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 Pre-Descent dark elf abilities?

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Cosmar Posted - 01 Oct 2019 : 03:34:04
So, in my current game, we're in a demiplane ruled by fey creatures in which we have just discovered a community of sylvan and dark elves that have been living there since before the end of the First Crown War. These dark elves are pre-Descent and don't even know about what happened in the Crown Wars since they've never gone back to Faerun.

Not that it's terribly important, but I'm wondering what you all think pre-Descent dark elves would look like, stat/ability-wise? I play 3.5, but I assume they'd be significantly different considering most of their current features (regardless of which edition) are due to having lived underground/near faerzress/in their brutal culture for so long.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Wrigley Posted - 17 Oct 2019 : 17:52:07
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Not every elf is going to be able to be a great mage (I said as much). But they are more closely linked to it; a magical race (see my quotes). You absolutely have your powerful humans and human empires (such as the Netherese), but the difference is the elven race is closely linked to magic, whereas humans are not.

But we have both made our points, and I respect your reasoning, even if I don't entirely agree. We will just have to agree to disagree on this


Thank you, I like to check my opinions against others and I love discussions. My flaw is that I like to have proof of something but I know there are people who prefer feelings. This is exactly the situation. Citations you provided were great.
And I do not mean it wrong in any way, just my mind is not build for it :-)

I do not need or want "my powerful humans". I just do not see a difference between them and elves.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 17 Oct 2019 : 16:11:44
Not every elf is going to be able to be a great mage (I said as much). But they are more closely linked to it; a magical race (see my quotes). You absolutely have your powerful humans and human empires (such as the Netherese), but the difference is the elven race is closely linked to magic, whereas humans are not.

But we have both made our points, and I respect your reasoning, even if I don't entirely agree. We will just have to agree to disagree on this
Wrigley Posted - 17 Oct 2019 : 12:35:19
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout
I am not discounting human’s ability to do magic. I did say humans could be magically powerful, and yes, there are plenty of examples of magically powerful human empires, like the ones you listed. My point was that elves are more innately tied to magic than some other races, such as humans. This doesn’t mean every elf is going to be able to do magic, but, to quote the source book Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves:

To elves, magic is less a power or force to manipulate and more an energy source and something that permeates their entire existence. To separate elves from their magic is to pull a fish out of water or rob a scholar of his ability to read. To an elf, magic is as ever present as life itself, and the use of it in common spells as well as High Magic is almost as much a religious experience as communing with the Seldarine…Elves understand the Weave, the mystical balance of forces and energies that govern magic on Toril, and even those elves whose preferences lie with swords can feel it surrounding them at all times…magic is as natural a thing to elves as water, air, and the earth below.” (pg 123).


I will try to explain what I see in this text (and changed bolded text for emphasis).
Elven life is so full of magic that they are used to it even if they have none of the ability to channel it (similar to common people in Netheril). Their view of magic is different but it does not change their ability to work it. = culture not ability.

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout
And, for a more recent edition, The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide:

”Skilled in both magic and warfare, the Tel’Quessir—“the People”, as they call themselves—came to Faerun ages ago, building vast and powerful empires long before the rise of humans. The days of the great elven nations are now long past, and many elves have withdrawn from the world into isolated sylvan realms, or set sail across the Trackless Sea to the isle of Evermeet.
Unlike dwarves, who developed subraces in the world, elves brought their divisions with them, settling into separate kingdoms by type. Beings of immense power, the first elves explored and settled the world, bringing about the golden age of art, magic, and civilization. At the height of their power, the elves performed a High Magic ritual intended to create the ideal homeland
.” (pg 105).


Elves at large as "the People" are skilled in magic and warfare - it does not mean any specific elf but them as nation - again the same as Netheril or Imaskari (culture not ability). I will get to "first elves" later.

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout
This is why I said at the height of their empire. As you mentioned, humans like the Netherese were also empires of immense magically prowess, but the point here, again, is that elves are closely tied with the Weave in a way most other races (except for perhaps dragons and other really powerful beings, which are on a different level entirely) are not. Of course a human mage could best your average elf who was not a wizard in a magical duel, but elves are by nature attuned with and tied to the Weave, whereas humans are not. With humans, it is on an individual basis, whereas it is a racial trait with elves.


