Deep Duerra

Deep Duerra

Demigoddess
Pantheon: Dwarf Pantheon
Titles: Queen of the Invisible Art, Axe Princess of Conquest
Home Plane: Hammergrim
Portfolio: Psionics, conquest, expansion
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Worshippers: Dwarves, fighters, psionicists, travelers in the Underdark
Cleric Alignments: LE, LN, NE
Domains: Dwarf, Evil, Law, Mentalism, War
Holy Symbols: Broken illithid skull
Favoured Weapons: Mindshatter (battleaxe)

Elderly gray dwarven mindwardens speak of an ancient time, when a great queen named Duerra ruled a dwarven empire of immense subterranean territory and dark, expansionist ambitions. The queen herself stood at the front of her armies, on one occasion dominating a huge illithid city. Duerra ordered her underlings to shackle the mind flayers, who once had enslaved the entire duergar race. Over the course of a century, Duerra and her surgeons wrested the power of the mind from the captive illithids, transferring it to her brood and hence into her clan's bloodline. Though mind flayers tell the story somewhat differently, casting Duerra as the leader of a slave rebellion and attributing the psionic powers of the gray dwarves as their own invention in order to create a more efficient slave stock, many duergar nonetheless honor their ancient queen as the progenitor of the psychic abilities that established the gray dwarves as a distinctive subrace and as a symbol of the dominance through enslavement and expansion that shall establish the duergar as the preeminent political force of the Underdark.

Moradin immediately exiled her upon her apotheosis; Deep Duerra has no friends among the Morndinsamman. Certain myths suggest Laduguer was her father, but the two share remarkably little compassion for one another. Nominally allies, they scheme against each other endlessly, with Duerra chafing at Laduguer's bitterness and resentment. After centuries of only middling success under his patronage, Duerra is a hair away from attempting to depose him as the prime deity of the gray dwarves. The illithid god-brain Ilsensine hates Duerra for the many thefts of psionic energy and information the Axe Princess has stolen from it.

Dogma

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 those reliant upon petty magics to survive.

Clergy

Few surface dwellers know of Deep Duerra or her clerics, known below the surface as norothor ("those who seize enemy land"). Their recent efforts in the Underdark, however, have made them the talk of underground waystations and trading communities. The norothor preach expansionism to such a strong degree that they have become a nuisance to the older, more staid duergar, who prefer to serve Laduguer. The norothor nonetheless serve an important role in society, training young gray dwarves in the development of their natural psionic abilities, attending to and controlling the slaves who form the underclass of duergar society, and scouting and clearing out nearby tunnel systems that the community might grow. Lastly, their focus on the mental disciplines makes them ideal ambassadors to psionic races such as the illithids and aboleths, though the inherent brashness of the faith means that many such missions end in utter disaster. Norothor pray for spells at night. Norothor frequently multiclass as fighters or as psions.

Temples

Duerra's temples are constructed in visually appealing symmetric patterns, featuring an empty seat at the center of the centermost room. Called the Daul's Throne, the chair serves to remind the norothor that as Queen of the Invisible Art, Deep Duerra is always present and watching.

Rites

On Midwinter eve, they celebrate a perverse festival known as the Rallying wherein clerics commemorate the triumphs of the past year and announce their expansionist intentions for the next. To the sound of hammering and war chants the norothor pass around the freshly severed head of an enemy whose territory will be taken before the next Rallying. On the 5th of Mirtul, Duerra's clerics gather in temples for the Melding, a psionic ceremony in which the norothor contact the Axe Princess herself. The resulting communal mind grants all clerics greater insight in their endless quest for power and territory.

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