Heroes of the New Day
The D&D world is a pantheistic society, in general (sort of like ancient Greece or Rome). While you may serve one particular (non-evil) god, that doesn’t mean you’ll hate all other gods, not accept their help, or be blatantly disrespectful to them just because they’re not your deity of choice. This area can get grey when talking about certain races and their particular racial gods (there aren’t many tieflings who openly worship Bahamut, the dragon god of justice, for instance, because he tends to be big with the dragonborn, whom many tieflings dislike). But when push comes to shove, characters who are not evil will usually be okay supporting the goals of all the non-evil gods (and many of their followers). Even if you are a tiefling who hates dragonborn, you’ll still understand that it’s wrong to take a crap on the altar at Bahamut’s temple, and you’ll in no way be surprised when one of the platinum dragon statues breathes radiant death on you for the sacrilege. All bets are off when talking about evil gods, of course, so crap away on their altars (unless, of course, the altar belongs to the kobold god of crap, who would probably take that as worship).
It’s even okay for worshippers of one god to use items keyed to another god. So an Iounic cleric could use a Holy Symbol of Foe Turning (Giants) that was fashioned to look like Moradin’s Hammer, because Ioun sees any Knowledge, such as the knowledge of how to turn giants, as a good thing; and because Moradin wants giants to be beaten back where ever possible. Moradin & Ioun are on the same team (the not-evil one), so they don’t mind if their followers mix-and-match equipment. Of course, some items may be designed to give extra bonuses to followers of a particular god, but those are most often created by zealous followers who are less open-minded than the gods they serve.
It’s also okay not to worship a particular god. For example, a druid may choose to worship nature itself, or she might take a more Japanese approach and worship the nature Kami, spirits inherent in all natural phenomena. While it’s kind of hard to do the Han Solo thing and deny that the powers of the gods exist at all (I mean, you can pretty easily visibly see the effects of divine power), you also don’t have to throw your coins into any particular god’s basket, if you don’t like. There are benefits and drawbacks to all choices when gods are concerned.
For more particular bits of info on specific gods, such as what you’d know with training in the Religion skill, check out the RELIGION page. For more on where most of these gods live, check out the ASTRAL SEA page.
Good and Neutral (read: PC-accessible) Gods
MAJOR GODS (known to all)
Avandra: Goddess of Freedom, adventure, and hope. Big on change and hates imprisonment. Most followers of Avandra believe in reincarnation, as she’s big on second chances. See also Avandra’s Plateau.
Bahamut: God of Justice, protection, and honor. “The Platinum Dragon.” Half of the ancient dead dragon god Io. Despises Tiamat, who was made from the other half of Io.
Corellon Larethian: God of Spring, Beauty, & the Arts. Also associated with the Spring. The main Elvish god. Hates Lolth (who lead the Drow away from the surface) and Grummsh (god of Orcs), his mortal enemy.
Erathis: Goddess of Civilization, laws, and (orderly) progress. Highly revered in Ionia, which has been modelled according to her tenets ever since the Wheels of Progress started rebuilding the country.
Ioun: Goddess of Knowledge, skill, and prophesy. Temples are often libraries as well. Goddess of teachers, sages, and seers. Hates Vecna, god of secrets.
Kord: God of storms and battle. His symbol is a gauntled holding a lightning bolt, with a sword coming out of the knuckles. God of any martial-minded person, and also heavy metal rockers.
Melora: Goddess of the wilderness and nature. Sometimes called “Gaia”. She is present in the still pond, the hunting wolf, the gentle rain, and the striking eagle. People sometimes mistake her as evil, because nature is cruel… but those who worship her know better.
Moradin Soulforger: God of artisans (who make sensible, strong stuff), laborers, and dwarves. Hates Lolth, whose drow often attack dwarves, and all other gods of creatures in the Underdark.
Pelor: God of the sun, time, and agriculture. Also associated with Summer. The light in the darkness, he embodies good and hates that which causes suffering… especially Lolth.
