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 Thay... then or now? (Potential Spoilers)
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2010 :  00:48:37  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd love to read about the Durthans. Unfortunately, I can't seem to stop reading more of Moore's books. So I would have to postpone reading TSoWG for a while...

Every beginning has an end.
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Arioch
Learned Scribe

Italy
222 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2010 :  14:39:17  Show Profile  Visit Arioch's Homepage Send Arioch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In one of my previous post on this thread I talked about a wiped-out nation...

What I cannot understand clearly is about the coexistence of the living and the undeads:

- why bother to keep the living... alive? Just to produce more undead?
- to maintain the resemblance of a nation for political reasons? (not credible, I suppose)

Otherwise... I can't see anything else but a continuous mass extermination to increase the ranks of undead legions! And this can't be...

Any explanations to my doubts I may have missed? Thanks!!
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2010 :  15:08:01  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Szass can always generate more undead, and his plans are more immediate than long-term, plus he has plenty of populated neighbours. So he wouldn't bother to maintain a living population just to eventually replenish his armies.

Undead are generally mindless, clumsy, incorporeal, or require the living for sustenance. And often a bit tougher than commoners but much inferior to big-chin glowing heroic types. The only undeads which can normally cast spells are vampires, liches, shades, and sometimes ghosts or spectres. Vampires require living populations to prey upon. The others are not "cost-effective" to manufacture in quantity; so if Szass wants any number of spellcasters (Red necros) then he has to tolerate the living, and he probably realizes each wizard needs to have a ton of other living people around to stay happy and loyal.

The living can also perform many other important tasks the majority of undead cannot.
Like command the undead. Or think. Or interact with foreigners (travelling merchants won't import valuable resources and information to Thay if they have to bargain with vampires and liches). Or spy on enemies far outside of Szass's control range. Or worship Bane.

It's also unwise to overspecialize in one area while neglecting others. What if Szass's opponents devise some spell or item which area-nukes undead to hell but leaves the living unaffected? (Many priest magics already do this.)

Plus Szass is (in his own mind, at least) not an intrinsically evil individual. He'll happily kill people or defile their corpses to restock platoons that are short a few members. But he doesn't go about methodically killing everybody just so he can eventually raise them later ... why waste resources? Use the person twice, when he's living then when he's dead.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 17 Dec 2010 15:17:36
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Arioch
Learned Scribe

Italy
222 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2010 :  15:33:37  Show Profile  Visit Arioch's Homepage Send Arioch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

Szass can always generate more undead, and his plans are more immediate than long-term, plus he has plenty of populated neighbours. So he wouldn't bother to maintain a living population just to eventually replenish his armies.


Exactly... so, basically his undead can play as they prefer with the living population...
quote:

... so if Szass wants wizards then he has to tolerate the living, and he probably realizes each wizard needs to have a ton of other living people around.


Is stated somewhere that humans in Thay are allowed to be mages (potentially a threat).. I understand that in Thay the ruling class is undead now...
quote:

The living can also perform many other important tasks the majority of undead cannot.
Like command the undead.

I doubt Tam will allow undead to be commanded ...

For the other considerations: I like the idea of make them worship Bane [:-)] as well as the "un-turnability" of the living. In fact these are the only strong point I see contradicting my statement.

While the other consideration are logical, I think they can be carried out by a limited number of individuals (Human agents by the way not "common people"). This returns me to my starting point: aside from the very few living people working for Tam, the majority of the population is just cattle... destined to some horrible death before joining the ranks of the undead...

This situation can't stand that way longer... Divine vengeance or a mass extermination, what will strike first?
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2010 :  15:39:39  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You are aware that Szass's Red necros are spellbound to him? They're all completely loyal, he's made sure they literally have no other real choice.

As almighty as he might be, Szass cannot singlehandedly simultaneously control every single undead in Thay. He also cannot allow them to wander about completely uncontrolled, because they'll end up acting stupid and getting damaged, attacking each other, or simply wandering outside Thay before he wants them to. Thus he requires minions to maintain his chain of command, an unavoidable necessity.

