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My research indicates that the gods who were once mortals include the following:

  • Azuth was once the mortal champion of Mystra and ascended to godhood after imprisoning Savras.
  • Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul (also known as the Dead Three) became gods when Jergal gave up his powers.
  • Cyric once was a thief, but ascended to godhood during the Time of Troubles by slaying Bhaal.
  • Finder Wyvernspur was once an accomplished bard and (after some trouble) killed Moander and claimed his divine spark.
  • Gwaeron Windstrom was made a demigod by Mielikki after he killed an avatar and several manifestations of Malar.
  • Kelemvor was once a human fighter named Kelemvor Lyonsbane. He became a god after defeating Cyric.
  • When the previous Mystra was destroyed by Helm, Ao replaced her with Midnight, a powerful wizard.
  • Savras once was a powerful mage who somehow became a god.
  • Torm was once a mortal hero and became a demigod during the time when Netheril fell.
  • Valkur may have once been mortal.

Are there others? What's the full list of Forgotten Realms deities that were once mortal?

Also, all the deities I've found were humans before their ascensions. Have any nonhumans become deities?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I recommend asking just the question as per the title then self-answering with your list—you should get credit for both. Also, consider saving the secondary question — Why don't nonhumans ascend to godhood? — for a separate question after this one's received some attention. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 23 '18 at 9:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Hey I Can Chan. I already know some of the deities who were once mortal. So I didn't want to waste everybody's time. So I included them in my question. Yes, maybe I should ask the second question after this question gave me the answers I nedd. \$\endgroup\$ – hohenheim Mar 23 '18 at 9:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ O, I totally get wanting to be cool about it, but as one who frequently answers list questions, answers that stand on their own usually end up being better answers — more readable, complete, and attractive — than answers that must reference the question to note exclusions. I mean, every answer will already feel obligated to at least mention the gods the question excludes anyway, so it's already like a partial answer. Like I said, it was merely a recommendation; ultimately, it remains your question. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 23 '18 at 10:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ In the Don't Ask page, it mentions scope of the question; This question is extremely broad as the Forgotten Realms have many deities in many pantheons. Perhaps limit it to one pantheon, but for now I'm voting for Too Broad. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 23 '18 at 12:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron Just because the Realms is a big setting doesn't make every general question about the Realms too broad, especially one scoped as precisely as this. Asking separate similar questions about each Realms pantheon would be tedious when the answer to several would be None. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 23 '18 at 12:59
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After flipping through all of the relevant rulebooks from each edition here is my list (including non-humans):

(as of 3-23-2018) those in italics are only possibly originally mortal (based on stories or legends)

Faerûnian Pantheon:

  1. Azuth: ascended by his own power with the help of Mystra (PnP 47)
  2. Bane: ascended with the Dead Three through the slaying of one of the Seven Lost Gods (F&A 37)
  3. Bhaal: see Bane (one of the Dead Three), his second incarnation is the divine form of the victor of the duel between Abdel Adrian and Viekang (F&A 37; SCAG 17)
  4. Cyric: ascended by inheriting Bhaal's powers having slain him (PoL)
  5. Finder: ascended from the divine spark of the late Moander
  6. Gargauth ascended by absorbing the powers of many demons including, at least, Astaroth (PnP 22)
  7. Gwaeron Windstrom: ascended as reward from Mielikki for killing avatars and manifestations of Malar (FnP 96)
  8. Kelemvor: ascended by winning favor with all the dead by defeating Cyric
  9. Mask: reborn from Riven who gathered more and more of Mask's dormant power until the boy became the new incarnation (Shadowrealm)
  10. Mystra ascended after the fall of Netheril by her own power (NEoM 19)
  11. Midnight ascended as the new Mystra, selected by Ao to end the Time of Troubles (FRCP 265)
  12. Red Knight: ascended with the help of Tempus (FnP 104)
  13. Savras: no details on ascension (MoF 6)
  14. Siamorphe: divinity is passed down through mortal lineage (PnP 58-60)
  15. Torm no details on ascension (FnP 74)
  16. Uthgar ascended as a reward from Tempus for his noble fight with the Pale Giants (FRCS 255)
  17. Velsharoon ascended with the help of Talos (GHoR 149)
  18. Waukeen became mortal briefly in an attempt to be free of Ao's bond during the Time of Troubles (FDnD 4)
  19. Valkur: ascended by winning a challenge against Umberlee (FnP 110)

