Ghaunadaur

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Ghaunadaur
Right eye in a purple disc
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Divine Rank 3E: Lesser God
4E: Greater God
Pantheon Aberration, Dark Seldarine
Portfolio Aberrations, Ooze, Slime, Rebels, Outcasts
Domains 3E: Cavern, Chaos, Evil, Hatred, Slime
4E: Destruction, Earth, Madness
5E: War
Home Plane Great Wheel: Paraelemental plane of Ooze
World Tree: Demonweb Pits
World Axis: Dismal Caverns
Worshippers Aboleths, Ropers, Sentient Oozes, Drow, Rebels, Exiles
Favoured Weapon An Amorphous Tentacle (Warhammer?)

Ghaunadaur is the "Elder Evil" of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, but also gets a small mention in "Core" D&D thanks to the Lords of Madness sourcebook. he is the god of aberrations, oozes, tentacles, slime and all things /d/. Probably also the closest thing to Chaos that exists in the FR mythos.

Considered old, maybe even older than the overgod Ao himself. Despite this, Ghaunadaur is not the BBEG of the setting, playing second fiddle to the more active Faerunian deities, while he is known for being quite active amongst his followers, he is content to sit, wait and watch the grand plan as it pans out.

History[edit]

Ghaunadaur was probably one of the first gods to come into existence, being "worshipped" by the primordial Oozes of developing worlds, though then, as with now, he has been a particularly passive deity, acting mostly on impulses such as hunger and whimsy.

The first historical mention of him doing anything was during Lolth's rebellion in Arvandor, that his arrival led Corellon Larethian to distraction enough so that he could be wounded and taken out of the fight. However, Corellon would later be healed and cast Lolth out to the Demonweb pits.

In the Forgotten Realms setting, there is actually a 20,000 year gap between Lolth's exile and her followers actually becoming "Drow". At that time there were only Ilythiiri (Dark Elves), who were pretty much just another kind of Elf and it was all good because there was a huge stigma attached to worshipping Lolth and the Dark Seldarine. It is believed the Dark Elves actually started worshipping Ghaunadaur around 12,000 years after the exile, essentially making him the first god of the Drow pantheon, in front of Lolth by a few centuries. However it was the political climate during the succession of conflicts called The Crown Wars that allowed Lolth to weasel her way back in to mainstream worship and eventually lead to the transformation of the Dark Elves into the Drow properly.

Ghaunadaur's involvement with the Drow pantheon only extends about as far as this, there is very little evidence of him being particularly active during this time, other than as a patron of the Ilythiiri. Though some say he courted Lolth at some point but was turned down. Getting him angry enough to storm off and strike his own followers with madness, practically wiping his own church out and severely diminishing his power. However as an unfathomable ancient evil representing alien-minded Ooze monsters, he probably still regarded this as a win.

His power only restored much later, during the rise of humanity when people slowly started turning to him again, as he seems to readily answer anyone who calls out to him. Making him a preferable alternative to gods who demand great deeds and sacrifices, or reward only a selected few in the ranks. That being said, Ghaunadaur is just as likely to suddenly plane shift and eat his own followers as he is to reward then with power or riches. But such is the nature of true primordial Chaos.

Laughably, Lolth forced his worshippers (at least the Drow ones) to forget him a second time during her ascension to Greater Deity status. This caused Ghaunadaur to slink out of the Demonweb Pits and claim the Dismal Caverns for his own, though it allowed him to survive the purge of 4E deities and continue existing as a greater deity in his own right.

Worshippers[edit]

The significant majority of his followers are Drow, mostly because few other races have ever heard of him, and it's not like evangelical gelatinous cubes have ever got on their soap boxes to start preaching the good word.

Of other races, it tends to be disaffected Outcasts that turn to him, mostly because of the utter lack of an established clergy. All you need to do is pray to him, preferably while offering some sacrifice, and you'll get his attention.

Slime Lord[edit]

Favoured servants of the Elder Eye were the Slime Lords who were not clerics, but a form of monstrous assassin.

The slimy ones could turn their hands into gooey pseudopod tentacles, "arming" themselves with a weapon that was naturally poisoned.

As they progressed in the class, they took on more traits similar to Oozes, becoming immune to sleep and polymorph effects, the ability to morph your appearance at will, gain Blindsight, damage reduction and later a complete reorganisation of their anatomy that renders them immune to critical and sneak attacks, as well as poison, paralysis and stunning.

