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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
660 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2015 :  12:34:46  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, one of arguments, that Talfiri and Tethyrians are connected, is the fact that the nations who overhelmed Talfiri, quite match those who immigrated to Tethyr and Amn, and overhelmed the original Tethens.

Tethyrians, as late as of -212 DR, are called barbarians, with Clovis Ithal, being described as their chief, rather than king.

Also, the Shadow Shield Feat, requires one to be of Tethyrian, or Talfir human.

Also, about Thaeravel and Tethyr, as Markustay wrote comparing Talfir to Native Americans, most of the North American tribes, were "barbaric", or rather tribal, with those in Central and South America building civilisations. Although there still were Native Americans, who had a tribal life style in South America.
The extremely ancient civilisations of Sumer, Elam, and early Dravidan India, appear to have possibly been of the Australoid enthnic group, the same to which the Aboriginal Australians are part of.
Within Faerun itself, it appears that while Netherese built an advanced civilisation, the very probably closely related Rengarth, Ulutiun, and Snow Hunters, were rather barbaric. I general, I started to call the group of which Rengarth, Ulutiun, and Netherese were most probably part of, as Ulou, after the language group all of them are part of.

Although as I wrote before, Thaeravel might be another Ulou civilisation, or a mixed Talfir/Ulou one.

[EDIT]

But ultimately, it's hard to tell what happened really, as the history about Talfir, is still very mysterious, and know relatively little about them. Your theories, and propostion may be very right Aldrick. As I mentioned, I like your theory about people coming to the forest of Tethir from Vilhon Reach, and later going north, and merging with the tribes of Western Heartlands, to become the Talfir properly. And I as I wrote before, proposing that Talfir may be a corropted version of the word Tethir is pretty brilliant.

[EDIT2]

Although Native Americans, are(and were) most probably more ethnically varied than Talfiri.

Edited by - Baltas on 08 Mar 2015 18:39:09
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2015 :  03:39:08  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas
Although Native Americans, are(and were) most probably more ethnically varied than Talfiri.


Yeah, this is one of the reasons I decided not to use Native Americans as Markus did, and instead decided to draw comparison to the Uthgardt Barbarians. I think the Uthgardt are a better cultural analog to the ancient Talfiric people. Not identical by any stretch of the imagination, but similar enough to wrap our minds around. They would have spoken the same language, worshiped the same deities, and lived in the same region. Many of their core customs would have been similar or overlapped, and they would have been divided into tribal groups. My hunch is that Tempus was likely prominent among their worshipers, and as a result they were likely warlike in nature.

It is difficult to say what influence Ebenfar had on the lands south of modern day Amn and Tethyr. So little is known about Ebenfar. However, anything "shadow" related comes out of that era.

Prior to this time, it seems unlikely that the Talfir went south in any significant numbers. After all, why would they? The south is always stronger than the tribal peoples living there, and they are being conquered and enslaved. Why would any rational group of people want to move toward that? Quite the opposite seems true, that tribal peoples (who are being conquered and enslaved) would be fleeing northward into the Western Heartlands. This seems to me the most obvious and logical connection to when the people of Tethyr and Talfir had the most contact--which would have started after the Great Arrival, and picked up steam as Calimshan conquered more and more territory--up to the territory held by modern day Amn.

My guess is that the mix really started to happen after the rise of Ebenfar. There were likely cultural and trade exchanges as a result. I am guessing this is when the mixing and the blurring of the lines happened.
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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
660 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2015 :  10:54:05  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quite possible Aldrick, but George himself wrote.
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

There are numerous references to human barbarian tribes existing within the woodlands of Keltormir. After a series of dragon assaults had carved up the forests, these human tribes settled the cleared areas within both Keltormir and the remnants of Shantel Othreier. In my Realms, these were the forbears of the Talfir.



So George also identifies the Tethir barbarians, with Talfir. Although it's possible the proto-Talfir, went north from the forrest of Tethir, into the Western Heartlands, possibly also merging with some pre-eqisting groups of humans there.

Edited by - Baltas on 09 Mar 2015 19:23:50
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2015 :  04:54:09  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

quote:
Well, it pretty heavily implied in Races of Faerun, that Talfiric culture and language, were those of ancient Tethyr culture, that got overtime overriden by Chondathan, Illuskan, Calishyte and Netherese. George Krashos even commented in this thread, that he thinks(and has in his home campaign) that the (human)peoples who lived in areas of Keltomir, were in fact Talfiric.


That's not actually what Races of Faerun says--it is reversed.

"...the Talfir gradually disappeared over a thousand years ago, their culture overwhelmed by refugees from Low Netheril, Calishite settlers from the south, and Chondathan settlers from the Dragon Coast." - Races of Faerun (pg. 109) <snip>
This actually backs-up some of my supposition - it clearly states that the Talfir peoples were 'driven out' by Netherease, and we have it in canon that the Netherease took-over the Thaeravel lands. Not saying they are necessarily speaking of the same thing, but it is a distinct possibility.

Also, I am speaking in 'broad strokes' here. There really is no such thing as a 'wholly evil' or 'wholly good' society. i am sure most think they are 'good', and probably are near their beginning. Time has a way of corrupting everything (entropy works on social systems as well).

Thus, I picture a few Thaeraveli Sorcerers (the TRUE 'Sorcerer Kings' we later hear about in regards to Netheril) practicing 'shadowy' forms of magic, amongst others. This tradition, I believe, has something to do with the region these people are from (central Western Heartlands), and could be traced back to any number of things (The Dawn Cataclysm, Sundering, Dark Disaster, a plummeting 'Cosmic Muffin' from Outer space, etc, etc). As with any large group of semi-nomadic people, you would have differing levels of 'shadowy' dealings amongst the shamans and other magic users (I picture a dark cult growing in secret).

When Netheril invaded Thaeravel and mind-reamed them for their magic, I would imagine Telamont targeting specific Sorcerers who's magic greatly interested him, and the rest, as we say, "is history". Other Netherese Archmagi would have targeted other Sorcerers Towers and had other goals in mind, and I would imagine many of the more kind-hearted ones (because Netheril - like Thaeravel - was not 'wholly evil') may have simply annexed Thaeraveli towns and folk, incorporating them into their empire (because the Netherese would have only needed to kill the Sorcerers, not the commoners - commoners are a resource, and the Netherese were not stupid). in fact, I think this may have even been part of the whole 'high' and 'low' Netherese thing (true-born Netherese vs peoples they conquered). I would think only families that could trace their lineage back to Seventon would be allowed to dwell in the Sky cities.

So it wasn't an 'all or nothing' type of thing - it was a few bad seeds in one kingdom practicing 'dark arts', and then some other 'bad seeds' from an expanding empire wanting that knowledge for themselves. This is almost entirely theory, but based on a a lot of loose facts strewn about - some very important ones from the Stonelands material, which indicate there were two groups with cities in the region who hated each other and worshiped different gods. This is why I think the common people became absorbed into the empire (as lower-class citizens), and also shoe-horns nicely with what we know about how the religions were in-flux during that time period (and could also help to sweep a few continuity glitches under the table - different cities that were rivals would have completely different written records of certain events - like which god was important when).

The capital of Thaeravel was Rasiltih, which is clearly well within Netheril's southern border. Thaeravel would have had to been in the region of the stobelands/Goblin Marches. In fact, considering how early-on the Netherese took-out the Thaeraveli in their history, one could theorize that the Netherese borrowed quite a bit of their culture from them, in much the same way the Romans did from the Greeks. Ebenfar may have actually been a 'survivor state' of Thaeravel - the people who fled the invasion and didn't want to fall under Netheril's rule. Choosing the High moor for their new capital would have been smart, since the place has always been a cauldron of chaotic and dead magic since the Crown Wars - something the Netherese would have preferred to avoid.

So, as you can see, my view of the history of Faerūn is more of a "step back and see the big picture" kind of thing. I never liked the way the history has always been presented in isolated chunks, when thats not how history happens - everything is interrelated. People and civilizations don't simply disappear - they become something else, and in the process affect everyone and everything else around them.

Now, as for who founded Thaeravel - I have it where a certain High Artificer did, after he fled his homeland (he had recently discovered a 'shadow power source' himself, and his colleagues were beginning to scrutinize his work more then he liked). He couldn't find any of the purple stone his people were fond of, but there was some very nice alabaster material that would do. Of course, the official histories say he was in 'suspended animation' at the time... but I know thats just what he wanted us to think.

