Azuth

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Azuth
Azuth symbol.jpg
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Divine Rank 3E/5E: Lesser God
4E: Dead God
Pantheon Faerûn
Portfolio Wizards, Spells
Domains 3E: Illusion, Knowledge, Law, Magic, Spell
5E: Arcana, Knowledge
Home Plane Great Wheel: Azuth (Arcadia), Dweomerheart (Arcadia then Elysium)
World Tree: Azuth (Dweomerheart)
Worshippers Wizards, Sages
Favoured Weapon Old Staff (Quarterstaff)
The first Magister

Azuth is the god of Wizards in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. He is a servant of Mystra, and is served in turn by Savras and Velsharoon, who are more specific gods of magic.

History[edit]

Azuth was born a mortal man. As the premier servant of the mistress of Magic, Mystra, he was the first Magister, which made him one of the most powerful entities of his time, on top of being the best spellcaster of his time. It also transpired he was somehow having a love affair with his own deity. During his adventures as mortal, he got himself into a conflict with the demigod Savras, who was a patron of divination and prophecy. The conflict culminated in a mageduel which Azuth won, and ended up trapping the god inside a scepter, though the various churches disputes how the duel came to its conclusion. Azuthians say that since Azuth had the favour of Mystra. he was able to overcome a god, while followers of Savras say that he simply let Azuth win because as a god of prophecy he was always going to know the outcome. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that, when he finally got old and kicked the bucket, he was going to be promoted to godhood and become the patron of Wizards and spell "book-learning". He would then sponsor other individuals to become Magister after him, so as to encourage other people to take up the magical arts.

By the fourth edition and the assassination of Mystra, Azuth was deposited in Baator after Dweomerheart started dissolving. He was taken prisoner by Asmodeus and consumed, elevating the Archdevil to Greater God status, and leaving 4e without any direct deities of magic, further contributing to the further dumbing of 4e's magic mechanics.

In 5e, he's back. Why? Fuck you, that's why.

Worshippers[edit]

As a god of a particular brand of spellcasting, not of "Magic" or "Spellcasters in general", (which tends to fall under Mystra's portfolio), Azuth is a god of Wizards and very little else, but anyone who prepares their spells rather than casting spontaneously will have Azuth as their patron. Certain Monks and Sages appreciate his academic approach to magic and worship him as a god of education and scientific methodology.

The Magister[edit]

Mystra's foremost servant in the realms is the Magister and comes with the responsibility for promoting the understanding and availability of magic to the people. Unlike the Chosen of Mystra who need not necessarily be spellcasters at all, the Magister is always an arcane spellcaster, and typically always a Wizard as well, because other arcanists like Sorcerers or unusual classes like Warmages or Dread Necromancers are too limited to be able to fulfil the job requirements.

It used to be that the position of Magister was transferrable by defeating the holder in a mageduel, which would be an impressive feat considering the sheer number of buffs the Magister gets by default. But then it ended up that the Magister would just be hounded by a queue of ambitious dickhead wizards looking for more power with no guarantee they would actually be any good in the job, and the Magister would become a recluse and hide rather than doing the job themselves, so Azuth put a stop to that practice, and sponsors candidates he thinks are worthy. Though that doesn't stop the dickheads from lining up, hoping to have a go anyway.

When appointed, the personal sigil of the Magister appears in every temple of Mystra for ten minutes and every magic user in the world feels a ripple, informing them the position has changed. Mystra has also decreed that her priests must reveal the identity of the Magister if they know it, subject to a suitable donation to the church of course.

Thankfully, the new Magister gets a 10 day grace period, where they get teleported to a pocket dimension so they can get instructed by heralds of Azuth in the requirements of the role, while usually getting access to the spellbook of every previous holder of the role, a significant prize in itself.

When they get released back into the wild, as their duty involves spreading magic around they are able to recover half of the experience cost for items they create if they give them away, turning them into an arcane Santa Claus.

Other abilities include:

  • A complete immunity to enchantment, and a +2 holy resistance to all magical effects
  • Spell Resistance 20
  • The ability to sense wild or dead magic zones
  • They can hear whenever their name gets mentioned anywhere in the world along with the following nine words and the general direction of the speaker,
  • constant Mindblank protection
  • The ability to levitate, true seeing, read magic and feather fall at will and dimension door and water walk 6/day
  • They can pass through ANY magical barrier of 6th level or lower without ill effect
  • Complete immunity to a chosen spell of each spell level
  • The ability to imbue permanency on any spell they know.
  • They get Spell Focus for every spell
  • They prepare their spells in ten minutes.

So no wonder everyone wants the job...

Holders of the role can step down from the role voluntarily and allow someone to take it from them (presumably subject to Mystra's and Azuth's approval). But considering it usually takes some substantial magical power to get the role in the first place, the gods would like you to keep serving. In which case the previous holder can relegate themselves to being a Chosen of Azuth, or become a sentient magical item, or start-over by being reincarnated as a whole new person with magical gifts.

Halruaan Magehound[edit]

Very typical of Azuth's role as the god of Wizards; this prestige class represents spellcasting followers of Azuth, in a society of spellcasters, tasked with monitoring other spellcasters. They don't make the most epic of casters themselves, but give spellcasting opponents real bother.

There is no requirement for them to be arcane spellcasters, so Clerics can qualify. The feats required are also fairly generic, but there are a number of cross-class skills needed that a pure Wizard or Cleric may need to really focus on unless they multiclass.

