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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
35992 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  19:23:48  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
And no matter the reason, his act was still folly -- if he had the power to steal divinity, then he had the power to deal with the phaerimm through other means.



This is exactly the canonical bias against Karsus that i was trying (probably poorly) to point out. Your stated reason for why his act was folly is borderline nonsense as there is more than one way to skin a phaerimm.

He choose the one that looked fool-proof: get the power of the most powerfull being ever existed (as an arcanist the goddess of magic was probably the most powerful god for him, even if he claimed to not believe in the gods [and in the end he believed in them since he tried to steal their powers, that would be a nonsensical thing to do if you don't believe such entities are hav more power than you]) and nuke the phaerimm from orbit (or the Netherese equivalent).

Furthermore we know he succeeded in stealing the power from Mystryl, it was her reaction that doomed him to fail and Netheril to ruin. So Mystryl made the enclaves fall and Karsus gets the blame ...

His plan was working perfectly from his point of view:
- develop the spell (mostly done by the time he choose to cast it and finished without issues) CHECK;
- cast the spell CHECK;
- correct functioning of the spell CHECK;
Then Mystryl screamed "waaaahhh no it's mine!" --BAM-- history with bias against Karsus

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
And I'm pretty sure that Karsus's goal of saving Netheril was something added to the lore in 3E -- in 2E lore, he just wanted to become a god



N:EoM says that upon the departure of Iolaum Netheril fear and panic were widespread and "Karsus, feeling the responsibility for Netheril's future on his shoulders, felt that it was his duty toweld the nation back together."
He finished his work on the Avatar spell for this reason and then cast it.

Mind you, as Barastir pointed out, this is all from the writing of the selfish coward Larloch who fled on dragonback and wasn't even remotely trying to find ways to stop the phaerimm



Actually, it's canon that he lost control -- and knew he lost control, and that it was a mistake -- before Mystryl acted.

And it doesn't say that he created the Avatar spell to deal with the phaerimm -- he cast it to put himself in a position of leadership. He could have just as easily chosen to lead the enclaves to somewhere that the phaerimm weren't.

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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1272 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  20:06:32  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

ah, and the crown of horns was involved.... in -342 DR??? Holy buffalo chips... yeah definitely where did this reference come from. If Myrkul was involved in the crown of horns creation as a deity, then this is the first piece of lore that I've seen that puts Myrkul as a deity PRIOR to the fall of Netheril.... so Jergal made his move before the fall of Netheril.


AFAIK, the information about Archwizard Shenandra of Shadowtop Borough and the corruption of Archwizard Shadelorn comes from Netheril: Empire of Magic.

That source mentions how Shenandra had discovered the spell to fight the phaerimm, and the destruction of Shadowtop - because the crown wanted revenge for a prior defeat. It doesn't mention Myrkul at all, though. Just that the crown was apparently sentient and typically drove its user mad over time.

Personally, I think Myrkul really didn't get involved with the crown until he rebuilt it and enhanced it with a portion of his essence/soul after he stole the broken crown from Khelben's tower during the Time of Troubles. I could be totally wrong, though. The crown may have come into his notice and been an amusing toy to watch sometime after he was ascended, or it's entirely possible that he ascended during the Netheril age and had a hand in its construction. When it was first created by Archmage Trebbe, it exploded and destroyed part of that wizards enclave, then disappeared for hundreds of years. It's also possible that the Crown originally was influenced by Jergal, or at least came into his notice, because it originally seemed to cause wave after wave of destruction.


Female, 40-year DM of a homebrew-evolved 1E Realms, including a few added tidbits of 2E and 3E lore; played originally in AD&D, then in Rolemaster. Be a DM for your kids and grandkids, gaming is excellent for families!

Edited by - Therise on 30 Aug 2013 20:23:57
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

834 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  20:22:59  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Actually, it's canon that he lost control -- and knew he lost control, and that it was a mistake -- before Mystryl acted.



And we're back at the beginning, this particular piece of canonical history of the Realms has a weak public explanation: the man who was probably the most powerful wielder and creator of Art of all time was unable to control the Weave (in a short time, Mystryl acted after "a short time", we'll never know if Karsus had the quality to stabilize the Weave himself after a while) but then in a matter of mere moments a "beautiful peasant girl learning the basics of cantra magic but with the capacities for archwizardry" not only recreated the whole Weave but "made magic follow a few more rules" ...

Now, we can argue about the height at which Anauria, Asram and Hlondath flew, about the density of Toril's atmosphere, how far it extends in Realmspace and Toril's acceleration of gravity but in the end the fact the new Mystra was able to save the three cities means she acted in a matter of minutes.

Canonical sources that i'm aware of doesn't say she was born or groomed to be a deity vessel (i might have missed it in my rush through all the Ask Ed threads), so the ultimate lesson of Netheril's Fall is that to survive harboring Mystr** essence and using it either you're Elminster or a beautiful woman.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
And it doesn't say that he created the Avatar spell to deal with the phaerimm -



N:EoM says (after the relevant part i transcribed in the previous post about taking the responsibilityon his shoulders): "He finished a spell that he'd been working on for years"
He was working on the spell for years, but the crisis forced him to finish things, and he choose this way because probably finishing the development of this spell was faster then devising another way of dealing with the phaerimm.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
- he cast it to put himself in a position of leadership. He could have just as easily chosen to lead the enclaves to somewhere that the phaerimm weren't.



It's established in canon that the phaerimm followed the enclaves around, moving away was the first thing the Netherese did and it didn't help. A solution to the phaerimm problem wasn't in moving away, unless you meant moving thousands of miles away, in block, and guess who might have had the power to do such a thing? Probably a god if reality was half as true as the priest's preachings.

We don't know what Karsus intended to do with Mystryl's power, he could have nuked the phaerimm, denied them the Weave, moved them away, moved Netheril away, enslaved them, who knows?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  21:14:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From page 35 of Powers & Pantheons (bolding mine):

quote:
After casting his spell, the body of the Archwizard swelled with the sudden influx of gofly power, and his mind filled with unimaginable knowledge. Karsus instantly realized the horrible mistake he had made, but he knew there was nothing he could do to stop the inevitable. The Archwizard had stolen the mantle of divinity from the one power whose portfolio required her to constantly rework the Weave of magic -- the Weave that Netheril and its glut of magic constantly threatened to unravel. When Mystryl lost her ability to maintain the Weave's integrity, Karsus was ill-equipped to serve in her stead. The Weave began to fluctuate wildly, and the lands of Netheril and beyond were inundated with a flood of raw magic which surged and ebbed with far greater power and destructive force than had ever been seen before.


That makes it pretty clear that Karsus could not control the Weave, even given more time.

Also:

quote:
Through the magic of the Dire Wood, Karsus is bound in eternal torment to relive repeatedly the moment he became aware of his folly.


So he knew -- as soon as it was too late -- that he could not handle being the god of magic, and that he'd screwed up.

The same page also says this:

quote:
Karsus's heart broke as he realized that his greed for the power of the deities themselves had caused the destruction of his home, his family, his friends, and his people.


That doesn't say anything about him doing it to battle phaerimm or anything else. It was pure greed. He wanted power for himself.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11165 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  21:27:17  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

ah, and the crown of horns was involved.... in -342 DR??? Holy buffalo chips... yeah definitely where did this reference come from. If Myrkul was involved in the crown of horns creation as a deity, then this is the first piece of lore that I've seen that puts Myrkul as a deity PRIOR to the fall of Netheril.... so Jergal made his move before the fall of Netheril.


AFAIK, the information about Archwizard Shenandra of Shadowtop Borough and the corruption of Archwizard Shadelorn comes from Netheril: Empire of Magic.

That source mentions how Shenandra had discovered the spell to fight the phaerimm, and the destruction of Shadowtop - because the crown wanted revenge for a prior defeat. It doesn't mention Myrkul at all, though. Just that the crown was apparently sentient and typically drove its user mad over time.

Personally, I think Myrkul really didn't get involved with the crown until he rebuilt it and enhanced it with a portion of his essence/soul after he stole the broken crown from Khelben's tower during the Time of Troubles. I could be totally wrong, though. The crown may have come into his notice and been an amusing toy to watch sometime after he was ascended, or it's entirely possible that he ascended during the Netheril age and had a hand in its construction. When it was first created by Archmage Trebbe, it exploded and destroyed part of that wizards enclave, then disappeared for hundreds of years. It's also possible that the Crown originally was influenced by Jergal, or at least came into his notice, because it originally seemed to cause wave after wave of destruction.






Hmmm, so to collect this information, here's the quote below from Netheril (note, I'm modifying the dates to match dalereckoning). So, the crown of horns would have had to have existed at or prior to
-2237 DR AND its documented that Myrkul did have a hand in its creation in Volo's Guide to all things Magical. However, the VGtatM does not specify whether his hand in the creation of the crown of horns was necessarily when he was mortal or not. So, probably the safest assumption given other lore of Myrkul running around with the other two is that he created the crown of horns as a mortal.

