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 Using Worldfire in 5e from Dragon 427

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sleyvas Posted - 02 Nov 2021 : 12:45:23
From Dragon 427 and Eye on the Realms article called "The Sundering: To Rule Two Worlds" by Ed Greenwood

Worldfire: The concept of draining the energies of one world or plane of existence through a magical conduit, ravaging it locally in the process, to empower a spellcaster in another beyond the powers they would normally be able to wield.

About a month back, I started asking about ideas for DM's guild offerings of "Epic" rules for 5e. Since then, I've found a set (previously mentioned) and made a few rule modifications to it. I'm also updating some of my own prior material from other stuff, and I'm just having fun personally designing NPC's mechanically with a few notes about their motives, history, etc.... Once I have their "stats" I plan to flesh out their stories more, but the "statting" helps me "picture" them better in my head.

So, some few might be interested in that whole thing above, and moreso possibly in rule changes for epic leveling, rule changes in multiclassing, and feats and ruleset for obtaining feats. I don't kid myself, my histories are probably only of interest to me until I have a much more fleshed out thing, and then some rare folks might like it. But that's what makes it fun for me.

So, why that longwinded diatribe? Well, my NPC's are about 75% reusing NPC's who have either had a decent history or had only a little history and were tossed aside. One of those is a red wizard in exile, former Zulkir, from this article and he's noted as trying to use worldfire.

So, my first thoughts were "it should be a feat".... but then I realized, well magic item slots are just as dear in 5e as feats. You can only attune to 3 items for most people. So, I thought, well what if this is some great magic items.. no, an artifact.... that this guy is building.

So, here's the question? What kind of "artifact" can you picture for an item that performs "worldfire"... the slow and not flamboyant draining of magic from one world to empower magic in another that drains away the local life around it in the process? My first thought is that "what if its an orrery, but instead of tracking planets, it tracks the radiance of the stars as they move across the sky? You have to go inside of it, and the light then hits you, and you're imbued with extra power".

I was also drawn to this idea because of the idea of "radiance" and "Glantri" and trying to make this somewhat but not exactly modeling on some kind of reactor. Does this concept bring any other kind of "devices" or somesuch to mind for you? I kind of picture this as a thing where it deadens the land to some degree around where the artifact is, but the spellcaster actually has some kind of servants to haul away the "dead land" and bring in bits of fresh new land near constantly. They might then try to re-enliven the land in a way that Thayans are known for (i.e. weather magics dropping life giving rain onto land)... note I say "try" because they might not realize how damaging what they're doing is.

I actually wanted all three spellcasters mentioned in the article to actually have discovered paths to traverse between Abeir and Toril. For the Rashemi Witch, she may use the "wood between worlds" concept. For this Thayan, he's noted as being very involved with "mist" magics, so having him using some kind of "Ravenloft like" mist area that travels between Abeir and Toril makes sense.... and maybe when the radiance occurs it "parts the mist".

Anyway, the idea hit me, so I wanted to put it down before I got sidetracked. I'll probably explore it later over the week, but I figured I'd see if this spawns any thoughts in people.

More from the article below, again Dragon 427 if you want to read more

All these terms are based in reality—things that have happened and can be made to happen again—but they are often exaggerated far beyond what can be achieved by most experimenters in most conditions. The Sundering is not “most conditions,” however.
It so happens, Elminster has let slip, that some dabblers in worldfire are seeking to take advantage of the moving apart of Abeir and Toril to drain life from one world to make themselves mighty in the other. Mystra has specifically forbidden her Chosen and other servitors to work directly against these dabblers; the risk of their conduit magic successfully draining silver fire from her Chosen and causing real and lasting damage to her, the Weave, and both Abeir and Toril is too great.

She urges those loyal to her, however, to make mortal adventurers, dragons, and all magically powerful beings aware of the dangers of such dabblings, in hopes they will thwart worldfire-seekers. Accordingly, Elminster wants Faerûn to be aware of three current users of worldfire, wizards who can, through magic of their own devising, call upon energy they are “robbing Abeir of ” to cast more spells than they should be able to—spells that deal greater damage and have larger areas of effect than the same spells cast by others. These three are Roroebryn, Talaskos Murthrond, and Velvroame.
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sleyvas Posted - 12 Nov 2021 : 00:06:21
Originally posted by Delnyn

Is Worldfire the same as the Weave Fire that Larloch briefly mentioned to Elminster in The Herald?

It doesn't sound like it... that sounds like when the weave starts consuming itself like a wildfire.

