Kezef the Chaos Hound

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zontoxira
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Kezef the Chaos Hound

Post by zontoxira » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:53 am

As most of those who have dabbled in FR lore know (myself not included), Kezef was the bestial abomination that bit Tyr's hand off while a coalition of gods were trying to stop it from feeding off their followers and forever imprison it. In 3e it got stats, and turned into a fearful primordial in 4e. But, as far as AD&D goes, I've only seen it mentioned in Faiths and Avatars, Tyr's section specifically. I'm really keen on using this being as part of a grand scheme in my campaign, however, I'm struggling to find any info in AD&D books. Are there any other mentions of the Chaos Hound anywhere in 1e or 2e lore?
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Re: Kezef the Chaos Hound

Post by Seethyr » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:36 am

If you want to really get a good idea of how Kezef behaves and a chance to visualize some of his powers at work, I recommend picking up the novels, Prince of Lies and Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad. He features pretty prominently in those two books. I don't want to really give away too many of the specifics in order to not spoil the books for you. But I will say his pursuit of the god Mask all over creation was one of the best parts of the novel.

You might also want to read up on the legends of Fenrir from norse mythology, as Kezef is no doubt based on that mythological being.
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Re: Kezef the Chaos Hound

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:42 am

Kezef got full 2e stats and description in Powers & Pantheons.

This is kind of tricky because Kezef fills the same role in Faerunian myth that Fenrir/Fenris Wolf does in the Norse mythology from which Tyr originated. So are Kezef and Fenrir the same entity, or just parallel beings? Did Tyr get the same hand bitten off twice by two completely different creatures or is this just the same myth told in different ways? That also raises the question of when, in Tyr's mythological timeline, Tyr entered Realmspace. If he hadn't lost his hand yet when he first became worshiped on Toril, perhaps he truly did lose the same hand, simultaneously, on many different worlds to multiple causes.

If they're the same, or different aspects or avatars of the same creature, Fenris Wolf appears in OD&D Gods, Demigods, and Heroes, 1e Deities & Demigods, and 2e Legends & Lore.

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Re: Kezef the Chaos Hound

Post by zontoxira » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:24 pm

ripvanwomer wrote: Kezef got full 2e stats and description in Powers & Pantheons
Funny thing, I disregarded that book cuz it dealt with demipowers and the deities of Chult, Mulhorand and Unther. Bloody hell, I should have looked at the appendices!
Seethyr wrote: If you want to really get a good idea of how Kezef behaves and a chance to visualize some of his powers at work [...]
Yea, that'd be a good idea indeed, to see Kezef in action. I might have to ask my friends to borrow me those books, since I don't own any novels.

Thanks Seeth and rip!

I believe this continuity issue stems from what began as inspirational writing and turned into canon. Was it Ed who introduced Tyr into FR lore? While 1e boxed set depicted him as missing his right hand, later in Faiths & Avatars, the cause of his loss gets a name. The problem here is whoever wrote that picked an original name instead of Fenrir. Could that be intentional, so that to make Faerunian Tyr more distinct than his Norse counterpart?

What's interesting, it seems FR lore borrows from real mythologies in more than one occasions. Dendar, for instance (now that I read the section with the Elder Eternal Evils), is also called Nidhogg, linking it with the Norse serpent. Other deities would be Bhaal (from Mesopotamia), Mielikki (from Finland), and Selune and Talos (from Greece), even though the latter was not technically a deity.
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Re: Kezef the Chaos Hound

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:57 pm

I'd assume that Fenrir and Kezef are effectively "regional" names for the same cosmic entity. Whereas Tyr maintained his name across worlds, Kezef instead has different names. Ultimately, both seem to fulfill the same function in the cosmic hierarchy. I don't know that there has ever been any attempt to reconcile the two at all, though; its just my preference.
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Re: Kezef the Chaos Hound

Post by lesh » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:02 pm

Kezef was created by Jergal, maybe Tyr has the same fate in every crystal sphere

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Re: Kezef the Chaos Hound

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:58 am

zontoxira wrote:Was it Ed who introduced Tyr into FR lore?
Yes. If you're curious about the development of FR's pantheon, I recommend "Down-to-earth Divinity" by Ed Greenwood in Dragon Magazine #54, in which the author describes the gods of what was then his home game and their inspiration. Much of the pantheon is drawn from Deities & Demigods. Greenwood noted there that Tyr was "rewritten to remove the war aspect from his portfolio."

Azuth is Fritz Leiber's Aarth renamed. Bane is based roughly on Druaga from D&DG's Babylonian pantheon. Chauntea is a rewritten Demeter. Gond is a renamed Hephaestus. Ilmater is said to be similar to Fritz Leiber's Issek of the Jug. Loviatar is from the Finnish pantheon. Mask is a rewritten Hermes. Mielikki is from Finnish mythology. Oghma is from the Celtic pantheon. Silvanus is from D&DG's Celtic pantheon. Sune is a renamed Aphrodite. Talona was Kiputytto from Finnish mythology, renamed. Talos was a combination of D&DG storm gods. Tymora was a renamed Tyche. Grumbar, Kossuth, Istishia, and Akadi were renamed versions of Michael Moorcock's Grome, Kakatal, Straasha, and Misha. Nobanion was inspired by C.S. Lewis's Aslan. Lurue was inspired by Elizabeth Goudge’s The Little White Horse.
Could that be intentional, so that to make Faerunian Tyr more distinct than his Norse counterpart?
Well, in 2e there was only one Tyr, worshiped both in Faerun and on worlds where the Norse pantheon was worshiped. But there's a lot of baggage in the Norse tale: Fenrir is supposed to be the son of Loki, who isn't known to the Realms, and characters like the Aesir and the Norse dwarves aren't known to Faerunians either, so it makes sense that Faerunians would have their own names for things and their own explanations for how Kezef came to be.

I think gods and godlike beings like elder evils and primordials may well have multiple genealogies, all equally valid. They're mysterious and contradictory by nature.

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