The New Divine Order
Badak Api is the god of survival, endurance and hunting. He is the child of Xipe Totec and Calma, born after Xipe Totec claimed his right of Prima Nocte, as well as the husband of Ponderous Bovine.
He was raised for his first few years in the comfort of Calma’s home, surrounded by luxuries. One year, during the annual flaying ritual, where the gods gathered to watch Xipe Totec cut the skin off his own bones, the Flayed God noticed his son shying away and covering his eyes. Furious, Xipe stole his own son away from home, blindfolded him and took him to the deepest point of Pandemonium, where every condition was extreme, where the Azlanti sent the souls of the people who had disappointed them. He brandished his own flaying knife and gave it to his son.
“I am royalty,” Xipe said, “Royalty means suffering, it means making sacrifices, it means enduring hardship. You may be my son, but you are not royalty. You are weak, coddled, soft. You will find your way home and return this knife to me, and then you will be royalty.”
Although young, afraid and abandoned, Badak Api refused to disappoint his father. He survived the extremes of Pandemonium for decades before finally finding his way home to the Pyramids of the Lost during another one of his father’s flaying rituals. Dramatically, he burst into the room as his father was about to finish and brandished the knife. Xipe smiled, welcomed his heir home, and had his son cut the last piece of flesh from his body. He also allowed him to keep the flaying knife, as a reminder of his success.
Since then, he has fully embraced his role and there are many stories of his exploits and his loyalty to his family. He is married to Ponderous Bovine, a marriage that started since he was the only one who could lift her, but has blossomed into a loving, supporting partnership. His mother, Calma is fond of him and proud of his achievements, though her husband Coyote is less than thrilled of his success and the two share a frosty relationship.
Appearance: Badak Api is the lord of the Nasaroh or Rhinomen, and so appears as a large humanoid rhinoceros. His body is covered with scars and callouses from his time in Pandemonium and while he is often depicted in rags or hunting skins, though now that he has returned home he tends to wear clothes befitting his rank and station. He is never depicted without his father’s flaying knife or his gigantic longbow carved from the entirety of a dead tree. He is known for immense strength and his incredible toughness.
Animal: For obvious reasons, Badak Api is closely associated with the rhino, and to a lesser extent, other pachyderms. When at war, he is normally shown riding a war elephant into combat.
Culture: Badak Api has few clerics, perhaps fewer than many would expect given his role, because his cults demand that they undergo harsh rituals that often end in their demise. As such, clerics of Badak tend to be intensely well regarded around Azlanti society because they have endured a great deal themselves. Animal sacrifices and prayers are given to Badak during times of hardship, hoping that he will offer them some of his toughness and give them the strength to weather the hard times. He is also worshipped by hunters. Finally, most Azlanti families hold a coming-of-age ceremony that mirrors Badak’s – male children are given a weapon, taken out into the wilderness and told to find their way home. On their return, they are given the weapon as a gift and made a man in the eyes of the gods.