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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  08:42:47  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Okay this is a place to discuss the origin of individual "gods" and what their origins are.

Basically given what we know about certain gods can we decipher whether they began life as a primordial, a deity, a cosmic entity, or maybe even as a mortal.

So brief definitions on the three (mortal probably needs no definition).

Primordial- Naturally powerful exemplar or its kind or a unique individual. So a super powerful animal or a super powered giant, but not a normal dire bear or normal fire giant. Classes are not part of this power level as it is naturally inherent.
- Single body, it exists in one form, not multiple manifestations, no avatars.
- Material, Faerie, or Elemental Plane in origin. Primordials cannot come from the Outer Planes.
- Mortal. When their body is killed they are dead (exceptions occur of course and they can also be resurrected like normal creatures.
- Cannot grant spells.
- Worship independent. Their power level is not tied to the number of worshippers.

Deity - Outer Planar. Deities cannot exist on other planes but can send avatars and manifestations to those planes.
- Multiple bodies. Can create multiple avatars and aspects to send anywhere, can have multiple manifestations and divide divine essence into multiple vessels.
- Worship dependent. Power level directly dependent upon direct and indirect worship.
- Immortal. Gods cannot die, they are ideals, manifestations of belief, should the current holder of an ideal be destroyed then that ideal or belief is subsumed into another appropriate deity or another deity is created to fill the gap. The previous holders of that belief or ideal exist as single avatars of the new deity with their own independent personalities and goals but must at all time represent the portfolio of the current god.
- Can grant spells.

Cosmic Entity - Planar. Cosmic entities are representative of the plane on which they serve. That plane chooses them to be the embodiment of them. E.g. Demogorgon, Asmodeus.
- Multiple bodies. Can have multiple aspects and manifestations. Only one physical body is the original and real body of that being.
- Worship independent. Their power level is awarded to them by the plane they represent. They have full powers on that plane, power level decreases the further they travel from that plane.
- Mortal and Immortal. The current representative of the plane can be killed, but the plane will elect another representative to replace him.
- Can grant spells.

Vestige - Multi Planar. Vestiges can exist any plane; depending on where they died, and in some cases on several planes at the same time (material and ethereal for instance).
- Single body. Exists only as a remnant of what was once a deity, cosmic entity, or primordial.
- Worship Independent. Power level is not dependent on number of worshippers and is a fraction of the entity's former power when he was a god/primordial/cosmic entity.
- Deceased. Vestige is the remnant of a being that has already been slain or destroyed.
- Can grant spells but only to people that form pacts with the vestige, cannot grant spells to all worshippers.

Sentient Artefact - Planar. Can exist anywhere
- Single Body. Exist only as the artefact they currently inhabit.
- Worship Independent. Power level is dependant upon the artefact they inhabit.
- Deathless. Cannot be destroyed unless the artefact is likewise destroyed.
- Can grant spells??? (not sure about this one, i'm thinking they probably can't grant spells but no proof either way).

So if you have an origin or category for a deity or planar being or primordial creature then by all means say but you need the proof to back up your claim (page numbers please so we can all check).
Oh and i only go as far as 1370's in dates.


The Seldarine
Corellon Larethian - Origin - Primordial from Faerie
- Current Status - 27,000 - 17,500 DR, Elven greater deity

Drow Pantheon
Lolth - Origin - Primordial from Faerie
- Other Status - -24,000 DR Cosmic Entity (demon lord)
- Current Status - -10,000 DR Drow deity (Intermediate or greater?)

Faerunian Pantheon
Tyr - Origin - -247 DR, interloping avatar
- Current Status - Greater deity

Myrkul - Origin - Mortal
- Other Status - c-200 DR, Greater deity
- Current Status - Sentient Artefact


Other Entities
Entropy - Origin - Sentient Artefact
- Current Status - Primordial?

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 26 Nov 2013 08:55:37

Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  09:07:59  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay so i will go first.

The first being the entire Seldarine.

I propose that they are all primordial in origin from the Plane of Faerie.

Page 8 of Grand History of the Realms states the following.

quote:
c. –27000 DR: Continuing their work to undermine dragon rule, the Fey open new gates allowing the first elves to immigrate to Toril. These primitive green elves worship the Faerie gods (not the Seldarine, which were unknown at this time).


If the Seldarine were unknown then they would have no worshippers, ergo they could not be deities.

Page 112-165 of Demihuman Deities makes multiple references to a war between the Seldarine and Anti-Seldarine. Corellon was wounded and bleeding. Eilistraee collapsed and Sehanine Moonbow was captured. These are actions that require a physical being (you cannot cause a belief to bleed and if an avatar was knocked unconscious or captured you would just create another one). So at some point in the past the entire Seldarine must have had physical bodies and therefore have been primordials or mortals.

So the Seldarine must have ascended at some point between -27,000 and -17500.

I picked -17,500 because that is the date of the Sundering and during the Sundering a piece of Arvandor (on the outer planes) was merged with Toril to create Evermeet. If Arvandor exists then the Seldarine are full blown deities by this point in time.


And furthermore if the Seldarine were primordials then the Anti Seldarine must have been primordials as well.

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Alruane
Senior Scribe

USA
434 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  09:50:21  Show Profile Send Alruane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is interesting actually.

