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 Solving the puzzle of Dawnbringer & the Netheril!
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PattPlays
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  01:58:19  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Greetings, I am a DM who is celebrating their one year anniversary of dming by knocking it out of the part with my Out Of The Abyss game- I even acquired some Third Edition books on FR and the underdark, and I am spiraling into madness, researching teases and oversights from this adventure book.

CANDLEKEEPERS I SEEK YOUR COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE

I want my legendary artifacts, especially those that talk, to have a real physical origin in the game setting. Where the heck did Dawnbringer come from, who the heck was Brysis of Khaem, and what were they doing with Dawnbringer? Below is a blocked up showing of my process of trying to find meaning in Dawnbringer's short description, and an underlying theory that is utterly as mad as the wonderland that inspired Perkins in the first place.


Prologue: Inconsistencies and Oddities
From my study of this website, barely anyone has discussed OOTA content in depth since release, and the term DAWNBRINGER only had one result- about the book. I also understand that some or many of you dislike Chris Perkins... interesting take on Forgotten Realms. If the answer to my questions is ever "Chris didn't think about it" then dammit we can do better!
My research into OOTA issues started on D&DBeyond, in this thread. https://www.dndbeyond.com/forums/dungeons-dragons-discussion/dungeon-masters-only/3318-oota-lore-inconsistency-stonespeaker-hgraan-and
There, I review my cross referenced dates and names between my books and wikis. Click the link if you want to hear about how the dev team might have made a one letter typo with the name Stonespeaker Hgraan.


Chapter 1: Casually dropping the Netheril Bomb

Okay, upon first review of the Lost Tomb chapter of OOTA, I was excited to see something grand from Forgotten Realms history, the legendary Netheril. However, of all the well documented floating islands of the Netherese, none were called Khaem and no Brysis was ever mentioned. What the hell is with this tomb, and how did it get dozens of miles from the desert to the east? (The desert which only formed following the fall of the Netheril, which means the tomb may have moved even further.) The floating islands of Netheril were only falling for maybe a few minutes, as some were saved by the newly rising Mystra. How did this tomb get so far west, and who was Brysis?


Chapter 2: Forged by ancient sun worshipers...? That's it?

Dawnbringer is extremely peculiar. "Created by Sun Worshipers" leaves much to be speculated. Does this mean Lathander? What orders of Lathander date back to the time of Karsus' Folly? And just how old is this sword? Is it possible that the sword was ancient even when Brysis obtained it? Is it possible that the "sun worshipers" have something to do with the Sun Elves? Could it be that Brysis took the sword from the magically powerful elves, or that it was created in their image? After-all, there is one thing tying sun elves, the nether, and the creation of magical artifacts, a secret I would gladly take to my tomb. A key.



Chapter 3: The Nether Scrolls, and Ars Factum

Ars Factum, the legendary fifth set of Nether Scrolls, which describes the creation of magical artifacts. This set of scrolls could not be understood without some kind of key, or rather- the powerful wizards of Windsong supposed that they needed some key as their attempts to use the Ars Factum always failed. There were theories that the race of the reader may have had to do with the key. Ars Factum's key was, as I see, never revealed and thought to be a DM-Choice-Goes-Here situation. There is only one place I see where Ars Factum was ever read successfully, and that


Chapter 4: The Gold is the Key

The Sun Elves were also known as the Gold Elves. The last beings known to properly use the fifth scroll were the elves of Myth Drannor, with the use of the GOLDEN GROVE Quess'Ar'Teranthvar. Myth Drannor is populated by Eladrin- who were High Elves. The Sun Elves were considered a breed of High Elves. Gold is everywhere, and Dawnbringer is a gilded sword hilt. The biggest issue of Quess'Ar'Teranthvar is that the elves were able to supposedly understand the fifth, and a kind of sixth chapter by the creation of the golden dragon. This way to rearrange and walk through the whole set is fascinating, but doesn't quite fit with how the Ars Factum specifically was a keyed document.


Chapter 5: Brysis and her Sword

What if, somehow, by some insanity, Dawnbringer is related if not -the- key to the Ars Factum. Something that an ancient Netherese wished not to fall into the hands of anyone. What if Brysis of Khaem had figured this out, and took the sword into their tomb, and sunk it far away? Many people, including myself, wonder why a creature evil enough to rise as a Wraith would be clutching such a holy artifact so close to their chest? Dawnbringer burns evil creatures who wish to wield it, what if Brysis was a good hearted creature turned evil by the underdark or somehow by the aftermath of Gromph's spell? What if Brysis knew that Dawnbringer could be used as a key to the Ars Factum, to restore Netheril's mythallars? Or maybe that Dawnbringer could be used to bring an end to them?
You don't just get to play around with the Netheril and legendary artifacts, Perkins! THERE MUST BE SOMETHING! You can't just introduce major artifacts that enabled magical powers beyond the limits of Mystra's ban into a universe via a level two party in a fifth edition module!!! And more importantly, how the bloody heck does anyone explain it even being within two hundred miles of VELKYNVELVE?! Three hundred miles from the buried realms? I've cross referenced three books infront of me, scoured two forums, and crashed my browser with all these wikis- someone- please explain Dawnbringer! -faints-

Appendix: Times the Nether Scrolls were discussed before here.

