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KanzenAU
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Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  08:53:50  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I've been wondering about where and when magic was discovered by different cultures.

The Imaskari seem to have learned magic by themselves, or they were given it by their deities.
The magic of the Netherese came from the Nether Scrolls (sarrukh).

Did other human groups learn magic independently, or did human magic in other cultures only come from after the Netherese diaspora? For example, did the empires of Jhaamdath and Calimshan have any magic? And if they did, was this only after they came into contact with the Netherese?

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  09:17:27  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Imaskar's magic came from the same source as Netheril (Jergal when he was a spellweaver, before he became a god, left the nether scrolls for them to find - accidentally for netheril and purposefully for imaskar), according to George Krashos.

Jhaamdath's magic predates netheril so it evolved independently.

Calimshan is not known to have a magical tradition until the shoon (which was probably netherese influenced). It likely had magic prior to that but it was haphazard and individual, and acquired from genies, elves, beholders, and much later from jhaamdath.

Any magic after -339 dr in the north and west, and -150 dr in the east, and -100 dr (cant remember jhaamdaths death date) was almost certainly influemced by something else.

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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  09:36:03  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Did Jhaamdath definitely have magic, or just psionics/the Invisible Art?

Edit:
And as to the George Krashos-Jergal story, I never quite understood if the Imaskari were supposed to have learned their magic from the phaerimm initially? Jergal eventually has to abandon that 3rd copy of the Golden Skins of the World Serpent in Okoth and it becomes the Imarskana, but in that story they also have magic before that. I get the impression that they learned magic on their own first, then captured the phaerimm and used them to advanced their magic, and THEN they got the Imarskana and changed up their magic.

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Edited by - KanzenAU on 08 Jul 2017 09:44:45
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  09:38:42  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I personally dont distinguish between the two. That distinction is a rules based construcy that has (or should have) nothing to do with the realms.

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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  09:45:31  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bump-post for my second question because you got back before I finished my edit! Cheers for the quick reply.

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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1177 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  10:11:27  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hedge mages (low level adepts, alchemists and seers) and sorcerer bloodlines (particularly dragonic ancestry based sorcery) can trace their traditions back to the Dawn Ages some 30000 years ago. There is evidence of an advanced human army with magic reinforcements in a Realms anthology (I think it was Realms of War) who had sorcerer generals and tacticians. Untutored and raw arcane magic users were probably common across Torils history, but no traditions emerges from such undisciplined exploration of the Art.

True wizardry scholarship is probably passed on from the elves to humans during the Founding Times, about 9000 years ago, when the Crown Wars had ended and the human kingdoms had risen from its ashes. Some human wizard traditions got kickstarted by the Nether scrolls via the Sarruhk meddling, so as to advance more quickly to higher level casting.

Jhaamdath was 'just' psionics, but very integrated into societal infrastructure (with their crystal udoxia as psionic nodes as a good example of this. They probably were blessed by the emerging deity Auppenser, whose clergy preached meditation and mental fortitude and could prove the Invisble Arts strengths and show its presence in people by psychic surgery.

The Imaskari are hinted at having learned their greater magic traditions from an advanced Fey creator race (probably the Le'Shay), in Cordells novel Darkvision, and wrote their magic traditions down in the Imaskarcana. It greatly expanded the dimensional reach of Torils magic traditions, making contact with and incorporating the traditional magic schools of other planes and worlds.

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3468 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  10:41:01  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With regards to your second question, like bladewind said, any indivodual can learn magic via various means. However that rarely forms a magic culture in primitive society for various reasons.

Instead that method leads to individual shamans passing on knowledge to their student in a linear dissemination of knowledge.

Traditions are born when magic becomes more widely available to everyone. Shamanism could eventually reach that tipping point but in the case of netheril ans imaskar outside influemces organised magical teachings that saw it proliferate exponentially and suddenly
That gave birth to a single dominant magic culture in that society which became the traditional norm.


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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3468 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  11:36:53  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As a side note netherils original necromantic tradition was steered towards necromancy by jergal.