" I wonder if you are destined to be forgotten. Will your life fade in the shadow of greater beings?"
~Joneleth Irenicus

"Wisdom? My dear boy, wisdom is knowing that you do not know everything. Wisdom is realizing, a wise man ALWAYS has questions. Not answers."

~Alruane
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

756 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  10:22:50  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Alright, here is a bunch of ascended mortals.

First the ones i suppose i don't have to give references for (but will do later if you want): Azuth, Bane, Bhaal, Cyric, Finder Wyvernspur, Karsus, Kelemvor, Myrkul, Mystra 1.0, Mystra 2.0, Red Knight, Tchazzar, Velsharoon.

Then we have:
- Torm: (from Faiths & Pantheons page 74) "Torm serves Tyr as war leader and champion, as he once did for a mortal ruler in the days immediately following the Fall of Netheril" <-- [interesting bit here: Torm appears in the durpari Adama in -256 so his ascension was *fast*]
- Uthgar: (from Faiths & Pantheons page 85) "Uthgar was once a mortal Northlander from Ruathym named Uther Gardolfsson ..."
- Gwaeron Windstrom: (from Faiths & Pantheons page 97) "Gwaeron roamed the North as a mortal ranger many centuries ago and is said to sleep in a stand of trees just to the west of the town of Triboar ..."
- Siamorphe (from Faiths & Avatars page 58) "Each incarnation of Siamorphe chooses a mortal successor when he or she is dying to inherit the mantle of godhood <-- [And Siamorphe dies more often than Mystra so there is a long succession on ascended mortals that shared the name]
- Valkur: (from Faiths & Pantheons page 110) "He may have once been a sea captain from Mintarn who dared challenge Umberlee and won" and (from Faiths & Avatars page 72) "Valkur's worship originated in the North centuries ago and seems tied to tales of a legendary captain from Mintarn who challenged Umberlee and won against all odds"
- Kiaransalee: (from Faiths & Pantheons page 113) "Kiaransalee was once mortal, a powerful dark elven necromancer-queen from another plane."
- Deep Duerra: (from Faiths & Pantheons page 117) "Elderly gray dwarven mindwardens speak of an ancient time, when a great queen named Duerra ruled a dwarven empire of immense subterranean territory and dark, expansionist ambitions"
- Shevarash: (from Faiths & Pantheons page 131) "After a lifetime of fighting the drow, he was slain and underwent apotheosis with the help of Fenmarel Mestarine"
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Demzer
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756 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  10:46:54  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Uhm, some issues with your categories, maybe i didn't understand them well:

1) Kossuth: he was canonically a Deity, then canonically a Primordial. He is the most pristine manifestation of fire so he could have been seen as the Elemental Plane of Fire Cosmic Entity if it still existed as such. He sent at least once (Great Conflagration, -160 DR) an avatar on Toril and he grants spells. So he is either both a Primordial and a Deity or a Primordial and a Cosmic Entity (or all 3 at the same time).
2) Your examples of Cosmic Entities: Asmodeus can be seen as the Cosmic Entity associated with the Nine Hells but Demogorgon is not at that level: he's not the most influential (Graz'zt, Orcus and Yeenoghu have way more cultists/followers/servants all over the place), nor the one with the biggest domain (Graz'zt rules 3 Layers), he's just the one individually most powerful of the various demon princes. Furthermore, the fact various demon princes (Demogorgon included) try to get cultists/worshippers on the Prime Material Plane(s) seems to point to the fact they don't have Deity-like power-level and want it and to get it need to get followers and ascend the old worship-fueled way.
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  10:50:36  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay slightly odd one here, but only slightly.

Tyr - Deity

Now page 79 of Faiths and Pantheons states.
quote:
A utopian interloper deity, who long ago came to Toril from a foreign cosmos.


This is further supported on page 80 which references his date of arrival as -247 DR in Turmish.

However Tyr has a number of features that i would not attribute to a deity.
1 - He was blinded but that was by Ao himself during the Time of Troubles so during that point he was probably manifested in a physical body and Ao can do what he likes.
2 - He lost his right hand to Kezef the Chaos Hound

I am 100% behind the idea that Tyr was a deity when he came to Toril but i am thinking that in a manner similar to the Mulhorandi and Untheric deities he actually sent an avatar through the portal to Turmish and it was this avatar that accomplished all those deeds and whose hand was bitten off by Kezef the chaos hound (probably sometime between -247 and -238 during his procession.

That way when he acquired enough belief to become a full fledged deity in Toril's crystal sphere although the date of ascension is unknown (he was a deity elsewhere already), then people already believed on Toril that he had lost his right hand and so the damage was permanent because his worshippers believed it so.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  11:13:33  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You can of course be multiple things at once. Kossuth and the other elemental lords i believe were primordials from far in Torils past (since we have a few elemental themed primordials detailed in 4th edition).

Or alternatively they could have been primordials created on the elemental planes.

Now they are either cosmic entities or deities, i am not sure which. They certainly grant spells, but is Kossuth the supreme representative of the elemental plane of fire and therefore its defacto ruler? If so then he is a cosmic entity, if not then the worship of beings in Toril would make him a deity. And of course he can be both.

