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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30204 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2011 :  03:10:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Baab would be the little-known (outside of Thay) Zulkir of Bardic magic.
He also used to worship Bhaal.

Baab, the bard, of Bhaal.



His parents weren't married, and his skill wasn't all that. This makes him Bahb the bastard, the bad bard of Bhaal.

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2011 :  18:37:03  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Shouldn't Samas Kul get a vote for being the first and only obese man to have ever earned a zulkir's throne?

Every beginning has an end.
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2012 :  08:10:23  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i voted for Yaphyll as she was a formidable diviner and the only one to receive a vision of the spellplague.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2012 :  00:18:03  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

She would have been a regal queen had she lived in Halruaa.

What makes me not to like her that much is her lack of protective and offensive spells, as if she didn't care for her life. Even Lallara commented on her "stupidity" when she visited Yaphyll's tower, which was largely unprotected.

Every beginning has an end.
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2012 :  10:54:57  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


She would have been a regal queen had she lived in Halruaa.

What makes me not to like her that much is her lack of protective and offensive spells, as if she didn't care for her life. Even Lallara commented on her "stupidity" when she visited Yaphyll's tower, which was largely unprotected.


Perhaps she was over specialized and and lacked powerful offensive spells. Though she must have known some defensive magic or she would never have lasted long enough to become a Zulkir in the first place.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 18 Feb 2012 :  10:30:31  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Or most likely she foresaw her enemies' moves, and thus she was able to evade any assassination attempts. Her mastery of her art could be one of the reasons she always appeared 'fickle' in choosing which faction of the zulkirs to side with.

I even theorized that her 'half-death' in Szass Tam's hands was something she saw coming, and so she sent her spirit to the future.

Every beginning has an end.
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2012 :  11:36:49  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Or most likely she foresaw her enemies' moves, and thus she was able to evade any assassination attempts. Her mastery of her art could be one of the reasons she always appeared 'fickle' in choosing which faction of the zulkirs to side with.

I even theorized that her 'half-death' in Szass Tam's hands was something she saw coming, and so she sent her spirit to the future.



That's an interesting theory. I hope that it proves true Szass Tam has had his way with Thay for too long.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14022 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2012 :  15:19:46  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Baab would be the little-known (outside of Thay) Zulkir of Bardic magic.
He also used to worship Bhaal.

Baab, the bard, of Bhaal.



His parents weren't married, and his skill wasn't all that. This makes him Bahb the bastard, the bad bard of Bhaal.

He also had a strange facination for Gnomish lore.

Baab the bastard, bad Bard of Bhaal, best known for his Ballad of Blingdengstone.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 19 Feb 2012 15:20:06
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30204 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2012 :  15:38:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Baab would be the little-known (outside of Thay) Zulkir of Bardic magic.
He also used to worship Bhaal.

Baab, the bard, of Bhaal.



His parents weren't married, and his skill wasn't all that. This makes him Bahb the bastard, the bad bard of Bhaal.

He also had a strange facination for Gnomish lore.

Baab the bastard, bad Bard of Bhaal, best known for his Ballad of Blingdengstone.




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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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2012 :  19:48:24  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thauranil

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Or most likely she foresaw her enemies' moves, and thus she was able to evade any assassination attempts. Her mastery of her art could be one of the reasons she always appeared 'fickle' in choosing which faction of the zulkirs to side with.

I even theorized that her 'half-death' in Szass Tam's hands was something she saw coming, and so she sent her spirit to the future.


That's an interesting theory. I hope that it proves true Szass Tam has had his way with Thay for too long.


I suppose Richard himself left the 'deaths' of the zulkirs a bit vague so that anyone (including him) can allow them to return. And such return is what I'm looking forward...

Every beginning has an end.
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2012 :  20:48:18  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm. About twelve (? fourteen?) years ago, at a GenCon, I recall Ed saying Szass Tam had some secrets "that remain to be revealed," that we hadn't even seen a hint of yet. That he'd built into the character when creating him, and that "would see the light of day eventually, for the most patient fans of the Realms."
I wonder when . . .
BB
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2012 :  20:58:48  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

When the task of developing Szass Tam more in a novel or trilogy falls into his hands...

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2012 :  21:08:29  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Shouldn't Samas Kul get a vote for being the first and only obese man to have ever earned a zulkir's throne?


We don't know much about the physical proportions of early Zulkirs.

More seriously, though, I find Samas Kul considerably cooler than many of the more 'traditonal' villainous Zulkirs. He wasn't a 'Destroy All Life' sort of guy, nor even 'All Must Bow To Me' one. He was simply a far-sighted, sensible, capable and intelligent man who brought undreamed for prosperity for his country.

He also happened to be utterly amoral, self-interestedto the point of ravenous greed, ruthless and devious. Not to mention that the result of his success was the ever increasing power of Thay that was available for the grasping by the other Zulkirs, with consequences that could not be good for Faerun.

Far more interesting than just another Red Wizard blindly seeking magical power in order to bludgeon his rivals, mistakingly believing that personal arcane might was a viable way to power in Thay. More interesting even than Szass Tam, who despite his veneer of civility, charm and diplomacy, which served him so well, was still locked in the same destructive cycle of unthinking rivalry, based firmly in the hubris that each Red Wizard comes equipped with, i.e. that he is the most proficient hurler of spells in the world and that he is therefore the natural ruler of all he surveys.