The lore below also says that a netherese archwizard named Trebbe "was working on the crown of horns". The question then becomes, was Myrkul actually named Trebbe, or did the crown of horns exist prior and Trebbe was mucking around with something he found. I'm inclined to the latter, as Trebbe is killed by the crown. Of course, another possibility is the Myrkul was actually trapped in the crown of horns as an artifact and he was taking over the being of whomever wore the crown... which could explain his ability to live so long... perhaps the being that travelled with Bane and Bhaal was just a mage wearing the crown and thus possessed by Myrkul.

Now, onto the more nefarious part of it.... so the crown of horns conveniently tricked this mage Shadelorn into creating a mythallar that would suck in all magic and magically extended life force within 20 miles. IF Myrkul were in the crown... might he have engineered this great magical conflagration as some means to fuel his ascent to deific status. Essentialy, much as how I've believed that the phylactery Mellifleur was using became some kind of powerful artifact tied to his ascension to godhood, so might Myrkul's crown of horns been a similar item. Makes me wonder about the Black Lord's Cloak of Bane and a theory a fellow scribe had about Bane's resurgence... and did Bhaal also have some kind of similar item.



From VGtatM

The Crown of Horns is a major artifact of the Realms, and legends give
it a prominent role in Netheril#146;s downfall. Created by Myrkul, the god
of the dead, the Crown of Horns was lost for centuries after the dissolution of the Netherese empire until found by Laeral Silverhand and the Nine.


other crown of horns lore from Netheril Empire of Magic

Netheril pg 116 (after the Fall section)

A few of the regular magical items that were created
during the time of Netheril became artifacts, such as
the Crown of Horns and the Scepter of the Sorcerer-Kings.

Netheril pg 8
Ars Factum
This final set of the nether scrolls provided the foundation for the
actual creation of artifacts from scratch. It was the most difficult
to fathom and required extensive knowledge of all other nether
scrolls before one could unlock its power. A few arcanists tried
anyway, however, and ended up creating the Crown of Horns and
the Scepter of the Sorcerer-Kings.

Netheril pg 108
In 1592NY(-2267 DR), Trebbe established the enclave of Shadowtop
Borough. It was a center for magical research and trade with
neighboring humanoids, but it was also the site for the creation of
an evil and twisted artifact, the Crown of Horns. A spellcasting
accident in 1622NY (-2237 DR) killed Trebbe while he was completing work on the Crown of Horns.

Netheril pg 87

Shadowtop Borough
Normally found hovering near Shadowtop Alp above the Janick
River, this enclave of friendly arcanists was often overlooked by
the other enclaves. They traded consistently with the elves and
other outsiders since they were founded in 1592NY (-2267 DR)by the archwizard Trebbe.

Trebbe was killed in a spellcasting accident in 1622 (-2237 DR) when a
magical crown he was working on exploded, destroying almost
an entire city block of the enclave. The crown, which eventually
became known as the Crown of Horns, wasn’t discovered
again for hundreds of years.
The Golden Age (1652-2653NY)(-2207 to -1206DR): Shadowtop Borough was a haven for a variety of arcanists who researched spells and magical
items. Quasimagical item creation never really caught on at
the enclave, despite the fact that they used such items created
in other enclaves.
In 2436NY (-1423 DR), a ruthless archwizard named Requiar took control of the enclave in a brutal attack that left more than 30 of his peers dead. Wearing the Crown of Horns, Requiar ruled until 2651NY (-1208 DR), when the Crown had finally driven him insane and a concerted effort to remove him succeeded.
Age of Discovery (2654-3162NY)(-1205 to -697DR): The enclave conducted a search of the enclave for more than 150 years in an effort to locate the Crown of Horns (which had mysteriously disappeared after Requiar’s death). Unable to locate the powerful
item in the city-and magical divinations proving ineffective—
the archwizard of the city, Eliam, hired bands of adventurers to
scour the Eastern Forest below in an attempt to locate it. None
of his efforts proved successful, however.

The Shadowed Age (3163-3519NY)(-696 to -340 DR) : In 3215NY (-644 DR), the Crown of Horns was discovered by the eager archwizard Shadelorn who was trying to unlock the key to creating a more powerful
mythallar (a project that Ioulaum had abandoned years earlier).
After numerous attempts, he finally succeeded in 3517.
Up through this time, the archwizard Shenandra had been
working on a spell to counteract the phaerimm’s life drain and
magic drain spells. After numerous failures, she succeeded in
creating a counter spell that simply negated the phaerimm’s
magic during the fall months of 3517 (-342 DR).

Shadelorn’s research had been altered by the Crown of Horns,
that now wanted revenge for its defeat years earlier. At the same
time that Shenandra cried out in joy at her success, Shadelorn
activated his new improved mythallar. Its activation absorbed all
magical items, memorized spells, and continuous spell effects
within a 20-mile radius of Shadowtop Borough. Arcanists whose
lives had been extended through magic found themselves
reduced to ashes by the improved mythallar’s effects. And
Shadowtop Borough crashed into the Janick River.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1272 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  22:56:31  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

The lore below also says that a netherese archwizard named Trebbe "was working on the crown of horns". The question then becomes, was Myrkul actually named Trebbe, or did the crown of horns exist prior and Trebbe was mucking around with something he found. I'm inclined to the latter, as Trebbe is killed by the crown. Of course, another possibility is the Myrkul was actually trapped in the crown of horns as an artifact and he was taking over the being of whomever wore the crown... which could explain his ability to live so long... perhaps the being that travelled with Bane and Bhaal was just a mage wearing the crown and thus possessed by Myrkul.

Now, onto the more nefarious part of it.... so the crown of horns conveniently tricked this mage Shadelorn into creating a mythallar that would suck in all magic and magically extended life force within 20 miles. IF Myrkul were in the crown... might he have engineered this great magical conflagration as some means to fuel his ascent to deific status. Essentialy, much as how I've believed that the phylactery Mellifleur was using became some kind of powerful artifact tied to his ascension to godhood, so might Myrkul's crown of horns been a similar item. Makes me wonder about the Black Lord's Cloak of Bane and a theory a fellow scribe had about Bane's resurgence... and did Bhaal also have some kind of similar item.


I'm intrigued by this line of reasoning. I also think this Trebbe might not have created it. Why bring an item you've created to a research facility? If he created it, what's mysterious about it? Makes no sense.

Here's an interesting idea: what if Myrkul was a lich at that point, or even a demi-lich, and the crown was his phylactery? The original crown-helmet was covered in gems. Soul gems of a demi-lich, perhaps? And it's purpose was to absorb souls for sustenance and power.

Once in the Netherese empire, the necromancer-lich Myrkul adds their knowledge to what he's learned from the Imaskari. He possesses many mages over the next few hundred years. And ultimately he learns of fallen gods, and perhaps even about Jergal growing tired.

Fast forward to the ToT. When he finally "dies" as a deity, his old phylactery calls his soul home.


Female, 40-year DM of a homebrew-evolved 1E Realms, including a few added tidbits of 2E and 3E lore; played originally in AD&D, then in Rolemaster. Be a DM for your kids and grandkids, gaming is excellent for families!

Edited by - Therise on 30 Aug 2013 23:02:41
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Mirtek
Senior Scribe

595 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  22:57:03  Show Profile Send Mirtek a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Canonical sources that i'm aware of doesn't say she was born or groomed to be a deity vessel (i might have missed it in my rush through all the Ask Ed threads), so the ultimate lesson of Netheril's Fall is that to survive harboring Mystr** essence and using it either you're Elminster or a beautiful woman.
Well, she had some more time to prepare for the takeover than Karsus. Mystra was already preparing her as her successor for at least a short time before Ao made it official.

The third of the ToT adventures states Human Mage, Level 9 (at beginning of adventure; later, level becomes irrelevant) and that is due to her already being filled with the Mystras' essence before her ascension. Cyric kept his stats until the end.

So it's likely that she was more prepared that Karsus who all of sudden had to takeover here and now

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

And I'm pretty sure that Karsus's goal of saving Netheril was something added to the lore in 3E -- in 2E lore, he just wanted to become a god, which jives with the Netherese attitude that deities were just really powerful mortals.
Well, even when first mentioned in NEoM the spell was already stated to only temporarily grant the powers of the deity and to not permanently make the caster a deity.

NEoM, page 12
This spell, called Karsus’s avatar, was the only 12th-level spell ever created. It was designed to temporarily steal the powers of a deity.

Only later when they gave the actual rules for the spell they made the misstake of stating the duration as unlimited.