For me if you say a race is attuned to magic it means that every one of such a race have this gift. This is not true for any elven subrace except drow. There is no magical ability in any edition of the game saying elves can do any more than humans (except restriction of High magic). Dragons and other powerful creatures have those racial powers (dragon breath, magic resistance, innate spells, ...). For example any gnome have a racial spell-like ability so I can say they as a race are more magical than humans. Their only special ability is long life so it is easier for them to have powerful mages and even switch classes becoming a mage during their life. If human can live that long he could also master multiple crafts (not innate talent).

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout
On the next page, albeit referring specifically to sun elves, the SCAG says:

“Sun elf culture and civilization is highly magical in nature, thanks to the race’s many accomplished wizards, sages, and crafters. Not every sun elf is a skilled practitioner of the Art, but each one has at least a bit of inherent magic. Many sun elves mix magic with other art forms, which produces the complex dance of the bladesingers as well as the enchanting music of their bards and the meticulous craftwork of their artisans.} (pg 106).

Also remember that elves originated from Faerie/Feywild (at least the sun and moon elves. If I remember correctly, wild elves were already present), a highly magical place, and are descendants of eladrin, elves who dwell in Faerie, and are magical beings. In other words, magic is in elven veins.


So inherent magic from planar origin - yes "first elves" were planar beings and had some magical powers based on eladrin relatives. Modern elves have highly magical culture with many accomplished wizards but have almost none inherent magic in them (3,5ed - +2 save vs enchantments). This is further confirmed by their type - they are not Fey, not Outsiders (not even native outsiders), they are humanoid-elf (besides such colleagues as bugbear, gnoll, troglodyte or goblin).
CorellonsDevout Posted - 17 Oct 2019 : 00:28:32
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout
Well, elves aren't human, any more than dwarves, orcs, halfling, gnomes, etc are. Their race is different, and that fact is going to lend itself to racial uniqueness (dwarves have their own racial uniqueness, such as their unmatched ability to mine). So there is going to be some specialness to elves. They do tend to be more closely tied to the Weave, and more magically attuned. So this does lend itself to elves being magically powerful. This doesn't mean all elves are going to be magically powerful, and there are of course a number of examples of powerful humans, but I would argue it isn't just propaganda. It's an attribute of their race, especially historically, at the height of their empire. They're a type of fey, after all, and fey do tend to be more closely affiliated with magic and tied to it. They're more tied to and attuned with nature, as well. It's part of their racial makeup. Just like dwarves are attuned with stone and the tunnels of the earth.


You have the same arguments as Wooly.
Dwarves have their stonecunning abilities clearly stated in the lore/rules from the beginning so there is no question about it. However elves as I have summarised before have almost no such powers/abilities. If we say elves are magicaly powerful because in height of their empire some of their mages made great magic - than humans are also magicaly powerful as they had many feats of grand magic (Imaskari, Netheries, Calimshan, Raumathar, ...)

"elves are almost human" was meant as comparison of abilities not races. Elves have lower constitution than humans and only sun elves have higher inteligence, moon elves are more dexterous but that does not help either crafts nor magic. They do not sleep so they are immune to such a spells (similar to Speak with animal do not work on humans) and they have small bonus against enchantments/later magic in general from their fey ancestry. And that is about it regarding elven magical abilities as a race.

All those arguments like "attuned to nature/Weave" is not supported by any tangible evidence in the realms lore. They have their own style of magic rituals (High magic) that is specific to their culture but common elf has no way of tapping that.



I am not discounting human’s ability to do magic. I did say humans could be magically powerful, and yes, there are plenty of examples of magically powerful human empires, like the ones you listed. My point was that elves are more innately tied to magic than some other races, such as humans. This doesn’t mean every elf is going to be able to do magic, but, to quote the source book Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves:

To elves, magic is less a power or force to manipulate and more an energy source and something that permeates their entire existence. To separate elves from their magic is to pull a fish out of water or rob a scholar of his ability to read. To an elf, magic is as ever present as life itself, and the use of it in common spells as well as High Magic is almost as much a religious experience as communing with the Seldarine…Elves understand the Weave, the mystical balance of forces and energies that govern magic on Toril, and even those elves whose preferences lie with swords can feel it surrounding them at all times…magic is as natural a thing to elves as water, air, and the earth below.” (pg 123).

