Forgotten Realms: Eldermass
Ao the Overgod
Lord Ao (AY-oh) is the Overgod of the world of Abeir-Toril. As Overgod, all deities and primordials of Toril, even those who also operate in other spheres and planes such as Lolth, are subject to him. If it were not for Ao’s involvement in the Time of Troubles, he would most likely be forgotten by the mortals of Faerûn. Ao does not want to be known, for cults once dedicated to him only a decade ago have begun to die out, and Ao’s name is disappearing from written records. What goes on in Toril and what the other deities do are of no concern to Ao, as long as the deities uphold their individual portfolios and do not completely ignore their worshippers.1
In addition, unlike the other gods under him, Lord Ao has no need for worshipers whatsoever, whereas those “normal” gods who do not receive the worship of mortals can “die” from lack of worship. Ao initiated this after the Time of Troubles in order to enforce his will that the gods act like guardians of the Balance rather than kings of mortals.
Despite his own absolute sovereignty over the cosmos of Toril, it is revealed that he himself serves an even greater and more mysterious entity, whom he addresses only as “Master.”2
Ao closed his eyes and blanked his mind. Soon, he fell within himself and entered the place before time, the time at the edge of the universe, where millions of millions of assignments like his began and ended.
A luminous presence greeted him, enveloping his energies within its own. It was both a warm and a cold entity, forgiving and harsh. “And how does your cosmos fare, Ao?” The voice was at once both gentle and admonishing.
“They have restored the balance, Master. The Realms are once again secure.”
The cult of Ao is led by ministers instead of clerics, since these cultists never receive any spells from the Overgod; on the other hand, they have never been slain. His followers are likely considered “faithless”.
Ao established rules concerning the management of the divine.3 For instance:
- No two gods in the same pantheon could have identical portfolios.
- When two gods clash, one of three results occurs:
- One god fades from the Realms.
- Both gods merge.
- One (or both) god(s) alter their portfolio(s) sufficiently that both could remain in or join the Faerûnian pantheon.
Creation of the World
Lord Ao created the crystal sphere that holds the world of Abeir-Toril4. After he created the crystal sphere, it was just an empty, gray, and misty void, a timeless place of nothingness that existed before light and darkness became two separate things. Out of this shadowy realm came the two beautiful twin goddesses: Selûne and Shar, goddess of light and goddess of darkness.
- Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. TSR, Inc. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- 1. ↑ Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons, p. 4. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
- 2 ↑ Troy Denning (July 2003). Waterdeep. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3111-6.
- 3 ↑ Eric L. Boyd. Eric Boyd on Pantheons of the Realms. Archived from the original on 2002-06-25. Retrieved on 2010-09-27.
- 4 ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, p. 260. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
Information taken from The Forgotten Realms Wiki