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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2020 :  14:33:34  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It would seem that Phalse's master (dont know who he is yet) is intent upon building an army of Alias clones, presumably to take over large portions of the Realms.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2020 :  15:32:53  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Azure Bonds (1357 DR)


Alias
First memories of lizardmen, shadowy swordsmen and magic users
Elaborate tattoo on sword arm from wrist to elbow. 5 large symbols with a coiled pattern around them, deep into the flesh, all coloured in shades of blue. Glow in the sunshine. Not really tattoo, buried beneath the skin.
First symbol at the bend of her arm was a dagger surrounded by fire (matching the Primary of Fire found on talis cards). Second symbol was a trio of interlocked circles. Third symbol was a dot and a squiggle (like an insect’s leg). Fourth symbol an azure hand with a fanged mouth in its centre. Last symbol was 3 concentric circles each more blue than the last (the innermost was an intense lightning flash blue). At the base of the wrist the pattern wound around an empty space where a 6th symbol could go.
Ikanamon the Gray Mage – former associate of Alias, got so drunk one night his party members tattoed mating centaurs on his buttocks. (former adventurer ???)
Longsword is blackened by flame. Has two daggers in her boots, chain shirt and plate armour.
Born in Westgate but left when she was young.
Tattoos react violently to magic, detect magic causes powerful rays of blue light to shoot out, attempts to dispel the tattoos cause the arm to move of its own accord to slay the dispeller and take over Alias’ body.
Tattoos are not a curse, they are not possessed, they are magical, like an implanted magical item.
Alias remembers stealing one of the Eye’s of Bane from an evil temple in Baldur’s Gate while with the Adventurers of the Black Hawk. Alias left this company about 1 year ago when they headed further south but Alias didnt want to.
Alias remembers adventuring with the Company of the Swanmays.
The tattoos are made up of many tiny runes and arcane patterns, they are deep beneath the skin but have no substance.
The Azure Bonds hinder attempts to magically track Alias.
14th of Mirtul, Alias attempted to kill Giogi Wyvernspur at the wedding of Dimswart’s daughter.
Elminster gave Alias the “finders stone” a yellow crystal that glows and helps people find things that are lost (how???)
Old Amnite saying “when things are bad, think how much worse they could be if halflings were involved”.
Alias is a constructed human, with constructed memories designed to make her accomplish a specific task, each one set by one of her makers (Cassana, the Fire Knives, Moander, Phalse).
Alias was supposed to be bound to her shackles by the sacrifice of Dragonbait, but he escaped with Alias. Alias has half of Dragonbait’s soul (it was split in two), he has been influenced by her memories and she has gained his independence.
Moander’s followers wanted Alias to free the Abomination
The Fire Knives wanted Alias to kill King Azoun
Alias was created on the 1st Mirtul.
Alias can be controlled by a wand in Cassana’s possession.
The Nameless One gave Alias her name


Swanmays
Alias was the youngest member
A battle with trolls ended badly for the Swanmays and taught them to value stealth and surprise.
The Swanmays disbanded 7 years ago after a fight over a man.
The Swanmays earned their living guarding caravans traveling through the Forest of Cormanthyr.
Kith, pretty maid with long, chestnut hair. Learned magic from Sylune the river witch.
Belinda, member of the Swanmays

The Hidden Lady
An inn and tavern in Suzail
Owned by Phocius Green
Mitcher “Trollslayer” is a regular, as are merchants, mercenaries, and adventurers
Alias was left on the doorstep in a stupor on 4th Mirtul. She woke up on 7th Mirtul
Mitcher “Trollslayer – northerner, possible adventurer, dislikes witches