That last part is PURE homebrew, because I like it, and not based on ANYTHING canon (in fact, it sort of goes against it a bit, as I just mentioned above). I just like to think that it was around that time Larloch noticed Hilather, and may have even instigated the call for arms against Thaeravel (which guys like Telamont would have jumped all over). I like to draw connections between everything... because that just how stuff works.

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

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
660 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2015 :  10:59:34  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Now, as for who founded Thaeravel - I have it where a certain High Artificer did, after he fled his homeland (he had recently discovered a 'shadow power source' himself, and his colleagues were beginning to scrutinize his work more then he liked). He couldn't find any of the purple stone his people were fond of, but there was some very nice alabaster material that would do. Of course, the official histories say he was in 'suspended animation' at the time... but I know thats just what he wanted us to think.




I guess you mean Madryoch, interesting idea. Maybe some of people of Thaeravel, founded later Lantan? Lantanese, was described as a Imaskari language.
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2015 :  15:41:23  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

This actually backs-up some of my supposition - it clearly states that the Talfir peoples were 'driven out' by Netherease, and we have it in canon that the Netherease took-over the Thaeravel lands. Not saying they are necessarily speaking of the same thing, but it is a distinct possibility.

...

So, as you can see, my view of the history of Faerūn is more of a "step back and see the big picture" kind of thing. I never liked the way the history has always been presented in isolated chunks, when thats not how history happens - everything is interrelated. People and civilizations don't simply disappear - they become something else, and in the process affect everyone and everything else around them.


That's how I like to see things as well. People don't just disappear, they are conquered, dispersed, or otherwise ultimately absorbed in some way. History doesn't end, it just morphs in various directions. When talking about the Talfir, they did not disappear, they were just largely absorbed into the Low Netheril Refugees and into the culture and lands of the Moonshae islands as well as the other peoples along the Sword Coast.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

When Netheril invaded Thaeravel and mind-reamed them for their magic, I would imagine Telamont targeting specific Sorcerers who's magic greatly interested him, and the rest, as we say, "is history". Other Netherese Archmagi would have targeted other Sorcerers Towers and had other goals in mind, and I would imagine many of the more kind-hearted ones (because Netheril - like Thaeravel - was not 'wholly evil') may have simply annexed Thaeraveli towns and folk, incorporating them into their empire (because the Netherese would have only needed to kill the Sorcerers, not the commoners - commoners are a resource, and the Netherese were not stupid). in fact, I think this may have even been part of the whole 'high' and 'low' Netherese thing (true-born Netherese vs peoples they conquered). I would think only families that could trace their lineage back to Seventon would be allowed to dwell in the Sky cities.


I am not sure this is possible, as Thultanthar (Shade Enclave) was founded in –1471 DR and Thaeravel fell to the Netherese in -3392 DR. This is likely before Telemont was even born. Location wise, Shade was located above the northeastern border of Heip Lake. If you compare the map during that time, to the 3E Map, that would roughly correspond to the location of the Planes of Standing Stones region.

As an additional note of interest...

quote:
Originally found in Netheril: Empire of Magic, pg. 87

...this enclave was established in 2388 as a community of arcanists who specialized in planar research. The entire city was continuously bathed in shadow—even in broad daylight—by application of some version of the darkness spell. Some of the other enclaves believed the city was inhabited solely by undead who were sensitive to light.

....

The citizens of Shade built a mosque dedicated to the treacherous aspect of Tyche in 2714. They used her vengeful nature to benefit their goals while using the luck aspect of Tyche to weigh the result in their favor. The mosque was a mass of priests vying for supremacy over a congregation that was out for nothing more than a fuller pocket and revenge for anyone whose activities threatened theirs. One thing that kept them together was anger and suspicion against the church of Tyche in Imbrue.

...

Utilizing the archwizard Shadow’s notes, the city of Shade successfully completed an experiment started hundreds of years earlier: partially depositing their city on the Demiplane of Shadow. Heedless of the calls of the other archwizards, Shade pushed itself forward researching contact with other planes of existence.

...

Residents of Imbrue, who had kept a wary eye on the enclave since the establishment of their church to Tyche, noticed that the enclave was pulled into a misty, shadowfilled dimension at a time that roughly corresponded with the fall of the other enclaves. Their fate was never revealed."


Before I go further into this discussion, I think we need a clear timeline of events so we can picture the order all of this happened in. Here are the dates I am working with (all from GHotR):

quote:
-30000 DR: The Ba'etith create the Nether Scrolls.

-4300 DR: The Kingdom of Thaeravel is founded.

-3869 DR: Nether the Elder becomes the ruler of the fishing village of Gers.

-3859 DR: The Netheril Calender is created to celebrate the unification of the following villages: Gers, Gilan, Gustaf, Moran, Nauseef, and Janick. The union is known as the Alliance of Seventon, and it marks the first stirrings of the Netherese Empire.

-3856 DR: Nether's hold over the villages tightens, and they are formally unified and renamed the Kingdom of Netheril, which meant Nether's Land.

-3847 DR: The Abbey of the Moon, a temple to Selune, is built in Netheril. It served as a retreat as well as a place of learning.

-3830 DR: After establishing a formal dialogue with the humans of Netheril, the Eaerlanni elves instruct Netherese first true student of the Art: Therion of Gers. He is the first arcanist of Netheril.

-3654 DR: The Terraseer arrives in Netheril for the first time, and guides them away from learning magic from the Earlanni elves. He teaches them many secrets of the Art. In truth Terraseer is a sarrukh and a member of the Ba'etith, who created what became known as the Nether Scrolls.

-3533 DR: The Nether Scrolls are discovered amid the ruins of Aryvandaar. The Netherese cease to study magic from the Eaerlanni in favor of the scrolls' greater power, and are aided in their translation by the Terraseer.

-3392 DR: The Netherese conquer Thaeravel, and rip many new spells from the minds of the Thaeravelian sorcerers.

-3326 DR: The Abbey of the Moon is destroyed by forest fire. Although attempts were made to restore it, all failed.

-3315 DR: Ioulaum, one of the greatest archwizards of Netheril, is born.

-3014 DR: Ioulaum creates the first mythallar.

-3011 DR: Ioulaum creates the first mythallar-powered magic item.

-2954 DR: Ioulaum creates the enclave of Xinlenal, Netheril's first
floating city. The empire splits into Low and High Netheril.

-1471 DR: The floating enclave of Thultanthar (also known as the City of Shade or the Shade Enclave) is created in Netheril.

-361 DR: A band of ophidians stumbles across the ruins of an ancient sarrukh city, hidden beneath what is now the western end of the Forest of Wyrms. During their explorations, the ophidians discover the Naja Fountain, an ancient sarrukh artifact guarded by a powerful ha-naga named Terpenzi. Claiming to be the prophet of the World Serpent, Terpenzi proclaims himself King of Najara and begins a decades-long campaign to subjugate the scattered tribes of ophidians.

-339 DR: The Fall of Netheril. Thultanthar escapes the destruction of Netheril by transporting their enclave and their entire populations to the Plane of Shadow/Demiplane of Shadow/Shadowfell.

34 DR: A Talfirian bard named Verraketh Talember discovers the Shadowstar, a mysterious artifact that fell like a shooting star into the High Moor. While the artifact slowly transformed him into the Shadowking, Verraketh gathered an army of shadow-spinners and began forcibly assimilating the Netherese and Talfirian realms of the Chionthar river valley into the empire of Ebenfar.

89 DR: Terpenzi, the naga king of Najara in the Heartlands, foresees its death at the hands of Verraketh the Shadowking of Ebenfar and orders its subjects to seek out the magics of ancient Netheril while it searches for a mate.

90 DR: Terpenzi assembles a great army of ophidians commanded by yuan-ti to attack the growing might of Ebenfar. The armies of Ebenfar destroy the city of SS'thar'tiss'ssun, cloak its ruins in powerful warding spells, and scatter the serpentfolk of Najara. Terpenzi leads its remaining armies into battle with the Shadowking but is destroyed. The battlefield becomes known as the Fields of the Dead.

140 DR: Fleeing persecution under the Shadowking of Ebenfar, tribes of lost Talfir cross the Sea of Swords and settle along the southern shores of the island they name Gwynneth.

