Deep Duerra

<b>Deep Duerra:</b>
<i>Queen of the Invisible Art, Axe Princess of Conquest, Daul of Laduguer</i><br>

<b>Symbol:</b> Shattered skull (the exact race of which varies, but usually illithid, drow, or dwarven) <br>
<b>Home Plane</b>: Thuldanin/Citadel of Thought <br>
<b>Alignment</b>: LE <br>
<b>Portfolio</b>: Dwarf, Evil, Law, Mentalism, War<br>
<b>Domains</b>: Psionics (the invisible Art), conquest, expansion, duergar warriors, duergar psionicists <br>
<b>Worshipers</b>: Dwarves, fighters, psionicists, travelers in the Underdark<br>
<b>Aliases</b>: N/A <br>
<b>Cleric Alignments:</b> LN, NE, LE<br>
<b>Favored Weapon:</b> Mindshatter (battleaxe) <br>

Deep Duerra (DEEP DWAIR-uh) is the duergar demigoddess of psionics, conquest, and expansion. She is venerated by gray dwarves skilled in the Invisible Art as well as duergar warriors who seek to conquer much of the Underdark and chafe at the defensive mindset of Laduguer's priests. A few rare surface dwellers with wild talents have begun to call on the Queen of the Invisible Art as well for aid in understanding (and more importantly, concealing) their powers, which are viewed with suspicion and fear by most of the populace.

The legends of the duergar tell of the gray dwarves' greatest queen, a warrior queen named Duerra, who led her grim troops to numerous victories against the surface dwarves, the drow, the illithids, and other Underdark races. During her centurieslong reign, the empire of the gray dwarves expanded to include vast reaches of the Underdark, including much of the territory that once composed Deep Shanatar, bringing the duergar to the pinnacle of their power. Tales of dubious authenticity also relate how Deep Duerra overran a city of mind flayers and wrested from them numerous powers of the mind. Supposedly Duerra's victory allowed the duergar to gain their current ability in psionics and enabled them to hold their own against the spells of the drow and the psionics of the illithids. Although much of Deep Duerra's empire has since fragmented and contracted, the gray dwarves still revere her uncompromising drive to expand duergar power throughout the Underdark.

Duerra has been estranged from the Morndinsamman since her ascension, and notwithstanding her immediate banishment by Moradin after her apotheosis, she has no interest in ending her supposed exile. Duerra's only ally is Laduguer, who is said to be her father. While she obeys and respects her patron, at least for now, Duerra secretly chafes at Laduguer's bitterness and resentment. She feels that for centuries he has squandered every opportunity to help the gray dwarves conquer the endless tunnels of the Underdark that are their patrimony. In truth, the Queen of the Invisible Art sees the duergar as a unique race with a manifest destiny to conquer the Underdark, and she feels that the gray dwarves' distant kinship with shield, gold, and wild dwarves is irrelevant and best forgotten. The actions of Duerra and her worshipers, like those of Laduguer and his followers, have fostered bitter rivalries with the other races of the Underdark and their gods. The enmity between Duerra and the illithid gods is particularly fierce, as she is rumored to have stolen many secrets of the Invisible Art from Ilsensine, the Great Brain of the illithids.

Duerra is bombastic, arrogant, and imperious. She expects her every whim to be attended to instantly, and she is firmly convinced other own inalienable right to rule. The Queen of the Invisible Art is dismissive of wizardly magic, considering it inferior to the power of the mind. Duerra is always plotting, planning, and strategizing her next conquest. She is never satisfied with what she has already acquired, as it is the conquest, not the holding, that she enjoys. The Axe Princess is ruthless in her drive to ensure victory, and she has absolutely no tolerance for any being, mortal or divine, who does not live up to her standards. Likewise, Duerra considers no sacrifice too great if it offers greater benefits down the road.<br>

The children of Laduguer shall conquer the earth and stone from which they sprang and the voids in which they dwell. The seizing of new lands, new wealth and new servitors is the manifest destiny of those who mine the Night Below. Magic is weak, unreliable, and unsubtle when compared to the powers of the mind unless bequeathed and steadied by the will of the gods. By means of the Invisible Art, the duergar shall destroy or enslave all who rely on their petty magics to survive. One day all will bow to the power of the duergar and the brilliance of the Invisible Art. <br>

The Queen of the Invisible Art occasionally dispatches her avatar to aid in conflicts between the duergar and other psionic races, particularly aboleth and illithids. Duerra also dispatches an avatar when a city of gray dwarves has a golden opportunity to expand its territorial holdings at the expense of other races of the Underdark, but for whatever reason, the duergar rulership is reluctant to act on it. Duerra manifests as a nimbus of silver light that surrounds a creature's head like a crown<br>