Other Lore
Turmish – 3 dots on forehead denote man of scholarly and magical profession. Sapphire embedded in left earlobe means married.
Turms – short for Turmishmen, preferred means of addressing people from Turmish.
The Primary of Flames, a talis card symbol of a dagger trapped in entwining fire.
The Golem of Anauroch, an old tale about a golem responsible for spreading the anauroch desert, the golem was supposedly ordered to shovel sand into the region and then forgotten by its master.
The Earthspur, centre of pirate activity in Sea of Fallen Stars (one of the Pirate Isles???)
Ilipur, covered in fog a lot
Wyvernspur colours are green and gold
Turmishmen are taller than Cormyreans
Yarting, an instrument
Vaasan wolfhound – big dog
typical inn on the dragon coast, had a bed made from a pile of wood with a straw pile atop it and sheets over it, a dressing table, and a straight backed chair.
Dorath Wyvernspur, dowager widow and aunt of Giogi Wyvernspur. Domineering, severe
Minda knows Giogi Wyvernspur, noble (not a Wyvernspur, Giogi likes her and was trying to impress her???), lives in Suzail
Darol rivak of Giogi Wyvernspur, noble (Wyvernspur???) slashed across the face by Alias, went with Minda to Suzail.
Luiren Rivengut, strong whiskey sold in Cormyr, has to be imported
Black Boar, ale sold in Cormyr and Suzail.
“From perils come pearls and power”, a saying from Luiren.
Talis deck in the south (Turmish) use a suit of birds to represent wealth and its theft, Talis decks in the north (Cormyr) use a suit of daggers.
The flaming dagger symbol was used by a small thieves guild of Westgate known as the Redeemers. The flaming dagger is more commonly associated with the Fire Knives, assassins and thieves originally from Cormyr (until King Azoun IV broke their charter (were they a legal guild???) executed their leaders, and exiled them from Cormyr where they ended up in Westgate.
Three interlocking rings used as a banner by trading houses until a pirate gang from the Earthspur isle started to use it 2 centuries ago (this stopped when the pirates got a new leader)
Three interlocking rings is claimed as a sigil by Zrie Prakis, it is considered bad luck in the Heartlands to use this symbol.
Insect leg shaped squiggle is the symbol of Cassana of Westgate
The fanged mouth is a holy symbol of Moander the Darkbringer, worshipped 1000 years ago on the site of Yulash. The elves burned the cult to the ground and banished their god-thing from the realms.
Immersea, ancestral home of the Wyvernspurs.
The North Gate Inn lies at the top of Shadow Gap (near the entry to the Stonelands???), it has been ruined for at least several months. The Iron Throne closed the Shadow Gap by force (resulting in some violence) using a monster (kalmari) to stop all travelers through the pass.
Stonelands, stony soil, wind whipped, patrols of orcs and goblins.
Shadow Gap, only receives an hour of sunlight on the floor of the pass no matter the time of day or year (mountains block the rest), Shadow Gap is barren save for a few scrubby bushes. A winding road travels through it, and in spring water follows a similar rout.
Robberwings, a large raven like bird that copies speech and steals shiny object, common on the southern shores of the Inner Sea. Found all around the Inner Sea (including Cormyr). Considered a bad omen in Thay. Usual stalk ambush points used by bandits.
In Turmish, polygamous marriages (one man multiples wives), wives must approve of candidate to marry their husband.
Brenjer, contact for weapons dealer in Daggerdale (possibly aiding Randal Morn???), slain by the Iron Throne.
Iron Throne are shipping weapons to goblins and Zhentarim, trying to deprive the Dales of weapons.
The practice of Inns naming rooms and giving them different decors has died out in civilised and overpopulated regions like Cormyr.
Kudzu, thick vine creeper plant like ivy. Grows like crazy
The Tears of Selune – an old bardic song penned by the Nameless One
Armed Forces from Zhentil Keep are known as “Keepers”
Jit Snakes, around in the time of Moander, poison individuals and leave them in a trance like coma.
Duskwood trees are renowned for their fine burning resin


Akabar Bel Akash
Of house Akash of Turmish (a merchant company run with his wives and his business partner Kasim)
Mage and merchants. Merchant company based in Alaghon
Dresses in crimson robes with ivory stripes
sapphire in left earlobe
3 blue dots on forehead.
Was a merchant traveling in a caravan with Olive Ruskettle through the Storm Horns when they were attacked by a dragon.
Has 2 wives
Paid horrendous import taxes in Saerloon (Sembia)

Suzail
The Towers of Good Fortune – a huge temple to Tymora, attended by Curate Winefiddle. The temple has a silver plated altar. Adventurers requiring healing often paid in magic items (scrolls, etc). Church of Tymora led long ago by the Arch-cleric Mzentul himself, who wrote powerful scrolls to remove curses.
Church of Tyr in Cormyr had hired an adventuring party to deal with a dragon terrorising the Storm Horns. It was not very successful

Dragonbait
Followed Alias (why was he free???)
Saved Alias from assassins
Has retractable thumb claws and retractable claws on his feet.
Has a head-fin that stretches from nose down the back of his head (like a troglodyte). His nose is thinner at the tip and more rounded than a lizardman.
Has molar like back teeth (like a herbivore)
Covered in fine scales that look like expensive beadwork.
A large muscular tail balances his forward leaning gait so he only stands 5 feet tall but is in reality much taller.
Has an unusual sword, a diamond shaped tip and a curved blade with teeth and a tiny one handed grip.
Understands Chondathan / Common
Dragonbait has the azure bonds tattoed on his chest in a hexagonal pattern.
Communicates with scent (violet for sad, roses for anger, fresh bread for battle, woodsmoke to help others, brimstone for disgust)
Can pass healing energy to another with a touch.
Can see the aura’s, feelings, emotions of people (good or bad), the Saurials call it Shen.
Hillcleaver – Dragonbait’s sword, cannot be touched by evil, negates magic, shatters is used to spill innocent blood
Has multiple hearts


Dimswart
Dimswart is a sage, lives half a days ride outside of Suzail. Married to Leona (concerned about social standing and popularity)
Dimswart Manor, a sizable farm and estate, a red tiled roof with 3 chimneys covers the main house. Dimswart manor currently undergoing remodelling for Gaylyn’s wedding (to impress the new inlaws)
Leah is the maid
Gaylyn, Dimswart’s youngest daughter, is getting married to Lord Frefford Wyvernspur of Immersea. Dimswart hired Olive Ruskettle to play at the wedding. Lord Frefford had a second cousin who went mad and became an adventurer.


Olive Ruskettle
One of the great bards of the Dragon Reach (southern side). Due to play her debut in Cormyr at Gaylyn’s wedding.
Her caravan was attacked by the Storm Horns dragon, she was captured by the dragon.
3 ft tall (short even for a halfling)
curvy, tanned, muscled, adventurer.
Officially known as Olav (perhaps a wanted criminal in Cormyr)
Olav Ruskettle was a former Harper and bard (he lost his hand), ran a tavern in Procampur (his wife owned it). Lost a game to Olive and so gave her his name.
Plays the yarting
Given a magic ring by Phalse that allows the bad guys to track her location.

