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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3845 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  12:38:55  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Maybe this is a complete coincidence, maybe not.

I just noticed this quote in GHoTR

quote:
-10300 DR: The elves of Keltormir, opposed on both sides by the Vyshaan of Aryvandaar and the dark elf Clan Hune of Ilythiir, strategically withdraw from eastern Keltormir, holding their lines at Highlands’ Edge.


At the time i was reading Cloak and Dagger in the section about the Knights of the Shield which were refounded by Tithklar Illehhune.

It struck me that the name Illehhune and Hune of Ilythiir could be linked over time through various language corruptions.

The fact that Clan Hune was fighting in Keltormir which at one point covered Tethyr, and that Tithklar Illehhune and now Lord Inselm Hhune are based in the Tethyr area are also intriguing.

That Tithklar was driven to explore a barrow based on dream visions he received could be significant.

I wonder if the Hhune/Illehhune family are not incredibly distantly related to the dark elves of Clan Hune (after all there were humans present in those forests so long ago).

Then perhaps Gargauth long ago had a minor role in the corruption of the dark elves (as well as wendonai and lolth), and maybe he reached out to Tithklar Illehhune when he was trapped in the Shield of the Hidden Lord because of the ancient corruptive link he has with the bloodline of Clan Hune. Gargauth is certainly known to traffic with tanar'ri now (his consort is a marilith) so perhaps he was playing for both sides of the Blood War way back in -10300 DR and perhaps that is a reason for his banishment from Baator.

Just a random thought, maybe i'm reading too much into it.

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5047 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  20:40:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No, I don't think you're reading too much into it. (hint, hint)
love,
THO
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3845 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  21:33:52  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That makes me all kinds of happy inside.
Im beginning to think the Shaar is riddled with rifts and gates to the abyss and baator

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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1372 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2014 :  23:40:03  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

No, I don't think you're reading too much into it. (hint, hint)
love,
THO



Now that is quite interesting!

@dazzlerdal: Excellent find!
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Zireael
Master of Realmslore

Poland
1190 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  09:37:49  Show Profile  Visit Zireael's Homepage Send Zireael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One more connection to add: Valas Hune from WotSQ.

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

http://zireael07.wordpress.com/
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1632 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  18:28:21  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

No, I don't think you're reading too much into it. (hint, hint)
love,
THO



Yeah, nice to see long-ago planted seeds finally reaching little shoots of plot-plant up toward the sun.

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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hashimashadoo
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1113 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  18:55:29  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage  Click to see hashimashadoo's MSN Messenger address Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zireael

One more connection to add: Valas Hune from WotSQ.



That was Ozzl'Hune originally.

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

Head admin of the FR wiki:

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3845 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2014 :  19:06:49  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Yeah, nice to see long-ago planted seeds finally reaching little shoots of plot-plant up toward the sun.

Steven



Damn, how do you guys come up with lore like that, and how much more is hidden inside Cloak and Dagger.

I usually resort to picking random names for history lore. How on earth do you plan to have an ancestor of an illythiiri clan find the shield of a trapped devil/demigod with only a clan name and reference to a battle between Illythir and Aryvandar in the lands that will become Tethyr.

I'm so envious.

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3845 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2014 :  21:16:34  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think I've just had a brain wave (or im losing the plot). It only occurred to me because of the Illehune - Clan Hune - Illythiir - Gargauth connection.

Gargauth was trapped in the Pit of xxxx beneath Peleveran for quite some time until 1018 DR.

Tithklar Illehune Illehhune discovered the Hidden Shield late in the 9th century DR in the Fields of the Dead in the Western Heartlands.

Sammaster met Algashon Nathaire late in the 9th century DR around Baldur's Gate (In the Western Heartlands).


It just struck me that Algashon may well have been a hereditary member of the Knights of the Shield.

Gargauth needed a way out of the Pit he was trapped in. He had no way of reaching anyone in Peleveran (im guessing they had to be in very close proximity for him to communicate with them). His only means of communication with the outside world was through the Shield of the Hidden Lord that had been used to bind him into the pit in the first place (probably by Halaster).

He also had a blood tie to the descendants of Clan Hune of the Illythiiri. The bloodline had been corrupted in the Illythiiri when they were transformed into drow, but he was still connected to the human descendants of slaves and captives taken by Clan Hune (and mated with) in Keltormir during the Crown Wars.

