Surminare the Selkie Queen

Surminare is the peaceful and gentle goddess of the selkies. She is a member of the asathalfinare, the loose alliance of aquatic deities headed by Deep Sashelas. She is not a warrior, but fights bravely to defend those she loves.

Surminare (PDF Version)
(The Selkie Queen, Lady of the Hidden Grotto)
Lesser Power of Elysium, N(G)

Portfolio:                 Selkies, beauty, peace
Aliases:                     None
Domain Name:           Thalasia/Selkies’ Grotto
Superior:                   None
Allies:                       Deep Sashelas, Eadro, Eldath, Istishia, Persana, Ptah, Sarula Iliene, Stronmaus, Syranita, Trishina, Valkur, Water Lion, various animal lords (especially the Seal Lord)
Foes:                           Auril, Daragor, Malar, Panzuriel, Sekolah, Talos, Umberlee
Symbol:                     Pearl held in selkie’s paw
Wor. Align.:              LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Much like her children, the Selkie Queen Surminare (SER-min-air) is a shy and reclusive deity. She is kind and gentle, full of life and love; playful when in the company of those she loves and she enjoys the simple beauties of the world. The Lady of the Hidden Grotto is contemplative and detests physical confrontations, but is brave when fighting to defend her children or friends.

Surminare is a member of the asathalfinare, an alliance of sea and sky powers intent on ensuring the cooperation of good and neutral races in the face of threats by evil creatures of the air and water. Even among these deities, whom she truly loves, she is quiet and shy. She rarely leaves her grotto in Thalasia, except in the company of her friends and allies, although she does greatly enjoy swimming with Deep Sashelas and Trishina. While unable to swim with Syranita, she greatly enjoys spending time on the shores of Thalasia with the aarakocra goddess. She is not as close to the aloof Eadro and the intense Persana, but she cares for them a great deal, and has been worried over Eadro’s recent disappearance. She is, in truth, a little frightened by Water Lion; his near single-minded obsessions with destroying sharks and sahuagin, and his melancholy over his missing friend have left her concerned for his mental well-being.

Outside of the asathalfinare, the Selkie Queen is on excellent terms with the exuberant Stronmaus, lord of the storm and cloud giants. She often accompanies Syranita or Trishina on visits to his great pool, although she only rarely visits alone. Surminare is especially close with Eldath, and both greatly enjoy exploring beautiful aquatic landscapes together in quiet peace. She has long had an alliance with the Egyptian deity Ptah, for an offshoot of her selkie followers have found their way into wildspace (possibly with his aid), and they often trade with and live near his priests. Very recently she has sought out a strategic cooperation agreement with Valkur the Mighty against Umberlee’s attacks on her followers. As yet the agreement is in the early stages, but the Selkie Queen has instructed her priests to save sailors when they can. She actively opposes those deities who seek to create havoc in the environment or use the environment to cause destruction, with Auril and Talos being especially prominent. She also has a strong antipathy towards Daragor and Malar, for they count seawolves among their followers and those evil lycanthropes attack selkies with particular glee.

Surminare is not particularly active on the Prime Material plane. Except in cases where a selkie community is threatened by imminent extinction by evil forces, she never sends an avatar unless accompanied by a member of the asathalfinare or another ally. She never refuses a request for aid from her allies, however, and fights fiercely and bravely at their side, but much prefers to go exploring instead.

Surminare’s Avatar (Druid 28, Paladin 19)
Surminare appears as a seal-like creature with webbed hands and legs instead of flippers. Her fur is short and golden with silver streaks, and she has brilliant, sea-blue eyes. Her humanoid form is that of a beautiful human or sea elf with the same blue eyes and golden blonde hair. Her clothing is simple but fine and richly decorated, reminiscent of peasant finery. She draws her spells from the spheres of all, animal, charm, creation, divination, elemental, healing, necromantic, plant, protection, sun, time, travelers, wards, and weather.

