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Caolin
Senior Scribe

705 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2011 :  02:54:57  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Can anyone explain how these Abyssal Plague novels are to be read? I checking out this link:

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Feature.aspx?x=dnd%2Ffeature%2Fabyssalplague

and in the beginning it lists out the novels that will cover this event. It looks like the first 3 novels are in the generic DnD world but the FR novel Sword of the Gods is part of another section (the plague spreads?). But on Amazon, the book is listed as the Abyssal Plague book 2. Is the FR novel stand alone? Are these all connected into one long uber story that need to be read in order?

Any incite would be helpful. I was planning on following this event as an excuse to finally read the novels of other DnD settings.

Ayrik
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Canada
6898 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2011 :  05:35:04  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The intended reading order is listed on your link. Top to bottom.

[/Ayrik]
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The Sage
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Posted - 24 Mar 2011 :  07:20:22  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
Indeed. It follows what's advertised in the back of Temple of Yellow Skulls, the first book of the "Abyssal Plague" saga.

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Caolin
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705 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2011 :  08:01:36  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OK, so I looked on the back of Temple of Yellow Skulls. They do have them in release order. I was confused by the order in the link where they have the setting novels separated from the generic novels.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6898 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2011 :  08:11:37  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As I understand it from your link, the suggested reading order is as follows:

The Gates of Madness (free download), then The Mark of Nerath
("Origin"; prologue to the Plague)

The Temple of Yellow Skulls, then Oath of Vigilance, then The Eye of the Chained God
("The Plague Strikes")

Sword of the Gods, then Under the Crimson Sun, then Shadowbane
("The Plague Spreads")

... I might be mistaken, but one or a few additional novels might be recommended reading before Shadowbane ... ye might do well to ask the author, Erik Scott de Bie.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 24 Mar 2011 08:47:16
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
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Posted - 24 Mar 2011 :  19:27:20  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
I wouldn't trust the Amazon links as to which book is which "number". Go with the reading order suggested on your link to the WotC site.

It's my understanding that Sword of the Gods, Under the Crimson Sun, and Shadowbane are pretty much standalone novels that tie into the Abyssal Plague event in varying degrees of intensity.

I haven't read either that I haven't written, but as for Shadowbane, I think you would be perfectly well off reading it in the context of the Abyssal Plague series, as the second novel of the ongoing Shadowbane story (Downshadow was the first one, and I'm currently working on the third one now), and/or as a complete standalone. It fits all three of those categories.

If you *are* wanting to read SB as part of a series (which I obviously recommend completely without bias), you'll want to read my (free) webstory "The Last Legend of Gedrin Shadowbane" and my novel Downshadow (basically in any order--the one informs the other but I don't think they spoil each other).

I will say that an event in Sword of the Gods predates Shadowbane, and so an aspect of my novel will make more sense in the context of it happening *after* Bruce's novel. (This should bear out in the chronology of the stories as well.)

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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Caolin
Senior Scribe

705 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2011 :  21:52:07  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

I wouldn't trust the Amazon links as to which book is which "number". Go with the reading order suggested on your link to the WotC site.

It's my understanding that Sword of the Gods, Under the Crimson Sun, and Shadowbane are pretty much standalone novels that tie into the Abyssal Plague event in varying degrees of intensity.

I haven't read either that I haven't written, but as for Shadowbane, I think you would be perfectly well off reading it in the context of the Abyssal Plague series, as the second novel of the ongoing Shadowbane story (Downshadow was the first one, and I'm currently working on the third one now), and/or as a complete standalone. It fits all three of those categories.

If you *are* wanting to read SB as part of a series (which I obviously recommend completely without bias), you'll want to read my (free) webstory "The Last Legend of Gedrin Shadowbane" and my novel Downshadow (basically in any order--the one informs the other but I don't think they spoil each other).

I will say that an event in Sword of the Gods predates Shadowbane, and so an aspect of my novel will make more sense in the context of it happening *after* Bruce's novel. (This should bear out in the chronology of the stories as well.)

Cheers



Thanks for the clarification Erik. I have already read Downshadow and the free webstory....great stuff btw. I read through part of the Gates of Maddness and I have to say I'm not digging the tone of this "Abyssal Plague" so far. Seems a little campy. Thankfully the FR tie-ins are not part of the main story and I trust we will get good products from you and Bruce.
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

705 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2011 :  00:17:52  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So I read the first book of this series, The Temple of Yellow Skulls. It was a descent read. I have to say it was kind of refreshing having a very small and minimalistic setting. I kind of wish I had read the Mark of Nerath though since it kind of flows right into this book. I'm reading Sword of the Gods now and I am enjoying it. It took me a while to be sure that the main character isn't the same one from Circle of Skulls. Not so sure about the whole Abyssal Plague sub-plot but it's cool to see all the different worlds brought closer together again.
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3230 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  07:12:07  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-What exactly is the Abyssal Plague, to begin with? Was trying to explain it to my girlfriend, who used to be in the Forgotten Realms loop but isn't anymore (some of you probably remember her), and it dawned on me that I barely know what's going on here, other than some kind of bad thing that occurs in the Abyss somewhere, and spreads across the multiverse, which is apparently all connected again.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  07:42:46  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 Dagnirion

-What exactly is the Abyssal Plague, to begin with? Was trying to explain it to my girlfriend, who used to be in the Forgotten Realms loop but isn't anymore (some of you probably remember her), and it dawned on me that I barely know what's going on here, other than some kind of bad thing that occurs in the Abyss somewhere, and spreads across the multiverse, which is apparently all connected again.

