Pantheons were a group of deities who were worshiped by people who shared one characteristic, for example sharing the same cultural or racial background. The Circle of Greater Powers were the ones who led the pantheon. The leadership was a loose matter and was more of administrative nature. It was assumed that the exact nature of such arrangements varied with the personalities of the involved deities.
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Commonly referred to by players and game designers alike as "The Realms", it was created by game designer Ed Greenwood around as a setting for his childhood stories. Role-playing game products have been produced for the setting ever since, as have various licensed products including novels , role-playing video game adaptations including the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game to use graphics , and comic books.
The Forgotten Realms is a fantasy world setting, described as a world of strange lands, dangerous creatures, and mighty deities, where magic and supernatural phenomena are quite real. The premise is that, long ago, the Earth and the world of the Forgotten Realms were more closely connected. As time passed, the inhabitants of planet Earth have mostly forgotten about the existence of that other world — hence the name Forgotten Realms. On the original Forgotten Realms logo, which was used until , small runic letters read "Herein lie the lost lands", an allusion to the connection between the two worlds.
Unlike Earth, the lands of the Forgotten Realms are not all ruled by the human race: the planet Toril is shared by humans , dwarves , elves , goblins , orcs, and other peoples and creatures. Technologically, the world of the Forgotten Realms is not nearly as advanced as that of Earth; in this respect, it resembles the pre-industrial Earth of the 13th or 14th century. However, the presence of magic provides an additional element of power to the societies.
There are several nation states and many independent cities, with loose alliances being formed for defense or conquest. Trade is performed by ship or horse-drawn vehicle , and manufacturing is based upon cottage industry.
In early editions of the setting, The Realms shared a unified cosmology with various other campaign settings called the Great Wheel. With the release of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting , the setting was given its own distinct and separate cosmological arrangement, with unique planes not explicitly connected to those of the other settings.
Religion plays a large part in the Forgotten Realms, with deities and their followers being an integral part of the world. They do not have a passive role, but in fact interact directly in mortal affairs, answer prayers, and have their own personal agendas. All deities must have worshipers to survive, and all mortals must worship a patron deity to secure a good afterlife. A huge number of diverse deities exist within several polytheistic pantheons; a large number of supplements have documented many of them, some in more detail than others.
When the Forgotten Realms was published as a setting in , the pantheon added Waukeen, the goddess of trade, money, and wealth, who was created by one of Jeff Grubb 's players, and added to the Forgotten Realms by Grubb.
Much of the history of The Realms detailed in novels and source books concerns the actions of various deities and The Chosen mortal representatives with a portion of their deities' power such as Elminster , Fzoul Chembryl , Midnight who later became the new embodiment of the goddess of magic, Mystra , and the Seven Sisters.
Above all other deities is Ao , the Overlord. Ao does not sanction worshipers and distances himself from mortals. The setting is the home of several iconic characters popularized by authors, some of the more notable being;. Ed Greenwood began writing stories about the Forgotten Realms as a child , starting around ;  they were his "dream space for swords and sorcery stories". In Greenwood's original conception, the fantastic legends of Earth derive from a fantasy world, the way to which has been lost.
Roleplaying always governs over rules, and the adventures seem to develop themselves. Beginning with the periodical's 30th issue in ,   Greenwood published a series of short articles that detailed the setting in The Dragon magazine, the first of which was about a monster known as the curst. Although the Realms were yet to be an official campaign world, the module H1: Bloodstone Pass , released in by TSR, is now considered to be a part of the Forgotten Realms,  although it wasn't until module H3 The Bloodstone Wars was released that Forgotten Realms became the official setting for the module series.
The Campaign Set often referred to as the "Grey Box"  was later released in   as a boxed set of two source books Cyclopedia of the Realms and DM's Sourcebook of the Realms  and four large maps, designed by Greenwood in collaboration with author Jeff Grubb.
The set introduced the campaign setting and explained how to use it,  and reserved space on the map for SSI 's Gold Box computer role-playing games set in the Forgotten Realms.
The publisher considered the Forgotten Realms to have been an "instant hit". The Crystal Shard was released in ,  and was the first novel to feature the successful character Drizzt Do'Urden , who has since appeared in more than seventeen subsequent novels, many of which have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list. Also in came the City System boxed set, containing several maps of the city of Waterdeep. Ruins of Adventure , a module based on the computer game Pool of Radiance , was released in The boxed set Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms was released in , giving details of the lands of Kara-Tur which had previously appeared in the book Oriental Adventures , and were now officially placed in the Forgotten Realms world.
