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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  09:08:44  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree these are all possible interpretations. However, I also think it's possible that the ripples through time merely allowed Elliandreth to see things in the past and future. For example, if time was a flat sheet, and it rippled, some of the peaks of those ripples might touch - allowing someone at a different time point to see that event. As a counterpoint, it might also allow the events of different times to impact each other. So I think either is possible - the lore is by no means explicit on the point as far as I can tell. It doesn't seem that Elliandreth thinks that the elven Sundering caused the other Sunderings - but his is just one viewpoint, and I may well be interpreting that viewpoint incorrectly.

That said, I still think the best interpretation is that the elven sundering did send ripples through time, and they did affect things - such as things related to Evermeet. However, my guess is that the other two Sundering events were not affected, but merely witnessed by Elliandreth.

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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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  14:33:06  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I didn't like how 4e made eladrin synonymous with high/gold elves. Eladrin, to me, have always been the extra-planr beings.


That is because it is a retcon that makes no sense in relation to previously established lore. However, it is canon now, unless the Sundering 2.0 magically altered time. Here is the 4E Forgotten Realms Player's Guide on the issue, pg. 14:

quote:
Drow, elves, and eladrin can all trace their histories back to a common ancestor in the Feywild. Millennia of life on Faerūn, coupled with their natural proclivity for adapting to their environment, have fostered numerous social, cultural, and even physical differences that result in making them distinct peoples. Although there are marked differences between eladrin and their cousin races, eladrin have subgroupings of their own that some folk mistake for different races.


This is distinct from the lore of the other Elves, 4E Forgotten Realms Player's Guide, pg. 15:
quote:
The elves of the present day are descended from the green elves, ancient settlers who emerged from Faerie to dwell in the mortal world. After vicious wars and terrible betrayals, the elves withdrew to the isolation of the wilderness. Generations of seclusion widened the cultural split between themselves and their eladrin cousins until the elves became a separate people. Elves congregate in two broad cultural groups. The most numerous are the wood elves [Copper Elves]... The second group is the wild elves, who consider themselves the truest descendants of the green elves.


All of this contradicts Races of Faerūn. Here is a snippet dealing with the history of each of the Elven Subraces:

Avariels, the Winged Elves, pg. 31:
quote:
Along with the green elves and lythari, the avariels are one of the three oldest elven races. Today, though, they are all but extinct, forced into the far corners of the world ages ago by the ancient dragons and hunted mercilessly by evil folk.

The avariels, upon first migrating to Faerūn millennia ago, found the world to be a vast, beautiful place. Unfortunately, vicious dragons ruled the skies above ancient Faerūn. The newly arrived avariels were nearly wiped out by the dragons before the First Flowering. The last of their race flew eastward long before the first Crown War, wandering the skies only when they had to, hiding on the ground like vermin and living terrible, dirty lives as nomads and scavengers.


Dark Elves, the Drow / Ilythiiri, pg. 35
quote:
In the beginning, the Ssri-tel-quessir were the most successful of the elven colonists to the new world of Faerūn. The nation of Ilythiir quickly became one of the most powerful of the early elven nations. But the Ssri-tel-quessir were not only the most successful of the elves of their time, they were also the most cruel and jealous. Despite their own accomplishments, they envied those of their neighbors all the same. While the First Crown War raged to the north, the dark elves waged their own war against their neighbors, seeking to dominate the elven realms of southern Faerūn.

Unsuccessful in three attempts to subjugate the neighboring realms, the dark elves of Ilythiir turned to a new and secret patron at the opening of the Fourth Crown War. The dark elves pledged their loyalties to the outcast Seldarine of the Demonweb Pits, and to Lolth in particular. The Spider Queen and her fellow exiles (with the notable exception of Eilistraee) granted the dark elves of Ilythiir great magical powers, fiendish allies, and support in return for their allegiance, and the Ilythiiri wreaked great havoc among the other elven realms.

But their success and victory were short-lived, for Corellon was shocked and deeply enraged by the traitorous acts of the dark elves. By his decree, the Ilythiiri elves were cursed, transformed into drow and banished from the surface world into the Underdark. They became known as the dhaeraow (the elven word for traitor), and over the centuries this word has since given them the name by which they are known: drow.


Green Elves, the Wild Elves, pg. 43
quote:
The wild elves were not always the feral creatures they have become today. Ages ago the green elves, as they were then known, were the first elven explorers (along with the lythari and the avariels) to discover Abeir-Toril, and they quickly became entranced with the wondrous young world. Of this first migration of elves, the green elves were easily the most successful, and they established several territories destined to become great nations: Thearnytaar, Eiellūr, Syņpiir, Miyeritar, and Keltormir.

Unfortunately, with the coming of the Crown Wars, these nations were among the first to fall. Eiellūr fell to the Ilythiiri (the dark elves) in –11,400 DR, and Thearnytaar in –11,200 DR. The realm of Miyeritar, located where the High Moor now lies, was utterly consumed by the Dark Disaster in –10,500 DR, and the other green elf realms fared little better. The peaceful green elves proved to be relatively easy prey for the cruel dark elves, and by the time the Crown Wars ended in –9000 DR, the idyllic world of the green elves had been shattered. Their great nations razed in centuries of relentless warfare, the green elves began a time they refer to as the Wandering. They never recovered fully from the setbacks of twelve thousand years ago, and raised no more great cities in Faerūn.


Gold Elves, the Sun Elves, pg. 40
quote:
The sun elves migrated to Faerūn at the same time as the moon elves and the dark elves. Although they were the least numerous of the three peoples, they nonetheless quickly established several great nations, including Aryvandaar and Othreier. Under the leadership of House Vyshaan, a dynasty of sun elves, the nation of Aryvandaar in particular soon became the most powerful elven realm of its time.

The Vyshaanti were aggressive expansionists, and their obsession with increasing the size of their empire at the expense of the other races is thought to be the major cause of the terrible Crown Wars of ten thousand years past. After the Fifth Crown War, the Vyshaanti were finally overthrown, and the sun elves returned to a less aggressive lifestyle that has changed little over the intervening millennia.

The next great nation founded by the sun elves was Cormanthyr in the year –3983 DR. This time they chose to build a realm founded on compassion, lore, and subtle magic instead of military might and great battle-mages. As a result, the nation was much kinder and more powerful in the long run, and the elves of Cormanthyr accomplished many amazing magical wonders. For thousands of years, Cormanthyr stood as the most powerful realm in northern Faerūn, eclipsed only briefly by Netheril at its height. From their city of Myth Drannor in the heart of the forest, the Coronals of Cormanthyr checked for centuries the burgeoning strength of young human lands such as Cormyr or Sembia that rose in the years after Netheril’s fall.

