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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2013 :  06:46:50  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Okay, I'm working on some stuff for my home Realms. However, I wanted to make sure my Realms is loosely compatible with 5th Edition FR, and to do this I needed to get some information about the Sundering. What is it? Why did it happen? What's the likely outcome of the event? Etc.

So I grumbled to myself as I crawled down into the depths of the internet to see what little information I could scrounge up. Shockingly enough, I found pretty much everything I needed. So I am very happy. However, along the way I learned some helpful information that really made me VERY hopeful about the future of the Forgotten Realms. So, I'm just going to share everything I learned here with you guys so it can benefit the community as a whole.

The two primary sources I draw from are two videos.

For the politics portion of this post, I get most of my information from this interview of R.A. Salvatore done by Sword and Laser over at Geek And Sundry.

For the lore portion of this post, I get most of my information from this seminar entitled (not shockingly), "What is the Sundering?" done at Gencon back in 2012.

Now, if you don't want to watch the video's that's fine. I'm just going to give you the important stuff that I learned. I'm showing the sources in case I accidentally get something wrong - I don't want to put words into anyone's mouth. Also, it gives everyone the chance to fact check me.

Okay, so with all of that out of the way, let's get to the meat.

The Politics of 5th Edition Forgotten Realms: Okay, this all begins back in 2006 when the changes to the Realms were being revealed to the authors. Salvatore and presumably the other authors were called in and basically told what the changes were going to be; they weren't consulted at all. So it was a major shock. They were basically told, "Hey guess what, we're advancing the world 100 years." Salvatore was very, very, very upset. Since over half his main characters were human, he basically didn't see how it could work for him. In his words, "140 year old humans don't fight very well." Salvatore wrote a really long letter to several Senior Editors at WotC pleading with them to reconsider the 4E changes, but clearly it fell on deaf ears.

Presumably a lot of other authors were also very upset, and more specifically Ed Greenwood. Salvatore talks about coming out of that 2006 meeting where the changes were revealed with Ed Greenwood, and Ed was basically about to cry. Ed turned to Salvatore and asked, "What are we going to do?" It seemed that they couldn't stop it or change their minds. So Salvatore responded to Ed with, "We're going to be smarter than them. We're going to think long term."

That's when Ed and Salvatore got together secretly and started brainstorming on how to fix the Realms when WotC realized how much it was going to be despised by most of the fans.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago at Gencon when 5E was announced. James Wyatt pulls Salvatore aside after he's done a seminar, and begins bringing up 5E Forgotten Realms. At that time WotC hadn't planned on what to do, but according to Salvatore, James Wyatt said that 4E FR had "gone off the rails" and then started outlining everything that needed to be done to fix it. That's when he took James aside and for over 20 minutes outlined everything he and Ed had been planning for years.

Salvatore basically sees all of this as an attempt to try and fix "Ed's Realms" - that's how everyone is basically looking at it. He said that he's willing to take personal responsibility for 5E FR because he had a direct hand in it, but he also said that he's "very proud" of what they've come up with.

Piecing together everything Salvatore said with the other stuff we know... my guess is that when the authors and designers sat down to formally discuss the upcoming changes for 5E and get broader input, they were using Greenwood's and Salvatore's plans as an outline.

This makes me excited to hear because knowing that Ed has had such a direct and strong hand in things is good news. If anyone can try and get FR "back on the rails" it's him.

There is so much other great stuff unrelated to 5E FR in that interview. I highly recommend watching it.


The Lore of the Sundering: Okay, with office politics out of the way we can turn to what we all here really love - the lore of the Forgotten Realms. So, what is the Sundering and how did it happen?

Before I answer this question, I want to point out something very important that I don't think a lot of people seem to understand. They are NOT REBOOTING the Forgotten Realms. They are not going back in time, and they are not going to retcon the changes made to the setting. For better and for worse, like all changes to the Realms, they're permanent.

That being said they are also cheating a little bit. They're basically setting things up so they can wave their hand and say "Ao fixes it." So, let's talk about how they're doing that.

Lovers of the lore here will know that around –17600 DR an event known as the Sundering took place. Let's open our Grand History of the Realms and read the entry.

quote:
c. –17600 DR
The Sundering:
Hundreds of High Mages assemble in the heartland of Faerūn at the Gathering Place. Ignoring the lesson learned from the destruction of Tintageer centuries earlier, they cast a spell of elven High Magic designed to create a glorious elf homeland. On the Day of Birthing, the magic reaches its apex as the spell extends both back and forward in the mists of time. Faerūn, the one land, is sundered apart by the unbridled force of the Sundering. As a result, hundreds of cities are washed away, thousands of elves lie dead, and the face of Toril is changed forever. The name Faerūn, no longer the One Land, is given to the largest continent. Surrounded by vast expanses of water, the island of Evermeet, thought to be a piece of Arvandor and a bridge between worlds, breaks the surface of the Trackless Sea. Blessed by the goddess Angharradh, verdant forests and wildlife soon flourish across the island. Corellon Larethian wards Evermeet against Lolth, Malar, and the other powers of the anti-Seldarine and entrusts a unique seed to the Fair Folk of the isle. The seed soon sprouts, growing into a miniature tree known as the Tree of Souls. Over time, the souls of ancient elves who choose to stay on Toril, rather than pass on to Arvandor, merge into the Tree of Souls, slowly augmenting its power. Prophecies reveal that the Tree of Souls will someday be planted on Faerūn when the Fair Folk finally return to the mainland after a period of exile on the Green Isle.


There is an important part of this entry here that needs to be read closely. That part discusses how as the spell reached its apex it extended "both back and forward in the mists of time."

An important Elven High Mage, who wasn't part of the ritual, saw these backward and forward ripples across time. When this happened he described two other Sunderings, in addition to the one that the Elves had just performed. In fact, this is how the Elven Sundering became known as the Sundering. One Sundering had already happened in the past, and a third one was to happen sometime in the future.