The archlich nodded. “Precisely. We’ll need to protect as many of the Prefects as we can too-the Keeper of the Tomes, the First Reader, the Great Readers and, only if they can be torn away from their duties without us spending overmuch time in doing so, the Chanter, the Guide, and the Gatewarden-because the more of them working with us, the more we can anchor and stabilize the Weave we’re repairing, and minimize the risk of Weavefire, and it all going wild.”
Larloch sighed. “What did Mystra teach you and her other Chosen? Your Dove and your Storm prefer the sword to the Art, but the rest of you? I suppose, submerging herself into the Weave and becoming it, as Mystryl so long resisted doing, Mystra wanted no one to know that much about it, and so about her own vulnerabilities. Yes, Weavefire. Not like silver fire or the handfire novices conjure, nor yet spell-spawned walls of fire-Weavefire is when some part of the Weave is consumed by its own runaway energies, melting and shriveling like dry leaves in hot flame.”
The archlich waved a hand, and another moving midair image appeared, showing Elminster just that. It did not look pretty.
“When your Mystra took you as a lover,” Larloch told him, “she was putting the Weave into you. And she was putting you into it, making you a new anchor for the Weave. She did the same with the Simbul and others you never knew about. Using all of you because it was needful to keep the Realms from chaos. Just as you must now do what is needful. Which is to trust me a little more, and carry out my plan.”
Delnyn Posted - 11 Nov 2021 : 10:56:39
Is Worldfire the same as the Weave Fire that Larloch briefly mentioned to Elminster in The Herald?
The Arcanamach Posted - 07 Nov 2021 : 23:00:39
This also sounds like the connection between the Full Metal Alchemist world and ours (revealed toward the end of the series). Basically, in the FMA universe their magic is siphoned from our world.
LordofBones Posted - 07 Nov 2021 : 05:03:29
Falazure the Night Dragon canonically does this, actually. Monster Mythology notes that the deaths of worlds are how he maintains his beauty.
Zeromaru X Posted - 07 Nov 2021 : 00:33:45
Given the new lore from Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, I really doubt dragons should need to use worldfire or similar magics. However, I can see mortals trying to emulate dragons doing something like this.

On the other hand, the Maztican gods don't qualify as primordials. At least, not guys like Zaltec.
sleyvas Posted - 06 Nov 2021 : 22:44:25
I decided to put the general idea into writing. I don't want to make it as "simple" as what dark sun's defilers can do, nor necessarily as destructive. Its described as a slow draw, etc... Plus, what you got in dark sun was like 1, 2, or even 3 bonus spells of each level you can cast.... way too powerful for 5e in comparison. So, I'm opting for something that just lets you restore like 6 spell slots a day and also gives you some metamagic options.

Orrery of Night's Radiance
Wondrous item, artifact (requires attunement by a spellcaster capable of casting 7th level or higher spells)

The Orrery of Night's Radiance is an artifact created by the Zulkir of Transmutation, Talaskos Murthrond, and which is mounted at the top of his keep in the city of Reborn Bezantur. It occupies a space that roughly encompasses a 20 foot sphere with a large glowing “sun” made from a fist sized ruby that generates tremendous heat (touching this sun causes 10d6 fire and 10d6 radiant damage per round, or half this damage for anyone that approaches within five feet of it). Unlike a normal Orrery, which portrays the movement of planets or other objects mechanically using arms made of some material rotating around a base, the Orrery of Night's Radiance has no arms, but rather it has an outer shell created from the amethyst scales of a gem dragon. This outer shell is then covered in smaller, carved scales from a crystal dragon that seem to represent the movement of the stars, each giving off their own light. As they pass around this outer shell, they seem to reveal that this amethyst sphere seem to have writing carved into it, but this writing is vague and hard to read, almost as though it were carved by the hands of tiny fairies. Within the interior 9 planets made of gems and metal seem rotate around the sun, but two of these seem to rotate around and occasionally partially through one another. These two planets are the third planets out from the sun, representing both Abeir and Toril, and the two are made of differing materials. The object representing Abeir is made of a silvery metal, arambarium, which is thought to be made of the body of a primordial. The object representing Toril is made of a black crystalline substance which is believed to the the gemstone that the netherese called chardalyn. Around both of these planets spins a pearl which seems to have a transparent fire surrounding it. This pearl has a twin, which is part of this artifact, and the two pearls are generally swapped out upon a daily basis. When a new pearl is swapped into place, it is generally black and surrounded by a illusory black flame. As the day progresses, this pearl transitions to a glossy white and the fire surrounding it becomes an illusory blue flame. Meanwhile, the pearl that is taken out starts the day as glossy white and surrounded by a blue illusory flame, and it slowly darkens its shell and flame to black as the day progresses. This pearl that is removed must be set into motion around the attuned person's head in a way similar to an ioun stone in order to gain the benefits of this artifact. The pearl which is used this way is only useful for a day and must be replaced in a ten minute long ritual that involves saying a command phrase in a mixture of draconic and primordial which temporarily allows the gem to be passed through the outer shell and slowly transition to replace its sister pearl.

