Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Journals
 General Forgotten Realms Chat
 Karsus: the Hero

Note: You must be registered in order to post a reply.
To register, click here. Registration is FREE!

Screensize:
UserName:
Password:
Format Mode:
Format: BoldItalicizedUnderlineStrikethrough Align LeftCenteredAlign Right Horizontal Rule Insert HyperlinkInsert Email Insert CodeInsert QuoteInsert List
   
Message:

* HTML is OFF
* Forum Code is ON
Smilies
Smile [:)] Big Smile [:D] Cool [8D] Blush [:I]
Tongue [:P] Evil [):] Wink [;)] Clown [:o)]
Black Eye [B)] Eight Ball [8] Frown [:(] Shy [8)]
Shocked [:0] Angry [:(!] Dead [xx(] Sleepy [|)]
Kisses [:X] Approve [^] Disapprove [V] Question [?]
Rolling Eyes [8|] Confused [?!:] Help [?:] King [3|:]
Laughing [:OD] What [W] Oooohh [:H] Down [:E]

  Check here to include your profile signature.
Check here to subscribe to this topic.
    

T O P I C    R E V I E W
Demzer Posted - 26 Aug 2013 : 19:57:23
Well met, fellow scribes.

I bring today to you my musings on one of the characters most misunderstood in the entire history of our precious Faerun: The Archwizard Karsus.

To understand the following you need to, first and foremost, cleanse your mind of the spiteful mystran propaganda. Once you have done so, you can start to judge objectively my musings.

The Dire Situation of Netheril:
The entirety of Netheril (both the enclaves and Low Netheril) was facing imminent destruction at the hands of the phaerimm through their vicious life draining spells.
The people of Low Netheril were suffering the worst and the source of the problem was beyond their means of discovery making the problem itself unsolvable.
The priests and their churchs did absolutely nothing for the land or the people: for all their clamoring against the philosophical and theological positions of the archwizards no faith proved to be truly worthy to step up to the challenge and no deity came to the aid of the suffering population.
The archwizards kept to their floating cities and villas and if they didn't outright ignore the problem their attempts at solving it were uncoordinated and uninspired. The best among them fled to preserve their lives like Iolaum and Lord Shadow or ignored the problem preparing countermeasures to save only themselves like Larloch.
Only Karsus stood against the tide.
Only Karsus tried to save his people.
Only Karsus was ready to sacrifice everything for the Empire.

The Fateful Decision:
With his world falling apart, with his "peers" running for their lives and divided by petty disputes, with the "gods" doing nothing and watching thousands of people slowly go to their doom, Karsus took upon himself the responsibility of trying to save the day. He understood there was magic behind the destruction of the land, magic so strong that he knew he couldn't fight it, not alone, not counting only on his forces. So he came up with a simple yet elegant plan: the gods had the power to do something but since they where just idly standing by, letting catastrophe strike their flocks without blinking an eye, he was going to reach out and take that power from them and put it to good use. Since he was unsure of the effective power of the various beings that claimed to be gods, he decided to go after the one that had the best chances of giving him a weapon to use against the life draining magic, he went after the power of Mysrtyl. When all was ready the Archwizard Karsus, the only hope for his people, the lone hero, cast his spell ...

The Spell:
It worked. The spell was a marvel of Art and perfection and worked exactly how Karsus expected it to. There was only one thing the Archwizard hadn't considered, the selfish reaction of the petty "goddess" of magic. Mysrtyl simply couldn't let go of her power, she was too fond of it that she could not let go and she could not admit that one of those pesky and borderline atheist archwizards succeeded in what she and all the other "gods" thought impossible. So, instead of letting Karsus win the struggle and save his people, she decided that he was "unworthy" of wielding her power and doomed him and all the people of Netheril choosing suicide over powerlessness.

What followed, we all know, but since Karsus failed and the dead don't write history, all we have left is the propaganda of the mystran clergy and the denigration of Karsus' effort by those that fled the struggle and abandoned thousands to die.

The truth is: Karsus was the only one that made a stand to save his people and the entire Empire of Netheril, he didn't escape to save only himself or his enclave, he stood his ground for everyone else and paid the ultimate price.

His "hubris" was in doing everything he could to save his people.
His "folly" was in challenging the petty and selfish "gods" to save his people.
His doom and that of the people of Netheril was in the actions of the "goddess of magic", Mystryl.

If you're truly seekers of knowledge, seekers of truth, reject the false teachings of the mystran propaganda and pay homage to the sacrifice of The Archwizard Karsus of Netheril, the Hero who stood in defiance of the "gods" in a last attempt to save his people.
30   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Markustay Posted - 15 Nov 2014 : 15:25:39
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolai Withander

I like you call someone more than 300 years old young!

Perhaps in the end, but it is a fact that he was a 'prodigy', and that magic came to him very easily (I have some theories about that) at a young age. Because he never had to work hard for it, as others did, he never attained the level of maturity needed to weild that amount of power..

Have you ever met or seen someone 'born to money'? Same thing - they are completely clueless about how the real world works. It doesn't matter how old they get - they have no sense of self-control, because they've never had to deal with consequences.
SaMoCon Posted - 15 Nov 2014 : 05:31:52
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolai WithanderI like you call omeone more than 300 years old young!