Mistinarperadnacles Hai Draco
Mistinarperadnacles Hai Draco known as Mist. Red dragon
Lairs in the southern Storm Horns, menaces caravans between Waymoot and Suzail.
Captured Olive Ruskette
Church of Tyr, Tymora in Cormyr sent adventurers to kill the dragon
Mist likes music
Druid stone circle (red sandstone) a days march from Mist’s lair (off road into the King’s Forest), had been abandoned by the druids for a long time. Glade is encircled by pines that do not grow within the glade (magic, some trapped evil???). The glade made Alias uncomfortable. A crystalline elemental was appeared in the glade, it attacked Alias. . Described as Zrie’s old rock garden (an old haunt of Zrie Prakis)
Is seeking Olive Ruskette after she escaped. Followed Alias and Olive to Suzail and took Giogi there (she ate his horse).
Lost a Feint of Honour to Alias and intended to eat her.
Considers Dragonbait distantly related to dragonkind (dragonling she called him???)
Lost a Feint of Honour to Dragonbait and obeyed to contract (because he is part dragon)
Used to live in the Moonsea area. Yulash was destroyed 6 times in that period.

Giogi Wyvernspur
Giogioni Wyvernspur
Does impressions of King Azoun IV (although smart enough not to do them in polite company)
Wyvernspurs have had past dealings with dragons???


Language
Asken bey Amnite (do you speak Amnish, are you Amnite???)
Cheyeska col Thay (Come from Thay???)
Amarask means something like farewell
A Ride, a northern term meaning 10 days (not known south of the Dragon Coast)
Mer – Turmish for “much”
a – Turmish for “and”
Lammer – Turmish for “too much”
Mer a Lammer – Turmish phrase meaning “much and too much”
“All the blessings”, a halfling saying for having having health, mind and money

Zrie Prakis
Pompous northern wizard
Zealously guarded his sigil (three interlocking rings), fireballing an alehouse in Yhaun 50 years ago for using the sigil and destroying many others that would not give up its use.
Supposedly died in a battle 40 years near Westgate with Cassana of Westgate.
Zrie and Cassana were apprenticed together (to the same master???)
They were sent in opposite directions on different missions and one or both got lost, it took years for them to meet up in Westgate. They fought over who was more powerful, Cassana won and killed Zrie and kept his charred bones in a glass sarcophagus by her bedside.
Now a lich, a rotting skeletal figure
Hates Cassana and wants Olive to steal Cassana’s wand, he will then use his staff of power to destroy Cassana.
Zrie Prakis is under Cassana’s total control (using the same wand used to control Alias), the further away from Cassana he gets the more skeleton like (unintelligent) he becomes. (is the wand his phylactery???)

Cassana of Westgate, Cassana the Cruel
A powerful and reclusive sorceress who destroyed Zrie Prakis 40 years ago.
A Kalmari (native to Thay) sent by the Iron Throne destroyed the North Gate Inn. The Kalmari serves Cassana, she lent it to the Iron Throne. Kalmari cannot ingest the same thing twice, Kalmari cannot digest inorganic matter so they spit it back out, anything they vomit up are covered in their own digestive secretions, the Kalmari are vulnerable to their own digestive secretions.
Cassana set the Kalmari to guard Shadow Gap for Alias traveling through.
Cassana owns a two story merchant house just outside the city walls. Its cellars connect to an abandoned ruin inside the city by a passageway
Controls Zrie Prakis with the same wand used to control Alias.
Cassana has bound the wand to her so that Zrie Prakis and Alias cannot harm her (they are under her command and Zrie Prakis’ soul is inside the wand???)
Cassana made her fortune selling and leasing monsters (like the kalmari). She also overcharged the fire knives on the Alias project (keeping much of the money for herself)
Cassana found out about the tale of the nameless from a scrap of a letter written by one of Nameless’ apprentices. She put a bounty out on an old Harper and tortured him until he told her of Nameless.
Cassana does not bleed when stabbed and does not die despite normally mortal wounds.
The wand keeps her youthful, healthy, protected. Without it she withers and is mortal.


Suzail
Fields of the Dead, burial ground of the city, Mist landed on them
7th division (city guard unit???) sent to Tilverton
Magical wards protect Suzail (perhaps created after past dragon attacks???)

Shadowdale
The town of Shadowdale guards the southern entrance to the valley
Sylune the River Witch
The Old Skull Inn, stands 3 stories high, made of timber and stone, its upper stories lined with windows. Old Skull Inn is owned by Jhaele Silvermane, in her late fifties with grown grandsons (from her son). The Old Skull Inn has named rooms with different décor; the Green Room, the Onyx, and Warm Fires. Warm Fires had 3 separate hearths, Onyx had white carvings, Green Room had tapestries of wilderness scenes on every wall. 3 silver pieces per room per night.
The building adjacent to the Old Skull Inn is the shop of Meira Lulhannon, a potter and baker.
Gold Eagle (coin from which nation???).
Jhaele Silvermane cant sing a note.
Tulba the Weavers house near the Old Skull Inn next to a small path leading to the grassy rise known as the Old Skull and Elminster’s house (sign on the path with an upturned crescent moon and a ball hovering between its horns – Elminster’s sigil).
Elminster’s tower looks like a ramshackle tower with many additions. Single spire at least 3 stories high, covered in kudzu vines.
The waiting room for Elminster’s tower is Lhaeo’s outer office, filled with papers stacked ceiling high. Lhaeo gets visitors to fill out hundreds of forms in an endless wave of bureaucracy to deter visitors.


Moander
Imprisoned by the elves beneath his temple in what is known today as Yulash.
The elves tried to wipe out his cult but a lot of his followers survived and fled south.
The seal around Moander can be broken by a child that was never born. The cult of Moander have tried to break the seal by forcing the presence of “non-born” children in Yulash.