147 DR: Azuth worshipers formally break with the Church of Mystra and establish the House of the High One Ascendant in the mountains near Lhair.

323 DR: The empire of Ebenfar collapses after the imprisonment of the Shadowking.

1364 DR: The Harper Caledan Caldorien is corrupted by the evil of the shadowstone and begins a transformation into the Shadowking. He releases three shadevari servants into Faerūn that are destroyed by his former adventuring companions. They succeed in saving Caledan and preventing the return of the Shadowking.

1372 DR: Thultanthar returns to Faerun, marking the return of the archwizards of Netheril.


All of the above dates are cannon, except where otherwise I noted. It is unclear when Azuth was raised to divinity or when he became Magister. However, it clearly happened prior to 147 DR, and perhaps sooner. When discussing the shadevari it is important to remember this from Faiths and Avatars, pg 141:

quote:
Sisters of Light and Darkness

This was the birth of the world and the heavens. After Lord Ao created Realmspace, there was a period of timeless nothingness, a misty realm of shadows before light and dark were separate entities. Within this dim chaos stalked 13 lords of shadow, the shadevari#151; whether they came from elsewhere or are children of the shadow itself, none can say.

Eventually this primordial essence coalesced into twin beautiful goddesses who were yin and yang to each other; they were so close they thought of themselves as one being. The Two-Faced Goddess created the heavenly bodies of the crystal sphere and together infused them with life to form the Earthmother, Chauntea. (Although Chauntea has since contracted her essence to encompass only Abeir-Toril, in the beginning she embodied all matter in Realmspace.) This new universe was lit by the face of the silver-haired goddess, who called herself Selune, and darkened by the welcoming tresses of the raven-haired goddess, Shar, but no heat or fire existed within it.

Chauntea begged for warmth so that she could nurture life and living creatures upon the planets that were her body and limbs, and the two Sisters-Who-Were-One became divided, as for the first time they were of two minds. Silvery Selune contested with her dark sister over whether or not to bring further life to the worlds. During this great conflagration, the gods of war, disease, murder, and death, among others, were created from residues of the deific battle. At one point during the battle, Selune seized the advantage and reached across time and space to a land of eternal fire. Fighting the pain of the blaze, which burned her sorely, she broke off a fragment of that ever-living flame and ignited one of the heavenly bodies so that it burned in the sky and warmed Chauntea.

Incensed, Shar redoubled her attack on her injured twin and began to snuff out all light and heat throughout the crystal sphere. Again Selune gave of herself and tore the divine essence of magic from her body, flinging it desperately at her sister in defense of life in the sphere and nearly killing herself of the spiritual injury it caused her. A just-born being of raw magic tore through Shar, bonding to some of her divine magical energy and ripping it free of her, and reforming behind her as the goddess of magic, known now as Mystra, but then as Mystryl. Though Mystryl was composed of both light and dark magic, she favored her first mother Selune initially, allowing the silver goddess to win an uneasy truce with her more powerful dark twin. Consumed by bitterness at her defeat, Shar vowed eternal revenge.

The twin goddesses contested for eons as life struggled into existence on Toril and the other planets under Chauntea's watchful gaze. Shar remained powerful, but bitterly alone, while Selune waxed and waned in power, often drawing strength from her allied daughters and sons and like-minded immigrant deities. Over time, Shar grew strong again, aided by the shadevari who preferred night to blinding light and who stalked the Realms seeking to meld light and dark into shadowy chaos once again. Shar's plot to reform the world after her own desires was undone when Azuth, the High One, formally the greatest of all mortal spellcasters and now consort to Mystra (incarnate successor to Mystryl), found a way to imprison the shadevari in a pocket-sized crystal sphere located beyond the edges of the world by creating the illusion of a realm of shadows. The Lords of Shadow were drawn to investigate, and before they discovered the trick, Azuth imprisoned the shadevari with the Shadowstar, a key of shadows forged by Gond. The High Lord then hurled the key into the endless reaches of the cosmos allowing life to flourish on in Chauntea's loving hands.


Now, here is where we start speculating. I have always argued that the Sisters of Light and Darkness is just a creation myth that was popular among the Netherese. It was their creation myth, and as the Faerunian pantheon emerged, it happened to be the most popular one accepted by most people. However, it was just a myth. The sarrukh had their own creation myth involving the World Serpent, and frankly if I am trying to pick out which creation myth is most likely to be true--I am picking anything the sarrukh have to say on the matter simply due to the fact that they are the closest individuals to said "creation mythology" time, and thus would be able to say how the world came about with a greater sense of accuracy.

Anyway, that aside for a moment, the Azuth and shadevari bit was dropped from later iterations of the myth, but it is highly relevant to this discussion. I think it was perhaps the most true aspect of the myth, and had to have obviously been added after the Fall of Netheril in -339 DR. We know Azuth was a deity by 147 DR, and we know the Shadowstar landed in 34 DR. My hunch is that Azuth became Magister some time after the Fall of Netheril but before 1 DR. He dealt with the shadevari, magically hurling the key into space, which ultimately returned in 34 DR and was found by Verraketh Talember, who becomes the Shadowking.

Now, here is where I go off into theoryland big time. It is important to remember that the Naga are active in this region of Faerun. As we are all aware, they were created by the sarrukh, and are extremely potent and knowledgeable about magic. Now, here is what Serpent Kingdoms has to say about their deities on page 27:

quote:
Of all the emergent aspects of the Great Scaled One, two deities in particular attracted the worship of most nagas: Ssharstrune and Shekinester. The former embodied the principles of curiosity, destruction, and possessiveness that had precipitated the World Serpent’s fragmentation. The latter, known as the Naga Queen, became the keeper of the knowledge and wisdom originally held by the World Serpent, preserved within the eternal flame that she guarded.

After the fall of Mhairshaulk, both Ssharstrune and Jazirian, another fragment of the World Serpent, began to court Shekinester. The Naga Queen eventually chose Jazirian and became pregnant by him. Enraged by this decision, Ssharstrune attacked Shekinester, and she was forced to swallow him. In so doing, the Naga Queen took into herself the same destructive element that had fragmented the World Serpent in the first place. As a result, she acquired five guises: the Acquirer, the Empowerer, the Seeker, the Weaver, and the Preserver. This event was accompanied by a fivefold division in the naga race, forming the five major subraces now known as dark nagas, guardian nagas, iridescent nagas, spirit nagas, and water nagas.

Upon giving birth to Parrafaire, the Naga Prince, Shekinester expelled Ssharstrune’s remains and instructed her offspring to hide away the destructive force that the corpse embodied forever, so that her five-fold aspect could not actually divide her into five separate goddesses. Parrafaire complied with her wishes, and now both he and his mother are venerated as guardians of the naga race.


Now, I have advanced this argument before. There is a fundamental problem in Realms canon when it comes to Mystra and the Weave. If we accept that the creation myth as handed down by the Netherese is indeed a myth, then it means that Shar and Selune, and therefore Mystra was not around at the creation of Toril. At least not in their present form as venerated by the Netherese and modern Faerunians. However, we have every reason to believe that the Weave has always existed, and the Nether Scrolls were created by the the Ba'etith way back in -30000 DR. We should assume that the Weave was operative back then... but who controlled it?

It seems obvious to say that the World Serpent, as powerful as it was, likely controlled the Weave back then. When he started to break up, it only makes sense that the Weave aspect would go to either Ssharstrune and Shekinester, the two deities that the Naga once venerated prior to Shekinester eating Ssharstrune and pooping him out and having her kid bury his corpse.

Okay, now here is the theory that I have advanced for a long time: Ssharstrune is really Shar-Selune, and the Weave was controlled by Shekinester. Here is how my theory goes.

I once believed that the Netherese encountered an abandoned temple to Ssharstrune, and this discovery also shed light on what transpired between Shekinester and Ssharstrune. They, however, misinterpreted what they were reading and believed that Ssharstrune was a two-faced goddess. They also corrupted the name as well, calling Ssharstrune "Shar-Selune" (it sounds VERY similar). You can see how these sort of myths might accidentally develop, and how important it might become if they also discovered how to work magic similar to the naga.

