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 Wooly's newest musing: Halaster's Success?
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Kris the Grey
Senior Scribe

USA
422 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2013 :  00:42:57  Show Profile Send Kris the Grey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wooly,

I too like the idea of using the various incarnations of Mystryl/Mystra to accomplish (very) long ranging plans down the eons. Especially when one of them starts a task/plot that her follow on deity isn't even aware is underway anymore (owing to the loss of knowledge between incarnations). The continuity of the goddess of magic (who has a unique position lacking in much self interested motivation that tends to dominate other god's agendas) is particularly compatible with this sort of thing in my humble view.

Kris the Grey - Member in Good Standing of the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors, the Arcane Guild of Silverymoon, and the Connecticut Bar Association
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Drake Wrymtngue
Acolyte

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2018 :  17:16:26  Show Profile Send Drake Wrymtngue a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Oh, there certainly could be simpler explanations, but as expressed earlier, it seems unlikely that someone could have penetrated Halaster's defenses *and* cause his backups to all fail, simultaneously. So given what we know of Halaster, I think it's quite likely that he pulled one of the biggest fast ones in the history of the Realms and that his "demise" was just one step of a larger plan.



very possible

Just because your not paranoid, does not mean they are not out to get ya
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Dargoth
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Australia
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Posted - 16 Nov 2018 :  04:50:24  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It bemnuses me no end that Wooly started this thread almost 5 years ago to the day to The Dungeon of the Mad mage release!

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 16 Nov 2018 :  20:09:53  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That little section of Cloak and Dagger that talked about the Manshoon Wars opened up so many possibilities. It was such a shame when they were RSEd into oblivion. Still, some of the maybe's suggested therein remain open for realms-shaping significance. Chief among them was this line:

"Manshoon (nine of him, to be precise) buys himself sanctuary in the company of many wizards such as Larloch the Lich-King, Vimal Craumerdaun of Eshpurta, Vynmarius of Athkatla, Vizar Mohad el Fisar of Manshaka, Tenaral of Amruthar, Vyth of Darmshall, Halaster of Undermountain, Master of Mages Guldor Zauviit of Sshamath, and the Simbul"

The first question one must ask oneself when reading this is clearly, what did Manshoon have to offer them? Secrets and magical treasures, to be sure, but most importantly he has his one truly unique spell: stasis clone.

When I first read how they killed of Halaster, who, at least in my mind, is one of the pillars that the Realms have been built around and in no way a removable piece, I immediately concluded that this was a false trail. Halaster lived on - but how. In the end I came to the same conclusion: stasis clone. But why would Halaster do this? The answer came from Ed's books, specifically Elminster in Hell, where we learn that Halaster's madness is a result of the magics pulling at him. Halaster found a way to free himself of these ties without destroying all he had built. My guess was he created a magical ritual that required his death to accomplished, and that the stasis clone was the ace up his sleeve that let him cheat Kelemvor (or whoever the god of death was at that moment).

The other thing to remember is that like any contingency, the activation of a stasis clone need not be the death of the original - it could be any event. So maybe Halaster tied his soul, or soul shards, to Undermountain in order to bypass some other problem and then when his clone activates years later he goes back to being a wholer, saner Halaster.
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1747 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2018 :  12:46:02  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert


Halaster was practically invulnerable while within Undermountain. That said, he'd been attacked and taken out of there before... Now, if he'd been attacked before, and he was working on something of vital importance, then he should have had wards, barriers, and protective magic out the yin-yang when he was working on that last project. And yet, someone got thru and messed things up, anyway.