Not a complete coverage of events, but this provides something of an explanation.

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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

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Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  07:23:03  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Dagnirion

-What exactly is the Abyssal Plague, to begin with? Was trying to explain it to my girlfriend, who used to be in the Forgotten Realms loop but isn't anymore (some of you probably remember her), and it dawned on me that I barely know what's going on here, other than some kind of bad thing that occurs in the Abyss somewhere, and spreads across the multiverse, which is apparently all connected again.

Not a complete coverage of events, but this provides something of an explanation.



-That answers some stuff, but...What exactly is it? An army? An actual "sickness" of some sort. An army that's "contaminated", spreading said "sickness", knowingly or unknowingly?

-I'm envisioning it very much like the Annihilation Wave right now, but I don't know if that's very accurate.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3546 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  17:05:45  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dagnirion

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Dagnirion

-What exactly is the Abyssal Plague, to begin with? Was trying to explain it to my girlfriend, who used to be in the Forgotten Realms loop but isn't anymore (some of you probably remember her), and it dawned on me that I barely know what's going on here, other than some kind of bad thing that occurs in the Abyss somewhere, and spreads across the multiverse, which is apparently all connected again.

Not a complete coverage of events, but this provides something of an explanation.



-That answers some stuff, but...What exactly is it? An army? An actual "sickness" of some sort. An army that's "contaminated", spreading said "sickness", knowingly or unknowingly?

-I'm envisioning it very much like the Annihilation Wave right now, but I don't know if that's very accurate.



I think it's that energy ribbon thing from the star trek movies Just took awhile to get there

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

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

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Caolin
Senior Scribe

705 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2011 :  05:25:30  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dagnirion

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Dagnirion

-What exactly is the Abyssal Plague, to begin with? Was trying to explain it to my girlfriend, who used to be in the Forgotten Realms loop but isn't anymore (some of you probably remember her), and it dawned on me that I barely know what's going on here, other than some kind of bad thing that occurs in the Abyss somewhere, and spreads across the multiverse, which is apparently all connected again.

Not a complete coverage of events, but this provides something of an explanation.



-That answers some stuff, but...What exactly is it? An army? An actual "sickness" of some sort. An army that's "contaminated", spreading said "sickness", knowingly or unknowingly?

-I'm envisioning it very much like the Annihilation Wave right now, but I don't know if that's very accurate.



Spoilers below, highlight to read.

It's pretty much a disease that turns it's victims into demons. From what I've read so far, this Voidharrow is the stuff that created the Abyss. It also inundated and destroyed the universe that Tharizdun is imprisoned in. Tharizdun sent some of stuff through a small portal which was opened by his followers in hopes that they would use it to open a much bigger gate through which he can pass through. But the Voidharrow has a sentience of it's own and it took over the bodies of Tharizdun’s followers and now it is working to spread itself throughout the multi-verse. So anyone infected by the disease get's their will taken over and they are forced to work towards the Voidharrow's end. Tharizdun still supports this even though the Voidharrow defied his will because it will ultimately lead to his release and the destruction of the gods and the multi-verse.


So that is the overall story in a nutshell from the Gates of Madness story which sets up the whole series. It's been a fun read and I am really enjoying Sword of the Gods. The Abyssal plague has been much more low key than it was in The Temple of Yellow Skulls. I hope that clears some stuff up for you.
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3081 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2011 :  13:22:42  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So....

It's Carnage to Tharizdun's Venom?


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

Ashe's Character Sheet

Alphabetized Index of Realms NPCs

Edited by - Ashe Ravenheart on 19 Apr 2011 13:23:29
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3230 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2011 :  06:52:16  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Maybe I'm off from being semi-retired from D&D and the Forgotten Realms, but...Wow, that seems convoluted for convolution's sake...

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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Quale
Master of Realmslore

1757 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2011 :  14:21:21  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So Tharizdun is now in the Realms

and the plot is original, almost draws you out of retirement
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

705 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2011 :  19:10:59  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Honestly, that could be my poor ability to describe what's going on. I don't mind the series. I like it even better since Sword of the Gods was 99% Realms and 1% Abyssal Plague. You could read SotG without ever reading the previous novels set in the generic DnD setting.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
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Posted - 23 Apr 2011 :  01:01:13  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 Quale

So Tharizdun is now in the Realms
It's not so much about drawing Tharizdun into the Realms. The "Abyssal Plague" is more focused on expanding upon one of the core design elements of the 4e cosmological make-up -- and ensuring that the expansion provides a threat great enough to endanger the entire multiverse.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 23 Apr 2011 :  03:10:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So... This means that after disconnecting FR's cosmology from that of other worlds in 3E, now they've reintegrated them all?

