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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  08:40:58  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Into my next random mulhorandi god. Apshai is mentioned off and on but has no proper basis in canon that I know of.

His insect depiction doesn't really fit the mulhorandi theme (which are animal headed gods not a purely insectoid god).

My initial thoughts are to link apshai to the spellweavers that inhabited this region long before the humans and sarrukh.

It could be that apshai was the last surviving spellweaver of the node that existed on Toril. Maybe Ra and Anu and Enlil encountered him in the Fuirgar. Or alternatively Apshai is the imaskari slave pidgin corruption of Jergals spellweaver name. The imaskari encountered Jergal long ago (see GKs article) and so maybe the slaves gave him a name and worshipped him sort of. That worship persisted in murghoms and semphar, so when mulhorand conquered them we have apshai reintroduced to the Mulan.

He could have a few shrines in murghoms that are actually spellweaver portals.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7509 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  15:10:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Well after a request for something on Tefnut I went off on a tangent and came up with the Temple of Lost Gods.

So Tefnut, Nut, Shu, and Ptah have no presence in Toril (according to canon), but that only works in the godcentric model of the realms.

In this version anyone can worship whoever they want (and receive spells, because you never know who you are receiving spells from). So if people wanted to worship Tefnut they could. But they don't.

So Tefnut had to either be unknown, or dead. So I'm killing Tefnut, Nut, and Shu off during the liberation of the Mulan from Imaskar.

Anubis survives to the Orcgate Wars (thanks to Tom Costa's article on Ancient Gods) because he is known as the guardian of dead gods and presumably was the god of death before Osiris became so in -1048 DR.

So Anubis establishes the Temple of Lost Gods in the Cliffs of Leaping Horses before the Orcgate Wars. A place guarded by his Divine Minions, where mulan could come to pay their respects to the long dead gods of Mulhorand.

Its location was lost following the civil war of Mulhorand (-1048 DR), and the reason is because the entire coastal shelf of Mulhorand is unstable (owing to the dwarves' use of the Elder Rune of Destruction long in the past). Every time the ship of the gods erupts or an earthquake strikes, a large chunk of Mulhorand's cliffs collapse into the sea (actually an entire section of the Underdark collapses so the sea floor lowers by a large chunk). The Temple of Lost Gods (and the settlement it was situated near) just fell into the sea one day. People have looked for it ever since but none have thought to look in the Alamber Sea for the temple.




Actually SOMEWHERE, I know there's mentioned a ruined temple of Ptah in the old empires region (think in southern Unther actually). I wish I could remember where, but I noted it a few years back on the forums. It may have been one of the online articles.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7509 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  15:26:26  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Into my next random mulhorandi god. Apshai is mentioned off and on but has no proper basis in canon that I know of.

His insect depiction doesn't really fit the mulhorandi theme (which are animal headed gods not a purely insectoid god).

My initial thoughts are to link apshai to the spellweavers that inhabited this region long before the humans and sarrukh.

It could be that apshai was the last surviving spellweaver of the node that existed on Toril. Maybe Ra and Anu and Enlil encountered him in the Fuirgar. Or alternatively Apshai is the imaskari slave pidgin corruption of Jergals spellweaver name. The imaskari encountered Jergal long ago (see GKs article) and so maybe the slaves gave him a name and worshipped him sort of. That worship persisted in murghoms and semphar, so when mulhorand conquered them we have apshai reintroduced to the Mulan.

He could have a few shrines in murghoms that are actually spellweaver portals.



Just curious for some clarification, so you know of no canon reference to Apshai for the realms, but you wanted to add one? Or is it the other way? I ask because IF there are some kind of canon references to Apshai, I'd be interested in using Apshai in a similar way you described (i.e. god of some insect like races). I would also note Apshai is a bit more beetle like than mantis like in the references I'm seeing, and might be more like a "scarab". However, it could be seen as an "eater of the dead"/carrion beetle, so it could fit with Jergal like that having a slightly different portrayal/form in this pantheon.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  15:39:28  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, the temple of the splendour of splendour is somewhat misplaced in my opinion.

Easily remedied though since it is only believed to exist in chessenta but no one has actually ever found it so how would they know which god it is dedicated to. And in a god centric model where a god has no presence in the realms, what would be the point of erecting a temple to him.

