The Light in the Darkness
A brief history:
A hundred years ago, Mystra, the goddess of magic was slain in an act of divine treachery. Mystra held the weave of magic in her hands (called the Weave) and when she died magic exploded across the realms in chaotic waves called the Spellplague. The reason Mystra held the weave of magic so tightly was because of the Netherese, an incredibly powerful magocracy that existed roughly a 1000 years ago. The Netherese were once a noble people, but the unscrupulous search for power and wielding world-warping magic eventually corrupted them. When their magic threatened the existence of the realms, Mystra, stepped in and took direct control of all magic use. She gathered magic into what was called the Weave, dramatically limiting its use. By doing that, Mystra doomed the Netherese, their floating cities plummeted to the earth while their enemies sought revenge for centuries of oppression. However, one city was saved when a last moment pact was made with the evil god Shar. Shar withdrew the Netherese city into her realm in the plane of shadow, Shadowfell.
Amaunator was a Netherese god and existed then much as he does today. However, those Netherese that survived the effects of Mystra creating the Weave turned away from the god, blaming him for the fall of their people because he had not intervened. It is now understood that he could not have intervened since his divine aspects have nothing to do with magic, but that didn’t matter at the time and he faded from lack of worship.
In the intervening centuries, Lathander became the god of law and the sun by taking over the aspects Amaunator once held. Fast forward to a hundred years ago. Mystra is killed in an act of divine treachery. The goddess Shar manipulates the evil god Cyric to murder Mystra. When Mystra dies she lets go of the Weave and the full force of magic is released upon the realms –all at once. The rolling waves of chaos, combined with the death of a major god led to far-reaching consequences still being felt today. One of the most obvious effects was the Spellplague, pockets of chaotic magic covering the realms that often caused horrifying results. Another effect of Mystra’s death was a weakening of the boundaries between worlds. Overnight, the realms of the Faewild and Shadowfell went from places of legend to dangerous realities often just around the corner.
The weakening of the boundaries allowed the Netherese to return from the Shadwofell. They did so in their floating city and quickly set about reclaiming their homeland and conquering their neighbors. The Netherese were now an entirely changed people, now creatures of magic and shadow, and devoutly loyal to the evil goddess Shar.
Amaunator also reappeared at t his time. It was revealed that the god Lathander was actually an aspect of Amaunator. This led to a time of great confusion in the Amaunator/Lathander church and much infighting, a time known as the Interregnum. Amaunator assumed all of his previous areas of worship but also added time to his divine portfolio. Mystra had previously been the master of time, but with her death, Amaunator could now claim it.
The results of Amaunator adding time to his portfolio, as well as the chaos of taking over the worship of Lathander is still playing out today. The church today is building towards a crisis point as it tries to resolve a host of internal issues.