A divine realm was created by a deity. The material for it was faith. The realm was so completely attuned to the creating god that its state could serve as a mirror for the deity. For example, when Tyr had his feud with Helm, the weather in the House of the Triad became bad.
However, a divine realm did not necessarily exist in a suitable place for the deity. For example, a god's realm could exist in a place that had nothing to do with the philosophical orientation of the deity. This was because the worshipers' belief, the material out of which the realm was made, and expectations of the god could chain the god and realm to a place that was not necessarily suited for the god. However, deities in general preferred to have their realms on the Outer Planes, which were divinely morphic, meaning the deity needed only to exert their will to change the land.
A number of demipowers were an exception to these rules: They resided on the Prime Material plane and nominally considered the whole continent or region of influence of their pantheon their realm, but obviously did not have the kind of control their outer planar counterparts exerted. Some of them had a specific place of power within their claimed area.
As mentioned above, deities tended to live on the Outer Planes because they were divinely morphic. Within these realms, deities had absolute control over the physical laws of their realms. In the case of shared realms, this level of absolute control was only enjoyed inside a small part that belonged only to one deity and the borders to other sharing members generally had the physical laws of the Material Plane.
Divine realms were seemingly infinitely big. This was due to the deities wanting to show grandeur and not because the realms were actually infinitely big. A big realm was an indicator of large power, but the reverse was not necessarily true. Deities who preferred not to show-off kept their realms small.
As mentioned above, divinely morphic planes were popular among deities for their mutability in their hands. Even without this trait of a plane, a deity could modify landscape in a drastic manner that depended on the power enjoyed by it.
A lesser deity could modify their realm's connection to the Astral Plane and make particular places inaccessible to teleportation. An intermediate deity could alter the landscape at will. When it came down to a greater deity, gravity, elemental and energy traits, and even the how flow of time worked were under its control.
An intermediate deity could make their realm strengthen or impede the usage of certain spells while a greater deity could outright ban the use of magic of their choice.
In general, deities left land and people to their own devices and did little actual ruling, though exceptions existed. The more the deity tended to a laissez faire attitude, the more traffic was experienced by the realm. Where the god demanded obedience, little traffic took place because of the danger of attracting the deity's ire. The one rule every single realm maintained was to imprison or even kill people who did something that contradicted the dogma of the ruling deity.
Divine realms had some places where the ruling god's power was particularly tangible. These holy sites could only be accessed by worshipers of the deity or, in the case of shared realms like Tir na Og, by a worshiper of any of the member gods, as long as it was allowed, something good deities were known to do. These places could give tangible benefits when the faith was real.
Inhabitants of a divine realm could be split into several categories.
- The deity, or deities in a shared realm, who ruled a divine realm.
- The souls living their afterlifes in their respective deities' realms.
- Planar beings
- People could live in divine realms and did so for generations. A divine realm had less of the problems people had to contend with on the plane outside. For example, Glitterhell, Abbathor's realm, did not have Oinos's disease problem nor the hopelessness due to Hades. Another reason people stayed there was faith in the deity, or fear of reprisal from the deity should they leave.
- Proxies were the representatives of a deity in a divine realm and any visitor was sized up by them on entering a divine realm.
- Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
- Thomas M. Reid (January 2010). The Fractured Sky (Kindle ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), locs. 166–182. ASIN B001ANYCTQ.on
- Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), pp. 54, 56. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
- Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), pp. 14, 22, 26, 35–36, 44, 58, 62, 80, 124. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
- Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), pp. 41, 58, 62, 81–82. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 256. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 56. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 58. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 57. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- Colin McComb (December 1995). “Liber Malevolentiae”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc.), pp. 47, 51. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.