Ao, the Overgod (AY-oh)
Lord Ao is the Overgod of the known Multiverse. As Overgod, all deities and primordials are subject to him. If it was not for Ao’s involvement in the Time of Troubles, he would most likely be unknown by the mortals of Faerûn. This suits Ao, for he does not want to be known; what the other deities do is of no concern to Ao, as long as the deities upheld their individual portfolios and dod not ignore their worshipers. Lord Ao has no need for worshipers whatsoever, whereas lesser gods who do not receive the worship of mortals may perish from lack of worship. This was initiated by Ao after the Time of Troubles in order to enforce his will that the gods act as guardians of the Balance rather than kings of mortals. Despite his own absolute sovereignty over the cosmos, it is said that he himself serves an even greater and more mysterious entity, whom he addressed only as “Master.” “ Ao closed his eyes and blanked his mind. Soon, he fell within himself and entered the place before time, the time at the edge of the universe, where millions of millions of assignments like his began and ended. A luminous presence greeted him, enveloping his energies within its own. It was both a warm and a cold entity, forgiving and harsh. “And how does your cosmos fare, Ao?” The voice was at once both gentle and admonishing. “They have restored the balance, Master. The Realms are once again secure.” — Troy Denning, Waterdeep, 3rd Book of Avatar series Worshippers The cult of Ao is led by ministers instead of clerics, since these cultists never receive spells from the Overgod. As Ao is often referred, “The Hidden One” is veiled in much secrecy, seeming to prefer anonymity to outward worship. Content to allow the deities subject to his influence receive worship and recognition as none is needed for him to thrive, he remains true to his namesake. Thus, no artwork or holy symbols are dedicated to the Overgod in accordance with what has been interpreted of his will. The absence of a recognizable symbol is sufficient as acknowledgment of the Hidden One’s influence. What is unseen is not lost. What is not heard is not forgotten. What is unknown is not deterred. -Proverb of Ao’s followers The Tablets of Fate The Tablets of Fate, created by Ao, establish rules concerning the management of the divine. They decree that:
Toril creation myth
- No two gods in the same pantheon can have identical portfolios.
- When two gods clash, one of three results occurs:
- One god fades from the Realms.
- Both gods merge.
- One (or both) god(s) alter their portfolio(s) sufficiently that both could remain in or join the Faerûnian pantheon.