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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5643 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2017 :  15:39:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
In many threads over time, we've discussed the nature of Primordials versus Gods. Quite frankly, I'm starting to think that the main difference between the two is Primordials were earthly bound and Gods were forming the outer planes (which didn't necessarily exist yet). There probably were also "great spirits" which were probably something in the middle.

This makes me think... we're told that Abeir has no divine magic or gods. But what if that's only where the dragons killed their Primordial masters? There could be whole continents that the rest of Abeir doesn't know about where... for instance... the Mulhorandi gods (Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, etc...) exist as manifestations... or maybe the Maztican gods exist as Manifestations... or maybe the Norse gods exist as manifestations (and the Northmen that appeared in Toril were from a previous Abeir/Toril crossover)

Maybe in fact, Ao (and the other overgods) split the worlds to protect some of the gods from the dragons. The steelsky of Abeir was a gift of Arambar, which sounds like so many stories where a god dies and his "body" is used to form the sky. There is still a sun and moon, but it may be a miniature sun like the one made in the heartlands just prior to the spellplague.

Finally, just because my mind is spinning in concepts right now... Which deities do you think MIGHT actually be some kind of primordial entity that later expanded its power to get an outer planar domain. Might they actually appear to be some kind of mythological beast / elemental being? For instance,

Lathander ..... from all his portfolios, etc... could be the Phoenix

Talos / Bhaelros ... I get the idea that Talos could definitely be some kind of "elemental" being. I also get the idea that Bhaelros may have been a powerful genie.

Bhalla of Rashemi Pantheon... they say Chauntea, but I picture the cow Audumbla

There is a lot more that fall into this, and I may come back with more later, but have to run rightnow.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Zeromaru X
Senior Scribe

Colombia
530 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2017 :  18:34:57  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If we go by canon as written, primordials are beings from the Elemental Chaos (the plane of raw material energy), while gods are from the Astral Sea (plane of spiritual ideas). In 3e/5e terms, primordials are from the Inner Planes while gods from the Outer ones. So, the main differences between them is how those planes work in the scheme of things. In 4e, gods represented law, and primordials, chaos. However, in 3e/5e law and chaos are treated differently, so maybe that approach will not work here.

So, primordials can have more forms that just chaos personified, but just more elemental flavored (like humanoid with fire hair or water-colored body). I can picture elemental gods as primordials.

As for the Steelsky, it was not a gift, it was a consequence. It's Arambar remaining energy that changes the color of the sky. Canon ("Sword of the Gods: Spinner of Lies" novel, "Wandering Stones" short story) has that Arambar was killed by his dragon steed before Abeir-Toril was sundered. His corpse was left in Skelkor (Laerakond), and sometime after Ao sundered both worlds, the remaining of his powerful energy spread over Abeir and caused the Steelsky. We know Arambar's remains are powerful, rare stuff (Ithilmir Island, near Akanul, has one of his hands. Akanulans mine the rare super metal arambarium from it).

As for the sun and moon, again by canon, those are the same of Toril. The sun of Realmspace, and Selune and its Tears. Abeir exists within the same sphere of Realmspace (its not a different sphere), but its within a pocket dimension slightly out of phase with the rest of it, and nobody can see it because of that.

Hope this help.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 25 Feb 2017 18:37:30
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13807 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2017 :  19:41:22  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First off, just like deities*, primordials can take many forms. However, I would think their forms would be 'rougher'... more 'primal' (so if they wanted to look human, it would be 'off' somehow - more lumpy/jaggy or something).

I think primordials are basically the 'grunts' (laborers) of the higher echelons of the celestial order. I think most have very primitive thought-patterns, merely relating to their specific functions. I think MANY of them have been 'corrupted' from their original assignments, over the course of aeons. I don't think they were actually meant to become self-aware (or rather, self-guiding); I think thats just something that happened naturally over time (which is why they rebelled - picture a bulldozer getting sick & tired of just being a bulldozer).

So when created, they were actually just 'stray thoughts' of the universe (God, whatever) - ideas for doing stuff. But on these sorts of infinite levels of power, a random thought becomes real - it takes on a life of its own. So primordials in their 'true' form are little more than vast balls of seething energy - pure 'force'. they have no true form... not one we could picture, anyway. Maybe on the astral we could see something approximating what they really look like (since they exist in multiple dimensions at once, and thats the plane of 'mind').

So yeah, they could look like something approximating mortals (giant-sized, and 'rough', because they are just too powerful/huge themselves to get these fine details right). But they could also just create a ginormous elemental for themselves to occupy, like those guys from the Disney movie. It doesn't really matter - those are just avatars they are creating when there is a need. Unlike deities, who were once mortal, and who had a true form at one time (so there is a 'snap back' thing going on there - why some gods appear to be missing body parts, unless they are concentrating on appearing differently; there's an actual 'default' for them).

This all goes along with my idea that ALL outsiders are 'spirits' (Kami in in OA religions, so this isn't really my idea, I'm just broadening it to include the whole of D&D). The only plane composed of actual matter is the Prime Material - everything else is just preconceptions and thoughts. These beings form bodies out of the 'planestuff' itself (which we know fiends do, in canon). This is why is so damn hard to kill outsiders - they aren't really alive to begin with. Not as we think of it. Kill a demon, it reforms eventually. Kill 'a god', and it reforms eventually (respawns? Is the multiverse really just an extremely complex video game? )

Mortals are special because they have the 'spirit' element, same as everything else, but they also have a permanent physical element (which I have TONS of more theories about, concerning the nature of the Great wheel itself). However, mortals aren't truly 'permanent' either. Thats what D&D resurrection is - so long as you have some tiny piece linking to them, you can respawn a new body (out of the material of the plane itself, just like outsiders do. Some very powerful magical individuals have learned how to alter their forms and/or take new ones, the same as deities/outsiders (spirits) do. We've seen that Elminster doesn't even need a solid material form - he's basically just a 'ghost' (spirit) that can create a new body when he needs to (so he's technically a 'native outsider' at this point, especially since his also technically a demipower).

Picture the universe being like a video game, and all the 'players' are really just brains in a jar hooked into the game. They spawn 'avatars' in the game, but thats not really them. Thats how I picture the Prime (and even the Great Wheel to some extent) - all these 'powers' (spirits) exist outside of what we can percieve, but they can interact with us through these avatars (like how Marvel Comics plane of manifestations works).

So it doesn't matter if your 'God' looks like a sex kitten, or powerful warrior, or a lion-head furry, or an elemental the size of a city, or a ball of light (like a sun... or moon), or an oozing and/or tentacled horror, or a magnificent Celestial Dragon thousands of miles long, Those are just 'for show' - none of it is real. Thats just what they want us to see.