Realms[edit]

His original plane was appropriately the Paraelemental plane of Ooze, though not much information is given as to the specifics of the realm. His association with Lolth moved him to the Demonweb pits in the Abyss where he spent much of history sticking to the walls and growing his phosphorescent fungus and oozes.

It was only shortly after Lolth achieved Greater Deity status and moved her realm into its own plane Ghaunadaur relocated once again to the Dismal Caverns where he managed to push out or subjugate all of the natives. Luckily for him this allowed him to avoid the 4E conflict with his former landlord when she consumed all of the Drow deities.

Arguably it could be said that he always maintained a realm in the Abyss if it is assumed that Juiblex is an aspect of Ghaunadaur.

Overlap?[edit]

Astute fans of D&D may be aware that there is a similar entity to Ghaunadaur in the form of the Demon Prince of Slimes, Juiblex. D&D has gone back and forth over the editions as to whether they are separate entities or whether Ghaunadaur is just the drow name for Juiblex. Pathfinder has the slightly differently named Jubilex who is the gooey patron of poison, sloth and Drow, so go figure.

The non-human deities of Dungeons and Dragons
Leader Others
Dragons: Io Aasterinian - Astilabor - Bahamut - Chronepsis - Falazure - Garyx - Hlal - Lendys - Sardior - Tamara - Tiamat
Drow: Lolth Eilistraee - Ghaunadaur - Keptolo - Kiaransalee - Malyk - Selvetarm - Vhaeraun - Zinzerena
Dwarves: Moradin Abbathor - Berronar Truesilver - Clangeddin Silverbeard - Deep Duerra - Dugmaren Brightmantle - Dumathoin - Fortubo
Gendwar Argrim - Gorm Gulthyn - Haela Brightaxe - Hanseath - Laduguer - Marthammor Duin - Muamman Duathal
Mya - Roknar - Sharindlar - Thard Harr - Tharmekhûl - Thautam - Ulaa - Valkauna - Vergadain
Elves: Corellon Larethian Aerdrie Faenya - Alathrien Druanna - Alobal Lorfiril - Angharradh - Araleth Letheranil - Darahl Firecloak - Deep Sashelas
Elebrin Liothiel - Erevan Ilesere - Fenmarel Mestarine - Gadhelyn - Hanali Celanil - Kirith Sotheril - Labelas Enoreth
Melira Taralen - Mythrien Sarath - Naralis Analor - Rellavar Danuvien - Rillifane Rallathil - Sarula Iliene - Sehanine Moonbow
Shevarash - Solonor Thelandira - Tethrin Veraldé - Tarsellis Meunniduin - Trishina - Vandria Gilmadrith - Ye'Cind
Giants: Annam Diancastra - Grolantor - Hiatea - Iallanis - Karontor - Memnor - Skoraeus Stonebones - Stronmaus - Surtr - Thrym
Goliaths: Kavaki Kuliak - Manethak - Naki-Uthai - Theleya - Vanua
Gnomes: Garl Glittergold Baervan Wildwanderer - Baravar Cloakshadow - Bleredd - Callarduran Smoothhands - Flandal Steelskin - Gaerdal Ironhand
Gelf Darkhearth - Nebelun - Rill Cleverthrush - Roykyn - Segojan Earthcaller - Sheyanna Flaxenstrand - The Glutton - Urdlen
Goblinoids: Maglubiyet Bargrivyek - Grankhul - Hruggek - Khurgorbaeyag - Kikanuti - Nomog-Geaya - Skiggaret
Halflings: Yondalla Arvoreen - Brandobaris - Charmalaine - Cyrrollalee - Dallah Thaun - Sheela Peryroyl - Urogalan
Illumian: Tarmuid Aulasha - Glautru - Soorinek - Syeret - Wathaku
Orcs: Gruumsh Bahgtru - Ilneval - Luthic - Shargaas - Yurtrus
Raptorans: Tuilviel Glithien Duthila - Kithin - Lliendil - Nilthina - Ventila
Others: Aventernus - Blibdoolpoolp - Diinkarazan - Diirinka - Eadro - Gaknulak - Great Mother - Gorellik - Gzemnid
Hleid - Iborighu - Ilsensine - Jazirian - Kuraulyek - Kurtulmak - Laogzed - Maanzecorian - Mak Thuum Ngatha
Merrshaulk - Parrafaire - Psilofyr - The Patient One - Quorlinn - Ramenos - Raxivort - Sekolah - Semuanya
Sess'innek - Shekinester - Skerrit - Solanil - Ssharstrune - Syranita - Vaprak - Wastri - The Whale Mother - Zehir