However, I realize something important here, and I am riffing off Markus idea: "...one could theorize that the Netherese borrowed quite a bit of [Thaeravelian] culture, in much the same way the Romans did from the Greeks." This makes perfect sense.

Okay, picture this. Instead of the Netherese discovering the abandoned temple to Ssharstrune, it is the barbarians of ancient Thaeravel. They begin by worshiping "Shar-Selune", effectively a heretical cult of Ssharstrune. This likely revived the deity, who was altered by their heretical beliefs. They would have viewed Shar-Selune as the "Sisters-Who-Are-One", and she would have been a powerful goddess of the night, the moon, the stars, magic, and the Weave--powers "Ssharstrune" would have reclaimed and stolen from Shekinester upon resurrection.

This allows us to fix the "where was the Weave before Mystryl" problem in canon, by allowing us to trace it all the way back to the World Serpent.

Of course, at some point Shar-Selune split. However, I think that is where things could get interesting. Thaeravel was founded in -4300 DR. That is 441 years before the Alliance of Seventon and the formation of the Kingdom of Netheril. By the time Netheril is just getting off the ground the split could have already happened between the goddesses. Here is how I think it happened.

The shadevari could have infiltrated the faith of Shar-Selune and Thaeravelian society as a whole. They would have sought to corrupt and seize control over Thaeravel, and this would have caused internal turmoil within the kingdom. However, they were not overt, all of this was done from the shadows. It began with a divide within the cult of Shar-Selune, ultimately with the cult breaking apart in a total schism. This gave rise to a third deity: Mystryl.

Now, fast forward to the rise of Netheril, and Markus' idea that they "borrowed" a lot of Thaeravelian culture. In -3847 DR a temple of Selune, known as the Abbey of the Moon is built in Netheril. Netheril was just founded as a kingdom officially 9 years earlier. My hunch is that the kingdom of Thaeravel built that temple, and were trying to establish good relations with the emerging Kingdom of Netheril. Thaeravel would have been vastly more advanced than Netheril at this time, and it is likely that the Netherese looked at the kingdom to the south in awe. Of course, Thaeravel is not going to share its magical secrets with a potentially rival kingdom. However, sharing their culture? No problem.

It may even be true that Jergal was also a Thaeravel deity, since it is clear that the Netherese imported him from elsewhere--it seems that Thaeravel is the best bet. It also adds credibility that Jergal could have been a Spellweaver deity, meaning that the High Mages of Thaeravel may have had contact / dealings with them, further helping explain why Thaeravel was so magically advanced.

So, anyway, Shar, Selune, Mystryl, and Jergal all get absorbed into the Netherese Pantheon. I suspect that Jannath, Kazah, and Targus were likely native. It is debatable whether or not Amaunator was one of their deities or a Thaeravelian deity. I would actually lean toward him being a Thaeravelian, since Jannath, Kazah, and Targus all have a more "barbarian" and "primitive" like feel to them. All of these deities, and likely some others besides, such as Moander, are all worshiped in this region. Deities such as Talona and Kiputytto also had worshiper bases in this region.

Once Thaeravelian deities are within the Netherese Pantheon, they likely do their own little thing regarding the creation mythology spin, making it more recognizable to what it appears like today. Of course, all of this knowledge is mostly lost and is taking place over time. Things don't really get interesting again until 455 years after the building of the Abby of the Moon, when in -3392 DR the Netherese attack, conquer, and subsume Thaeravel.

Even as this event happens, I would argue that the shadevari have already infiltrated Netherese society. They would have been closely associated with the cult of Shar, and they are mentioned as being associated with Shar in the creation myth.

Fast forward to the founding of Thultanthar in -1471 DR. One might suspect that the shadevari are heavily involved. It is also odd that there appears to be a heretical cult of Tyche located in the city "devoted to her more vengeful aspect"--my hunch is that it is really a secret cult of Shar. This is one of the ways Sharran's operate, through secret cults like this.

The shadevari are basically pulling the strings there from the very start, working in secret from the shadows, always whispering and nudging where necessary. Of course, they fall out of influence in Thultanthar after the fall because they are imprisoned by Azuth, which explains why they do not get mentioned.

It is also speculated that Shar played a role in the Fall of Netheril, and in Karsus spell going awry. I suspect that this could be pinned on the shadevari as well. However, not for the reasons most believe... it was likely a plan by Shar to try and re-seize the portion of Mystryl that once belonged to her. Things were calculated in such a precise way, that when Karsus cast his spell, Shar was able to seize back a portion of her divine essence that created Mystryl, and in so doing gaining control of the Shadow Weave with the aid of the shadevari.

New Mystra would have been very pissed. Ergo the rise of Azuth as Magister, and him going after the shadevari to imprison them. It was for retribution for helping Shar steal away a portion of the Weave from Mystra. Hence, how he gets added to the creation myth.

Okay, all of that is heavy speculation, obviously, but I think it makes sense.

How is that for "stepping back and seeing the big picture," Markus?

Edited by - Aldrick on 12 Mar 2015 15:45:43
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Baltas
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Posted - 12 Mar 2015 :  19:23:23  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This stuff is very interesting, and brilliant theory Aldrick. I saw somewhere on this side allready posted the Ssharstrune = Shar-Selune, was it maybe you Aldrick.

Also, maybe Moander, is another deity, that was birthed from Ssharstrune? When Shar-Selune arose from Ssharstrune corpse, the divine corpse itself, that still containing Ssharstrune most destructive aspect.

Also, Jergal, allmost dertainly started out as a Spellweaver/Chultian deity.

quote:


From Dungeon 150 web enhachment

In truth, Jergal is an alien god, brought
to the Realms millennia ago by a pod of
spellweavers who settled in the region now
known as the Chultengar, located in the
easternmost reaches of the of the Jungle of
Chult. It is believed that one of the earliest
Netherese archwizards studied necromancy
with the spellweavers of the Chultengar before
returning to Netheril, and that he founded the
church of Jergal upon his return.



Edited by - Baltas on 12 Mar 2015 20:43:37
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Aldrick
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Posted - 12 Mar 2015 :  21:02:15  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

Also, Jergal, started out as a Spellweaver/Chultian deity.

[qoute]

From Dungeon 150

In truth, Jergal is an alien god, brought
to the Realms millennia ago by a pod of
spellweavers who settled in the region now
known as the Chultengar, located in the
easternmost reaches of the of the Jungle of
Chult. It is believed that one of the earliest
Netherese archwizards studied necromancy
with the spellweavers of the Chultengar before
returning to Netheril, and that he founded the
church of Jergal upon his return.[/qoute]


Good catch on Jergal. I didn't realize he was from Chult. Strange that they would set him that far out of the way, and not closer to where the Netherese were based.

quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

This stuff is very interesting, and brilliant theory Aldrick. I saw somewhere on this side allready posted the Ssharstrune = Shar-Selune, was it maybe you Aldrick.


It was probably me. As far as I know, I'm the only one who has advanced the idea. Mostly, because I have always advocated that the War of Light and Darkness is just a myth, and shouldn't be taken literally. There may be nuggets of truth hidden within the myth, but we shouldn't take it wholesale. The downside of adopting this view is that there is no evidence of Mystryl/Mystra prior to Netheril. However, we have every reason to believe that the Weave--whether in its incarnation during the reign of Netheril, or another similar incarnation--has always been in existence. At least as far as we know. My theory allows us to take it all the way back to the World Serpent, and follow the natural evolution. It is also easy to see how such a heresy might have developed.

quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

Also, maybe Moander, is another deity, that was birthed from Ssharstrune? When Shar-Selune arose from Ssharstrune corpse, the divine corpse itself, that still containing Ssharstrune most destructive aspect.


I don't know. Moander just feels like some type of ascended primordial entity to me--something from the very early time in the Realms, likely before even the sarrukh, perhaps worshiped by the Batrachi that has managed to sustain its existence for millennia after countless millennia.

It, like Ghaunadaur, does not seem like the other deities... almost alien in his nature and outlook.
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George Krashos
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Posted - 12 Mar 2015 :  21:36:47  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas
Also, Jergal, almost certainly started out as a Spellweaver/Chultian deity.



Well, for that Adventure Path he did. I wouldn't be so sure going forward ...

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Baltas
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Poland
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Posted - 12 Mar 2015 :  21:47:45  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Well, for that Adventure Path he did. I wouldn't be so sure going forward ...

