||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2011)|
|Title(s)||The Betrayer, The Father|
|Home plane||Windswept Depths of Pandemonium|
|Portfolio||Magic, savants, knowledge, cruelty|
|Domains||Chaos, Evil, Magic, Trickery (also Dream)|
In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Diirinka is the derro deity of magic, savants, knowledge, and cruelty. His symbol is a spiral of gray, black, and white. His magical power was stolen from Ilsensine, and he passes this power on to his followers.
Diirinka was first detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood. His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).
Diirinka manifests as a withered, lich-like creature wearing a robe of gray, white, and black that constantly changes appearance.
Diirinka's brother is Diinkarazan, whom he betrayed and left for dead at the tentacles of Ilsensine. Ilsensine hates them both over their theft of knowledge from its caverns. Fortubo, Moradin, and Berronar Truesilver hate Diirinka for being a corruption and enemy of the dwarven race. Vhaeraun, Laduguer, and Lolth likewise consider him an enemy. Diirinka's only ally is the drow goddess Kiaransalee.
Diirinka's realm, called Hidden Betrayal, is found on the plane of Pandemonium.
Diirinka is an unpleasant deity who will betray anyone for his own ends. When he dispatches avatars, it is normally for the sake of uncovering lost magic or merely to torment others for his amusement. He cares little about what his followers choose to do. If he punishes them, it is usually an act of random cruelty rather than for any real purpose.
Diirinka is not worshiped by most derro directly; rather, Diirinka grants sorcerous magic to the savants. To an outsider, it appears as if most derro worship no one but themselves.
Clerics of Diirinka are rare among the derro, but existing in a similar role are the savants, sorcerers who act as leaders of the derro race. The savants are the absolute leaders among the derro, instructing others of their kind in the proper treatment of slaves, experimenting with poisons and lobotomies, and searching for greater magic. Every 20 years or so the savants lead their people in a Uniting War, a bloodthirsty crusade against all other races. This serves to weed out the weak among the derro tribes and inspire terror of the derro race in others.
Diirinka's favored weapon is the dagger.
Myths and Legends
The Creation of the Derro
The myths and legends of the derro themselves are wildly misleading. They do not even mention Diinkarazan, who is a carefully guarded secret. The derro teach that Diirinka created them using his own skills, requiring help from no one.
The duergar, oddly, agree with this in part, claiming the first derro was a vastly powerful creator known as the Lone Craftsman. The Lone Craftsman created all the races of the world in imitation of Laduguer's perfect race, the duergar, but Laduguer transformed him into a derro in punishment for creating the other races of dwarves.
The Banishment of the Derro
Some derro legends claim the derro once lived among the other dwarven races, but were driven away by dwarves jealous of Diirinka's prowess. Others say that Diirinka hid his people away on his own accord, so that the other gods would not become unduly jealous of their perfection.
The Axe of the Dwarvish Lords
Brassbeard Moradinson, nephew of the last High King of the One Clan, Irontooth Moradinson, desired the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords so badly that he slew his uncle, stole the Axe, and plunged the One Clan into civil war. Brassbeard became a devotee of Abbathor, the god of greed, but in secret he also made a pact with Diirinka, who sent him a fearsome monster called the Abomination of Diirinka to terrorize his fellow dwarves. Brassbeard could never completely control the Abomination, so it would often rage and ravage even when Brassbeard did not wish it to. Ultimately Brassbeard was slain, and the Abomination fled in fear of the power of the Axe.
Diirinka was the first derro slave created by the Suloise Imperium. He was a wizard of unusual talent, concealing his skill from his masters and passing on his knowledge to those loyal to him, eventually winning divinity alongside his brother Diinkarazan. Together, the two ventured to the caverns of Ilsensine beneath the Dwarven Mountain in the Outlands, stealing alien magical artifacts. When the illithid deity revealed itself, Diirinka panicked and stabbed his brother in the back, leaving him to be cursed and driven insane while Diirinka escaped.
Diirinka hid himself in Pandemonium and began experimenting on his fellow derro for centuries, producing mindless dwarf-like aberrations that wander isolated cavern complexes even today. Ultimately he "perfected" the derro to his satisfaction, gifting those he favored the most with the sorcerous powers of the savants.
- 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:
- Scott, Amber. "The Ecology of the Duergar." Dragon #325. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2004.
- Williams, Skip. Monster Manual. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003