That was removed and replaced by an elven casting tradition and a more modern wizardly casting tradition that was influenced by the elves and by the terraseer.

Ultimately the terraseers form becamr the dominant culture of netheril with the elven tradition dying out.

So magic culture can change a lot over 4000 years

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4887 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  12:19:45  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

Did Jhaamdath definitely have magic, or just psionics/the Invisible Art?

Edit:
And as to the George Krashos-Jergal story, I never quite understood if the Imaskari were supposed to have learned their magic from the phaerimm initially? Jergal eventually has to abandon that 3rd copy of the Golden Skins of the World Serpent in Okoth and it becomes the Imarskana, but in that story they also have magic before that. I get the impression that they learned magic on their own first, then captured the phaerimm and used them to advanced their magic, and THEN they got the Imarskana and changed up their magic.



Yep, you have it right. The Imaskari captured a few phaerimm that they came upon early in their history, for some of those creatures travelled more widely ere they were ensnared by the Sharnwall - many chasing sarrukh or exploring sarrukh portal networks. They carefully bred a few, keeping them in spell thrall and magical stasis, and these captive phaerimm were their "nuclear weapons" against any serious foe or threat to the Realm. They did learn magic from their captives, but their mastery of the Art pre-dated their encounter with the phaerimm. Their acquisition of a set of the Nether Scrolls created advances also, but only after they had managed to re-shape the scrolls to a form that was more attuned to their Art and prevented the widespread death and insanity that became all too unfortunately linked with their first attempts at "reading" the Nether Scrolls. In that regard, it is believed that they had some otherplanar assistance and counsel.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  15:05:46  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Imaskari appear to have learned at least some of their magic from the LeShay, a fey race, though that is several thousand years after they already had magic. Some 2nd edition resources had also referred to the Imaskari magic often having ties to devils (but damned if I can find that reference any longer).

Also, if you're interested in some good non-canon lore, Snowblood's Imaskari stuff (and other stuff) is well worth looking at. You can find the link to his PDF for download at

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13719

In it, he lays out what he believes to be their original sources for delving into summoning magics (some batrachi liches left behind some tablets that they studied). Now neither of these say that this was their original source of magic, and truthfully, the people who would become the Imaskari may have had magic prior to founding their empire. In fact, given that their magic took several forms, I'd half wonder if it wasn't a collection of traditions that joined together (elementalists, techno-magic, planar/summoning magic, etc...).



From Darkvision novel regarding the Imaskarcana and LeShay

The image on the right was more interesting yet. Each of the elegant, elfin humanoids who stood with the central figure carried a magnificent tome, seven in all. She wondered if the likeness represented Emperor Omanond. According to legened, Omanond was ultimately responsible for the creation of the seven items of Imaskaran arcane lore, the Imaskarcana. These were commonly described as tomes, though Ususi had read accounts indicating that the Imaskarcana took many forms. According to the Lore of Omanond, a history Ususi had perused within the exclusive stacks of the Purple Library, the creation of the Imaskarcana had been made possible through connivance with a devious extraplanar race. A more-than-mortal race. She had always assumed this referred to demons, but the creatures in the art before her possessed no demonic traits. The name inscribed below the creatures was "leShay." Again, Ususi couldn't place the name.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30225 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  15:29:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would say that the Jhaamdathi did use arcane magic, too... But the nation was founded by someone psionically gifted, and psionics was always prominent, there. So I think that they would have had arcane magic, but it was ignored (perhaps even somewhat shunned) in favor of psionics.

Here's an idea that just occurred to me: there was, in ancient times, a small illithid settlement in the area that became Jhaamdath. For centuries, they were experimenting on the humans of the area, seeing if they could awaken some psionic talent in the humans -- perhaps to make human brains more succulent, or perhaps to make powerful subjects for ceremorphosis who would become even more powerful illithids.

And they succeeded a little too well... One of their test subjects wildly exceeded their expectations, perhaps due to some unique mental quality he already possessed. He managed to psionically seize control of the local elder brain, and through it, mentally drained and slew all the members of this colony, making himself something more than human. A self-made Chosen or Exarch, if you will.

