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Gazetteer – 04a020904 – Baphomet

Baphomet

Baphomet is a native to the plane of chaos called the Abyss. During the early ages of Oklos, demons were denied access to the world Cora had built. The dominance of the fate rune precluded any influence these beings from the Abyss might make. Naturally, demons craved what they could not have.

When the Laughing Man tricked Railus the Damned into offering his fate-filled body up to him, chaos had a vessel for entry into Cora’s creation. In God’s Law, through the actions of the Cult of Chaos, a portal to the Abyss was established. Demons wishing to enter the world needed permission from the Laughing Man, however, to enter. Permission he was hesitant to grant without a pledge of complete loyalty to him. The demon princes admired the Laughing Man and had no problems pledging loyalty to him.  Baphomet willingly joined the other demon lords and gave the Laughing Man the secret of his true name and signed a pledge of loyalty in blood.

On Oklos, Baphomet took the form of a Sabbatic Goat.  He sculpted a statue of this form which functioned as a receptacle for power sacrificed to him.   The message of Baphomet was that chaos resides within everyone and that the great lie was that fate controlled everything.  Fate, Baphomet proclaimed, could be bent to the will of the strong.

This message played well with frustrated artists who felt the only reason they were not more renowned was because of the cruel mistress of fate.  They never blamed a shortcoming of talent or initiative. Some of these frustrated artists had gifts and could impose their will on those with low self-esteem. They brainwashed and coerced many followers into sacrificing gold, magic, and lives to the Sabbatic Goat.

When war came,  The Laughing Man called on all the demon lords to join him. Baphomet answered the call. Many of Baphomet’s followers were disillusioned youth from prestigious Grable families . They would return home and perform various acts of subterfuge to hamper the Grable response to the chaotic uprising.

When Calgillien advanced, Baphomet died at The Laughing Man’s side protecting his liege’s flank as the chaotic army retreated back into the north. When he reformed in the Abyss he sought out his receptacle. He found it at Castle Vile amplifying Orcus’s power to a point where he couldn’t hope to challenge its new master for ownership of it.

Baphomet was distraught. He journeyed the abyss as an amorphous blob of dark energy seeking a new form. He was weak and if any of the other demon princes recognized him in this weakened form they would enslave him or worse, absorb his remaining energy into their own.

Baphomet learned to sneak, disguise himself, and gather information in hopes to find a remedy for his current condition.

When The Beast summoned the demon princes to him as the Laughing Man had done, Baphomet was unable to answer. His disembodied form could not traverse any portal to Oklos. In complete despair, he traveled to the parts of the Abyss that had no ruler. These were the wild chaos realms that were little more than a perpetually churning black storm. He drifted aimlessly in the winds in a state somewhere between death and dream. He stayed this way for centuries lost to time and man, until he was stirred awake by a sound on the wind. At first, he thought he had imagined it, but then it came again. Small, like a whisper next to his ear in a raging torrent. “Baphomet.” His name. Who would be calling out his name? At first it scared him, but then curiosity took over and Baphomet followed the voice out of the storm into the realm of Orcus.

He found Castle Vile abandoned and in ruins. He floated through the halls to the desecrated throne room. Inside the throne room, the tiny voice beckoning him reverberated into a cacophony that hurt his ears. He slew some dretch that had come to investigate the noise and used their black blood to fuel a spell to search for the source of the voice. In the ichor, he scried a bard from Haran trying to communicate with him. The summoner had the ceremony wrong and was using a slaughtered bull and an 8-pointed star instead of a pentagram, but somehow it had worked.  Baphomet intended to take advantage of this bit of luck. Though incredibly dangerous for a demon prince in his state, he allowed his true form to enter the world and possess the dead bull on the altar. He rose like a minotaur to speak to his one and only follower.

“Why have you summoned me?” Baphomet demanded.

The bard named Saldaren said, “I seek retribution on my patron for cutting off my support.”

“And why would he do that?” the reborn demon prince asked.

“Because he said my work lacked passion.”

“And who is this patron?”

“Don Rako, Head of the Carbonari family in Torrents.”

“And what vengeance do you seek?”

“I want to bed his daughters then usurp his land and title.”

“And why do you need my help to do that?”

To this question, Saldaren had no answer. His plan was ill conceived.

Baphomet did not need weak followers to regain his footing.  This crybaby’s  summoning was sloppy, no protections surrounded him, so, Baphomet killed him.

He did, however, wonder about this Don Rako.  The thoughts of a man with the status and wealth to be a patron was intriguing. Baphomet brought the head of Saldaren to the Carbonari family estate. Covering his massive body in a holocaust cloak, Baphomet told the guards he needed to speak to the Don about a plot against his life. When the guards detected truth in the mysterious giant’s words, they granted Baphomet the audience he sought.

Once in Don Rako’s room, Baphomet placed Saldaren’s head on his desk and cast a “speak with dead” spell on it. Saldaren admitted to his plot against Don Rako.

Don Rako asked Baphomet how he could repay him for this generosity.

“Worship me and I will provide you and your heirs many boons,” the demon prince said.

The Carbonari family was a small-time crime family operating in Haran. Don Rako saw an opportunity for the family to become more of a player in the lucrative, but dangerous Haranian underworld.  He consented to the ceremonies and sacrifices required to gain Baphomet’s favor.

For the last three centuries, with Baphomet’s aid, the criminal network of the Carbonari family has come to dominate the Haranian underworld.  It now expands internationally as the Cult of Mazes. The allegiance with Baphomet remains secret though the demon prince has recovered enough power to retake his place among the demon princes of the Abyss.

When the Beast was resurrected, the demon princes were summoned back to his side, Baphomet didn’t answer this time. He was too cautious to throw his resurgence away again so quickly. His lack of loyalty has caused great enmity between Demogorgon and Baphomet.  These two princes used to be much more congenial.

Baphomet worship has grown from just a cult of frustrated artists. It is now a powerful force in the underworld. The Cult of Mazes is adept at remaining hidden in plain sight and assassins, evil bards, and scholarly spies have joined the cult.

Baphomet has added the patronage of stolen knowledge and secrets to his realms of influence

A despicable ritual enables priests of Baphomet to cut off people’s heads and use the stored knowledge contained within.  Don Rako has a library of shrunken heads stored in his villa.