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Istishia (pronounced: /ɪsˈtɪʃiɑːis-TISH-ee-ah[1]) was the neutral primordial deity of elemental water and purification.[11] While other powers governed oceans, pools, streams, storms, or simply those that had business with the water, Istishia was far more abstract. The Water Lord was mutable and dynamic, representing constant change with an essential constant at its core, the god not of any specific body or state of water, but the water itself.[9]

Description[]

Istishia was depicted in a wide variety of forms ranging from a drop of rain or ocean wave to a water weird or gigantic water elemental. When he manifested, it was as a 40​ to ​60 feet (12​ to ​18 meters) tall, 20​ to ​30 feet (6.1​ to ​9.1 meters) thick, column of water. This form maneuvered effortlessly over or through any obstacles in its path, its movements sounding life the surf pounding on the shore, and was known to divide into several parts in an effort by the Water Lord to confuse his enemies. When he spoke, his voice was at once the sound of rushing water, a babbling brook, and a gentle rain.[9]

Personality[]

The holy symbol of the Water Lord.

Istishia was a slippery, dispassionate power whose reasons and logic were incomprehensible to most. He provided an atmosphere for life and provided a vital resource, yet would not grant the life itself and cared not how his gifts were used. He was relatively aloof towards his own followers, ignoring and favoring them seemingly on a whim, so alien, uncaring, and utterly random that his unpredictability was itself predictable.[9]

Divine Realm[]

Though Istishia did not have a court in the conventional sense,[12] and despite his followers belief that he encompassed the whole Elemental Plane of Water,[13] he did maintain a distinct divine realm on that plane within the Great Wheel cosmology called Sea of Timelessness.[9]

Relationships[]

Istishia had ties to deities with a relation to water, but no strong relationships. These included the likes of like Deep Sashelas, Eadro, Eldath, Persana, Shekinester, Surminare, Trishina, Umberlee, Valkur, and the Water Lion.[9][13] Of these, he worked loosely with Sashelas, Trishina, and Eldath to maintain the life cycles of the sea.[14]

Istishia opposed Kossuth in every way. He sat back and watched the struggle of the archomentals of water, Ben-Hadar and Olhydra; presumably he would intervene if one would achieve a real chance to get control of elemental water.[13]

Worshipers[]

Istishia was worshiped by sailors, pirates, water Elementals, water genasi, some aquatic elves,[15] and others who felt a bond with the ocean's destructive power.

Centers of Worship[]

Calimshan had a number of important shrines and temples to Istishia. The city of Keltar had a shrine known as the Steps of Istishia that was built thousands of years before the 14th century DR.[16] The city of Calimport had the massive, seven-story Palace of the Cresting Wave.[17]

Worship in Zakhara[]

On the continent of Zakhara, Istishia was called one of the cold gods of the elements. As those were seen as uncaring for human affairs, they were considered opposed to the Land of Fate's pervasive culture of Enlightenment. Few Zakharans were willing to worship a cold god in order to gain power.[18]

History[]

This section is a stub. You can help us by expanding it.


Temples[]

Main article: Category:Temples to Istishia

Appendix[]

Publication History[]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)

Ed Greenwood initially used Straasha, one of Moorcock's Elemental gods as found in the original Deities & Demigods, as the elemental lord of water for his home Dungeons & Dragons campaign set in the Forgotten Realms. (In fact, Straasha still appears as an apparent misprint in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987) on p. 18.) As Greenwood indicated in his article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981), Moorcock's elemental gods "may later be replaced in [his] universe by 'official' AD&D beings as these are published".[19] Istishia first appeared in the original Manual of the Planes (1987),[20] and was featured as one of the elemental lords for the Forgotten Realms in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987).[21]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)

Istishia was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[22] the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[23] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[24]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (2000–2007)

Istishia appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[25] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[26]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2013)

Istishia appears in the fourth edition as a primordial.[27]

Notes[]

  1. Also a 30 HD water elemental.

Appearances[]

Video Games
Referenced only
Icewind Dale

Further Reading[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 98. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  2. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 61. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  3. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 81. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  4. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 56. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  5. Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  6. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  7. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  8. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 235. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 78. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  10. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  11. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 79, 81. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  12. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A DM Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Monte Cook and William W. Connors (December 7, 1998). The Inner Planes. Edited by Michele Carter and Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 55–56. ISBN 0-7869-0736-3.
  14. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 58. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  15. Walter M. Baas and Kira Glass (1991). Nightwatch in the Living City. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 1-56076-068-0.
  16. Steven E. Schend, Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 109. ISBN 0-7869-1237-5.
  17. Steven E. Schend (October 1998). Calimport. (TSR, Inc), p. 63. ISBN 0-7869-1238-3.
  18. Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), p. 57. ISBN 978-1560763291.
  19. Greenwood, Ed. "Down to Earth Divinity." Dragon #54 (TSR, 1981)
  20. Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR). ISBN 0880383992.
  21. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  22. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  23. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Julia Martin (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc).
  24. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 978-0786903849.
  25. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  26. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  27. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.

Connections[]

The Faerûnian Pantheon
Major Deities
AzuthBaneBhaalChaunteaCyricGondHelmIlmaterKelemvorKossuthLathanderLoviatarMaskMielikkiMyrkulMystra (Midnight) • OghmaSelûneSharShaundakulSilvanusSuneTalosTempusTormTymoraTyrUmberleeWaukeen
Other Members
AkadiAurilBeshabaDeneirEldathFinder WyvernspurGaragosGargauthGrumbarGwaeron WindstromHoarIstishiaIyachtu XvimJergalLliiraLurueMalarMililNobanionThe Red KnightSavrasSharessShialliaSiamorpheTalonaTiamatUbtaoUlutiuValkurVelsharoon
Primordials
Elemental Lords of Toril
AkadiBazim-GoragGrumbarIstishiaKossuth
Miscellaneous Primordials
AchazarArambarAsgorathBoremBwimbCirotralechDendarDraunnDur-baagalEntropyErek-HusKarshimisKezefMaegeraMaramNehushtaPetronQueen of ChaosRornTelosUbtao
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