He returned to the surface and began teaching others these new mind magic abilities he had learned. Seemingly ageless now, radiating power, and going out of his way to teach others, he attracted quite the following, and became even more powerful. As his students became worshippers, his unique form of magic was noticed by Mystryl, who then guided him to apotheosis. Thus, Auppenser became a deity.

Many of his followers were, directly or indirectly, victims of experimentation by that same group of illithids; many more were descendants of those victims. As these followers started their own families, the results of the illithid experimentation bred true and spread throughout the communities. One prominent follower, a man named Dath, was powerful enough that some wondered if he was a direct descendant of Auppenser...

As for the experimentation the illithids had done, it took many forms. There were direct, physical modifications to the brain, there were psychic modifications, there were attempts to arrest or modify ceremorphosis (I figure Auppenser may have been subject to some sort of surgery, first, and then himself arrested the ceremorphosis process when they tried it on him)... Some of the indirect methods would have been things like introducing certain illithid-derived compounds into wells, or feeding these compounds to the livestock tended by the human subjects.

And I think, looking at Jhaamdathi history, that we can see a cultural value of independence and self-sufficiency. Not so much that they all wanted to be entirely independent of everyone, but rather, a national attitude of "we stand alone, and we'll do what we must for ourselves."

It's possible that this attitude could reflect from knowing they were experimented on by the illithids. They weren't exactly slaves, but they knew there were shadowy "others" that were more powerful and did what they wanted to the humans of the area. Once they were free of this, they were determined to stick together and stand as one against the world -- an attitude that persevered, throughout Jhaamdathi history, until the nation was washed away.

(Please, no real-world political commentary on this!)

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 08 Jul 2017 15:52:49
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14037 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  17:48:15  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AFAIK, Imaskar did NOT get their 'magical traditions' from the Nether Scrolls.

In one of Bruce Cordell's novels (Darkvision), it is STRONGLY hinted at that the Imaskari got their magical traditions from the Fey - the only 'Creator Race' (other than 'Mankind') that did NOT have anything to do with the creation of the Nether Scrolls (three races, three copies - the Fey instead 'gave birth to' the Imaskarkana).

I recall someone somewhere mentioning a connection between the Imaskarcana and the Nether scrolls, but thats just a steaming pile of doody. All previous lore points to the Fey, who were highly active in the Hordelands region (and 'points east'). A wise person once told me (while we were working on the Utter East Project) that "everything doesn't have to be connected", and in fact, if you start connecting every single thing that is even slightly similar, it starts to look pretty damned contrived. The sarrukh were NOT responsible for every bit of magic in the world, just as Shar isn't behind every scrap of 'evil'.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Jul 2017 17:50:32
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Aldrick
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909 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  18:05:31  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is odd. I always thought the Imaskari magical traditions had links to--if not their core roots in--the Batrachi magical traditions. After all, the Batrachi were specialized in trans-locational magics much like the Imaskari.

I cannot recall where I got this idea from, but it is firmly implanted into my head... right down to specifics on Imaskari studying unbreakable glass tablets and pillars, which were of Batrachi origin. I have no idea how any of this got in my brain, but if someone randomly asked me where the Imaskari learned their magic from I would have said by studying Batrachi artifacts. All this other stuff is new lore to me, and I am not sure how it is consistent with what I seem to recall.
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3468 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  22:06:43  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i like the imaskari and netherese using the nether scrolls to explain their magic development.

Humans arent smart enough to become magically powerful on their own (again thats a rules bias of D&D which always made humans the best).

Both netheril and imaskar have sarrukh neighbours. Both had involvement with the phaerimm and both suddenly rocketed to magical supremacy in a timeframe that would put all other races to shame.

The LeShay were a race destroyed before they even existed (if i remember my race lore right). Nothing about the imaskari magic speaks of fey influence to me. The magical hubris and self inflicted destruction do say Nether Scrolls quite loudly though.

