I raised this point in another topic, but I thought it deserved its own thread.
The Time of Troubles was a bold, inspired development, emerging naturally from the personalities of the gods, shaking up the pantheon by killing "The Dark Three," and introducing a few magical side effects, such as dead zones and wild magic. It also, of course, memorably provided the backstory for Baldur's Gate.
Which is why it's disappointing that the Forgotten Realms' theology has gone downhill since, veering drunkenly and suffering from a narrative indecision that has sapped it of meaning or impact.
A few examples:
Bane, Myrkul, and Bhaal were slain, replaced by Cyric, only to have the the first and third revived, while Cyric was written off--ahem, "imprisoned" for a thousand years.
Mystra was murdered--twice.
The Mulhorandi pantheon began as god-kings. Then they became regular gods. Then they just disappeared entirely.
Lathander was actually a Netherese god in disguise for his entire existence.
Lloth and Asmodeus became greater deities. (Really? How do the dark goddess of the drow and an archdevil acquire the millions of Faerunian worshippers necessary to maintain that?)
It just goes on like this.
But let's focus on what's relevant: the resurrection of Bhaal. What does this mean? Well, for all the difference Gorion's Ward made in Toril, he/she may have well just been assassinated by Shank.
I'm used to characters falling prey to rewrites and shifting license holders (R.I.P. Star Wars: Dark Forces'
Kyle Katarn), and if the Forgotten Realms had declared a twenty year old game to be non-canon, fine. It happens.
But what do you do when the setting insists, no,
the game's story is
canon, and I'd like you to have a sequel that renders what came before absolutely meaningless. It's supremely cynical to cash in on BioWare's work while thematically undermining it in every conceivable way.
All of this is to say that I'm hoping Larian opts for a simple "Invasion of the Mind Flayer" module, leaving the Forgotten Realms' theology, and the spirit of Baldur's Gate,
in the past. For those who yearn for a direct continuation, though, how do you reconcile these diverging plot points?
EDIT: Also, the more I read about the fate of atheists in the Forgotten Realms, despite the fact one would have to essentially ignore the obvious in such a world, the more uncomfortable I become with its treatment of the subject.
Seriously: the things that happen to atheists (being used as bricks in a wall or devoured by the aforementioned Asmodeus) sometimes make the Forgotten Realms read, ironically, like an evangelical tract.