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Forgotten Realms character
First appearanceForgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987)
Created byEd Greenwood
TitleThe Water Lord,
King of the Water Elementals
HomeThe Sea of Timelessness (Elemental Plane of Water)
4E: Elemental Chaos
Power levelGreater Logo.png Search Istishia on Amazon.

In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Istishia (/ɪsˈtɪʃiə/ iss-TISH-ee-ə),[1] also known as "The Water Lord" and "King of Water Elementals," is the Neutral god of Elemental Water and purification.

Publication history[edit]

Ed Greenwood created Istishia for his home Forgotten Realms game, inspired by the deity Straasha, created by Michael Moorcock for his Elric stories.[citation needed]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

Ed Greenwood initially used Straasha, one of Moorcock's Elemental gods as found in the original Deities & Demigods, as the elemental lord of water for his home Dungeons & Dragons campaign set in the Forgotten Realms. As Greenwood indicated in his article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981), Moorcock's elemental gods "may later be replaced in [his] universe by "official" AD&D beings as these are published".[2] Istishia first appeared in the original Manual of the Planes (1987),[3] and was featured as one of the elemental lords for the Forgotten Realms in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987).[1]

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

Istishia was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[4] the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[5] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[6]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996),[7] and The Inner Planes (1998).[8]

His relationships with the nonhuman deities in the Forgotten Realms was covered in Demihuman Deities (1998).[9]

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

Istishia appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[10] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[11]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-Present)[edit]

Istishia appears in the fourth edition as a primordial.[12]


Istishia's symbol is a cresting wave and his favourite weapon is a wave (a warhammer for his clerics). His domains are Destruction, Ocean, Storm, Travel and Water. He is worshipped by bards, elemental archons of water, sailors and travelers. His clerics can be of Chaotic Neutral, True Neutral, Neutral Evil, Neutral Good, and Lawful Neutral alignments.

His allies are those with a relation to water, like Deep Sashelas, Eldath, Valkur, and Umberlee, but they are not strong relationships. He opposes Kossuth in every way.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. TSR, Inc. ISBN 0-88038-472-7. Search this book on Logo.png
  2. Greenwood, Ed. "Down to Earth Divinity." Dragon #54 (TSR, 1981)
  3. Grubb, Jeff. Manual of the Planes (TSR, 1987)
  4. Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
  5. Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E. Search this book on Logo.png
  6. Martin, Julia, and Eric L. Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
  7. McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  8. Cook, Monte, with William W. Connors. The Inner Planes. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1998
  9. Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  10. Ed Greenwood; et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5. Search this book on Logo.png
  11. Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  12. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims. Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)

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