As for Demogorgon. He rules a plane of the abyss and so is a cosmic entity because of that. However Demogorgon is known as the Prince of Demons and the recognised if not obeyed ruler of the Abyss, and in at least one backstory (from Dragon Magazine i believe) the Abyss is hinted at having a hint of sentience and choosing Demogorgon to replace the Obyriths that ruled the abyss before hand.

That says to me that he is a cosmic entity more powerful than Graz'zt, Orcus, and any other rulers of Abyssal planes because he has power invested in him not only by a plane but also by the abyss as a whole. In fact the Savage Tide campaign allows the party to destroy Demogorgon and then they replace him (morphing into demogorgon) or a new demon prince appears.

As for the categories, all editions are guilty of making a hash job of super powered beings. They attributed demigod status (which requires worshippers) to beings that didnt have any worshippers.

When primordials came along they applied it to every creature below lesser god status despite the fact that some of them are deities.

I'm tossing the canonical definitions of what beings are out of the window because it isnt good enough. These are categories i have found from multiple sources that are distinct enough to warrant a separate category.

Gods cannot be injured (they can take any form they want), they cannot really die - the killing god takes his place or a different god appears, they can only disappear through lack of worshippers or be replaced by something else.

Primordials are just like mortals but are super powered beings, they dont grant spells to worshippers, and they dont even require worshippers, when they die, they are dead.

Cosmic entities are in between, they are godlike, but do not require worshippers, they exist on and are generally the rulers of an outer plane and so from a few examples (the Abyss and Baator) it would seem that the plane itself grants them their power.

So where you can see examples of a god having something happen that really cannot happen (for instance gods collapsing or being captured), we should try and figure out why, and what they were and indeed are.

There is nothing to stop a being from being all three.

You can have a primordial ascend to godhood and become a deity. He then lives on the outer plane and that plane chooses him to be its representative and so he is a cosmic entity as well. Such a thing would be beneficial, kind of like having the benefits of all three but none of the weaknesses.

I even think there are ways of mortals becoming primordials. Haask voice of Hargut certainly achieved it. There are also hints that the power of primordials can be harnessed - the dark three, and Uthgar. So maybe by destroying or defeating a primordial you can take its power and become one yourself, or use that power to ascend to godhood (if you have the worshippers).

So why would Graz'zt want to be a god. He is already a cosmic entity (doesnt require worshippers but grants spells) and is very powerful on his plane. His power is not so great on the material plane (it being 2 order of planes away from his home plane (outer plane - inner plane - material plane). So by attracting enough worshippers he could become a god, that means he cannot die in any sense we understand and has greater power on the material plane, however he needs to get enough worshippers to ascend.

Of course there may be other categories than the three i postulated - im open to ideas, but they would need to be distinct in their own right (ie not a separate category for weaker primordials like demigods are for deities, or a primordial from Faerie).

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  12:53:58  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A long time ago, in a thread, far, far away...

We (as in some posters and at least three designers IIRC) all decided - over at the WotC boards - that 'deity' was an acquired template. It is a template normally only taken by mortals, but other beings of vast power can also choose to take the template. This involves starting a cult, etc. As for mortals, it doesn't require a cult, usually, but the mechanics are the same - they are worshiped/venerated by other mortals ('hero god', 'god tyrant', etc).

This was hashed-out after the initial 4e fallout. Nothing else 'officially' (and I use that term loosely, since other designers do NOT have the same status as Ed, to create canon 'on the fly') was said after that, AFAIK. This was meant as a fix for certain inconsistencies, like the elemental lords being primordials now.

However, that still had some holes in it, so to further provide some sort of 'hard rules' to that, I've theorized that the actual deity template creates a two-way conduit between the god and their mortal worshipers, so power can be easily transferred back-and-forth. That part is kind of a given. Think of the faithful as 'extra storage' in a way - the god places tiny little bits of himself in them (so they can cast spells, etc), and he can reel all of that back in when he really needs it... along with the rest of their lifeforce. Thus, deities have an 'energy capacity' - in fact, we have evidence of just that with Mystra and her Chosen. I call this energy 'mana' (I know, not very original, but after several years of thinking about this stuff, its actually the perfect term). Its not only the basis for most (arcane) magic, but its also the energy of life itself (its what souls are made out of). Also, the higher level the character, the more power they can store (a convenient way of expressing why gods are more interested in single, powerful people rather then droves of dross).

The other important factor about this theoretical 'deity template' is its one important prerequisite: A human soul. This is why most primordials (and other cosmic beings) don't bother with true deity status - they don't want the 'added baggage' of what goes with merging their essence with a human soul (mostly empathy). In other words, once you link yourself to a group of mortals, you become influenced by the 'overmind' created by the group - this can be expressed by dogma. The deity's appearance, outlook, and even agenda can all be shifted by these attachments. Its a very dangerous 'game' for a cosmic entity (including primordials and beyond) to do this thing, and once done, and it is nearly impossible to be un-done.

That still leaves us with a bit of a conundrum with the elemental lords - they have never been portrayed as 'being human' (in an emotional sense), which perfectly fits their current primordial status, but not their previous status. I'll address that in another post.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Nicolai Withander
Master of Realmslore

Denmark
1092 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  13:11:06  Show Profile Send Nicolai Withander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Okay slightly odd one here, but only slightly.