However the spater corrected that when they printed the spell the second time in a 2e supplement in Powers&Pantheons. There the duration was listed as unknown, limited

Then 3e picked up on this and further reaffirmed that it only ever had a limited duration to begin with and would then separate caster and deity with the former most likely dying and the later being none the worse for wear

Edited by - Mirtek on 30 Aug 2013 23:02:57
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Hawkfeather
Seeker

Brazil
64 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  03:08:00  Show Profile Send Hawkfeather a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

Here's an interesting idea: what if Myrkul was a lich at that point, or even a demi-lich, and the crown was his phylactery? The original crown-helmet was covered in gems. Soul gems of a demi-lich, perhaps? And it's purpose was to absorb souls for sustenance and power.

Once in the Netherese empire, the necromancer-lich Myrkul adds their knowledge to what he's learned from the Imaskari. He possesses many mages over the next few hundred years. And ultimately he learns of fallen gods, and perhaps even about Jergal growing tired.

Fast forward to the ToT. When he finally "dies" as a deity, his old phylactery calls his soul home.





Just great!!
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

834 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  11:29:13  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

From page 35 of Powers & Pantheons (bolding mine):

quote:
After casting his spell, the body of the Archwizard swelled with the sudden influx of gofly power, and his mind filled with unimaginable knowledge. Karsus instantly realized the horrible mistake he had made, but he knew there was nothing he could do to stop the inevitable. The Archwizard had stolen the mantle of divinity from the one power whose portfolio required her to constantly rework the Weave of magic -- the Weave that Netheril and its glut of magic constantly threatened to unravel. When Mystryl lost her ability to maintain the Weave's integrity, Karsus was ill-equipped to serve in her stead. The Weave began to fluctuate wildly, and the lands of Netheril and beyond were inundated with a flood of raw magic which surged and ebbed with far greater power and destructive force than had ever been seen before.


That makes it pretty clear that Karsus could not control the Weave, even given more time.

Also:

quote:
Through the magic of the Dire Wood, Karsus is bound in eternal torment to relive repeatedly the moment he became aware of his folly.


So he knew -- as soon as it was too late -- that he could not handle being the god of magic, and that he'd screwed up.



Nope, that's open to interpretation.

The above is yours, here is mine: we know from Midnight's story that absorbing divine essence carries with it the thoughts, memories and thought processes of the divine being you're absorbing the essence from.
Mystryl was completely and firmly persuaded that Karsus was going to destroy the Weave, this thought with all it's absolute certainty shipped to Karsus mind together with the divine power, hence why Karsus was convinced he couldn't do it.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
The same page also says this:

quote:
Karsus's heart broke as he realized that his greed for the power of the deities themselves had caused the destruction of his home, his family, his friends, and his people.


That doesn't say anything about him doing it to battle phaerimm or anything else. It was pure greed. He wanted power for himself.



And that's the in print bias against him, of course he felt the responsibility for what happened, he tried a mighty gamble and failed.
We have deities with human emotions but you don't attribute entirely human despair to him when he saw the cities falling?
There are a lot of cases in our real world of people feeling the weight and responsibility of actions and consequences that got out of their hands or that they couldn't stop, with Karsus is the same.
He tried, he failed and he despaired.

The "greed for the power of the gods" thing is stretching it too much when you read the N:EoM description of the Fall and the effects of Karsus Avatar. The spell was his little life experiment, it was almost ready, crisis struck, the spell provided a way out and he used it.

At this point i think we can agree to disagree and be done with it.
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

834 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  11:36:12  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mirtek

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Canonical sources that i'm aware of doesn't say she was born or groomed to be a deity vessel (i might have missed it in my rush through all the Ask Ed threads), so the ultimate lesson of Netheril's Fall is that to survive harboring Mystr** essence and using it either you're Elminster or a beautiful woman.


Well, she had some more time to prepare for the takeover than Karsus. Mystra was already preparing her as her successor for at least a short time before Ao made it official.

The third of the ToT adventures states Human Mage, Level 9 (at beginning of adventure; later, level becomes irrelevant) and that is due to her already being filled with the Mystras' essence before her ascension. Cyric kept his stats until the end.

So it's likely that she was more prepared that Karsus who all of sudden had to takeover here and now



That's Midnight that became Mystra 2.0, i know she was tutored and groomed to harbor Mystra 1.0 divine essence.

I was talking about mortal special snowflake n° 1 that rebuilt the Weave and placed a few more restrictions in a couple of minutes after becoming Mystra 1.0 with Mystryl divine essence.

As far as i know (and i may be entirely and utterly wrong) the peasant girl wasn't born or groomed for godhood and Mystryl could care less for such a thing given her personality and her conduct has a deity (she didn't move a finger until it was too late and then committed suicide, maybe Ao had her on a leash and she is another victim of this story, we'll never know).
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Mirtek
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595 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  12:22:03  Show Profile Send Mirtek a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

I was talking about mortal special snowflake n° 1 that rebuilt the Weave and placed a few more restrictions in a couple of minutes after becoming Mystra 1.0 with Mystryl divine essence.
But I always thought she wasn't a mortal. That she was Mystryl herself who reincarnated immediately upon her suicide and was just changed a biut by this act.
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

As far as i know (and i may be entirely and utterly wrong) the peasant girl wasn't born or groomed for godhood and Mystryl
She was an ascended peasant girl? Really?

Wow, never heard that before (although I admit I didn't pay much attention). You really learn something new from time to time.

Edited by - Mirtek on 31 Aug 2013 12:22:49
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1829 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  13:57:25  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've mostly kept silent on this topic as I see no point in arguing what has been solidly known canon for years now. I'm just going to point you to my thread on Embedded Avatars here http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=18216 and refer you to the post Wooly made and the response from THO...it doesn't get much more canon than that. The 'peasant girl' was obviously a special person to receive the divine essence of Mystryl...otherwise she wouldn't have received it. If Karsus couldn't handle her divinity...how in the world would a simple peasant girl handle it? UNLESS she were VERY special in some way (again, look at THO's response). Honestly, not much of this is open to interpretation...it's spelled out very clearly in multiple sources. What you spin for your homebrew is all well and good...but that doesn't make it canon. Cheers.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

834 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  13:58:21  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mirtek
She was an ascended peasant girl? Really?

Wow, never heard that before (although I admit I didn't pay much attention). You really learn something new from time to time.



This is from N:EoM:
When Mystryl reincarnated herself—this time as Mystra—she
used the form of a beautiful peasant girl learning the basics of
cantra magic but with the capacities for archwizardry.


I take it as saying she transferred her divine essence inside the teen/adult girl and not in the literal meaning of reincarnation (as in being born as another being) otherwise we have a newborn capable of casting cantrip magic and able to harbor the divine essence of the goddess of magic and wield it with expertise after a few breaths of life ...
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Lilianviaten
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Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  14:10:53  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

quote:
Originally posted by Mirtek
She was an ascended peasant girl? Really?

Wow, never heard that before (although I admit I didn't pay much attention). You really learn something new from time to time.



This is from N:EoM:
When Mystryl reincarnated herself—this time as Mystra—she
used the form of a beautiful peasant girl learning the basics of
cantra magic but with the capacities for archwizardry.


If Mystryl foresaw the ordeal, and was able to reincarnate immediately afterward, it begs the question of why she allowed Karsus to execute the spell. Some will say that her portfolio forced her to allow his actions, but I disagree. She could have allowed him to research and develop the spell, thus embracing new magic, but killed him in self defense before he could cast it. Ao wouldn't prevent a deity from defending themselves.

Also, Mystra ended up restricting magic anyway. So it's clearly possible for her to ban some access to magic without acting against her portfolio. She allowed catastrophes to befall the earth for no good reason. If she was that dense, I'm surprised that Shar didn't kill Mystryl before Karsus was born.
I take it as saying she transferred her divine essence inside the teen/adult girl and not in the literal meaning of reincarnation (as in being born as another being) otherwise we have a newborn capable of casting cantrip magic and able to harbor the divine essence of the goddess of magic and wield it with expertise after a few breaths of life ...

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Demzer
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Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  14:19:05  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach
I've mostly kept silent on this topic as I see no point in arguing what has been solidly known canon for years now.



And it's been canon for 5 years now that Tyr killed Helm because he looked at his girlfriend ...
There's canon that makes sense and canon that doesn't, and it varies wildly for each one of us.
I don't want to spark canon wars, as i've said in the first page of this thread twice and because i have no power nor interest to create or modify canon in any way, shape or form.
I want to discuss an event that makes little sense to me as is told and try to get new ideas out of the discussion.

quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach
I'm just going to point you to my thread on Embedded Avatars here http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=18216 and refer you to the post Wooly made and the response from THO...it doesn't get much more canon than that. The 'peasant girl' was obviously a special person to receive the divine essence of Mystryl...otherwise she wouldn't have received it. If Karsus couldn't handle her divinity...how in the world would a simple peasant girl handle it? UNLESS she were VERY special in some way (again, look at THO's response). Honestly, not much of this is open to interpretation...it's spelled out very clearly in multiple sources. What you spin for your homebrew is all well and good...but that doesn't make it canon. Cheers.