I think it is a nice connection that all those magically mighty empires that people use so much to point out humanity's awesomeness were actually only possible because of someone elses meddling. And like all good artefacts the curse of the nether scrolls is that it helps to destroy all those that use it, which is exactly what the spellweavers designed it to do.


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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  00:19:57  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Imaskar-Nether Scrolls connection comes from George Krashos's article "Lord of the End of Everything". I'm not sure of the exact canonicity of it,but it's worth a read for those who haven't.

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4887 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  00:35:34  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My Jergal piece is assuredly not "canon". Just my musings is all.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  01:33:16  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Would it be fair to say that regardless of source, the Imaskari had magic BEFORE they came into contact with the LeShay, Jergal, or the phaerimm?

Discovering it from the batrachi ruins is another option, but I wasn't aware they were known for their magic. The sarrukh, on the other hand...
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I would say that the Jhaamdathi did use arcane magic, too... But the nation was founded by someone psionically gifted, and psionics was always prominent, there. So I think that they would have had arcane magic, but it was ignored (perhaps even somewhat shunned) in favor of psionics.

I quite like a gem dragon for this as well, as an alternative to illithids. Kobold Press in Gem Dragons of Faerun (another non-canon source) say "legend says the gem dragons taught Faerūn’s first psions how to control their powers", and I quite like that idea. Perhaps Laszik Silvermind was an amethyst dragon.
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

This is odd. I always thought the Imaskari magical traditions had links to--if not their core roots in--the Batrachi magical traditions. After all, the Batrachi were specialized in trans-locational magics much like the Imaskari.

Maybe this was from the work of Snowblood? I haven't seen the batrachi mentioned in that many sources, and what I have seen doesn't really talk about their magic.
Edit: Though I do suppose that they are known for their primordial-releasing ritual and their translocation to Limbo...

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Edited by - KanzenAU on 09 Jul 2017 01:36:53
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Aldrick
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909 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  01:39:52  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay. I am not going insane. I have found at least one reference of where I recalled the Imaskari-Batrachi connection.

This is a direct quote from page 18 of the Grand History of the Realms (bolding is mine):
quote:
The founding of the Imperial City of Inupras ushered in the Early Dynastic period (–7975 to –6422), when Umyatin assumed the title of lord artificer and emperor. This period was marked primarily by the Imaskari elite’s mastery of transdimensional magic. The artificers used this knowledge to create a sprawling network of portals, which allowed them to cross vast distances in the blink of an eye. These permanent, two-way portals were constructed as circles of massive bronze spires, each etched with an intricate runic design said to be batrachi in origin. These Bukhara Spires allowed whole legions to pass swiftly from one domain to the next, precipitating the rapid expansion of the Imaskar Empire across eastern Faerūn. By the end of the Early Dynastic period, the empire’s borders reached from the Great Ice Sea to the Golden Water, and from the Alamber Sea to the Katakoro Plateau in Kara-Tur.


This is super important because there are other similar artifacts scattered across the Realms. The most prominent and obvious are the Farsea Marshes, just outside of Cormyr. Here is a quote from page 5 of the 2E Sourcebook, Cormyr:

quote:
Local legends say both marshes were once the seats of ancient civilizations, but even the elves have no record of either one. Nevertheless, there have been many reports of fantastic buildings and ruins located within the marshes. There are stories of unusually shaped spires made of glass as strong as steel, for example. Unfortunately, there has never been a concerted effort to explore either marsh and catalog the wonders therein, for of all the people who have ventured deep into the marsh, none is known to have lived for very long after coming out of it.


It has often been speculated that those ruins were of Batrachi origin, especially since it pre-dated the Elves. The spires mentioned here likely function similar to the Bukhara Spires of Imaskari origin--the difference being that the Batarchi spires are made of 'glass as strong as steel'.

Also, interestingly, the Elves (more specifically the Avariel) developed a technique that they called Glassteel. They were kicking around during or not long after the fall of the Batrachi Empires. My belief is that the Avariel copied Batrachi techniques. Here is some information on this from Races of Faerūn:

Page 34:
quote:
While much avariel glass is delicate and decorative, the winged elves have also mastered glassteel, a form of glass as strong as metal. Many avariel outposts are made of glassteel, as are some armor, weapons, and tools.


