I used to be pretty up on things like FR's dates and pantheon but recent changes have put a lot of that information in flux.
First question: Does anyone know what dates the D&D Next adventure Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle takes place during? I'm assuming sometime around the timeframe of the first Sundering book The Companions but would love an exact date if it's been released. I want to keep as close to canon as possible.
Second question: As far as I know there isn't a FR deity in that time frame that is primarily concerned with undeath. The Companions takes place in 1462-1484DR while Velsharoon died in 1425DR. Shar has Undeath as a domain but it's not even listed in her portfolio indicating that it was in Velsharoon's portfolio. That's in keeping with some of the material during the Time of Troubles and its aftermath that stated Ao would only allow one god to count each area of worship in his portfolio. Finally there is Kiaransalee, but she's a lesser deity specific to the Drow and the racial gods portfolios don't usually matter to Ao. Am I missing any players here or does it seem like the slot for a major god/goddess with undeath in their portfolio is open since the death of Velsharoon?
Third question: What other FR's gods still in play during this time-frame would be interested in adding Undeath to their portfolio?
Just to explain, I had one character I was DM'ing that wanted to be a skeletal paladin. Obviously this is problematic in any number of ways but I circumvented that by having Kossuth 'animate' the bones and spirit of one of Lathander's paladins to help stop the plans detailed in the Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle (don't want to put spoilers here for people playing but suffice it to say that Lathander and Kossuth both would have an interest in stopping what the PC's in the adventure are trying to stop).
I added another player to the game last night and that player had as part of their character's back story that they have a book that purportedly can 'eliminate all undead from Toril'. After hearing this everything clicked into place for me. Kossuth is definitely playing it straight with Lathander - he wants to stop the same thing the PC's are trying to stop in the adventure - but he also is aware of the vacancy in the undead portfolio and wants to rise in prominence among the pantheon by taking over that title and remaking undead into a neutral form of eternal life granted those with a spirit befitting it - those that 'burn brightest' in the following of their gods. He would basically rewrite the rules of undeath if he achieved this end and destroy all the existing undead, remaking a new undeath in his fiery image. Shar is obviously going to be scheming to take on the role and Kiaransalee may want to step beyond status as a minor deity as well and take on the mantle of undeath for all Toril.
I've decided that the book came into being during the destruction of Velsharoon and contains within it the secrets necessary to claim the portfolio of undeath. No one (even the gods mentioned) is aware of this fact yet but depending on how far we progress that could become apparent. I'm also using this opportunity to play fast and loose with the rules of undead seeing as how several gods are creating undead now - each with its own properties.
Going on a bit long here so I'll stop there for now. Going to be an interesting campaign.