That, and there is the saying, "wisdom comes with age but often age comes alone." The elves are some of the longest lived things on Toril with their high mages being some of the eldest of the eldest and yet that genocidal group has created some of the greatest disasters and the longest lived scars on the planet than anything and anyone else. Even the phaerimm pale in significance to this elite (and elitist) few.

I was thinking about the stories of Icarus and, the likely inspiration of the Icarus legend, Phaethon. Icarus was the son of the master craftsman Daedalus who created the wings of wax & feather and instructed Icarus to neither fly too high nor too low. Phaethon was the son of the sun god and was granted a wish but was dramatically warned that taking the chariot of the sun for a trip across the sky is likely to be fatal and offered a mulligan on the request. These were tales of the young and daring but also short-sighted and uncomprehending. Is Karsus relegated to this side of lore? The history does not support that, as has been detailed in just this thread.

If common knowledge says that Karsus hubris caused Netheril's fall, uncommon knowledge says that Karsus challenged Mystryl, and obscure knowledge says that Karsus was unprepared for handling the upkeep of the weave (DCs 10, 15, and 20 Knowledge History according to the Lost Empires of Faerun, pg 100, Table 6-1) then the name Karsus and his deeds are more commonly known, especially anywhere the Netherese Diaspora may have spread. The story, that is the more interesting tale. The Filk Songs "Do Virgins Taste Better (Than Those Who Are Not)" and "The Dragon's Retort" take up the cliche of fantasy heroes having to rescue virginal maidens from evil dragons and tells the story from the point of view of both the peasants and the dragon without a care given to the heroes, the nobles, or the maiden. For a time there was a Cult of Karsus so there must have been a reason the guy was so popular in the immediate aftermath of Netheril's destruction. Even a novice read-in of history (4 ranks of Knowledge History at 1st level in accordance with the 3e rules) grants a 50/50 chance to know that Karsus vied for power with the Goddess Mystryl resulting in both of them being snuffed. Thee is a lot of room to swing a story like that.
Nicolai Withander Posted - 15 Nov 2014 : 01:02:56
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

quote:
Originally posted by Nicolai Withander

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Thereís always two sides of a coin. Some call him an epic fail, while others laud him for his intentions, if not his means. Iím more somewhere in between. I admire, however, his sheer genius, likely superior to any archwizard living or otherwise, human or nonhuman.



Even Ioulaum? I seem to remember him being pretty darn intelligent as well!
I think the main difference between Karsus and the other Uber-Archwizards (Ioulaum, Larloch, Aumvor, The Chronomancer, etc) is that the rest of them took the slow-and-steady route to power, and Karsus, because of his youth, was more of a 'shooting star' - he acquired his power too easily, and before he had the maturity to use it wisely.



I like you call omeone more than 300 years old young!
Markustay Posted - 13 Nov 2014 : 21:11:15
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolai Withander

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Thereís always two sides of a coin. Some call him an epic fail, while others laud him for his intentions, if not his means. Iím more somewhere in between. I admire, however, his sheer genius, likely superior to any archwizard living or otherwise, human or nonhuman.



Even Ioulaum? I seem to remember him being pretty darn intelligent as well!
I think the main difference between Karsus and the other Uber-Archwizards (Ioulaum, Larloch, Aumvor, The Chronomancer, etc) is that the rest of them took the slow-and-steady route to power, and Karsus, because of his youth, was more of a 'shooting star' - he acquired his power too easily, and before he had the maturity to use it wisely.
George Krashos Posted - 13 Nov 2014 : 15:04:56
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

just to throw another bit of a monkey wrench into things..... there's also the whole Ao is the "hidden one" and Mystryl is the "hidden one" and then there's the "hidden one" of Rashemen... all of which may hint that Ao himself may have been split at some time into Ao.... possibly from another being like Io (who may or may not have been Asgorath/Asgoroth the world shaper)?



I think this is a fair stretch of the lore. Ao, love him or hate him has only really featured in the Avatar series. That series made it clear that he was the Overgod and so hypothesizng that the same nomenclature for various entities points to them being part of a unified whole, doesn't gel in my view. Ao is separate from the FR deities and should be kept that way. It is highly unlikely that further information on Ao will ever be provided.

-- George Krashos
Nicolai Withander Posted - 13 Nov 2014 : 13:34:05
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Thereís always two sides of a coin. Some call him an epic fail, while others laud him for his intentions, if not his means. Iím more somewhere in between. I admire, however, his sheer genius, likely superior to any archwizard living or otherwise, human or nonhuman.



Even Ioulaum? I seem to remember him being pretty darn intelligent as well!
sleyvas Posted - 11 Nov 2014 : 14:25:34
just to throw another bit of a monkey wrench into things..... there's also the whole Ao is the "hidden one" and Mystryl is the "hidden one" and then there's the "hidden one" of Rashemen... all of which may hint that Ao himself may have been split at some time into Ao.... possibly from another being like Io (who may or may not have been Asgorath/Asgoroth the world shaper)? Such hints would lead to the idea that maybe the original Rashemi witches were worshipping some "hidden one" draconic deity of "world shaping" and "magic"..... which possibly sounds a lot like ley lines?
Markustay Posted - 11 Nov 2014 : 14:14:49
I am starting to see that there were various... players... that manipulated those events, and it could be that Karsus's mistake was the result of being pulled in several directions at once. All mortals are just puppets to gods... even super-genius mortals.