Page 42:
quote:
Sun elves favor gold for decorative elements and mithral for anything that must be strong, such as weapons and armor. Sun elves also know how to make items from glassteel, although they have only used the transparent material on Evermeet and in the enclave of Evereska.


Page 158:
quote:
Glassteel: Made by the avariels and sun elves in an alchemical process requiring extensive knowledge of both metallurgy and glassblowing, glassteel combines strength beyond iron with the transparency of glass. Mostly used as a building material in fantastic castles, glassteel can also be fashioned into weapons and armor. Glassteel is stronger and lighter than iron—but it's fantastically expensive.


I am still looking for more information. However, I now feel very confident in saying that Imaskari magic has its roots in the magical traditions of the Batrachi. In fact, this is pretty explicit when it comes to the Bukhara Spires. The Glassteel stuff is more of a digression.

I am not sure how or where Bruce Cordell came up with an Imaskari-Fey connection. That seems bonkers. Absolutely nothing we know about the Imaskari speaks of fey magic. At all. I am also sure there is more stuff out there supporting the Imaskari-Batrachi connection, I just have not found it yet.
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  01:54:34  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nice finds Aldrick!

So human sorcerers date at least back to the Dawn Ages, and their magic likely came from interactions with dragons
The Netherese initially learn a bit of wizarding from the elves, but they abandon those teachings
The Netherese learn from the sarrukh through the Nether Scrolls
The Imaskari learn from the batrachi through their ruins
The Imaskari, through the batrachi magic, may contact other planar beings such as the LeShay and devils
The Jhaamdathi learn the Invisible Art first (if they take up arcane magic at all)

Presumably Jhaamdath and Calimshan start to pick up wizardly traditions after encountering the Netherese? It seems like the trend is to have humans not learn "how to wizard" without help.

Almost but not quite an aside: this statement in LEoF is phrased a bit weirdly, implying that even Delzoun had "magical prowess" in the days of Netheril, along with Calimshan and Jhaamdath. I think the bit about magical prowess must have been an editing error, the sentence doesn't quite jive.
quote:
Lost Empires of Faerun

High Netheril encompassed all the Netherese floating enclaves, which roamed throughout Faerūn and even beyond. In fact, the wanderings of the High Netherese were constrained only by the existence of certain powerful empires, such as Calimshan, Cormanthyr, Delzoun, Illefarn, Jhaamdath, Mulhorand, Narfell, Raumathar, and Unther, that possessed the magical prowess to project their military might into the skies.

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Edited by - KanzenAU on 09 Jul 2017 01:56:10
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5825 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  04:10:05  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

This is odd. I always thought the Imaskari magical traditions had links to--if not their core roots in--the Batrachi magical traditions. After all, the Batrachi were specialized in trans-locational magics much like the Imaskari.

I cannot recall where I got this idea from, but it is firmly implanted into my head... right down to specifics on Imaskari studying unbreakable glass tablets and pillars, which were of Batrachi origin. I have no idea how any of this got in my brain, but if someone randomly asked me where the Imaskari learned their magic from I would have said by studying Batrachi artifacts. All this other stuff is new lore to me, and I am not sure how it is consistent with what I seem to recall.



Snowblood's stuff on Imaskar states exactly what you just said, but I don't know his source. It may be homebrew.

EDIT: Ah, and you found others I see later. Good enough for me to say they stole from Batrachi. I'd bet they stole from Sarrukh too, since they held a portion of the Priador.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 09 Jul 2017 04:13:38
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  06:01:04  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

Nice finds Aldrick!