Are Mystra, Ao, and all the rest 'dragons'? YES... and no. They are just primal beings that can take on primal forms.

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

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13807 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2017 :  19:44:46  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
*I'm putting my footnote from above here, because i went over-long again {sorry}

I used to use 'deities' as the catch-all term, and 'gods' as the term for those beings that can grants spells. However, thanks to some proper nudging by others, I realize now that that was backwards. 'Gods' should be the catch-all for powerful outsiders, and 'deities' should be for that select group that grants spells to mortal folk. So primordials and deities are both 'gods' (as are lots of other things, like archfiends, archfey, Beast Lords, etc.)

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

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5643 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2017 :  00:31:08  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

*I'm putting my footnote from above here, because i went over-long again {sorry}

I used to use 'deities' as the catch-all term, and 'gods' as the term for those beings that can grants spells. However, thanks to some proper nudging by others, I realize now that that was backwards. 'Gods' should be the catch-all for powerful outsiders, and 'deities' should be for that select group that grants spells to mortal folk. So primordials and deities are both 'gods' (as are lots of other things, like archfiends, archfey, Beast Lords, etc.)



That is a good standard to stick to... it will be hard to do, but I think I'll adopt it.

I think I'm going to do a slow reread of what lore is out there, if only to remind myself of the order of these things.

So, first, we have elementally powerful and Entropal entities (aka primordials... some of which were likely the shadevari, btw) at war against Shar/Selune and their cadre of deities. We also have a "mother earth" goddess infused with energy from Shar/Selune (who later is shattered into numerous "smaller" mother goddesses and/or deities... one of which is Chauntea). Selune and Shar divide when Selune reaches into a place of everlasting fire, breaks off a piece, and lights up one of the heavenly bodies to form the sun.... which can be reread as "Selune opens thousands of portals on one of the planets to the elemental plane of fire".

Life begins on the worlds thanks to this warmth and light (on Toril, its beneath the seas).

Presumably, during this time, Selune and Shar have totally separated and are mad at one another. Shar is trying to destroy all light and life in the crystal sphere. A "night serpent", possibly the primordial Dendar, "hides" the Sun (shuts down the portals?), causing a "shadow epoch" and a death of most of the life. Supposing as an aside that since Dendar eats nightmares, this is some form of "dream magic".

Selune and Shar are still going at one another. In defense of life in the sphere, Selune splits some of herself out, and uses it to pull power from Shar. This creates magic/the weave/ Mystryl. This may have actually have occurred later (see below)

During this Shadow Epoch, The "primordials" and the gods (led by Ourobouros, the World Serpent) go at one another. During this time, the elemental lords (Kossuth, Grumbar, Akadi, and Istishia) stay neutral. The Primordials are slain, imprisoned, or driven away with the help of the primordial named Ubtao (known as the deceiver). Note, if Ubtao is Qotal.. he's a deceiver, sister raper, and whiny bastard who needs attention if you read the history.... not necessarily the "good" guy he's represented as.

Now, what interaction there is between Selune/Shar/Ourobouros/Ubtao in all this... no clue. Several other gods are formed during this time, and presumably many die.

Eventually, the sun comes back. The Sarrukh civilization rises worshipping Ourobouros. Fifteen hundred years pass. The Batrachi civilization rises. Twenty five hundred years pass. The Batrachi and the Giants are going at it. The Batrachi find and release from imprisonment "several" primordials.

One of these released primordials is presumably a draconic entity (Io/Asgorath). This draconic entity flies up to a "crystal sun"/"ice moon", and touches its breath to it and shatters this "crystal sun"/"ice moon" created by Zotha (maybe Zotha is the two faced entity that was Shar/Selune?). Whether this is a portion of Shar (since an ice moon in a dark sky presumably would be black) or a portion of Selune, unknown, but the shards fall to earth as the tearfall. Ironically, this also drops a ton of dragon eggs. So, personally, may be reading this as a mating session between Shar and Asgorath.


This ice moon crashes to the earth, creating much of the inner sea. It also causes climate changes.

At the same time, as this mating with the giant "ice moon"/"crystal sun"/"god egg" in the sky..... Ao and possibly any other overgods "decide" that the best thing to do is to duplicate the world and put some beings on one world and some beings on the other world. But, he doesn't shunt like ALL the primordials to one (because we still have the elemental lords, the shadevari, Dendar, Kezef, Ubtao, etc... in Toril).

Now, is this because Ao didn't WANT to send those primordials away to the other world... OR.... did Ao and the other Overgods really have no control? In essence, did this mating with the "sky god/goddess" by Asgorath the World Shaper procreate another world? I mean, we don't have Ao coming down and saying "yeah, that's what I did"... we have other sages like you and me hearing the stories of different cultures and trying to piece this together, exactly like I'm trying to do here. There is no "certain narrator" in this.

Now, let's for a second here get a little weird too. What if that Selune/Shar hurling to form Mystryl didn't happen earlier. What if the "breath of Asgorath the World Shaper" that touched the "ice moon" WAS the power of raw magic that Selune had ripped from herself.... and the "ice moon" WAS Shar's embodiment and this sundered her... and THIS MOMENT is when Mystryl was formed... THIS MOMENT is when Abeir and Toril were split.... THIS MOMENT is when the dragons were born upon the world... THIS MOMENT is when the "Tears" of Selune were created from the frozen ice body of her shattered sister when they were infused with elemental energy.

So, maybe if this is when Mystryl formed, maybe this is why Abeir didn't have a ton of magic. Maybe this creation of the two worlds wasn't as orderly as people believe with only primordials and their... noting here DRAGON mounts... going to Abeir. Maybe just maybe some earthly bound "manifestations" or "demigods" were also sent over.

Now, let's fast forward through some of history:

So, the Batrachi who were dominant and in a war the with giants. Yeah, they're now dead. The Aearee (avians) are also on the rise (darn that Kukul/Ubtao/Qotal), and they create wyverns from land drakes. Guessing Coatl's are common too. They piss off some gnolls, who reach out to a demon lord for servants to deal with them, and many of the Aearee also turn to a different demon lord. Decline of the Aearee.

Dragons are now becoming a problem, but Annam and his giants are still here. Dragons pound the giants heavily. On Abeir as well, Dragons are becoming a problem... and they kill their Primordial masters.

In come elves, and they use magic to screw with the dragons. They then turn around and use magic to pull a huge island from the feywild which tears apart the supercontinent that was the world. (Noting, when the spellplague occurred, an empty version of this island appears bereft of its magic.... so did their spell actually create a copy of this island on Abeir as well?)

