Sh Y 200
The original goddess, Tiamat is the first in the long line of those who came to be known as the Anunnaki. Unlike her descendants, Tiamat herself is not an immortal being so much as she is an abstract entity, representing the concept of the salt water seas of our world.
Abstraction: the idealized representation of the salty seas, Tiamat is an abstract being instead of a divine entity as they are normally understood. For most intents and purposes, at least where interactions with mortals are concerned, these two states are identical.
When in conflict with other godlike creatures, Tiamat can be slain on her home plane, which is the Chaos, or by immortals of equal or greater power. Her only other deific weakness, such as it is, would be to assaults which destroy water itself, of which there are very few.
* Awe: it is difficult enough to face Tiamat in the flesh, due to both her raw power and her staggering size - whether before she was sundered by Marduk or afterwards. Her reputation, and her vast army of gods and monsters, generally precedes her, after all.
On top of that, Tiamat's melammu, or deific life force, is truly legendary in its raw intensity. She can expose this spectral aura at will, warding off all comers both mortal and divine, with Unearthly (100) ability. Thus, only the most stalwart of foes can even get close to her!
* Boon: Tiamat is often implored by others to share her staggering power and, being such a mighty divinity, will readily do so for those who pay her the proper respect. Over time, Tiamat's ability to lend her might to others' magic has increased to Unearthly (100) levels.
Most often, she will grant entreaties dedicated to change, whether aimed at oneself, another, or some feature of the world around them. Furthermore, she is known to fuel specific entreaty spells, in particular Buttress, Nature Control / Water, Shape Change, and Summoning.
Animal Hybridization / Self: when assuming the form of an animal, whether in part or in full, Tiamat may do so with Unearthly (100) skill. She may adopt the traits of any animal evolved on earth when doing so, having had thousands and thousands of years to perfect this ability.
Furthermore, Tiamat may mix and match at will when hybridizing her body, taking on the characteristics of numerous animals simultaneously. Often assuming reptilian traits, Tiamat favors sharp physical weaponry, though she also adopts wings and other body parts as is necessary.
Growth / Self: embodying the unending seas themselves, Tiamat could originally swell to a truly epic size. Possessing this power at Class 3000 rank, she could increase her volume by 1,024 times, acquiring a size factor of +10 against normal-sized opponents!
With such power, Tiamat could stand up to a mile high in either her humanoid or creature forms, making her a truly terrible opponent to face. Similarly, she could simulate the very seas themselves if she so desired, as she originally did when she first came into being within the Chaos.
After she was sundered by Marduk, however, Tiamat's might was greatly diminished. Though her base power is unchanged, she can no longer achieve the sheer volume she once could, her growth having fallen to Unearthly (100) in rank, limiting her to a size increase of 32x.
In other words, Tiamat has been reduced from being a mile tall at her maximum to 'only' one hundred and sixty five feet. This lowers her size factor to +5, as opposed to its former, overwhelming amount, but nonetheless makes her an incredibly dangerous enemy in melee combat.
Organism Generation: the mother of both gods and monsters, there is little that Tiamat cannot create, given the time and motivation. She can wield this powerful ability with Unearthly (100) ability, letting her generate one hundred pounds of live creature every turn.
On the other hand, Tiamat can sidestep the process of creating new creatures by simply drawing them forth from the Chaos itself, per the Wrest spell. This lets her manifest monstrosities at will, though as is usually the case, you get what you get when you make use of Wrest.
Shape Change: part of what makes Tiamat tick is an association with chaos, which makes sense considering she originated in the extraplanar well of such situated deep beneath the Abzu. As such, it is rare to find Tiamat in the same form from day to day - unless she wishes it.
Possessing this ability at Unearthly (100) rank, Tiamat can readily assume any form she can imagine. As potent as her skill is with this capability, she can flawlessly adopt the visage of any person, place, or thing, doing so with only the slightest bit of effort on her part.
Transformation / Self: her original form, Tiamat can exist in a state that is chemically indistinguishable from ordinary salt water. She is most comfortable in this configuration, for it allows her to move and shape her mammoth mass even easier than is normal for her.
