A Forlorn Hope
The gods of the Realms grant magical spells to their worshippers, involve themselves in earthly dealings, and grow or diminish in personal power in relation to the number of mortal worshippers they possess. Clerics in the service of a god will advance only if they please the god, by remaining faithful to the gods rules and aims, and acting as the god wishes. There are many deities in the Realms, even among humans, and this plethora of divine beings, and the wide variance of portfolios which they represent or epitomize, has led to general tolerance of the beliefs and worship of others in the Realms. This extends to all who do not break laws among the general populace, the Court, and the soldiers of the King. Human sacrifice is considered murder in lawful realms, and use of anothers goods as offerings is both theft and wanton destruction. Individuals, particularly clerics, may not be all tolerant of the beliefs of others. It is considered impolite to inquire too deeply into the details of worship of a god one does not worship or is not likely to worship. It might be wise to learn the religions and/or alignments of any persons you must trust, do business with, or adventure with, but take care; it is often an affront of the highest order to ask such information openly. Some people have been known to attack individuals inquiring as to their faith. The main deities and demigods of the
Realms are listed hereafter, including notes on less-major powers, Elemental Lords, Cults of the Beast, and nonhuman deities.
The Elemental Lords are uncaring, inhuman beings from the Inner Planes, the most powerful of their elemental types. Unlike the other Great Powers, they care little for humanity or worshippers, and provide their favors most unwillingly, or only if they may benefit themselves. Men often appeal to an elemental power to offset the rage of an evil deity, such as beseeching Istishia to placate Umberlee.
There are a number of different symbols of the Faiths of Elemental Lords across Faerun, and not all of them agree in symbols, alignment, services, or organization. The Red Wizards of Thay are said to venerate Kossuth the Fire Tyrant, but have a number of different sects, each fanatically believing that their group is the well-favored of this uncaring being.
The Beast Cults
Similar to and more varied than the
sects of the Elemental Lords, the Beast
Cults are wild faiths, attracting the worship
of savages, nomads, evil humanoids,
and those removed from the
normal circles of the world. They are as
varied as the beasts of the fields, and
vary in alignment from Nobanion, the
good and lawful lion-god of the
Guthmere Woods, to evil cults of Lolth
among the dark elves and the Dragon
Cult among those evil mages beyond
Major Non-Human Gods
Men are not the only creatures with
gods; the elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings,
orcs, and other creatures venerate
their own Powers greater and
They are summarized below.