Like her patron, Duerra is served by ash mephits, azer, baatezu, baku Dark Ones, banelar, bone nagas, brain moles, cerebral parasites, chaggrin, dark nagas, demaraxes, earth elementals, earth elemental vermin (crawlers), earth mephits, earth weirds, fhorges, gray oozes with psionic ability, hammer golems, helmed horrors, hook spiders, intellect devourers, ironmaws, imps, incarnates (of anger and pride), living steel, maelephants, meenlocks, mineral mephits, observers, razorvine, reaves, rust dragons, rust monsters, sandmen, shadowdrakes, steeders, stone wolves, sword spirits, sumonsters, tso, werebadgers, xavers, and yugoloths.

She demonstrates her favor through the discovery of greenstones, sapphires, silver rings ( reminiscent of crowns), and small pools of absolutely still, fresh water. She indicates her displeasure by afflicting the subject other annoyance with a feeblemind spell (no saving throw allowed).<br>

<b>The Church of Duerra :</b>
Within gray dwarven communities, perceptions of Duerra's church vary widely. Younger duergar admire the brashness and assertiveness her priests display. Older gray dwarves view Duerra's priests as impertinent upstarts who are likely to bring the combined wrath of the aboleth, drow, illithids, and other races of the Underdark down upon their heads.

The followers of Duerra are little known outside the Underdark. Even shield and gold dwarves are unlikely to have heard of the Queen of the Invisible Art. Other Underdark races perceive the emergence of Duerra's faith as an increasing threat to their own territories, and illithids in particular loathe the dwarven adepts who dare employ the Invisible Art against its rightful masters. Temples of Duerra are hewn from solid rock and are always constructed in symmetric patterns designed to be architecturally pleasing to the observer and to muffle sound. An empty throne sits atop an elevated dais in the central chancel, but it is never occupied except by an avatar of the goddess. Duerra's houses of worship serve as armories, barracks, and command centers for the senior priests who lead the temple army. Most are extensively fortified and well stocked with emergency supplies, weapons, and armor.

Novices of Duerra are known as the Close-minded. Full priests of the Queen of the Invisible Art are known as Mindaxes. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Duerran priests are Psionic Blaster, Mind Thruster, Ego Whipper, Id Insinuator, Psychic Crusher, and Thought Conqueror. High Old Ones have unique individual titles but are collectively known as Axe Princesses/Princes of the Invisible Art. Specialty priests are known as norothor, a dwarvish word that can be loosely translated as those who seize enemy land. The clergy of Duerra consists primarily of gray dwarves (99%), but a handful of gold dwarves, shield dwarves, and wild dwarves skilled in the Invisible Art secretly serve the Daul of Laduguer as well while remaining in or near their own communities. Duerra's clergy consists of specialty priests, psionicists, crusaders, clerics, fighter/specialty priests, fighter/clerics, and cleric/thieves. Fully three-quarters of each group of priests multiclass the psionicist class as Duerra's clergy is predominantly female. <br>

<b>Day-to-Day Activities:</b>
Duerra expects her priests to be capable leaders who use cunning strategy to defeat their enemies in an endless quest for increased power. Unlike the Ladugueran clergy, who are typically responsible for the defense of duergar cities, homelands, and mines, senior Mindaxes command elite strike forces composed of duergar warriors, junior Ladugueran priests, and Duerran priests. These teams are responsible for the scouting and seizing of new tunnels. Within duergar society, Axe Princesses/Princes of the Invisible Art monitor the very thoughts of both slaves and their gray dwarven masters, alert for any sign of disloyalty, and eliminate troublesome elements as necessary. Duerran priests instruct young gray dwarves in developing their natural psionic talents and teach the art of war and survival techniques in the wilds of the Underdark.<br>

<b>Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:</b>
The Duerran church celebrates two holy days annually. The first, known as the Rallying, is celebrated on Midwinter eve. On this night, the followers of Duerra assemble to commemorate the triumphs and conquests of the previous year and to proclaim their intentions to seize new territory. Grim chants of war and the pounding of hammers against stone echo through the tunnels as the duergar work themselves into a grim fury. The culmination of such martial exaltations is the display of the newly seized skull of an enemy from another race whose territory will be besieged in the coming year. The other holy day of the Duerran faith is celebrated on the 5th of Mirtul. On this day, skilled practitioners of the Invisible Art assemble in Duerran temples to join in the Melding, a psionic ritual in which the assembled minds of the gray dwarves contact Duerra herself. The duergar temporarily form a common mind that rivals that of the great Elder Brains of the illithids. It is from such Meldings that many insights leading to great advances in duergar technology and psionics have come.

