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The Time of Troubles, also known as the Arrival, the Godswar, and the Avatar Crisis, was a cataclysmic time period in the chronology of Faerûn. Taking place during 1358 DR, the Year of Shadows,[2] the Time of Troubles was a period during which the deities of Faerûn were forced to walk the earth in their mortal avatar forms. Several major deities died during the Time of Troubles (see Deaths, Ascensions, and Resurrections) and a handful of mortals rose to divinity.[3]


The Time of Troubles was precipitated by an attempt by the gods Bane and Myrkul to steal the Tablets of Fate from the overdeity Ao. Angry at the gods for their habitual pursuit of power and negligence toward their mortal faithful,[3] Lord Ao relegated every god (except for the guardian god Helm, selected to protect the gates to the heavens[4]) to walk among their followers on the earth.[3] The immediate effects of this edict were threefold. First, divine magic (spells granted to clerics by their patron deities) ceased to function altogether[5] 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.[3] Third, the characteristically immortal and aloof deities were now vulnerable (though still devastatingly powerful) and dwelling among the civilizations of Faerûn.[6]

Deaths, Ascensions, and Resurrections[]

The Time of Troubles was a time of significant turnover among the gods of the Faerûnian pantheon.[6] Several deities were "destroyed" (see below) during this period. The following are deities who were killed or incapacitated during the Time of Troubles:

  • 1358-06-20 - Mystra, greater goddess of magic and among the most powerful of the gods, was in turn destroyed[3] when she attempted to bypass Helm at the Celestial Stairway.[4]
  • 1358-08-13 - Bane, greater god of tyranny, strife and hatred, a member of the Dead Three, was slain on Eleasis 13 in a climactic battle with the demigod Torm in battle outside of Tantras.[3]
  • 1358-08-13 - 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.[3]
  • 1358-09-16 - Bhaal, intermediate god of murder, was slain by the young mortal Cyric with the sword Godsbane. However, Bhaal had foreseen his own death, and had populated Faerûn with his progeny, the Bhaalspawn, in a bid to resurrect himself.[3]
  • 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 late in the Godswar.[7]
  • Gilgeam, demigod and king of Unther, was slain by Tiamat.[6]
  • Herne, a corrupted avatar of Malar worshiped in the High Forest was hunted and killed by Malar himself who then subsumed his worship.[8]
  • Ibrandul, a lesser god of caverns, was destroyed by Shar, who still masquerades as the dead deity.[9] The absorption of caverns and the Underdark into Shar's portfolio has attracted the wrath of Lolth who desires dominion over these realms.[citation needed]
  • Moander, demigod of decay, was slain by Finder Wyvernspur.[10]
  • Ramman, Untheric lesser god of war and storms, was slain by Hoar, but his portfolio was stolen by Anhur of the Mulhorandi pantheon.[3]
  • Waukeen, lesser goddess of wealth, attempted to reclaim her divinity during the Time of Troubles, leaving her portfolio in the care of Lliira, but was imprisoned in the Argent Palace, enslaved to the demon prince Graz'zt. It would be more than 10 years before she would finally be freed by adventurers, revitalizing her clergy.[11]
  • The dragon goddess of magic, Kereska, entirely subsumed the worship and portfolio of Kalzareinad, a demigod of dragon magic. Kalzareinad died shortly thereafter.[12]
  • 1358-10-15 - 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.[13]

However, death is anything but permanent in the Forgotten Realms, and 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.[3]
  • Bhaal had already foreseen his own demise and had populated the world with scores of his own progeny in past years, all as part of a grand scheme for his own reincarnation.[3]
  • Myrkul infused the sinister Crown of Horns with the remnants of his essence, and teleported it away. While its location was unknown, the semi-sentient artifact presumably was fomenting a plan for Myrkul's resurrection.[14] He also left behind a curse called the Spirit-eater, actually the half-destroyed soul of one of his Chosen.[15]
  • 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 the overgod to make a single exception in his case, resurrecting him and elevating him to the status of lesser god.[13]
  • 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.[11]

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 (actually the god Mask in disguise). After the end of the Time of Troubles, he was granted control of nearly all the portfolios of the Dead Three by Ao, making him briefly the most powerful of the gods.[16][3]
  • Kelemvor, a sullen adventurer and companion of Cyric and Midnight, was killed by Cyric with Godsbane, but his soul was hidden by Mask[3] and unintentionally gained the portfolio of death by defeating Cyric with the help of Godsbane in the Year of the Banner (1368 DR), ten years after the Time of Troubles.[17] He then strove to change the horrifying image of death promoted by his predecessors.[18]
  • 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.[3]
  • The exceptional adventurer Finder Wyvernspur absorbed and adapted Moander's portfolio, and became of the cycle of life.[19]

Finally, Lord Ao lifted the barrier that prevented the Mulhorandi god-kings from reuniting with their divine selves on the Outer Planes. The physical incarnations of the Mulhorandi gods departed Faerûn and left governance of the empire to mortal rulers under their guidance.[20]

Thanks to the efforts of Midnight, Cyric, Kelemvor, and the cleric Adon, Ao recovered the Tablets of Fate. However, the Overgod himself destroyed the tablets, grinding them into powder.[21] This act unraveled the laws of Realmspace and began the chaotic period of time known as the Era of Upheaval.[22]

Other Appearances[]

Aside from those slain or risen to divinity, several deities' avatars appeared all over Toril.

Dates of Note[]

Lasting effects[]

  • Wild and Dead-magic zones, areas where magic behaved erratically or ceased to function, were lasting effects of the Time of Troubles.[34]
  • The stricture that all dwarven priests must be the same gender as their god is relaxed.[citation needed]
  • Because of the destruction of the Tablets of Fate, the planar barrier that separated the worlds of Abeir and Toril weakened, and both worlds began to exchange small, almost imperceptible parts of their lands between them.[35]
  • Some denizens of the Outer Planes theorized that the gods of Realmspace became interested in becoming multi-spheric because of the heavy-handed methods used by Ao during the Time of Troubles.[36]




FRE series


Avatar series


Avatar series

External links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  2. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 271. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 264. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Scott Ciencin (May 2003). Shadowdale. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3105-1.
  5. R.A. Salvatore (November 2006). Siege of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 265. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  7. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  8. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 105. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  9. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 72. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  10. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 87. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  12. Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Troy Denning (July 2003). Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3111-6.
  14. Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 171. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  15. Obsidian Entertainment (September 2007). Designed by Kevin D. Saunders. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. Atari.
  16. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 240. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  17. James Lowder (August 1993). Prince of Lies. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 1-56076-626-3.
  18. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 243. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  19. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 93. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  20. Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  21. Troy Denning (July 2003). Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 331–332. ISBN 0-7869-3111-6.
  22. 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.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 72. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  24. Ed Greenwood (1989). Tantras (adventure). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-88038-739-4.
  25. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 133–135. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  26. Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 78. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  27. Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786960361.
  28. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. ?. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  30. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 1. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  31. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  32. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  33. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  34. Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel (Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 287. ISBN ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  35. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  36. Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 168. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.


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