Location Across Toril
Date 1358 DR
Parties Involved Deities of the Realms

Time Of Troubles

Variously called the Avatar Crisis, the Godswar, and the Time of Troubles, this eventful and tumultuous year. Entire churches were turned upside down as deities slew each other, and mortals slew deities to claim their portfolios and divinity. By the end of the year, the divine pantheons had been remade and entire mortal populations decimated in the chaos.

The Time of Troubles was precipitated by an attempt by the gods Bane and Myrkul to steal the Tablets of Fate from the overgod Ao. The tablets were created by Ao to sustain the balance of good and evil, law and chaos and contain the areas of which each of the gods of the Forgotten Realms rule over. Angry with the gods for their habitual pursuit of power and negligence toward their mortal faithful, Lord Ao relegated every god (except for the guardian god Helm, selected to protect the gates to the heavens) to walk among their followers on the earth. The immediate effects of this edict were threefold. First, divine magic (spells granted to clerics by their patron deities) ceased to function altogether unless the cleric was within one mile of their deity's avatar. Second, arcane magic (a force channeled from The Weave by wizards and sorcerers) ceased to be regulated by its steward, Mystra, and became dangerously unpredictable. Third, the characteristically immortal and aloof deities were now vulnerable (though devastatingly powerful) and dwelling among the civilizations of Faerûn.

The Time of Troubles was a time of significant turnover among the gods of the Faerûnian Pantheon. Several deities were “destroyed” during this period. The following are deities who were killed or incapacitated during the Time of Troubles:

  • Bane, greater god of tyranny, strife, and hatred and one of the Dead Three gods, was slain in a battle with Elminster by the lingering essence of Mystra. He was revived by Myrkul and was slain again in a climactic battle with the demigod Torm in battle outside of Tantras.
  • Bhaal, intermediate god of murder, was slain by the young mortal Cyric with the sword Godsbane.
  • Gilgeam, demigod and king of Unther, was slain by Tiamat shortly after the Time of Troubles.
  • Leira, lesser goddess of deception and illusion, was slain by Cyric shortly after the Time of Troubles.
  • Myrkul, greater god of the dead and another of the Dead Three, was killed in a duel with Midnight, a mortal woman wielding the powers of Mystra, in the skies over the city of Waterdeep.
  • Mystra, greater goddess of magic and among the most powerful of the gods, was destroyed when she attempted to bypass Helm at the Celestial Staircase.
  • Ramman, Untheric lesser god of war and storms, was slain by Hoar, but his portfolio was stolen by Anhur of the Mulhorandi pantheon.
  • Tiamat's three-headed incarnation was slain by Gilgeam. Her essence was divided among three dragons, the red Tchazzar, the blue Gestaniius, and the green Skuthosiin. Tchazzar consumed the other two and was subsumed by Tiamat. The Dragon Queen then destroyed Gilgeam after the Godswar.
  • Torm, demigod and patron deity of paladins, was annihilated by Bane with his dying breath. He was later resurrected by Ao because he died fulfilling the obligations of his portfolio.
  • Waukeen, lesser goddess of wealth, attempted to reclaim her divinity during the Time of Troubles, but was imprisoned in the Argent Palace, enslaved to the demon prince Graz'zt.

However, many of these deities have in some way circumvented their own destruction:

  • After Bane's death, his portfolio was divided among the newly anointed god Cyric and Bane's own half-demonic son Iyachtu Xvim. Upon the death of one of the greatest forces of evil in existence, all of Faerûn breathed a sigh of relief; however, in 1372 DR, Bane was resurrected, destroying Iyachtu Xvim and reestablishing his church.
  • Bhaal had already foreseen his own death, and had populated the world with scores of his own progeny in earlier years, each possessing a portion of his divine essence that could later be recovered to enable his resurrection, though this ultimately failed.
  • Myrkul infused the sinister artifact the Crown of Horns with the remnants of his essence, and teleported it away. While its location is unknown, the semi-sentient artifact is presumably fomenting a plan for Myrkul's resurrection.
  • Though Ao had decreed that none of the gods fallen during the Time of Troubles should be reinstated, a complex convergence of factors regarding Torm's death led to a single exception in his case, resurrecting him and elevating him to the status of lesser god.
  • After a decade of isolation from her followers, Waukeen was freed from her prison in 1371 DR by a band of adventurers, and has resumed her place in the heavens.

Furthermore, a selection of mortals were chosen by Lord Ao to ascend to the heavens to fill the void left by those deities who died:

  • Cyric, a petty, sadistic mercenary, slew Bhaal with the sword Godsbane. After the end of the Time of Troubles, he was granted control of nearly all the portfolios of the Dead Three, making him briefly the most powerful of the gods.
  • After her death, the goddess Mystra entrusted her essence with the young mage Midnight, who ascended after the Time of Troubles as the new Mystra.
  • Kelemvor, a sullen adventurer and companion of Cyric and Mystra, seized the portfolio of death from Cyric in the Year of the Banner (1368 DR), 10 years after the Time of Troubles. He has since striven to change the horrifying image of death promoted by his predecessor.