9
\$\begingroup\$

I have not read any book except the "Sword Coast Adventurers Guide" for 5e for FR-Lore. In my game the god "Amaunator" plays a huge role, but on the FR-Wiki page it says that Lathander and Amaunator are actually the same (no word about that in the Book).

Now: are the temples still dedicated to either Amaunator or Lathander? Are they worshiped by two different groups? Or is a priest/temple/cleric of Amaunator automatically one of Lathander, too? How common is that knowledge?

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ What FR year and at what location are you playing? Are you close to Elversult, the location where the spell Amaunator's Eternal Sun was cast? \$\endgroup\$ – ZwiQ Aug 22 '17 at 20:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ZwiQ we are playing 5th Edition, I think it is around 1490 DR (?). My players are primarily around Neverwinter and Waterdeep, but the upcoming adventure will lead them to Cormyr. \$\endgroup\$ – Thyzer Aug 22 '17 at 20:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited my answer accordingly. When they come to Cormyr, your PCs can hear relevant stories. \$\endgroup\$ – ZwiQ Aug 22 '17 at 21:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm afb at the moment so will try to post this as a full answer later, but from what I remember the 2e Netheril boxed set was pretty explicit about this. (Of course, that's thousands of years before your campaign is set.) \$\endgroup\$ – tardigrade Dec 19 '17 at 8:50
10
\$\begingroup\$

At various points in the history of the Realms, Amaunator and Lathander have been the same, separate, and/or non-existent. In particular, there was a lot of combination during the Spellplague1. Later, during the Second Sundering2 the overgod Ao rewrote the Tablets of Fate. Many old gods were restored to power, others were split into parts, and some were destroyed. There was a period of time when gods, via their "Chosen" had to collect mortal followers and restructure their churches.

The current state of affairs in the "modern" time period is that Amaunator and Lathander are two separate deities. Amaunator's teachings mostly center around light as a purifying power, a source and sign of justice and righteousness. Lathander is more about the dawn - new life, new growth. There's certainly some overlap in their portfolios, but they are different.

It's entirely possible that a given temple may give service to one or both deities. In smaller settlements, there are temples used with multiple deities - many of the Realms gods work together or are allied, so their faithful do the same (the triad of Tyr, Torm, and Ilmater is probably the most notable example). However, they are separate entities, which means there are also temples that only deal with one of them.

1The Spellplague was used as the justification for the drastically different mechanics behind magic in 4E.

2Returning spellcasting mechanics in 5E to a method more like 3.5E and before.

\$\endgroup\$
7
\$\begingroup\$

When the Wizards of the Coast decided to radically change the rules of D&D from 3.5e to 4e, they also changed the Realms to suit the vision of the new edition. In 4e, there was a drastic reduction in the size of the FR pantheon, with a lot of the deities disappearing. One of these changes was Lathander being replaced by the old Netherese god Amaunator (of LN alignment).

Possibly as a preparation for this change, the 2006 sourcebook "Power of Faerun" describes two "notable" heresies within the ranks of Lathander clergy. The first is called the "Risen Sun Heresy", perpetrated by the Brotherhood of the Glorious Sun. Supposedly tolerated by other followers of Lathander, those who follow this belief claim that Lathander is just a re-incarnation of Amaunator. The second heresy is the "Three-Faced Sun", which supposes that the Sun is a tripartite overdeity, with aspects of dawn (Lathander), highsun (Amaunator), and dusk (Jergal/Myrkul).

An important in-game event happened in 1374 DR: A high priest (Lathander's archbishop of the Dragon Coast) cast an epic spell called "Amaunator's Eternal Sun" in Elversult. This effectively caused something like a second miniature sun to appear on the sky that could be observed within a 150-mile radius. It rallied many to embrace Amaunator's return. If the date of your game is around 1490 DR and your players come close to Elversult, they could meet some people (like elves, dwarfs, gnomes, etc.) who must have first-hand memories of this event. Note that Suzail, the capital of Cormyr, appears within 150 miles of Elversult.

Anyway, it looks like all of the "heresy" material were a preparation for the 4e update of the Realms, as R.A. Salvatore describes in a 2013 interview how massive changes about the campaign setting were revealed to him and others (including Ed Greenwood, one of the authors of Power of Faerun) in 2006. (You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLf1hBUr9M4, particularly around the 13th minute).

In 4e, Amaunator was described as a LG deity, so it looked like he had indeed absorbed Lathander in some way.

Eventually, Wizards must have realized that the 4e changes to the FR timeline were not welcome by the fans of the setting. With the event called the Second Sundering, a very large portion of the 4e changes were reversed. Lathander returned, while Amaunator became LN again. The retcon is such that claiming that the two are one and the same has always been a heresy, but in reality they have been separate. (Or they were one for a century and then got re-separated; feel free to choose according to your own campaign.)


Update following a comment by @tardigrade: There are conflicting data from the official sources regarding the Amaunator's Eternal Sun spell and its effects. While according to the PoF, this epic spell was cast in Elversult (and its duration is permanent), the 4e FR Campaign Guide lists the "second sun" located above the skies of Elturel. Moreover, the PoF version hides the normal sun, while the FRCG version can be observed in addition to the real sun. According to the discussions on the web, part of these discrepancies can be attributed to Richard Baker getting confused about the cities. We might need to retcon the discrepancy as the miniature sun following its caster as he goes from Elversult to Elturel.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ "who must have first-hand memories of this event" - does that mean the Eternal Sun wasn't as Eternal as its name might suggest? \$\endgroup\$ – tardigrade Dec 19 '17 at 8:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @tardigrade : I tried to address your comment. Hope it makes sense. \$\endgroup\$ – ZwiQ Dec 19 '17 at 11:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tardigrade Definitely not - its end, or at least the Elturel version, is a plot point in the newly released Descent into Avernus. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Oct 7 at 12:54
-3
\$\begingroup\$

In some parts of the world the people worship a sun god whom they call Amaunator. In a distant land another group of people worship a god of the sun that they call Lathander. There could be temples to both which depict the same in there own cultural ways. Its your world!

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The context of the question is published materials. An answer that amounts to "do whatever you want because it doesn't matter" is not helpful, it's a truism. A GM is always free to change things. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Aug 21 '17 at 20:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.