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 Elturgard's Eternal Sun

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
MrHedgehog Posted - 23 Nov 2012 : 04:10:08
So I just noticed Elturgard having an ETERNAL SUN. I am pretty sure that would not be any better than eternal darkness. Without darkness people can't sleep, people who don't sleep go insane, this would disrupt nature (what happens to nocturnal animals like owls?), and if it is always high noon water would evaporate more quickly, etc. How is this good? It would cause chaos! Or is it magically benign and not actually have the effects of having two suns?

When I read power of Faerun I didn't realize Amaunatar's Eternal Sun was permanent before. I thought it was a temporary miracle or something not something that would last FOREVER.

Also, if this sun was created by priests of Lathander/Amaunatar why is Torm the state religion? (Not that there should be state religions in the realms since it contravenes the nature of religion as explained by the world's creators....)

And how did the eternal sun move from Elversult to its new location far to the west? (The spell plague...?) Or is it a new casting of the epic spell?

(I don't own or have access to a copy of the 4th edition Campaign Setting I saw this on forgotten realms wiki.)
13   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Derulbaskul Posted - 08 Dec 2012 : 14:48:04
quote:
Originally posted by MrHedgehog

Derulbaskul I love your blog!!



Thanks. :)
MrHedgehog Posted - 26 Nov 2012 : 07:41:04
Derulbaskul I love your blog!!
Markustay Posted - 24 Nov 2012 : 17:07:02
I'd have to agree completely with Wooly - it was just one of those 'kewl ideas' that wasn't given much thought. Its the type of thing I look at and say, "why?"

It was probably something that was explored in someone's home game, and they gave it a nod in canon, and now our baby got a little uglier.

Plant life must be abundant in the region, and undead must hate the place. While on the surface that sounds like a Druid's paradise, they'd probably really hate the unnatural lack of day/night cycles (druids LOVE their cycles).

If I lived in the Realms, I'd make a fortune on selling 'sleep masks' in the area.

EDIT: LOL - I just pictured Drow getting hired by the wealthy to cast 'globes of darkness'.


*Grammatical Correction
Bladewind Posted - 24 Nov 2012 : 16:26:49
Definately support the ideas Scrivener of Doom presented on the WotC boards and his blog. I too love conflict and heresy story arcs in lawful or good religions.
Derulbaskul Posted - 24 Nov 2012 : 12:19:59
quote:
Originally posted by MrHedgehog (snip) Also, if this sun was created by priests of Lathander/Amaunatar why is Torm the state religion? (Not that there should be state religions in the realms since it contravenes the nature of religion as explained by the world's creators....) (snip)


The explanation I like - which is not canon - is posted here: http://my-realms.blogspot.com/2010/12/black-age-of-bane-part-one.html
and is inspired by ideas from 2E's Bastion of Faith.

quote:
One of my favourite themes for the backstories of the campaigns I run is that of heresy. I find the idea of heretical movements within ostensibly Good and Lawful Good religions to be fuel for a range of NPCs, events, encounters, adventures and campaigns.

There was an excellent DDi article written by Erik Scott de Bie in Dungeon 171 titled The Eye of Justice. It was about a heretical sect in the church of Torm based in Westgate.

The church of Torm is the state religion in the nation of Elturgard which is distinguished by the existence of a second son, known as The Companion, created as a Epic spell (3.5e) or Epic ritual (4E) by a pre-Spellplague heretic known as Daelegoth Orndeir. Orndeir was a follower of Amaunator at a time when believing in Amaunator was a heresy within the church of Lathander. Furthermore, he was a believer in the Three-Faced Sun heresy which postulated that there were three aspects to the sun deity - dawn, highsun and dusk - and that only two could be "showing" at any one time. According to Orndeir and his then-fellow heretics, Lathander represented the dawn, Amaunator, highsun and Myrkul, dusk. Myrkul's demise meant that Amaunator should be ascendant at the same time as Lathander.

We do not know canonically how this situation was resolved before or during the Spellplague but we do know that Amaunator is definitely ascendant, as a greater power, no less, in the 4E Realms. One of the things I liked about Amaunator even during the 2E period was here was a Lawful Good deity who could just as easily be Lawful Evil (3.5E and earlier) or Evil (4E). In fact, I see Amaunator as a challenger of Bane for the portfolio of tyranny.

