Nobanion

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Nobanion
Male lion's head on a green shield
Alignment Lawful Good
Divine Rank 2E/3E: Demigod
4E: Exarch
Pantheon Faerûn / Narnia(?)
Portfolio Royalty, great cats, intelligent & good animals
Domains 3E: Animal, Good, Law, Nobility
Home Plane Great Wheel: Pridelands (Beastlands)
World Tree: Pridelands (House of Nature)
World Axis: Deep Wilds
Worshippers Druids, Fighters, Leaders, Paladins, Rangers, Soldiers, Wemics
Favoured Weapon A lion's head (Heavy Pick)

Nobanion is the Lion-King of good animals and beasts. He is both powerful and gentle and leads his "pride" directly, teaching them to choose paths that are both Good and Lawful.

History[edit]

Nobanion is an interloper deity to Faerûn, though not much is known about his origin world other than ancient texts referring to him as Aslan, which potentially makes him the primary god of Narnia, and therefore also Jesus. Though since "Aslan" is a Turkic word for "lion" it may mean absolutely nothing at all.

Nobanion entered Faerûn in the Weathercote Wood from one of the magical pools that led to other Prime Material worlds and wandered Toril for about a century before making his realm in the Gulthmere Forest with a pack of Lammasu. Possibly giving rise to the in-universe theory that he is the father of all Lammasu in the Realms.

In early 2E days, he was pretty cosy with Lurue to the point that both religions were practically inseparable and were referred to under the catch-all terminology of Beast Cult, though they remained distinct from other "beast cults" such as those of the Uthgar tribes since they were both deities in their own right, rather than being powerful spirits. He was also friendly with Sharess, as they are both feline deities, though he frequently gets annoyed at Sharess' lack of focus and would probably preferred her older incarnation of Bast.

During the Time of Troubles, he got into a fight with Malar and drove him away, expanding Nobanion's power base into the nearby areas; converting tribes of Wemics to his religion and bringing them into his collective "Great Pride". The Wemics considered Nobanion a warrior-deity, although he tried to impress values of goodness and compassion on them. From here, worship of Nobanion spread even further.

During the 4E Spellplague he was infected by blue fire and transformed into a dark lion with a burning blue mane under the control of his great enemy Malar. Though thankfully he was healed by the Chosen of Lathander and continues to wander the realms, though under the diminished status as an Exarch of Silvanus.

Worshippers[edit]

Nobanion is primarily venerated by intelligent animals and beast-like creatures though he does attract humanoid followers, typically Humans or Wild Elves who see him as a patron of monarchs and law-keepers. His priests are referred to as Firemanes.

Deep in the Gulthmere Forest there is a human village called Gurnth whose inhabitants live "the life of cats". There is also Nathlehk: the City of Cats which is populated by Were- animals of various feline breeds who worship Nobanion alongside Sharess.

Dogma[edit]

Hunt only when hungry and do not gorge without need. Waste nothing and all shall have plenty. The cycle of life links all living things into one being, and that being is life itself. The law of the jungle is that only the strong survive, but they survive best by being leaders, not tyrants, by protecting the weak, not bullying them. All creatures have their strengths in the assigned roles and should be encouraged to find their niche. From cooperation between beings of differing strengths comes the strength of teamwork and community, the strongest force of all. By demonstrating compassion and tolerance and living within the land, all living creatures may find harmony with nature and one another. By staying true to oneself and one's pride and conducting oneself with dignity and honor, the respect of one's peers may be earned.

Realms[edit]

Nobanion's realm of the Pridelands is largely the same no matter what edition it is set in. It consists of a huge sunlit savanna-like plain that is interspersed with trees.

In the Great Wheel cosmology, the plane is mildly good aligned thanks to its position in the Outer Planes. Though this trait is absent from other cosmologies, Nobanion presumably has the ability to make his own divine realm "good". Alternately in the World Tree cosmology, Druid spells that are cast here are automatically Enlarged and Extended without any extra effort on the part of the caster.

Either way: Petitioners that begin their afterlives here steadily take on more and more animal traits (presumably cats) until they truly become celestial animals. Wemics are an exception and are allowed to retain their original forms in their afterlife.

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