The same year, the module OA5: Mad Monkey vs. Each issue contained twenty-six pages, illustrated primarily by Rags Morales and Dave Simons. Twenty-five issues were published in total, with the last being released in A fifty-six page annual Forgotten Realms Comic Annual 1: Waterdhavian Nights , illustrated by various artists, was released in An eponymous module , based on the role-playing video game Curse of the Azure Bonds , was released in , as was The Avatar Trilogy series of novels, consisting of Shadowdale , Tantras , and Waterdeep that detailed the storyline which became known as the " Time of Troubles ".
A series of module adaptations for these novels Shadowdale , Tantras , and Waterdeep were released in the same year, along with the Hall of Heroes accessory, detailing many of the major characters appearing in Forgotten Realms novels published up through that time.
A number of sub-settings of the Forgotten Realms were briefly supported in the early s. Three more modules were produced for the Kara-Tur setting. The Horde: Barbarian Campaign Setting , released in , detailed The Hordelands , which also featured a series of three modules.
The Maztica Campaign Set , released in , detailed the continent of Maztica. Forgotten Realms novels, such as the Legacy of the Drow series, the first three books of The Elminster Series , and numerous anthologies were also released throughout the s, which led to the setting being hailed as one of the most successful shared fantasy universes of the s.
Numerous Forgotten Realms video games were released Between and The Eye of the Beholder PC game was released in Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor was released in Several popular Forgotten Realms characters such as Drizzt Do'Urden and Elminster made minor appearances in these games.
It was followed by two expansion packs , Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark. A sequel using version 3. With the release of the version 3.
The Forgotten Realms Player's Guide was released the following month, and contains information for players to help create Forgotten Realms characters. An adventure, Scepter Tower of Spellgard , was also released in September and can be used in combination with the adventure in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide to start a Forgotten Realms campaign. In , the Neverwinter Campaign Setting was released. With the release in , an event called The Second Sundering was introduced.
As the primordial Sundering event, The Second Sundering resulted in the world of Abeir-Toril to be split in two once again, and the game setting part of Forgotten Realms was returned to its previous, 3rd edition geography.
The official Forgotten Realms campaign guide for 5th edition, Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide from , describes The Second Sundering and its consequences in game terms. In his book The Fantasy Roleplaying Gamer's Bible , Sean Patrick Fannon describes the Forgotten Realms as being "the most ambitious fantasy game setting published since Tekumel ",  and that it "may be the most widely played-in game setting in RPG history.
For example, Joyce Saricks states in The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction that the novels have been among the most requested books by fans of the fantasy genre. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Main article: Abeir-Toril. The Fantasy Roleplaying Gamer's Bible 2nd ed. Deseret News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on Retrieved CNET Networks. The fantasy role-playing game: a new performing art. Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. TSR, Inc. Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms. Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizards of the Coast. Demihuman Deities. Faiths and Pantheons. Retrieved 24 June Martin The Thousand Orcs". School Library Journal. February 1, Publishers Weekly.
September 1, Heroes' Lorebook. Wizards of the Coast , Dragon : Archived from the original on December 7, Retrieved on November 30, Running the Realms. Dragon : 84— The Digital Antiquarian.
Retrieved 19 March White Dwarf 93 : 4. Greenwood Publishing Group. Archived from the original on May 7, Retrieved 9 December The s. Poetics Today. Retrieved on December 1,
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Deities of Faerûn
Commonly referred to by players and game designers alike as "The Realms", it was created by game designer Ed Greenwood around as a setting for his childhood stories. Role-playing game products have been produced for the setting ever since, as have various licensed products including novels , role-playing video game adaptations including the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game to use graphics , and comic books. The Forgotten Realms is a fantasy world setting, described as a world of strange lands, dangerous creatures, and mighty deities, where magic and supernatural phenomena are quite real. The premise is that, long ago, the Earth and the world of the Forgotten Realms were more closely connected. As time passed, the inhabitants of planet Earth have mostly forgotten about the existence of that other world — hence the name Forgotten Realms. On the original Forgotten Realms logo, which was used until , small runic letters read "Herein lie the lost lands", an allusion to the connection between the two worlds. Unlike Earth, the lands of the Forgotten Realms are not all ruled by the human race: the planet Toril is shared by humans , dwarves , elves , goblins , orcs, and other peoples and creatures.