He reached out to Tithklar and drew him to the forgotten barrow that he was trapped in. Then he began helping Tithklar rebuild the Knights of the Shield. One of those members was Algashon Nathaire, a minor member who had recently become embroiled in the affairs of Sammaster.

In 916 DR Sammaster was killed and Algashon and the Cult of the Dragon was forced to disperse north and west by its enemies. This took Algashon into the Western Heartlands once more and given his now more prominent position among the Cult of the Dragon, he was soon elevated to the newly formed Shield Council of the Knights of the Shield.

With new resources at his disposal it didn't take long for Algashon to unite the Cult behind his banner and make a return to Sembia and the gateway to the Inner Sea over the following century.

Under Garguath's whisperings, Algashon was influenced to turn the attention of the Cult of the Dragon south.

When Algashon was ordered to send someone to an unknown settlement in the far flung corners of Faerun, Algashon chose his most dangerous rival and essentially exiled him to Peleveran in the Shaar.

Little did he know that Gargauth himself was waiting in Peleveran, and he was disappointed that Algashon did not come in person, plus he needed enough power to shatter the very earth he was trapped in so he needed godlike powers or a flight of dragons to do his bidding.



Anyway, that's my new thinking of what happened. I always wondered why the Cult of the Dragon suddenly decided to expand to Peleveran which is miles away from anywhere. But if Algashon was a member of the Shield Council then Gargauth could have ordered someone there.

Is it coincidence that Algashon is hearing the whisperings of Gargauth now in 1374 DR after his return to unlife. Yes Gargauth spoke to Algashon briefly in 1018 DR to inform him of Tuelhalva's plans but that is not enough to inspire lifelong devotion to a god, it makes more sense if his exposure to Gargauth was subtler and over a longer period.

I doubt I will be so lucky as to get THO or Ed's opinion on this theory twice in one thread but I can hope.


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sleyvas
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USA
6918 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2014 :  00:27:25  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Adding my +1 to liking this idea of Gargauth using the Knights of the Shield to free himself using the Cult of the Dragon. The dates seem to be viable (According to Cloak and Dagger the Knights of the Shield were formed in -170 DR, and according to P&P Tuelhalva Drakewings frees Gargauth after 1001 DR). It might work better if Algashon were simply using the Knights as information brokers, and they fed him information that led him to send Tuelhalva there, as Algashon might be too firmly a Banite to also be a shield council member (i.e. unless Gargauth convinced Algashon that he was the voice of Bane... could be problematic though).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3845 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2014 :  08:02:07  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well dragons of faerun mentions that algashon is listening to the whispers of gargauth now.

We know he was a devout banite at sammasters death but we dont know much about algashon after that.

I doubt gargauth requires worship of him in order to join the shield council, but once on the council his seductive whisperings must be difficult to resist

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5047 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2014 :  15:59:13  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hope, dazzlerdal, shall set you triumphant.
Your speculations regarding Gargauth's bid for freedom are very, ah, omniscient. Almost as if you can read Ed's mind...

(Hey! That's MY job!)
love,
THO
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3845 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2014 :  20:18:48  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do love it when I have my hat of "Channel Ed Greenwood" on. Unfortunately it would appear that it is an invisible hat that I am unaware of even when it is on my head, otherwise I would use it all the time.

Still, now that I can tie Algashon to the Knights of the Shield and Gargauth, it explains Gargauth's association with the Church of Bane (he destroyed that Inn the Harper's liked I believe), and makes me wonder a few more things.

If Algashon was as high in the Church of Bane as I think he was, and if Algashon was beginning to entertain the whisperings of Gargauth, and if Algashon had been bringing the Church of Bane and the Cult of the Dragon into closer unity (until his death), then how many other Banites were secretly worshipping Gargauth as well.

Maybe Gargauth does not have a church of his own, perhaps he survives by infiltrating and creating "double agents" within the churches of others. It would fit his portfolio of political intrigue.


Maybe I will assemble enough info and ideas to do a deity focus on Gargauth in my fan magazine.

