Lord Ao (AY-oh) was the Overgod of the worlds of Abeir-Toril. As Overgod, all deities and primordials of Toril, even those who also operated in other spheres and planes such as Lolth, were subject to him. To be more precise, only aspects of gods directly connected with Abeir-Toril were under Ao's power. Otherwise extra-planar deities were unaffected. If it were not for Ao's involvement in the Time of Troubles, he would most likely be forgotten by the mortals of Faerûn. Ao did not want to be known, for cults once dedicated to him only a decade ago[as of when?] began to die out, and Ao's name disappeared from written records. What went on in Toril and what the other deities did were of no concern to Ao, as long as the deities upheld their individual portfolios and did not completely ignore their worshipers.[1]

In addition, unlike the other gods under him, Lord Ao had no need for worshipers whatsoever, whereas those "normal" gods who did not receive the worship of mortals could "die" from lack of worship. Ao initiated this after the Time of Troubles in order to enforce his will that the gods act as guardians of the Balance rather than kings of mortals.[citation needed]

Despite his own absolute sovereignty over the cosmos of Toril, it was revealed that he himself served an even greater and more mysterious entity, whom he addressed only as "Master,".[2]

Ao closed his eyes and blanked his mind. Soon, he fell within himself and entered the place before time, the time at the edge of the universe, where millions of millions of assignments like his began and ended.

A luminous presence greeted him, enveloping his energies within its own. It was both a warm and a cold entity, forgiving and harsh. "And how does your cosmos fare, Ao?" The voice was at once both gentle and admonishing.

"They have restored the balance, Master. The Realms are once again secure."

  — Troy Denning, Waterdeep, 3rd Book of Avatar series

Worshippers Edit

The cult of Ao was led by ministers instead of clerics, since these cultists never received any spells from the Overgod; on the other hand, they have never been slain. His followers were likely considered "faithless".[citation needed]

Ao established rules concerning the management of the divine.[3] For instance:

  • No two gods in the same pantheon could have identical portfolios.
  • When two gods clash, one of three results occurs:
    • One god fades from the Realms.
    • Both gods merge.
    • One (or both) god(s) alter their portfolio(s) sufficiently that both could remain in or join the Faerûnian pantheon.

Creation of the World Edit

Lord Ao created the crystal sphere that held the world of Abeir-Toril[4]. After he created the crystal sphere, it was just an empty, gray, and misty void, a timeless place of nothingness that existed before light and darkness became two separate things. Out of this shadowy realm came the two beautiful twin goddesses: Selûne and Shar, goddess of light and goddess of darkness.

References Edit

Notes Edit

  1. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  2. Troy Denning (July 2003). Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 345. ISBN 0-7869-3111-6.
  3. Eric L. Boyd. Eric Boyd on Pantheons of the Realms. Archived from the original on 2002-06-25. Retrieved on 2010-09-27.
  4. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 260. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
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