The raising of the Standing Stone and the Dales compact of 0 DR, peaceful though they were, signaled the beginning of the end of elven might in Faerūn. Although Myth Drannor achieved its greatest flowering in the years of peaceful human and elven coexistence, its days were numbered. Cormanthyr finally fell in 714 DR, when an overabundance of portals in the vicinity of Myth Drannor weakened the boundaries between worlds, allowing a disastrous invasion of fiends.


Silver Elves, the Moon Elves, pg. 38
quote:
Although the moon elves were not the first elves to migrate to Faerūn, they comprised the largest migration. Even in the ancient past their joy for travel seems to have been present, for they came to Faerūn in great numbers indeed. The moon elves wanted to explore this new world rather than settle down, and so did not establish nations of their own for some time, preferring to settle in other elven nations, such as Othreier and Keltormir. The only one of the ancient elven nations that the moon elves could truly call their own was Orishaar, which was defeated in –11,200 DR by the Ilythiiri.

Following the Crown Wars, moon elves helped to raise many of the nations of the second generation of elven realms. Survivors of Orishaar, in conjunction with clans from other realms that had been destroyed during the Crown Wars, founded the secret refuge of Evereska in –8600 DR, and many moon elves populated the glorious realm of Cormanthyr, founded in –3983 DR in the woods of the Elven Court. One by one the old elven realms faded away, until the fall of Myth Drannor in 714 DR left Evereska as the last moon elf city in Faerūn. Many nomadic moon elf bands still roamed the great forests of northern Faerūn, but no new elven kingdoms rose after the fall of the second-generation realms.


Aquatic Elves, the Sea Elves, pg. 18
quote:
Aquatic elves first appeared in the Great Sea untold ages ago, the last of the major elven races to migrate from the elven homeland into Faerūn. For many years, these elves lived nomadic lives and spent much of their time exploring the waters of their new world. The aquatic elves did not begin to settle down and form permanent communities in the depths until the time of the First Crown War. They knew of the Crown Wars, and often watched the battles from the safety of the water, but kept their interactions with their landbound kin to a minimum. Unfortunately, their attempt to avoid becoming entangled in the wars proved futile, and by the time of the Fourth Crown War, many aquatic elves fled to the Sea of Fallen Stars to establish a new nation sheltered from the madness of their kin.

The aquatic elves of the Sea of Fallen Stars have raised several distinct realms of varying size. Major colonies include Naramyr and Selu’Maraar, in the Dragonmere and Dragon Reach areas respectively. There are also several outposts east of the mouth of the Vilhon Reach and west of the Alamber, known as the Sharksbane Wall. Another colony called Faenasuor lies on the continental slopes east of Starmantle, and a number of small villages can be found among the reefs off the Fang of western Aglarond. In the Trackless Sea, a major sea elf city near Evermeet is called Iumathiashae (“Mother of Oceans”). Many additional colonies also lie off the coast of Tethyr.


Copper Elves, the Wood Elves, pg. 45
quote:
The wood elves are the most recent addition to the various elven subraces of Faerūn, although the history of their civilization still exceeds that of many other races of Toril. They also have the unusual distinction (often thought of as an honor by copper elves) of being the only subrace of elves to be actual natives to Faerūn. The first copper elves did not appear at once; their race coalesced slowly over the course of several centuries after the last Crown War, blending several of the older elven kindreds.

The Crown Wars brought down most of the great nations of the First Flowering. In the wake of these terrible wars, thousands of elves were left bereaved and homeless. Families were torn apart, and for many centuries (a time known to the elves as the Wandering Years) these elves simply led the lives of nomads. Some of Faerūn’s elves retreated to their ancestral homes and started to build anew, but on a smaller scale, raising the second generation of elven nations. But a significant portion of elves never felt the need to do so. These elves (mostly moon, sun, and green elves), vowed never again to let internal strife tear their kind apart, retreating to the deepest woodlands to seek shelter from the madness of the world.

Unlike the green elves, these self-imposed exiles did not slip into barbarism. Rather, they formed tightly knit societies that stayed in touch with other like-minded elven communities hidden away in other forests. Over time, these secluded elves grew closer to the natural world and further apart from the high magic and ancient lore the elves had brought from their first home, and became a new subrace of elves apart from their kin: the wood elves.

While the sun elves and moon elves founded realms such as Evermeet and Evereska after the Crown Wars, the great realm of the wood elves was ancient Eaerlann, a realm founded in the eastern High Forest around –4700 DR. The elves of Eaerlann engaged other young empires of the North in peaceful trade and diplomacy, befriending the dwarven realm of Delzoun soon after its establishment in –3900 DR, and tutoring the early Netherese in magic around –3830 DR.

...

In the years since the fall of Eaerlann, the wood elves have not raised any more great realms, choosing to put their trust in stealth and vigilance instead of castles and cities. Although they felt the call of the Elven Retreat, the wood elves did not respond. With the end of the Retreat, the wood elves have emerged from their secret homes in the depths of Faerūn’s woodlands as a strong and confident people whose wariness is tempered by compassion. The wood elves of the High Forest dream of reestablishing old Eaerlann, but this time their realm will be a realm of reclusive villages and watchful foresters, not walled cities and proud warriors.


So, this is the history of the Elves from 4th and 3rd Edition. The 4th Edition retcon is the new canon, but I am not sure what it means for the old canon.

I think the only way to square it is to say something like...

The progenitor of all the Elves is the Eladrin, fey-beings created in the image of the Arch-Fey Corellon, who eventually ascended to divinity. The Eladrin inhabit Arvandor, a domain located in the Feywild (retconned to be Faerie in 4th Edition). From there the Eladrin went on to inhabit many different Prime Material Worlds.

It is on these many prime worlds that the Eladrin began to diverge from their fey-nature, becoming two separate groups that are the progenitors of modern Elves: High Elves and Sylvan Elves. High Elves retained their connection to powerful fey magic, while the Sylvan Elves retained their connection to the natural world. Across numerous worlds, the High and Sylvan Elves further subdivided. The High Elves are the progenitors of the Sun Elves, the Moon Elves, the Ilythiiri (who became the Drow), and the Avariels. The Sylvan Elves are the progenitors of the Green/Wild Elves and the Sea Elves. They are also a generation removed from the Wood Elves--a race native to Toril--who are primarily descended from the Green Elves.

