For all the deity drama in the Forgotten Realms (of which there has been far, faaaaaaaar too much of, in my not so humble opinion), and given the fact that I like to think I know a thing or two about the Realms as a published setting, you’d think I’d have a better handle on figuring out the aftermath of a deity splitting in two.
Which is to say, before there were Tymora and Beshaba (aka Our Smiling Lady and the Maiden of Misfortune), there was only Tyche.
Now if you ask anyone to explain why Tyche split in two, you’re likely to get some blather about the Dawn Cataclysm and bad things happening on the outer planes by way of reply–none of which I give a hoot about and neither should you, Dear Reader.
They might direct you to the AD&D sourcebook [i]Faiths & Avatars[/i], page 44, which is only slightly more helpful, but still not sufficient. For example, there’s the bit about the twin deities battling in a civil war that “lasts to this day,” but that’s basically one factoid entirely devoid of specifics on a struggle that’s apparently been raging for several centuries, if not a millennium or more, and then there’s the chance you might get drawn into an unending argument about when, exactly, the Dawn Cataclysm happened, since Tyche existed before it but not after it.
And that’s a dark alleyway you should avoid at all costs Dear Reader, because its populated by Realms Grognards who lurk in the shadows, just waiting for the chance to lure some unsuspecting and innocent Realms fan who just wants to know when the Dawn Cataclysm happened. The grognards will jump you, each grabbing an arm and to hold you in place while they start arguing back and forth incessantly, there mouths right up against your ears like Steven Tyler of Aerosmith slobbering on his microphone while he shouts “Dream On!” over and over and over, until your head explodes.
So let’s keep your head in one peace Dear Reader and consider the question from the mortal point of view, i.e., what happened in **the Realms** when Tyche split in two.
If the twin deities really were at each other’s throats upon their birth, does it follow that the temples turned into scenes of slaughter as one priest battled another? Did the wiser, more controlled priests spend temple funds to hire mercenaries, call upon the faithful, and enact a holy war against other temples? Could both deities speak in the minds of fallen Tyche’s followers at the same time? Did the deities lure, cajole, or threaten in their faithful’s dreams?
And when the poo hit the fan, what did mortal rulers do about it? After all, modern day Cormyr hosts no less than three temples to Tymora–and powerful temples at that. Were these all former temples to Tyche? Was there a covert war among the faithful of Beshaba and Tymora to control these temples? Did Cormyr’s rulers have to arrest temple priests and followers? Did they have a hand in the outcomes of any struggles for power in the temples? What about holy relics and artifacts? Who controls them now? Are there battles for control of them? Does either deity wish to subsume the other? Or to destroy the other outright?
[I]Volo’s Guide to Cormyr [/I]doesn’t even list any ruins for Tyche. The only Tyche ruin I’ve ever come across in Cormyr was in the adventure “The Door to Everywhere” in Dungeon #88 by Roger E. Moore.
Nowadays things seem pretty tame in the Realms when it comes to Tymora and Tyche, but I am not one to believe it’s always been this way. I prefer a little strife and struggle between followers of opposing faiths, especially when those faiths are so intertwined as these two are, and I think that strife continues, mostly behind the scenes, to this day.
Not so much ideas tonight, as questions, but that’s OK. Ask a good question, get a good answer.
Until next time, Dear Reader, good night.