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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29906 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  00:51:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Well, Krash asked for it, so...

Well met

This being a collective scroll of any questions the Scribes and visitors of Candlekeep wish to put to author and master contributor for all-things-Impiltur, George "Krash" Krashos.

Present your questions herein and check back to see what news may also come forth from the quill of this author.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29906 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  00:55:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And, just to have something resembling a recap...

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Jakk Come to think of it, George should have his own scroll too, being our resident expert on Impiltur... George? Sage? Any thoughts?


His own scroll? That's aiming WAY too low. I think WotC should put him on retainer, with an official title and a regular paycheck.





I'd be happy to do it for free. As I was getting into the Realms I remember thinking that I would love to have Jeff Grubb's old "FR traffic cop" job.

But given the FR changes in 4E, the position is redundant methinks.

Oh, and I've had something of a re-think regarding having my own scroll. Simply because I realised the other day that it would probably be a good idea to keep better track of my random FR musings as my own archiving of same has been haphazard at best.

That and the fact that I can't let Brian get one up on me as he already trumps me in the good looks stakes.

So 'powers that be', I'd love a scroll thanks. It might get a bit dusty and underutilised, but I'm sure someone will get some use out of it.

-- George Krashos

P.S. Oh, and unlike the rest of the people here, I'm fortunate to be able to ignore the NDA demon better than most. There aren't any NDAs in place regarding material that will appear in my thread - just my random musings and thoughts.


Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1074 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  00:56:19  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met George! Was there anything trimmed from your excellent Impiltur article for Dragon that you wouldn't mind sharing?

Brian R. James - Freelance Game Designer

Follow me on Twitter @brianrjames, and please be sure to check out the RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  01:42:53  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Congratulations! I do happen to have a question regarding 4e Impiltur... although it's remotely possible that for this particular question, I might be asking it too early...

Why was my favourite succubus in all of Toril done away with? In my future Impiltur (not so far away as the Year of the Ageless One), Soneillon is Queen of Naratyr. She rules alone, Imbrar having fallen in the battles that conquered most of the former lands of Impiltur. The major coastal cities are still nominally free, huddled behind their walls, but Soneillon rules all other lands of the former kingdom. This was facilitated in part by the failure of the royal line, and in part by the undoing of Soargar's wards preventing the succubus from entering the realm. Soneillon fit perfectly into the "points of light" model for 4e, and yet I neither play 4e nor subscribe to that model for my Realms.

Anyway, just wondering if you can shed some light on that particular design decision; if not, that's okay, and I'm actually hoping (for once) that Soneillon has a current NDA attached, which would indicate that her role in Faerun is not finished yet.

Thanks!

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  01:52:49  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My only question is when George is finally going to agree to marry me...
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  02:28:50  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always felt a little bad that George didn't have his own scroll. I know he had been asked previously and said "no" in reply. But, still, it's been through Krash that some of the most memorable and fantastic Realmslore has been created.

So this is well-deserved. Congrats George. At least it'll make it easier for me to compile all your eventual "Impiltur-related" replies.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage

Edited by - The Sage on 24 Oct 2008 02:30:07
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4790 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  11:20:41  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jakk

Congratulations! I do happen to have a question regarding 4e Impiltur... although it's remotely possible that for this particular question, I might be asking it too early...

Why was my favourite succubus in all of Toril done away with? In my future Impiltur (not so far away as the Year of the Ageless One), Soneillon is Queen of Naratyr. She rules alone, Imbrar having fallen in the battles that conquered most of the former lands of Impiltur. The major coastal cities are still nominally free, huddled behind their walls, but Soneillon rules all other lands of the former kingdom. This was facilitated in part by the failure of the royal line, and in part by the undoing of Soargar's wards preventing the succubus from entering the realm. Soneillon fit perfectly into the "points of light" model for 4e, and yet I neither play 4e nor subscribe to that model for my Realms.

Anyway, just wondering if you can shed some light on that particular design decision; if not, that's okay, and I'm actually hoping (for once) that Soneillon has a current NDA attached, which would indicate that her role in Faerun is not finished yet.

Thanks!



I wasn't privy to any of the 4E design process for the Realms, so the reasons for Soneillon's departure from the Realms is as much a mystery to me as it is to you.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  14:07:43  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A suitable avatar change George. I approve!



-- The Sage makes a mental note that it's about time to change his avatar as well.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage

Edited by - The Sage on 24 Oct 2008 14:08:34
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3524 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  14:39:35  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

I always felt a little bad that George didn't have his own scroll. I know he had been asked previously and said "no" in reply. But, still, it's been through Krash that some of the most memorable and fantastic Realmslore has been created.

So this is well-deserved. Congrats George. At least it'll make it easier for me to compile all your eventual "Impiltur-related" replies.



Methinks we also need a scroll titles Krashos greatest hits, where "the most memorable and fantastic Realmslore" from George can be shared!

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29906 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  15:30:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage


-- The Sage makes a mental note that it's about time to change his avatar as well.



Bring back the kender!

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  18:52:04  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Congrats on the forum, George. Well deserved, this.

Okay, George. Now that you've got a corner into which we can back you, let's give you a non-Impiltur question.

Regale us with some of your favorite "fixes" and tweaks you and Eric Boyd had to do to make the Kingdom of Man/Phalorm come together cleanly and not contradict itself too much. That was one of the earlier things I remember getting from you and enjoying.

Steven
who hopes Clan Krashos is all well and good on the other side of the world

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2008 :  19:35:39  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yay for Krash!

One question for starters: Are we going to get to hang out at GenCon '09? Missed you this year, man.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4790 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2008 :  01:56:56  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

Yay for Krash!

One question for starters: Are we going to get to hang out at GenCon '09? Missed you this year, man.

Cheers



The overseas trip for 2009 is slated as a casual family jaunt to the UK and Cyprus in February, so my chances of getting to GEN-CON next year are pretty slim.

However, 2010 coincides with my 40th birthday - - and I've already received the tacit approval of "She Who Must Be Obeyed" regarding a birthday present that will see the passport come into play.

We'll hopefully hoist a few (dozen) then.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4790 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2008 :  02:30:36  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

Congrats on the forum, George. Well deserved, this.

Okay, George. Now that you've got a corner into which we can back you, let's give you a non-Impiltur question.

