Annam (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Annam
Game background
Title(s) The Prime, the Great Creator
Home plane Concordant Domain of the Outlands
Power level Greater
Alignment Neutral
Portfolio Magic, knowledge, fertility, philosophy, giants
Domains Knowledge, Magic, Plant, Sun
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, Annam is the giant deity of Magic, Knowledge, Fertility, and Philosophy. Also known as the All-Father, is the creator god of the giant pantheon. His symbol is a pair of crossed hands, held palms together with their fingers facing downward.

Publication history[edit]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

Annam first appears in the 2nd edition book Monster Mythology (1992).[1]

His role in the giant pantheon of the Forgotten Realms setting is detailed in Giantcraft (1995).[2]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[3]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (2000-2007)[edit]

Annam appears in 3rd edition in Defenders of the Faith (2000).[4] His priesthood is detailed for this edition in Complete Divine (2004).[5]

His role in the Forgotten Realms setting is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[6]

Description[edit]

Annam is wise, learned, and philosophical, but also lustful, instinctive, and unpredictable, and he can become bored with endless contemplations. He can be both jealous and witty. He is selfish, sees all others as his inferiors, and is uninterested in the passage of time as it applies to others. Once he has made up his mind, he will almost never change his opinion. While he is all-knowing and prone to deep meditations, he makes many mistakes when he follows his instincts. He foresees the future but cannot prepare for it.

Annam rarely sends an avatar to the Prime Material Plane, doing so only at moments of the greatest historical import. His avatar observed the Rain of Colorless Fire, for example, though if he had a role in this disaster he does not speak of it.

When he does appear, Annam takes the form of a 60' or 100+' tall giant with white hair, wearing a robe of midnight blue.

Relationships[edit]

In many campaign settings, the giantish pantheon of gods consists of the leader Annam, as well as Grolantor, Hiatea, Iallanis, Karontor, Memnor, Skoraeus Stonebones, and Stronmaus. Other powers worshipped by giants or giant-type creatures include Baphomet, Kostchtchie, and Vaprak.

Annam fathered the gods Stronmaus, Grolantor, Iallanis, and Skoraeus Stonebones on an unnamed sky goddess. Surtr, the dead goddess Shax, Diancastra, Hiatea, Thyrm, and Karontor are also said to be his children, but perhaps with different wives or concubines (of which Annam is said to have had many). Memnor is sometimes said to be his son with the sky goddess, and other times said to be his brother, or the spawn of a world-devouring monster that Annam or Stronmaus destroyed. An enormous, hideous ogress is said to have seduced Annam, with Vaprak as the result.

Annam is most proud of his son Stronmaus, who inherited much of his power, but he wearies of his other, more quarrelsome sons. He seemed incapable at first of even noticing his daughters until Hiatea proved herself to him by means of a series of heroic feats. He accepted the later birth of Iallanis, and Diancastra's feats of wit impressed him greatly, convincing him to elevate her to the status of hero-deity.

In addition to these gods, Annam also fathered each of the true giant races (as well as the ettin race) with the goddess Othea as part of a plan to have his giant children rule Toril.

In some myths, Annam is said to ride the ki-rin deity Koriel.

Realm[edit]

Annam’s Hidden Realm is on the plane of the Outlands. He originally lived in Ysgard, in a realm called Gudheim, but Annam departed for his crystal tower because he tired of having to watch over countless worlds and conflicts; in his realm a mechanical orrery of the multiverse simulates the perfection he craves.

Gudheim still exists, containing an orrery similar to the one in Annam's current realm. Particularly pious clerics of the giantish gods are believed to be invited to Gudheim for one night just before their deaths.

The spirits of all giants who die in battle are said to be carried off to Jotunheim in Ysgard by Muspel and Muznir, a pair of Annam's servants who take the form of enormous owls.

Dogma[edit]

Worshippers of Annam believe the giants are destined to rule the world. They are taught to honor the Ordning, the hierarchy of giantish society. They are advised not to raise their hands against their fellow giants, and taught not to fear the passage of time, which favors the giants over shorter-lived peoples. They are not to underestimate other races, but neither are they to allow them to impede their goals.

