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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5636 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  12:01:54  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, and perhaps it would be interesting if the goddess Ma'at returned after the Sundering (she was daughter of Ra, wife of Thoth, and we all hear Osiris weighing people against their following of ma'at). She was a goddess of justice and truth, so she could fill the role of law and order you were trying to fill with Enlil. Of course, it would draw away from Osiris a bit, but she could be a servant deity of his as well. The fact that Osiris encouraged people to "follow Ma'at" could explain that he was trying to "raise" this deity from the dead (perhaps she died in the Orcgate wars or against the Imaskari).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5636 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  13:13:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, the more I think on it.... what if Siamorphe were to take on the alias of Ma'at, under the principles of living a good and noble life. It might even be revealed that she is in fact the goddess in the Faerunian pantheon and that somehow she had been deluded into thinking her name was different.... maybe even by Leira.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5636 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  17:10:50  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and what with the red knight's followers helping so much with the clearing of Unther.... having her accepted into their pantheon as an aide of Anhur's would make sense.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3383 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  21:29:17  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow so many questions. I will try and answer them all.

1 - I came up with the name Akanu and the Akanic pantheon from two separate places. First was the name of Anu himself, leader of the Babylonian pantheon. Second was the repeated reference to Akana/u across Chessenta (and not just for 4th edition lore), we have Akanax, the Akanul Plains, Akanamere, Akanapeaks. I figured it was more than just coincidence and had to have some importance. So I made up the importance.

When I read through Old Empires and about Gilgeam it made repeated references to Gilgeam rewriting history. Plus Ramman was said to have arrived from another nearby pantheon (last time I checked there weren't that many nations around in that time so either Ramman came from Jhaamdath, or he was from another Mulan pantheon - plus the Mulan are elitist and would not allow a foreign god into their ranks). So I decided to work in a 3rd Mulan empire that didn't contradict any written history, just changed which empire did it. Plus the separate Babylonian and Sumerian pantheon lists I found cemented the idea for me, it was even better that Gilgeam appeared in both so I had him originate in the Babylonian/Akanic pantheon and later more to the Untheric one.

The full history however will appear over issues 4 and 5 so people will just have to wait and see whether they like what I did with it.

2 - Enlil I made as a god of law and order for two reasons. The first is the article in Dragon Magazine 329. The second is the repeated reference to the Code of Enlil being the basis of law in Unther. I figured if it was important enough to mention then it warranted a representation in the god himself.

As for his return. I needed some more Untheric gods to return in order to bolster the merged pantheon (so that it can credibly resist the Faerunian pantheon). There are probably many more Untheric gods out there, Gilgeam is stated as having driven off or destroyed many gods of the Untheric pantheon so if I had names for more I would bring them back (without the names I stuck to the gods I knew existed and brought many of them back in some fashion or another). Enlil's sudden departure always struck me as unusual. You don't travel across the universe to rescue your people to then abandon them when things get tough, so I tied Enlil's disappearance to Gilgeam's madness and that allowed his return.

Again this will be elaborated upon in issues 4 and 5. And if I finish my campaign arc for the invasion of Unther then there should be enough detail for people to play through the whole event.

3 - Mask being an interloper is correct, as was Bane. However that does not make them part of the pantheon. The Mulan gods, like their people, are elitist. They do not like people in that don't swear obedience to their gods (the quote about beast cults in one of the books mentions they were destroyed because they would not worship the Mulhorandi gods). For me the Mulan will never allow Mask and Bane into their pantheon, the only reason those to can be worshipped in this pantheon is because the Tyranny and Thievery portfolios are unclaimed in Mulhorand/Unther.
Its like Chessenta being contested territory, the two pantheons cannot coexist, someone has to lose. If the Mulan let Mask and Bane into their pantheon then they lose. I reckon if the Mulan were to find out Marduk and Tiamat were actually from another pantheon (my alternate deity writeup in issue 3 explains how this happened) then they would eject them as well.

And that kind of explains why I didn't include any Faerunian deities in the Mulhorandi-Untheric pantheon. The Mulan deities simply wouldn't and indeed couldn't allow it. In Chessenta, Anhur and Tempus are fighting each other for control of the portfolio of war in that area. Isis and Mystra would be in contention in that area, Chauntea, Kelemvor and Osiris.

The two pantheons cannot mix because their portfolio's overlap. Chessenta is contested because it is a mix of worship, some worship Faerunian deities, some worship Mulan (although it is probably only Anhur and Hoar with any dominance in this area). There must be a threshold point of worship at which one pantheon gains total control in that area. By letting Faerunian deities into Mulhorand or Unther they are in danger of making those areas contested (dual pantheon powers don't present this problem).


