“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”
Lord of Merchants and the God of Law, Abadar is the light of civilization and the force that brings law into the lawless wilderness.
He is a Neutral deity overall with a strong association to Law rather than the burden of Good vs. Evil.
Abadar’s Deific Lore
That is not to say he isn’t an important deity, as his portfolio is very important. However, he is not as “colorful” as some of the other gods of Golarion.
It is known that his favored weapon is the crossbow, and his favored colors are gold and silver.
He is associated most commonly with monkeys, but he is also favorable to beasts of burden, such as oxen or camels, though he is often shown associated with eagles, beavers, guard dogs, and house cats.
His symbol is a golden key pointed downward. More elaborate versions of his symbol will also have writing etched on it and/or a relief of a city carved into the metal.
Abadar also goes by a long list of names: the God of Walls and Ditches, the Gold-Fisted, Judge of the Gods, Master of the First Vault, God of the First Vault, Wealthy Father, and the Two-Headed Eagle.
It is known that Abadar is an older deity as he took part in the battle against the dark god Rovagug during the Age of Creation.
When the gods Gorum and Torag forged the Dead Vault to imprison Rovagug, it was Abadar who made the lock and key to forever hold the evil god in place.
It is said that the key is impossible to turn except for one person in the Multiverse, that person being the God of Tyranny and King of Hell, Asmodeus.
Prophecy states Asmodeus will open the vault during the end times out of desperation with the end result being the destruction of creation to make way for a new Multiverse.
Since the Age of Creation, Abadar has worked to subtly direct the mortal humanoid races to build civilizations and societies to help them thrive.
When Abadar chooses to appear to his followers, he often appears as a tall Human male with dark hair. Most races also depict Abadar as having a dark beard to match his hair, but when depicted amongst the elves, he is beardless.
Abadar often appears with golden robes and a golden breastplate while carrying a large ring of keys on his belt. He is sometimes also carrying a law book or set of scrolls.
Abadar is also known to take on the form of a two-headed eagle around certain times of the year. The twin heads represent his balanced nature in looking at and judging both sides of an issue. Those of his followers who recognize his form are often granted boons.
Abadar’s home is the divine realm of Aktun. Aktun is the largest district of the planar city of Axis. Aktun is kept safe for mortals to travel to, and many a mortal architect has dreamed of Aktun during times when they needed inspiration.
He is also lord of a place known as the First Vault, which is Abadar’s vault holding the perfected version of items and concepts created by mortal civilizations.
Allies and Enemies
By his nature, Abadar recognizes the need for allies to keep order. He is often seen in a parental light by other gods, whether good or evil. He cultivates as many relationships as he can, seeking to maintain unity.
Most deities at best see him as an ally, while at worst a tolerable nuisance.
Abadar has many servants, including griffons, hippogriffs, and eagles. In addition to the horse-like Orchevals, who are his divine servitor race, other lawful outsiders like Archons, Axiomites, and Inevitables in Axis serve his interests as well.
Abadar has some special servants of note:
- Cobblehoof is a celestial hippogriff who serves as a battle mount for Abadar. He is incredibly intelligent and is often seen wearing full armor of stunning gold.
- The Ghost of Malthus is a ghost of a cleric who once served Abadar loyally. It is said the ghost appears often where massive tragedy will strike. He will be the harbinger of plague, starvation, or some other suffering.
- The Lawgiver is Abadar’s herald. He is a massive statue of gold, silver, and steel.
The Church of Abadar is worshiped far and wide, anywhere where civilization touches.
His following is most often found in major cities, but it is common to also find shrines to him on the frontier.
Abadar extorts his followers to bring the light of law and order to places of chaos. They are to bring civilization to places of wilderness but to do so peacefully.
Abadar abhors war as it kills the best and brightest and leaves nothing but destruction in its wake.
Followers of Abadar are called upon to judge decisions carefully and not act rashly or impulsively. They are also tasked with being independent of religious or government institutions, believing that wealth and success come from within.