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14174
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14212&SearchTerms=Quess%27Ar%27Teranthvar
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5480&whichpage=2&SearchTerms=Quess%27Ar%27Teranthvar
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17592&whichpage=2&SearchTerms=Quess%27Ar%27Teranthvar
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19062&whichpage=2&SearchTerms=Quess%27Ar%27Teranthvar


This was thrilling to research and write, come on- who has the best Forgotten Realms canon under their understanding? Who can try to put this puzzle together? Or is Brysis' tomb just something to completely ignore? Come on- even the random tower from the Labyrinth chapter canonically might reference the Daern's Instant Fortress that is mentioned in the 3rd edition Underdark book. Dawnbringer has to have some secret meaning- what sun worshippers? Why the Netheril? What was Khaem?
-Patt

Edited by - PattPlays on 02 Jun 2017 02:00:48

xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1808 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  02:38:06  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

Greetings, I am a DM who is celebrating their one year anniversary of dming


First and foremost, congrats! I hope you've enjoyed your first year, and have many more ahead of you!

Unfortunately I can't answer most of your questions, as it seems you've done more research than I have. So maybe congrats on that too. But I can maybe help with some ideas.



quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

However, of all the well documented floating islands of the Netherese, none were called Khaem and no Brysis was ever mentioned.


We don't know that none of them were named Khaem. We don't even have all the names for all the Netherese cities, and it's possible that Khaem wasn't a city. Khaem and Brysis could easily have been made up for OOTA, having never been mentioned before.


quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

how did it get dozens of miles from the desert to the east?


Jiksidur and Orbedal were hundreds of miles outside Netheril when the Fall came. Sakkors and others were also outside Netheril's "borders." It seems likely that the enclaves (and Khaem if it could fly) could go anywhere on Toril.


quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

(The desert which only formed following the fall of the Netheril, which means the tomb may have moved even further.)


Also not entirely true. The desert formed as a result of lifedrain spells cast by the phaerimm, and this started well before the Fall occurred, and continued for some time afterward. The creation of Anauroch was a process, not an instantaneous thing.


quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

"Created by Sun Worshipers" leaves much to be speculated.


Lathander doesn't seem to have existed prior to the Fall. The Netherese god of the sun was Amaunator. It's likely that if the sun worshipers were Netherese, they were followers of Amaunator.


quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

And just how old is this sword? Is it possible that the sword was ancient even when Brysis obtained it?


Good questions. I don't know the answers.


quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

Is it possible that the "sun worshipers" have something to do with the Sun Elves?


Unlikely, but I guess ultimately possible.


quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

The last beings known to properly use the fifth scroll were the elves of Myth Drannor, with the use of the GOLDEN GROVE Quess'Ar'Teranthvar.


I believe the Golden Grove was created from a full set of the Nether Scrolls. There were two full sets, and the elves obtained one. So Ars Factum would have been part of that.



quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

Myth Drannor is populated by Eladrin- who were High Elves. The Sun Elves were considered a breed of High Elves.


Eh... yes and no? The eladrin reference was unique to 4th edition, and it was a mistake imo. In earlier editions, elves were elves and eladrin were eladrin... two different types of beings. The eladrin were native to the CG outer planes, not the Prime Material. 4e blended them together; a bit of not-smartness that has resulted in confusion and annoyance.

The elves of the Realms are not the same as the elves of the Monster Manual. Sun/gold elves logically take the place of high elves -- their egos are certainly high up in the clouds. But I thought there were more moon elves than gold elves in Myth Drannor... anyway, that's off topic.


quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

This way to rearrange and walk through the whole set is fascinating, but doesn't quite fit with how the Ars Factum specifically was a keyed document.


I dunno, I don't see a problem with it. Interacting with one part of the grove (the first set of scrolls for instance) doesn't necessarily mean you can understand the entire grove. I would think each part would have a key (of some sort) of its own.


quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

You don't just get to play around with the Netheril and legendary artifacts, Perkins!