Alright, i might argue that we don't know if THO's is referring to the peasant girl being a Chosen/descendant/daughter of Mystryl or if she was referring to the origin of spellfire/wild talents/etc... but i won't because there is no need to keep fueling this discussion if its perceived as an attack on canon aimed at modifying it.

And for the record, what are the multiple sources that clearly spell out that the unnamed paesant girl was special?

PS: I can't find the names of the adventure modules of the Avatar/ToT serie, can someone share the titles, please? Thanks.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  14:51:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

The lore below also says that a netherese archwizard named Trebbe "was working on the crown of horns". The question then becomes, was Myrkul actually named Trebbe, or did the crown of horns exist prior and Trebbe was mucking around with something he found. I'm inclined to the latter, as Trebbe is killed by the crown. Of course, another possibility is the Myrkul was actually trapped in the crown of horns as an artifact and he was taking over the being of whomever wore the crown... which could explain his ability to live so long... perhaps the being that travelled with Bane and Bhaal was just a mage wearing the crown and thus possessed by Myrkul.

Now, onto the more nefarious part of it.... so the crown of horns conveniently tricked this mage Shadelorn into creating a mythallar that would suck in all magic and magically extended life force within 20 miles. IF Myrkul were in the crown... might he have engineered this great magical conflagration as some means to fuel his ascent to deific status. Essentialy, much as how I've believed that the phylactery Mellifleur was using became some kind of powerful artifact tied to his ascension to godhood, so might Myrkul's crown of horns been a similar item. Makes me wonder about the Black Lord's Cloak of Bane and a theory a fellow scribe had about Bane's resurgence... and did Bhaal also have some kind of similar item.


I'm intrigued by this line of reasoning. I also think this Trebbe might not have created it. Why bring an item you've created to a research facility? If he created it, what's mysterious about it? Makes no sense.

Here's an interesting idea: what if Myrkul was a lich at that point, or even a demi-lich, and the crown was his phylactery? The original crown-helmet was covered in gems. Soul gems of a demi-lich, perhaps? And it's purpose was to absorb souls for sustenance and power.

Once in the Netherese empire, the necromancer-lich Myrkul adds their knowledge to what he's learned from the Imaskari. He possesses many mages over the next few hundred years. And ultimately he learns of fallen gods, and perhaps even about Jergal growing tired.

Fast forward to the ToT. When he finally "dies" as a deity, his old phylactery calls his soul home.





Yeah, this is roughly where I was going with it. It would fit that the item is akin to some kind of "host" or "anchor". I'd hate to make it a lich, just because that would be too common. VGtatM has 2 of the major abilities revolving around a "cone of death" that turns people who die into shadowraths (it says the equivalent of wraiths & spectres), and the second power is "Myrkul's hand" in which it is a touch attack that surrounds someone with black flames and then turns them into a shadowrath. So, rather than a normal lich, what if he was a being of spirit that resided within the crown. What if he had previously been a follower of Auppenser in fact (after all Jaamdath was formed in -5800 DR .... and Trebbe didn't get his hands upon it until more than 3000 years after that ), and thus he embraced the idea of becoming a living sentience. However, one of the drawbacks of the item's creation was that it drained the body of whomever it possessed and flooded said body with negative energy (eventually rotting them all down to a skeletal "lich-like" state). This would also explain why whomever possesses the crown of horns becomes more "lich-like". Perhaps he even needs them to become more undead like in order to possess the wearer, much like his avatar ability as presented in the old ToT module Waterdeep.... he needs the body that he is going to "inhabit" to be filled with negative energy.

FROM Waterdeep Module:
"Myrkul can also exercise Bhaal#146;s powers to animate and control the undead. Like Bhaal, he can possess undead bodies (but not freshly killed victims). For a description of these powers, see Bhaal#146;s entry
above. <snip next bit from Bhaal's entry>
Bhaal can possess undead to serve him as bodies, in the same way that he possesses living humans in the act of killing them. To do so, Bhaal must #147;slay#148; the undead (reduce it to 0 hp). Undead possessed
by Bhaal lose all of their non-physical attacks. They last only 1d6
turns before disintegrating, destroyed by the divine energy within them. Therefore, Bhaal uses such bodies only as a means of escape."



Along this similar vein, as I perused earlier, what if Bane and Bhaal were ALSO something similar. For instance, I could see Bane as something akin to a death knight, investing a large portion of his essence into say his cloak (the one in the temple known as the Black Lord's Cloak.... which he keeps an inordinate number of priests guarding for it to be such a backwater location). Perhaps he didn't want to invest it in his armor or weapon, both of which would see possible damage in combat, whereas his cloak might be more easily magically mended. Unlike Myrkul, who would possess other beings, perhaps Bane was more like the standard "death knight" idea or perhaps even the old "Skeleton Warrior" idea from the 1st edition Fiend folio... but with the "circlet" for a skeleton warrior being replaced with the Black Lord's Cloak, and perhaps Bane had slew his creator and wore his own cloak (and perhaps he then later further enhanced it magically to protect it). Given Bane's fascination with physical undead, this could make sense.

Bhaal becomes a bit different. I'm inclined to say that sense the knife is so focuses for him, maybe he was using a knife as his "host". However, given that he had Bhaalspawn... and that when he died his blood infected a river.... Bhaal makes me think of something like a disease transferred by bodily fluids (yes, Bhaal might be an STD).... I'm not sure where to take it from here, other than the general idea that maybe he learned some way that if he died he could pass into his children? Perhaps its some sort of modified reincarnation, which would be horrific to beings like the Ffolk... but it would follow with their druidic types of magic to a degree. Given his particular enmity with the Ffolk, perhaps he was somehow involved with them before becoming a deity. I'm definitely open to ideas here for this one.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  16:08:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

From page 35 of Powers & Pantheons (bolding mine):

quote:
After casting his spell, the body of the Archwizard swelled with the sudden influx of gofly power, and his mind filled with unimaginable knowledge. Karsus instantly realized the horrible mistake he had made, but he knew there was nothing he could do to stop the inevitable. The Archwizard had stolen the mantle of divinity from the one power whose portfolio required her to constantly rework the Weave of magic -- the Weave that Netheril and its glut of magic constantly threatened to unravel. When Mystryl lost her ability to maintain the Weave's integrity, Karsus was ill-equipped to serve in her stead. The Weave began to fluctuate wildly, and the lands of Netheril and beyond were inundated with a flood of raw magic which surged and ebbed with far greater power and destructive force than had ever been seen before.


That makes it pretty clear that Karsus could not control the Weave, even given more time.

Also:

quote:
Through the magic of the Dire Wood, Karsus is bound in eternal torment to relive repeatedly the moment he became aware of his folly.


So he knew -- as soon as it was too late -- that he could not handle being the god of magic, and that he'd screwed up.



Nope, that's open to interpretation.

The above is yours, here is mine: we know from Midnight's story that absorbing divine essence carries with it the thoughts, memories and thought processes of the divine being you're absorbing the essence from.
Mystryl was completely and firmly persuaded that Karsus was going to destroy the Weave, this thought with all it's absolute certainty shipped to Karsus mind together with the divine power, hence why Karsus was convinced he couldn't do it.


How is that open to interpretation? A canon source flat out states that Karsus screwed up, couldn't handle it, and knew it. There is no room for interpretation there.

And yeah, Mystryl was convinced Karsus was going to destroy the Weave -- because it was already happening when she acted. The car had already gone over the cliff; she was trying to keep it from becoming a Hollywood fireball.

Midnight's story is different because she was prepared for ascension. She was a chosen successor, prepared for the new role by the deity she was replacing.

Karsus, on the other hand, only thought he could handle it. He was not prepared, he was not a chosen successor -- he was an arrogant thief.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
The same page also says this:

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

quote:
Karsus's heart broke as he realized that his greed for the power of the deities themselves had caused the destruction of his home, his family, his friends, and his people.


That doesn't say anything about him doing it to battle phaerimm or anything else. It was pure greed. He wanted power for himself.



And that's the in print bias against him, of course he felt the responsibility for what happened, he tried a mighty gamble and failed.
We have deities with human emotions but you don't attribute entirely human despair to him when he saw the cities falling?
There are a lot of cases in our real world of people feeling the weight and responsibility of actions and consequences that got out of their hands or that they couldn't stop, with Karsus is the same.
He tried, he failed and he despaired.


