I play dwarven paladin sworn to Haela Brightaxe (dwarven goddess of war luck). Now, our party is travelling and there are no dwarven settlements, we encounter human ones instead. So, obviously, there are no Haela's temples. Trouble is that my paladin should attend temples, pray and pay homage to the goddess.

So, should he attend some "compatible" deity's temple in absence of Haela's one or would it be blasphemy? In general, do peoples of Forgotten Realms treat foreign gods like Romans - as versions of their gods? Or perhaps each people's regards it's pantheon in opposition to others, perhaps only grudgingly acknowledging their presence but not equality?

Of course, I expect there are peoples and peoples so dwarven stance could be very different to elven one and there could even be cosmopolitic, inclusionist dwarves and backward, insular ones. But are there any guidelines? Or particular nations/tribes with their viewpoints known?


2 Answers 2


In all my reading of Realms material over the years, I've never seen the “Roman” approach to other pantheons practiced or even referenced. Other pantheons are generally acknowledged as real, just foreign—a natural effect of living in a world where the individual gods regularly and undeniably manifest in person.

Instead, what you tend to see mentioned while reading Realms campaign materials are small shrines to individual gods or to pantheons as a whole. Where there are even a few worshippers of a god or pantheon, there will be a shrine somewhere where they can pay their devotions and tithe for its upkeep. Not all gods are represented publicly everywhere, since a public shrine to a hostile god would not last long facing the wrath of a local mob (and adventurers!); but such things tend to be either personal and private, or pop up in “underground” or black-market areas where they're overlooked—or better appreciated.

So if you're in human lands, you'll have to seek out some dwarven expatriates and find out where they worship their traditional gods. Failing that, you're on your own—you'll have to pray in this “wilderness” as best you can with your own devices, possibly constructing temporary, poor, personal shrines as you need to. After all, a paladin is a travelling sword of their god—it may be necessary to go to places forsaken or inaccessible to your god at times, as your god charges you to, and you can only do your best to honour them in such places.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I like this a lot. I was going to say that perhaps building a small shrine might even count as paying he necessary homage/tithe/devotion whatever to spread the word. \$\endgroup\$
    – Escoce
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 23:55
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Some religions even have the concept of "portable shrines" specifically to allow devotion to take place in paces where shrines usually aren't. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 0:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by the "Roman" approach to pantheons? Finding a local substitute for a specific god? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Basically, yeah. (That use in the answer is echoing/responding to the question's use of the term, so I figure it didn't need any extra explanation.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 2:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I see: "treat foreign gods like Romans - as versions of their gods" \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 9:16

One answer to this question I have seen implemented is that the gods will begrudgingly accept prayers at "foreign" shrines and altars, since there are simply too many deities to have a dedicated altar for every deity in the Forgotten Realms in every city's temple, or even in a temple to begin with!

So your dwarven paladin would still give prayers to Haela, simply likely alongside the Triadists praying to Torm or Tyr -- everyone involved, gods included, just puts up with it as a side-effect of having deities all over the place.

(Very imperfect RL analogy: it's like being a Methodist and having to attend services at a Presbyterian church while on extended vacation because there are no Methodist churches at your vacation destination.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any cannon support for this, or is it just a workaround you've used? I'm not against it either way, but it would be a stronger answer with cannon support. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 0:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @C.Ross -- I don't have canon material handy because I'm not that familiar with FR. I have seen this in action (on a NWN RP server, actually), and it works remarkably well there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shalvenay
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 0:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Another advantage to this approach is it elegantly handles characters who worship deities outside their normal racial pantheons -- say an elf who worships Kossuth for instance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shalvenay
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 1:00

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