AC 0; MV 12, Sw 48; HP 156; THAC0 2; #AT 2
Dmg 2d4 (bite) or 1d6+2 (staff-spear+2)
MR 20%; SZ M (6 feet long/tall)
Str 15, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 18, Wis 20, Cha 21
Spells P: 12/12/11/11/9/9/6
Saves* PPDM 1; RSW 1; PP 1; BW 1; Sp 2
* Includes paladin +2 save bonus as well as +2 bonus from the ring of protection +4, to a minimum of 1.

Special Att/Def: In human or sea elf form, Surminare often carries Spearfisher, a staff-spear +2 that can transform into a harpoon in addition to a normal spear. The harpoon form deals double damage against sharks and aquatic lycanthrope so such as seawolves and weresharks. In her seal form, she can bite for 1d6 points of damage. She avoids combat when possible, using her swimming speed to escape, unless a friend or follower is in danger.

In addition to the normal druidic and paladin powers Surminare has, she can cast cure serious wounds three times per day and weather summoning once per day. The Selkie Queen can instantly calm any non-divine storm twice per day, and can cast plant growth and entangle on aquatic plants once per day each.

Surminare is immune to caused wounds, poison, death magic, and elemental water spells. She wears a ring of protection +4, a brooch of shielding, and a ring of spell turning, all of which function regardless of her form.

Other Manifestations
Surminare favors manifestations that protect or hide her followers when endangered. She has been known to hide selkie communities with hallucinatory terrain or other illusions, or haste an individual follower to aid their escape from foes. She also uses double or triple strength neutral water spells to mask and hide individual followers.

The Selkie Queen sends omens to her priests and venerable selkie leaders both. Omens manifest in weather patterns, with certain cloud formations, colorations, and winds carrying different messages. She also sends omens by causing discoloration and luster changes in pearls; most priests of the Selkie Queen keep a collection of different pearls for this very purpose.

Surminare is served by seals, sea lions, and walruses of all varieties, as well as aasimon, asrai, balaena, bunyips, dolphins, giant nautiluses, hippocampi, incarnates of temperance and wisdom, kindori, nereids, noviere eladrins, pearl dragons, and sea otters. She displays her favor through the discovery of pearls of deep luster and perfect roundness, as well as shipwrecks with treasure or useful materials aboard. She displays her displeasure through foul scents in the water and pearls that disintegrate upon removal from a mollusk shell.

The Church
Clergy:                      Clerics, specialty priests, druids, shamans
Clergy’s Align.:      NG, N
Turn Undead:           C: Yes, SP: Yes, Dru: No, Sha: Yes
Cmnd. Undead:         C: No, SP: No, Dru: No, Sha: No

All clerics, specialty priests, druids, and shamans of Surminare receive religion (selkie) and religion (asathalfinare) as bonus nonweapon proficiencies. Priests of the Selkie Queen should be granted access to the priest spells described in the Of Ships and the Sea accessory.

Selkies are strong in neither magic nor might of arms, but Surminare’s priests are respected among the good- and neutrally-aligned aquatic races for their wise counsel and kindly natures. They are not leaders of their communities, but aid and support them in their endeavors, and often serve as ambassadors and traders to other races, both above and below the waves. They have close relations with priests of Deep Sashelas and Eadro, and are especially close to the Trishina’s priests. Despite the wildly different environment and forms they take, star selkie priests serve similar roles in their communities, and are often on excellent terms with the clergy of Ptah.

Temples dedicated to Surminare are found, not built; tranquil underwater grottoes are considered holy and converted into holy places that serve as a central meeting and gathering place within a selkie community. They are decorated with treasures and items salvaged from the ocean, with pearls and beautiful shells being especially favored. Such objects are often embedded within the walls or floor to make incredible mosaics of sea vistas that impress the rare visitors to selkie communities with their intricate beauty. These grottoes are typically protected by dense kelp forests with maze-like passages and hidden escape routes, such that predators and attackers have a difficult time finding their way in. In contrast, star selkies construct hidden grottoes within secluded asteroids, but their settlements are often built out in the open on the surface of these asteroids. When building their temple grottoes, star selkies seek out asteroids with natural water sources, and incorporate tranquil pools into their constructions to remind them of Surminare’s tenets. They also favor pearls in their decorations, but these are much harder to come by in wild space, although rumors persist that they know of hidden sources of them among the wildlife of space. In addition, decorations and armistice motifs are heavily influenced by their close connection with the church of Ptah, such that those unfamiliar with their race often mistake them for worshippers of that deity.