The Raven Queen: One of the few gods known to have once been a mortal, The Raven Queen is the goddess of Death, Fate, and the journey of the soul after death. She is also associated with Winter. If it weren’t for the Raven Queen and her messengers, souls would be at the mercy of whatever torture or undead gods wanted them after they’d shuffled of the mortal coil.
Sehanine Moonbow: Goddess of the Moon, trickery, and the Feywild. Also associated with Autumn. She is most often depicted as an Eladrin, and is revered by many of that race, as well as many Shifters.
Tymora: Goddess of Luck. While technically Tymora was an Exarch of Avandra, she has gained enough prayers and support to be considered a goddes in her own right now. Tymora is the neutral arbiter of luck and balance, and her name is both venerated and cursed, depending on the type of luck the speaker is experiencing. Still, she is the matron saint/goddess of gamblers.
MINOR GODS (& lesser known belief systems)
Adamanta: Genasi(earth), Goddess of the earth. Also revered by some Goliaths (and a very few dwarves), Adamanta is depicted as a great stone, who can endure any hardship and withstand the rigors of time. Her tenets include steadfastness and patience.
Agni: Tiefling, God of Fire. Seen as a messenger to whatever other powers need to get the word, tiefling prayers are often said over a flame, so that Agni in his great wisdom can gain the help of whatever other god might be needed. He is also sometimes seen as a 3-in-1 trinity-type of god, with the 3 aspects of fire (raging wildfire destroyer, protecting warmth of hearthfire, forgeflame of creation), all of which are present in the messenger as well. It’s complicated, but it makes total sense to tieflings. Among tieflings, “Agni” is also a word that vaguely translates to “tiefling pride & ambition”, and Agni is seen as the flame of hope/power/desire that allowed the first tieflings to rise up against their demon overlords and choose a new life in the Prime Material plane.
Avariel: Genasi(air), God of the wind. Often depicted as an angel-winged slender elf, Avariel is seen as a mercurial god who changes direction rapidly.
Cyrollalae: Halfling, Goddess of Details. More accurately, the goddess of OCD details in halfling homes. Many halfling homemakers are known to be a bit… particular about the details of their homes (think Bilbo Baggins before his Hobbit’s holiday), and Cyrollalae is their goddess.
The Brotherhood: While you’ll find plenty about Bane & Kord in the worship books of modern society, there remains a small sect of folks who worship what Bane & Kord used to represent, along with their dead brother Tuern. Together, these three represented the entirety of the concept of combat and all it entailed… from playful children growing stronger through wrestling to civilizations being wiped out by genocidal armies, from well planned battle formations to hordes of mindless combatants, from war wizardry to unparalleled martial skill. Obviously, that all changed when Achra killed Tuern & later took the name “Bane”, but there are still those who believe that the two surviving brothers can reach an accord and return to their original purpose.
Brandobaris: Halfling(?), God of Halflingness or Trickery? Brandobaris is the totality of every halfling stereotype held by taller races, then made divine. It is unclear to tall races whether Brandobaris is an actual halfling god, or a trick being played on heightist tall-folks by the entirety of halfling culture.
Dumathoin: Dwarven, “Keeper of Secrets Under the Mountain”. Dumathoin is the god of hidden veins of metal, geodes, and lost chambers. Kind of a middle-ground between Ioun & Vecna, he is seen as an all-knowing God that only reveals things to those who deserve to find them after earnest searching beneath the stones.
Eilistraee: Goddess of renegade Drow seeking the surface. Eilistraee covers music, dancing, and all the other little joys that Drow are denied in the Underdark. She’s often depicted as a pleasant voice on the moonlight, drawing Drow to the surface. Sometimes seen as a younger sister to Sehanine, she is also worshipped by some elves & eladrin.
Fenmarel Mestarine: Elven/Eladrin demi-god of isolationism. His few temples are only found in the Feywild, and his priests preach that “The People” should neither mix with other races nor allow them into elvish lands. This was a fringe cult even in the days of Myth Drannor, and now there are very few known followers of this deity left (or maybe there are lots, but they’re all holed-up in some super-secret ultra-forest enclave somewhere in the Feywild.
