Queen of Air and Darkness

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Greyhawk Deity
The Queen of
Air and Darkness
Title(s) Queen of Air and Darkness
Home Plane Windswept Depths of Pandemonium
Power Level Intermediate
Gender Female
Class(es) Illusionist
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Magic (especially illusions), darkness, murder, evil fey
Domains Air, Chaos, Darkness, Trickery
Alias(es)
Superior None

The Queen of Air and Darkness is the fey deity of Magic (especially illusions), Darkness, and Murder. Her long-lost true name is never spoken among the fey. Her unholy symbol is a black diamond.

Description

The Queen of Air and Darkness is a bodiless, invisible being, but she can be perceived magically as a faerie with pale, angular features, blood-black eyes, and a mane of black hair. She is beautiful, but hers is a terrible, eldritch beauty that chills the bone. The Queen is cold and utterly emotionless.

Relationships

The Queen of Air and Darkness is the sister of Titania, once a princess and heir to the Seelie Court in the deep sylvan realm of Ladinion. The evil Queen, her once bright spirit corrupted and dead, now hates and opposes Titania's Seelie Court and everything they stand for. Because she embodies the corruption that can take root in the heart of the elvish race, Corellon Larethian, Erevan Ilesere, Rillifane Rallathil, Sehanine Moonbow, and Solonor Thelandira also consider her an enemy.

Realm

The Queen's Unseelie Court can be found on the plane of Pandemonium. There, the goddess rules from a throne of shadows. Her court is filled with evil, twisted fey, elves, and undead. Hell hounds and yeth hounds slaver at her insubstantial feet.

Worshippers

The Queen of Air and Darkness is served by unseelie sprites, quicklings, evil elves, and bramble faeries, among others.

Myths

The Black Diamond

Legend has it that in the time before history began, dwarven miners had unearthed a ten-faceted black gemstone of dark beauty, innocently deciding to present it to the queen of the fey as a gift. The fey princess who would become known as the Queen of Air and Darkness remained in court on this particular day while her sister Titania was bathing in the waters of the river Afon Bhlu, which fed the lake Cwm Glas. The gem, which is whispered to have been the creation of the Dark God, slowly corrupted the princess, eating away her physical body and destroying her soul. Ultimately she left the Seelie Court, absconding with her precious diamond and the great treasures of her race in a black chariot that belched smoke and fire. Soon after, the mountain from which the diamond was unearthed exploded, destroying the primordial fey realm of Ladinion and decimating the fey people. Since then the Seelie Court has been forced to wander the planes, never again finding a permanent home.

Myths of lost lands are common among the fey, and many speak of the Fading Lands that slowly disappear from the world of Oerth.

The Corruption of the Fey

The Queen of Air and Darkness is blamed with the creation of all evil fey races, including quicklings and spriggans.

Creative origins

The name comes from the title of T. H. White's Arthurian novel The Queen of Air and Darkness, the second volume in his work The Once and Future King.

Other uses

In White's novel, the queen of the title is King Arthur's half-sister Morgause. She is an amateur witch who enchants the young king into sleeping with her, producing the traitorous child Mordred.

"The Queen of Air and Darkness" is also a short story by Poul Anderson which plays on fairy mythology in a science fiction setting.

The Queen of Air and Darkness also appears as the Queen of the Unseelie Court in fiction such as Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series and Emma Bull's War For the Oaks.

The title "Queen of Air and Darkness" is also associated with Celtic goddesses such as the Morrigan (who, in turn, are often equated with the queen of the fairies). The phrase was originally coined by the poet A.E. Housman in an untitled poem about vanquishing an enchantress.

Moire, a capricious, unpredictable fey character from Martha Wells' novel, The Element of Fire, is titled the Queen of Air and Darkness, and passes the title to her half-human daughter, Kade Carrion.

Bibliography

  • Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1998.
  • Smith, Lester W., and Wolfgang Baur. Planes of Chaos. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1994.