Sure he does! It's a much-used technique with a long history! In fact, he might not get his Christmas bonus if he doesn't introduce some kind of chaos during the year. (I dunno, just sayin.)


quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

I've cross referenced three books infront of me, scoured two forums, and crashed my browser with all these wikis- someone- please explain Dawnbringer! -faints-


Heh my advice is to get what you can from it, ask questions and consider whatever answers you get, and insert cool details of your own devising to fill the remaining holes. Good luck and happy celebrating!
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PattPlays
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  03:47:35  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I love how you responded to this, and I assure anyone else reading this that I absolutely adore this kind of frustration. Your clarifications are exactly what I needed on the finer details. Thank you! Let's go deeper!

I posted this thread here specifically to search for more lore clarifications, but I will say on the homebrew side of things that I will tease that Dawnbringer has some history with the nether scrolls that it cannot remember (Dawnbringer is going insane in my world, going full Yandere with its wielder and screaming in terror if it is ever sheathed) - I will have a diary of some kind for the party to read, having Brysis vaguely describe taking her secret with her to the grave, witnessing the "end of the world" as their island sunk from the sky.

If you want to see even more odd story overlaps, please hit the first link in my post and read my other notes on the underdark. In summary:
-Stonespeaker Hgraan in 3E _Underdark) book, Stonespeaker Hgraam in OOTA.
-Three Duergar kings in the course of a year.
-How the hell did Orcus get his wand back and when.
-Has anyone here played Sword Coast Legends and can tell us something more than "Cyrog was revived and was bad"
-Where is Demogorgon even GOING?
-The Menzoberranzan chapter casually slides in the fact that Drizz't Do-Urden's moon elf girlfriend's reanimated brainwashed currently insane corpse figurehead leads the recently for some reason reinstated and rebuilt Do-Urden house and nobody really has any complaints about this, even the lesser houses who all got skipped and the fact that House Baenre is buddy buddy with them HOW IS THAT NOT SUSPICIOUS AND LEFT TO BE ONE LINE IN A TABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF A PAGE?

-passes out-
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30083 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  04:08:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays


-Where is Demogorgon even GOING?


Back to the Upside-Down.

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PattPlays
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  04:12:57  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wait wait- what about the demon lords- I haven't even gotten to them!

Lloth- currently an intermediate goddess who's continuing mission is to screw over anyone else in her pantheon and completely dominate the dark elves. It's a brilliant idea as a game designer to unleash demon lords into the Underdark, but as proud as Lloth is about this whole endeavor, what about the possible outcome of the complete and total destruction of menzoberranzan by the dark heart ritual? Wouldn't that be against her duty as their goddess to allow that? If her goal is to flood the abyss with her kin and take it completely over while the other demon lords are gone (which seems difficult what with the whole infinite layers thing, but that didn't keep Asmodeus from trying to fling it into the Elemental Chaos.

BY THE WAY ISN'T THE ABYSS CURRENTLY IN THE ELEMENTAL CHAOS?

Baphomet- someone here play Neverwinter and can tell us about what happened with him and the maze engine?

Orcus' wand is supposed to be at the bottom of Pandemonium

Yeonghu is doing..what exactly?

Fraz'Urbluu is supposed to be sent right back to the abyss as soon as his gem breaks- which I'd assume just needs one point of magic damage. But they'd be happy just grabbing any commoner and assuming their identity for a hundred years honestly, they forget who they are half the time.

Graz'zt is doing- what exactly? Seriously, anything? I'm working on a super awesome followup story where following the dark heart ritual, Graz'zt flips drow society in Menzoberranzan on it's head to take it from Lloth. I call it Party In The Underdark, an insane setting where gender equality is enforced through the city, everyone parties and explores all their pleasures, and the city invites all the surface races to come down and celebrate the now happy and good dark elves, all the while Graz'zt is doing it all just to piss off Lloth. Something crazy like that is how a demon lord really should roll.
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PattPlays
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  04:19:03  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
WHOA SOMETHING BIG JUST CAME UP!

Soooo apparently a new book in the current series concluded the story teased in Sword Coast Legends-

Spoiler for Drizzt stuff!

Demogorgon confirmed destroyed by Drizzt through something that possibly relates to CYROG and the ililthid? SOMEONE READ THAT BOOK! There's something about them not returning back to the abyss- is the prince of demons GONE? Did Lloth just become the .... princess of demons? What the hell is going on!!!
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3387 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  06:53:50  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I did a lot of researching for netheril over a year ago. Ill have a look at my notes and get back to you as soon as i can see if there is anything about this sword.