Gond: “The Wonderbringer”. Gnomish god of invention. If Moradin carved dwarves from stone, Gond took sparkling gemstones of intellect and grew the gnomes around them. Other creation tales state that Gond just had a great idea, and the Gnomes sprung into existence as a result. Sometimes seen as a brother to Moradin (among gnomes, anyway… not too many dwarves will openly speak of this).
Lathander: “The Morning Lord”. demigod, under Pelor. God of mornings, revealing love, sacrifice, and gays. See the Bard’s Tale section for more on Lathander’s story.
Milil: Human, god of performances. The Bobby Flay of the gods, or maybe the Jerry Bruckheimer. His followers preach that bigger is always better in terms of performance, and subtlety is seen as a sign of weakness. He preaches quick return and flashiness over long study and technical perfection, which puts his followers at odds with Corellon frequently. His church also is big on improv, base jokes, and gawdy displays. Effectively a human version of Corellon (though don’t let any elf hear you say that), Milil sees a good deal of worship in Pax Humana, and also anywhere there’s a performer winging it or giving a big flashy display.
Pele: Genasi(fire), Goddess of Volcanoes. Seen as very fickle, her moods change rapidly, but the results are fairly obvious.
Sagawehn: The Hive Mother. A minor deity known mostly to farmers and other nature-folk, Sagawehn may just be a large primal spirit of insects and not a god or demi-god at all. She takes her strength from creatures that dwell in hives, whatever she is. She does have priests (called “Hive Masters”), and they typically deal with swarms and such… but they are exceedingly rare.
Saint Cuthbert: Once a mortal human paladin (of whom is a point of debate), Cuthbert ascended to demigodhood and took on the oversight of Common Sense, Wisdom, Foresight, and Being Careful.
Saint Jergal: Said to have been an overly attentive death clerk in a large city, Jergal was also a cleric of the Raven Queen who eventually rose up to become the “Clerk of the Dead”. He does not have temples of his own, but any records kept in temples to the Raven Queen are kept in Jergal’s name. He is said to have a Book of the Dead in which every name of every creature that has ever died is written. It is said he dislikes resurrections, undead, and any similar effects that make him have to alter his records. It is unknown how/if he tracks those who reincarnate, though several deva have tried to find out.
Sashelas: Genasi(water), God of Oceans. Seen as wise and massive, he can be both violent and calm at the same time, as different parts of the ocean know all conditions at once.
Shevarash: Originally an elven god of Vengeance, the ages have seen his small churches spread to other races in order to survive. Known as “The Black Archer”, he is typically called upon by warriors and soldiers seeking to slay foes in retribution. His priests use martial weapons (usually bows) as their implements, and there are some who would classify him as an “evil” god… though technically he is an unaligned deity that manages revenge of good and evil soldiers.
Sturm: A dwarven god of storms. Legends say that he was once a great dwarven warrior who stood alone against an oncoming elemental storm primordial… and emerged victorious.
Sune: Goddess of Love. (pronounced SOO-nay) Mostly a human goddess, many other races tie their love in with other aspects overseen by other deities. Curiously, many Deva also look to Sune, perhaps because love is such a strong emotion that it can transcend lifetimes. Revenants and Vrylocka have also been known to venerate her, perhaps in a hope of holding onto Love and not falling into the unfeelingness of undeath.
Torm: Human, God of Purity. Sort of the self-righteous racist god of the humans of Pax Humana. They think of him as lawful good, but only so far as human concerns go. A paladin of Torm could, with no conflict of interest, slaughter a village of halfling peasants to save the grain they stole from a caravan of wealthy humans, all the while chiding them for the thieving ways of the “lesser” races.
Valkur, the Great Privateer: Human, God of sailing (and also pirates). When the bitch queen of the ocean is at her worst, sailors cry out to Valkur, who supposedly was made into a god by Umberlee herself after he proved that her storms could not sink his ship. As he was supposedly a privateer in life, Valkur is often venerated aboard pirate ships as well, though his church typically holds that he was more of a Robin Hood type pirate, and not a “torture captives and make them row until they die” type of pirate.
