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 The Lore and Politics of the Sundering (FR 5E)

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Aldrick Posted - 24 May 2013 : 06:46:50
Okay, I'm working on some stuff for my home Realms. However, I wanted to make sure my Realms is loosely compatible with 5th Edition FR, and to do this I needed to get some information about the Sundering. What is it? Why did it happen? What's the likely outcome of the event? Etc.

So I grumbled to myself as I crawled down into the depths of the internet to see what little information I could scrounge up. Shockingly enough, I found pretty much everything I needed. So I am very happy. However, along the way I learned some helpful information that really made me VERY hopeful about the future of the Forgotten Realms. So, I'm just going to share everything I learned here with you guys so it can benefit the community as a whole.

The two primary sources I draw from are two videos.

For the politics portion of this post, I get most of my information from this interview of R.A. Salvatore done by Sword and Laser over at Geek And Sundry.

For the lore portion of this post, I get most of my information from this seminar entitled (not shockingly), "What is the Sundering?" done at Gencon back in 2012.

Now, if you don't want to watch the video's that's fine. I'm just going to give you the important stuff that I learned. I'm showing the sources in case I accidentally get something wrong - I don't want to put words into anyone's mouth. Also, it gives everyone the chance to fact check me.

Okay, so with all of that out of the way, let's get to the meat.

The Politics of 5th Edition Forgotten Realms: Okay, this all begins back in 2006 when the changes to the Realms were being revealed to the authors. Salvatore and presumably the other authors were called in and basically told what the changes were going to be; they weren't consulted at all. So it was a major shock. They were basically told, "Hey guess what, we're advancing the world 100 years." Salvatore was very, very, very upset. Since over half his main characters were human, he basically didn't see how it could work for him. In his words, "140 year old humans don't fight very well." Salvatore wrote a really long letter to several Senior Editors at WotC pleading with them to reconsider the 4E changes, but clearly it fell on deaf ears.

Presumably a lot of other authors were also very upset, and more specifically Ed Greenwood. Salvatore talks about coming out of that 2006 meeting where the changes were revealed with Ed Greenwood, and Ed was basically about to cry. Ed turned to Salvatore and asked, "What are we going to do?" It seemed that they couldn't stop it or change their minds. So Salvatore responded to Ed with, "We're going to be smarter than them. We're going to think long term."

That's when Ed and Salvatore got together secretly and started brainstorming on how to fix the Realms when WotC realized how much it was going to be despised by most of the fans.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago at Gencon when 5E was announced. James Wyatt pulls Salvatore aside after he's done a seminar, and begins bringing up 5E Forgotten Realms. At that time WotC hadn't planned on what to do, but according to Salvatore, James Wyatt said that 4E FR had "gone off the rails" and then started outlining everything that needed to be done to fix it. That's when he took James aside and for over 20 minutes outlined everything he and Ed had been planning for years.

Salvatore basically sees all of this as an attempt to try and fix "Ed's Realms" - that's how everyone is basically looking at it. He said that he's willing to take personal responsibility for 5E FR because he had a direct hand in it, but he also said that he's "very proud" of what they've come up with.

Piecing together everything Salvatore said with the other stuff we know... my guess is that when the authors and designers sat down to formally discuss the upcoming changes for 5E and get broader input, they were using Greenwood's and Salvatore's plans as an outline.

This makes me excited to hear because knowing that Ed has had such a direct and strong hand in things is good news. If anyone can try and get FR "back on the rails" it's him.

There is so much other great stuff unrelated to 5E FR in that interview. I highly recommend watching it.


The Lore of the Sundering: Okay, with office politics out of the way we can turn to what we all here really love - the lore of the Forgotten Realms. So, what is the Sundering and how did it happen?

Before I answer this question, I want to point out something very important that I don't think a lot of people seem to understand. They are NOT REBOOTING the Forgotten Realms. They are not going back in time, and they are not going to retcon the changes made to the setting. For better and for worse, like all changes to the Realms, they're permanent.

That being said they are also cheating a little bit. They're basically setting things up so they can wave their hand and say "Ao fixes it." So, let's talk about how they're doing that.

Lovers of the lore here will know that around –17600 DR an event known as the Sundering took place. Let's open our Grand History of the Realms and read the entry.

quote:
c. –17600 DR
The Sundering:
Hundreds of High Mages assemble in the heartland of Faerūn at the Gathering Place. Ignoring the lesson learned from the destruction of Tintageer centuries earlier, they cast a spell of elven High Magic designed to create a glorious elf homeland. On the Day of Birthing, the magic reaches its apex as the spell extends both back and forward in the mists of time. Faerūn, the one land, is sundered apart by the unbridled force of the Sundering. As a result, hundreds of cities are washed away, thousands of elves lie dead, and the face of Toril is changed forever. The name Faerūn, no longer the One Land, is given to the largest continent. Surrounded by vast expanses of water, the island of Evermeet, thought to be a piece of Arvandor and a bridge between worlds, breaks the surface of the Trackless Sea. Blessed by the goddess Angharradh, verdant forests and wildlife soon flourish across the island. Corellon Larethian wards Evermeet against Lolth, Malar, and the other powers of the anti-Seldarine and entrusts a unique seed to the Fair Folk of the isle. The seed soon sprouts, growing into a miniature tree known as the Tree of Souls. Over time, the souls of ancient elves who choose to stay on Toril, rather than pass on to Arvandor, merge into the Tree of Souls, slowly augmenting its power. Prophecies reveal that the Tree of Souls will someday be planted on Faerūn when the Fair Folk finally return to the mainland after a period of exile on the Green Isle.


