Project Pantheon - Azi Dahaka Picture

AT LAST! I have completed him! Representing the Ordovician Extinction Event, mutation, corruption and the forces of Angra Mainyu, the first truly villainous Great Beast of Project Pantheon, the great dragon Azi Dahaka.

Inspired by the several theories on the Ordovician Extinction Event, his design is inspired by the gamam ray burst and the ocean toxification (by metals) theory, Azi Dahak looks less like a personification of the elements or nature and more a mutant beast, like the grafted together forms of several Ordovician creatures.

In Project Pantheon, he is one of the most feared beings in the universe, his malice infamous even amongst other great beasts. Easilly rivaling both Typhon and Behemoth in sheer size, Azi Dahaka's three heads can swallow gas giants whole, his tentacles can crush entire fleets of ships with one sweep each, and a pair of wings made of the sharpest spines, able to leave a nasty wound to any great beast that dares challenge. Even his internal organs are almost organisms in and of itself, being able to mutate themselves to fight back against Dahaka's challengers, even his bloodstream is filled with highly aggressive parasites.

Azi Dahaka's manifestation to the galaxy was something that shocked all pantheons, as he spawned as a seemingly unassuming monster, a runt amongst the spawn of Colosso... then he killed King Jamshid, a mortal but powerful king of the Zoroastran realm, and through sheer force of will and sheer intimidation, effectively made the world subservient to him, with constant sacrifices as to not incur his wrath, soon corrupting the inhabitants into becoming more like his cult-like worshippers. Ahura Mazda could not ignore this, and bestowed power onto a hero, Garshasp (I know that in the traditional poem/legends it's Fereydun, but Garshasp is the monster slayer, so it works in-context), assisted by the yazata and the amesha spenta, finally defeated the beast, imprisoning him to the fortress of Kuuirinta, deep within the dyson sphere of Damavand.

As the War between Pantheons, the Omni War, raged on years later after his imprisonment, the realms of Zoroastra were divided between those loyal to the Ahura Mazda, and those subservient to Angra Mainyu. As both realms depleted their resources, Azi Dahaka found himself under service of Angra Mainyu, who after freeing from the "inaccessible" fortress, offered him the opportunity of revenge against Ahura and his fortress, this time with the full-backing of armies and warriors, and empowered the increasing darkness that pervaded the galaxy. As the War raged, the forces of Outremer under the Archangel Michael eventually subdued the weakened forces of the Zorastrian realm, but not before engaging in one of the most vicious battles in the entire war, against Angra Mainyu and Azi Dahaka. Knowing the combined monstrousness of both would be disasterous, and seeing how a fortress of the material realm was unable to keep Dahaka contained, they were forcibly banished back to the dark sea that is the Abzu, a mysterious, seemingly empty realm that is theorized to be the birthplace of great beasts and Colosso...

Azi Dahaka's most powerful ability is his corrupting influence. Unlike Ammit, who's blood just leaves the land dead, Dahaka's blood is able to mutate its environment, creating places that literally spawn monsters. Being a being bound to the Abzu and Angra Mainyu, the presence of "Zahak Spawns" indicates his increasing influence in the immaterial realm... all the ready to make his grand return, ready for an opening where the line between the Dark Sea and the material realm is at is weakest...

Azi Dahaka's relatively recent addition to the canon means his history ain't as fleshed out as the other beasts when it comes to why he's loyal to his god-head, but Azi Dahaka's a very important addition, as he's not only the first villainous monster, his "Zahakk Spawns" are actually gonna be the first antagonists that Mars encounters, and I plan the very first bits of the story to be all about defeating their influence on the Red Planet itself. Azi Dahaka's history is also more like a "broad stroke" kind of deal, combining several aspects of him to fulfill a cohesive background and story that fits with the "canon", so Dahak is more prone for backstory changes than the rest.

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