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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Gary Dallison Posted - 26 May 2020 : 16:01:22
So i'm going to bite the bullet and read the novels to mine them for lore.

Is anyone interested in me posting the details here so i can spare others the pain of having to read them (and for easy reference later)?
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
cpthero2 Posted - 20 Oct 2020 : 22:37:54
Senior Scribe TheIriaeban,

I can certainly appreciate that perspective about trading cultures from one world to another! haha You should check out the other scroll I've been heavily involved in and let me know what you think about that as well that touches on that very issue.

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=23654&whichpage=3

It's not all about that, but since government is at the center of it, it gets around to it significantly later on.

Best regards,


TheIriaeban Posted - 19 Oct 2020 : 00:31:22
I agree. It could have been handled quite differently and better.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 18 Oct 2020 : 18:42:32
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

True, charm spells do wear off but the fact that there is magic out there, low level in fact, that can be used to control someone doesn't mean there isn't something of a higher level that can do it permanently. I don't believe the story has any information about how that relationship began.

Also, let me be clear: this is not something that I would expect or would want to be common in FR. It is, however, something that can be used to create a compelling story. Look at your visceral revulsion at the simple idea of it. A good writer could use that to not only hook you but to pull you along on the character's arc.





We do have that information: the cat/human was her familiar. That means a single casting of a first level spell: find familiar.



Not necessarily. The result is similar (bound to the caster) but it would have to be a different spell than the 1st level Find Familiar. For example, there are two other Find Familiar spells listed in the 2e WSC 2 on pages 353 and 355. The one for dragons specifically summons a humanoid (it is level 3 and DOES allow allow periodic saving throws). The other is for necromancers and it can summon imps and quasits (intelligent beings and no periodic saving throws). That spell is level 2.

Based on those examples, I see no reason why there couldn't be a higher level version that allows for making a person a familiar. I could see a vampire mage developing it to have a means of guaranteeing the loyalty of a daytime protector.



Those books were not out when the novel was published. At the time of publication, there was a very specific list of potential familiars that could be obtained, and it was all done via a 1st level spell.

Dragons or vampires having a humanoid familiar is another matter, anyway -- both are way more powerful than regular humanoids. A good dragon probably wouldn't use such a spell, but an evil dragon, or a vampire, would not have an issue enslaving someone like that.

Either way, we've gone far astray from my original complaint: a familiar that turns from animal to a human with character classes is a horribly broken concept. It's basically subjecting an animal to a variant Tenser's Transformation, which was a 6th level spell -- but doing it for free.

Again, had the familiar been a separate character, and it was established that they were a catwere or werecat or had some item that allowed them to change, then that wouldn't have been a big deal. The issue is a familiar with character levels and abilities no other familiar has. It was included because it was kewl, not because it makes any kind of sense given the rules at the time or pretty much anything else TSR had published at that point. It broke the rules and the setting for no good reason.
TheIriaeban Posted - 18 Oct 2020 : 17:23:50
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

True, charm spells do wear off but the fact that there is magic out there, low level in fact, that can be used to control someone doesn't mean there isn't something of a higher level that can do it permanently. I don't believe the story has any information about how that relationship began.

Also, let me be clear: this is not something that I would expect or would want to be common in FR. It is, however, something that can be used to create a compelling story. Look at your visceral revulsion at the simple idea of it. A good writer could use that to not only hook you but to pull you along on the character's arc.





We do have that information: the cat/human was her familiar. That means a single casting of a first level spell: find familiar.



Not necessarily. The result is similar (bound to the caster) but it would have to be a different spell than the 1st level Find Familiar. For example, there are two other Find Familiar spells listed in the 2e WSC 2 on pages 353 and 355. The one for dragons specifically summons a humanoid (it is level 3 and DOES allow allow periodic saving throws). The other is for necromancers and it can summon imps and quasits (intelligent beings and no periodic saving throws). That spell is level 2.

Based on those examples, I see no reason why there couldn't be a higher level version that allows for making a person a familiar. I could see a vampire mage developing it to have a means of guaranteeing the loyalty of a daytime protector.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 17 Oct 2020 : 19:51:53
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

True, charm spells do wear off but the fact that there is magic out there, low level in fact, that can be used to control someone doesn't mean there isn't something of a higher level that can do it permanently. I don't believe the story has any information about how that relationship began.

Also, let me be clear: this is not something that I would expect or would want to be common in FR. It is, however, something that can be used to create a compelling story. Look at your visceral revulsion at the simple idea of it. A good writer could use that to not only hook you but to pull you along on the character's arc.





