simple vessel for communication and spells, taking away her power base in Luthcheq. The dissolution of her subsumed realm in Dragon Eyrie during the Spellplague also saw the badly-wounded body of Azharul fall into the hands of Bane. Tymanchebar's transplantation from Abeir to Toril saw some of the strongest bastions of Tiamat's faith disappear overnight to be replaced with individuals who would become staunch enemies. In 1479, Tchazzar managed to conquer Threskel for himself, but this just drew him into a war with the Abeiran nation of Tymanther in which he was killed.
With her most powerful servant dead, her forces beginning to crumble and Bahamut's power increasing after he became the subservient god of Torm, the Dragonfall War stalled. In Banehold, Bane discovered that Azharul was merely a vessel for Tiamat and enslaved it. Furious but overwhelmed by other events, Tiamat did not immediately retaliate against her enemy, instead serving Bane loyally despite his harassment. During this period, Tiamat discovered Bane's secrets and passed them on to Asmodeus.
Some time in the next decade, Tiamat saw an opportunity and took it, wrenching Azharul out of Banehold along with much of Bane's divine energy. She used that energy to mend Azharul's broken body and increase her own divine power. Delighted, Asmodeus offered her the rulership of Avernus once more. However, to avoid disappointing Asmodeus again and to prevent a conflict with Bel, Tiamat refused, instead offering to be Asmodeus' champion and devouring all who opposed him (and offering covert aid to Zariel to prevent Bel from becoming too powerful).
Yet agreements in the Hells are binding, and Tiamat was subsequently placed under the direct compulsion of Bel. Her brief attempt at resistance allowed her to see into Bel's mind and learn of the directions Asmodeus had given him to imprison her in her divine realm to prevent her from becoming ambitious. Betrayed and angry, Tiamat instructed her followers in the Cult of the Dragon to assemble the Mask of the Dragon Queen that would allow her to finally escape Avernus and enter Toril. Though the Cult's leader, Severin Silrajin, successfully assembled the Mask and used it to bring Tiamat's Temple from her realm in Avernus to the Well of Dragons, he and his forces were ultimately defeated and Tiamat was banished back to the Nine Hells.
The adventure The Throne of Bloodstone depicts Tiamat being slain by Gareth Dragonsbane and his party on the instructions of Bahamut, as her heart was needed to destroy the Wand of Orcus. As originally written, this adventure took place in 1148 DR, too early for Dragonsbane to be included in the modern Forgotten Realms. The date was thus retconned to 1359 DR in Dragons of Faerûn and The Grand History of the Realms.
Faiths and Avatars suggested several theories for the survival of Tiamat: that the actual dragon slain was Takhisis (a deity from a different Crystal sphere), that a deity can only truly be slain on their home plane (unless they are stripped of their divinity, as happened during The Time of Troubles) and so Tiamat simply reappeared later, or that Dragonsbane simply slew a different multi-headed dragon or even an imposter. Dragons of Faerûn ultimately clarified the Dragonsbane party merely destroyed an avatar. Although Tiamat's avatar was also slain by Gilgeam, this indicates the death of the avatar did not destroy the god it belongs to, merely slow its plans for a time.
- For the truth behind Tiamat's planar whereabouts, see the History section.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in the following links do not necessarily represent the views of the editors of this wiki, nor does any lore presented necessarily adhere to established canon.
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Azuth • Bane • Bhaal • Chauntea • Cyric • Gond • Helm • Ilmater • Kelemvor • Kossuth • Lathander • Loviatar • Mask • Mielikki • Myrkul • Mystra (Midnight) • Oghma • Selûne • Shar • Shaundakul • Silvanus • Sune • Talos • Tempus • Torm • Tymora • Tyr • Umberlee • Waukeen
Akadi • Auril • Beshaba • Deneir • Eldath • Finder Wyvernspur • Garagos • Gargauth • Grumbar • Gwaeron Windstrom • Hoar • Istishia • Iyachtu Xvim • Jergal • Lliira • Lurue • Malar • Milil • Nobanion • The Red Knight • Savras • Sharess • Shiallia • Siamorphe • Talona • Tiamat • Ubtao • Ulutiu • Valkur • Velsharoon
Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Ghaunadaur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Raven Queen | Tiamat
Greater Gods of Faerûn
Amaunator | Asmodeus | Bane | Chauntea | Corellon | Cyric | Ghaunadaur | Gruumsh | Kelemvor | Lolth | Moradin | Oghma | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Tempus | Torm
Gods of Faerûn
Angharradh | Auril | Bahamut | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Garl Glittergold | Gond | Ilmater | Loviatar | Luthic | Malar | Mielikki | Sheela Peryroyl | Sseth | Talona | Tiamat | Tymora | Umberlee | Waukeen | Zehir
Exarchs of Faerûn
Abbathor | Arvoreen | Baervan Wildwanderer | Bahgtru | Baravar Cloakshadow | Brandobaris | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Sashelas | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Erevan Ilesere | Fenmarel Mestarine | Fzoul Chembryl | Garagos | Hoar | Hruggek | Jergal | Labelas Enoreth | Lliira | Maglubiyet | Malar | Marthammor Duin | Milil | Obould | Red Knight | Sharess | Shargaas | Shevarash | Shiallia | Siamorphe | Solonor Thelandira | Thard Harr | Uthgar | Valkur | Vaprak | Vergadain
Greater Deities of Faerûn
Angharradh | Bane | Chauntea | Corellon Larethian | Cyric | Garl Glittergold | Gruumsh | Horus-Re | Kelemvor | Lathander | Moradin | Mystra | Oghma | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talos | Tempus | Tyr | Yondalla
Intermediate Deities of Faerûn
Abbathor | Arvoreen | Baervan Wildwanderer | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Duerra | Deep Sashelas | Dumathoin | Erevan Ilesere | Flandal Steelskin | Gond | Hanali Celanil | Helm | Ilmater | Isis | Labelas Enoreth | Laduguer | Lolth | Mask | Mielikki | Nephthys | Osiris | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Segojan Earthcaller | Selûne | Set | Sharindlar | Sheela Peryroyl | Solonor Thelandira | Thoth | Tymora | Umberlee | Urdlen | Vergadain
Major Deities of Faerûn
Angharradh | Bane | Bhaal | Chauntea | Corellon Larethian | Garl Glittergold | Gruumsh | Horus-Re | Lathander | Moradin | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talos | Tempus | Tyr | Yondalla
Other Deities of Faerûn
Auppenser | Abbathor | Arvoreen | Auril | Baervan Wildwanderer | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Duerra | Deep Sashelas | Dumathoin | Erevan Ilesere | Flandal Steelskin | Gond | Hanali Celanil | Helm | Ilmater | Isis | Labelas Enoreth | Laduguer | Lolth | Mask | Mielikki | Nephthys | Osiris | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Segojan Earthcaller | Selûne | Set | Sharindlar | Sheela Peryroyl | Solonor Thelandira | Thoth | Tymora | Umberlee | Urdlen | Vergadain