Yondala: Halfling goddess of feasting, revelry, and plenty. The Yondalia is a yearly rampant feast of excess that pretty much defines halfling culture. Not as violent as you’d think for a god of drunkenness and excess, Yondala is more about contentedness in all that you do. Halflings can worship her just as well by smoking a good tobacco, listening to pleasant music, or embracing your family in love. Think of her like a more sensible Saturn.
There are many other powerful spirits that approach godhood, or are only gods in a particular area. An ancient dragon may be worshipped as a god in the areas of his territory, but that doesn’t mean that clerics will be calling upon him to heal them. At the same time, you would be wise not to upset the Great Forest Spirit that is worshipped as a god in heavily wooded ancient forests (see also Princess Mononoke), even if it technically wouldn’t be able to trade blows with Kord.
The Weave: Not really a “god” per se, but the metathaumaturgical representation of magic in the world. There is technically no god of magic, but some claim some part of it. For example, if it’s a beautifully-crafted magic item, it might be made in Corellon’s name. If it’s an esoteric spell that is difficult to master, it’ll probably fall under Ioun’s domain. If it’s a war spell, Kord can probably give it to you. Etc. etc. The concept of The Weave is known by anyone who knows anything about mystic powers (that is, has an arcane class or is trained in Arcana).
Ahrimanes: Chief of the Cacodemons (the vengeful souls of slain demons). Ahrimanes is the Demon Lord of wanderers and exiles. His avatar is said to appear as a naked 9 ft tall blue humanoid with a face of knotted larvae (which spits flies).
Asmodeus: Devil god of the Nine Hells. Tyranny & Domination are his bag. Many wannabe human cults claim to worship Asmodeus, even though they have no clue what they’d do if they were ever to actually contact one of his devilish servitors. Pronounced az-MOW-dee-us, and most definitely not like you would pronounce “Dr. Zaius” (damn you, Simpsons!).
Bane: God of war & conquest. Formerly called Achra. His soldiers are also known to be so set on conquest that they’ll get up after dying to keep on fighting (as ghosts, skeletons, etc). Bane was originally Kord’s brother, but where Kord (eventually) sought mutual cooperation in the Dawn War, Bane believed that the other gods should serve him as a military leader. Bane & Grummsh have a long-standing feud, mainly because they both laid claim to the same territory, and are constantly trying to invade/overthrow the domain of the other.
In-game, the party has met Bane personally, that time that the Egg of Io summoned Bane to the mortal world (breaking the Primal Ban, BTW). They gave him a new monster to hunt, though, so maybe he’s cool with the party (?).
Baphomet: The King of Beasts. Most often appearing as a giant minotaur with demonic add-ons, Baphomet is the demon lord who rules the layer of Hell known as “The Endless Maze.” His followers enjoy conquest, hunting, and long walks on the beach… so long as that beach is surrounded by a maze.
Cyric: God of murder. Also oversees undead souls who have been murdered, and those of murderers (come on, how much would that suck to end up in the same afterlife as the guy who put you there?). It is said he was once the world’s first serial killer. His greatest ambition is to murder other gods… and the Raven Queen tops his list of “gods to kill”, because then he’d take over control of all death. Cyric also has a sort of covert war with Zehir, as they both send killers after the other’s churches pretty frequently.
Dagon: One of the oldest Demon Lords of the Abyss, his realm is the 89th Abyssal layer, known as the Shadowsea. With imagery similar to Lovecraftian Deep One images, his followers are known for tentacles and other squiddy/octopussy-type iconography. The Kraken may be his child, or servant, or something. It is said Dagon has some sort of alliance with Demogorgon, but beyond that, he has no known friends or enemies (the latter of whom are all dead). Some lesser demons will make sacrifices to Dagon in the hopes of learning some of the infinite abyssal secrets he has collected over his long existence. There is even a rumor that Dagon is a less-powerful child of the insane Outer Gods that Tharizdun tried to summon back during the Dawn War.