The Nameless Bard
A former Harper
Really ancient, wrote songs about the laying of the Standing Stone
Warned Alias about the Kalmari
Cassana wanted to kill Nameless, instead polymorphed him into an animal (snake)
Gave Alias her name, her memories
Imprisoned in a cell that enfeebled its occupant in the merchant house owned by Cassana. Was formerly a cooperative partner with Cassana and Zrie and Moander and Phalse and the Fire Knives.
Alive when the Harpers were founded in the north (the Harpers were mostly bards and rangers)
Came up with a means to create a human vessel (one that could contain his music as the perfect repository). To create this vessel required dealing with powerful mages and extraplanar powers, and the brutal slaying of a noble soul (pure and innocent). When Nameless attempted to do this without the help of great mages and extraplanar powers (and a sacrifice), it consumed one of his assistants and took the voice of another.
The Harpers took Nameless’ name (erased it from his memory). Imprisoned him “beyond the bounds of the Realms, in the lands where reason fails and the gods roll like storm fronts across the sky”. His works were erased, covered up, destroyed.
Was imprisoned in the Citadel of White Exile, he left it to Phalse’s master when he was freed.

Yulash
Yulash was built atop a mound (Yulash Mound)
Zhentil Keep and Hillsfar fighting over Yulash
Yulash and Phlan destroyed by flight of dragons.
Yulash Mound sits on the trade route from Zhentil Keep, thus whoever owns Yulash controls the overland trade of Zhentil Keep.
The Red Plumes mercenary company is known as the Red Death to halflings. They exiled or executed all thieves in Hillsfar overnight (all halflings were considered thieves).
The whole city was ringed by a wall, now breached in many places
All buildings ruined
Eastern section (near the old citadel) of the city owned by Zhentil Keep and in the process of rebuilding.
A deep cylindrical shaft with steps leading down exists beneath the rubble of a large building with a ring wall (former noble estate???). Glowing blue symbols of moander (a fanged hand) mark the shaft at intervals. The shaft was used as a midden (toilet) by the building’s owners.
A door in the bottom of the shaft, locked except for those marked by moander (infected perhaps???). A passage covered in etchings that depict people being slain by various gruesome methods (poison, fire, dragon, beholder, etc)
The Abomination slew most of the Red Plumes and Zhentil Keep forces, absorbed Akabar (animating his body like an automaton) and entrapped Alias (but did not kill her)

The Abomination (or The Minion) of Moander
Also known as Moander the Jawed God, Moander the Darkbringer
A growing wall of rot and refuse, decaying plant, animal, and faecal matter move about like tendrils absorbing everything organic it touches. Contains hundreds of eyes and gibbering mouths from every creature it has consumed (dragons, children, beholders, etc). Capable of moving at jogging speed
Imprisoned behind a wall sealed with gorgon’s blood and spells to stop everything getting through it except for the non-born child.
Drawn to Myth Drannor (why???), ultimate goal is to travel to Westgate (new source of power???)
Moander’s high priest wears a white mask with a single painted on the forehead and surrounded by teeth.
Moander’s cultists in Westgate armed with a cudgel with sharp crystals embedded in it.


Westgate
Extortionate docking fees.
Stock and caravan yards surround the city walls
South of westgate lie a ring of seven mounds, these hillocks are covered in old ruins (stone circles and sinister temples). Moanders hill is surrounded by great red stone plinths shaped like fangs and curved inwards over the crown of the hill (known as the Hill of Fangs)
The cult of Moander has at least two dozen members in Westgate.
The Jolly Warrior, an inn in Westgate (must be quite good quality as diplomatic envoys stay there)
Mist the dragon slain by the exploding form of Moander, her body crashed into the northwestern section of the city, damaging the city wall, the slums outside the city and several Dhostar warehouses within it.
The Dhostar family are one of the most powerful merchant families in the city
The Rising Raven, an inn near the south gate of the city (outside the walls)
The Guldar family, merchants in Westgate
The River Gate is in the south east
Vhammos family, merchants in Westgate, owns paddocks on the south side of the city full of horses and caravan oxen.

Fireknives
Murr, a thug, crushed by a statue pushed by Olive

Phalse
His symbol is three concentric blue rings (like a bullseye).
He captured Dragonbait while the saurial was demon hunting in Tarterus
Looks like a halfling
Is able to open a gate to the Citadel of White Exile, where Dragonbait and Alias were branded. Phalse resides in the Citadel and is aiding the ritual to bind Alias.
Phalse has no other master but he let the others believe he was bound to serve some greater power.
Phalse is an old rival of Moander’s, Phalse wants Alias to destroy Moander (why???)

Citadel of White Exile
The sky is made of swirls of shades of white, hot matter trying to combine unsuccessfully.
The citadel is a tall tower surrounding by a land of shifting mud or lava
Twelve new Alias bodies in partial construction in the central hall, they have been constructed by Phalse in secret (without Moander, Fire Knives, Cassana, Zrie, etc knowing about it)
One clone dressed in Mulhorandi attire, one in Waterdeep dress, one in eastern fashion (Kara-Tur???), another like a Moonshae druid, another like a northern barbarian, another like a priest of Tymora.
Supposedly situated on the demiplane of minerals bordering the Plane of Positive Energy and the Plane of Gems

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2020 :  16:09:12  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Phalse clearly said he was a rival of Moanders, I guess that is why he wanted to kill Moander so badly.

If that is true, Phalse is a godly being of some sort. This means Phalse isn't dead. Further support is that Elminster sealed the portal to Phalse's domain, there would be no need if Phalse were truly dead.