...and decoy bodies, and the entire Undermountain with teleport blocking wards and occasionally shifting walls. Even his own apprentices weren't able to get to him.
The problem is that most of the time he's bouncing through the scale from somewhat absent-minded (between not dealing with other people much, being absorbed in experiments and trying to control more bodies than most deities have avatars) to plain crazy. And even when lucid, he tend to dismiss all these whippers-snappers who didn't even live thousand years. Which most of the time isn't wrong, some just happen to be both competent and lucky enough to make a move when he's staring at pretty lights and giggling, rather than looking over his territory and messing with them.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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sleyvas
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Posted - 17 Nov 2018 :  16:16:17  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

That little section of Cloak and Dagger that talked about the Manshoon Wars opened up so many possibilities. It was such a shame when they were RSEd into oblivion. Still, some of the maybe's suggested therein remain open for realms-shaping significance. Chief among them was this line:

"Manshoon (nine of him, to be precise) buys himself sanctuary in the company of many wizards such as Larloch the Lich-King, Vimal Craumerdaun of Eshpurta, Vynmarius of Athkatla, Vizar Mohad el Fisar of Manshaka, Tenaral of Amruthar, Vyth of Darmshall, Halaster of Undermountain, Master of Mages Guldor Zauviit of Sshamath, and the Simbul"




Just noting, I know I've heard of Larloch, the Simbul, and Halaster
... but of these others, is there really any lore? Or are they throw away references? Also, since I'm a person who thinks more along country lines if its not a city state, going to break these people into where they're said to be OF

Vimal Craumerdaun of Eshpurta - military trade town of Amn

Vynmarius of Athkatla - Capital of Amn

Vizar Mohad el Fisar of Manshaka - city of Calimshan

Tenaral of Amruthar - city of Thay beneath which an artifact was "active" prior to ToT

Vyth of Darmshall - fortress city of Vaasa

Master of Mages Guldor Zauviit of Sshamath - drow city "City of Dark Weavings" known for mages.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 17 Nov 2018 :  17:17:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think those were throwaway references.

Cloak & Dagger says Manshoon got sanctuary with Halaster, but the new Waterdeep book ignores that lore and instead says that Manny was down there without leave, Halaster caught him, they fought, Halaster won, imprisoned Manshoon and cut off his arm, and Manshoon somehow escaped after that. And Manshoon plots to get revenge on Hally for all that.

Not only does this ignore prior lore -- and in fact retcons it -- it really doesn't make sense.

Why would Halaster imprison Manshoon instead of slaying him? Why cut off his arm? If Manshoon was defeated and imprisoned with two arms, how did he escape with one? (Seriously, think on this one: When they encountered each other, Manshoon was hale and whole, and assumedly packing a full complement of spells. He was defeated, maimed, and somehow escaped. So he escaped from a much more powerful wizard, without having a full complement of spells, if any at all, and with his ability to cast any remaining spells very seriously hampered)

And why would a wizard go for a non-magical, mechanical prosthetic, instead of some sort of magical one?

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 18 Nov 2018 15:00:18
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 18 Nov 2018 :  07:59:03  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i literally never found that tidbit

it blows. :P
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Gareth
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 18 Nov 2018 :  18:54:32  Show Profile Send Gareth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Manshoon's left arm appears in "Dungeon of the Mad Mage".

-"The limb belonged to a human archmage named Manshoon—or, more precisely, to one of his clones. The clone challenged Halaster to a spell duel and lost more than just the contest. Halaster turned the limb into a guardian that attacks all intruders until the Mad Mage or a creature that looks like him waves it off."

FRCG (4th Edition) mentions that the clone that was with Halaster was destroyed during the Spellplague.

Ecology of the Sharn (Dragon 373)
-"In the depths of the Sargauth, below Halaster’s Halls, lives a mysterious creature known as the Drowned Queen, an aboleth like being thought to have unusual magical abilities akin to those of the sharns. It is whispered that the Drowned Queen was responsible for the death of a Manshoon clone who sought to rule the Underhalls in the years following the Mad Mage’s demise."

I think if I was trying to reconcile the lore, and assuming that Halaster's demise has not been retconned. I'd go with something like this.

