Tyr (pronounced: /ˈtɪərTEER[1][7][8][9]) was the lawful good greater god of law and justice in the Faerûnian pantheon.[1][2][3][4][5][7][8][9][12][21] He was the leader of the coalition of deities known as the Triad.[7][8]

Tyr was particularly popular in the lands of Calimshan (where he was worshiped as Anachtyr[7][11]), Cormyr, the Dalelands, the Moonsea, Sembia, Tethyr, and the Vilhon Reach.[30]

An interloper deity,[8][9] Tyr was the same power as the god of the same name in the Norse pantheon,[10][13][25][31][32] although in the Realms he was worshiped only as a god of justice and not as a god of war.[1] As the only Norse power worshiped in Faerûn,[31][note 2] if a cleric of the Norse pantheon came to Toril from another world, he or she would be granted spells through Tyr.[32]

Titles[edit | edit source]

Tyr had many titles among mortals; among them was the Even-Handed,[1][2][4][5][6][7][8][9] Grimjaws,[1][2][4][7] the Maimed God,[2][4][7][8][9] Wounded Tyr,[2][4], Blind, Blind Tyr,[2][4] the Blind Overlord,[7] the Wounded One,[7] and the Just God,[7][8][9] These titles symbolized his nature to his followers.[2][4] Among the Outer Planes, he was known as the One-Handed.[10]

In Calimshan, Tyr was worshiped under the name Anachtyr.[7][11]

Description[edit | edit source]

A depiction of Tyr from other worlds, incorrectly showing his left hand missing.

Tyr was portrayed as blind[2][8] or with a bloody bandage over his eyes[4][9] and missing his right hand,[1][2][4][7][8][9][14][15] for which he bore his title of the Maimed God.[8] (His title of the Even-Handed, though it referred to his position of god of justice, was also seen as dark humor.[1]) His wounded eyes were seen as symbolic of "blind justice" and the sometimes cost of living a lawful life.[9]

He usually was shown as a burly,[4][7][15] noble warrior[2][4][7][15] with a powerful build and a bearded face.[14][15]

When an avatar of Tyr appeared to his followers, his eyes (or eye) were at first the color of bright steel, but they faded away to empty sockets before the avatar vanished.[7][9] His brow always shone with a white radiance or halo, leaving no doubt as to his divine nature.[7][9]

He was often shown wielding a powerful magic sword[7][9][14][15] or warhammer[7][9] and dressed in light armor[7] or chainmail.[9] He did not try to hide or bandage his stump.[7]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Tyr was said to be able to instantly perceive any thief coming near him and to see invisible objects and persons.[7][14][15] He could create magical items that also bore such powers.[9] He always knew anyone's moral and ethical viewpoint and could detect any lies.[7] Tyr was immune to all illusions, fear, or magics affecting one's emotions.[7]

If casting magic, Tyr never used damaging necromantic spells. His spells from the law sphere were three times as powerful as normal.[7]

Tyr was powerful enough to grant his clerics their spells even if they traveled to another crystal sphere. However, not all deities were powerful enough to do this, and if one of his clerics found her- or himself in the presence of a cleric of one of these lesser powers, Tyr would only grant spells of the same power as those granted by the other weaker cleric. He did this out of a sense of fairness.[6]

Possessions[edit | edit source]

Tyr's longsword was named Justicar.[8][9][12][21] It was said to have been a gift either from Tyr's predecessor or from Lord Ao himself. It was crafted with the aid of Mystra. Tyr's warhammer was especially disrupting to undead.[7]

Portfolio[edit | edit source]

Among the greater deities of Faerûn, Tyr was the only one of lawful good alignment.[2] As god of justice, Tyr could foretell any injustice up to six months before it occurred and felt the pang of that injustice for six months afterward.[9]