Demogorgon: The (self-proclaimed) Prince of Demons. Featured on the front of MM2, this 2-headed Demon Lord’s ambition may only be kept in check by the disagreements it has with itself.
Falazure: Dragon god of undeath. There is some debate among scholars over the divinity of this creature. Some say Falazure was the first dragon to perform the ritual to become a dracolich. Others say that Falazure’s power is what makes the dracolich ritual possible. Others still say that Vecna or some other deceptive god with undeath powers merely takes the guise of Falazure in the presence of dragons. And still others believe that Falazure is a powerful being that protects dragons from undeath, that it has a sort of “Dragon Graveyard” somewhere in the world where elder dragons can go to sleep eternally, ensured that they will not rise in undeath. Or perhaps that is a lie told to dragons by some power that has other uses for their remains. Very little solid information is known about this “god”, if that’s what it is.
The Frenzy: The fugue state of bloodlust that many bestial creatures give into. It’s kind of not exactly a god, more a force of nature, the Call of the Wild. Lycanthropes, crazy Shifters, and some barbarians talk about The Frenzy as if it were a god, though.
The Elder Elemental Eye: ??? While there are cults to the Elder Elemental Eye throughout the land, it is still unclear what, exactly, it is. Some think it is a primordial, for many of its cults are given elemental powers or elemental creatures as servants. Others think it is some sort of demi-god, trying for full godhood by either overthrowing another god, gaining a dead primordial’s power, or perhaps even freeing some chained greater power and asking for godhood as a reward. Still others say that the “Elder Elemental Eye” is a front for another god working in secret to accomplish some hidden plan.
Ghaunadaur: God of oozes and fugitive male drow. Legend has it that soon after the split between the Elves, When Corellon and Sehanine banished Llolth to the Underdark (though Llolth’s texts say that she banished them from the Underdark)… well, regardless of what happened, Llolth had a number of greater demon lords who supported her as her own “pantheon” of sorts. However, it wasn’t long before Llolth learned they were each scheming against her (or at least suspected they were) and killed them all. Ghaunadaur was the one exception. The lord of oozes and slimes, he managed to escape Llolth’s webs and hide in areas that were more heavily controlled by Torog. Torog (the only god in the Underdark strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Lolth), amused by the suffering caused by Ghaunadaur’s life in constant fear of Llolth, gave him refuge, and cemented Ghaunadaur’s position as the only being Lolth hates as much as the surface elven deities. To male drow who wish to escape the viciously matriarchal society of Lolth’s cities, Ghaunadaur represents hope, the possibility that one can escape the Spider Queen’s webs.
The Great Mother: The goddess of Beholders. These aberrant creatures each believe themselves (and not any other, “lesser” beholders) to be the perfect image of the Great Mother, which is why you don’t often see groups of beholders. The Great Mother is a goddess from beyond the Crystal Gate, though it’s theorized that she’s probably not one of the strongest things out there outside of reality.
Grummsh: Orcish god of battle and crazy battle rages. Also worshipped by goblins, trolls, ogres, and any other critters generally associated with “The Horde”. Grummsh is one of the bigger, meaner, better-known evil gods out there. Grummsh hates Corellon, who shot out his eye with an arrow when he tried to devour the elves, and also bears a good deal of hatred for Bane, who is constantly trying to invade his realm and overthrow him.
Hruggek: the god of Bugbears. Values brute force and crushing weaker enemies. He teaches that a swift and beautiful kill is most good in life. He also teaches that full bellies go to fierce warriors.
Juiblex: The Faceless One. While other demon lords will scoff at Juiblex, calling it the “Lord of Nothing”, in truth it is the Nothing, the void, the empty oblivion which all things fear. Juiblex’s true power is unkown because it is THE UNKNOWN. Juiblex’s followers fall into 2 camps: quietly crazy intellectuals or the Reavers from Firefly. There’s really no middle ground there, either.
Kurtlmak: the Kobold warrior god. Unfortunately, due to kobolds’ general lower place on the totem pole of Horde-ish critters, Kurtlmak has become a god of filth, excrement, scavengers, and useless shock troops. But if, say, an Orc commander were to put a priest of Kurtlmak in his entourage, suddenly hundreds of kobolds would be willing to die for that Orc’s cause.