Final note - Szass's dread ritual might require a sacrifice or energy pool which can only be provided by a large number of sentient living creatures, thus he might be hamstrung by the requirement to keep them (and a few extra) around.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 17 Dec 2010 15:45:00
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2010 :  23:06:56  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

Final note - Szass's dread ritual might require a sacrifice or energy pool which can only be provided by a large number of sentient living creatures, thus he might be hamstrung by the requirement to keep them (and a few extra) around.



Also, if he finds the need to summon Bane again, he would need live beings as sacrifice, just like what he did in Undead.

Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2011 :  00:02:10  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arioch

While the other consideration are logical, I think they can be carried out by a limited number of individuals (Human agents by the way not "common people"). This returns me to my starting point: aside from the very few living people working for Tam, the majority of the population is just cattle... destined to some horrible death before joining the ranks of the undead...

This situation can't stand that way longer... Divine vengeance or a mass extermination, what will strike first?





If Tam does a mass extermination of his subjects, and buys more live slaves from different nations only to have them killed and animated, the loyal followers of the God of Death would most likely wage an open war.

It's a matter of how long can they tolerate such massive desecration of death...

Every beginning has an end.

Edited by - Dennis on 12 Jan 2011 00:02:46
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2011 :  19:45:01  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I've read the trilogy many times, but I still haven't made up my mind if I really want Szass Tam to continue his rule or if it would be better to have the zulkirs back. In fact, I already forgot what I voted.

Maybe we can have Szass Tam rule Thay for a while [until 5E] and later on reinstate the surviving zulkirs.

Every beginning has an end.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6094 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2011 :  16:31:09  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


I've read the trilogy many times, but I still haven't made up my mind if I really want Szass Tam to continue his rule or if it would be better to have the zulkirs back. In fact, I already forgot what I voted.

Maybe we can have Szass Tam rule Thay for a while [until 5E] and later on reinstate the surviving zulkirs.



I don't mind a country ruled by undead. My only problem comes down to why did it have to be Thay, because it was full of possibilities. After all, there was once a country south of Unther full of Myrkul worshippers named Eltabrannar. It might have even been interesting to have had Tam forced out of Thay and he builds said country and the two oppose each other. They could then have some new necromancer take over in Thay for that one position, but power wise that Zulkir doesn't dominate. I think that could have been really interesting if he were an actual living necromancer... maybe a blood mage, or maybe some sort of multi-classed wizard.

That all being said, novel wise, I really liked what they did story wise in the 3 novels. I just wish the end goal had been different. But, it is what it is, and no use crying over it. Either change my campaign, run it earlier in the timeline, or whatever... there's all kinds of options.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2011 :  04:20:14  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


I've read the trilogy many times, but I still haven't made up my mind if I really want Szass Tam to continue his rule or if it would be better to have the zulkirs back. In fact, I already forgot what I voted.

Maybe we can have Szass Tam rule Thay for a while [until 5E] and later on reinstate the surviving zulkirs.



I really liked what they did story wise in the 3 novels.

Full agreement. I have a few quibbles, specially on certain deaths that are a bit difficult to believe. But overall, it's a great series--- one of the best in FR.

Every beginning has an end.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3068 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2011 :  15:50:47  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is Thay 3.0 related, in any way, to the release of the Iphone 4S? ;)

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Be my friend on Goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6751111-brian
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2011 :  04:36:10  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Speaking of Thay 3.0, I think it would be appropriate to also have a Zulkir of Divine Magic. The one to occupy such seat would be the High Priest of the most widespread church in the realm.

Every beginning has an end.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3068 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2011 :  14:51:38  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Speaking of Thay 3.0, I think it would be appropriate to also have a Zulkir of Divine Magic. The one to occupy such seat would be the High Priest of the most widespread church in the realm.



Might as well have a Zulkir of Psionics too, THAT would be awesome.

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Be my friend on Goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6751111-brian
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phranctoast
Learned Scribe

USA
151 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2011 :  16:19:57  Show Profile Send phranctoast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I didn't realize that shades were considered "undead"

Currently reading: Spider and Stone by Jaleigh Johnson: Sequel to Mistshore
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phranctoast
Learned Scribe

USA
151 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2011 :  16:21:24  Show Profile Send phranctoast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by entreri3478

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Speaking of Thay 3.0, I think it would be appropriate to also have a Zulkir of Divine Magic. The one to occupy such seat would be the High Priest of the most widespread church in the realm.



