Another of the Archomentals, Olhydra is the Archomental of Evil Water. She is possibly the closest of all of the archomentals to becoming a true deity, given her diverse array of worshipers. However, she is still not yet a true power, and thus cannot grant spells above 3rd level at this point as with the other archomentals.
Olhydra (PDF Version)
(Princess of Evil Water Creatures, the Archomental of Evil Water, the Crashing Wave)
Near Power of the Elemental Plane of Water, NE
Portfolio: Elemental water, wetness, supremacy of water, watery destruction
Domain Name: Elemental Plane of Water/the Coral Castle
Allies: The Elder Elemental God
Foes: Ben-hadar, Cegilune, Imix, Panzuriel, Sekolah
Symbol: Coral breaking under a wave
Wor. Align.: LE, NE, CE
Perhaps the closest of the archomentals to achieving true divinity, Olhydra (ohl-HIGH-drah) embodies the destructive and harmful powers of water. She is mistress of tidal waves and drowning, and she believes that water is the ultimate elemental force that will dominate the others.
While the plane of Elemental Water is home to a large number of powers, Olhydra seems mostly content with her position. She rules a diverse realm on the plane, and her influence has made considerable inroads among a number of the aquatic races of the Prime Material Plane. This is not to say she is passive, however; she has long been at war with the Prince of Evil Fire, Imix, due to their diametrically opposed preferences. Despite the constant plots and battles, this war is very much in a stalemate, with neither side gaining ground in the last few centuries.
Olhydra mostly ignores the other powers on her home plane; this would probably change if she were ever to succeed in her war with Imix. Her forces skirmish with those of Ben-hadar, the Prince of Good Water, but full-blown war has never broken out. The Princess of Evil Water is wary of creating a situation in which Istishia the Water Lord might feel the need to intervene. She keeps a wary eye out for agents of Cegilune, Panzuriel, and Sekolah in case they choose to retaliate against her for the inroads she has made among their followers, but so far, they appear to be silent on the matter.
Besides her struggle with Imix, Olhydra’s long-term goals are unknown. She is clearly interested in elevating the power of elemental water, but she does not seem as bent on dominating the other elemental lords, save Imix, as many of the other evil archomentals. Some sages speculate she sees her opposite as being her most powerful foe; if she can eliminate the Prince of Evil Fire, all the other archomentals will fall easily. Other sages speculate she was tasked specifically with holding her sibling in check, commanded by the power believed to have sired them both, the Elder Elemental God. A final group of sages take the view that Olhydra has chosen to gain power and challenge her sire directly after becoming a full divinity; whatever the case, the Princess of Elemental Evil is clearly a growing influence despite her nebulous goals.
The biggest obstacle to Olhydra enhancing her following on the Prime Material Plane is her inability to manifest directly without a mortal summoning or a gate. She must rely on trusted agents and followers to create secret cults among communities beneath the waves, but it is said she has mapped out a number of permanent portals on the Plane of Elemental Water through which she can exert influence and dispatch followers to preach to various communities she wishes to bring into her fold.
Olhydra’s Form (20-HD Water Elemental)
The archomental Olhydra typically takes the form of a 20-foot diameter froth-topped wave that endless crashes as she moves about. The vague image of eyes, a nose, and a mouth can be seen in the wave just before it crashes. Full details of her physical form can be found in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III. Should Olhydra become a demipower or more powerful, she is likely to continue to use a modified version of this form for some time.
The Archomental of Evil Water can manifest slightly more strongly than her kin due to her proximity to true godhood. She is able to cause the water surrounding a follower to have reduced resistance, allowing the creature to increase their swimming movement rate by half; thus, a creature with a movement rate of 12 can swim at a rate of 18 for the duration, which never lasts longer than three turns. She can also grant a follower the ability to cast a single riptide or watery fist; the follower must use this spell within 7 days or lose the ability to cast the spell. Besides these powers, which are quite rare, she also communicates to her followers directly through strong dream impressions and feelings.