In the divine realm of Asgard, Tyr was responsible for ensuring that only the most valiant of warriors were permitted access to the great hall of Valhalla.[10][14][15]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Tyr was strong-spirited and noble.[8] He was considered the bravest and the most honorable of all the Aesir of the Norse pantheon.[10][33] He was primarily concerned with the punishment of wrong-doers and the general furthering of law and good in the world.[2][7] Tyr hated duplicity, trickery, rule-breaking, and wanton destruction.[7] He likewise hated lies and the breaking of oaths and was disgusted by persons who earned from such things.[10] For his own part, he never would break a promise.[10]

Tyr urged the establishment of moral and ethical codes for sentient beings in all lands.[9]

Tyr was a fair judge,[10] but he was hard to understand to those outside his faith,[7] as they more readily perceived him as a stern and rigid punisher.[7][9] On the other hand, he was seen as a brave father-figure to his followers. In truth, he was well aware that a lawful utopia would never be possible in the imperfect Material Plane, yet this did not stop him from trying to make the world a better place for his mortal followers.[7][8][9] He wanted his followers to see themselves as a "perfect family", not made of perfect individuals but rather of members who tried and wanted to be perfect, who acted out of trust, courage, and love toward each other.[7] His knowledge that such a dream would never be achieved among the mortal realm filled him with genuine sadness.[7][9]

Tyr was at first more willing than many other gods to manifest in some form or other to his followers, because of his fierce feelings of fatherly protection toward them.[7] By the late 14th century DR, however, Tyr had tired of appearing in the Realms and began limiting his appearances to cases with important repercussions that were not obvious to mortals.[9]

Besides his avatar, Tyr might send an intelligent war dog as a representative, or he might use a resounding gong, a choir of male voices, or a floating warhammer to express his will.[7][29] The colors blue, white, and purple were considered sacred to his followers.[29]

Divine Realms[edit | edit source]

Within the Great Wheel cosmology, Tyr had his divine realm called the Court on Lunia, the first of the Seven Heavens of Mount Celestia. He also still considered Asgard on the first layer of Ysgard his home, the joint realm of most of the Norse pantheon.[2][5][7][10][13] In the World Tree cosmology, the Court was located on a mountain surrounding Mount Celestia, one of three mountains each held by each member of the Triad. In that cosmology, all four mountains were considered the House of the Triad.[23]

Worshipers[edit | edit source]

Main article: Church of Tyr

The holy symbol of Tyr.

Among Tyr's worshipers were judges, lawyers, magistrates, the oppressed, paladins, and police.[9]

The highly organized church of Tyr was strong in the more civilized lands of the Realms. They were known for never refusing service or aid to the faithful when they were in distress.[8] Followers of Tyr were expected to show fairness, wisdom, and kindness to the innocent.[9] Tyrrans never enforced an unjust law.[9]

After the Time of Troubles, an entire decade passed where Tyr forbid specialty priests within his church. The clergy believed that he wished to ensure that no members of the faith were treated with greater favor than others. After other churches mocked them for this, Tyr established special orders of priests beginning after the Feast of the Moon in 1369 DR.[7]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

The members of the Triad: Tyr, supporting Ilmater, follows behind Torm.

Tyr was said to be the son of the god Odin and his wife Frigga.[33]

Tyr was the head of the group of deities known as the Triad. The two other gods who made up the Triad were Ilmater and Torm.[7][8][9] Torm served as Tyr's war commander[9] and was known as the "good right hand of Tyr."[34]

Along with the Triad, Tyr was close to Lathander.[7][8] He opposed the deities Bane, Bhaal, Cyric, Mask, Talona, and Talos.[7][8][9]

Tyr gave great respect to Zaphkiel and the archons of Mount Celestia, but it was not believed that he had authority over them.[23]

History[edit | edit source]

Early History[edit | edit source]

As the only lawful member of the Norse pantheon, Tyr faded largely from prominence. For this reason, he sought a means of strengthening his power by obtaining worshipers from other worlds. He chose the crystal sphere of Realmspace and submitted himself to the authority of the overgod Ao.[10]

The first recorded instance of Tyr on Toril was in the Lake of Steam region, circa −2600 DR. A warrior known as Belaros and a group of priests were said to have met with Tyr in person in the mountains near the northern border of Turmish. In response, Belaros crafted the mighty artifact, the Balance of Belaros.[35]