Anyway I hope I answered your questions. I did plenty of research when writing up the old empires, but in the end what didn't work I discarded and then started again from scratch. Hopefully the end result (Old Empires in 1370 DR) is almost identical to the current one, but the theory and history behind it is where I usually differed.

Incidentally the hardest part of the entire project for me was deciding why Skuld was called the city of shadows (I nearly tied it to the Turami and made them all Shar worshippers but decided against it in the end).

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5636 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2014 :  11:44:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Wow so many questions. I will try and answer them all.

1 - I came up with the name Akanu and the Akanic pantheon from two separate places. First was the name of Anu himself, leader of the Babylonian pantheon. Second was the repeated reference to Akana/u across Chessenta (and not just for 4th edition lore), we have Akanax, the Akanul Plains, Akanamere, Akanapeaks. I figured it was more than just coincidence and had to have some importance. So I made up the importance.

When I read through Old Empires and about Gilgeam it made repeated references to Gilgeam rewriting history. Plus Ramman was said to have arrived from another nearby pantheon (last time I checked there weren't that many nations around in that time so either Ramman came from Jhaamdath, or he was from another Mulan pantheon - plus the Mulan are elitist and would not allow a foreign god into their ranks). So I decided to work in a 3rd Mulan empire that didn't contradict any written history, just changed which empire did it. Plus the separate Babylonian and Sumerian pantheon lists I found cemented the idea for me, it was even better that Gilgeam appeared in both so I had him originate in the Babylonian/Akanic pantheon and later more to the Untheric one.

The full history however will appear over issues 4 and 5 so people will just have to wait and see whether they like what I did with it.

2 - Enlil I made as a god of law and order for two reasons. The first is the article in Dragon Magazine 329. The second is the repeated reference to the Code of Enlil being the basis of law in Unther. I figured if it was important enough to mention then it warranted a representation in the god himself.

As for his return. I needed some more Untheric gods to return in order to bolster the merged pantheon (so that it can credibly resist the Faerunian pantheon). There are probably many more Untheric gods out there, Gilgeam is stated as having driven off or destroyed many gods of the Untheric pantheon so if I had names for more I would bring them back (without the names I stuck to the gods I knew existed and brought many of them back in some fashion or another). Enlil's sudden departure always struck me as unusual. You don't travel across the universe to rescue your people to then abandon them when things get tough, so I tied Enlil's disappearance to Gilgeam's madness and that allowed his return.

Again this will be elaborated upon in issues 4 and 5. And if I finish my campaign arc for the invasion of Unther then there should be enough detail for people to play through the whole event.

3 - Mask being an interloper is correct, as was Bane. However that does not make them part of the pantheon. The Mulan gods, like their people, are elitist. They do not like people in that don't swear obedience to their gods (the quote about beast cults in one of the books mentions they were destroyed because they would not worship the Mulhorandi gods). For me the Mulan will never allow Mask and Bane into their pantheon, the only reason those to can be worshipped in this pantheon is because the Tyranny and Thievery portfolios are unclaimed in Mulhorand/Unther.
Its like Chessenta being contested territory, the two pantheons cannot coexist, someone has to lose. If the Mulan let Mask and Bane into their pantheon then they lose. I reckon if the Mulan were to find out Marduk and Tiamat were actually from another pantheon (my alternate deity writeup in issue 3 explains how this happened) then they would eject them as well.

And that kind of explains why I didn't include any Faerunian deities in the Mulhorandi-Untheric pantheon. The Mulan deities simply wouldn't and indeed couldn't allow it. In Chessenta, Anhur and Tempus are fighting each other for control of the portfolio of war in that area. Isis and Mystra would be in contention in that area, Chauntea, Kelemvor and Osiris.

The two pantheons cannot mix because their portfolio's overlap. Chessenta is contested because it is a mix of worship, some worship Faerunian deities, some worship Mulan (although it is probably only Anhur and Hoar with any dominance in this area). There must be a threshold point of worship at which one pantheon gains total control in that area. By letting Faerunian deities into Mulhorand or Unther they are in danger of making those areas contested (dual pantheon powers don't present this problem).


Anyway I hope I answered your questions. I did plenty of research when writing up the old empires, but in the end what didn't work I discarded and then started again from scratch. Hopefully the end result (Old Empires in 1370 DR) is almost identical to the current one, but the theory and history behind it is where I usually differed.

Incidentally the hardest part of the entire project for me was deciding why Skuld was called the city of shadows (I nearly tied it to the Turami and made them all Shar worshippers but decided against it in the end).




Ok, that absolutely makes sense for the name Akanic. As I look more at Akanul as well, that seems to be a new realmsian term for the name, not a Abeiran name of a transferred territory (the Abeiran territory was Shyr)

On Mask, they specifically let him in in exchange for Bast being allowed into the Faerunian pantheon, so its a little different than Bane.