Fast Forward again. The Imaskari. They uncover humans in a "who have little command of the art". They go to two different regions over two different time periods and steal the Mulan to be their slaves. What if that world wasn't so far away? What if they just uncovered some lost or even unknown secret of the elven sundering which had left links between Abeir and Toril, and it took these inquisitive planar studiers to figure out how to traverse they two worlds? After they came back, they setup a "godswall" between the two halves of the same world (which probably pleased Ao). This maybe stabilized the transfers between the Abeir and Toril??

Fast Forward again almost two thousand years. Then the Imaskari also discover a powerful elder evil, Pandorym, and they split it into two parts (one part of which, its body, is Entropy/the Godswallower). Now, we know that Entropy is a powerful Primordial of destruction. We know from Elder Evils that it was in a "quasireality best described as “perpendicular” to that of the Great Wheel" . We're told in "Elder Evils" that the gods attacked the Imaskari to prevent them use of Pandorym by a potential insane future Imaskari. At this point, we're also told that the Mulan gods "finally heard of the plight of their followers after centuries due to Ptah". What if the only reason these gods were sent for was because the overgods feared what these Imaskari might do with Pandorym if it got in the wrong hands? So, this could also explain the link of the Mulan people going to Abeir.


Quotes from Elder Evil about Pandorym below

"Long ago, a cabal of foolish wizards violated the laws of the multiverse in their search for ever-greater power, discovering spaces “between” the planes that should never have been breached. Their arrogance angered the deities, who jealously coveted this knowledge. To defend themselves (and incidentally, their people), the cabal members sought a weapon with which to threaten the gods. The wizards bent their wills toward a quasireality best described as “perpendicular” to that of the Great Wheel. The dark enticement of the chance to slay deities called to the Material Plane a sentient singularity of scarcely fathomable power and unrelenting destructiveness.

Given the name Pandorym by its summoners, it sought greedily to fulfill the terms of its contract, but was instead imprisoned. Knowing they couldn’t hold Pandorym’s full might with magic—mortal or divine—they cleaved its alien psyche from its body, trapping the former in a crystal prison beneath their city and the latter in a transdimensional space that touches the multiverse at only one point.

In their hubris, those who brought Pandorym called on the deities aligned against them, revealing only a hint of their weapon’s unbelievable destructiveness. The wizards believed such a display would force the gods to relent. Instead, the deities struck first. What would stop a single member of that insolent cabal from being consumed by madness and reuniting the halves of Pandorym? Thus, before the cabal could consolidate its position, the gods blotted every trace of it from the world.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6239 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2017 :  01:27:14  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Deities (aka Gods/Goddesses or Powers) have been around since 1E, along with many "core" and "optional" rules in each edition to define exact limits on their abilities.

Primordials (as a category) were introduced in 4E, along with rules differentiating them from Deities. The most important difference is that Primordials apparently do not solicit or respond to worship, they apparently do not maintain clergies or temples, they apparently never grant any spells/powers; while Deities (as of 2E, anyhow) are symbiotically tied to their believers, they are sustained by Faith as much as they can manifest Faith, their divine stature and powers wax or wane along with those of their faithful, the hierarchy of gods/goddesses can be jostled around by the worldly activities of their faithful, even their divine alliances and conflicts and feuds mirror those maintained by their clergy and temples.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5643 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2017 :  02:22:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Deities (aka Gods/Goddesses or Powers) have been around since 1E, along with many "core" and "optional" rules in each edition to define exact limits on their abilities.

Primordials (as a category) were introduced in 4E, along with rules differentiating them from Deities. The most important difference is that Primordials apparently do not solicit or respond to worship, they apparently do not maintain clergies or temples, they apparently never grant any spells/powers; while Deities (as of 2E, anyhow) are symbiotically tied to their believers, they are sustained by Faith as much as they can manifest Faith, their divine stature and powers wax or wane along with those of their faithful, the hierarchy of gods/goddesses can be jostled around by the worldly activities of their faithful, even their divine alliances and conflicts and feuds mirror those maintained by their clergy and temples.



Except that that statement doesn't hold true. Ubtao is a primordial, but he has worshippers. And if Ubtao is a primordial, then his "brothers and sisters" should be as well.... which fits since they're Tezca (lord of fire), Plutoq (earth and stone), Eha (wind), Azul (rain), Watil (plants), Maztica (an earth power), etc...

I'd argue that Talos is probably a primordial as well (and probably so was Bhaelros if its not the same entity). Auril, Umberlee, Chauntea, Lathander, Selune, Shar, all could be primordials as well, and we just don't know it.

Also, some of the things that we were told in 2e about the Primordial lords also doesn't hold true in later lore. For instance, it was said that they didn't believe that the elemental lords came down as avatars during the ToT. Yet serpent kingdoms has Kossuth taking his avatar form in a firenewt down in chult.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Zeromaru X
Senior Scribe

Colombia
530 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2017 :  02:31:53  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

They apparently never grant any spells/powers;



Heroes of the Elemental Chaos, one of the last 4e books, expand on this. Is not that primordials can't grant spells. They can do it if they wish to and in fact, a few good ones, such as the elemental gods of Toril, or the Princes of Elemental Good in core 4e, do that. There is also an elemental warlock pact that allows a warlock to obtain his/her magic from primordials. All those spells are elemental in nature and geared toward chaos.

However, most primordials do not grant spells because many of then do not want to. For most of them (the core ones, and presumably, those from Abeir) mortals are like... microbes or less. So, they do not care about such beings. This could mean that primordials do not depend on faith to survive (and this would be a major difference between gods and primordials).

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 26 Feb 2017 02:37:49
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
741 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2017 :  02:32:41  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Primordials (as a category) were introduced in 4E, along with rules differentiating them from Deities. The most important difference is that Primordials apparently do not solicit or respond to worship, they apparently do not maintain clergies or temples, they apparently never grant any spells/powers;

The "primordials don't grant spells" theory doesn't hold up because of Akadi, Grumbar, Istishia, and Kossuth. I talked about this a bit in the "Cosmology Theories" thread, but I think that prior to the Dawn War, all the entities we now call "primordials" could grant spells, and those that fought and lost ended up losing that ability.

We know that the term "primordials" was one made by sages not alive before the Dawn War (4e FRCG), so it may reflect what they are now rather than what they were. Maegera may once have been as sentient and as able to grant spells as Kossuth, but after fighting in the Dawn War it was reduced to a more primordial state - hence the term.