For at least 5,000 years of Faerûnian history, Tyr also seemed to appear under other names—Achanatyr, Iltyr the Blind but All-Seeing Eye, Arrtyr Judge of All, and Anachtyr, among others. Under one of these names, he was a member of Jhaamdathi pantheon before that empire's fall.[36]

In Calimshan, Anachtyr had been worshiped for far longer than Tyr had been in other parts of Faerûn.[11] For example, Anachtyr's followers were known to have slain the great wyrm Rivenaurlgoth the Darkly Pious in the Marching Mountains in −284 DR.[37] Among the Calishites, religious legends suggested that the god who was Tyr passed on his portfolio to another at the end of each millennium, and that Anachtyr was actually an earlier Tyr who passed his portfolio on to the Norse newcomer.[11]

Rise to Prominence[edit | edit source]

I am the planetar Antonia of Hjördis, known to mortals as Resounding Justice, and I bring good tidings to you, Thelasand, fourth of that name. Grimjaws is nigh! In the name of Tyr, this land shall be cleansed of wickedness and anarchy. The seed of Valigan Thirdborn shall be extinguished. Those with evil in your hearts beware—Tyr's justice is both merciful and swift.
— The words of Resounding Justice before she opened the portal that began the Procession of Justice, as recorded by Exarch Thelasand IV of Jhaamdath before he turned and fled.[38]

Tyr, in his most recent form, first made a major historical impact on the world of Toril in a campaign to pacify the remnants of the fallen empire of Jhaamdath in the Year of the Striking Lance, −247 DR. This was known as the Procession of Justice, in which the god himself appeared on Toril by portal near future Alaghôn in Turmish to lead a host of ten scores of archons against the chaotic and evil forces arrayed in the Vilhon Reach, in the remains of the fallen empire.[9][39]

Ilmater aligned himself with Tyr in −243 DR, being impressed by the sacrifices made by Tyr, and the conflict continued until −238 DR.[9][39] At the end of the great Procession, most of Tyr's archon warriors had been slain or banished,[9] but he was successful in destroying Valigan, a god of anarchy,[9][39] and by this time, Tyr was committed to inspiring justice on Toril as a whole. Torm joined them to complete the Triad some years later.[9]

However, the faith of Tyr did not become a dominant one in Faerûn until shortly before the establishment of the Standing Stone,[1][2][7][8] when most of the other members of the pantheon were already well-established in their roles,[7] but after some 1,600 years since the Procession of Justice, Tyr successfully had become known over all of Faerûn.[9]

Tyr lost his right hand to Kezef the Chaos Hound,[4][7][8][9][40][41][42][43] in a test of his honor and strength of will.[2][4][7] The Circle of Greater Powers had previously banned all mortals and powers from any contact with Kezef, but he was still free to consume souls, and a coalition of gods joined together to stop the Chaos Hound once and for all. This alliance included Tyr.[40][41][42][43] They pursued the primordial beast to the Barrens of Doom and Despair,[42][43] where they offered him a deal.[40][41][42][43] They would lift the ban on him if he could escape from chains forged for him by Gond. Kezef insisted that if this were truly a fair challenge than Tyr must be willing to place his right hand into the elder evil's mouth. Tyr agreed.[40][41][42][43] Kezef was enchained, the chain was anchored deep in Cocytus in Pandemonium,[40][41] and Mystra placed an enchantment to prevent the chain from ever being severed.[40][41][42][43] Furious, Kezef bit off Tyr's hand. It was said that he feasted on the gods hand, drawing power from it, for centuries.[40][41][42][43] (Among the Asgardians, the story of the loss of Tyr's hand was similar but involved the members of the Aesir and the entity Fenris Wolf instead.[10][14][15][note 3])

The god Tyr holding the Claw of Malar and standing over the cowering Pasha Abon Duum.