Magehounds lose two levels of spellcasting progression over a 10 level class, but gain the ability to sense magic instinctively, increased saves against spells up to +5, spell resistance up to SR25 (which means lv1 casters don't have a chance against them, while even lv20 casters fail 20% of the time), and can generate an antimagic field once per day.

Jordain Vizier[edit]

Eunuch advisors in the Magical Realm of Halruaa who serve in the name of Azuth or Mystra directly. They are forbidden from learning how to cast spells themselves but are expected to have encyclopaedic understandings of magical knowledge. This means that even though Jordain are selected at a very young age, they need a huge amount of skills to qualify, so they typically start as Rogues, Monks or Experts.

The class provides inbuilt magical nondetection, Spell Resistance, magical knowledge (read "Bardic knowledge") and small boosts to attack rolls. Most interestingly, the class comes with the ability to counterspell a number of times equal to their class level + CHA bonus, even without the ability to cast spells of their own, which is awesome because they won't need to have specific spells prepared for such eventualities, or run down prepared spells (because they have none).

As mentioned, they are forbidden from learning to cast spells themselves (though that hasn't stopped one character in the books from being a Sorcerer and doing it instinctively) They also get rendered sterile, because the the elixirs and rituals that transform them into Jordain change them fundamentally and the magical government would prefer magically resistant genes not to enter the general population without being controlled.

Servants & Exarchs[edit]

Savras[edit]

Savras
Savras symbol.jpg
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Divine Rank 2E/3E/5E: Demigod
4E: Dead God
Pantheon Faerûn
Portfolio Divination, Fate
Domains 3E: Fate, Knowledge, Law, Spell
5E: Arcana, Knowledge
Home Plane Great Wheel: The Eye (Arcadia), Dweomerheart (Arcadia then Elysium)
World Tree: The Eye (Dweomerheart)
Worshippers Diviners, Judges, Investigators, Monks, Sages
Favoured Weapon Eye of Savras (Dagger)

Before Savras lost his mageduel with Azuth, he was the original god of mages and wizards, with a primary focus on divination and farseeing.

Following his replacement by Azuth, his essence was imprisoned within a scepter which Azuth had intended to keep as his badge of office. Unfortunately for Azuth, Savras still had some power left and managed to teleport the scepter into the Realms where it would be passed into mortal hands. One of his final and most significant followers was the sage Alaundo (that guy who gets referenced in Baldur's Gate a lot) to whom he gave a series of visions that would all come true.

Eventually the sceptre passed into the hands of one of Mystra's Chosen who kept it for a while but eventually decided to return it to Azuth for safekeeping when Savras started revealing secrets that mortals were not meant to know.

After the Time of Troubles, Azuth eventually decided to release Savras from his long imprisonment within the sceptre in exchange for a pledge of fealty, allowing Savras to return to some measure of divine status.

As a separate deity in his own right, Savras carved his own niche as the patron of diviners. He ALWAYS speaks the truth, even when it might make him enemies. Though if the truth ever becomes a matter of perspective, Savras goes even further and reveals all sides to the matter so there is no confusion.

Velsharoon[edit]

Velsharoon
Velsharoon symbol.jpg
Alignment Neutral Evil
Divine Rank 2E/3E/5E: Demigod
4E: Dead God
Pantheon Faerûn
Portfolio Liches, Necromancy, Undeath
Domains 3E: Death, Evil, Magic, Undeath
Home Plane Great Wheel: Death's Embrace (Gehenna),
World Tree: Death's Embrace (Dweomerheart)
Worshippers Liches, Necromancers, those who seek undeath.
Favoured Weapon Skull Staff of the Necromancer (Quarterstaff)

Essentially a poor-man's Vecna, Velsharoon was a mortal (well... undead) necromancer and former Red Wizard of Thay who was sponsored to godhood by Talos. It is suspected that Ao allowed the apotheosis due to Kelemvor's dislike of the undead, so required a new god to rebalance the pantheon. The god of storms and destruction did not actually desire a servant; although Velsharoon served his patron for two years, it became clear that his patron was fattening him up to be consumed. Velsharoon promptly switched allegiances to Azuth, and in so doing earned him the de-facto protection of Mystra which managed to keep the wrath of Talos at bay.

The demigod lich uses his masters as a shield to protect him from the fallout of his dickishness and Azuth is generally unhappy with the arrangement, but cannot do anything about it since Velsharoon genuinely does fulfill his role as the patron of Necromanctic magic. However, the god of the undead has secretly made a new pact with Talos to unleash more undead creations upon the world and also has since begun flirting with the dark forces of Shar.

The Deities of Forgotten Realms
Lawful Neutral Chaotic
Good Ilmater - Nobanion
Torm - Tyr
Chauntea - Deneir - Eldath - Enlil
Gwaeron Windstrom - Lathander
Mielikki - Milil - Mystra - Shiallia
Lliira - Lurue - Selûne - Sharess
Sune - Tymora - Valkur
Neutral Azuth - Helm - Hoar
Jergal - Kelemvor
Red Knight - Savras
Siamorphe - Ulutiu
Akadi - Ao - Auppenser - Gond
Grumbar - Istishia - Karsus
Kossuth - Oghma - Silvanus
Tempus - Ubtao - Waukeen
Finder Wyvernspur - Ibrandul - Leira
Mask - Shaundakul - Uthgar
Evil Asmodeus - Bane
Gargauth - Gilgeam
Iyachtu Xvim - Loviatar
Auril - Bhaal - Myrkul
Shar - Velsharoon
Beshaba - Cyric - Garagos
Malar - Moander - Talona
Talos - Umberlee