Each of the Elven migrations happened as stated in 3rd Edition lore.

This sort-of finds a way to square it, I think...

Of course, in fairness, the lore of the Elves has always been somewhat of a convoluted mess. I mean, do we know if the events that happened with Lolth happened on Toril, Avandor, some other world, or all simultaneously? The only thing we can say for certain is that it happened after the Ilythiiri were on Toril.



There are also some conflicts with other lore (from 3e and 2e as well) there too. For example, we know that the dark elves weren't merely Ilythiiri. They arrived on Toril even before Lolth was worshiped there, some of them founded Ilythiir with the favor of Vhaeraun and--to a lesser extent--Ghaunadaur, others joined Eilistraee but were driven away from Ilythiir (where only few of them remained).

Miyeritar came later and was both a dark and green/wild elven realm, founded by persecuted refugees from Aryvandaar. Those elves were mostly followers of Eilistraee and of other deities of the Seldarine (I guess the dark elves had the Dark Maiden as their patroness, wild elves were more focused on the Seldarine).

So, how should we treat this, for example. I'd honestly discard the 4e origin lore, because it invalidates tons of other previous works, and because changing this origin story won't exclude anyone, since if someone wanted to write about the eladrin in the 4e timeline, they'd still be there.

EDIT: 5e actually retconned it all back to pre 4e status, and the elves now descend from those who arrived on Toril back in -27/-24k DR.

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Edited by - Irennan on 16 Jul 2017 17:06:31
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2698 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  14:54:33  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

EDIT:
It took me so long to type all of this, there are about a dozen new posts now! I was responding to what CorellonsDevout said about Elven High Magic above (and then went off on my usual myriad tangents).


I still go with Ancient Fey High Magic (which should be what Elven High Magic is based on - the language of it is called HamaFae) was temporal in nature. It literally used the Butterfly Effect, causing some minor thing to occur back in time, in order to create a much larger outcome in the current time-period, that would accomplish the Elves' goals (its almost like using wishes - unless you are trying to be extremely specific, you can get some pretty wild and catastrophic results - typical "Monkey's Paw" scenario, which we see all the time when Elves decide to do something drastic with their High Magic).


This is quite fitting, given that the defining trait of the "butterfly effect" or other "chaotic systems" in Math is that even a small variation in the starting conditions can cause a disproportionate variation in the evolution of the system, making it "chaotic" (even tho not fully, as they still respect some boundary conditions). This would perfectly fit the unforeseen consequences of High Magic: even a small mistake, may cause a disaster.

quote:
The creation of Evermeet accidentally 'tapped into' the Sundering itself, and the repercussions of that (probably) were the destruction of Tintageer (in Faerie). The elves were unused to Toril's Weave, which super-charges any magic, and thats why they have so much trouble using Elven High Magic in Faerūn. Things 'get out of hand' rapidly, usually with unforeseen (and highly destructive) consequences. Its the equivalent of using a Nuke to blow-open a bank vault.

The Feywild (which probably only got that name after the Fey arrived there) is a highly malleable plane, with imprecise physics (including time-flow), so the fey Magic worked well there (the plane is literally designed to 'bend' around perceptions and magic, so you don't 'break' anything by casting those types of temporal-twisting magics). Going from that to Toril - an anarchistic set of physics with no true set of laws to govern it, to a world where there is not only stratified and inviolate RW physics, but also an 'Arcane Weave' with its own set of rules, that 'boosts' all forms of magic that are cast through it, must have been quite a shock for them (and at first they would have loved the Weave, not realizing with 'structure' comes inter-connectivity... like dominoes. Knock one down and you could lose the whole thing).

I was just checking some of the Planescape referecnes, and I am thinking that before the Fey entered the feywild (and created Faerie), it was probably a ginat-Realm, and maybe even the original Jotunheim. According to the Planescape Wiki, the 'Elves' (Eladrin?) drove the giants from their ancestral homes in 'Arboria', and thus they had to create Jotunheim in Ysgard. In Planescape, 'Faerie' is in Arboria, or, at least, frequently appears there (since it can move about). I'm thinking that the Feywild may have been another layer, or perhaps its the 'reflection of what the layer Mithardir once was (according to Planescape lore, there are legends it was once a giant realm before it became a desert). So perhaps the Eladrin (Mortal 'First Born' of the immortal fey) drove the giants out, and in so doing they disrupted the nature of the place, and it turned into a desert. Before it could all wither and die, however, the Fey (and probably a number of other Gods of Arborea) tried to save what they could, and using Faerie as an 'anchor' (in much the same way Ravenloft anchored and then created the Domains of Dread around itself), they set it adrift in the Aethers. In time, the Feywild grew around it. So in much the same way that domains in Ravenloft have 'mirror images' elsewhere on other worlds, the Feywild became the distorted mirror of what Mithardir once was (and why its physics is so once - its still unstable because of the nature of its creation). Those parts that were salvaged and became The Feywild included the last of the giant realms that would not yield - those of the Fomorians. Most other giants just relocated to jotunheim as per their deal with the Seldarine. Most folks think of Fomorians as terrible monsters, but perhaps they are merely 'terrorists' - a group of people who's homeland has been usurped, and they want it returned back to the way it once was (maybe even go back to its place in Arboria, where the deserts of Mithardir lie?) I guess that makes the other giants who left 'refugees'.

Applied to FR (giant) lore, maybe Annam tried to reestablish the 'Kingdom of the Giants' in Faerūn, after he left the original giantish homeland. Right around the time the Elves cast their (time-altering) High-Magic ritual and created Evermeet, they inadvertently created a magical feedback that opened-up a blackhole-like vortex, sucking Tintageer - and maybe a bunch of other things by accident, like GIANTS - into the Realms. So they created Evermeet by destroying Tintageer, but also drew the Giants into Toril, where they ran into their ancient nemesis, the dragons (which, coincidentally, had arrived some time earlier, which was the harbinger of the Sylvan Elves arrival on Toril, before the High Elves arrived from doomed Tintageer. So dragons may have arrived with the first Sundering, and Giants may have arrived in a connected event, when the elves taped into the sundering to retroactively create Evermeet in the past.

And so, the Sundering may be something like 'ripples in a pond'. The first one was HUGE - when the giant 'boulder' of the Godswar/Shattering first hit the pond, and there are still smaller ripples every so often, which 'resets' even more stuff (because its a time-distortion effect - the ripples are like aftershocks in a time-quake). Reality shifts a little bit each time a new ripple passes us by (so yeah, I just explained-away inconsistencies between editions, etc, in-game). The elves basically setup a resonating paradox (and yes, I AM just making stuff up at this point... its called FICTION).



