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Shadowsoul
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  00:10:19  Show Profile Send Shadowsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
While reading the Volo's Guide to Monsters, I came upon the entry for the Spawn of Kyuss. I always thought Kyuss was from generic D&D. How would he fit into the Realms?

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
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Seethyr
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  00:29:13  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Shadowsoul

While reading the Volo's Guide to Monsters, I came upon the entry for the Spawn of Kyuss. I always thought Kyuss was from generic D&D. How would he fit into the Realms?



Considering the connection to Orcus, maybe he was a high priest from Vaasa? Maybe Zhengyi’s predecessor or mentor even?

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George Krashos
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  00:32:37  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't remember which Paizo Adventure Path it was that featured Kyuss, but I recall that Eric Boyd did a piece on featuring that adventure in the Realms which dealt with how Kyuss fits in.

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Kessalin
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  01:19:48  Show Profile Send Kessalin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It was the Age of Worms, in Dungeon Magazine. Based on that, digging through Dragon Magazines from that same time should give you the answers you're looking for.
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Zeromaru X
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  01:49:13  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The "Elder Evils" sourcebook also has ideas in how to incorporate Kyuss in various settings, including the Realms.

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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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  03:11:01  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kyuss is out of the Greyhawk setting. I can't remember the original source but it goes WAY back, at least to the From The Ashes boxed set, probably further. Like so many other things, they are all brought together through the greater D&D universe, and in recent editions, tied in directly. Sons of Kyuss go all the way back to the original Fiend Folio.

None of this does much of anything to answer how he fits into the Realms. Kyuss is only a demigod, and as such I'd say he fits without any problem. I would make his sphere of influence be the putrefaction of dead and undead tissue, and creatures that consume it (like his worms). He would originally be a servant of Jergal, then of Myrkul, then of Kelemvor. The only issue i have with all this is his relationship with Moander, another minor god of decay who also has some relationships with worms.
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  03:13:59  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, if you're the DM, play some Isolation Desolation the first time your players encounter sons of Kyuss to add to the general experience :)
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Shadowsoul
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  07:21:19  Show Profile Send Shadowsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info. The only problem I'm having is the fact that he hasn't been mentioned in Realm's past, with good reason. Someone like Kyuss would have stood out had he not beem shoe horned into the Realms by the current edition. This is why just throwing anything into the Realms doesn't fit.

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
#8213; J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  07:45:24  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not necessarily. As I said, he is only a demigod, which means no Avatars per se. Perhaps he's locked away somewhere like Moander was. Maybe he was an ancient lich that achieved a measure of godliness before his rivals locked him up someplace.
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KanzenAU
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  08:13:15  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I take VGtM as a core D&D book more than a Realms-specific book. It has sidebars about how some things fot into the Realms (eg. The tabaxi sidebar), implying it’s not all meant to be taken as specific to the Realms. So Kyuss being mentioned in the book doesn’t mean he’s in the Realms.

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Markustay
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  08:36:24  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, he is multispheric, as is Nerull* now (thanks to the connection to the Raven Queen, not to mention all the 4e over-cosmology lore). I think it would be fairly easy to say that both powers (and I'd even lump Vecna in here for good measure) have always been aware of the Realms, but they were more concerned with 'matters elsewhere'. Torillians might think they're the most important thing in the universe, but maybe not everyone does.

Then Asmodeus gets a hold of Azuth and causes the planes to realign, and suddenly these powers who had been ambivalent about Toril before have suddenly become more attentive. Vecna's arch-rival has always been Iuz, and Iuz is the son of Graz'zt... who kidnapped Waukeen during the ToT. The connections were always there. And since tRQ is not part of the Realms, and she got her power from Nerull - another 'Greyhawk' (really 'core') deity, and one that's at-odds with Vecna - you can see how Toril just became the interdimensional 'hot spot' for planer intrigue.