Lolth: (also Llolth or Lloth) Crazy Drow Spider Goddess of the Underdark. Insane and insanely powerful. May have ability (blackmail, etc) to manipulate/control various demon lords. Hates Corellon & Sehanine, especially hates Pelor.
Mammon: God of Greed. He is not as well-worshipped in the modern era as he was during the Dawn War. It is said that his own greed lead him to seek out the Far Realms to gain their power, and now to look upon his natural face is will drive anyone insane. Thankfully, Mammon is said to see that insanity as a treasure, so he seldom shows his true face to anyone, preferring the form of a wealthy human male or a giant made of pure gold. Mammon is often a “gateway god” to the worship of other forbidden powers.
Orcus: Technically a greater demon lord, but for all intents and purposes, we can call him a god. Oversees undead, demons, and destruction. Worshipped by demons and cultists.
Shar: sort of Pelor’s opposite, Shar isn’t necessarily evil, though most of her followers are. The goddess of shadows, the Shadowfell, and darkness, Shar is seldom seen, though she might be sensed when you sit in total blackness, losing all sensation and giving yourself to the darkness.
Tharizdun: A name you’ll almost never hear (there’s almost a Voldemortish “he must not be named” quality about him), Tharizdun is often referred to as “The Chained God”, when he’s referred to at all. The nihilist god of void who sought to destroy all other gods and primordials by summoning the elder destroyer gods of the those things outside of reality (think Cthulu times ten). Many gods (good & evil) and primordials teamed up to chain Tharizdun outside of existence after his initial attempts at erasing reality transformed several primordials into the Abyss… but there are always some crazy cultists looking for ways to free him again. (if you’ve played Final Fantasy X, think of the chained Esper Anima as a visual).
Tiamat: Evil dragon goddess of chaos. The other half of the dead dragon god Io, hates Bahamut. Worshipped by many evil dragons, kobolds, and others seeking great wealth through simple, destructive means.
Torog: The crippled god of torture, he lives in the Underdark, where his torture chambers make even Lolth’s forces seek other places to be. Torog was one of those to whom souls went before the Raven Queen took over ferrying dead souls to their proper afterlives, and he is known to still have “soul engines” that feed off the eternal suffering of lost souls.
Umberlee: Bitch Queen of the Ocean. Maybe she’s not exactly “evil”, per se, but every sailor knows better than to think of her as a benevolent goddess of good. The interaction between Umberlee & Melora is unclear, to say the least… maybe they are sisters, maybe they are rivals, maybe they are different aspects of the same deity. Sacrifices to Umberlee include valuables dropped into the ocean, though many feel that it’s up for grabs whether she’ll decide that she’d rather a sacrifice of your life on any given sea voyage. She’s also known to sometimes send horrifically beautiful sea creatures to lure men to their dooms, for her pleasure.
Vecna: Undead god of secrets. Kind of the polar opposite of Ioun. His temples and creatures can often steal memories from their victims. Some clerics of Ioun will make sure to tell at least one other person any secret they learn, to keep the Knowledge out of the hands of Vecna. This belief may be somewhat false, as there are certainly secrets Vecna does not know (the Raven Queen’s true name, for instance)… but it never hurts to be safe. Also (in)famous for the various relics of his that circulate around: the Eye of Vecna, the Hand of Vecna, and (purportedly) the Head of Vecna.
Yeenoghu: Hyena god of violent tricks and painful deaths. The Demon Prince of Gnolls, also known as The Beast of Butchery, the Ruler of Ruin, and (among gnolls) The Destroyer. A fiercely jealous and suspicious god, his followers often act similarly.
Zehir: God of poison, assassins, and snakes. Zehir is venerated by (and the creator of) the Yuan-ti snake people. Zehir crafted a poison of his own blood when his daughter, Lusemnee, decided to give up her assassin ways and become a lesser goddess of redemption. She is dead now, killed by her father’s poisoned blade (see below).