I dont deal with the post spellplague and 5e stuff myself due to the design philsophy, but i like to include a nod to all lore when i do stuff so i will have to read up on it eventually.

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PattPlays
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  17:29:27  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fantastic. Something had to have been left on the cutting room floor with this, I was going to go to the forum above this one to ask a designer, but nobody from the inside cover of OOTA was there when I looked, which is to be expected from this forum's culture.

Kind of thinking about tweeting one of the designers about Dawnbringer- maybe someone's grand masterpiece got rejected and they're dying to tell it.
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3387 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  19:11:38  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i dony want to be overly negative about 5e but i tend to find that there is no grand plan. Its a place for whatever cool ideas come into your head.

Ive got my laptop up and running now so ill give you my netheril thoughts.

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3387 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  20:32:27  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay I have an answer but you probably wont like it as I'm making it up myself (based on canon).

So i'll split the text up into quotes and explain my interpretation before moving onto the story

quote:
In ages past, at the height of Faerun's great empires
of magic,


So there are numerous great empires of magic. This text doesn't specify which one so I will pick one that isn't Netheril.

quote:
the halfelf sorcerer Brysis of Khaem was interred in a floating tomb.


Given that the place is called the lost tomb of Khaem I am not going to make Brysis be born in Khaem because it would be weird to have her tomb as her place of birth (what happened to the other people and how could an entire floating settlement fall into a crevasse and end up in the underdark - it would have to be a massive crevasse that went down for miles).
Also Netheril was noted for not being kind to elves or other races so I'm not going to make her from Netheril.


quote:
The rise of the demon lords has awakened Brysis from the eternal sleep of death as a wraith, served by spectres who were once her loyal retainers.


Apart from the eternal sleep of death part I am going to interpret this as Brysis was already an undead. Mostly because it suits my interpretation and because it doesn't specify that her loyal retainers were ever anything other than spectres.


So here is a date from Grand History of the Realms that I'm using for this backstory


quote:
-306 DR Year of Wan Shades: Elven adventurers from Rystall Wood destroy a greater shadow in the depths of Heroes’ Helm, causing the release of thousands of shadows across Seventon. The Syndicate of Celestial and Righteous Law go to great lengths to destroy all undead in the region, regardless of their intentions.



So we have a bunch of adventurers (elven in nature and most likely not of netherese origin as the netherese were a bit xenophobic). They travel to a hillock known now as Heroe's Helm which is in fact the remains of a fallen enclave. They destroy an ancient shadow (former archwizard) who was served by hundreds (maybe thousands) of shadows.
The shadows run amok and the church of Amaunator spends many years hunting them down.

What if Brysis was one of that group (Netherese were also not fond of sorcerers apparently). What if she was slain and the party did not know she would rise again and was turned into a greater shadow also. Or what if the party could not bear to destroy their former colleague or lacked the power after fighting a former archwizard.

What if Khaem is actually a misspelling of Khaern (which sounds phonetically like cairn). What if the party imprisoned her within the enclave and Brysis got the mythallar partially working again (enough for it to power a tower or chamber) only for it to run out of magic over the Thar region (a dragon named Embrurshaille drained an awful lot of magic and life from the region between -333 DR and -150 DR and turned it into a wasteland). Whereupon it plummeted into a crevasse and disappeared.


Dawnbringer would be Brysis' sword from when she was alive that was interred with her. It could of Cormanthyran origin rather than Netheril (Cormanthyr being another great magic nation of that time which was at its height then).

The sun worshipper link is made erroneously afterwards by historians because the clergy of Amaunator goes to great lengths to eradicate the shadows so historians assume the party were part of that purge.



That's just how I would spin it.

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PattPlays
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2017 :  23:45:20  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I appreciate the angle and effort, and like what you did here. My problem is primarily with this:

"The sun worshipper link is made erroneously afterwards"

See, no "historian" ever said anything about dawnbringer. The only information about the sword in all of existence is written by the designers of the book in the weapon's description, which I think is inherently canon. The canon, contextless description of dawnbringer contains the following limited details.
"Lost for ages in the underdark" "Forged by ancient sun worshipers, Dawnbringer is meant to bring light into darkness and to fight creatures of darkness. It is kind and compassionate to those in need, but fierce and destructive to its enemies."
"Long years lost in darkness have made Dawnbringer frightened of both the dark and abandonment. It prefers that its blade always be present and shedding light in areas of darkness, and it strongly resists being parted from its wielder for any length of time"

I am certainly thrilled by spinning it, as I have done with my whole "Yandere girlfriend sword" situation I am having the players deal with right now. (Imagine your assasin saying, quick- all lights out- someone is coming! The paladin sheathes her weapon, and in three seconds the party and their stalkers all hear a high pitched shriek of terror as the sword slips back into its fear and starts insane screaming, giving away their position.) My deal is that dawnbringer has to be of some importance somewhere, aren't all sentient magic items actually the souls of a person sacrificed in the weapon's creation? WHO was dawnbringer? ALso, an Adventures League patch to OOTA claimed that Dawnbringer dealt damage to evil creatures that tried to attune to her. SHE REALLY HATES EVIL and was still entombed clutched by a wraith?

