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 What happens to a deity's realm after god's death
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61 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2019 :  12:25:06  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
What happenes to the divine realm of a deity after the deity dies or is killed? I am assuming some buildings just collapse if they were held up by divine energies, and perhaps some of the deity's servants just spontaneously die. But in the divine realm there are surely some 'real' things like relics, artifacts, and wealth.

Does a realm without its deity soon find planar armies marching to plunder it? What do we know of what happened to the realms of deities that died in the Forgotten Realms setting?

Great Reader

4474 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2019 :  13:23:02  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I suspect it varies.

A few points to consider.
Deities do not always remain dead.
Some portfolios are taken over by other deities.

In the first case the realm likely goes dormant just waiting and in second case new deity might take over the realm or merge it.

Beware mere mortals like us can not ever fully understand all answers about deities.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Great Reader

7174 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2019 :  13:37:35  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Assuming a Power is truly destroyed and won't be coming back ever again. (It's already happened to countless Dead Powers floating through the Astral but it's also something impossible to guarantee.)

If the Power was destroyed in some planar battle on its own realm then the Power likely consumed (and expended) whatever energies or resources it could draw from the Realm while desperately fighting for survival. The place would be ruined, the population (all the realms-aligned souls, planars, proxies, etc) would be dead, the belief which sustains and shapes the place would be shattered. And anything left intact would likely be claimed by the victor(s) of this conflict. Anything left unclaimed will eventually dissolve away or drift until it merges into some adjacent realm unless belief continues to sustain its existence. Allies, enemies, and opportunists/meddlers/competitors might become involved anytime during or after such a conflict - possibly extending the conflict (and destruction) across multiple realms.

If the Power was destroyed through sudden extinction of all its worldly faiths (no faithful left alive, no temples/artifacts/canon left intact, completely dead and lost religion) then its realm wouldn't be devastated by conflict but they would become weak and unsustainable, more like the devastation of drought and famine, a barren wasteland. The inhabitants would either waste away or they would migrate to some other realm. Unless another Power claimed the realm.

The "size" of the Realm might appear physical but is really based only on belief. If there's not enough belief to sustain a once-prosperous realm then it shrinks. Or it vanishes. A different belief imposed upon a dying realm can save the realm but will also change its "terrain", "nature", "physics", and other properties ... many Powers are similar and roughly compatible but no two are exactly identical (identical Powers with identical beliefs and identical realms just become two names/versions of a single Power with a single realm).


Edited by - Ayrik on 04 Apr 2019 13:42:36
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

2223 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2019 :  15:04:58  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The VAST majority of god's realms are not whole planes unto themselves. For example - many are on Mount Celestia or in the 9 hells. I suspect such domains would not simply disappear, but instead would become ruinous and deserted, or in the alternative, inhabited by the gods replacement or others. Just imagine the statement that reigning from the seat of a deposed former deity makes; its an eternal reminder of a god's success and worthiness to be worshiped. Servants of a god are not completely dependent upon their deity for power so they would certainly not just be dead and gone - the opposite is true. The gods in the realms get their power from their servants. In the case of "truly destroyed" powers that have no replacement then I'd say an ally of the god would offer patronage to those left behind, bringing them into his or her own fold.

Other things we know from cannon are that artifacts and other holy object of a dead god remain and can potentially serve to rebuild and resurrect dead gods. As such I assume that upon the death of a god, known artifacts or relics are gathered quickly by the servants of other gods or beings of power - either as expendable resources or as methods of restoring their allies.
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Senior Scribe

739 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2019 :  15:11:14  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unless specified otherwise I assume that deities realms survive the demise of their hosts because they're not temporary shelters but fully functional (based on that deity definition of functional) demiplanes/portion of planes. The main thing I think happens, especially if there are no powerful residents left alive (like empowered proxies), is that the realms becomes basically inaccessible to mortals and immortals alike (unless you employ very convoluted means, or had backdoors, ecc...).