When in her watery form, Tiamat benefits from 1 CS of damage reduction against physical attacks, much of the energy of such assaults harmlessly passing through or dispersing throughout her mass. She also receives a +1 CS bonus to her shape change power, as well.
Schooling: Master / Philosophical Magic:
Though the precise nature of Tiamat's sorcerous knowledge is unrevealed, she brandished mystical might against Marduk during their war over the fate of the Anunnaki. Thus, she's presumably a powerful spellcaster, to say the very least.
With her particular history, it can be assumed that she is a master of magic, having leaned upon it instead of her vast physical might during her greatest battle. Furthermore, having been born from chaos, she is most likely a philosophical wizard that specializes in those energies.
Limitations / Enhancements:
Tiamat's Monsters: after Enki killed Abzu, her spouse, Tiamat raised a mighty army with which to war against the Anunnaki. In addition to numerous deities fed up with their antics, Tiamat's army included eleven different kinds of monsters, each of which is detailed separately.
The most famous of these are Tiamat's dragons, including Bashmu, winged serpents, Lakhmu- and Lakhamu-heroes, the wurms, a Mushkusshu, one the royal chimeras, Ushumgallu, the lion-dragon, and Mushmakhu, the seven-headed hydra. But she had many more children!
Tiamat's other monstrous creations include Aqrabuamelu, the scorpion-men, Kulullu and Kuliltu, the merfolk, Kusarikku, the man-bull, Ugallu, the lion-headed men, Uridimmu, the man-headed dogs, and finally, Umu Dabrutu, the fierce day and violent storm, whose form is a mystery.
Abnormal Attribute: regardless of her current form, as long as she isn't already in her watery aspect, Tiamat always appears as though she had just leapt out of the sea. In other words, water is always wicking off of her body in a slow, yet inexorable flow.
Compulsiveness 3: due to her nature as an abstract entity, Tiamat's behavior is often molded by mortals' perception of the sea. In other words, she can be capricious, cruel, and merciless. She must pass a Psyche FEAT at -6 CS to rein in these tendencies, should she wish to.
Animal Handling: whether it is a creature of her own creation or an extant one which she has adopted, Tiamat excels in the training of animals. She benefits from a +1 CS modifier to the reaction rolls of animals when attempting to bend them to her will in any manner.
Archaeology: the oldest known sentient being birthed on our world, Tiamat knows where all the bodies are buried - literally. Her Reason should be considered +1 CS for the purposes of resolving actions related to historical facts, +2 CS where Mesopotamia is concerned.
Natural Weapons: lacking an inherent ability to attack opponents at a distance, Tiamat has learned to make do with what she can have: inherent physical weapons. Whether they are blunt or sharp in nature, Tiamat may attack with her natural weaponry at a +1 CS to her Fighting score.
Tiamat is known to all of the deities of Mesopotamia, not just the Anunnaki. When she went to war with that pantheon, many immortals joined her cause. These gods, as well as the monstrous beings that Tiamat created, can be considered reliable contacts - even if just out of fear.
For the most part, Tiamat does not make use of clothing. Of her three most common forms, only her humanoid configuration would actually benefit from such - and then, only to placate those offended by nudity. And, if sufficiently vexed, she would probably be indifferent to such concerns.
At her core, Tiamat prefers the bedlam of inaction. For the most part, she likes to let nature run its course, and does not wish to taint the progression of cause and effect by interfering in any manner. However, her status as an abstract entity works against this tendency.
Constantly beset by the beliefs of mortal beings where the ocean is concerned, Tiamat often lashes out with little, if any, warning. She can be capricous in her interactions with friend and foe alike, and is absolutely merciless to those who irk her ire.
Real Name: Tiamat
Occupation: mother of gods, mother of monsters
Legal Status: creatrix of the Anunnaki, originating in the Chaos
Marital Status: widow, twice over
Alias(es), if any: Ummu-Hubur
Group Affiliation: Tiamat leads an army of gods and monsters
Height: 5' 2"
Eyes: deep green
Weight: 130 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: in her humanoid form, Tiamat possesses vibrant, sea green skin, and always looks as though she has just leapt from the sea, water slowly, yet ceaselessly, running down her form onto the ground below.