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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1583 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2014 :  00:54:10  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

He also had a blood tie to the descendants of Clan Hune of the Illythiiri. The bloodline had been corrupted in the Illythiiri when they were transformed into drow, but he was still connected to the human descendants of slaves and captives taken by Clan Hune (and mated with) in Keltormir during the Crown Wars.
What "connected to the human descendants of slaves and captives" is worth?
Also, why some people think of the Drow - or Illythiiri for that matter - as something like immature WASPs with nothing better to do than "improve value" of their property personally? Between elven high standards (at least on the looks), being kind of busy with things more interesting for them and the mindsets cultivated among the followers of either Lolth or Ghanadaur, this sort of behaviour sounds at least unlikely.
quote:
Anyway, that's my new thinking of what happened. I always wondered why the Cult of the Dragon suddenly decided to expand to Peleveran which is miles away from anywhere.
Usually, the Cult of the Dragon expands somewhere when they discover potentially recruitable dragon(s) nearby.
Of course, how they happen to stummble on this is another matter.

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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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3845 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2014 :  01:45:17  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately not being an elf I can only impose human like behaviour upon the subjects. Taking a substitute lover (willing or not) while away on war is not something new for humans.

The fact that the Illythiir were demon influenced suggests to me they had embraced their baser instincts like violence, sex, cruelty, vengeance etc. The human slaves could have been taken for property value as slaves (which yes would warranty some improvement to increase its usefulness), they could have been taken to provide extra troops on the frontline (again warranting some improvement), or perhaps the elves just did it because they could.

Its not like this kind of thing doesn't happen with the drow, Dambrath being a good example. I just view the Illythiiri as drow without the curse so whatever they do now is similar to what they did them, especially after they had been corrupted by Wendonai.

And besides, if THO/Ed says its true then for me its true.




On to the demon connection thing, I take it as very important having a blood connection with an incredibly powerful outsider. I believe some of the War of the Spider Queen or Lady Penitent novels established that Wendonai's blood is mingled with that of the drow (through obvious means I would expect).

A lot of fiction places importance on a blood link to provide justification for rather unlikely circumstances. In the realms itself it could be that the descent of the Illythiiri was purely based on a blood link with Araushnee (although you have to ignore the recent revelation of brown elves and go with past intimations that the Illythiiri were actually green elves).

If Gargauth were trapped for millennia in a planar rift/prison at the bottom of a huge hole in the ground then he is going to need outside help to get out. I picture him sending his mind out into the world a bit like Xavier in XMen when he uses cerebro to find mutants (but without cerebro). Gargauth is searching for someone nearby that is receptive to his temptations and whispering so he needs someone that is evil at their very core and whose mind wont be shattered by the strange visions he sends them. Obviously a creature related to Gargauth himself is going to be first choice, and it just so happens one is nearby to the shield. Yes its flimsy but not impossible, and its more likely than just a random accident, and more interesting. It wouldn't surprise me if Gargauth tried communicating with several people in the nearby area only to have them commit suicide or murder or become gibbering wrecks, then he found Tithklar.

And again if THO/Ed says its true then for me its true.

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3845 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2014 :  13:43:57  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh and in case i didnt say it earlier, many thanks THO and Ed.

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3845 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2014 :  20:48:58  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Came across some interesting quotes in Cloak and Dagger that bear some mention

First is

quote:
For over three centuries, at least one member of the Shield Council has secretly been a priest of Gargauth, serving as the Speaker for the Hidden Lord in the Outcast’s cult.


So it looks to me that until 3 centuries ago, which coincides nicely with 1018 DR, Gargauth was imprisoned and unable to ascend, the site of his imprisonment was the pit beneath peleveran (not the shield). He ascends after the battle at the Sign of the Silver Harp and then his cult must have arisen centred around the Shield Council.

This also leads me to believe that there is a possibility that Algashon himself rose to the position of Speaker for the Hidden Lord some time between 920 DR and 1018 DR. That way Gargauth communicated to Algashon through the shield. It also gives a clue as to why Algashon now (in 1374 DR) is turning towards worship of Gargauth.

The curses of the shield are as follows:

quote:
While in direct physical contact with the Shield, the bearer is subject to the whisperings of Gargauth. Relentless litanies of chanting in the language of Baator, those whisperings have the potential to drive the subject mad. For every round in contact with the Shield, the bearer must make a Wisdom check. Failure indicates that the subject acts immediately on his cruelest and most basic instinct.
The use of any invoked power cloaks the bearer of the Shield in an amber radiance for 1 round and subjects him to the effects of a spiritual corruption spell. Additional invocations of the Shield’s powers cause the amber radiance to manifest again. There is no additional effect unless the Shield bearer has already escaped the effects of the spiritual corruption spell, in which case the process begins anew.