I doubt Phalse is a beholder like being. I think everything about him was a lie, I don't even think he wanted alias to kill moander, I think he just wanted to trick her in stepping through the portal to his domain.

I suspect he was some kind of yugoloth lord but that's just a hunch.



Also the citadel of white exile. The sky is a series of white swirls. This could easily be the steel sky of abeir. Makes far more sense to exile nameless to a planet out of phase with this one than some demiplane that any idiot can create a gate to (cassana did it easily).

Lots of undeveloped areas in the novel l, I'm going to enjoy tweaking this.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
35998 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2020 :  17:49:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Phalse clearly said he was a rival of Moanders, I guess that is why he wanted to kill Moander so badly.

If that is true, Phalse is a godly being of some sort. This means Phalse isn't dead. Further support is that Elminster sealed the portal to Phalse's domain, there would be no need if Phalse were truly dead.

I doubt Phalse is a beholder like being. I think everything about him was a lie, I don't even think he wanted alias to kill moander, I think he just wanted to trick her in stepping through the portal to his domain.

I suspect he was some kind of yugoloth lord but that's just a hunch.


He could be a rival without needing to be divine. Mayhaps he's a planar power that Moander pissed off at some point.

And maybe Elminster knew Phalse was dead and thought it was a bad idea to leave a planar gateway to a hostile location open.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Also the citadel of white exile. The sky is a series of white swirls. This could easily be the steel sky of abeir. Makes far more sense to exile nameless to a planet out of phase with this one than some demiplane that any idiot can create a gate to (cassana did it easily).




It is clearly not the steelsky, since it doesn't look like the steelsky, predates the retcon that created the steelsky, and is clearly described as being an isolated place in the planes.

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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1180 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2020 :  19:35:10  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't really understand why Phalse would participate in a plan that brought Moander back to life/untrapped him. The Moander/Phalse hatred keeps going on in the series too. It's an odd point, I am sure Phalse had a reason for assisting in freeing Moander, but given they hate eachother I don't know what it is and we never learn it.

Also, re: Phalse being alive, if he is a daemon or some lower plane demi-power, which I believe, then slaying him in the Outer Planes would not kill him, just banish him for a time, no? He should be alive because he didn't die on his home plane.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
35998 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2020 :  19:55:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I don't really understand why Phalse would participate in a plan that brought Moander back to life/untrapped him. The Moander/Phalse hatred keeps going on in the series too. It's an odd point, I am sure Phalse had a reason for assisting in freeing Moander, but given they hate eachother I don't know what it is and we never learn it.



I think it was because Phalse couldn't achieve his own goals without aiding Moander, and because he knew that even freed, Moander was still very weak and wasn't a threat to him.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
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Posted - 20 Jun 2020 :  20:13:42  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think phalse helped the cult of moander release moander so that they would use some of moanders energies to make alias, thus weakening moander. Then phalse makes at least 12 more, weakening him even more.

I see no reason why phalse would have stopped there, he might have made hundreds to deplete moander until he was as weak as a kitten.

Just a thought but moander was around during myth Drannor and helped the starym guy overcome the moon blade ritual presumably to try and help destroy elves. Phalse could also have been an enemy of the elves and I can think of a powerful extra planar evil that might suit as a candidate

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 20 Jun 2020 :  20:32:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I think phalse helped the cult of moander release moander so that they would use some of moanders energies to make alias, thus weakening moander. Then phalse makes at least 12 more, weakening him even more.

I see no reason why phalse would have stopped there, he might have made hundreds to deplete moander until he was as weak as a kitten.

Just a thought but moander was around during myth Drannor and helped the starym guy overcome the moon blade ritual presumably to try and help destroy elves. Phalse could also have been an enemy of the elves and I can think of a powerful extra planar evil that might suit as a candidate



Where does it say that making Alias and her sisters weakened Moander in any way?

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 20 Jun 2020 :  21:25:26  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It doesnt, but it does say that Moander provided the energy needed to make her alive, and Phalse says that he continued to steal it from Moander while he wasnt paying attention.

Now I don't go for the god nonsense and will spin it another way, but gods do not have endless reserves of energy, and moander is probably a low powered demigod at this point and creating life is probably quite expensive. Restoring life is a high level spell, making it anew is miracle or wish level. Do that 13 times in 30 days and you have a serious power drain. In fact if you time it right the defeat of the Abomination may not have had much to do with Mist and the heroes but more to do with Phalses well timed theft of power

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  00:13:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It didn't say Phalse continued stealing energy -- it says he siphoned off some of what Moander provided. And there's no indication that Moander weakened himself at all; it was likely more the type of energy, rather than the amount.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  00:20:33  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The book takes place in 1357 which would be 1e rules. Deities were definitely weaker then (since there was a module that let you kill Lolth) so it makes sense that drawing out that energy could have had a significant effect. What would have worked to weaken Moander at that point very likely wouldn't have worked after the ToT.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  03:24:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

The book takes place in 1357 which would be 1e rules. Deities were definitely weaker then (since there was a module that let you kill Lolth) so it makes sense that drawing out that energy could have had a significant effect. What would have worked to weaken Moander at that point very likely wouldn't have worked after the ToT.



But there's still nothing that says it was a significant expenditure of energy on Moander's part. Moander's involvement wasn't because of the amount of power he could offer, it was the type of power he could offer.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  08:40:43  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well I'm more interested in what the book doesnt say than what it does say.

