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T O P I C    R E V I E W
The Arcanamach Posted - 19 Aug 2013 : 00:54:14
Hiya folks, I have a concept that I would like to share and get some feedback on. In my homebrew, I assume some deities have what I call Embedded Avatars. This concept was originally born during the ToT series novels in reference to Midnight. A few points...

1. I really hate the idea of mortals ascending to godhood beyond demigod status(so I never really liked the ascension of Midnight, Cyric and, later, Kelemvor). Cyr and Kel we were just kind of stuck with on that point...but Midnight was possibly a little different.

2. The series had comments about how Midnight felt she had a destiny and that the gods were watching her. But she never understood why and was never actually certain of the feeling anyway. But, in the end, she DID, in fact, have the special consideration of Mystra and a destiny to fulfill.

3. Midnight was born to mortal parents and lived a mortal life until her ascension. This is very clearly stated in the novels and in the FR7 product 'Hall of Heroes' lorebook (in fact, so is point #2).

4. In the modules based on the novels, we see a youngish girl (Caitlyn I believe) who also has some kind of special relationship with Mystra.

5. Just pure speculation, but Mystryl did save the Weave and received a reboot as Mystra 2.0 SOMEHOW. Canon material states that the Terraseer knew that her death was, IMO, Mystryl had to see it was coming as well (and allowed herself to 'die' for some reason, possibly to teach mortal wizards a lesson about unmitigated hubris).

I say all of that to get to this concept. I consider Midnight to have been an Embedded Avatar of Mystra. An avatar born into the mortal world and expected to live a mortal life (though perhaps long-lived through research that would extend life)...without the memories and powers of the goddess (the goddess could, of course, move to preserve the EA'l life, if necessary). The purpose is to have a 'trump card' in place if it's ever needed...and if either/both versions of the goddess were aware of their impeding death, they would certainly need a ace up their sleeve to preserve the Weave.

So, does the concept have merit?
What powers, if any, would you give an EA (referring to powers that would be held in common across deities in this regard, not just Mystra's EA's).
Would Mystra be a special case and be required (by Ao) to have an EA to ensure the Weave's preservation?
Would Mystra be the only deity with an EA (I think this unlikely)?
8   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Markustay Posted - 29 Aug 2013 : 14:15:19
So I was doing some thinking this morning, and something occurred to me (which I am not sure I put together before).

I have had a theory for quite some time that there are many 'tiers' within godhood, starting at the exarch level (which could include planer beings as well as ascended mortals) and going all the way up into the primordial/Overgod levels (and beyond). That part isn't the theory - thats canon (both D&D and FR). 4e also established that in these higher levels (above deity) we see that these being cannot get any sort of benefit from mortal worship (the new primordial lore being the most prominent example). Since 4e, I have maintained that only ascended mortals can become deities, and that anything else is 'just a god'.

Now, we know Mystryl/Mystra has to join with a mortal spirit for some reason - perhaps its because its the only way she can establish that 'divine link' with her followers (and get that 'back & forth' power flow going). This part I have taken as fact for quite some time (although never fully confirmed).

But what about the other primal beings? The 4e team never really answered our questions concerning how the elemental lords received power from worshipers, and how they granted spells to followers. I'd also lump at least Shar and Selune into that mess - they must be primal powers, since they pre-existed mortals and were there 'at the beginning'.

So if what I believe is true - that only deities can establish the necessary link, AND that only mortals can become deities, then some of these ancient gods must be be getting their power (and delivering spells) through intermediaries. Exarchs (chosen) would be excellent for this to all work, and explain why gods seem to think they need chosen at all. Chosen would act like saints in modern religion - you pray to them, and they bring your case before god (although he probably doesn't really want to be bothered, and they just make these low-level decisions themselves). So, in essence, these older, primal beings can act like deities, but aren't really. That makes all the lore work-out just fine (from all editions).

However... what about Asmodeus?

He was never mortal (nor any other fiend-lords that I know of), so how is it he can be a deity? A god, YES... but a deity? It just doesn't add up. What could possibly be acting as his intermediary? Or for that matter, other fiend-lords with cults? Is that why they have cults - the energies get focused through the mortal cult-leader, and he/she acts like a conduit for these beings?
Markustay Posted - 26 Aug 2013 : 12:46:01
Its an artifact composed of energy. Anytime something is created with physical material (and energy counts), and has vast magical properties, it is an artifact. Most artifacts are indeed created by deities. If something is created organically, then that is offspring, not an artifact (even if that 'pairing' happens on some sort of non-physical level mortals can't comprehend).

