We’re back with D&D Forgotten with a series of articles displaying some of the old draconic gods that we hope show up in the upcoming book (due in September), Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons. We already know we’re getting the Gem Dragons in that book. We also know that they are offering this draconic content for play in ‘every D&D world’ which is going to happen whether they display it that way or not, but it’s good to know they have the D&D Multiverse in mind.
Everyone is familiar with the two most powerful members of the Draconic Pantheon, Tiamet and Bahamut. Tiamet is the god of the evil chromatic dragons with his brother, Bahamut being the god of the good metallic dragons although it is unclear how deep into the good and bad of things the new Wotc will go. To newcomers, it would seem these are the only dragon gods and they may well be the only ones that everyone would know. But, although these two are at the head of the pantheon, there is a pantheon; meaning there are numerous dragon gods and many of them are unique and intriguing and definitely worth a look for your D&D game.
NULL, THE TRIUNE GOD OF DEATH, UNDEATH AND FATE
One of the most enigmatic deities in the Draconic Pantheon is their dragon god of death, NULL. Prideful and arrogant, Null was of two minds and aspects, literally. For he represented both death AND undeath among dragonkind. This made his clergy splintered and dualistic. He could be served both by a good dragon who wanted shepherd good souls to the afterlife AND that dracolich who wanted to create undead minions of towns and countries.
This makes Null hard to pin down and even pits followers against followers. But to orginize this disparaging difference, Null was worshiped in two opposing aspects; Chronepsis and Falazure. SO, rarely would you see a cleric of Null; rather a devotee of one of his aspects.
Chronepsis, Guardian of the Lost, was the aspect of Null that represented faith, death and judgment. Being a true neutral power among dragons, his domain was the Concordant Domain of Opposition resting at the center of the Great Wheel Cosmology adjacent to the Outlands. However, if using the World Tree cosmology, it could just as easily be connected with the Fugue Plane or Cynosphere.
Image from Plutus0519 from deviantart
Within the mausoleums there, he had an infinite number of hourglasses all representing the lifespans of all dragons. Not only does this being known the fate and end of all dragons, but the end of all time and existence. But good luck getting any information out of it. Being a true neutral, he has no care for the affairs of others but only tends to his office.
Chronepsis is silent and absolutely unconcerned with your pitiful part in the grand scheme of things. Therefore, NO dragons worship or revere him, but ALL respect him. And he will appear at the death of a truly exceptionally ancient, powerful and accomplished dragon. And don’t cross him. He is a god and his breath weapon is a 100 ft cube of disintegration. He also has an unusual harp that appears above his head and plays at his whim. It is said to cause emotional calm, be powerfully persuasive or produce a wall of force for defense.
Known as THE WATCHER, Chronepsis is destined to simply know what is to come to pass but never interfere. This aspect of Null is hard to bring into any campaign world. Something terribly wrong must be happening to pull him out of neutrality. Possibly, someone is messing with the flow of time or ‘the sacred timeline’. If someone was doing something contrary to how Chronepsis perceives the ‘proper flow of time and fate’, he , his Avatar and followers would unleash everything they have to stop it and set things ‘right’. This dragon god aspect seems like ‘He who waits’ from the Disney+ LOKI show. they have a lot in common.
It also says that the Chronepsis aspect of NULL ‘serves’ The Raven Queen. I’m not sure how this would work. But it is interesting that an entity that holds domain over death but is at a loss for her own memories is in league with a dragon god who has record of EVERYTHING. This includes her past. Possibly she thinks she can jockey into position as to gain access to her stolen memories. But, the Elven powers of the Seldarine didn’t just take them or hide them, they rewrote her history. I wonder how Chronepsis feels about that?
DOGMA OF CHRONEPSIS: The Guardian of the Lost taught that all life eventually led into death, which was simply a starting point to another kind existence. True death, on the other hand, was final and absolute. (from Cult of the Dragon; 1998)
You can more find info about Chronepsis:
- Draconomicon, pgs.33,89-90
- Monster Mythology, pg.106
- On Hallowed Ground, pg.98
- Races of the Dragon, pp.152-153
The other aspect of NULL is that of Falazure, The Reaver. Ruling from Tartarus, he picks the bones scattered about there with the help of his undead army. He’s lost his ability to fly and is now a dark, evil creeping thing. And, although Neutral, he is also evil and rules over the domain of Energy Draining as well as undeath and decay.
It is stated in Monster Mythology that he hates Tiamet and Bahamut evenly and fears the other aspect Chronepsis. Where Chronepsis is a true neutral and refuses to get involved, Falzaure is all about ‘getting involved’. His Avatars scoured the planes looking for powerful dragons as well as other beings to drain of their powerful energies. He is revered by Shadow Dragons but only feared by all others. His breath weapon is an energy drainer that, if you hit 0 HP, you become one of his zombie minions.
Many Necromancers also worship him. I could totally see a Cleric/Wizard of Necromancy and devotion to the dragon god of energy draining. In older myths from other worlds (Greyhawk for example), he and Chronepsis are listed as a child of the creator of the Dragon race, IO.
Don’t blame Falazure for the second D&D movie. His agents made a grave error. HA! Get it? Grave Er…oh, nevermind.
There are some resouces that have Falazure in league with another god of death and undeath, Vecna. However, there are other sources that pit them against each other. As usual, the ball is in your court for that call.
DOGMA OF THE REAVER: The Reaver taught that death and decay were inevitable and omnipresent and that dragons should incorporate aspects of death into their lives in order to truly be strong. Embracing death in life heralded that one day the afterlife would be part of the living world as well. (Also from CULT OF THE DRAGON; 1998)
NOTE: Both aspects of NULL show up in Ebberon as gods and constellations.
This can be almost as confusing as a discussion about the Queen of Air and Darkness. If you doubt me, catch up on my investigative series on the splintered queen (https://themagictavern.org/2021/01/23/forgotten-lore-legacy-of-the-queen-of-air-and-darkness/). But it seems to be the classic triune-god. One god, three aspects as all three have domains somewhere and rule over different parts of the lives, deaths and undeaths of dragons everywhere. Let me know in the comments how YOU would use this triune god of negative energy. We do not create in a vacuum here, folks.
One thought on “Forgotten Draconic Gods of D&D: NULL, the Triune of Death”
Forgotten? I hear plenty about Null. … & Bahamut, & Tiamat…
No one talks about Zorquan.