I'm going to make the temple to ptah be a portal to elsewhere and it can be dedicated to ptah or not. In a non god centric model people can build whatever temples they like wherever they like.

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  15:44:33  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are no canon references to apshai anywhere that I know of. But an article Tom Costa provided does have a write up on him so I'm going to put apshai into my version if only to spice up the otherwise stale mulhorandi pantheon.

I'm very glad you said he looks like a beetle. I tied the creation of scarabs to a flaw in the spellweaver rejuvenation process so now I can make apshai a hideous demigod like being who was once a spellweaver and his rejuvenation failed. Rather than be utterly destroyed however, apshais sentience persists in those scarabs beetles and he is now a swarm creature made of scarabs. Cheers sleeves

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2018 :  20:13:07  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Was randomly reading about Hadryllis, noticing that it was supposedly crafted by the gods, and then musing about its on and off connection with Mulhorand and Thay and Rashemen.

While doing this I randomly looked at the name of the sword backwards and it surprisingly made a real world and a nonsense word. Silly Rdah. D obviously cannot exist in that word structure, but if you make the D silent it could be a name of a godking.

Random thought for the day.

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2018 :  20:33:34  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Next random thought, 348 DR, outlaws from Mulhorand fleeing the godkings, settle Ulgarth.

Now I can think of only two groups of outlaws from Mulhorand, especially those that would particularly flee the godkings - Set's descendants, and Sebek's descendants.

Set was banished ages ago but his followers need not be excluded because they wandered for over a millennia before coming to Ulgarth. But Sebek's family were driven from Sekkar -400 DR, so perhaps they wandered a long time before reaching Ulgarth (maybe they first went to Shaar and joined with Eltabranar when it arose, then they moved to Durpar and moved on when the Mulhorand/Durpar coin war started, then moved on to Ulgarth.)

I'm sure I read somewhere about Ulgarth being a land of legendary men with the power of gods. If only I could find that now.

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2018 :  20:55:25  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Encountered a slight issue with naming. The House of Tholaunt is one of the noble houses of Mulhorand (now equated with the church of thoth, and likely the noble house Thoth founded).

The Divine Incarnation of Thoth is currently a man called Tholaunt and he has a cousin called Derlaunt.

Now either Mulhorand allows for some strange names and the Divine Incarnation's full name is Tholaunt Tholaunt, and his cousin is called Derlaunt Tholaunt. Or these are their family names and the first names are missing. I've chosen the latter and Tholaunt now has a first name and his family name is Tholaunt. Derlaunt also has a first name and is from a different noble house (the House of Derlaunt) and thus Derlaunt is his family name.


Also noted that Rezim, the vizier is uncle to the pharaoh. It specifically says that Rezim is not an incarnation so I'm starting to wonder why. From a skill/ability point of view Rezim is easily divine incarnation material. Intelligence and ambition wise he likely would have courted the power if it was desirable to him so why is he not the Divine Incarnation.

Could it be that Rezim was unsuitable. I'm discounting the divine selection process because I don't allow direct divine intervention. However I am of the opinion that the process of becoming a Divine Incarnation is fraught with danger and unsuccessful candidates are killed or altered (thus people believe the gods choose the successful candidate - although whether they do or not is not of import to me). Rezim does not seem to be altered by any curse from failing to become a divine incarnation.

That means that either Rezim was viewed as being unworthy to be pharaoh because of his personality traits (but they somehow viewed him suitable to become Rezim and the true power behind the throne) or Rezim refused to become Pharaoh. That would make him incredibly shrewd and noteworthy as I bet not many people refuse the chance to become king of a nation.

Or, because the title of Mulhorand seems to be at least partially hereditary (at least in recent years), then perhaps Rezim's dad was the younger son but had children earlier than his elder brother who did become pharaoh (unlikely as most kings are encouraged / forced to sire heirs as soon as possible - it is still a possibility though).


Any thoughts on Rezim. Also noted that according to Powers and Pantheons Rezim was removed as Vizier (presumably for his plots and machinations that brought shame to himself) in favour of Kalarzim (potentially a relative due to his name).

