Ghaunadaur (GONE-ah-dowr) is a fell deity that has plagued the darkest reaches of the Realms since the dawn of time. That Which Lurks appears as an amorphous, dark purple blob with many tentacles. It is venerated by the largest slimes, oozes, slugs, and other crawling things-some of which are said to possess intelligence, albeit alien. Once all such
beings worshiped Ghaunadaur, but it struck most of them mad in a fit of fury for some transgression-said by some to involve its failure to defeat Lolth shortly after her banishment from the Seldarine- and stole
their intellects. As a result, many of its worshipers, and most of its power, ceased to exist.
That Which Lurks and its giant roper servants have been venerated for eons by various creatures of the Underdark, particularly lone or subintelligent monsters and other outcasts (whom it occasionally aids, in return for adulation), as well as the few intelligent amorphs that remain. Evil beings seeking an alternative to established deities-including drow dissatisfied with the rule of Lolth-have also taken to worshiping That Which Lurks. Most humans find the worship of Ghaunadaur disgusting, but there are secret, subterranean altars and cults to the Elder Eye all over Toril, particularly in the older and more degenerate lands of the southern Sword Coast, Thay, and Kara-Tur.
Although Ghaunadaur is a distinct entity unrelated to the tanar'ri lord Juiblex, the Faceless Lord, or the otherwise unnamed Elder Elemental God neither of the latter two powers is active in the Realms, and Ghaunadaur has assumed both of their aspects within the crystal sphere of Realmspace. Gormauth Souldrinker may have once been the name of a separate power, but if so, it has long been totally subsumed by That Which Lurks. Some rumors hold that Ghaunadaur occasionally lurks on the Elemental Plane of Earth and the Paraelemental Plane of Smoke, while others place him in the Abyss.
Ghaunadaur is unpredictable by human standards. It may aid worshipers who merely pay lip service to its rituals-even expending great power to grant permanent magical boons-but may also devour or maim them, without
warning. Ghaunadaur enjoys watching the hunting and devouring activities of large horrible monsters and the suffering they cause.
Ghaunadaur is silent and terrible when outside the Inner Planes, but old records tell of gibbering, bestial language spoken in the deity's great court of mingled mud and gelatin pools. Ghaunadaur only communicates telepathically with blunt and simple communications (for example, "Approve," No," "Not," "Slay," "Come to Me," "Go to [mental picture of desired place]," and so on).
(That Which Lurks, the Elder Eye, the Ancient One)
DIVINE RANK: Lesser Power
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
PORTFOLIO: Oozes, slimes, jellies, outcasts, ropers, rebels, all things subterranean
ALIASES: Ghaunadar, Gormauth Souldrinker, Juiblex, the Elder Elemental God
HOME PLANE/DOMAIN NAME: Demonweb Pits/The Cauldron of Slime
ALLIES: Bwimb (dead), Moander (dead)
FOES: Deep Duerra, Eilistraee, Gargauth, Laduguer, Lolth, the Seldarine, Selvetarm, Vhaeraun, Malar, Blibdoolpoolp, the Blood Queen, Diinkarazan, Diirinka, Great Mother, Gzemnid, llsensine, Ilxendren, Laogzed, Maanzecorian (dead), Psilofyr
SYMBOL: Purple circle, outlined with an inner ring of violet and an outer ring of black with a single black-rimmed, violet-on-mauve eye in the center of the circle or (older symbol) an inverted triangle of amber on a purple background, with amber lines inside of it forming an upside-down "Y" shape whose arms end by bisecting the sides of the triangle.
WORSHIPER ALIGNMENTS: LN, N, CN, LE, NE, CE
CLERIC ALIGNMENTS: CE, CN, NE
DOMAINS: Cavern, Chaos, Drow, Evil, Hatred, Slime
FAVORED WEAPON: An amorphous tentacle (warhammer)
DOGMA: All creatures have their place, and all are fit to wield power. Those who hunt weed out the weak and strengthen the stock of all. Those who rebel or who walk apart find new ways and try new things and do most to advance their races. Creatures of power best house the energy of life, which Ghaunadaur reveres and represents. Make sacrifices to the Eye, persuade others to sacrifice themselves to Ghaunadaur or in service of the Eye, further knowledge and fear of Ghaunadaur, and in the end give yourself to Ghaunadaur in unresisting self-sacrifice. Convert all beings to the worship of Ghaunadaur. Slay all clergy of other faiths, plundering their temples and holdings for wealth to better your own lot and to further the worship of Ghaunadaur.
