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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 18 Jun 2017 :  00:25:46  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I've just been re-reading Faiths and Avatars, and came across a concept that somehow slipped past me on previous reads - the Circle of Greater Powers.
quote:
The Faerunian pantheon is loosely governed by an oligarchy known as the Circle of Greater Powers who meet in the Pavilion of Cynosure, which is located on a special demiplane in the Ethereal Plane, and who are responsible for maintaining the Balance (as defined by the guidelines left to the powers by Ao) and policing transgressions by members of their pantheon.

First, a question: Has this concept been expanded upon in any other source?

Second, some data for the conversation: The greater gods of Faerun across the editions.
Greater Gods: pre-ToT (pre-Era of Upheaval) (1e): x16
Akadi, Grumbar, Istishia, Kossuth
Bane, Chauntea, Lathander, Myrkul, Mystra, Oghma, Shar, Silvanus, Sune, Talos, Tempus, Tyr

Greater Gods: post-ToT, pre-Spellplague (2e/3e): x16/17
Akadi, Grumbar, Istishia, Kossuth
Chauntea, Cyric, Kelemvor, Lathander, Mystra, Oghma, Shar, Silvanus, Sune, Talos, Tempus, Tyr
Bane (after 1372)

Greater Gods: post-Spellplague, post-Second Sundering (4e): x17
Akadi, Grumbar, Istishia, Kossuth
Asmodeus, Amaunator, Bane, Chauntea, Cyric, Kelemvor, Oghma, Shar, Silvanus, Selune, Sune, Tempus, Torm

Greater Gods: post-Second Sundering (post Era of Upheaval) (5e): x16
We don't have power levels for the gods of the post-Era of Upheaval period yet, but here's my theory, and I'll talk about why below:
Akadi, Grumbar, Istishia, Kossuth
Amaunator, Bane, Chauntea, Cyric, Kelemvor, Mystra, Oghma, Shar, Silvanus, Sune, Talos, Tempus, Torm

Third, some ramblings and my theory on all this:
So the Greater Gods govern the other gods in Faerun. The only gods consistent among this group across the editions are:
Chauntea, Oghma, Shar, Silvanus, Sune, and Tempus, plus the four elemental gods/primordials.
Gods that flit in and out of the greater category include:
Amaunator, Asmodeus, Bane, Cyric, Kelemvor, Lathander, Mystra, Selune, Talos, Torm, and Tyr.
I'm postulating that the Elemental Lords aren't actually part of the Circle of Greater Powers, so the true number is 12/13 rather than 16/17.

The most powerful gods, the greater gods, represent the most powerful paradigms of faith in the world. What if Ao purposefully as limits their number (outside of the Era of Upheaval) to serve some grand purpose? Perhaps it makes it easier to control the flow of power to himself, or easier to keep the gods in line?

For instance, Silvanus is the god of untamed and wild nature. Eldath and Mielikki (at least) are other gods that report directly to him, and may even have to give up a portion of their power to him (F&A p3). Perhaps Silvanus is also the guardian of an overall Nature paradigm, of which there can be only one greater god.

Perhaps each god in the Faerunian pantheon falls under the dominion of one of these paradigms. For some this might be relatively straightforward - it makes sense that Umberlee, as one of the Gods of Fury, would fall under Talos's leadership under the Destruction paradigm. In the cases of gods where there is no direct power-relationship reported, it's a bit more complex, but the lore holds many clues to how these relationships might exist regardless. Selune and Sune are often linked, and it's possible that Selune could report to Selune under the Love paradigm. The paradigm relationship isn't necessarily the same as the power-relationships mentioned in F&A: the latter I imagine as a direct agreement over faith-power and rule-setting, whereas the paradigm relationship I imagine more as a "broad policing" role.

So, here's my theory: all the gods a part of one of 12 paradigms, and it is through the paradigms that faith flows to Ao himself, and furthers the faith-power of the overall sphere. It is part of Ao's design.

The paradigms and the gods of them are by my theory, for the 5e era:
These are based on my knowledge of god relationships across editions, including where they were plane-wise.

LIGHT (currently held by Amaunator)
Siamorphe and Waukeen serve Amaunator directly (they were with him in the Eternal Sun in 4e)
Lathander is a rival for the Light paradigm
*note - light/darkness is as much about building for the future or not as physical light. Light could also be represented as belief in building a future.