When taking the form of the briny sea, Tiamat appears as a large volume of water. This water can vary in hue, as can most oceanic waters, depending on her whims. In other words, Tiamat's color as a liquid is most often clear, deep blue, or sea green.
Tiamat also takes on a chimeric appearance when sufficiently enraged. This anatomical configuration has a quadruped body as its base, and includes wings, claws, a tail, and any number of other characteristics of animal life forms, whether practical or not.
In the beginning, there was naught but the Chaos. This seething cauldron of possibility is of an unknown and variable size, and when a probability field within collapses, something new to the cosmos inevitably rises to the surface. But such creations rarely remain extant for long.
Sinking back into the Chaos moments later, these transient products of its churning potential are almost immediately unmade. This is because, most often, they are an affront to the physical laws of the many realities that connect to the Chaos in some manner or another.
The first entity known to escape destruction after her unlikely creation was Tiamat. Taking the form of a sentient, salt water sea, Tiamat quickly swelled in size to the point that the Chaos could not contain her. There, she circled the Chaos for quite some time.
Eventually, a second being manifested atop the Chaos, a fresh water entity large enough to simply float on the cauldron of creation. While Tiamat embraced the chaotic nature of her home realm, Abzu detested it with every facet of his new being, and sought to oppose it.
To this end, he engaged in an act of creation of his own. Investing much of his own energies into the Tablet of Destinies, a powerful artifact for order, Abzu was diminished by the effort. Nonetheless, his actions piqued Tiamat's interest, and she made herself known to Abzu.
As often happens in such situations, the two mingled their essences together, and in time procreated together. Giving birth to her first children, Lakhmu and Lakhamu, Tiamat was happy, for she could see that the process of creation would continue for quite some time.
When Lakhmu and Lakhamu eventually produced children of their own, Anshar and Kishar, Abzu passed the Tablet of Destinies on to his first-born son. This tradition continued when Anshar and Kishar ultimately bred together, giving birth to, among other gods, Anu and Ki.
When Lakhmu handed over the Tablet of Destinies to Anshar, he retired from his role as the king of all things, and dedicated his time to having ever-more children with Lakhmu. And thus were the Lakhmu- and Lakhamu-heroes, lesser versions of themselves, brought into being.
As time passed, Anu and Ki themselves had numerous children, but unlike like his father, Anshar did not happily hand over the Tablet of Destinies when Enlil was born. This caused the first crack in its previously perfect assemblage, ultimately shaming Anshar into doing his duty.
Having learned that the lesson of disobedience to Abzu's laws was the diminishment of his family's power to rule over the cosmos, Anu readily handed the Tablet of Destinies over to Enlil after the birth of his and Ninlil's first son, Sin. And, in time, Sin should have been given kingship.
But Enlil did not learn from Anshar's mistake, much less his eventual imprisonment, and thus retained rulership over the Anunnaki. Many of the gods both within and without this pantheon of deities chafed at this situation, causing another crack to form in the Tablet of Destinies.
Seeing his work slowly coming unraveled, work performed at great expense to his person, Abzu was amenable to bad advice from his second son and sukkal, Mummu. Advising Abzu to slay Enlil and all his ancestors and descendants, Mummu plotted to seize power for himself.
Unaware or indifferent that destroying the Anunnaki would ultimately make Mummu the next king of the gods, Abzu congratulated his second son on his excellent idea, and embraced him for his ingenuity. But Tiamat, she was far from happy with this sinister plot against her children.
Informing them of the impending danger from their ancestor, Tiamat hoped that that the Anunnaki would be able to simply ward Abzu off, thus maintaining the status quo. However, Enki, the second son of Anu, tended to be a lot more proactive about problems of this nature.
Journeying to the vast underground aquifer where his ancestor lived, Enki cast a powerful sleep spell to immobilize Abzu and Mummu, and subsequently killed the father of the gods. Carving a new home out of his remains, Enki conceived a new child there with his wife, Ninhursaga.
Furious beyond reason when she learned of Enki's actions, Tiamat vowed vengeance against the Anunnaki. She didn't intend anyone to come to harm, yet this had come to pass, and her constant companion since shortly after her creation was now gone. Yes, the Anunnaki had to pay!