The complication derives from there being 3 categories of entity, not 2:
"Gods" that can grant spells
"Primordials" that can grant spells as gods do
"Primordials" that can't grant spells as gods do

The term "primordial" was only introduced in 4e because we learned about the Dawn War, and it serves to explain that there were two powerful sorts of entities prior to that. One sort of those entities included both entities like Kossuth, and entities like Maegera - but only those that fought and lost (like Maegera) can't grant spells. Whereas Kossuth has granted spells across all editions, including 4th. What matters to people on the ground is if something they pray to can talk to them and grant them spells, and Kossuth can - so my theory is that prior to the Dawn War, what we now call "primordials" were more closely related to "deities" than we think. They're not exactly the same, they see existence differently (hence why the Dawn War happened!), but I think they might have both been cut from the same cloth, hence my "gods of ideas" and "gods of tangibility" theory in the other thread.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

Edited by - KanzenAU on 26 Feb 2017 02:37:17
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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1077 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2017 :  21:30:54  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I present another viewpoint to consider... Godhood being more akin to the 3rd-Edition concept of a template placed upon a base creature (when the base creature gains a critical mass of mortal worshipers).

A primordial (paragon of the elemental chaos/inner planes) may become a god. Examples include Ubtao, Akadi, Kossuth, Asgoroth and so on.

An archfey (paragon of the Feywild) may become a god. Examples include Corellon, Auril, Lurue, etc…

A primal spirit (paragon of the Prime Material plane) may be become a god. Examples include, the Earthmother, Ouroboros, Remnis, Nobanion, etc…

A demon (paragon of the Abyss) may become a god. Examples include Lolth, Yeenoghu, Baphomet, etc… Note: Many archdemons are corrupted primordials, just as Lolth was a corrupted archfey.

A devil (paragon of the Nine Hells) may become a god. Asmodeus is the best example here.

Finally, ascended mortals may become gods. Many in the Faerûnian pantheon fall into this category.

Brian R. James - Freelance Game Designer

Follow me on Twitter @brianrjames, and please be sure to check out the RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6239 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2017 :  23:27:19  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In Greek mythology the Olympians displaced the Titans (who themselves displaced the primeval "Protogonoi" or "First-born", equivalent to "Primordials"). The Titans and Protogonoi are thought to be remnants of earlier pantheons worshipped by the Bronze Age Mycenaeans who preceded the Greeks (circa 1600BC-1100BC). Specifics of the Olympian pantheon (and Greek civilization itself) changed on a frequent and sometimes dramatic basis over the following 1200 years, ultimately being integrated by the Romans and lasting in some form or another well into Late Antiquity. D&D's version of Greek mythology is something of a "unrealistic" time-lapsed snapshot selected from the most popular figures and tales of the Classical/Hellenistic periods of Greece - and while D&D does a fine job of simulating an ever-changing "living" pantheon (where gods come and gods go and gods change or get changed, etc) it does a poor job of representing the major philosophical, cultural, historical, political, and religious factors which caused (or reflected) these changes in the Greek pantheons.

It's thought that the Titanomachy ("War of the Titans", in which Zeus and his Olympians overthrew the Titans and claimed rulership of the cosmos) was a "mytheme" adopted from other faiths - a generic "Proto-Indo-European" religion along with the specific Brahmic, Aramaic, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian (especially Akkadian, Sumerian, and even Babylonian) mythos in which a newer group/generation of gods challenges an elder group/generation of gods for sovereign dominance over the world/cosmos. It also prominently features another mytheme, the so-called "Chaoskampf" in which absolute victory or defeat (rulership of the universe) is ultimately determined by the outcome of an epic battle between one "supreme" patriarchal sky/storm/war god vs one "evil" serpent/dragon/ocean god: Zeus vs Typhon, Thor (or Odin or Tyr) vs the Jormungand World Serpent, Marduk vs Tiamat, Tarhunt vs Illuyanka, Indra vs Vritra, etc. In some mythos these heavenly wars simply supplant one group of gods with another, in others they form a creation myth for the world and the people, in a few they mark cycles where one world is destroyed and another better world is (re)born.

And there are always exceptions, lol, a few who voluntarily or involuntarily ally with the other side or who (as reward or punishment) must eternally serve the other side ...

The Titan Prometheus and his mother Themis/Clymene chose to help the Olympians (and Prometheus later also chose to help Mankind in defiance of Zeus and the Olympians, for which he was punished). The Titan Atlas was assigned to eternally lift/rest the entire sky and heavens upon his head and shoulders for his decisive actions during the Titanomachy but accounts differ: in some Atlas is condemned and punished with this task and in others he is rewarded and honoured with this task, in some myths he only needs to support the stars at night and may do as he pleases during the day (which mostly amounts to hanging around Mount Olympus), in some myths he actually equals or surpasses Zeus in stature, he can attend Zeus's heavenly matters (even pronounce eternal decrees upon other Olympians) while Zeus is otherwise occupied, in some myths Atlas is something of a diplomat who often negotiates with Zeus or Hades to arrange (usually temporary) freedoms or alliances involving other Titans. The Olympian Hades was sometimes described as a mysteriously aloof cthonic figure with little interest in the living world; but sometimes described as a scheming, vengeful, jealous, hateful brother of Zeus quite willing to manipulate other Olympians or release imprisoned Titans, sometimes willing to murder Zeus if needed, while plotting to claim his "rightful" place as leader of the Olympians. In some versions Hades commands an army of Titans and all the Olympians are strongly aligned along a polarized Zeus-Hades war (or cold war) which is either imminent or already underway.

The Aesir defeated the Jotnar ("Giants" or "Ettins") and banished them from the world (to another world, Jotunheimr). The Aesir also defeated the Vanir (a similar pantheon, possibly Celtic) but adopted two Vanir "prisoners" or "hostages" (the twins Frey and Freya) who always served the Aesir wisely and loyally and were even fated to fight (and die) beside the Aesir in the final battle of Ragnarok ("Twilight of the Gods"). Yet the Aesir are largely descended from the Jotnar, they frequently interact with the "imprisoned" Jotnar and "exterminated" Vanir, they interact and intermarry and sire children in a variety of complex (and unnatural) relationships. Loki is sometimes said to be a son of Odin and sometimes said to be spawned by Jotnar, a thoroughly dangerous, deceitful, and treacherous character - he's the father of Hel (the Underworld Giant/Goddess/Witch/Fiend), Jormungand (who will slay Thor), and the Fenris Wolf (who will maim Tyr and kill Odin) - he's the mother of Sleipner (Odin's eight-legged horse) and some other monstrous creatures through his Jotunn mistress, Aesirblooded wife, and a variety of other beings - he is fated and prophesied (by Odin himself) to slay Baldur and Heimdall, to destroy the world through earthquakes, to invoke Ragnarok, and to announce his final betrayal of the Aesir by fighting alongside the Jotun adversaries who slay them - yet he is beloved by Odin and Thor, counted among the Aesir, and many among them willingly befriend him or come to his aid.

