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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2010 :  07:57:57  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic

Stephen King once said, “I don't reread books because life is too short.” Same here. But like him, I have few exceptions. And one of them is this trilogy. After rereading the 3 books, I can't help but think of the several possible angles that should have revealed more interesting events that ultimately led to the empire's fall. While Sunbright has redeeming qualities, I still think he's but a cockroach meddling with dinosaurs. Why choose an outsider – and insignificant one, for that matter – when the story could have been best rendered by focusing on one or two Netherese archwizards all throughout the trilogy? Below are the possible characters that – for ME – should have been chosen to stand on the limelight, and their possible exploits (just my OWN idea).

1.Karsus and Larloch. We get to see Karsus in his teenage years. His father is already at the top of the arhwizards' hierarchy, but his contributions are scant, and all his efforts to determine and put a stop to the phaerimm's lifedrain prove futile. He worries not because he spends much of his time teaching his son arcane magic, and inculcating in him that one day, where he fails, his son will succeed.

Karus falls in love with a beautiful and alluring wizard from Selunarra, Nayrha. But the young Nayrha finds his ways too strange, and sometimes too violent. So in the end she leaves him for another boy, whom Karsus kills without (or with a tiny bit of) regret. Finding romantic love an “unworthy pursuit,” he focuses more on his arcane studies.

Karsus grows into a fickle-minded archmage, though one who “cares.” Despite his strange ways in dealing with things and people, deep inside, he has love for his empire, the same love that keeps him awake everyday to experiment and find a counterspell to that malevolent spell that causes famine in the entire empire.

Karsus's bizarre experiments attract the attention of Larloch. The lich thinks that some such experiments inadvertently undermine his own. At that time he is not yet powerful enough to overtly oppose Karsus, so he leaves the supreme archwizard alone and conducts his own experiments in his pocket dimension, where he meets the phaerimm who cast the lifedrain. The ancient creatures work together and enthrall Larloch with as much subtlety as they can manage so the lich will never know. They send him back to the Prime to bring chaos to the empire. Unbeknownst to the spell-hurling creatures, the lich is impervious to their enchantment, thanks to his Red Diadem of Protection, an elven artifact made of ruby, silver, and some unknown solidified matter . But he plays along. He does what they think.... He encourages his fellow archwizards to engage in “Dangerous Games” to veer their attention from the growing famine and never mind that it's making the populace hate them even more. Being mind-linked to the phaerimm, he learns some of their secrets: their hideout, a few of their most potent spells, and that they cast the lifedrain on the entire expanse of land below the empire (but not what constitute such intricate spell nor how to undo it). Still through his diadem, which blocks most of his thoughts from the sly phaerimm, he far-speaks with Karsus , Ioulaum, Lady Polaris, and some other archwizards, and informs them what he learns.

Karsus casts on himself and on his peers his most powerful shield against divination. In months they plot on how to best eradicate the phaerimm and the lifedrain. They manage to kill more than half of the ancient creatures in their own lairs, at the cost of one archwizard's life. But the lifedrain does not wane. Karsus finds out that such draining spell, after cast, becomes totally independent from the magic of the caster, and draws magic merely and directly from the Weave. And the only way to eliminate it is to control the very source of magic itself. Thus, he divines the past and the future in search of a magical artifact that will help him boost his strength, become powerful enough to usurp Mystryl's place, and save the Netheril Empire from its impending doom.

Larloch, on the other hand, sees what will soon become known as Karsus's Folly, and finds other means to save the empire from the lifedrain. Failing that, he simply secures his enclaves for the catastrophic future, and vows vengeance on the meddling magical creatures. He sends his minions to contact and bring his allies – a hundred certain human wizards and elves. He tells the assembly of the phaerimm's plans, and asks them if they are brave enough to sacrifice their lives, their forms at least, for the safety of the world. With their consent, Larloch painstakingly casts the spell that transforms his allies to what are now known as the “sharn.” With their altered nature, their magical strength is considerably heightened. Together, they foil the phaerimm's schemes, fight them for years, and soon imprison the evil creatures in the Sharn Wall.

2.Telamont Tanthul and Larloch. Not the nearly invincible Most High who is made purely of shadowstuff, but the younger, vulpine, still human version of him.