I would really like to see Siamorphe in the Mulan Pantheon. Just throwing this out as an idea. This would be an idea for a returning Mulan Pantheon after the spellplague, btw. What if the Mulan Pantheon returns (i.e. Unther and Mulhorand come back), and they are a reinvigorated empire from their time in Abeir. They set their sights on reconquering Chessenta, Thay, and other surrounding territories. The followers of Amaunator in Chessenta who don't like the idea of Lathander may accept Horus-Re, and other gods may also be accepted. So, do you see it as a possibility that the Faerunian Pantheon may require Siamorphe to marry into the Mulan Pantheon as a means to form a truce? It would fit with her whole noble portfolio, and it could prove interesting in that they seem to be wanting to also portray the idea that the Chosen of Siamorphe feels she can't be involved with the Chosen of Helm due to her noble obligations (i.e. the goddess may be growing to love Helm <what happens in heaven is mirrored on earth and vice versa>, but she is obligated to her noble duties). It could even be something where they allow her into the pantheon to simply birth a child by another deity, who would then be raised by Hathor and Horus' mother Isis.... Just spitwadding that idea, but it might make sense, since the other female Mulan deities are either Horus' mother, aunt, or the servant goddess Halthor.... Horus might want it to be seen that he's not inbreeding.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3383 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2014 :  18:46:15  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well letting Mask into the Mulhorandi pantheon in exchange for allowing Bast into the Faerunian pantheon does not make sense to me.

Bast did not conflict with any portfolio of any Faerunian god so there is no way anyone could have stopped her. Mask likewise does not conflict with any portfolio in Mulhorand so he can move in freely without immediately pissing off any gods because they wouldn't notice a decline in their power when he moves into the area (although if any mask worshippers were discovered I bet they would be sacrificed pretty quick).

Multiple pantheons for the same races are geographical borders, so the faerunian gods cannot bar anyone from entering (especially since they have no recognised leader) any more than Horus-Re can stop another god from entering the Mulhorandi pantheon.

For me What stops a god from entering another pantheon is portfolio overlap. If you are a god of thieves and you try to gain worshippers in another area that already has a god of thieves then you are attempting to steal his worship and he isn't going to like it. Any actions of thievery go to him by default because he has the majority vote of worshippers in the pantheon, but any thief that names you as his patron sends power your way. All the original god has to do is kill your worshippers and he wins, whereas you have to get more than 75% of the population to recognise you as the god of thieves in order to win.


Some kind of exchange student swap with Bast and Mask just doesn't make sense to me and with this project if something doesn't make sense then I fix it.

As for allowing in Faerunian gods, in the 1370s timeline I have significant reservations with that because of the elitist attitude. The people and deities of the Mulan believe themselves superior to all others.

I personally wont be introducing the spell plague or any of the events, but if it did then it could go one of two ways.

1 - Mulhorand and Unther return and displace/destroy every being that exists there at the time (as happened with returned abeir). In this instance the Mulan deities would probably recognise they are so weakened that they need new blood to resist the Faerunian pantheon. By allowing dual pantheon gods (ie let some Faerunian gods into the Mulhorandi pantheon) they do not lose any power to the faerunian pantheon (because the gods they allow in are also members of the mulhorandi pantheon) and in so doing they increase their own power. Of course they would only let in deities whose portfolios do not conflict with any existing members.

2 - Mulhorand and Unther return but the existing people that already live there stay. In this instance both Mulhorand and Unther immediately become contested regions or depending on the population of the land before Mulhorand returned they may enter into a region that is part of the Faerunian pantheon. In the contested region instance there would be lots of clashes between churches of the various powers until there is a definitive winner. In the instance that Mulhorand returns into the Faerunian pantheon then there is only one outcome, the Mulhorandi powers have to merge with the existing Faerunian powers. Multiple powers with the same portfolios cannot exist within the same pantheon unless they are demi-powers.


I wont rant about what I think will happen in the next edition, but if it is not either option 1, 2a, or 2b then someone didn't do their research.

If you want Siamorphe and Red Knight in the Mulhorandi pantheon then it is possible in both scenario 1 or 2 which should make you very happy. But in 1370, Mulhorand still thinks it is an invincible empire and for me that means no Faerunian power would ever be admitted (i'll pretend Mask didn't happen).

But this is of course all entirely my opinion.

As an aside, I don't think genetics apply to gods. As beings of thought and belief they are no longer material beings and so they could impregnate their "daughter" without genetic issues since they have no genetics.

