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Kanaric
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2017 :  01:44:17  Show Profile Send Kanaric a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So i'm running a campaign right now that started in 1371, it's 1372 now.

So we started playing in 5e's timeline doing Princes of the Apocalypse and the players wanted to play pre-spellplague but yet keep the same characters. I came up with a plot where an orb of destruction was activated and it sent the characters back in time to 1371.

So it's been about a year of playing now, most characters have died, they started an organization to prepare for or prevent the spellplague and they have made progress on the "prevent" route. However while this organization exists only 1 PC from the "future" still exists and he worships Shar secretly.

Basically they plan on using a magic item acquired from the Palace of the Purple Emperor to slay the god Cyric. The Shar player wants to slay Mystra, again, but give her powers to Shar.

So i'm wondering aside the "historical route" if he slays Mystra and Shar gains control of the weave would would an evil "Mystra" possibly result in? Alternatively if Cyric manages to steal the weave?

I get here are no real answers here i'm just curious on the potential scenarios of a evil god of magic. Particularly these two.

edit: I should add that what this organization WANTS to do is kill cyric, give a chosen of mystra some of his powers and godhood (since they are at Waterdeep some have suggested Halaster since he was recently "cured"), and let the rest go to whoever.

Edited by - Kanaric on 30 Jul 2017 01:46:10

Zeromaru X
Senior Scribe

Colombia
561 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2017 :  02:26:14  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It really depends of how much you want to handle "canon". If we go by novels, the Spellplague was going to happen, Mystra dead or not (Elminster Enraged). The Weave had become too much unstable, and according to Mystra, this was part of a cicle that was going to happen "again and again" (so, we can expect a new Spellplague in a few thousand years in the future, I guess).

So, a Shar or Cyric controlling the weave, maybe will not be able to stop the Spellplague... or can trigger something even more terrible. But, only if you go by canon, that is.

As for, how the world will be with evil gods of magic? A place where only the followers of those gods can use magic, seeing that the Weave can cut access to all magic if a god controlling the Weave wants to (already happened, in the Avatar novels).

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 30 Jul 2017 02:29:25
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Kanaric
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2017 :  02:36:30  Show Profile Send Kanaric a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

It really depends of how much you want to handle "canon". If we go by novels, the Spellplague was going to happen, Mystra dead or not (Elminster Enraged). The Weave had become too much unstable, and according to Mystra, this was part of a cicle that was going to happen "again and again" (so, we can expect a new Spellplague in a few thousand years in the future, I guess).

So, a Shar or Cyric controlling the weave, maybe will not be able to stop the Spellplague... or can trigger something even more terrible. But, only if you go by canon, that is.

As for, how the world will be with evil gods of magic? A place where only the followers of those gods can use magic, seeing that the Weave can cut access to all magic if a god controlling the Weave wants to (already happened, in the Avatar novels).



Well as far as denying magic the other gods pretty much "intervene" to prevent Mystra from doing that pretty much. Also wouldn't more people using magic increase Cyric/Shar's (whoever controls it) power?
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Aldrick
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909 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2017 :  03:18:30  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This sounds awesome.

I did something similar in my Realms at the time 4th Edition came out. I was so frustrated with the canon at that point that I decided to break with it entirely, and I also wanted a different theme for the world. 'The Forsaken Realms' is what I called it.

In my version of events the Karsestone--the heart of Karsus--was used to connect Shar to the Weave itself. Shar had one of her followers journey into the ruins of Darkwatch/Tsornyl. Once there the priest allowed Moander's essence to corrupt him, and then once corrupted used the Shadow Weave and the Karsestone to help Moander's corruption to "fill the voids between the Weave" (basically he was corrupting the Shadow Weave). Shar then relinquished control over the Shadow Weave, causing it to "snap back" to Mystra--giving her control over the entire Weave once more. (The Shadow Weave was never really separate from the Weave itself, it was just part of the control Shar seized during the fall of Netheril.)

Anyway, this caused Moander's corruption to immediately overwhelm the Weave. Since the Weave was Mystra's body, it was the equivalent of being immediately cover in deadly cancer... except this cancer does not kill you, it twists and warps you. That is what happened--Moanders essence merged with that of Mystra. She was driven insane and the Weave itself was permanently tainted. Her body became a twisted bloated monstrosity, a twisted abomination, and similar things began to happen to wizards who used magic.

I was inspired by Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying and the Wheel of Time. The Weave was tainted in a similar way that saidin, the male half of the One Power, was tainted by the Dark One in the Wheel of Time series. Being inspired by WFRP meant Mystra became a Tzeentch-like deity. Those who used the Weave for magic were physically and mentally corrupted--driven insane and mutated physically. That is what the Spellplague was in my Realms--a literal plague, where wizards went insane, threatening everything.

The world basically became very post-apocalyptic and dark.

