The Shards of Belear
The gods are many. A few have grand temples that sponsor mighty processions through the streets on high holy days. Others have temples only in hidden places or evil lands. While the gods most strongly make their presence felt through their clerics, they also have lay followers who more or less attempt to live up to their deities’ standards. The typical person has a deity whom he considers to be his patron. Still, it is only prudent to be respectful toward and even pray to other deities when the time is right. Before setting out on a sea voyage, a follower of Pelor might leave a small sacrifice at a wayside shrine to Melora to improve his chances of having a safe journey. As long as one’s own deity is not at odds with the others in such an act of piety, such simple practices are common. In times of tribulation, however, some people recite dark prayers to evil deities. Such prayers are best muttered under one’s breath, lest others overhear.
Across the world, people and creatures worship a great number of varied deities. Those described here are the deities most often worshiped among the common races, by adventurers, and by villains. Each entry includes the deity’s name, role, alignment, and general description.
If you are playing a divine class or just want more information on any of these deities, be sure to check them out in multiple sources; The Players Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide, the Rules Compendium, the 3.5 edition of Deities & Demigods, the 3.5 Player’s Handbook, the Character Builder, ect.
There are more higher powers than just deities. Although their followers are in the minorities the Primal Spirits and Primordials also have their domains and worshipers.
Deities by Alignment
Deities rule the various aspects of human existence: good and evil, law and chaos, life and death, knowledge and nature. To worship a deity as your patron, your alignment cannot be far from that deities. They do not always have to be the same alignment, but they must be adjacent on the alignment chart. (ex: a lawful good deity has followers of lawful neutral and neutral good).
Lawful Good: Bahamut, Moradin
Neutral Good: Pelor
Chaotic Good: Avandra
Lawful Neutral: Erathis, Ioun
True Neutral: The Raven Queen
Chaotic Neutral: Corellon, Kord, Melora, Sehanine
Lawful Evil: Asmodeus, Tiamat
Neutral Evil: Bane, Torog, Vecna, Zehir
Chaotic Evil: Grummsh, Lolth, Tharizdun
Deities by Race:
In addition, various nonhuman races have racial deities of their own. Usually, a character may not be a cleric of a racial deity unless he is of the right race, but he may worship such a deity and live according to that deity’s guidance.
Elves worship Corellon
Dwarves worship Moradin
Drow worship Lolth
Halflings worship Avandra
Orcs worship Gruumish
Revenants worship The Raven Queen
List with Descriptions
The god of change, Avandra delights in freedom, trade, travel, adventure, and the frontier. Her temples are few in civilized lands, but her wayside shrines appear throughout the world. Halflings, merchants, and all types of adventurers are drawn to her worship, and many people raise a glass in her honor, viewing her as the god of luck. Her commandments are few:
✦ Luck favors the bold. Take your fate into your own hands, and Avandra smiles upon you.
✦ Strike back against those who would rob you of your freedom and urge others to fight for their own liberty.
✦ Change is inevitable, but it takes the work of the faithful to ensure that change is for the better.
Called the Platinum Dragon, Bahamut is the god of justice, protection, nobility, and honor. Lawful good paladins often revere him, and metallic dragons worship him as the first of their kind. Monarchs are crowned in his name. He com- mands his followers thus:
✦ Uphold the highest ideals of honor and justice.
✦ Be constantly vigilant against evil and oppose it on all fronts.
✦ Protect the weak, liberate the oppressed, and defend just order.
The god of spring, beauty, and the arts, Corellon is the patron of arcane magic and the fey. He seeded the world with arcane magic and planted the most ancient forests. Artists and musicians worship him, as do those who view their spellcasting as an art, and his shrines can be found throughout the Feywild. He despises Lolth and her priestesses for leading the drow astray. He urges his followers thus:
✦ Cultivate beauty in all that you do, whether you’re casting a spell, composing a saga, strumming a lute, or practicing the arts of war.
✦ Seek out lost magic items, forgotten rituals, and ancient works of art. Corellon might have inspired them in the world’s first days.
✦ Thwart the followers of Lolth at every opportunity.
Erathis is the god of civilization. She is the muse of great invention, founder of cities, and author of laws. Rulers, judges, pioneers, and devoted citizens revere her, and her temples hold prominent places in most of the world’s major cities. Her laws are many, but their purpose is straightforward:
✦ Work with others to achieve your goals. Community and order are always stronger than the disjointed efforts of lone individuals.
✦ Tame the wilderness to make it fit for habitation, and defend the light of civilization against the encroaching darkness.
✦ Seek out new ideas, new inventions, new lands to inhabit, new wilderness to conquer. Build machines, build cities, build empires.
