What Was and What Will Be
Ao and the Doctrine of Momentum of Fate
Those Imprinted Cannot Change Fate
All of the gods of Faerun must answer to Ao, the Overgod. Ao has seen to it that those imprinted strongly with fate may not themselves change what has been and what will be. Thus, the Realms are largely protected from the perils of time traveling. This is known as the Doctrine of Momentum of Fate.
I was suspected that Shar or perhaps Cyric found a loophole in the doctrine of momentum. By using those with great potential but whose existence was terminated somewhere in the threads of time, they were able to influence the past in ways unforeseen by even Ao.
“Ao closed his eyes and blanked his mind. Soon, he fell within himself and entered the place before time, the time at the edge of the universe, where millions of millions of assignments like his began and ended.
A luminous presence greeted him, enveloping his energies within its own. It was both a warm and a cold entity, forgiving and harsh. “And how does your cosmos fare, Ao?” The voice was at once both gentle and admonishing.
“They have restored the balance, Master. The Realms are once again secure.”—Ao
Lord Ao (AY-oh) was the Overgod of the world of Abeir-Toril. As Overgod, all deities and primordials of Toril, even those who also operated in other spheres and planes such as Lolth, were subject to him. To be more precise, only aspects of gods directly connected with Abeir-Toril were under Ao’s power. Otherwise extra-planar deities were unaffected. If it were not for Ao’s involvement in the Time of Troubles, he would most likely be forgotten by the mortals of Faerûn. Ao did not want to be known, for cults once dedicated to him only a decade ago[as of when?] began to die out, and Ao’s name disappeared from written records. What went on in Toril and what the other deities did were of no concern to Ao, as long as the deities upheld their individual portfolios and did not completely ignore their worshipers.
In addition, unlike the other gods under him, Lord Ao had no need for worshipers whatsoever, whereas those “normal” gods who did not receive the worship of mortals could “die” from lack of worship. Ao initiated this after the Time of Troubles in order to enforce his will that the gods act as guardians of the Balance rather than kings of mortals.
Despite his own absolute sovereignty over the cosmos of Toril, it was revealed that he himself served an even greater and more mysterious entity, whom he addressed only as “Master.”