Following the death of Halaster, Manshoon attempted to take over the Underhalls but ran afoul of two rivals. The first. "The Drowned Queen", who managed to repel him in apparent defeat, and later the sudden and surprise appearance of the returned Halaster who now viewed Manshoon as a trespasser and in his home without permission. Halaster not yet ready to reveal himself, allowed the rumour that Manshoon was killed by "The Drowned Queen" to continue.

- Gareth




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Balmar Foghaven
Learned Scribe

Canada
103 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2018 :  20:54:23  Show Profile Send Balmar Foghaven a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just noting, I know I've heard of Larloch, the Simbul, and Halaster
... but of these others, is there really any lore? Or are they throw away references?



Vynmarius of Athkatla was an ally if not a member of the Council of Six in Athkatla, and therefore was also most likely involved in the dealings of the Cowled Wizards and the Shadowtheives of Amn.

"Despair not, for in the end all things shall work out for the best - in at least one timeline."
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sleyvas
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USA
7593 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2018 :  21:27:38  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think those were throwaway references.

Cloak & Dagger says Manshoon got sanctuary with Halaster, but the new Waterdeep book ignores that lore and instead says that Manny was down there without leave, Halaster caught him, they fought, Halaster won, imprisoned Manshoon and cut off his arm, and Manshoon somehow escaped after that. And Manshoon plots to get revenge on Hally for all that.

Not only does this ignore prior lore -- and in fact retcons it -- it really doesn't make sense.

Why would Halaster imprison Manshoon instead of slaying him? Why cut off his arm? If Manshoon was defeated and imprisoned with two arms, how did he escape with one? (Seriously, think on this one: When they encountered each other, Manshoon was hale and whole, and assumedly packing a full complement of spells. He was defeated, maimed, and somehow escaped. So he escaped from a much more powerful wizard, without having a full complement of spells, if any at all, and with his ability to cast any remaining spells very seriously hampered)

And why would a wizard go for a non-magical, mechanical prosthetic, instead of some sort of magical one?



Haven't delved the book that much mind you, but on this aspect of him being able to escape despite loss of an arm.... I can buy it IF he allowed enough time for Halaster to be distracted and elsewhere. Honestly, one of the things I was always doing with Sleyvas was the development of contingencies (not just the contingency spell). Manshoon (not in the novels mind you) was portrayed as thinking along these same lines. I would not be surprised if he had some hidden contingent effect that somehow or other let him "release" some "hidden" magic item that lets him escape. Maybe it invalidates all magic in an area and thus frees him. Maybe it pulls some magical snafu that lets him transport somewhere else (not a safe place mind you, but at least not Halaster's home turf). Maybe it allows him to apply still spell to some spells.

Now, why would he go for a prosthetic? Not going there until I read more.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Balmar Foghaven
Learned Scribe

Canada
103 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2018 :  21:41:41  Show Profile Send Balmar Foghaven a Private Message  Reply with Quote
(Spoilers)

I'd like to point out a small inconsistency in the lore: on the FR wiki it points out that Elminster "permanently" destroyed the vampire Manshoon, while acknowledging that a new clone would soon awaken. This implies that the Manshoon later seen in the Spellstorm novel would be the newly awakened clone.

However, it quite clearly states in the novel itself that this is vampire Manshoon, as his "sudden loss of powers" due to being trapped in the spellstorm "confounds him". Was this a mistake on the wiki's part, I wonder? I also cannot recall the moment when the vampire was permanently destroyed - surely that moment when Elminster blasts him in "Elminster Enraged" isn't sufficient to kill a vampire PERMANENTLY?

"Despair not, for in the end all things shall work out for the best - in at least one timeline."
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Gareth
Seeker

United Kingdom
46 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2018 :  23:22:28  Show Profile Send Gareth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elminster Enraged is in 1479 DR. The Manshoon killed at the end of it, I believe to be the original Orbakh Manshoon from Cloak and Dagger gifted Silverfire before the Spellplague to act as an anchor for Mystra's return.