Ioun is the god of knowledge, skill, and prophecy. Sages, seers, and tacticians revere her, as do all who live by their knowledge and mental power. Corellon is the patron of arcane magic, but Ioun is the patron of its study. Libraries and wizard academies are built in her name. Her commands are also teachings:
✦ Seek the perfection of your mind by bringing reason, perception, and emotion into balance with one another.
✦ Accumulate, preserve, and distribute knowledge in all forms. Pursue education, build libraries, and seek out lost and ancient lore.
✦ Be watchful at all times for the followers of Vecna, who seek to control knowledge and keep secrets. Oppose their schemes, unmask their secrets, and blind them with the light of truth and reason.
Kord is the storm god and the lord of battle. He revels in strength, battlefield prowess, and thunder. Fighters and athletes revere him. He is a mercurial god, unbridled and wild, who summons storms over land and sea; those who hope for better weather appease him with prayers and spirited toasts. He gives few commands:
✦ Be strong, but do not use your strength for wanton destruction.
✦ Be brave and scorn cowardice in any form.
✦ Prove your might in battle to win glory and
Melora is the god of the wilderness and the sea. She is both the wild beast and the peaceful forest, the raging whirlpool and the quiet desert. Rangers, hunters, and elves revere her, and sailors make offerings to her before beginning their voyages. Her strictures are these:
✦ Protect the wild places of the world from destruction and overuse. Oppose the rampant spread of cities and empires.
✦ Hunt aberrant monsters and other abominations of nature.
✦ Do not fear or condemn the savagery of nature. Live in harmony with the wild.
Moradin is the god of creation and patron of artisans, especially miners and smiths. He carved the mountains from primordial earth and is the guardian and protector of the hearth and the family. Dwarves from all walks of life follow him. His wife, Berronar Truesilver, uses her negotiation skills and calm demeanor to rule the domains of Life and Protection. Moradin demands these behaviors of his followers:
✦ Meet adversity with stoicism and tenacity.
✦ Demonstrate loyalty to your family, your clan, your leaders, and your people.
✦ Strive to make a mark on the world, a lasting legacy. To make something that lasts is the highest good, whether you are a smith working at a forge or a ruler building a dynasty.
God of the sun and summer, Pelor is the keeper of time. He supports those in need and opposes all that is evil. As the lord of agriculture and the bountiful harvest, he is the deity most commonly worshiped by ordinary humans, and his priests are well received wherever they go. Paladins and rangers are found among his worshipers. He directs his followers thus:
✦ Alleviate suffering wherever you find it.
✦ Bring Pelor’s light into places of darkness, showing
kindness, mercy, and compassion.
✦ Be watchful against evil.
The Raven Queen
The name of the god of death is long forgotten, but she is called the Raven Queen. She is the spinner of fate and the patron of winter. She marks the end of each mortal life, and mourners call upon her during funeral rites, in the hope that she will guard the departed from the curse of undeath. She expects her followers to abide by these commandments:
✦ Hold no pity for those who suffer and die, for death is the natural end of life.
✦ Bring down the proud who try to cast off the chains of fate. As the instru- ment of the Raven Queen, you must punish hubris where you find it.
✦ Watch for the cults of Orcus and stamp them out whenever they arise. The Demon Prince of the Undead seeks to claim the Raven Queen’s throne.
God of the moon and autumn, Sehanine is the patron of trickery and illusions. She has close ties to Corellon and Melora and is a favorite deity among elves and halflings. She is also the god of love, who sends shadows to cloak lovers’ trysts. Scouts and thieves ask for her blessing on their work. Her teachings are simple:
✦ Follow your goals and seek your own destiny.
✦ Keep to the shadows, avoiding the blazing light of zealous good and the utter darkness of evil.
✦ Seek new horizons and new experiences, and let nothing tie you down.
Asmodeus is the evil god of tyranny and domination. He rules the Nine Hells with an iron fist and a silver tongue. Aside from devils, evil creatures such as rakshasas pay him homage, and evil tieflings and warlocks are drawn to his dark cults. His rules are strict and his punishments harsh:
✦ Seek power over others, that you might rule with strength as the Lord of Hell does.
✦ Repay evil with evil. If others are kind to you, exploit their weakness for your own gain.
✦ Show neither pity nor mercy to those who are caught underfoot as you climb your way to power. The weak do not deserve compassion.
Bane is the evil god of war and conquest. Militaristic nations of humans and goblins serve him and conquer in his name. Evil fighters and paladins serve him. He commands his worshipers to:
✦ Never allow your fear to gain mastery over you, but drive it into the hearts of your foes.
✦ Punish insubordination and disorder.
✦ Hone your combat skills to perfection, whether you are a mighty general or a lone mercenary.
