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An Overgod, also called an over-power, was a type of deity or set of principles that existed beyond the normal ranking of the gods, bounds of the normal cosmology,[1][2][3] and of concepts such as alignment.[4] Overpowers were, whether entities or ethics, that which was venerated by the gods themselves, or at the very least respected or deferred to.[3][5][6]

Although only one Overgod was confirmed in Realmspace, Lord Ao,[7][8][2] some sages speculated about other beings that could be considered over-powers as well: the Supreme Bureaucrat of the Celestial Bureaucracy; Maztica, the mother-deity of the Maztican pantheon; and Fate, the guiding being/principle behind the Zakharan pantheon. It was unclear if these beings were simply variants of Ao or distinct beings with authority over different parts of the world.[9]

According to some sources, Asgorath (also known as Io), patron god of the dragons,[10][note 1] and Corellon, patron god of the elves, were also overgods.[11]

Powers[]

Overgods were more powerful than even greater deities; they had dominion over an entire crystal sphere and all the gods within it. Unlike normal gods, however, their influence was limited to a single sphere, and they had no power beyond it. It was said that they put all their power into maintaining their given sphere, and that perhaps they were its spirit made manifest.[12][note 2]

The more gods under the dominion of an overgod, the stronger that overgod became, meaning those that wanted to grow almost always sought to invite new deities under their rule.[12]

It may have been possible that gods of non-overgod status were capable of killing and/or overtaking overgods, but this was unclear.[13][14]

Society[]

Overpowers were not so much manipulators of the realms they controlled as guardians and vigils,[15] watching out for the entire area within their influence. Terrible things could happen to the gods of a world if they didn't pay attention to the dictates of their overpower. However, this did not mean that they had to bend like straws to their commands, for the other deities had leverage of their own.[12]

Deities suffering under the rule of a despotic overpower might decide to simply leave, abandoning their responsibilities and mortals on their old world and taking their chances on other planes of existence. This was a big risk, for more pantheons had died trying it than most gods would want to admit, but it was not an uncommon move for deities under tyrannical conditions. Given the correlation between an overgod's strength and the number of powers beneath them, it was in the best interest of overdeities to avoid desertation.[12]

Creation[]

Not every crystal sphere had an overgod looking after it; some spheres spawned them while others did not for no apparent reason.[12] It was possible that less powerful gods could rise to the station of overdeity.[14]

Overpowers[]

  • Ao: Overpower of Faerûn (and possibly all Realmspace)[9] and creator of the Tablets of Fate, which kept divine portfolios more closely bound to their deities.[16]
  • Asgorath: Creator god of dragonkind, alleged "Lord of the Gods"[17] and possible overpower.[10]
  • Celestial Emperor: Overpower of Kara-Tur and overseer of the Celestial Bureaucracy.[9][18][note 3]
  • Corellon: Creator god and overpower of the elves.[11]
  • Fate: Overpower principle of Zakhara and something greater and vastly different to a deity,[9] oft described as a force of nature that determined the destiny of all.[6]
  • The High God: Overpower of Krynnspace, who brought its deities there and represented the forces of law, order, and creation.[12]
  • The Lady of Pain: Ruler of Sigil, the City of Doors, possible contemporary of the Serpent or connected to Asgorath. Seemingly something more and less than a god, she was allegedly able to undo the multiverse as it was were she to unleash her abilities.[19][20]
  • Ma'at: Overpower principle of divine order regarding the natural order of truth, justice, honor, righteousness, law and station, maintained by the Mulhorandi pantheon.[5][21][22][note 4]
  • Maztica: Overpower of the land of Maztica, mother goddess of the earth, the embodiment of the land, and either missing or slain by the hand of Zaltec.[13]
  • The Serpent: A suspected overdeity revered by the lich-god Vecna, alternatively described as the archfiend Asmodeus in one of his many guises, an unfathomably-willed manifestation of magic, or magic as anthropmorphized by Vecna whispering his own insane genius back to himself.[19][23]

Appendix[]

  1. Monster Mythology suggests with its wording that Io may be part of the World Serpent along with Shekinester.
  2. Despite being stated to be an overgod, Corellon was not restricted to a single sphere or location, instead being called "overpower of the elvish race". This, along with Asgorath being the god of dragons, potentially implies that this restriction was not universal.
  3. The Celestial Emperor seemed to be the Realmsian variant of Shang-ti, a multispheric power described in On Hallowed Ground as the Celestial Emperor of a Celestial Bureacracy who could prevent the gods from receiving strength from their worshipers if they failed in their duties.
  4. Not to be confused with the concept of Maat as the good and holy counterpart of Maug in giant culture by which status in the Ordning was established.

External Links[]

Red dragon head High God article at the Dragonlance Wiki, a wiki for the Dragonlance campaign setting.

References[]

  1. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 2, 30. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  4. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), p. 46. ISBN 978-1560763291.
  7. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 15. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  8. Colin McComb (October 1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 168. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 61. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 63. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Colin McComb (October 1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 92. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Colin McComb (October 1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 160, 164. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Douglas Niles (August 1991). “Gods & Battles”. Maztica Campaign Set (TSR, Inc.), p. 23. ISBN 1-5607-6084-2.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Ed Greenwood/The Hooded One (2010-06-16). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2010). Candlekeep Forum. Retrieved on 2022-12-31.
  15. Colin McComb (October 1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 38. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  16. Ed Greenwood, Erin M. Evans, Paul S. Kemp, R.A. Salvatore, Richard Lee Byers, Troy Denning, James Wyatt (August 21th, 2012). What is the Sundering? (Part 1). Retrieved on September 7th, 2017.
  17. Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 104. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
  18. Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 116. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Dungeons & Dragons editors (September 2007). “Unsolved Mysteries of D&D”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #359 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 28–29.
  20. Bruce R. Cordell, Steve Miller (June 2000). Die Vecna Die!. Edited by Miranda Horner, Roger E. Moore. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 129. ISBN 0-7869-1662-1.
  21. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 297. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  22. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 144. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  23. Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
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