Regale us with some of your favorite "fixes" and tweaks you and Eric Boyd had to do to make the Kingdom of Man/Phalorm come together cleanly and not contradict itself too much. That was one of the earlier things I remember getting from you and enjoying.

Steven
who hopes Clan Krashos is all well and good on the other side of the world



Oh man, the Fallen Kingdom project. Boy, I was as giddy as a school boy when Eric dropped me the first "Are you interested in talking Realms" e-mail. The august Steven Schend loomed over us like a wise, old Elminster and Ed would throw something into the pot every week or so, chuckling the whole time. Geez, I'm still getting excited over the memories of that project.

The funny thing is that it was being "run" by another individual who I understand had been given the Fallen Kingdom brief for the FR Encyclopedia project. He was away on vacation as Eric and I built up a head of steam and then returned to tell us he didn't agree with our conclusions and timeline!

Umm, his version didn't make it.

There were a couple of major issues with the history of the Fallen Kingdom that had to be massaged before we got everything set into place. Our major anchors were Ed's seminal piece in FR11 Dwarves Deep and his Athalantar article in Dragon magazine and we quickly realised that the hurdles we had to overcome were source conflict on datings/placement in the timeline, haphazard nomenclature, and geography.

The source conflict on dates arose out of the throwaway line that the Fallen Kingdom had its genesis in the fall of Ascalhorn and the creation of Hellgate Keep. Steven had dated this event at 882DR - and I recall wishing he had dated it a couple of centuries earlier - which made us realise immediately that the Fallen Kingdom and Waterdeep were muscling in on the same "power in the region" schtick if Phalorm was placed in the timeline post-882DR.

It was the nomenclature problems (the Fallen Kingdom was also variously named Illefarn in the sources also) that led us into the light. Eric came up with the idea that there had been multiple Illefarns over the centuries and this allowed us to account for the post-882 DR "Illefarn" to reconcile that problem.

Eric had created a proto-timeline that had the Fallen Kingdom fall in the 500s DR but I latched onto the Everhorde references from one of Ed's Pages From the Mages articles and we agreed that this event would be the precursor to the fall of the realm. We had scoped out the 500s DR as the likely placement of Phalorm in the timeline for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it allowed time for the fall of Athalantar which occupied some of the same geographic area as the bounds of Phalorm (Hastarl/Secomber) and ended prior to Waterdeep becoming a power in the region, again because they shared the same general geographic area of influence.

I then mapped out a further timeline that set into place the three "Illefarns" (big ancient elven realm, post-Athlantar dwarf and elf alliance, and post-Hellgate Keep brief elf/dwarf/human alliance in the Ardeep Forest region), made up a bunch of wars and battles to show Phalorm as the rising power in the Dessarin and the main bulwark against the teeming humanoid hordes and fleshed out the information in FR11 Dwarves Deep.

The next problem was the successor Kingdom of Man realm. Again, the sources seemed to hint that this kingdom rolled on into the 900s DR (mainly references from the products about Daggerford) which again confronted us with the "How does this kingdom co-exist with Waterdeep?" problem.

After a few permutations, we finally agreed that the Kingdom of Man/Delimbiyran as a unified realm wouldn't last past the late 600s DR (we had two 'end' dates for the fall of KoM - astute readers of "Serpent Kingdoms" will see that the earlier, incorrect date made it into that product as Eric had obviously been working off an old draft/timeline and we missed it in the last go through) but agreed that the Kingdom of Man would be an 'idea' that lots of its 'splinter kingdoms' (following one of Ed's FR design preferences of lots of small regional 'realms' and city-states) would aspire to over the following centuries, thereby explaining why the "Kingdom of Man" remained on sages' radars long after it had fallen proper.

Of course, the FK project was a bit like the invasion of Russia. It started off narrow and then started to funnel out as I jumped from reference to reference in the North. When I decided to do a FK-style project on Illusk I soon realised that in conjunction with the existing lore and our FK work I might as well do a timeline of the entire North. The rest was, quite literally, history.

Thanks for letting me reminisce, Steven - good times. It just makes me wish we'd been able to get that Demonlands project off the deck ...

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4790 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2008 :  02:49:34  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Which leads me to a further note in relation to my design checklist for the Realms.

The FK project was a great lesson in terms of writing for the Realms. Eric made it clear that where possible, no reference - no matter how anomalous, weird or "out there" - should be ignored. I remember him stating that as people in time to come would have to deal with and use our design decisions, so too would we pay as much respect as possible to the design decisions that had preceded our work, no matter what we might think of them personally (i.e. that design decision sucked dragon rear!).

Since that time I've taken this "all-inclusive" mantra to heart and used every scrap of pre-existing lore that I could find on topics I was writing on. It sometimes made the writing difficult or forced me to go in directions that my own instincts and choices wouldn't have taken me to, but it also meant a more coherent and true to "what had gone before" Realms, which was IMO a more paramount concern. Simply put, unless my "great idea" could be fit into the existing extant realmslore and remain true to other writers' work, I didn't proceed with it.

My writing was also governed by the idea of "cause and effect". I tried to never write in a vacuum. If I was writing about Illusk I would try to write about Neverwinter as well, Mirabar, the kobolds of the Ice Lakes region, the elves of the woodlands nearby etc. To me, that made the Realms 'live' in terms of history and current events. If I wrote about the dark evil Citadel of Conjurors, a scant couple of days ride from Lyrabar, I had to explain why the region wasn't overrun by fiends. If I wrote about the thief-friendly Baytown in the otherwise goodly, paladin-led realm of Impiltur, I had to explain why they suffered the place to exist, etc. etc.

That's why my answers on Impiltur are sometimes a bit long in coming. Everytime I'm writing about the place I'm building the lore increment by increment. I have to tally it with the sources, my own previous writings, my vision on the place (dictated also by "what has gone before") and temper it with a view on where it is going to 'take' Impiltur.

For me, the Realms is a fun, deadly serious place. A bit like living there "for real" I imagine. Thanks for reading my wanderings and musings. On with the questions.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Amarel Derakanor
Learned Scribe

97 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2008 :  13:58:11  Show Profile Send Amarel Derakanor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met!