Gruumsh is the chaotic evil god of destruction, lord of marauding barbarian hordes. Where Bane commands conquest, Gruumsh exhorts his followers to slaughter and pillage. Orcs are his fervent followers, and they bear a particular hatred for elves and eladrin because Corellon put out one of Gruumsh’s eyes. The One-Eyed God gives simple orders to his followers:
✦ Conquer and destroy.
✦ Let your strength crush the weak.
✦ Do as you will, and let no one stop you.
Lolth is the chaotic evil god of shadow, lies, and spiders. Scheming and treachery are her commands, and her priests are a constant force of disruption in the otherwise stable society of the evil drow. Though she is properly a god and not a demon, she is called Demon Queen of Spiders. She demands that her followers:
✦ Do whatever it takes to gain and hold power.
✦ Rely on stealth and slander in preference to outright confrontation.
✦ Seek the death of elves and eladrin at every opportunity.
Tharizdun is the chaotic evil god who created the Abyss. He is not mentioned in the Player’s Handbook or named in the Monster Manual, because the fact of his existence is not widely known. A few scattered cults of demented followers revere him, calling him the Chained God or the Elder Elemental Eye. Tharizdun doesn’t speak to his followers, so his commands are unknown, but his cults teach their members to:
✦ Channel power to the Chained God, so he can break his chains.
✦ Retrieve lost relics and shrines to the Chained God.
✦ Pursue the obliteration of the world, in anticipation of the Chained God’s liberation.
Tiamat is the evil god of wealth, greed, and envy. She is the patron of chromatic dragons and those whose lust for wealth overrides any other goal or concern. She commands her followers to:
✦ Hoard wealth, acquiring much and spending little. Wealth is its own reward.
✦ Forgive no slight and leave no wrong unpunished.
✦ Take what you desire from others. Those who lack the strength to defend their possessions are not worthy to own them.
Torog is the evil god of the Underdark, patron of jailers and torturers. Common superstition holds that if his name is spoken, the King that Crawls burrows up from below and drags the hapless speaker underground to an eternity of imprisonment and torture. Jailers and torturers pray to him in deep caves and cellars, and creatures of the Underdark revere him as well. He teaches his worshipers to:
✦ Seek out and revere the deep places beneath the earth.
✦ Delight in the giving of pain, and consider pain you receive as homage to Torog.
✦ Bind tightly what is in your charge, and restrain those who wander free.
Vecna is the evil god of undead, necromancy, and secrets. He rules that which is not meant to be known and that which people wish to keep secret. Evil spellcasters and conspirators pay him homage. He commands them to:
✦ Never reveal all you know.
✦ Find the seed of darkness in your heart and nourish it; find it in others and exploit it to your advantage.
✦ Oppose the followers of all other deities so that Vecna alone can rule the world.
Zehir is the evil god of darkness, poison, and assassins. Snakes are his favored creation, and the yuan-ti revere him above all other gods, offering sacrifice to him in pits full of writhing serpents. He urges his followers to:
✦ Hide under the cloak of night, that your deeds might be kept in secret.
✦ Kill in Zehir’s name and offer each murder as a sacrifice.
✦ Delight in poison, and surround yourself with snakes.
Lesser Deities/Religions From Other Sources
The Blood Of Vol
The faithful of the Blood of Vol are captivated by the literal and figurative meaning of blood and of heredity, seeing blood as a source of power and divinity. They focus their energy on self-improvement, shunning higher forces. Worshipers believe in the power of what is physical and present, and focus on the affairs of day-to-day life, not on an illusory otherworldly power. Blood is the divinity within, the source of life, and, if one’s faith is strong and one’s abilities mastered, the only true path to immortality.
Adherents of the Blood of Vol are often distrusted by members of other faiths because of rumors that the Blood of Vol worships the undead. Widely misunderstood, the teachings of the religion are dark and driven, but not evil. The same can be said of its followers.
The Blood of Vol’s exhortations are simple:
» Believe in yourself. A common recitation when faced with a challenge or event: “As the blood is the power, and the blood flows through me, the power is mine.”
» Work to improve yourself and your capacities. A complete understanding of the divinity within opens the door to immortality.
» Meet with other members of the Blood of Vol to share in the power of each other’s blood.
The God of Nature
He is known as the Shalm. Obad-Hai rules nature and the wilderness, and he is a friend to all who live in harmony with the natural world. Barbarians, rangers, and druids sometimes worship him. The domains he is associated with are Air, Animal, Earth, Fire, Plant, and Water. Because Obad-Hai strictly adheres to neutrality, he will not accept followers of any other alignment. Obad-Hai plays a shalm (a double-reed woodwind musical instrument) and takes his title from this instrument.
The Binder of What Is Known
The deity of knowledge is the judge of ideas and innovations, deciding what will be passed down and what will be forgotten. This is a responsibility that Oghma takes seriously, despite his outwardly carefree demeanor.
