Prince of Clouds, Adad. N lesser power of storms, thunder [He/Him]

Pantheon: Babylonian (Faerûnean: dead)

Symbol: A lightning bolt through a storm cloud

Realm: Outlands / The Storm Cloud (wandering)

Known Proxies: None

Ramman, the Babylonian storm-bringer, is a true force of nature within the Outlands. His philosophy, stark and as tumultuous as the storms he commands, revolves around balance and rejuvenation. He doesn’t just lord it over tempests and thunderstorms for the sheer spectacle; every bolt of lighting and each drop of rain energises and nurtures the land, restores life to parched realms and washes away the old to make way for the new.

Rumours of Ramman’s demise may have been premature. It’s true that during the Time of Troubles on Toril, a local Untheric power called Ramman was slain by another power called Assuran, although it was perhaps divine justice, since it seems Ramman threw the first lightning bolt. However, the death of an avatar and the death of a power are very different things. While Ramman is now barred from the Faerûnian pantheons, as a member of the Babylonians he’s still very much alive.

Ramman’s nature is dual, embodying both the fearsome power of the storm and its life-giving aftermath. His sacred bull symbolises this strength and fertility, thundering across the heavens ahead of the storm, heralding the coming deluge. As you doubtless know cutter, the Outlands is a plane of balance where extremes somehow meet in harmony. Ramman’s a steward of this balance, through his control of the chaos of storms. His cloud castle rolls across the land bringing rain to ensure that the seasonal cycles of renewal persist, that the parched earth is nourished, and that the stagnant air is cleansed.

Ramman is an ally of Hapi, the Egyptian power of river flooding. When the time comes for the River Ma’at to flood, Hapi calls in a favour from Rahman, who brings his tempest to bear over Semuanya’s Bog. The sweet fresh stormwaters refresh the stagnant marshlands, flood the surrounding hills and valleys, and then the floods come to Thebestys. It’s a similar situation for other parts of the plane, with Ramman bringing rain to where it’s most needed.

The Storm Cloud

Imagine a castle carved from the clouds, a gauzy palace where the walls shift and breathe, and the very essence of the storm is at Ramman’s beck and call. His wandering domain in the Outlands is as elusive as mist but as palpable as the rain that quenches the desert’s thirst. His home moves not aimlessly, but with purpose, steered part by the plane’s own inscrutable will and part by Ramman’s divine intuition, bringing the gift of storms to lands that thirst.

Although it’s hardly the easiest realm to visit, assuming you can fly and can catch it, or you find a rare portal from Elemental Air or Lightning, cutters visiting the Storm Cloud will find the ground solid enough to stand on. Its possible to shape the cloud-stuff into anything you like, although it dissipates when you leave the realm. The castle is home to a diverse mixture of semi-solid creatures—elementals, spirits of the air, invisible stalkers—as well as genasi. It’s also occasionally used as neutral ground for warring factions of the Plane of Air, like the time the archomentals Chan and Yan-C-Bin held peace talks when the Storm Cloud was close to the Spire. Whether they agreed anything we may never know.

Chant goes that Ramman and the rare mortai of the Beastlands also have a curious kinship. The living clouds are rarely seen off the Beastlands, but do occasionally make themselves known in the Outlands, particularly during the month of the Flocking. During this month, when the weather and the beasts of the Beastlands flood into the Outlands, the mortai muster around Ramman’s realm. Quite what they’re up to even the graybeards don’t know, but eagle-eyed bashers swear that fewer mortai leave the congregation than arrive. Do they come here to die? To merge? To make a sacrifice to Ramman? Your guess is as good as mine, cutter.

So, when you spy a castle of clouds on the horizon, or feel the rumble of distant thunder approaching in the Outlands, pay homage to Ramman, the Babylonian weather god. You’d better take shelter from the lightning as it’s a righteous storm coming.

Canonical Sources:

  • Dragon Magazine #358 [3e] p70, death of Ramman
  • On Hallowed Ground [2e] p65,69,172, Ramman overview and realm
  • Planescape Monstrous Compendium Vol. 2 [2e] p66, mortai of the Beastlands

Source: Jon Winter-Holt

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