The Sundering that had happened in the past was already known and it was called the Tearfall, and it heralded the end for the Creator Races dominance - particularly for the Batrachi. This was the end of the Days of Thunder, and was just the beginning of the Dawn Ages.

According to Grand History of the Realms...

quote:
c. –31000 DR
An unimaginable catastrophe strikes Abeir-Toril. Whole continents vanish in earthquakes, fires, and windstorms, and the seas are rearranged. Ancient sarrukh accounts remark on the "changing of the stars," but no one now knows what this might mean.

Most scholars now speculate that at about this date a comet or ice moon fell from the sky, devastating much of Abeir-Toril, and refer to this event as the Tearfall. The four Inner Seas merge together to form the body of water known today as the Sea of Fallen Stars. Tens of thousands of dragon eggs soon hatch across Toril. The dramatic climate change that followed quickly brought an end to the batrachi civilization.


This event became much more clear in the future. However, before we get to that we need to discuss another event.

In 1358 DR the Time of Troubles took place. As we all know Myrkul and Bane stole the Tablets of Fate from Ao which led to the Gods being cast down to the Realms as mortal avatars. What is important is the end of this event when Ao speaks to the Gods.

quote:
"Lord Ao!" Helm acknowledged, bowing his head in supplication.

"Bring me the Tablets of Fate," Ao commanded.

Helm opened the saddlebags and removed the tablets. In the god's mighty hands, the two stones looked small, almost insignificant. Helm took the tablets to Ao then kneeled on the stairway to await further commands.

Ao studied the tablets for several minutes. In a hundred places throughout the Realms, the avatars of the surviving gods fell into a deep trance as Ao summoned their attention.

"On these artifacts," the overlord said, sending his voice and image to all of his gods. "I have recorded the forces that balance Law and Chaos."

"And I have returned them to you," Cyric said, daring to meet Ao's gaze.

Ao looked at the thief without approval or disapproval. "Yes," he said, stacking the tablets together. "And here is what it amounts to!" The overlord of the gods crushed the tablets in his hands and ground them into dust.

Midnight cringed, expecting the heavens to come crashing down. Adon cried out in grief and astonishment. Cyric watched the dust fall from between Ao's fingers, an angry frown creeping down his face.

Helm jumped to his feet. "Master, what have you done?" the god asked, his voice betraying his fear.

"The tablets mean nothing," Ao said, addressing all of his gods, no matter where they were. "I kept them to remind you that I created gods to serve the Balance, not to twist it to your own ends. But this point was lost on you. You saw the tablets as a set of rules by which to play juvenile games of prestige and pomp! Then, when the rules became inconvenient you stole them..."

"But that was -," Helm began.

"I know who took the Tablets of Fate," Ao replied, silencing Helm with a curt wave of his hand. "Bane and Myrkul have paid for their offenses with their lives. But all of you were guilty, causing worshipers to build wasteful temples, to devote themselves so slavishly to your name that they could not feed their children, even to spill their own blood upon your corrupt altars - all so you could impress each other with your hold over these so-called inferior creatures. Your behavior is enough to make me wish I had never created you."

Ao paused and let his listeners consider his words. Finally, he resumed speaking. "But I did create you and not without purpose. Now, I am going to demand that you fulfill that purpose. From this day forward, your true power will depend upon the number and devotion of your followers."

From one end of the Realms to another, the gods gasped in astonishment. In far off Tsurlagoi, Talos the Raging One growled, "Depend on mortals?" The one good eye of his youthful, broad-shouldered avatar was opened with outrage and shock.

"Depend on them and more," Ao returned. "Without worshipers, you will wither, even perish entirely. And after what has passed in the Realms, it will not be easy to win the faith of mortals. You will have to earn it by serving them."

In sunny Tesiir, a beautiful woman with silky scarlet hair and fiery red-brown eyes looked as though she were going to retch. "Serve them?" Sune asked.

"I have spoken!" Ao replied.


This entire passage is from Waterdeep, the last book in the Avatar Trilogy by Richard Awlinson. It is of absolute paramount importance to the events of the Sundering. There was more being spoken here between Ao and the Gods than first appeared.

First, it must be noted that Ao cast down the Gods as punishment. He saw the deities as undermining the rules written on the tablets by finding ways around them to play games of power, prestige, and pomp. All of them were guilty to one degree or another.

Second, he destroyed the Tablets of Fate. When Ao said, "The tablets mean nothing" it should be noted that the quote does not end in a period. He is saying that the Gods made a mockery of the Tablets of Fate and all they were supposed to represent. So he destroyed them. Notice Helm's reaction as Ao destroyed them. "Master, what have you done?!" His voice was filled with fear. This was for good reason.

Ao set into motion that day what would become known as the Era of Upheaval. However, to fully understand the significance of this we have to go back to the Tearfall at the end of the Days of Thunder.

So what was the Tearfall, how did it happen, and why? As previously stated the Tearfall was the first Sundering. It was marked as a time of unimaginable catastrophes ultimately ending with what the sarruk recall as the "changing of the stars" and the creation of the Sea of Fallen Stars.

Now, most of this was surrounded in legend and myth, and no doubt much of it still is - it's hard to find reliable information that far back in time. However, when Abeir merged with Toril after the Spellplague, an opportunity presented itself to compare notes. Basically, there was suddenly people - even an entire continent - appearing out of thin air. These people had their own history, their own lore, and their own accounting of events. This allowed scholars and sages to compare notes and get a better understanding of what exactly happened during the end of the Days of Thunder.

This world, called Abeir, was unlike Toril in that it had no (or very few) gods. Instead, it was a world ruled over by primordials.

