Shad Dahek has always been a minor deity; never worshiped avidly and yet never quite dissolving as many other deities have. Because of its constant presence, the story of the mysterious Shad Dahek has not evolved much over the years, and remains a primitive “religious” system mainly relying on believing that the creature existed and seeking to recreate the perfection of its form, rather than truly bowing to something long dead and gone.
The Shad Dahek was said to be an enormous creature with three heads and nine twisting tails. It was covered in the colors of nature- flashy greens cut with blues, muddy browns, and even stone grays mottled together in a ruddy set of large, rusty scales covering its sides and back. The Shad Dahek had two eyes the shade of sea foam crashing and spitting over rocks at shore, said to be the most sublime shade of aquamarine. The three heads of the Shad Dahek were said to be the three facets of beauty. The long snout and royal draw of a dragon’s head was the pivotal center. To the left was the short, feline face of a cat. The head to the far right was the long, soft-snouted unicorn, white with silken mane, sharp ears, and a gemstone horn in the peak of its forehead. The Shad Dahek had a set of wings that did not work- one wing bearing the feathers of a pegasus, and the other the leathery skin of a dragon- the two sides could cooperate about as well as the three heads. The nine tails were said to swish and slash, and when the Shad Dahek stood on its hind legs to rear its heads to the sky, these tails could move in every direction, engulfing the creature in the motion of its body in art.
The Shad Dahek was an anomaly, a complete mystery of nature, and perceived by many to be merely a monster of legend. Of course, having such an unconventional body,the Shad Dahek would not have lived long in any sort of environment. The quarreling of the heads, its inconvenient size, and the fact that likely only one such creature ever existed in history, meant that the species died out quite quickly, if it ever existed. Somehow, the story of the mysterious creature with intelligent, shining eyes like sea foam survived many years among a small community of potentially insane travelers, being passed by word of mouth.
Worship of the Shad Dahek varies greatly, as worshipers very rarely meet one another as there are so few. Some choose to worship it as a god that may answer prayers (“Oh please Shad Dahek, may thy beauteous eyes light mine path and thine scales bring me luck!” being the most popular, and vague) and some seek to recreate the beast by forcing all manner of creatures to come together and reproduce in the most impossible ways. This usually ends up with terrible breeding experiments that only ever leave the hopeful breeders in years of debt and despair from repeated failures.
Still others (the majority, actually) choose to see the Shad Dahek as an idol of all things beautiful. To discover the elements of beauty and art that the Shad Dahek represents and own them in pieces is the goal of many a greedy, idealistic worshiper. This usually entails looking for the colors, textures, or motion suggested in the Shad Dahek’s description. Gemstones of earthy colors, or bright aquamarines for eyes and even clear diamonds for claws or teeth, are common. Taking the breeders as examples, some collect the suggested creatures, or creatures sporting similar mutations, to the Shad Dahek and keep them just to look at. Despite the difficulty of finding a pegasus or unicorn, some worshipers will still make the attempt… and adopting any animal with multiple tails is a must.
More recent development in worshiping the creature after its temporary rise to popularity through the ranting of a certain heroic Kobold has led some to follow the path of the devout monk, silently praising the creature much like a Buddhist praises their buddha. These monks are of lawful orientation, but never good. It is not that Shad Dahek’s followers are evil, but rather that they lack the extreme attachment to humanity that other religious characters usually have. Followers of Shad Dahek are rarely human, and have some attachment to animals. As such, monks often cultivate skills that have animal qualities, such as jump (a particular favorite). Monks of Shad Dahek are surprisingly laid back. Their relationship with their “god” comes second to their aspirations, as part of an animal’s sense of perfection is to survive and successfully reproduce. Consequently, Shad Dahek’s monks also have no qualms about breaking a normal monk’s vow of celibacy. A Shad Dahek monk puts himself before all others, and other monks are completely understanding of that.