After the demise of a deity I surely see anything living (animals, plants, whatever) in the realm to slowly die, followed by the slower disappearance of proxies/servants/souls if any is remaining and unclaimed by any other deity (the successor or an allied deity). In time, like on the Prime, even buildings and more durable materials would start to rot and collapse.

This means that depending on the deity in question, the circumstances of the demise and the time passed since then (and the attitude of the neighbours, if any), the state of the realm varies.

Just throwing out wild hypotheses here but I see nature oriented deities realms (say Silvanus' realm) as the quickest to disappear due to the lack of the nurturing presence of the deity that would wrack the ecosystem. On the other hand, the delves and fortresses of dwarven deities would stand eerily empty for millenia before starting to crumble to dust. On yet another hand, the realms of deities such as Tempus, Cyric, Garagos, Lolth or similarly chaotic and belligerant beings would probably be wrecked extremely quikly by the power struggles of the surviving proxies and factions and servants trying to establish their supremacy in the absence of the big boss.

In one of my campaigns the players traveled to the Throne of Blood of Bhaal for reasons. It was still there (because Cyric relocated elsewhere), it was not easily accessible (the players had to bargain with Powerful Lower Planar Beings [yes, the capitals are on purpose because of the levels/HDs involved] and required a HUGE bloodbath, but that's usually what player characters are good at) and it stood empty but still filled with all the traps and dormant essences of a very few non-living servants that still "survived" about 20 years after the deity's demise.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief

33852 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2019 :  15:13:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm pretty sure that Planescape canon said that if a power was no longer around, their realm was slowly absorbed by the host plane.

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Great Reader

9465 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2019 :  15:28:59  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm going to posit something that is vaguely supported by some canon examples, but noone should assume its canon.

IF we make an ASSUMPTION that what plane you originate from essentially allows which planes you can access from the astral (which is kind of how 3.5e worked), then entrance to the plane in question may become "disconnected" for a person entering from THAT prime. So, in other words, for a while, the plane of the Untheric gods was "disconnected" from Toril. It didn't quit existing. It MAY be that if a person goes to another prime where THAT plane is still "connected" (i.e. where those gods are still active), then they might then see the connection on the astral to that divine domain. But they might no longer see connections to planes they saw on the astral when they exited from Toril. Now, I'm not saying such connections don't exist. They're just hidden somehow, possibly even unaccessible without having or doing something.

This as I see it would be a good way to explain why different primes see different outer planes (i.e. Eberron has its planes, Athas had entirely different elemental planes, Dragonlance has different outer planes, etc...).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Great Reader

2025 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2019 :  20:28:16  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
IIRC mentions of precedents in Planescape had these either
A. become more and more of dusty decrepit ruins, or
B. reclaimed as the territory of some other Power.
There still may be other options, most likely variants being:
C. slipping to another plane (this can happen even to a whole layer with active realms, and Azuth, for one, was highly unamused);
D. dissolving into the plane's unclaimed "bulk" (i.e. the place simply loses specific properties as a "realm" and the wandering locals stop treating it as something special).

No two of which seem to be mutually exclusive. Then it's down to the specific circumstances.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

1725 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2019 :  02:15:19  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In The Devil You Know, when Enlil was recovering Zigguraxus after a century of no god claiming the realm, the place looked abandoned and dark, but it still existed as an independent place. So, I dunno... I mean, while the Untheric Pantheon dissolved a century before, Tiamat was still there, so the plane can have survived because of her, even if she abandoned entirely.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Master of Realmslore

1347 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2020 :  01:14:27  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Master Zeromaru X,

Great point. This also seems to jive with what Great Reader Ayrik was suggesting, though, I really liked the absolute apocalyptic description of his on that deity dying.

Tough place to be as a soul when your god just got nuked.


Best regards,

Originally posted by Zeromaru X

In The Devil You Know, when Enlil was recovering Zigguraxus after a century of no god claiming the realm, the place looked abandoned and dark, but it still existed as an independent place. So, I dunno... I mean, while the Untheric Pantheon dissolved a century before, Tiamat was still there, so the plane can have survived because of her, even if she abandoned entirely.

Robert McDonell
Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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