Abadar dwells in the perfect city of Axis in a large district known as Aktun, where he watches over the First Vault, a magical trove that holds a perfect copy of every object ever made, from the flawless longsword to the faultless law. Abadar is a patient, calculating, and far-seeing deity who wishes to bring civilization to the frontiers, order to the wilds, and wealth to all who support the progression of law. His primary worshipers are judges, merchants, lawyers, and aristocrats, all of who benefit from established laws and commerce. He expects his followers to abide by laws (though not foolish, contradictory, toothless, or purposeless laws) and work to promote order and peace. Abadar is shown as a clean, well-dressed man bearing the markings of riches and civilization, always carrying one or more keys.
Abadar’s basic tenet is simple—people should use their gifts to advance civilization in the world so commerce happens and people can go about their orderly lives and achieve comfort and happiness. He strikes a careful balance between good and evil, seeing the benefits of both sides and refusing to endorse one or the other. His followers believe he is responsible for elevating the civilized races from simple tribes to beings capable of creating huge cities. He puts words of diplomacy in the mouths of men, guides the pens of those who write laws, and steers coins into the hands of those who practice good commerce. Abadar respects cautious thought and rejects impulsiveness, seeing it as leading to base and destructive whims. He teaches that discipline, keen judgment, and following the law eventually leads to wealth, comfort, and happiness. He does not believe in free handouts, and because of this his temples sell potions and healing spells or scrolls rather than give them to those in need.
Abadar’s personal intervention in the mortal world is usually in the form of hints or opportunities rather than direct gifts. Worshipers who lose Abadar’s favor might find themselves short on money at a crucial time, tongue-tied in the middle of an important deal, or stymied in their craft or art. When he is pleased, deals are more profitable than expected, projects are completed early, and journeys to or within a city take less time than normal. His intervention is subtle, for he expects worshipers to do their own work.
Abadar is depicted as a handsome man with black hair dressed in fine garments, often with a gold cloak or cape over a golden breastplate and bearing many keys. Humans, dwarves, and gnomes show him with a beard, whereas elves show him beardless and with long braids tied with golden thread. Abadar’s herald is the Lawgiver, a Gargantuan golden construct wielding a great hammer. He often uses two-headed celestial eagles as his messengers. Notable outsiders who serve him are Ailrin Fletcher (a golden avoral scout), Cobblehoof (an armored celestial hippogriff known as “Old Cob”), and the Ghost of Malthus (a gloomy spectre seen as a warning against plague-friendly crowding).
Abadar understands that an advanced civilization has many spiritual needs, and different members of a society pray to different gods, thus he tries to maintain an approachable coolness where other deities are concerned. Only those who directly oppose his beliefs and purpose—notably Rovagug, and to a lesser extent Lamashtu—are his declared enemies, and while he might be willing to negotiate with them for some purpose, they routinely refuse to do so. He is friendly with Erastil, Iomedae, Irori, Shelyn, and even Asmodeus (though only for his belief in upholding contracts). Abadar knows that his pursuits frequently anger Gozreh, who would like to see the natural parts of the world remain unspoiled, but he believes the two of them can eventually reach a compromise.
Priests, Temples, and the Church
Most of Abadar’s priests are clerics. His priests are the agents of civilization, turning trails into roads and towns into cities while always enforcing law. They eliminate monsters and troublemakers, adjudicate disputes, make legal rulings, and reassure others that the forces of order are watching over them. Many work with the local legal system as judges, lawyers, and clerks (donating their services much as a healing-oriented church might run a hospice). Though the church is mercenary about healing magic, adventuring priests do not charge their companions for healing. Paladins are rare in the church, as their zealous push for good doesn’t sit perfectly within Abadar’s more balanced approach to ethics.
A typical priest has at least 1 rank in Knowledge (local) in order to be familiar with the laws of his home city. Most also dabble in Knowledge of history and nobility or practice a Craft or Profession useful to a settlement.