Yeah, I think that this is along the lines of what they were going for, but this would indeed be a paradox. The refugees from Tintageer were fleeing a disaster that they would cause in the future by creating Evermeet on a nother world. Yes, it is fiction, and this explanation ties everything together, but honestly all this matter would just make all that came before pointless. Every choice, story action will be inevitably invalidated by those ripples that keep expanding. I'm not sure that I like this, or that something like this is good for any setting (not that I'm blaming your explanation, since this is basically what WotC was aiming for, you just put their pieces together).

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Edited by - Irennan on 16 Jul 2017 14:57:14
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  15:03:59  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Adhriva

I agree, Mark laid out a really good theory on High Elven Magic. I have only a single speculation to add to it: there's an argument to be made that the rituals themselves are alive. From magic such as the Waymeet to Mythals, we see the magic grows and evolves on it's own. Even containing sentience - although that's usually handwaved as being a cool magical effect, like a responsive app on a smart phone. With High magic, we see it ages, it changes, and it can continue spreading/growing. One reason Elves, when they learn the art, have to relearn everything from the ground up in a very nature observational discourse, could very well be because they are dealing with a lifeform instead of a more mechanically-inclined process. How you command a mechanical robot is very different compared to how you instruct an organic person. One of the reasons we could see these ripples is events such as their birth, death, and perhaps even growing pains....or other causes. Given the nature of Elves and Fey....I don't think it's that far fetched to see these rituals as alive, or atleast having life-like qualities. The implications are that most living beings will fight for their own survival and can often communicate with others of their kind (which would also explain the visions linking other, similar magical events).

The final book in the series details Shar trying to get the Mythal to become the new Goddess of Magic. That confounded me for the longest time. Why a single mythal would allow that now, as opposed to long before when they were everywhere. I suspect it's an attack on one of these lifeforms in a way. Shar has previously created (or tried to claim mimicry) a shadow weave that mirror's Mystras. If she can grab one or more of these to anchor to her shadow weave then it might be a solid gateway to the development of a Shadow weave equivalent of Elven High Magic. With the displacement of time, any potential Ritual would have to still be around to be useful and strong enough to to consolidate that power before Ao finished with the tablets. This makes one of the last and oldest Mythals, and one that has recovered it's strength 100 years ago, a very sweet target for the dark Goddess. It also parallels, albeit for no direct character presented, the narrative of a descent into the underworld often found in the kind of mythology the realms love to draw from. I bring this up because when I read the SUNDERING series, my impression was of backwards kick through time. A shockwave starting from the end moving to the beginning of the series to affect events in reverse of their normal linear flow. Maybe that's just due to the loose way the stories were all connected with the prophecy, but a retroactive defense by such an entity, including its cry for help to others like it in the world, would certainly jumpstart the distortion of the realms. I don't see Ao caring enough about the prime world of Toril to change much of it directly. The Gods thereof, yes. The world and the people of Toril....far less so. But entities of magic would and do - all the time. An entity of high magic wouldn't think twice about distorting reality and time, especially one whose nature causes those distortions, when trying to save it's own metaphorical skin.

Just my 2 copper pieces. Any further down the rabbit-hole of speculation and we might need to break out the +1 tinfoil hats.



I agree on the living rituals/spells part: the elves are far from being the only ones doing that. The Weave itself is sentient--it is Mystra, not some mechanical thing--and magic, spells, and enchanted items have all some kind of primordial sentience. Ed has explained this multiple times. However, I honestly don't think that this single Mythal would have such power to distort time in that way and restore gods, nations, or what you have. The only way I could see it, is that all those rituals form a sort of hive mind, connected by the Weave. They would be part of Mystra's sentience, and it would be the entire magic of the world that tries to retroactively defend from Shar's plan.

I also don't agree that Ao wouldn't bother. I don't like the concept of Ao myself, but he's literally the caretaker of Toril and its gods as a whole. He may not care for mortals, but he does care to keep the world going and defend it from temporal paradoxes and such.

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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  17:08:39  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

EDIT:
It took me so long to type all of this, there are about a dozen new posts now! I was responding to what CorellonsDevout said about Elven High Magic above (and then went off on my usual myriad tangents).


I still go with Ancient Fey High Magic (which should be what Elven High Magic is based on - the language of it is called HamaFae) was temporal in nature. It literally used the Butterfly Effect, causing some minor thing to occur back in time, in order to create a much larger outcome in the current time-period, that would accomplish the Elves' goals (its almost like using wishes - unless you are trying to be extremely specific, you can get some pretty wild and catastrophic results - typical "Monkey's Paw" scenario, which we see all the time when Elves decide to do something drastic with their High Magic).

The creation of Evermeet accidentally 'tapped into' the Sundering itself, and the repercussions of that (probably) were the destruction of Tintageer (in Faerie). The elves were unused to Toril's Weave, which super-charges any magic, and thats why they have so much trouble using Elven High Magic in Faerūn. Things 'get out of hand' rapidly, usually with unforeseen (and highly destructive) consequences. Its the equivalent of using a Nuke to blow-open a bank vault.

The Feywild (which probably only got that name after the Fey arrived there) is a highly malleable plane, with imprecise physics (including time-flow), so the fey Magic worked well there (the plane is literally designed to 'bend' around perceptions and magic, so you don't 'break' anything by casting those types of temporal-twisting magics). Going from that to Toril - an anarchistic set of physics with no true set of laws to govern it, to a world where there is not only stratified and inviolate RW physics, but also an 'Arcane Weave' with its own set of rules, that 'boosts' all forms of magic that are cast through it, must have been quite a shock for them (and at first they would have loved the Weave, not realizing with 'structure' comes inter-connectivity... like dominoes. Knock one down and you could lose the whole thing).



This is kind of what I was getting at in one of my earlier posts. The magic of Toril didn't work quite the same way as it did in Faerie/Feywild, and the elves were not used to it. Perhaps it was easier for them to lose control of the ritual in Faerun. Had it been performed in Faerie, there may not have been the same consequences.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  17:33:50  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Right.

What I was saying as well, but I tend to over-complicate things sometimes.

'Feywild Magic' is more Raw. Think of it like crude oil. Its functional, and it can be turned into all sorts of useful stuff. WEAVE magic is already refined, so when you use it 'to light a fire' (which is what the Elves constantly do, despite claims to the contrary) its much more effective; more 'efficient', and thus, when one is not used to it (or one's 'magical traditions' are thousands of years out-of-date), it tends to spiral out of control (like when Uncle Bob decides your dad isn't using enough lighter fluid on the barbecue grill, and manages to singe-off his own eyebrows... and burning everything available).