There is an important part of this entry here that needs to be read closely. That part discusses how as the spell reached its apex it extended "both back and forward in the mists of time."

An important Elven High Mage, who wasn't part of the ritual, saw these backward and forward ripples across time. When this happened he described two other Sunderings, in addition to the one that the Elves had just performed. In fact, this is how the Elven Sundering became known as the Sundering. One Sundering had already happened in the past, and a third one was to happen sometime in the future.

The Sundering that had happened in the past was already known and it was called the Tearfall, and it heralded the end for the Creator Races dominance - particularly for the Batrachi. This was the end of the Days of Thunder, and was just the beginning of the Dawn Ages.

According to Grand History of the Realms...

quote:
c. –31000 DR
An unimaginable catastrophe strikes Abeir-Toril. Whole continents vanish in earthquakes, fires, and windstorms, and the seas are rearranged. Ancient sarrukh accounts remark on the "changing of the stars," but no one now knows what this might mean.

Most scholars now speculate that at about this date a comet or ice moon fell from the sky, devastating much of Abeir-Toril, and refer to this event as the Tearfall. The four Inner Seas merge together to form the body of water known today as the Sea of Fallen Stars. Tens of thousands of dragon eggs soon hatch across Toril. The dramatic climate change that followed quickly brought an end to the batrachi civilization.


This event became much more clear in the future. However, before we get to that we need to discuss another event.

In 1358 DR the Time of Troubles took place. As we all know Myrkul and Bane stole the Tablets of Fate from Ao which led to the Gods being cast down to the Realms as mortal avatars. What is important is the end of this event when Ao speaks to the Gods.

quote:
"Lord Ao!" Helm acknowledged, bowing his head in supplication.

"Bring me the Tablets of Fate," Ao commanded.

Helm opened the saddlebags and removed the tablets. In the god's mighty hands, the two stones looked small, almost insignificant. Helm took the tablets to Ao then kneeled on the stairway to await further commands.

Ao studied the tablets for several minutes. In a hundred places throughout the Realms, the avatars of the surviving gods fell into a deep trance as Ao summoned their attention.

"On these artifacts," the overlord said, sending his voice and image to all of his gods. "I have recorded the forces that balance Law and Chaos."

"And I have returned them to you," Cyric said, daring to meet Ao's gaze.

Ao looked at the thief without approval or disapproval. "Yes," he said, stacking the tablets together. "And here is what it amounts to!" The overlord of the gods crushed the tablets in his hands and ground them into dust.

Midnight cringed, expecting the heavens to come crashing down. Adon cried out in grief and astonishment. Cyric watched the dust fall from between Ao's fingers, an angry frown creeping down his face.

Helm jumped to his feet. "Master, what have you done?" the god asked, his voice betraying his fear.

"The tablets mean nothing," Ao said, addressing all of his gods, no matter where they were. "I kept them to remind you that I created gods to serve the Balance, not to twist it to your own ends. But this point was lost on you. You saw the tablets as a set of rules by which to play juvenile games of prestige and pomp! Then, when the rules became inconvenient you stole them..."

"But that was -," Helm began.

"I know who took the Tablets of Fate," Ao replied, silencing Helm with a curt wave of his hand. "Bane and Myrkul have paid for their offenses with their lives. But all of you were guilty, causing worshipers to build wasteful temples, to devote themselves so slavishly to your name that they could not feed their children, even to spill their own blood upon your corrupt altars - all so you could impress each other with your hold over these so-called inferior creatures. Your behavior is enough to make me wish I had never created you."

Ao paused and let his listeners consider his words. Finally, he resumed speaking. "But I did create you and not without purpose. Now, I am going to demand that you fulfill that purpose. From this day forward, your true power will depend upon the number and devotion of your followers."

From one end of the Realms to another, the gods gasped in astonishment. In far off Tsurlagoi, Talos the Raging One growled, "Depend on mortals?" The one good eye of his youthful, broad-shouldered avatar was opened with outrage and shock.

"Depend on them and more," Ao returned. "Without worshipers, you will wither, even perish entirely. And after what has passed in the Realms, it will not be easy to win the faith of mortals. You will have to earn it by serving them."

In sunny Tesiir, a beautiful woman with silky scarlet hair and fiery red-brown eyes looked as though she were going to retch. "Serve them?" Sune asked.

"I have spoken!" Ao replied.


This entire passage is from Waterdeep, the last book in the Avatar Trilogy by Richard Awlinson. It is of absolute paramount importance to the events of the Sundering. There was more being spoken here between Ao and the Gods than first appeared.

First, it must be noted that Ao cast down the Gods as punishment. He saw the deities as undermining the rules written on the tablets by finding ways around them to play games of power, prestige, and pomp. All of them were guilty to one degree or another.