Also remember (here it comes...) that the Dark Chronology hints at Shar being behind the rise of the Dark Three and then Cyric, so all of that could be part of some long-term, clandestine plot and part of the on-going War of Light & Darkness. If her initial power-grab did not work* during the Fall of Netheril, then she may have prodded the Dark Three in another direction and put the events of the ToT in-motion. Mystra is 'the Lady of Mysteries', but Shar is the keeper of secrets, and unlike mysteries, secrets are supposed to stay secret - we may never know how deep her tendrils go.



*And by 'not work', that could mean anything from a complete failure, to her getting some of her power back (and starting the Shadoweave?), to her getting nearly all of her power back, but she wanted Mystra's power as well, which she did not get. So this is a '0-100' type of thing, and all guess-work, because we just don't know what her full agenda is, and what she did managed to accomplish, if anything.
sleyvas Posted - 11 Nov 2014 : 01:26:26
Just a thought... tear it apart... what if Shar's involvement was to threaten or cajole or encourage Jergal into giving up his divinity to the Dark Three... thus hinting to Karsus around the same time that humans can ascend to Divine Status. Along the same lines, might the ritual rise of the Dark Three have been siphoned off somewhat by Mellifleur via a lich creation ritual, thus causing further fuel for Karsus to think that he could ascend himself. We have hints that Jergal gave up his divinity in order to bypass some nastiness that threatened him.
Demzer Posted - 10 Nov 2014 : 17:36:36
Foreword: sorry for the Wall of Text and any typo contained therein, if you read it keep in mind that everything written is only in my opinion so yours may vary.

Oh wow, more interesting debate!

@ SaMoCon: Thanks for the support! You present valid questions and while i would steer clear of real world analogies i can surely understand why you cited those examples. It's pretty clear (even cutting away all the propaganda speech and rethoric i pumped into the Original Post just for fun) i doubt both that Karsus' story is told "as is and always the same" everywhere it is told* in Faerun and that the myth we all know is the full truth of the matter. The bit about Shar's involvement is "recent" (meaning it dates to the end of 3E) and hasn't a whole lot of references and canon backing it up (as it should be, since it's supposed to be one of the deep secrets of the setting, otherwise we should really start to question Shar's dominion over Secrets). Another Secret regarding the Fall of Netheril is the suspected involvement of Jergal in the fall of Shadowtop Borough (through the Crown of Horns) that resulted in the death of the archwizard Shenandra, thus robbing Netheril of another way out of the phaerimm crisis. We can speculate at lenght tying together the bits of canon that say that Jergal had a crush on Shar and the bits about Shar's involvement into the Karsus case and come out with a big divine conspiracy orchestrated by Shar to put Netheril into a corner and force Karsus to act. This in turn would place the blame squarely on the shoulders of deities (Shar, Jergal and any other conspirator but likewise on Amaunator, Selune, Mystryl and all the other deaf and blind Netherese deities that let the Fall happen) thus relieving poor Karsus of this enormous weight on his coscience (if two or more major deities were pushing for things to end this way while the others waited and watched then what in the Nine Hells could have Karsus done?). But this would just be more speculation, right?

* This connects to the various points raised by hashimashadoo, SaMoCon and others around the question "who knows something about Karsus in the Realms?" Well for me the problem is that that's the wrong question, since it's obvious that when a farmer has to talk about hubris he isn't citing Karsus as an example so if Karsus' case is ever brought up in a conversation/debate inside the Realms it's fairly safe to assume that either all parties know (even vaguely) about this story or that those that don't will either reject the argument or go about researching it, thus either the point will be invalid (not much point in citing examples if those that are debating with you don't know/understand them and you can't possibly be both the one using the example and the one explaining it's significance) or the discussion will resume when all parties are educated enough. So the point of "Who knows Karsus" is irrelevant by the fact that, for the sake of this discussion, if the name is brought up all Realmsian parties involved understand what's being talked about.

I do agree that Netherese history is probably obscure to a vast majority of Faerunians (?) and i like Markustay's parallel with archeological discoveries only done in the Realms recent (1370 to 14-- whatever year it is now) past, with two caveats:
1) there were (are?) entire nations of Netherese descendants that surely knew most of the details of the Karsus' case (Halruaa, Nimbral, Thindol) and it would be interesting to know how the case was debated among them;
2) anyone believing what the Shades preach is a moron;

@ Misereor: nice new perspective! I thought about something similar (somewhere back in the thread i said that Karsus' belief that he failed comes from the overwhelming presence of Mystryl sentience that overrides his own judgement) but what you wrote pushes it in a new interesting direction.