Metamagic Enhancement: You gain knowledge of the sorcerer's metamagic options of empowered spell, heightened spell, and twinned spell even if you are not a sorcerer. You also gain 5 sorcery points. If you are already a sorcerer, these sorcery points are added to your existing total, and for each of the metamagic options that you already know, an additional 5 points are given to you. Unless you are a sorcerer, you cannot use these sorcery points for flexible casting

Spell Slots: You may use the pearl like a pearl of power, but with much more potential. Up to four times per day, it can be used to restore expended spell slots of 5th level and under, but each use invokes the natural defilement power of the artifact. Once per day it can be used to restore expended spell slots of 7th level and under, and once for spell slots of 9th level and under, but each use involves both the natural defilement and worldfire powers of the artifact.

Improved Transmuter's Stone: If you have created a transmuter's stone, you may awaken an additional power within it. If you do not have a transmuter's stone, the pearl acts as one for you and you may awaken one power from it as if you were a 6th level transmuter.

Sundering Portal: The Orrery is a connection between the worlds of Abeir and Toril, though it only exists in one at a time. If the Orrery is on Abeir or Toril, then if it is night a mist can be called up around the outer shell of the Orrery. If this outer shell is touched, then the person touching it and up to five other individuals in contact with them can transfer themselves to Abeir to a place that is filled with natural mists. In order to return to the Orrery, at least one of these individuals must return to the same spot and summon a magical mist at night, but this may only be performed once.

Natural Defilement: You cause the death of all simple plant life within five feet as well as any creatures with a challenge rating of 0. All other creatures take 1d4 necrotic damage. After each time this power is triggered per day, the pearl turns darker, and after six times the pearl and its fire is completely black.

Worldfire: The radius of the natural defilement effect is increased from 5 feet to 40 feet. Creatures within 10 feet of your take 6d4 damage instead of 1d4. If you actually kill something with a CR of 1 or higher as a result of this effect, its life force empowers you, giving you advantage on spell attack rolls for the next half hour.

Destroying the Orrery of Night's Radiance: In order to destroy the Orrery, it must be removed from Realmspace Crystal Sphere to another plane of existence. It must then be exposed to the breath weapon of a dragon god or at least five adult or older gem dragons.
sleyvas Posted - 06 Nov 2021 : 12:15:25
So, perhaps the Netherese mythallars were pulling from the far realm, which might have been the home of the phaerimm. They send across large numbers of their kind to stop this. The sharn find these portals to the far realm getting opened, and fearing for the very world, they close the portals to the far realm and basically give up a portion of the world to the phaerimm by creating the sharn wall, hoping they'll die out because they can't kill them all. The Phaerimm cast their lifedrain spells as a means to access their home world's power, destroying this world at the same time. Over time, as the land becomes desert, the phaerimm grow weaker and weaker, such that the ones we see nowadays... even though powerful... are not near as powerful as their ancestors.

Meanwhile, over on Abeir, the dragon overlords in Laerakond are casting magics that turn around and burn the continent of Maztica, leaving behind "The House of Tezca" desert, the "Sands of Itzcala" desert and fray the ties to the weave over there? Perhaps they used these magics to setup something which "puts their primordial/dawn titan masters to sleep", and perhaps the transfer caused in the spellplague "broke" those spells. Perhaps even the return of Qotal and Zaltec to the world just prior to the spellplague was something of an awakening of "aspects" of these beings tied to the land there (i.e. making them primordials/dawn titans), perhaps as the world became closer aligned.
Ayrik Posted - 06 Nov 2021 : 01:18:45
Mythallars did somehow interfere or inhibit "natural" magics in their vicinity.

It's specifically mentioned that elves and other demihumans who found themselves on a floating enclave or on the ground beneath it would lose access to their inherent magical species advantages - no special charm resistance, no ability to perceive secret doors, no infravision, etc. It's only stated that these demihumans would be "uncomfortable" - though it's unspecified whether this discomfort was from unpleasant symptoms (headaches, malaise, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, maddening tinnitus, whatever) or if it was some sort of "sensory deprivation" (like a person being unable to see or hear properly in the presence of overwhelming brightness or noise).

