Gargauth, The Lord Who Watches, is the demigod of betrayal, cruelty, political corruption and power brokers. He embodies the inevitable decay and corruption that accompanies all self-serving, greedy, and power-hungry leaders and groups. Gargauth holds to the letter of any agreement, not the spirit, and relishes betraying anyone with whom he forged a pact by twisting the contract to serve his own ends. Gargauth is a master strategist, and his sense of humor moderates his temper. He can be erudite, charming, and genteel, but his true nature always reveals itself eventually. In truth, the Lord Who Watches is utterly depraved, the incarnation of evil most foul.
The church of Gargauth is a secretive faith, although there are some significant exceptions. Clerics work to increase their personal power, the power of the church, and, by extension, the power of Gargauth. Clerics are expected to be Gargauth's eyes and ears throughout Faerûn. They are to entice and corrupt powerful individuals and leaders in communities throughout Faerûn and bind them into strict contracts favorable to Gargauth's goals. They seek to seize positions of power whenever possible and integrate their positions into the secretive hierarchy of the faith. Gargauth has directed his followers to undermine other evil faiths and steal their worshipers rather than waste energy in conflicts with good deities. Many clerics multiclass as sorcerers.
Gargauth's clergy mark all agreements with signed contracts consecrated in the name of the Lord Who Watches. Priests of Gargauth believe that their lord enforces the letter of any agreement and his divine wrath will be visited on any who betray the it. On the other hand, breaking the spirit of any agreement is acceptable and encouraged if it benefits the priest and the Hidden Lord.
VestmentsDuring their formal ceremonies, priorities of Gargauth wear blood-red robes lined with white ermine fur. Junior clergy wear flesh-colored skullcaps studded with a broken horn over the brow. Senior clergy wear or hold before their faces distorted carnival masks or malefic masks carved to resemble various baatezu or gargoyles. These masks are enameled or painted with vibrant, gaudy pigments. All clergy bear daggers and the holy symbol of Gargauth, a necklace set with two halves of a broken animal horn or featuring a broken horn in its design.
Gargauth's clergy garb themselves in a wide variety of costumes when adventuring. Clothes are a weapon and a tool—careful selection of one's attire can allay an opponent's suspicions at a crucial moment or create a convincing costume for a deception. Priests of the faith may disguise themselves as scholarly sages, devout pilgrims, or swashbuckling dandies. However, none of the clergy risk going completely unarmed or unprotected, and all are fond of hidden daggers, rings with poison needles or poison-holding compartments, lightweight or easily concealed armor, and magical items that provide protection, such as bracers, amulets, brooches, and rings.
HierarchyAll clergy are regimented in a strict hierarchy with corresponding titles. Novices are known as Supplicants. In ascending order, Gargauth's clergy are titled Lord of the First Pit, Lord of the Second Pit, etc. Priests of 9th and higher level are known as Lords of the Ninth Pit. Higher-ranking priests often have individual titles as well. Such titles typically include a variant of the true name of at least one baatezu that Gargauth has destroyed in the past.
TemplesGargauth has very few temples dedicated to his name, but those few he does have are typically located beneath large cities and are accessed by a deep pit. Within the temples, scenes of Baator line the walls and the priests wear masks carved to resemble various types of baatezu. Sulfurous incense and flaming braziers and fire pits burn throughout such complexes, and huge brazen altars form the focal points of their sanctuary chambers.
RitualsClerics of Gargauth pray for their spells at dusk, when night first begins to corrupt the day. The church of Gargauth celebrates two holy days. The Unveiling occurs each Midwinter night. This horrific ceremony, believed to involve many gruesome sacrifices, heralds the imminent time when Gargauth seizes Faerûn as his unholy kingdom and transports it to Baator to form the Tenth Pit of Hell. The Binding is celebrated on the eve of the Feast of the Moon. It is a personal ritual in which each cleric renews his eternal contract with Gargauth, trading absolute fealty for increased power. This unholy ritual is believed to involve personal sacrifices of money, magic, and hoarded knowledge and the casting of many horrific spells. Gargauth's clergy mark all agreements with signed contracts consecrated in the name of the Lord Who Watches.
OrdersGargauth has no true knighthoods dedicated in his name, though he sponsors a handful of cults, secret fellowships, and forgotten wizards' cabals throughout the Realms. The Lord Who Watches exerts little direct influence in the activities of these varied groups, and typically members (and even leaders) of the groups often do not know the identity of their divine patron.