We do have that information: the cat/human was her familiar. That means a single casting of a first level spell: find familiar.
TheIriaeban Posted - 17 Oct 2020 : 18:54:33
True, charm spells do wear off but the fact that there is magic out there, low level in fact, that can be used to control someone doesn't mean there isn't something of a higher level that can do it permanently. I don't believe the story has any information about how that relationship began.

Also, let me be clear: this is not something that I would expect or would want to be common in FR. It is, however, something that can be used to create a compelling story. Look at your visceral revulsion at the simple idea of it. A good writer could use that to not only hook you but to pull you along on the character's arc.

Wooly Rupert Posted - 17 Oct 2020 : 18:03:21
Charm spells wear off, and a lot of vampires are not willing servants of their creators. It's part of the overall horror of the vampire -- not only are they monsters who look normal but must literally steal life from others to survive, but they are also irrevocably bound to every last whim of the creator who stole their lives away from them.

That's what makes the human familiar so problematic: they are bound to their mage. They can't disobey or go free. A human familiar means that with the casting of a single first level spell, someone is enslaved for the life of the caster -- that is orders of magnitude beyond what a charm spell does.

TheIriaeban Posted - 17 Oct 2020 : 17:06:56
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

That would have been easy to fix, too. Just say it was a human that was polymorphed into a cat. The spell, for whatever reason, can't be permanently reversed so it can periodically return to human form and that is what prevents it from mentally becoming a cat. If it does have all the properties of a familiar, maybe the magic of the Find Familiar spell (or some kind of variant) is what allows it to operate as it does. Just another missed opportunity to make something unique that can function within the rules of the game.



The problem, for me, isn't the transformation -- it's the implications of having another person as a familiar, bound to the mage's will.

A werecat or a catwere, that isn't magically bound to the wizard and that is independent? Not a problem at all.



That doesn't bother me too much since there is lore and magic that covers that. For example, you have vampires being bound to their masters/creators and of course, there are the various charm spells.

I would be more concerned with how that relationship was created and then maintained. Was it a willing agreement because the "familiar" had concerns about the mage's safety? Was it part of a plan to aid the "familiar" that went wrong and now both are suffering yet cannot bring themselves to end it? Did the mage force the "familiar" into this arrangement and the "familiar" is waiting until it can free itself and take revenge? Any one of those would be a tale to tell.

Sadly, from what has been said here, none of that was even hinted at.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 17 Oct 2020 : 16:16:43
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The cat doesnt act like a cat, it talks like a human, dresses like a barbarian, wields a sword like an expert.

The only thing it does is hiss occasionally.


Although in the drizzt novels one thing i did like was creatures that remain in another form for too long start to think like that form and eventually become that new form. It make sense to me.



It used to be in the rules that if a creature is polymorphed to another form and never changes back, it will eventually think like and essentially become that new form. Not sure if that's still a thing or not.

A familiar that turns into a human fighter is just a broken concept.



That would have been easy to fix, too. Just say it was a human that was polymorphed into a cat. The spell, for whatever reason, can't be permanently reversed so it can periodically return to human form and that is what prevents it from mentally becoming a cat. If it does have all the properties of a familiar, maybe the magic of the Find Familiar spell (or some kind of variant) is what allows it to operate as it does. Just another missed opportunity to make something unique that can function within the rules of the game.



The problem, for me, isn't the transformation -- it's the implications of having another person as a familiar, bound to the mage's will.

A werecat or a catwere, that isn't magically bound to the wizard and that is independent? Not a problem at all.
TheIriaeban Posted - 17 Oct 2020 : 15:03:38
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The cat doesnt act like a cat, it talks like a human, dresses like a barbarian, wields a sword like an expert.

The only thing it does is hiss occasionally.


Although in the drizzt novels one thing i did like was creatures that remain in another form for too long start to think like that form and eventually become that new form. It make sense to me.



It used to be in the rules that if a creature is polymorphed to another form and never changes back, it will eventually think like and essentially become that new form. Not sure if that's still a thing or not.

A familiar that turns into a human fighter is just a broken concept.