I'm guessing that humans (as a species) don't suffer these effects due to a complete lack of inherent magically-based racial abilities.
I don't know how other magical species - like magic-resistant dwarves or magic-intense dragons - would be affected. The (no longer human) Shadovar were evidently unimpaired in proximity of their mythallars in both Shade and Sakkors.

Maybe mythallars did somehow pollute or damage the Weave. But maybe, given their specific effects on elves as an example, they also somehow pollute or damage connections to the Feywild. Netherese "Worldfire" might have already burned the Feywild - and countless other planes.

(And maybe the Shadovar have somehow developed a way to reduce or prevent this effect, maybe they improved their mythallars and magics over the millennia, maybe Shar's power was the only thing allowing them to leave the Shadowfell, who knows.)

... And, more speculation ... Maybe Worldfire is somehow intrinsically linked to Spellfire. The two phenomena are not just named similarly, they also share many similar "burning" effects.
sleyvas Posted - 05 Nov 2021 : 23:06:05
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-I don't think mythallars on the whole drew from other planets/planes/whatever because one of the "problems" with Netheril was that they were so taxing on the Weave. Maybe some arcanists found alternate sources and coded that into their mythallars but most seemingly didn't.

Just devil's advocate.... or they were taxing on the place that Phaerimm were from, and so sometimes they had something like "brownouts"...?
Lord Karsus Posted - 05 Nov 2021 : 14:36:33
-I don't think mythallars on the whole drew from other planets/planes/whatever because one of the "problems" with Netheril was that they were so taxing on the Weave. Maybe some arcanists found alternate sources and coded that into their mythallars but most seemingly didn't.
sleyvas Posted - 04 Nov 2021 : 00:32:09
Hmmm, hadn't thought to have the topic pursue this direction, but that's why I like this place. That's an interesting thought about the Phaerimm as possible wielders of worldfire..... and possibly mythallars working because they were drawing power from somewhere else.... like say Abeir. Having Phaerimm crossing to Toril to "fight the enemy destroying their homeworld" and then getting entrapped here by the sharn.... who maybe shut down portals to Abeir. Could make a good story.
Ayrik Posted - 03 Nov 2021 : 01:57:23
At a glance, "worldfire" seems to basically be similar to the "defiler" magic of Darksun. Except that it passes the buck, instead of wrecking things in the spellcaster's proximity it wrecks things in some distant unrelated place.

I also wonder if it's related to phaerimm "lifedrain". They might have burned the Realms (or at least the Anauroch and surrounding regions) when using worldire-type magics on their own world/plane. Alternately, the Netherese might have burned the phaerimm's home instead, provoking the phaerimm responses of vengeance and invasion.

Indeed, I wonder if every kind of magic is fueled by consuming or polluting some other place. Even if the magic users aren't aware of the costs. Even things like artifacts, mythals, and Faerzress. It could be argued that even divine, celestial, and fiendish magics diminish or destroy to their opposites, and this sort of symbolic/spiritual essence is the very stuff - the intangible yet absolutely fundamental building blocks - of the (Planescape-era) outer planes.
sleyvas Posted - 02 Nov 2021 : 23:17:59
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-I only have basic, cursory knowledge of it, but does this kind of sound like Defilers from Dark Sun? Minus the destroying nature part.

It does very much sound like that (even the destroying nature part), which is what I was thinking as I wrote this thread. It also brought back the ideas that some have thought that Abeir and Athas could be the same universe, or even the same world at different steps along the timestream. The big difference being defilers weren't specifically noted as pulling their power from other worlds. However, their actions did weaken their elemental planes.

The storyline I was thinking of going along with might actually involve them learning of the art from an Athasian, but attempting to cultivate it in such a way that it was a "manageable" devastation in their surroundings by pulling power from another world via a "tap" of some sort which bridges the magic. The dragons of Abeir might actually end up taking to it (kind of like the dragon rulers of Athas that were defilers), requiring Torilians to bridge the worlds and take on the dragon overlords of Abeir.

Who knows, maybe the dragons of Abeir HAVE been using worldfire in the past, and this is why so much of Maztica is a desert wasteland, and why Zaltec's "darkfyre" needed hearts of living beings sacrificed to it.
Lord Karsus Posted - 02 Nov 2021 : 14:27:32
-I only have basic, cursory knowledge of it, but does this kind of sound like Defilers from Dark Sun? Minus the destroying nature part.

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