History of Toril
In the beginning the Lord Ao created the universe that now holds the world of Toril. In the time of endless nothingness there existed two beautiful twin goddesses, polar opposites of one another, one light; Selune and the other dark, Shar. The twin sisters created the bodies of the heavens, creating Chauntea (The Great Mother, goddess of the Earth).
As Shar and Selune fought, from their battles were created the other deities and other fell forces.
The Creator Races
While the deities battled, MANY intelligent beings arose on Toril. Foremost amongst these were the Five Creator Races
1. Dragons – supreme and powerful
2. Shapechangers – now are survived by the Locathah in the sea and the Dopplegangers in the land.
3. Sylvan – ancestors of elves, sprites and faeries
4. Saurian – eventually became nagas, troglodytes, etc.
5. Humans – numerous, adaptive and ingenious. They were quick to survive many events
The First Flowering
As the races discovered magic and experimented with planar travel, Portals were made. Through these portals came forth the natives of other realms – dwarves, treants and mind flayers, etc. The Sharns and the Phaerimms are also believed to have appeared during this time.
Haflings, gnomes, giants and goblinoids first appeared through these portals. They made they own advances in culture, magic, military and technology.
The Crown Wars
The conflict today known as the Crown Wars has beginnings unknown. It lasted three thousand years and involved all existing elven nations. Entire elven nations fell and vanished. Millions of elves were killed. It was also during this time that the elven worshippers of Araushnee (now Lolth) were banished underground and became drow.
The Netherese were taught the basics of magic by their elven neighbors. Soon, they became great practitioners of the Art. Netheril even became more powerful with the discovery of the Nether Scrolls, a set of magical writings that held the vast secrets of the Art. With their advances in magic, Netherese cities were soon flying metropolises and almost every commoner in Netheril had a degree of knowledge in magic.
But it was this drunken stupor from magic which caused the empire’s downfall.
Netheril soon found themselves at war with the evil Phaerimm, powerful underground-based wizards which greatly weakened the empire’s dependence on magic.
Trying to save his people, the great Netherese wizard, Karsus, attempted to create a spell that would steal Mystryl’s (goddess of Magic) essence and help Netheril regain its former glory. The spell backfired and Mystryl sacrificed herself and was able to save the cities of Anuria, Assram and Hlondeth from destruction (now called the Buried Realms in Anuaroch).
Mystryl was reincarnated as Mystra and the Weave (her essence and the essence of all magic in Faerun) was formed. Despite the catastrophe, Karsus is credited with being the only mortal to attain godhood with a single spell.
Netheril has fallen and this magical catastrophe from their wars with the Phaerimm and Karsus’ folly is believed to be the origins of the region now known as Anuaroch.
Meanwhile, far to the east saw the birth of another great magical nation. The Imaskari, a race of Artificers founded Imaskar. They created portals from which they acquired countless slaves. Some of these slaves escaped and eventually founded the region now known as Mulhorand and Unther.
Six centuries after the fall of Netheril, two empires of magic rose east of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Narfell and Raumathar. Their constant conflicts and wars greatly stumped their advancement in magic and technology.
The Orcgate Wars
The freed slaves of the Imaskari founded Mulhorand. Their kingdom grew at a prolific pace and conquered nearby lands.
One portal opened by Mulhorandi wizards led to a world populated by savage orcs. Gruumsh and his followers stepped from these gates and attempted to invade Toril. During these conflicts, known as the Orcgate Wars, Gruumsh killed the sun god Re (the first recorded deicide in the Realms). Set murdered Osiris to succeed Re but Horus absorbed the divine power of Re and became Horus-Re. Aftter a long conflict, the orcs were believed to have been pushed northward towards the Spine of the World.
Mulhorand succumbed to a mage revolt which gave birth to the succession of the province of Thay. Thay became an independent nation and is known to be under the rule of the cunning Red Wizards even to this day.
Calimshan and the Rise of Chondath
Predating even the Netheril Empire, two Djinns, Calim and Memmon fought over the area now known as Calimshan. There, they began the Era of Skyfire and battled for over four hundred years. Their conflict was averted by the magic of the elves, who placed the two genie lords in a large gem now known as the Calimmemmon Crytsal. Followers of the Djinns then founded Coramshan (which is now Amn) and eventually led to the reinhabitation of Calimshan.