Here are some excerpts from the 4E FRCG about Abeir.

quote:
Abeir is the realm forgotten. A twin to Toril and once joined with it, Abeir went its own way at the dawn of the world. Where gods and their servants oversee Faerūn, the lords of Abeir were towering primordials and elder wyrms, and savagery ruled with them. Now, after long epochs of separation, Abeir has joined with Toril once again, in a return both violent and unlooked-for.


For those who wonder what a primordial is...

quote:
The Elemental Chaos provides essential building blocks for all matter in the cosmos, the primordial seed of all that is. The gods fear this wild plane of unimaginable extremes, and they respect the primordials that call it home.

The few primordials that remained in Toril when Abeir split away never fought the gods as their fellows did. These primordials are sometimes worshiped as deities despite their elemental origin.


Now this is the important part we learn from those who return from Abeir to Toril.

quote:
In the final days of the batrachi civilization (c. –31,000 DR), an unimaginable catastrophe struck Toril. It is said that the amphibioids were waging a losing war against the titan armies of Annam's brood. In their desperation, the batrachi performed an epic ritual of summoning that released several primordials from their imprisonment. The gods quickly moved against their ancient foes, resulting in terrible earthquakes, fires, and windstorms that swept across the planet. During the tumult, a primordial calling herself Asgoroth the World Shaper even hurled an ice moon at Toril, intent on destroying the world she couldn't claim as her own. Yet before the world was torn completely asunder, the Hidden One intervened. Lord Ao created a twin of the planet, granting the primordials dominion over the new world of Abeir and the gods control over the original world of Toril. Ancient sarrukh accounts remark on the "changing of the stars," but until the Spellplague and the return of Abeir, very few paid these legends any heed.


Now, you may read this and think that this is new lore, completely made up, but you'd be somewhat mistaken in that assumption. Here is an excerpt from the 2E Draconomicon.

quote:
Draconic Origins
". . . The World was still flat, here before the beginning of Time, before Asgorath the World-Shaper folded the cloth of existence into its final form. The World was flat, and above it hung the Crystal Sun that Zotha had wrought before Asgorath cast him down. Asgorath soared above the World and looked down upon it, and she saw that it was good.

"And so Asgorath bent her form around the Crystal Sun, and touched her breath to it. And the Crystal Sun burst into fragments that pierced the flesh of Asgorath, and her blood fell on the World. Where the drops fell, the Powers of the World and the Powers of the Crystal Sun came together, and the Spawn of Asgorath came forth upon the face of the World.

"Red, they were, red that would later depart from its purity But here before the beginning of Time, their red was the pure red of the shattered Crystal Sun. They spread their wings and took to the skies, circling around the still, cold form of Asgorath. One after another, score upon score, they bent their breath against the body of Asgorath, and the skies rang with their lamentations. Only one of the Spawn of Asgorath withheld his breath. Instead, he pulled a shard of the Crystal Sun from the flesh of Asgorath, and used it to draw blood from his own flesh, and this blood fell upon the face of the World.

"As before, there was movement where the blood fell, but the creatures that came forth from this blood were not of the pure red. Colored like the products of the World they were, like the unliving metals. And the Renegade raised his voice, and his voice was a trumpet: 'I too have Created.'

"The form of Asgorath began to stir, as the Renegade knew it must. The Renegade spread his wings and flew, and the Spawn of the Renegade followed him into the farthest reaches of the world."

-- from the "Book of the World"
Excerpted from The Origin Myths - A Treatise by Dunkelzahn of Candlekeep, 1354 DR


Now, of course, this is written in the form of an unreliable narrator. However, from it we see that Asgorath the World-Shaper is introduced and thus known in the lore. It's also known that after the Tearfall took place the Dragons appeared on Toril.

Also, interestingly enough from this myth we hear it speak of a "Crystal Sun" - which would almost certainly refer to an ice moon. That moon is called Zotha in the myth. It is highly likely (speculation on my part, but I believe it is very good speculation) that the remnants of this moon that was hurled at Toril by Asgorath also formed what became known as the Tears of Selune.

So this easily explains where the Tears of Selune came from... anyway, this is off the beaten path, and we're losing ourselves in the weeds.

With this knowledge in hand we know that the batrachi awoke imprisoned primordials and this caused a war between them and the Gods. It resulted in a lot of devastation, ultimately heralding the end to the batrachi empire. One of the final acts of the war was for Asgorath the World-Shaper to hurl an ice moon named Zotha at Toril. This ice moon fragmented, forming the Tears of Selune, and a large chunk of it struck the fore inner seas of the continent of Merrouroboros. These four inner seas merged to form what is now known as the Sea of Fallen Stars. (And why it has that name should now be obvious.)

Ao intervened at this point and created a twin world, known as Abeir, and sent the Primordial's there. This is what the sarrukh were talking about in their ancient accounts regarding the "changing of the stars".

Now, here is how this ties into the Time of Troubles and the Elven Sundering.

To create Abeir, Ao forged the Tablets of Fate. On the tablets he transcribed the laws of the cosmos, as he said in the novel Waterdeep, "On these artifacts I have recorded the forces that balance Law and Chaos."

He then proceeded to destroy the tablets, which caused Helm to panic, and with good reason. Because when Ao destroyed the tablets he set into motion what was ultimately sped up by the actions of the gods themselves.

After the tablets were destroyed Abeir and Toril slowly started to touch once again. This was likely small incidents that wouldn't spark much notice. Suddenly a chunk of land - an earthmote - would appear over some uninhabited part of the Shaar as an example. Or maybe a small little village in the middle of nowhere disappeared only to be replaced by land from Abeir.

What really sped things up was the Spellplague. When the Spellplague hit - that's what caused the major chaos.