That would have been easy to fix, too. Just say it was a human that was polymorphed into a cat. The spell, for whatever reason, can't be permanently reversed so it can periodically return to human form and that is what prevents it from mentally becoming a cat. If it does have all the properties of a familiar, maybe the magic of the Find Familiar spell (or some kind of variant) is what allows it to operate as it does. Just another missed opportunity to make something unique that can function within the rules of the game.
Lord Karsus Posted - 17 Oct 2020 : 05:41:01
-So it basically became Lion-O. Nice.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 17 Oct 2020 : 02:37:45
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The cat doesnt act like a cat, it talks like a human, dresses like a barbarian, wields a sword like an expert.

The only thing it does is hiss occasionally.


Although in the drizzt novels one thing i did like was creatures that remain in another form for too long start to think like that form and eventually become that new form. It make sense to me.



It used to be in the rules that if a creature is polymorphed to another form and never changes back, it will eventually think like and essentially become that new form. Not sure if that's still a thing or not.

A familiar that turns into a human fighter is just a broken concept.
Gary Dallison Posted - 16 Oct 2020 : 21:03:33
The cat doesnt act like a cat, it talks like a human, dresses like a barbarian, wields a sword like an expert.

The only thing it does is hiss occasionally.


Although in the drizzt novels one thing i did like was creatures that remain in another form for too long start to think like that form and eventually become that new form. It make sense to me.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 16 Oct 2020 : 20:43:21
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-Sentinelspire (one of the best Forgotten Realms books out there) had a Druid/Ranger (I forget) with a big cat companion (Taaki) and the author did it very well. No magical weirdness.



Yeah, a big cat companion doesn't bother me. Even a big cat familiar is a bit of a stretch, but still doable. It's when the familiar can turn into a human that it gets problematic.



Did it still act like a cat while in human form? You know, just sit there and stare at people, or try to clean itself, or spray someone to mark them as theirs?



I've not read the book in years, so this is going purely from memory -- but as I recall, it acted like a normal human, whilst in that form. I want to say it even wielded a sword, though I could be mistaken.
TheIriaeban Posted - 16 Oct 2020 : 18:45:37
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-Sentinelspire (one of the best Forgotten Realms books out there) had a Druid/Ranger (I forget) with a big cat companion (Taaki) and the author did it very well. No magical weirdness.



Yeah, a big cat companion doesn't bother me. Even a big cat familiar is a bit of a stretch, but still doable. It's when the familiar can turn into a human that it gets problematic.



Did it still act like a cat while in human form? You know, just sit there and stare at people, or try to clean itself, or spray someone to mark them as theirs?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 16 Oct 2020 : 18:17:42
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-Sentinelspire (one of the best Forgotten Realms books out there) had a Druid/Ranger (I forget) with a big cat companion (Taaki) and the author did it very well. No magical weirdness.



Yeah, a big cat companion doesn't bother me. Even a big cat familiar is a bit of a stretch, but still doable. It's when the familiar can turn into a human that it gets problematic.
Lord Karsus Posted - 16 Oct 2020 : 17:10:48
-Sentinelspire (one of the best Forgotten Realms books out there) had a Druid/Ranger (I forget) with a big cat companion (Taaki) and the author did it very well. No magical weirdness.
Seravin Posted - 15 Oct 2020 : 22:31:40
I love Phlan because it was my introduction to Forgotten Realms with the SSI Gold Box Game Pool of Radiance on my C128 computer. I just wish it got treated with the reverence it deserved by TSR/WotC, given that it was the intro for so many people like me.

And I would have loved the mythical Phlan web enhancement! :)

Just sucks that novel/game Phlan is not reflected in most of the 3rd edition + lore at all (and barely in the 1st/2nd edition sourcebooks).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 15 Oct 2020 : 04:04:44
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I've never heard of this mythical Phlan web enhancement.


Not long after Mysteries of the Moonsea came out, WotC said there was going to be a web enhancement that covered Phlan.

We never heard anything else about it.
Gary Dallison Posted - 14 Oct 2020 : 21:48:16
Pools of Darkness (1350 DR)


