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 is known by 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, and intrigue.

Cyric is not subservient to any other deity in the Faerûnian Pantheon. He has made himself enemies with Mystra (Second Incarnation), Kelemvor, Oghma, Azuth, Mask, Tyr, Torm, and Iyachtu Xvim (now Bane). The faith of Cyric is symbolized on the Forgotten Realms continent of Faerûn by his symbol: a white jawless skull on black or purple sunburst. His alignment in the game's mechanics is Chaotic Evil. He was a Greater Power, and he ruled supreme in his divine realm, the Supreme Throne.

Publication history[edit]

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

Cyric's partial story as a mortal (covering the two-month period prior to his ascension to godhood) 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 and much of his backstory is covered in the novel Prince of Lies (1993),[9] with a continuance of his deification detailed in 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 (2008-2013)[edit]

Cyric attempted to kill Mystra causing the Spellplague.[15]

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014-)[edit]

Due to his murder of Mystra, he was imprisoned in his realm by Tyr, Lathander, and Sune.[16]

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 inherited the powers and many of the worshipers of the god he killed, Bhaal, God of Murder, and those destroyed by others: Bane, God of Strife, and Myrkul, God of Death. Later he gained the domain of lies by killing and thus obtaining the domain of Leira. He lost the domain of death when Kelemvor returned and usurped his throne as chronicled in the novel "Prince of Lies."

Cyric is one of the twelve greater powers of the pantheon of deities, and he is one of the major causes of evils in Faerûn. The destruction of Zhentil Keep was his doing as chronicled in the novel Prince of Lies. Cyric went insane reading a tome of his creation meant to subvert all readers into believing his version of history, the Cyrinishad. This caused Cyric to believe that he was the supreme power of the Dungeons and Dragons multiverse, superseding even the being who raised him to divinity and is responsible for all of creation in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, Ao (the overgod.) Oghma created an alternate book, "The True Life of Cyric," that could counteract the effects of The Cyrinishad. During a trial by the other greater powers, Cyric was forced to read "The True Life of Cyric" and his insanity was cured. After that time, until his imprisonment, he lost portions of his portfolio to the returned Bane.

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.), but Tyr is later proven to be more culpable in that plot. It also says that in 1385 D.R., Shar assists Cyric in murdering Mystra (Midnight), completely destabilizing the magical Weave and re-ordering the planes in what became known as the Spellplague. The gods Tyr, Lathander, and Sune imprisoned Cyric for a period of one thousand years as punishment, although this did not strip Cyric of his divinity or his ability to grant powers to his worshippers.

Relationships[edit]

Cyric hates all other gods, especially Mystra and Kelemvor, due to their interactions as mortals and, later, as deities. Cyric must contend with the resurrected 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. 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)
  15. ^ Greenwood, Ed (August 19, 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (4th ed.). San Francisco: Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0786949244. 
  16. ^ Greenwood, Ed (2007). The Grand History of the Realms (1 ed.). San Francisco: Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 9780786947317.