So human sorcerers date at least back to the Dawn Ages, and their magic likely came from interactions with dragons
The Netherese initially learn a bit of wizarding from the elves, but they abandon those teachings
The Netherese learn from the sarrukh through the Nether Scrolls
The Imaskari learn from the batrachi through their ruins
The Imaskari, through the batrachi magic, may contact other planar beings such as the LeShay and devils
The Jhaamdathi learn the Invisible Art first (if they take up arcane magic at all)

Presumably Jhaamdath and Calimshan start to pick up wizardly traditions after encountering the Netherese? It seems like the trend is to have humans not learn "how to wizard" without help.

Almost but not quite an aside: this statement in LEoF is phrased a bit weirdly, implying that even Delzoun had "magical prowess" in the days of Netheril, along with Calimshan and Jhaamdath. I think the bit about magical prowess must have been an editing error, the sentence doesn't quite jive.
quote:
Lost Empires of Faerun

High Netheril encompassed all the Netherese floating enclaves, which roamed throughout Faerūn and even beyond. In fact, the wanderings of the High Netherese were constrained only by the existence of certain powerful empires, such as Calimshan, Cormanthyr, Delzoun, Illefarn, Jhaamdath, Mulhorand, Narfell, Raumathar, and Unther, that possessed the magical prowess to project their military might into the skies.




Thanks. I was pretty pleased that I was able to find that, and embarrassed to say how long I spent looking. I was honestly shocked that no one immediately brought up the Imaskari-Batrachi connection. I thought it was well established lore, but could not for the life of me remember where I read about it. So, I set out to find it, and prove that I was not insane.

So, anyway, the way I envisioned things working is like this...

Early proto-human cultures (roughly Stone Age equivalents) likely came into contact with powerful Primordials/Outsiders, Dragons, and other powerful supernatural beings. Some of them were likely worshiped as deities, similar to how we might imagine Kobolds worshiping a dragon. Some of these powerful supernatural beings interbreed with humans. These supernatural genes ('bloodlines') have been spread throughout the human population. This occasionally manifests in the odd supernatural power or ability in the random human. More rarely, a human is born with extraordinary supernatural abilities and even more rarely learns to develop some degree of control over them. These would be what we might refer to as sorcerers, though earlier on in human history they would likely have been viewed with a mixture of fear, awe, and reverence. Many if not most became shaman-type figures.

From those shaman-type figures developed weak proto-magical traditions unique to humans. It is unlikely any of those survive, and if they do they are ultra rare or remote. An argument could be made that this is what the magic of Maztica is--a reflection of these proto-magical traditions. So, if someone wanted an example of what they might have looked like, that is what I would point too.

The Imaskari had their own human proto-magical tradition, and then they stumbled upon ruins and relics of the Batrachi. They studied them and mastered them, and it made them the new masters of transdimental and translocation magics in the Realms. This was basically a merger of the existing magical traditions and the traditions of the Batrachi.

Now, my feeling here is that The Terraseer, under one guise or another, has visited virtually every major culture of the Realms and attempted to get them to adopt their form of magic. More specifically, "their form of magic" being the magic outlined by the Ba'etith in what would become known as the Nether Scrolls. It is unclear what the ultimate aims of the Ba'etith are, but I suspect that the intent is to guide everyone down a similar magical path that they laid out for them. This is similar to what the Reapers are doing with the Mass Effect technology in the the Mass Effect universe.

In fact, for all we know it may have been a Batrachi member of the Ba'etith who introduced the Imaskari to the Batrachi magical tradition. According to Serpent Kingdoms, page 97:

quote:
Unbeknownst to anyone except the remaining sarrukh, the Hall of Mists is the ancient stronghold of the Ba'etith, an organization that began in Isstossffifil but outlasted that empire. The group was later dominated by the sarrukh of other realms, then by the batrachi, and then by the aearee before it vanished during the waning Days of Thunder. The Ba'etith studied the primitive forms of magic practiced by the various races of Faerūn and, over thousands of years, codified them in the form of the Golden Skins of the World Serpent, which were later known as the Nether Scrolls.


So, if you want to talk about magical traditions in Faerūn, you are going to have to talk about the Ba'etith. Their aims are unclear, but I believe they have largely been responsible for the way magic has developed all across Faerūn.