Telamont is personally taught by Karsus. Although curious and eager to be more powerful, Karsus realizes that he cannot hope to be adept in wielding both Weave and Shadow Weave magic at the same time. So he leaves the pursuit to experiment with the latter to his apprentice. Telamont gladly accepts his responsibility.

For years Telamont grows skilled at shadow magic. Soon he takes 5 apprentices, who in time take 20, and so on...

Having learned so much about shadow magic, and having become an archwizard himself, Telamont puts his might to practical use: he casts his most powerful shadow-based spells against the lifedrain. To his horror, the clash only results to several rifts that open the Prime Material Plane to the Abyss and the Nine Hells. Demons, devils, and even archdevils, and all sorts of vile creatures from both planes come flooding to the rifts and wreck havoc in the empire.

Before this catastrophe, Karsus shifts himself to the past. By being in the past, his “searching” spell, the one he uses to locate the artifact (he still does not know it is a star), is at its strongest, because it is the time when the thing it searches exists.

Hence, the empire has to suppress the siege WITHOUT their most potent weapon: the almighty Karsus. The archwizards fight their hardest. Larloch loses almost half of his lackeys, two floating castles, and the irreplaceable treasures that come tumbling down with them. Furious, he casts his own version of lifedrain: one that drains all the life from LESSER creatures of the Nine Hells and the Abyss. But soon he finds himself face to face with three archdevils, who are immune to his draining spell and who enervate him enough to disturb the flow of his lifedrain. Telamont comes to his rescue and binds the three archfiends for only a minute or two. Such precious little time he uses to whisk himself and Larloch away. It is common knowledge to all Netherese that Larloch possesses the greatest number of magical artifacts in the empire. Knowing that Larloch owes him much, Telamont tells him of his plan to rid their empire of the new menace...

Telamont, together with his apprentices, will cast The Dark Veil (the prototype of the Shadow Shell). It is an encompassing curtain made of shadowstuff that suppresses all magical energies and life essence of the ones that the casters specifically choose. In this case, ALL the malefic creatures from the other planes. But such powerful spell draws magic both from the Shadow Weave and from stored shadow magic of the casters. Telamont estimates that his and his apprentices' stored magic is not sufficient to raise the veil, so he asks Larloch to give him all his artifacts that have stored shadow magic. The lich does as asked, knowing what is at stake, and owing the shadow archmage his bony arse.

Through his careful and precise calculation, Telamont discovers that the artifacts' magic is still not enough. Lacking any better options, he pays Tanathras a visit, slays its ruling archwizard (one he despises), and skillfully alters the nature of its mythallar so it will not draw magic from the Weave, but feed on the Shadow Weave instead. Upon the actual casting of The Dark Veil, he drains that mythallar of all magic, which leads to Tanathras's fall.

With all their magic quelled by The Dark Veil, the denizens from the Hells and the Abyss are easily slain by the Netherese.

When Karsus comes back from the past carrying his “star,” Telamont divines what his former mentor truly intends to do with it. And so he learns of Karsu's ultimate plan and of the empire's fall as a result. He knows Karsus is so determined, and so will never listen to him even if he exerts an effort to talk him out of it. Besides, he himself does not know what else could save the already dying empire. The lifedrain remains and never ebbs, and more people are dying. He no longer trusts himself for the job of combating the said spell; he can't risk another rift-disaster.

Instead, he plans for the future... Since the present empire cannot be saved, he will teleport his city and his people to the Demiplane of Shadow, where they can survive, prepare, and someday reclaim what is rightfully theirs.


* * * *


I think that an expanded edition of the trilogy should be made and released. Raymond E. Feist was able to publish, after 10 years of its original publication, an expanded, or as he put it, “Author's Preferred Edition” of Magician, Book One of the Riftwar Saga. Many years have passed since “Mortal Consequences,” and we haven't even seen an omnibus of The Netheril Trilogy. So why not an expanded edition? By this, I DON'T mean that Clayton, or whomever Wizards chooses to do the job, should give Sunbright, Greenwillow, or Knucklebones more focus. (I've had more than enough of them, thank you very much). The end result will still be the same: the fall of the empire. What'll be different are the characters to be given focus. With this, we'll know what's really happening in the individual enclaves, and not just the obvious decadence and the glaring display of might; for surely some still have worthy, good endeavors, like Selunarra. And of course, we'll see more of the prominent characters who were immortalized not just by potent magic, but primarily by their unforgettable deeds.