And, for a more recent edition, The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide:

”Skilled in both magic and warfare, the Tel’Quessir—“the People”, as they call themselves—came to Faerun ages ago, building vast and powerful empires long before the rise of humans. The days of the great elven nations are now long past, and many elves have withdrawn from the world into isolated sylvan realms, or set sail across the Trackless Sea to the isle of Evermeet.
Unlike dwarves, who developed subraces in the world, elves brought their divisions with them, settling into separate kingdoms by type. Beings of immense power, the first elves explored and settled the world, bringing about the golden age of art, magic, and civilization. At the height of their power, the elves performed a High Magic ritual intended to create the ideal homeland
.” (pg 105, emphasis mine).

This is why I said at the height of their empire. As you mentioned, humans like the Netherese were also empires of immense magically prowess, but the point here, again, is that elves are closely tied with the Weave in a way most other races (except for perhaps dragons and other really powerful beings, which are on a different level entirely) are not. Of course a human mage could best your average elf who was not a wizard in a magical duel, but elves are by nature attuned with and tied to the Weave, whereas humans are not. With humans, it is on an individual basis, whereas it is a racial trait with elves.

On the next page, albeit referring specifically to sun elves, the SCAG says:

“Sun elf culture and civilization is highly magical in nature, thanks to the race’s many accomplished wizards, sages, and crafters. Not every sun elf is a skilled practitioner of the Art, but each one has at least a bit of inherent magic. Many sun elves mix magic with other art forms, which produces the complex dance of the bladesingers as well as the enchanting music of their bards and the meticulous craftwork of their artisans.} (pg 106, emphasis again mine).

Also remember that elves originated from Faerie/Feywild (at least the sun and moon elves. If I remember correctly, wild elves were already present), a highly magical place, and are descendants of eladrin, elves who dwell in Faerie, and are magical beings. In other words, magic is in elven veins.
Wrigley Posted - 16 Oct 2019 : 12:29:20
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout
Well, elves aren't human, any more than dwarves, orcs, halfling, gnomes, etc are. Their race is different, and that fact is going to lend itself to racial uniqueness (dwarves have their own racial uniqueness, such as their unmatched ability to mine). So there is going to be some specialness to elves. They do tend to be more closely tied to the Weave, and more magically attuned. So this does lend itself to elves being magically powerful. This doesn't mean all elves are going to be magically powerful, and there are of course a number of examples of powerful humans, but I would argue it isn't just propaganda. It's an attribute of their race, especially historically, at the height of their empire. They're a type of fey, after all, and fey do tend to be more closely affiliated with magic and tied to it. They're more tied to and attuned with nature, as well. It's part of their racial makeup. Just like dwarves are attuned with stone and the tunnels of the earth.


You have the same arguments as Wooly.
Dwarves have their stonecunning abilities clearly stated in the lore/rules from the beginning so there is no question about it. However elves as I have summarised before have almost no such powers/abilities. If we say elves are magicaly powerful because in height of their empire some of their mages made great magic - than humans are also magicaly powerful as they had many feats of grand magic (Imaskari, Netheries, Calimshan, Raumathar, ...)

"elves are almost human" was meant as comparison of abilities not races. Elves have lower constitution than humans and only sun elves have higher inteligence, moon elves are more dexterous but that does not help either crafts nor magic. They do not sleep so they are immune to such a spells (similar to Speak with animal do not work on humans) and they have small bonus against enchantments/later magic in general from their fey ancestry. And that is about it regarding elven magical abilities as a race.

All those arguments like "attuned to nature/Weave" is not supported by any tangible evidence in the realms lore. They have their own style of magic rituals (High magic) that is specific to their culture but common elf has no way of tapping that.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 15 Oct 2019 : 00:19:34
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

[quote]


However most important point for this discussion was that elves are almost human in their personal magical power except long life. To that Wooly argued that there is plenty of lore saying they are special but I see no facts but a lot of propaganda about it in the lore...



Well, elves aren't human, any more than dwarves, orcs, halfling, gnomes, etc are. Their race is different, and that fact is going to lend itself to racial uniqueness (dwarves have their own racial uniqueness, such as their unmatched ability to mine). So there is going to be some specialness to elves. They do tend to be more closely tied to the Weave, and more magically attuned. So this does lend itself to elves being magically powerful. This doesn't mean all elves are going to be magically powerful, and there are of course a number of examples of powerful humans, but I would argue it isn't just propaganda. It's an attribute of their race, especially historically, at the height of their empire. They're a type of fey, after all, and fey do tend to be more closely affiliated with magic and tied to it. They're more tied to and attuned with nature, as well. It's part of their racial makeup. Just like dwarves are attuned with stone and the tunnels of the earth.
Wrigley Posted - 14 Oct 2019 : 23:45:31
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout
I know the thread has moved on from this, but I wanted to chime in here. It's not just elven sources that detail things; Lost Empires of Faerun, Demihuman Deities, and GHotR all present the historical facts, without catering to an elven bias (and stating the biases that are there when necessary). If we can't take anything as fact, then there is little point in having canon and an established setting.

