Lathander

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Lathander
Lathander symbol.jpg
Alignment Neutral Good
Divine Rank Greater God
Pantheon Faerûn
Portfolio Athletics, Birth, Dawn, Spring, Vitality, Youth
Domains 3E: Good, Nobility, Protection, Renewal, Strength, Sun
5E: Life, Light
Home Plane Great Wheel: Morninglory (Elysium)
World Tree: Morninglory (House of Nature)
Worshippers Good folk, Creative folk, Rich folk, Fit folk.
Favoured Weapon Dawnspeaker (Mace)

Lathander is/was the main god of the Sun in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. While he is one of the most significant gods of the setting, his status is in a bit of uncertainty. He is probably the reborn aspect of a much older god of the Sun: Amaunator (see below) but unusually for divine aspects, the two deities have quite varied goals and portfolios.

Lathander is probably also Pelor from the core setting, though probably a younger, more handsome version of Pelor.

In Ravenloft, the deity called The Morninglord is an offshoot of Lathander's worship, evolved into something very different from its progenitor.

History[edit]

Lathander is the reincarnation or an aspect of the first sun god Amaunator who was one of the elder gods created from the strife between Shar and Selune. (see below for details)

One event in which Lathander had a major part in, was the Dawn Cataclysm, a hazy entry in the history of the Realms that very few people know anything about but was considered a catastrophe second only to the Time of Troubles. What is known for sure is that Lathander somehow got the idea that the gods of Faerûn needed to be more like him, and so he tried to alter the gods to his liking. The failed attempt directly resulted in the death of Murdane, Goddess of pragmatism, and Helm's lover, which made Helm very angry at Lathander. Several other deities supposedly died during this event along with several "powerful outsiders", and possibly heralded the end of Myth Drannor in the mortal world, though few details are given.

It is suspected that the Dawn Cataclysm coincided with number of other key events, such as the splitting of Tyche: Goddess of Luck. Tyche was an early interloper to Faerun from the Greek pantheon. In the realms she became a companion of Lathander and the two became lovers, though the whimsical lady luck eventually grew bored with him and left. She later found a rose that she thought Lathander had gifted to her as a romantic gesture and kept it, though it eventually turned out to have been a cursed trap lain by Moander: God of Rot. The eventual corruption of the goddess of luck forced the other deities to slay her, after which he corpse split into the twin goddesses Tymora and Beshaba. Another conflict that was believed to have occurred during the Dawn Cataclysm were the battles between Azuth and Savras, where Savras became imprisoned in a scepter for millennia and Azuth was elevated to divine status.

Of course it is difficult to say how much Lathander was to blame for the whole series of events, the rest of the Pantheon were certainly wary of him and try to keep him from endangering the status quo. For his part, Lathander believes that Shar somehow had a part to play in the Dawn Cataclysm and seeks to try it all over again, but do it better the second time around.

Lathander is close to the mother goddess Chauntea, where they have an on-off romantic relationship. Presumably breaking up whenever Lathander proposes something obviously Stupid Good. She (along with Oghma and Lliira) knows of his attempts to replicate his previous experiment but are cautious enough to let him try because they know that evil needs to be conquered once and for all.

Amaunator[edit]

Amaunator
Amaunator Symbol.jpg
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Divine Rank Greater God / Dead God
Pantheon Faerûn
Portfolio The Sun, Law, Contracts, Bureaucracy, more Law and Time (by legal technicality)
Domains 3E: Law, Nobility, Planning, Sun, Time
4E: Civilization, Justice, Sun
5E: Life, Light
Home Plane Great Wheel: Keep of the Eternal Sun (Mechanus)
World Tree: Morninglory (House of Nature)
World Axis: Palace of the Four Suns (Eternal Sun)
Worshippers Ancient Netherese, Politicians, Heretical Lathander worshippers
Favoured Weapon Scepter of the Eternal Sun (Mace)

Amaunator is the original God of the sun in the Forgotten Realms setting.