Not the point I was making -- the point I was making was that Karsus was greedy and knew it. No bias in a canon source describing Karsus's own thoughts and emotions.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

The "greed for the power of the gods" thing is stretching it too much when you read the N:EoM description of the Fall and the effects of Karsus Avatar. The spell was his little life experiment, it was almost ready, crisis struck, the spell provided a way out and he used it.

At this point i think we can agree to disagree and be done with it.



I just looked thru that boxed set. I saw some of the same references to Karsus realizing it was a horrible mistake. Nothing in there says he was doing it for anything other than to make himself more powerful, and there is certainly nothing that says there weren't other options, or that he couldn't have chosen another deity.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 31 Aug 2013 16:12:00
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1272 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  16:09:56  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Yeah, this is roughly where I was going with it. It would fit that the item is akin to some kind of "host" or "anchor". I'd hate to make it a lich, just because that would be too common.

Definitely I think the crown is an anchor of sorts of Myrkul, and I'm sure we have a lot more to learn about its origins. I really sort of like the idea that it's like a phylactery, but I agree that Myrkul as a simple lich would be sort of disappointing story wise. But a demi-lich, or some kind of unique and powerful undead necromancer whose soul is tied to the crown, I really like that idea a lot. It also ties in with (when Myrkul was a deity) his amusement whenever a mortal tried to escape the certainty or finality of death. Myrkul might have enjoyed the irony that people were trying to accomplish something that he -had- actually accomplished: he never died, never had his soul claimed by a deity.

quote:
VGtatM has 2 of the major abilities revolving around a "cone of death" that turns people who die into shadowraths (it says the equivalent of wraiths & spectres), and the second power is "Myrkul's hand" in which it is a touch attack that surrounds someone with black flames and then turns them into a shadowrath. So, rather than a normal lich, what if he was a being of spirit that resided within the crown. What if he had previously been a follower of Auppenser in fact (after all Jaamdath was formed in -5800 DR .... and Trebbe didn't get his hands upon it until more than 3000 years after that ), and thus he embraced the idea of becoming a living sentience. However, one of the drawbacks of the item's creation was that it drained the body of whomever it possessed and flooded said body with negative energy (eventually rotting them all down to a skeletal "lich-like" state). This would also explain why whomever possesses the crown of horns becomes more "lich-like". Perhaps he even needs them to become more undead like in order to possess the wearer, much like his avatar ability as presented in the old ToT module Waterdeep.... he needs the body that he is going to "inhabit" to be filled with negative energy.

Absolutely I agree that it fits for Myrkul to have been some kind of empowered spirit tied to the negative energy plane and the crown. Absorbing soul energy for sustenance seems to be key, and slowly turning the wearer into a lich over time also fits with this.

I'm less certain about the connection to Auppenser and Jhaamdath, though. I still think we need to somehow figure in Myrkul's known history as having been "Myrkul Bey al-Kursi, Crown Prince of Murghôm" and Jhaamdath seems a bit too far back to jive well with that. And a prior worshiper or follower of Auppenser, I just don't know. Myrkul hasn't (to my memory) been connected with psionics in any specific way, and I sort of doubt that he would worship anyone. Or if he did at one point, I'd imagine that he might have worshiped a deity of Murghôm that died or was slain - and that became a sort of epiphany for him, perhaps launching his own desire to become a deity.

quote:
Along this similar vein, as I perused earlier, what if Bane and Bhaal were ALSO something similar. For instance, I could see Bane as something akin to a death knight, investing a large portion of his essence into say his cloak (the one in the temple known as the Black Lord's Cloak.... which he keeps an inordinate number of priests guarding for it to be such a backwater location). Perhaps he didn't want to invest it in his armor or weapon, both of which would see possible damage in combat, whereas his cloak might be more easily magically mended. Unlike Myrkul, who would possess other beings, perhaps Bane was more like the standard "death knight" idea or perhaps even the old "Skeleton Warrior" idea from the 1st edition Fiend folio... but with the "circlet" for a skeleton warrior being replaced with the Black Lord's Cloak, and perhaps Bane had slew his creator and wore his own cloak (and perhaps he then later further enhanced it magically to protect it). Given Bane's fascination with physical undead, this could make sense.

I suppose it's possible that Bane and Bhaal were unique forms of undead prior to their ascension and had each possessed some kind of unusual near-artifact of sorts (like the crown). Are you suggesting that Myrkul crafted such items for them, and infused them with powers they'd acquired along their journeys?

The one issue I would have with this is that we haven't seen a "Bane artifact" or a "Bhaal artifact" (or extremely high-end items, if not artifacts) show up for them after their deaths. I'd think certainly such an item would have been something their high priests would have known about and attempted to use - for themselves, if not to trigger their rebirth.

Also, "an item for each" tends to draw away from the story of their rise in power as mortals (or at least as pre-ascended adventurers). Much of their power seems to really have come from their "win" against the Seven Lost Gods - though, admittedly, we don't know many details about that. An honestly, I'd love to know more specifics not only about that encounter but about the Seven Lost Gods generally.

quote:
Bhaal becomes a bit different. I'm inclined to say that sense the knife is so focuses for him, maybe he was using a knife as his "host". However, given that he had Bhaalspawn... and that when he died his blood infected a river.... Bhaal makes me think of something like a disease transferred by bodily fluids (yes, Bhaal might be an STD).... I'm not sure where to take it from here, other than the general idea that maybe he learned some way that if he died he could pass into his children? Perhaps its some sort of modified reincarnation, which would be horrific to beings like the Ffolk... but it would follow with their druidic types of magic to a degree. Given his particular enmity with the Ffolk, perhaps he was somehow involved with them before becoming a deity. I'm definitely open to ideas here for this one.


Definitely some interesting speculation here. Magic diseases of different kinds have been featured in the Realms. Sometimes related to an artifact, sometimes specific demons or other powerful entities have been involved. Perhaps the Trio managed to not only absorb the power of a Lost God, but they also acquired the "tools of office" for that deity in some way.

I've always thought it very odd that Bhaal, being the god of death, chose to -procreate- as his means of survival and rebirth. Sure, the Bhaalspawn sowed chaos and bloodshed wherever they went, but the act of procreation was an interesting choice. For some reason, the Greek fates are brought to my mind, and how the youngest of them would gather "pre-soul" material from the edge of reality and then they'd spin it into an actual soul. They knew that every soul they brought into existence would eventually be born, grow old, and die, but they still did this anyway. Being the god of death, Bhaal chose to focus on the "murder" aspect of his portfolios, but what if he had always been interested in the ephemeral nature of life and death and had acquired some kind of soul-harvesting "item of office" of the Lost God the Trio absorbed? Perhaps some item or piece of the Lost God called Camnod the Unseen? Not that we know much of anything about him, though.




Female, 40-year DM of a homebrew-evolved 1E Realms, including a few added tidbits of 2E and 3E lore; played originally in AD&D, then in Rolemaster. Be a DM for your kids and grandkids, gaming is excellent for families!

Edited by - Therise on 31 Aug 2013 16:51:35
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

834 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  17:50:11  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
How is that open to interpretation? A canon source flat out states that Karsus screwed up, couldn't handle it, and knew it. There is no room for interpretation there.

And yeah, Mystryl was convinced Karsus was going to destroy the Weave -- because it was already happening when she acted. The car had already gone over the cliff; she was trying to keep it from becoming a Hollywood fireball.

Midnight's story is different because she was prepared for ascension. She was a chosen successor, prepared for the new role by the deity she was replacing.

Karsus, on the other hand, only thought he could handle it. He was not prepared, he was not a chosen successor -- he was an arrogant thief.



Have you even read what i wrote above? Karsus "knew" because he was overwhelmed by Mystryl essence and she was positively, absolutely convinced everything was going to explode. This Mystryl's belief is the "knowledge" that Karsus got.

That's my interpretation.

I cited Midnight because it's canon that she had all or most of the memories of her two predecessors inside her. I was pointing out the influence of the past deific office holders (Mystryl, first Mystra) memories and thoughts on current office holders (Karsus, first Mystra, Midnight).
I was saying nothing about preparation or lack thereof because is crystal clear that Midnight was groomed and prepared throughout all her mortal life. There's no arguing that.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Not the point I was making -- the point I was making was that Karsus was greedy and knew it. No bias in a canon source describing Karsus's own thoughts and emotions.



So when a real life survivor of a great disaster questions him/herself and feels unworthy because he/she survived and others didn't you conclude that the survivor is unworthy? Or maybe are the shock and the trauma of the disaster that influence and shape their feelings? And Karsus is forced to relive the same trauma over and over, wonder how he feels about that?