Tyr - Deity

Now page 79 of Faiths and Pantheons states.
quote:
A utopian interloper deity, who long ago came to Toril from a foreign cosmos.


This is further supported on page 80 which references his date of arrival as -247 DR in Turmish.

However Tyr has a number of features that i would not attribute to a deity.
1 - He was blinded but that was by Ao himself during the Time of Troubles so during that point he was probably manifested in a physical body and Ao can do what he likes.
2 - He lost his right hand to Kezef the Chaos Hound

I am 100% behind the idea that Tyr was a deity when he came to Toril but i am thinking that in a manner similar to the Mulhorandi and Untheric deities he actually sent an avatar through the portal to Turmish and it was this avatar that accomplished all those deeds and whose hand was bitten off by Kezef the chaos hound (probably sometime between -247 and -238 during his procession.

That way when he acquired enough belief to become a full fledged deity in Toril's crystal sphere although the date of ascension is unknown (he was a deity elsewhere already), then people already believed on Toril that he had lost his right hand and so the damage was permanent because his worshippers believed it so.



Isnt Tyr supposed to be the norse god from Asgaard?
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  13:45:13  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tyr may be from anywhere, but as far as the Realms go it details him as a utopian deity that arrives in Turmish.

The arrival bit is the first clue to this being just an avatar (since no mortal would see a god arriving in whatever outer plane he appeared in) and the fact that it is the material plane means it has to be an avatar and not the entire god himself (which if you could witness it would probably blow your mind).

His actions in Turmish and the whole procession were probably just to gain enough worshippers to cause Tyr (manifested in this avatar) to become the god of justice in whatever pantheon it was at the time, and probably resulted in him mergin with Anach to create Anachtyr or subsuming Anachtyr in Calimshan (i think it was Calimshan).

Whats important though is that Tyr is an example of a deity who actually did have a physical manifestation first but whose origin in the realms was as a deity and not a mortal or primordial (which is usually the only way to have a physical presence in the realms prior to ascension).


As for the conduits and mortal souls. I'm onboard with the idea of a two way link between worshipper and deity. The requirement for a soul, possibly, I'm pretty sure Baatezu are created from the torturing and moulding of souls so any baatezu could become a god - particularly evil souls can just spontaneously form into baatezu and bypass the evolution they must normally go through.

I think the same process even occurs with tanar'ri, but as you pointed out the elemental lords - ie primordials from the inner planes - probably dont have souls.

If however Kossuth, Akadi, Grumbar, and the other one originated on Toril and migrated to the inner planes then they would have souls because they are from the material plane (every material plane born creature has a soul). Kossuth and the others dont even have to be the cosmic entity representative of the entire plane of whatever element they are, they might just be a particularly powerful primordial on that plane (like the evil elder princes) and are a deity on Toril. That means they would have a divine realm on the elemental plane (think a country within the plane) where their power is supreme - they can morph the land, alter gravity, change anything - but outside that divine realm they are no more powerful than the next super powered elemental lord.

Anyway, enough of the semantics, more primordials, deities, and cosmic entities.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  14:40:12  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So first conundrum.

What is Ghaunadaur?

In demihuman deities he is listed as a lesser god.

It states on page 18 that at one point all slimes and oozes worshipped Ghaunadaur, but it struck them mad for its failure to defeat Lolth (possibly following her exile from the Seldarine and being cast into the Abyss).

Similarly on page 18 it states that Ghaunadaur is distinctly separate from Jubilex and the Elder Elemental God, but as they are unrepresented in the realms he is taking their worship as well as another creature called Gormauth Souldrinker which he may have subsumed (defeated, conquered, killed).

So i guess the question is what was Ghaunadaur, i am thinking some horrific monstrous ooze like creature of the Abyss or paraelemental plane of Ooze that was elevated to Cosmic Entity status.

The reason i say Abyss, is that it says Ghaunadaur may have attacked Lolth shortly after her exile. She was exiled to the Abyss and so Ghaunadaur may have tried to take her abyssal plane at one point (and in doing so lost his own and left for the elemental plane of ooze).

Now he is a power of the elemental plane of Ooze, but in all truth, how many worshippers will he have. Is it even possible for an ooze to worship him, he certainly is not at all favourable or nurturing of his worshippers so i doubt they have any great love or loyalty for him.

If this is the case then his lesser power status may actually be down to him being a cosmic entity with power bestowed upon him by the elemental plane of ooze.

I would be interested to know who this Gormauth Souldrinker was - it sounds like a humanoid name and title (the fact that he has two names). Maybe he was a god of oozes for a proto pantheon on Toril that Ghaunadaur ate.

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Demzer
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756 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  15:22:22  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

However Demogorgon is known as the Prince of Demons and the recognised if not obeyed ruler of the Abyss, and in at least one backstory (from Dragon Magazine i believe) the Abyss is hinted at having a hint of sentience and choosing Demogorgon to replace the Obyriths that ruled the abyss before hand.



Uh, no.

The Abyss ain't no stinkin' Hell.

No one rules the Abyss since the Queen of Chaos got her butt handed to her by the tanar'ri uprising (and even before she didn't exactly rule everything and everywhere since Dagon, Pazuzu and others defied her will with little repercussion).