...and really, that's an important word in that sentence: chaos. Because since the Time of Troubles the Realms has been filled with chaos. One Realms Shaking Event after another has taken place - not just among the gods, but in the political realm as well. Entire pantheons of gods have been reshaped. Entire nations have risen and fallen, or have been reshaped entirely.

All of this chaos is directly attributable to Ao destroying the Tablets of Fate. This became known as the Era of Upheaval, which started with the Spellplague and has continued till the present day in the Realms. It has left the Realms in a disastrous state, and it is directly attributable to the actions of the gods themselves.

When Ao destroyed the tablets he was likely giving the deities a chance to prove him wrong, or more likely - prove his point. The gods have hung themselves with the rope Ao gave them.

...and now the gods have learned that Ao intends to reforge the Tablets of Fate. However, none of the gods know what this means. Some believe that they need to get as many worshipers as possible, because that's what Ao instructed them to do at the end of the Time of Troubles. Other's believe that Ao is going to reassign portfolios and so they're taking actions to do what they can to secure their own, and perhaps score some new ones before the tablets are reforged. Other deities believe that Ao is just going to end the world entirely, and so they're preparing their faithful for the end times - literally.

It's a time of great chaos and uncertainty, and that's what will be explored in the novels. However, the novels themselves will focus on small scale matters, and be character driven stories. We will be looking over the shoulders of the main characters and seeing the effects that the third Sundering has on Toril.

My Thoughts: I think it's fairly obvious that we're going to see a lot of the dead deities return. I'm willing to bet money that at the very least we're going to see Mask return and most likely Eilistraee as well. Mystra, of course, is already back but she'll likely only grow in importance and the Weave will likely be mostly repaired by the end of Ed Greenwood's novel.

I'm quite certain Cyric will still be around based on the Q&A at Gencon. He is almost certainly going to be freed from his imprisonment by the end... of course, we don't know what state he'll be in by the end of the novels though.

Even so I think we can expect major changes. Although it's not being billed as a reboot, by the end of it Ao is going to have basically reset things to resemble the old Realms of prior editions - perhaps most closely the pre-Time of Trouble's Forgotten Realms.

They are actively doing their best to try and make sure that the Realms still has the things people like from 4E. So, although they're probably sending Tymanther back to Abeir, the Dragonborn will remain part of the Realms - just in smaller numbers. So the people who like Dragonborn will still get a chance to play and experience them in the 5E Realms - they will just be part of those "left behind" after Ao reforges the Tablets of Fate.

An Important Note: It was revealed that the new 5th Edition maps will be based on the old 1E Gray Box maps. They actually took those maps and scanned them and sent them to an artist who is using them as the basis for the 5E FR Maps. So it appears that the map related changes that took place in 3E will be erased... and that includes the changes made in 4E as well. So we're going to see Ao do some world re-shaping at the very least.

Conclusion: Honestly, I think this works really well for our lore. The only downside is that we still have a one hundred year time jump. However, I would suspect that a lot of the authors will be freed up to write stories in the past. So this means that some stories that were left dangling might be brought to a satisfactory end. I could see Ed doing that with Cormyr, writing a novel that deals with the regency of Alusair Obarskyr, and how it was ultimately handed off to Azoun V.

On a more positive note, it seems that future FR novels will be much more character driven similar to the Drizzt books. A lot of the RSE's - especially among the gods - should be a thing of the past. We will, of course, see how long that lasts. I have my doubts about that one.

That being said, I'm really hopeful about the future of the Realms. I'm hoping that the 5th Edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting will follow in the trend of more recent releases and be edition neutral in terms of lore. This makes the Realms the most accessible to everyone, from the die hard Greybox grognards, to those who only play in the 2E and 3E version of the Realms, and even to those who have transitioned their Realms beyond the Spellplague.

I have my fingers crossed that 5th Edition FR is going to be a success, and that it's going to appear much more true to Ed Greenwood's original vision for the Realms.

If I got anything wrong please correct me. If I missed any lore, or if you think there is lore that should be added please post it down below.

Hopefully this thread has been helpful, and sheds some light on what is coming down the pipe.

silverwolfer
Senior Scribe

789 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2013 :  08:07:01  Show Profile Send silverwolfer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
how much free time do you have to consider things like this ? lol


Honestly though, I hope they do not get to character driven, I liked my large story types, and how ...."mortal" the gods seemed as we got to feel and touch how they acted and behaved rather, have them live on top the mountain and be nothing more then vague plot points.

Edited by - silverwolfer on 24 May 2013 08:08:35
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Aldrick
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Posted - 24 May 2013 :  08:15:43  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd rather not think about how long that took me.

It wasn't written all in one sitting, and the bulk of it came from my notes in a more organized and readable format.

I also have a rather strong grasp of the lore (I hope at least), so when it came to referencing stuff I knew exactly where to look.
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2013 :  09:48:10  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That was brilliant. I enjoyed reading this. Your summary and analysis of events makes a lot of sense.

A few things: I'm betting they'll keep Laerakond in Toril; the creation of the Spellplague came about at the hands of some Realms authors (Athans, Baker and Cordell) so not all Realms authors were surprised at once; I expect we will see Bhaal return, along with Myrkul.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Venger
Learned Scribe

USA
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Posted - 24 May 2013 :  10:31:38  Show Profile Send Venger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hah, great timing, seeing as how I just saw that video with RA Salvatore. I have to say, I felt really bad for Ed when Salvatore mentioned the look on his face. He must've been so dejected that day. It's pretty neat, though, how they started laying the groundwork for how the Realms would be fixed pretty much from the day they found out about the changes. I have to say, knowing that they've been preparing for this since before the advent of 4E makes me pretty comfortable with the prospects for the 5E Realms.

"Beware what you say when you speak of magic, wizard, or you shall see who has the greater power."
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14022 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2013 :  13:42:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Grenemyer

That was brilliant. I enjoyed reading this. Your summary and analysis of events makes a lot of sense.