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I just looked thru that boxed set. I saw some of the same references to Karsus realizing it was a horrible mistake. Nothing in there says he was doing it for anything other than to make himself more powerful,



From N:EoM (pages 11 - 12):
In 3520, the archwizard Ioulaum disappeared. Several of his friends, including Karsus, believed he left Netheril because he
depended heavily on magic to maintain his life (after all, he was
nearly 3,000 years old). His final fate remained unknown. Panic surged through Netheril as the citizens learned of Ioulaum’s disappearance, and the archwizards that remained feared that there would be a revolt. Karsus, feeling the responsibility for Netheril’s future on his shoulders, felt that it was his duty to weld the nation back together. He fmished a spell that he’d been working on for years and then cast it upon himself.


This doesn't suggest you that he finished developing and then cast Karsus Avatar as a reaction to the Phaerimm crisis?

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
and there is certainly nothing that says there weren't other options, or that he couldn't have chosen another deity.



Are these even factors?
I repeat, there is more than one way to skin the phaerimm, he pursued the faster path (spell already almost fully developed) and that which granted him the most power to wield against any possible phaerimm countermeasure.

He choose the deity of magic because he was an arcanist, it doesn't seem so unlikely a choice for me.

Anyway, i don't think i'll keep arguing because it feels i'm doing it just for the sake of it. So i beg everyone forgiveness for this heretical thread and the trouble it may have caused and i'll take a back seat and enjoy Therise's and Sleyvas' speculations on the Dark Three.
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  18:27:04  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think it's probably important to note at this point that the "reliable narrators" for much of the material in 2E through the present have been challenged in a number of ways by now. What some Realms scholars (and I mean NPCs in the Realms) have believed for a long time have turned out to be false or at least not entirely true.

There are many things like this that are "believed to be true" and are taken as canon by us as players and readers. But we have to remember that a KEY feature of the underlying design of the Realms has been Ed telling us -over and over again- that what we read and "know" isn't necessarily the truth.

The "truth" of Karsus is, we must remember, an OLD myth as far as most Realms citizens are concerned. It has been through centuries of Realms scholars taking what the surviving Netherese believed and trying to make sense of things that happened on a divine level. And we know what happens to stories in the real world that have been through even just decades of changed hands.

I don't see anything that a Realms scholar believes or says (again, I'm speaking of NPC scholars in the Realms) as being "absolutely the way it happened" because they weren't there at the time and they didn't have methods to actually peer into Karsus' thoughts or Mystryl's thoughts. Sure, there are 3rd person narratives that many DMs and players have taken to be truth, but -again- Ed reminds us that narration is just that: narration. It's not an actual movie of what happened.

Imagine if we took the words of Tacitus as truth for the "barbarians" surrounding Rome.

Similarly, what if the truth of Karsus and Mystryl originally had some details that painted the goddess Mystryl (or the new Mystra) in a really unfavorable light? Don't you think that over centuries the Mystran high Church officials - or even Mystra herself - would try to suppress those details? Let's think about Mystryl for a second. She was Chaotic Neutral. Karsus may have chosen her as a target because she could have been incredibly fickle as a CN entity. After all, CN isn't all that far away from Lolth's CE. Mystryl might have been amused by the phaerimm and how they were making mincemeat of the Netherese. She might have even inflicted the phaerimm on them as a test, to make them develop new magics. She may have allowed Karsus his attempt purely out of a "let's see if the arrogant wretch can handle it" attitude. But perhaps Karsus was an important element that helped push her into a more lawful and controlled frame of mind.

The surviving Netherese were also terrorized. Mystra saved three cities, and ultimately these were doomed to eventual collapse. But if you're the new Mystra, wouldn't you want to provide your remaining faithful with a story that not only explains things but also serves as both a warning (don't try it again) and shifts the blame?

The story of Karsus is a myth. It's even written as a myth, to illustrate the lack of wisdom in trying to reach farther than you can grasp. Did things play out exactly as they're stated? Maybe, maybe not. I think there's a lot of room for uncertainty and interpretation. Canon material can't just be taken as "truth" by us. It must be interpreted, questioned, and challenged. Otherwise we're just memorizing rulebooks in order to be rules lawyers. And that's no fun, really.


Female, 40-year DM of a homebrew-evolved 1E Realms, including a few added tidbits of 2E and 3E lore; played originally in AD&D, then in Rolemaster. Be a DM for your kids and grandkids, gaming is excellent for families!

Edited by - Therise on 31 Aug 2013 18:48:44
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11165 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  23:02:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Yeah, this is roughly where I was going with it. It would fit that the item is akin to some kind of "host" or "anchor". I'd hate to make it a lich, just because that would be too common.

Definitely I think the crown is an anchor of sorts of Myrkul, and I'm sure we have a lot more to learn about its origins. I really sort of like the idea that it's like a phylactery, but I agree that Myrkul as a simple lich would be sort of disappointing story wise. But a demi-lich, or some kind of unique and powerful undead necromancer whose soul is tied to the crown, I really like that idea a lot. It also ties in with (when Myrkul was a deity) his amusement whenever a mortal tried to escape the certainty or finality of death. Myrkul might have enjoyed the irony that people were trying to accomplish something that he -had- actually accomplished: he never died, never had his soul claimed by a deity.

quote:
VGtatM has 2 of the major abilities revolving around a "cone of death" that turns people who die into shadowraths (it says the equivalent of wraiths & spectres), and the second power is "Myrkul's hand" in which it is a touch attack that surrounds someone with black flames and then turns them into a shadowrath. So, rather than a normal lich, what if he was a being of spirit that resided within the crown. What if he had previously been a follower of Auppenser in fact (after all Jaamdath was formed in -5800 DR .... and Trebbe didn't get his hands upon it until more than 3000 years after that ), and thus he embraced the idea of becoming a living sentience. However, one of the drawbacks of the item's creation was that it drained the body of whomever it possessed and flooded said body with negative energy (eventually rotting them all down to a skeletal "lich-like" state). This would also explain why whomever possesses the crown of horns becomes more "lich-like". Perhaps he even needs them to become more undead like in order to possess the wearer, much like his avatar ability as presented in the old ToT module Waterdeep.... he needs the body that he is going to "inhabit" to be filled with negative energy.

Absolutely I agree that it fits for Myrkul to have been some kind of empowered spirit tied to the negative energy plane and the crown. Absorbing soul energy for sustenance seems to be key, and slowly turning the wearer into a lich over time also fits with this.

I'm less certain about the connection to Auppenser and Jhaamdath, though. I still think we need to somehow figure in Myrkul's known history as having been "Myrkul Bey al-Kursi, Crown Prince of Murghôm" and Jhaamdath seems a bit too far back to jive well with that. And a prior worshiper or follower of Auppenser, I just don't know. Myrkul hasn't (to my memory) been connected with psionics in any specific way, and I sort of doubt that he would worship anyone. Or if he did at one point, I'd imagine that he might have worshiped a deity of Murghôm that died or was slain - and that became a sort of epiphany for him, perhaps launching his own desire to become a deity.

quote:
Along this similar vein, as I perused earlier, what if Bane and Bhaal were ALSO something similar. For instance, I could see Bane as something akin to a death knight, investing a large portion of his essence into say his cloak (the one in the temple known as the Black Lord's Cloak.... which he keeps an inordinate number of priests guarding for it to be such a backwater location). Perhaps he didn't want to invest it in his armor or weapon, both of which would see possible damage in combat, whereas his cloak might be more easily magically mended. Unlike Myrkul, who would possess other beings, perhaps Bane was more like the standard "death knight" idea or perhaps even the old "Skeleton Warrior" idea from the 1st edition Fiend folio... but with the "circlet" for a skeleton warrior being replaced with the Black Lord's Cloak, and perhaps Bane had slew his creator and wore his own cloak (and perhaps he then later further enhanced it magically to protect it). Given Bane's fascination with physical undead, this could make sense.

I suppose it's possible that Bane and Bhaal were unique forms of undead prior to their ascension and had each possessed some kind of unusual near-artifact of sorts (like the crown). Are you suggesting that Myrkul crafted such items for them, and infused them with powers they'd acquired along their journeys?

The one issue I would have with this is that we haven't seen a "Bane artifact" or a "Bhaal artifact" (or extremely high-end items, if not artifacts) show up for them after their deaths. I'd think certainly such an item would have been something their high priests would have known about and attempted to use - for themselves, if not to trigger their rebirth.

Also, "an item for each" tends to draw away from the story of their rise in power as mortals (or at least as pre-ascended adventurers). Much of their power seems to really have come from their "win" against the Seven Lost Gods - though, admittedly, we don't know many details about that. An honestly, I'd love to know more specifics not only about that encounter but about the Seven Lost Gods generally.

quote:
Bhaal becomes a bit different. I'm inclined to say that sense the knife is so focuses for him, maybe he was using a knife as his "host". However, given that he had Bhaalspawn... and that when he died his blood infected a river.... Bhaal makes me think of something like a disease transferred by bodily fluids (yes, Bhaal might be an STD).... I'm not sure where to take it from here, other than the general idea that maybe he learned some way that if he died he could pass into his children? Perhaps its some sort of modified reincarnation, which would be horrific to beings like the Ffolk... but it would follow with their druidic types of magic to a degree. Given his particular enmity with the Ffolk, perhaps he was somehow involved with them before becoming a deity. I'm definitely open to ideas here for this one.