Unless you can procure various sources that state that Demogorgon is the King of something or that the other demon lords pay homage to him or that he orders them around (and i mean the big names out there: Graz'zt, Orcus, Fraz-Urb'Luu, Malcanteth, Pazuzu, Pale Night, ecc...) i consider the notion that he rules the Abyss incorrect and completely homebrew.
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5318 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  15:42:06  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fine make me read my books. I dont mind if you consider it homebrew, i already said i'm tossing canon definitions out the window as they dont work.

It was from dragon magazine 357.

There are a number of passages.

quote:
Among them were the obyrith lords, demons of vast power that were the mouthpieces of the Abyss itself. Some of these demon lords were more powerful than the others, but most powerful of them all was their prince, the first to rise from the primal matter of chaos and evil – Obox-ob.


It then goes on to stat how the queen of chaos marches against Obox-Ob and slays him and then mortals appear in the universe and the first Tanar'ri are born from their souls. She nurtures them but discards the first as it is horribly misshapen and weak (Demogorgon) etc etc.

quote:
For in the shadow of planar wars and the rise of new races that first, malformed accident had grown strong. None were prepared for his arrival and none could withstand his power when he claimed the title Prince of Demons for his own. Dozens of the most powerful tanar’ri lords assaulted his new form, eager to put him down, but one after another they fell, their bodies rotting and life forces shattered. In moments, the new Prince of Demons reduced the number of tanar’ri lords by a dozen, and those who survived knew they stood in the shadow of true power. Even mighty Orcus and Graz’zt were forced to kneel, their resources spent from their own wars against one another. For standing before them in all his terrible glory was the first, the primal tanar’ri, and while the demon host rankled and roared at his arrival, none dared raise fist or claw against the new prince.
Demogorgon had claimed his throne.



It makes numerous uses of the word title, and throne, which are words used to denote lordship and states he has the title prince of demons - a title held before by Obox-Ob and the Queen of Chaos. Plus the most powerful remaining demon lords were forced to kneel before him which is a sign of fealty

However this being the abyss and chaos, loyalty and titles mean nothing.

So when Demogorgon musters an army to do something, if he appears at your gates and asks you to do something then you do it while he is watching or you die. Once he has gone then you can carry on as normal (the lunatic isnt likely to remember anyway).

As i said he is the default ruler of the Abyss (he has the title of ruler) but no one really listens because they are demons and chaotic and evil so picture trying to organise a plane full of insanely powerful politicians and lawyers and you can imagine how much the title of ruler means.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  15:48:45  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All canon aside, I prefer Tyr arriving with the Rus. Perhaps he became somewhat a forgotten deity for some centuries and was able to return later. Since the Rus were a very oral people and not much for the written word (besides runes), it could explain why sages of the realms (who don't know real world norse mythology) are confused as to his arrival time.

I'd also recommend that no one be the "ruler" of any of the elemental planes. Some may hold so much power and have so many minions that to the prime material people that meet up with them, they may appear to be the ruler of the entire plane. Similarly, I'd once posited that I believe there are multiple cities of brass in the plane of fire, each ruled by their own Great Sheikh/Pasha/Emir/Emperor/Sultan/whatever. Perhaps all of these cities of Brass are actually interlinked (and thus, they are in theory "THE city of Brass").

On the god thing, I agree that its something like a template that can be applied to a being. I would also specify that the power levels of the "god template" change the abilities granted (i.e. demi, lesser, moderate, greater, pantheon leader, etc...) such as the number of avatars able to be created at a time, etc... This means that you need to change your definitions to determine what kind of beings can actually acquire the "god template". On that, I offer up these types (and your definitions above would be applied to such). Some of these COULD actually be templates applied to some of the other bases.:

primordial - as you state, though I'd specify tied to the elemental planes
Archfey - very similar to primordial, and possibly just a "template" for a primordial, but basically a being with strong ties to the magic of faerie and less with the elemental planes

Ascended Mortal -

Moral or Societal Construct - (example, god of nobility, god of laws, god of thieves, etc...) these can resemble ascended mortals, but it can be beings that spontaneously arose on the outer planes as a result of belief

Cosmic Entity - as you describe, a planar bound being which strongly is linked to the "ethos" of said plane

Magical Construct gaining intellect - like a primordial... possibly this would be just a template... possibly not

Trapped intellect - this would be a rare type of individual. It has no physical form to kill.

Aberration/Escapee from the Far Realms - like a primordial... possibly this would be just a template... possibly not

Oh, and perhaps an interesting discussion for all these types of beings is what they need to survive? Do they survive by eating souls? Do they survive by spreading elemental energy? Do they survive by absorbing magical energy? Do they survive by literally destroying prime matter? Something else?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  15:57:40  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Elemental Lords are primordials. They pre-existed the Sundering/Shattering/Godwar, and therefor pre-existed 'death', which means the term 'mortal' cannot apply to them. They are deathless, not immortal - there is a difference.

My theory on them is that they - because they ARE intrinsically linked to the Prime Material - is that they do not need worship (nor can they deliver spells directly), but it is in their best interests to keep their 'hand in the (mortal) pot', so to speak. Thus, they use Chosen-like exarchs (proxies, whatever) - mortals that they sponsor to demigodhood, in order to to facilitate their agendas (whatever the heck those might be).