Most other races have their own god or gods, it’s just that most of them don’t merit mention here (or maybe nobody outside of those races has ever bothered to ask). I mean, what kind of god would the hive-minded Thri-Kreen have?
Many gods have fallen throughout the eons. Some of them still have stories told about them, and a few may still have followers… though where they draw their power from nowadays is anyone’s guess.
Amoth: a god of Justice and Mercy, killed by the demon princes Orcus, Rimmon, and Demogorgon.
Aurom: one of the first recorded deities of Death, records are conflicted on whether Aurom was a god or goddess. He was a tribal god who claimed domains over many aspects of existence, and it is theorized by The Enclave of Dust that other gods were not too pleased with this. The powerful (and, likely, first) necromancer Nerull slew Aurom (with the help of the soon-to-be-god-of-murder Bhaal), but only took the Death domain as his own (which pleased other gods, it is theorized, cementing Nerull’s place in the pantheon). Nerull then tried to have every record of Aurom’s existence erased, putting forth the idea that Nerull was always the only god of Death. It wasn’t until the Raven Queen took out Nerull that word of Aurom was released, as it helped the Raven Queen to undermine the power of the cults of Nerull that still hung on after her rise to godhood.
See the Religion story “Raven Queen and Nerull” for more details.
Bhaal: former god of Murder, who got his powers when he helped the necromancer Nerull slay the bloated god Aurom. Ironically (sort of), Bhaal was later murdered by Cyric, who now holds the title of “God of Murder”.
Haramathur: During the Dawn War, Haramathur was tasked with protecting the Astral Sea from incursion by the forces of the Elemental Chaos. He had no foes among the gods, and was a trusted protector of all their realms. However, Io’s death caused rips in reality to start connecting the Plane Above and the Plane Below, and the only way that Haramathur could seal the rifts was with his own essence. As he was sealing the rifts, a primordial tried to enter the Astral Sea, and Haramthur was forced to use the rest of his essence to entrap the primordial. There is now a submerged island somewhere in the Astral Sea that is, in essence, the remains of Haramathur’s soul surrounding this trapped primordial.
He Who Was: god of sorrow. Asmodeus, who is now ruler of the Nine Hells, was once the exarch of this god, whose name is long forgotten. Some say this god’s name was consumed from reality in the ritual that Asmodeus used to take his power. Others say it was consumed when Tharizdun’s first attempt at destroying reality created the Abyss. This god was a good and peaceful god, but Asmodeus’s treachery knew no limits. Ironically, the sadness of this nameless, powerless god’s state has kept him in the memory of the people, and occasionally flickers of ghosts that might have once been his servants will appear to those in greatest sorrow.
Io: god of dragons. Perhaps the most well-known of the dead gods, a primordial’s axe split Io into two in the early years of the Dawn War. The resulting deities, Bahamut and Tiamat, are essentially complete opposites, though all that each of them are was once a part of what was embodied in Io. With that much power, it’s no wonder the primordial(s) sought to take him/her down early. There are some conflicting stories about Io’s gender, but in the grand scheme of things, a minor detail like that is only debated in the ivory towers of folks with nothing better to do.
Karma: god/goddess of the natural cycle & balance. Injured during the Dawn War, karma did all s/he could to maintain a balance in the world during the tumultuous days after the Dawn War ended. Life and Death, male and female, good and evil, law and chaos, hot and cold, light and dark, all were tempered by Karma’s influence. But it was too much. The demigod Nerull sensed Karma’s weakness, and slew him/her to take that godhood. However, Nerull was not strong enough to hold on to all of Karma’s power. Instead, he clung to the power of Death, and her other powers dissipated into the world. It is said that other gods may have taken bits of Karma’s power over the centuries and millennia since his/her fall, but there are still those who superstitiously cling to the idea that there is some ghost of Karma’s essence, some balancing force in the universe, that will pay back extremes with their opposite. None can say for sure, though.