_______

As for Khaem, here's more canon OOTA text.

Under Cocooned Halfling in the Silken Paths: "Fargas Rumblefoot was a member of an adventuring band looking for a long-lost tomb when they were attacked by a pack of mad gnolls. Fargas escaped, got lost in the Silken Paths, and was attached by the spiders. If rescued, he promises to show the characters the way to the tomb in exchange for a share of its treasures"

"the half-elf sorceror Brysis of Khaem was interred in a floating tomb"

"After the fall of the empire of Netheril and its flying cities, Brysis' tomb plummeted into a crevasse and wound up in the underdark."

_That is canon proof of this tomb simply falling into a crevasse, one that need not be much larger than 80 feet (easily hidden in the winderness of Faerun, or covered up over time- no need for some mile wide crack)

_I'm going to take the most canonical approach, though your perspective was entirely needed and helpful, Dazzlerdal. Seriously, thanks for joining me here! Anyway- Brysis -arose- as a Wraith, so they were a half-elf, now they're undead. After centuries, canon, got it.

_She was important enough to have retainers.

_Her spirit is BOUND to her tomb?

Here's a BIG one: "A stone diorama stands to the right of the entrance, depicting the sorcerer Brysis KHAEM as a Netherese NOBLE in her prime, surrounded by attendants, slaves, and other trappings of wealth and power. A vista of fantastic floating cities covers the wall to the left of the entrance."

_Her LAST NAME was Khaem! That was the Netherese FAMILY! Some elf married into the human society and produced a grand noble, one who was not among the saved cities of Netheril. The TOMB OF KHAEM is a tomb of her FAMILY?

"Set into the back of the landing is a Netherese CALENDAR STONE"
Calendar stone? What the heck? This is some Mayan stuff.

"The tomb was crafted during an age of HIGH MAGIC, and it has become suffused with faerzress.

"the tattered remnants of ancient burial garments, and treasure of NETHERESE ORIGIN."

"walking stick is made out of varnished yew with a golden handle shaped like a scorpion"

"inside of the sarcophagus with SOVEREIGN GLUE and can't be moved"
_This family had SOVEREIGN GLUE? That's TWO LEGENDARY MAGIC ITEMS!! Jesus!

"Brysis of Khaem has arisen as a murderous wraith, bound to her tomb until she can steal enough life force to leave it. She arises from within the sarcophagus and attacks when creatures enter this chamber. She gloats about how the characters' deaths will free her from this prison, and how her victims will serve her even in death. On initiative count 1 in the round in which Brysis attacks, the characters hear the telepathic voice that first called to them. "In the sarcophagus! I can help you!"
"A thin gold sheath covering Brysis' sarcophagus can be pried loose and is worth 250 gp. Inside the stone sarcophagus, lying atop Brysis' withered and MUMMIFIED corpse, is a magic sword called Dawnbringer. The stone chest is unlocked and contains the OTHER TREASURES BRYSIS TOOK WITH HER INTO THE AFTERLIFE"

Who in Forgotten Realms history goes full Pharaoh and gets mummified with their belongings?

___________________

https://images.bigcartel.com/product_images/164535733/The_Lost_Tomb_DM_Version_70dpi.jpg?auto=format&fit=max&h=1200&w=1200

Also, this may be the most amazing piece of all of this. There are some glyphs and symbols on the map for the tomb, are they nonsense or actual clues staring us in the face?

___________________

So in recap of where we are at, we have Brysis Khaem, not Brysis of Khaem. We have Netherese crap everywhere, and a half elf netheril noble somehow. We have the use of Sovereign Glue and a legendary golden sword hilt. We have MUMMIFIED corpses with their belongings, like ancient egyptian stuff. We have a calendar stone from Netheril. We have a lowly halfling adventurer who was ACTIVELY seeking the lost tomb, so it's known about somewhere. We have untranslated runes on the map. We have a woman BOUND to her tomb? How? Specifally the tomb was CREATED during a time of high magic. And lastly, confirmed it fell in a crevasse and slipped into the underdark over centuries, and confirmed the DEMON LORDS have stirred her somehow.

