Gods are the most powerful immortal creatures, residents of the countless dominions of the Astral Sea. They appear in dreams and visions to their followers and appear with many different visages. Artwork often depicts them in many forms, because the gods can choose any form they wish; their true nature is beyond mortal comprehension, and many claim that the gods can no longer take their true forms. For example, Corellon is often depicted as an eladrin, but he no-more an eladrin than he is a fey panther - he is a god, and he transcends the physical laws that bind everything, even the angels to their concrete forms.
Most people revere more than just one diety, praying to different gods for a variety of reasons. Commoners in a small town might visit a temple that has tree or more alters, where they prey to Bahamut for protection, Pelor for fertile crops, and Moradin to aid their skill at crafting, though great heroes and villians can and often do champion just one god, who grants them great power in return. Lastly there are even adventures and commoners who pay lip service to the entire pantheon, regardless of alignment, and even those who ignore the gods entirley, choosing to instead venerate the Primal Spirits, the Stars, Demons, Primordials, Devils, the Court of Stars, Dread Lords, mad gibbering creatures of the Far Realm, other mortals, or no-one, instead choosing to pursue their own divine ascension.
Some dieties are good or lawful good , some are evil or chaotic evil , and some are entirley unaligned . Each diety has a vision of how the world should be, and the agents of those dieties seek to bring to life in the world. Except for the three chaotic evil dieties (Gruumsh , Lolth , The Chained God ), all gods are enemies of the demons , which would rather destroy the world than govern it. All gods are enemies of the Far Realm (Some say otherwise in regards to The Chained God).
Many gods have contradictory versions of how the world should work. Even agents and worshipers of dieties who share an alignment can come into conflict.
Moradin is the god of creation and parton of artisans, especially miners and smiths. He craved the mountains from primordial earth and is the guardian and protector of the hearth and the family. Dwarves from all walks of life follow him.
Called the Platinum Dragon. Bahamut is the god of justice, nobility, and honor. Lawful good paladins often revere him, and metallic dragons worship him as the first of their kind. Monarchs are crowned in his name.
The goddess of change, Avandra delights in freedom, trade, travel, advenrure and the frontier. Her temples are few in civilized lands but her wayside shrines appear throughout the world. Halflings , merchants, and all types of adventures are drawn to her worship, and many people raise a glass in her honor, viewing her as the god of luck.
God of the sun and summer, Pelor is the keeper of time. He supports those in need and opposes all that is evil. As the lord of agriculture and the bountiful harvest, he is the diety most commonly worshiped by ordinary humans , and his priests are well recieved wherever they go. Paladins and rangers are found among his worshipers.
Goddess of the moon and autumn, Sehanine is the patron of trickery and illusions. She is the consort of Corellon and has close ties to Avandra and Melora. She is a favorite diety among elves , gnomes and halflings. She is also the god of love, who sends shadows to cloak lovers' trysts. Scouts and thieves ask for her blessing on their work.
The god of spring, beauty, and the arts, Corellon is the patron of arcane magic and the fey. He seeded the world with arcane magic and planted the most ancient forests. Artists and musicians worship him, as do those who view their spellcasting as an art, and his shrines can be found throughout the Feywild. He despises Lolth and her priestesses for leading the drow astray.
Melora is the goddess of the wilderness and the sea. She is both the wild beast and the peaceful forest, the raging whirlpool and the quiet desert. Rangers, hunters and elves revere her, and sailors make offerings to her before beginning their voyages.
The name of the goddess of death is long forgotten, but she is called The Raven Queen. She is the spinner of fate and the patron of winter. She marks the end of each mortal life, and mourners call upon her during funeral rites, in the hope that she will guard the departed from the curse of undeath.
Ioun is the goddess of knowledge, skill and prophecy. Sages seers and tacticians revere her,as do all who live by their knowledge and mental power. Corellon is the patron of arcan magic but Ioun is the patron of its study. Libraries and wizard academies are built in her name.
Kord is the storm god and the lord of battle. He revels in strength, battlefied prowess, and thunder. Fighters, and athletes revere him. He is a mercurial god, unbridled and wild, who summons storms over land and sea: those who hope for better weather appease him with prayer and spirited toasts.
Erathis is the Goddess of civilization. She is the muse of great invenions, founder of cities, and author of laws. Rulers, judges, pioneers, and devoted citizens revere her, and her temples hold prominent places in most of the world's major cities.
Lolth is the chaotic evil goddess of shadows, lies and spiders. Schemeing and treachery are her commands, and her priest are a constant force of disruption in the otherwise stable society of the evil drow. Though she is properly a god and not a demon, she is called Demon Queen of Spiders.
Gruumsh is the chaotic evil god of destruction, lord of marauding barbarian hordes. Where fellow war-god, Bane commands conquest, Gruumsh exhorts his followers to slaughter and pillage. Orcs are his fervent followers, and they bear a particular hatred for elves and eladrin because Corellon put out one of Gruumsh's eyes.
Zehir is the evil god of darkness, poison, and assassins. Snakes are his favored creation, and the Yaun-ti revere him above all other gods, offering sacrifice to him in pits full of writhing serpents.
Asmodeus is the evil god of tyranny and domination. He rules the Nine Hells with an iron fist and a silver tongue. Aside from devils , evil creatures such as rakshasas pay him homage, and evil tieflings and warlocks are drawn to his dark cults.
Vecna is the evil god of undead , necromancy , and secrets. He rules that which is not meant to be known and that which people wish to be kept secret. Evil spellcasters and conspirators pay him homage.
Torog is the evil god of the underdark , patron of jailors and torturers. Common superstition holds that if his name is spoken, the King That Crawls burrows up from below and drags the hapless speaker underground to an eternity of imprisonment and torture. Jailers and torturers pray to him in deep caves and cellars, and creatures of the underdark revere him as well.
Tiamat is the evil goddess of wealth greed and envy. She is revered amongst chromatic dragons as the first of their kind and worshiped by those whose lust for wealth overrides any other goal or concern.
The chaotic evil god who created the Abyss. His exstence is not widely known by most mortal scholars and historians. A few scattered cults of demented followers revere him.
(The Trickster) unaligned- God of trickery and deciet. May have been slayed by vecna, may not have been, no-one knows.
- Players Handbook: Arcane, Divine and Martial Heroes (Wizards of the Coast - 2008) by: Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt; pages 21, 22
- Dungeon Master's Guide (wizards of the Coast -2008) by: James Wyatt; pages 162, 163