Every beginning has an end.

Edited by - Dennis on 11 Aug 2010 10:51:11

Dracons
Learned Scribe

USA
299 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2010 :  08:04:48  Show Profile  Visit Dracons's Homepage  Send Dracons a Yahoo! Message Send Dracons a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good idea. Maybe.

But I got to bring it up again, just because you think every character should be all mighty powerful wizards that can destroy the cosmos by farting, doesn't make good story. Gets rather boring. It's why most of the time, it's warriors or minor magic users that can go in, and uttery destroy the main uber powerful super mage, because it's somewhat suspensful. There is an element that on paper, they should lose, but story trumps rules often.

I really hope one day you'll see that not all wizards=win all class=fail. There is more to dungeons and dragons, and even more so to forgotten realms then wizards.

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2010 :  08:20:53  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Oh, Dracons, I won't argue anymore, as I feel that it will again (as in my previous scrolls) lead to something we both won't like.

I respect your opinion. And the least I can say regarding the "wizards and fighters" issue is that we should agree to simply disagree on it.

I don't particularly abhor fighters. In fact, there are times when Sunbright and Knucklebones made me smile. But if I were to choose whom to focus, they should be the archwizards themselves. It's also quite sad that in the trilogy, we see ALL the Neths in the 'bad light,' so to speak. Their abuse to life and magic and their selfish schemes. What about those enclaves whose inhabitants worship lawfully good deities and by extension observe, as much as possible, good "practices"?

I just see a lot of potential angles to the story that have been omitted or left unconsidered...



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Zireael
Master of Realmslore

Poland
1190 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2010 :  08:37:58  Show Profile  Visit Zireael's Homepage Send Zireael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"The Netheril trilogy"? What books are those? I don't seem to recall any such...

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2010 :  08:45:17  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zireael

"The Netheril trilogy"? What books are those? I don't seem to recall any such...



BOOK 1- SWORDPLAY

BOOK 2- DANGEROUS GAMES

BOOK 3- MORTAL CONSEQUENCES


I highly recommend you read them, as some of Faerun's Grand Histories happened in that series.

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Zireael
Master of Realmslore

Poland
1190 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2010 :  10:55:42  Show Profile  Visit Zireael's Homepage Send Zireael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Zireael

"The Netheril trilogy"? What books are those? I don't seem to recall any such...



BOOK 1- SWORDPLAY

BOOK 2- DANGEROUS GAMES

BOOK 3- MORTAL CONSEQUENCES


I highly recommend you read them, as some of Faerun's Grand Histories happened in that series.




I don't recall ever seeing them on WotC website in the novels listing. How old are they?

SiNafay Vrinn, the daughter of Lloth, from Ched Nasad!

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2010 :  11:23:22  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Here's a comprehensive list of FR novels:

http://o-love.net/realms/fr_books_title.html

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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2419 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2010 :  13:40:43  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Real old. Fairly early in the 2e novel line. However, I have to disagree with Dennis, they are not worth the time reading. Badly written, uninteresting characters, contrived plot. And that's just the first two. The series was so disappointing that I never even bothered to read the third.

They're not the worst books ever published under the FR logo (for me, those are Crucible, the entire RotA trilogy, Council of Blades, and Obsidian Ridge, with the origianl Avatar trilogy as a dishonorable mention), but they ain't good either. Which sort of validates Dennis's original point, at least in as much as ANYTHING else would have been better than what we actually got.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2010 :  13:56:39  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well its more like the middle of 2nd ed. from '96 and onwards. Not the best period where Realms novels are concerned, at least not for me. I must admit that I tried the first one and didn't like it at all. You should find them relatively cheap at Noble Knight though.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2010 :  14:26:58  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

Real old. Fairly early in the 2e novel line. However, I have to disagree with Dennis, they are not worth the time reading. Badly written, uninteresting characters, contrived plot. And that's just the first two. The series was so disappointing that I never even bothered to read the third.