At some point, the conman Conner made a deal with Tyr: he promised to bring the god the Claw of Malar, (which was then in the possession of the tyrannical crime-lord Pasha Abon Duum,) in exchange for some unknown service, debt, or crime. Finally, in the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, emboldened by Conner's apparent death, Abon Duum used the power of the Catlord to travel to Tyr's realm in Gladsheim to confront Tyr with the Claw of Malar, apparently seeking to seize the power of the gods. However, "Tyr" was revealed to be Conner in a cloak, having faked his death and been spirited to Gladsheim. The Catlord stole the Claw of Malar and passed it to Conner, before the real Tyr appeared and took the artifact. With a warning that he would keep an eye on Conner and the scales of justice, he sent the heroes home, while Duum was left to face Justice himself.[44]

Time of Troubles[edit | edit source]

At the onset of the Time of Troubles,[2][5][7][9] Tyr's eyes were put out by Lord Ao[4][7][9] for failing to notice the theft of the Tablets of Fate[9] and for questioning the justice of Ao's response.[4] Ilmater, true to his ethos, worked to teach Tyr to live with these disabilities, though in truth they were not a great hindrance in view of his power as a greater god. Torm, being a god aware of his own past humanity, also aided Tyr by tempering the god's zeal for justice with the gift of mercy.[citation needed]

The Spellplague[edit | edit source]

In the Year of Three Streams Blooded, 1384 DR, shortly before the catastrophic events of the Spellplague, Tyr and Siamorphe, who then dwelt in the House of the Triad, had a great disagreement over a battle between Tethyrian and Calishite forces. The argument was so severe that Siamorphe left the House of the Triad to make her realm with Sune in Brightwater. Tyr sent Helm as a messenger to Sune to explain his position, and Sune tried to act as a peacemaker. As the goddess of love, she proposed a marriage between Tyr and Tymora as a way to restore balance to the Celestial Planes. Tyr agreed and began a formal courtship with the goddess of good fortune.[45]

It was suspected that Cyric plotted to corrupt the arrangement, for rumors came to Tyr that Helm, who had been delivering messages from the House of the Triad to Brightwater for Tyr, had been having a secret affair with Tymora and that she loved the god of guardians instead of the god of justice. Tyr believed that the only way to reach the truth of the matter was to challenge Helm to a duel, and Helm felt that it was the honorable act to accept the challenge.[45]

In the duel that followed, Helm was slain, leading to more chaos in the Celestial realms. Heartbroken, Tymora left Brightwater to be with Tyr out of duty, but Ilmater left the Triad and accepted Sune's invitation to Brightwater.[45]

More tragedy among the gods shortly followed. In the next year, 1385 DR, Cyric teamed with Shar to bring about the death of Mystra and the resulting Spellplague. At least this event brought Sune and Tyr onto the same side again, and the two of them, with Lanthander's aid, pursued and captured Cyric, imprisoning him for a sentence of one thousand years.[45][46]

After imprisoning Cyric, Tyr abdicated his godhood and granted Torm all his deific power, because the Even-Handed had lost faith in himself and in his ability to lead and judge. Tyr counseled all of his followers to offer their allegiance to Torm.[47] Tyr's portfolio of justice was subsequently absorbed by Bahamut, who later became a subservient deity of Torm.[citation needed]

At some point, Tyr sent the deva Ayrx into Undermountain to try and talk sense into Fazrian. Unfortunately, Halaster was able to capture Aryx, and trapped her in a shield in his Lair.[48]

Death[edit | edit source]

At some point between 1385 DR and 1479 DR, Tyr died fighting off a demonic invasion of the upper realms in an act of heroic sacrifice. Tyr's absence reinforced the role of Torm as the new master of Celestia.[18]

Resurrection[edit | edit source]

Tyr managed to return to life during the event known as the Second Sundering, in the 1480s DR.[49]

Rumors[edit | edit source]

One of the many ancient aspects of Tyr, Iltyr the Blind but All-Seeing Eye, was still being venerated in secret, even after Tyr's death after the Spellplague. This ancient cult involved a number of Waterdhavian and Cormyrian nobles and even included some beholder and elven followers. Iltyr was depicted as an entirely black, flying, weeping eyeball with a prehensile tail. Iltyr's hidden shrines, however, often included large portraits that included one or a pair of large but normal staring eyes, which his followers often dismissed to visitors as the only surviving portrait of an ancestor. Iltyr supposedly communicated with followers with a booming, telepathic voice.[36]