Phlan Lore
Terrifying lightning storms strike Phlan in the middle of summer.[1]
Citizens are assigned to guard duty on the city walls (is there a rota, is it a requirement of residence in Phlan???).[1]
Shal and Tarl are married, living in a wizardsí tower.[1]
Silvery tentacles of energy burrow under Phlan like a network of roots. The magic was cast by a Red Wizard who worshipped Bane, it transports the entire city into a cavern deep beneath his tower.[1]
Red stone walls, able to withstand a lightning blast.[1]
Ston and Tulen, nearly 70 years old, done lots of time on guard duty.[1]
Dorel, brother of Ston, eaten by trolls a few years ago in a hill giant attack on Phlan.[7]
Jarad, young man (16+), first time on guard duty.[1]
Phlan, guarded by rings of city walls (inner and outer ???).[1]
Tarsis, young wizard wearing mustard coloured robes, assigned to guard duty.[1]
Charan, young wizard wearing a rust orange coloured cloak.[1]
Rakhmar commands catapults stationed along Phlanís city walls.[1]
The Death Gates of Phlan, the largest gates of the city, named for the thousands of monsters and mercenaries that died attacking the city at this point. Originally named the North Gates. Renamed the Black Company Gates after 500 mercs died battling a horde of ogres. Renamed the Goblin Spine Gates after an attack of goblins and orcs tried to storm the city. Then the Ogre Gates, Fire Giant Gates, Beholder Gates, now the Death Gates.[1,3]
Churches.[1]
All citizens, wizards, clerics, etc aid in defence of the city.[1]
Brother Anton took the Holy Warhammer of Tyr to the Ceremony of Spring.[1]
It is common for wizards in Phlan to adopt a particular hue for their spells (Shal uses purple).[1]
Celie, slender, elderly woman, runs a bakery, been a baker all her life, keeps cats. Midwife.[3,17]
Garanos, renowned hero, Phlanís oldest warrior.[3]
Flight of dragons 3 centuries ago did not destroy Phlan, it survived and was rebuilt. Phlan became an important trade centre and port. Merchants came. This progress stirred up creatures in Old Phlan. Hordes of creatures from the Dragonspine Mountains and Thar attacked (sometimes nightly). Phlan was fortified and rings of walls constructed to stop the monsters. The walls have stood for decades.[3]
The Breaching of the Full Moon, The Hydra Attack. Events that people take pride in surviving.[3]
Orcís Bane, Denlorís Last Stand, Beholder Massacre, Bonemarch. Names of sections of the wall.[3]
Auranzath, powerful wizard and self appointed historian. Orange robes, black beard. His great great uncle Ezra fought in one of the battles of the Broken Tower.[3]
The Broken Tower, wall turret that guards the docks and the beach entrance. Favoured attack point of armies. The wall and tower was breached 3 times during Phlanís history and each time the people of Phlan drove them back out the city through the tower.[3]
Denlorís Tower, created overnight in Old Phlan with magic after Phlan was sacked, forms the northeast most point of the city. Made of blood red stone. Became a symbol of strength and a magnet for good and bad spellcasters. After years of constant struggle Denlor was assassinated. Shal is now the owner.[3]
First Councilman Kroegal.[3]
Gorman, potential candidate for the Council of Phlan, not well liked (is he rich???).[3]
Dorinna and Amis, Aunt and Uncle of Tarl.[3]
The Stojanow River trail used to be traveled by ogres and orcs trying to wrest Phlan from the merchants of the city.[6]
Commander Billings (in charge of wall defences???).[7]
Fire giants attacks the walls and sent a sneak attack of Umber Hulks burrowing under the walls. Happened some years ago.[7]
Double door gates are 30 ft tall, bound with thick bands of iron. Have to be opened using counterweights and pulleys[7]
The Pool of Radiance was corrupted to become the Pool of Darkness.[9]
Phlan has been shifted several hundred miles southwest of Phlan.[10]
A priest of Tyr has been on the council of Phlan for the past hundred years.[11]
Seventh Councilman Wahl, Bishop of Tyr.[11]
Fifth councilwoman Bordish.[11]
Fourth coucilwoman Eldred. Does not like to be disagreed with.[11]
Thorvid of Porter, Alaric the White, Pomanz. All knights of Phlan (landed gentry, noble sons???).[11]
Rakmar, ancient, grizzled veteran, 70 years old, commands the catapult for 40 years, specialises in long and accurate shots using Big Brors (a large, carved, granite cone).[14]



New Phlan Lore
A sprawling tent city on the site of Phlan, populated by people away from Phlan when it was transported away.[6]
Shelly, old guard living in new Phlan.[6]
Council of New Phlan charges people to cross the river, money generated goes to the homeless.[6]
First Councilman Lord Bartholomew, described as a rough one by Shelly. Nobility, self entitled.[6]
Lord Wainwright of the Clan Wainwright (Councilman of New Phlan???). The Wainwrights are not known for being clever, but do make stout warriors.[6,9]
Brother Anton priest of Tyr, 7 ft tall. Tenth Councilman of New Phlan[6]
Brothers of Tyr took the Warhammer of Tyr on the Ceremony of Spring (festival???).[6]
Andoralson and his cousin Talenthia are druids. They worship Sylvanus (regional variant of Silvanus???). Dream visions made them head to Phlan to meet Ren to end the disturbances. Andoralson can cast many illusion magics.[6,9,10]