I'm interested with how Impiltur came into being, and I suspect it wasn't part of the original (Ed's) Realms, but created by you, George?
And as a follow-up to that one, how did you envision it from the beginning, -compared to how it turned out?

//Amarel


Edited by - Amarel Derakanor on 27 Oct 2008 13:59:06
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4790 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2008 :  14:46:56  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Amarel_Derakanor

Well met!

I'm interested with how Impiltur came into being, and I suspect it wasn't part of the original (Ed's) Realms, but created by you, George?
And as a follow-up to that one, how did you envision it from the beginning, -compared to how it turned out?

//Amarel




No, Impiltur was always part of Ed's Realms but what saw print in the original 1987 boxed set was just a snippet.

The first product to really showcase it was FR6 Dreams of Red Wizards which provided us with background and history - although Ed did tell me that the author of that product "greatly truncated" the historical notes of the region that Ed had passed on to him.

Following that, there was RA Salvatore's FR9 The Bloodstone Lands which provided much 'practical' kingdom detail and then the early history of Narfell/Raumathar that was showcased in FR10 Old Empires gave some older, history to build off.

It was Steven Schend who got the ball rolling on the whole "Demonlands" aspect to the region and he planted the first, true seeds of my interest in the place in his Sea of Fallen Stars accessory.

It was around this time that Eric began to tinker with the rulers/monarchs of Milvarn and Impiltur - trying to explain away the inconsistencies between FR6 and FR9 in terms of the ruling line.

My interest was piqued sufficiently to write and submit my "Soargar's Legacy" article which was published in Dragon#277. This article was an unabashed tribute to Ed's "Seven Swords" article and revealed for the first time further information regarding "Old" Impiltur that other sources - notably Ed's novels - had alluded to a few times.

I must confess that when this article was written there was no coherent history, line of kings or major historical events that I had come up with regarding Impiltur. But it did make me decide that such things were needed and used the vehicle of a follow-up article (which was never published) to crystalize some of the historical ideas I had regarding Impiltur (i.e. its founding, the Fiend Wars and Triad Crusade, its ties with Cormyr etc.).

When Eric was writing "Races of Faerûn" I had the chance to showcase some of that material and similarly in Champions of Ruin/Valor (the sword "Dornavver" in the latter product and much of the material on Impiltur is my stuff although I wasn't given credit for it). All of the further work culminated in my Impiltur article in Dragon #346 and the Impiltur 'bits' in GHotR.

As to how my original thoughts on Impiltur were changed as time went on - an editing slice of fairly large proportions in "Races of Faerûn" swapped around my Mirandor and Durlarven dynasties (originally, the Durlarven dynasty came before the Mirandors) as well as chopping out some stuff I'd come up with regarding a Narfelli 'survivor' state which in hindsight was probably a good thing to lose as I was never quite comfortable with (and still haven't nailed down all of the details regarding) the transition period between the fall of Narfell and the founding of Impiltur.

Similarly, I made the decision years ago that Narfell would be all about demons. Other writers who have written about that ancient kingdom have also brought devils into the mix which I've yet to provide an explanation about - although I have a few thoughts. I've also had to change material to account for the writings of Richard Lee Byers and Bruce Cordell.

There are aspects of Impiltur that have barely been touched on that are fundamentally important and interesting - like the fact that many of its people have Jhaamdathi blood in their veins and by inference a facility with the "Invisible Art" (i.e. psionics) and the fact that its one of the mercenary 'hubs' of the Inner Sea along with the Vilhon Reach.

I have in 'the works' a lineage of the monarchs of Impiltur similar to the one that exists for Cormyr. As with the latter realm, such a document is a convenient and easy method by which to track the historical progression of a realm. Currently, the more recent dynasties are the most fleshed out while most of the early monarchs (and the events that occurred in their reigns) are afforded a few sentences. Unlike the Cormyr one, this is mostly all mine (with some input from Eric) and so if it ever gets in a finished state I'd love to get it 'out there' for the fans. GEN-CON 2010 sounds like a good a place as any to get a completed copy into the hands of a few friends.

However, don't think that I've planned and mapped out everything that can be said or known about Impiltur - Ed I am not! I ... *ahem* ... make up stuff as I go - but I do so with a firm vision of what 'fits' for my Impiltur and a respect for what information is already out there. That's why I like questions about the realm or its history - in answering them I build more and more lore for the place and make it a better place for DMs and players to set their games in.

Of course, I can't wait for the Sage to provide his compilation of all my Impiltur posts as I'm sure that I haven't kept track of all of them. Get it done quickly before I start contradicting myself!

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 27 Oct 2008 14:49:52
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2008 :  14:52:43  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Of course, I can't wait for the Sage to provide his compilation of all my Impiltur posts as I'm sure that I haven't kept track of all of them. Get it done quickly before I start contradicting myself!
Actually, I'm nearly done. Hoorah!

I've just got a couple of the older posts you've made about Impiltur over on the REALMS-L and WotC boards that I've got to compile and collect into the file. Then it's off to Alaundo for storage here at Candlekeep.

But I'll send you a copy of your own though, so you don't have to wait for the next site update.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4790 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2008 :  15:00:16  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

Well met George! Was there anything trimmed from your excellent Impiltur article for Dragon that you wouldn't mind sharing?



These are two sidebars that got cut from the original article:

The Lady of Logic

The dead god Murdane was a lesser deity of reason and pragmatism worshipped primarily by the people of Jhaamdath. Also known as the Firstborn and the Daughter of Reason, her worship rose to prominence with the fall of Savras, and was ended only a short time later as gods reckon such matters, when the deity Lathander indirectly caused her destruction during the Dawn Cataclysm.

Today, evidence of her worship is noted only in ancient scholarly tomes or by reference to ancient temple ruins that can be found in the lands of the Vilhon Reach and other regions that were colonized in the Jhaamdathan diaspora. Clerics wishing to worship Murdane must take the Servant of the Fallen feat (see Lost Empires of Faerûn). Those who adopt Murdane as their patron deity should consult the table below:

Alignment: N

Domains: Balance, Knowledge, Planning

Portfolios: Reasoning and deduction

Weapon: Light hammer

and a new feat:

Moonstone Magic [General]

Your spells draw on the mystical power of moonstone gems and are now even more potent than before.