I checked out the Spiritual Corruption spell and it eventually turns a being towards worship of Gargauth.



Then there is this quote

quote:
The Outcast can also employ the shield as a conduit for his manifestations, and has done so on at least two occasions.


I checked out the manifestations of Gargauth and his manifestations are his avatar obviously, as an amber glow around anyone calling his aid (it has the spiritual corruption effect noted above), as a bone protrusion (horn) growing from the head of an animal, and as a thick carpet of thousands of serpents or insects, or a flock of simpathetics.

So if any of these events are detailed in the history of Faerun in the past 300 years in the Heartlands region (Western Heartlands, Tethyr, Amn, Dalelands, Cormyr, Sembia) then that will be one of the two events mentioned above. Although I think the two manifestations will be the corrupting amber radiance (one of which might have been on Algashon).


And finally the means of destruction I find most interesting, particularly the first one.

quote:
The Shield must be subject to a disintegration spell cast by the long dead Count Vizera Zahyra Bardson-Ithal, creator of the Shield of Silvam.
The Shield must be buried within the Dark Pit of Maleficence beneath the Landrise and the ruins of the capital city of Peleveran.
The Shield must be bathed in the blood on an Abyssal Lord of the Tanar’ri and the shattered pieces dropped into the River Styx.


I can understand the last two methods of destruction. Gargauth was imprisoned inside the pit for a long time and I think the pit opens onto the Abyss. Gargauth has a power that allows him to consume and absorb the power of tanar'ri (and baatezu according to P&P) so bathing a baatezu powered artefact into the blood of a demon lord is going to break it.

However the first method is quite specific and unusual. Why have the shield destroyed if hit by a spell cast by the first vizera of Tethyr.
Artefacts can typically be destroyed by the creator or using methods similar to its creation (The One Ring for instance) so perhaps Zahyra was not so beneficient as she first appears.

Certainly she was a very powerful spellcaster, and she created a shield designed to protect King Silvam which seems a good act, but it had powers that allowed communication over long distances (like the shield of the hidden lord). Zahyra was rumoured to be in a relationship with Silvam and undoubtedly had a lot of influence over the king of Tethyr, it would not be outside of the remit of a worshipper of Gargauth to use any means (including generosity) to gain a position of power (look at Inselm Hhune and his loyalty to Zaranda).

Then there is this quote
quote:
The clan lords distrusted Rhynda because of her status as Vizera and former apprentice of the much-maligned First Vizera Zahyra Ithal.


Why was Zahyra much maligned, maybe the ill feeling was not unfounded.

I wonder if Zahyra was involved in creating the Shield of the Hidden Lord for Gargauth. Certainly the description of the Shield of Silvam and the Shield of the Hidden Lord bear some similarities (a round shield made of mithril.

Of course as to what purpose she helped the create the shield I don't know. Anyone have any suggestions.

If I wonder about THO appearing again with some more nods of agreement or a clue about the creation of the Shield of the Hidden Lord, do you think I can get three times in one thread?

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6918 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2014 :  00:09:20  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Came across some interesting quotes in Cloak and Dagger that bear some mention

First is

quote:
For over three centuries, at least one member of the Shield Council has secretly been a priest of Gargauth, serving as the Speaker for the Hidden Lord in the Outcast’s cult.


So it looks to me that until 3 centuries ago, which coincides nicely with 1018 DR, Gargauth was imprisoned and unable to ascend, the site of his imprisonment was the pit beneath peleveran (not the shield). He ascends after the battle at the Sign of the Silver Harp and then his cult must have arisen centred around the Shield Council.

This also leads me to believe that there is a possibility that Algashon himself rose to the position of Speaker for the Hidden Lord some time between 920 DR and 1018 DR. That way Gargauth communicated to Algashon through the shield. It also gives a clue as to why Algashon now (in 1374 DR) is turning towards worship of Gargauth.

The curses of the shield are as follows:

quote:
While in direct physical contact with the Shield, the bearer is subject to the whisperings of Gargauth. Relentless litanies of chanting in the language of Baator, those whisperings have the potential to drive the subject mad. For every round in contact with the Shield, the bearer must make a Wisdom check. Failure indicates that the subject acts immediately on his cruelest and most basic instinct.
The use of any invoked power cloaks the bearer of the Shield in an amber radiance for 1 round and subjects him to the effects of a spiritual corruption spell. Additional invocations of the Shield’s powers cause the amber radiance to manifest again. There is no additional effect unless the Shield bearer has already escaped the effects of the spiritual corruption spell, in which case the process begins anew.