Lord Marcus Lore
Red Wizard, worships Bane. Brown hair, less than 40 years old.[1,14]
Cast magic to transport the entire city of Phlan into a cavern deep beneath his tower. The cavern is shielded against detection spells.[1,3]
Sends his soldiers to conquer the city of Phlan, wants to strip away the souls of Phlanís citizens using the Pools of Darkness.[1,7]
Humans, orcs, hobgoblins, lizardfolk, skeletons, and goblins serve the Lord Marcus in his army, twice the population of Phlan.[1]
Served by the Pit Fiend Tanetal (assisted, does the Pit Fiend serve Bane???) and his 12 spinagon minions.[1]
Wants to be a demigod. Summoned Tanetal to help him with his plan.[4]
Tanetal intends to sacrifice some souls to Bane but keep the rest for himself. Summoned an earth elemental prince.[4]
Marcus was a lowly underling in the Red Wizards of Thay. He turned to worshipping Bane to increase his power. The high priest of Bane (in Thay presumably???) gave Marcus the spell to summon a Pit Fiend and Tanetalís name (his true name).[4]
Tanetal gave Marcus 3 abishai and an erinyes as his servants. Together Marcus and Tanetal raised Marcusí tower and stole the city of Phlan using the Pool of Darkness beneath the red tower (Denlorís Tower??? or Marcusí Tower???).[4]
Tanetal and the erinyes plan to betray Marcus and keep the souls for themselves.[4]
Skeletal Warrior called Brittle commands the skeletons, mounted on a nightmare. Formerly a general from a thousand years ago. Animated by Tanetal to server Lord Marcus.[7]
Lord Marcus possesses Tanetalís heart (a magic artefact??? was it given to him by the high priest of Bane???). With it he can destroy Tanetal utterly.[7]
Moander sent an army of Trees of Death to help destroy Phlan (arranged by Tanetal). The twisted and rotting trees reside in the cavern beneath Marcusí tower.[11]
Marcusí Tower is west of Hillsfar along the Moonsea coast.[12]
Lord Marcus is sending mercenary recruiters to gather an army of mercs and monsters. Sending threats to all mages in the region telling them to join him or be slain.[13]
Marcus or Tanetal is able to control the weather and call down great lightning storms and rainfall on certain targets.[13]
Thar Kuul, an evil dark wizard serving Lord Marcus (wants to kill him and steal his power). Killed by Big Bror.[14]
Porter and Whills, mages in service to Lord Marcus.[14]


Ren Lore
Lives 100 miles north of Phlan in woods. Orcs live nearby. Ren agreed with the council of Glister that he could live in the nearby valley if he could eliminate the orcs.[2]
Wears fine elven chainmail, two magical daggers (Left and Right) in his dragonskin boots, 2 handed sword across his back. Gauntlets, belt, and bracers made of dragonhide.[2]
Has a warhorse called Stolen.[2]
Not seen Shal or Tarl in 3 years.[2]
Not as skilled with a bow as other rangers.[2]