@ Markustay: it's not the first time you bring up the fact that someone else faced the phaerimm and while i agree with the general idea, i have to say that of all three of your examples, to my knowledge, only the Imaskari stand out because Shenandra died before having the chance to deploy her countermeasure (so she didn't succeed, strictly speaking) and if i remember right the Sarrukh devastated their own empire rerouting the Narrow Sea and only succeeded in stopping the phaerimm for a (long) time. Even the Sharn (another special snowflake superpowerful thingamajig on the phaerimm level) could only contain the lifedrain effect and didn't dispel it. The Imaskari amongst other things blocked off two whole pantheons from a crystal sphere, so Karsus not doing exactly what they did does not constitute that great of a shortcoming in my view.
hashimashadoo Posted - 10 Nov 2014 : 14:30:12
quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

quote:
Originally posted by hashimashadoo

Fact is, the vast majority of people don't know about what Karsus did...

The end of Netheril was abrupt and complete, not at all like the Roman Empire which waned, then fractured, then partly disintegrated, and finally its last bastion was crushed by its neighboring caliphate centuries later. The entire world of Aber Toril/Toril felt the effects immediately since "[t]he Weave began to fluctuate wildly, and the lands of Netheril and beyond were inundated with a flood of raw magic which surged and ebbed with far greater power and destructive force than had ever been seen before." Those with the power of divination are not just going to shrug and say "that was weird" especially since Mystryl became Mystra overnight. The Weave is the single most powerful thing in all Toril that even the gods cannot overcome [I call B.S. on the canon for this but that's my problem]. The idea that this is some unknown event except for a few scribes locked away in some musty libraries just makes no sense. A major god snuffed, cities falling from the sky, and the single most powerful nation on the planet wiped out in seconds, and no one got curious except for a handful of mortals? Divination magics have been said to confuse those looking through the past because they have seen a time before the Sundering when the land was vastly different. If such archaic sight is possible to learn that, then why not this?

OR... if Karsus is such a nonentity in the history (as no doubt a number of fellow forumites contend), what is the explanations that the vast disparate people tell themselves? Surely it's not all the same story as if everyone has been coached from a single source. And, again, would there not be those who would benefit from telling the story with their own twists on the truth?



What you've got to remember in any question about history is that we're looking at these questions through the eyes of players, DMs and designers - the vast majority of people that I refer to are generally poorly educated serfs who, unless they have money for books (and to be fair, if they do, they're more likely to spend their hard-earned coin on chapbooks rather than the large, ponderous tomes sages usually come out with), who care more about the weather, good harvests and whether monsters have been sighted nearby than a magical catastrophe that happened long before their grandpappy's grandpappy was born. Elves and dwarves might know more but their communities are generally too small and insular for that knowledge to spread easily.
Misereor Posted - 10 Nov 2014 : 13:50:07

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer
The Fateful Decision:
With his world falling apart, with his "peers" running for their lives and divided by petty disputes, with the "gods" doing nothing and watching thousands of people slowly go to their doom, Karsus took upon himself the responsibility of trying to save the day. He understood there was magic behind the destruction of the land, magic so strong that he knew he couldn't fight it, not alone, not counting only on his forces. So he came up with a simple yet elegant plan: the gods had the power to do something but since they where just idly standing by, letting catastrophe strike their flocks without blinking an eye, he was going to reach out and take that power from them and put it to good use. Since he was unsure of the effective power of the various beings that claimed to be gods, he decided to go after the one that had the best chances of giving him a weapon to use against the life draining magic, he went after the power of Mysrtyl. When all was ready the Archwizard Karsus, the only hope for his people, the lone hero, cast his spell ...

The Spell:
It worked. The spell was a marvel of Art and perfection and worked exactly how Karsus expected it to. There was only one thing the Archwizard hadn't considered, the selfish reaction of the petty "goddess" of magic. Mysrtyl simply couldn't let go of her power, she was too fond of it that she could not let go and she could not admit that one of those pesky and borderline atheist archwizards succeeded in what she and all the other "gods" thought impossible. So, instead of letting Karsus win the struggle and save his people, she decided that he was "unworthy" of wielding her power and doomed him and all the people of Netheril choosing suicide over powerlessness.

What followed, we all know, but since Karsus failed and the dead don't write history, all we have left is the propaganda of the mystran clergy and the denigration of Karsus' effort by those that fled the struggle and abandoned thousands to die.

The truth is: Karsus was the only one that made a stand to save his people and the entire Empire of Netheril, he didn't escape to save only himself or his enclave, he stood his ground for everyone else and paid the ultimate price.

His "hubris" was in doing everything he could to save his people.
His "folly" was in challenging the petty and selfish "gods" to save his people.
His doom and that of the people of Netheril was in the actions of the "goddess of magic", Mystryl.

If you're truly seekers of knowledge, seekers of truth, reject the false teachings of the mystran propaganda and pay homage to the sacrifice of The Archwizard Karsus of Netheril, the Hero who stood in defiance of the "gods" in a last attempt to save his people.



Here's another version.
It assumes that gods are their portfolios, who are given faces and personalities by the faith of their followers (much like our world). In essence that would make the gods physical manifestations (avatars) of their portfolios rather than complete individuals in their own right.

Karsus could have succeeded and become the God of Magic, but in doing so doomed Netheril, for magic does not have a human outlook or human concerns. Becoming Mystryl also meant becoming not-Karsus, and not-Karsus had no interest or business in saving Netheril.

Worshippers noticed that a change had occurred, but did not understand what it was. They reasoned that the new god could not possibly be Karsus, since he would surely have saved Netheril. Mystryl, being seen as a female deity, was therefore reasoned to have been reincarnated as a new, younger (and weaker, it was sometimes whispered) version of herself.

