The eldest daughter of Sin and Ningal, Ereshkigal is one of the Anunnaki. Though born in the heavens along with most other deities, Ereshkigal was forced into the dark realm of Irkalla early in life, which was only a bad thing until she made it her own. Now the Queen of the Dead, Ereshkigal rules over those mortals and deities whose lives have ended, and wields power over the underworld!
Immortality: a seventh generation Anunnaki, Ereshkigal is an immortal being. She can be reduced to zero Health and Endurance through various means, and can even be slain temporarily, but will not die. It's quite possible that she can only be completely destroyed within the realm of Irkalla, which is where she is most powerful. Her immortal life force grants her these additional abilities, as well:
* Awe: though physically alluring, it can be difficult to lay eyes upon Ereshkigal, for her immortal life force burns bright! When she invokes this ability, mortals within Very Near distance must pass a Psyche FEAT roll against this Monstrous (75) power, or be stupefied by her deific aura. Generally fearful of death, these beings will typically react as if affected by the fearful aspect of emotion control.
* Boon: one of the most important Anunnaki, Ereshkigal is often invoked in prayers and entreaties for power, whether from worshipers of her pantheon of gods, her direct followers, or wizards who are aware of and respect her might. She grants entreaties where life and death are on the line with Monstrous (75) ability, and is known to empower Death Ray, Reanimation, and Soul Control entreaty spells.
* Faith: ruler of the underworld, and head of a court of deities who perform various duties within Irkalla, Ereshkigal generates vast sums of the faith with which the Anunnaki impose their desires upon the multiverse. She can dip her toes into this vast pool of energy when necessary, channeling the power of belief in her and her fellow gods to fuel this power with up to Monstrous (75) capability!
Death Ray: the mistress of Irkalla, Ereshkigal wields unmatched command over the various energies of this afterlife plane. Included in this mastery is power over life and death itself, and Ereshkigal may fire black beams of murderous power from her eyes at her leisure! Lethal to mortal and immortal beings alike, her mortifying gaze inflicts Unearthly (100) Metabolic damage with every deadly assault!
Flight: originally some form of supernal, heavenly, or sky goddess, Ereshkigal may ignore the laws of gravity as she sees fit. Shrugging off the bonds of the world (or the underworld, as the case may be), Ereshkigal may fly with Remarkable (30) capability, which allows her to move at up to 225 miles per hour, whether up, down, left, right, forward, or backward.
Soul Control: while she holds no direct sway over the flesh of the dead, Ereshkigal nonetheless wields power over their very souls. Nominally, she can bend souls to her will with Unearthly (100) ability by herself. However, she can tap into Irkalla's energies while resident in her realm, increasing her dominion over the souls of the dead by +3 CS, meaning they may only depart the underworld if she so wishes it.
Schooling: Master / Electicism Magic:
For thousands of years, Ereshkigal has exploited her position as the ruler of Irkalla to extract sorcerous knowledge from those who have passed into the Land of No Return. Whether ancient wizards or primordial deities, Ereshkigal has pried any number of secrets from her charges. While the precise roster of spells she has mastered is as of yet unknown, she is undoubtedbly a master of this school of magic.
Limitations / Enhancements:
Banned: formerly a celestial goddess of some sort, Ereshkigal has embraced her inner darkness, and exults in the power of Irkalla. While she has the ability to leave her subterranean realm, Ereshkigal can no longer ascend to the heavens, and is barred from entering glorious Ubshukkina for the rest of her immortal days. While disinvited from Anu's realm henceforth, there's nothing stopping others from visiting her.
Impulsiveness 3: not one to rein in her dark desires, Ereshkigal has difficulty restraining herself under the best of conditions. Compounded by the fact that there are few entities in existence capable of saying no to her under any circumstances, particularly while ensconced within Irkalla, Ereshkigal must pass a Psyche FEAT roll at -6 CS for the purposes of holding back in any aspect of her behavior.