Thus, 'Kossuth' is just the name the agent of the primordial is going by. It could be the name for both beings, and it could be that its the name of the original mortal who was sponsored, or the name of the elemental lord himself, and they choose to share the name. The second is the most plausible, IMHO, because we have evidence of Kossuth and other elemental lords operating under other aliases. What that could possibly mean is that they have different agents all over Toril (and beyond) to handle their affairs. This system would probably benefit them the best, in that they would not want a single ascended mortal handling ALL of their worship-earned power (and open themselves up to be usurped - a rather common occurrence between deities and primordials). So they spread themselves around (a LOT like Mystra/Mystryl, no?), and except mana (worship energy) through these agents. That gives them the power they want, without having to establish that troublesome link directly to mortals.

What this theory does is help explain why these powers can be worshiped, can grant spells (via proxies), and still remain entirely aloof. They are basically taking a minor power-loss (through sharing), but gaining much more in return (without risking too much). Elemental Lords are the consummate 'businessmen'.

So 'Kossuth' is the name of the primordial, Elemental Lord, and if called upon one of his local agents responds. In most regions and other worlds he goes by other names (like Kakatal), but in places where there is a greater planer knowledge, they use his rightful name (maybe... we really don't know anything for sure where gods are concerned). The same would hold true for all the other elemental lords.

Personally, I use (IMG) 'Kakatal' as the real name for the primordial, and Kossuth was just a mortal worshiper of a 'fire god' who was sponsored and ascended. This makes more sense to me, but doesn't precisely shoe-horn well with known FR lore (and core D&D canon). In fact, now that I think about it, 'Kossuth' was probably a Sarrukh.


"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 25 Nov 2013 15:58:42
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  16:10:27  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm willing to add more categories, after all understanding is all about categorising the world.

However, unnecessarily complicating things im not a fan of. So if an archfey is just like a primordial then primordial will do.


That being said, the idea of magical construct, trapped intellect and aberration do bear some thought.


After all we have the kaorti that were indirectly created by the imaskari (or was it netherese) travelling to the far realm and were all twisted into monstrousities just as that massive creature (i forget his name) passed by them, certainly the act of a creature with deific levels of power.

Now he can't be a primordial, because he has no soul (unless creatures from the far realm do have souls). Could he be a cosmic entity, if he grants spells then he may be a cosmic entity but i dont think so.

Do we have any instances of these aberrant monstrousities granting spells (not the slime monsters from the abyss, but far realms supposed deities according to canon definition anyway).


Now onto the magical construct and trapped intellect. They certainly would be in a class of their own, but do we have any examples of such super beings in the Realms that at some point in time have garnered worshippers (since this is all about creatures in one edition or another that have erroneously been termed a god)? If so then i guess we need a new category and some properties to go with them and if not then its a moot point.


As for the ascended mortal and societal construct. Again like primordial and archfey, this is the same thing. As far as i can see a god is a god. Once you become a god you cease to be yourself and instead become the embodiment of the ideal you represent. After all deific alignment seems to change as the worshippers belief of that god changed over time. For example Atar was the last remnant of Amaunator and an evil deity because in the waning days of Netheril he and his clergy were responsible for some abuses that were not their fault because the law dictated they act so. The worshippers believed he was evil and so he became evil (Amaunator being a neutral deity originally). Mystra's alignment has changed over time as well and this could be a reflection of how benevolent people believed magic was over time.

In any case, They are both deities. However as the origin of gods is also important then if he was a mortal it should be noted that he was a mortal.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  16:19:19  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm sure this isnt what you meant Markus, but having a planar being with multiple aspects/manifestations on the material plane that is worship independent and can grant spells pretty much meets my criteria for a Cosmic Entity.

I'm thinking that just because a being is a cosmic entity of a plane and therefore represents that plane doesnt mean he is the only cosmic entity on that plane. After all there are many aspects of fire and Kossuth (or Kakatal) may be just representing one aspect of elemental fire. The Abyss after all seems to have many cosmic entities (almost one for each plane) and Baator has 9 (one for each plane) so why not the elemental planes.

This cosmic entity in turn has multiple aspects that represent him on the material plane - each with their own personalities and agendas (it makes it more interesting if no two Kossuth avatars are the same) - that must act to further elemental fire. In much the same way that gods have different avatars (probably representing old deities they subsumed).

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Markustay
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  16:29:05  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, there are primordials, and there are 'higher' beings (the ones I named the Ordials). All of the categories are technically 'gods', because that is really just a catch-all term for 'spirit beings', and doesn't really have anything to do with power-level (oriental religions handle this best, I think).

I am not trying to over-complicate things; what I am trying to do is use known canon lore and try to explain how in one edition the elemental lords were deities (and granting spells), and in another they are Primordials (who CANNOT grant spells, AFAIK). The problem we have here is a very common problem in RPGs/D&D - getting all the lore to fit into a set of constant rules. By adding in the 'mortal soul' prerequisite for being a deity (and ranting spells, etc), we can have our cake and eat it to - no matter how much different edition lore disagrees with itself, we can say 'Being A' had the template, and 'Being B' did not, so by the same token, some archfey (and even fiend lords) CAN grant spells, and some can't.

Although in the case of fiends, I think its more a matter of consuming mortal soul-stuff, then merging with it. There's always a loophole.