I think WotC's edition designers would do well to read and write some "real" mythology. To focus on creating a vibrant and believable mythology consistent with their established setting(s), one which sets the stage and defines the background for all future products. Not to continue writing a "soap opera" of petulant gods filled with predictable squabbles over superficial things which inflict unbelievable cosmic-spanning consequences. The mythologies of our world were based on the religions of our world, they always centered around explaining how things were and why things happened from a human perspective ... while the "divine soap opera" of the Realms merely produces craters and corpses, the religion doesn't serve the people at all, the people exist only as an afterthought, they suffer all the fallout and collateral damage which our mythologies reserved only for gods and godly adversaries.

[/Ayrik]
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Markustay
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Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  01:17:18  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting take, Ayrik - I had never considered the primoridials being 'a tier above' the Titans; I had always thought of them as the same thing.

quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

I present another viewpoint to consider... Godhood being more akin to the 3rd-Edition concept of a template placed upon a base creature (when the base creature gains a critical mass of mortal worshipers).

A primordial (paragon of the elemental chaos/inner planes) may become a god. Examples include Ubtao, Akadi, Kossuth, Asgoroth and so on.

An archfey (paragon of the Feywild) may become a god. Examples include Corellon, Auril, Lurue, etc…

A primal spirit (paragon of the Prime Material plane) may be become a god. Examples include, the Earthmother, Ouroboros, Remnis, Nobanion, etc…

A demon (paragon of the Abyss) may become a god. Examples include Lolth, Yeenoghu, Baphomet, etc… Note: Many archdemons are corrupted primordials, just as Lolth was a corrupted archfey.

A devil (paragon of the Nine Hells) may become a god. Asmodeus is the best example here.

Finally, ascended mortals may become gods. Many in the Faerûnian pantheon fall into this category.


While I agree with the whole 'template' thing, I think there is an important ingredient that most non-deities (since I think those beings you already mentioned are all 'gods') lack that is a necessary prerequisite for the deification of an entity - a human (mortal) soul. Its why mortals who ascend are automatically deities, but beings that were at that level of power for aeons (primordials, Asmodeus, etc) are not.

So if you aren't born with such a thing, you can't make the necessary 'connection' - establish the two-way conduit of energy between you and your followers. This means a god who was never mortal (a being born of the Prime Material) would need to merge with a being who was, in order to have access to the template. its the only thing that makes sense.

But I still think that primordials would not do that; it would probably be anathema to them. Not that there aren't exceptions (I think Mystryl was one). In the case of the four elemental lords we know (in FR), I think one of two things is happening there (possibly three): #1, they are in a partnership with a deity and they split the 'take'. I'm sure cosmic entities have some way of making binding contracts. #2, they are NOT who we think they are. In Ed's original, he used the four Elemental Lords from the Melnibonean mythos - Grome (earth), Kakatal (fire), Misha (air), and Strasha (water). Perhpas THOSE are the true, multispheric 'elemental archtypes', and the four we know in FR are avatars, or rather, 'greater manifestations' - a small sliver of the god incorporated into a mortal. Thus, the true elemental kings can still be 'pure' primordials, and they could just be using proxies on various worlds. Perhaps a Fire cultist (because non-deities can have cults) named Kossuth was once elevated by Kakatal. As for cults - we have the rule of SJ (and I think maybe RL) to fall back upon - you don't need an actual 'godly connection' to acquire spells under level 4. Its you belief that empowers those spells. If an outsider (or even a powerful mortal) wants more, then they are going to have to dabble in real religion, which means being a deity, which means getting a soul to call their own.

I realize this sounds overly-complicated - and it is - but its the only way to rectify the 4e lore with all the other editions. somehow, beings who can't grant spells had being dong so for quite some time, and now they can't again, but in some rare exceptions they still can.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Feb 2017 01:19:13
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KanzenAU
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Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  01:57:24  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seems like that's 4 main theories we have for the primordials that can grant spells:

BRJ: The primordials that can grant spells do so because they became gods after gaining enough mortal worshipers
Markustay 1: The primordials that can grant spells are in partnership with a deity
Markustay 2: The "primordials that can grant spells" are in fact primordial avatars mixed with a mortal soul
Kanzen: Primordials were deities (albeit of a different kind) before the Dawn War, and those that lost the war lost the ability to grant spells

Not sure at this point what I prefer, all seem like legitimate takes that the lore doesn't necessarily seem to contradict or support.

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Markustay
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Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  01:59:21  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another possibility ties into the ToT's aftermath.

I had proposed a theory for how divine magic worked on Toril to help explain some of the inconsistencies between various definitions of the Weave, and what it does and does not control. I recall Ed really liing the premise (whether that was what he had in mind himself we'll never know - the ToT and the 4e/Spellplague stuff wasn't his).

It went something like this - All 'gods' can grants spells (and by 'gods', I mean any outsider who can hold their own against a level 20 character). Basically, the term 'god' just means a more powerful spirit (Kami). The 'royalty' of the Spiritrealm. Anyhow, they can all do it, and always have been able to do it, but it requires a LOT of work and hand-holding (imagine waking up every morning and having to deliver dozens of spells to thousands and thousands of priests.. all before you've had your holy coffee. Its a real drag. Most non-deities don't bother with it.

Then Mystryl comes along with her Weave. Whereas the old gods were chugging along with their archaic magic system running on DOS, 'The Weave' is bright and shiny - a GUI that makes ease-of-use in dealing with your faithful a snap. You see, you just insert the right amount of personal power, and the machine... errr... Weave... does the rest. It uploads all the elan (worship juice), and downloads all the spells, automatically, No fuss, no bother. It like the 'Napster of the Gods'. Of course, because its all running on Mystryl's Weave, she gets her 'cut', which is fine, because its such a time-saver. Now, someone like Shar would never use it because she hates Mystryl, and would even like to supplant her weave with one o her own. 'New Gods' like Cyric wouldn't know about the old fashioned way of doing things (direct interaction with your clergy), so when Mystra cuts him off, he thinks he has no recourse (and since no-one liked him, no-one told him).

In fact, this system is "so simple even a primordial can use it". And thats what happened - suddenly cultists were gaining spells above the third level, just like a real religion. People were worshiping Elemental lords (and Archfey, and fiends, etc) and getting all the benefits they would had they chosen a deity. Ao may have been a little annoyed, because it circumvented some of his rules, and also made Mystryl WAY too powerful (like maybe more powerful than him, on some levels), but he went along with it, because it seemed just about everyone was on board (except for Shar and her Goth friends, but no-one invites them to parties anymore anyway).

