Amaunator – God of the sun
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Domains: Life, Light
Symbol: Golden Sun
Amaunator (pronounced ah-MAWN-ah-tor was the Netherese solar deity of order, the sun, law, and time. He was viewed as a harsh but fair deity, revered by many rulers, soldiers, and powerful wizards.
It was eventually claimed, following the Spellplague, that Lathander, the Faerûnian god of the sun, was an aspect of the long-dormant Amaunator. By the Year of the Ageless One, 1479 DR, Amaunator was worshiped both as Lathander and by his own name.
When Netheril fell, the common people who were not killed by the fall of the enclaves (the only living worshipers of the deity) largely abandoned Amaunator, believing that he had done nothing to prevent the disaster. His followers were right, but contractually, his hands were tied. Magic in all its forms was under the exclusive control of Mystryl, and Amaunator had no lawful right to interfere in any way, even when a magical catastrophe, such as Netheril’s fall, was in the process of occurring.
Over the centuries, many theories were put forward by later religious scholars as to what ultimate fate Amaunator met. Some insisted that he died, but others (notably the Sunmasters of the Brotherhood of the Glorious Sun) argued that he was reborn as Lathander. Still others believed he survived as the vengeful Bedine deity known as At’ar the Merciless11 and yet others asserted that he turned his back on Faerûn and entered the pantheon of the lands of Kara-Tur, or simply moved on to other planets (such as Oerth). The truth was that with the loss of nearly all his followers in Netheril after its fall, Amaunator began the long, arduous, and painful process of dying of neglect. After about a millennium, he did not have enough power left to maintain his power base in the Outer Planes and was exiled to the Astral Plane.
At some point, Amaunator reappeared in the Faerûnian pantheon, in the form of the greater deity Lathander. He gathered strength and allies to himself, and became Faerûn’s dominant sun god once again.
Sages began to predict a clash between Lathander and the Mulhorandi sun god Horus-Re (assuming the merging of the Faerûnian and Mulhorandi pantheons), but such a fight never came. Even if the pantheons had had time to intermingle and merge before the Spellplague, the fight may not have occurred anyway: Lathander was sympathetic to Horus-Re.
In 1371/1372 DR, high-ranked clerics and paladins of Lathander began to receive messages regarding a mysterious event called the “Deliverance”, leading them to begin an aggressive recruitment campaign.
Another major step came when the sunmaster Daelegoth Orndeir became the high priest of the Temple of the Morn. On Midsummer of 1374 DR, he performed a miracle, creating a second sun over the city of Elversult that never set, viewable from 150 miles away. Converts flocked to the city in droves while the church of Lathander pondered on what to do.
Lathander revealed himself to be Amaunator in the Year of Blue Fire, 1385 DR, just after the Spellplague.
When not taking on the role of Lathander, Amaunator appeared as a lanky man with silver-white hair, a short, week-long growth of white beard, and skin that glowed with a quiet golden radiance. He carried the Scepter of the Eternal Sun in one hand and a large legal tome in the other, and wore the clothes of a magistrate: a long, black or purple gown trimmed with silver or gold. To be in his presence was to feel the awesome power of true law.
Amaunator was a careful and meticulous deity who made certain that every agreement was written down, contracted, signed, sealed, and witnessed. An extremely lawful deity, he followed the letter of the law, not necessarily the spirit of it—unless the spirit was a great deal more to his liking. He expected the same of his followers.
Amaunator was also occasionally revered as the keeper of time. This artificial “addition” to his portfolio was due to a mispunctuation in a contract between himself and another deity that stated: “… Amaunator shall be responsible for all time. any misrepresentations of his or his followers, If so deemed the fault of Amaunator…” This unnoticed punctuational snarl of commas and periods led to Amaunator considering himself to be in charge of “all time”. Fortunately, he never officially acted to take over the portfolio, since he was not willing to step on the toes of Mystryl (the Netherese deity of magic now known as Mystra), who was the unofficial keeper of the timestream in Faerûn.
Amaunator is viewed as a stern and unforgiving deity dedicated to order above all else. Though not concerned with balanced natural order like Silvanus, he instead advocates for kept promises, contracts, and even that political order be kept among the gods.