Second, he destroyed the Tablets of Fate. When Ao said, "The tablets mean nothing" it should be noted that the quote does not end in a period. He is saying that the Gods made a mockery of the Tablets of Fate and all they were supposed to represent. So he destroyed them. Notice Helm's reaction as Ao destroyed them. "Master, what have you done?!" His voice was filled with fear. This was for good reason.

Ao set into motion that day what would become known as the Era of Upheaval. However, to fully understand the significance of this we have to go back to the Tearfall at the end of the Days of Thunder.

So what was the Tearfall, how did it happen, and why? As previously stated the Tearfall was the first Sundering. It was marked as a time of unimaginable catastrophes ultimately ending with what the sarruk recall as the "changing of the stars" and the creation of the Sea of Fallen Stars.

Now, most of this was surrounded in legend and myth, and no doubt much of it still is - it's hard to find reliable information that far back in time. However, when Abeir merged with Toril after the Spellplague, an opportunity presented itself to compare notes. Basically, there was suddenly people - even an entire continent - appearing out of thin air. These people had their own history, their own lore, and their own accounting of events. This allowed scholars and sages to compare notes and get a better understanding of what exactly happened during the end of the Days of Thunder.

This world, called Abeir, was unlike Toril in that it had no (or very few) gods. Instead, it was a world ruled over by primordials.

Here are some excerpts from the 4E FRCG about Abeir.

quote:
Abeir is the realm forgotten. A twin to Toril and once joined with it, Abeir went its own way at the dawn of the world. Where gods and their servants oversee Faerūn, the lords of Abeir were towering primordials and elder wyrms, and savagery ruled with them. Now, after long epochs of separation, Abeir has joined with Toril once again, in a return both violent and unlooked-for.


For those who wonder what a primordial is...

quote:
The Elemental Chaos provides essential building blocks for all matter in the cosmos, the primordial seed of all that is. The gods fear this wild plane of unimaginable extremes, and they respect the primordials that call it home.

The few primordials that remained in Toril when Abeir split away never fought the gods as their fellows did. These primordials are sometimes worshiped as deities despite their elemental origin.


Now this is the important part we learn from those who return from Abeir to Toril.

quote:
In the final days of the batrachi civilization (c. –31,000 DR), an unimaginable catastrophe struck Toril. It is said that the amphibioids were waging a losing war against the titan armies of Annam's brood. In their desperation, the batrachi performed an epic ritual of summoning that released several primordials from their imprisonment. The gods quickly moved against their ancient foes, resulting in terrible earthquakes, fires, and windstorms that swept across the planet. During the tumult, a primordial calling herself Asgoroth the World Shaper even hurled an ice moon at Toril, intent on destroying the world she couldn't claim as her own. Yet before the world was torn completely asunder, the Hidden One intervened. Lord Ao created a twin of the planet, granting the primordials dominion over the new world of Abeir and the gods control over the original world of Toril. Ancient sarrukh accounts remark on the "changing of the stars," but until the Spellplague and the return of Abeir, very few paid these legends any heed.


Now, you may read this and think that this is new lore, completely made up, but you'd be somewhat mistaken in that assumption. Here is an excerpt from the 2E Draconomicon.

quote:
Draconic Origins
". . . The World was still flat, here before the beginning of Time, before Asgorath the World-Shaper folded the cloth of existence into its final form. The World was flat, and above it hung the Crystal Sun that Zotha had wrought before Asgorath cast him down. Asgorath soared above the World and looked down upon it, and she saw that it was good.

"And so Asgorath bent her form around the Crystal Sun, and touched her breath to it. And the Crystal Sun burst into fragments that pierced the flesh of Asgorath, and her blood fell on the World. Where the drops fell, the Powers of the World and the Powers of the Crystal Sun came together, and the Spawn of Asgorath came forth upon the face of the World.

"Red, they were, red that would later depart from its purity But here before the beginning of Time, their red was the pure red of the shattered Crystal Sun. They spread their wings and took to the skies, circling around the still, cold form of Asgorath. One after another, score upon score, they bent their breath against the body of Asgorath, and the skies rang with their lamentations. Only one of the Spawn of Asgorath withheld his breath. Instead, he pulled a shard of the Crystal Sun from the flesh of Asgorath, and used it to draw blood from his own flesh, and this blood fell upon the face of the World.

"As before, there was movement where the blood fell, but the creatures that came forth from this blood were not of the pure red. Colored like the products of the World they were, like the unliving metals. And the Renegade raised his voice, and his voice was a trumpet: 'I too have Created.'

"The form of Asgorath began to stir, as the Renegade knew it must. The Renegade spread his wings and flew, and the Spawn of the Renegade followed him into the farthest reaches of the world."

-- from the "Book of the World"
Excerpted from The Origin Myths - A Treatise by Dunkelzahn of Candlekeep, 1354 DR


Now, of course, this is written in the form of an unreliable narrator. However, from it we see that Asgorath the World-Shaper is introduced and thus known in the lore. It's also known that after the Tearfall took place the Dragons appeared on Toril.