Benefit: Gain a +1 bonus to your effective caster level for purposes of determining level-dependent spell variables and for caster level checks when casting a spell from the Evocation or Abjuration schools of magic. In order for a spell to benefit from this feat, the spellcaster must add a material component to that spell in the form of 10 gp worth of moonstone gem dust per spell level (minimum 5 gp).

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Amarel Derakanor
Learned Scribe

97 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2008 :  15:04:40  Show Profile Send Amarel Derakanor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very interesting.... Thanks!
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3071 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2008 :  15:05:16  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George KrashosMoonstone Magic [General]

Your spells draw on the mystical power of moonstone gems and are now even more potent than before.

Benefit: Gain a +1 bonus to your effective caster level for purposes of determining level-dependent spell variables and for caster level checks when casting a spell from the Evocation or Abjuration schools of magic. In order for a spell to benefit from this feat, the spellcaster must add a material component to that spell in the form of 10 gp worth of moonstone gem dust per spell level (minimum 5 gp).

-- George Krashos




Now this is interesting. Tell me, George, would it be appropriate to switch out a moonstone gem/jewelry focus instead of the powder for the feat?

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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George Krashos
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Posted - 27 Oct 2008 :  15:20:34  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

quote:
Originally posted by George KrashosMoonstone Magic [General]

Your spells draw on the mystical power of moonstone gems and are now even more potent than before.

Benefit: Gain a +1 bonus to your effective caster level for purposes of determining level-dependent spell variables and for caster level checks when casting a spell from the Evocation or Abjuration schools of magic. In order for a spell to benefit from this feat, the spellcaster must add a material component to that spell in the form of 10 gp worth of moonstone gem dust per spell level (minimum 5 gp).

-- George Krashos




Now this is interesting. Tell me, George, would it be appropriate to switch out a moonstone gem/jewelry focus instead of the powder for the feat?



This feat was based on a snippet of lore contained in "Volo's Guide to All Things Magical" (p.44).

As Tom Costa pointed out to me at the time, 3.5E nerfed Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus and this feat was originally along the same lines.

We made it into a caster level variable booster and added a 'cost' to it as otherwise it was better than existing feats. The cost was set also so that Eschew Materials couldn't be used to avoid it.

On that basis, I wouldn't swap out the gem dust cost for the use of a one-off cost focus gem. This feat is already likely too powerful (which is why it probably got cut) so to take away the cost really makes it too good.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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George Krashos
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Through most of 2007 I worked on a massive 3.5E article dealing with FR epic magic and trying to tie in a significant number of lore hooks and information scattered across all of the previous editions and in a bunch of sources. The article was titled: "The Magic of Mantles". The crew at Paizo indicated an interest but the demise of their control of the magazines meant that publishing it that way didn't eventuate. I pitched it to WotC at the time as I was unaware that 4E was about to be announced. With "epic magic" now a thing of the past and noting the significant changes in the Realms, the article as it stands can't be published or re-jigged in 4E terms. So I guess you guys can have a read if you are so inclined.

I note that this article deals with powerful concepts and they may not be particularly 'balanced' from a rules point of view. Also, it was tough melding together all of the various lore on 'mantles' and trying to tie that all together using the framework of epic magic. I guess you guys can tell me how successful it turned out. At the very least, the lore hopefully is worth reading through the article for. So without further ado I give you (broken up into a few posts) ...

THE MAGIC OF MANTLES
By George Krashos

Cloaked in Art we strode across the face of Faerûn like giants, our wizardry clawing at Mystryl’s Weave and propelling us to ever-greater heights of spellhurling. The Archwizards of Netheril they called us, and all trembled under our regard or hid from it like the smallest of scurrying ants. Yet when the hubris of Karsus doomed our greatest bindings, and the vaunted enclaves dropped from the heavens like so many fleeting raindrops, we took stock of what magic remained to us and hoarded it like the most avaricious of dragons. Of all the secrets of magecraft that we had commanded, the only powerful remnant was our mastery of mantles, and we pledged to safeguard this legacy till the day when mighty Netheril would rise to greatness once again.

Thausgras of Orolin, Sage of the Ancients “Musings on the Fall of Netheril”
Year of the Ruling Sceptre (-278 DR)

With the fall of Asram and Anauria, the realm of Hlondath became the last, direct, surviving bastion of Netherese learning and wizardry on the face of Faerûn. Although a society predominately made up of loggers and herders, elements of Hlondite society held onto the legacy of Art passed down to them by their ancestors, the fabled Archwizards of Netheril, and kept it safe for future generations of pureblood Netherese. In the words of Elder Loremaster Kaelendril of Maetharn they “shouldered the birthright of Nether the Elder” and strove to keep alive the teachings and secret lore of their forbears.

With Mystra’s Ban and the inability of human wizards to access true spells of 10th level and higher, many of the surviving arcanists of Netheril returned to their earliest studies of wizardry and the lessons learned from the elves of Illefarn and Eaerlann. In this way the wizards of the Netherese diaspora began intensive studies into the various forms of epic magic and sought to duplicate their earlier mastery of Art by means of this type of spellcasting. Of all the previous heights of Netherese spellcraft, it was the magic of mantles that met with the most success in the testing times following Karsus’ Folly. Alongside the Netherese, the elves of Faerûn had also mastered the magic of mantles through their epic magic traditions known as High Magic. But whereas the Netherese developed and created magical fields to hold and unleash spells, the Fair Folk achieved similar ends through the use of gems known as thaelkiira, which acted as vessels for their mantle magic (see Sidebar).

Mantle magic remained the backbone of Netherese spell lore in the centuries that followed and for many years following the Fall helped such farflung realms as Halruaa, Helbrester and Anauria stave off enemies and rivals as diverse as the phaerimms, the serpentfolk and other grasping “barbarian” humans.

In the present-day Realms is it is believed that save for a few scraps of lore held in the deepest recesses of Candlekeep, the Vault of Sages and Mount Talath in Halruaa, the most comprehensive and complete collection of spell lore regarding mantles is to be found in that rarest of tomes known to loremasters and sages as Mhaelosian Mantles (see Sidebar). This trove of knowledge on the lore and mechanics of mantles has long been lost to Faerûn although many tales and rumors concerning its whereabouts continue to circulate throughout the Realms.