When we look outside of Faerūn to places like Maztica, we see that magic appears to be more primitive. It is likely that the reason magic in Faerūn appears to be more highly developed and extremely powerful is the work of the Ba'etith.

Even the Elves--notice that the Aearee are mentioned in the Serpent Kingdoms writeup--have been influenced by the Ba'etith. We also know that the Elves used the Nether Scrolls as well.

So, my feeling is that all across Faerun magic may differ here or there a bit, but largely it is united in an underlying tradition that would be familiar to the Imaskari or the Netherese. The only group that seems to stand out here are the Jhaamdathi, but it is still likely that arcane magic was used in their Empire alongside Psionics.

So basically things look like this: Humans develop the ability to use magic due to interbreeding with supernatural beings, this ability is passed down various bloodlines. This emerges into proto-magical traditions. Various other races also have proto-magical traditions. The Ba'etith study these traditions, create the Golden Skins of the World Serpent, which would later be known as the Nether Scrolls, and then pass this knowledge on to various other cultures. These other cultures grow in magical power and influence, empires grow, collapse, knowledge of these traditions spreads across Faerūn. The foundations of this knowledge become the basis of modern wizardry.

As I said, the only group that seems to deviate from this trend is Jhaamdath. However, there are a lot of lore questions about Psionics in the Realms. For example, is it Weave-based? If not, then how does it access and utilize raw magic? I think there may be arguments that it is not Weave-based, but if that is the case then it causes other problems. Of course, there are lots of lore problems with the Weave itself. For example, the lore claims that the Weave and Mystra are one, but we know that Mystra has her roots as a Netherese deity. The Weave obviously had to exist before Netheril, as the Ba'etith's magic is obviously Weave-based. I had some theories about that in the past.

My theory is that the Weave has its connection to the World Serpent, the being worshiped by the Sarrukh. The World Serpent, of course, fragmented into other deities. One of those deities was the Naga deity Ssharstrune.


Ss’thar’tiss’ssun, the ruined Temple City of Fountains, a city that was built by the faithful cult of Ssharstrune is located very close to the Netherese. It is located at the western edge of the Forest of Wyrms, beneath and around the village of modern days Serpent's Cowl. Shekinester, the other Naga deity, accordingly to religious mythology devoured Ssharstrune. Ssharstrune was the Naga deity of curiosity, destruction, and possessiveness and Shekinester was the Naga deity of knowledge and wisdom. When Shekinester devoured Ssharstrune she gained the aspects previously attributed to Ssharstrune and developed five aspects: the Acquirer, the Empowerer, the Seeker, the Weaver, and the Preserver. Shekinester is known as the Five-Faced Queen, and is worshiped, along with her son Parrafaire, as the guardians of the Naga race. She expelled remains of Ssharstrune, which were hidden by her son Parrafaire. The Naga, of course, are a highly magical race, giving them an intimate connection with the Weave.

I speculate that early Netherese stumbled upon Naga ruins, which were in their region, and likely mistranslated and misunderstood a lot of what they found. However, one of their mistranslations was about Ssharstrune--whom they referred to as Sharselūne. This belief may have intermixed with an already existing deity among the early Netherese (back when they were still divided into tribes, before the rise of Nether). They likely had their own deity of magic, knowledge, and wisdom. It is likely that the cult of Sharselūne supplanted that cult or merged with it. It was likely a chaotic time.

At some point, there was a schism in the cult of Sharselūne. This is what gives rise to the Sisters of Light and Darkness myth, and why the myth begins essentially by referring to Shar and Selūne as twin goddess and sisters. It is likely that they were once the same deity whose cult became divided. It was likely also during this schism that other deities were introduced to their pantheon, and most prominently the cult rise of Mystryl. It is likely that the schism in this cult also led to the formation of the cult of Mystryl.

This effectively gives us a straight line back to the creation of the Weave. The Weave was originally associated with the World Serpent. The World Serpent fragmented, and Shekinester gets that aspect. The proto-Netherese discover Naga ruins, learn about Shekinester and Ssharstrune. They misinterpret stuff leading to the rise of the heretical cult of Sharselūne, which is an aspect of Shekinester. The Weave now resides within the aspect of that deity. A schism takes place in the cult of Sharselūne, leading to the creation of the cults of Shar, Selūne, and Mystryl--with the Weave now residing with Mystryl.