I tend to think even myths work a bit differently in the Realms than they do in the RW. This does not mean that every myth should be taken as absolute fact, but when a myth persists and is woven throughout the lore, then it suggests at least some truth to the myth (such as elves being born from Corellon's blood). Also, even in nativist propaganda, we can garner some truth from it, just like we can in the real world.


You are absolutely right about canon facts. However I still believe that lot of truth is hidden between lines. If you connect the dots you can find a lot of information that are not written plainly in sources. Those informations usually do not contradict written lore but they certainly change the meaning of it.
Gold elves are characterized as noble race that lead elven people for millennia. That is true but if you look closely what happened during their rule you start to see a pattern. It does not mean every sun elf is bad but generally they tend to be arrogant and racist.

However most important point for this discussion was that elves are almost human in their personal magical power except long life. To that Wooly argued that there is plenty of lore saying they are special but I see no facts but a lot of propaganda about it in the lore...
Barastir Posted - 11 Oct 2019 : 12:48:28
I am also an elven fan. As for High Magic, I read somewhere that magic manifested differently for each race. IIRC, in a mention about the Nether Scrolls. So, going to High Magic would be definitely an elven thing, as draconic magic is for dragons, and illusionism and magic trickery is for gnomes.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 10 Oct 2019 : 21:57:50
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

@wrigley... lol, I think you are mistaking me for someone who likes elves. You'd find, reading my other posts, that quite the opposite is true. Endless elf-centric Realmslore is what moved me away from the setting towards Planescape and Darksun.



I am one of few people here that actually likes elves lol. This doesn't mean I will ignore their faults (Crown Wars, for example), and they can definitely be arrogant (especially sun elves), but I don't hate the entire race for it.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 10 Oct 2019 : 21:56:23
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley


If you wish than keep your fantasy of Tolkien's elves in the Realms but there is no evidence of them in given lore except for their own viewpoint and tales.



No evidence beyond repeated canonical statements, magic that only they can wield, and the fact that they, unlike any other race, have literally reshaped an entire continent.


Sure but think about this - Ed himself told us many times that most of the books are written from perspective of biased narrative so almost all books about elves are from elven POV. Also we all count into canon books where characters proclaim things that are not true or partialy true. Same goes for lore as we all know they usualy say only half of it.
You should not take literaly all that is written as a FR product and I would have hoped you of all should know that Master of Mischief.



I know the thread has moved on from this, but I wanted to chime in here. It's not just elven sources that detail things; Lost Empires of Faerun, Demihuman Deities, and GHotR all present the historical facts, without catering to an elven bias (and stating the biases that are there when necessary). If we can't take anything as fact, then there is little point in having canon and an established setting.

I tend to think even myths work a bit differently in the Realms than they do in the RW. This does not mean that every myth should be taken as absolute fact, but when a myth persists and is woven throughout the lore, then it suggests at least some truth to the myth (such as elves being born from Corellon's blood). Also, even in nativist propaganda, we can garner some truth from it, just like we can in the real world.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 10 Oct 2019 : 21:36:05
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Look at it from the opposite perspective - that of a deity wishing to gain access to the Realms.
The deity needs to establish a faith and presence before actually being able to draw any sustenance or manifest any power. The deity's proxies, priests, clerics, and other faithful must somehow find their own way to the Realms (with little or no access to any of their deity's divine magics, spells, and powers), build their temples, and spread the faith to a substantial body of worshippers. They'd probably need to be epic champion sorts just to accomplish such deeds, it's gotta be hard to recruit followers to the promises of an unknown god when so many known gods already grant miracles (through their clergy) on a daily basis.

Stopping all this from happening can't be too difficult for a competent nation of powerful mages. Kill the interlopers, deny them access, turn the people (and their priests, and their gods) against them. Don't give that tree a chance to grow tall, kick it down, stomp on it, and poison the dirt at every opportunity.

Tyr is a prominent example of a foreign deity who invited himself in. Surrounded by the vanguard of a mighty celestial army, he brought an impressive (supernatural) legion of faith with him, he battered his way in with unstoppable force. Not unlike those ghetto deities the Imaskari could've easily bounced out while caught skulking through the back door.