Surminare’s clergy exists within a selkie community, rather than being apart from it. They are subordinate to the leader of their community, who is always a wise (Wisdom 17+) and venerable non-priest, although Surminare grants them special powers to protect the community. Surminare’s clergy is not strictly hierarchical, although younger priests defer to their more experienced elders; as such, they rarely have titles, although priests who have performed a great service may be granted a unique title. Novices in the service of the Selkie Queen are called the Untended, while full priests are known as the Tranquil. Specialty priests are called grottotenders. Surminare’s clergy among sea selkies are overwhelmingly female (90%); while males are more common among star selkies (33%), females still dominate (67%). Most of Surminare’s clergy are sea selkies (70%), with a minority of star selkies (22%), sirines (5%), and other aquatic races such as mermen and aquatic elves (3%). The clergy of the Selkie Queen is composed primarily of shamans (40%) and clerics (30%), smaller numbers of specialty priests (24%) and druids (6%). Star selkies are never shamans or druids.

Dogma: Nature provides all necessities, so long as it is respected and cared for. Take no more than is needed, and ensure the viability of the creatures you hunt and the plants you eat. Live in peace with yourself, others, and the environment. It is best to hide or escape from those who would do harm unto you; violence to others in defense should always be a last resort.

Day-to-Day Activities: Priests of Surminare spend their days much as other selkies do: Gathering food, searching wrecks for treasure, educating and caring for the young, and defending their homes. They are advisors and counsellors to the selkie leaders, and make use of their powers for the defense of the tribe. Selkie priests are often with visiting communities of humans and demihumans for trade, using their powers to subtly influence their dealings. This often makes selkie priests the most experienced with outside communities, and they often take on some mannerisms of those communities, such as gaining a taste for their food, favoring jewelry and fine clothes in human form, etc. they are careful not to let such things overly influence their actions, however. They maintain a close eye on the environment around their homes, and are thus the best choice as well when selkies need to air environmental concerns with their human and demihuman neighbors. Similarly, their knowledge of selkie customs, their local area, and the customs of neighboring humans makes them the best choice to serve as guides for adventuring parties.

Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: The full moon is considered holy to the Selkie Queen, and is often metaphorically called the Pearl of Night in selkie communities. Full moons are used to mark the passage of time, and selkies use the nearest full moon to mark anniversaries and other recurring events. Thus, birthdays are celebrated on the nearest full moon, as are celebrations marking the transition of youth to adulthood. Full moons are festive nights, and the community gathers in their communal grotto to feast, socialize, and reminisce. Tales are often told by the priests and venerable leaders, although little in the way of formal religious ceremonies are held. The sole exception are for funerals and memorial services, when the priests exhort the spirits of the dead to have a safe trip to Surminare, and requesting they watch over those remaining behind.

Major Centers of Worship: The only major holy site dedicated to Surminare is her realm in Elysium. Selkie society is far too isolated to lead to large temples or sites for pilgrimage.

Affiliated Orders: The Selkie Queen sponsors no martial or monastic orders, although she does sponsor some orders of sea druids.

Priestly Vestments: The Surminaran clergy among sea selkies hold services in their seal forms, and wear no raiment besides their holy symbol. Star selkies hold services in their human forms, and typically wear raiment in a style inspired by nearby clergy of Ptah. The holy symbol used by the priesthood is a large pearl of exquisite luster, typically drilled through and threaded onto a cord for a necklace, or mounted as a pendant.

Adventuring Garb: Priests of Surminare most often use weapons and armor salvaged from wrecked vessels their tribes discover when traveling in human form. Tribes who have good luck in their treasure discoveries may purchase higher quality equipment from neighboring civilizations.