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3383 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2014 :  10:25:30  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another snippet. This time detailing the avatar of the returned lesser power of Gilgeam. I figure that if you are going to bring back a dead god he should not be the same as he once was.

Avatar
Gilgeam has one avatar; a naked, barrel-chested, giant of a man with a pale green pallor to his skin and the scars of huge teeth marks all over his body.
This rotting behemoth is a juggernaut in physical combat, capable of titanic feats of strength and rage that few other gods can match.
He also exudes a nauseating stench that can slay most lesser beings he encounters.
His personality and face change between at least four distinct beings that vie for control of any avatar.
First is the master of undead. This being is capable of animating the nearby dead into any unintelligent form of undead that he desires and can control as many such beings as exist. His touch slays instantly and he desires nothing more than to spread undeath to everyone he encounters.
Second is the raging lunatic. This being constantly froths at the mouth and is capable of incredible feats of strength and endurance driven by his madness. He is in a permanent state of frenzy from which he cannot escape and will attack and attempt to kill anything that he feels is threatening him (merely looking in his direction qualifies as such to his insane mind).
Third is the tyrant. This vestige of his last living personality is capable of command over any mortal being which Gilgeam can see. The command is absolute and he can order suicide if he should wish so. This avatar desires control over everyone and everything and still believes he is the rightful ruler of Unther.
The last vestige is Gilgeam the hero. This vestige is a part of his original personality before he was completely corrupted by Ilneval’s blade. He is remorseful for his actions in the millennia since then and constantly apologises for any action (even sitting down). He is deeply depressed and will sit and do nothing most of the time. This effect is sympathetic in nature and drives those nearby into states of deep depression (which have sometimes been so extreme as to stop the sufferer from breathing).
These four personalities usually change on a minute to minute basis, but some have been known to remain dominant for several days, particularly the hero aspect of Gilgeam.

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3383 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2014 :  16:49:08  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A relic from my article about Tchazzar, its just an idea of how i think he managed to return to life after the Time of Troubles.

The Ring of Tchazzar: What was once a Ring of Tiamat, this artefact was altered by the disruption of the Time of Troubles. It now holds a piece of Tchazzar’s divinity, and should he perish it could be used to bring him back to life once more.
In fact this has already happened. Shortly after the Time of Troubles, a draconic servant of Tiamat the Dragon Queen found the ring and foolishly put it on. The creature was transformed over several years into Tchazzar himself who still wears the ring to this day.
The Ring of Tchazzar enhances the wearer’s abilities just like a Ring of Tiamat would. But should another dragon put it on then it will be transformed into Tchazzar by the curse of the ring.
Tchazzar does not know if this will occur while he is still alive, and so makes sure to wear the ring at all times (the last thing he wants is to have to battle another version of himself). Upon his death though, Tchazzar has given instructions to his clergy to gift it to the first dragon they find in order to hasten his return.
In this way the ring acts like a deific phylactery for Tchazzar and is another reason why he has not chosen to return to the Outer Planes, because he does not think he can be killed even if he remains bound to Toril.

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Zireael
Master of Realmslore

Poland
1190 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2014 :  17:31:14  Show Profile  Visit Zireael's Homepage Send Zireael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll definitely be grabbing issue 4, I love your thinking behind the Akanic pantheon.

SiNafay Vrinn, the daughter of Lloth, from Ched Nasad!

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3383 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2014 :  20:46:10  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well I hope it lives up to your expectations.

The Old Empires has been rather a lot of fun to try and inject some life into that region.

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3383 Posts

Posted - 25 Jul 2014 :  13:47:51  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In case anyone is interested.

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Issue 4 is available here

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx2yr4B9kIXPRk5HczdLeHRDbEk/edit?usp=sharing


The contents of the issue are as follows.

Alternate Dimensions Presents: Old Empires - Mythology
The Adventures of Aytros Falconwing: On The Run (Part 1)
Alternate Dimensions Presents: The Mulhorandi-Untheric Pantheon
When is a House Rule Not a House Rule: Skills
Alternate Dimensions Presents: Old Empires – A History of Akanu
Deities With A Difference: Gilgeam
The Bloodstone Lands: Adventure Path - Episode 3
Alternate Dimensions Presents: Old Empires – An Alternate Timeline
Deities With a Difference: Tchazzar
Rulesword: Trimming 3rd Edition One Step at a Time
Laerakond: The Sea of Fire
The Knights Below: Adventure Path – Episode 4
The Knights Below: Campaign Journal


Enjoy, and as always please feel free to leave any feedback you may have or ask any questions.

If you want to get involved then let me know. It doesnt matter how big or small your contribution is, a single magic item, an NPC writeup, a short story, a new organisation, a regional overview. If you have homebrew realmslore that you want to get out there to people then let me know.

