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Waterspout was a divine magic spell available to priests of Umberlee, the Bitch Queen, and clerics of other deities that claimed the ocean as their domain. It created a towering column of water that could pick up objects and creatures, pummel them mercilessly, and then eject them high above the water level.[1][2] A rare arcane conjuration/summoning version of this spell also existed, mainly used by water elementalists.[4]


There were two divine versions of this spell, an earlier one used by priests of Umberlee[2] and a later version that had more wide-spread use among followers of deities associated with oceans.[1] The spells were very similar with minor differences in range and duration, but with one major difference: the later spell required a source of water at least 10 ft (3 m) across by 20 ft (6.1 m) deep and could create enough water to form a column 10 ft (3 m) wide by 80 ft (24 m) tall,[1] whereas the earlier version required a body of water large enough to supply all the water for such a column.[2] Both versions required a water depth of at least 20 ft (6.1 m) below the surface of the water source to support the waterspout. If there was insufficient water or space for the water column, the spell fizzled and was wasted.[1][2] The even more powerful arcane version allowed to form a waterspout 20 yds. (18 m) in diameter, with a height of 160 ft (49 m), or taller for wizards of greater power.[3][4]

The earlier version could be cast at a point up to 330 ft (101 m) away,[2] whereas the later version had a much longer range of 920 ft (280 m).[1] The arcane waterspout spell extended 260 yds. (238 m).[3][4] More experienced casters could extend this range even farther. When cast, a whirling cylinder of raging water rose up and could travel at a slow pace at the direction of the caster. All creatures and objects in its path were battered by the quickly rotating water, often with enough force to crush and shatter normal (non-magical) items and severely injure creatures that failed to dodge out of the way. Creatures hit by a waterspout were sucked into the column and spun about, taking further damage. Creatures that could not breathe water, were poor swimmers, or did not have the strength and constitution to hold their breath, stood a good chance of suffering death by drowning.[2] Medium-sized creatures already in the water and within 10 ft (3 m) of the waterspout were sucked in unless they managed to maneuver away. The same fate met very small watercraft such as rowboats or canoes, but the waterspout was not big enough to grab larger vessels.[1]

Creatures caught by a waterspout were battered, crushed, and suffocated until they reached the top of the water column and were flung about 100 ft (30 m) in a random (horizontal) direction.[2] If they were still alive at that point, the impact of their landing was another severe blow. Spellcasters had no chance to cast any spell until they were free of the waterspout, and then only a quick spell or magic item activation was possible before the crash landing.[1]

If the waterspout moved out of an area of sufficient depth, then it collapsed abruptly and all those trapped inside were subject to injury caused by falling.[1][2] If the spell ended normally, then the water column slowly sank back into the source of water and caused no further harm.[2]

The arcane version summoned a tornado in order to form the column of water. Thus it could be countered by appropriate wind magic or the actions of an air elemental.[3][4]


In addition to verbal and somatic components, the early version of this spell required a drop of water blessed by Umberlee or one of her senior priests.[2] The later version needed only the caster's holy symbol or divine focus,[1] while the arcane version needed verbal and somatic components only.[3][4]


See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 75. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 175–176. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Deborah Christian (August 1995). “Arcane Lore: Sea Magic”. In Wolfgang Baur ed. Dragon #220 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 70–78.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Mark Middleton et al (September 1998). Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume Four. (TSR, Inc), p. 1003. ISBN 978-0786912094.

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