I checked out the Spiritual Corruption spell and it eventually turns a being towards worship of Gargauth.



Then there is this quote

quote:
The Outcast can also employ the shield as a conduit for his manifestations, and has done so on at least two occasions.


I checked out the manifestations of Gargauth and his manifestations are his avatar obviously, as an amber glow around anyone calling his aid (it has the spiritual corruption effect noted above), as a bone protrusion (horn) growing from the head of an animal, and as a thick carpet of thousands of serpents or insects, or a flock of simpathetics.

So if any of these events are detailed in the history of Faerun in the past 300 years in the Heartlands region (Western Heartlands, Tethyr, Amn, Dalelands, Cormyr, Sembia) then that will be one of the two events mentioned above. Although I think the two manifestations will be the corrupting amber radiance (one of which might have been on Algashon).


And finally the means of destruction I find most interesting, particularly the first one.

quote:
The Shield must be subject to a disintegration spell cast by the long dead Count Vizera Zahyra Bardson-Ithal, creator of the Shield of Silvam.
The Shield must be buried within the Dark Pit of Maleficence beneath the Landrise and the ruins of the capital city of Peleveran.
The Shield must be bathed in the blood on an Abyssal Lord of the Tanar’ri and the shattered pieces dropped into the River Styx.


I can understand the last two methods of destruction. Gargauth was imprisoned inside the pit for a long time and I think the pit opens onto the Abyss. Gargauth has a power that allows him to consume and absorb the power of tanar'ri (and baatezu according to P&P) so bathing a baatezu powered artefact into the blood of a demon lord is going to break it.

However the first method is quite specific and unusual. Why have the shield destroyed if hit by a spell cast by the first vizera of Tethyr.
Artefacts can typically be destroyed by the creator or using methods similar to its creation (The One Ring for instance) so perhaps Zahyra was not so beneficient as she first appears.

Certainly she was a very powerful spellcaster, and she created a shield designed to protect King Silvam which seems a good act, but it had powers that allowed communication over long distances (like the shield of the hidden lord). Zahyra was rumoured to be in a relationship with Silvam and undoubtedly had a lot of influence over the king of Tethyr, it would not be outside of the remit of a worshipper of Gargauth to use any means (including generosity) to gain a position of power (look at Inselm Hhune and his loyalty to Zaranda).

Then there is this quote
quote:
The clan lords distrusted Rhynda because of her status as Vizera and former apprentice of the much-maligned First Vizera Zahyra Ithal.


Why was Zahyra much maligned, maybe the ill feeling was not unfounded.

I wonder if Zahyra was involved in creating the Shield of the Hidden Lord for Gargauth. Certainly the description of the Shield of Silvam and the Shield of the Hidden Lord bear some similarities (a round shield made of mithril.

Of course as to what purpose she helped the create the shield I don't know. Anyone have any suggestions.

If I wonder about THO appearing again with some more nods of agreement or a clue about the creation of the Shield of the Hidden Lord, do you think I can get three times in one thread?



Holy cow, now THAT is a good find. Good work man.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 22 Jul 2014 :  16:53:13  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ooh, and i found something else. One of Gargauth's enemies is the church of Xvim (later the church of Bane) who instructs his faithful to combat Gargauth's followers but doesnt tell them the reason, which apparently is to stem the rise of the cult.

If i'm right about Algashon then it looks like Gargauth's cult might have begun to infect the church of Bane at some point around Algashon's rise which is why Bane/Iyachtu Xvim has ordered the cult to be stopped at all costs to prevent it happening again.

Gargauth's cult makes a perfect parasite for the church of Bane (given Gargauth's portfolio) so the cult could have stayed hidden for many years.

Remembering back to my Church of Bane research i recall there being a prolonged period of strife from 1076 DR onwards after the death of Imperceptor Forja Bdondar. It could have been during this time that Gargauth's cult was exposed and eliminated within the church of Bane.