A few things: I'm betting they'll keep Laerakond in Toril; the creation of the Spellplague came about at the hands of some Realms authors (Athans, Baker and Cordell) so not all Realms authors were surprised at once; I expect we will see Bhaal return, along with Myrkul.

Ditto.

I kept Laerakoond in my version of Toril - I just changed the continent up, blended it with some other places, and moved the whole thing a LOT closer to Faerūn (its sort-of where Chult used to be, which moved further south). It was one of the better parts of the 4e FRCG (perhaps only because it provided something entirely NEW, without over-writing anything old).

I really should finish that map...

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


Edited by - Markustay on 24 May 2013 13:43:37
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Renin
Learned Scribe

168 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2013 :  16:19:30  Show Profile Send Renin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Aldrik, that was great fact finding, presentation, and thinking. I really enjoyed reading that! Here's to hoping you are at least in some part correct, as I really like what you laid out!!
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Emma Drake
Learned Scribe

USA
206 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2013 :  16:46:24  Show Profile  Visit Emma Drake's Homepage Send Emma Drake a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is great, thanks for all of your work putting it together!

"I am always here, all about you. You are never truly alone. I flow wherever life flows, wherever winds blow and water runs and the sun and moon chase each other, for there is magic in all things."

- Mystra (Ed Greenwood, Silverfall)
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Ze
Learned Scribe

Italy
146 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2013 :  16:56:54  Show Profile Send Ze a Private Message  Reply with Quote
** Clicks on Printer Friendly, preparing for a weekend away from home **

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silverwolfer
Senior Scribe

789 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2013 :  18:46:13  Show Profile Send silverwolfer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I...am still upset , that we did not get the lloth doing the deamon weave story arch.
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Arcanus
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485 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2013 :  18:53:37  Show Profile  Visit Arcanus's Homepage Send Arcanus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How exactly does the elven spell effect the future? The joining of the two worlds was a result of Ao destroying the tablets of fate and the spellplague. Am i missing something?
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 24 May 2013 :  19:11:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This was very very good. I especially liked the portion from the Draconomicon. However, there's at least one problem with the lore, so I'm going to list it out in hopes of getting some possible clarity.

The tears of Selune were formed 4800 years ago (roughly) according to the realmspace supplement, page 29

"The Tears of Selune one day just appeared, apparently from nowhere. The different cultures of Toril have their own versions of what happened.

Written in the Shou Lung scrolls of history, over 4800 years back, an astronomer looking up toward Selune, mapping its surface, reported seeing many objects suddenly "pop" into existence. Tremendous tidal waves on all of Toril's oceans commenced.

Several hours later, the same astronomer, Tu Pi Chei, reported his findings to the emperor's men. The emperor, awakened from his sleep, was very interested in this matter, and went out the next night to study the phenomenon with Tu Pi. After seeing that, indeed, a cluster of lights had appeared to the right of the moon, he had the 20 best astrologers in the country deduce its meaning."

Thus, the ice moon named Zotha doesn't appear to be what became the Tears of Selune. I imagine that this ice moon was either another moon, or perhaps a comet.

JUST SOME PERSONAL MUSINGS BELOW
One of the other things I note is that Helm is the one deity that really freaks out at the destruction of the tablets of fate. One of the musings I had in the "Days of Thunder" thread was that maybe the Norse deities were some of the first "introduced" to the world by Ao and that the battle of the primordials and gods was one of many "Ragnaroks" that have happened. If so, Helm was likely Heimdall (especially waiting at the top of the celestial stairway/rainbow bridge) and a survivor from that time. Tyr of course would also be a survivor (though perhaps he was lost and that's why many consider him a new deity to the realms). Talos as an amalgam god of Thor and Odin, perhaps turned darkly evil from having been poisoned by the "world serpent" and the primordial Chaos Hound/Fenris having "killed" them, would also fit. Cyric as a mortal given godhood based on Loki would also fit (in fact, perhaps Loki was slowly infecting him as soon as the tablets were split)... i.e. Ao uses the energy of the dead body of Loki in the Astral to infuse Cyric. None of this would be hard-core, but obviously some gods were "killed", so why not make it gods that have a history already of expecting to die. In this idea, Selune and Shar and Chauntea and Mystryl COULD be amongst the Vanir that fought with the Aesir (since you're really never given a story of who the Vanir are).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Arcanus
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Posted - 24 May 2013 :  19:24:29  Show Profile  Visit Arcanus's Homepage Send Arcanus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Deleted due to loss of wi fi double post lol

Edited by - Arcanus on 24 May 2013 20:04:01
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sleyvas
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Posted - 24 May 2013 :  19:35:11  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, just a note, since it was Dendar the Night Serpent that swallowed the Sun, but the note from the Draconomicon says its Asgorath the World-Shaper, one has to assume that Dendar and Asgorath are either the same or that Dendar is an sub-portion of Asgorath. Hell, for all we know, Dendar and Shar and Tiamat are all somehow related.


". . . The World was still flat, here before the beginning of Time, before Asgorath the World-Shaper folded the cloth of existence into its final form. The World was flat, and above it hung the Crystal Sun that Zotha had wrought before Asgorath cast him down. Asgorath soared above the World and looked down upon it, and she saw that it was good.

"And so Asgorath bent her form around the Crystal Sun, and touched her breath to it. And the Crystal Sun burst into fragments that pierced the flesh of Asgorath, and her blood fell on the World. Where the drops fell, the Powers of the World and the Powers of the Crystal Sun came together, and the Spawn of Asgorath came forth upon the face of the World."

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

This was very very good. I especially liked the portion from the Draconomicon. However, there's at least one problem with the lore, so I'm going to list it out in hopes of getting some possible clarity.