Only when this had happened, was Mystra born, magic itself given a face and form by her worshippers. Much like an earlier god of magic in ancient times had been transformed into Mystryl, merely the latest in a long line of transformations that had seen magic wear a succession of reptilian, Elvish, and Human faces since the dawn of time.

So Karsus' spell worked, but Karsus himself did not understand that becoming the god of magic would also make the god of magic into Karsus, essentially erasing his personality unless he had a sufficient number of worhippers to imprint it (as they saw it) on magic, once he had assumed the portfolio.

As a tangent the Dark Three may have known, possibly providing a reason for why they spent so much time building up a legend around themselves before their ascension.

Markustay Posted - 10 Nov 2014 : 13:43:55
I like to think that the the lore we learned as 1e/2e/3e progressed paralleled the lore being learned by sages in The Realms.

In other words, we knew very little (details) concerning Nethril in 1e (was that term even used?). Then we learned more in 2e, and a great deal more in 3e (perhaps, too much). I liken this to archaeologists (greedy mages, adventurers, Zhents, etc) finally having the chutzpah to start digging up Netherese ruins - for a thousand years such things were 'taboo' for most people in the Realms (stories of Netheril were along the lines of parables - told just to teach lessons about what not to do). Also, many Netherese artifacts were psuedo-magical, and therefor practically worthless, except to a collector.

The return of Shade changed all that, and I think the name 'Karsus' may be commonly known by now - at least, by all learned men (and women). That would be at the end of the 3e era.

Given we have a 100 years of empty history and messy Spellplague, it could be that his name has become obscure again... we won't know more until 5eFR comes out (and maybe not even then... not sure if they plan on getting that detailed ever again).

I think the problem comes in that many people (real and in-game) believe Karsus's 'self hype'. He was a magical genius, but then again, so were many Netherese. At the end of the day, he was a megolomaniac with delusions of grandeur - he decided the only way to end the threat was by becoming THE God of Magic... even though two other races, and another Netherese Arcanist, all figured-out other means of dealing with the phaerimm (thus proving him completely wrong... or misguided).
SaMoCon Posted - 10 Nov 2014 : 06:47:08
quote:
Originally posted by hashimashadoo

Fact is, the vast majority of people don't know about what Karsus did...

The end of Netheril was abrupt and complete, not at all like the Roman Empire which waned, then fractured, then partly disintegrated, and finally its last bastion was crushed by its neighboring caliphate centuries later. The entire world of Aber Toril/Toril felt the effects immediately since "[t]he Weave began to fluctuate wildly, and the lands of Netheril and beyond were inundated with a flood of raw magic which surged and ebbed with far greater power and destructive force than had ever been seen before." Those with the power of divination are not just going to shrug and say "that was weird" especially since Mystryl became Mystra overnight. The Weave is the single most powerful thing in all Toril that even the gods cannot overcome [I call B.S. on the canon for this but that's my problem]. The idea that this is some unknown event except for a few scribes locked away in some musty libraries just makes no sense. A major god snuffed, cities falling from the sky, and the single most powerful nation on the planet wiped out in seconds, and no one got curious except for a handful of mortals? Divination magics have been said to confuse those looking through the past because they have seen a time before the Sundering when the land was vastly different. If such archaic sight is possible to learn that, then why not this?

OR... if Karsus is such a nonentity in the history (as no doubt a number of fellow forumites contend), what is the explanations that the vast disparate people tell themselves? Surely it's not all the same story as if everyone has been coached from a single source. And, again, would there not be those who would benefit from telling the story with their own twists on the truth?
hashimashadoo Posted - 09 Nov 2014 : 23:57:22
Fact is, the vast majority of people don't know about what Karsus did. In Ed's Realms, the *name* Karsus is virtually unheard of. A couple of learned sages knew there used to be a place called Netheril - they didn't know where it was or when it existed (their estimates were WAY off) or why it no longer exists. Karse was this bizarre place in the High Forest that nobody ever visited for fear of running into zany cultists or powerful wizards.

High-level arcane spellcasters would find their progress blocked because of Mystra's Ban, but unless they were survivors of Karsus' Folly or had a direct line to the gods of magic, they wouldn't necessarily know why.

Even when 3.5e brought Shade back into the Realms, sources said that only a minute fraction of that city's population knew any of the specific details of why Netheril fell.

The fact that Augathra suspected Shar's complicity only came into play just before the advent of 4e in one of the very final products to be released under the FR line.

Other products, especially licensed ones (I'm looking at you, Bioware) made it seem like Karsus' Folly was more common knowledge because they kept including it as a subplot but in reality maybe a few dozen people in the world had any inkling of the facts.
SaMoCon Posted - 09 Nov 2014 : 23:16:56
Great! Now that there seems to be a truce in the forums again, I'd like to ask how the lore of Karsus and the Fall of Netheril is passed on? Taking our own world as an example there are many versions of the truth that are passed on and believed endemically by groups of people based upon culture, ethnicity, and nationality and that is amongst the sole sapient people whom have uncontested control of the world. What about the Forgotten Realms?