By saying that a lot of higher-Order (your Cosmic beings, my Ordials) gods are just using proxies (who very well could achieve greater-god status in their own right, eventually), we establish a certain hierarchy. The higher beings do NOT have to directly interact with mortals (and shouldn't), but appear to do so through these 'lesser agents'.

This is why a world can have dozens of 'fire gods' - they are all local powers that answer to Kossuth (or whomever). This system works precisely the same way as exarchs/proxies/saints/Chosen/Seraphs/etc work for deities, except on a much higher tier. Everyone has underlings, even Cosmic beings.

EDIT:
I think part of the problem with a lot of my homebrew musings is that they aren't really modular - they shoe-horn with all my other theories. They don't really sound all that palatable 'in a vacuum', but when taken altogether, they work perfectly.

Its all based around 'the trinity', which is a recurring theme in religion and folklore. We are composed of three beings - Body, Mind, and Soul. A psychiatrist would refer to these (in a Freudian manner) as the Conscious, Subconscious, and reptilian brain. I have determined that the 'mind' (the part that goes to be stored in the astral, in old D&D lore) is 'the spirit'. Its amoral, and it is who we were while we were alive. The soul is eternal, and can be reborn. It is composed of mana - the stuff that was released when Gaea sacrificed herself when she bonded with her brother/husband Imaar (Ymir) - the dying world.

That means the pre-sundered (Creator) races do not have souls; their latter offspring (their material descendents) can have souls, but the originals do not (and thus, fey, etc, are completely amoral).

Also, a person's soul exists in the mirror dimension - it is what we see when we look into the mirror (and why vamps can't see their reflections). A person's mind (spirit) is in the shadoworld - a person without a shadow has no self-will (like a voodoo zombie).

The body is just that, and contains the 'reptilian brain' - the thing that controls autonomic functions. Missing any of the three means you are some type of undead. Souls are responsible for 'ghostly' hauntings, whereas the spirit (if trapped) becomes responsible for residual hauntings.

Sorry to have to explain all of this in this thread - I didn't mean to clutter it. Its just that everything goes together, as I said, and 'soul-stuff' (mana) is VERY important to ALL my theories. Without it, a god cannot become a deity. Its their link to the mortal world. They are merely 'spirits' without it. It all goes back to the primal sacrifice.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 25 Nov 2013 16:55:04
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sleyvas
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  16:35:29  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I'm willing to add more categories, after all understanding is all about categorising the world.

However, unnecessarily complicating things im not a fan of. So if an archfey is just like a primordial then primordial will do.


That being said, the idea of magical construct, trapped intellect and aberration do bear some thought.


After all we have the kaorti that were indirectly created by the imaskari (or was it netherese) travelling to the far realm and were all twisted into monstrousities just as that massive creature (i forget his name) passed by them, certainly the act of a creature with deific levels of power.

Now he can't be a primordial, because he has no soul (unless creatures from the far realm do have souls). Could he be a cosmic entity, if he grants spells then he may be a cosmic entity but i dont think so.

Do we have any instances of these aberrant monstrousities granting spells (not the slime monsters from the abyss, but far realms supposed deities according to canon definition anyway).


Now onto the magical construct and trapped intellect. They certainly would be in a class of their own, but do we have any examples of such super beings in the Realms that at some point in time have garnered worshippers (since this is all about creatures in one edition or another that have erroneously been termed a god)? If so then i guess we need a new category and some properties to go with them and if not then its a moot point.


As for the ascended mortal and societal construct. Again like primordial and archfey, this is the same thing. As far as i can see a god is a god. Once you become a god you cease to be yourself and instead become the embodiment of the ideal you represent. After all deific alignment seems to change as the worshippers belief of that god changed over time. For example Atar was the last remnant of Amaunator and an evil deity because in the waning days of Netheril he and his clergy were responsible for some abuses that were not their fault because the law dictated they act so. The worshippers believed he was evil and so he became evil (Amaunator being a neutral deity originally). Mystra's alignment has changed over time as well and this could be a reflection of how benevolent people believed magic was over time.

In any case, They are both deities. However as the origin of gods is also important then if he was a mortal it should be noted that he was a mortal.



At one point, it was believed Entropy was a magical construct. He has since become a primordial that was entrapped by Ao. However, there may be other deities that started out as magical constructs and have since created avatars after gaining the god template. To their worshippers, they may not even know they're worshipping a construct.

Trapped Intellect... Vestiges. Here we could have people say still worshipping Tenebrous even though Orcus has returned. It may be that other gods have gone on to become vestiges.

For Aberrations... its hinted in places that Ghaunadaur and/or Moander may be from the Far Realm.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  16:40:16  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well sounds like we are working from the same page, just starting at different ends.

You are starting from the bottom and working up, and i am starting from the top and working down (or maybe the other way around).

I just never assigned any importance to the aspect of the cosmic being, other than they were an aspect.

I do however consider each aspect to be an individual (from a personality point of view) so its much the same thing, whenever i say Kossuth the cosmic entity, i really mean your over deity that has Kossuth as a proxy/aspect. But since i was only concerned with FR and not why Kossuth exists in other spheres i lumped it all together.

So anyone have any more godly examples that we can try and categorise, preferrably something obscure and weird that never really fit being defined as a god.