The Manshoon seen in The Herald (1487 DR) and Spellstorm (1488 SR) I think is a clone of that same, Orbakh "Vampshoon", who was gifted the silverfire (spindle of Mystryl) by Mystra for a similar purpose.

I also believe that not all the scenes with Manshoon in the Sage of Shadowdale trilogy are of the same Manshoon clone.

I'm also of the view that there are at least two "lines" of Manshoon clones now in existance. Those made from non-vampiric Manshoon (such as the clone in Waterdeep) and those made from Vampiric Manshoon.

Gareth

Edited by - Gareth on 18 Nov 2018 23:27:32
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sleyvas
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USA
7593 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2018 :  23:51:43  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, something occurs to me as I read my own response as to a "means to make it so that Manshoon would prefer a prosthetic". What if

Option 1) The reason he had to go with the prosthetic is because in performing his escape, he had to perform some kind of decidedly anti-magical effect (what kind, I'm not sure), but the repercussions of this effect are that he can't heal his arm

Option 2) Halaster hit this Manshoon with a magical effect that prevents his "regenerating" or "regrowing" (aka cloning) any portion of his body as some kind of powerful curse. Halaster may have done this as an ultimate F/U effect knowing Manshoon's little trick with stasis clones.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 19 Nov 2018 :  03:36:05  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Actually, something occurs to me as I read my own response as to a "means to make it so that Manshoon would prefer a prosthetic". What if

Option 1) The reason he had to go with the prosthetic is because in performing his escape, he had to perform some kind of decidedly anti-magical effect (what kind, I'm not sure), but the repercussions of this effect are that he can't heal his arm

Option 2) Halaster hit this Manshoon with a magical effect that prevents his "regenerating" or "regrowing" (aka cloning) any portion of his body as some kind of powerful curse. Halaster may have done this as an ultimate F/U effect knowing Manshoon's little trick with stasis clones.



My issue isn't the presence of the prosthetic, my issue is the presence of a mechanical, non-magical prosthetic for a high-level wizard. If it even had something simple like a built-in shocking grasp or something like that, it'd be another story... Or if it was something exotic, like the Ptolus NPC Jevicca Nor has: when she lost an arm, she made a red glass prosthetic. But it's none of those things -- it's just a mechanical prosthetic.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 19 Nov 2018 :  05:04:03  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I believe at the end of the last novel that Vampshoon was ultimately destroyed. Elminster made a comment about how he was going to use the silver fire and some magic that controls undead to make it permanent. He (El) also made a comment about how Vampshoon was, in truth nothing but the pawn of a puppetmaster. I believe that puppetmaster to be the real Manshoon... (the one I call Manshoon Prime, taking that name also from Cloak and Dagger). He is the big bad Manshoon, hiding in the shadows.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 19 Nov 2018 :  13:29:46  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Actually, something occurs to me as I read my own response as to a "means to make it so that Manshoon would prefer a prosthetic". What if

Option 1) The reason he had to go with the prosthetic is because in performing his escape, he had to perform some kind of decidedly anti-magical effect (what kind, I'm not sure), but the repercussions of this effect are that he can't heal his arm

Option 2) Halaster hit this Manshoon with a magical effect that prevents his "regenerating" or "regrowing" (aka cloning) any portion of his body as some kind of powerful curse. Halaster may have done this as an ultimate F/U effect knowing Manshoon's little trick with stasis clones.



My issue isn't the presence of the prosthetic, my issue is the presence of a mechanical, non-magical prosthetic for a high-level wizard. If it even had something simple like a built-in shocking grasp or something like that, it'd be another story... Or if it was something exotic, like the Ptolus NPC Jevicca Nor has: when she lost an arm, she made a red glass prosthetic. But it's none of those things -- it's just a mechanical prosthetic.