Im still very puzzled though over the creation of the Shield of the Hidden Lord. Something is nagging in my mind that it is to do with the very creation of the Knights of the Shield during Silvam's reign but i cant figure out what

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Edited by - dazzlerdal on 22 Jul 2014 16:57:27
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Demzer
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Posted - 22 Jul 2014 :  18:10:00  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Uhm interesting conundrums.
I doubt Zahyra's supposed affiliation to Gargauth (if there it was) could be discovered by the barbarian Clans of Tethyr that shunned magic.
I suspect the "much-maligned" is related to political struggles and power balances among the Clans but that's just a feeling i get from some of the changes in Clan balance in Tethyr in the years during which she was Court Vizera (-170 to -99 DR).
She was the offspring of a union of two Clans (she was named Bardson-Ithal) and married into a third Clan (she was the wife of the king cousin, the king cousins were Amir Tarseth II and Ra'id Tarseth II, sons of the treacherous Amir Tarseth I that had King Darrom killed), her appointment as Court Vizera was opposed by her aunt-in-law (the half-elf Queen Saraala Tarseth, mother of King Silvam) for unknown reasons, she was suspected to have a secret relationship with the king, the Tarseth Clan nobility was obliterated in -133 DR but we know that she survived until -99 DR and somehow the Ithal Clan Chief in -91 DR ended up being Zahyryn Ithal (we don't know who his parents were but the name sure gives some hints, right?).
So i think by the time Rhynda was on the doorstep of Regency the Clans where wary of a female (no female ruled them until her) spellcaster (there was a rise in local supertitions against magic [from Lands of Intrigue: Tethyr page 27]) tutored by the previous Vizera (whose political machination were probably infamous since the Ithal Clan Chief was of her blood and maybe the son of a bastard of King Silvam too? Oh the horror!).
That was a time of strife among the Clans and i think the reasons for dislikes and distrusts were mainly political.

BUT that's not to say that Court Vizera Zahyra Bardson-Ithal had nothing to do with Gargauth or the Shield of the Hidden Lord. After all, it's very suspect for a random Clan woman of Tethyr (a land of wild/sylvan elves and almost barbaric humans) to be so well versed in the Art ("her magical powers amazed many" quoted from Lands of Intrigue: Tethyr page 26) as to create two very powerful magic items.
I believe (part of) the answer to this conundrum lies with the identity of her mysterious mentor (the one i suspect was the source of her mastery of the Art and that, through her, started the Shoon dynasty in Calimshan [Akkabar Shoon was a colleague and student of Rhynda, herself student of Zahyra]).

On the topic of the two Shields, i don't find any similarity beyond the fact they were shields of mithral.
Both are around in the 1360s (the Shield of the Hidden Lord with the Knights, the Shield of Silvam with Prince later King Headrak) and i'm going to play with the fact some external influence want to steer the Knights actions towards their true ancestral doings (treasurers and information gatherers for the Crown of Tethyr).

Zahyra and her mysterious mentor had a lot of time to craft the Shield of the Hidden Lord, but i'm at a loss as to why she would do such a thing (maybe it was an artifact planned to contain Gargauth that over time was completely corrupted?), when she did it and who her mentor was (Halaster is out, still in stasis while Zahyra was alive).

EDIT: Oh, also on this ...

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal
If I wonder about THO appearing again with some more nods of agreement or a clue about the creation of the Shield of the Hidden Lord, do you think I can get three times in one thread?



Here in Italy we have a saying "Non c'è due senza tre", meaning that something that happened two times is bound to happen a third time.

Edited by - Demzer on 22 Jul 2014 18:13:10
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 22 Jul 2014 :  19:59:34  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
See that was my thought.

Zahyra Bardsson Ithal has done nothing overtly bad yet everyone seemed to dislike her.

She was very powerful and that usually garners dislike and mistrust.

However just because she has never been caught doing something bad doesn't mean she isn't bad, it just means she was smart.

It was the rumour of a relationship with King Silvam that got me thinking she could be a wrongun. After all she was a relative nobody before being made court Vizera. Then suddenly she is catapulted to a position of near absolute power, no one is going to have more power over the king (except perhaps his wife, although it looks like Zahyra managed to beat her control as well).

Political games, intrigue, corruption, that all sounds like the schemes of Gargauth (of course he wasn't a god then, he was just a regular ex lord of the nine - if there is such a thing as "regular" ex lord of the nine).

The fact that Zahyra has a mentor who helps her create the Shield of Silvam I find intriguing. She sounds like an awesomely powerful wizardess so why would she need any help, and more importantly who was this mysterious mentor?