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Edited by - dazzlerdal on 25 Jul 2014 13:58:11
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3383 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2014 :  12:54:42  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So here are the contents for issue 5


Dragons of the South: Alasklerbanbastos “The Great Bone Wyrm"
When is a House Rule Not a House Rule: Skills
Alternate Dimensions Presents: Old Empires – A History of Thay
The Bloodstone Lands: Adventure Path – Episode 4
Alternate Dimensions Presents: Old Empires – A Modern Timeline
Deities With a Difference: Set
Laerakond: The Hundar Isles
Rulesword: Trimming 3rd Edition One Step at a Time
Alternate Dimensions Presents: The Conquest of Unther Campaign
The Knights Below: Adventure Path - Episode 3
The Knights Below: Campaign Journal


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Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3383 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2014 :  12:57:54  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And here is a little snippet of Alasklerbanbastos' history.



Alasklerbanbastos spent years infiltrating the Thresk family of Mourktar, creating and recreating himself over and over again in human guise as an entire bloodline of members of the Thresk family. By the time he created the persona of Askler Thresk in 800 DR, he was next in line to inherit the throne from the aging and childless King Selsgar Thresk.
As Prince Askler, Alasklerbanbastos remained a mysterious and enigmatic figure, always present at major engagements, and yet similarly unable to be found. Everyone had met the dashing young prince but no one could quite remember what he looked like, just that he was young and handsome and charming, with sapphire blue eyes.
Alasklerbanbastos longed for acceptance and the embrace of Tiamat the Dark Lady, and he attempted to court her by doing what he felt was her bidding. His first goal was to claim a nation to make him rich and powerful, the next was to smash Unther into dust.
Alasklerbanbastos recognised the power of the Church of Bane which was recently established in Chessenta. Using a powerful artefact of Bane that he had uncovered many years before, he persuaded the church that he would make an ideal tyrant through which to enforce their will.
In 823 DR, using his newfound allies, Prince Askler declared Mourktar independent of Unther and refused to obey the edicts (and pay the taxes) of that decadent and unpopular land. The retaliation from Unther was pitiful and easily eliminated by the armies of Mourktar backed by the Church of Bane. In gratitude, construction of a grand temple was begun in Mourktar in honour of those that helped liberate them from Unther’s rule.
Prince Askler then set his sights on creating a nation. He preyed upon the traditional enmity between Luthcheq and Mordulkin and in 831 DR convinced Luthcheq to help him conquer the wizardly might of that city. Then at the last moment once the siege was complete, Prince Askler betrayed his allies and accepted Mordulkin as part of the new nation of Threskel.
Shortly after this Alasklerbanbastos’ hated enemy appeared to thwart his plans. Tchazzar had spent many years studying the humans of Chessenta, trying to work out how to implement the next stage of his plan to thwart the curse of the Ring of Tiamat. The war for Chessenta was the perfect stage for Tchazzar’s bid for divinity; he would oppose Prince Askler and be seen as a crusader against tyranny who could unite the people behind his banner. Even better, the tyrant was none other than Alasklerbanbastos.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 31 Jul 2014 :  14:43:06  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To celebrate my first ever sticky thread, and also to celebrate the impending upload of Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions issues to Candlekeep (link to follow when its done), here are two snippets from issue 5.

This is for all those of you who dont like the Mulhorandi gods because they are too much like Egyptian gods (and have animal heads).

The Avatar of Set
Set originally appeared upon Toril in his avatar form as a 10 ft tall muscular man of Mulan descent that was capable of wielding devastatingly powerful, evil magics and frequently carried a two pronged dagger.
Now his avatar form is somewhat different from its origins. From his first deific conquest, Mdaess, Set gained a very finely scaled skin, forked tongue, and snake-like eyes; he also gained immunity to all poisons of any kind.
Following his battle with the Skriaxit, Set’s skin darkened to an almost black hue which disguises his scales very well (although they were so fine as to be almost invisible anyway). Set also gained control over Darkness and so can cause shadows and darkness to spread into areas of light where it should not be present (thus blocking the light to see him), although he cannot create shadow and darkness out of nothing.
Finally Set wears a helm shaped in the form of a jackal that disguises his unusual facial features (tongue and eyes). This change occurred following the influx of beast cults into Mulhorand around -240 DR.
The beast cults worshipped powerful creatures that resembled animals or monsters; they were forced into the northern provinces of Mulhorand by the Suren that had invaded their homelands. They refused to worship the Mulhorandi deities and so the Empire of Mulhorand declared war upon them. Anhur’s church led the charge in fighting the cultists but their members just dispersed into the wilderness and proved difficult to locate or they summoned the beings they worshipped to their side to battle the Mulhorandi.
Bast was the first to encounter the avatar of one of these quasi-powers and she merged with the one called Felidae the cat. Felidae’s worshippers initially refused to believe what had occurred and so Bast took to appearing with the head of a feline to appease these new potential worshippers who in time worshipped Bast as Felidae.
The idea quickly caught on and a number of other Mulhorandi gods sought out and merged with or conquered these quasi divine beings that the beast cults idolised so that they might gain more divine power. Horus-Re for instance battled an enormous hawk over Murghôm while Set sought out and devoured the jackal Typhon.
The animal head regalia appealed to the Mulan people of Mulhorandi and it entered popular culture and religious worship ensuring that certain gods of Mulhorand would forever be depicted with animal heads.
From that moment on Set was represented as wearing the jackal head of Typhon the Jackal who he is famous for battling in the Raurin desert and from whom he gained power over Predators, Carrion, and Rot. Certainly some of the Mulhorandi powers were changed far more profoundly than others that just took to wearing animal heads.
Set also has the ability to transform into a colossal sized snake with poison and constricting abilities but he uses this ability seldom.