<<BEGIN SIDEBAR>>
Thaelkiira

A thaelkiira is an enchanted gemstone attuned to a particular individual and containing spells that form a mantle. Rare today, these items were created by powerful elven spellcasters, or mages of other races who were privy to the lore and traditions of High Magic.
Lore: Characters can gain the following pieces of information about thaelkiira by making Knowledge (Arcana) or Knowledge (History) checks.
DC 15: Thaelkiira are the legendary “mantle gems” of the ancient elven kingdoms. They were once common among the ranks of the High Magi and powerful noble families.
DC 20: Outside Evermeet and Evereska it is rumored that certain mages such as Malchor Harpell and other senior members of the Harpers may know the process of creating thaelkiira.
DC 25: Lost somewhere in Waterdeep are the spellbooks of the wizard Nunntchlea of Secomber who is rumoured to have created her own mantles using thaelkiira some three hundred winters ago.
DC 30: It is said that there are spells that can augment and enhance the powers of thaelkiira and that only recently a spell that allows a thaelkiira to serve a new bearer changed hands in Skullport for over a million gold coins.

Description: A thaelkiira appears as an unremarkable gemstone of any type, although diamonds are typically the gem of first-choice for most creators of such items. Some thaelkiira are engraved with the personal sigil of the wizard or the symbol of the elven noble house that created them. The enchantment process used to create thaelkiira makes them wonderfully strong, rendering them as hard as adamantine (hardness 20, 5 hps).

Effects: A thaelkiira creates an invisible mantle of spells that covers the bearer, who must be an arcane spellcaster, and all items worn or held solely by him. Thaelkiira function only for the being that they are attuned to. Such an attunement process requires an individual to pay 2,000 XP and permanently lose 1 hit point. In addition, the bearer of a thaelkiira suffers 1d6 +1 hit points of damage each day in which any spell contained within the item’s mantle is used (such damage can be healed normally or through magic).
Thaelkiira can contain a single spell of each spell level the bearer can access (i.e. a 3rd-level wizard attuned to a thaelkiira could have his mantle contain the 1st-level spell shield and the 2nd-level spell flaming sphere. A 3rd-level sorcerer however, would only be able to have his mantle contain the 1st-level spell shield.) Thaelkiira “grow” with the increasing personal powers of those individuals attuned to them, being augmented spell level by spell level as the wearer grows magically stronger (a loss of magical ability such as level drain does not however diminish or otherwise alter existing spells contained within the mantle of a thaelkiira, but may affect the bearer’s ability to replace such spells.)

Only spells that have not been affected by metamagic feats can be stored in the mantle of a thaelkiira. Spells may be cast into the thaelkiira at any time to replace spells that have been cast from the item’s mantle by the bearer. Only the bearer of the thaelkiira can replace spells that have been cast from it and must provide any material components or focus, or pay any XP cost associated with casting such a spell at the time the spell is cast into the mantle.
The mantle created by a thaelkiira allows the bearer to cast any spell stored in it as a swift action (see Sidebar). The bearer of a thaelkiira must be in direct physical contact with the gem to cast spells from its mantle. In addition, the virtue of casting spells from the mantle of a thaelkiira is that all spells contained within it are considered to be epic spells (i.e. 10th-level) for the purposes of spell resistance and other possible situations where spell level is important.

Aura/Caster Level: Strong evocation; CL 21st.
Construction: Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Quicken Spell, imbue with spell ability, wish, 354,375 gp, 28,350 XP.
Price: 708,750 gp
<<END SIDEBAR>>

<<START SIDEBAR>>
Mhaelosian Mantles

In the Year of the Broken Lands (191 DR), the arcanist Eltraggar, Mage Royal of Hlondath collected the spell lore of mantles into a single libram of inestimable worth titled Mhaelosian Mantles. This tome of Art was said to describe in exacting detail the nature and function of spell mantles and provide the means and understanding to allow epic spellcasters to create one or more of these legendary spell fields for which the arcanists of Netheril were so famous. Eltraggar is known to have perished at the hands of a young Hastos Auglamyr at the Battle of Crowns Aflame during the Crown and Scepter Wars between Cormanthyr and Hlondath, but the whereabouts of his most coveted libram of spell lore died with him. Hlondath was abandoned in 329 DR as the Great Desert of Anauroch spread east, killing that realm’s fields and livestock, and while adventurers and treasure-hunters explored much of ruined Mhaelos in the fifth century of Dalereckoning, no word was ever received about the discovery of Mhaelosian Mantles, nor its likely whereabouts.

Many years later, the tome was noted as being in the possession of a young mage named Aubayreer Mindosel who was apprenticed to Agannazar of Neverwinter in the Year of the Lissome Apprentice (461 DR). Aubayreer was the son of a minor lordling of the realm of Teshar, a land that was founded by human settlers of Hlondath in the cleared lands between Rystall Wood and Cormanthor in the Year of Leather Shields (-75 DR). How the tome came into Aubayreer’s possession remains a mystery to this day. Travelling west, it is said that Aubayreer was accepted as an apprentice at the School of Wizardry in Neverwinter after trading knowledge found in Mhaelosian Mantles for his position there. Whilst in Neverwinter, Aubayreer received tutelage from the aforementioned Agannazar and his colleagues in magery, Illykur, Presper and Grimwald, who would found the wizard cabal known as the Covenant in the years to come.

Aubayreer remained in the North for several decades, building his skill in the Art, before returning to the lands of the Inner Sea. Teshar had fallen in 479 DR to raids and assaults from the drow of the Twisted Tower, so the kinless and landless Aubayreer travelled to Myth Drannor where he was apprenticed for a time to Saerangol the Hooded One. Aubayreer subsequently left the City of Song after a handful of years and travelled further east, working as a mage-for-hire in Impiltur and briefly studying under Lerthaun Durlarven, uncle of the reigning king of Impiltur, Harandil I.