Also, interestingly enough from this myth we hear it speak of a "Crystal Sun" - which would almost certainly refer to an ice moon. That moon is called Zotha in the myth. It is highly likely (speculation on my part, but I believe it is very good speculation) that the remnants of this moon that was hurled at Toril by Asgorath also formed what became known as the Tears of Selune.

So this easily explains where the Tears of Selune came from... anyway, this is off the beaten path, and we're losing ourselves in the weeds.

With this knowledge in hand we know that the batrachi awoke imprisoned primordials and this caused a war between them and the Gods. It resulted in a lot of devastation, ultimately heralding the end to the batrachi empire. One of the final acts of the war was for Asgorath the World-Shaper to hurl an ice moon named Zotha at Toril. This ice moon fragmented, forming the Tears of Selune, and a large chunk of it struck the fore inner seas of the continent of Merrouroboros. These four inner seas merged to form what is now known as the Sea of Fallen Stars. (And why it has that name should now be obvious.)

Ao intervened at this point and created a twin world, known as Abeir, and sent the Primordial's there. This is what the sarrukh were talking about in their ancient accounts regarding the "changing of the stars".

Now, here is how this ties into the Time of Troubles and the Elven Sundering.

To create Abeir, Ao forged the Tablets of Fate. On the tablets he transcribed the laws of the cosmos, as he said in the novel Waterdeep, "On these artifacts I have recorded the forces that balance Law and Chaos."

He then proceeded to destroy the tablets, which caused Helm to panic, and with good reason. Because when Ao destroyed the tablets he set into motion what was ultimately sped up by the actions of the gods themselves.

After the tablets were destroyed Abeir and Toril slowly started to touch once again. This was likely small incidents that wouldn't spark much notice. Suddenly a chunk of land - an earthmote - would appear over some uninhabited part of the Shaar as an example. Or maybe a small little village in the middle of nowhere disappeared only to be replaced by land from Abeir.

What really sped things up was the Spellplague. When the Spellplague hit - that's what caused the major chaos.

...and really, that's an important word in that sentence: chaos. Because since the Time of Troubles the Realms has been filled with chaos. One Realms Shaking Event after another has taken place - not just among the gods, but in the political realm as well. Entire pantheons of gods have been reshaped. Entire nations have risen and fallen, or have been reshaped entirely.

All of this chaos is directly attributable to Ao destroying the Tablets of Fate. This became known as the Era of Upheaval, which started with the Spellplague and has continued till the present day in the Realms. It has left the Realms in a disastrous state, and it is directly attributable to the actions of the gods themselves.

When Ao destroyed the tablets he was likely giving the deities a chance to prove him wrong, or more likely - prove his point. The gods have hung themselves with the rope Ao gave them.

...and now the gods have learned that Ao intends to reforge the Tablets of Fate. However, none of the gods know what this means. Some believe that they need to get as many worshipers as possible, because that's what Ao instructed them to do at the end of the Time of Troubles. Other's believe that Ao is going to reassign portfolios and so they're taking actions to do what they can to secure their own, and perhaps score some new ones before the tablets are reforged. Other deities believe that Ao is just going to end the world entirely, and so they're preparing their faithful for the end times - literally.

It's a time of great chaos and uncertainty, and that's what will be explored in the novels. However, the novels themselves will focus on small scale matters, and be character driven stories. We will be looking over the shoulders of the main characters and seeing the effects that the third Sundering has on Toril.

My Thoughts: I think it's fairly obvious that we're going to see a lot of the dead deities return. I'm willing to bet money that at the very least we're going to see Mask return and most likely Eilistraee as well. Mystra, of course, is already back but she'll likely only grow in importance and the Weave will likely be mostly repaired by the end of Ed Greenwood's novel.

I'm quite certain Cyric will still be around based on the Q&A at Gencon. He is almost certainly going to be freed from his imprisonment by the end... of course, we don't know what state he'll be in by the end of the novels though.

Even so I think we can expect major changes. Although it's not being billed as a reboot, by the end of it Ao is going to have basically reset things to resemble the old Realms of prior editions - perhaps most closely the pre-Time of Trouble's Forgotten Realms.

They are actively doing their best to try and make sure that the Realms still has the things people like from 4E. So, although they're probably sending Tymanther back to Abeir, the Dragonborn will remain part of the Realms - just in smaller numbers. So the people who like Dragonborn will still get a chance to play and experience them in the 5E Realms - they will just be part of those "left behind" after Ao reforges the Tablets of Fate.

An Important Note: It was revealed that the new 5th Edition maps will be based on the old 1E Gray Box maps. They actually took those maps and scanned them and sent them to an artist who is using them as the basis for the 5E FR Maps. So it appears that the map related changes that took place in 3E will be erased... and that includes the changes made in 4E as well. So we're going to see Ao do some world re-shaping at the very least.

Conclusion: Honestly, I think this works really well for our lore. The only downside is that we still have a one hundred year time jump. However, I would suspect that a lot of the authors will be freed up to write stories in the past. So this means that some stories that were left dangling might be brought to a satisfactory end. I could see Ed doing that with Cormyr, writing a novel that deals with the regency of Alusair Obarskyr, and how it was ultimately handed off to Azoun V.