*And if you are wondering why I keep bringing up Nerull - he's the god who tried to get Kyuss ascended to godhood... but Mellifleur somehow intervened and stole that power. If you think about it, Nerull is just the GH aspect of core Bane (our aspect has always just been 'Bane' - lucky us), just as Velsharoon is an FR aspect of Mellifleur.

Think of (Crystal Sphere) pantheons like sports 'leagues'. We have different leagues for different countries, and most of the time teams from different leagues don't play each other. Occasionally, however, players (gods) get so popular that they move to another league in another country (just as gods sometimes move to new worlds). Just because the Brazillian soccer (football) teams never bother to interact with Australia doesn't mean they aren't aware of each other, and in the 'cosmic scheme of things', they do. I suppose in this analogy, Toril has just become 'the World Cup'.

And Kyuss may be in the lore, hidden somewhere. He could have been operating under another name ('the worm that walks'?), one that is either forgotten (*cough* Seven Lost Gods *cough*) or one that we simply don't associate with him. Many powerful types take aliases when they go into a new arena, its just common sense. Even Elminster has done it, and Khelben... well... he IS 'the nameless Chosen', is he not? You think The Sojourner's mother named him that? The Shrinsee? The Terraseer? Halster and Hilather?

I'm pretty sure we've seen Kyuss... we just didn't know it was him is all.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 29 Dec 2017 08:39:38
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LordofBones
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  13:30:58  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nerull? What does Nerull have to do with Bane? He's not a war god, he's a death god. Bane is analogous to Hextor; Nerull is an unholy hybrid of Myrkul and Bhaal.

Anyway, Kyuss began his career as a priest of Nerull and he's always been an Oeridian deity. He's been stuck in the Prime Material Plane until recently. Trying to fit Kyuss into the Realms is torturous, at best, but there's actually an easy way to slot him into an adventure. Mellifleur's ascension involved him accidentally siphoning the deific power Nerull was expending to elevate Kyuss into divinity, and now the worm god is trying to establish a foothold in the Realms by attempting to usurp Velsharoon's portfolio, since he's been using Mellifleur's name to establish himself in the planes. Understandably, the Archmage of Necromancy wants him dead.

Kyuss is pretty much a joke, though. Nerull doesn't like him much, and the power that usurped his ascension is much more powerful than he is. The other powers of undeath have much more to offer prospective worshippers than he does. Kyuss is not a patron of sentient undead; his creations are mindess, slavering things sent to rend and slaughter the living. Sentient undead, when they bother to worship anything at all, turn towards the evil deities of their living days or to the patrons of their respective kinds (i.e. Kiaransalee, Kanchelsis, Mellifleur, Velsharoon).

Edited by - LordofBones on 29 Dec 2017 13:41:19
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  17:26:14  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thought on the relationship between Kyuss and Moander. Lets say they were once rival gods, and Moander used his seed spell to try to take him over but Kyuss used it to steal a small portion of Moander's power and become lord of worms and get a foothold in the Realms.
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Shadowsoul
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  17:39:37  Show Profile Send Shadowsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Thought on the relationship between Kyuss and Moander. Lets say they were once rival gods, and Moander used his seed spell to try to take him over but Kyuss used it to steal a small portion of Moander's power and become lord of worms and get a foothold in the Realms.



That sounds really good! I've been thinking of ways to bring Moander back. I think I will add that to the list.

I try to keep to the published Realms,up to a point, as much as possible so trying to fit him into a setting that has no published history just kind of rubs me the wrong way.

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
#8213; J.R.R. Tolkien

*I endorse everything Dark Wizard says*.
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Markustay
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  18:17:37  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I DID mention that I thought spinning Kyuss as one of the Seven Lost Gods might work.

