Bahamut is the dragon god of justice, and a subservient deity to Torm, god of law. Bahamut is revered in many locales. Though all good-aligned dragons pay homage to Bahamut, gold, silver, and brass dragons hold him in particularly high regard. Other dragons, even evil ones (except perhaps his archrival Tiamat), respect Bahamut for his wisdom and power.
The majority of Bahamut's worshipers are metallic dragons, though he has followers among many races, especially the ones who wish to protect the weak.
Bahamut only accepts good-aligned priests. They may be dragons, half-dragons, or other beings. They strive to constantly yet subtly act on behalf of good. They oppose evil, but their first mandate is to ensure they do no harm in the process. Clerics are typically versed in martial arts and combat, and prone to leaping into any fray in order to defend against unjust attackers.
Bahamut was known to work with his clerics more often than other dragon deities, and he asked his clerics to oppose the greatest weaknesses of dragonkind, that in Bahamut's point of view were the tendency of good dragons to perform questionable acts because of greed or cowardice, the chance to be subdued (something all dragon gods frowned upon), and the existence of evil dragons.
If a dragon cleric transgressed Bahamut's dogma, committed questionable acts, or was subdued, either voluntarily or by force, he or she would have lost favor with him and would need to atone by sacrificing part of their treasure or by performing special tasks, or they would lost part of their clerical powers. Repeated transgressions would earn them the loss of all their clerical abilities, a merciful punishment if compared to how other dragon gods, such as Tiamat, punished their failed clerics.
Non-draconic clerics of Bahamut typically learned his teachings at the foot of a wyrm, usually a gold or silver dragon in humanoid form. Teacher and student often traveled to see the effects of injustice and cruelty firsthand. Bahamut's wanderings gave rise to many bard tales about an unassuming old man with canaries who helped people on the roads that were well known among his faithful, and many of his human and demihuman priests undertook pilgrimages in the company of trained canaries, seeking to emulate their god.
The ceremonial garb of Bahamut's clergy consists of a suit of brightly-polished scale mail, made of a metal denoting rank, with a golden robe worn over it. The metals used in the armor are, in order of rank from lowest to highest: copper, brass, bronze, silver, and gold. The holy symbol is usually a gemstone carved into a star or with the star-over-nebula engraved into it.
When adventuring, Bahamut's priests usually wear the heaviest metallic armor they can afford, usually having the armor custom-crafted to more closely resemble a dragon, especially the helm, which will almost always be in the shape of a dragon's head. Some high-ranking priests and paladins will carry dragon swords
. These weapons are long swords that come in seven varieties, each corresponding to a type of good dragon: gold, silver, bronze, copper, brass, steel, and mercury. The swords appear to be made of the metal of the corresponding dragon. The hilt and handle of the sword are fashioned to resemble the head of a dragon. When carried, the sword confers a +2 to saves verses the type(s) of breath weapon used by that dragon. In combat, they function like long swords, with one important difference: when they strike an opponent, the creature struck must make a save vs. spell or take 3d4 points of additional damage from the blade. A successful save results in half damage. The damage is caused in the same manner as the dragon's breath weapon, i.e., fire from a gold dragon sword, cold from a silver, etc. (DM's note: these should be rare.)
Dragon clerics were usually nurtured from birth, trained by a senior dragon cleric, usually a parent or close friend of their parents, although it was not unusual that a dragon of any age heard the call of Bahamut and sought out clerical training. As with any dragon deity, dragons who wanted to become clerics of Bahamut had to first acquire an appropriate holy symbol. This holy symbol became the most prized item of their hoards after that, as it was a symbol of their status in dragon society and of the cleric's devotion to Bahamut, and to lose it was considered a blasphemy. If a dragon cleric didn't try to recover an stolen or lost holy symbol, he or she would lost their investiture. Usually a dragon had to acquire his or her holy symbol on their own, but Bahamut also bestowed a holy symbol to a dragon he wanted to be his cleric.
The holy symbol used by dragon clerics of Bahamut was a small dragon claw (about the size of a human hand) usually made of platinum or some other metal plated with platinum, although younger (and relatively poorer) dragons made theirs of their own metal type. They carried their holy symbol at all times, usually around their necks on a stout chain. One of the main goals of a dragon cleric was to acquire their most preferred type of holy symbol; in the case of Bahamut's worshipers, one made of platinum. In some instances, Bahamut blessed some of his clerics for services rendered by upgrading their holy symbol to one made of platinum.
Like the dragon clerics of the other dragon deities, clerics of Bahamut were expected to perform three key functions alongside any other tasks he asked them to do: to act as role models for other good dragons, to function as emissaries of Bahamut on a given area, and to spread Bahamut's will to other dragons in that area while collecting sacrifices from Bahamut's worshipers. Those sacrifices were usually a small part of their dragon hoards, and dragon clerics were allowed to take a small share of this sacrifice as well, making this third function the favorite of many dragon clerics. Dragon clerics were also expected to sacrifice a part of their treasure to Bahamut once every year.