Other Lore
Orcs like to use arrows and slings, are lousy fighters at close range.[2]
Bane claims to have moved all the cities of the Moonsea to Limbo. Each one has a Pool of Darkness that is converting the souls of the inhabitants into minions of Bane (nonsense???). They will then be returned in a few months and Baneís worshiper numbers will increase massively.[4]
Roads around Phlan are dangerous for a lone traveller (attracts bandits or worse).[5]
Stone from the Dragonspine Mountains can be red.[7]
A few hours ride north of Phlan is the ruins of an ancient temple with 5 crumbling mausoleums. Militiades stands guard here, under attack by skeletons and zombies. Ren, Evaine, Gamaliel, Andoralson, and Tanathiel come to his aid.[9]
Warrior priests of Tyr in Phlan sing ballads composed during the heat of battle when they believe they are about to die to prove their devotion and praise Tyr.[10]
Clouds of black mist have appeared in various places over the Moonsea. These clouds block all magical scrying. One covers Lord Marcusí tower, another covers a cottage where Lunlaa was summoned by Sebastian. These clouds are linked to the power of the Pool of Darkness and grow as more souls gathered into it.[10,15]
Artur Bladeson, Wuldor and Donar Arcnos, werewolves that travel with 3 wolfweres (Brutus, Tog, and Garf) and attack travellers in the Moonsea area. They were attacked near Zhentil Keep by Zhentilar and lost one of their werewolf brothers.[12]
Zhentil Keep and Yulash are unaffected by the Pools of Darkness saga.[12]
Wolfweres are the offspring of werewolves and normal wolves. Can shapechange to look like hybrid animal human form whenever they wish, otherwise they are just intelligent wolves. Normally wolfweres hate werewolves.[12]
Fiddlehead fern, jewelweed, and jimsonweed do not normally grow in the Moonsea region (they prefer swampy wet regions).[12]
Tanathiel sacrificed herself to become a druid grove guardian in a forest south west of the Moonsea.[15]
Andoralson keeps planting seeds for oak trees and magically enchanting them so they will grow in a ring of trees to enormous oaks resistant to fire, disease, and blades. They will become a druid grove..[16]
Clerics of Ilmater wear grey tunics and tabards. Leaders wear a red skullcap. A grey teardrop tattooed under the left eye means the individual is of unusual power and dedication.[16]
Clerics of Torm, usually wear armour. Blue tinted plate mail identifies the leader.[16]
The cities abducted by Bane were prone to infighting among its citizens afterwards, families, friendships, allies broke apart.[epilogue]


Glister Lore
Council of Glister, looking for adventurers to clear surrounding valleys of orcs.[2]
Valleys nearby filled with woods and streams.[2]
Humans and orcs live in Glister.[2]
Bands of orcs and half orcs in the valleys around Glister. Half orc bands more powerful as they are smarter and taller. Half giants mingle with orcs and half orcs.[2]
Dwarven mines in mountains and hills around the valleys, orcs battle the dwarves for control of the mines.[2]
Ren cleared the Valley of the Falls. Dwarves he rescued from orcs guard the valley for him.[2]

Evaine Lore
Gamaliel, great cat (crag cat???), green eyes (golden when angry or upset), Evaineís familiar.[5]
Evaine, wizard, braided hair, heading to Phlan to destroy the Pool of Darkness. Has already destroyed 4 Pools of Darkness already. Knows a scrying spell that allows her to locate Pools of Darkness, took her years to perfect it.[5]
Catches a ferry across the Moonsea to Phlan (is she coming from the south or east side of the Moonsea???)
Transforms Gamaliel into the form of a human barbarian when in public.[8,9]
Has destroyed four Pools of Darkness in the past 5 years.[9]
Evaineís old master (Sebastion) lived several hundred miles southwest of Phlan, he had a competitive rivalry with another nearby wizard (they hated each other but respected the others power).[10]
Lives in a stone cottage a few days ride south of Zhentil Keep hidden in the edge of Cormanthor. It has an extradimensional chamber hidden in the east wall. Two floors. Cottage is ruined by ogres working for Lord Marcus.[12]
Sebastian was a powerful conjuror, he once tried a summoning spell over ten years ago when Evaine was an apprentice (that he refused to speak about) and aged 20 years and became obsessed about defensive spells, he summoned Lunlaa the succubus, he never dismissed her.[12,15]
Evaine was once a powerful sorceress of 78 years old. She became obsessed with the Pools of Radiance, she gathered some of the waters of it but it was tainted (in the process of becoming a Pool of Darkness), it caused all her experiments to go wrong and in a big explosion she was turned into a youthful 20 year old (losing her experience and magical abilities). She spent 10 years apprenticed to Sebastian (who was a former student, did he learn fiend summoning magic from her???) relearning the magic she had lost. She has spent the last 5 years trying to destroy Pools of Darkness.[18]
A fiend (Tanetal or Lunlaa???) was transforming the Pool of Radiance Evaine had tapped and causing it to become a Pool of Darkness.[18]
Evaine sought power for its own sake before being re-youthed.[18]