Phalse has no obvious motivation so I'm giving him one, to kill his rival Moander, and whether the book has a sentence that explicitly states that creating the clones weakened moander or not, I'm ruling that expanding energy to create life is expensive on the old deific energy levels.

It works for me.

I get the feeling that Cassana should have had a bit more involvement in the recent history of Westgate, she managed to manipulate the fire knives into funding her enterprise. She owned a torture house outside the walls and no one official batted an eyelid, she even linked it to the city and no one stumbled upon an old ruin that people kept entering and leaving. I'm willing to bet she had a powerful ally among the merchant houses that ran the city or she at least paid them to have the watch leave her alone

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Seravin
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  11:52:07  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think Westgate was particularly well run given the Night Masks practically run the place; they are loosely affiliated with the Fire Knives if memory serves (Night Masks allowed them to set up there after Azoun ran them from Cormyr). So Westgate merchants/council definitely turn a blind eye to shady activity. Cassana is the least of their worries.

Everyone gives plausible reasons for Phalse to work for Moander, my issue is that the authors didn't give us this in the book and the character of the villains suffer for it. Phalse could have been much more memorable and the book even better if we knew more about his motivations. As it stands IN THE BOOK NARRATIVE he is just evil for the sake of evil and worked with his hated enemy for little gain to himself/itself. 1 working clone and 12 alts is hardly an army of darkness.
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  12:48:36  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
At the moment my idea is he may be malkizid (also hated the elves and worked to destroy them and he had a hand in the moon blades so might have been a bit miffed that moander wrecked it). I vaguely recall Malkizid is known as the great deceiver (although I might be confusing him with Wendonai).

So his goal is purely to kill moander and perhaps wreck the wards of myth Drannor more (the abomination supposedly drained magic from myth Drannor, but that's a bit to much god nonsense for me, I'll just have his presence corrupting it and decay it further). He helps out a bit, pretending he is serving some greater power but in truth he wants to release the abomination and kill it out of revenge and steal its power to make these alias clones (although I'm still not sure why). Perhaps one or more of these alias clones resembles an elf.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  15:35:08  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What about Kanchelsis? There is another god that hates elves and it would make sense that it would take his knowledge of blood/blood magic to create a living being. It could be that those 13 beings are his initial foothold in the Realms and may be part of some greater plan. That would also explain why it took place in Westgate. Kanchelsis was able to send a vision to the Night King about this so that is why the Night Masks allowed it to happen there. Of course, Vampshoon comes along later and kills the Night King and completely messes that plan up.

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TBeholder
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  16:00:28  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Phalse clearly said he was a rival of Moanders, I guess that is why he wanted to kill Moander so badly.

If that is true, Phalse is a godly being of some sort.

Or he's just feeling ambitious. Being a fiend, and all that.
quote:
Further support is that Elminster sealed the portal to Phalse's domain, there would be no need if Phalse were truly dead.

There's no need to close a portal to Lower Planes unless there's specifically Phalse on the other end?

quote:
Also the citadel of white exile. The sky is a series of white swirls. This could easily be the steel sky of abeir.

Of what?
quote:

Makes far more sense to exile nameless to a planet out of phase with this one than some demiplane that any idiot can create a gate to (cassana did it easily).

First, exactly how would "any idiot" create a gate to a place if its very existence is unknown?
Second, not a demiplane, but one of the border citadels, between the Mineral and Positive planes.
No one is going to just walk in there by accident. And to visit it on purpose, one needs very good reasons and some way to find it. Because:
- Mineral happens to be full of precious gems, yet plundering it is quite an uncommon pastime, between tough and aggressive inhabitants and petrification of non-natives.
- Positive is an infinite mostly-empty expanse of blazing nothingness that quickly destroys those unprotected, thus practically no one stays for a long while, much less travels through it in hope of accidentally running into something interesting in all the blinding light.

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

Everyone gives plausible reasons for Phalse to work for Moander, my issue is that the authors didn't give us this in the book

Sure they did: the conspiracy needed participation of a deity, because they just couldn't do some things without one.
Implicitly, they also had to find a god who
- will work with them,
- will not take over, and perhaps
- has the right abilities.
There just isn't a great market for such co-conspirators. And Moander was right there.
Also, they could guess that immediately upon release It would make a huge mess, which hopefully could help them by distracting everyone else.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
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Edited by - TBeholder on 21 Jun 2020 16:06:37
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  16:48:34  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well the any idiot came from the fact that cassana was able to discover the existence of this place and create a portal to it after only finding a mention of the nameless bards existence in a letter written by one of his apprentices. I don't believe cassana is particularly long lived, she certainly isn't very wise (just ruthless and ambitious).
So either the apprentice was stupidly informed of nameless' fate, or cassana was able to find out of the existence of a prison for a person imprisoned centuries ago, and which the Harper's spent a long time trying to expunge his name and works from existence.

So in the final battle we find the portal cassana made (or had phalse made), then there is the portal to phalses domain or moanders domain (either the author was confused or phalse cannot be believed), and then elminster appears and says he should make note of the portal cassana/phalse made to get there, implying there is another one.

So this super secret place that shouldn't exist has at least 3 portals to it.


As for the planar nonsense, I don't believe travelling the planes comes with a guide book, so what it is described as being is only where they believe it to be located based upon its characteristics. If we can find anywhere else with similar characteristics then they could be wrong.

And lastly phalse says the portal goes to moanders domain, later it is mentioned as the portal to phalses domain. The assumption is that it is to the abyss, but in truth it could be to anywhere.


