The Concordant Dragon, The Great Eternal Wheel, Swallower of Shades, The Ninefold Dragon, Creator of Dragonkind
Intermediate Power of the Concordant Domain of the Outlands
Symbol: A multi-colored metallic disk
Home Plane: Outlands
Portfolio: Good dragons, wind, wisdom
Core Worshipers: Dragons
Cleric Alignments: : LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN, LE, NE, CE
Domains: Dragon* (Dr), Knowledge, Magic, Strength, Travel.
Favored Weapon: +1 spell storing scimitar or claw
Description: Io is the Ninefold Dragon, known as such because he embodies all alignments within his outlook. Io is regarded as the creator of dragons, subtly manipulating the destinies of all dragons by operating out in the open where nobody suspects his involvement. Io is concerned solely with the affairs of dragons and dragonkind, interfering in their lives only when he deems it absolutely necessary. He can (and does) appear as any dragon type, from the small pseudodraon to the largest great wyrm.
Dogma: Io cares only for his “children,” the dragons, and their continues existence in the world. In some cases, this means taking the side of the dragon against other races. In other situations, Io may actually help nondragons fight against a dragon who would otherwise jeopardize the ongoing survivability of the species as a whole.
He prefers to remain uninvolved in conflicts between dragons, though if such a conflict threatens to escalate he may step in (either personally or by dispatching Aasterinian or some other servitor).
Clergy: Io has even fewer cleric or shrines than most of the other draconic deities, since his outlook is so broad and all-encompassing. Still, even the most devoted cleric of Bahamut, Tiamat, or any other dragon deity pays at least a modicum of homage to the Ninefold Dragon. He also occasionally find clerics or adepts among the reptilian races, such as kobolds and troglodytes.
Io’s clerics are few, and they have no established dogma. Each individual has his own way of paying homage to the creator of his kind.
Candidates for Io’s clergy embark on an introspective journey to rid themselves of every judgmental impulse that colors their opinion of the world. They do so in the hope of one day perceiving all creatures and events with true objectivity. Many candidates never succeed in this endeavor, even after a lifetime of soul-searching
Io counts no other faiths as his enemies, knowing the value of neutrality in outlook. Even those of greatly varying alignment can find common cause under the banner of the Ninefold Dragon.
Io’s followers are tasked with seemingly random quests, such as “Decrease the hoard of [a specific silver dragon] by one-quarter” or “Fortify [a particular green dragon’s] influence over its region.” Io rarely offers an explanation for his assignments, but expects every follower to trust his impartiality.
Half-dragon followers of Io seek acceptance and inner peace in the god’s boundless love for his children. A typical quest involves finding other half-dragons and revealing Io’s love to them. Locating or consecrating a shrine to Io—sometimes in hostile territory—is a common mission for clerics of Io.
Sometimes a follower must journey to the lair of a wyrm or older true dragon, face the dweller, and return with a piece of long-forgotten lore.
Prayers: Io’s prayers have a deep resonating quality that pleasantly reverberates throughout the entire body and invigorates the follower. One often-used supplication is “Io, Swallower of Shades, shine in the face of your servant.” Among half-dragons, prayers to Io are more like questions: “Why, though I walk with you, are my steps in darkness?”
Io does not usually answer prayers, though he does listen
Temples: Io has very few temples, as is typical of dragon deities. Small shrines in his honor are erected among some draconic or reptilian peoples. His half-dragon priests are wandering ascetics, some of whom advance to become Singers of Concordance.
A shrine to Io is a simple pillared construction open to the air and covered with a half-dome, the inside of which is usually inlaid with draconic lore. These shrines are always located in wide-open spaces, such as the middle of a desert, the center of a valley, on a featureless plain, or atop a mountain peak.
Rites: The theme of blending is central to observances in Io’s honor. He contains the essence of all dragons and shows no favoritism or enmity toward a given alignment or deity. Since half-dragons are themselves blended beings, they make excellent leaders of such rituals. A typical activity might be to mix wine with a drop of blood from each participant, then pass the cup for all to drink.
Io’s name is evoked in matters of dragon heritage and history, and when predicting the future of dragons and dragonkind. “Only the discerning eye of Io knows how this will turn out.”
Herald and Allies:
Io’s most impressive herald is Aasterinian, a Huge (mature adult) brass dragon who acts as his messenger but also intervenes in matters of great importance. Io tends to send a herald blooded to the race of the dragonblood recipient. His allies are celestial or fiendish dragons. Planar dragons, although not outsiders, can also be called on for assistance.