Miltiades Lore
Covered in finely wrought plate mail, glowing gauntlets and a magical helmet. Speaks in song and verse. Symbol of Tyr glows in gold upon his shield (which glows blue). Wields a bastard sword with one hand. He is a skeletal undead.[10]
Waits to battle a thousand year old evil ghost called Zarl, riding a ghostly black nightmare and wielding a sabre that drips black fire.[10]
Miltiades is a paladin of Tyr, he died a thousands years ago. In life he fought enemies of Tyr all across Faerun. He was given the Holy Shield of Tyr, a magic war helm, and a runic sword of Tyr, all provided by followers of Tyr (the church???).[10]
The city of Turell stood a days ride north of Phlanís position. Miltiades served as its steward and war champion for 50 years. Zarl and his army attacked Turell and besieged it for a year, in the end Miltiades sneaked into the camp and slew Zarl but was also slain. The army conquered Phlan and buried Miltiades and Zarl in the ancient mausoleum, surrounded by the bodies of a thousand of Zarlís most powerful warriors who were slain in battle.[10]
Miltiades was cursed and became undead, waiting for 1000 years and roaming the land in spirit form hoping Tyr would grant him a quest and his eternal rest.[10]
The forces of Zarl were animated when Phlan was stolen and Miltiades was restored to his body and waited to battle them. Miltiades believes he needs to battle Baneís minions and rescue Phlan.[10]
In Miltiades tomb is a brazier that augments the effects of any spell it is used in the casting.[10]
Miltiades was buried with all of Zarlís possessions (Zarlís army were superstitious and because Miltiades defeated Zarl he was buried with his possessions). An oak shield protecting against missiles. A chalice to turn water into healing potion (1/week). Magical horse barding. A ring of detect invisibility. A ring of poison immunity.[10]
Miltiades possesses a figurine of wondrous power, a white stallion that turns into a horse.[10]
A great hero in the history of Tyrís Church, everyone was taught to emulate him.[22]
Gary Dallison Posted - 14 Oct 2020 : 20:56:19
So, near the end of the book (10 pages to go) and Evaine's history and motivation has been revealed.

She was a 78 year old sorceress who sought to amass as much power as she could. She heard of the Pool of Radiance and managed to obtain some of its water. When she tried to use that in an experiment it backfired and caused her to become 20 years old again, losing her experience and memories of magic.

What she didnt know is that a fiend had tainted the Pool of Radiance and it was becoming a Pool of Darkness.

So Evaine tracks down an old student (Sebastian) and asks him to teach her the magic she had lost.

10 years later she sets out to destroy the Pools of Darkness.



All fine for a backstory and motivation but i'm getting hints of something darker. Sebastian called the succubus Lunlaa to the realms. If he was Evaine's former student did he learn that magic from Evaine originally.
Evaine was power hungry, she may also have been evil and forgotten all about it in the magical mishap. Perhaps she was even a Banite wizard.

So i'm thinking Evaine was once a Banite wizard. She tried to infiltrate Phlan and get access to the Pool of Radiance, she used its power to summon Tanetal the Pit Fiend and he secretly tainted the Pool of Radiance (a process taking 15 years to complete). Evaine takes some of its waters and uses it in some kind of immortality magic but it causes her to de-age back to 20 years old and lose her memory.

Evaine meanwhile ends up tracking down Sebastian and becoming his apprentice (about 1335 DR).


Tyranthraxus and the Pool of Radiance novel happens in 1340 DR and i'm guessing at about this time that Sebastian summons Lunlaa and ages 20 years.

Evaine completes her training about 1345 DR. Sebastian presumably dies from Lunlaa's affections. The freed Lunlaa then arranges for Evaine's old magic (summoning a Pit Fiend) and Tanetal's true name to fall into the hands of the High Imperceptor of Bane in Mulmaster.

Lord Marcus the Red Wizard obtained the scroll and Tanetal's true name as part of the beginnings of a trade alliance with the Red Wizards (one that leads to Dmitra Flass and her marriage). Tanetal is called to the realms, he finishes polluting the Pool of Radiance in Phlan and turns it into a soul well so he can steal all the souls for himself.


So all of the Pool of Darkness novel is caused by Evaine herself. Perhaps the summoning of Tanetal and beginnings of the pollution of the Pool of Radiance is what released Tyranthraxus anyway or allowed him into the pool in the first place.


Just an idea at the moment.
Gary Dallison Posted - 14 Oct 2020 : 17:31:41
I've never heard of this mythical Phlan web enhancement.

Shal Bal is the tiny spellcaster who became a muscled meathead from a poorly worded wish and who fires spells like a machine gun (all spellcasters do in these novels).

Evaine is the sorceress in Pools of Darkness who has a 200 pound mountain lion type creature as a familiar. It can shape change into a human at will but it is only 3/4 of the way through that it mentions a pendant the cat is wearing that might be responsible for such a transformation.

