Ghaunadaur (pronounced: /ˈgɒnɑːdaʊərGON-ah-dowr[11] or: /ˈgɒnɑːdʊərGON-ah-door[12]) was a greater deity and the god of abominations. Originally, Ghaunadaur was a member of the drow pantheon but following the War of the Spider Queen he left the pantheon to break off on his own.[13] His portfolio included slimy creatures, outcasts, and rebels.[2]

The Ancient One heeds no Mistress. Ghaunadaur was old even before Ao's time. The god of slime comes and goes as he will. I neither command nor compel him.
— Lolth to her daughter Eilistraee[14]

Description[edit | edit source]

In avatar form, Ghaunadaur appeared as a reddish-purple giant slug, but at will it can alter its form into an amorphous free-flowing shape like a jelly, rear up into a giant roper with up to 10 long purple tentacles, or appear as a sticky green substance that emerges from the ground.[2]

Overview[edit | edit source]

Ghaunadaur was an unpredictable deity. False worshipers were sometimes rewarded by it, occasionally even with permanent magical boons, but they might just as well have been devoured by the Elder Eye without a second thought. Ghaunadaur enjoyed watching large horrible monsters as they hunted and devoured their prey, causing much suffering. When Ghaunadaur left the Inner Planes he was always silent, but some old records mention a gibbering and bestial language being spoken in the god's court. When communicating Ghaunadaur used telepathy and kept its conversations blunt and simple.[citation needed]

Although he was usually represented with an eye engraved in a purple disk, older manifestations could take shape in the form of a "Y". Said symbol could appear as a demonstration of favor or could be found in ancient spaces devoted to the Lord of Slime[15].

Ghaunadaur was believed to be touched by the Far Realm.[16]

Worshipers[edit | edit source]

The church of Ghaunadaur consisted of cults scattered throughout the Underdark, each dominated by a single individual. There were only a few drow and aboleth cities that served as exceptions, with a more organized clergy. Ghaunadaur also had an aspect in the tanar'ri lord Juiblex and enjoyed the worship of that guise's demonic cults. Clerics of Ghaunadaur were required to serve the Elder Eye completely and do whatever pleased it most. The main duty of Ghaundaur's clerics was to ensure, in any way necessary, that Ghaunadaur's altars were supplied with a steady supply of sacrifices. Clerics successful in these sacrifices were rewarded with magic power and items. Ghaunadaur enjoyed most of all those creatures that willingly offered themselves to it, whether or not they had been charmed or coerced by its clerics. Those clerics that succeeded in bringing willing sacrifices to Ghaunadaur's altars were its most favored and highest ranked servants.

Ghaunadaur encouraged its clerics to familiarize themselves with using and creating acids, poisons and alchemist's fire. All cloth furnishing in the temple and the clothing worn by its worshipers had to be of colors that please Ghaunadaur's eye. These were mostly shades of purple, green, black, and metallic colors. Many clerics also took training as fighters or enchanters.[citation needed]

Ghaunadaur didn't care much about the bonds that held its clergy together, and in accordance with his doctrine, clerics that murdered each other to attain higher status didn't displease the Ancient Eye.[15]

Shrines and temples devoted to Ghaunadaur were foul. Rooms often were filled with fetid mists and fetid smelling slime trickled down the walls and made puddles and little pools. These manifestations would be strongest around the halls where sacrificial rituals would take place. The stench was so strong that others would perceive it as swimming through rotten sewage.[15]

Rituals[edit | edit source]

Ghaunadaur's clergy prayed for their spells once per day at any time the local cult deemed important. The Elder Eye expected each prayer to be coupled with a sacrifice. It preferred living offerings, but when that was impossible it also accepted bones and food which were burned in oil while braziers of perfumed incense were burned as well. If the worshiper could not deliver any offerings to the deity, they were required to perform their prayer while holding one unprotected hand in an open flame.[citation needed]

Ghaunadans would go on the Gathering, which consisted of incursions meant to kidnap and abduct sentient beings that would be destined to the sacrificial altar of Ghaunadaur. These individuals would be drugged and held under compulsion, pushing them to walk up to the altar, where the leading cleric would pray and turn into slime. The slime would envelop the victim and consume it. This process could be repeated several times depending on the number of available subjects.[15]

The prayers and rituals the Ghaunadans directed to the Lord of Slime were as ill-defined and amorphous as their god. Each cleric manifested prayers in the manner they saw fit and no cleric would suspect a worshiper of treachery or blasphemy for uttering nonsense or unintelligible gibberish.[15]

History[edit | edit source]

According to Lolth, "Ghaunadaur was old even before Ao's time."[17] He was a very ancient deity, rumored to have emerged from the primordial ooze itself. In that age, it was worshiped by the largest of slimes and other crawling creatures, many of which contained an alien intelligence. In a fit of fury due to Lolth spurning his romantic interests, Ghaunadaur struck most of them mad and took their intellects. As an unforeseen result, many of these worshipers ceased to exist, which caused the Elder Eye's power to collapse.[citation needed]

Ghaunadaur was worshiped by some of the dark elves of Ilythiir beginning in the age of First Flowering[18] and continuing through the Crown Wars.[19][20][21]

Only during the Age of Humanity did some evil beings turn back to Ghaunadaur, looking for an alternative to the established deities. Ghaunadaur was only a member of the drow pantheon during this time because of the worship of drow that became disaffected with Lolth. Ghaunadaur also had aspects in the form of gods who otherwise did not have any influence over the Realms. It was really Ghaunadaur who answered prayers directed at the demon prince Juiblex and the Elder Elemental God as well as those directed at Gormauth Souldrinker. In 1379 DR, Ghaunadaur, finally fed up with Lolth, left the Demonweb Pits and created a new realm in the Deep Caverns.[22]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Ghaunadaur was thought to have no allies,[11] but certainly, this was not always true. The archomental Bwimb and the deity Moander were his allies,[2] though they were both dead by the end of the 14th century Dale Reckoning.

Conversely, Ghaunadaur's list of foes was extensive. He was an enemy of nearly every god associated with the Underdark as well as the entire Seldarine (for being a member of the Dark Seldarine), Malar and Gargauth[2] (whom he had usurped the aspect of Gormauth Souldrinker from).

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 53–54. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 18–19. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  4. BioWare (September 2000). Designed by James Ohlen, Kevin Martens. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Black Isle Studios.
  5. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  6. Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  7. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 63, 80. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3./
  8. Logan Bonner (August, 2009). “Domains in Eberron and the Forgotten Realms”. In  ed. Dragon #378 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 32.
  9.  (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 28. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
  10. Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 11. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
  11. 11.0 11.1  (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 112. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  12.  (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  13.  (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  14.  (June 2008). Ascendancy of the Last. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4864-2.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4  (June 2008). Ascendancy of the Last. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4864-2.
  16.  (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3./
  17.  (June 2008). Ascendancy of the Last. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 3. ISBN 978-0-7869-4864-2.
  18.  (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 51. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  19.  (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  20.  (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  21.  (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  22.  (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.

Connections[edit | edit source]

The Drow Pantheon

Deities of unknown worship status in the Realms


Deities of the Post–Second Sundering Era
Ao the Overgod
Faerûnian Pantheon
Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
The Morndinsamman
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
The Seldarine
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Yondalla's Children
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Orc Pantheon
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Mulhorandi pantheon
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Ghaunadaur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Raven Queen | Tiamat

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