Goddess of the Tunlands (Dungeons and Dragons Deity)
"Lady of the Frozen Wind, guard us in the long night." - prayer to Nydra
The land of Faerun has many gods and goddesses. Some are well-known throughout the lands. Their popularity often brings them power. These gods include Lathander, Chauntea, and Helm. But certain areas also have local gods, ones unknown outside their region.
One of these gods is Nydra of the Winter Moon (classfied as a demigod). This goddess is found worshipped in the Tunlands, a valley on the western side of Cormyr.
Nydra was the daughter of Selune, once one of the Tears of Selune. She fell to Faerun on a midwinter night. In the late 4th century DR, she appeared before a group of refugees. She guided them to the Farsea Marshes. These people would come to be known as the Marsh Drovers and her cult is strongest among them.
In 1358 DR, known as the Time of Troubles, Nydra faced off against an avatar of Bhaal, who had escaped from High Horn. While most deities returned to their homes after this time, Nydra remained, as a demigod Toril is her homeland.
Outside of the Tunlands, she is thought to be simply another aspect of Selune.
The Fallen Daughter
Lady of the Frozen Wind
Guardian of the Flock
Watcher of Dreams and Fate
Faerun (exclusive to the Tunlands)
A moon disk ringed with snowflake dendrites
Winter, moonlight, herds, flocks, dreams, prophecies
Shepherds, drovers, farmers
Who are the Tuns?
The goddess has several intrepretations among the various people of the Tunlands. For some, she is the beacon of light warding off the darkness of winter (as the moon). She is the guardian of the flock, aiding in the protection of animals from the terrors of the night. For others, she is a goddess of fate, of understanding portents and dreams. Some even credit her with the creation of the Gods' Theatre, the twin mountain ranges that protect the Tun Valley.
Her worshippers include:
- the Drovers of the Farsea (who call her Nydra)
- the Tun Marshlanders (who call her Nyka)
- the Tun Nomads
- and, the Far Hill Herders
For more about the Tuns and the Tunlands, check out this blog.
Description & Personality
Nydra is generally portrayed as tall with silver braided hair. Her usual form is that of a middle-aged human woman, though she sometimes appears as an old woman, especially at the end of winter. She wears a silver toga, wrapped from head to toe. Her skin was tinged with blue.
She has also appeared as a shaft of bright moonlight run through with silver faerie fire.
She is a kind, caring deity but her emotions change with the phases of the moon. She is most capricious during the New Moon. It can be hard to read the goddess' mood, as she will always portray herself as cheery or hopeful, even if it is a facade.
She carries a silvery staff that, when pressed to the ground, freezes or thraws it.
Nydra is generally allied with Lathander, as well as Selune, Chauntea, Eldath, and Mielikki.
Worship & Temples
Nydra has several temples around the Tunlands, usually situated upon a hilltop. One such temple is at "Nyka's Rest" - a town that was built around her temple. The town lays deep within the marsh. Her temples tend to be built from local material such as wood or stone, but usually feature an oculus in the centre of the ceiling.
The temples of Nydra often keep a track of the calendar and passage of time. Her clergy are often consulated for predictions - both on the weather and regarding a person's fate.
Clerics of Nydra are exceedingly rare, but can be found. They can find a great deal of respect within the Tunlands but are likely to receive a raised eyebrow outside of it. Depending on the cleric, they might even be met with wariness due to the fact their god is unknown and thus, potentially, an evil god in disguise.
Nydra dwells within Toril, and generally makes her home within the Tun Valley. She often appears to people who are depressed, hoping to help cheer them up. She also guides the lost back home (or to a new home). When mortals have earned her favor she was secretly gift them tear-shaped diamonds.
Lunar Sorcerors: such a sorceror may have an ancestor who encountered Nydra and gained her favour. Or they may have encountered her themselves.
Moon Guards: clerics and druids who favour Nydra. Her druids are usually Circle of the Moon.
Auril, goddess of winter, is a lesser deity and enemy/rival of Nydra. Nydra is a protector against the ferocity of winter while Auril is the embodiment of winter's wrath.
Her favoured monster are "Firestars" aka moondancers.
Want to create your own gods? Here's a helpful planner!