Definitely some interesting speculation here. Magic diseases of different kinds have been featured in the Realms. Sometimes related to an artifact, sometimes specific demons or other powerful entities have been involved. Perhaps the Trio managed to not only absorb the power of a Lost God, but they also acquired the "tools of office" for that deity in some way.

I've always thought it very odd that Bhaal, being the god of death, chose to -procreate- as his means of survival and rebirth. Sure, the Bhaalspawn sowed chaos and bloodshed wherever they went, but the act of procreation was an interesting choice. For some reason, the Greek fates are brought to my mind, and how the youngest of them would gather "pre-soul" material from the edge of reality and then they'd spin it into an actual soul. They knew that every soul they brought into existence would eventually be born, grow old, and die, but they still did this anyway. Being the god of death, Bhaal chose to focus on the "murder" aspect of his portfolios, but what if he had always been interested in the ephemeral nature of life and death and had acquired some kind of soul-harvesting "item of office" of the Lost God the Trio absorbed? Perhaps some item or piece of the Lost God called Camnod the Unseen? Not that we know much of anything about him, though.








Yeah, the Jhaamdath/Auppenser part was a bit of a stretch, and the more I think on it, its too close to the history that I have written for an mobile, intelligent sai in my campaign named Lorey. That being said, I wasn't aware of this tie-in to "Myrkul Bey al-Kursi, Crown Prince of Murghôm" until you just mentioned it (and just to document it, it must be in "Monument of the Ancients." Dungeon #170. Page 80). So, this places Myrkul NEAR Imaskar at least, such that he might have gotten some learning there.... I'm tracking down the magazing now to read.

On the Bane and Bhaal piece, I wouldn't want Myrkul involved at all in their longevity. Also, I agree, having all three of them having artifacts... not a good idea.

The idea for Bane was that he would be the more classic "physical" undead, but one of melee skill and raw strength. Again, not horribly tied to the idea as much as I am with Myrkul.... but let's face it, some powerful warriors become death knights, skeletal warriors, etc... to prolong their lives. The only reason I mentioned it was because of someone else's thread about the temple known as the Black Lord's Cloak and how it had this cloak that was supposedly Bane's... and how the temple is in nowhere territory and yet has a ton of priests guarding it... and how they theorized that perhaps some ritual was performed with said cloak to rebirth Bane.

I'm not sure where to go with the Bhaal one, but the idea that somehow he was extending his life by transferring his intelligence into his offspring whenever they came of age kind of works with the whole Bhaalspawn idea somewhat. Hey may have even shared his secret with Bane, and thus the creation of Iyachtu Xvim, but Xvim worked against it (or maybe he didn't... none of this is solid... more throwing out ideas and seeing what sticks.. and you're being a good sounding board).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 31 Aug 2013 :  23:11:35  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
hmmm and just to document the entry from dungeon 170, pg 80 about Myrkul (which is 4th edition lore, so now I understand why I never saw it)

Entry 10
Etched upon a mausoleum wall within Valhingen Graveward:

The necromancer was the most reserved of the three dark heroes, a gangling man of advancing years, speaking in a high whisper and largely keeping to himself. His emaciated form was shrouded within dark robes, the man’s cold eyes bespoke of malign intelligence and eldritch might. His given name: Myrkul Bey al-Kursi, Crown Prince of Murghôm.

And now, I'm forced by curiosity to read this module.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Therise
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Posted - 01 Sep 2013 :  00:20:47  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's really a pretty interesting mini-campaign. Not a whole lot of reveals, but some interesting ones.

Also, about the Black Lord's Cloak, that's related to the city of Mourktar and his really old temple there, right? I'll have to go back and read that. Was the source for that Dragons of Faerun?


Female, 40-year DM of a homebrew-evolved 1E Realms, including a few added tidbits of 2E and 3E lore; played originally in AD&D, then in Rolemaster. Be a DM for your kids and grandkids, gaming is excellent for families!
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sleyvas
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Posted - 01 Sep 2013 :  00:58:50  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

It's really a pretty interesting mini-campaign. Not a whole lot of reveals, but some interesting ones.

Also, about the Black Lord's Cloak, that's related to the city of Mourktar and his really old temple there, right? I'll have to go back and read that. Was the source for that Dragons of Faerun?





The original stuff about the Black Lord's Cloak was from Faiths & Avatars.

Here's the discussion where Aldrick was bringing up some really interesting ideas like a month or two back. Its a really good thread.

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17887&whichpage=1


Below is the entry from Faiths and Avatars which discusses that the cloak is animate and often sucks people dry of blood.

The largest and most powerful temple of Bane was not located in Zhentil Keep, nor was it the court of the High Imperceptor at the Black Lord#146;s Altar in Mulmaster (though that is usually considered the center of the faith). The largest temple of Bane in all Faerûn is the Black Lord#146;s Cloak in the city of Mourktar on the edge of the flat, sandy plains of Threskel. It has been said (accurately) that only the presence of this temple, which grew to rule the entire city following the death of King Theris and the subsequent assassination of his successor, prevented the more ambitious Red Wizards of Thay from abandoning all plans to assault Rashemen and instead establishing a beachhead in Threskel from which to attack decadent Unther and fractious Chessenta.

Imperceptor Kabarrath Telthaug styled himself Dread Imperceptor in the
days before the Time of Troubles, asserting his own independence of the standard Banite hierarchy. It is not hard to understand why: He commands over 700 Banite priests of rank, another 1,000 lesser clergy members, and a well-equipped, harshly disciplined army of loyal troops armed with many items of minor magic, and well practiced in slaughter. This army has been force-marched west to ravage cities in Chessenta time and time again only to pull back when the exercises are over.

The temple is named for its only relic, an animated black cloak once
worn by Bane himself that became a sentient monster that envelops people from time to time and sucks them dry of all blood. The Black Lord#146;s Cloak temple complex has grown into a vast palace where Kabarrath keeps the wealth of subject Threskel and its fleet of merchant and fishing vessels. The widely feared pirate fleet of Alkoth is said to have secretly served the priests of the Cloak, and it is certain that the adventuring bands the Six Black Blades and the Crow Banners (active in Murghom, Mulhorand, and Var)#151; and probably other tomb-robbing organizations as well#151;were agents sent forth from Threskel to gather magic, wealth, and less glamorous supplies for
Kabarrath#146;s temple and the greater glory of Bane.

With the destruction of the Untheric pantheon, Imperceptor Kabarrath
perceives a power vacuum in which he can seize control of that ancient nation. It is unclear which deity supports this powerful temple that still maintains its nominal dedication to Bane in the aftermath of the Time of Troubles. The incipient madness which has touched Kabarrath in recent years suggests the hand of Cyric, but the recent change in battle color in the army from red and black to green and black suggests that of Xvim.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Therise
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Posted - 01 Sep 2013 :  01:57:50  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, hrrm. An artifact-level sentient vampiric cloak.

Two weird things occur to me, just off the top of my head. You'll have to help me with Bane, I know him less well than the other two.

Do we know when the cloak gained sentience? Was it originally enchanted by the then-mortal Myrkul?

Were any of Bane's titles related to blood? I'm not suggesting he himself was a vampire - rather, if the cloak sucks blood and he wore it anyway, it could support your idea that he was a death knight.

Weird idea: what if Bane's essence was drawn into the cloak and it's still there? What if the current Bane really is Xvim, and this cloak actually houses Bane? Might be a way for us to get both of them back in 5E. Or vice-versa? Bane perhaps put Xvim's essence into the cloak rather than destroy him.

Other weird idea: perhaps Bane was a unique undead death knight, but he went to great effort to conceal it? The "Monument" adventure refers to Bane, Bhaal and Myrkul as the "Dead Three"... all three were undead? I'm guessing Bane fathered Xvim -after- his ascension, but at that point it wouldn't matter if he'd been undead beforehand.

Also, perhaps there's something unique or special about Threskel and Mourktar. What if Mourktar was the site where Bane ascended? The cloak fell away from him and his first priests were there with him, so they honor the relic on that site. Maybe they even feed people to it as a demonstration or ritual.

Random remembered thing: in the 3E Faiths and Pantheons (p. 169), there's an ancient and weathered menhir on an island off the Sembian coast. Deep under it (35 feet of solid rock) is buried the heart of Borem, with the Jathiman dagger plunged into it. The menhir has an inscription left by the Dark Three, written in Jhaamdathan. Maybe Jhaamdath is more significant than I thought. It suggests that Borem's home was in Jhaamdath, and that Borem himself was the (primodial) "patron of anger"... what if Jergal's quests involved having them destroy primordials representing emotions and not just elements? Or maybe they were tasked with putting down tyrant exarchs that all had been given shards of Jergal's power?