The gnome descendents of the former slaves probably have deep seated animosity and likely would have seen the Fall as divine retribution. The Low Netherese might be fragmented in their beliefs dependent upon whether they were seriously affected by it and may have benefited from the absence of the High Netherese. Surely at least some of the elven High Mages were awed by the power and audacity displayed by a single human and more so by the human god of magic to at least question the nature of the Weave and whether their own god of magic even matters. Demzer, rightly, brought up a viewpoint that in all likelihood fully exists within multiple civilizations and taught to newer generations.

Again, using our real world as an example, recent events like the Holocaust in Europe and Atom Bombing of Japan have twisted truths, omitted facts, or completely denied the narrative in how many people have come to know them. There are people in my home country of the United States whom are taught the Civil War as the "War of Northern Aggression" with the Confederacy failing in its noble bid for freedom. Columbus was a hero of European descendents and a villain to Native American descendents. Boris Yeltsin was well liked and positively viewed internationally but was reviled by his own people for weakness and poor domestic policies. "Denier" is now a pejorative hurled by one side against another, "talking points" are now lists of cherry picked data meant to be used in a vacuum of talking without discourse, and right or wrong people entrench themselves in their beliefs to the point of blind zealotry.

Okay, now we have a world with intruder elves and dwarves and a complete ethnicity of humans dumped in from somewhere else. Let us not forget the endemic humans, halflings, and gnomes. But those are just the pretty ones, because there are giants, and ogres, and trolls, and goblinoids, gated in orcs, hyper-intelligent dragons, cunning monstrosities below the ground, and denizens by the dozen in the seas. Even these peoples among themselves - they be different, with no monoculture, no unified leadership, and thusly no single point of view.

Just because we have canon sources (written by people who have varying levels of skill, foresight, and knowledge associated with virtual world building) does not, and should not, mean there needs to be a reflexive denunciation of things that challenge that canon. I support Demzer for bringing up something that so obviously would happen given real world examples. Halruaa and Nimbral were successors of Netheril, would they say that Karsus and his attempts were bad and trying to push boundaries is just evil? "This is your brain. This is your brain on Nether Scrolls. Any questions?"

What about the conspiracy of Shar? Is there anyone who knows of it? Is it being espoused anywhere? For that matter, are there people who question if Karsus really acted alone? Did Mystyl's head really go back and to the left? Who gains from the changes in the narrative? I'm sure every anti-Mystryl/Mystra/Midnight organization and all magic hating cultures differ in the belief that it was Karsus victimizing the goddess.

Does anyone else have something to add, suggest, debate, or argue to the Karsus mythology?
Markustay Posted - 09 Nov 2014 : 14:06:36
Whatever. I'm over it.

I no longer care - lets the chips fall where they may.

Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Nov 2014 : 22:51:09
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I feel the same way. Have you ever gone back through old threads and saw how many times you've posted IMMEDIATELY after me?


Gosh, maybe that has something to do with me being here a lot. How do you think I got such a high post count?


quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

The difference is, I don't jump all over people every time my interpretation doesn't agree with theirs.


No difference -- I didn't "jump all over" you or anyone else. After your statement that there was only one possible way to read something, I used canon to point out that there was more than one way to read it.

I also said that your interpretation might be right.

My only disagreement was that there was only one possible conclusion. And I backed up my disagreement with canon references.

You're the one who attacked me for trying to force my views on someone else, when that was exactly what you did by saying there was no other interpretation possible.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

You think I didn't agree with others here that everything Xal said was utter nonsense? However, I chose to avoid those threads because this site should be about everyone having fun with the Realms, whatever version they happen to think it is. If I find myself unable to be helpful (and thats precisely what happened with his threads - I really couldn't write a positive post), I just didn't post.


So because I used canon to say that there was more than one possible conclusion, that's not being helpful?

Personally, I should think that saying there is more than one way to spin something would create more possibilities and thus could be quite helpful.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I've seen this time and again, both here and at the WotC site (but it is much worse here) - that if a poster isn't playing the Realms the way the grognards think it should be, they get attacked, repeatedly, until they just leave. This is a very unfriendly site unless you happen to agree with the status-quo.


Here's the thing: you were not being attacked. Again, I said that your conclusion might be correct. Most people don't attack others by agreeing with them.

Actually, the attack was coming from you, with pre-emptively trying to shut up anyone that didn't agree with you, and then point blank attacking me when I said that there could be other interpretations.

And a lot of people here approach the Realms in a lot of different ways, without anyone saying a word about it. Heck, if we were so unfriendly, we'd have a lot less of the folks that favored the post-Spellplague era.

I've seen a lot of people say things I don't agree with, but I've kept quiet because there was no reason for me to say anything. Most of the time, when I disagree with someone on something, it's when printed canon contradicts something they say is canon.

How often have I said anything at all about anything you've posted with "in my home-brew Realms"? I haven't. Your home-brew Realms has a lot of stuff that I don't want in my Realms -- but it's your home-brew, you label it as home-brew, and thus I leave it alone.

Ditto for your Misbegotten Realms. I simply do not understand trying to put all settings in one. But there is no reason for me to say anything at all about it, so I do not.