Archaeology: the Queen of the Dead, Ereshkigal knows where all the bodies are buried. Ruling over the ghosts of those who have passed beyond this mortal coil, she has questioned her subjects at length, and as such has learned all manner of things about humanity and its history. Ereshkigal may attempt FEAT rolls dependent on such knowledge at a +1 CS to her listed Reason score.
Lore: similarly, Ereshkigal has probed those divine entities that have descended into Irkalla for their many secrets. From the least of the Igigi to the most ancient and powerful of Anunnaki who have fallen in battle, Ereshkigal has plenty of sources of obscure, occult knowledge. She may attempt Reason FEAT rolls related to mystical matters of any stripe at the listed score +1 CS.
Ereshkigal is one of the Anunnaki, and one of the most important of those deities, at that. Due both to her heritage and her position as the ruler of Irkalla, Ereshkigal may rely upon most of her family for assistance should she but ask. In particular, her children Namtar, Ninazu, and Nungal, not to mention her still-living lovers, Enlil and Nergal, would likely do anything she requested of them.
When she bothers to wear clothing at all, Ereshkigal tends towards the practical. She will occasionally don ceremonial dress, to be sure, complete with the horned cap the Anunnaki favor. However, Ereshkigal most often wears clothing most suited to the task at hand, whether enforcing her rule of the underworld or engaging in more... amorous pursuits. Either way, her garb is almost exclusively black in hue.
Ereshkigal is the seeming personification of Freud's concept of the id, as well as the seven deadly sins. Consumed by impulses both creative and destructive, Ereshkigal rarely attempts to rein in her behavior, and has never had anyone successfully manage to do so for her. This, combined with her innate power and position as ruler of the underworld, makes her a singularly dangerous entity.
Real Name: Ereshkigal
Occupation: Queen of the Dead
Legal Status: the citizen of no mortal land, Ereshkigal can be considered one of the people of extraplanar Irkalla
Marital Status: married
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: the Anunnaki
Weight: 165 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Ereshkigal possesses bone white skin, due to either her residence in a lightless realm or her association with death. She is also described as particularly alluring, both physically and mentally.
The eldest daughter of Sin and Ningal, Ereshkigal overflows with unbridled energy. Ruled by violent passions and dark desires, young Ereshkigal quickly attracted the attentions of Enlil, then the ruler of the Anunnaki. But this pairing with Enlil was not fated to last. That he was already wed to Ninlil bothered neither deity, but the simple fact of the matter was that Ereshkigal was too much for her grandfather to handle.
Draining his time and energy with their coupling, Ereshkigal was quickly impregnated by Enlil, and in due time gave birth to their son, Namtar. Incensed by this, Enlil's wife, Ninlil, convinced the earth dragon, Kur, to rid Ubshukkina of her. A bargain struck, Kur ascended to the heavens and seized Ereshkigal, dragging her down into the underworld realm of Irkalla, though not before Enlil impregnated her a second time.
Wishing to liberate her from Kur, Ereshkigal's other grandfather, Enki, journeyed to the underworld to war with the ancient creature. The battle between wizard and dragon shook the realms both above and below Irkalla, ending only when Kur tired of the conflict and withdrew. But then, he knew the darkness in Ereshkigal's soul, and was certain that it would bind her to the underworld better than he ever could.
Sure enough, Ereshkigal found Irkalla a natural fit to the urges that had driven her since birth. Settling in, she declared herself the Queen of the Dead, and lorded over the essences of those divine entities who had fallen in battle, either with each other or due to world-shaking calamity! Soon afterwards, Ereshkigal gave birth to her second child with Enlil, Nungal, who seemed as beautiful and dangerous as she.
As she doted over Nungal, Namtar joined Ereshkigal in the underworld, ferried there by the Celestial Bull, Gugalanna. Enamored by this powerful being, who she felt was finally what she needed to satisfy her unquenchable appetities, Ereshkigal made Gugalanna at home in Irkalla. Though he could not relocate permanently, Gugalanna visited Ereshkigal often, and her next two sons, Ninazu and Ninmada, were born as a result.