Worshippers[edit]

Annam is worshipped by almost all giants, who see him as the greatest example of their own subspecies, personifying the traits that they value the most. To hill giants, he is an enormous glutton; to stone giants, he is the greatest of artists. To frost giants, he is a mighty warrior and reveler.

Clergy[edit]

Annam's priests are extremely rare since the god's retreat, and some worlds may have no priests whatsoever. They must be truly exceptional, having the blood of the elder giants in their veins, and rule their people as kings. Annam may grant omens to his priest-kings once they reach 10th level, revealing the broad course of the future history of the priest's people. He will do this only once in their lives, and will grant omens to no one else.

Any priest or shaman of Annam who strikes another giant, willingly or not, must forfeit his position or undergo disvestiture.

Rituals[edit]

The Grand Feast of the All-Father[edit]

On the first day of the first month of each year, all giants put aside their other duties to ingest vast amounts of food and to celebrate Annam's eventual return. Most tribes celebrate their unity by sending ambassadors to attend each other's celebrations.

Ceremony of Investiture[edit]

Once every two years, a priest of Annam holds a special ceremony to invest new clergy into the service of the various giantish gods. It is considered a great honor for a tribe's temple to be selected for this purpose.

Prayer Vigil[edit]

Once a month, a prayer vigil is conducted to honor the All-Father and ask for his guidance.

Myths and legends[edit]

Birth[edit]

Annam is said to have been born from the primal forces of Chaos and Law.

Creation[edit]

Annam is believed by giants to have created all the worlds of the Prime Material Plane. In some legends, he works with human and demihuman deities to create worlds in cooperation, but in most myths he creates alone. The storm giants think of Annam as a sleeping god, and believe reality sprang from his dreams.

Annam's retreat[edit]

Some myths say Annam retreated to his hidden realm over despair at the endless quarreling of his sons. Some say, instead, that he fled to escape the wrath and nagging of his many wives and concubines, or in sorrow that he could never find a bride who was his equal. Still others say he is nursing the wounds he suffered when he fought the evil giant god Memnor. In other stories he made a deal with the goddess Othea to bear his child in return for Annam leaving the realm.

Campaign settings[edit]

Forgotten Realms[edit]

Annam came across the planet of Abeir-Toril at a time before the existence of dwarves, elves and humans. He met and married Othea who took the form of a mountain on the edge of the Cold Lands. They had children, who were not Annam's first (he had previously had immortal children), but they were Annam's first terrestrial children. His favourite sons were Lanaxis, Masud, Nicias, Obadai, Ottar, Ruk and Vilmos, who all went on to form one of the main giant species, and his two-headed son, Arno and Julian, went on to become ettin, meaning "runt".[2] He also believed that Dunmore was his son, but this was not the case: Dunmore's father was Ulutiu.[2]

Annam discovered that his wife was having an affair with Ulutiu and killed Ulutiu as a result. He wanted to have another child who would be able to rebuild his kingdom of Ostoria after the war with the dragons, but Othea was so upset by the death of Ulutiu that she refused. Annam tricked her to get her pregnant, and the pair reached a compromise whereby the child would be allowed to live if Annam agreed to leave Toril until it called his name.[2]

It's unclear how Ulutiu returned to life, but he made a deal with Annam whereby the giant god would spare Othea in exchange for Ulutiu's voluntary exile. Ulutiu sank into the Cold Ocean with his necklace; the sea flash-froze into the Great Glacier. Othea planned to reunite with Ulutiu but was murdered for her adultery by one of her sons, who for reasons unknown to mortals could not venture onto the ice while his mother lived.[6]

The dwarf war god Clangeddin Silverbeard famously believes the only good giant deity is a dead giant deity.[6] Annam is more or less forced to oppose Clangeddin by default.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  2. ^ a b c d Winninger, Ray. Giantcraft (TSR, 1995)
  3. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  4. ^ Redman, Rich, and James Wyatt. Defenders of the Faith (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  5. ^ Noonan, David. Complete Divine. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004
  6. ^ a b c Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).

Additional reading[edit]

  • Conforti, Steven, ed. Living Greyhawk Official Listing of Deities for Use in the Campaign, version 2.0. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2005. Available online:[1]