Just about everything I have disagreed with you on, it's been based on interpretations of canon, with me favoring what is actually written. If it seems like I disagree with you frequently, it might be because you're one of the more active posters and thus create more opportunities to be disagreed with. You should have noted, though, there have been far more times that I've not said anything at all, rather than disagreeing with you. I doubt I disagree with you more frequently than a couple of times a month.

I have nothing personal against you. I'm just really tired of this attitude that disagreeing with you is an attack.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

In fact, this site was an example sited as to the reasons behind the 4e decisions - to end those 'feelings of entitlement'. I love the Realms dearly (which is the only reason why I stick around), but this whole attitude of 'doing it right' has to stop.


I don't see that this attitude exists. And I'd love to see something backing up that the statement that we factored into the 4E decisions.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Just about everything is open to interpretation (especially since 4e chose to just throw a lot of canon right out the window).


This is an ironic statement, considering that what I was reacting to was your statement that there was not room for interpretation.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I just wanted to make sure EVERYONE was aware that the Black Chronology SAYS that Shar was involved with what happened in Netheril (on some level - how much is definitely open to interpretation, as it was to Augratha's).


No, it says that Shar's involvement was theorized by Augratha. It does not definitively state that Shar was involved, it says -- as I quoted earlier -- that Augratha believed Shar was involved.

In other words, Shar's involvement is an interpretation of the information provided.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

What Augratha thought or didn't think has no bearing on what the book said - Augratha is not an 'it' (unless you are trying to say that the designer that wrote that bit did indeed mean Augratha was an 'it').

"It hints at the involvement of an archwizard named Karsus"

It doesn't say "an archwizard, which she had reasoned to be Karsus". It says Karsus. The BOOK - which has thus-far been correct about everything else - said Karsus.


I'm honestly not sure what you're trying to establish, here. Again, my stance has been that per what is written, Shar may or may not have been involved with the Black Chronology. It's certainly quite likely, it's just that using words like "hypothesized" and "she believed" means that it is not an incontrovertible fact.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

The 'hinted at' part refers to how much involvement she my have had (duped, 'working for', a 'Chosen of...', "found a scroll on the ground with that spell on it that she left there", etc, etc - thats the ONLY part open to interpretation.


Shar's involvement, as a whole, is the part open to interpretation. I've not said that your conclusion is incorrect, just that the way the passage is written, it's not the only possible conclusion.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

The fact is, Shar was somehow involved with the fall of Nethril. We just don't know to what extent.


And this is the heart of my disagreement, once more: it's not a fact. It's a likely conclusion.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

And sadly, if you only knew the reasons WHY I posted this here and went looking for that bit of lore, I am certain you'd be on my side, and thats all I can say about that.



I'm not against you. I don't know why you think that I am. I flat out said that you could be right.

The only disagreement I have presented is to whether or not there are other potential interpretations.

Please, feel free to PM me and share your reasons. I am always willing to discuss Realmslore; that's why I'm here. And I'd really rather not have you or anyone else feel that I had an issue with them.
Markustay Posted - 08 Nov 2014 : 16:25:21
I feel the same way. Have you ever gone back through old threads and saw how many times you've posted IMMEDIATELY after me? The difference is, I don't jump all over people every time my interpretation doesn't agree with theirs.

You think I didn't agree with others here that everything Xal said was utter nonsense? However, I chose to avoid those threads because this site should be about everyone having fun with the Realms, whatever version they happen to think it is. If I find myself unable to be helpful (and thats precisely what happened with his threads - I really couldn't write a positive post), I just didn't post.

I've seen this time and again, both here and at the WotC site (but it is much worse here) - that if a poster isn't playing the Realms the way the grognards think it should be, they get attacked, repeatedly, until they just leave. This is a very unfriendly site unless you happen to agree with the status-quo. In fact, this site was an example sited as to the reasons behind the 4e decisions - to end those 'feelings of entitlement'. I love the Realms dearly (which is the only reason why I stick around), but this whole attitude of 'doing it right' has to stop. Just about everything is open to interpretation (especially since 4e chose to just throw a lot of canon right out the window). I just wanted to make sure EVERYONE was aware that the Black Chronology SAYS that Shar was involved with what happened in Netheril (on some level - how much is definitely open to interpretation, as it was to Augratha's). What Augratha thought or didn't think has no bearing on what the book said - Augratha is not an 'it' (unless you are trying to say that the designer that wrote that bit did indeed mean Augratha was an 'it').

"It hints at the involvement of an archwizard named Karsus"

It doesn't say "an archwizard, which she had reasoned to be Karsus". It says Karsus. The BOOK - which has thus-far been correct about everything else - said Karsus. The 'hinted at' part refers to how much involvement she my have had (duped, 'working for', a 'Chosen of...', "found a scroll on the ground with that spell on it that she left there", etc, etc - thats the ONLY part open to interpretation. The fact is, Shar was somehow involved with the fall of Nethril. We just don't know to what extent.

And sadly, if you only knew the reasons WHY I posted this here and went looking for that bit of lore, I am certain you'd be on my side, and thats all I can say about that.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Nov 2014 : 15:16:20
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I knew you'd be along to let us know that YOUR interpretation of canon is the correct one.

Shall I kiss your ring now, oh tyrannical one?



Ah, there we go. I was expecting a reaction like this.

Tell me, how is me saying that there is room for interpretation tyrannical? Especially when I said your interpretation could be correct?

