The ending of R.A. Salvatore's novel Passage to Dawn features a touching scene in which a messenger spirit appears to Drizzt Do'Urden to inform him that his father's spirit is in a better place. All well and good, but it is problematic in face of established Realms lore, which holds that the souls of traitors to their faith (the False) and those without faith (the Faithless) are sent to The Underworld for punishment. Zaknafein paid lip service to Lloth, which makes him the very definition of a False soul.
I haven't read the book myself (I've read the early Drizzt books and the later ones, but not the middle), but as I understand it, Cadderly is the one who set up the messenger spirit ritual thing, correct? Possible that Cadderly staged the whole thing to spare Drizzt the grief of knowing that his father is either slowly melting into a wall, or is at the mercy of either Kelemvor or Lolth.
Prior to 3rd Edition, souls went to planes based on their alignment. In other words, Zaknafein went to the plane of his alignment which was probably CG at the moment of his death.
Still, Zaknafein died before Drizzt even left the Underdark while the Avatar Crisis only hit after Bruenor and his clan had already retaken Mithril Hall. In chronological order there are at least five books and a fair number of in-universe years separating the two events.
But the Wall of the Faithless did exist in pre-Avatar Crisis realms. It's not someting Kelemvor put up to be a dick, it's something Myrkul put up to be a dick. There's no indication that Zak worshiped any of the goodly deities and he certainly didn't worship Lolth. He might have worshiped Vhaeraun but we don't get any indication of that, either. By all rights, he should be just another brick in the wall by now.
This is the sort of loophole that would ordinarily lead to yet another tie-in novel, but, well, 4th Edition.
It's also possible that Eilistraee claimed him, as non-evil drow fall under her domain and the gods do have the power to speak up for a soul they want.
On a similar note to the above, where do Nay-Theist types go? That is, those who don't disbelieve the existence of the gods (like the Faithless) or feign piety without actually having it (like the False)? Example: Artemis Entreri admits that he knows the gods exist, but due to his Freudian Excuse he doesn't pay homage to any of them. When he eventually dies and his soul flies the Material Plane, does he get stuck in the mossy wall/wind up as a servant of the then-current God of Death, or does he just wander around the Gray Planes forever?
I'm pretty sure they count as Faithless; they believe the gods exist but they don't have any faith in them.
Ah, cool. Kelemvor is pretty chill as far as Gods of Death go - supposedly he gives you lenient/cushy jobs-for-eternity depending on your offenses - so it's possible to get off fairly lightly if you don't mind being a messenger boy forever.
Or, since this is a polytheistic setting, what about people who worship more than one god? For example, a merchant who trades in food might offer prayers to Chauntea (agriculture), Waukeen (trade) and perhaps even Umberlee (the sea) if he ships goods via water. It can't be expected that everybody in the world is henotheistic (acknowledging that there are many gods but only worshiping one). After all, other than highly specialized people (clerics, paladins, etc.) most people have more than one focus of concern in their lives, and all of the gods in the Realms have very specific portfolios. Your average person's needs cannot all be handled by any one god.
The gods in question argue/barter over the soul in question. This can be seen in a novel in Kelemvor's court; a man donated coin to one god, but died a heroic death qualifying him for service to another god, so both gods argue over in which god's realm the soul belongs.
So what is Toril Continent of North and South America, Antarctica and Australia? Or better yet what is Earth Continent of Maztica, Anchorome, Katashaka and Osse?
Maztica is the South/Central America counterpart, Anchorome equates to North America, Katashaka to Sub-Saharan Africa, and Osse to Australia.
Gonna go all old school for this one; Kelemvor Lyonsbane the mortal. His curse that turns him into a panther if he helps people out of the goodness of his heart. First, that is the most awkward, unnecessary, clumsy justification of Jerk with a Heart of Gold I've ever seen. Secondly, the curse itself is stupid; there's a scene where Kelemvor's stuck in Bane's Lotus Eater Machine; he's reading a book that paints him as a great hero. He knows this hasn't happened yet, and thinks it may be prophecy. Then he reads a passage about him saving the whole god damn world and dismisses it as nonsense, not out of any reasonable assessment of his abilities, but because there's "No reward that could satisfy the curse". Now, beyond the fact that he just said that saving the world that he lives on isn't an act of self interest, this guy who's supposed to long to be heroic thinks he would refuse to save the damn world because he'd turn into a panther and kill someone. That's Jerk with a Heart of Jerk if I've ever heard it.
The curse is a 'wild' curse; his ancestor was cursed to turn into a panther if he ever took money for a action (or something similar to that). Other parts... don't make sense.
No, what Kelemvor was saying wasn't that he didn't want to save the world, but that he didn't see how he'd be able to do so since he couldn't conceive of a reward big enough to satisfy the curse; his mistake was in a) not realizing saving the world he's on is indeed in his own best interest b) not considering that if he didn't save the world because there was no reward big enough it would matter little that he turned into a panther and killed someone since they'd all soon be dead anyway and c) not considering that the book could be depicting a time during which he was no longer cursed. So, Idiot Ball all around, but it isn't proof of him being a jerk. Nothing says heroes have to be intelligent, and in many ways Kelemvor wasn't.
Possibly he feared that if he saved everyone without payment, the panther wouldn't be satisfied until it had killed everyone in the world. So he dismissed the book's claims by reasoning that, no, he'd have had to stand aside and let some other adventurer take care of that.
If the Wall of the Faithless exists to punish those who don't worship a god, then why does it tend to be at least semi-obscure, and sometimes even secret, to most people? If it's intended as some kind of punishment, shouldn't that be information that everybody should at least have some passing knowledge of? I get Myrkul keeping it quiet because he was a real asshole, but Kelemvor never seemed like the kind of god to do that to people without at least letting them in on what's happening beforehand.
Possibly telling people about it would only encourage more Faithless people to perform lip-service token honors to their god of choice, rather than actually have faith in those gods. That may not actually be enough to qualify as "worship", so telling people about it as an encouragement to faithfulness wouldn't actually accomplish much.
Cyric claimed the titles and power of both Bhaal and Leira by killing their avatars with his magic sword, which he named Godsbane to commemorate the former victory. But Godsbane was later revealed to be another avatar, that of the god Mask. So why didn't either dead deity's power rightfully revert to Mask, a god whose portfolio already overlapped with both of theirs, rather than to the puny mortal who merely happened to be holding the non-cutting end of the god/blade that did the deed...? After all, suckering your wielder into helping you off somebody is a pretty good demonstration that you're the right one to have dominion over deception and assassination.