Then the whole shebang comes to a head (possibly for the 2nd time - the Karsus affair was still a pretty big deal). deities not only think they don't need to follow the rules, the steal the damn rulebook! Ao gets pissed, they all get suspended from school (except for Helm, because he does 'Helm stuff'), and they can't come back until they learn their lessons ("Learn that poem, learn that poem..."). The three culprits get caught (and kinda die), and Ao realizes that the world is in pretty bad shape (I'm sure he caught some flak for that from his boss) and restores the gods... on one condition: they have to handle their own sh.. stuff from now on. no more 'easy method'. They can't run a 'bot program' to pick their crops... errr... use the Weave to deliver spells and receive Elan. They have to 'deal direct', and this aso has the side-benefit of de-powering Mystra a whole bunch (probably weakened her enough for Shar to make her move with her Goth cronies... except for Loviatar... she was too busy cutting herself...)

So thats one way of looking at what happened "from the beginning of time" until the ToT, and then its aftermath. One problem, now the primordials - and likely a bunch of others - were left out in the cold again. They're not happy, and some of them went to Shar and said, "hey, can we use YOUR weave? Ao's being a big meenie-face!" So Shar says yes, and now she's getting all that power that Mystra once had running through HER Weave, and all that juicy, Primal energy is at her fingertips. And use it she does... to kill Mystra. *Boom* goes the dynamite, Toril is all sorts of messed up, and whats worse, all that stored, primal energy is running amok, and linking back to a place where Ao stashed' most of it at the beginning of time - in Abeir. Time & Space are torn asunder, worlds collide, entire planes slide off the wheel and into the Elemental Maelstrom, etc, etc. Its basically one of those 'house parties' that happens in the movies when the parents go away for a weekend. Ao comes home from his holiday in Rio and asked Shar what happened, and {while twirling her foot and looking down at the floor} she mumbles, "I dunno... Cyric did it!" (isn't she just adorable though, in her little Wednesday Adams outfit?)

He freaks out, starts yelling, "Thats it! No more Weaves!" No more mister nice Overgod! I want you all to clean up this mess. I will be back in a century and you better have it fixed up or you're grounded for life!" (and by 'grounded' he means doing the ToT thing again).

A century goes by, and Ao shows back up with his boss - the District Manager - who turns bright orange, point to Ao and says, "Your fired!" He/she then snaps its fingers, and *presto*, the world is like it was just before the ToT... except millions of people are dead... oh well. At least all those non-deity Gods are happy, because they can start granting spells again, from Weave 4.O - its got electrolytes! Its what worshipers crave!

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


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Feb 2017 02:05:22
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sleyvas
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Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  13:54:17  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've said something to the tune of this in the past, but gotta say... I love this phrasing.

>>>>>'New Gods' like Cyric wouldn't know about the old fashioned way of doing things (direct interaction with your clergy), so when Mystra cuts him off, he thinks he has no recourse (and since no-one liked him, no-one told him).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  19:41:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The idea that Primordials have to link to a mortal to grant spells is an interesting one. I'd almost say this has to hold true for manifestations of deities as a means to explain the Mulhorandi incarnations... also for Siamorphe... but Gilgeam throws a wrench in that theory (unless he DID have children and they were manifestations and he locked them up? Some of the folk noting that the recent book said "The Son of Victory" and not "The Father of Victory" may have a point). In fact, this idea might also explain the need for demon and devil lords producing children with mortals. If they want to grant divine power within a plane, maybe they have to have people with their blood living on said plane. This could strongly explain Asmodeus' actions with tieflings now that I think about it, especially since he somehow perverted children born of demons and other fiends to having "his" bloodline. That would be a bold move to remove the power of certain demon and devil lord's within that crystal sphere.

I also strongly believe the reverse, in that a mortal must link to some kind of divine/primordial/archfey essence to become a god. I strongly suspect that when Ao raised up Cyric, Midnight, and Kelemvor that he tied their mortal souls to the "elementally divine stone" of some dead deities to give them a jumpstart (which ones, I won't guess)... and that there is some kind of war of personality between the old god and the new, and either the old god reasserts itself, the new mortal forces the other aside, or the new god goes insane. This may be why Kelemvor seems so much different, as the old god may be taking over (he'll probably keep the current name). This fits with established lore in several instances.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
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Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  23:49:40  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ao completely "banished" the Primordials to Abeir. Ao completely stripped the Faerunian gods of their powers, causing the Avatar Crisis on Toril. It seems pretty logical to me to assume that Ao simply decided the "banished" Primordials are completely denied any godlike spell-granting powers.

Yes, there's some exceptions: a few Primordials weren't "banished" and can basically manifest all the same powers as any other Deity on Toril, a few Primordials can grant spells under very specific conditions (which likely exploit or circumvent some sort of loophole in Ao's plan), a few mortals who meet very specific criteria and can cast spells granted by Primordials (which again seems more like a sploit or loophole than an "allowable" exception).

This seems consistent with the banished/imprisoned Titans, Giants, etc, of other mythos. The ones which weren't banished/imprisoned could still manifest their powers alongside any other member of the (new) pantheon. The ones condemned to Tartarus or Jotunheimr or whatever probably couldn't access their powers - control the winds and skies or move mountains or raise the oceans or cast flaming stars down upon cities and all that - because if they still could then obviously some of them (let alone many or all of them) could outpower their "keepers" and eventually return to the mortal/godly world.

Another good possibility is that Abeir is flawed. A cage with some loose bars, a prison filled with hidden passages. Ao discovered some flaw(s) in the design, workmanship, or materials he used to make Abeir-Toril; perhaps (like a surgeon or a mechanic) he had to "break" things open/apart before he could implement a "repair"; perhaps he wanted Toril to be as perfect as possible so he swapped all the "flawed" or "damaged" parts to Abeir. Perhaps he just had to build Abeir in a rush to get rid of the Primordials or hide the evidence or something before he lost his overgodly powers (or overgodly job). (Although new-pantheon-removes-old-pantheon seems to be a common enough theme, I wonder how many other overgods might have been diminished by their world-pantheon plans turning out badly.)

Perhaps constructing a crystal sphere (or an Alternate Prime Material plane or whatever) - a micro-cosmos complete with star system and worlds and populations of mortals and gods, etc - is such a massive and difficult undertaking, and such a massive investment of power - that overgods sometimes try to "cut corners" and "cheap out"? And perhaps a sphere/world is the sort of fragile and complex engineering project that it needs to follow certain known specifications and parameters just to maintain self-integrity and be possible at all? Abeir, to my (admittedly 4E-antibiased) perceptions, is a quick-n-dirty shoddy product, sort of like a generic knockoff or cheap clone of a branded quality product. Whatever richness and diversity Abeir can claim is all just refuse from the Realms, a dumping ground filled with prisoners (and wardens?) deemed "unfit" for Toril.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
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Posted - 28 Feb 2017 :  00:55:59  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Ao completely "banished" the Primordials to Abeir. Ao completely stripped the Faerunian gods of their powers, causing the Avatar Crisis on Toril. It seems pretty logical to me to assume that Ao simply decided the "banished" Primordials are completely denied any godlike spell-granting powers.