In the Year of the Upright Man (535 DR), Aubayreer gathered a host of young, landless Impilturian nobles and led them across the Sea of Dlurg, to the foothills of the Dragonjaw Mountains. There he founded the realm of Milvarn, with its capital Milvarune, and established the first permanent human settlement in the Dragonjaw Mountains since the time of Narfell. In the centuries that followed, Milvarn continued to prosper under the guiding hand of Aubayreer’s wizard-ruler descendants, and close ties with surrounding lands were fostered and strengthened. These ties culminated in the marriage of Spell-Prince Elthar, heir to the throne of Milvarn, to Queen Thara of Aglarond in 1237 DR. Elthar was slain at the hands of unknown assassins in the Year of Pain (1245 DR) but given his younger brother Khalreer’s lack of talent for the Art, it is thought that the aged Jholnareer, Mage-King of Milvarn, entrusted much spell lore and secret magic, including Mhaelosian Mantles, to the Grey Sisters of Aglarond. In this fashion, the Simbul chanced upon this mighty legacy of Netheril when she came to serve the throne of Aglarond, and used it to awesome effect in the years that followed to defend the realm against the evil wizardry of Thay.

In the Year of the Leaping Dolphin (1331 DR), the mage Alamanther was destroyed in a great spellbattle against a trio of unknown Red Wizards of Thay. It is believed that the Simbul had entrusted Mhaelosian Mantles to him, bidding Alamanther to study it and keep it safe in the tower of his former master Ustragus in Altumbel. Despite Alamanther’s death, the tome did not fall into the hands of the Red Wizards, for none had any knowledge of it when interrogated over the next handful of years by a vengeful Simbul. In fact, knowledge of the whereabouts of Mhaelosian Mantles was one of the great mysteries of Faerûn for many years afterward until the Year of the Tankard (1370 DR) when it was offered for sale almost half a world-away in the great beholder city of Ooltul, deep beneath the sands of Anauroch. The would-be seller, whom some observers described as a dusky-skinned male elf with serpent-like eyes, disappeared soon after and Mhaelosian Mantles with him. The book’s current location remains a mystery and it is well-known that the Simbul is driven to recover this trove of Netherese spell lore, no matter the cost. Those who handle the tome or learn of its whereabouts should expect a visit from this most volatile of the Chosen of Mystra.
<<END SIDEBAR>>

Continued ...

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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George Krashos
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Part 2 - The Game Mechanics

CREATING A MANTLE

Presented here is a new epic spellcasting seed used to create mantles. This seed details the method of calculating the Spellcraft DCs for such epic spells.

SEED: MANTLE
(Evocation)
Spellcraft DC: 24
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 7 days (D)

You create a lasting magical field centred on, and moving with you. You can then cast a number of spells into this field. Effects that you can include in your mantle fall into two categories: personal spells (spells that affect the mantle wearer only) and trigger spells (spells that can be cast from the mantle against other targets or areas). A mantle cannot contain both personal and trigger spells.

An individual can only ever have a single mantle spell in effect at any one time upon his person. A mantle is usually visible only as a momentary shimmering in the air around the caster but through the ages, the appearance of mantles has differed greatly. A mantle persists about all parts of the caster’s body, regardless of wakefulness or slumber, consciousness or damage or even being feebleminded, and lasts until the duration expires, the spells contained within it are all expended, or the caster dies or dismisses it. It extends to cover all items the caster wears or directly carries, but does not remain with items that are dropped or left behind.

The creator of a mantle must cast the spells to be contained within it himself. Only spells of level 9 or lower can be cast into a mantle. Further, only spells unaffected by metamagic feats may be cast into a mantle. The virtue of a mantle however is that all spells contained within it are considered to be epic spells (i.e 10th-level) when ‘cast’ from it for the purpose of Saving Throw and Spell Resistance calculations and also when other spellcasters attempt to dispel or counter them.

Once created, a mantle cannot be dispelled, disjoined or suppressed by any non-epic spell. A character attempting to dispel your mantle with an epic spell (such as superb dispelling) must succeed on a caster level check (DC 21 + your caster level) to succeed. An antimagic field does not automatically suppress a mantle as it does standard spells. Instead, each time a mantle is subject to an antimagic field, make a dispel check as a 20th-level caster (1d20 + 20). The mantle has a DC of 11 + the epic spell’s spellcaster level. If the dispel check is successful, the mantle is suppressed like any other spell. If the dispel check is unsuccessful, the mantle and the spells contained within it, function normally.

MANTLE COMPONENTS

Each mantle is defined by the particular spells it contains and the mode in which they are set to operate. The number of spells contained within a mantle, their type (personal or trigger) and the mode in which they are to be cast affect the Spellcraft DC of your mantle spell (see Table 1-1 Mantle Spell Costs). Additionally, the Spellcraft DC may also be increased by the value of any epic spell factors (such as multiple spell targets) from Table 2-2 in the Epic Level Handbook that may apply. The “Change from Personal to Area” epic spell factor noted in Table 2-2 can never be applied to epic spells created by the mantle seed.

The types of spells that may be contained within a mantle are detailed as follows:

Personal Spells: Personal spells can be ‘cast’ by the mantle wearer on himself as a swift action (see Sidebar). The spell or spells contained within a mantle must be ones that have a personal range or fixed range (for example, comprehend languages or detect magic). You must make all the decisions necessary for a personal spell upon creating your mantle, just as if you were creating a use-activated magic item. A personal spell may be made permanent, that is it operates continuously after it is cast, for the duration of the mantle. You need not concentrate on spells such as detect magic or detect thoughts to be aware of the mere presence or absence of the thing detected, but the caster must still concentrate to gain additional information as normal. Concentration on such a spell is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

A personal spell that would normally end after its capacity has been reached (such as stoneskin, protection from energy, or spell turning) cannot be made permanent but may instead be designated as a renewable personal spell. Such a spell confers its benefit on a mantle wearer only once per day. When its effect is exhausted through whatever means are normal for the specific spell, it does not renew itself on the mantle wearer until 24 hours after the first time its benefits are used (the first time that damage was negated by a stoneskin or protection from energy, for example). If the spell’s benefits have not yet been exhausted by that time, the effect continues until it is exhausted and is then immediately renewed. The caster must designate which personal spells if any are to be made permanent or renewable at the time the mantle is created (see Table 1.1).

In addition, the creator of a mantle may elect at the time a mantle is created to have any personal spell that has been designated as permanent or renewable, also designated as quiescent. A quiescent spell can be ‘turned off’ by the caster, causing its effect(s) to cease to operate, once in any 24 hour period. Such an action and the reactivation of the personal spell after a period of quiescence require a standard action on the part of the spellcaster. The period of quiescence lasts for as long as the caster desires, but cannot exceed 24 hours. Should a caster fail to re-activate a quiescent personal spell within 24 hours, then that spell is lost from that particular mantle permanently.