I am a big fan of the unreliable narrator. I'm not going to take anything in these novels as written, it makes it much more interesting to think of how these older novels would fit into the realms with the lore we have now about people and places.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  17:17:35  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Well the any idiot came from the fact that cassana was able to discover the existence of this place and create a portal to it after only finding a mention of the nameless bards existence in a letter written by one of his apprentices. I don't believe cassana is particularly long lived, she certainly isn't very wise (just ruthless and ambitious).
So either the apprentice was stupidly informed of nameless' fate, or cassana was able to find out of the existence of a prison for a person imprisoned centuries ago, and which the Harper's spent a long time trying to expunge his name and works from existence.

So in the final battle we find the portal cassana made (or had phalse made), then there is the portal to phalses domain or moanders domain (either the author was confused or phalse cannot be believed), and then elminster appears and says he should make note of the portal cassana/phalse made to get there, implying there is another one.

So this super secret place that shouldn't exist has at least 3 portals to it.



Or maybe the Citadel predated Nameless being put there, and Cassana found out about it some other way. She could have already known about it, but didn't have any reason to look there until she learned about Nameless.

Or maybe when she found out about Nameless she put a lot of time and effort into looking for him.

The letter didn't even have to explicitly refer to Finder or the Nameless Bard -- it could have been something like, "I wish we could still perform this ballad my former teacher wrote" without anything more specific.

Plus, we know that Harper efforts weren't entirely successful, since Olive was able to discover his name.

And having two portals created leading to a particular place AFTER the portal creators learned of its existence doesn't mean it wasn't secret before -- unless you want to ignore the 300ish years that Finder was there alone.

Elminster's presence there does not imply the existence of a third gate. As I recall, he said he didn't travel directly there -- but even if he did, as a high-level wizard, he had other options for getting there.

Really, there are plenty of very reasonable and likely scenarios, if you would take a moment to look for them instead of automatically leaping to attack something.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  20:09:20  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't say I was attacking the book or the writer. The villains are stupid, it's a common theme in most realms novels that many others have identified, they behave in a fairly simple manner blinded by their own cruelty, ambition, and lust for power.

I think there is a reason for this, elminster said it in spellfire, certain mages want purely the power that magic brings, they are blind to its intricacies, and these are the villains that adventurers will most often come up against.

The smart villains are the truly dangerous ones that you never see or hear about, that are hiding behind the scenes.

So cassana the cruel is stupid, powerful yes but stupid, she links her health and vigour to a wand that she uses on a regular basis and brandished for all to see. The fire knives are stupid enough to be duped by cassana and pay for the entire azure bonds experiment. Moander is stupid in that he immediately goes on the rampage once released rather than rebuilding his strength, zrie is stupid in that he is just a puppet of cassana, and phalse is probably the only dangerous one there manipulating all the others but the novel leaves his motives and backstory completely undetailed.

The realms are also full of deus ex machina and bizarre set pieces that exist only as plot devices. The citadel of white exile is one of these. As a super secret prison it's a poor choice, being situated in the planes that are open to travel from every outer planar being capable of such travel plus the sum total of every material plane wizard capable of planar travel. The only limitation to finding such a place is that it is not meant to be well known but there is at least one letter still known to detail it and enough clues for one of the stupid villains to follow. Even worse it has at least 3 portals connected to it.

Now a pre existing prison is a great idea, I will use that, but it would have been better situated in a world phased out of existence that almost nobody knew about (until the spellplague).

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Seravin
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Posted - 21 Jun 2020 :  21:30:44  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So really, Cassana, Zrie and Phalse either have very shallow petty un-interesting motives (vanity project for Cas) or no motive mentioned or given by the authors to go through all the trouble of creating Alias and ultimately die for creating her and gain nothing from it. Nor do we know what Phalse hoped to gain by creating a midling sell-sword golem that can't even dispatch a level 2 unsuspecting fat priest midspell cast or a level 0 (at the time) nobleman. I may tweet or FB Jeff Grubb so he can explain more about why Phalse wanted her beyond a curiosity? I get that Phalse needed Moander or some god to give life to Alias, I don't get why he wanted Alias so badly he'd work with Moander who he hated. That was my point. It would be much more understandable if Alias was some sort of one man army, immune to magic, perfect killing machine. But she isn't *in the books*..though Wooly has a good point in that she may have been spoiled from reaching her fighting potential, even if the novel again doesn't say anything of the sort.
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 25 Jun 2020 :  22:06:44  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Streams of Silver is almost as hard a slog to read as the Moonshae trilogy.

Almost no lore of any value. They trudge endlessly across the north slaying hundreds of trolls with single blows. They get disheartened and start to lose, they have a bit of a morale booster and win. A repeated pattern over and over.

If drizzts eyes flash lavender flames one more time I might just one shot my laptop.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 25 Jun 2020 :  23:47:54  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Streams of Silver is almost as hard a slog to read as the Moonshae trilogy.

Almost no lore of any value. They trudge endlessly across the north slaying hundreds of trolls with single blows. They get disheartened and start to lose, they have a bit of a morale booster and win. A repeated pattern over and over.

If drizzts eyes flash lavender flames one more time I might just one shot my laptop.



Well, those were all the "runt" trolls (1 hp/die) that escaped up North because the other trolls were mean to them.

Also, lavender flames is what the drow call pink eye so cut the poor guy a break. He was crying the whole time.

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Seravin
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Posted - 26 Jun 2020 :  14:53:36  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I think the lore in Streams of Silver would be around The Arcane Brotherhood, Longsaddle, Uthgardt Barbarians, Nesme, Silverymoon, The Herald's Holdfast (spelling?), Alustriel, and obviously Mithral Hall.
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 26 Jun 2020 :  20:54:55  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finally something interesting.