I find this one of the great ironies of godhood in the Realms. Some deities (especially those who created the race that prominently follows them) could obviously use their power and grow in strength without having worshipers. Many deities existed before they had any followers, after all.

However, once they do gain followers, they become dependent on their worship. Gods crave worship and followers, but in gaining followers, in a way, they have to give up their freedom. You can become a god without any followers (such as mortals who have undergone apotheosis), but to gain power and have any real impact, you need followers.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 09 Oct 2019 : 19:32:44
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

There's still the matter that while prayers didn't reach them, the faith was indeed present. I mean, how do you block faith?



You can't draw sustenance from food you're not eating.

I think of it as a kind of firewall. You don't need to take down a website if you set your firewall to block all attempts to reach it. It doesn't affect those who aren't behind the firewall, but to those inside it, it's as if the website doesn't exist.

And for the website itself, it doesn't matter how many people are attempting to reach it if the traffic never hits the hosting server. If the traffic isn't hitting the server, from the perspective of the website, that traffic doesn't exist.
BadLuckBugbear Posted - 09 Oct 2019 : 18:18:55
That gets into the mechanisms of the planes and the powers, I'd say.

How do D&D 'powers' 'eat'? What do they eat? What do they get from worshipers, if anything?

If the powers get something they need from mortal worshipers, I'd assume it's not so much about prayers as about sacrifices and offerings, as a general rule. This may or may not apply to FR.

There's quite possibly Realms-specific answer in the books. Faiths and Avatars, maybe?

Deities and Demigods/Legends and Lore in its several versions includes material on this kind of stuff.
Irennan Posted - 09 Oct 2019 : 17:43:21
There's still the matter that while prayers didn't reach them, the faith was indeed present. I mean, how do you block faith?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 09 Oct 2019 : 16:37:04
The other interlopers didn't have the same issue as the Mulhorandi because they weren't cut off from their worshipers on Toril. They had worship on Toril and were able to receive that worship, so they were able to come in without issue.

It's all about the worship.
Irennan Posted - 09 Oct 2019 : 14:46:09
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan



The Mulhorandi gods had worship in the Realms, a massive one at that. Even if the requests of their people didn't reach them, the faith was there. A deity's followers could ask nothing from their deity, but still have faith in them (as unlikely as it is, that can happen in theory). So, the Mulhorandi gods had faith and followers in the Realms.

So, if faith is the matter, it doesn't follow that the Mulhorandi gods were powerless in FR, because they had plenty of it. And the barrier blocked that power.


It doesn't matter, because the barrier prevented the worship from getting to the deities. They were cut off from that worship -- it was, in essence, non-existent for them.


The barrier sealed all ways to get away from (or get to) the Mulhorandi world, and blocked requests and prayers. Faith is an entirely different concept; it exists in the minds of people and it manifests in the outer planes. Faith can only be blocked if you convince or brainwash someone into stopping believeing in something.

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
No, it merely reinforces that they were not deities of the Realms.


This is self contradictory. You said that they crossed the barrier 'cause Ao allowed them in, therefore making them deities of the Realms.


There is no contradiction at all. When the barrier was up and before their incarnations traveled through wildspace, the Mulhorandi deities were blocked from their worship, and thus they had no presence in the Realms. Only after Ao allowed the incarnations in, and they were able to defeat the Imaskari, were they able to become deities of the Realms.

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

Also, by your logic, being allowed in, and being therefore deities of FR, would have been enough to break the barrier. So, why they still weren't free to act like normal gods?



I'm honestly not sure what you're saying. Before their incarnations came in and defeated the Imaskari, the Mulhorandi were not deities of the Realms -- and I never said otherwise. When the Imaskari were defeated, their barrier fell, the incarnations could call home to the pantheon, and they became deities of the Realms.



Wait, it seems that you're assuming that the Mulhorandi gods couldn't reach the Realms in their normal form, and had to use mortal manifestations to travel there. Basically, your version is that the barrier blocked prayers, not the gods, so the Mulhorandi had to travel to the Realms to reach to ntheir followers, but instead of doing that like all the other interlopers, for some reason they had the necessity to send pseudo-avatars, and when those arrived Ao simply said "yeah, come in".

