Ao, also known as Lord Ao or the Hidden One, is a true neutral overdeity who rules over all other deities.

Unlike other deities in the realms, Ao's powers are not bound to the number of his worshippers and he generally doesn't intermingle with mortals. His job is to keep the cosmic balance and keep all other deities in check, which comes with ultimate power over all other gods.

During the Time of Troubles, he made all gods—with the exception of Helm whom he elected to guard the gates of Heaven—walk the realms as mortals as punishment for ignoring their worshippers and the theft of the Tablets of Fate performed by Bane and Myrkul.

According to Cyric, Ao banned deities from directly intervening in affairs of Bhaal progeny.

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