DARKNESS (Shar)
Mask still serves Shar in theory, although largely not in practice - though he's not a true rival
If Zehir is still a god, he likely falls into this paradigm

JUSTICE/Correct-action (Torm)
Torm is currently served directly by Tyr and Ilmater
Helm does not serve Torm, but neither does he consider himself a rival

POWER/Self-interest (Bane)
Bane is currently served by the Dark Gods Bhaal, Loviatar, and Talona, as well as Fzoul Chembryl (if a god at all)
Asmodeus is a rival for the paradigm, as is Gargauth
Hoar took refuge in Bane's realm following the Spellplague, and still owes Bane a debt. He is not considered a rival

KNOWLEDGE (Oghma)
Gond, Deneir, and Milil all serve Oghma directly

MAYHEM (Cyric)
Cyric is not currently served by any gods

NATURE (Silvanus)
Mielikki and Eldath serve Silvanus directly
Gwaeron, Shiallia, Lurue, and Nobanion don't serve Silvanus directly but aren't rivals

DESTRUCTION (Talos)
Auril, Malar, and Umberlee all serve Talos directly

LOVE (Sune)
Sharess and Lliira serve Sune directly
Selune has a good relationship with Sune, and brings with her Finder and Shaundakul

WAR (Tempus)
Garagos, Red Knight, Uthgar, and Valkur serve Tempus directly

LIFE (Chauntea)
Tymora and Beshaba don't serve Chauntea and aren't rivals

DEATH (Kelemvor)
Kelemvor is currently served directly by Jergal
Myrkul does not serve Kelemvor, and is a rival for the paradigm

MAGIC (Mystra)
Azuth, Savras, and Velsharoon (if still a god) serve Mystra directly
Leira does not serve Mystra directly but isn't a rival

It's also possible that there this could be interpreted as only 6 paradigms with 2 reflections of each, plus Magic (Mystra is thought to likely be more powerful than the other gods, after all). These might be, broadly:
Justice/Servitude - Use of power
Knowledge/Mayhem - Interaction with the world
Life/Death - Experience of the cycle of life
Light/Darkness - What the future holds
Love/War - Relationships with others
Nature/Destruction - The natural world
Magic

Rambling done...
Interested in any info people have on the Circle of Greater Powers, or anything else I've talked about here.

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Edited by - KanzenAU on 18 Jun 2017 00:30:36

Ayrik
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Posted - 18 Jun 2017 :  04:21:38  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My only observation is the curious number of Greater Powers, always 16 or 17. The Great Wheel has 16 aligned Outer Planes, 17 if the Outlands (Concordant Opposition) is also counted.

I realize the Faerunian Powers generally don't fall into neat little alignment pegholes, and they certainly don't collectively represent a "one of each" alignment scheme.

Likely just a coincidence. Perhaps one that can be incorporated into Realmslore.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
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Posted - 18 Jun 2017 :  13:39:25  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another option for why there seems to be a fairly consistent number is that in order to be a greater power, one must receive more faith energy, and based on population numbers the amount of faith energy, while by no means finite, tends to be consistent. Also, if there were an increase in faith energy on a per person scale widespread, that may increase zealotry, which may increase inter-faith conflict, which may result in crusades, which in the end may ultimately decrease the constant flow of faith energy.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gyor
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 18 Jun 2017 :  14:26:15  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In 4e the Elemental Lords weren't even gods never mind Greater Gods, they we're Primordials.

And the, pantheons we're merged in 4e, so Corollen Larethian and Moradin we're part of the Faerun Pantheon and would have been part of the Circle.

In 5e I don't even know if there is a circle anymore.
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see
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Posted - 18 Jun 2017 :  16:20:37  Show Profile Send see a Private Message  Reply with Quote
IIRC, the the Pavilion of Cynosure and the Circle of Greater Powers was originally from James Lowder's novel Prince of Lies. It was further part of the plot in Troy Denning's Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad, where the Circle was the one holding the trial.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 19 Jun 2017 :  06:08:11  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Perhaps The Circle is a gestalt entity, a sort of "uber-god" formed from the collective minds/divinities of its component members. A conscious, sentient, sapient, free-willed superdivine being with a "consensus" intellect based on whatever power/attention is contributed by each of its component members.