Specialty Priests (Sea Druids)
Requirements:          Wisdom 12, Charisma 15
Prime Req.:                Wisdom, Charisma
Alignment:                N
Weapons:                   Dagger, knife, net, spear, staff, trident
Armor:                       Any nonmetallic aquatic armor up to and including sea elven shell armor
Major Spheres:         All, animal, elemental (air, earth, water), healing, plant, sun, weather
Minor Spheres:         Charm, divination, protection, wards
Magical Items:         Same as druids
Req. Profs:                Herbalism
Bonus Profs:             Modern languages (pick one from: bronze dragon, crabman, dolphin, dragon turtle, fog giant, koalinth, locathah, merfolk, merrow, mist dragon, nixie, reef giant, sahuagin, scrag, sea elvish, sea sprite, sirine, storm giant, topaz dragon, wereshark)

The abilities and restrictions of sea druids, aside from the changes noted above and below, are detailed in full in the Player’s Handbook.

  • Sea druids may be selkies, sirines, aquatic elves, mermen, locathah, or shalarins.
  • Sea druids are allowed to multiclass, if multiclass druid combinations are normally allowed by race.
  • Sea druids receive a +2 bonus to all saving throws vs. electrical attacks.
  • Sea druids learn the languages of aquatic creatures (bronze dragon, crabman, dolphin, dragon turtle, fog giant, koalinth, locathah, merfolk, merrow, mist dragon, nixie, reef giant, sahuagin, scrag, sea elvish, sea sprite, sirine, storm giant, topaz dragon, wereshark), gaining one extra proficiency slot for this purpose every three levels (at 3rd, 6th, etc.).
  • At 3rd level, sea druids pass through aquatic vegetation, such as seaweed and kelp beds, without leaving a trail and at full movement rate.
  • At 3rd level, sea druids can identify aquatic plants, animals, and untainted fresh and salt water with perfect accuracy.
  • At 7th level, sea druids are immune to charm spells cast by aquatic creatures such as kelpies, nixies, and sirines.
  • At 7th level, sea druids can shapechange into a normal (not giant) reptile, fish, or mammal up to three times per day. The sea druid can use each animal form (reptile, fish, or mammal) only once per day and can choose from only those animals that make their normal habitat beneath the surface of the ocean. Mammal forms allowed include dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea otters, and other small mammals.

Specialty Priests (Grottotenders)
Requirements:          Wisdom 11, Charisma 12
Prime Req.:                Wisdom, Charisma
Alignment:                NG, N
Weapons:                   Dagger, net, quarterstaff, any weaponry salvaged from wreckage (after 2nd level)
Armor:                       Any armor salvaged from wreckage and leather
Major Spheres:         All, animal, charm, creation, divination, elemental water, healing, protection, travelers, weather
Minor Spheres:         Necromantic, plant, wards
Magical Items:         Same as clerics
Req. Profs:                Weather sense
Bonus Profs:             Survival (aquatic)

  • Grottotenders may be selkies, star selkies, aquatic elves, aquatic half-elves, sirines, or merfolk.
  • Grottotenders are not allowed to multiclass.
  • Once per day, grottotenders can locate pearls within 120 feet. They gain an additional use of this power every three levels (so twice at 3rd, three times at 6th, etc.). Star selkies can make use of a slightly different power if they desire. Once per week (and only once per week), they can detect a shipwreck or derelict vessel within one million miles (one standard spelljamming day). They can only detect direction, not distance. Use of this power voids all further uses of the pearl detecting power for the following week. All such powers remain active for one round per level.
  • Grottotenders gain a +2 bonus to hit against seawolves when defending their community, and their normal, nonmagical weapons and attacks can harm greater seawolves.
  • At 3rd level, grottotenders can cast friends (as the 1st-level wizard spell) or neutral water (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 5th level, grottotenders can cast charm monster (as the 4th-level wizard spell) or plant growth (as the 3rd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 7th level, grottotenders can cast efficacious monster ward (as the 3rd-level priest spell) or hallucinatory forest (as the 4th-level priest spell) once per day. The hallucinatory forest spell only creates kelp forests or other dense aquatic vegetation for any priests other than star selkies.
  • At 9th level, grottotenders can cast animal summoning II (as the 5th-level priest spell) once per day. This ability can only summon aquatic or amphibious creatures; for star selkies, it can only summon creatures native to wildspace.
  • At 12th level, grottotenders can cast anti-animal shell (as the 6th-level priest spell) or anti-plant shell (as the 5th-level priest spell) once per day.