Olhydra is served primarily by water elementals and water weirds, but also works her will through bzastra, hezrou tanar’ri, kelpies, sea hags, spitters (elemental vermin)’ suisseen, varrdig (elemental grue), wastriliths, water fundamentals, water mephits, and water plasms. The Princess of Evil Water displays her pleasure and displeasure through the movements of water currents and localized increases in water pressure. Individual priests and followers must interpret for themselves what these signs mean.
Clergy: Clerics, specialty priests, shamans, wizards
Clergy’s Align.: LE, NE, CE
Turn Undead: C: No, SP: No, Sha: No, W: No
Cmnd. Undead: C: Yes, SP: No, Sha: No, W: No
All clerics, specialty priests, and shamans of the Princess of Evil Water receive religion (Olhydra) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency. As Olhydra is only a near-power, she can only grant 3rd-level spells to her followers on the Prime; if she appears in person, or for those on the Elemental Plane of Water, she is able to grant 4th-level spells as well.
Outside of the plane of Elemental Water, Olhydra’s cult tends to be found in secret within many aquatic communities. It is typically only openly acknowledged where it dominates, as few other faiths tolerate those who follow the Princess of Evil Water Creatures. Her faith typically attracts those who have been scorned by the existing political or religious leadership, as well as those who wish to circumvent the normal means of achieving power. As yet, Olhydra strongest influence tends to be confined to tribal creatures who more often than not have a single spiritual leader within the community, such as vodyanoi, merrow, and koalinths, but she seems content to make slow and steady growth rather than attempting riskier attempts such as directing her followers towards immediate conquest.
Worship sites tend to follow the architectural preferences of whatever race creates the location, as Olhydra’s faith is not yet large enough to settle on a single style preference. Shrines are most common, as few of her followers have the numbers or power to build full temples outside of her realm on Elemental Water. These shrines are most often decorated with treasures scavenged from sea floor and feature the skulls or bones of enemy races and creatures that have been crushed by the depths. Such shrines are often located near deep crevasses where captives can be bound with heavy stones and dropped into the crushing deep as sacrifices to the Princess of Evil Water.
While most cults of Olhydra operate in an ad-hoc way, the Princess of Evil Water has slowly been organizing a hierarchy on her home plane and spreading this structure to select followers on the Prime Material Plane. Within this hierarchy, novices are known as Moistlets, while full priests are known as Aqueous Crushers. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Olhydra’s clergy are Felling Foam, Wrecking Wave, Drowning Deep, and Terrorizing Tsunami, with new titles likely to be added as the faith expands its ranks. As yet there are not enough high-ranking members of the clergy to warrant unique titles, but that too is likely to change in the future. Specialty priests, currently only found among her servants and priests on the Elemental Plane of Water, are known as riptides. Olhydra is actively planning to send followers to the Prime Material Plane in order to train specialty priests among her more organized followers as she discovers portals leading close to them. The clergy of Olhydra is dominated by shamans (74%); the remainder consists of clerics (16%) and wizards (6%) among her human and more organized humanoid cults, with a small number of specialty priests (4%) found on the Plane of Water. The priesthood of the Princess of Evil Water is quite diverse, including vodyanoi (22%), koalinths (20%), merrow (18%), humans (12%), sahuagin (10%), scrags (4%), seawolves (2%), ixitxachitl (2%), other aquatic creatures (including sea elves, merfolk, sea hags, eyes of the deep, krakens, morkoth, etc.; 8%), water genasi (1%), and other planar creatures (including hezrou tanar’ri, etc.; 1%). The faith’s gender breakdown tends to follow the typical racial preferences; where there is no preference, females (59%) tend to outnumber males (41%) somewhat.
Dogma: Water extinguishes fire, erodes earth, and suffocates air. Water is life and death, and can give life or take it away. Let water carry you throughout the world and life, and use it to destroy your foes and wreck their works. Water is powerful, and it is supreme
Day-to-Day Activities: Olhydra’s faithful are often disaffected from their society, turning to the Princess of evil water in order to gain power, revenge, or affect a radical change to the status quo. They operate in secret to achieve their goals, scheming and plotting to destroy or overthrow their enemies. Once in power, her faith is ruthless in maintaining control. Within societies where faith in the Princess of Evil Water is open and allowed but not dominant, her followers preach about the power that water holds in eliminating foes.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: There are no holy days recognized by the whole faith of the Princess of Evil Water Creatures. Instead, local cults worship in secret on whatever days they can, and once in power often set the establishment of the cult as a holy day, as well as co-opting other local ceremonies and altering them to honor Olhydra. Any appearance by the Archomental of Evil Water is also an event worthy of commemorating as a holy day. Generally, days deemed important to a cult of Olhydra are celebrated with the sacrifice of an intelligent creature by either drowning or death by the crushing pressure of water too deep for the sacrifice to survive.
