The Raven Queen
The Raven Queen is the unaligned D&D deity of death, fate and winter. While some believe that she killed a long standing fixture of D&D just so that the authors of 4e could replace him with their 'mary sue', it is quite probable that she was influenced by and/or based off the Celtic goddess of death, battle, strife and sovereignty, the Morrigan, also known by such monikers as "Phantom Queen" and "Raven Queen".
Rise to Power
A powerful sorcerer-queen in life, the woman who would one day become the Raven Queen was taken as the queen of the then-god of death, Nerull. He was an evil god; trying to use the souls of the dead to rise to the position of the king of gods. He trained his queen, who he named Nera, in the use of the power gained from the souls of the dead. This of course proved to be a tactical mistake, and in an uprising Nera destroyed Nerull. Though her body died as well, due to her power over souls she managed to hold onto existence, and claim the mantle of the slain god of the dead.
The other gods saw this as an opportunity, and presented the new goddess with a choice: either become the goddess of death instead of the dead (ie: be only the wayfarer for the deceased, instead of their ruler) and be accepted as a fully-fledged deity, or be destroyed. She begrudgingly accepted, and took the mantle of the Raven Queen. Abandoning her predecessor's realm of Pluton, she went to the Shadowfell to work on the unlocking of the powers of the soul, undisturbed by the meddling gods.
The Raven Queen is the goddess of death, fate and winter. Starting with death as her first, she gathered the other two domains in various wars against other deities. She gained the domain of fate by taking Corellon's side in his war against Lolth, which cost the latter her domain. The second she gained in the war against Khala, the then-god of winter, who was cast down and stripped of her power, the Raven Queen there to take her mantle. Were another round of divine strife to begin, it would be certain that the Raven Queen would be there to gather the scraps.
The Raven Queen's citadel lies in the Shadowfell, a massive castle cut from black ice, covered in fresh snow. Here in Letherna the Raven Queen roosts, guiding the souls of the dead to their final resting place. The dominion of the goddess of death is a dangerous one: located in the middle of a frozen forest, combined with the proximity of the Raven Queen's abode and the deadliness of the Shadowfell in general. The city itself is far from safe: its streets are stalked by those souls who were rejected, didn't pass on, or other incorporeal undead who crave the warmth of the living.
Few serve the Raven Queen, but those who do are all the more dangerous for it. Amongst the settlements of the world, the servants of the lady of death take the task upon themselves to take care for the dead. This macabre place in society, combined with their hated mistress, makes these people unloved amongst the humanoid races.
In the Shadowfell however, there is a humanoid race called the Shadar-Kai, a meritocratic and ruthless people in service to the Raven Queen, who are differ only from the Drow in that they use less covert assassination to attain position of prestige.
|Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition Deities|
|Good||Bahamut - Moradin||Pelor|| Avandra - Corellon |
|Neutral||Erathis - Raven Queen||Ioun - Melora||Kord|
|Evil|| Asmodeus - Bane
|Torog - Vecna|| Gruumsh - Lolth |
Tharizdun - Zehir