Why is that? All the other interloper deities were able to reach the Realms in their normal form, so what makes the Mulhorandi gods different? Why couldn't they just do what, say, the Seldarine did, and receive Ao's permission (especially given that, in your version, the barrier didn't block them, but only prayers to them)? Also, in this case, there's no intervention on Ao's side, except him saying "yeah, go in" to their pseudo-avatars, which doesn't line well with the emphasis that the sources put on the fact that Ao intervened.

My interpretation was that the Mulhorandi gods had reached the Realms like all the other interlopers did, but the barriers prevented them from affecting the Realms directly, so Ao intervened and allowed them to do that, but only through their manifestations.

Now, as I mentioned, reading the 3e FRCS, it says that the Imaskari essentially blocked the Mulhorandi gods on their original world, which makes my interpreatation wrong, and lines better with yours, with the caveat that the Imaskari did indeed block an entire pantheon, at their full power, on their own world, and that (given the massive following that the Mulhorandi gods had on Toril) Ao decided to allow their manifestations to circumvent the barrier, travel to the Realms, and enter.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Oct 2019 : 16:49:24
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Because they sent their incarnations through wildspace and arrived in the Realms that way, with Ao's blessing. Their incarnations were essentially avatars; their power was invested in the incarnations. Had the Imaskari won, this power likely would have been lost to the pantheon.


You said they had no power in Realms until Ao approves. If he did not do that than they and also their avatars/incarnation should have no power here.
So you say any god from any plane can send avatar to Toril to wreak havoc with their full power but they have to ask Ao only if they want to stay permanently?
"Hi Bane, I am Bane from xy and I am on vacation with my friend Hextor do you mind if we fiddle a little with your Zhentarim as they look like fun. But do not worry we will be out in two weeks. Oh week have ten days here that is so cool."



No, that's not what I said. The incarnations were similar to avatars, but not quite the same thing, and they'd been specifically invited by Ao. They did not hold the full power of the deities -- only a portion of it.
Wrigley Posted - 08 Oct 2019 : 16:37:36
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Because they sent their incarnations through wildspace and arrived in the Realms that way, with Ao's blessing. Their incarnations were essentially avatars; their power was invested in the incarnations. Had the Imaskari won, this power likely would have been lost to the pantheon.


You said they had no power in Realms until Ao approves. If he did not do that than they and also their avatars/incarnation should have no power here.
So you say any god from any plane can send avatar to Toril to wreak havoc with their full power but they have to ask Ao only if they want to stay permanently?
"Hi Bane, I am Bane from xy and I am on vacation with my friend Hextor do you mind if we fiddle a little with your Zhentarim as they look like fun. But do not worry we will be out in two weeks. Oh week have ten days here that is so cool."
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Oct 2019 : 04:29:04
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley


OK so you say Mulhorandi gods had no power in Realms until they freed their people but how could they do that if they had no power? They should not be permitted to Realms and even if they got in somehow they should not have power to defeat Imaskari.


Because they sent their incarnations through wildspace and arrived in the Realms that way, with Ao's blessing. Their incarnations were essentially avatars; their power was invested in the incarnations. Had the Imaskari won, this power likely would have been lost to the pantheon.

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

To the death by starvation - there are many slumbering gods without any power so even if they did not die they were virtualy nonexistent. Ao's rule should change that so they will die out totaly if not worshiped.



That's exactly what's happened with a lot of deities. I suspect that Mystra has been sustaining Auppenser herself, and/or maybe granting spells to the handful of worshipers he still has, until he's strong enough to wake back up.
BadLuckBugbear Posted - 07 Oct 2019 : 23:01:35
Some of the confusion may come from Ao being a thing introduced somewhat later in FR publication history than the the Imaskari and the ancient Mulan slaves.

Was there any hint of an 'overgod' before the Avatar Crisis modules and related novels were published?
My guess is that Ao was a Jeff Grubb creation dreamed up for the transition to 2E and not part of Greenwood's Realms.
He's not in the First Edition FR stuff.
Wrigley Posted - 07 Oct 2019 : 21:46:30
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
It was made explicit at that point, but it was always around. Maybe Ao tied it to specific amounts or something... But we know it was around because Shaundakul was just barely hanging on with a handful of worshipers, and because Auppenser -- after losing almost all of his worshipers -- was only around because Mystra had acted to preserve his existence. The Realms is littered with other fallen deities, too, and more than one source has referred to this or that "forgotten" deity from ancient times.


