Oghma

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Oghma
Oghma symbol.jpg
Alignment True Neutral
Divine Rank Greater God
Pantheon Faerûn, Celtic
Portfolio Music, Language, Inspiration, Invention
Domains 3E: Balance, Charm, Knowledge, Luck, Travel, Trickery
5E: Knowledge
Home Plane Great Wheel: House of Knowledge (Outlands, Tir Na Nog)
World Tree/World Axis: House of Knowledge
Worshippers Bards, Wizards, Sages, Cartographers, Artists, Inventors, Scholars, Scribes
Favoured Weapon Mortal Strike (Longsword)

Oghma is the god of inspiration and knowledge in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.

His portfolio is rather large, covering pretty much anything to do with coming up with new intellectual pursuits: whether it be poems, symphonies, prose, art, clothing lines, mathematical, architecture, crafts etc etc.

Despite his wide range of nerdy hobbies, Oghma is actually quite the ladies man, and is portrayed as a handsome and charismatic individual who has sired many bastard children across the world.

History[edit]

Oghma is an interloper deity who migrated to Toril along with Silvanus, probably from the Celtic Pantheon, this means he has no direct tie to the history of the Realms, but has embedded himself as a primary deity nonetheless.

Despite his wide ranging portfolio and his position as the god of Knowledge, his cosmic duties tend to be ill defined. Though he is credited as the god of inspiration, it is his servant Deneir who gets the job of writing everything down; His servant Milil does all the singing and composing; while Gond does all the designing and artifice. Leaving Oghma little to do other than be the muse with a very high divine rank, though that probably explains where he found the time to sire so many children.

The number of bastard offspring he has fathered (or mothered, since his feminine aspect is called Curna) has not actually been recorded possibly because they may not be particularly notable, though twenty-two of them were captured by Cyric and transformed into magical paintings capable of speech called the Whispering Children.

He is also portrayed as not being particularly active amongst the gods, even though he is naturally close to the goddess of magic Mystra, when she was put on trial for Incompetence through humanity Oghma's position was basically to sit back and go "whatever".

Most of his influence in the realms comes from disagreements within his church, over whether knowledge should be shared by all, or whether it should be vetted and carefully guarded.

Worshippers[edit]

Priests of Oghma refer to themselves as "Loremasters", though it has no explicit connection to the Prestige class of the same name, those Loremasters would make very good priests of Oghma anyway.

As mentioned, the church of Oghma is split into several factions: the first is the Orthodox Church of Oghma, who believe that their Pope Grand Patriarch went missing during the Time of Troubles. They still believe that he either serves Oghma directly on the outer planes or has ascended to a semi-divine statues, so they have refused to elect a new one until his fate has been determined. This faction believes that knowledge should be shared freely, no matter its content.

The second faction are the Church of Oghma in Sembia who have elected a new Patriarch, who has far more conservative views on dissemination of knowledge, feeling that it should be tested and proven worthy before general release.

A third faction called the Pursuers of Pure Knowledge acknowledge the new patriarch, but do not accept his stance on vetting knowledge.

This creates somewhat of an impasse between the three churches, to the point that priests of some factions were not welcome in the regions of others and vice versa. However while this religious schism seem to follow real-world examples of faiths splintering, one forgets that in Faerun the deities answer prayers through magic, so strictly speaking none of the factions are wrong because Oghma grants spells to all of his followers.

Another separate faction from the Shining South revere Oghma under the feminine guise of Curna, who they consider to be an aspect of the unifying world spirit they refer to as Adama. This sect is barely involved with the politics of the others and has a more common sense approach to knowledge, dealing primarily with knowledge of day-to-day current events.

Servants & Exarchs[edit]

Oghma is served by several other deities, including Deneir and Gond who are collectively known as The Deities of Knowledge and Invention.

Milil[edit]

Milil
Five stringed harp of silver
Alignment Neutral Good
Divine Rank Lesser God
Pantheon Faerûn
Portfolio Music, Poetry, Language
Domains 3E: Charm, Good, Knowledge, Nobility
5E: Light
Home Plane Great Wheel: Library of All Knowledge (Beastlands)
World Tree/World Axis: House of Knowledge
Worshippers Adventurers, Bards, Entertainers, Poets, Humans, Elves, Half-Elves
Favoured Weapon Sharptongue (Rapier)

Not to be confused with the deity Malal, Milil is the deity of words; be it through song, poetry, or prose.

This makes him largely indistinct from his patron Oghma as a god of knowledge except for the fact that Milil strives to spread it around the realms. His followers make particular effort to keep records of new compositions that they have never heard before and share them with others, often acting as travelling tutors. His Clerics (called Sorlyn) sponsor adventuring groups so that new sagas can be created regarding their exploits, and to also make sure that Bards aren't unemployed. Milil is also highly regarded amongst the Seldarine due to the beauty of his singing voice, and counts practically the entirety of them as his allies to the degree that he is often depicted as an Elf.

Within Milil's church there is a minor schism between his regular clerics; who tend to be quite conservative and organised and the "Tuneservants" who are often Elven, are more independent, and travel a lot. It is said that to tell the two kinds of priest apart one should compare their music: Regular priests prefer traditional songs and hymns while Tuneservants prefer newer compositions which might often not be to the listeners tastes.

Milil also sponsors an order of Paladins called the Harmonious Order (nothing to do with this one) who roam around the realms, often accompanied by Tuneservants, seeking out romantic and glorious quests.

Realm[edit]

Oghma (along with his servant deities) inhabit the House of Knowledge, which despite its name is not actually a house at all, but a campus of buildings located in a forest. In the Great Wheel cosmology this was originally in the Outlands but has since moved to become its own realm entirely.

Much like a university campus, the variety of buildings are dedicated to the preservation and transmission of all knowledge and hold records of practically every spell, fact, recipe, blueprint, novel or conceivable concept known to creation. Probably making it a more useful repository of magical lore than Mystras realm of Dweomerheart. Despite the fact that the gods each have their own spheres of influence, no region of the House belongs to any god in particular, although they all have their favourite locations within it.

Oghma maintains three springs in the forest, of Knowledge, Music and Poetry, and anyone who drinks from these pools gains a particular benefit, on top of being healed of all injuries. Those who drink "Knowledge" have a single question answered. "Music" grants a critical success on their next performance, while "Poetry" allows the imbiber to speak all languages for the following two days. To prevent abuse, Oghma has the ability to change the location of each spring at will.

Trivia[edit]

As mentioned above, Oghma, along with Silvanus are interlopers from another pantheon, most assuredly the Celtic mythology of Scotland and Ireland. Although the original Oghma was nothing like his Forgotten Realms interpretation. Oghma served as the champion of king Nuada after his replacement and subsequent return to the throne as "Nuada Silverhand". Instead of being a god of knowledge, the Celtic version Oghma is considered to have been the most athletic of the gods, and was the only one who could prove his martial prowess to the interim king Bres.

Oghma was eventually replaced as Nuada's champion when a newcomer: Lugh arrived at court. Oghma picked up a stone that required eighty oxen to lift and threw it out of the court. Lugh responded by throwing it back in.

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