The writing is alright, the dialogue and villain portrayal is bad. The motivations for the characters is very undeveloped (god said so being the most common motivation).

I need a few months of creative activity after this novel so I'll be doing icewind dale to reconcile the mishistory in Rime of the Frostmaiden, but after the next novel I might look at Phlan and the Moonsea, I reckon Miltiades and Tyrell could be worked into the stuff Brian R James did with the region in 4e.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 14 Oct 2020 : 16:37:24
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

The problem with Phlan is the novels/games set there seem to be completely divorced from the Realms lore for Phlan, and the heroes and their efforts are kind of ignored.
Phlan is a vassal city of the Zhents for pretty much the canon version given. We don't know if Tarl and Shal and their child is still alive, living there, what they thought of the city being in Zhent control, what happened to Anton, etc.

It's not a good series for Realms novels. The less said about Bane transporting the cities away from the Realms and then them coming back and how all that was handwaves, the better.



That's why I don't like Phlan. The books are just bad, and in addition to the stuff noted above, they break game rules, too -- like a slender girl becoming way muscular and buff with a single wish or a spellcaster "pre-casting" spells by doing everything but the last word, so he could unleash them almost at-will later.

And didn't one of the books have a spellcaster with some sort of big cat familiar, and that big cat could turn into a human?

My dislike of the books is strong enough that I don't like the city, because of them.

I do wonder if that long-lost and now near-mythical Phlan web enhancement would have addressed any of the stuff from those novels.
Seravin Posted - 14 Oct 2020 : 16:15:01
The problem with Phlan is the novels/games set there seem to be completely divorced from the Realms lore for Phlan, and the heroes and their efforts are kind of ignored.
Phlan is a vassal city of the Zhents for pretty much the canon version given. We don't know if Tarl and Shal and their child is still alive, living there, what they thought of the city being in Zhent control, what happened to Anton, etc.

It's not a good series for Realms novels. The less said about Bane transporting the cities away from the Realms and then them coming back and how all that was handwaves, the better.
Demzer Posted - 14 Oct 2020 : 14:32:04
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Or your loathing for them is coloring your perception of any scene that has a god so much as blink. I haven't actually read the Pools books, but this scroll is starting to feel like it should be called Let's Bash the Gods instead of Novel Lore. Think it's best if I walk away from this scroll.



You only noticed now? Well to be fair it's getting a bit worse with the time, now Realms gods can't even be named by their faithful apparently.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Bane causes the simultaneous deaths of 20 of his own high priests and sends lightning storms across the moonsea instantly making him way beyond the power of any character in the realms.



Yeah so what? He is a god, he can do that, what's your point here exactly? Do you think any player character can do what people in the novels do? Try doing what Elminster does and let's see how it goes.

If your point was on the reasoning behind Bane's actions or their opportunity (which as nothing to do with any other character in the Realms or with "power") then I agree the portrayal is probably bad. The problem here is that when the gods are portrayed as stupid or doing illogical things then you call into contest the entire concept of godhood while when an elf does something out of character you don't question the existence/need/whatever of the elven race ...

To put it in another light, trusting the novels to faithfully portray the gods, especially when no reliable mortal was present at the scene, is like trusting all the gossip websites to give you a fair representation of the life of our own world superstars. No one sane would do that.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Then we have the druids who appear out of nowhere, declare their only motivation to be that they are on orders from sylvanus, and then attach themselves to Ren who doesnt resist because it is an order from Silvanus.



What's the problem here? There is a big evil and different factions come together to stop it / investigate it / whatever. Seems pretty stereotypical fantasy to me, nothing strange. Why would Ren "resist"? Resist what exactly?

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Miltiades does exactly the same. Appears out of nowhere and declares that Tyr wants him to aid the characters.



I'm guessing you didn't quite get Miltiades backstory (or maybe it's not all explained in one place, can't remember)? His first time around he failed with Turell, died after doing something dishonorable and Tyr put him in a sort of limbo from which he is released to fulfil his job as protector and make amends for his past failures. It fits thematically to have him there ready to defend a Moonsea city from impossible odds.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Then Talenthia, while they are journeying to fight the big bad, they come across a forest infested with evil. She gets upset and tells the others to go on without her. She breaks down and decides to sacrifice herself to cleanse a small portion of the forest.



So a druid sacrificing herself to, even temporarily, restore nature is a bad plot device just because one of the main deities related to druids in the setting makes a cameo? Was she supposed to invent the steam engine and log the forest? What kind of druids do you know?

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