The tears of Selune were formed 4800 years ago (roughly) according to the realmspace supplement, page 29

"The Tears of Selune one day just appeared, apparently from nowhere. The different cultures of Toril have their own versions of what happened.

Written in the Shou Lung scrolls of history, over 4800 years back, an astronomer looking up toward Selune, mapping its surface, reported seeing many objects suddenly "pop" into existence. Tremendous tidal waves on all of Toril's oceans commenced.

Several hours later, the same astronomer, Tu Pi Chei, reported his findings to the emperor's men. The emperor, awakened from his sleep, was very interested in this matter, and went out the next night to study the phenomenon with Tu Pi. After seeing that, indeed, a cluster of lights had appeared to the right of the moon, he had the 20 best astrologers in the country deduce its meaning."

Thus, the ice moon named Zotha doesn't appear to be what became the Tears of Selune. I imagine that this ice moon was either another moon, or perhaps a comet.





The info in the Realmspace supplement isn't backed up by Realmslore. I like that book, and I'm a huge Spelljammer fan, but I think that pretty much all of the Toril/Selūne lore from that book should not be included in Realmslore. It's just problematic, and none of it is backed up anywhere in FR material (with the eventual exception of the illusion on the moon).

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sleyvas
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Posted - 24 May 2013 :  20:19:52  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Also, just a note, since it was Dendar the Night Serpent that swallowed the Sun, but the note from the Draconomicon says its Asgorath the World-Shaper, one has to assume that Dendar and Asgorath are either the same or that Dendar is an sub-portion of Asgorath. Hell, for all we know, Dendar and Shar and Tiamat are all somehow related.


". . . The World was still flat, here before the beginning of Time, before Asgorath the World-Shaper folded the cloth of existence into its final form. The World was flat, and above it hung the Crystal Sun that Zotha had wrought before Asgorath cast him down. Asgorath soared above the World and looked down upon it, and she saw that it was good.

"And so Asgorath bent her form around the Crystal Sun, and touched her breath to it. And the Crystal Sun burst into fragments that pierced the flesh of Asgorath, and her blood fell on the World. Where the drops fell, the Powers of the World and the Powers of the Crystal Sun came together, and the Spawn of Asgorath came forth upon the face of the World."




Also, the ice moon Zotha was hurled down by Asgorath. However, Zotha had "hung the crystal sun" before being hurled down by Asgorath. Since Selune is credited with reaching into a place of elemental fire to create the first sun, we have to assume that Zotha and Selune are at least related. The tearfall may have been the birth of Mystryl when "Selune pulled from her essence and hurled it at Shar", but that also kind of doesn't make sense because you've got Asgorath hurling Zotha.... not Zotha pulling from her essence and hurling it at an entity.

I also find it interesting that the "world was flat" in this beginning scenario, because there is a world in Realmspace that is flat and covered in water except for a central area that is land. It's called H'catha. It'd be a stretch, but did the stars change because the Sundering actually moved the creator races onto Toril? Could that ice moon have actually hit "Merrobouros" while it was on H'catha and the entire continent was shifted to Toril?


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
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Posted - 24 May 2013 :  21:58:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Who's to say the Tears didn't go 'elsewhere' for awhile?

They may have been on vacation/holiday for few milenia over in Abeir.

But seriously, they may have been created in the disant past, and then hidden, either with some sort of invisibility or moving them someplace else (or simply making them 'out of phase' with the rest of Realmspace... just like Abeir). Then something occurred around 4800 years ago that made them reappear. When did all that crap go down with the Imaskari? Maybe its somehow related to either the Godwall or the arrival of the Pharonic (and other) pantheon in FR.

Just because some KT astronomer reported something 4800 years ago doesn't mean that thats when they were first created. They could have had a similar illusion cast over them as Selune had.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 24 May 2013 21:59:39
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Aldrick
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Posted - 24 May 2013 :  22:48:40  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Grenemyer

That was brilliant. I enjoyed reading this. Your summary and analysis of events makes a lot of sense.

A few things: I'm betting they'll keep Laerakond in Toril; the creation of the Spellplague came about at the hands of some Realms authors (Athans, Baker and Cordell) so not all Realms authors were surprised at once; I expect we will see Bhaal return, along with Myrkul.



Yeah, I want to find a way to keep Laerakond in my Realms as well. If I am not mistaken it was created by Ed himself, and I think that really shows. It fits with the Realms MUCH better than Maztica ever did - Maztica always felt out of place in the setting.

Of course, even if they send it back to Abeir, I'm pretty sure Toril will retain some connection to Abeir - so there is basically another entire planet (mostly undetailed) in the Crystal Sphere to explore and use.

As for the deities... I have a feeling that in 5E they're going to make sure some of the more popular deities are known to have come back, but are going to be a bit more vague on the less popular deities. Instead, with the 5E FRCS I think we're going to get a list of ALL the deities in the Realms (both dead and alive from 1E forward), and we might be given a sort of "maybe" answer.

For example, are Laduguer and Deep Duerra back in the Dwarven Pantheon? I suspect they'll be included in a list, and the answer would be something like, "Ummm.. maybe. Did Ao bring them back in YOUR Realms after the Sundering?" In other words - they're leaving the door open for DM's to decide, but will likely make sure to point out and be definitive on the more popular deities that people liked - such as Mystra.

This is just speculation on my part, of course, but it seems like the most intelligent move. Since not everyone liked the number of deities the Realms had, it also lets DM's who want to keep them in smaller number to say, "After the Sundering, only these small handful of deities remained."

There are really only a small handful of deities that have been directly touched by Realms fiction. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that Paul Kemp is probably bringing back Mask in one form or another with his novel. I think everyone is suspecting that will happen because that's the direction the story was heading, and some of the hints he's dropped have pointed in that direction.