The most prominent organization in which Gargauth has a hand in western Faerûn is the Knights of the Shield. This group of merchants, nobles, and other individuals is located throughout Amn, Tethyr, Calimshan, Baldur's Gate, and the trading cities of the Western Heartlands and the Dragon Coast. They seek to manipulate the politics and money of the Sword Coast to their advantage. Gargauth's plans for the Knights of the Shield in the future are unknown, but they probably include elements of his long-term plan to conquer the Lands of Intrigue, the Western Heartlands, and eventually all of western Faerûn, and enslave them under his diabolical leadership.
The group now attributes its name to a shield discovered in an ancient tomb in the Fields of the Dead. This artifact is of uncertain origin but it is incredibly old: No legends or bard's tales that survive in the modern era even hint of its existence. The Shield of the Hidden Lord, as it is known to the Knights, is inlaid with hundreds of tiny diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. The total worth of the gems would be equal to several small kingdoms if the jewels could be removed. The stones are arranged so as to form a snarling face.
Life is all about the accumulation of power. Civilization is a thin veneer over the base desires that make up the core of every living being. Those who wish to survive and prosper must recognize this truth and concentrate all their resources on the pursuit of power. To achieve power one should use ones charms and honeyed words or a barbed and bloody dagger as appropriate for the situation. It is more important to rule than to sit on the throne. Keep to the letter of any agreement and the rules established by those more powerful, but be prepared to twist any contract or stricture so as to maximize the benefit you receive.
Gargauth's original form is a fanged and clawed humanoid with horns and jagged shards of bone jutting out of his face and back.
When manifesting for the first time to people, he wears an intricate disguise meant to convey his handsomeness and nobility, usually as a personable sage. He has appeared in the guise of a variety of races, but the Outcast only rarely appears as a female. Regardless of the species he manifests as, people almost always find him to be the most charming, amusing and knowledgeable being that they had ever met. Gargauth typically wears swash-topped boots, jerkins with slit and puffed sleeves, velvet-lined cloaks and similar finery, and usually carries huge sparkling knuckle rings, pendants, buckle ornaments, and cloak pins.
As Gargauth spends more time in one place, his true nature becomes apparent as his flesh and clothing rot and twist, horns and jagged shards erupt from his face and back, and he grows claws and fangs. By this time, though, those under his influence are usually enspelled so as to be unaware of his deadly nature.
Gargauth was opposed to many evil deities, Bane, Bhaal, Cyric, Iyachtu Xvim, Loviatar, Shar and Talona all counted themselves as Gargauth's foes. He posed a particular threat to Siamorphe, given his interest in corrupting those who she held up as shining paragons of virtue. Gargauth did not seek allies due to his nature as a loner, preferring to directly control minions instead. However, he could count on the support of the archdevils of baator, including Asmodeus, who was perhaps his closest ally. Gargauth himself opposed Ghaunadaur, who stole the aspect of Gormauth Souldrinker from him.
Gargauth sometimes employed a powerful blue dragon named Rathguul as a steed, whom he had dominion over due to an ancient infernal contract.
MythologyFew beings in the Realms know of Gargauth's existence, but those who do dare not speak his name for fear he may come for a visit. However, Gargauth's name (or one of his aliases) appears in a few cautionary tales of overweening pride, insatiable greed, or overwhelming lust for power among every race of the Realms. For example, the dwarves tell a tale of entitled The Legacy of Astaroth. In that legend, a dwarf minstrel by the name of Astaroth arrived one day at the gates of a dwarven hall built above a rich vein of iron. He began to perform a variety of showman's tricks and thoroughly enchanted the dour dwarves. The normally suspicious dwarves invited him in for the evening meal, which Astaroth graciously accepted. As their guest ate, the dwarf king and his retainers noticed that every piece of metal Astaroth came into contact with (his plate, his utensils, a door knob, etc.) turned to gold. However, Astaroth seemed completely unaware of this effect. After the meal, the dwarf king slyly invited Astaroth on a tour of the subterranean city.The dashing minstrel was encouraged to pick up and examine every piece of metal the dwarves could find, even touching the veins of iron not yet mined from the earth. When the minstrel finally left, the dwarves were incredibly rich—so much so, the king promptly renamed the city the Hall of Pure Gold. Within 24 hours of Astaroth's departure, a horde of orcs and giants attacked the dwarven hold. The dwarves who had held their relatively poor hold for centuries with steel found their armor, their weapons, and their defensive structures had all been transformed into very pure, soft gold. The Hall of Pure Gold fell within a fortnight, and the dwarves of that hall were completely eradicated save for one who survived to tell the tale. It is from this tale that the dwarven expression "Gold makes one rich, but steel makes one richer" is derived.
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