On that.... he may be trying it out before he invests a lot of magic into it. He may decide to get rid of it. It may sound silly, but its practical. He may have had something else and it was destroyed, and this is his backup. Granted, all that is basically coming up with a workaround, so I feel your point. It does feel a bit rigged.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gareth
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 19 Nov 2018 :  13:56:32  Show Profile Send Gareth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He might also not care.

If he has another clone prepared for this Manshoon to jump into, he may just be squatting in this body until his current plans are over, knowing he can take out an obstacle to his plans if needed and wake up in a new clone with an arm.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 19 Nov 2018 :  17:10:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gareth

He might also not care.

If he has another clone prepared for this Manshoon to jump into, he may just be squatting in this body until his current plans are over, knowing he can take out an obstacle to his plans if needed and wake up in a new clone with an arm.



Mayhaps it's just me, but I think if that was Manshoon's thinking, he would have already gone that route -- it's canon that he used to deliberately charge into battle, knowing he had backups and that his opponents didn't.

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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 19 Nov 2018 :  17:16:22  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Agreed. If literal bodies are kind of nothing but disposable assets, it might not be worth even investing that tiny little bit of energy/resources to repair when you know the next one is sitting there waiting and is whole.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 20 Nov 2018 :  00:54:08  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Which may lend a little more credence to the option above where somehow Halaster has made this body incapable of creating a clone at the same time that he lopped off the arm.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 20 Nov 2018 :  02:51:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Which may lend a little more credence to the option above where somehow Halaster has made this body incapable of creating a clone at the same time that he lopped off the arm.



...And if that was the case, then it would be logical for Manshoon to have some sore of magical prosthetic.

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Balmar Foghaven
Learned Scribe

Canada
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Posted - 20 Nov 2018 :  14:07:43  Show Profile Send Balmar Foghaven a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, given that it was within the Halls of Undermountain that all of this transpired... I do wonder if perhaps Trobriand had some mechanical limbs lying around for use in some unfinished construct, and Manshoon happened upon one of them...

"Despair not, for in the end all things shall work out for the best - in at least one timeline."
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George Krashos
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Posted - 20 Nov 2018 :  22:54:51  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Balmar Foghaven

Hmm, given that it was within the Halls of Undermountain that all of this transpired... I do wonder if perhaps Trobriand had some mechanical limbs lying around for use in some unfinished construct, and Manshoon happened upon one of them...



This I like.

-- George Krashos

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sleyvas
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Posted - 21 Nov 2018 :  14:26:53  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, so I skipped forward to the NPC section and its states "Attempts to magically regenerate his severed limb failed, forcing him to craft an artificial arm and hand for himself." So, for some reason, magical regeneration is failing on him, and he apparently doesn't know why. I would venture to guess that he's also afraid to try his clones. He's taking to working through simulacrums though, which is probably something he did previously, but is another type of "clone" to a lesser degree. I do like the idea that he stole the arm from Trobriand and adapted it for use for himself (his "crafting" was making it magically work with himself, which in itself may be a new thing for Manshoon to have learned, possibly never having performed graft work before). One of the the things we have to remember is that just because you are an archmage doesn't mean you know how to make every kind of magical item or cast every kind of spell. This is what makes different archmages different from others. Some may focus on item creation. Others may focus on spellcraft. Even within item creation some may focus on the martial arts (weapons, armor, constructs) while others may focus more on spell arts (wands, staves, rods) and others may be more generic. Within spellcraft some may focus on a school of magic, a type of energy, the manipulation of energy into wards or triggered effects, etc.... Manshoon is indeed powerful, but in the end he's a relatively young archmage (stress relatively, he was born in 1229, so he's around 260 years old, but lord only knows how long THIS Manshoon was held captive in Undermountain.... 80 years? 120 years? He may have literally spent half his life as a captive now. Also, just what did Halaster subject him too? Is his mind whole and hale (for that matter, there's also the possibility that the "awakening" may have made some Manshoon clones somewhat insane?).


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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