Some suggested that Tyr invented the concept of trial by combat.[10]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. According to Realms designer Richard Baker, Tyr was originally intended to be a greater god in the 4th edition pantheon of the Realms, but was removed in mid-development and replaced with Torm, mainly due to fan reactions towards Tyr's slaying of Helm in The Grand History of the Realms. This was stated in The one and only "Ask the Realms authors/designers thread" 3 in November of 2007.
  2. While sometimes counted among the Norse pantheon, the gods Surtur and Thrym properly belonged to the rival Giant pantheon, according to other sources.
  3. Since 2nd edition, Forgotten Realms sourcebooks have stated that Tyr lost his hand to Kezef the Chaos Hound. Since 1st edition, core sourcebooks have instead recounted the real-world myth of Tyr losing his hand to the monstrous beast Fenris Wolf, who was the offspring of Loki. While the 3rd-edition sourcebook Faiths and Pantheons states that Tyr lost the hand in battle with Kezef, all earlier and later sources claim that it was rather a test of strength of will, and the most detailed version of the story was elaborated in full in Champions of Ruin. In that Realmsian tale, Gond created chains with which to bind Kezef, and Mystra enchanted them. The gods made a deal with Kezef that they would lift a ban against him if Kezef could successfully escape from bonds. He only agreed to be bound if Tyr would insert his hand into the hound's maw. Tyr agreed, and Kezef bit his hand off, consuming it slowly over centuries. This tale undoubtedly was inspired by the real-world myth, which differs in that the evil canine was Fenris Wolf, the chains were created by the dwarves, and the gods involved were Tyr and the rest of the Aesir. Champions of Ruin goes on to explain that Kezef was later freed from his bonds by Cyric.
    In the planar multiverse in which the world of Toril is found, the Norse pantheon canonically exists, and Tyr is stated in multiple FR sources to be the same individual as the Norse deity and to make one of his two divine realms in Asgard with the rest of that pantheon. Also, in core 1st edition and Planescape settings, Fenris Wolf is an entity still bound on an island outside of Asgard, so both Fenris Wolf and Kezef the Chaos Hound must coexist in the D&D multiverse, with one bound and the other free.
    Ultimately, as this is a wiki for the Forgotten Realms setting, we assume that the story of Tyr's loss of his hand to Kezef is the true tale, and that the version told by the Asgardians must simply be a legend, likely inspired by a similar tale about another evil, primordial canine, although it is certainly possible that the alternative is true.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The PaladinsErrand of Mercy
The Last Betrayal

References[edit | edit source]

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Connections[edit | edit source]

The Faerûnian Pantheon
Major Deities
AzuthBaneBhaalChaunteaCyricGondHelmIlmaterKelemvorKossuthLathanderLoviatarMaskMielikkiMyrkulMystra (Midnight) • OghmaSelûneSharShaundakulSilvanusSuneTalosTempusTormTymoraTyrUmberleeWaukeen
Other Members
AkadiAurilBeshabaDeneirEldathFinder WyvernspurGaragosGargauthGrumbarGwaeron WindstromHoarIstishiaIyachtu XvimJergalLliiraLurueMalarMililNobanionThe Red KnightSavrasSharessShialliaSiamorpheTalonaTiamatUbtaoUlutiuValkurVelsharoon
Powers of Asgard who have influenced the Forgotten Realms
Aesir: OdinFriggaTyrHeimdallBaldurBragiIdun
Vanir: FreyFreya
Related Deities: LokiSurturThrym

Deities of the Post–Second Sundering Era
Ao the Overgod
Faerûnian Pantheon
Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
The Morndinsamman
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
The Seldarine
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Yondalla's Children
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Orc Pantheon
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Mulhorandi pantheon
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Ghaunadaur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Raven Queen | Tiamat

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