I do not think, based on the path you are traveling, that your world will be as dark. However, the end result will still be bad.

If Shar gains control over the Weave, then I believe those who use it without her blessing will slowly be driven insane. In the same way Chauntea is sometimes associated with things like fertility, even though it is not part of her portfolio, Shar is associated with insanity and madness. By contrast, Selunites take care of the mentally ill.

Basically, regardless of whether or not Cyric or Shar gets it, the impact on Weave users will be the same--they will go insane. If Cyric gets it they will go insane, likely rather quickly, because I believe he would go insane with that much power. There will be lots of chaos and lots of strife--no one will be safe. If Shar gets it then it will be a much slower burn. She will be able to control it, the insanity will be intentional, and the fall out will be methodically unrolled as to cause maximum damage and chaos.

Another difference between the two is that Cyric getting control has a better outcome for the world. If you start killing Weave users then the chaos can potentially be brought to a halt. Things just get shattered and broken in that scenario. Post-apocalyptic, but there is a "post." If Shar gets control then it is the beginning of the end. There is no post-apocalypse. There is just the Apocalypse and lights out--literally. I imagine a situation where the sun literally starts to dim and go dark over time, the world getting colder and colder. I imagine the Great Glacier and the High Ice spreading across the entire planet, which will eventually be left in total darkness.

For Shar's "ending" I am imagining something along the lines of Ithlinne's Prophecy and the White Frost from the Witcher games. So, basically, lights out--literally--the end. However, not all at once. She would want to make it slow and drawn out so that everyone knows the end is nigh, that every living creature is aware of all that it is about to lose and then is overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness. If she can draw out the suffering long enough where people start begging and pleading for death, this would please her greatly. She would welcome them with open arms into oblivion, painlessly ending their suffering.

That is basically how I see the end, with Shar in control of the Weave.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 30 Jul 2017 :  15:10:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agreed that Shar would destroy all of Realmspace, if she was to get control of the Weave -- her ultimate goal is to return to the nothingness that existed before the creation of everything else. Not destruction for the sake of destruction, but destruction as a restoration of when she was happiest.

That said, I don't think she'd draw it out. Not only would she gain nothing from this, but this would also keep her from the state of nothingness she desires. She would punish herself if she didn't end everything immediately.

Here's something to else consider: if Shar or any other evil deity gets control of the Weave, it is game over for all other deities. We've already seen that Mystra can cut deities off from the Weave, essentially leaving them powerless. An evil deity wouldn't hesitate to do the same, leaving all other deities powerless against them -- and without being able to aid their followers, those deities would dwindle and die from the resultant loss of faith.

Of course, this is assuming the deity isn't Shar and doesn't destroy everything immediately. Bane, for example, would more likely crush all the other deities and then sit back and enjoy total and eternal subjugation of all peoples.

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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2017 :  17:01:36  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Agreed that Shar would destroy all of Realmspace, if she was to get control of the Weave -- her ultimate goal is to return to the nothingness that existed before the creation of everything else. Not destruction for the sake of destruction, but destruction as a restoration of when she was happiest.

That said, I don't think she'd draw it out. Not only would she gain nothing from this, but this would also keep her from the state of nothingness she desires. She would punish herself if she didn't end everything immediately.


I think she would draw it out for two reasons.

First, I do not think simply having control over the Weave gives Shar--or any other deity--the ability to simply erase existence (which is what she would prefer). I think the best outcome that she could hope for is simply killing every living and sentient being in existence. That is why I think the slow darkening of the sun, the spreading of the glaciers, and the planet is left in permanent darkness and endless winter is the most likely outcome. It's the most efficient way for her to achieve the outcome.

Second, Shar is a being that feeds upon hopelessness and loss. These are the only real emotions that Shar is truly capable of understanding. She is at her strongest and most powerful when mortals lose their will to live and are ready to embrace the oblivion that she craves to create. As the endless winters come, and things stop growing, starvation will begin to spread across the world. Parents will murder their own children, in order to spare them the slower death, and then will kill themselves. That is basically how I see it ending.
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Kanaric
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2017 :  20:00:11  Show Profile Send Kanaric a Private Message  Reply with Quote
These are some very interesting scenarios, i'll have to see what my players end up doing lol.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30084 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2017 :  20:40:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Agreed that Shar would destroy all of Realmspace, if she was to get control of the Weave -- her ultimate goal is to return to the nothingness that existed before the creation of everything else. Not destruction for the sake of destruction, but destruction as a restoration of when she was happiest.

That said, I don't think she'd draw it out. Not only would she gain nothing from this, but this would also keep her from the state of nothingness she desires. She would punish herself if she didn't end everything immediately.


I think she would draw it out for two reasons.

