|Broken Mind Flayer Skull|
|Divine Rank||Intermediate Goddess|
|Pantheon||Faerûn, Morndinsamman (Dwarven Pantheon)|
|Portfolio||Duergar, Conquest, Psionics, Expansion|
|Domains||3E:Dwarf, Evil, Law, Mentalism, War
5E: Arcana, Order, War
|Home Plane||Hammergrim (Acheron)|
|Worshippers||Duergar, Evil Dwarves, Psionicists, Fighters, Illithid Hunters, Travelers in the Underdark|
|Favoured Weapon||Mindshatter (Battleaxe)|
Deep Duerra is an evil member of the Dwarf pantheon in Dungeons & Dragons, a formerly mortal duergar who rose up to join the dark god Laduguer as part of the shadow Morndinsamman. The only deity that the duergar acknowledge besides their creator, Deep Duerra is worshipped and respected both for her clarion call to war and for being the entity who gave duergar the gift of psionics. For these reasons she is also known as the Axe Princess of Conquest and the Queen of the Invisible Art.
According to the tales that the duergar tell, Duerra was once a queen amongst their people who expanded her empire mightily, to the point of conquering an illithid city. In revenge for the long and terrible enslavement of her ancestors, she had her clan conduct terrible fleshcrafting experiments on the captured illithids, ultimately finding a way to transplant the illithid gift for psionics into her people, cementing them as their own distinct race at last.
The illithids, on the other hand, claim that Duerra was merely the leader of a slave rebellion, claiming that the duergar potential for psionics was something they engineered into the race in order to make them more useful. Duergar don't buy it.
Whichever was the reason, Deep Duerra ascended to become the only other goddess of the duergar race.
Deep Duerra first appeared in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook "Demihuman Deities" for the Forgotten Realms. She subsequently appeared in the 3e FR sourcebook "Faiths & Pantheons" and in the 5e FR sourcebook "Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide".
Appearing as a stocky, powerful female duergar with her hair cut in a tonsure/braid combination, clad in ornate, gleaming chainmail and bearing a huge battleaxe, Duerra is bombastic, arrogant and imperious. She expects her every whim to be attended to instantly, is firmly convinced of her own inalienable right to rule, and is utterly ruthless in her pursuit of victory; no sacrifice is too great if the benefits it offers are greater still, and she has no tolerance for those who cannot live up to her standards. Constantly plotting, planning and strategizing, Duerra lives for the conquest, not the holding, and so can never be satisfied with what she already has.
Duerra has no real concern for the traditional enmity with the other dwarf races that Laduguer fosters; in her mind, the duergar's history is dust to be shaken from their boots, and more important is their glorious future. Duerra preaches that the manifest destiny of the duergar is the utter conquest of the Underdark, and this is her driving goal above all else.
Duerra is characterized as being dismissive of wizardly magic, seeing it as inferior to the powers of the mind.
Despite serving under Laduguer, Duerra truly hates her patron; she considers him a bitter, cantankerous, resentful old fool who squanders the future glories of her people with his inability to forget about the past. In 3rd edition, it's noted that she's grown so tired of him that she is now "a hair away" from attempting to depose him and lead the duergar as their new god.
Her bitterest enmity is with Ilsensine, as Duerra has carried out a long campaign of psionic thefts from the god-brain and Duerra seeks nothing less than the extermination of the illithids.
Truth be told, none of the patron gods of the Underdark races particularly like her.
Duerra's priests, collectively known as Norothor (dwarvish for "Those who seize enemy land"), are known to be brash, assertive and mostly found amongst the young; the older duergar tend to cling more closely to Laduguer. Prior to the Time of Troubles, the Norothor's ranks were exclusively reserved for duergr women, but she allowed males into her ranks after that point.
The temples of the Duerran faith are hewn from solid rock, always constructed in symmetric patterns designed to be simultaneously visually pleasing and sound-mufflin g. The center of each temple is an elevated dais bearing an empty throne, which only Duerra's avatars may sit upon. Such temples typically double as armories, barracks and command centers, and so they are fortified and well-stocked accordingly.
The Norothor may be seen as troublemakers by many, but they fill valuable roles. Predominantly, they tutor young duergar in their posionic abilities and maintain order amongst the slaves, but their goal of expansionism means they are also integral to any projects related to expanding duergar cities and political power, from scouting tunnels to serving as ambassadors.
There are two holy days in the Duerran church, celebrated annually.
The first is the Rallying, celebrated on Midwinter eve; a collective commemoration of the triumphs & conquests of the previous year and the proclamation of their intentions to conquer in the next year. Integral to the ritual is grim war chants and pounding hammers, which help the followers work themselves into a fury as they finally display a skull from a newly slain enemy, indicating whom they will strike at in the next year.
The second is the Melding, where the faithful telepathically combine their minds and reach out to make psionic contact with Duerra herself, reinforcing their faith.
Offerings to Duerra include dirt & stone carried back from the borders of newly conquered territory, the brains of psionic individuals, and the shattered skulls of intelligent beings.
The ceremonial garb of a Duerran priest is ornate, gleaming chainmail paired with dark blue velvet robes trimmed with fur, paired with a beautiful, oft-bejeweled, weapon.
The children of Laduguer shall conquer the earth and stone from which they spran 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.