Commanding the Anzu bird to seize the Tablet of Destinies from the vault where Enlil stored it, Tiamat waited for her servant to bring it forth. The Anzu bird did indeed steal the Tablet, but was almost defeated in its mission by one of Enlil's children, the warrior known as Ninurta.
Manifesting on earth, Tiamat seized the Tablet, and proclaimed her intentions towards the Anunnaki. Numerous gods joined her righteous cause, having bore much animosity to the Anunnaki for their poor treatment of them, as did countless monsters she had liberated from the Chaos.
With Abzu gone and Mummu consigned to Nungal's underworld prison, Tiamat gave the Tablet of Destinies to Abzu's third son, Qingu. Something of an agent of chaos himself, the so-called 'unskilled laborer' god was happy to join with Tiamat, becoming her general and second husband.
When faced with this existential threat, the Anunnaki were at a loss. Enki, despite having caused this situation, would not face Tiamat. Nor would Enlil, Anu, or Anshar, none of which had any intention of fighting such a powerful enemy without access to their precious Tablet.
But Enki, ever the crafty one, told his ancestors of a powerful warrior who would face Tiamat and her army. When they ordered Enki to bring this warrior before them, he introduced the family to his most powerful son, Marduk, who promised to defeat Tiamat in exchange for rule over them all.
Facing annihilation, none of the Anunnaki quibbled about this, and thus Marduk rode into battle against Tiamat. Doing so on a chariot pulled by four mad creatures, and armed with weapons mundane and fantastic, Marduk at last called out his great-great-great-grandmother.
Defeating her legion of eleven different monsters, and then demolishing Qingu in single combat despite his possession of the Tablet of Destinies, Marduk finally came face to face with the immense Tiamat. Taunting her, he tricked Tiamat into opening her mouth, as if to swallow him whole.
Forcing her mouth agape with powerful winds donated by his fellow gods, Marduk then pierced Tiamat's heart with an arrow fired down her throat, slaying her at once. He then ripped her body apart, using various pieces of his massive ancestor to reshape Mesopotamia more to his liking.
But that was not the end of Tiamat, for such power is not so easily dispersed. Even Marduk could not completely destroy Tiamat, for her very nature is that of the sea's embodiment, instead of an ordinary personality such as that possessed by you or I, much less other deities.
Consigning her invulnerable essence to the underworld, Marduk bound Tiamat to Nungal's prison there with a powerful spell. But eventually his ancestor would break free if that spell were not regularly reinforced, and thus, upon Babylon's creation, Marduk created the Akitu festival.
This week-long ceremony, held during the Babylonian New Year, was a celebration of Marduk's victory over Tiamat. But, what's more, the re-enactment of that victory worked to renew the magic Marduk used to bind Tiamat to the underworld, preserving his lordship over the world.
For millennia, all was well. Marduk wed, and had his own son, Nabu. They ruled over Babylon for millennia, and Marduk was prepared to pass on leadership of the gods to Nabu upon the birth of his own heir, as was tradition. He didn't want to risk damaging the Tablet any more, after all!
However, in time Marduk was tricked by Nergal into allowing him to oversee Babylon for a short time, during which Nergal gleefully decimated the city and its populace. Babylon never quite recovered from this tragedy, and eventually the city was first abandoned, then forgotten.
A rare few followers of Ishtar and Tammuz continued the traditions of their antiquated and obscure faith, including the Akitu festival, until the end of the nineteenth century. When their devotion ultimately dried up, so did their unique practice of celebrating the New Year.
Due to this, the magic Marduk bound Tiamat to the underworld with weakened, until Tiamat could finally overcome it years later. Though greatly diminished after being sundered by Marduk, Tiamat is once more free to act - even if finding her descendants may be easier said than done.
I offer this Universal Heroes work under the Creative Commons Attribution license. This means you may use this material in any way you see fit, whether copying, distributing, or displaying all or part of its text, as long as you credit me, in either your own derivative texts or products.
If you would like more information about me for attribution, you can contact me via e mail (email@example.com).
If you're not seeing this content within the technohol.com domain, it's been stolen by someone who doesn't respect others' work.