His dragon adepts followed the Ptarian Code, a draconic code of honor created by the gold dragon Ptaris in the ancient past. Originally intended as a code of conduct for the lords who attended the King of Justice, the Ptarian Code eventually was adopted by many gold and silver dragons. The Ptarian Code was similar to the codes of chivalry adopted by knightly orders of humanity. It included paying homage to Bahamut, as well to the draconic deities Lendys and Tamara. The major precepts were:
- Justice and Good above all.
- Honor and Fealty to the King.
- Honor and Respect to Righteous Innocence.
- Honor and Duty to the Balancer (Lendys), to Her Mercy (Tamara), and to the Justicemaker (Bahamut).
- Honor and Protection to the Lesser Races.
- Honor and Correction to the Enemies of Justice and Good.
- Honor and Forbearance for oneself.
Gold, silver, and brass dragons do not normally build temples, contenting themselves with simple shrines to Bahamut in their lairs, usually nothing more than Bahamut's holy symbol engraved on a wall. Bahamut prefers his followers to worship him with deeds, not objects.
The few temples that were made to honor him were beautiful and elegant edifices characterized by clean, simple architecture and furnishings. Those temples had meeting rooms where followers could gather to plan their next campaign against Tiamat, and few smaller rooms where individuals could pray, meditate, or rest in privacy.
Most of the quests that Bahamut's followers go on are apt to involve opposing Tiamat in some way. They have few formal rituals. Each clergy member is expected to say a prayer facing north every night. Clergy members also must show respect to any good dragon they come across, and to address them in Auld Wyrmish (or in the proper metallic tongue, if known) unless the dragon in question is familiar to them and/or would rather speak in common. Bahamut's clergy is also honor-bound to help any good dragon they meet who needs it.
The only activity that was considered as something like a ritual was the Rite of Rebirth
, the magical process by which non-dragon humanoids transformed themselves into dragonborn. Rarely, humans, elves, halflings, or other humanoid races may hear a call, like a faint question in their hearts, asking them if they want to devote themselves completely to Bahamut. Normally it is first heard before adolescence, but sometimes adults hear it as well. Not all those who are called answer, but those who do may undergo the Rite of Rebirth. Those who commit to this demanding ritual put aside all their weapons and equipment, dressing in a simple linen shift. They meditate for a full day and night, their head filled with reminders of all they are giving up. If they elect to go on, they then enter an egg-shaped chamber at dawn and sleep until dawn the next day, emerging as a dragonborn, a noble, draconic, platinum-scaled version of their previous shape, ready to become a permanent champion against Tiamat and her spawn.
The only holy day currently celebrated by Bahamut's faithful is the Feast of Fellowship
. Occurring the night after the spring equinox, the festival is a night for dragon and human to set aside differences. Each clergy member in an area rides on dragonback into the night sky, and partake in an aerial dance of breathtaking beauty. Afterwards, the dragons all polymorph into humanoid shapes, and share a feast with the clergy and those who have done great services to the church or to the dragons. Even those good dragons that cannot normally polymorph into humanoid form can do so on this night due to a gift from Bahamut. Each temple will also hold a celebration on the day of its founding. This celebration usually takes the form of a public parade, and the donation of one valuable item from each clergy member to the church.
The Talons of Justice
was an order of dragon paladins dedicated to Bahamut that followed the Ptarian Code. No one knew exactly how many Talons there were, but the group probably numbered in the scores. Group members were spread throughout Faerûn, many living in human and demihuman form in cities and towns of other races.
The Platinum Cadre
was an order of dragonborn knights from Tymanther who believed that not all dragons were evil, and that dragonborn were the ancient children of Bahamut. They worked actively to change Tymantheran prejudices about dragons, and although they were ridiculed by Tymantheran society, they were also acknowledged as some of the best warriors Tymanther had to offer, even if grudgingly.
Defend the weak and downtrodden against unjust attackers and those who take pleasure in harming the defenseless. Value life above all. Pride is necessary for any creature to be magnanimous; One has to believe in standards for themselves, and strive to surpass them, before standards can be applied to others.
In his natural form, Bahamut is a massive dragon (approx 180 feet long) with a tail the same length as his body, with platinum scales that glow with a faint blue sheen. Bahamut's catlike eyes are deep blue, as azure as a midsummer sky, some say. Others insist that Bahamut's eyes are a frosty indigo, like the heart of a glacier. Perhaps the colors merely reflect the Platinum Dragon's shifting mood.
When he wished to wander the mortal world, he usually takes the appearance of an old human or demihuman dressed in peasant robes accompanied by seven canaries. Some sages believe Bahamut uses this humanoid guise to not frighten non-dragon beings. They also believe that while Bahamut is fond of his old man guise, he has other guises as well. Other recorded guises included that of a prince with a carriage drawn by seven horses, an urchin accompanied by seven friends, and a beggar followed by seven dogs.
Bahamut's allies included good dragons, half-dragons, dragonborn (both Abeiran and ancient ones), and good draconic creatures. As of 1479 DR, the King of Justice Tamarand was one of his Chosen.
Bahamut was a servant deity to Torm, occupying an equivalent position to that of a knight. As a comrade of arms of Torm, both deities had battled side-by-side against evil gods and devils on many occasions.
Bahamut's antithesis was Tiamat, as both of them represented opposing values, and this enmity was reflected in the attitude of each deity's worshipers as well. He was also at odds with his brother Null.