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5307 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2018 :  00:47:59  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always thought that there is "the" incarnation of each Mulhorandi deity with all the powers set out in FR10, but that there are also lesser incarnations who have a few abilities, boosted stats, etc. which make them above average. These lesser incarnations are all screened when "the" incarnation moves on, and is then replaced from their ranks. This is usually across familial lines, naturally. So it may well have been that Horustep III had a bunch of older brothers, cousins, etc. who for whatever reason weren't considered appropriate to receive the divine energy from the manifestation to make them "the" incarnation.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2018 :  07:31:29  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lesser incarnations are a good idea, although I do have to think of a name for them and I might change them somewhat so that the lesser incarnations are actually those planetouched who inherit special powers from their ancestor being a godking (the powers aren't always manifested and they can choose a divine incarnation from those who are not incarnations).

I've decided on it being a genetic boon because there need to be limits on the number of super heroes wandering any land and if they can create lesser super heroes without a khaledshran like elixir then what is the limiting factor, what is to stop them making armies of these super heroes.

Anyway, that aside, one of my original questions still stands. If Rezim was not worthy of becoming Pharaoh, whose bright idea was it to make him Vizier, a job which arguably has more power than the Pharaoh.

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Edited by - dazzlerdal on 05 Nov 2018 07:47:28
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2018 :  20:38:30  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've settled on the name Jemewalaran, meaning Kindred of the Gods.

They have recessive traits inherited from their godking ancestors. I figure each noble house gets 1 Jemewalaran in a generation.

They are favoured candidates for the Ritual of Oblaran because statistically the chance of the ritual failing is lower for Jemewalaran.

Rules wise they are essentially planetouched


Also decided on Rezim being a Jemewalaran, with the ability to influence minds with a thought. His skin glitters in the moonlight, but he has kept this a secret from everyone using makeup (and murdering those who find out). I'm thinking that he became Vizier on purpose to avoid becoming Pharaoh (he is a cousin to Rehorustep II), and delighted in influencing the young Akonhorus II. When Akonhorus got older and more self assured and more independent of Rezim's advice, it was convenient (for Rezim) that the pharaoh was murdered by cultists of Set and once again Rezim had a young pharaoh who was far easier to manage.

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Edited by - dazzlerdal on 05 Nov 2018 21:04:15
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7509 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2018 :  22:46:25  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I've always thought that there is "the" incarnation of each Mulhorandi deity with all the powers set out in FR10, but that there are also lesser incarnations who have a few abilities, boosted stats, etc. which make them above average. These lesser incarnations are all screened when "the" incarnation moves on, and is then replaced from their ranks. This is usually across familial lines, naturally. So it may well have been that Horustep III had a bunch of older brothers, cousins, etc. who for whatever reason weren't considered appropriate to receive the divine energy from the manifestation to make them "the" incarnation.

-- George Krashos




Yeah, this is what I have been leaning towards the last so many years, because of the strange references at times to "killed all the incarnations of Horus-Re" etc...

Also, the creation of an incarnation involves the priesthood and a ritual of some sort. I'd bet that this ritual involves the manifestation. So, I'm picturing something along the lines of the priesthood actually entering the place where the manifestation lives a few times per generation and being led in some kind of cooperative magic ritual that ends up endowing a member of the royal family with the power of a lesser incarnation. Probably when "the" incarnation has to be raised from a lesser incarnation it involves another ritual. This would work well as a pair of templates... or if using the pathfinder ruleset, the mythic levels from mythic adventures would seem tailored to this.

That being said, it might also be interesting if there are also "minor" incarnations as well, wherein royalty are infused as youngsters and this actually turns them into aasimar or tiefling via a ritual (in addition to those actually birthed via mating with a manifestation).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 05 Nov 2018 23:05:55
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2018 :  10:52:09  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've got two rituals so far. One to make a divine incarnation which involves the blood of the godking (when he was material) and one to make a divine minion (a mute slave that obeys orders from the church without question).

I'm not sure of the need or usefulness for another ritual to create a lesser incarnations. These incarnations are given special place in society which would immediately elevate them above normal priests and given the highly political nature of Mulhorand and it's churches I do not think they would invest resources into a minor augmented individual only to have that individual become more senior than themselves.