[/Ayrik]
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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 19 Jun 2017 :  13:04:55  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Perhaps The Circle is a gestalt entity, a sort of "uber-god" formed from the collective minds/divinities of its component members. A conscious, sentient, sapient, free-willed superdivine being with a "consensus" intellect based on whatever power/attention is contributed by each of its component members.


Perhaps this even contributes to the personality of Ao...

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 19 Jun 2017 :  13:16:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Perhaps The Circle is a gestalt entity, a sort of "uber-god" formed from the collective minds/divinities of its component members. A conscious, sentient, sapient, free-willed superdivine being with a "consensus" intellect based on whatever power/attention is contributed by each of its component members.


Perhaps this even contributes to the personality of Ao...



That would imply that the deities kicked themselves out of the heavens.

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Brimstone
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Posted - 19 Jun 2017 :  14:28:47  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Perhaps The Circle is a gestalt entity, a sort of "uber-god" formed from the collective minds/divinities of its component members. A conscious, sentient, sapient, free-willed superdivine being with a "consensus" intellect based on whatever power/attention is contributed by each of its component members.


Just call them DEVASTATOR!!!!

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 19 Jun 2017 :  15:52:47  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
That would imply that the deities kicked themselves out of the heavens.


I meant contribute a bit, not all of his personality. Though I do admit it was a bit of a long shot. I've been thinking a lot about Ao and his master lately, trying to get a handle on what I think they're all about. I thought the Circle might be an insight into that.

In any case, I'll have to eventually get to the Avatar Quintilogy... gotta finish off the Sundering and Brimstone Angels first!

I just found the concept of the Circle of Greater Powers quite interesting - I had always imagined the Faerunian pantheon a lot more laissez-faire. The idea of a Circle doesn't exclude that, of course - they probably just intervene in big things like they I guess they did with Cyric. Still, it's more non-Ao oversight than I had expected.

I also like the idea that each god might fall under the specific oversight of one of the Greater Powers, like I was saying in my post - doesn't seem like there's much Realmslore to support the idea, but I feel it makes the deity list a bit more digestable and memorable - because it describes power relationships.

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Ayrik
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Posted - 20 Jun 2017 :  03:21:00  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But relationships between deities are (briefly) described in the old grey box and 2E FRA. The particular powers, portfolios, and interests of many deities (super)naturally happen to align or conflict; there are some hierarchies, alliances, oppositions, and synergies between them. These are often mirrored by their churches and Faithful in the Realms.

The Avatar trilogy would be a boring read these days. But the subsequent Cyric novels were surprisingly profound.

[/Ayrik]
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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 20 Jun 2017 :  12:34:43  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

But relationships between deities are (briefly) described in the old grey box and 2E FRA.


They are, I was just kind of hoping the Circle might be an insight into another level of those power-relationships, give us another level of conflict to talk about.

Pity to hear the Avatar trilogy doesn't hold up, but you've given me more interest than I had in getting to the later books.

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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 22 Jun 2017 :  17:25:51  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So amongst the pantheons, there are "mini" pantheons, involving elements/aspects of the world (like nature), in which there is a "supreme" deity, and others with similar portfolios answer to them, even if they themselves are greater powers, based on what part of that aspect/element they represent.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 23 Jun 2017 :  02:55:02  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not so much mini-pantheons as alliances and frenemies and coopetitions. Torm and Helm both do their own things, but they also serve Tyr, their interests tend to synergize each other. Deneir and Oghma and Azuth and Mystra sometimes have commonly-aligned goals. Malar and Talos and Talona and Loviatar and Shar (and sometimes Mask) find themselves working together in various combinations as often as not, simply because their combined efforts offer each one a greater chance at singular success. The Dead Three (Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul) found themselves working together even when such cooperation wasn't intended. Tempus has been known to fight with or fight against other deities for any reason which might involve glorious wars and battles. The list of possible associations and polarizations - unique or recurring, momentary or lasting - offers countless combinations, determined almost entirely by the whims of lowly mortals and their puny worldly affairs.

Even the most powerful of the "Greater Powers" (such as Lathandar and Mystra) often find themselves at the mercy of whatever celestial politics happen to prevail.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 23 Jun 2017 02:58:31
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KanzenAU
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Posted - 23 Jun 2017 :  06:25:31  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, the take that I took on the above post is not so much about mini-pantheons as it is each greater power being more responsible for the oversight of deities that are closest to their own portfolio. The Circle is about oversight and protecting the Balance, and is made up of 16 or so members. Loosely, I'm sure they all just keep their eyes out for trouble (at least in theory), but I postulate that in practice each member is best at keeping an eye on things closest to their own sphere of influence.