Khala: goddess of winter. While Tharizdun’s attempt to destroy reality had many after-effects, one of the worst was what it did to the mind of Khala, goddess of winter. She sought to eternally freeze all of existence in perfect stasis, so that it could never be threatened again by one such as Tharizdun. Of course, this didn’t go over very well with all the other gods, who (fresh off their team-up victory in the Dawn War), rekindled some recent alliances to stop her. It is said that much of the Winter Archfey Mab’s power was born out of Khala’s portfolio, though the Raven Queen’s dominion over the cold months may also hold some echo of Khala’s power.
Lusemnee/Nusemnee: goddess of redemption. Daughter of the assassin/snake god Zehir, she was murdered by her father when she ran away from her life as his chief assassin, briefly spending a time as a minor goddess of redemption before her death. Though her original name was Nusemnee, her father was so angry that he cast a curse on her name, that any who uttered it would become a snakelike yuan-ti. A few of her followers understood this and rewrote some of her holy books with the slightly changed name of “Lusemnee” to avoid the curse, but it did little for her, as she was fully and completely dead. Her body is said to float somewhere in the nether realms of Who Knows Where. If one were to ever find her body, though, it is rumored that her blood could be crafted into a poison that could kill any god… even her father. In-game, the rakshasa Kalarel has said that both he and Akara/Valarie were once angels of Lusemnee, though the truth or falsehood of this claim has yet to be seen.
Nerull: god of death & plagues. Back in the day, dying was not a pleasant thing. Not that it’s a picnic these days, but at least you’ve got some idea that when you die, your soul will go to the god you venerate most… or otherwise follow some semi-regular path. In Nerull’s day, though, souls were fuel for whatever he wanted. People were TERRIFIED of death. Nations devoted to Nerull would sacrifice their own children in the hopes of quelling his thirst for souls, so that their own might be safe when their time came. That all changed when a powerful sorceress, whose true name is unknown, seduced him and became his consort. As a Queen of death, her familiar, a raven, would seek out souls that were lost. When this sorceress betrayed Nerull and destroyed him, she became the Raven Queen, and offered the other gods a deal to deliver the souls of their faithful to them in exchange for support of her position. Though a good portion of Nerull’s power was taken by other gods, like Vecna, Cyric, and others, the Raven Queen was so bolstered by the support from the other gods that she is generally known as the primary God of Death these days, though many of the others who took some of Nerull’s power would be happy to take that title from her.
Oghma: goddess of truth, knowledge, and wisdom. Depictions of her typically show her as a crone, a wisewoman of extreme age. The first death in the Dawn War, no one knows exactly how Oghma was killed, as she knew the truth of all things, and thus must have had the knowledge of her impending death well before the assassin had made up his mind to kill her. Some even theorize that Oghma learned some Truth that was so horrible that she took her own life. Whatever caused the death of this god, though, most of her power was taken up by Ioun, a librarian arch-wizard who protected Oghma’s temple (and all the books and scrolls therein)from harm, eventually becoming the goddess of Knowledge herself, after providing scrolls on the nature of the Primordials to the other gods for their counter-strikes. Other parts of Oghma’s power may have been taken by Vecna and/or Dumathoin, both gods of secrets… but neither are telling. Shhh…
The Word: the god of the Words of Creation had no other name. It’s realm in the Astral Sea, Shom, was home to a race of philosophers and scholars known as the Illumians. They disappeared eons ago, though, some time after their god was destroyed in the Dawn War. No one is sure how that happened, exactly, or who killed the Word, but maybe the Illumians knew. Though the realm is incredibly dangerous to venture to, many scholars still seek it out to try and recover echoes of the Words of Creation, syllables that still carry power today.
Little is known among religious circles about the creatures that rule the Feywild (which is why they’re covered by the Arcana and not the Religion skill).
The oldest of religious myths will tell you that the substance of existence was created by the Primordials, and the Gods gave it shape and meaning. Primordials are creatures of raw elemental reality whose power was once greater than that of the gods. Most have been defeated and/or destroyed and/or imprisoned, but there are always crazy cultists looking to free/resurrect some primordial’s power (if not the primordial itself).