The only book that I like in the trilogy is "Dangerous Games." But I found the need to reread the other two to come up of better angles in which the story should have been told.

quote:

Originally posted by Hoondatha
They're not the worst books ever published under the FR logo (for me, those are Crucible, the entire RotA trilogy, Council of Blades, and Obsidian Ridge, with the origianl Avatar trilogy as a dishonorable mention), but they ain't good either. Which sort of validates Dennis's original point, at least in as much as ANYTHING else would have been better than what we actually got.


For me, it's The Watercourse Trilogy. Ivar is the worst protagonist I've ever encountered in and out of FR.

quote:

Originally posted by Hoondatha
....but they ain't good either. Which sort of validates Dennis's original point, at least in as much as ANYTHING else would have been better than what we actually got.



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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31515 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2010 :  00:11:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really didn't care for the Netheril Trilogy, myself. Two particular issues for me were the barbarian's name, and the fact that the girl was reincarnated -- the only case of reincarnation in the Realms that I know of, barring magical intervention (which apparently was not the case, with this girl). It was also a little too pat that he got bumped ahead in time to the same era where reincarnated girl was.

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2010 :  00:33:07  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

That's why it'll be good to see Sunbright, Knucklebones, and Greenwillow at the back seat of the expanded edition and put the Netherese archwizards themselves on the stage.


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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
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Posted - 30 Jul 2010 :  01:25:28  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 Wooly Rupert

I really didn't care for the Netheril Trilogy, myself. Two particular issues for me were the barbarian's name, and the fact that the girl was reincarnated -- the only case of reincarnation in the Realms that I know of, barring magical intervention (which apparently was not the case, with this girl). It was also a little too pat that he got bumped ahead in time to the same era where reincarnated girl was.

My problems with the trilogy were simple enough. I just didn't feel like it was really *about* Netheril. When I started the trilogy, and with it being an "Arcane Age" product, I was quite hopeful that we'd finally see some rather in-depth Netheril lore, but that wasn't quite the case. And thus, I've always considered the books in a somewhat negative light because of it.

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2010 :  01:35:41  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage


My problems with the trilogy were simple enough. I just didn't feel like it was really *about* Netheril. When I started the trilogy, and with it being an "Arcane Age" product, I was quite hopeful that we'd finally see some rather in-depth Netheril lore, but that wasn't quite the case.



With this I definitely agree. There's far more to Netheril than what we see in the trilogy. An expanded edition, or mayhap a BRAND NEW trilogy, the Fall being core to the plot, will fix it.


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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 31 Jul 2010 :  05:42:28  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

If there's anyone who should EXPAND this trilogy, it's ED! I already asked him in "Qs for Ed" if he will write a novel or series of novels set in Netheril. So far, he's busy and has no time to give an elaborate(?) reply. Anyway, in case he's pretty busy to handle the job himself, who do think is 2nd best fit for it? I have Steven S. and RLB in mind...A collaboration.

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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 31 Jul 2010 :  12:14:13  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dennis


If there's anyone who should EXPAND this trilogy, it's ED! I already asked him in "Qs for Ed" if he will write a novel or series of novels set in Netheril. So far, he's busy and has no time to give an elaborate(?) reply. Anyway, in case he's pretty busy to handle the job himself, who do think is 2nd best fit for it? I have Steven S. and RLB in mind...A collaboration.




One problem is that the series and the Arcane Age product has very little to do with Eds Netheril as I understand, so he would probably not be the best person to build upon that lore. Especially if it was just an expansion of the original series, such job's are best handled by the original writers.

Actually a change to the Netheril situation is one of the parts that sounds most tempting to me if a reset to Eds Realms was done.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2010 :  03:01:45  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:

Originally posted by Jorkens

Actually a change to the Netheril situation is one of the parts that sounds most tempting to me if a reset to Eds Realms was done.


Agreed. And my second choice is Shade's Return.


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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2010 :  14:10:44  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dennis

quote:

Originally posted by Jorkens

Actually a change to the Netheril situation is one of the parts that sounds most tempting to me if a reset to Eds Realms was done.


Agreed. And my second choice is Shade's Return.