I'm thinking now that those 'Seven' were all different (and independent) aspects of Ghaunadaur. Perhaps Ghaunadaur had a major presence in the Realms a long time ago (which is actually canon, via the Dark Elves), and that FR aspect was 'shattered', becoming all smaller, lesser fragments that went off on their own. We could even tie that to the Dawn War or the later Godswar. If we say Ghaunadaur is really a primordial, how hard would it be to say that Araumycos is really his comatose form? We'd have a situation similar to what happened with The World Serpent, only with a being representing primal decay/entropy. In fact, the two could be opposites.

quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Nerull? What does Nerull have to do with Bane? He's not a war god, he's a death god. Bane is analogous to Hextor; Nerull is an unholy hybrid of Myrkul and Bhaal.
Sorry, my bad. I was thinking of Hextor. Hextor can easily be an Oerth aspect of the 'Bane' archtype.

Its been so long since I ran GH I've forgotten so much. Unfortunately, that means translating the Mellifleur story between the worlds isn't as 'clean', lore-wise.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 29 Dec 2017 18:18:49
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 29 Dec 2017 :  18:19:51  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Shadowsoul

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Thought on the relationship between Kyuss and Moander. Lets say they were once rival gods, and Moander used his seed spell to try to take him over but Kyuss used it to steal a small portion of Moander's power and become lord of worms and get a foothold in the Realms.



That sounds really good! I've been thinking of ways to bring Moander back. I think I will add that to the list.

I try to keep to the published Realms,up to a point, as much as possible so trying to fit him into a setting that has no published history just kind of rubs me the wrong way.



Read the spell description. It would be what turned his body all into worms at least. The only parts of the spell that failed were Moander did not gain control and he did not die - both because those parts proved ineffective against a demigod.

While I've never been much of a Kyuss fan, I will admit that some of the pictures from the articles in Dungeon were cool.
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LordofBones
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Posted - 30 Dec 2017 :  03:49:50  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fitting Kyuss into the Realms requires a lot of twisting, since once you rewrite his backstory, he becomes Kyuss in name only.

Moreover, what does Kyuss provide that other deities don't? His target audience, the undead, have no real reason to worship him over their own patron gods or the gods of their respective kinds. He does not offer liches anything over Myrkul or Velsharoon. He's antithetical as a patron of vampires, since his goals would mean the diminishing of their cattle. Death knights have no reason to venerate him over Bane.

Bane will make them into tyrants. Myrkul offers them protection from their inevitable ends and additionally dominion over the dead. Velsharoon teaches them secrets of necromancy. Bhaal will give them an eternity in blood and wealth just for hunting cattle.

Hell, just look at the Age of Worms itself. Kyuss isn't the brains behind the whole thing, he's just the Herald. It's pretty likely that there's someone else pulling his strings.

Afroakuma over at the GitP forums suggests that the real power behind the Age of Worms is Mak Thuum Ngatha, who's a patron of creepy intelligent worm things, as opposed to Kyuss, the patron of creepy, dead, barely intelligent worm things.
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Markustay
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Posted - 30 Dec 2017 :  21:19:59  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Similar to how I am picturing Kyuss just being one 'piece' of something else - an ancient god who got 'segmented' and now has several gross forms.

If we were to use Ghaunadaur as I suggested above, I was thinking of making it more FR specific than the Dawn or Gods wars. We know he had a powerful presence among Dark Elves before Lolth showed up in the Realms - what if her (and maybe her progeny) hacked him to pieces to take his stuff? It would make for a good myth. Could be the very last time Lolth, Vhaeraun, and Eilistraee worked together on a common goal. Thus, each piece of his (remaining) portfolio has its own aspect - Moander (rot), Kyuss (vermin), Entropy (decay), etc...