However, its also less malleable, because its already refined. It has structure. Thats why, when elves dip into it in ways they shouldn't ('hack the source code'), they get unpredictable results as well. You can tweak things in the past in Faerie because time itself (there) isn't as... substantial (for lack of a better word)... as it is in The Prime Material. Its like the difference between trying to take a scoop out of a bowl of jello, and trying to pull a few bricks out of the foundation of a building. The jello will just except what was done and go on being jello, but in the case of the foundation, the whole building might collapse (hence, 'Sunderings' - echoes of a reality-altering event).

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


Edited by - Markustay on 16 Jul 2017 17:35:02
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  17:37:03  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

I watched the video, and similarly to the Erik Scott De Bie piece, it only describes the elven seer Elliandreth of Orishaar present at the elven sundering seeing the other two events, and that Elliandreth feels those events are similar to what is happening where he is. Neither piece implies causation.

In fact, my takeaway from the language of both pieces is that the the Tearfall and Sundering of the 1480s were NOT related to the elven Sundering at all - Elliandreth of Orishaar merely witnessed them due to the powerful ripples in time caused by the elven Sundering. Seeing these events and feeling that they were similar to his own, he called them Sunderings.

Also, saying that the Elven Sundering caused the other two Sunderings takes all the agency out of the rest of the stories. The batrachi's and Asgoroth's roles in the Tearfall are merely caused by the elves. The Tablets of Fate chaos of the Era of Upheaval, starting in the Avatar Crisis and resulting in the 1480s Sundering is merely caused by the elves. This goes against what they're saying in the video, most of which is about Ao and the Tablets of Fate, which are in no way related to the elven sundering.

My 2p.



I remember watching this video when the discussions of the Sundering began, but I had forgotten about the Tearfall. Well, not forgotten about it, but didn't consider it. And admittedly, I still don't. Like you, I don't think they are connected. The Tearfall had already happened by the time Evermeet was created. Unless...that event also caused a ripple that went forward and backward in time, therefore affecting the Elven Sundering (and this is why Elliandrenth saw it), kind of like what Aldrick suggested.

If the Elven Sundering had altered history, that would mean the Tearfall hadn't happened originally, and I don't think that's the case, as the Tearfall influenced events that happened afterwards, but before the Elven Sundering.

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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  17:57:16  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I was just checking some of the Planescape referecnes, and I am thinking that before the Fey entered the feywild (and created Faerie), it was probably a ginat-Realm, and maybe even the original Jotunheim.


If we go by 4e creation myths, both the Feywild and the Shadowfell were populated at first by giants (titans in 4e), because, when those realms were created, as "echoes" of the material plane, they copied the first inhabitants of the material: the servants of the primordials (the titans and giants).

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

Okay, I found it. I found the discussion of the Sundering, where it is described in detail.

It is this video. The entire first 12 minutes is devoted to telling us what the Sundering is and why it is happening.



Ironic they (indirectly) created the race that was their most fearsome enemies in the ancient age: the dragons.

They also destroyed the whole world... at last, I understand why some people say elves are the real evil ones of the Realms.


I wouldn't call them evil. Arrogant, yes, but not evil. It's not like they performed the ritual with the intent of destroying so much. Like I said, the elven high magic probably worked differently in Faerie than it did in Faerun, but they didn't realize that until it was too late. Then again, I'm aware most people here don't like the elves lol.

They also didn't have a focus (like what James Wyatt said in the video. Ao had a "focus" (the Tablets), so the spell didn't get out of control like it did with the elves (he's also an overgod, lol). In Faerie, they may not have needed a focus, so they didn't think to have one in Faerun.

quote:
I wouldn't say the elves created the Original Sundering (the Tearfall) or the Second Sundering. However, by creating their Sundering they did changed the timeline, allowing those Sunderings to happen in the first place.

Maybe their creation of Evermeet weakened planar boundaries in the past, allowing the batrachi to summon primordials bound by the gods in the Dawn War, indirectly causing the liberation of Asgoroth and the subsequent Tearfall.

Maybe it also caused some malfunction in the future, allowing Bane and Myrkul to get the Tablets of Fate (that I find weird those gods just found the Tablets by luck), starting the whole Age of Upheaval that ended in the Second Sundering.

Hence, the past and future Sunderings can be indirect consecuences of the First (elven) one.



Interesting theory, but as I said earlier, I don't think the Tearfall and the Elven Sundering are related, because that would mean the Tearfall didn't happen until the Elven Sundering, and since the Tearfall had an influence on other events, even before the Elven Sundering, equating the Elven Sundering to the Teafall would negate those events.

Unless...you apply the wild theory that the past is still happening as the present is going on. Now my brain is sundered lol XD

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Aldrick
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  18:36:29  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

I agree these are all possible interpretations. However, I also think it's possible that the ripples through time merely allowed Elliandreth to see things in the past and future. For example, if time was a flat sheet, and it rippled, some of the peaks of those ripples might touch - allowing someone at a different time point to see that event. As a counterpoint, it might also allow the events of different times to impact each other. So I think either is possible - the lore is by no means explicit on the point as far as I can tell. It doesn't seem that Elliandreth thinks that the elven Sundering caused the other Sunderings - but his is just one viewpoint, and I may well be interpreting that viewpoint incorrectly.

That said, I still think the best interpretation is that the elven sundering did send ripples through time, and they did affect things - such as things related to Evermeet. However, my guess is that the other two Sundering events were not affected, but merely witnessed by Elliandreth.


The problem here is that this explanation does not free us from all the unfortunate implications, lol.

Okay, so let's say the Elven Sundering had no impact on time itself, and the ripples just allowed Elliandreth to see the future and the past. Let's just set aside the issues of altering time for a moment, and assume that is the case. The good news here is that nothing that happened is the Elves fault except their Sundering. Okay... but there is still another problem.

The fact that Elliandreth sees into the future and is able to predict the 5th Edition Sundering means that Ao was fated to do it. This strips Ao of all agency and by extension everyone else in the world. If Ao is fated to do the 5th Edition Sundering, then it means the Tablets of Fate must be destroyed. This means the Time of Troubles is fated to happen. If the Time of Troubles is fated to happen, then it means that events must play out in such a way that the deities do the things they do resulting in their punishment and the Tablets destruction in the end. This also means Bane and Myrkul are fated to steal the Tablets in the first place. It also means that Cyric is fated to kill Mystra, the Spellplague is fated to happen, and... well... basically every event leading up to the 5th Edition Sundering is fated to happen.