So, back to Torm as the state religion of Elturgard.

It seems strange when you first read the 4E Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (FRCG) that the state religion of Elturgard, with such a powerful and obvious display of Amaunator's might by way of The Companion, should be that of Torm. Unless, of course, you also look at how it talks about a darkness sealed within Fort Morninglord (which is also off-limits on pain of death) and consider that Amaunator has a tyrannical streak within him... as do, no doubt, some of his followers.

So, what if Orndeir's heresies extended into outright apostasy and he came to embrace Bane? Perhaps he also saw Bane as the true heir of the mantle of dusk from Myrkul. If he believed that, then it would be very easy for Bane to lure him over to his side as a natural outgrowth of his believe in the (heresy of) The Three-Faced Sun.

So, let's assume that Elturgard's first state religion was Amaunatori in nature, with Daelegoth Orndeir as Righteous Potentate (as high priests of Amaunator were styled). In due course, Orndeir took to himself a more majestic title of Supreme Righteous Potentate as he sought, driven in part by the whispers of Bane, to extend his golden rule of light and law across all of Faerūn.

In due course, sometime during the years of the Spellplague, the tyrannies of the Supreme Righteous Potentate were opposed by heroic followers of Torm and, eventually, Orndeir was overthrown. So ashamed were other Amaunatori of this episode in the history of their religion, particularly at a time when Amaunator was making an obvious return, that they agreed to pass rulership of Elturgard to the Tormites and to hide the records of this era, and an imprisoned Orndeir, beneath Fort Morninglord.

Fast forward a few decades and the church of Torm is very much in charge but, like the Amaunatori before them, are becoming increasingly strident, harsh, cruel and tyrannical. Add to this the heresies of The Eye of Justice mentioned above and you can see that Elturgard is being taken over by the whispers of Bane once more except this time it is the Tormites who are being persuaded by his subtleties.


quote:
(snip)And how did the eternal sun move from Elversult to its new location far to the west? (The spell plague...?) Or is it a new casting of the epic spell? (snip)


The honest answer was that Rich Baker admitted that he got the cities confused. It was an honest mistake by my favourite D&D designer and no big deal, IMO.

If required, it can be explained away by an Epic ritual to move the sun to the new seat of Amaunator's worship or something similar. It's probably just easier to assume it was always there unless Power of Faerun has already played a large role in your campaign.
Bladewind Posted - 24 Nov 2012 : 07:33:37
During the night a plant does rest, but not as animals do. Their photosynthesis is stopped by the lack of light, so they don't 'decide to go in rest' but are forced into it. So they end up maintaining only their respiratory and transpiratory metabolic processes, and plants will actually end up using up oxygen and breaking down sugars into water and carbondioxide to maintain their metabolic functions (just as as most cellular life does). Constant light is beneficial for most plants because their production of sugars (and oxygen) would not be limited by the imput of light.

There are certain plants that rely on the fluctuations in the input of light, water or carbon to enter life stages more beneficial at that time and place. The transformation of seeds to seedlings to mature plants comes to mind. And certainly some flowers and orchids rely on long periods of nighttime or shade to enter or alter new shapes and forms. Thats why I said the Eternal Sun would cause mono cultures (large areas with only a single succesful plantspecies), only the plants that do not rely on special adaptations to night time for their function (but most don't) will survive and secure their places. The massive monoculture fields and forrests are furthermore filled by the most productive species during the day, who litereally outgrow others.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 24 Nov 2012 : 02:48:27
In the Death Gate Cycle, there was a world with perpetual sunlight... And the plantlife was so abundant that they had lakes and seas in the treetops, and it was a journey of days, maybe weeks, to safely make it to the ground.
MrHedgehog Posted - 23 Nov 2012 : 20:37:42
I am no botanist but I think that plants don't do well with constant light, either. But I guess it is a magical world and they could use divine magic or something to create plants or something. Or do I not understand how plants would actually react to perpetual light?
Bladewind Posted - 23 Nov 2012 : 15:27:00
I'd say the wilds of Elturgard are likely to have seen an explosive growth at the cost of biodiversity of the area.