If Szass Tam had truly understood Samas Kul and bent his formidable mind and his even more formidable power base to preventing internecine strife, instead of trying to make himself ruler, Thay would have become a regional hegemon of the eastern Inner Sea within a generation from 1372 DR and probably the most powerful force in the world within a couple of generations from that.*

And Tam, by virtue of being the most powerful and with an (un)natural ability to take the long view, would have been all-but assured for a place as the first among equals in an oligarchial ruling class. Sure, Kul would have been enormously powerful, but he wanted wordly wealth, comfort and adulation, not power over a bunch of undead or ancient demonic things, so there is no reason that the two could not have shared power amicably.

After all, a more powerful Thay meant a larger piece of the pie for them all and being first among equals in the hegemon of Faerun sure beats sole rule of an undead-ridded wasteland.

*The events of The Year of Blue Fire (1385 DR) might be considered to forestall any such possibility, but I ask you, would the Lord of Strife really have had the power to do what he did if the constant internal strife of Thay had taken a precipitous dip a decade before? I think not, I think his personal power would have been reduced quite a lot by even a small reduction in what amounts to by far the largest single source of strife on Faerun.

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2012 :  21:39:10  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

And Tam, by virtue of being the most powerful and with an (un)natural ability to take the long view, would have been all-but assured for a place as the first among equals in an oligarchial ruling class. Sure, Kul would have been enormously powerful, but he wanted wordly wealth, comfort and adulation, not power over a bunch of undead or ancient demonic things, so there is no reason that the two could not have shared power amicably.


I disagree. With wealth comes power. And that power partly comes from 'business partners.' Said partners might deem it more advantageous on their end to support Samas and make him prime/sole ruler of the realm. And even if Samas would never want that, he'd be left with no other choice. And this Szass Tam understands quite well.

Besides, making Thay prosper is NOT Szass Tam's goal. If you've read The Haunted Lands, then you know what that is...

Every beginning has an end.
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2012 :  21:47:10  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

I disagree. With wealth comes power. And that power partly comes from 'business partners.' Said partners might deem it more advantageous on their end to support Samas and make him prime/sole ruler of the realm. And even if Samas would never want that, he'd be left with no other choice. And this Szass Tam understands quite well.

If you believe that supporting a sole ruler over an oligarchic and largely non-interventionist government is ever good for business, I suggest you look for dictatorships where the economy is clearly outperforming economies of similar polities with less centralised political rule.

You can start by comparing China under Mao to China under the current oligarchy or North Korea to South Korea.

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

Besides, making Thay prosper is NOT Szass Tam's goal. If you've read The Haunted Lands, then you know what that is...


I'm aware that's not his goal. That's why I said he was, ultimately, not very much more interesting than the rest of the self-destructive crop of Zulkirs.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5803 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2012 :  16:16:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lauzoril without a doubt was a great Zulkir to use in a campaign. He used other people as pawns. He worked through layers of intermediaries. He controlled people via his enchantments when necessary and used them to infiltrate other governments, thus working to protect Thay while giving himself insights for where he might go for personal power. You could easily use him whenever the party returns to town laden with treasure. Maybe he's taken control of the owner of the local magic shop where the party is getting rid of the new items, so that later he sends a strike team to challenge them or steal some choice piece they recovered. Or maybe he takes over some sage who fabricates some lore, the sage then sells the lore to a noble, who then sends one of their servants to hire the PC's to enter a dungeon and recover some item mentioned in the lore.... only to cause the opening of some "portal that should never be opened", etc.....

Granted, you could do this with many an enchanter, but Lauzoril was originally portrayed as one who dealt in layers and layers of plots. Oh, and he had hair.... I mean, that's gotta count in a culture that shaves their entire bodies... its kind of like the first guy who got a tattoo :-)

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2012 :  02:29:18  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I like Lauzoril, too. But his mindset is too...'domesticated.' He'd rather spend his time in his lab, mutilating creatures for magical experiment (or for amusement) than expand the reaches of Thay and make it a bigger, stronger empire. And about the hair, well, it's vanity, which he himself admitted. I suppose all enchanters are vain to a certain degree, and handsome. Even Iyrith Telgahlagar was just that.

quote:
Originally posted by Firestorm

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

Given that some pre-Szass Tam zulkirs just vanished without trace, as I conjectured before, it's possible they have been acting as Hidden Guardians and one day will say enough is enough and kick the lich lord out.

I don't think so personally. But to each his own.

In my world, The one's who disappeared were killed. Zulkir's above all always wanted power and prestige and would not willingly give up their titles. Witness all the remaining Zulkir's spending 90 years just plotting ways to get back to Thay and regain what they have lost.

Those sorts so not strike me as the types to work from the shadows when they have so much more power in Thay out in the open.
It's been noted before, (I think Ed himself said so) that some zulkirs eventually tired of their "games," or no longer found dodging assassins every waking second of their lives much appealing, and so rather chose to live a relatively peaceful life. Lurking in the shadows, like puppet masters, they still send out a handful of their lackeys to further their agenda.

Every beginning has an end.

Edited by - Dennis on 13 Nov 2012 02:34:59
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1582 Posts

Posted - 15 Jul 2014 :  18:52:57  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just voted Iyrith because...well...'Asmodeus among us' just makes him awesome. Of the zulkirs that have novel time: Lauzoril.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1458 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  20:56:41  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lauzoril. He got +5 Cajones of Disruption - and enchanted them himself - after all.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

419 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  21:02:02  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Szass Tam was a lot more interesting as one of the few Only Sane Men among the Zulkirs while being an undead horror. Generic Undead Overlord Tam is boring. Thay being a necromantic hell is boring.

I dunno, I just like the idea of Szass Tam being Thay's Dogbert, rising to the top just to show that he could and then retiring to sit on a nice chair while the other Zulkirs flounder about wondering what the hell just happened.
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