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Nobanion (pronounced: /nˈbɑːnjʌnno-BAN-yun[9]), also known as the King of Beasts, Lord Firemane or the Lion King, was a primal spirit[10] sometimes worshiped as a deity of royalty, lions, and other felines, as well as good beasts. Nobanion was considered to have originally been an interloper deity on Toril, but since his arrival he has firmly established himself within the Faerûnian pantheon. His worship was especially strong in Gulthmere Forest and among the wemics of the Shining Plains.[1][3]

Description[]

Nobanion took the form of a great male lion of at least twice their normal size (somewhere between 12​ to ​17 feet (3.7​ to ​5.2 meters) long) with a coat that gleamed with the radiance of the sun. His title of "Lord Firemane" came from his ability to ignite his thick, luxurious mane in a nimbus of amber and golden fire. He could sprout the wings of a gigantic eagle at will.[2]

Radiating a powerful, yet gentle presence, Nobanion possessed a majesty and charisma that was overwhelming at times, yet even the smallest of animals that approached him in good faith felt comfortable around him.[1]

Personality[]

Lord Firemane led his faithful along a noble path without force or coercion. He genuinely wanted his pride to willingly choose benevolent and good actions over the alternatives by their own accord.[1]

Nobanion was a deity of virtue, who would never take the rear in command or ask another to take an action that he himself would not, including the sacrifice of their own life.[1]

Divine Realm[]

In the Great Wheel cosmology, Nobanion made his divine realm called the Pridelands in Krigala, the sunlit first layer of the Beastlands. After the Time of Troubles, the Lion King established a permanent portal from here to the Gulthmere Forest, and from then on prowled both Faerûn and the Happy Hunting Grounds.[2]

Relationships[]

The Lion King has long shared a strong alliance with Lurue, and he counted her as his closest friend. He was on good terms with most of the Faerûnian pantheon's nature deities, particularly Mielikki; Shiallia; and Silvanus, as well as some minor powers of the Beastlands, such as Balador; Ferrix; Tapann; and Water Lion. Tyr and Torm saw Nobanion as a cordial acquaintance, but where Nobanion tried to emulate them, and forge a deeper bond, they were just too busy with human affairs to be overly concerned with his feline ones. Nobanion and Sharess were allied through their shared affinity for cats and their feline natures, but he was frequently annoyed with her lack of focus and constant flirting. Gwaeron Windstrom was a frequent comrade in opposing Malar, whom Nobanion saw as a perversion of nature.[2][3]

All lammasu on Toril, both greater and lesser, were believed to be his offspring.[5]

Worshipers[]

Main article: Church of Nobanion
Nobanion's worshipers included druids and rangers of Faerûn, of mixed lawful and good alignments in areas such as the Vilhon Reach and the Dragon Coast.[1] He was especially venerated in the city of Nathlekh within the Gulthmere Forest and among the wemics of the Shining Plains.[3]

Nobanion's favored weapon was a heavy pick called Lion's Head.[1]

History[]

Nobanion was an interloper deity, having only established a presence on Toril around the mid 1000's DR. Ancient texts referred to him as Aslan, and some legends claimed he entered the Realms through one of the magical pools in the Weathercote Wood.[2][5] After wandering Faerûn for a little over a hundred years, he settled in the Gulthmere Forest with a tribe of lammasu.[3] He was responsible for driving most of Malar's worshipers out of the surrounding Vilhon Reach, which earned the promise of vengeance from the Beastlord.[3] Malar did indeed attack Nobanion during the Time of Troubles, in a battle known as the Roar of Shadows but had to flee from the fury of Firemane and his Emerald Enclave allies.[2][5] Afterward, Nobanion traveled to the Shaar, where he fostered his own worship among some of the wemic tribes there,[5] particularly the Tenpaw tribe.[2] After the Godswar ended, Nobanion created his portal to his divine realm.[2]

During the Spellplague, Nobanion tried to save a pride of lions in Gulthandor from oncoming blue fire. He came in contact with the blue fire, and it mutated him into a dark and bestial lion with a mane of blue flame. In this state, he was held in subjugation by Malar. In 1486 DR, he was tasked by Malar to capture Stedd Whitehorn, the boy Chosen of Lathander, but Stedd and his companions healed him of his corruption by blue fire. He returned to his natural state, and introduced himself to Stedd and his companions. In his reinstated form, he was no longer under Malar's control. He guided the young Chosen through the wilds of Gulthandor. They parted ways just before Stedd and company entered Turmish.[11]

Appendix[]

Appearances[]

Novels
The Reaver
Referenced only
The Jewel of Turmish

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Eric L. Boyd (September 1997). Powers & Pantheons. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 41. ISBN 978-0786906574.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  4. Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Player's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Eric L. Boyd (January 1996). “Forgotten Deities: Lurue; Nobanion”. In Duane Maxwell ed. Polyhedron #115 (TSR, Inc.), p. 21.
  6. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 235. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  7. Hal Maclean (September 2004). “Seven Deadly Domains”. In Matthew Sernett ed. Dragon #323 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 65.
  8. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 189. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  9. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  10. Brian R. James (June 2009). “Realmslore: Sarifal”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #376 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61.
  11. Richard Lee Byers (Feb 4, 2014). The Reaver. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 206–210. ISBN 0786964588.

Connections[]

The Faerûnian Pantheon
Major Deities
AzuthBaneBhaalChaunteaCyricGondHelmIlmaterKelemvorKossuthLathanderLoviatarMaskMielikkiMyrkulMystra (Midnight) • OghmaSelûneSharShaundakulSilvanusSuneTalosTempusTormTymoraTyrUmberleeWaukeen
Other Members
AkadiAurilBeshabaDeneirEldathFinder WyvernspurGaragosGargauthGrumbarGwaeron WindstromHoarIstishiaIyachtu XvimJergalLliiraLurueMalarMililNobanionThe Red KnightSavrasSharessShialliaSiamorpheTalonaTiamatUbtaoUlutiuValkurVelsharoon
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