Also, tying Kyuss to the Seven Lost Gods ties together Jergal's involvement with all of this (Jergal was in Eric's conversion notes for the Age of Worms, and it may even be where the lore about Jergal being a Spellweaver originated, since there is also a major NPC thats a Spellweaver exarch). I might even go so far as to say that Jergal was 'there' (involved?) when Lolth and her kiddies did-in Ghaunadaur and took his stuff. He could have walked away with 'death' at that point, since no-one else was picking it up. That would have been some centuries after the first Sundering (when the worlds got twinned), so well after the dawn & Gods Wars.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 31 Dec 2017 06:59:01
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sfdragon
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Posted - 30 Dec 2017 :  22:59:28  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
yeah anything without a realms lore to it, inserting it rubs me the wrong way too.

and on that note the only thing good about 4e was the raven queen

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


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LordofBones
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Posted - 31 Dec 2017 :  02:47:48  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The problem with Jergal being behind the Age of Worms in FR is that the whole thing is completely beyond Jergal's character. The closest analogue to Kyuss would be Moander. The whole creepy rotting armageddon thing is a hard sell even for Jergal back when he was an evil greater power.

Kyuss makes more sense as an interloper deity than a native Realms deity.
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 31 Dec 2017 :  06:29:55  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

yeah anything without a realms lore to it, inserting it rubs me the wrong way too.

and on that note the only thing good about 4e was the raven queen



Raven Queen?
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Markustay
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Posted - 31 Dec 2017 :  07:13:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

The problem with Jergal being behind the Age of Worms in FR is that the whole thing is completely beyond Jergal's character. The closest analogue to Kyuss would be Moander. The whole creepy rotting armageddon thing is a hard sell even for Jergal back when he was an evil greater power.

Kyuss makes more sense as an interloper deity than a native Realms deity.
Eric Boyd did do a good job of explaining it all - it started out with Jergal doing his 'big play' (the whole The Lord of the End of Everything stuff), and Kyuss was one of his puppets, so its not so much as that Jergal wants a world full of worms, as it is he is letting Kyuss have what he wants so that Jergal can accomplish his own goals.

It may have even simpler - in the new adventure path with Chult - to just say that the 'Dark powers' captured Kyuss and brought him to Ravenloft (if they can do it to Vecna, why not Kyuss?) But something unexpected happened - Kyuss became one of the 'Dark Powers', so he not only is a Dark lord with his own Realm within the Shadowfel (in other words, touching every world, but he is the only one that can 'reach out' into other worlds and manipulate stuff (have agents accomplish goals... like empower his emergence into another world so he can get the heck out of Ravenloft). In other words, he is a Dark Lord, with the same basic restrictions (he never actually enters The Realms), but he also has the ability to manipulate the mists in such a way he can send and receive information (maybe give him some sort of 'Mist Worm') to the Prime Material. At first, I thought about saying he could let people in (and out) of RL through the Mists, but that would probably be too OP (He could simply kidnap the heroes at any point in time if he wanted).

Anyway, stick him in Ravenloft/The Shadowfel and he becomes a 'villain for every world'. Then we really don't need to shoe-horn him into previous lore - he stands on his own.

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

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LordofBones
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Posted - 31 Dec 2017 :  07:15:36  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
4e core death goddess, sort of a discount Wee Jas. In her backstory, she murdered Nerull a long, long time ago, which makes one wonder what happened to Oerth in 4e.

The Oeridian pantheon is back in 5e though. The 4e deities are now a separate pantheon.
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LordofBones
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Posted - 31 Dec 2017 :  07:20:39  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay


It may have even simpler - in the new adventure path with Chult - to just say that the 'Dark powers' captured Kyuss and brought him to Ravenloft (if they can do it to Vecna, why not Kyuss?) But something unexpected happened - Kyuss became one of the 'Dark Powers', so he not only is a Dark lord with his own Realm within the Shadowfel (in other words, touching every world, but he is the only one that can 'reach out' into other worlds and manipulate stuff (have agents accomplish goals... like empower his emergence into another world so he can get the heck out of Ravenloft). In other words, he is a Dark Lord, with the same basic restrictions (he never actually enters The Realms), but he also has the ability to manipulate the mists in such a way he can send and receive information (maybe give him some sort of 'Mist Worm') to the Prime Material. At first, I thought about saying he could let people in (and out) of RL through the Mists, but that would probably be too OP (He could simply kidnap the heroes at any point in time if he wanted).