Ghaunadaur frequently (compared to most powers) manifests to aid priests or worshipers who call on it and always in the same fashion. He can also be summoned by great and audacious evil. One to three rounds after a supplication (one to two if the worshiper has just drawn blood from another creature), a roiling purple mist appears that grows in size to a cloud 4 feet to 6 feet across. From the center of this cloud comes a 12-inch-diameter gold eye that opens its lids to bathe the favored creature in a fiery orange light. The light gradually fades to deep red, then a dark purple. The entire cloud darkens to black and shrinks away to nothingness. The process typically takes 8 rounds, and this manifestation grants the following aid to favored beings: a +6 enhancement bonus to the being's Strength ability score (with attendant attack and damage bonuses), double damage with every strike for ld8 rounds, and a one-time healing (which occurs in the first round of its gaze) of 3d4 points of damage. It also regenerates severed limbs, lost faculties, and permanently negates any diseases and/or poisons present in the creature.
Ghaunadaur occasionally acts through the appearance or presence of alkiliths, darktentacles, deadly puddings, gelatinous cubes, giant ropers (also known as ghauropers, they have 15 Hit Dice and many unique magical abilities), gibbering mouthers, ghaunadan, jellies, oozes, metalmasters, mephits (ooze), ropers, slimes, slithering trackers, slithermorphs, slugs, and storopers. He also shows his attention-for widely varying reasons- through the discovery of solitary mauve roses that drip blood from their thorns or amethysts, jasmals, purple luriyls, rosalines, Shou Lung amethysts, violines, or yanolite (ophealine) from the depths of which stares a single, baleful, golden eye.
Ghaunadaur is little known on the surface of Toril except for a few small cults in large, decadent cities. Those who are aware of his existence recoil in horror from the foulness of the Elder Eye's evil. In the Underdark, Ghaunadaur is more widely known, particularly among the dark elves. While speaking the Elder Eye's name is a crime punishable by death in most cities dominated by priests of Lolth, most drow are at least tangentially aware of the existence of this rival of the Spider Queen.
Any living creature-even oozes and jellies-may join the clergy of the Elder Eye, as Ghaunadaur values devotion over ability. All ghaunadan are considered as members of the clergy, as are many slithermorphs. Titles vary widely among Ghaunadaur's solid (nonamorphous) clergy, but examples include Loathsome Ooze, Spawn of the Pit, Eater of Wastes, Noxious Slime, Creeping Doom, and Amorphous Annihilator. Almost all (95%) of the solid clergy are male. Temples of Ghaunadaur are found throughout the Realms in surface cities such as Bezantur (where it is known as Juiblex), Calimport, Holldaybim (a drow city in the Forest of Mir), Waterdeep, and Westgate.
In the Underdark in the cities of the drow, the Elder Eye's temples are found in strife-torn cities where the clergy of rival powers are weak-Eryndlyn, located in hidden caves beneath the High Moor, is riven by civil war between the faithful of Lolth, Ghaunadaur, Selvetarm, and Vhaeraun, or absent altogether-Llurth Dreier, a city of 400,000 dark elves and countless slimes, jellies, and oozes located under the Shaar, northwest of the Deep Realm of the dwarves, is ruled by the clergy of the Elder Eye. Ghaunadaur's temples are sometimes located in the wilds of the Underdark, far from the influence of cities led by the Spider Queen's priests. One such example, beyond the reach of the priests of Guallidurth but better known for having housed the Living Gem for many centuries, is located beneath Forest of Mir.
Temples of the Elder Eye are typically lit by purple, mauve, and lavender rays of light, radiances, and drifting, eddying luminous mists. These temples are usually located underground, but sometimes can be found concealed in remote ruins. The walls are decorated with mosaics depicting beings of all races crawling in self-sacrifice to be eaten by vaguely squidlike creatures, each with 10 hairy tentacles. The devouring creatures (Ghaunadaur's long-unseen bodyguard ropers) are purple, violet, and mottled mauve in hue. Temples to the Eye always have well-polished floors, usually of porphyry, obsidian, red and black hornblende, or black marble. Where black and purple materials are not available, carpets and tapestries of those hues are used.
The altar chamber sports ceiling support pillars of polished obsidian, malachite, or serpentine, graven with runes and symbols of Ghaunadaur. When possible, these pillars are imbued with magical effects created by priests of the Eye. (Ghaunadaur itself, if summoned with the proper prayers, endows these magical effects with permanency.) Pillar enchantments radiate magical fields of effect. These typically include magical unease and insecurity affecting all beings who do not worship Ghaunadaur. At least one pillar in each temple has a teleport rune, known only to its priests. If the rune is touched, the priest is transported to a prearranged sanctuary or a city location. Some of these runes are traps: If a command word is whispered, they go to a safe destination; if no word is uttered, they transport the activator instead into a monster lair or other dangerous area or discharge electricity or other baneful effects. Temples to Ghaunadaur typically have a pillar-flanked aisle leading to the altar in three ascending tiers. On the second tier is the altar, a dull, porous-looking, rusty black rectangular stone. On the first tier, surrounding it on the second, and hanging above the third are usually an assortment of gongs, chimes, drums, candelabra, and braziers.