And this one is a potential explanation for certain events in the north although i wont say which ones (the clues are in the names - and the dates) but i suspect George will be along to point out any mistakes i may have made (hopefully none).

The Hundar Isles
The Hundar Isles are an assorted group of islands that stretch out from the eastern edge of Laerakond (The Barrier Mountains) out into the Trackless Sea for thousands of miles.
These islands were a by-product of the shifting of Laerakond due to the Sundering ritual performed by the elves. While the vast majority of Laerakond in Abeir was moved across the ocean in an instant without anyone noticing, the far eastern edge of Laerakond cracked and fragmented leaving island peaks dotted throughout the waters of Abeir.
Over the millennia these mountainous islands were colonised by plants and animals and most crucially groups of humans seeking to escape the orcs (who are terrified of the ocean). The humans of Laerakond were called Darukurzym, meaning weak in orcish, although the fall of the orcs may have changed their outlook of the humans of Laerakond.
These humans set up small villages on the islands and blossomed without the dangers of being hunted by orcs like vermin. Living on the cold mountainous isles with few resources changed them into a blonde haired, war-like race that raided the mainland of Laerakond for wood, food, weapons, and treasure.
They persisted in this manner for thousands of years because the orcs were too afraid to come and get them and the dragon overlords were not bothered by a few humans stealing rothé and trees and killing the odd orc here and there.
This all changed around -3400 DR. Upon the twinned world of Toril a group of sea faring dwarves were planning their latest expedition of discovery into the Trackless Sea. The high priest of Marthammor Duin was using magic to search for signs of land in the far off ocean, when by happenstance he scried the place where Laerakond would reappear in three thousand years time.
This place was the centre of a rift in the fabric of space, time, and dimension that was created when the planet Abeir-Toril was halved and twinned to separate Laerakond and Faerûn. This rift had an immensely powerful antipathy curse on it that would force anyone nearing the rift to move away in the opposite direction, the curse could only be broken by someone passing through the rift which was impossible unless they had powers in excess of an over-god.
Unfortunately for the high priest his magic scried through the rift to Abeir and so was repelled by the antipathy effect towards Laerakond, he was driven mad by the constant feeling that he should be on the other side of the rift. This antipathy effect cursed the dwarf and made him a focus for it thus spreading the antipathy to those around him. Slowly over many years the dwarves of that kingdom all began to experience a great desire to leave Faerûn and sail across the sea to shores unknown, the desire was so great it drove them mad.


As always feel free to leave feedback and let me know if you have any articles you want to appear in the mag. I was expecting a few cries of blasphemy for bringing back Gilgeam, adding in a third empire, and merging the Mulhorandi and Untheric pantheons, but i suppose after the owners blow up the world any changes i make are minor in comparison.

For those that like Eilistraee and Vhaeraun i have just finished a draft deity writeup of the Masked Lady and Lolth, with a bit of an alternate twist on things (cough Crescent Blade cough). They will be appearing in issue 6 or 7.

As soon as i know the location i will update the first page with a link to Issues 1-4 on Candlekeep.

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Irennan
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Italy
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Posted - 31 Jul 2014 :  15:17:09  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

For those that like Eilistraee and Vhaeraun i have just finished a draft deity writeup of the Masked Lady and Lolth, with a bit of an alternate twist on things (cough Crescent Blade cough). They will be appearing in issue 6 or 7.