<<BEGIN SIDEBAR>>
Swift Actions
The Miniatures Handbook introduced the concept of a new action type: the swift action. The mantle seed uses this concept and how such actions work is as follows:

Swift Action: A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. However, you can perform only a single swift action per turn, regardless of what other actions you take. You can take a swift action any time you would normally be allowed to take a free action. Swift actions usually involve magic or psionics, or the activation of magic or psionic items; many characters (especially those who don’t use magic or psionics) never have an opportunity to take a swift action.

Casting a quickened spell is a swift action. In addition, casting any spell with a casting time of 1 swift action is a swift action also. Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 swift action does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
<<END SIDEBAR>>

Trigger Spells: Trigger spells are activated by silent act of will as a swift action, just as if they were a spell trigger magic item in the user’s possession. Trigger spells can be cast ‘from’ the mantle, one per combat round until they are all exhausted, whereupon the mantle ceases to exist, or they can be linked together to cast themselves in a pre-set sequence over a number of rounds equal to the number of spells contained within the mantle (called a sequence chain), or alternatively all at once (called a trigger barrage). A mantle cannot contain spells that are set to be cast both in a sequence chain and in a trigger barrage.

Further, if the creator of a mantle does not wish to have his entire roster of trigger spells linked by means of a sequence chain or trigger barrage, he may instead elect to have any two of them linked in such a fashion (described as a selective sequence chain or selective trigger barrage). Just which trigger spells are to be linked by such a selective sequence chain or trigger barrage need not be determined at the time the mantle is created. The creator of the mantle may select the two particular trigger spells to be linked by either the selective sequence chain or selective trigger barrage as they are ‘cast’ by the mantle. However, unlike normal sequence chains or trigger barrages, such linked spells are cast as a standard action, not a swift action. The creator of the mantle must choose which of these three special options regarding trigger spells (if any) apply to such spells contained within his mantle when the epic spell creating this magical field is researched, created and ultimately cast.

TABLE 1-1: MANTLE SPELL FACTORS

Component DC Component Cost
Personal spell Spell level

Trigger spell Spell level x 2

Sequence chain(1) Spell level of sequence chain x 3

Trigger barrage(2) Spell level of trigger barrage x 4

Permanent/Renewable Spell level x 5
Personal Spell

Make Quiescent +5 per spell

Selective Sequence Chain +20

Selective Trigger Barrage +40

1: Sequence Chain: This Spellcraft DC modifier applies to sequence chains containing five spells or less. If the sequence chain contains six to ten spells then the DC multiplier is x6 for those additional spells numbering above five, and for eleven to fifteen spells it is x9 for those spells above ten, and so on. For sequence chains containing more than five spells, the highest level spell in the chain has the greater Spellcraft DC multiplier attached to it.

2: Trigger Barrage: This Spellcraft DC modifier applies to trigger barrages containing three spells or less. If the trigger barrage contains four to six spells then the multiplier is x8 for those additional spells numbering above three, and for seven to nine spells it is x12 for those spells above six, and so on. For trigger barrages containing more than three spells, the highest level spell in the chain has the greater Spellcraft DC multiplier attached to it.

The Spellcraft DC of an epic spell created using the Mantle seed can be reduced by various mitigating factors (from Table 2-3 in the Epic Level Handbook) as well as other mitigating factors unique to mantles (see Table 1.2 below).

TABLE 1-2: SPECIAL MITIGATING FACTORS FOR MANTLES

Mitigating Factor Cost Adjustment
Lifeleech -40
Sacrifice Spell See Table1-3 and below
Spelldrain -20
Dweomerpurge -10

Lifeleech: A spellcaster can choose to link his mantle to his own personal vitality. If he does so, he suffers 1 point of Constitution damage per day his mantle is in existence. The caster cannot avoid or somehow make himself immune to the ability damage suffered as a result of lifeleech. Similarly, such ability damage is not curable by means of spells such as restoration or wish while the mantle remains in existence.

Sacrifice Spell: A spellcaster can choose to sacrifice his own spell slots to reduce the Spellcraft DC of a particular mantle spell. The spellcaster may sacrifice multiple spell slots, but only one spell slot per spell level he is able to cast. A sacrificed spell slot is treated as if normally cast and remains so for the duration of the mantle spell. The spellcaster may contribute either a prepared, uncast spell slot, or an open, unprepared slot. The Spellcraft DC adjustments for each sacrificed spell slot stack and are detailed in Table 1.3 below.

TABLE 1-3: SPELL SLOTS SACRIFICED

Spell Slot Level Sacrificed/Spellcraft DC Reduction

1st –1 6th –6
2nd –2 7th –7
3rd –3 8th –8
4th –4 9th –9
5th –5 Epic slot –10

Spelldrain: A spellcaster may reduce the Spellcraft DC of his mantle by having it “drink” a random spell or spell slot (not chosen by the caster but “taken” by the mantle) of any level from the caster’s mind when the mantle is raised and every 24 hours thereafter, for its duration. If a spell or spell slot is unavailable to the mantle, it collapses immediately.

Dweomerpurge: When a mantle spell ends due to either the expiration of its duration or the spellcaster willing it to collapse, he may elect to have it strip away any spells or spell effects functioning on him at the time. The spellcaster is affected as if targeted by a greater dispel magic with no dispel check required.

Continued in part 3 ...

-- George Krashos


"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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George Krashos
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PART 3 - The Epic Spells

MANTLE SPELLS

Many spellcasters of the Forgotten Realms have studied the lore and history of mantles through the ages. Powerful wizards such as Shaaan “the Serpent Queen” and Hesperdan of the Zhentarim are rumored to have mastered the creation of mantles using epic magic, while the Simbul is the most prominent exponent of such magic in the Realms today. Detailed below are a number of epic spells created using the mantle seed. DMs and players should feel free to create their own epic mantle spells using the guidelines noted above and the examples given below.