On a more positive note, it seems that future FR novels will be much more character driven similar to the Drizzt books. A lot of the RSE's - especially among the gods - should be a thing of the past. We will, of course, see how long that lasts. I have my doubts about that one.

That being said, I'm really hopeful about the future of the Realms. I'm hoping that the 5th Edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting will follow in the trend of more recent releases and be edition neutral in terms of lore. This makes the Realms the most accessible to everyone, from the die hard Greybox grognards, to those who only play in the 2E and 3E version of the Realms, and even to those who have transitioned their Realms beyond the Spellplague.

I have my fingers crossed that 5th Edition FR is going to be a success, and that it's going to appear much more true to Ed Greenwood's original vision for the Realms.

If I got anything wrong please correct me. If I missed any lore, or if you think there is lore that should be added please post it down below.

Hopefully this thread has been helpful, and sheds some light on what is coming down the pipe.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Aldrick Posted - 08 Sep 2014 : 02:19:46
quote:
Originally posted by drkissinger1

Beautifully done original post. I had a bit of a hiatus from FR and D&D in general for the past year or so in anticipation of the new edition, so I had no idea what had been going on in the transition from 4E to 5E. I do have a question, though: FR seems to be the default setting for 5E, at least as far as I can tell from the player's handbook. Are we still expecting a dedicated FR campaign setting sourcebook?

I'm mostly very excited about the Sundering; I just hope that a lot of these changes/restorations will be made somewhat elegantly. While Helm's death seemed rather pointless and only subtracted from the world (my guess is it was a concession to 4E's trimmed-down alignments), I kind of liked the idea of Amaunator being reborn from Lathander as a kind of chrysalis. The idea of an established church having to cope with the transformation of its god gave me some neat story hooks. That said, I don't mind Lathander's return; I just hope it can be given more dramatic weight than a divine mulligan.

EDIT: And what's this about a destroyed Netheril? Was this from one of the Sundering novels or an interview?


Thanks. The original post was made before any of the Sundering novels came out. To answer your final question, Netheril was... erm... I don't know if I'd use the word "destroyed". However, I would say that it no longer really exists in it's old form as the Shade Enclave was destroyed and Telamont Tanthul is dead. This took place in Ed Greenwood's novel called the Herald, the last of the Sundering novels.

A lot of old deities have returned some of which are Bane, Myrkul, and Helm - just to name a few. It seems like pretty much every deity that existed at the start of 1E is probably back by this point.

Honestly, we aren't sure how everything is shaking out in divine politics as a result. However, we do know that an FRCS will be coming out sometime in the future. There is no scheduled date for release, and it will be sometime after the DMG. We're likely looking at the end of 2015 or the start of 2016 is my guess.

FR is not the core setting of 5E D&D, though it is heavily referenced. Play in the setting seems to be highly encouraged, which is a good thing.

I also enjoyed what was taking place with Lathander's church. In my Realms the two cults remained divided, with each side seeing the other as heretics. (I even had the Amaunatori split into multiple factions.) I would recommend doing something similar in your Realms, and allowing both to exist simultaneously.

drkissinger1 Posted - 08 Sep 2014 : 00:05:32
Beautifully done original post. I had a bit of a hiatus from FR and D&D in general for the past year or so in anticipation of the new edition, so I had no idea what had been going on in the transition from 4E to 5E. I do have a question, though: FR seems to be the default setting for 5E, at least as far as I can tell from the player's handbook. Are we still expecting a dedicated FR campaign setting sourcebook?

I'm mostly very excited about the Sundering; I just hope that a lot of these changes/restorations will be made somewhat elegantly. While Helm's death seemed rather pointless and only subtracted from the world (my guess is it was a concession to 4E's trimmed-down alignments), I kind of liked the idea of Amaunator being reborn from Lathander as a kind of chrysalis. The idea of an established church having to cope with the transformation of its god gave me some neat story hooks. That said, I don't mind Lathander's return; I just hope it can be given more dramatic weight than a divine mulligan.

EDIT: And what's this about a destroyed Netheril? Was this from one of the Sundering novels or an interview?
Seethyr Posted - 19 Jun 2014 : 07:58:06
quote:
Originally posted by hashimashadoo

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I have noticed how in almost every single post that references FR History, GHotR is (rightfully) referenced. Is there anything that has a similar format created officially or by fans that continues the GH? Wouldn't this be a great time for an update like that? I am sure that I'm not going to be the only return (I guess Ao reinstated me as well).



Brian James wrote some articles for the Wizards website that continue in a similar vein to the GHotR. He also blogged about some entries that didn't make it into the book and those articles. I've also been (slowly) uploading the lore not found in the GHotR onto the FR wiki, though each year gets its own page so it's slower than reading a book or .PDF file.



Lovely!

I hope that you (and Mr. James) continue until Toril's sun burns out.
hashimashadoo Posted - 19 Jun 2014 : 07:51:34
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I have noticed how in almost every single post that references FR History, GHotR is (rightfully) referenced. Is there anything that has a similar format created officially or by fans that continues the GH? Wouldn't this be a great time for an update like that? I am sure that I'm not going to be the only return (I guess Ao reinstated me as well).