Cool. I'm curious about what you did with the sword. I ignore the whole part about the crusade to slay Lolth -since it doesn't feel like what Eilistraee is about and would focus on in a situation like the Silence- nonetheless it is interesting to see different takes on such a gimmicky plot tool like the Crescent Blade.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 31 Jul 2014 :  15:33:14  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i tried not to alter the core events too much. Lolth falls silent, Eilistraee and Vhaeraun are replaced by the Masked Lady, Lolth emerges as a greater power.

What i did with the blade is hopefully tie it into history and give it a plausible method of operation.

As always i try and make the end result similar yet events leading up to it subtly different so that hopefully it makes sense.

If i manage to get hold of the novels i might even try and do a campaign arc focusing on the major events of the silence on the drow, in a way that the players get to contribute.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 01 Aug 2014 :  11:57:37  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So has anyone figured out whose side Gestaniius and Skuthosiin is on, and more importantly why?


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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 01 Aug 2014 :  14:16:23  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
This is an interesting idea. I look forward to seeing what comes in the future.
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 01 Aug 2014 :  14:23:24  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i hope you like the first four issues.

Im always looking for more people to collaborate with for ideas, as well as people to produce their own articles for publication.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 01 Aug 2014 :  14:33:26  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
TBH I've read the first two and I spend half the time trying to stop my brain from saying that doesn't quite work because of this or that and remember that its alternate dimension FR :P We'll see if I succeed in this attempt :)
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 01 Aug 2014 :  14:58:06  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes i threw canon out the window many times when writing these, mostly when i found something where canon didnt work or make much sense.

Now i just do it to make things more interesting.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 01 Aug 2014 :  17:49:01  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You will definitely need your non canon hat on for reading issues 3 and 4. What I did with tiamat, bahamut, tchazzar, chessenta, and unther could be described as butchery or blasphemy.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 11 Aug 2014 :  13:51:29  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This time a snippet from the History of Thay article which include a few secret cabals and organisations that i made up.

Cabal of the Old Man: This cult existed for little more than 50 years during the time between 976 DR and 1034 DR when the Zulkirate was established. This society of mages was centred on a curious artefact discovered in a vault in the city of Delhumide.

The artefact was an ancient and magical skull that was said to be over 2,000 years old. Those that meditated in the presence of the skull were said to be able to communicate with it, and during one of these communications it was supposedly discovered that the skull belonged to Thayd himself and the members of the cult believed a portion of his soul or a memory of Thayd persisted inside the skull.

While few in number, and one of the smallest mage cabals in Thay, the Cabal of the Old Man did something that no other cabal was prepared to do. The Skull of Thayd urged its members to cooperate with other mage cabals in order to ensure the future of Thay.

At first the cult allied itself to the fledgling but fast growing Order of the Black Flame. Within a few years they were strong enough to openly resist the Binders Society and so they then approached the Order of the Blue Star. Once the alliance was joined the Brotherhood of Battlemages quickly sided with this new, powerful, political entity in order to combat their ancient enemy.

Together this alliance of mages, held together by the efforts of the Skull of Thayd, fought the Binders Society to a standstill. Instead of destroying them however the Skull urged its members, who influenced Ythazz and the others, to offer peace and propose a council government where all could rule in partnership.

Ythazz proposed the Zulkirate, based on the eight schools of magic, and the country was named Thay in honour of its grandfather and because of the Skull of Thayd who had made it all possible.
Once the Zulkirate was formed, the Cabal of the Old Man took a step back from the politics of Thay, and when civil war threatened the rule of the Zulkirs, the Skull of Thayd exploded killing a number of former allies, including the leading representative of the cult itself.

Who the Skull of Thayd truly belonged to remains unknown, but it appears that its sole purpose was to steer the fledgling nation of Thay towards a government of disunity, wherein no one faction or person could hope to gain complete control. Because of this Thay has never been able to fulfil its potential and desire for world conquest, and for this reason alone most of Faerûn owes a considerable debt of gratitude to this mysterious skull.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  13:36:52  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And the last snippet is a scenario from the campaign arc i am writing for the Mulhorandi invasion of Unther. This article is very much still WIP but it will be finished in time for the release of Issue V.

Scenario Two: Siege of Firetrees
With the Unther army defeated a quarter of the surviving Cultists retreat towards Firetrees (the rest retreat to Unthalass). General Khemenet favours taking the easy target of Firetrees for himself and thereby securing a route across the River Alamber. He takes a force many times that needed to conquer the settlement and orders his rival, General Bokasin to take Unthalass with the remaining Mulhorandi forces.