Initially, Ereshkigal only had the souls of dead gods to lord over, but in time the ghosts of humans began to arrive in Irkalla as well. Her power growing with each dead man, woman, and child that journeyed to the underworld, Ereshkigal became a vital member of the Anunnaki. But though her fortunes were improving, even she was not immune to tragedy, for Gugalanna was viciously slain in battle by Gilgamesh!
Overcome with grief, Ereshkigal openly mourned within the palace Kurnugi, until Irkalla was approached by Ishtar. Having never been visited by her younger sister before, Ereshkigal was doubtful that the overly ambitious Ishtar came without ill designs on her and her realm. This particularly because Gugalanna died as a direct result of Ishtar's petulant feud with the heroic descendant of Shamash.
Instructing Neti, the gatekeeper of the underworld, to bar the gates, she only allowed Ishtar to pass each one once she had removed one of her protective garments. Once arriving at the Kurnugi, Ishtar sat upon Ereshkigal's throne while her elder sister continued her lamentations for Gugalanna, an act so beyond the pale that it immediately brought judgment against her by Ereshkigal's court.
So judged, Ishtar was given the gaze of death by Ereshkigal, and slain on the spot. Hanging her corpse from a meat hook on a nearby wall, Ereshkigal continued her mourning, at least until creatures of Enki appeared to share her grief. Thanking them, she asked what they wanted in return. Saying they only wanted the corpse of Ishtar, Ereshkigal happily waved them off with it, not expecting them to resurrect her!
Though revived, Ishtar wasn't off the proverbial hook yet. No, Ereshkigal informed her that she could not leave the underworld until she found a suitable replacement. To this end, Ishtar was released with a horde of galla, demons who were ready to seize whichever deity she chose. When she found her husband Tammuz indifferent to her demise in Irkalla, Ishtar pointed him out, and the chase was on!
Evading them for some time, thanks to assistance from Shamash and Geshtinanna, Tammuz was ultimately captured and drug off to the underworld to take Ishtar's place. Seeing the grief this caused Geshtinanna, however, Ishtar decided that they could alternate their penance in Irkalla, each one spending but six months out of the year in the underworld instead of one being trapped there forever.
Satisfied with this, Ereshkigal allowed Ishtar's substitutions to stand, and things returned to normal in the underworld. This lasted until mighty Anu, lord of heavenly Ubshukkina, held a banquet for all the gods. Knowing Ereshkigal could not attend, being the mistress of the underworld, he sent his father's sukkal, Gaga, to pay the Anunnaki's respects - and to have her send someone to collect the meal due to her.
Sending Namtar, Ereshkigal awaited the return of her own sukkal, though when he arrived she learned that Nergal, of all the gods, disrespected him! Knowing that Namtar would report this perfidy, Anu banished Nergal to Irkalla until he apologized, in an attempt to mend fences with mighty Ereshkigal. When he arrived, however, the two were immediately attracted to each other, and enjoyed a week of each others' company.
Fleeing after a week, before his strength was completely drained by Ereshkigal, Nergal left her pregnant once more. Furious beyond reckoning, Ereshkigal sent Namtar back to Ubshukkina, indicating that she would empty the underworld if Nergal were not returned to her forthwith, allowing the souls of the dead to rampage and consume the living! Naturally, Anu wasn't about to let that happen.
Thus, Nergal was ultimately dragged back down to the underworld by Namtar once he was located, and Ereshkigal once again set upon him. Making him her consort, she continued to rule Irkalla from then on, now with Nergal at her side. After giving birth to her fifth child, Ereshkigal resumed her administration of the underworld, which presumably continues to this very day!
I offer this Costumed Adventurer Simulation Engine work under the Creative Commons Attribution license. You may use this material as you see fit in your own, derivative texts or products, whether copying, distributing, or displaying it, as long as you credit me within said works. If you would like more information about me for attribution, you can contact me via e mail (DashApostrophe@gmail.com).
Return to the Myths and Legends main page!
Interested in using Technoholic content in your own project? Please read this beforehand!