Nusemnee

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Nusemnee
Serpent curled around a kukri
Alignment 4E: Good
5E: Neutral/Chaotic Good
Divine Rank Dead God
Pantheon Dawn War
Portfolio Heroism, Redemption, Hope, Reformation
Domains (Speculative) Freedom, Hope, Justice, Poison
Home Plane Possibly Hestavar or else an unknown Dominion when alive, Astral Sea when deceased
Worshippers Redeemed Villains, Monstrous Adventurers, Idealists, Optimists, Atoners
Favoured Weapon Kukri (presumed)

Introduced in Dragon Magazine #390, Nusemnee, also known as The Dread Maiden and The Horned Daughter, is the now-deceased Goddess of Heroism and Redemption from the Nentir Vale setting of Dungeons & Dragons. Although the goddess herself is dead, her cult still holds considerable numbers, and her resurrection is not impossible, even though the servants of the Horned Daughter are dwindling in numbers.

History[edit]

Nusemnee was born a demigod and a half-fiend, the spawn of the malevolent deity Zehir and some unnamed, but powerful, she-devil. Appearing as a lean woman with scales, venom-dripping fangs, horns and burning eyes, she was brainwashed by her father and used as a living weapon. For an age, she was his deadliest assassin, responsible for cutting down all manner of heroes and champions at the behest of her dark progenitor.

Until the day came that she was sent to assassinate a particularly saintly high priest of Pelor. Despite her skills, his guardians were formidable, and she failed in her attempts to reach him. Enraged by this, her father contemptuously abandoned her; in this moment of emotional crises, feeling her beloved father's scorn and abandonment, she was easy prey for the holy blade of a paladin and thus was mortally wounded.

Expecting only the cold embrace of death, to her astonishment, the high priest himself stepped in, ordered his guards back, and healed her with his divine powers. When she asked why, he simply told her that it was the right thing to do.

Understandably confused, but intrigued, she vowed to make amends by protecting the high priest until she could save his life in turn. As she followed him on his quest, she began to truly question the cause of evil, and ultimately sincerely redeemed herself. To the extent that, when she perished at the end of his quest, her divine blood kicked in and, with perhaps some support from Pelor, she rose again as a goddess in her own right.

Now elevated to the ranks of the divine, Nusemnee swore both to oppose her father and to reach out to those who, like herself, had fallen into darkness, offering them the hope of coming to the light. Although not explicitly stated in her article, this gives the obvious inferral that she reached out to members of normally "dark" races, like orcs, drow, tieflings and gnolls, who sought to turn their backs on the evil that was normal for their culture.

Unfortunately, this outraged Zehir, who ultimately managed to murder his daughter with the aid of a poison concocted from his own blood. Now her petrified corpse floats in the Astral Sea, guarded by devils and yuan-ti abominations, who seek to stymie anyone who might seek to revive her - or to retrieve the toxic blood that still fills her veins and use it to their own ends. Such venomous ichor would slay even the mightiest god, and Zehir has no intention of being on the receiving end of that little irony.

Faithful[edit]

Nusemnee's commandments for her followers were fairly simple, a blend of directive and reassurance that offered hope and a decent foundation to begin pursuing that hope.

  • It is never too late to seek redemption.
  • True heroism does not come from good deeds. It comes from doing good when it matters.
  • Nobody is perfect. Those who seek to be perfect will fail. It is not a shame to fail, and it is not a waste to try.
  • Open your heart to possibilities. Never give up hope.

Temples and shrines to Nusemnee exist where "those most in need of redemption can be found", such as city slums or the upper reaches of the Underdark.

Hang On A Minute...[edit]

Now, you might think for a moment that you've heard of similar D&D gods before. After all, isn't this kind of the schtick of Eilistraee? Well, yes and no. Eilistraee focuses on the drow and her concept is also that of mother/teacher for them, besides that of a redeemer (that said, she gladly welcomes people from any race, and promoting harmony between all races is one of her main tenets). Nusemnee looks to provide hope and a chance for redemption to all people, no matter their race. A hulking orc, gnoll or minotaur, or a sneaky little goblin or kobold, is as welcome and cherished amongst the faithful as a sultry tiefling or a sexy female drow. Eilistraee and Nusemnee also belong to entirely different settings, so there's no overlap between them.

At most, one can compare Nusemnee to Sarenrae, the Pathfinder Goddess of the Sun and Healing, but even then, redemption and mercy are minor aspects of what Sarenrae does, whilst Nusemnee's whole divine identity is in championing hope and seeking to redeem people.

The deities of 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons
Lawful Neutral Chaotic
Good Bahamut
Haramathur - Moradin
Amoth - Lakal
Nusemnee - Pelor
Avandra - Corellon
Sehanine
Neutral Erathis - Raven Queen
Sagawehn
Aurom - Io - Ioun
Melora
Gorellik
Kord - Laeris
Evil Asmodeus
Bane - Tiamat
Nerull - Torog - Vecna Gruumsh - Khala - Lolth
Tharizdun - Zehir