So, I think my whole "Key to the nether scrolls" idea is only viable if the sword was already ancient by the time she had it- and the sword may have had no importance to her- she likely took it because it's pretty and valuable. Brysis will likely tell us absolutely nothing of the sword, which means as important as this legendary noble netherese oddity was, Dawnbringer- the sword we know nothing about, is something even she would see as supremely valuable. So- I don't know. The heck is this sword, and how has there never once ever been a sword named DAWNBRINGER in all of DND?

Thanks for reading, everyone- let's keep going! Who can decode these runes- pretty gibberish or actual clue?

[PS: I'm tempted to start tweeting people at DND but feel like that'd be embarrassing and unfulfilling, prolly nothing but "You decide!" which would infuriate me... Twitter is too much power...]


[BLOODY HELL THE SCRIPT IN DRACONIC JUST SAYS "TOMB" Are you kidding me? The symbol on the left is jibberish, there's a Z a 7 and A's on the passageways- it's nonsense. I'm looking into nonsense. There's even a tolkien U/V on Brysis' false tomb. Damnit blando. Unless "TOMB" in freaking LOROSS means something special, but who the bloody hell speaks Loross anymore.

Edited by - PattPlays on 03 Jun 2017 00:02:45
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5643 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2017 :  00:50:59  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really need to read Out of the Abyss apparently to see what kind of fudgery was done. Honestly, I bought it and its sat beside my be for about a year now. I actually kind of started the giant module though.

On the first question of Netherese enclaves being all over, I honestly wouldn't be surprised to find enclaves as far away as Shou Lung, the moon (and actually I'm making such), even way across the sea with Anchorome. The Netherese had spelljamming technology at one point. That to me says "they flew up so far in the sky that they could watch the world spin beneath them and see all the continents". I've often wondered where all Netherese archmages may have taken their enclaves, because honestly sitting around Netheril itself doesn't exactly fit their personalities. Why make a big floating, movable mountain and then sit in one spot?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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PattPlays
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2017 :  00:53:41  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great comment. I think the idea of dropping netherese stuff all over the place is actually pretty lukewarm now, I thought it was some legendary exclusive part of the past, but now I'm glad to just have stumbled upon it. Still... just... legendary sentient sword...sitting in the dark... If I am to be completely in charge of where it came from, I need to pick a time period when it was made... I'm still astonished that I'm one of the few people to have apparently ever asked these questions online.
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
741 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2017 :  01:59:11  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I played through Out of the Abyss as a player, and found Dawnbringer. I've since had a peek at the adventure.

To clear something up, the blade is not found in a floating enclave. It's found in the tomb of Brysis of Khaem. The half-elf sorcerer was interred in a floating tomb, which fell into a crevasse at the time of Karsus's Folly. It only consists of a few rooms. What exactly Khaem is isn't clear, but I find it likely that it is an entirely separate place, and maybe not even a flying enclave. It's just where Brysis was from, and likely where the "Lost Tomb of Khaem" was created. My guess is that the tomb was created by Brysis, in Khaem, before her death.

Dawnbringer itself was "forged by ancient sun worshipers", and was meant to "bring light into darkness and to fight creatures of darkness". I would guess that it is was likely forged by followers of Amaunator, maybe from Trinity or Unity in ancient Netheril. Somehow, the sword came into the posession of Brysis. The tomb itself gives no indication of Brysis's religious affiliations, but there is a shrine that has unfortunately been defiled by some monster of the Underdark. I would theorise that the defiled shrine was once to Amaunator, and Brysis was once an important figure to the clergy of the sun god, perhaps gifted Dawnbringer for some significant action she took in her life.

That Brysis was a female half-elf (presumably half-Eaerlanni) Netherese noble sorcerer is also of interest. It's quite the mix - I imagine she might have been quite the talking point at Netherese dinner parties. The fact that her tomb fell into a crevasse over the North instead of over Netheril is also of interest - perhaps prior to her death she had indicated a wish to be closer to the land of her elven parent, and so had set her tomb to head west.

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

13 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2017 :  05:49:06  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But her name is Brysis Khaem, Khaem is her last name. Possibly even her elven name, if Khaem was not the preestablished Netherese house she was a noble of. However, Kanzen, I love everything after that, the rest of your post is exactly what I'm looking for in this analysis. Anaunator is a key here, and likely points us away entirely away from any Ars Factum shenanigans, though all the gold themeing really got me excited. Gold artifact, scrolls on how to build artifacts, golden bushes, golden scrolls, gold elves, it all seemed so peculiar...