But that's just my take on it and id already decided on lesser incarnations being born and then chosen from that small group to become divine incarnations (elevate and already blessed individual to even greater power and make him the head of your church).

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2018 :  21:04:26  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So a few conundrums today.

1 - Weapon technology advanced greatly between -700 DR and -200 DR in Mulhorand. Why? What did the Mulan discover that prompted such experimentation and advancement. This snippet is mentioned in a paragraph regarding exploration of the ruins of Sekras so perhaps whatever they discovered is in that area or beyond it.

I'm leaning towards perhaps the Mulan coming into contact with gold dwarves again (I figure that the dwarves long since abandoned the Mulhorand region and headed north to Dareth - the godkings don't seem to have been all that nice to demihumans).
Around -700 DR is when Gilgeam becomes godking of Unther and around -690 DR I have him expanding south into the Shaar again to retake lost territory. This expansion destroyed aboveground dwarven outposts (like a southern High Shanatar) and drove many dwarves north into Mulhorand - the Great Rift is full - this is why the Great Rift hates Unther).
The dwarves don't reveal themselves immediately, they insinuate themselves into Mulhorand society by re-establishing the Church of Bes and mixing with the family of the Church of Geb).




2 - Southern Magic. I get that its a new magic script created to protect the secrets of Mulhorand's magic from Thayan wizards. What I don't get is how it can possibly succeed.

All spells must be written in this new script, all legitimate wizards in Mulhorand must therefore know the script and how to write and translate it. That's several thousand individuals at least who know this script and potentially ever other wizard and priest in service to other churches in Mulhorand, it is also widely used in Unther as well and some in Chessenta. How on Toril can a secret code known by 20000+ individuals remain a secret for 400 years from Thay and the rest of Faerun. How does the Church of Thoth control a magic script that is used outside of its own country.

At first I was thinking that perhaps the magic is written in normal magic script (priests of Thoth must know both Read Magic and Read Southern Magic before they join) and then it is coded into Southern Magic script. But that would limit its usefulness and availability and prevent wizards from using their spells.

So anyone have any ideas how this magic script is so widespread and yet so secret. I'm just having trouble reconciling it into something useful and functional. Its a bit like coming up with Esperanto, teaching it to thousands of linguists and then trying to keep it secret from linguists in the UK (although that is probably a bad analogy because Esperanto is ultimately unknown in this country).

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Demzer
Senior Scribe

658 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2018 :  23:01:16  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

2 - Southern Magic. I get that its a new magic script created to protect the secrets of Mulhorand's magic from Thayan wizards. What I don't get is how it can possibly succeed.

All spells must be written in this new script, all legitimate wizards in Mulhorand must therefore know the script and how to write and translate it. That's several thousand individuals at least who know this script and potentially ever other wizard and priest in service to other churches in Mulhorand, it is also widely used in Unther as well and some in Chessenta. How on Toril can a secret code known by 20000+ individuals remain a secret for 400 years from Thay and the rest of Faerun. How does the Church of Thoth control a magic script that is used outside of its own country.

At first I was thinking that perhaps the magic is written in normal magic script (priests of Thoth must know both Read Magic and Read Southern Magic before they join) and then it is coded into Southern Magic script. But that would limit its usefulness and availability and prevent wizards from using their spells.

So anyone have any ideas how this magic script is so widespread and yet so secret. I'm just having trouble reconciling it into something useful and functional. Its a bit like coming up with Esperanto, teaching it to thousands of linguists and then trying to keep it secret from linguists in the UK (although that is probably a bad analogy because Esperanto is ultimately unknown in this country).



Just going off memory but the crux of the problem here is that originally Southern Magic was not just a way to code the spells but actually a blending of divine and arcane magic. It was never further developed in canon so it's interpretation devolved into the one that raises your logical questions.