Plants that grow faster and have efficient photosyntheses make more sugars for maintaining and expanding their biomass. Plants like flowers (sunflowers and lillies), high growing trees (oaks), perannual grasses (like rye and bamboo) are likely to have outcompeted more slow growing ones, and the most succesful ones would have secured dominant near-monocultures in their favored areas.

So expect humongous fields of sunflowers and tall golden colored ryes, forests consisting of oaks, poplars and redwoods each trying to reaching for more and more extreme heights, with lots of ferns beneath the shadows that the tree crowns create. Watery areas would initially see lots of huge willows, lillies and algal blooms, who slowly but surely will turn the swamps into solid lands as they transpire the waters and leave their biomass to fill in the hollows.

Agriculture could flourish if supplied with a efficient irrigation system, with particularly vine and grapeyards capable of giving year long harvests of considerable yields. Also fruits and vegetables like tomatos, oranges and olives could be very succesful.

Essentially wild growth gone completely out of balance.
MrHedgehog Posted - 23 Nov 2012 : 11:43:13
I completely did not think about how people deal with it in the arctic. Everyone in Elturgard could just have like blindfolds for when they sleep in addition to shutters and stuff (if they have windows at all)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_sun

This says they can experience hypomnia and insomnia. Maybe that is why the rulers are so fanatical about fighting evil...they're a little bonkers from too much sunlight! But then that is only for the summer in reality. I guess animals/plants would adapt or die. I looked up artificial light on plants and the things I read said plants can't rest if they are always exposed to light. Could plants emerge that are fine with perpetual sunlight or would that impact the environment of this land negatively?

With two suns the double brightness seems like it would cause damage to eyesight unless measures were taken as well.
Quale Posted - 23 Nov 2012 : 06:32:25
Light pollution in real life affects human health, I think animals that are bothered with it would leave the area. I don't know what people in places like Iceland do, possibly shut off the house.
MrHedgehog Posted - 23 Nov 2012 : 04:43:58
I wanted to have an adventure in Berdusk and I play 4th edition. I wanted it to involve harpers and Cyrylia Dragonbreast now being an Archlich.... I can just ignore it but I am also just really confused. Sorry if a thread was made about this before.

I am going to assume the Spellplague (deux ex machina much?) moved the eternal sun. But a theocratic kingdom seems to go against what Harpers believe in (city states not large kingdoms, etc.) and Berdusk was supposed to be their center. Unless this Elturgard is a "small kingdom"...

On the internet I read that the sun is "heatless". But I still think although we sentient bipeds (humans, elves, dwarves...) can cover our eyes even the effects of street lights confuse wild animals, plants, etc. I am specifically thinking of Sea Turtles not being able to navigate thinking lights are stars and the moon. It seems way too high fantasy for me. There is such a thing as way too much going on and this falls into that category in my mind.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 23 Nov 2012 : 04:29:46
quote:
Originally posted by MrHedgehog

So I just noticed Elturgard having an ETERNAL SUN. I am pretty sure that would not be any better than eternal darkness. Without darkness people can't sleep, people who don't sleep go insane, this would disrupt nature (what happens to nocturnal animals like owls?), and if it is always high noon water would evaporate more quickly, etc. How is this good? It would cause chaos!

When I read power of Faerun I didn't realize Amaunatar's Eternal Sun was permanent before. I thought it was a temporary miracle or something not something that would last FOREVER.

Also, if this sun was created by priests of Lathander/Amaunatar why is Torm the state religion? (Not that there should be state religions in the realms since it contravenes the nature of religion as explained by the world's creators....)

(I don't own or have access to a copy of the 4th edition Campaign Setting I saw this on forgotten realms wiki.)



People can sleep during the day; it's not all that uncommon. I used to sleep until noon, daily, because I was at the time working until midnight or later every night.

I'd imagine that the second sun provides more light than anything else, or otherwise Elturgard would be turned into Tattooine (Eltooine?).

I'd also imagine that the initially created second sun was only a temporary thing, but Amaunator stepped in and made it permanent.

And I think the question of why Torm is so prominent there has been raised before; I don't recall that it was ever answered.

For me, all of this lore is simply too problematic. It's one of many reasons I stick with the 1370s.

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