Mystra is already back, of course. Ed detailed how this happened in his novels: Elminster Must Die, Bury Elminster Deep, and Elminster Enraged.

I'm not sure if they'll bring back Eilistraee in a public way, but it wouldn't shock me if they did. She has a huge fan base, and from the lore nuggets that have dropped that I've heard about - both Vhaeraun and Eilistraee are basically currently Archfey chilling out in the Feywild or something. I don't know if that'll appear in one of the novels, but I suspect we'll probably have a definitive answer (likely in a sidebar) in the 5E FRCS if nothing else. It just wouldn't make sense if they DID NOT bring her back, considering they currently have the perfect opportunity to do so, and one of the main reasons for the Sundering is to try and win back the support of people who were turned off by the 4E Realms. Even though this was technically a 3E thing, her death is still associated with the 4E changes, so... yeah, that's my speculation.

quote:
Originally posted by silverwolfer

I...am still upset , that we did not get the lloth doing the deamon weave story arch.


The Demon Weave story arc was dealt with directly and resolved in the Council of Spiders and War of Everlasting Darkness adventures. It was part of the D&D Encounters program. The adventure concluded by highlighting Mystra's return, and her assisting the group in defeating Lolth. At the end Mystra reclaims and reasserts her control over the portion of the Weave Lolth was attempting to use to create the Demon Weave.

I haven't played or read the adventures personally, so anyone who has done so can probably correct any mistakes I just made with the lore, or fill in any important details I left out. However, this story arc was dealt with directly and resolved.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

This was very very good. I especially liked the portion from the Draconomicon. However, there's at least one problem with the lore, so I'm going to list it out in hopes of getting some possible clarity.

The tears of Selune were formed 4800 years ago (roughly) according to the realmspace supplement, page 29

"The Tears of Selune one day just appeared, apparently from nowhere. The different cultures of Toril have their own versions of what happened.

Written in the Shou Lung scrolls of history, over 4800 years back, an astronomer looking up toward Selune, mapping its surface, reported seeing many objects suddenly "pop" into existence. Tremendous tidal waves on all of Toril's oceans commenced.

Several hours later, the same astronomer, Tu Pi Chei, reported his findings to the emperor's men. The emperor, awakened from his sleep, was very interested in this matter, and went out the next night to study the phenomenon with Tu Pi. After seeing that, indeed, a cluster of lights had appeared to the right of the moon, he had the 20 best astrologers in the country deduce its meaning."

Thus, the ice moon named Zotha doesn't appear to be what became the Tears of Selune. I imagine that this ice moon was either another moon, or perhaps a comet.


I'm basically with Wooly on this there is quite a bit about Spelljammer that is problematic with Realmslore. In a way it's treated similar to Planescape lore - it's considered a separate setting, and although some things leak directly over into FR itself - for the most part things are rewritten constantly making things insanely problematic.

Look at the cosmology constantly being rewritten with each edition, and what it does to the Planescape lore. Spelljammer basically falls into that same category, and so even though it's linked very closely with the Realms - I think it's best to consider them separate settings with some minor cross overs. I wouldn't go to them and expect to find definitive lore. So, if it doesn't appear in a Realms product, it probably isn't "safe" from being completely ignored or even outright overwritten.

That being said, I also think it was wrong, as I'm quite certain that the Tears of Selune have been around for much longer than 4800ish years.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Also, just a note, since it was Dendar the Night Serpent that swallowed the Sun, but the note from the Draconomicon says its Asgorath the World-Shaper, one has to assume that Dendar and Asgorath are either the same or that Dendar is an sub-portion of Asgorath. Hell, for all we know, Dendar and Shar and Tiamat are all somehow related.


I think it's important to not take what was written in Draconomicon literally. Primarily, because it was written by an unreliable narrator. But also because immediately after that more unreliable narrators attempted to speculate on what it meant, each of them drawing completely different conclusions.

Basically, what I quoted was a Draconic Creation myth. It appears to be slanted toward Red Dragons in particular, "Red, they were, red that would later depart from its purity But here before the beginning of Time, their red was the pure red of the shattered Crystal Sun."

It's speculated by another one of the unreliable narrators that it was a creation myth of Red Dragons, and based on that passage I think it makes the most sense. However, the writing was clearly intended for other humans as the book it was found in was of human size... so it's my speculation that it was actually written by a human priest of Tiamat with the aid and support of a Red Dragon (which he likely served / worshiped). The Red Dragon was likely relaying the oral tradition that had been passed down from generation to generation.

Since Dragons are so long lived it's not really shocking that names like Asgorath the World-Shaper would survive, though what exactly happened would get distorted in the telling. Both because of the arrogance of dragons, but also because the unreliability of oral tradition. Thus, we end up with the above myth.

We know that the Tearfall happened and that Dragons appeared as a result of it. That's a fact. So we know that the dragon creation myth was false - at least to a large degree.

However, what we lack is an understanding of WHY dragons would appear as a result of the destruction of the ice moon. It should be pointed out that according to the myth Zotha is male and Asgorath is female. Zotha created the "Crystal Sun" (ice moon) and Asgorath cast him down.

My speculation is that Zotha is the creator of the dragons, and he laid the eggs upon the ice moon. Zotha may have been a god, and Asgorath may have been some type of very powerful draconic primordial. They did battle and Asgorath destroyed or at least caused him to leave the Realms. Asgorath may have even claimed the "Crystal Sun" for herself as part of her victory over Zotha, and may have later been imprisoned there.

Thus, when the batrachi freed the primordials from their imprisonment one of the ones they let free was Asgorath. Asgorath later did battle with the gods once more ultimately ending as outlined in my original post. The Crystal Sun (ice moon) is shattered, with shards of them being cast down onto Toril - a larger one that basically creates the Sea of Fallen Stars.