Female, 40-year DM of a homebrew-evolved 1E Realms, including a few added tidbits of 2E and 3E lore; played originally in AD&D, then in Rolemaster. Be a DM for your kids and grandkids, gaming is excellent for families!

Edited by - Therise on 01 Sep 2013 02:58:35
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sleyvas
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Posted - 01 Sep 2013 :  09:48:12  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

So, hrrm. An artifact-level sentient vampiric cloak.

Two weird things occur to me, just off the top of my head. You'll have to help me with Bane, I know him less well than the other two.

Do we know when the cloak gained sentience? Was it originally enchanted by the then-mortal Myrkul?

Were any of Bane's titles related to blood? I'm not suggesting he himself was a vampire - rather, if the cloak sucks blood and he wore it anyway, it could support your idea that he was a death knight.

Weird idea: what if Bane's essence was drawn into the cloak and it's still there? What if the current Bane really is Xvim, and this cloak actually houses Bane? Might be a way for us to get both of them back in 5E. Or vice-versa? Bane perhaps put Xvim's essence into the cloak rather than destroy him.

Other weird idea: perhaps Bane was a unique undead death knight, but he went to great effort to conceal it? The "Monument" adventure refers to Bane, Bhaal and Myrkul as the "Dead Three"... all three were undead? I'm guessing Bane fathered Xvim -after- his ascension, but at that point it wouldn't matter if he'd been undead beforehand.

Also, perhaps there's something unique or special about Threskel and Mourktar. What if Mourktar was the site where Bane ascended? The cloak fell away from him and his first priests were there with him, so they honor the relic on that site. Maybe they even feed people to it as a demonstration or ritual.

Random remembered thing: in the 3E Faiths and Pantheons (p. 169), there's an ancient and weathered menhir on an island off the Sembian coast. Deep under it (35 feet of solid rock) is buried the heart of Borem, with the Jathiman dagger plunged into it. The menhir has an inscription left by the Dark Three, written in Jhaamdathan. Maybe Jhaamdath is more significant than I thought. It suggests that Borem's home was in Jhaamdath, and that Borem himself was the (primodial) "patron of anger"... what if Jergal's quests involved having them destroy primordials representing emotions and not just elements? Or maybe they were tasked with putting down tyrant exarchs that all had been given shards of Jergal's power?





We don't know when the cloak gained sentience with certainty. I assume nothing in that respect, it may have been a requirement in life as well. It could be that he's some kind of weird undead (not a death knight, not a skeleton warrior) whose "phylactery" required occasional blood sacrifices (much like how liches occasionally need larvae). I don't know of any particular ties of Bane to blood, but perhaps the cloak periodically must be infused with life force. If Bane were undead, I see him vain about it (practical about it?) and using items to cover it up (after all, if people don't know you're undead, they don't know to use positive energy against you).

On the dead three comment... it could be viewed that way, but I'd be leery of using it in an argument, because they've been called the dead three ever since they all died in the ToT. Also, in the ideas we've posited so far, Bhaal isn't dead... he's simply using some odd ritual to somehow take over the bodies of his children whenever he grows old... so he's a body snatcher/thief.....

I was wondering the same thing about Mourktar/Bane's Ascension, but its entirely possible that he ascended in the Gray Wastes. The problem we have is this silly story of skull bowling and knucklebones. I assume that that all is hyperbole, and I find it interesting that in the end "Lady Luck" drives the decision for them.... makes me wonder if in some weird way Tyche was involved... also makes me wonder if somehow the Dark Three's ascension and the Dawn Cataclysm are somehow related.... but I can't seem to wrap my head around a story there yet. I do wonder though if the knucklebones of Jergal were real artifacts, and did the Dark Three somehow hunt them down in a bid to take down Jergal.... and were these knucklebones of a spellweaver?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 01 Sep 2013 :  09:52:03  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and on the Jhaamdath thing... the Dead Three were involved with Jhaamdath to at least some degree, because if you look at the stories where they interacted, it surrounded Jhaamdath. Of course, it was also in the areas of Netheril, Calimshan, Threskel, the Moonsea... apparently now Murghom for at least Myrkul.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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hashimashadoo
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Posted - 01 Sep 2013 :  14:33:24  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't want to derail this conversation about the origins of Myrkul, I'm enjoying it too much.

But the idea put forward that Myrkul was Trebbe or otherwise was alive during the time of Netheril comes from an emphasis on that "Created by Myrkul" sentence in VGtatM. Myrkul *RE*created the Crown of Horns after Khelben smashed it. New look and everything.

In N:EoM, the Crown was made as a powerful, sentient necromantic magical item.

When life turns it's back on you...sneak attack for extra damage.

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thenightgaunt
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Posted - 19 Sep 2013 :  20:49:06  Show Profile Send thenightgaunt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

I've mostly kept silent on this topic as I see no point in arguing what has been solidly known canon for years now. I'm just going to point you to my thread on Embedded Avatars here http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=18216 and refer you to the post Wooly made and the response from THO...it doesn't get much more canon than that. The 'peasant girl' was obviously a special person to receive the divine essence of Mystryl...otherwise she wouldn't have received it. If Karsus couldn't handle her divinity...how in the world would a simple peasant girl handle it? UNLESS she were VERY special in some way (again, look at THO's response). Honestly, not much of this is open to interpretation...it's spelled out very clearly in multiple sources. What you spin for your homebrew is all well and good...but that doesn't make it canon. Cheers.



To go a bit Planescape on this one. It might be summed up that Karsus, despite his power, was not what Midnight, Kelemvor or Cyric were, potential Powers. They had it in them to become Powers, Karsus did not (perhaps), and all the magic in the world wasn't enough to change that. Or maybe its the difference of a dead god vs a live one. Mystra was dead when it started, Mystral wasn't, so there was someone fighting back when Karsus gave it a shot. Or maybe taking on godhood's something you have to ease into like a really hot bath. And if so maybe Kelemvor's explanation is that it's easier to survive the process when you're already dead.

On the original idea though. I always like Karsus. It was a story of hubris, and striving to save his people. And it really gives a great concept for the mindset of the Netherese nobility which was reinforced when the Shade showed back up. It also helped define my concept for gods in the Realms. I see them as bickering entities with knowledge and wisdom gained from their followers and fields but faulty at heart. To be honest, I put alot of Terry Pratchett's Diskworld's gods into my FR gods. To me it makes sense. Mystral should have seen it coming, Mystra should have seen it coming (who attacks a fully powered Helm?), Cyric's instability was obvious from the start, Waukeen should have seen it coming, and Shar (despite being one of the oldest gods) shows wisdom and common sense of a drug-addled celebrity at times. If they start out a god they seem to be slow learners and if they start out mortal they seem to get a bit suck in their ways (think the former Magister Azuth vs 20 something 7th level, 10 wisdom Ariel "Midnight" Manx).

But that's just my take on it. ^_^
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sleyvas
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Posted - 20 Sep 2013 :  19:12:09  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hashimashadoo

I don't want to derail this conversation about the origins of Myrkul, I'm enjoying it too much.

But the idea put forward that Myrkul was Trebbe or otherwise was alive during the time of Netheril comes from an emphasis on that "Created by Myrkul" sentence in VGtatM. Myrkul *RE*created the Crown of Horns after Khelben smashed it. New look and everything.

In N:EoM, the Crown was made as a powerful, sentient necromantic magical item.



That's one interpretation. Remember, this crown of horns has been "rebuilt" several times in its history. So, why wouldn't it simply say Myrkul rebuilt it. There's a couple wordings within VGtatM that hint that Myrkul was involved in the original creation and not just in "rebuilding" it. For instance, it states that the reason Myrkul went into the item is that it was a major source of his own power remaining in the realms.

The Crown of Horns is a major artifact of the Realms, and legends give
it a prominent role in Netheril#146;s downfall. Created by Myrkul, the god
of the dead, the Crown of Horns
was lost for centuries after the dissolution of the Netherese empire until found by Laeral Silverhand and the Nine.

After its destruction, Khelben collected the many shards of the
Crown of Horns and carefully stored them within Blackstaff Tower for
safekeeping (and to prevent the priesthood of Myrkul from gaining
any power from it
). With Myrkul#146;s destruction during the Time of
Troubles, Khelben and Laeral thought the threat of the Crown was
over. However, when his avatar was slain, Myrkul used his lingering
power to send his mind toward the greatest remaining concentration
of his power in the Realms.
Given his proximity to Blackstaff Tower,
his essence forced its way into Khelben#146;s vault where the Crown of
Horns lay in pieces.

his last vestiges of energy slowly restored his unholy artifact to contain his personality and memories.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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