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Caolin
Senior Scribe

705 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2011 :  05:00:40  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

So... This means that after disconnecting FR's cosmology from that of other worlds in 3E, now they've reintegrated them all?



Pretty much. It's actually one of the few things I like about 4E. I never understood the absolute separation of the different settings that happened in 3E.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 23 Apr 2011 :  05:09:47  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

So... This means that after disconnecting FR's cosmology from that of other worlds in 3E, now they've reintegrated them all?

For the most part.

They're certainly not as integrated as they were in pre-3e days, but the multiversal scope of the "Abyssal Plague" would seem to indicate that extra-planar threats can once again affect multiple cosmologies/crystal spheres.

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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 23 Apr 2011 :  15:38:01  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Quale

So Tharizdun is now in the Realms


-Or, it will turn out that he was always in the setting, using a different alias or something to that effect. Finding a suitable candidate, though, for it would be kind of difficult, though, I would think. Stretching things a bit, you could say Ghaunadaur (who, though, has already been established as an separate entity, though that can all be subject to change on the whims of the writers/designers, if need be), or somehow Cyric (the mortal was a separate entity, but the divine spark somehow was related to it), or Dendar, or Shar, perhaps.

quote:
Originally posted by Quale

and the plot is original, almost draws you out of retirement



-No chance.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

So... This means that after disconnecting FR's cosmology from that of other worlds in 3E, now they've reintegrated them all?



-How badly does that screw around with Eberron, whose design format during the 3e was specifically "different", because it was not beholden to the pre-3e shared cosmology concept? Ouch. I recall reading that the generic 4e cosmology being applied to Eberron in 4e called for overlapping names for planes (X in Eberron is also the Y in the 4e generic shared cosmology), but a lot of stuff concerning Eberron's planar structure doesn't particularly match up well to a "standard" structure.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
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Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium

Edited by - Lord Karsus on 23 Apr 2011 15:43:30
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The Sage
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Posted - 23 Apr 2011 :  18:55:31  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 Dagnirion

quote:
Originally posted by Quale

So Tharizdun is now in the Realms


-Or, it will turn out that he was always in the setting, using a different alias or something to that effect.
I think it's a little of both.

The threat Tharizdun poses to the Realms, is so significant, that it reaches back to the very foundation of the multiverse. So in that context, at least, Tharizdun has history in the evolution of Realmspace, as an extension of the creation of the multiverse.

But, at the same time, this new threat brings greater attention to Tharizdun and whatever plans he may have for Toril.

And let's not forget, either, that Darrin Drader noted in a past pre-4e "Random Encounters" article on the Wizards' website, that temples of Tharizdun had active and permanent portals to other planes/worlds, which the cultists could use to escape, should their worship be threatened on their current world. I doubt Toril would be overlooked as a possible planar escape route, so Tharizdun worship has probably reached into the Realms at some point.
quote:
-How badly does that screw around with Eberron, whose design format during the 3e was specifically "different", because it was not beholden to the pre-3e shared cosmology concept? Ouch. I recall reading that the generic 4e cosmology being applied to Eberron in 4e called for overlapping names for planes (X in Eberron is also the Y in the 4e generic shared cosmology), but a lot of stuff concerning Eberron's planar structure doesn't particularly match up well to a "standard" structure.
Well, it doesn't "screw around" all that much, really. It was Keith Baker himself who noted, back in 3e, that the plane of Xoriat in EBERRON, could very easily be interpreted as a tendril of the core Far Realm, reaching from the Outside and impacting upon the setting's planar cosmology framework. So the possibility for connecting EBERRON to the core D&D cosmological model, has a history there as well.

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Edited by - The Sage on 23 Apr 2011 18:57:57
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Alisttair
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Posted - 18 Jun 2011 :  19:19:38  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How much would it be recommended to read "The Mark of Nerath" after "The Gates of Madness" and before "The Temple of Yellow Skulls"??

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Caolin
Senior Scribe

705 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2011 :  03:59:56  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

How much would it be recommended to read "The Mark of Nerath" after "The Gates of Madness" and before "The Temple of Yellow Skulls"??



I didn't read the MoN before reading ToYS, but I wish I had. MoN starts the story of the adventurers in ToYS and it sets the stage for the Abyssal Plague. I still got an enjoyable story in ToYS and it is mainly self contained, but it would have been much deeper if I had read MoN. So in my opinion I would suggest reading MoN before ToYS and after the Gates of Maddness.
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Alisttair
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Canada
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Posted - 20 Jun 2011 :  11:07:26  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Darn. Local bookstores don't haveark of Nerath so I started reading Temple of Yellow Skulls. Ah well I guess I'll read it later when I get it going in like when I was a kid and saw Return of the Jedi before A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.

Karsite Arcanar (Most Holy Servant of Karsus)

Anauria - Survivor State of Netheril as penned by me:
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