How the Egyptian Gods Came to Toril
The Egyptian gods found in the Forgotten Realms are not merely coincidentally named copies of those found on Earth. They are exactly the gods found on Earth, or at least it is implied. They were, at the very least, the native gods of a group of people called the Mulan, brought to Toril as slaves through an interdimensional portal crafted by the Imaskar Empire.
While the Imaskar Empire initially blocked any divine influence from other realms, Ao the Overgod eventually lent the Mulan his aid, creating mortal avatars of their pantheon to circumvent the protections. The people, with the aid of their gods, then left the area, creating the nation of Mulhorandi, and eventually Thay.
The main nation in which they were worshipped, Mulhorand, eventually opened a portal to a plane filled with orcs, beginning what was known as the OrcGate Wars. These wars led to many deaths among the neighboring pantheon of Unther, and the Mulhorandi gods took a great deal of their power and followers.
Inter-pantheon conflict was historically common for this group. Its greatest peak occurred with the murder of their leader, Re, by the evil god Set. The death, and the difficulties of the OrcGate wars, created a great deal of conflict among them. After the Time of Troubles (a period of unstable divinity and arcane power within Toril), however, the pantheon put aside their differences in the interest of their peoples.
Important Mulhorandi Gods
Anhur, The Falcon of War
Anhur, also known as Ramathant, Ramman, and Ramathep, is the god of war and weather. He is primarily considered a protective deity, whose foremost concern is watching over the people of Mulhorand and guarding it from evil. He appears as a Mulan man with four arms and red skin, but often used the appearance of war animals to make his will be known. He also commonly appeared to armies in the form of rumbling thunder and a ghostly lance on the battlefield.
Followers of Anhur are most commonly soldiers, with skin dyed red, and shaved heads. Tattoos were often common – three concentric circles on their forehead to represent their calling, and various other markings across the body reflecting their achievements in life. They spent their time training soldiers, fighting on behalf of their nation and god, and opposing the Red Wizards of Thay.
Bast, Feline of Felicity
One of the few gods of the Mulhorandi pantheon to take on widespread worship in Faerun outside Mulhorand, Bast also gathers worshipers around Faerun during her travels. In any of her aspects, she is a free-spirited deity whose interest is primarily the finding of her own pleasure, which over the years she has found in Anhur, mortals, and Shar. Shar’s darkness subsumed her for a while, during which she earned the name Sharess, but she eventually broke free with the aid of Sune, and now spends more of her time in her own domain instead of the Material Plane. When she appears to mortals, she does so in the form of a beautiful, curvaceous woman with a small black cat. Occasionally, she appears with a feline head of her own.
Followers of Bast do not have dedicated temples or religious services, but find avenues of life in which to revel and celebrate constantly. They often take employment in fest halls or brothels, and carry out revels known as the Endless Revels of Life, which can happen every day if possible. One notable group of her followers, the Eyes of the Evening, hunt down Sharran cultists on the full moon, when their werecat lycanthropy takes effect.
Horus-Re, Pharoah of the Gods
Horus-Re was once simply Horus, a god of change. When his father Re was slain, he took over his domain and personality, becoming the ruler of the pantheon and the god of kings, the sun, and life itself. In this form, he was a much more traditionalist, far from the advisor toward progress that he once was, dividing his once close allyship with Anhur and Lathandar. Eventually, however, his father returned, and so did his old personality. When he appears, he does so in the form of a Mulan man with a hawk’s head. The cries of hawks and the darkening of the sun might also indicate his will.
While many humans follow Horus-Re in an abstract sense, his dedicated clerics are all nobles, often with government positions. His church is headed by the pharaoh of Mulhorand, in fact, and is considered as political a body as a religious one.
Set, King of Malice
Set is the evilest of gods in the Mulhorandi pantheon, known as Typhon in Thay, and as Zehir to the yuan-ti. As a deity, he is cruel, capricious, and jealous of the affection and power given to his fellow gods, prompting him to work against them at every opportunity. He even murdered Re, the head of the Mulhorandi gods. When he appeared, it was as a Mulan man with the head of a jackal and the scaled skin of a serpent, or as a scavenging beast to threaten those who failed him. Rattlesnake hissing and wild dog howling both warn his followers of danger, while those who follow other gods might experience the horrific vision of an exploding skull, which showers them in blood.
Set’s followers themselves are mostly from outside Mulhorand, since he so opposes the theocracy there. His clerics worked in hidden temples, robbing graves, and plotting the destruction of his rival gods and their nations. Most of those who serve him live their lives as criminals.
Have you ever played a character from Mulhorand, or that worshiped the Mulhorandi pantheon? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below!