Why should Planars give a Flying Sod about Toril?

After all, it’s just some backwater prime world, unremarkable except for its greater-than-average concentration of portals and gates, and the greater-than-usual arrogance of its wizards, right?

Well, if you’ve heard the real chant about the so-called “Time of Troubles” that recently befell this multiversally insignificant prime, you’d not be quite so complacent, cutter. See, they say that Ao, the OverPower of the Toril Crystal Sphere got mightily annoyed at the tricks the Torilian Pantheon (a group of powers isolated from planar politics in general, but growing in influence), and cast them from the Outer Planes to walk the surface of the Prime.

Now forgive me for sounding surprised, but Powers walking the Prime?! Sounds like a bit of a breach of the old planar law there, don’t it cutter! That’s not considering the chaos that was wreaked on the poor sodding world of Toril, or the opportunities created when several of the Pantheon’s powers were actually slain. Now they’ve been replaced, and their corpses drift on the Astral, but when a Power dies (even if it was only a Torilian power!) planar bloods can’t help but talk about it.

Here’s the chant on how the factions’ screed went…


“See, even the power’s are fallible! Reckon they’re still Gods now, addle-cove? Perhaps Ao is a step closer to the Great Unseen Force which might exist, but even he has stooped to the level of the powers by admitting they’re not totally insignificant. The only god worthy of our worship is one that, by definition, is too great for mortals to even comprehend.”


“What’s the point being a power if you’ve still got to do what someone else tells you to do? And if, like they say, the goal of life is either to become a power or merge with one, then that’s a load of cobblers too. Forget the whole religion/ascension to godhood malarkey: Like all things in this life, it’s just a futile waste of time.”


“We do not need to think on such petty matters. Ao acted as was needed at the time, in turn setting off a chain of reactions from the powers. It will resolve itself without your bloody questions, berk.”


“See how the powers themselves are at war? Toril’s pantheon is crumbling, the weave of magic is failing on Toril, and it’s just the first of many…Maybe we could learn how to banish powers to the Prime for ourselves. If not, perhaps we could invade their precious Realms and spread the seeds of decay while the Toril powers are indisposed. Yeah: That’s it!”


“I heard some blood saying he knew where those Tablets of Fate were hidden. The chant goes they’re artifacts with the darks of the Torilian Powers written down on them. Imagine the jink we’d make if we got to them first and flogged ’em back to old Ao! Actually, bar that: It’d be more profitable to use ’em to take over the Pantheon ourselves. There’s just the small matter of finding a cony barmy enough to try it on…”


“As Toril has shown us, even the Mighty can stray from their path of Ascendance. This lesson leaves us doubly sure that, not only is every creature being tested, including the mightiest power, but that there is also a level beyond that: Overpower. Who can say – perhaps even Lord Ao has a master, even more secretive and enormously powerful than He.”


“An interesting possibility: An OverPower forces his pantheon out of the planes and onto the prime. Could this be done by mortal means (spells or psionics?) How does the powers’ unwritten law that none may walk the prime stand now? Is this a breach of the rules or an exception?”

Hands of Havoc

“The first blow has been struck! Rebel against the corruption of the powers and bring them crashing down from the Heavens! Destroy their plutocratic palaces in the planes! Turn their petitioners away from their brainwashed ways! Bar and shutter the portals and gates to Toril to prevent the powers from ever returning to pollute the Great Ring again!”


“The symphony of the planes has been disrupted by the forces of chaos! Let us smite them to restore the balance! (And since we’re not about to go scragging powers, let’s start with those bloody Indeps in the Bazaar) There’s also chant flying round about a book called the Cyrinishad, which has the power to convince all who read it that it’s true. If we could get hold of it, and discover it’s magic, we’d be able to promote so much peace! Heavenly!”

Heralds of Dust

“How many powers will die before they realise they’re dead already? Two? Three? Could the death of a power open the doorway to What Lies Beyond, or do they just become even more dead? The Astral Plane is becoming fast-filling up cemetery for the foolish and short-sighted young powers of Toril, and a target perfect for the next stage of a grand scheme: To raise the corpse of a power into undeath.”


“Seems to me that it’s about time Toril’s powers stopped doing what Ao tells ’em to and start doing what they think they should do.”


“Tablets of Fate? Stolen? We’ll make sure some berk pays, even if he is a sodding Avatar!”

Mind’s Eye

“I just knew this was going to happen. I was just thinking about it the other day.”


“Imagine what it must feel like to have your divinity ripped away like that! Or to cast a spell in an area where magic has gone wild or is dead! To sing the songs of battles between gods which happened over a city! To face an invading horde of beasts from the Grey Waste! Or to come face to face with an Avatar…say, where was that portal to Toril…let’s go visiting avatars!”


“What’s that? Magic’s gone wild on Toril? Let’s go. Let’s not go. Perhaps we could push Toril into Limbo. Or Limbo into Toril. Maybe not. I’ll bet the slaad/baatezu/guardinals are behind it. Or not. Did I tell you that my middle and last names are Ao?”

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

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