So although only Jergal reports directly to Kelemvor, Kelemvor is also loosely responsible for being aware of what Myrkul is up to - because they're both broadly associated with the "Death" paradigm. This may not even be a formal responsibility within the Circle, but it makes sense to me.

Just homebrew though at the end of the day.

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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 23 Jun 2017 :  14:50:31  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All right, that makes sense.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 23 Jun 2017 :  15:13:58  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

My only observation is the curious number of Greater Powers, always 16 or 17. The Great Wheel has 16 aligned Outer Planes, 17 if the Outlands (Concordant Opposition) is also counted.

I realize the Faerunian Powers generally don't fall into neat little alignment pegholes, and they certainly don't collectively represent a "one of each" alignment scheme.

Likely just a coincidence. Perhaps one that can be incorporated into Realmslore.
It could be as simple as an an old 'rule of thumb' (which, if Overgods/whatever are involved, could BE a 'law of physics') - that there should be one 'ruling power' for each outer plane - including Concordant Opposition - and although the number remains fairly constant, they've strayed through the millennia from the basic format (one for each alignment).

So, its like one of those "from on-high" decrees that they've managed to find loopholes around.

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

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 23 Jun 2017 :  15:26:28  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gyor

In 4e the Elemental Lords weren't even gods never mind Greater Gods, they we're Primordials.

And the, pantheons we're merged in 4e, so Corollen Larethian and Moradin we're part of the Faerun Pantheon and would have been part of the Circle.

In 5e I don't even know if there is a circle anymore.
My thoughts on all of that is that it was a 'temporary condition' of the universe itself.

The Weave/whatever (because it would be known as other things on other worlds and planes) collapsed, and as I've said many times in the past, its like a monolithic (computer) operating system. The universe rebooted into a 'Safe Mode' for awhile (the Wailing Years and 4e), and now Ao (AI?) - and perhaps a host of other Uber-GODS - got it back up and running. Sure, some things aren't exactly the same, but they had to go to a much earlier save point, and some of the data got corrupted.

So a lot of the rules/laws ('physics') of the universe were put aside until they could debug everything - thats why things got called by different names, and some gods got lumped with others. We were in some sort of semi-Default Mode.


And personally (in my own games) - I am still going with my theory that the four 'Elemental Lords' ARE ascended mortals; scions (Exarchs) of the Primordial Lords that were elevated in status after the primordials were banned from Toril. They are FR-specific. Other worlds would have other ones. I would also go with the Moorcockian names for the actual four primordials, but thats just a matter of preference - those four could also just be setting-specific beings, answering to 'higher powers' (although the way michael Moorcock writes them, they seem to be the 'real deal').

As an aside, whats the earliest mention of the four Elemental lords? And Kossuth specifically? IMG I might be tempted to say he was Mulhorand ex-patriate; one of the 'founding fathers' of Thay. That could help explain a few things. He discovered Imaskari texts concerning "another world, with primordial Powers of unimaginable might" (Abeir) - they would have found them when they were dabbling in binding 'Elder Evils' (which are really just another flavor of primordial, when you come right down to it).

It may sound like I'm over-complicating everything, but I want the Primordials to remain completely separate and alien from deities. Simply by adding that exarch layer with the 'ascended exarchs', it fixes any continuity glitches that 4e caused. In fact, you can even look at FR's Elemental lords as 'usurpers' (which adds yet-another level of intrigue to the whole thing).

Hmmmm.. maybe those 'Elemental Evils' are the REAL primordials, and they're pretty pissed about these 'wanna-bes' blowing up their spot. That could work.
(This would also keep the Elric of Melnibonea lore out of FR/D&D, and make those world-specific names as well.)

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


Edited by - Markustay on 23 Jun 2017 15:33:25
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Markustay
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Posted - 23 Jun 2017 :  16:00:49  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So 'Archomental' just becomes another word for primordial - the name of a specific group of them (the 'rulers'?)