If one of these major events does not happen then the Sundering that was witnessed by Elliandreth cannot take place. No Time of Troubles? No destruction of the Tablet of Fate by Ao. No misbehaving of the deities? No post-ToT punishment. No misbehaving deities post-ToT? No recreating the Tablets.

So, really, we are not free from all the unfortunate implications. We are just free from the ability to blame the Elves, lol.
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  18:48:45  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Perhaps Elliandreth saw multiple futures (and if I remember correctly from the video, he wasn't part of the ritual itself, anyway, which is why he survived), or he saw the one that was most likely to take place if certain prior events unfolded. Maybe the "ripples" made certain outcomes more likely to occur.

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 16 Jul 2017 18:53:34
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Aldrick
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  19:35:26  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Interesting theory, but as I said earlier, I don't think the Tearfall and the Elven Sundering are related, because that would mean the Tearfall didn't happen until the Elven Sundering, and since the Tearfall had an influence on other events, even before the Elven Sundering, equating the Elven Sundering to the Teafall would negate those events.

Unless...you apply the wild theory that the past is still happening as the present is going on. Now my brain is sundered lol XD


If the Elves altered time in such a way as to create the Tearfall, here is what I think happened. There are basically two world timelines. The original timeline for the Realms, and the altered timeline created by the Elven Sundering. The High Mages began their Sundering in the original timeline, the past (and consequently) the future changed. That includes the reasons for the Sundering in the first place. The reason for the Sundering in this timeline is just a way for the Temporal Paradox of the ritual being conducted by the High Mages to be explained. In other words, something had to happen in the altered timeline that would have also led to the High Mages performing the Sundering, so that they could alter the past, which then creates a stable state timeline by eliminating all the paradoxes.

The problem I foresee, aside from the unfortunate implications--which is the real brain melting problem--is what happens to people who traveled from other worlds and planes to Toril in the past prior to the Sundering? Their travel still happened in the timeline of those worlds, yet they may have never arrived, or even arrived at a completely different date than they did originally in the altered timeline. I mean, one way to fix all the paradoxes is to have the High Magic Spell literally impact the entire multi-verse, but that seems extreme.

I mean, there could literally be people out there who visited the Realms in the original timeline and then left before the Sundering, and thus remember a radically different Realms. LOL. Only they would know what the Elven Sundering ended up altering. "Wow. This place has changed." "Yeah, the Elves have gone and Sundered everything! My house is now under a volcano!" "Well, hey, look at least they managed to get rid of all of those killer robots." "What killer robots? This place never had any robots!" "...."
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Zeromaru X
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  19:48:56  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Interesting theory, but as I said earlier, I don't think the Tearfall and the Elven Sundering are related, because that would mean the Tearfall didn't happen until the Elven Sundering, and since the Tearfall had an influence on other events, even before the Elven Sundering, equating the Elven Sundering to the Teafall would negate those events.

Unless...you apply the wild theory that the past is still happening as the present is going on. Now my brain is sundered lol XD



"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to affect, but actually, from a non-linier, non subjective point of view it is more like a big ball of wibbily wobbly timey wimey...stuff"
The Doctor

As Markustay said, the elves screwed up the timeline, because their magic was made to work in a place where time has little significance.

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...
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Zeromaru X
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  20:16:14  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

If the Elves altered time in such a way as to create the Tearfall, here is what I think happened. There are basically two world timelines. The original timeline for the Realms, and the altered timeline created by the Elven Sundering. The High Mages began their Sundering in the original timeline, the past (and consequently) the future changed. That includes the reasons for the Sundering in the first place. The reason for the Sundering in this timeline is just a way for the Temporal Paradox of the ritual being conducted by the High Mages to be explained. In other words, something had to happen in the altered timeline that would have also led to the High Mages performing the Sundering, so that they could alter the past, which then creates a stable state timeline by eliminating all the paradoxes.

The problem I foresee, aside from the unfortunate implications--which is the real brain melting problem--is what happens to people who traveled from other worlds and planes to Toril in the past prior to the Sundering? Their travel still happened in the timeline of those worlds, yet they may have never arrived, or even arrived at a completely different date than they did originally in the altered timeline. I mean, one way to fix all the paradoxes is to have the High Magic Spell literally impact the entire multi-verse, but that seems extreme.

I mean, there could literally be people out there who visited the Realms in the original timeline and then left before the Sundering, and thus remember a radically different Realms. LOL. Only they would know what the Elven Sundering ended up altering. "Wow. This place has changed." "Yeah, the Elves have gone and Sundered everything! My house is now under a volcano!" "Well, hey, look at least they managed to get rid of all of those killer robots." "What killer robots? This place never had any robots!" "...."




Have you played Legacy of Kain games? They present a very similar scenario. In those games, the time continuum was extremely rigid and resilient, and did not normally allow for the introduction of paradoxes or changes in the timeline. When such such changes did occurred, the time line re-shufled itself, allowing just minor changes in the timeline; most major events remained constant in the game's story between each timeline.

Or, the Elven Sundering may have been what is known as a causal loop or closed time loop: a situation when a time traveler is caught in a loop of events that "predestines" or "predates" them to travel back in time. Because of the possibility of influencing the past while time traveling, one way of explaining why history does not change is by saying that whatever has happened must happen. A time traveler attempting to alter the past in this model, intentionally or not, would only be fulfilling their role in creating history as we know it, not changing it. Or that the time-traveler's personal knowledge of history already includes their future travels to their own experience of the past.

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...
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dazzlerdal
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I preferred Terry Pratchett's take on time travel and its effects in The Night Watch

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Irennan
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Posted - 16 Jul 2017 :  21:46:33  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves tells us what the Elven Sundering rituals do. They basically temporarily tear the Weave asunder, and the one Elven Sundering that we are talking about allowed the ensuing cataclysms to create the isolated land where Evermeet would be located in the future. While it is possible that the anomalies created by the tearing of the Weave also created the time anomalies that everyone is talking about, since I personally don't think that it is a good thing for the setting to be stuck in this time-loop where every major thing is fated until Ao recently broke it all, I'd assume something different.