- I am a protector of the roadways and keep travelers from harm. No matter their destinations or goals, if they are peaceable and legitimate travelers who harm no others on the road, I will ensure that they pass safely.
- Bandits are a plague. Under my will, they come to justice. If they will not come willingly before the law where they can protest for justice in the courts, they will come under the power of my sword.
- Corruption in the courts is the greatest corruption of civilization. Without confidence in justice, citizens cannot believe in their countries, and civilization begins to disappear. I will root out corruption wherever I find it, and if a system is fundamentally flawed, I will work to aid citizens by reforming or replacing it.
- I am an aid to the markets. I ensure equitable trade between merchants and citizens. Theft and deceit on either side are intolerable.
- I make opportunities and teach others to recognize them. When I aid others, I open the way for them, but I will not carry them—they must take responsibility.
Edicts: Bring civilization to the frontiers, earn wealth through hard work and trade, follow the rule of law
Anathema: Engage in banditry or piracy, steal, undermine a law-abiding court
Those who turn to the worship of Abadar typically do so as a method for securing their future. They see following or worshiping the god of merchants as a good way to ensure success in their capitalistic ventures or enterprises.
The poor will often also pray to Abadar when they can. They either ask for the alleviation of their economic woes or for justice against some wrong perpetrated upon them.
Often he is worshiped by judges, lawmen, aristocrats, and counselors as well, who look to him to help them in their work.
Those who worship Abadar are often called Abadarans.
The clergy of Abadar is mostly filled with clerics (obviously) but also has a large number of Paladins, Champions, and Inquisitors.
Paladins and Champions see themselves as the light of justice, bringing law to the lawless. They seek to uphold both the letter of the law AND its spirit.
Temples and Shrines
Abadar’s temples are very big, built of carved stone by the hands of skilled architects. They are often elaborately decorated and serve multiple uses outside of just a house of worship. They are often also banks and merchant houses.
Typically, temples are built very close to the courthouses and centers of law for a city.
In the worship of Abadar, there are two main holy books:
- The Order of Numbers is the main holy text for Abadarans. It is always elaborately decorated and has an extensive collection of “Dos and Don’ts.”
- Manual of City-Building is a heavy book bound in leather that works as a treatise on the architecture of cities and fortifications. It is often updated every few years by the church with older copies being archived in church vaults.
In addition to the first month of the year being named after him (Abadius), the church of Abadar has two major holidays:
- Market’s Door changes its actual day every year but is typically held at the same general time every year. This holiday represents the first shipment entering a city from the fall harvest. Marketplaces are blessed by the highest priest present in the city, and it doubles as both a celebration and a day of brisk business.
- Taxfest is a celebration of Tax day. While no one likes paying taxes, those who worship Abadar accept they are necessary for the functioning of society. As dusk comes and all the money is tabulated, the priests of Abadar call upon those present to celebrate with a feast. This is a community event to strengthen the bond between all those who live and work together peacefully.
Abadar is definitely a deity who would appeal to some or most Pathfinder players as he represents pushing back at the edges of the frontier to make room for more civilized life.
Adventurers who would like to establish colonies or settlements would definitely be interested in the worship of Abadar.
Conversely, adventurers who are mostly city-bound like Night Watchmen, Merchant Guards, or Mercenaries would also fall into reverence of the Wealthy Father.
Of course, just like with the other deities, there are a large number of options to customize your character to reflect their worship of Abadar. These could also be used to fully flesh-out non-player characters.
Obviously, these are separated into Pathfinder First and Second editions for easy reference.