Forces Involved:
- Mulhorand, Regulars (1000 N hm Fighter 1): Armed with Chain Shirt, Scimitar, Light Wooden Shield. Commanded by General Khemenet (LG hm Pal 8/Glorious Servitor 7 of Horus-Re).
- Mulhorand, Mercenaries (1000 N hm Fighter 1-3): Chessentan mercenaries. Armament varies according to specialty. Commanded by Kendera Steeldice (LG hf Pal 11 of Red Knight).
- Unther, Cultists (400 NE hm Commoner 1): Armed with Spears. These Cultists are fanatics and receive a +2 bonus to Str and Con, +1 bonus to Will, and -1 penalty to AC.
- Unther, Slaves (500 N hm Commoner 1): Unarmed. Will only fight if forced to. Slaves suffer -1 morale penalty to all checks.
- Unther, Bluespawn Ambusher (9): These Spawn of Tiamat lie in wait underground in groups of three around the settlement and leap forth to ambush those that venture too close.


1371 Mirtul 1: The forces of Mulhorand surround Firetrees. General Khemenet orders all forces to attack (Kendera Steeldice keeps her Gold Swords back) and encounters the Bluespawn Ambushers. Almost 100 regulars are killed in the initial attack and the forces of Mulhorand are forced to regroup.
1371 Mirtul 2: The Cult of Tiamat send an envoy to General Khemenet demanding the army of Mulhorand end the siege or a total of 500 citizens of Unther will be sacrificed to Tiamat. General Khemenet gives the Cult 3 days to surrender.
1371 Mirtul 3: Kendera Steeldice and the Gold Swords attempt to infiltrate Firetrees and rescue the slaves.
1371 Mirtul 4: General Khemenet orders the attack early and at night to catch the Cultists off guard, this foils Kendera’s plan to rescue the slaves. All cultists and slaves are killed with a further 100 Mulhorandi regulars and 50 mercenaries lost in the fighting. Kendera Steeldice withdraws to Unthalass and refuses to work with Khemenet any longer.


Side Quests:
- Hostage Situation: If the PCs are working for Mulhorand and particularly if they helped her with rescuing slaves on the Greenfields, then Kendera Steeldice will approach them and ask for help in rescuing the hostages from Firetrees. If the PCs are working for Unther then Kendera and the Gold Swords will infiltrate Firetrees, if the PCs happen to be there then the two groups will encounter one another and Kendera will ask the PCs to help release the hostages, and she will ensure they are allowed to leave Firetrees unmolested.
The hostages are kept in groups of 50 and are guarded by 10-20 cultists at a time. Any sign of hostility and the cultists will begin massacring the nearest hostages. The Gold Swords will rescue 200 out of 350 hostages. The PCs, with Kendera’s help can rescue the remainder.
- The Ritual: In the depths of Firetrees, lie a series of catacombs dug by the Cult of Tiamat to serve as their base when Unther was ruled by Gilgeam. Now these tunnels serve as a marshalling point for the Cult of Tiamat forces in the Greenfields and it is from here the slaves are sent to work the fields.
Upon seeing the avatar of Anhur take to the field, a number of senior cultists in Firetrees decided to call upon their goddess. In a ritual requiring the sacrifice of over a hundred slaves (not included in the numbers above), these priests and wizards seek to call upon Tiamat to send them aid.
In the deepest section of the catacombs, a total of 5 priests and wizards (levels 3-5) are sacrificing the bound slaves one by one (they can do one each per round). They are protected by 5 Serpent Guards (NE half blue dragon Fighter 3). The number of slaves sacrificed determines the type of aid Tiamat sends. If 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 slaves are killed then an abishai is sent (colour ranges from white to red depending on the number of slaves killed). If 75 slaves are killed then a bluespawn godslayer is sent by Tiamat.
The party need to kill the Serpent Guards and the priests and rescue as many slaves as possible. If they are already working with Kendera Steeldice then she will be available to help.

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
497 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2014 :  15:14:58  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very interesting stuff, especially Gilgeam and the Akanu stuff. Also, amazing you remembered about the Black Flame Cabal! About Mulholand, I think it was always a bit whitewashed by the authors, as their actions on Unther, and stance on slavery made me doubt they’re supposed to better than Unther. Horus-Re and Anhur especialy, and they fell more like Lawful Neutral, and Chaotic Neutral, rather than Lawful Good and Chaotic Good. will you touch upon it, in future issues? The Dark Lady and Dragon Tiamat conflicts are very interesting. Are the Dark Lady and Queen of Chromatic Dragons two aspects/spliters a greater being, alternates of themselves, or some divine Convergent Evolution?
I thought for some time that the 'Typhon' of whom Set took name, was Pazuzu, as it's listed among the Demon Lords aliases. I can even see Pazuzu giving up this name to Set, as a part of a plan to corrupt the deity. I also thought that Pazuzu/Typhon was maybe one of the Turami or Raurini Old Gods, and it even conditionally fits your description of Dark Gods of Turami.
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