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Markustay
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  16:54:17  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
LOL - you guys are quick. I just edited my above post (to help explain where I am coming from with all my own cosmological lore).

Once again, sorry for cluttering things.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  16:54:40  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, Entropy would never have occured to me.

I think i prefer the primordial category than the magical construct category.

Certainly now he fits the primordial category - being a single entity on the material plane. However i dont have the 4th edition books anymore so i dont know if he can grant spells (i realise he could but that was Tiamat doing so not Entropy).

If Entropy is/was a magical construct then it might explain why he never ascended to godhood (certainly primordials that are worshipped have ascended in the past), even though he had worshippers, although it may just be that he didnt have enough worshippers.

So who/what could have made Entropy?


As for Vestiges, you have me convinced on that. They arent gods, they arent primordials, and they arent Cosmic Entities. In fact they are dead versions of all three. I think they can grant magically abilities providing mortals make a pact/form a link with them. So in death a primordial spirit can do something a live primordial cannot, but they are now ethereal in nature so that might explain it.


Aberrations, from reading Ghaunadaur and Moander they seem very material plane based. Yes they are wierd but not wierd enough.
However, the blood queen is an aboleth deity and very definitely far realm, so is she a god, a cosmic entity or some other wierd far realm category we havent got yet with its own rules.

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Demzer
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  17:46:27  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

It was from dragon magazine 357.

There are a number of passages.

It makes numerous uses of the word title, and throne, which are words used to denote lordship and states he has the title prince of demons - a title held before by Obox-Ob and the Queen of Chaos. Plus the most powerful remaining demon lords were forced to kneel before him which is a sign of fealty



And then it goes one to recap that he tried to take the Layers of Fraz-Urb'Luu, Graz'zt and Orcus when they were away (Fraz trapped in a bas relief, Graz'zt enspelled by Iggwilv and Orcus "dead") and failed each and every time. It says that he fears Obox-ob but leaves him alone and he got seduced twice by succubi and it's still smitten by Malcanthet (despite having experienced the exact same story with Shami-Amourae).
Nice way of being a ruler, isn't it?

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal
So when Demogorgon musters an army to do something, if he appears at your gates and asks you to do something then you do it while he is watching or you die. Once he has gone then you can carry on as normal (the lunatic isnt likely to remember anyway).



Eh, no. That's the whole point. He says he is the Prince of Demons, he acts almighty, but then he can enforce his will only so far as his tentacled arms go (and that's a dangerously small reach on someone else's Layer).

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal
However this being the abyss and chaos, loyalty and titles mean nothing.

As i said he is the default ruler of the Abyss (he has the title of ruler) but no one really listens because they are demons and chaotic and evil so picture trying to organise a plane full of insanely powerful politicians and lawyers and you can imagine how much the title of ruler means.



Again, no. Just because he says he's the ruler of anything that doesn't make it real. He can't enforce his rule in the Abyss, not even against one other of the demon lords on foreign Layers. He brags about his empty title that means nothing but in the end he is forced to scheme, raise armies and send spies around like all others.

Think about Asmodeus: he decides who rules which Hell, he can call any Lord of Hell to his palace and they have to show up, he can warp, demote, kill and banish any other Lord of Hell or lesser devil at will. He rules.
Demogorgon is just a braggart, he's probably the most powerful but that stops as soon as he leaves Gaping Maw, out of his Layer he's just like the others.

The difference here is the same between "claiming to rule" and "actually ruling". Asmodeus actually rules the Nine Hells, Demogorgon attempts to claim he rules the Infinite Layers of the Abyss.
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  18:16:28  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thats fine, im not debating his title, he is now called "the demon formerly known as prince".
Now back to the real discussion.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  20:40:29  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, canonically, we have an answer for Entropy with 4e. They turned him into a primordial that Ao "froze" in sphere of annihilation form for a long time. He's now free.

However, prior to that, we had a bunch of suppositions. Some people believed the Imaskari could have created it as a means to fight gods, and after swallowing a god it gained sentience... or possibly they simply imbued it with sentience like an intelligent magic item..... or it absorbed so many humans that it gained sentience...

But, the main thing he does is present us a viable concept... that of some kind of powerful "crafted" object that can then achieve godhood. If its not an intelligent sphere of annihilation... who says it couldn't be an intelligent, soul-sucking, sword that becomes animate... or who says it couldn't be a construct (say an intelligent helmed horror) that becomes uncontrolled.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
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Posted - 25 Nov 2013 :  22:56:43  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While Tyr-in-the-Realms may have had his hand bitten off by Kezef the Chaos Hound, Tyr-in-the-Norse-Pantheon (presumably the origin of the Tyr-in-the-Realms avatar/aspect) actually had his hand bitten off by Fenris the Ragnarok Wolf.

This might indicate that Kezef and Fenris are the same entity. Or that these two Tyrs experienced some sort of parallel existence. Norse Tyr is said to be a power inhabiting the outer planes, which on the cosmic order of things probably grants him (and his missing hand) priority over all his Tyr aspects.

I think another explanation could be that Tyr arrived in the Realms through believers who brought his faith with them. Their retellings of Tyr‘s saga might have misrepresented some details and even manifested the Chaos Hound as part of their god‘s doctrine.

[/Ayrik]
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