And how is your phrasing less tyrannical?

quote:
and you can make yourself feel better by 'interpreting' it anyway you want, but at the end of the day, we all know precisely what the designer who wrote it intended.


So, in other words, no matter what is written, you are saying your interpretation is the correct one. And yet, I'm the tyrant.

Oh, and this?

quote:
It sounds pretty cut-and-dry. I am sure folks will argue that Auguthra was mad and it was "just her belief", but thats not what it says.


Actually, it explicitly says that. Page 63 of that source, bolding mine:

quote:
Augratha hypothesized that these secrets and this curse were the work of the primordial deity of the night, Shar. She believed that Shar revealed this Black Chronology in hopes of bringing about the destruction of the Weave and the goddess Mystryl.


I'm getting really tired of being attacked every time I even imply that you might not be correct on something.
Markustay Posted - 08 Nov 2014 : 15:03:03
I knew you'd be along to let us know that YOUR interpretation of canon is the correct one.

Shall I kiss your ring now, oh tyrannical one?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Nov 2014 : 14:27:27
The fact that it says "she believed" means it is not a definite fact. It could be true, but there is room for it to be wrong. I think if the designer who wrote it intended for it to be cut and dried with only one possible interpretation, a more definitive phrase would have been used.
Markustay Posted - 08 Nov 2014 : 14:03:09
Okay, that must be it then. I never double-checked people when they referenced that bit of lore (my assumption always being that if someone IS providing a reference, then it must be there).

It sounds pretty cut-and-dry. I am sure folks will argue that Auguthra was mad and it was "just her belief", but thats not what it says. Its says, "It hints at the involvement of an archwizard named Karsus". The 'it' being the Black Cronology itself, and not Auguthra's musings.

And yes, Shar could lie, blah blah, blah... and you can make yourself feel better by 'interpreting' it anyway you want, but at the end of the day, we all know precisely what the designer who wrote it intended. Thus far, the Black Chronology has proven true.

The god Shar was manipulating events in such a way that Mystryl died and the Weave collapsed. It is only after Mystra comes into being and the new Weave is created that we hear about a 'Shadow Weave' (which isn't evidence that it didn't already exist, but it does seem like the appropriate moment for Shar to have dug her fingers into the half of Mystryl that belonged to her).

Now, looking at other events, like the ToT and the spellplague - it all seems to be linked. Not only does Shar manipulate mortals to accomplish her goals, but deities as well.

Hmmmm... you ever feel like you are purposely 'raising your voice' during a conversation, just so others will hear? Yeah... its like THAT.
hashimashadoo Posted - 08 Nov 2014 : 09:47:43
That's the only reference to it I could find as well.
Demzer Posted - 08 Nov 2014 : 09:37:13
Oh! My first thread raised from the dead again!

Markustay, are you sure it was in the three supermodules? All i could find is just a hint, in Anauroch: the Empire of Shade, page 63, third bullet-point paragraph.
Markustay Posted - 07 Nov 2014 : 23:06:34
*** Raises scroll again ***

i know this has been discussed before, but since I can't find the exact scroll I'll ask here, since everything in this scroll has bearing on what I am trying to figure out.

In the three super-modules that came out at the end of 3e, we find out that Shar was behind it all - that she was the one that somehow manipulated Karsus into casting that spell and causing the Weave to collapse (presumably to steal-back her lost half... and perhaps the other half as well). I still think she succeeded with hers - I think thats when the Shadow-Weave first got created.

Does anyone know exactly where it states that? That Shar was the one manipulating Karsus and the events in Netheril? I have the three modules in-question, but they are in an unsearchable format, and I have never read through them from end-to-end, only bits people have pointed out to me. So rather then me reading all three of them right now to find one piece of information, can anyone (more familiar with those adventures) please point me in the right direction?
The Arcanamach Posted - 29 Jan 2014 : 23:11:04
I didn't say he wanted to become a god...I said he would want power over a god. And no one said anything Larloch did was obvious. We've conjectured many things about Larloch on this site...and I don't recall anyone ever stating or alluding to Larloch being that transparent.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 29 Jan 2014 : 22:29:58
I don't recall anything saying Larloch was interested in the Crown of Horns... But I'd expect his interest in it to be related to the undead the Crown can create, or perhaps to learn more about undeath in general from the former god of the undead that is in the Crown... It's also possible he wants to know more about matters divine, for his own purposes, and again thinks a fallen deity would be a good source of info.
Venomus Posted - 29 Jan 2014 : 21:17:00
Well, it is kinda obvious but... isn't it too obvious for such a powerful player as Larloch?

C'mon don't tell me You all don't want this to be a little more sophisticated and behind the scenes that "Yup, imma just gonna take that crown and become a god, what the heck".
If that old sack of bones wanted to become a god he had at least a few opportunities in the last +/- 2,000 years, right?
The Arcanamach Posted - 29 Jan 2014 : 20:44:19
All of the gods are coming back Venomus. As for Myrkul's origins I believe it's canon that he 'came from the east' and so the best speculation is that he was a prince of Murghom. As for Larloch wanting the Crown of Horns that one is easy...he wants power over a god (and a god with power over the undead at that). Cheers.

Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2022 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000