Sackcloth & Ashes
Protector of Giant Stone Heads in the Wilderness
Scattered throughout the untamed wild places of the world, and taking many different forms, are the mysterious, giant stone heads of Azwa. Just as the origins of most of these heads has been lost to the shadows of time, so too are the origins of their mysterious protector deity Azwa.
Whether these stone heads are merely sculpture art or serve as the entrance to an underworld labyrinth, the mark of Azwa is often found somewhere on the outside (or sometimes just inside the nose). Wise explorers of the wilderness will might whisper a short prayer to Azwa when happening upon these hallowed heads.
Azwa is only known to take physical form by possessing the stone heads he protects. Rumors say the avatar of Azwa may be called forth either by an offering of precious gems or by defacing an edifice under his protection (generally considered a stupid thing to do).
The blessing he bestows is said to give one’s skin a hardness like granite for days afterward. If displeased, or defending/avenging a stone head, Azwa will curse the offending individuals with a horribly slow curse of petrification. An individual so cursed will immediately have their feet turn to stone and be rooted in place. Over a period of 3 days the curse will spread upward turning the rest of their body to stone. If the curse is completed the body of the new statue will instantly crumble to dust, leaving only the head.
Azwa is said to be willing to reverse the curse if placated, perhaps by a large offering of gems, or by repairing a defaced stone head. Azwa has no treasure, but it is also rumored that if a stone head is destroyed while possessed by him, the shards can be transmuted into diamonds by an alchemist using a philosopher’s stone.