Brian James wrote some articles for the Wizards website that continue in a similar vein to the GHotR. He also blogged about some entries that didn't make it into the book and those articles. I've also been (slowly) uploading the lore not found in the GHotR onto the FR wiki, though each year gets its own page so it's slower than reading a book or .PDF file.
Seethyr Posted - 19 Jun 2014 : 05:16:57
Up until 4e, I really considered myself to have a firm grip on the vast majority of Faerunian lore. I have had fallen asleep with some wonderful work of "history" under my nose literally for decades (scary that I don't know RW history half as well!)

I was so unhappy at some point with what had occurred during 4e though that I actually gave up in disgust. I swear that reading the recent novels (and the wonderful summing up in the OP here) has gotten me to go "all in" for 5e. I am looking forward to waking up again with the smell of parchment under my nose. This really is all such wonderful news and my hopes are high.

Here's the thing though, I need some catching up. I have noticed how in almost every single post that references FR History, GHotR is (rightfully) referenced. Is there anything that has a similar format created officially or by fans that continues the GH? Wouldn't this be a great time for an update like that? I am sure that I'm not going to be the only return (I guess Ao reinstated me as well).

On another note, I have always enjoyed the richness of FR to the point where I never understand why ANYTHING is removed. There is no reason why Laerakond can't stay in this new edition AND Maztica can return, possibly a little further west.
farinal Posted - 15 Jun 2014 : 04:13:31
OP is beautiful. I enjoyed reading that post greatly.
hashimashadoo Posted - 06 Jun 2014 : 10:56:11
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder


Aslo, there was a story somewhere about the dragons blasting chunks out of Selune while trying to zap a comet (the King-Killer Star, that is).
Then again, the myth may fit as a distorted account of the event mixed with something else. Or a story from another place long before a certain rain of big eggs over Toril, for that matter...



Is was from an account written by Kisonraathiisar. Grand History of the Realms p48.
TBeholder Posted - 06 Jun 2014 : 07:09:02
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

This was very very good. I especially liked the portion from the Draconomicon. However, there's at least one problem with the lore, so I'm going to list it out in hopes of getting some possible clarity.

The tears of Selune were formed 4800 years ago (roughly) according to the realmspace supplement, page 29

"The Tears of Selune one day just appeared, apparently from nowhere. The different cultures of Toril have their own versions of what happened.

Written in the Shou Lung scrolls of history, over 4800 years back, an astronomer looking up toward Selune, mapping its surface, reported seeing many objects suddenly "pop" into existence. Tremendous tidal waves on all of Toril's oceans commenced.
The info in the Realmspace supplement isn't backed up by Realmslore. I like that book, and I'm a huge Spelljammer fan, but I think that pretty much all of the Toril/Selūne lore from that book should not be included in Realmslore.
Well... yes...
And the red dragons' obscure myth from "Draconomicon" is connected any better?
Aslo, there was a story somewhere about the dragons blasting chunks out of Selune while trying to zap a comet (the King-Killer Star, that is).
Then again, the myth may fit as a distorted account of the event mixed with something else. Or a story from another place long before a certain rain of big eggs over Toril, for that matter...
sleyvas Posted - 17 Feb 2014 : 02:54:24
now that's one good way to tempt me into showing up... GK, ELB, SS, BRJ, and Ed all available to visit. I think the last GenCon I went to was around 2000... but I really want to hear what's happening this time.
Brian R. James Posted - 16 Feb 2014 : 17:40:53
Now we just need to get Eric Boyd to join us. Work your magic George!
George Krashos Posted - 16 Feb 2014 : 07:32:05
I'm a definite this year. Everything is booked and paid for. I'm going to be really cruel and prevail on Steven's sweet nature by guilt tripping him into coming as well!

-- George Krashos
Markustay Posted - 16 Feb 2014 : 03:16:11
The only FR books I ever bought hardcover were the Omnibus editions, and The Annotated Elminster. I was going to make an exception for the Sundering novels, but only because I got a B&N giftcard for Christmas.

The two times I've checked my B&N didn't have them, and now I've spent almost half of the giftcard, so it looks like I'll have to wait until they come out in paperback.

If I am still interested in FR by then......

Part of me really wants to make it to Gencon this year (its definitely do-able), just to see what sort of announcements they're gonna make, but then part of me asks, "why?" Its not like I'm not going to know whatever happens there within 24 hrs anyway, and I could save myself around a $1000. Nearly anyone I wanted to meet I met the last time (except for maybe George Krashos), so even my inner fanboi is satisfied.

Hmmmm... I think GK is gonna make it this year; is Steven Schend gonna be there? That could make the difference for me. As for the Sundering and FR... *meh*... We'll all know soon enough.
Eilserus Posted - 16 Feb 2014 : 02:47:50
I read a review copy. And it's a fantastic novel, so are the rest in the series. I know myself and many others were screaming bloody murder when 4E came out and all I can say is from what I've seen from this series so far we really REALLY need to support this as the Realms moves into 5E.