The elven Sundering caused a tear in the time continuum, but it was localized on the spell itself. It allowed the effects of the Sundering (in short the destabilization of the Weave) to persist even after the end of the spell and its aftermath. In short, it's as if the spell that was cast wasn't instantaneous, but kept periodically sending those "ripples" in the future and past, like a signal beacon. Each ripple only carried a dampened version of the spell's effect, but as they kept passing by, the Weave became more and more destabilized, a destabilization that eventually extended also to a larger scale (like the barrier that was erected by Ao to sunder Abeir from Toril). I also guess that such destabilization would be twice as fast, since the ripples would be affecting the Weave both in the past and in the present.

The only way to undo such destabilization was to undo the spell in the past. However, the easiest and safest way to dispel the Sundering was to cut off its fuel: i.e. to reboot the Weave. When the effects of the Sundering grew powerful enough to be no longer acceptable, Ao ordered Mystra to do exactly that, and--deciding that a reset was in order--he broke the Tablets of Fate (since the Sundering was warping the laws of Realmspace that they contained anyway). We in fact know from Ed's books that Mystra had foreseen the Spellplague, that she was prepared for it, and that she also intended for the Weave, which had been damaged by the casting of past spells, to be rebooted. Maybe things didn't go as planned in the Spellplague, but she had prepared contingencies to allow her survival and that of her allies (we know she did for Vhaeraun and Eilistraee for example), and caught the opportunity to unravel and then rebuild the Weave when she recovered enough strength to get on her feet again.

The reason why Ao didn't rewrite the Tablets immediately after the Weave was rebooted, and why he didn't immediately heal Mystra and the Weave, is that maybe the Sundering--as a living thing, as suggested by Adhriva--wanted to keep existing, and was able to go on for some time on its own before "starving". Ao waited until the ripples came to an end to rewrite the Tablets and complete its reset.

It's a much simpler explanation (probably cheaper) than the time paradox one, but I honestly feel that it works better for a setting that is supposed to provide the base for other stories to be built, not to tell people that their stories are irrelevant because everything is fated since a bunch of pointy eared a******s decided to unleash a cataclysm on the Realms, so that they could have their pretty little island.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 17 Jul 2017 00:41:45
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 17 Jul 2017 :  00:16:36  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
^ That's actually a pretty plausible theory.

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sleyvas
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If one wanted to work in a linkage between the elven sundering and the Abeir-Toril Sundering, the fact that the Elven Sundering was all about Evermeet and the fact that the spellplague left some odd non-magical version of Evermeet in the world would definitely be the path to start.

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Irennan
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Posted - 17 Jul 2017 :  03:17:18  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

If one wanted to work in a linkage between the elven sundering and the Abeir-Toril Sundering, the fact that the Elven Sundering was all about Evermeet and the fact that the spellplague left some odd non-magical version of Evermeet in the world would definitely be the path to start.



The First Sundering did two things. Through the tearing of the Weave, it unleashed magical cataclysms that separated a massive tract of lands from the main continent. Then, it summoned a part of Arvandor on top of it to make it fey (although many would say that it summoned the feywild). The magic that tied that fey layer to the island itself was sustained by the Weave, so when the Weave nearly collapsed it went back to whence it came. However, since the Weave didn't fully collapse, maybe a thread remained to link the two, which allowed its inhabitants to return it to Toril with the Sundering. Idk why they would do so: maybe they decided it because the Torilian elves needed their safe haven again with the 2nd fall of Myth Drannor?

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Edited by - Irennan on 17 Jul 2017 03:17:43
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 17 Jul 2017 :  03:59:08  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, so I found these interesting tidbits while reading up on what the SCAG says about Evermeet. It's one of those instances where it was written as from an individual person's POV, as they do sometimes in the SCAG, but here it is:

"These High Mages gathered together to perform a mighty work of magic that would bring Toril into contact with Arvandor--that's right, the mad fools actually wanted to bring into our world some of the lands which their gods dwelt!
Tales differ on whether Corellon allowed this or was powerless to prevent it, but it happened, and calamity gripped Toril as a result. This was the first Sundering, and elves have always said it echoed through time. Recent calamities would seem to prove them right.
When things settled down, the elves realized their folly. For thousands of years, no elf dared set foot on Evermeet. But eventually, Corellon must have forgiven his wayward children, for the oldest elves began to feel the call to the west."


It goes on to give some other info about Evermeet that is interesting but not relevant to this discussion. Then, it says this:

Then the Spellplague struck, and some of that old elven High Magic must have unraveled. Evermeet became unmoored from the world and found itself instead in a sea of the Feywild, that strange realm of faerie that touches the world in mystical places. For a centuru, it seemed Evermeet was lost to the world. Venerable elves tried to hold on, hoping this echo of the first Sundering might echo Evermeet's connection to the world once the period of calamity ended.
Their patience (who but an elf could have such patience?) was at last rewarded, which shipsc from Evermeet docked once more in Sword Coast ports."
. (both entries are page 72 in the SCAG).


Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 17 Jul 2017 04:06:12
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Zeromaru X
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Posted - 17 Jul 2017 :  04:14:00  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves tells us what the Elven Sundering rituals do. They basically temporarily tear the Weave asunder, and the one Elven Sundering that we are talking about allowed the ensuing cataclysms to create the isolated land where Evermeet would be located in the future. While it is possible that the anomalies created by the tearing of the Weave also created the time anomalies that everyone is talking about, since I personally don't think that it is a good thing for the setting to be stuck in this time-loop where every major thing is fated until Ao recently broke it all, I'd assume something different.

...

It's a much simpler explanation (probably cheaper) than the time paradox one, but I honestly feel that it works better for a setting that is supposed to provide the base for other stories to be built, not to tell people that their stories are irrelevant because everything is fated since a bunch of pointy eared a******s decided to unleash a cataclysm on the Realms, so that they could have their pretty little island.




This theory is why I like most the Legacy of Kain approach to the Sundering time stuff: whatever change the elves did with their magic beyond creating Evermeet was just minor. They did not altered the timeline in a way that the "destiny" became a fixed thing.

With minor things, I mean stuff like, debilitating the planar boundaries to allow the existence of a part of Arvandor in the Material Plane. This later allowed the batrachi to summon primordials, changing the original timeline. In the original timeline, the batrachi were also about to summon the primordials, but maybe failed or maybe not—as the timeline is flexible we don't know, as the timeline was changed. But batrachi trying to summon primordials was bound to happen regardless of elven intervention. The elven Sundering just allowed for one possibility (freed primordials) to happen.

But other events? Those happened regardless of time paradoxes, because, in the "LoK" theory of how time works, if you create a time paradox, history only will change in specific and minor ways, taking the "path of less resistance" to maintain history as unchanged as possible.