Primordials (possibly trapped in Abeir, or some other 'cosmic prison').
Imix (fire)
Ogrémoch (earth)
Olhydra (water)
Yan-C-Bin (air)

Cryonax (cold)


FR's Elemental Lords (Elevated after the Sundering)

Kossuth - ascended Sarrukh
Grumbar - ascended Fey
Istishia - ascended Batrachi
Akadi - ascended Aearee

Monkey (?!) - possibly an ascended (proto)human (reaching here - looking for something that falls outside the 'deific' norms)


This veers from my former theory that known gods (Talos, etc) were acting as 'regents' for the missing Elemental Lords that whole time. I think I actually like this MUCH better. It also goes against what I said immediately above about Kossuth maybe being human - that doesn't make much sense. I think having them be members of the Creator Races gives them that 'alien' edge they still needed to have. After The Sundering, there was a void, and they merely filled that void.

Still toying around with how to connect 'cold' to the allusive 'Fifth Element' (Wood/Metal/Alloy/etc.). Maybe, if the Fifth element = 'Life' (a mixture of the other four, which is how its represented in European Alchemy), then 'cold' = 'anti-life' (the 'coldness of death'). Its a bit of a stretch, but if Cryonax once represented Life, it could be just be he turned against it (in D&D, knowledge of one aspect of something usually includes knowledge of its opposite) post-sundering. Those five Archomentals ARE pretty bitter dudes.

And Cold is usually equated with types of suspended animation, and before there was 'Death' (which only came about as a result of the Godwar, which also caused The Sundering) the concept of 'life' would have been VERY different: maybe back then it was 'sentience'. Thus, Cryonax may have represented 'self-awareness' in its most primal form, and by embracing 'Cold', he would be all about 'shutting down' that awareness - freezing living creatures in a suspended animation (so still alive, but not in any way that matters).

And YES, I am grasping those straws, looking for explanations...

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


Edited by - Markustay on 24 Jun 2017 17:43:47
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 23 Jun 2017 :  18:47:29  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This conversation got me thinking, so I pulled out my copy of F&A, wanting to read the blurb about the Circle of Powers for myself. I found these two quotes:

"With the powers in competition for worship, scholarly folk have occasionally wondered why strong deities do not simply kill the weaker ones, thus thinning the field of competition, and why any deity would choose to serve another. Learned and philosophical priests and monks have developed a theory that explains this. Weaker deities sometimes serve deities higher than they are in rank because the stronger powers have promised to protect them from the divine predations of other deities. In exchange, the weaker deities provide more hands for the greater power to be an almost extortionistic aspect to this relationship...weaker powers sometimes pay some amount of their divine power to stronger powers to strengthen this arrangement, or perhaps stronger powers who are receiving a lot of worship threaten to 'squeeze out' weaker powers or outright destroy them if the weaker deities do not swear to serve them and provide a tithe of divine power. If this is true, it would seem to provide an explanation as to why powers whose portfolios seem to overlap tend toward this arrangement. Presumably only similar divine energy can be shared or passed on willingly from power to power. The hierarchies pf the gods of fury, with Talos ruling Auril, Malar, and Umberlee; many gods of the gods of nature, with Silvanus ranking over Eldath and Mielikki; the gods of justice and duty, with Tyr leading Ilmater and Torm; and the gods of bardic knowledge, with Oghma leading Deneir, Lliira, and Milil, are revealed as pragmatic and possibly less than benevolent when viewed in light of this theory. Presumably the beneficent or extortionistic qualities of such arrangements are established by the moral inclinations of the powers involved." (pg 3).

So, depending on the deities involved, this theory may or may not benefit all powers involved. Actual pantheons, like racial pantheons, may work a little differently, as there can be more than one greater deity within the racial pantheon, so it applies mostly to portfolios.

I found this quote mentioning the Circle of Powers, and it is a few pages before the one quoted in the OP"

"Disputes between pantheons and even between members of a particular pantheon are usually settled by meetings of the Circle of Powers in the Pavilion of Cynosure on a demiplane floating somewhere in the Ethereal Plane, which is held as neutral ground by all powers active in the Realms and provides and open forum for all parties involved in a dispute. A fundamental principle upheld by all pantheons active in the Realms is the essential sovereignty of a pantheon within its sphere of influence and, consequently, its right to act when threatened by agents of another sphere of influence" (pg 4).