-- George Krashos



Very, very interesting George! Could tell us a bit more?

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

I don't know. Moander just feels like some type of ascended primordial entity to me--something from the very early time in the Realms, likely before even the sarrukh, perhaps worshiped by the Batrachi that has managed to sustain its existence for millennia after countless millennia.

It, like Ghaunadaur, does not seem like the other deities... almost alien in his nature and outlook.



Good point. Among my theories(and my current Realms canon for some years), I have Moander as the version of the Dark God, from Monster Mythology. In general, the 3 Lost Gods(The Elder Elemental God, The Dark God, And Juiblex/The Faceless Lord), are Far Realm entities, that manifestations, for a lack of a better word, "mutate" between worlds. On Oerth, The Dark God, absorbed The Elder Elemental God, and became Tharizdun. On Toril, The Dark God, didn't, and became Moander. On the other hand, on Toril, The Elder Elemental God absorbed Juiblex, and became Ghaunadaur.

Edited by - Baltas on 12 Mar 2015 21:54:15
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sleyvas
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Posted - 12 Mar 2015 :  22:22:50  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

quote:
Well, it pretty heavily implied in Races of Faerun, that Talfiric culture and language, were those of ancient Tethyr culture, that got overtime overriden by Chondathan, Illuskan, Calishyte and Netherese. George Krashos even commented in this thread, that he thinks(and has in his home campaign) that the (human)peoples who lived in areas of Keltomir, were in fact Talfiric.


That's not actually what Races of Faerun says--it is reversed.

"...the Talfir gradually disappeared over a thousand years ago, their culture overwhelmed by refugees from Low Netheril, Calishite settlers from the south, and Chondathan settlers from the Dragon Coast." - Races of Faerun (pg. 109) <snip>
This actually backs-up some of my supposition - it clearly states that the Talfir peoples were 'driven out' by Netherease, and we have it in canon that the Netherease took-over the Thaeravel lands. Not saying they are necessarily speaking of the same thing, but it is a distinct possibility.

Also, I am speaking in 'broad strokes' here. There really is no such thing as a 'wholly evil' or 'wholly good' society. i am sure most think they are 'good', and probably are near their beginning. Time has a way of corrupting everything (entropy works on social systems as well).

Thus, I picture a few Thaeraveli Sorcerers (the TRUE 'Sorcerer Kings' we later hear about in regards to Netheril) practicing 'shadowy' forms of magic, amongst others. This tradition, I believe, has something to do with the region these people are from (central Western Heartlands), and could be traced back to any number of things (The Dawn Cataclysm, Sundering, Dark Disaster, a plummeting 'Cosmic Muffin' from Outer space, etc, etc). As with any large group of semi-nomadic people, you would have differing levels of 'shadowy' dealings amongst the shamans and other magic users (I picture a dark cult growing in secret).

When Netheril invaded Thaeravel and mind-reamed them for their magic, I would imagine Telamont targeting specific Sorcerers who's magic greatly interested him, and the rest, as we say, "is history". Other Netherese Archmagi would have targeted other Sorcerers Towers and had other goals in mind, and I would imagine many of the more kind-hearted ones (because Netheril - like Thaeravel - was not 'wholly evil') may have simply annexed Thaeraveli towns and folk, incorporating them into their empire (because the Netherese would have only needed to kill the Sorcerers, not the commoners - commoners are a resource, and the Netherese were not stupid). in fact, I think this may have even been part of the whole 'high' and 'low' Netherese thing (true-born Netherese vs peoples they conquered). I would think only families that could trace their lineage back to Seventon would be allowed to dwell in the Sky cities.

So it wasn't an 'all or nothing' type of thing - it was a few bad seeds in one kingdom practicing 'dark arts', and then some other 'bad seeds' from an expanding empire wanting that knowledge for themselves. This is almost entirely theory, but based on a a lot of loose facts strewn about - some very important ones from the Stonelands material, which indicate there were two groups with cities in the region who hated each other and worshiped different gods. This is why I think the common people became absorbed into the empire (as lower-class citizens), and also shoe-horns nicely with what we know about how the religions were in-flux during that time period (and could also help to sweep a few continuity glitches under the table - different cities that were rivals would have completely different written records of certain events - like which god was important when).

The capital of Thaeravel was Rasiltih, which is clearly well within Netheril's southern border. Thaeravel would have had to been in the region of the stobelands/Goblin Marches. In fact, considering how early-on the Netherese took-out the Thaeraveli in their history, one could theorize that the Netherese borrowed quite a bit of their culture from them, in much the same way the Romans did from the Greeks. Ebenfar may have actually been a 'survivor state' of Thaeravel - the people who fled the invasion and didn't want to fall under Netheril's rule. Choosing the High moor for their new capital would have been smart, since the place has always been a cauldron of chaotic and dead magic since the Crown Wars - something the Netherese would have preferred to avoid.

So, as you can see, my view of the history of Faerūn is more of a "step back and see the big picture" kind of thing. I never liked the way the history has always been presented in isolated chunks, when thats not how history happens - everything is interrelated. People and civilizations don't simply disappear - they become something else, and in the process affect everyone and everything else around them.

Now, as for who founded Thaeravel - I have it where a certain High Artificer did, after he fled his homeland (he had recently discovered a 'shadow power source' himself, and his colleagues were beginning to scrutinize his work more then he liked). He couldn't find any of the purple stone his people were fond of, but there was some very nice alabaster material that would do. Of course, the official histories say he was in 'suspended animation' at the time... but I know thats just what he wanted us to think.

That last part is PURE homebrew, because I like it, and not based on ANYTHING canon (in fact, it sort of goes against it a bit, as I just mentioned above). I just like to think that it was around that time Larloch noticed Hilather, and may have even instigated the call for arms against Thaeravel (which guys like Telamont would have jumped all over). I like to draw connections between everything... because that just how stuff works.



Just because HE was in suspended animation doesn't mean that Clone(HE) or Shadow (HE) didn't become activated and run rampant until finally being killed off.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 12 Mar 2015 :  22:36:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Baltas
Also, Jergal, almost certainly started out as a Spellweaver/Chultian deity.



Well, for that Adventure Path he did. I wouldn't be so sure going forward ...

-- George Krashos



I don't recall the adventure, but it COULD be that Thri-Kreen near Chult may have had some links to worshipping Jergal. Spellweavers are kind of insect-like. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't some spellweavers down in the Shaar either.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 12 Mar 2015 :  22:43:05  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd like to tell you more but I'm hoping something I wrote a while ago might see the light of day sometime soon.

And yes, I agree with sleyvas that the thri-kreen of the Shaar may have some links to worshipping Jergal.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

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Posted - 13 Mar 2015 :  03:18:00  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
^^^ ^^^
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just because HE was in suspended animation doesn't mean that Clone(HE) or Shadow (HE) didn't become activated and run rampant until finally being killed off.
Actually, I was thinking it was the clone that he placed in suspended animation, and he would have left-behind 'clues' for others to find to make sure they all thought it was him. Toward the end of Imaskar, I think many of the Artificers were dabbling in 'other forms' of magic, because of their access to to the multiverse, which eventually lead to several disasters of various proportions. Halaster's discovery of a 'shadow power' source (the proto-Shaoweave?) he would have wanted to keep secret, and it would have made sense for im to 'fake his own death' (animation) to keep the others from looking for him. He then settled in a remote valley (with some of his followers) amongst a group of fairly primitive folk (Talfir) and continued his studies. In fact, I think he chose that region (Southern Anauroch/Goblin marches) because that particular area had a higher concentration of that power source.

Thus, the rise of Netheril to the North may have just been an unfortunate accident, or it may have just been those sneaky, pesky elves interfering again (or even the Sarrukh... or both), steering 'lowly humans' who dared to dabble in powerful magic into an inevitable confrontation. So, Halaster may have reinvented himself again, as a Netherese, and later actually founded the Sargauth (sp?) Enclave (to which he eventually returned well after Netheril's fall).

All really homebrewed conjecture on my part, but I like the idea of all those clever, powerful geniuses all trying to out-maneuver one another. Larloch may have been the only one to have guessed Halaster's true identity.