Yes, there's some exceptions: a few Primordials weren't "banished" and can basically manifest all the same powers as any other Deity on Toril, a few Primordials can grant spells under very specific conditions (which likely exploit or circumvent some sort of loophole in Ao's plan), a few mortals who meet very specific criteria and can cast spells granted by Primordials (which again seems more like a sploit or loophole than an "allowable" exception).

This seems consistent with the banished/imprisoned Titans, Giants, etc, of other mythos. The ones which weren't banished/imprisoned could still manifest their powers alongside any other member of the (new) pantheon. The ones condemned to Tartarus or Jotunheimr or whatever probably couldn't access their powers - control the winds and skies or move mountains or raise the oceans or cast flaming stars down upon cities and all that - because if they still could then obviously some of them (let alone many or all of them) could outpower their "keepers" and eventually return to the mortal/godly world.

Another good possibility is that Abeir is flawed. A cage with some loose bars, a prison filled with hidden passages. Ao discovered some flaw(s) in the design, workmanship, or materials he used to make Abeir-Toril; perhaps (like a surgeon or a mechanic) he had to "break" things open/apart before he could implement a "repair"; perhaps he wanted Toril to be as perfect as possible so he swapped all the "flawed" or "damaged" parts to Abeir. Perhaps he just had to build Abeir in a rush to get rid of the Primordials or hide the evidence or something before he lost his overgodly powers (or overgodly job). (Although new-pantheon-removes-old-pantheon seems to be a common enough theme, I wonder how many other overgods might have been diminished by their world-pantheon plans turning out badly.)

Perhaps constructing a crystal sphere (or an Alternate Prime Material plane or whatever) - a micro-cosmos complete with star system and worlds and populations of mortals and gods, etc - is such a massive and difficult undertaking, and such a massive investment of power - that overgods sometimes try to "cut corners" and "cheap out"? And perhaps a sphere/world is the sort of fragile and complex engineering project that it needs to follow certain known specifications and parameters just to maintain self-integrity and be possible at all? Abeir, to my (admittedly 4E-antibiased) perceptions, is a quick-n-dirty shoddy product, sort of like a generic knockoff or cheap clone of a branded quality product. Whatever richness and diversity Abeir can claim is all just refuse from the Realms, a dumping ground filled with prisoners (and wardens?) deemed "unfit" for Toril.




Actually, norse lore didn't really have giants getting imprisoned in Jotunheim that I can recall. Some of them just got obnoxious or ambitious and Thor had to kill them. The only one I can say might have been imprisoned was Surtr. The titans being imprisoned thing I think is just a greek thing.

That being said, what we know of Abeir and what we can DO with Abeir are two different things. I'm not sure if I like the idea of previously existing human cultures over there with their own deities.... but it COULD be useful. For instance, the Northmen came from somewhere. Now it COULD be the continents above Anchorome (I don't believe it to be the continent West of Anchorome, as I think that is where the Aearee were from). But, it could just as well have been that they came over from Abeir and that some of the islands off Anchorome's coast hold Northmen from Abeir.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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KanzenAU
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Posted - 28 Feb 2017 :  01:12:25  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

For instance, the Northmen came from somewhere. Now it COULD be the continents above Anchorome (I don't believe it to be the continent West of Anchorome, as I think that is where the Aearee were from). But, it could just as well have been that they came over from Abeir and that some of the islands off Anchorome's coast hold Northmen from Abeir.

Not to wander too much off topic, but Ed tackled where the Northlanders came from back in 2010, in a reply to Markustay where he gave some theories on where they originated:
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One, 27th December, 2010

Ah, but you forgot one other possibility re. movement: gate/portal travel from elsewhere on Toril. To the rugged, rolling mountains/valleys/foothills country north and east of Luskan and Mirabar, and south of the Spine of the World.
Where the "Northmen" appeared, wandered in search of seas like those they were used to (in the same latitude, but on the other side of the planet), "discovered" the Sword Coast, and then the islands (notably the archipelago of the northeast Moonshaes, that was once explored in a long-ago TSR module, from which they spread to the other northern Sea of Swords isles, conquering as they went).

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Markustay
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Posted - 28 Feb 2017 :  04:08:29  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I recall that answer, and I wasn't ecstatic about it, if only because there winds up being a weird 'back & forth' thing going on there.

If Northmen first appeared on the mainland, and then spread to the sea, how is it that they only later started looting & pillaging that same mainland coast (which would include Luskan, which is a major turning-point in their history)?

It just seems odd to me - appear on land, go out to sea, raid the land, then raid the wrong place and get driven inland, and THEN become the 'Conan-esque' barbarians... that you could have/should have become right from the very beginning. What that means is the Uthgardt aren't really two separate ethnic groups that merged - they're just two offshoots of the same group that merged back together latter. Not an impossibility, but it just rubs me the wrong way.

While designing my own version of FR's lore/history, I've tried to backwards engineer quite a few things so that everything wasn't 'from Earth'. For example, instead of our K-T having gotten its stuff from earth, I have it where BOTH Earth AND K-T were settled by people from another Crystal Sphere (Jadespace?). As for our Finnish Gods, I have it where the Finnish myths actually took place ON Toril (the lands just north of Endless Wastes and east of The Great Ice sea). that makes the Finnish pantheon NATIVE, and it then migrated TO Earth (not vice-versa). I try to create as many of these variants as I can, so everything doesn't get the same explanation.

But as for the Northmen, I say they ARE Earth's Northmen (Norse). I never gave much thought to how that got there (don't have to - its the damn Forgotten Realms), but a couple of years back I read an interesting trilogy of Cthulhu stories (not my usual fare), and in that they had some 'big bad' (I forget which - I'll find it tomorrow; it was some 'elder evil of cold') that kidnapped MANY northern peoples, and deposited them on various worlds where they wanted to get a foothold (one way of becoming a god on a world is to dump a bunch of your worshipers there). So now I'm toying with the idea that a large group of Northmen got purposely 'dumped' on Toril for some nefarious purpose, which probably never saw fruition (perhaps thats when Tyr first got involved?)

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


Edited by - Markustay on 01 Mar 2017 07:42:22
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KanzenAU
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Posted - 28 Feb 2017 :  05:11:49  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Yeah, I recall that answer, and I wasn't ecstatic about it, if only because there winds up being a weird 'back & forth' thing going on there.

If Northmen first appeared on the mainland, and then spread to the sea, how is it that they only later started looting & pillaging that same mainland coast (which would include Luskan, which is a major turning-point in their history)?