Major Centers of Worship: No widely accepted holy sites are known to the faith of the Princess of Evil Water Creatures, although local cults will always hold that the location of one of her appearances is holy. Unlike some of the other archomentals, Olhydra discourages her followers from seeking out her Coral Castle, preferring to spread her worship further rather than concentrating them within her realm.
Affiliated Orders: No martial or monastic orders are associated with the cult of the Princess of Evil Water at this time.
Priestly Vestments: While the types of garments worn by Olhydra’s cults vary according to local custom, they always consist of shades of dark blue and teal with white or off-white fringes. The holy symbol used by the priesthood is a disk or shell inscribed with an image of a great cresting wave covered in foam. Tribal shamans are not required to use such a symbol, and often use rare carved or dyed shells.
Adventuring Garb: Weapons and armor favored by the priesthood is quite varied, although piercing weapons and nets are especially favored. Equipment choices are more often dictated by the society a cult is found within rather than any overarching preference of the faith.
Specialty Priests (Riptides)
Requirements: Strength 12, Constitution 10, Wisdom 12
Prime Req.: Strength, Wisdom
Weapons: Dagger, knife, net, spear, trident, underwater crossbow
Armor: Leather, hide, no shield
Major Spheres: All, animal (aquatic only), astral, combat, elemental (water), healing (reversed only), summoning, weather
Minor Spheres: Charm, elemental (air, earth), plant (aquatic only)
Magical Items: Same as clerics
Req. Profs: Survival (sea or aquatic)
Bonus Profs: Swimming (if a non-aquatic race) or endurance
- Riptides can be of any race capable of becoming priests, although most are genasi or sahuagin. Until Olhydra becomes a true power, only those trained by another specialty priest or those who travel to the Elemental Plane of Water to train directly with her or her servants can become a specialty priest.
- Riptides are not allowed to multiclass.
- Riptides take twice as long to drown as normal and can withstand underwater pressure to twice their normal depth. They gain a +2 to any saving throws versus spells that operate on water pressure or have a chance to drown a target, as well as any spells that deal damage from water (but not ice or cold).
- Riptides may use magic items related to water and the sea regardless of class restrictions. Similarly, they are unable to use any items related to fire.
- Riptides can cast wizard spells from the school of elemental water as described in the Limited Wizard Spellcasting section of “Appendix 1: Demihuman Priests” in Demihuman Deities.
- Riptides can cast create water or its reverse destroy water (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day.
- At 3rd level, riptides can cast insatiable thirst (as the 2nd-level wizard spell) or watery fist (as the 2nd-level priest spell) once per day.
- At 5th level, riptides can cast wall of water or watery double (as the 3rd-level wizard spells) once per day.
- At 7th level, riptides can cast conjure water weird or enhance water creature (as the 4th-level priest spells) once per day. Currently, this power is limited to those riptides who operate on the Elemental Plane of Water; should Olhydra eventually become a demipower, this and the other powers listed hereafter will become available.
- At 9th-level, riptides can withstand underwater pressure to four times their normal depth and are completely immune to all harmful water-based magic (but not ice or cold), including magic that drowns or harms through water pressure. They suffer an additional +1 point of damager per die from electrical or lightning attacks, however.
- At 10th level, riptides can summon 1d4 water mephits or water weirds who serve faithfully, even laying down their lives, for 6 turns. The creatures appear anywhere designated within a 30-yard radius on the round after the summoning. This summoning can be performed once per week.
- At 16th level, riptides can summon a 16-HD water elemental once per week. The elemental is utterly loyal, and control cannot be wrested by another spellcaster. The elemental serves for one turn per caster level, until dismissed by the caster, or until dispelled by the appropriate magic.