OK so you say Mulhorandi gods had no power in Realms until they freed their people but how could they do that if they had no power? They should not be permitted to Realms and even if they got in somehow they should not have power to defeat Imaskari.

To the death by starvation - there are many slumbering gods without any power so even if they did not die they were virtualy nonexistent. Ao's rule should change that so they will die out totaly if not worshiped.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 07 Oct 2019 : 19:56:41
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

Wooly - you say that Mulhorandi deities had no power from worship in Toril due to Imaskari barrier even before they came. How do you explain that they were allowed to come then even when we know that barrier stood until ToT? How could they stay here and do not starve to death as that is what you imply as effect of the barrier...
I have tried to understand your view but it doesn't add up.



The death by starvation thing was eancted by AO only after the ToT that I know.

That said, power has always been linked to faith (when Miyeritar was genocided, for example, and Eilistraee was left with a handful of followers, she survived, but was still reduced to nonrelevance).



It was made explicit at that point, but it was always around. Maybe Ao tied it to specific amounts or something... But we know it was around because Shaundakul was just barely hanging on with a handful of worshipers, and because Auppenser -- after losing almost all of his worshipers -- was only around because Mystra had acted to preserve his existence. The Realms is littered with other fallen deities, too, and more than one source has referred to this or that "forgotten" deity from ancient times.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 07 Oct 2019 : 19:48:35
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan



The Mulhorandi gods had worship in the Realms, a massive one at that. Even if the requests of their people didn't reach them, the faith was there. A deity's followers could ask nothing from their deity, but still have faith in them (as unlikely as it is, that can happen in theory). So, the Mulhorandi gods had faith and followers in the Realms.

So, if faith is the matter, it doesn't follow that the Mulhorandi gods were powerless in FR, because they had plenty of it. And the barrier blocked that power.


It doesn't matter, because the barrier prevented the worship from getting to the deities. They were cut off from that worship -- it was, in essence, non-existent for them.

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
No, it merely reinforces that they were not deities of the Realms.


This is self contradictory. You said that they crossed the barrier 'cause Ao allowed them in, therefore making them deities of the Realms.


There is no contradiction at all. When the barrier was up and before their incarnations traveled through wildspace, the Mulhorandi deities were blocked from their worship, and thus they had no presence in the Realms. Only after Ao allowed the incarnations in, and they were able to defeat the Imaskari, were they able to become deities of the Realms.

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

Also, by your logic, being allowed in, and being therefore deities of FR, would have been enough to break the barrier. So, why they still weren't free to act like normal gods?



I'm honestly not sure what you're saying. Before their incarnations came in and defeated the Imaskari, the Mulhorandi were not deities of the Realms -- and I never said otherwise. When the Imaskari were defeated, their barrier fell, the incarnations could call home to the pantheon, and they became deities of the Realms.
Irennan Posted - 07 Oct 2019 : 14:56:46
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

Wooly - you say that Mulhorandi deities had no power from worship in Toril due to Imaskari barrier even before they came. How do you explain that they were allowed to come then even when we know that barrier stood until ToT? How could they stay here and do not starve to death as that is what you imply as effect of the barrier...
I have tried to understand your view but it doesn't add up.



The death by starvation thing was eancted by AO only after the ToT that I know.

That said, power has always been linked to faith (when Miyeritar was genocided, for example, and Eilistraee was left with a handful of followers, she survived, but was still reduced to nonrelevance).
Irennan Posted - 07 Oct 2019 : 14:53:39
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan



The barrier was stated to block prayers, true, but also to block the gods' possibility to intervene.


Their ability to intervene wasn't blocked by the Imaskari -- the Mulhorandi gods literally could not intervene in the Realms, because they were powerless there.

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

As for the other point, it means that those gods were there, but were prevented from acting on Toril due to the barrier. But, I mean, I'm not the one saying it; it's stated very clearly in many canonical sources that the Imaskari did indeed block the pantheon, and that Ao had to intervene and grant the Mulhorandi gods the ability to act on Toril--through an alternative way.


They blocked the gods by not allowing them to communicate with their worshippers, and thus not have any influence in the Realms. It was as I said earlier -- the Imaskari boarded up a window on an already locked door. The Mulhorandi deities couldn't act in the Realms without being worshipped there, and the Imaskari made sure the worship wasn't getting to them. They blocked the call.

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

It doesn't say that the Mulhorandi gods were on standby due to not having access and the Imaskari were just blocking what little power the Mulhorandi people could muster, then Ao allowed them in; it says that Ao intervened to help them cross the barrier, which is an entirely different matter.