When I first read this, I thought Circle of Greater Powers was a title for the meeting place (I have read the Avatar series, but its been a number of years, and I don't remember the details, though I vaguely recall the meeting between the powers, I just didn't remember the name). But then I found the quote of the OP a few pages later. Together, these quotes can be taken either to mean that the Greater Powers and the greater gods (Tyr, Mystra, Silvanus, etc) are one and the same, or the Greater Powers in the circle represent the aspects/elements then represented by the greater gods on Faerun.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Markustay
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Posted - 24 Jun 2017 :  18:43:33  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So my thoughts now is that after The War of Light & Darkness, both goddesses (Shar and Selūne) lost a vast amount of their power, which may have knocked them down from Overpower status (I don't think they really could have been primordials, since they were active on Toril the whole time, and NOT on Abeir).

That power manifested in the form of Mystryl, who probably didn't have anything in the way of 'divinity' right away - she would have been more like a primordial of magical power (which is also sort-of what Lurue is - still trying to figure out her part in all this). Perhaps 'Lurue' represents the pre-divine aspect of that power? Not sure. Anyway, then Selūne takes that power and merges it with a mortal soul, and it become Mystryl, and she becomes a High God (my own, in-between classification that falls out between Gods and Overgods - like a demi-Overgod), which automatically makes her the default Faerūnian Pantheon leader (all High Gods - slighter more powerful than greater gods - were pantheon leaders, and most still are, like Odin and Zeus).


So now I've managed to reclassify the Elemental Lords and the two 'Big Guns' (three, really) of FR as non-Primordials, which suits me better (for purposes of fixing inconsistencies with past lore).

Lurue (and Nobanion) are truly ancient 'Beast Lords', and may represent some sort of pre-deity form of godhood, before the first sentient races came to be. Perhaps thats how all the Beast Lords formed - they are the sentience of primal concepts, like 'the hunt', procreation, 'magic' (the mysterious physics of the world), safety (& hearth/den), etc, etc. then later, they were mostly replaced with more advanced concepts/gods. In-between you have some advanced primal concepts forming, like separating 'the Hunt' into Pack Hunter (canine) and Solo Hunter (feline), and embracing some physical attributes as well (running, strength, cunning, etc). So Beast lords - at least, the originals - would have represented more than just the creature they appear to be, but rather, would represent a particular quality of the creature itself. So, not-quite gods -more primitive versions of such.

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

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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 25 Jun 2017 :  01:13:35  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Together, these quotes can be taken either to mean that the Greater Powers and the greater gods (Tyr, Mystra, Silvanus, etc) are one and the same, or the Greater Powers in the circle represent the aspects/elements then represented by the greater gods on Faerun.


I think Power = Deity in this usage. So the Circle of Greater Powers is the greater gods getting together.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 25 Jun 2017 :  01:27:03  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Together, these quotes can be taken either to mean that the Greater Powers and the greater gods (Tyr, Mystra, Silvanus, etc) are one and the same, or the Greater Powers in the circle represent the aspects/elements then represented by the greater gods on Faerun.


I think Power = Deity in this usage. So the Circle of Greater Powers is the greater gods getting together.



Yeah, sorry, I wasn't clear. I know Powers=Deity.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 25 Jun 2017 :  07:38:34  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To a Planescaper, "Power" means "anything ascended beyond puny mortals", gods and goddesses, quasi-deities and exarchs, archfiends, primordials, archetypes, some immortals and elementals and dragons and superliches and great artifacts and various intangible cosmic entities. Overgods and overgoddesses (and whatever "Masters" they may serve) are beyond normal Powers.

It might be argued that entire planes and worlds (along with their powers and pantheons) are themselves sometimes "Powers" - the Shadowfell and Ravenloft and Feywild seem to have "personalities", even the Realms is englobed by an apparently sentient and perhaps godlike living Weave. Even Nature (independent of any representative deity) seems to be a Power.

[/Ayrik]
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 25 Jun 2017 :  16:03:33  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the first quote I shared, taken in that context alone, the Circle of Powers sounded almost like a place name. In the quote of the OP, the Circles of Greater powers can be taken to mean with the Greater Gods (Tyr, Mystra, Silvanus, etc), *or* "beings" (originally I used aspects/elements, but maybe beings would have been a better word) that oversee the meetings. I like the idea of it being the greater gods, but we seemed to be discussing both, so I threw it out there.

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 25 Jun 2017 16:09:39
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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 25 Jun 2017 :  23:06:25  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Anyone else have any idea what the Circle of Greater Powers is all about?
Are they just about enforcing Ao's Balance?
If so, how do they go about that?

It seems like a very important concept in FR's cosmology, but there's just not that much out there about it.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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