In addition to the spells listed below, priests of the Princess of Evil Water can cast the 4th-level Athasian priest spell lungs of water, detailed in the Priest’s Spell Compendium Vol.II.
Riptide (Pr 2; Invocation/Evocation)
Sphere: Elemental Water
Range: 30 yds.
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 rd./5 levels
Casting Time: 5
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Neg.
With this spell, the caster can create a strung pulling current directed at a single creature. If cast in shallow water upon a creature wading or swimming, it will pull them off their feet and away from shore, up to 5 yards per level of the priest, unless a saving throw vs. paralyzation is successful. If the water is otherwise calm, the DM may apply a penalty of up to −4 to the save if they determine the current is unexpected; by contrast, if currents are already strong, a bonus of up to +4 may be applied instead. Large creatures, or medium creatures with four legs make their saving throws against this spell with a +2 bonus, while Huge creatures gain a +4 bonus; gargantuan creatures are immune. This magical current lasts for one round per five levels of the caster with the distance a creature is pulled each subsequent round equaling the first. If the spell lasts multiple rounds, creatures affected by the riptide may be forced to make a check for holding their breath as they are pulled underwater and out to sea. At the expiration of the spell, the current dissipates, and the creature can attempt to surface, although penalties for heavy armor may apply. If the initial save is failed and the current lasts more than one round, a creature caught in the current can try to swim free if they have the swimming proficiency, although checks are made with a −4 penalty. If cast on a creature underwater, the creature may still be pulled in a direction designated by the caster (including down), but swimming checks to escape the riptide are made without penalty.
Conjure Water Weird (Pr 4; Conjuration/Summoning)
Sphere: Elemental Water
Range: 10 yds.
Components: V, M
Duration: 3 rds./level
Casting Time: 1 rd.
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: None
The spell opens a gate to the Elemental Plane of Water, summoning a water weird to the caster. The caster need not fear that the summoned water weird will turn on him or her. Neither concentration on the activities of the elemental-kin nor protection from it is necessary. The summoned water weird helps the caster in whatever manner possible, as desired by the priest. It remains for a maximum of three rounds per level of the caster. It returns to its home plane if slain or sent back by a dispel magic spell or similar magic.
The material components for the spell are the priest’s holy symbol and an emerald worth at least 50 gp. The latter is crushed and sprinkled into water of suitable size to sustain the weird.
Transmute Freshwater to Saltwater (Pr 4; Alteration) Reversible
Sphere: Elemental Water
Range: 60 yds.
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 7
Area of Effect: Cube of water 1 yd./level to a side
Saving Throw: Special
By means of this spell, the caster is able to turn a large volume of freshwater to saltwater. The transformation is instantaneous, affecting a cube that is one yard in size per level of the caster; thus an 8th-level caster can affect a cube of water that is 8 yards long per side. Once transmuted, the saltwater will mix with any freshwater it remains in contact with. The transmutation can affect volumes spread across multiple containers and is often used to spoil drinking water carried on ships. This spell has no effect on living creatures, excepting those composed of elemental water, nor does it have any effect on objects that contain water as a component, such as soup. It can spoil holy and unholy water, although the only potion it destroys is a potion of sweet water, turning them all into normal saltwater. If cast directly on a creature composed of freshwater, such as an elemental summoned from river or lake water, it is allowed a saving throw versus spell; if failed, it is stunned for 1d2 rounds, but suffers no further harm. The material component for this version of the spell is a pinch of salt.
The reverse of this spell, transmute saltwater to freshwater removes the salt content from the same volume of water, making it suitable for drinking. All other details are as above, except it only affects elemental water creatures summoned from saltwater or brackish water. The material component for this version is a small vial of fresh water.
Any fish or other aquatic animals caught in the area of either version of the spell will suffer 1 point of damage per three levels of the priest for each round they remain in the transmuted water starting two rounds following the change. If the volume of water is part of a much larger body, such as a lake or ocean, mixing will happen too fast to negatively harm the animals. Magical creatures and any creatures able to survive in both salt and fresh water are immune to this damage.