So, the elven Sundering may have allowed the freeing of the Primordials, but the creation of Cormyr has nothing to do with the Tearfall. That happened because in the old timeline there was a Cormyr.

For this to work, we must accept that a time paradox just happen because of the elven Sundering, whatever how minor its effects were. If a paradox didn't happened, then this mean what you said: everything is fated and bound to happen regardless of choice (as this elven mage witnessed not only the past, but also the future, and saw the Era of Upheaval as a fixed event in time).

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 17 Jul 2017 04:20:33
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Irennan
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Posted - 17 Jul 2017 :  04:27:29  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm rather sleepy now (5 am here), so bear with me. Wouldn't it still be true that most major events that led up to the era of upheaval, and the era itself, are fixed in time and caused by the Sundering? At that point, how would you determine whether something is tied to the Sundering or not (especially because timelines are usually affected by "butterfly effects")?

Otherwise, we could simply say that Elliandreth's prophecy was just that, divination.

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Edited by - Irennan on 17 Jul 2017 04:33:19
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Zeromaru X
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Posted - 17 Jul 2017 :  05:00:56  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What we know of the First Sundering is that it rippled forward and backward in time, and this elven mage saw two specific events:
—In the past, the Tearfall and the Original Sundering
—In the future (from his perspective), the Era of Upheaval and the Second Sundering.

So, what was changed in the timeline? Those two specific points of time. In those points, minor changes allowed the batrachi to free the primordials, and Bane and Myrkul to find and steal the Tablets of Fate. That this caused some major changes to the timeline? Yes, this do. Thanks to the Tearfall, there are two universes now (Abeir and Toril) instead of just one (Abeir-Toril). Thanks to the Era of Upheaval, the Spellplague happened, and the history of Toril was changed in profound ways.

But nothing of this affected other events in time. Let's say, for instance, the dragon civilization. The dragon civilization happened in the original timeline, and so also happened in the new timeline. But as time is changeable (not a fixed thing), we have that dragon civilization was fleeting in Toril, while it became a world-dominating civilization in Abeir.

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...
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Zeromaru X
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Posted - 17 Jul 2017 :  05:04:52  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

Otherwise, we could simply say that Elliandreth's prophecy was just that, divination.



But is divination magic that accurate? Because if not, that means fixed history.

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 17 Jul 2017 05:07:01
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Aldrick
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Posted - 17 Jul 2017 :  06:51:05  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

Otherwise, we could simply say that Elliandreth's prophecy was just that, divination.



But is divination magic that accurate? Because if not, that means fixed history.


That was the point I was making to KanzenAU. We are trying to wiggle out from all of the unfortunate implications of having the Elves alter time. As I said to KanzenAU, even if the Elves are not responsible, the fact that Elliandreth saw the future Sundering still causes a problem for free will in the Realms.

After all, if he saw the future Sundering, then that means that the Time of Troubles is fated to happen, which means that everything that led up to it is fated to happen. It means that Ao destroys the Tablets. It also means that everything after the Time of Troubles--including the Spellplague--is fated to happen, all culminating in the third Sundering. These are all necessary precursors to the third Sundering.

...and the same can be said for all the prophecies of the Realms. Alaundo's prophecies and the Roll of Years... He foresaw the death of Bhaal and the events with the Bhaalspawn. If this was fated to happen, then it means that Bhaal could not avoid it, and everything was determined.

This kinda makes the discussion over whether or not the Elves altered time moot, because even if they did alter time, they were always going to do so, and thus nothing ever really changed.

Free will is an illusion. Forgotten Realms = Fatalistic Realms.

One way to "fix" this problem is to have Ao, in the new Tablets of Fate, write free will into them, thus changing the Realms from a fiercely deterministic world to one where free will can exist. He could also scribble some notes in there about how it is impossible to alter time, and also you cannot see the future. No one in the Realms would notice any difference because they were already living with the illusion of free will, the difference now is that it is no longer an illusion.
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KanzenAU
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Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2017 :  06:56:26  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

Otherwise, we could simply say that Elliandreth's prophecy was just that, divination.



But is divination magic that accurate? Because if not, that means fixed history.


Oooh, determinism vs free will! Now we're getting interesting!

Personally, I've always been a deterministic sort of guy (but definitely not fatalistic - life's too interesting for that). I've had a lot of discussions about this sort of stuff in my years, academic and social. I'm pretty solidly in the genetics+environment camp, but I think there's room for lots of discussion.

I would say (as perhaps was made apparent by my ripples in a flat sheet analogy earlier) that the past and future have already been determined - there is no free will, in us or the gods. Thus, at the time of the Elven Sundering, Elliandreth sees what has happened, and what will happen. Whether or not the Elven Sundering caused the other Sunderings is not answered by determinism/free will however.

Those writings from the SCAG make it sound like mortals do indeed believe the Elven Sundering caused the others - but the designers are also very careful to not say "this is what happened", they're wording it very carefully so that we can't be sure. I still think (due to the way the speech in the video is worded and the language of Erik's writing) that the Elven Sundering just allowed Elliandreth to witness the other two events. But, it's equally possible that the Elven Sundering did somehow change the nature of the universe backwards and forwards in time.

Even if standing at a deterministic viewpoint, it depends how you see the nature of time. Some people believe that time as humans experience it is not a true representation of time at all - all of time already exists, and the experience of a human life is just pushing play in a section of it. Others believe that time is continually being built, and the future doesn't yet exist until we (our current consciousnesses - there are no consciousnesses forward in time in this version) get there. This latter version allows for either determinism or free-will, and if taking up the latter, branching realities. However, what "free-will" means is very much up for debate in itself. If we take away genetics, and we take away our environment throughout our life, what is left?

And then of course the possibility of time-travel comes along and rumbles things up even more. Elliandreth viewing the past and future is one thing, but what about mages that travel back in time to change things? Netheril: Empire of Magic left it in the hands of the Dungeon Master as to whether or not it was possible to affect the timeline in any way, but the default assumed that the PCs were unable to make changes. Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves goes as to far as to say that some sages believe that time-travel magic will automatically prevent time travel from occurring if changes will be made, but again leaves it to the DM. However, it does say that if the DM allows changes, the time-travellers are forced to stay in that time, allowing for the possibility that history might right itself, because the PCs will never find out!

Essentially the writers seem to have been consistently careful throughout to avoid saying whether or not it's definitively possible to create alternative timelines, or if there's just one. And they've definitely avoided the determinism/free will argument, which is fair enough - discussion about the issue tends to draw in religion, and then things start to get uncomfortable for people. In fact, I think I'll stop there.

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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