Kara-Turan Pantheon

  1. Chan Cheng: ascended due to a blessing for his great leadership as a ruler (GHoR 33)

Zakharan Pantheon

  1. Jarmik: may have been mortal at one time, ascending where the Mosque of the Thirsty Jann is now (CoD 33-34)

Drow Pantheon

  1. Kiaransalee: no details on ascension (FnP 113)

Dwarven Pantheon

  1. Deep Duerra: no details on ascension

Yuir Elvish Pantheon

  1. Elikarashae: no details on ascension (SCG 53)

Others

  1. Baphomet: while a demon lord, rather than a deity, he may have uniquely started as a mortal creature, banished to the Abyss by the gods
  2. Kuraulyek: ascended with the help of Asgorath (GHoR 9)
  3. Kurtulmak: ascended with the help of Asgorath (GHoR 9)

Dead Deities

  1. Myrkul: see Bane (one of the Dead Three), currently in an artifact (Waterdeep)
  2. Tchazzar: ascended through part of Tiamat's divinity when Tiamat was slain by Gilgeam, may or not be divine still (DoF 37-39)
  3. Zinzerena: ascended in a different crystal sphere before arriving in the Forgotten Realms, sponsored by a deity named Keptolo (VotD)

Rivalen Tanthul, Erevis Cale, Kesson Rel, and Mephistopheles each acquired divinity briefly until Mask was fully reincarnated in Drasek Riven (Shadowrealm)


Sources used:

  • City of Delights (CoD)
  • Dragons of Faerûn (DoF)
  • Faiths & Avatars (F&A)
  • Faiths and Pantheons (FnP)
  • For Duty and Deity (FDnD)
  • Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3e (FRCP)
  • Magic of Faerûn (MoF)
  • Netheril: Empire of Magic (NEoM)
  • Prince of Lies (PoL)
  • Powers and Pantheons (PnP)
  • Shadowrealm
  • Spellbound (SCG)
  • Swords Coast Adventurer's Guide (SCAG)
  • "The Vault of the Drow." Dragon #298. (VotD) 
  • The Grand History of the Realms (GHoR)
  • Waterdeep
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would Mystra (#10) count though? You're already mentioning Midnight (#11), so... \$\endgroup\$ – Roflo Mar 23 '18 at 21:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Roflo Both Mystra became deities separately as different mortals so I put the both. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 23 '18 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wait, so the "Netheril-Mystra" was mortal too? And ascended by her own non-godly power? I thought Karsus was the only one who had done that. But I guess I might have missed that bit. \$\endgroup\$ – Roflo Mar 23 '18 at 21:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Roflo yeah she saved her people by catchimg three collapsing floating city as a barely trained peasant girl and was like yo I'm awesome. All arcanists listen to me now. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 23 '18 at 22:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zwiq Good thought. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 24 '18 at 13:30
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  1. Drasek Riven (human)- became the second Mask, Lord of Shadows
  2. Rivalen Tanthul (human) - became a demigod by absorbing a shard of Mask's divinity after killing Kesson Rel
  3. Erevis Cale (human) - as per Rivalen
  4. Kesson Rel (human) - demigod from Mask's divine essence
  5. Velsharoon (lich wizard) - managed to ascend to exarch godhood with the sponsorship of the deity Talos
  6. The Red Knight (human) - elevated to exarch divinity by Tempus to balance Garagos' destructive aims
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Deep Duerra (Dark Dwarf - now dead) - Female Duergar promoted to Demigod by Laduguer for successfully "stealing" psionics from the Illithids

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I couldn't find a source for Laduguer's involvement in her ascension. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 23 '18 at 19:07
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Technically both Cyric and Midnight were appointed (given the portfolios of?) by Ao because the respective deities were slain. They didn't ascend simply by killing the gods. Ao had to say OK.

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the Stack! Have you taken the tour? There is some good information here, but could you perhaps elaborate a little and offer some citations? Well supported answers fare much better in the Q&A format of the site. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Sep 11 '18 at 20:57

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