Pathfinder 1st Edition
These archetypes make excellent builds for worshipers of the God of Law and Merchants:
Followers of Abadar can often be found with these feats as a part of their character builds:
These magical items are known to be a part of the worship of Abadar and can often be found amongst the faithful:
- Altar of Abadar
- Golden Judge’s Breastplate
- Rod of Metal and Mineral Detection
- Fugitive Finder
- Mace of Keys
- Elixir of Truth
- Key Cloak
- Key of the Second Vault
- Lyre of Building
- Meltdown Safe
- Safecamp Wagon
- Secure Paypack
- Universal Lock
These monsters and creatures serve Abadar. They can be used as powerful allies or possibly deadly enemies:
High-profile followers of Abadar can and often do take one of these Prestige Classes:
- Balanced Scale of Abadar is most common in the Katepesh region. They are both merchant and explorer, specialized in seeking out lost tombs or ruins in the deep desert. Their abilities allow them to seek out and find lost fortunes and return them to their proper owners. Balanced Scales are drawn from the ranks of divine casters, meaning Clerics are most often those who take up this role.
- Justicar is a being who represents the law and order of civilization. They can be found bringing law to the wilderness or making sure laws are followed in cities. During times of peace, they are known as counselors and negotiators. However, they can often also double as judge and executioner in times of extreme lawlessness.
Clerics of Abadar have access to the following domains and subdomains:
* Requires the Acolyte of Apocrypha trait.
Many spellcasters who worship Abadar are known to have one or more of these spells as part of their repertoire:
Below are religious traits that are associated with the worship of Abadar. Remember that you can only have one trait per campaign. Make sure to check with your GM as to if they are using traits as part of their game.
For more about traits check out our article here.
- Eye for Quality
- Eyes and Ears of the City
- Lover of the Law
- Sense of Order
- The City Protects
Pathfinder 2nd Edition
Pathfinder 2e has its own ways to customize your character to reflect worship of the God of Law and Merchants.
- Divine Ability: Constitution or Intelligence
- Divine Font: Harm or heal
- Divine Skill: Society
- Favored Weapon: Crossbow
- Domains: Cities, earth, travel, wealth
- Alternate Domains: Duty
- Cleric Spells: 1st: Illusory object, 4th: creation, 7th: magnificent mansion
Because of the laws and pacts keeping the Deities of Golarion from directly interfering in their worshipers’ lives, oftentimes they will act more subtly.
This can mean granting boons when they are pleased or inflicting curses when they are angry. Sometimes a god will grant a boon because their chosen are about to undertake some type of quest in their name.
“Abadar’s gifts take the form of riches, while his ire tends to cause offenders to lose wealth.
Minor Boon: Abadar warns his favored against those who might unfairly take advantage. Once, when someone rolls a success on a Deception check to lie maliciously to you and you alone, they get a critical failure instead. Abadar typically chooses to grant this boon in response to an extremely consequential lie.
Moderate Boon: Abadar blesses all your enterprises, leading to financial success as all your ventures always seem to work out. If you roll a critical failure at a check to earn income, you get a failure instead. If you roll a success on a check to earn income, you earn twice the usual amount of income.
Major Boon: Your silver tongue is infallible, allowing you to reach a compromise if one is even remotely possible. Once per day, you know just what to offer to make a deal or broker a negotiation, and if you offer your divinely inspired deal, you can automatically receive a result of 20 + your Diplomacy modifier on your Diplomacy check instead of rolling. This does not increase your degree of success like rolling a 20 would. If there is legitimately nothing you could offer to reach an agreement, you learn that, and you don’t expend your daily use of the boon.
Minor Curse: Any time you steal, illegally harm or kill another creature, or undermine a law-abiding officer or court, a symbol or word describing your crime appears on a visible spot on your skin. This symbol cannot be removed or hidden with makeup (though it can be covered with clothing), and it doesn’t vanish until you make legal restitution for the crime, such as by serving your sentence.
Moderate Curse: Abadar curses all your enterprises, leading to financial disaster as all your ventures always seem to fail. The result of your check to earn income is always one degree of success worse than the one you rolled.
Major Curse: You become honest to a fault. You constantly suffer the critical failure effect of zone of truth. Additionally, you are always offered the worst possible option in a bargain.”