First, I do not think simply having control over the Weave gives Shar--or any other deity--the ability to simply erase existence (which is what she would prefer). I think the best outcome that she could hope for is simply killing every living and sentient being in existence. That is why I think the slow darkening of the sun, the spreading of the glaciers, and the planet is left in permanent darkness and endless winter is the most likely outcome. It's the most efficient way for her to achieve the outcome.

Second, Shar is a being that feeds upon hopelessness and loss. These are the only real emotions that Shar is truly capable of understanding. She is at her strongest and most powerful when mortals lose their will to live and are ready to embrace the oblivion that she craves to create. As the endless winters come, and things stop growing, starvation will begin to spread across the world. Parents will murder their own children, in order to spare them the slower death, and then will kill themselves. That is basically how I see it ending.



I didn't say that control over the Weave gives power to erase existence -- but it does give power to remove all opposition to her plans. Simply having control of the Weave would make her more powerful than all the rest of the deities, because she could cut them off.

And it's canon that Shar wants to return to the nothingness that once existed. She has literally nothing to gain by drawing it out, other than punishing herself.

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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2017 :  22:35:45  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I didn't say that control over the Weave gives power to erase existence -- but it does give power to remove all opposition to her plans. Simply having control of the Weave would make her more powerful than all the rest of the deities, because she could cut them off.

And it's canon that Shar wants to return to the nothingness that once existed. She has literally nothing to gain by drawing it out, other than punishing herself.


Oh, with all of that I definitely agree. I thought in your previous post you were implying that once she got control of the Weave she could snap her fingers and end it there. That would be the merciful ending.

If someone is foolish enough to help Shar "win" they deserve a suitable ending--they need time to feel regret over their actions, experience plenty of loss, and then follow all that up with a heavy helping of nihilistic hopelessness.
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Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
114 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2017 :  10:19:02  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Read any "darker" fantasy where the evil masterminds occationally "wins", like Brandon Sanderson or Stephen Donaldson? An evil god of Magic, is actually, possibly just a start of an adventure. Rebels might fight back, the new god might take a long time to do her deeds, specially since any surviving "Magic" god would fight, maybe the Harpers or someone would receive some means to use a Secret "light weave" made by surviving Magic gods (Corelleon, Azuth, Selune too maybe, etc.
The moon becoming weaker, and the "good" Magic fades as the weave slowly turns to the Dark Weave.

Another possibility: for the long term, if this devlop, you could use the "Dark Moon Heresy" for a coming plot: Selune and Shar, is actually two sides of the same deity. So taking Control of the Magic, and if the old hints in lore, it is a Connection between Selune and Mystra, Shar have actually stolen from her self. Remember: I think Whooly is right; Shar wants darkness, not just Magic. This makes for some good plot twists.


Possibilities, is to introduce one or two means for "fixing" Magic, or Shar might be unable to actually do what she wants, without attacking Selune, who would fight her. If Shar and Mysta too is some sort of "Divine twin" or two faces of one superdeity, Shar might be as unable to actually become the Godess of Magic, just the godess of the Dark Weave. So the world goes slowly to darkness, Magic fades, more "Dark Sun" ish Magic, etc.

Sounds fun, tbh. Lots of possibilites. Killing Mystra might actually become a plot point for furture adventures, when the players possibly wants to save the world.

Edited by - Starshade on 01 Aug 2017 10:42:29
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Morgan Coldsoul
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USA
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Posted - 02 Aug 2017 :  16:15:32  Show Profile  Visit Morgan Coldsoul's Homepage Send Morgan Coldsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It sounds like you've got a lot of different possibilities here, but honestly my primary advice would be to avoid killing Mystra if at all possible. I think it would be way more engaging to see a battle between two gods for control of the Weave, or to spin it off into an adventure to help a greatly reduced Mystra try and recover her powers, etc. Killing Mystra is played out in the Realms and probably the strongest factor in my own decision to reject 4e (both as a mechanical system and as canon). It's been done and it's tired; the Spellplague isn't interesting. If you've sent your PCs back in time, then even with many characters dead you still have an enormous amount of freedom and potential.

Given your characters have been "sent back" to 1371/2, you pretty much have carte blanche to do something more creative than the actual Spellplague. First thing that jumps to mind is that the SP is a lie created by Cyric; maybe it never happened, maybe it's all a plot or a deception, a dream they don't remember clearly. Maybe timelines got messed up and it doesn't happen in this one, time travel is a tricky thing. Cyric could be manipulating people by making them think that future is going to happen so they'll help him unknowingly accomplish some other goal (such as trying to kill Mystra and empower Shar). That's all barebones sort of spitballing, just hooks you could build off of, but you get the idea. Maybe Shar actually made the whole thing up so she could blame Cyric and throw folks onto the wrong trail while she puppets them to help her remove him as an obstacle in her fight with Mystra. Who knows? Time travel makes anything possible.