Still, who'se soul is inside Dawnbringer- that is a pattern with all artifacts right? A chosen, possibly? Damn now I have to look up what happened to Anaunator- is that the whole split between lawful neutral and neutral good thing that birthed Lathander?

And who is our resident sentient weapons expert- how are the memories on sentient weapons? How are their sanities? I'm having Dawnbringer's descent into madness parallel her slowly remembering her past, and coping with having spent

ce
nt
ur
ie
s

in a box in darkness, alone, SENTIENT, AND UNABLE TO SLEEP. JESUS! Abandonment issues? I'm surprised she didn't turn evil and let Brysis wield her! Are sentient items limited in their ability to act like people? Can they not experience attatchment, long term memory, or alignment changes? This is all so useful to learn, I'm loving this!

PS: Creepy alien obelisk under Gracklestugh, earth node or simply a Lovecraft reference?

PSS: Uhg and this question... there's this big sub-plot about the Derro getting surface world currency but- I don't see where the book ever explains it.. there's one "mysterioussly appearing coin" but then nothing. How are the characters to complete that quest...

Edited by - PattPlays on 03 Jun 2017 06:19:43
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6239 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2017 :  06:33:30  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You might wish to peruse this old scroll

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14212


[/Ayrik]
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PattPlays
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2017 :  15:14:11  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

You might wish to peruse this old scroll

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14212





Yeah just... everything in OOTA lines up with this Mummy module that they discuss, and in those the loot was well- a freaking nether scroll. In ours- still a powerful netherese noble, still mummies, everything lines up- but we get a necklace of fireballs, philter of love, gold, scorpions, and dawnbringer. What allows Dawnbringer to qualify as a legendary weapon? It's just a Sun Blade with a sentience! In my world I'm having it age and grow and change, just like any great magic weapon should. (See Drizz't's weapons) If a single nether scroll is able to genderswap you or gain you a level, then what is so special about Dawnbringer that makes it legendary? It's not even a +3 weapon...

I think other than the possibility of the golden hilt of dawnbringer being the key to the gold scrolls of Ars Factum, the only legendary quality about Dawnbringer would be its age or its sentience. This sword is OLD. OLDER than Netheril quite likely, which is OOOOOOOOOOLD! When Brysis took it to her rest, the thing was probably strong enough to slay a god, but has retreated into the most basic form over time, and lived and died a multitude of lifetimes in sheer darkness.
The most legendary thing about this sword to me personally is how it even has sentience after centuries in the dark, are sentient magic items special in that they do not go insane? What creature could have a soul brave enough to withstand over a thousand years of darkness? WHO is dawnbringer? A Deva? A chosen? A primordial?

Loving this everyone, keep it up!



Members of the church of Amaunator were powerful political figures at the height of Netheril's rule. Amaunator's clergy were extremely hierarchical and rulebound. Each Righteous Potentate (high priest of a temple, called a "Court") oversaw all aspects of church functions. No one could perform or be relieved of their duties without the consent of the Righteous Potentate or one of his seven Monastic Abbots. Under each of the seven Monastic Abbots, there were an additional seven High Jurists (priests) who served relentlessly, performing whatever duties were assigned to them. Lower ranks of clergy members served beneath the High Jurists, and were known as (in descending order): Jurists, High Magistrates, Magistrates, Defenders of the Law, Lions of Order, Radiant Servants, and Clerks. Within Amaunator's church, there was an elite sect of clerics and holy warriors called Sunmasters, who later represented a branch of the church of Lathander known as the Brotherhood of the Glorious Sun.

Okay, from my Anaunator research, I think that Dawnbringer probably is not as old as the Nether Scrolls, and was just made by high ranking worshipers and that's kind of it. Still, someone's soul is inside this weapon..


Blackrazer was able to have 'friends' in other magic weapons... does Dawnbringer have friends? Was she kept away from others? Does she remember the church of Anaunator? Will she be really confused when she sees the church of lathander?

A player in my game, a previously tiefling now aasimar paladin of Lathander is wielding the sword, and spent a few months on the surface "returning" her to "her" church, but I don't think she would really understand it all if she's used to the Netherese ways. Imagine: "Great legendary dawn bringing sword! Welcome to our church of the sun." 'Why is it so low to the ground?' "What?" 'Yeah and what is this, all your priests look poor as shit, who'se the noble around here.' "We're a poor monastery..." 'Then let's go get y'all some cash, jeesh, Anaunator would be embarassed by all of this.' "We worship Lathander..." 'Nah, I recognize Anaunator when I see him. You need to change your name or risk becoming heretics.' "Paladin...take that sword out of my temple..." 'Sorry, she doesn't always act like this- I swear she's usually friendly, I don't know what got into her-' 'IS THAT A DARK CORNER I SEE? YOU DEGENERATES NEED TO KEEP THIS ENTIRE TEMPLE LIT OHMYGODNODARKNESSEWBURNTITALLTOTHEGROUND'

Edited by - PattPlays on 03 Jun 2017 16:00:22
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PattPlays
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2017 :  16:53:25  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I found a really obscure reference to the term Dawnbringer.

http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Lathander

So clerics of Lathander were CALLED Dawnbringers, maybe the term comes from this sword?