I don't think Asgorath literally "hurled" the moon, but more likely used a powerful magical ritual (think Elven High Magic but performed by a Godlike being). This magical ritual shattered the crystal sun and began hurling chunks of it down onto Toril at the Gods. The remnants of the ice moon left behind after Ao intervened would be the Tears of Selune.
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Aldrick
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Posted - 24 May 2013 :  22:53:56  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Just because some KT astronomer reported something 4800 years ago doesn't mean that thats when they were first created. They could have had a similar illusion cast over them as Selune had.


I think that's a good and easy way to reconcile things. It's reported in Realms products I believe that Selune has an illusion cast over her. So this part of Spelljammer lore did cross over into Realms products.

We could speculate that the tears also had an illusion cast over them as well (making them invisible to Toril). Then something happened 4800ish years ago that broke that illusion, causing them to be revealed.

This solves things very nicely.

EDIT: I just wanted to add, that this easily solves the problem... so long as we don't find lore that talks about the Tears being visible prior to 4800ish years ago. I wouldn't be shocked if there is some lore like that somewhere, considering I'm very certain that they've been around for a VERY long time.

Edited by - Aldrick on 24 May 2013 22:57:42
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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My first thought was that maybe the Tears were more or less behind the moon at all times, then shifted to trail it for whatever reason.

If other Tears are mentioned prior to that 4800 year marker, this might explain that.

In this way they're like the arm of a clock. But what they signify, who knows?

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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The Sage
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quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Who's to say the Tears didn't go 'elsewhere' for awhile?
And knowing your penchant for curious hypothesises, I'd imagine [and am secretly hoping] you've explored this previously?

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Ze
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Posted - 25 May 2013 :  09:47:58  Show Profile Send Ze a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
Who's to say the Tears didn't go 'elsewhere' for awhile?

And what if it was there that they became the deluding "just rocks" they are now?
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Aldrick
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I think people are missing the far bigger and more interesting question. Let's not get distracted by conflicting dates in the lore.

This is something that I think most definitely stretches all the way back to Ed's original Realms, and certainly all the way to 1E. Knowing Ed as we do, I'm rather certain that he knew what formed the Sea of Fallen Star's and why... we know that dragons appeared on Toril shortly after the Tearfall.

These are the questions that we should be asking: Were there dragon eggs in that frozen moon? When part of it crashed into Toril creating the Sea of Fallen Stars, did it cause these dragon eggs to hatch? If the eggs were in the moon why were they there? Who put them there?

There are so many interesting questions about how dragons first appeared on Toril. Imagine the possibilities of there being more eggs of the first dragons still stored in the Tears of Selune. Then remember the Rain of Fire in 1373 DR.

quote:
Marpenoth 26: One of the larger rocks comprising the Tears of Selūne inexplicably moves much closer to Toril, causing a total solar eclipse over much of the Inner Sea. This rogue tear remained motionless over Toril for nearly a day before plummeting again. As it entered the atmosphere, Selune's tear separated into five large chunks, each cutting a flaming path through the sky. Those chunks then broke apart into thousands of smaller pieces. This event, witnessed by tens of thousands, became known as the Rain of Fire and was seen as an ill omen by many.


Could it be possible that among the debris of that falling tear were a small handful of dragon eggs... and that now there are a handful of "true dragon" eggs laying around... or perhaps more interestingly what if they hatched and there are now a handful of "true dragons" roaming Toril once again in some isolated part of the continent?

This is all speculation, obviously, but think of the cool implications of the answers to these questions.
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George Krashos
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I note your assumption that 5E is being shaped by Ed and RA Salvatore in the sense that what we'll get will be based on their grand plan to save the Realms. Big assumption.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Aldrick
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True, George. "What we get" may be something far different, but the interview in which Salvatore made the remarks was only two months ago. So, I prefer to think somewhat positive that things are currently heading in a decent enough direction, and I would assume that the plan Ed and Salvatore created is being used at least as a baseline.

EDIT: I also wanted to add, unless I'm mistaken Ed is also playing a large role (primarily as a chief adviser I believe?) in the shaping of the 5E Realms.

Edited by - Aldrick on 26 May 2013 07:54:44
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Markustay
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Posted - 26 May 2013 :  14:30:29  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

I just wanted to add, that this easily solves the problem... so long as we don't find lore that talks about the Tears being visible prior to 4800ish years ago. I wouldn't be shocked if there is some lore like that somewhere, considering I'm very certain that they've been around for a VERY long time.
Its still a solution.

Suppose Elminster was around 10,000 years ago, looked up (at the tears) and sighed. Someone with him would ask, "what are you looking at?" He would respond, "Oh... nothing. Just thinking about things that 'might have been'."

Would we find it odd if Elminster could see something concealed by magic? What about Elves? The Elvish Armada would have to have been aware of them. My point is, even if there is a mention, it could have been by someone using True Sight, or the illusion itself could have become unstable for a period (which I imagine it would during times of magical chaos, like the ToT or Spellplague).

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Who's to say the Tears didn't go 'elsewhere' for awhile?
And knowing your penchant for curious hypothesises, I'd imagine [and am secretly hoping] you've explored this previously?

Sorry to disappoint. I have several theories about the Tears - and feel strongly they are something Selune 'misses deeply' (hence, the poetic name), but as for disappearance/reappearance, thats just me 'fixing the lore' (to reconcile the info in Realmspace). As to the why of it, I would imagine it would be linked to what they truly are/were, and since I am not 100% sure of what that is, I can't say why someone/something would have wanted those pieces hidden (it may have been guilt, or respect, or some other emotion). It could have just been Ao 'cleaning-up a crime scene', so to speak.

I do feel they are connected to the giant skull floating in Realmspace, and the (original) shape of the SoFS. Ed has always said that deeper secrets were right there in front of us... I guess I just haven't put together enough clues.

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

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