It doesn't have to say that because it is canon that deities without worship in the Realmspace are effectively powerless there. It doesn't matter how powerful a deity is elsewhere, in the Realms, it's tied to how much worship they get.

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

And, once again, the sources state that the Mulhorandi gods were blocked by the Imaskari, which is different from merely not having access (in fact, if they didn't have access, there was nothing to block to begin with), and that they were able to send manifestations thanks to Ao's intervention, not merely for his decision to allow them in.


We're going in circles, here. The Mulhorandi deites were blocked by the fact that they were not receiving worship. That's it.

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

Power isn't just direct battles. The Imaskari's signature magic was portal magic, travels and barriers between worlds, etc... Their proficiency in that kind of magic could have been enough to block greater powers, but their prowess in battle magic might have been inferior to that (which isn't to say that it wasn't impressive anyway, but definitely not up the power of a pantheon). This is actually a common trope in fiction (the smart guy defeating the powerful guy through tricks and stuff).


I seriously doubt that the Imaskari became a powerful magical empire without knowing some battle magic.

Even if, by some freak mishap, they didn't know any battle magic at all, if they were so powerful to block the full might of the Mulhorandi pantheon, they could have simply opened more portals and sent the incarnations elsewhere. Boom, problem solved.

The fact that they didn't do that, or otherwise defeat these lesser versions of the gods, proves they were not stronger than those deities, and thus could not have stood up to their full might.

And if they couldn't stand up to the full might of those deities, it means their barrier was not holding off that full might. The reason it wasn't was because the deities had no power in the Realms because they weren't receiving any worship from there -- and that's because that's all the barrier was doing.

It's canon, in just about every source that pertains to deities, that worship is power in the Realms, and that deities die without it. That's why that was all the Imaskari had to do.



The Mulhorandi gods had worship in the Realms, a massive one at that. Even if the requests of their people didn't reach them, the faith was there. A deity's followers could ask nothing from their deity, but still have faith in them (as unlikely as it is, that can happen in theory). So, the Mulhorandi gods had faith and followers in the Realms.

So, if faith is the matter, it doesn't follow that the Mulhorandi gods were powerless in FR, because they had plenty of it. And the barrier blocked that power.

As for battle magic, I never said the Imaskari battle magic was weak (I even said that it likely was impressive, just not up to the might of a pantheon accompanied by their mortal servants). As for the argument of "why didn't they open portals to send them back" that's not really an argument. In a battle, stuff can be dodged, spells can be interrupted, etc...

This is the same as saying "if a trapper archetype could easily hold a powerful warrior with one of their traps, why didn't they do that in the heat of battle?"

As I said, the Imaskari crafted some sensational magic when it came to portals and travels, super uber epic stuff, but they might very well not have been on that level when it came to battle magic.

Once again, I see the validity of your interpretation of this, but the other side of the coin, that is the most immediate interpretation of the books, is valid as well. The Mulhorandi gods had the faith of their followers, they had that power, the Imaskari blocked them (and if they were powerless, the statement in the book would make no sense, because the Imaskari would be blocking *nothing* except clerics. At that point why even bother do something on such a massive scale to block spells from a narrow % of the enslaved people--especially considering that the Imaskari had no problem facing them in their home world. If they recurred to such magic, it's evident that the real threat were the gods themselves). After Ao's intervention the pantheon was able to circumvent the barrier and send manifestations.

That said, another interpreatation that I can think of while reading the passage in the 3e FRCS, is that the Imaskari barriered sealed every link to the Mulhorandi world forever (this is what the CS says), basically trapping the pantheon in their original world. As the faith of the Mulhorandi rose in the Realms (or actually, spiked, since it went from 0 to >100k in a few moments), as those people invoked their gods with no answer, Ao's intervention could have opened one link between the Mulhorandi world and the FR, allowing for the manifestations to come in. In this version, the Imaskari would still have opposed the full power of the pantheon, as their barriers effectively blocked those gods in their home world.

quote:

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

The fact that they still couldn't act normally after that is also prof of the barrier's efficiency.


No, it merely reinforces that they were not deities of the Realms.


This is self contradictory. You said that they crossed the barrier 'cause Ao allowed them in, therefore making them deities of the Realms.

Also, by your logic, being allowed in, and being therefore deities of FR, would have been enough to break the barrier. So, why they still weren't free to act like normal gods?

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