Jhaamdath was founded shortly after the liberation of Coramshan. What began as modest logging and fishing villages eventually became known as Chondath and its people colonized much of the area around the Sea of Fallen Stars. Chondath is believed to be the cradle of modern humans in the Realms as we now today.
The Dalereckoning calendar began with the compacts between the humans of the Dalelands and the Elves of Cormanthor who raised the Standing Stone as a symbol of the vows to respect each other’s ways of life.
A divine event known only as the Dawn Cataclysm (8th century DR) resulted in some upheavals among the Faerunian Pantheon. This point in time is tied to the formation of the Harpers, the arrival of Iyacthu Xvim and the imprisonment of Moreander.
The Time of Troubles
The Time of Troubles began when Bane and Myrkul stole the Tablets of Fate, divine records which state the responsibilities of all deities in Faerun, from Lord Ao. Ao punished the gods by forcing them out of their extraplanar realms and into mortal bodies called Avatars.
Helm alone retained his power and was commanded by Ao to guard the path to the Outer Planes. Thus began the Godswar (or the Avatar Crisis) one of the most chaotic events in recent history (17 years ago).
Sudden morality wreaked havoc on the deities. Mystra was destroyed and her essence merged with the land causing magic to function erratically (wild and dead magic zones).
Gond the Wonderbringer fell to earth as a gnome on the shores of Lantan. He taught the Lantanese the secret of smokepowder. Tymora appeared at her temple in Arabel. Ibrandul, god of caverns, was slain by Shar in secret and his portfolio stolen.
Malar battle Nobanion and was hunted by Gwaeron Windstrom. Shaundakul battled and destroyed of a minor orc deity. Sharess took the form of the favorite concubine of the pasha of Calimport and was liberated from the growing influence of Shar by Selune. The Red Knight appeared in Tethyr, helping that nation defeat monsters raiding from the Wealdath. Hoar slew Ramman, Untheric god of war but lost his portfolio to Anhur. Clangeddin Silverbeard battled Labelas Enoreth on the isle of Ruatym over a misunderstanding. Shar and Selune fought another round of their age-old battle as mortals in Waterdeep. Waukeen vanished but her ally Lliira claimed custody of her portfolio for safekeeping. Ixacthu Xvim was imprisoned under Zhentil Keep. Gilgeam, god-king of Unther was slain by Tiamat, ending his tw0-millenia rule of that nation.
Bhaal, god of murder, was greatly weakened and only existed as a murderous force which could possess living beings. When Bane challenged Torm, the Black Lord slew all of the Bhaal-worshipping assassins and absorbed their essence, further weakening Bhaal.
Forging an alliance with Myrkul, Bhaal kidnapped the mortal wizard Midnight and discovered one of the Tablets of Fate. But at Boareskyr Bridge, the mortal Cyric killed Bhaal with his sword Godsbane (the avatar of Mask). Cyric absorbed some of Bhaal’s power, while the rest went to the Winding River, poisoning its waters.
Cyric then slew Lliira, goddess of deception, with Godsbane and absorbed her portfolio. He later broke Godsbane, greatly weakening Mask.
Torm destroyed Bane during an epic battle in Tantras, and Ao later gave the Black Lord’s portfolio to Cyric. Torm himself was slain in the conflict with Bane, but since his realm at the time was actually Toril and because he died in service to his ethos (obedience and loyalty), Lord Ao restored him to life and reinstated him as a deity.
Myrkul’s avatar battled Midnight, who destroyed him. Midnight became the new incarnation of Mystra, absorbing the essence of the previous goddess from the land. Cyric became the new deity of strife, tyranny, murder and death, holding the portfolios of the slain Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul. (years later, Cyric lost the portfolio of death to the mortal Kelemvor when he was temporarily driven mad by an artifact he created).
The close of the Avatar Crisis brought a change to the way the deities of Faerun relate to their followers. By Ao’s decreem a deity’s power is in part derived from the number and fervor of his worshippers, as so deities can no longer afford to ignore their faithful. While the Time of Troubles reshaped the land and altered the Faerunian pantheon dramatically, the new accountability of divinity remains its most powerful legacy.