I realize this isn't directly answering OP's question as much as it could be... But the main thing is: There's always something more fun to do than killing Mystra. Killing Mystra is boring, particularly if your players know anything about the Realms. You've given yourself a blank canvas, so if there are going to be Weave/god of magic shenanigans, literally almost anything else you do other than that is going to be something cool and memorable, because it'll be a big deal.

I guess I shouldn't leave it hanging there with the acknowledgment that I'm being tangential... Hmm. Well, if Cyric got control of the Weave, somehow, I think you could make a heck of an adventure (including setting the stage for future campaigns) by having him be unable to control it properly. One of Cyric's defining traits is that he's not the hot stuff he thinks he is; lots of stuff could happen, from magic starting to run wild and become uncontrolled to the Weave actually consuming a god who's inexperienced with wielding its power. Cyric could find himself in a situation where he's slowly (or quickly!) dying and the PCs have to help reinstate Mystra or otherwise fix the whole scenario... The Weave could become a conduit for/flooded with Cyric's divine power, leaking out into the Realms to create a dream world, like pockets or even blankets of wild magic, except it's lies, illusions, parallel realities. That would go with his portfolio, and he'd be incapable of acknowledging that he's screwing everything up, since he believes himself to be the best thing since sliced bread.

If Shar managed to snare the Weave, I think Wooly Rupert has the right idea: She'd want to twist its power to destroy Realmspace. If you want a slow death situation, though (because your characters would of course need a chance to save the world, and ideally your Shar-worshiping PC might need a window for buyer's remorse, as it were), then it could take her a while to fully master the Weave. Maybe her own plans get in her way, and the Shadow Weave she's started cultivating like a disease keeps her from just merging with or consuming the real Weave because it's already using so much of her power. She has to either finish the Shadow Weave and let it infect the true Weave completely so she can command it, like cordyceps fungus...or abandon the Shadow Weave and reclaim the energy she used to build it so she's strong enough to conquer the true Weave. Both scenarios would take time, but you'd get to decide how much, and it could put your campaign on a clock and help create an atmosphere of urgency. The slow buildup to a very final ending is generally a better final chapter than a sudden rush into a lingering finale.

In the battle between good and evil...evil gets better clothes.
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Cyrinishad
Learned Scribe

247 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2017 :  16:36:46  Show Profile Send Cyrinishad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Morgan Coldsoul

Well, if Cyric got control of the Weave, somehow, I think you could make a heck of an adventure (including setting the stage for future campaigns) by having him be unable to control it properly. One of Cyric's defining traits is that he's not the hot stuff he thinks he is; lots of stuff could happen, from magic starting to run wild and become uncontrolled to the Weave actually consuming a god who's inexperienced with wielding its power. Cyric could find himself in a situation where he's slowly (or quickly!) dying and the PCs have to help reinstate Mystra or otherwise fix the whole scenario... The Weave could become a conduit for/flooded with Cyric's divine power, leaking out into the Realms to create a dream world, like pockets or even blankets of wild magic, except it's lies, illusions, parallel realities. That would go with his portfolio, and he'd be incapable of acknowledging that he's screwing everything up, since he believes himself to be the best thing since sliced bread.



This is a tremendous scenario, I like it...

P.S. Cyric is totally the hot stuff he thinks he is, would have perfect control over the Weave... and is even better than bread itself!

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. -Socrates

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss
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LordofBones
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419 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2017 :  08:25:49  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With the obvious exceptions of Shar and Cyric, an evil deity of magic isn't going to make or break the setting. Velsharoon becoming greater deity of magic means that Szass is in trouble and the Chosen have to watch their backs, but otherwise other than necromancy rising to prominence and undead becoming a loud minority, nothing's going to change much. Sure, magic will be seen as more destructive or dominating or just plain creepy, but other pantheons have evil deities of magic and they're going on just fine.

Otherwise, life goes on in the Realms.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

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Posted - 04 Aug 2017 :  13:40:19  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

With the obvious exceptions of Shar and Cyric, an evil deity of magic isn't going to make or break the setting. Velsharoon becoming greater deity of magic means that Szass is in trouble and the Chosen have to watch their backs, but otherwise other than necromancy rising to prominence and undead becoming a loud minority, nothing's going to change much. Sure, magic will be seen as more destructive or dominating or just plain creepy, but other pantheons have evil deities of magic and they're going on just fine.

Otherwise, life goes on in the Realms.



Its kind of interesting that you say that, because my plans for having the sub-lords of magic helping Mystra to heal has a combination of both evil and good and neutral lords of various sorts of magic all working together amicably. Their focus isn't on their alignment, but rather their portfolio. Though some may attempt to gain some extra power for themselves or something, they aren't just out for themselves, and they also realize the gains of having multiple individuals each holding some portion of the reins of magic to help stop these magical catastrophes in the future.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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