I think the only reason for Gargauth creating the shield is to bend people towards worship of him. Passing the shield on to key individuals is more or less guaranteed to convert them to evil and bend them towards Gargauth's will. Zahyra could pass it to Rhynda who passes it to Shoon and every single one of them was an evil conniving snake so perhaps they all held it at some point.

Rhynda's coming to rule Tethyr was certainly as suspect as Vizera Zahyra's rise to power. King Garynor Ithal dying suddenly with his only heir an infant of four years.

The whole state of succession from Silvam to Shoon was very suspect, as though someone was orchestrating the whole thing behind the scenes (Gargauth), bumping off people so he could get more control.

Through the shield Gargauth could control the direction of Tethyr (and later Shoon) for hundreds of years. Then I think about what happened in Shoon that was exactly what Gargauth wanted, for the empire to bring in hundreds of baatezu and tanar'ri for him to devour.

The more I read about the early kings of Tethyr the more I think the whole thing stinks of evil plotting, but maybe that's just because I am looking for it.

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

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Posted - 22 Jul 2014 :  20:20:18  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

See that was my thought.

Zahyra Bardsson Ithal has done nothing overtly bad yet everyone seemed to dislike her.

She was very powerful and that usually garners dislike and mistrust.

However just because she has never been caught doing something bad doesn't mean she isn't bad, it just means she was smart.

It was the rumour of a relationship with King Silvam that got me thinking she could be a wrongun. After all she was a relative nobody before being made court Vizera. Then suddenly she is catapulted to a position of near absolute power, no one is going to have more power over the king (except perhaps his wife, although it looks like Zahyra managed to beat her control as well).

Political games, intrigue, corruption, that all sounds like the schemes of Gargauth (of course he wasn't a god then, he was just a regular ex lord of the nine - if there is such a thing as "regular" ex lord of the nine).

The fact that Zahyra has a mentor who helps her create the Shield of Silvam I find intriguing. She sounds like an awesomely powerful wizardess so why would she need any help, and more importantly who was this mysterious mentor?

I think the only reason for Gargauth creating the shield is to bend people towards worship of him. Passing the shield on to key individuals is more or less guaranteed to convert them to evil and bend them towards Gargauth's will. Zahyra could pass it to Rhynda who passes it to Shoon and every single one of them was an evil conniving snake so perhaps they all held it at some point.

Rhynda's coming to rule Tethyr was certainly as suspect as Vizera Zahyra's rise to power. King Garynor Ithal dying suddenly with his only heir an infant of four years.

The whole state of succession from Silvam to Shoon was very suspect, as though someone was orchestrating the whole thing behind the scenes (Gargauth), bumping off people so he could get more control.

Through the shield Gargauth could control the direction of Tethyr (and later Shoon) for hundreds of years. Then I think about what happened in Shoon that was exactly what Gargauth wanted, for the empire to bring in hundreds of baatezu and tanar'ri for him to devour.

The more I read about the early kings of Tethyr the more I think the whole thing stinks of evil plotting, but maybe that's just because I am looking for it.



This is fascinating to watch and read, as it's a whole new way to interpret and use the materials we left lying around in the sandbox.

I won't bother you with my understanding of Zahyra (as her creator) because it's both irrelevant and disruptive to what you're building here. I'm enjoying it too much to mess with your train of thought.

I will say I wanted Zahyra to be a near-mythological figure of mystery and confusion and magic that could be used from any number of angles. (And I deleted a list of inspirations and ideas from which she sprang, as that'd disturb and disrupt things, which is far from my intention.)

Remember, there's the matter of her volumes of diaries/journals recovered from her tomb, so there's lots of hinted at material to plumb and plant plot seeds of your own.

Cheering on this new stuff from 16+ year old material....and hope that people find more to plumb from this and other works in the future.

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com

Edited by - Steven Schend on 22 Jul 2014 20:22:42
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 22 Jul 2014 :  20:56:35  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Volumes and Diaries huh. I haven't come across them yet, but since I have been converting all sourcebooks into word docs (the ones without pdfs are a real pain for my 33 year old fingers), I'm sure a search of Vizera, Zahyra, or Bardsson should bring up something. Unless of course someone wants to point me in the right direction/sourcebook.

If you feel like being generous Mr Schend then you could always post your original idea for it once I've exhausted the material and my imagination (or you could send it just to me if you don't want to put it out into the wider world).