To try and keep it in line with the original you may want to have the Church of Thoth (and those of Isis and Set? don't know ...) actually controlling the thing through rituals that bind southern's practitioners of magic to the church (kind of like a low intensity geas/quest effect, maybe?).
Schematically the whole thing may be setup like this:
- in Mulhorand all practitioners of the Art have to register with the Church of Thoth;
- when they do they are taught the code, given coded spellbooks and the binding is imposed, to use their spellbooks they have to recite orisons or perform minor rituals to appease Thoth, failure to do so means failure in translating the code (think of it like clerics that have to pray "for spells" at certain times). Furthermore all arcane scripts of Mulhorand follow the code, so either the Mulhorandi spellcaster follow suits or goes away;
- this way the Church of Thoth (and Thoth himself, but you will not like this) can withhold magic from any one Mulhorandi spellcaster on a whim, obviously the Church of Thoth doesn't care about monitoring each and every single spellcaster of the country, they are satisfied with the boost in prayer/recognition and take action only when the spellcasters actually go rogue on Mulhorand or mess up in other big ways (in other words, they actually don't have complete control over all spellcasters);
- for historical and religious reasons, Southern Magic in this implementation is completely out of reach from the Red Wizards (Thoth himself ... or the binding imposed by the clergy as safeguards on the system, deny the Red Wizards the possibility to understand the code reliably);
- some spellcasters of Chessenta and Unther adopt the same strategy by throwing their lot with the local branch of the Church of Thoth under his regional aliases because it's as good a technique as any to keep their secrets from the enemies, with the added bonus of being outside Mulhorand proper and thus evading much of the strictures and scrutiny enforced by the Church of Thoth;
- Mystra can stuff her complaints where the sun doesn't shine because the Mulhorandi pantheon is indipendent (cue "haha!" from Nelson of the Simpsons);
[BONUS: Mystra and Azuth secretly work with a fraction of Red Wizards to actually crack the code and break the Thothian bindings]
[BONUS: the prayer-like thing would work for spontaneous spellcasting classes too (thus avoiding the problem of Mulhorandi sorcerers actually being able to cast spells without the code but somehow requiring it for writing scrolls), the merging of arcane and divine would help explaining some of the 3.X (prestige) classes that had spells from cleric/fvs and sorcerer/wizard lists, druids in Mulhorand, mystic theurges and all the weirdos that populate the Church of Isis in my Realms and maybe dread necromancers of Osiris too ... ops ...]

This is just a random series of thought, ignore it or otherwise do with it as you please

Edited by - Demzer on 06 Nov 2018 23:08:21
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2018 :  08:06:35  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well I already have all magic users registered with the church of thoth unless they are already a priest of another church of Mulhorand.

I kind of like the idea of a mutable magic script which changes depending upon the words that are spoken so if you didn't recite the 13 prayers of thoth or Horus-'re before attempting to write or read the spell then you get an incorrect translation.

Faithful priests and wizards will have no problem with the script because they always recite the 13 prayers (I just picked a random number). But the anti mulhorandi Thayvians would never want to do such a think, nor would any normal wizard even think he had to recite a prayer to make the script usable. Most wizards would focus only on stealing the script rather than the religious practices spoken alongside it.


Older and more experienced spellcasters know the truth but are kept a close eye on anyway.

The only question is why does it work in Unther and chessenta but nowhere else. Maybe it unintentionally working for them. Maybe thoth created it to work for the prayers of any of the Mulan gods (mention their names a certain number of times and it works) or maybe there is a particular phrase, hand movement, and body position that all the Mulan do unintentionally when praying and that activates the script.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 07 Nov 2018 :  21:12:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Halruaans already cracked the code on southern magic back in 2nd edition.

2nd edition Shining South - page 8
Twenty years ago, the necromancer Random ignited the latest influx of magic. This strange wizard had finally cracked the Southern Magic puzzle. He returned to Halruaa with a copy of the spell read Southern Magic. Over the next five years he made and sold numerous copies of the spell before he abruptly dropped out of sight. Most people believe Random is mad, and the country is better off without him. There is, however, concern that he may reveal secret and powerful Halruan magic. A team of mages has been dispatched by the Council of Elders to either fetch him back, or silence him forever.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 07 Nov 2018 :  21:50:03  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good spot, I think it's also a quest hook in the old empires book that someone might have copies of that spell for sale.

I would imagine many copies have been stolen over the centuries, it's amazing it hasn't been cracked already. Enigma lasted only a couple of years before it was cracked by an enemy. I suppose read southern magic is written in thothian script which makes it more difficult but of it were just a linguistic cipher alone it wouldn't have lasted two decades.