Alustriel’s Queenmantle
Evocation
Spellcraft DC: 35
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 20 minutes
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 7 days
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
To Develop: 315,000 gp; 7 days; 12,600 XP. Seed: mantle (DC 24). Factors: four permanent personal spells (3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th level spells) (+95 DC), two spells can be made quiescent (+10 DC). Mitigating factors: burn 1,000 XP (-10 DC), increase casting time by 10 minutes (-20 DC), sacrifice 9th, 8th and 7th level spell slots (-24 DC), lifeleech (-40 DC).

Alustriel’s Queenmantle manifests around her as a field of shimmering, winking, sparkling lights that hover or glide around her skin and clothes. The field is barely noticeable in bright light, but readily apparent in moonlight or more poorly lit conditions.

This mantle contains the spells Nezram’s amethyst auraLE, greater resistance shard blessing auraCV and ironguardSC which can be cast one per round as a swift action. Once cast, they benefit the spellcaster on a continuous basis for the spell’s duration. In addition, Alustriel has designated that the spells shard blessing auraCV and ironguardSC as quiescent spells.

Alustriel is reputed to be able to cast her Queenmantle through a boon from the goddess of magic Mystra, while other loremasters reckon that her skill in the Art exceeds that which is usually attributed to her by friends and foes alike.

Belorigar’s Baldric
Evocation
Spellcraft DC: 44
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 20 minutes
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 7 days
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
To Develop: 396,000 gp; 8 days; 15,840 XP. Seed: mantle (DC 24). Factors: six trigger spells (3rd through to 8th level) (+66 DC), selective trigger barrage (+40 DC). Mitigating factors: burn 3,000 XP (-30 DC), increase casting time by 10 minutes (-20 DC), sacrifice 8th, 7th, 6th and 5th level spell slots (-26 DC), dweomerpurge (-10 DC).

This spell appears as a faint, shimmering ribbon of “nothingness” that moves with the caster and floats just above his shoulders. The mantle emits a momentary flash of light when spells contained within it are unleashed by the spellcaster.

This spell dates back to the time of ancient Netheril and was once one of the most well-known spells of its type. However modern-day liches and spellcasters taught from ancient grimoires may use quite different variants of this standard spell.

This spell brings into being an invisible mantle which contains six offensive trigger spells of levels three through to eight. These trigger spells can be cast one per round as a swift action. The spellcaster also has the option of unleashing any two of these trigger spells at the same target in a selective barrage chain as a standard action. The most common version of this particular mantle contains the spells lightning bolt, Evard’s black tentacles, cone of cold, disintegrate, prismatic spray and power word stun.

Saldrinar’s Doomchain
Evocation
Spellcraft DC: 35
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 20 minutes
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 7 days
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
To Develop: 315,000 gp; 7 days; 12,600 XP. Seed: mantle (DC 24). Factors: seven spells (2 x 3rd, 2 x 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th level spells) in a sequence chain (+141 DC). Mitigating factors: burn 5,000 XP (-50 DC), increase casting time by 10 minutes (-20 DC), lifeleech (-40 DC), spelldrain (-20 DC).

This mantle manifests as an orbiting “crown” of seven, golden, sparkling lights that rotate around the spellcaster’s head, much like ioun stones. The starpoints wink out as each spell contained within the mantle is cast.

This powerful spell was devised by the wizard Saldrinar of the Seven Spells to conquer Kisonraathiisar, the topaz dragon ruler of Westgate, and win himself the dragon’s throne as that city’s first human king. Many tales of the Dragon Coast speak of the secret spell cache left behind by Saldrinar, who disappeared mysteriously after some forty-two years on the throne. This spell cache is believed to hold the secrets of Saldrinar’s research into mantles.

This spell creates a mantle containing seven offensive spells, linked together in a sequence chain which casts a single spell per round, one after the other, in a set order. All of the spells contained within the mantle are cast at a single target chosen by the spellcaster when the sequence chain is unleashed. The casting of all the spells contained within the mantle ends this spell. Similarly, should the target of the sequence chain move out of range of the spell or spells to be cast, the mantle collapses and ceases to exist. Saldrinar’s sequence of spells, which helped bring down the great topaz dragon, is reputed to have been dimensional lock, howling chainPG, brittleskinSS, steelstingCS, backlashMag, lightning bolt, and shroud of flamePG.

The Simbul’s Spellstorm
Evocation
Spellcraft DC: 36
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 20 minutes
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 7 days
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
To Develop: 326,000 gp; 7 days; 13,040 XP. Seed: mantle (DC 24). Factors: four spells (5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th level spells) in a trigger barrage (+136 DC), add three extra targets (+6 DC). Mitigating factors: burn 5,000 XP (-50 DC), increase casting time by 10 minutes (-20 DC), sacrifice 9th, 8th and 7th level spell slots (-24 DC), lifeleech (-40 DC), spelldrain (-20 DC).

This mantle spell has no observable manifestation when cast but causes the spellcaster’s eyes to shine forth with a shining, silver brightness when the spells stored within the mantle are unleashed.

The Simbul crafted this epic spell many winters ago and it has brought doom to countless Red Wizards of Thay ever since. It is believed that she has also crafted lesser versions of her Spellstorm but this version remains the most well known to sages and observers of the doings of the Witch-Queen of Aglarond.

This spell creates a mantle containing four offensive spells of levels five through to eight, linked together in a trigger barrage. This mantle allows the spellcaster to cast all four spells at once by silent act of will and as a swift action. Doing so causes the mantle to collapse after the trigger barrage has been unleashed. The Simbul is believed to customarily wear a mantle that contains the spells feeblemind, chain lightning, Mordenkainen’s sword and polar ray.

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Forgotten Realms and Non-Core References

Several Forgotten Realms and other D&D supplements are referenced in this article in the form of a superscript abbreviation of the book’s title. The books and their abbreviations are as follows: City of Splendors: Waterdeep (CS), Champions of Valor (CV), Lost Empires of Faerûn (LE), Magic of Faerûn (Mag), Player’s Guide to Faerûn (PG), Shining South (SS) and Spell Compendium (SC).
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So there you have it. I hope you enjoy the article. I note that I never got any significant feedback on whether it was "doable" in terms of game mechanics. But it was fun coming up with the concepts.

All feedback welcome.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2008 :  12:42:41  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you George

Mantle Lore is most appreciated

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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