deep_duerra_symbol.jpg
Queen of the Invisible Art, Axe Princess of Conquest, Daul of Laduguer
Pantheon Dwarven (Duergar)
Realm Unknown
Portfolio Psionics, conquest, expansion
Worshippers Dwarves, fighters, psionicists, travelers in the Underdark
Domains Dwarf, Evil, Law, Mentalism, War
Favored Weapon Mindshatter (battleaxe)

Deep Duerra

Deep Duerra 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Orders

The Mindstalkers of the Invisible Art are a secretive group of Duerran 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 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.

Priests

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.

Novices of Duerra are known as the Close-minded. Full priests of the Queen of the Invisible Art are known as Mindaxes or norothor, a dwarvish word that can be loosely translated as 'those who seize enemy land'. 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. The clergy of Duerra consists primarily of gray dwarves. Duerra's clergy is predominantly female (97%). Until the Time of Troubles, all priests of Duerra were female, but since then some males have joined the clergy.

Priestly Vestments

The ceremonial garb of Duerra's priests includes ornate, gleaming chain mail 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.

Outside of ceremonial functions, Duerran priests eschew their glittering mail for the drab chain or dwarven plate mail 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.

Ritual

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.

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.

The enmity between Duerra and the illithid gods is particularly fierce, as she is rumored to have stolen many secrets from Ilsensine, the Great Brain of the illithids.

  • deities/deep_duerra.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/01/13 06:46
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