Might as well have a Zulkir of Psionics too, THAT would be awesome.



Check out Lisa Smedmans "House of Serpents" for a cool Psionics trilogy.

Currently reading: Spider and Stone by Jaleigh Johnson: Sequel to Mistshore
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2011 :  16:52:55  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by entreri3478

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Speaking of Thay 3.0, I think it would be appropriate to also have a Zulkir of Divine Magic. The one to occupy such seat would be the High Priest of the most widespread church in the realm.


Might as well have a Zulkir of Psionics too, THAT would be awesome.

I would love that. However, if I'm not mistaken, there are so few psionicists in Thay that their number might be considered insignificant. As far as the Zulkirate is concerned, both power and number do matter.

Every beginning has an end.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3068 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2011 :  16:54:17  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

quote:
Originally posted by entreri3478

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Speaking of Thay 3.0, I think it would be appropriate to also have a Zulkir of Divine Magic. The one to occupy such seat would be the High Priest of the most widespread church in the realm.


Might as well have a Zulkir of Psionics too, THAT would be awesome.

I would love that. However, if I'm not mistaken, there are so few psionicists in Thay that their number might be considered insignificant. As far as the Zulkirate is concerned, both power and number do matter.



...and size if you consider Samas

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Be my friend on Goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6751111-brian
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2011 :  17:16:35  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

He was the first and last obese zulkir. [Aumvor, the most hideously corpulent being in Toril, might be inclined to animate him to be his lich-lackey.]

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  01:57:22  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting that every one of the Zulkirs possesses some personal trait which is particularly offensive. Samas Kul might be physically repulsive but he is really no more ill-mannered than any of the other Zulkirs and, surprisingly, seems to have the most "inoffensive" personality of the lot. If the Zulkirs were interacting in some non-physical medium (say, tweeting each other through scrying devices), then Samas would actually seem rather pleasant in comparison. The other Zulkirs become equally grotesque the moment they open their mouths (as opposed to Samas constantly stuffing his mouth full).

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 14 Oct 2011 04:52:33
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  04:35:47  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Lallara has all the right to be ruthlessly chiding.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  04:56:52  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Arrogance. Pride. Anger. Ambition. Deceit. Treachery. Cowardice. Incompetence.

Yes, some of these traits are shared by all the Zulkirs (and most Red Wizards), but it seems like each Zulkir exemplifies one particularly repulsive "virtue" above all others.

Essentially a textbook example of cardinal sins, the most powerful spellcasters of Thay. lol, name them all to win a prize.

I wonder if this personality archetyping was intentional or not?

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 14 Oct 2011 05:01:33
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  05:12:18  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I agree to all the cardinal sins exemplified by the zulkirs, except incompetence. No one, despite all the politicking involved, is elected zulkir who doesn’t possess a dose of cunning and keen mind. Even Samas was competent enough, girth notwithstanding. Now you might be thinking of Zola. Yes, she’s an incompetent, silly, weak Red Wizard. But then again, she wasn’t a true zulkir. More like a “filler.” The Council needed all abled spellcasters to lend a hand to their cause, weak necromancers included.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  05:22:15  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, Zola. She was just an opportunist - or a pawn - wrongly assuming herself equal to the other Zulkirs. Oops.

If I had to apply a single-word description to Szass, it would be "madman" ... something of a cross between genius, megalomania, insanity, and perhaps delusion.

Incidentally, I'm not trying to apply the classic cardinal sins to the Zulkirs, just a similar system of values. All told, there are less than eight surviving Zulkirs, although perhaps twice that number did contribute to the story ... before they were killed.

[/Ayrik]
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Marc
Senior Scribe

618 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  08:34:36  Show Profile Send Marc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thay 1.0 simply cause there is more adventuring opportunities for living PC's. The new Thay is basically Mordor.

.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  14:44:54  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

If I had to apply a single-word description to Szass, it would be "madman" ... something of a cross between genius, megalomania, insanity, and perhaps delusion.

According to Susan Morris, Szass Tam is a "mastermind" villain. And I wholeheartedly agree! You can check it here.

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