It just seems odd to me - appear on land, go out to sea, raid the land, then raid the wrong place and get driven inland, and THEN become the 'Conan-esque' barbarians... that you could have/should have become right from the very beginning. What that means is the Ulgardt aren't really two separate ethnic groups that merged - they're just two offshoots of the same group that merged back together latter. Not an impossibility, but it just rubs me the wrong way.

I recall the answer unsettling me a bit when I first read it too, and I suspect it might be hard to line up with Races of Faerun and other sources. However, I quite like the idea that the islander Northmen went through a portal and ended up in the middle of a continent with no readily apparent sea - a very uncomfortable state of affairs I would imagine. It makes sense to me that they would have expanded out from there, trying to find the sea, and their homes! We also don't know when they arrived in the North, it may have been a long time before they settled Luskan.

I imagine a scenario where they arrive in the North, travel down the Mirar to find the sea, and set off on the sea to find their island home. They scour the Trackless Sea, but after years of searching they eventually come to the understanding they are in an entirely different sea to the one they once called home. Having sailed to Anchorome and set up a temporary settlement there, after many years they make a decision that their original home is not to be found. Thus, they sail back to the east to settle Ruathym at around -3100 DR (GHotR), an island they found on their journeys which most resembled their original home. A hundred years later, with a growing population of young men and women eager to forge their own destinies, some decide to return to the Sword Coast and found Illusk.

I added the bit about Anchorome to explain a point in the GHotR which says that Ruathym was founded by "human seafarers from the west".

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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 01 Mar 2017 :  04:51:00  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Taking from discussion in the Cosmology Theories thread again, we found another bit of lore to think about: the "ascended batrachi" primordial Baz-Gorag.

That leaves us with six types of primordial to account for:
1. The primordials who sat out the entire plane-spanning Dawn War (Akadi, Grumbar, Kossuth, Istishia)
2. The primordials who lost the plane-spanning Dawn War outside Ao's crystal sphere, or were driven away from Toril in the local Dawn War (eg. Cryonax)
3. The primordial that sided with the gods during the local Dawn War (Ubtao)
4. The primordials who lost the local Dawn War but were released by the batrachi and ultimately granted dominion over Abeir (eg. Asgorath?)
5. The primordials who lost the local Dawn War but weren't released by the batrachi (eg. Maegera?)
6. The batrachi that ascended to become a primordial (Bazim-Gorag)

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Zeromaru X
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Colombia
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Posted - 01 Mar 2017 :  05:48:20  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess the ascended batrachi can be changed to "ascended mortal". Such as a mortal can get an apotheosis and become a god, I guess the same is true for mortals that "ascend" to primordials. There is even an epic destiny in 4e that allows you to become into something akin to a primordial, IIRC (published in Heroes of Elemental Chaos, if I'm not wrong).

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 01 Mar 2017 05:51:24
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13807 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2017 :  07:56:49  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really don't like that something can become a primordial - that doesn't sit well with me. I mean, it goes against the very definition of the word. "Yeah, I'm primordial... as of yesterday." Just no.

UNLESS that particular Batrachi (and come to think of it, we don't really have to many Batrachi walking around these days) was around before the Sundering (as all 'Creatori' were), in which case, maybe the 'rules were different back then'. We didn't have deities until after mortality (death) itself came into the world, so if something was able to ascend prior to that, I guess it would have HAD to have been a primordial (and then the name also works - I think that label should only go on things that existed pre-Sundering).


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


Edited by - Markustay on 01 Mar 2017 07:57:16
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 01 Mar 2017 :  08:37:45  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Or maybe we just dont know what a primordial actually is.

Consider that as we know it a primordial is immortal and super powerful (compared to mortals) and can donate some of its power to those that 'bond' with it. But its very firmly grounded on the material plane.

A god can fulfils much the same of thse criteria except that it can donate power freely to whomever it chooses and it is not bound to the material plane.

The exception to the gods above is a demi god which is bound to the material plane and can donate power less freely (because it has less power possibly).

Now when Ed conceived the realms there were no demipowers. Instead they were quasi powers.

What if 2nd edition got it wrong and miscategorised quasi powers as demi powers.

What if a primordial is actually just a quasi power.

A quasi power is just a creature possessed of awesome power to the point that it is now immortal and can donate that power to others. Its also the first step on the path to godhood.

That means thr Dark Three stole power from other quasi powers (the 7 lost gods) to become quasi powers themselves. They then travelled the world displaying their awesome power and gaining followers to the point where they became actual gods.

Uthgar did a similar trick with his totem beasts and potentially so did Malar. Ubtao was born a quasi power and became a god after being worshipped in chult.

Bazim gorag probably wasnt quite a quasi power when born but must have become so sometime after travelling to limbo.


Just an idea but maybe we are overcomplicating things that cannot possibly be known. Its far simpler to have quasi power encompass everything not a full fledged god and then everything after that is just various levels of godhood.

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sleyvas
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USA
5643 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2017 :  10:31:16  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do like re-introducing the term quasipower to cover the "net" of all these different types of unusual gods, but making sure that this isn't so much a power level, but a descriptor that these aren't "normal" outer planar based gods. For instance, it could be used to cover

Archfey

Earthly bound "demigods" or Earthly bound manifestations of greater powers (pre-ToT Mulhorandi gods, Siamorphe before she got an outer plane, Lurue before she got an outer plane, Red Knight before she got an outer plane, Gwaeron Windstrom before he got an outer plane, Gargauth before he got an outer plane, etc...)..... SIDENOTE: interesting how Siamorphe, Lurue, Gwaeron, Red Knight, and Gargauth got outer planes in 3e and it wasn't a big deal in the lore.

Elemental Primordials (Telos, Arambar, etc..)

Entropic Primordials (Entropy, Atropus, the Shadevari, Eshowdow of Chult, etc...)

So, if that's the case, what are "Great Spirits" or Beings that are worshipped as part of beast type cults. What's a good term to start using for them, and how do they form? Many of these have outer planar homes. I get that we'd call them quasipowers, but what would be a good category name for these. Note, this WOULD cover Ulutiu (whom I would have said was a primordia), Ubtao (whom I would have said was a primordial), Rillifane Ralathil, Uthgar, and a whole host of names to be found in the City of Gold products, and probably some in the hordelands/Kara-Tur/Zakhara if we dig. Is there any kind of commonality to these as well, or should it be broken down into categories as well?


On the Ubtao piece of this... it should be noted that he "fragmented" himself, and from this came a prime bound being that I label above as an entropic primordial (i.e. Eshowdow). Did, and can, a primordial give up its "primordial" nature? Was Ubtao some kind of Entropic Primordial that actually came to embrace life? Was this why he fragmented?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 01 Mar 2017 10:41:17
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