Also, what the hell is the situation of Lathander and Anaunator after HOTDQ? Confirmed the same or do the churches still see that belief as heresy?

I think this paladin might become a Sunmaster... I think Dawnbringer might be changing her alignment to Lawful Neutral...


What is the state of the church of lathander in 5E? Lathander doesn't even have a stat block for 4E or 5E, even though he is in the PHB... It was sadi that in the spellplague everyone realized that Lathander and Anaunator were the same, but what does that mean for the church? Did the Brotherhood of the glorious sun do anything in the past 10 years? Or- it would be a hundred wouldn't it... What HAPPENED in Faerun over the past hundred years? 5E just skipped a century!

Edited by - PattPlays on 03 Jun 2017 23:51:06
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
741 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2017 :  03:31:39  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
She's referred to "Brysis of Khaem" at least 3 times, including when she talks about herself - and "Brysis Khaem" only once. I think the latter entry may be a grammatical mistake. Alternatively, maybe her surname and the place are the same - I guess she was a noble after all. So she's Brysis Khaem, from Khaem, and she refers to herself as Brysis of Khaem - not unthinkable for a noble from an ancient culture.

As far as Lathander/Amaunator, there's quite a lengthy thread in these halls discussing that - might want to give it a look.

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

Canada
6239 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2017 :  07:41:45  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Artifacts are often powerful, sometimes more powerful than the combined magical potency of entire armies and nations and species.

But they don't need to be greatly powerful. Some artifacts are surprisingly unspectacular, easily outclassed by "ordinary" magic items.

Each artifact is unique. Most are intelligent, but no matter how mediocre their thinking might be they often possess experience or knowledge unknown to any other intelligent being.

All artifacts have a history. Usually a history which intimately involves other beings (or artifacts) of tremendous power and importance.

No matter how "worthless" or "unimpressive" Dawnbringer may be in the judgement of a DM/author or his players, Dawnbringer is still a sacred relic of special interest to Amaunator/Lathander and his clergy. Dawnbringer may have a critical function in preserving light or defeating darkness - imbued by its unique history - which cannot be matched by any other (apparently superior) weapon.

[/Ayrik]
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PattPlays
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2017 :  14:25:43  Show Profile Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

She's referred to "Brysis of Khaem" at least 3 times, including when she talks about herself - and "Brysis Khaem" only once. I think the latter entry may be a grammatical mistake. Alternatively, maybe her surname and the place are the same - I guess she was a noble after all. So she's Brysis Khaem, from Khaem, and she refers to herself as Brysis of Khaem - not unthinkable for a noble from an ancient culture.

As far as Lathander/Amaunator, there's quite a lengthy thread in these halls discussing that - might want to give it a look.



Still wading through a bunch of threads that your post led me to.



quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Artifacts are often powerful, sometimes more powerful than the combined magical potency of entire armies and nations and species.

But they don't need to be greatly powerful. Some artifacts are surprisingly unspectacular, easily outclassed by "ordinary" magic items.

Each artifact is unique. Most are intelligent, but no matter how mediocre their thinking might be they often possess experience or knowledge unknown to any other intelligent being.

All artifacts have a history. Usually a history which intimately involves other beings (or artifacts) of tremendous power and importance.

No matter how "worthless" or "unimpressive" Dawnbringer may be in the judgement of a DM/author or his players, Dawnbringer is still a sacred relic of special interest to Amaunator/Lathander and his clergy. Dawnbringer may have a critical function in preserving light or defeating darkness - imbued by its unique history - which cannot be matched by any other (apparently superior) weapon.



I think this is finally the approach I was waiting for, thank you. However, now my theorycrafting is supposing a time when light does snuff out darkness... tge war of light and darkness still happening between the twin goddesses...
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5643 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2017 :  15:30:21  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll throw out one idea... the followers of Mystra are known for manufacturing "ancient and powerful" weapons and putting them in "undiscovered and ancient tombs". It would be a kind of interesting idea if this ancient sword is in fact of new manufacture (maybe in the years prior to the spellplague). Maybe it was even created in cooperation with priests of Lathander upon the command of their god.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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