A hardcover novel is about $30 bucks in stores, and half the time Barnes and Noble has 20% off new books, and if you have a membership card it's another 10% off. Or order on Amazon, get a discount there too. So really a person is looking at a little over $20 bucks for some good entertainment. I don't like to sound like a salesman, but I've been reading and playing in the Realms for over 20 years and I want 5E Realms to succeed.

On a different note, I really hope we get a meaty 5E Campaign Guide like the 3E book. They should include a Free month to D&D Insider or something to hook people and new customers on Dragon and Dungeon. Which I'm hoping are back in publication by then.
Vyrdallen Posted - 16 Feb 2014 : 02:22:24
Eilserus, how did you read the Sentinel?
Eilserus Posted - 16 Feb 2014 : 02:05:41
Read the books to catch what is going on with the Sundering. The series really seems to be gaining momentum. I just finished The Sentinel last night and am loving the stories these writers are telling in the Realms.

Truly starting to believe that 5E Realms is going to be the best yet! And I'll support that with my wallet.
ywhtptgtfo Posted - 16 Feb 2014 : 00:30:38
The finest D&D is at AD&D
Markustay Posted - 16 Feb 2014 : 00:28:08
Won't know until The Sundering novel series is finished and we get a peak at the 5eFR setting guide, if and when that gets released (I am hoping right around the same time as D&Dnext, and that the two are tied intrinsically together... otherwise I see some major fail headed our way).

Settings tied directly to the rules just work better. Thats was one of the oddest things about 3e - the rules were wrapped around a world they were no longer supporting.

On the other hand, 4e's rules were wrapped around some sort of weird 'non-world' campaign setting, which probably looked good on paper, but in execution, not so much.
ywhtptgtfo Posted - 16 Feb 2014 : 00:12:52
By the way, what's the current state of The Sundering? What's happened?
ywhtptgtfo Posted - 16 Feb 2014 : 00:11:04
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick
The Politics of 5th Edition Forgotten Realms: Okay, this all begins back in 2006 when the changes to the Realms were being revealed to the authors. Salvatore and presumably the other authors were called in and basically told what the changes were going to be; they weren't consulted at all. So it was a major shock. They were basically told, "Hey guess what, we're advancing the world 100 years." Salvatore was very, very, very upset. Since over half his main characters were human, he basically didn't see how it could work for him. In his words, "140 year old humans don't fight very well." Salvatore wrote a really long letter to several Senior Editors at WotC pleading with them to reconsider the 4E changes, but clearly it fell on deaf ears.


Sales/product management people shoving bad ideas down everyone's throat - now that sounds familiar :)

As a dev in a big corporation, I sometimes wonder if these people launch these bs ideas because they just wanted to do something different so they can be put something seemingly impress into their business portfolio.

RESUME of James Wyatt

...
Business Achievements:
- Spearheaded large scale innovative changes in campaign settings
- Inspired writers and designers to re-invent stagnated product lines
- Commander in chief in product transformation process
...

sleyvas Posted - 15 Jul 2013 : 17:56:03
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I would love it if they did what I did - move all of that north, around The Inner Sea - much more useful to me that way.

However, I understand that the 'traditionalists' among us would probably hate that, and want them right back the way the were (nearly useless, because they are so far away).

But I do agree that what was done to them in 4e was completely unintuitive and counter-productive. Why remove stuff just for the sake of doing it? It improved NOTHING.



I'd like to see the Halruaan refugees come down from the clouds and form a new little country in 5E. An island nation would be a good option, that way their skyship dynamic could remain intact. They would simply have a new home base on terra firm.

-- George Krashos




Well, on that idea, the whole "United Tharchions of the Shaar" idea that I had presented, where its a new nation not as inherently evil (and geographically separated by the great rift) would fit this bill well. Some of the Tharchs might be like old Halruaa and even include Halruaans (in fact, my viewpoint is that ex Thayans and ex-Halruaans and imports from Zakhara should make up the country).
Sightless Posted - 15 Jul 2013 : 15:35:54
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I would love it if they did what I did - move all of that north, around The Inner Sea - much more useful to me that way.

However, I understand that the 'traditionalists' among us would probably hate that, and want them right back the way the were (nearly useless, because they are so far away).

But I do agree that what was done to them in 4e was completely unintuitive and counter-productive. Why remove stuff just for the sake of doing it? It improved NOTHING.



I just gave them a portle network, so folks from the south could pop up in different places. Including under mountain. That was a fun early game plot of mine.
rodrigoalcanza Posted - 15 Jul 2013 : 15:01:28
quote:
Originally posted by silverwolfer

who needs a retcon


we have.....maaaaggggiiicccc



quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

And Ao. Everything fixed like np...



In my humble opinion ... could be any such thing. I wish only go back to the decade of 1370-DR.
The Arcanamach Posted - 15 Jul 2013 : 04:57:16
You can do all of those things without killing off most of the gods (which MANY players like) or actually nuking whole cultures (such as Halruaa). I don't think anyone is saying that there cant be MAJOR events taking place such as wars b/w major countries, but true RSEs should be incredibly rare and, IMO, are usually best left as something that occurred 'in the past' to give a campaign flavor.

