Cyric

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Cyric
Game background
Title(s) Prince of Lies, the Dark Sun, the Black Sun
Home plane 2E: Shattered Castle (Pandemonium)
3E: The Supreme Throne
Power level Greater
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Murder, lies, deception, illusion, strife, intrigue
Domains Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Illusion
Design details

Cyric is a deity in the fictional Forgotten Realms campaign setting, a branch of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Cyric has many titles, including the Prince of Lies, the Dark Sun, the Black Sun, the Mad God, and the Lord of Three Crowns. Cyric is closely associated with the essence of murder, strife, lies, intrigue, and illusions.

Though he is a freelance god due to his lack of superiors, friends and allies, he has made himself a wide variety of enemies. These include gods such as Mystra (killed by Helm), Kelemvor, Oghma, Azuth, Mask, Tyr, Torm, Deneir, Leira (killed by Cyric), Iyachtu Xvim (now Bane), and many others. Cyric is recognized in Faerûn by his symbol, a white jawless skull on black or purple sunburst, and his alignment, Chaotic Evil. He is a Greater Power, and he rules supreme in his divine realm, the Supreme Throne.

Publication history[edit]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

Cyric's story as a mortal is described in the Avatar Trilogy, in the novels Shadowdale,[1] Tantras,[2] and Waterdeep.[3] Cyric first appeared in a Dungeons & Dragons game supplement in 1989's Hall of Heroes.[4] By the end of the original Avatar Trilogy, Cyric had risen to godhood.

Cyric was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[5] the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[6] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[7] His clergy was further detailed in Warriors and Priests of the Realms (1996).[8]

Cyric's story as a deity is continued in the novels Prince of Lies (1993),[9] and Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad (1998).[10]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[11]

His relationships with the nonhuman deities in the Forgotten Realms was covered in Demihuman Deities (1998).[12]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (2000-2007)[edit]

Cyric appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[13] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[14]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)[edit]

History[edit]

Cyric became a divine being due to the events which occurred during the Time of Troubles as detailed in The Avatar Series. He won over many followers during that time as he inherited the powers of those gods he killed or had a hand in killing to include Bane, God of Strife, Bhaal, God of Murder and Myrkul, God of Death. Later he gained the domain of illusions by killing and stealing the domain of Leira.

Cyric's power is immense, and he is considered one of the major evils in Faerûn. The destruction of Zhentil Keep was his doing, along with many unfortunate problems Faerûn had to deal with. Cyric became utterly mad when he read a tome he had created, the Cyrinishad, which made whomever read the book believe everything it says, thus making him or her a wholly devoted follower of Cyric, and came to believe that he was the greatest power in all of the universe, superseding even Ao, the overgod. Two books were created, one that told Cyric's lies and one that told the true tale of Cyric's rise to godhood. Reading his own book drove him mad but in that madness his faith made him truly more powerful than the other gods and threatened reality itself. Cyric's sanity has since been somewhat restored with the help of his Seraph Malik who stole the true book and read it. Having been filled with the power of Cyric himself, reading the book cured both Malik and Cyric of their own madness thus preventing Cyric from destroying the other Gods, but he remained as evil as ever, unpredictable, and egocentric. He delights in placing people in power through intrigue, then tearing them down at his whim.

In The Grand History of the Realms, by Wizards of the Coast, it is stated that Cyric is somehow behind the murder of Helm (1384 D.R.), though Tyr is the one who actually has Helm's blood on his hands. It also says that in 1385 D.R., Shar assists Cyric in murdering Mystra (Midnight), completely destroying the Weave and re-ordering the planes in what became known as the Spellplague. The other gods imprison Cyric within his throne for a period of one thousand years as punishment.

Relationships[edit]

Cyric hates all other gods, especially Mystra and Kelemvor, due to their past dealings. These enmities, however, are dwarfed by the deity's brewing war with the returned deity Bane. Cyric believes in his own heart that every other god is a slave to his will and can easily be undone.

He has formed temporary alliances with dark deities (e.g., Mask in the form of Godsbane, used to slay both Bhaal and Leira), but inevitably these are short-lived, as he uses them wholly for self-serving purposes, and betrays all too easily (as seen by his weakening of Mask and subsequent stealing of his portfolio element of "intrigue").

The sinister demipower Velsharoon also despises him. The archnecromancer is well aware of Cyric's megalomania and of the deity's past and considers him to be a bungling clod who has lost much of his power and will continue to lose more. Cyric hates Velsharoon because of the latter's somewhat reluctant servitude to Azuth.

Company of the Ebon Spur[edit]

This fighting order established by Cyric had no leader. It is rumoured that the two clerics in charge of establishing admission standards into the order could not agree on what those standards should be and were engaged in intricate plots to kill each other off, since each was convinced that he was right. They both pretended that Cyric appeared to them and gave them precise orders, but the orders given to the two priests were contradictory. It was originally feared that when the order finally got off the ground, Cyricist crusaders would certainly lead fighters against rival churches for the glory of the Prince of Lies. Since, however, the army destroyed itself while plotting to attack Candlekeep.

Literature[edit]

Cyric features prominently in the following novels:

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scott Ciencin (as Richard Awlinson), Shadowdale, TSR, Avatar Trilogy, Book 1, 1989
  2. ^ Scott Ciencin (as Richard Awlinson), Tantras, TSR, Avatar Trilogy, Book 2, 1989
  3. ^ Troy Denning (as Richard Awlinson), Waterdeep, TSR, Avatar Trilogy, Book 3, 1989
  4. ^ Grubb, Jeff, Kate Novak, David E. Martin, Jim Lowder, Bruce Nesmith, Steve Perrin, Mike Pondsmith, and R. A. Salvatore. Hall of Heroes (TSR, 1989)
  5. ^ Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
  6. ^ Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E. 
  7. ^ Martin, Julia, and Eric L. Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
  8. ^ Terra, John. Warriors and Priests of the Realms (TSR, 1996)
  9. ^ James Lowder, Prince of Lies, TSR, production no.: 8539 / 964510000, 1993
  10. ^ Troy Denning, Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad, TSR, production no.: 8577 / 964520000, 1998
  11. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  12. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  13. ^ Ed Greenwood et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5. 
  14. ^ Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)