Oghma thrives on ideas. He cannot abide the stifling of an original thought, no matter what might come of it, good or ill. It is for him to decide if a concept is carried forward from its originator, and he is protective of that power.
When Oghma’s Chosen, Grand Patriarch Cullen Kordamant, disappeared more than 120 years ago, his faith was split between two major factions — Procampur’s Orthodox Church of Oghma and the Oghmanyte Church in Exile, formerly of Sembia but now Cormyrian. Orthodox priests are known as lorekeepers; the Oghmanytes call themselves namers. Both maintain expansive libraries and greedily pursue written texts and oral histories from across Toril.
Orcus is known as the Demon Lord of Undeath, the Demon Prince of the Undead, and the Blood Lord. He is worshiped by undead and living creatures that do not fear undeath.
He is one of the most powerful demons in the Abyss — powerful enough to threaten gods. He commands legions of followers, living and dead, and cults dedicated to him are terrifyingly widespread in the natural world.
Orcus desires destruction like all demons, but he has set his sights higher, aiming at the gods themselves. In particular, Orcus hungers for the death of the Raven Queen and to usurp her control over death and the souls of the dead.
He finds amusement in the suffering and anguish of the living and satisfaction only when he drinks their blood. Most living things enrage him by their mere presence, and Orcus permits only undead to be near him; even his demon servitors are undead. He has destroyed hundreds of mighty heroes and laid waste to countless kingdoms.
Together with her sister Shar, Selûne created Abeir-Toril from the cosmic ether and assisted Chauntea as she blessed the twin worlds with life. She has infused her spirit into the moon and forever looks down on the world she helped create.
Selûne’s influence on Toril is felt in the ebb and flow of the tides and in the comforting silver glow of a moonlit night. She brings light to darkness, holding back the tide of evil embodied by her shadowy sister.
Mostly female, the Selûnite priests known as silverstars administer to their flocks with patience and compassion, letting all know that “anywhere the full moon shines is the place for Selûne.”
Silverstars are particularly interested in combat- ing the dark side of lycanthropy. They wander Toril in search of werecreatures, hoping to aid them in maintaining or regaining control, or destroying those who have allowed their humanity to be overwhelmed by their affliction.
Mistress of the Night
As old as the cosmos, Shar is one of the twin deities who created the world, bringing order out of Ao’s primordial chaos. The balance to her sister’s loving grace, Shar resides in the deepest shadows, nurturing the secret hatreds, the unnatural desires, and the lust for revenge that reside in the black corners of the mortal heart.
Her worshipers wield great power over other mortals and have worked their way into the highest governing ranks of countless realms. In the Empire of Netheril, allegiance to Shar, and Shar alone, carries the weight of law.
Her nightcloaks form their own cells from what scraps of secret lore they can find. Temples of Shar practice devotion to her in wildly varying ways. Often the presence of a temple is revealed only to a small inner circle of lay initiates who are tasked with spreading Shar’s whispered dogma in their own way.
The Lady of Love
The deity of love takes many forms, including that of Hanali Celanil, long worshiped as a goddess by the eladrin. She is the mistress of all that is beautiful and thrives on the most tender of emotions. Many deities, from Amaunator to Torm, have become smitten with the goddess of love, but she remains aloof (though flirtatious), reserving her love for the mortals who revere her name.
The worship of Sune is prevalent in cities and among the aristocracy, where people have the time to give proper attention to values such as romantic love and the preservation of beauty.
Numbering eight females for every male, Sune’s heartwarders are among the most beautiful humans, eladrin, and half-elves on Toril. Their informal hierarchy is loosely controlled by the most charismatic of the local priests. Her temples are monuments to the architectural arts, and her followers are asked to demonstrate love through an unselfish act every day.
The God of Retribution
He is known as St. Cuthbert of the Cudgel. St. Cuthbert exacts revenge and just punishment on those who transgress the law. Because evil creatures more commonly and flagrantly violate laws than good creatures do, St. Cuthbert favors good over evil, though he is not good himself. (His clerics cannot be evil.) The domains he is associated with are Destruction, Law, Protection, and Strength.
The Bitch Queen
Chaotic Evil Goddess of the Deep Wilds
The Queen of the Deeps is a harsh mistress, largely uncaring of her mortal worshipers’ pleas for mercy when one of her storms whips the seas of Toril into a killing frenzy. Still, hardly a soul steps aboard a ship who doesn’t whisper at least a cursory appeal to her in the hope that her random mercies fall their way.
Her waveservants rely on the scattered alms of terrified sailors for a minimal living, preaching the majesty of the uncaring ocean and the inherent hopelessness of anyone who dares set to sea.