As for the timeline problems concerning Telamont - not really a big deal. If Telamont wasn't in on the destruction of Thaeravel, he may have come across the information later, either in 'forbidden tomes' that were seized, or from ruins he was plundering. As I said, I don't think the worship of 'dark powers' was universal amongst the Thaeraveli, but it wasn't exactly frowned-upon, either - I'm pretty certain Loviatar came from their pantheon, and managed to oust Kiputtyo from her perch in the Netherese one (which probably came from the east with migrating Raumvari peoples).

I just like to think that the whole thing with Halaster slowly being corrupted by Shar took a REALLY long time. I also like to associate Sorcery with 'Southern Magic', so I like the idea that those strange traditions originated with the Imaskari (and then on into the Old Empires), whereas classic magical traditions of study and memorization (Vancian Casting) came from the Netherese acquiring of the Nether scrolls. The Nether scrolls themselves were a collection of 'magical traditions' (formulae) for spell casting gathered together by three of the Creator races (and I still maintain there must be a 3rd set), whereas the Imaskarkana were based off stuff the early Imaskari got from the more 'free wheeling' Fey (no memorized formulas - just picture the end result in your mind and push enough power into that desire). Sorcery also lends itself to newer types of magical power for that very reason - it isn't all learned by rote. And finally, I identify sorcerers with a more Arabian feel, and most likely the proto-Imaskari (Muhjuri) themselves came from Zakhara.

Thus, the Thaeraveli Mages were the real 'Sorcerer kings', until the Netherese destroyed them and stole their thunder (and knowledge). Even those Scepters the Netherese were known for sounds more like a southern (artificer) technology (and note they did not need the power of a Mythallar).

Its all just lots and lots of loose-ends and stray-bits I've strung together. Most of this started with the Kara-Tur and Hordelands projects, which made me flesh-out Imaskar's history quite a bit more, so there still a lot of stuff I haven't even touched upon here. Some of it even helps explain why so many regions in Faerūn have a 'Middle-Eastern' feel to them (the Muhjuri people fleeing the 'scattering of Fate').

To me, The Forgotten Realms are more then just a collection of stories - its is a collection of smaller stories laid on top of a larger tapestry of grander stories (history), and its all inter-related. You pull at one thread, and watch the whole thing begin to unravel.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 21 Mar 2015 13:23:17
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 13 Mar 2015 :  08:54:07  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i dont normally go for pure theory threads but the points Aldrick made about the origin myths are interesting.

I like the idea of Shar and Selune both belonging to Sharsstrune (or whatever its called). However i have a different take on it that mixes all the origin myths so bear with me while i ramble. The reason for mixing them all is that most origin myths on earth are copies of one another involving similar themes told from a different point of view.

The Sarrukh origin myth involves the separating of the world serpent into various aspects. The human myth involves the separating of Shar and Selune and the igniting of the sun.

Now the sarrukh had human slaves so its likely the human myth is a copy and corruption of the sarrukh one.


So first things first. You cannot have gods without worshippers. So in the beginning the world serpent was not a god. Second of all is there is evidence supporting a war between primordials (asgoroth trying to destroy Toril, the appearance of Omo. We know Toril went through an ice age. There is also some pinpoints to a previous sun that was eliminated. And finally i'm pretty sure on numerous occasions that Ed and others have hinted that the ancient deities are not even human, they are just portrayed as human to appeal to their majority of worshippers.

So what if prior to the ice age Toril was covered with primordial beings. It was a time before the weave so magic was raw and dangerous such that any lesser being would be disintegrated by mere contact with it. So there were no lesser races (sarrukh, human, aearie, batrachi, faerie).

Imagine one of these primordials as a multi headed hydra like creature called Merrouroboros, each of his heads had its own personality, each one corresponding to the various Sarrukh deities we have now.

This primordial along with many others (like Omo and the ones in Laerakond and the one beneath Gauntlgrym) get involved in a war. Who knows what the war was about, maybe it was as simple as one set of primordials is from one continent and another set is from Faerun - it doesnt matter. This is the basis for the War of Light and Darkness.

At some point the sun is extinguished, or diminished (our own sun goes through cycles of activity so why not a fictional sun doing it in the extreme). Again it doesnt matter how, i dont go in for any nonsense about big serpents swallowing it, but Shadevari manipulating the primordials into war and covering the sun in shadow seems like a nice idea.

Cue -370000 and the sun explodes into view once more. The lesser races start appearing (the raw magic is probably subdued by the cold temperatures and lack of life on Toril from the ice age - life = magic in Toril) and the war reignites (although there are much fewer primordials now). Merrouroboros is shattered around -34900 (it says 100 years after -35000 that the sarrukh covers all of faerun so that seems like the height of their empire and Merrouroboros was shattered at the height of the sarrukh civilisation) probably in a fight with another primordial or perhaps in a disagreement with itself.

The shattering isnt complete and some creatures like Ssharsstrune's precursor (Shekinester) are still joined to multiple heads. While helping the sarrukh to craft the Nether Scrolls and create the Weave this dual headed being gets in an argument with itself and blasts itself in two - Ssharstrune (Shar) and Sstrune (Selune), and a third byproduct that will later be called Mystryl which is also the weave.


Again it doesnt matter about the small details because this is all corrupted into myth and legend from millennia ago so they are bound to be inaccurate (the creation date for the golden skins of the world serpent at -29500 being too late for the above scenario to work is probably because they were the last set of nether scrolls to be created).

During this time period the various primordial creatures begin to ascend to deity status through the worship of the lesser races. Ssharsstrune/Shekinester and the various aspects are just the Sarrukh's way of making sense of the mess that resulted from the splitting of Shar, Selune and Mystryl (although that isnt their original names). The differing portfolios is just down to clerical misinterpretation.

So we have the extinguished sun, its reignition, fragmentation of the world serpent, war of light and darkness, and creation of mystryl and the weave all in one.

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Baltas
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Poland
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Posted - 13 Mar 2015 :  09:45:40  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good argument dazzlerdarl, as indeed, the thruthis most often somewhere in between.

Also

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick
[
quote:
Originally found in Netheril: Empire of Magic, pg. 87



The citizens of Shade built a mosque dedicated to the treacherous aspect of Tyche in 2714. They used her vengeful nature to benefit their goals while using the luck aspect of Tyche to weigh the result in their favor. The mosque was a mass of priests vying for supremacy over a congregation that was out for nothing more than a fuller pocket and revenge for anyone whose activities threatened theirs. One thing that kept them together was anger and suspicion against the church of Tyche in Imbrue.

...








Am I the only one who thinks this "vengeful aspect of Tyche", is some proto form of Beshaba, that fully separated, because of Moander's taint? I wanted to post about this for a looooong time, but always forgot. Thanks for reminding me Aldrick!
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Aldrick
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Posted - 13 Mar 2015 :  10:22:35  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
dazzlerdal -

I agree that the "original" deities in the Realms, like the World Serpent, are likely primordial in origin. I don't believe that the Realms started with any deities, and the existence of the Weave is unnecessary for primordials to work magic.

My difference in opinion is more on approach. I don't personally like to have the battles and conflicts take place between the deities themselves, and instead place the conflicts between their mortal followers whenever possible. Even in some cases where the text is explicit in stating that the deities were literally fighting it out. For example, in the case of the War of Light and Darkness, and even in the case of the defeat of Garagos by Tempus. Whenever possible, due to personal preference, I like to shove the deities into the background and claim that the war took place on the mortal world between mortals with the deities sort of pulling the strings behind the scenes.

Of course, I realize this is undermined by pretty much all the post-Time of Troubles material, where deities were literally knocking off one another left and right every few years or so. However, I try and hand wave this inconsistency by saying that the Time of Troubles and the destruction of the Tablets of Fate was the cause of this, and this in turn leads to the events of the Sundering where Ao is recreating the Tablets to fix this problem. It is quite obvious to anyone who reads the lore that prior to the Time of Troubles there were long periods of time -- hundreds upon hundreds of years -- where things like we see post-ToT just never happened. The only thing we have even close to it is the Dawn Cataclysm, but that is easily explained as happening between mortals rather than the deities themselves (as I did so earlier in the thread).

Anyway, this is a personal preference thing. So, going back to the World Serpent, I believe it started out as a primordial. Going prior to the Sarrukh takes us into a time of mythology where anything could have happened, because it is before any published dates. However, we do have hints that primordials were once very active on Toril. The tribal Sarrukh worship the World Serpent as a monotheistic deity. This gives the World Serpent enormous power, and I believe that the World Serpent may have created the first proto-Weave and taught it to the Sarrukh.