Priests of Ghaunadaur must do whatever pleases Ghaunadaur best and serve the Eye absolutely. Priests of Ghaunadaur have simple duties: They are to ensure, by force or threat, that a ready supply of sacrifices reaches Ghaunadaur's altars. The god supplies them with spells and tentacle rods to ensure success in this.
Most of all, Ghaunadaur delights in creatures that offer themselves to him without resistance (regardless of whether these sacrifices have been magically charmed or otherwise coerced by its clergy). Priests who can bring such offerings to the Eye's altars often are highly valued and favored by the god. Priests of Ghaunadaur are encouraged to become familiar with the use and manufacture of acids, poisons (including gases and incenses), and flaming oils of all sorts. (Temples and priestly abodes are typically well supplied with such weapons in a ready state.)
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:
Ghaunadaur expects a prayer of adulation and praise, accompanied by a sacrifice, at least once per day. If live sacrifices cannot be procured that often, the Elder Eye accepts offerings of bones and food burned in oil. Braziers of perfumed incense are also burned. If a priest is unable to procure such offerings, the priest must pray while holding one hand in an open flame. The priest's hand must be covered with any magical oil or potion. (Oils or potions of fire resistance are instantly converted to lamp oil, with the appropriate results.) If the prayer is accepted (55% chance), the hand is healed of any damage it sustains immediately after sustaining it.
In any place of worship to Ghaunadaur, all cloth furnishings and garments worn by priests are to be of hues pleasing to Ghaunadaur's eye. Acceptable colors are copper, amber, flame-orange, russet, gold, dark red, plum, purple, amethyst, violet, heliotrope, mauve, lilac, lavender, black, and silver.
Smoke and flame are to be a part of all sacrifices to Ghaunadaur. No creature should speak out against the will of Ghaunadaur in the presence of the Eye, its avatar, or its manifestation. If such defiance occurs, a sacrifice of appeasement must be performed (preferably involving the creature who defied the Elder Eye).
Major Centers of Worship:
In the South, deep beneath the heart of Sarenestar (also known as the Forest of Mir) is a place of great power sacred to Ghaunadaur. This ancient subterranean site was discovered by Clan Hune of Ilythiir prior to the Fourth Crown War. Following their discovery, the dark elves built a great temple around a massive pit in which dwelt a monstrous creature of evil placed there by the Elder Eye.
When the temple, known as the Elder Orb of Ooze, was completed, the leaders of Clan Hune sought to draw on Ghaunadaur's power in preparation for the coming conflict with Keltormir. The inscrutable Elder Elemental God was displeased, however, and it lashed out of the fools who dared call on its name by causing countless oozes, slimes, jellies, and other horrid monsters to erupt from the pit and attack everything they encountered. Many of Clan Hune's leaders were destroyed, and the temple was abandoned shortly thereafter. Although its location has been long-since forgotten, the ruined temple still exists today, its defenses still active. Ghaunadaur assuredly inflicts his wrath on any solid foolish enough to profane his place of power, and some believe that fate of the wizard Shond Tharovin was sealed when the would-be tyrant removed the Living Gem from the temple.
In the North, the Elder Eye's place of greatest power was the Pit of Ghaunadaur, located deep beneath Mount Waterdeep. Several years after her birth in the Year of the Awakening Wyrm (767 DR), Qilue Veladorn, Chosen of Mystra and Eilistraee, led a handful of her dark elven playmates from their tiny, now-vanished settlement of Buiyrandyn in an assault on the Pit of Ghaunadaur. After destroying an avatar of Ghaunadaur resident therein and causing its minions to flee or be destroyed, the Chosen of Eilistraee (as the dark elven children were collectively known) sealed the downward fissures and tunnels in the temple by which Ghaunadaur's surviving minions had fled and caused a rockfall that filled what was left of the Pit of Ghaunadaur. After centuries of patrolling the passages around the Pit, the Chosen built a temple of Eilistraee, which they named the Promenade, atop the long-sealed Pit. That Which Lurks has never accepted the loss of its place of power in what is now the third level of Undermountain north and east of the subterranean city of Skullport, and its minions have remained active in the region.
For several years, a circle of ghaunadan based in a small temple to the Elder Eye in a hidden cellar beneath a warehouse in Dock Ward have been active in Waterdeep and Halastar's Halls. In the Year of the Banner (1368 DR), Ghaunadaur's cultists-12 ghaunadan commanders and approximately 50 semi-intelligent slimes and oozes - began a full-scale assault on the Promenade from the northern and eastern caverns that lasted several months. While the Chosen of Eilistraee ultimately prevailed-thanks in part to the assistance of Qilue's sister, Laeral Silverhand-and drove off their foes, the followers of Ghaunadaur were not destroyed, and the cult continues to rebuild its strength in preparation for another assault.