Are you surprised when I say that my hope would be for no Shade at all in a reset?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31515 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2010 :  15:14:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

quote:
Originally posted by dennis

quote:

Originally posted by Jorkens

Actually a change to the Netheril situation is one of the parts that sounds most tempting to me if a reset to Eds Realms was done.


Agreed. And my second choice is Shade's Return.





Are you surprised when I say that my hope would be for no Shade at all in a reset?



I like the fact that Shade returned. I don't like much about how it was handled, though.

I think an interesting book about Netheril would focus on a long-lived but otherwise unimportant Netherese arcanist in one of the survivor states. The tale would start before Karsus's time, when things were still going alright. Thru the character's eyes, we'd see the decline of Netheril as it passed into its waning days. We'd see the confusion and terror of the Fall, and the struggle to survive afterward. And then we'd see this character be part of the general exodus that founded Halruaa.

Alternatively, the story could be set just after the Fall and lead up to the exodus, but be done in the same style as Cormyr and Evermeet.

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Ashe Ravenheart
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USA
3079 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2010 :  17:18:20  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agreed Wooly. I think Shade would have been much better if they had crashed the floating city at the end of RotA, killed off High Prince Telamont and forced the rest of the Princes into hiding (creating minor power bases throughout Anauroch and the rest of the Realms).

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

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2010 :  07:49:44  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

quote:
Originally posted by dennis

quote:

Originally posted by Jorkens

Actually a change to the Netheril situation is one of the parts that sounds most tempting to me if a reset to Eds Realms was done.


Agreed. And my second choice is Shade's Return.





Are you surprised when I say that my hope would be for no Shade at all in a reset?



Oh, not at all. You already made that quite clear in your comments before... I think in my "what's next for the Shadovar" topic. Anyway, as you mentioned then, we simply have to agree to disagree on it...And quite honestly, I don't care that some people don't like what I like. That's exactly why the word "I" was invented in the first place.

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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2010 :  07:53:52  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think an interesting book about Netheril would focus on a long-lived but otherwise unimportant Netherese arcanist in one of the survivor states. The tale would start before Karsus's time, when things were still going alright. Thru the character's eyes, we'd see the decline of Netheril as it passed into its waning days. We'd see the confusion and terror of the Fall, and the struggle to survive afterward. And then we'd see this character be part of the general exodus that founded Halruaa.




I like that. And of course, there has to be more and substantial Netheril-lore, the very thing that the current Netheril trilogy lacks.



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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2010 :  08:21:41  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

quote:
Originally posted by dennis

quote:

Originally posted by Jorkens

Actually a change to the Netheril situation is one of the parts that sounds most tempting to me if a reset to Eds Realms was done.


Agreed. And my second choice is Shade's Return.





Are you surprised when I say that my hope would be for no Shade at all in a reset?



Oh, not at all. You already made that quite clear in your comments before... I think in my "what's next for the Shadovar" topic. Anyway, as you mentioned then, we simply have to agree to disagree on it...And quite honestly, I don't care that some people don't like what I like. That's exactly why the word "I" was invented in the first place.




Don't mind me; if Shade had been in the Realms from the start I would probably like them. Its just my feel that the Realms have enough power groups and organizations to last a lifetime. I am not that enthusiastic about the Twisted Rune either and they have been in the published Realms for a long time.
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Brimstone
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USA
3024 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2010 :  09:46:37  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

Agreed Wooly. I think Shade would have been much better if they had crashed the floating city at the end of RotA, killed off High Prince Telamont and forced the rest of the Princes into hiding (creating minor power bases throughout Anauroch and the rest of the Realms).


I like that idea!

I wonder what the Shadowmaster's are up to?
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2010 :  09:59:04  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

Agreed Wooly. I think Shade would have been much better if they had crashed the floating city at the end of RotA, killed off High Prince Telamont and forced the rest of the Princes into hiding (creating minor power bases throughout Anauroch and the rest of the Realms).



That would have killed Paul's TW trilogy as well, which would be a shame . It's one of the best written Realms series, and not just because it was penned by Paul.


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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2010 :  10:01:58  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brimstone

I wonder what the Shadowmaster's are up to?



They're busy cleaning the Old Mage's kitchen because his loyal servant is out somewhere in Waterdeep.


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