He was quite widely worshipped, though was seen as quite a harsh deity, in contrast to the compassionate Lathander. Amaunator's creed was a strict adherence to the Law, to the point that he supposedly only claimed the portfolio of Time due to a punctuation mistake which said that "Amaunator shall be responsible for all time. The misrepresentations of his followers". So yeah... he's a classic RAW abuser to gain more power.

However, faith in him practically came to a sudden end when the nation of Netheril collapsed along with the near entirety of his worshippers and so he died a slow death of neglect, like some forgotten pensioner in a care home. Amaunator's corpse was said to become an Astral shipping hazard and he was replaced by a new, younger and more vibrant sun god who was more popular with the kids.

However, the story doesn't end there. Radical priests within Lathander's own church believed that Amaunator never died at all, that he simply became a different god to adapt to a different climate. Though Amaunator was "officially" declared dead and incapable of answering prayers or empowering diving magic, a few people still believed in him. Though they were considered harmless heretics by the mainstream church of the sun god.

However, during the events of the Spellplague Lathander went "SURPRISE!" And pulled off his rubber mask to reveal that he had been Amaunator all along, but rather than assume Lathander's portfolio wholly, Lathander seems to be permitted continued existence as an aspect separate from Amaunator and still answers prayers and provides spells under both guises.

Worshippers[edit]

Lathander is pretty much the stereotypical "Good God" of any particular setting. As the god of Light, Birth, Growth, Healing and "the Sun" he is worshipped by practically anyone with a sense of hope and plausibly has an organised religion which includes Paladins, Druids and Wizards. In fact, you could steadily remove each of the goodly gods and Lathander could have a good reason for standing in. So he could very well stand alone as the only god in a monotheistic religion.

Amaunator is very similar to Lathander as a head honcho deity of light and everything, but instead of being the god of Stupid Good, he is instead a god of Lawful Stupid. His worshippers appreciate him as the king of timekeepers, order, contractual obligations and keeping shit from falling apart. So can find adherents practically anywhere; just like Lathander. The difference is that followers of Amaunator can afford to be a bit more cynical about all that pansy ass "good" stuff, and just expect to be treated fairly.

Morninglord[edit]

Lathander's unique prestige class is the quintessential Cleric boost. There is literally no downside to being a Morninglord so long as you qualify.

It continues the divine spellcasting progression as normal and stacks for Undead Turning purposes, which are the two main things Clerics do anyway. So on top of that you can now double the area of Light spells, gain bonuses on Craft and Perform Checks, cast Daylight and Searing Ray as a spell-like abilities. You also gain greater and maximised turning abilities, and eventually gain the ability to heal yourself of practically anything once per tenday, and finally start generating your own light source, which also adds to your saves and armour class against undead.

Like we said, so long as you worship Lathander, this prestige class makes normal levels in Cleric absolutely redundant.

Sunmaster[edit]

Instead of Morninglords, Clerics of Amaunator become Sunmasters, who absolutely have to take the domains of Law and Sun in order to qualify.

Sunmasters are a different type of animal to Morninglords; focused more on getting stuck in to their enemies rather than healing or undead turning. While they do continue gaining full spellcasting progression, they don't continue improving their undead turning at all. Instead they transfer their Law and Sun spells to their normal spellcasting list, while also gaining access to the "Planning" Domain as a third domain; this actually improves their damage potential with the number of fire based spells that "Sun" gives them access to. They also learn to cast Searing Light as a spell-like ability and gain an increasing resistance to fire. The ultimate ability of the Sunmaster is to turn themselves into a roiling ball of gaseous plasma for up to 10 rounds per day, acting like Gaseous Form but making them radiate light and damaging fire to anything they come into contact with.

Realm[edit]

The deities of 5th edition 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
Loviatar
Auril - Bhaal - Myrkul
Shar - Velsharoon
Beshaba - Cyric - Garagos
Malar - Moander - Talona
Talos - Umberlee