This is backed up by the Serpent Kingdoms, pg. 59: "According to sarrukh mythology, the World Serpent came to the sarrukh when they were still savages, offering to teach them the secrets of magic, civilization, and power. All that he demanded in return was that they worship him and offer sacrifices to him. The sarrukh agreed to his terms and were rewarded for their loyalty with great knowledge and power."

So, what I envision is that there are these powerful primordial beings roaming the world, similar to the Seven Lost Gods. The World Serpent is among them, and the sarrukh begin worshiping this primordial, causing it to ascend to divinity (similar to the elemental lords like Kossuth), and it then in turn begins creating the proto-Weave, and teaching the sarrukh the secrets of magic.

Meanwhile, other sentient mortal beings on Toril were also turning to the worship of other primordials who were ascending to divinity as well. This is likely when the split between the primordials and the divine happened, and this attempt to obtain mortal worship may have been some type of arms race between the primordials to grab more and more power over their rivals. What makes the World Serpent unique is that it was able to forge a monotheistic religion.

However, as the sarrukh expand across Toril, as more races are created by them, and others are forced to worship the World Serpent--it cannot be everything to everyone. It is almost the inverse of the rule by Ao that no deity above demigod may hold the same portfolio as another deity in the same sphere of influence. The inverse of that rule would be that no single deity can be everything to everyone, and thus inevitably the World Serpent starts to break apart. This means that at least one aspect of the World Serpent is going to end up with control of the Weave. I think the Naga Deities (Ssharstrune, Shekinester, and Parrafaire) are the best case for that, due to their high inclination and innate abilities with magic.

Fast forward, and have some humans stumble upon ruins of ancient Naga. From that they would develop primitive knowledge of magic, and learn about the Naga deities, but worship them in a corrupted and heretical form. This is just the easiest way for us to draw the line from the beginning of recorded history (starting with the sarrukh) to the present day that keeps the Weave intact.

While I think the argument could be made that any deity could have created the Weave, I think it was the World Serpent due to the creation of the Nether Scrolls. Keeping in mind, of course, that the scrolls are said to be the "Golden Skins of the World Serpent" and the Netherese clearly used Weave based magic which they clearly developed from studying the Nether Scrolls... it seems like the most logical conclusion.

Anyway, this kinda goes off base from what you wrote, Dazz.

I do think that the myths hold grains of truth, in the sense that they may reference events that took place, though perhaps not literal events. For example, using the War of Light and Darkness, Shar and Selune are odd deities. Reading it, it almost appears as if they are a single deity, and yet at the same time the text wants to paint them as two separate deities right from the beginning. It is almost as if the text disagrees with itself by calling Shar and Selune the "Two-Who-Were-One" and then saying they "became divided." Divided against herself? Was she a single deity with a split personality? What is going on here? A single deity with two aspects? The easiest explanation is to look at it from the mortal perspective, and view the cult of Shar and Selune as once being a single unified cult that then had a major schism. The schism fractured the deity into two distinct aspects. If the deity was once a single deity, where did it originate?

The idea that it was Ssharstrune came to me by accident, as I was looking at the names one day. It just suddenly jumped out at me that "Ssharstrune" sounds a lot like "Shar-Selune" -- that is how the thought came to me. The only problem with the idea is that Ssharstrune is very different from any combination of Shar and Selune, which is why I think the original cult likely compiled all the aspects of the Naga deities into one being that they called Sharselune or Shar-Selune.

This has the ironic effect of making Shekinester and Parrafaire aspects of either Shar, Selune, or Mystra or some combination of the three. Perhaps, Selune is really Shekinester now, and is worshiped under that alias by the naga, and Parrafaire is an alias of Mystra. All of this can become convoluted really quickly. However, there is precedent of deities operating like this throughout the Realms with Oghma as Curna, Mystra as the Hidden One, Chauntea as the Earthmother, and pretty much every deity worshiped by the Bedine of the Anauroch.
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Aldrick
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909 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2015 :  10:29:53  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

Am I the only one who thinks this "vengeful aspect of Tyche", is some proto form of Beshaba, that fully separated, because of Moander's taint? I wanted to post about this for a looooong time, but always forgot. Thanks for reminding me Aldrick!


No, that thought occurred to me as well. However, I went with it being a heretical front cult for Sharrans because... well...we know how Shade ended up. There was no Tyche when they returned.

Plus, that is how Sharrans typically operate.

Although... it could point to the fact that Sharrans were behind the original heresies that ultimately led to the development of the aspect of Beshaba from Tyche which was caused by Moander's corruption of her.

...the question is, of course, did Moander *ACTUALLY* corrupt Tyche herself, or did Moander's faithful merely find a way to corrupt her mortal worshipers, perhaps playing upon the divides already existing within the cult that were originally created by the Sharran's? Perhaps the Sharrans and the Moanderites were working together, as this is always seen as a major blow to Lathander, and it seems that he blames Shar for the failure of the Dawn Cataclysm. This is when the split happened. The split could have been in the works for centuries before it actually took place.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4899 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2015 :  10:50:43  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm with you on the war between deities. Metaphysical beings cannot fight. Avatars can fight, worshippers can fight, everything else is just make believe.

Thankfully for me the war occurs before gods and so is just a disagreement between a few primordials that escalates out of control and has them ally with each other into two groups.

No gods exist at this point in time and cant because there are no lesser races around to worship (i actually have it that the primordials create the lesser races in their own image like Annam and the giants).

What the Sarrukh believe now is based upon millennia old tradition (and indeed many of them fled to the outer planes for a long time. It likely has no bearing to the reality, bearing in mind that deities are (or should be) shaped by their worshippers. The majority of worshippers of all Faerunian deities are human so the human belief is true.

The whole 5 aspects of Shekinester (with Ssharsstrune listed as an additional aspect but doesnt say if it is one of the 5) is just nonsense to me and i think it may have been true around -35000 to -33000 DR (although i cannot envisage how), but now Shar is just Shar and Selune is just Selune, etc because several million humans on the planet believe it so. The Sarrukh can pray to whatever they want to call it but its either Shar, Selune, or Mystra answering them (i think the aspects likely correlate each to a combination of the different deities, although which one is receiving the power from such worship will be known only by Shar, Selune, or Mystra, and indeed it isnt important).

Of course some of the Sarrukh deities never transferred over into human worship and so remain as they were largely unchanged (Sseth for one) and probably nearly dead from lack of worshippers.

I'm not sure however that a monotheistic religion is entirely accurate. The 3 empires of the sarrukh were separate and very different. The sarrukh down in Chult had human slaves, Okoth and Isstossessifil did not. Najara is the only realm to worship Shekinester or Ssharsstrune. The Okoth Sarrukh are the only ones to have encountered Jazirian who could indeed have been from another world or some kind of powerful outsider at first. Sseth only appeared relatively recently (-339 DR ish) and was a yuan-ti so he is previously unknown to the Okoth sarrukh who only returned this century. Merrshaulk was supposedly created from the fragmentation of the world serpent (listed as being called Amphisbaena and only worshiped in Lapaliiya) which happened at the height of the empire so how did an empire come to be named after a god that did not exist yet.

The canon history of Sarrukh deities is largely unknown and is a summary of what information they choose to impart (or can recall themselves after 30000 years) and given their geographic distances i find it hard to believe they had a single unified pantheon. They were the first race and so likely had geographic pantheons like the humans have now.

Although looking at the name Amphisbaena as the world serpent, i'm pretty sure an amphisbaena is a two headed snake so maybe i wasnt far off with the multiheaded primordial.

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Marc
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618 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2015 :  10:59:07  Show Profile Send Marc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the old version of Grand History of the Realms Talfir first appears in -24,000 DR, north of Shantel Othreier. Since then I considered them as one of the cultures elevated by dragons. That explains sorcery and the alphabet. That was in my version of FR, before canon changed. Shadow magic first appeared with Veraketh and was different from the Shadow Weave magic.

Also not sure if it's canon, I've seen somewhere that human tribes in Tethyr and Calimshan were called Mir, not Talfir.


.
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Aldrick
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909 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2015 :  12:43:36  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
dazzlerdal -

Regarding the fragmentation of the World Serpent and sarrukh monotheism...