Members of the church of Amaunator were powerful political figures at the height of Netheril’s rule. Amaunator’s clergy were extremely hierarchical and rulebound. Each Righteous Potentate (high priest of a temple, called a “Court”) oversaw all aspects of church functions. No one could perform or be relieved of their duties without the consent of the Righteous Potentate or one of his seven Monastic Abbots. Under each of the seven Monastic Abbots, there were an additional seven High Jurists (priests) who served relentlessly, performing whatever duties were assigned to them. Lower ranks of clergy members served beneath the High Jurists, and were known as (in descending order): Jurists, High Magistrates, Magistrates, Defenders of the Law, Lions of Order, Radiant Servants, and Clerks. Within Amaunator’s church, there was an elite sect of clerics and holy warriors called Sunmasters, who later represented a branch of the church of Lathander known as the Brotherhood of the Glorious Sun.
Priests of Amaunator encourage the establishment of lawful order and bureaucracy in the world at large. They are called on to witness contracts and apply a signatory stamp with the symbol of Amaunator to verify its validity.
All clergy members had to learn, understand, and know how to reap the benefits from (or exploit) the laws of the land, the city, and the province they lived in. In order to completely understand the nuances of law and legislature, the clergy constantly drilled each other, practiced law in court whenever possible, and rehearsed law in practice courtrooms. They could not resist investigating the scene of a crime or taking part in the construction of new laws in their locale, and did so with great intensity and fervor.
Amaunatori served often in court as judges, to present cases, and to hear legal arguments and disputes. They were paid well to settle merchant disputes over contracts, agreements, and trade practices and made a comfortable living for themselves and their church as arbitrators of all sorts of commercial and personal claims not worthy of the attention of figures of power in ultimate authority.
The church of Lathander was not without its notable heresies, including the Risen Sun heresy and the Three-Faced Sun heresy, both of which were prominently focused on the return of Amaunator. The former later proved true when Amaunator returned.
Brotherhood of the Sun
This order was an association of itinerant monks who served the faithful in the field, bringing the comforting words of Amaunator to the peasants and common folk and preserving order throughout the land. Although the Brotherhood survived the fall of Netheril and the death of Amaunator, it never coalesced around a proper successor. Instead, each monastery chose its own deity to serve, with most eventually gravitating to Lathander or Selûne, but a few choosing Sune. By the Age of Humanity, the Brotherhood of the Sun was known as the Order of the Sun Soul, and the group’s original association with the church of Amaunator had been largely forgotten. The order admitted both men and women during this period, but retained its itinerant nature and ancestral focus on serving the common folk of Toril.
Brotherhood of the Glorious Sun
This order was a group of sun priests who believed Lathander to secretly be the incarnation of Amaunator during the Era of Upheaval. Divine spellcasters in the order who could manage to acquire an original holy symbol of Amaunator had the option to become sunmasters, and gained many useful powers relating to sunlight.
A group of Amaunator’s followers existed in the catacombs beneath the city of Athkatla. This group of followers had been bound by divine contract to forever guard half of the planar rift device, an artifact so powerful the gods cursed it and split it in two. Millennia of guarding took its toll, and gradually the people grew weary of spending their entire lives in this catacomb, dying, and having their souls recycled to the next generation. Amaunator had not spoken to them in many years, and the people lost faith. Their bodies became sick and diseased as a symbol of their despair, and the hatred they focused towards the temple resulted in the formation of a Hate Incarnation, which repeatedly destroyed Amaunator’s avatar.
In 1368 DR, when Gorion’s Ward and companions entered the catacombs to retrieve the guarded piece of the planar rift device, Amaunator offered no resistance but also no help. Entering the temple, they found that the Hate Incarnation could not be killed in combat (a wound in faith could not be healed by fighting) but could be dispelled via healing magics. Amaunator’s avatar then appeared and gaves the party the device, telling them to reconstruct it and deplete its power so it could be destroyed. After the party returned the depleted rod, Amaunator and his followers, renewed in their faith, departed.