Huge monolith at the entrance to keepers dale that were ancient long before the dwarves settled here.

Given its location and size I'd be tempted to make them of giant construction.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 27 Jun 2020 :  10:55:19  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Based upon a stray comment about Clan Battlehammer being cursed to craft a perfect item and then lose all interest in crafting forever, i'm starting to wonder where and when this began.

Streams of Silver mentions a hero called Bruenor, the namesake of Bruenor himself. Bruenor the hero it would seem owned (and presumably crafted) armour, a shield, and an axe that King Garumn would wear in his last defence of Mithril Hall.


So i wonder if Bruenor the hero is not the founder of Clan Battlehammer, and he made some kind of deal with a dark power ages ago during the time of Delzoun perhaps. With that pact he crafted the greatest of items known in the dwarven realm, and achieved great notoriety as a result. He founded Clan Battlehammer and became a great hero with these relics of power.

Unfortunately his entire bloodline was cursed through the pact he made. Driven to craft the perfect items the clan was kept on the move searching for the purest of materials to craft their great works, eventually coming to find Mithril Hall.


So what dark power could the bargain have been made with to grant such an powerful gift and equally destructive curse. There are the hags found in the north, there are the demons and devils of Ascalhorn (although i dont think they would do much more than slaughter the dwarves).

Any thoughts?

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 27 Jun 2020 :  17:11:31  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why go outside the dwarven pantheon? Abbathor, if you go back far enough, could have been the culprit. Demi-human Deities has this to say:

"The Great Master of Greed was once interested purely in the natural beauty of gems and metals, but became embittered when Moradin appointed Dumathoin the protector of mountain dwarves - a position Abbathor felt should be his. From that day onward, Abbathor has become ever more devious and self-serving, continually trying to wreak revenge on the other dwarven gods by establishing greed, especially evil greed, as the driving force in the lives of all dwarves."

Over time, he has focused on greed but if the curse happened closer to the event listed above, he could have easily created a crafting curse. Plus, the dwarf that actually made the deal may not have thought of Abbathor as evil but looking back through modern eyes, he would be considered a "dark power".

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 27 Jun 2020 :  17:25:01  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The problem with blaming the curse on a god is that it takes the focus away from the realms.

If I blamed it on an annis hag for instance I have a being that I can flesh out that may have lived in the savage frontier, that I can tie to other people and places and may have tempted more dwarves in the same way.

For example given the timeline it may be that bruenor battlehammer were from ammarindar and he fled south to the far hills and then made his way north to citadel adbar and others. Along the way he comes across an annie hag and makes a deal that will allow him to create a set of items powerful enough to help him reclaim his homeland.

Unfortunately such a pact always has a twist. He makes the armour and axe and shield but in doing so he loses his lust for life and falls into a depression and ultimately the hag claims his soul upon his death.

The curse passes to his children and their children and they lose the desire to retake ammarindar, instead lusting for the purest mithril do they can complete their life quest and make these true treasures.

Along the way the souls of all these dwarves claimed by the rigours of making these items all go to enrich the hag and she uses then to bargain with demons. Bruenor did not realise the hag he bargained with had a hand in the downfall of ammarindar and would ally themselves with hellgate keep to plague the north.



Or alternatively I blame it on abbathor and come up with a few rituals and rites and lore that means clan battlehammer always has a shrine to abbathor in its halls. But it's all very much devoid from the rest of the realms history. It's one of the primary reasons I always try to ground every event to a person or place in the realms even if the official line is a god did it.

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 27 Jun 2020 17:25:21
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 27 Jun 2020 :  17:41:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, putting the blame on a deity of the Realms takes the focus away from the setting that deity is a part of.

And trying to strip away every single reference to something built into the setting by its creator, that's TOTALLY not taking away from the setting.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 27 Jun 2020 :  17:57:33  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not really. Where it says a god did it, I change that to be a priest of the god or a fortuitous accident. There is nothing to say the god wasnt involved and didn't influence the person to act on his behalf or didn't manipulate events in his favour, but equally it is not explicitly written in stone that the deity appeared and did it himself.

One way allows for multiple different ways for an event to be manipulated and caused. The other way is that the god did it and that's it because nothing can really challenge a god.

So take for example a fictitious event in which a certain god created an artefact. This happens off stage, it's totally down to that god, it works only towards the gods will and there is nothing that can be done about it. Then take the alternative, a priest of the God actually crafted the artefact, or perhaps just some random nutter that was influenced by dream visions (because he happened to have the components or the skill necessary to perform the task) he makes it according to his design and not some divine plan so it is flawed and unpredictable, and while its purpose may be to kill certain types of people it may have other powers and motivations.
Furthermore the creator was aided by several assistants and they all had their own motivations and agendas (some may have even served rival gods or been influenced by different visions), they add in their own powers and purpose that may have been counter to the original creators.
The components they used might have been flawed as the creator ran out of money partway through and bought some on the cheap or a rival church caused a shortage in some vital ingredient.


In the non God version there are a hundred and one little interesting bits to be added to the history of an item. It's still that the god was involved and in fact multiple divine beings and even powerful planar beings could be involved and at cross purposes. Whereas if the god did it then he made it spontaneously using his divine power and that is the end of its creation story and it's all very one sided.

Gods do not add to the richness of the setting when used as plot protagonists and antagonists, they detract from the variety. They should always be secret movers and shakers rather than the main players.

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