Offerings to the Queen of the Invisible Art are made at both ceremonies; these typically include dirt or stone carried back from the borders of newly conquered territory, the brains of psionic individuals, or shattered skulls from members of any intelligent race. <br>

<b>Major Centers of Worship:</b>
The duergar city of Underspires is located deep below the Osraun Mountains of northern Turmish, suspended above a gigantic rift in the earth. The entire city is constructed from gigantic stalactites dangling above a chasm whose bottom has never been plumbed, and its structures are linked by numerous stone causeways. The royal palace and great Duerran temple of Underspires is known as Ultokolor, the Worldthrone. Underspires is ruled by War King Olorn Ridaugaur (a fighter/psionicist), son of Deep Duerra and grandson of Laduguer. His wife, War Queen Ovdana Xothcorlar (a specialty priest of Duerra/psionicist), daul of Cathbara, blood of Llaemna, and the high priest of Duerra in Underspires, rules at his side. The militaristic, subterranean city-state has long been ruled by its preeminent generals, drawn from the ranks of Duerra's followers, and the rulers of Underspires have waged many bloody wars with their neighbors.

There is continuous strife between the armies of Underspires and the drow of Undraeth, a city deep beneath the Aphrunn Mountains, which has been ruled for centuries by the hated foe of the duergar, Queen Nathglaryst. Likewise, in the late 1200s DR, the gray dwarves of Underspires waged a five-decade-long and ultimately inconclusive war with their surface kin in Ironfang Keep among the Mountains of the Alaoreum. (This is not to be confused with the mysterious fortress of the same name on the shores of the Moonsea.) That conflict, known to the dwarves of the Alaoreum as the Campaign of Darkness, has continued fitfully to the current day.

In the Year of Shadows (1358 DR), during the Fall of the Gods, Duerra's avatar appeared in Underspires in the form of the Queen Mother, who was serving as regent of the duergar city until War King Olorn reached his maturity. Duerra began assembling and training an army of elite duergar warriors. Initial forays against the outlying dwarven and drow settlements of Ironfang and Undraeth served to shape the army of Underspires into its highest level of readiness in centuries. Under the leadership of their divine regent, the duergar extended their holdings to the Underdark tunnels deep beneath the Cloven Mountains, reaching the deepest mines of long-fallen Tathtar. Duerra then disappeared into the southernmost reaches of the Underdark, and the young War King ascended to the Underthrone.

Since the Time of Troubles, the duergar king, a dark-skinned dwarf nearly 12 feet in height, has sent his armies against the illithids of Oryndoll to the west beneath the Shining Plains and against the drow, dwarves, and svirfneblin beneath the Dragonreach lands to the North. In twelve years of war, the gray dwarves have overrun the outlying territories of their enemies, but the quick conquests won under Duerra's leadership have been few and far between. The emerging empire of the gray dwarves has quickly amassed a wide number of enemies and rivals, and it may be vulnerable to a concerted attack by its foes. <br>

<b>Affiliated Orders:</b>
The Mindstalkers of the Invisible Art are a secretive group of Duerran psionicist/priests with cells in most northern gray dwarven settlements. The Mindstalkers seek to unite the disparate duergar realms of the Northdark into a great empire ruled by the collective consciousness of the order. While the Mindstalkers are centuries from accomplishing their goal, they have begun to extend their invisible tendrils into most duergar settlements beneath the Savage Frontier, and much of the trade .conducted by gray dwarven merchants in the region is at their direction. In recent decades, the Mindstalkers have established a cell in the subterranean city of Skullport in the dungeons of Undermountain beneath Waterdeep. They seek to purchase surface-dwellers with unusual psionic talents to breed into the gray dwarven race, and they have been actively culling wild talents from Skullport's slave bazaars for years. <br>

<b>Priestly Vestments:</b>
The ceremonial garb of Duerra's priests includes ornate, gleaming chain mail (often treated with everbright or Mueshine) and dark blue velvet robes trimmed with the fur of surface animals. No headgear of any sort is worn, but a beautiful weapon, often bejeweled, is always borne. The holy symbol of the faith is a two-inch diameter silver orb, carved to resemble the skull of an illithid, with a large crack running across the top. A steel chain is usually threaded through the skull's ear holes so that it can be worn around the neck.<br>

<b>Adventuring Garb:</b>
Outside of ceremonial functions, Duerran priests eschew their glittering mail for the drab chain or dwarven plate mail (base AC 2) common to the duergar and a hooded, ankle-length gray-blue robe. The primary weapon of most Mindaxes is the battle axe, in deliberate imitation of their goddess, but Duerra's priests are also skilled in the use of weapons favored by most gray dwarves, including heavy and light crossbows, picks, short swords, spears, and war hammers.<br>

Last updated byDispater