This could explain the Taraseer's and the Ba'etith's interest in the Netherese. The proto-Netherese human magical tradition was likely heavily influenced by the magical traditions of the Naga. It was then likely influenced by the Elves of Eaerlann. The Netherese then "discovered" the Nether Scrolls (with help/guidance from the Terraseer) within the ruins of Aryvandaar, modern day region of the High Forest. They abandoned what the Earlanni had taught them in favor of the Nether Scrolls in search of greater power. The Netherese culture is transformed as a result, and they eventually conquer Thaeravel, Land of Alabaster Towers, and appropriate their magical traditions as well. Almost a hundred years after this, Ioulaum is born, and the Mythallar Age of Netheril begins as a result of his work.
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see
Learned Scribe

190 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  07:45:35  Show Profile Send see a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

When we look outside of Faerūn to places like Maztica, we see that magic appears to be more primitive.

Do we? Maztica's non-priestly magic is weak, granted. But the 2e "sorcerers" and "elemental mages" of Zakhara were similar to standard Faerunian wizards in power and mechanics, though their magic was (by rule) alien enough that a Faerunian mage or school specialist could not learn fireball from a Zakharan-tradition scroll. And the wu jen of Kara-Tur were similarly first-class arcane spell users, in both 1st and 3rd editions, though how alien their magic is was never defined.

Sure, it's possible that these rather different traditions across half a world have a common source in the Terraseer. On the other hand, it's not hard to imagine that the Mazticans' deficiency is unique to them. Especially since they can't plausibly be retconned into having 3rd/5th-edition type sorcerers, either (one wizard isn't going to be particularly amazing to a people that have sorcerers).

Indeed, if we accept the retcon of 3rd/5th-edition type sorcerers being ancient, the birth of all wizard-like traditions and their reasonable similarity becomes eminently explicable. As soon as sorcerers in any culture figure out how to scribe scrolls, there's a written form of arcane magic ready to be studied and systematized by the first will-be wizard. Wizard magic thus resembles sorcerer magic because that is its root. Maztica, on the other hand, has no sorcerers, so it cannot develop wizardry. Instead, Maztica develops pluma and hishna, forms closely related to divine magic, because they only had cleric and druid scrolls. These traditions are limited in scope and power compared to wizardry because there is only so far or so fast you can advance a secular magic based on the study of divine scrolls.
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3468 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  10:28:14  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

My Jergal piece is assuredly not "canon". Just my musings is all.

-- George Krashos



Canon gave us the spellplague, sundering 2, nanny pupu, and dinosaurs with laser beams (im not certain of the laser beams but im expecting them).

Canon be damned. GK lore is always canon in my book

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lsls
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  15:40:01  Show Profile Send lsls a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

The Imaskar-Nether Scrolls connection comes from George Krashos's article "Lord of the End of Everything". I'm not sure of the exact canonicity of it,but it's worth a read for those who haven't.


Where can I read this article

I'm lsls not isis :)
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3468 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  15:45:45  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ask George nicely and he will probably send a copy. Or give me your email address and ill send you a copy.

Prepare for the secrets of ascore to be revealed.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14037 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  16:10:50  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, Imaskari lore happens to be my 'button'. Apologies all around. I've just put so much effort into knitting together all the Hordelands history with three other Torillian settings + Imaskar that even the slightest suggestion that the 'lynchpin' of my theories is false starts to make my eye twitch and that vein in my head start to pulse. Once again, sorry for any offense.

quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

The Imaskar-Nether Scrolls connection comes from George Krashos's article "Lord of the End of Everything". I'm not sure of the exact canonicity of it,but it's worth a read for those who haven't.

*{UGH!}*

And now I just managed to insult a person I highly respect.

On the other hand, I suppose we can't agree on everything.

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

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