When something is created accidentally, especially by the 'joining' of two (or more) beings, then the lines blur. Since many artifacts are very powerful and sentient, how could a mortal possibly tell at that point if they are dealing with a construct or a god? Can't a construct (artifact) BE a god? The Weave itself behaves more like something mechanical, and someone needs to 'program' it - it is forever changing and upgrading over time, but requires that sentience... that 'mortal spark'... to evolve. Its like a computer - it will just sit there unless someone tells it what to do.

Its also like a piece of Uranium - you can just leave it alone, but it will still effect its environment (mostly negatively - see Spellplague), but if its 'contained' and controlled, it can do awesome things (both constructive and destructive). So the Weave is the construct/artifact that contains the magical energies lost by Mystryl and Shar. Its a Pandora's box; without the box, those energies simply 'run amok'.

If I had to take another guess, I would say that the magical writing on the inside of the Crystal Sphere (Realmspace) IS the 'physical manifestation' of the Weave itself.
The Arcanamach Posted - 26 Aug 2013 : 04:00:26
Ah I see, I've just never seen the Weave/Mystra referenced as an artifact. I'm assuming by 'artifact' what is really meant is 'construct' (in a generic sense). But, does the use of the word artifact imply that some physical artifact is in use? In my homebrew I have a concept that blends the Nucleus of the Spheres (Mystara) with Giruvega (FFXII). I'm curious if there is some 'deep mystery' implied here.
Markustay Posted - 25 Aug 2013 : 15:15:57
'The artifact that is Mystra' is The Weave - it was created when the energies of two goddesses combined accidentally(?). It is The Weave itself, but not the consciousness that guides it (just as we are far more then just the bodies we reside in).

The consciousness part comes in by combining the artifact with a mortal soul/spirit. Midnight + Weave = Mystra 2.0. In theory, this is how it should have worked any time the goddess of magic/the Weave perished (and Ed has confirmed this, in regards to Mystra 1.0).

Given the fact that the original Mystryl was more enigmatic, and far older then the two newer manifestations (that is a canon term, BTW, used to described 'embedded avatars' - see the Old Empires section in the 2e Powers & Pantheons), my guess is that the first psyche to be merged with The Weave was non-human.
MisterX Posted - 23 Aug 2013 : 23:37:47
Reading the first post, the famous Baldur's Gate PC-game series came to my mind. There, Bhaal, seeing his own death, created a series of spawn – mortals with the power to ascend to godhood and replace him, if he died – what he eventually did and what subsequently happened.
The Arcanamach Posted - 19 Aug 2013 : 05:55:01
I had surmised as much in regards to descendants of Mystryl/Mystra in my own thoughts before. I seem to recall a passage in a novel that lead me to that line of reasoning but I cant recall where now.

I would like to know more about this 'artifact that is Mystra' though.
SirUrza Posted - 19 Aug 2013 : 04:58:36
My money is on Elminster.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 19 Aug 2013 : 04:12:55
Here's a couple bits that may be of interest...

Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I just had a thought... When Mystryl died, she dumped her power into a human girl.

Mystra 1.0 dumped a lot of her power into a human girl, too, before Midnight came along and got the rest of that power.

We also know that Mystra 1.0 possessed a mortal woman and had a slew of daughters with her, daughters that contained part of Mystra's essence...

What if Mystryl did the same thing? It's possible that the nameless girl who became Mystra was either a daughter of or a descendant of Mystryl. For that matter, a lot of magical anamolies could be explained that way -- maybe all of the non-Seven Chosen are descendants of Mystryl. Maybe some other odd cases, like wild talents, incantatrices, and even spellfire wielders are all descendants of Mystryl.

I might be wrong, but it's an interesting idea, thinks I.

Originally posted by Markustay

In some of my 'deep secrets' musings in this thread and others, I have had some indication by 'persons in the know' (can't remember the specifics... probably Ed via THO) that the artifact that is Mystra requires some sort of mortal connection. Exactly why and and how deep that connection must be has never been discussed, because it falls into that 'deep secrets' category. I am not sure if it has anything to do with her initial creation, or some rule imposed upon her later by Ao (or even something else).

Originally posted by The Hooded One

Markustay, you recall correctly - - and Wooly, you tread into dangerous ground, you wise and insightful hamster, you!
(Which is a not so subtle way of saying you're on to something, both of you.)


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