Anyway, stick him in Ravenloft/The Shadowfel and he becomes a 'villain for every world'. Then we really don't need to shoe-horn him into previous lore - he stands on his own.



Kyuss is a god, though. The instant Vecna became a demipower, the Dark Powers threw him out. The Demiplane of Dread wants no part of deific politics.

And I'm not really a fan of turning Kyuss into one of the Dark Powers. The Dark Powers are unknown and inscrutable even to the divine; and if Vecna never became one of the Dark Powers, a comparative joke like Kyuss shouldn't be able to.

Kyuss's entire history is essentially him being the buttmonkey of the planes. Mellifleur stole his divinity by accident, he's spent the last thousand years stuck in a rock, and he isn't even the boss of his own prophecy, he's just the PR guy.
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Markustay
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Posted - 31 Dec 2017 :  08:30:08  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is he though?

Kyuss is like 'the god born dead' to me. The original procedure/ritual that was supposed to turn him into a full god went awry (from what I understand, Mellifleur stole 'the juice') he's basically a still-born god, similar to that Atropal guy. So not quite mortal, but also, not quite a god. something stuck in-between. He is constantly still trying for full godhood, hence his schemes popping-up every now and then on different worlds.

If you make his Divine Realm actually be a Domain of Dread, its the perfect setup. He can even have his own island. In fact, make it inside the body of a giant, dead 'god' (a kraken-like creature of enormous proportions) - his digs will literally be a rotting corpse. And as I said, the Dark powers may have snatched him, and for once, things just didn't go their way - he still had a teensy-tiny bit of 'divinity', and that was enough to make him able to be able to make contact with the outside world (if not escape himself - he can send avatar-like manifestations through sometimes, and that's what PCs would encounter, but the 'real' kyuss will always still be trapped (so long as his planned are thwarted, that is).

Mistworms - odd , slimy little creatures that can literally bore through ANYTHING, including planer barriers, and even magical wards and fields, given enough time. Even the powerful 'veil' the Dark Powers have in place - impenetrable even by Gods* - can be gotten through by the mistworms. They exude a weird, anti-magical form of 'decay' that will even erode these powerful forces; not in their entirety, but just enough for the worms to slip trough. Kyuss can use these to make contact with his disciples - he implants 'orders' in the worm, and then the worm finds the people it needs to (I did mention they can literally create 'wormholes', right?), and burrow into the ear of the target underling. Of course, most of those 'blessed' with the words of Kyuss eventually die from having the thing inside their heads, eating away at their brains, but its a small price to pay to help your god, eh?


*Just had an odd, random thought - what if the 'Dark Powers' are/were Imaskari? They're the only other group I know they were able to build 'Godwalls'. But then again, its not like they were the types to kidnap people and entire cultures from worlds... WAIT A SECOND..

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


Edited by - Markustay on 31 Dec 2017 08:30:46
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LordofBones
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Posted - 31 Dec 2017 :  09:34:36  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An atropal is literally a stillborn god. As in, a creepy necromantic dead god-baby.

Kyuss, on the other hand, is actually a god. A god that's barely hanging on to his divinity, hating Mellifleur and Nerull both, but he's still a god. He's also kind of a joke, because his dogma isn't exactly attractive to what should be his prime worshipers, sentient undead. That's kind of the whole problem behind Kyuss; he doesn't exactly offer anything to Realms undead that their existing patrons and racial deities don't.

And, I'm kind of uneasy with tying everything to the Realms. The Dark Powers and the Demiplane of Dread are an established setting, and the mystique of the Dark Powers is part of it. I prefer the idea that they're some sort of personification of evil, like the baernoloths. Of course, nobody knows.
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