Divine disciples are those members of the church that have a devotion to their deity far superior to the norm, and who are chosen by their deity to act as intermediaries in the Prime Material Plane. Disciples seek to become the living embodiment of their patron and at the end of their path they ascend to become something more than mere mortals, taking on qualities of the divine.
Although all divine spellcasters are agents of divine will in one way or another, some are more devoted than others. It is from among the most zealous and pious of the gods' servants that divine disciples are selected, singled out by the gods as exemplars of the faith. In theory, divine disciples are expected to act as paragons of their god's virtue, but in practice they are no more required to match their god's alignment than Chosen are, and the reasoning behind a god's selection of a divine disciple may not take this into consideration. Empowered with incredible abilities, divine disciples act in much the same way as Chosen do, though with a greater emphasis on the church hierarchy, within which many disciples act as mentors or spiritual guides for the less experienced.
Theoretically, any divine spellcaster might become a divine disciple, so long as they possess training in negotiation skills and an education in theology. Clerics, including those with druidic training, are among the most likely to become divine disciples but paladins or divine spellcasters with ranger training have also been heard of. Of all the evil gods, Bane is best known for selecting divine disciples, many of whom were formerly blackguards in his service.
As their gods' temporal agents, divine disciples are granted a number of unique abilities that set them apart from other divine spellcasters. At the beginning of their career as divine intermediaries, disciples are allowed to select an additional domain from their deity's selection. It is also at this point that divine disciples gain the ability to telepathically communicate with any outsider within sixty feet of themselves, as long as that outsider shares the same moral and ethical alignment as the disciple's god. Another unique ability allows experienced divine disciples to imbue allies with their own power, enabling them to cast prayers as though they were the divine disciple. Divine disciples also have the ability known as sacred defense, common to many divine spellcasters, providing them with a shield against enemy prayers or the abilities of hostile outsiders.
After long association and servitude to their deities, high-level disciples become immortal creatures themselves in a process known as transcendence that is not unlike the ability of powerful Chosen to become exarchs. They become an outsider and their physical appearance changes somewhat, to reflect their god. A divine disciple of Amaunator or his aspect Lathander might have golden eyes, for instance. The process also improves all the natural abilities and proficiencies of a divine disciple that draw upon their willpower and conviction.
Notable divine disciples
- Aquilan Greatspan
- Damian Krale
- Gorym "Brightshield" Harndrekker
- Gwarr Stouthammer
- Iphegor Nath
- Naneatha Suaril
- Ormast Keldellyn
- Qilue Veladorn
- Sandrew the Wise
- Tolgar Anuvien
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 43–44. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 51. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 44. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.