Specialty Priests (Selkie Shamans)
Requirements:          Wisdom 11, Charisma 11
Prime Req.:                Wisdom, Charisma
Alignment:                NG, N
Weapons:                   Dagger, net, quarterstaff
Armor:                       None
Major Spheres:         All, animal, charm, creation, divination, elemental water, healing, protection, weather
Minor Spheres:         Necromantic, wards
Magical Items:         Same as clerics
Req. Profs:                Weather sense
Bonus Profs:             Survival (aquatic)

The abilities and restrictions of Selkie shamans, aside from changes noted above and later in this section, are summarized in the discussion of the shaman character class in Player’s Option: Spells & Magic and in Faiths & Avatars.

  • Selkie shamans may be selkies, sirines, or crabmen.
  • Selkie shamans are not allowed to multiclass
  • Selkie shamans only gain access to the priest proficiency group without a crossover penalty.
  • Once per day, Selkie shamans can locate pearls within 120 feet. This power remains active for one round per level.
  • At 3rd level, Selkie shamans can cast friends (as the 1st-level wizard spell) once per day.
  • At 5th level, Selkie shamans can cast charm monster (as the 4th-level wizard spell) once per day.

Surminaran Spells
In addition to the spells listed below, priests of the Selkie Queen can cast the 2nd-level priest spell shark charm, detailed in Demihuman Deities in the entry for Deep Sashelas.

1st Level
Neutral Water (Pr 1; Alteration)
Sphere:                    Elemental Water
Range:                     0
Components:           V, S
Duration:                 1 rds./level
Casting Time:          4
Area of Effect:         30-ft. radius globe
Saving Throw:        None

This spell completely neutralizes all scents within the area of effect for the duration of the spell. This prevents some sea animals from sensing the presence of a predator, and it allows a wounded person to avoid detection by sharks and other predators. If characters within the area of effect have already succumbed to blood frenzy, this provides a saving throw to resist its effects, but it does not automatically end it (though it does prevent its onset if the spell is cast before such creatures register the scent).

This is a priestly version of the more common wizard spell known to the dukars of Serôs (the Sea of Fallen Stars) on Toril.

2nd Level
Stinging Kelp (Pr 2; Alteration)
Sphere:                    Plant
Range:                     30 yds.
Components:           V, S
Duration:                 1 hr./level
Casting Time:          5
Area of Effect:         40-ft. cube
Saving Throw:        Special

With this spell, the priest commands kelp, seaweed, seagrass, and other aquatic plantlife and algae to strike out at creatures who enter an area without permission. In addition, the plants are enchanted to sting like jellyfish stings on contact. Regardless of how many plants touch a creature, they suffer 1d6 points of damage per round, and must make a saving throw versus poison or suffer extreme pain for 1d6+4 rounds. This pain causes a −2 penalty to attack rolls, saving throws, proficiency checks, Armor Class, and damage, as well as most other types of rolls involving physical activities. Each round in contact with the plants adds a cumulative −1 penalty to saving throws, and a modified roll of a 1 causes the creature to fall unconscious for 2d6+8 rounds. Saving throws are necessary each round a creature is in contact with the plants, even if they have been affected already.

When cast by star selkies, this spell works on void kelp and voidweed, as well as normal grasses and bushes, provided they are growing on planetary bodies of no larger than size A.

3rd Level
Overworld Excursion (Pr 3; Alteration)
Sphere:                    Travelers
Range:                     0
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 Special
Casting Time:          1 turn
Area of Effect:         The caster
Saving Throw:        None

By means of this spell, a selkie can extend their natural period of transformation into human form. By casting this spell, the selkie can maintain human form for a number of days equal to half their Constitution score. Each day beyond this, they can attempt to maintain their form with a successful Constitution check; each day beyond the normal limit incurs a cumulative −1 penalty to the check. When the check is failed, the selkie immediately reverts to their normal form, where ever they are.

The material component for this spell is a pearl worth at least 100 gp.

One Response to Surminare the Selkie Queen

  1. Barastir says:

    Nice, but in the avatar stats block the bite damage is 2d4, while in the Special att/def it says she bites for 1d6. Which one is correct?

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