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George Krashos
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Posted - 08 Nov 2018 :  13:40:38  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With "read magic" being discarded by latter editions of the game, wizards really got a free kick in terms of learning new spells. Southern magic is really just a group of spells written in a different arcane style. As such, in terms of 5E game mechanics, without the requisite training in "Southern Magic" I would have an attempt to transcribe a Southern magic spell from a spellbook into your spellbook require an Intelligence (Arcana) check just like when you try and transcribe a spell from a scroll into your spellbook (DMG, p.200). If trying to transcribe a Southern magic spell from a scroll into your spellbook, I would give you disadvantage on the check if you don't have the requisite training. Of course the issue that then arises is what does that "training" entail? Would it be an arcane tradition? A feat? Or maybe it's just some sort of ritual where you "charge" the player XP for the training. An interesting topic given the changes in the game mechanics.

-- George Krashos

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

Edited by - George Krashos on 08 Nov 2018 13:41:00
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sleyvas
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Posted - 08 Nov 2018 :  14:48:16  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Good spot, I think it's also a quest hook in the old empires book that someone might have copies of that spell for sale.

I would imagine many copies have been stolen over the centuries, it's amazing it hasn't been cracked already. Enigma lasted only a couple of years before it was cracked by an enemy. I suppose read southern magic is written in thothian script which makes it more difficult but of it were just a linguistic cipher alone it wouldn't have lasted two decades.



Bear in mind, reading magic in earlier editions wasn't so much a learned skill as a casting of a spell to allow interpreting of the arcane symbology. In essence, I would see it somewhat in comparison to Apple and Microsoft some 30 years ago. How many Microsoft people were dying to port over apple apps (and by apps, I mean PC apps, not the phone stuff that DID take off)? Not that many. They had more than enough Microsoft PC apps that they didn't need apple's apps. Meanwhile, the apple people were touting their stuff and saying how great they were... and noone cared until they came out with an iPOD and their other I stuff 15 years later. Other companies similar to Apple (such as commodore) died out due to lack of interest.

Same thing. Sure, the Mulan wizards had their own spells... but the vast majority of wizards had hundreds of other spells that they needed to worry about getting ahold of and scribing. So, when you add on top of it that they had to get ahold of another version of read magic just to interpret the Mulan spells, a lot of them were probably like "screw it, I'm gonna go learn spelltrap". Meanwhile, just like the apple people were... those Mulans were touting how GREAT their system was.... meanwhile they were also busily learning both standard and "southern" magic. Eventually someone actually took an interest in their system, much as hackers are in our own society, and he decided to port their stuff over just to cheese them off.

Oh, and just to also bear in mind... man, when these spell system references were written in 2nd edition... guess which O/S's were competing hot and heavy? Gaming often mirrors reality in strange ways.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 08 Nov 2018 14:53:18
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 08 Nov 2018 :  14:52:24  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I made my own mechanics that deals with skills slightly differently.

Your skill in languages as a number applies to your general aptitude. If you are clever you can probably pick out the odd word from languages that are closely related which is a base dc 10 for a single word. If the language is from a different family then the dc increases. If you are trying to translate a saying the dc increases, a whole sentence it increases again.

If you are trained in linguistics you get a bonus to your checks but this only applies to languages that you are specialised in (pick a specialisation when you are trained, others you acquire through use or training).

so a normal person would be very unlikely to recognise a single word of thothian arcane script. Someone trained in languages might recognise a word or two of thothian script but a whole sentence would be difficult. Someone specialised in southern magic with high enough skill doesn't even need to make the check because they already know how to read and write in that language.

Now read magic like a languages spell should boost the skill check of the recipient so he is able to understand more than he normally would. But given how read magic and read southern magic worked originally it is still very easy for someone to break the southern magic code.

I'm wondering a few things. Magic script is inherently magical, mage sigils can have unique properties and meanings and cause problems if used falsely. What if the Weave has the option to define a magic script within it. It certainly seems possible that one can add spells into the weave (Netheril added many and then lost access to them), the numeral script is different to normal arcane script and attuned to illusion magic. What if Thoth found a way to create a new magical script within the weave (imaskarcana) and part of having that script work correctly is one of these religious phrases or names or power words common to the Mulan language.