The Fanatics of the Overflowing Pit were an elite order of dark elven crusaders of Ghaunadaur in ancient Ilythiir-the moon and dark elf domains in the woods south of the Lake of Steam in the forests that once covered the Shaar-who waged endless war on the clergies of rival faiths. While Ilythiir fell over ten thousand years ago with the Seldarine-mandated Descent of the Drow, it is believed that the order survives in some form in the city of Llurth Dreier underneath the Shaar.
As listed above, the vestments of all priests of Ghaunadaur must be of hues pleasing to the Elder Eye. Typical raiment includes a full-length robe with voluminous sleeves, a dark tabard emblazoned with the symbol of the Elder Eye, and a gleaming, silver skull cap. All priests wear their hair long and unbound, but beards and mustaches are not permitted. The holy symbol of the faith is a sphere of black obsidian at least 3 inches in diameter, which is sometimes worn on a chain around the neck. Such spheres are often eveloped in a nimbus of mauve-hued continual faerie fire.
When adventuring, Ghaunadaur's clergy employ whatever weapons, armor, or equipment is most appropriate to the task at hand. Most priests are careful to always wear hues pleasing to the Elder Eye, however, just in case it is observing their performance, even going so far as to tint their armor and weapons.
(Fighter 27, Cleric 25, Mage 21)
[ WEBMASTER'S NOTE: This information is in 2nd Edition format, as they have not bothered to stat out Ghaunadaur in 3.X D&D. We're including it here just in case anyone does want to reference the older information to try and create statistics of their own. ]
Ghaunadaur appears 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. It favors spells from the chaos, combat, elemental, sun (reversed), thought, and war spheres and from the alteration and conjuration/summoning schools, as well as all elemental wizard spells. However, it can cast spells from any sphere or school. Elemental magic wielded by it always has the maximum possible effect.
AC -1 (-3); MV 12; HP 205; THACO -6; #AT 10 Dmg 2d6 (corrosive touch) MR 50%; SZ G (26 feet long or in diameter) STR 24, DEX 19, CON 22, INT 18, Wis 18, CHA 7 Spells P: 11/11/10/10/9/8/4, W: 5/5/5/5/5/4/4/4/2 Saves PPDM 2, RSW 3, PP 4, BW 4, Sp 4
Special Att/Def; Ghaunadaur creeps along silently and can cloak itself at will in mauve or violet mists that eddy and flow, foiling attacks that require their target to be seen, including spells such as magic missile, and improve its Armor Class to the value given in parentheses above. The mists foil heat-related detections of all sorts but can be pierced by true seeing magic. Any being within Ghaunadaur's mists must succeed at a saving throw vs. breath weapon every round or be slowed (as by the spell) on the round that follows. The Elder Eye can emit its violet and mauve mists once every third round to maintain a continuous cloud surrounding it in a 5-foot radius. (However, the mists do not move with Ghaunadaur, who must keep emitting them to maintain them when it moves or there is significant air movement in its vicinity.) Once per turn it can jet thick purple mist, with the same effects, that extends the cloud outward to a 20-foot radius for 2 rounds. Immediately thereafter, however, the mists dissipate entirely and cannot be renewed until another round has passed- Ghaunadaur always has true seeing, even through its own mists.
Once per day, Ghaunadaur can cause blindness in creatures that it desires to affect within a 20-foot radius. Targets must succeed at a saving throw vs. spell with a -3 penalty or be blinded. Their condition lasts until a dispel magic or remove curse is applied. (Rest and cure blindness or deafness spells do not suffice.)
Ghaunadaur's normal attack is to lash out with four to six tentacles. Each tentacle can extend 30 feet and is studded with barbed hollow teeth. When a tentacle hits a target, it grips with Ghaunadaur's full strength. The target suffers 2d6 points of damage as corrosive fluids well out from its teeth, and the target's movement is halted. Victims are dragged 6 feet closer to Ghaunadaur each round but suffer no further damage until they reach Ghaunadaur's mouth. Ghaunadaur's
saw-toothed maw does 3d4 points of damage to creatures dragged to it.
Ghaunadaur never employs more than two tentacles against the same creature; the rest are held in reserve for his foes. The tentacles are AC 6 and have 14 hp each.
Victims (and those who aid them) must make a successful Strength ability check to avoid being dragged toward Ghaunadaur. On any round in Inch the target's Strength roll equals or exceeds Ghaunadaur's, the target can try to tear free from the tentacle by making a successful Dexterity check. Tearing free does the target ld4+l points of further damage. Lost tentacles are reabsorbed by Ghaunadaur.
Ghaunadaur is immune to all acids, drugs, and poisons. It can only be struck by +1 or better magical weapons.