I think it is highly likely that the sarrukh were monotheistic in their worship of the World Serpent. If you read the history and the text in Serpent Kingdoms, it becomes clear that the fragmentation happened as a result of them becoming geographically dispersed and developing different cultural ideas.

So, I think you are right that it is hard to believe that they were truly monotheistic, due to their geographical dispersion and differences in culture. However, they obviously did not start out geographically dispersed--that came later.

The first fragmentation of the World Serpent was M'daess. This fragmentation happened as a result of the sarrukh breaking their covenant with the World Serpent. In the beginning the World Serpent expected sacrifices from among the sarrukh themselves, but later the sarrukh decided that the "Scaleless Ones" (humans and the like) should be sacrificed instead, and viewed themselves as too important to be sacrificed. This created a problem in the religion, and it was reconciled with the creation of M'daess, the snake-mother. Her role was to purify the souls of the Scaleless Ones, effectively making their souls equivalent to sarrukh souls in the eyes of the World Serpent.

This meant that the World Serpent was not breaking the covenant it made with the sarrukh. This was how the conflict was solved, by the creation of an aspect of the World Serpent who fixed the theological issue. So this meant that a human being sacrificed to the World Serpent was equivalent to sacrificing a sarrukh, because M'daess purified the humans soul and made him a sarrukh in the afterlife... thus the covenant is upheld.

Merrshaulk, and other aspects clearly came later. It was likely at this point that the World Serpent was fragmenting a great deal. We likely only know the major deities worshiped--the equivalent of very popular Greater Deities in the Faerunian Pantheon. Who can say how many minor (demigod equivalent) aspects there were at one point? You can almost imagine, especially as the sarrukh empires started to collapse, and their slaves as well as their created servants were basically left to their own devices. You end up getting aspects of aspects, and then heresies and schisms on top of it all.
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Baltas
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Poland
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Posted - 16 Mar 2015 :  13:13:04  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, seing how M'daess is Neutral Good, I wonder if her start of existence, was a bizarre, and dark start of the concept of goodness. After all, in their death, now scaleless ones, were equall to Sarrukh, and gone to, esentialy paradie, or were joined with the World Serpent.

Other aspects, started to probably fragment further. Jazirian, and Asmodeus, originaly, were probably one being, that symolized/embodied Lawfulness/Order, but split, when the worshippers of the concept of order, started to segregate into Lawfull Good and Lawfull Evil worshippers. Maybe it was even the Jazirian/Asmodeus, who was Parrafaire's father, not the later, Lawful Good Jazirian.

Also, good idea Aldrick, with Moander and Shar jointly corrpting Tyche.
Maybe Moander corrupting Tyche as the flower, was the represation in the divine realm, of the corruption within Tyche's church?

[Edit]

Merrshaulk, might be along with Ramenos, the fragments of the Chaotic Neutral aspect of the World Serpent, that represented chaos. And I think it might have been this Chaotic Neutral aspect, that rivalized with Jazirian/Asmodeus, over Shekinester(originaly the aspect of (Neutrality/Balance?).

[EDIT2]
I suggested that Ramenos and Merrshaulk, are fragments of the same fragment of the Word Serpet, as they share their divine realm, which is surprising, when you consider Merrshaulk/Sseth's tendency to devour, and kill other aspects of the World Serpent.

Asgorath, may be another fragment of the World Serpent, or a "sibling" of it, that maybe separated, before the World Serpent achieved godhood. Io's who's most ofenly identified with Asgorath, was after all alluded to be a fragment of the World Serpent.

Edited by - Baltas on 17 Mar 2015 06:59:00
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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
660 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2015 :  10:29:21  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If we link Talfir with Thaeravel, an interesting fact is that Both Talfiri and High Netherese, used the draconic alphabet...
So if Thaeravel was Talfiric, the Netherese quite probably took the script from them.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2015 :  16:10:25  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Haven't been following most of the main theme this thread has headed down, but it sounds like you guys are coming up with a LOT of the same conclusions I (and others) have - that the world serpent's splitting is representative of some actual, physical event to the planet - the Sundering, most likely (the first one - not the commercial hype one we got recently). There was a group of early proto-gods (Primordials?) who had some sort of dispute and the First world got ruined in the process - thats what all these myths point to. Each is a little different because each was written/remembered by a different faction in that original event, each with their own agenda.
quote:
Originally posted by Marc

Also not sure if it's canon, I've seen somewhere that human tribes in Tethyr and Calimshan were called Mir, not Talfir.
I forget precisely where (and whom) that reference is too, but I do know for a fact that the Tunlands tribes ARE referred to as 'Mir' as well. I am currently looking for that source - its not in either of the two places I thought it would be, so its a lot more obscure.

As a side not, they are considered 'of the same people' originally as the barbarians of The Ride, but those are called Eraka (probably just a tribal distinction originally).

As for the southern branch of Mir - that had to do with the Forest of Mir, IIRC, so I would start looking there. I think there may have been a kingdom of Mir as well. Could be the original (primitive) tribes in the western heartlands were 'Mir', much like our RW early Celtic peoples, and the 'people of the Lion' north of the Lake of steam could be related as well (another group of horse barbarians, but with some obvious cultural influences from Calimshan/Zakhara).

Just throwing this out there - the 'Mir' could easily take the place of my theoretical 'Dathite' people, as well as what Brian James referred to as 'Talfir' in his original GHotR (the Talfir being just one branch of a larger neolithic group). The one major difference between them and the RW Celts culturally would be a heavy use of horseback riding, more like the RW Botai and later Bactrian peoples. I could see this having been a technological influence (animal husbandry) of being survivors of the earlier draconic Empires that stuck with them during their fall back into primitiveness, and reverse of our RW, it could have spread south into Zakhara and even into Kara-Tur. There are also horse-riders in northern Maztica (Anchoromé), but that was probably a later development and came about in much the same way as it did in the Americas (cross-cultural pollination - there are at least two sources that indicate K-T migrations to Maztica).

When trying to build a 'historic map' of FR and its peoples, you have to consider flora and fauna as well - they play a major part in how people develop. Horses are kind of a big deal, and it seems we do have some evidence of several early, Western Heartlands cultures using them. I would also assign any 'gods' that have no known origin to these folk (like many of our FR-specific deities).

There is also a (Hindu-esque) people called 'Mar' down in the Utter East, but they are completely unrelated.


EDIT: Mir, Gur, Talfir... hmmmm... now I am starting to think of two separate groups again, and a history actually closer to our own. If the Gur (later Mir) came out of the Hordelands as I theorize the proto-Netherese did, then they would have encountered - and conflicted with - the early Western heartlands people, whomever they were. Rather then one culture similar to both the Celts and the Bactrians, there were (at least) two, and they could have come into contact over thousands of years, and inter-mixed to varying degrees (along with other ethnicities), giving us the hodgepodge of peoples we have today. The Eraka of The Ride could be a more 'culturally pure' version of the eastern group, whilst the Ffolk of the Moonshaes could be more 'pure' version of the western aboriginal humans. The draconic civilizations would have kept this from happening, but once they fell history would have taken a more natural course.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 24 Mar 2015 16:29:51
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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
660 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2015 :  08:45:05  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed Markustay, your writtings about Dathites, were one of the major inspirations for this thread existence.
Also, maybe the "Mir", and "Mar", were originaly one group in prehistory of Toril, they just separated very early on, maybe even during the Times of Thunder. The Mar, would mix with the Muhjuri/Zakharans, to create the Durpari people(including Imaskari), while other, ethnicaly "purer" tribes went more north, and became the Ruamvirans, Rashemi, and Gurri.

This would be similar how the Indo-European branches of languages, are split into Centum and Satem groups, with Centum encompasing Greek, Latin, Romance, Germanic and Celtic languages, and Satum, encompasing Slavic, Baltic, and Indo-Iranian languages.

Also, Brian James, in his original Grand History of Realms, proposed that part of the Iluskans/Azu-Possi, stayed on the North-Western part of the Faerunian continent.
Maybe this branch, developed into the original Ice Hunters(before mixing with Kara-Turians) and Rengarth peoples, possibly by mixing with other groups, like Mar, and Gurri, over the ages.

Edited by - Baltas on 25 Mar 2015 14:50:37
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