Thus a read southern magic spell on it's own or skill with languages on it's own wouldn't work unless someone also adhered to the Mulan customs and language. That would protect it more from foreigners trying to steal it.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 08 Nov 2018 :  15:04:56  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

With "read magic" being discarded by latter editions of the game, wizards really got a free kick in terms of learning new spells. Southern magic is really just a group of spells written in a different arcane style. As such, in terms of 5E game mechanics, without the requisite training in "Southern Magic" I would have an attempt to transcribe a Southern magic spell from a spellbook into your spellbook require an Intelligence (Arcana) check just like when you try and transcribe a spell from a scroll into your spellbook (DMG, p.200). If trying to transcribe a Southern magic spell from a scroll into your spellbook, I would give you disadvantage on the check if you don't have the requisite training. Of course the issue that then arises is what does that "training" entail? Would it be an arcane tradition? A feat? Or maybe it's just some sort of ritual where you "charge" the player XP for the training. An interesting topic given the changes in the game mechanics.

-- George Krashos



I like this version of mechanic for 5e. This is a very good use of disadvantage in my book. Throwing in a penalty as well could very much make sense, just to really make it seem alien. This could come in two parts A) disadvantage because they use different symbology in the form of how they do their spell "math" and then B) maybe a second penalty comes in if you don't know how to read the Mulhorandi language itself, which is an entirely different style of language since its hieroglyphic.


So, in essence, a really smart person may figure out the "math" symbol conversations, but he can't understand the "language" itself which may give verbal warnings or specify things in a context that pure spell "math" doesn't quantify. Another person may be able to read the language, but have troubles with the "math". Using something like comprehend languages might help easily remove the penalty but not the disadvantage as well. Combining the two might explain away why so few people actually gave a damn enough to actually interpret their spells, and since they were already taught the Mulhorandi language it also would mean that they wouldn't suffer at least part of the penalty and would just need to understand the "math" symbol conversions.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 09 Nov 2018 :  13:01:36  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So onto the guild of scribes next.

Guilds are very powerful in mulhorand. I figure that Mulhorands centralised government is more like modern nation states than the feudal monarchies found elsewhere in faerun. Modern nation states tend to prefer working with large national organisations than smaller local ones So I figure the same is true in mulhorand.

Large guilds have arisen for various professions (scribes guild, miners guild, etc) to easily provide a workforce for the government institution (in this case a church of mulhorand) and also to protect the members of the guild.

So the guild of scribes provides ease of recruitment for the various churches of Mulhorand, and at the same time ensures it's members are treated fairly else the church cannot get anymore scribes.

The guild will be a hotbed of politics as it provides the bureaucrats of Mulhorands civil service that are required to interpret the vague orders of the priesthood politicians (according to old empires), so the scribes are indirectly encouraged to sabotage rival politicians and engage in intrigue.

Given the power the guild of scribes holds, I'm having the priesthood themselves voluntarily become members so they can benefit from better contacts in the civil service and protection from non member rival priests. This is why the guild of scribes is so big and so famous.


Can't think of any juicy magic items for a guild of scribes, but hopefully lots of intrigue and plothooks. I might make the priest members of the guild of scribes form the conservative factions in each priesthood (the guild of scribes would benefit most from preserving the status quo).

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 09 Nov 2018 :  21:32:43  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, the royal regalia of Mulhorand. The crown of the pharaoh is the most obvious one.

Any speculation on history, magic powers, etc.

I was going to link it to regalia of imaskar but that regalia is probably the imaskarcana. Plus I already used the flail of the desertkings and the circle of the added as regalia of raurin and that was founded by the Mulan before mulhorand so it means the crown of the pharaoh is new to the Mulan when mulhorand is founded.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 13 Nov 2018 :  09:37:24  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thinking up of a name for the variant of reptileman that I'm creating for okoth that is a bit like yuan-ti in its creation, but is otherwise unrelated.

I'm thinking of making them sandy coloured and a bit like a desert viper (for the abominations).

I might name them oko-ti or roko-ti or perhaps even something that is sarrukh for snake man (perhaps ti means man).

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