What you are basically getting at (I think) is to keep the setting from becoming stagnant and products simply keeping the 'status quo' and I agree with you on that. But the types of changes that WotC implemented were HARMFUL to the setting and the product line in general. There is a reason why they are having to revisit the issue now. They screwed up in a major way. Cheers.
Tarlyn Posted - 15 Jul 2013 : 04:22:09
This isn't the only quote I am responding to, but I see a lot of posts with similar opinions to the one below and I am not sure that all RSEs are bad.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
5e has something called 'The Sundering', which they have admitted will be the "mother of all RSE's" (and hopefully the very last one we will see).


I think several of the RSE actually overall benefited FR by changing things up slightly. I hope going forward that there are no more events that are of the magnitude of the Time of Troubles, 4e transition and the third Sundering. However, I think every 3-5 years having a major event handle in the same manner as the Third Sundering keeps the setting fresh and gives the novels interesting material to cover.

To Clarify, below is what I think makes a good RSE:
Products:
-Novels describing the change
-Official Adventures during the change(may or may not have an effect on the outcome)
-At least 1 source book covering the change.

Traits:
-While the movers and shakers participate in the events, they do not solve all the problems(For instance the above adventures are not officially resolved, or are resolved with X was defeated by a band of adventurers/heroes)
-Very important the 3-5 IRL years seperating the event giving a fair amount of groups a chance to process the event before another starts(Obiviously, games running for 20 irl years are very going to make use of RSE, but with the above timeframe groups running 1-3 year campaigns could choose to periodically participate in a new RSE).


Additional Comments:
As far as how big an event, I think that Lolth's Silence, Return of the Archwizards, Last Mythal and Shade conquering Sembia are all examples of what could have be good RSEs. Not all of the above items had the proper support, but I think the base ideas have the potential to be good.

The largest scale RSE that I can currently envision would be an invasion from Abeir via portals, or an invasion of Abeir via portals. However, I think wars between major countries or trading organizations could be good RSEs as well(There are a lot of other relatively small scale RSE that could work demon/devil prince takes over a major location running the city but not making it exclusively populated by fiends, A deity becomes imprisoned by another deity/primordial/devil/demon). I think the sign of a successful implementation of a RSE is the presents of more loose ends after the event than were present before the event. Using RSEs to simply remove content or closing existing plot hook without adding anything to the game is when they are incredible destructive. Also, having too many RSE in quick succession, or all the same thing(Return of the Archwizards, Return of Imaskar, Return of ancient civilization X) are very harmful.

Basically, I think that having events that grow the setting and engage the player group are a good thing, but we need time to process them.
Markustay Posted - 14 Jul 2013 : 17:22:14
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
I would love it if they did what I did - move all of that north, around The Inner Sea - much more useful to me that way.


I wouldn't mind them moving things around a bit but how would they reasonably explain such moves? The last thing I want is arbitrary changes to the Realms AGAIN. And honestly, this needs to be the last RSE evereverever.


quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I'd like to see the Halruaan refugees come down from the clouds and form a new little country in 5E. An island nation would be a good option, that way their skyship dynamic could remain intact. They would simply have a new home base on terra firm.

YES, an island somewhere around Sespech, in the old Northern Shaar region (perhaps where Shareach used to be, or even a bit north from that, where Red Hand of Doom took place, around Lake Lhespen). Its fairly easy to get an island around there somewhere - and now to address what Arcanamach said that I quoted above: 4e changed A LOT. 5e has something called 'The Sundering', which they have admitted will be the "mother of all RSE's" (and hopefully the very last one we will see). From the artwork someone linked elsewhere, and what has been said (at Gencon and elsewhere), it appears Abeir and Toril are going to re-merge, if only for a little while. We have newly (re?)built canal right by Innarlith - I am sure all sorts of 'badness' could happen to that during the Sundering, flooding certain areas and giving us a nice route between the inner and outer seas. Lots of potential there, me thinks.

What that means is that this is their golden opportunity to 'fix' all those things they tried to fix with 4e, but only managed to piss everyone off in the process. Useful things that were too far can now be brought closer. I gave one example above for Halruaa (applying what Krash said), but here's another: Luiren got hit with a Tsunami, and although many hin tried to rebuild in what was left, many more fled north to more stable regions, around the Inner sea, and started a brand-new halfling nation...

Anywhere we want to put it - along the north shore of the Gulthmere Forest region, as Dalor Dardern and I had done? There were at least two other areas that would make sense - regions that former lore supports; Sunset Vale and Greenest (although I personally prefer everything around the Inner sea, but thats just me).

This can be applied to whatever we want - the Dambrathi fleeing in their ships to somewhere else, etc. The coast was destroyed, but it does not mean those cultures wouldn't want to rebuild elsewhere. 4e broke things, but they were on the right track - there were things that needed 'fixing' to make them more useful.

So while I do love the 'classic Realms', I am also no longer a 'purist'. If they can make changes that make sense, and bring more of FR's far-flunged lore closer together, then thats a good thing, IMHO. If anyone can do that, it is Ed. His original solution to that particular problem was the portal network, but for whatever reason WotC did not want to embrace that, so instead of the more logical dispersion Ed had, we have to clump stuff together...

Or we could just go back to the OGB and use the damn portals Ed setup in the first place.

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