I do intend to do a deity writeup of Gargauth at some point, I just need to figure out the origin of this darn shield, and a bit more about his history before 1018 DR.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 22 Jul 2014 :  20:58:46  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh and Cloak and Dagger is the latest book I am converting to word documents and i'm only on page 78 so I'm sure there will be more hidden gems I hope to discover once I get onto the next secret organisation.


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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 22 Jul 2014 :  21:23:34  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OMG

This is about the last court Vizera Wyvorlaa
quote:
In the Year of Dawn Moons (1188 DR), she was discovered to be consorting with foul undead and an ancient lich in caverns below the Starspire Mountains.


Of course the undead the quote refers to is actually the Twisted Rune.


But guess where Zahyra's tomb is located

quote:
Manuscripts on this time were recently uncovered in the Starspire Mountains by agents of my court historian. They discovered the lost tomb of First Vizera Zahyra Ithal, and they gave our court 52 bound diaries and a septet of magical workbooks and notebooks, which are our sources of these histories and were authenticated by my court Vizera and my Court Sage. In addition, various artifacts from this period were found, including the spectacular Eye of Zahyra, a longfabled crystal ball with connections to the Shield of Silvam.


Now why would Zahyra entomb herself with the Eye of Zahyra unless she wasn't really dead and actually wanted to keep an eye on the kings of Tethyr. The Shield of Silvam certainly wasn't entombed with her, in fact Tethyr seems to have tried to horde all the artefacts of its past as royal regalia (they have tons) but over the years they got lost.



And thanks to Steven Schend's clue I went digging and found a preview of the Lands of Intrigue with some information that was cut from the final release.

quote:
[Private Note] Elminster, Zee and I have informed our people of the discovery of the Tomb of Zahyra, First Vizera, at Greencourt this year to much confusion and shock. However, as the Seekers of Knowledge informed the court, they were led to it by Zahyra's spirit, which entreated them to enter (despite their misgivings). Given various tests by priests and mages alike, the trio of adventurer-scholars were found truthful and loyal, and thus were spared the usual boiling-deaths of tomb-robbers. Still, while the information and artifacts found in the crypt are highly valuable to our Court, a number of nobles have petitioned me to restore them to the tomb—A measure I intend to fulfill in part upon yours arrival.
What was not said among open Court was even more astonishing. I only quote them here now, El, as they told me of what the ghost said to them over a year ago: "The star has risen, and the lion breaches the waves once more. All I know must be known again, that the work of noble Darrom and my beloved Silvam may begin anew. When the time is right, the star, the lion, and my lady's elect may visit me, and my destiny and Tethyr's glory shall be fulfilled." Now, obviously Zee and I are invited, as our personal symbols mark us as the star and lion. Now, the `elect' I believe are Mystra's Chosen, since Zahyra's diaries show that she never once referred to any of her queens as `my lady,' given the queens' hostilities toward her; thus, the lady becomes, of course, her goddess Mystra.
I should like you, Alustriel, Laeral, and Khelben to accompany us to the tomb to hear what Zahyra asks of us; Sylune has already requested an audience with another who seems, like her, dead yet still among the living. We can cloak this meeting during some official function requiring delegates of the Lords' Alliance to travel to Tethyr, and clandestinely answer the summons of this ancient sage.
I have kept the tomb's location secret, and only my Court Sage, Vizera, the queen, and the tomb's explorers know where it lies. I look forward to seeing you again that we may share this quest for hidden knowledge. —King Haedrak


Now it may be my suspicious mind but I reckon that meeting is a trap. Gargauth appears to have been no friend of the Harpers (created by Elminster and other members of the chosen). I can't think who "Zee" is at the moment but getting all the chosen into one place and killing them all off sounds devilish. I haven't looked into the chosen yet but I wonder when the seven sister's were born?

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Demzer
Senior Scribe

549 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2014 :  08:49:18  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I can't think who "Zee" is at the moment but getting all the chosen into one place and killing them all off sounds devilish. I haven't looked into the chosen yet but I wonder when the seven sister's were born?



I think "Zee" is how King Haedrak calls Queen Zaranda Star in private.

EDIT: Also ...

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal
... getting all the chosen into one place and killing them all off sounds devilish.



It sounds incredibly stupid as a plan for someone with Gargauth's pedigree.

Edited by - Demzer on 23 Jul 2014 09:00:13
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