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 Unveiling the Hidden Lord - Gargauth lore request
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Tigon
Seeker

USA
27 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2018 :  12:45:13  Show Profile Send Tigon a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So back in the late 90s I used to engage in a roleplaying experience in Yahoo! Chat where our realm was titled Ayenee (the chat area we used to game in was in Arts & Entertainment = A&E = Ayenee).

At any rate, during our VERY free-form game someone was role playing Garguath and his quest to steal Faerun, teleport it to Baator and turn it into the 10th level of Hell. Now at that point, I did learn Gargauth was from the FR campaign setting, and that he was the 10th Lord of 9, but not much else and I didnt look that much further into it. I did NOT know that his quest to steal Faerun and create the 10th level of Baator was actually from FR as well thinking it to be just a homebrew quest for our lil game.

Now that my life has calmed down and Im getting back to some role playing and table top gaming, I'm looking to DM a campaign for a bunch of 1st time players (and 1 with some experience).

For the past 20 years that story arc with Gargauth has stuck with me and as such, I figured it would be a good overall campaign arc to run, BUT as it turns out its a bit difficult to find much information on the Hidden Lord, which is why I'm reaching out here.

Thus far I've dug up the following resources that relate to Gargauth:

Powers & Pantheons
Faiths & Pantheons (pretty much stuff from Powers & Pantheons, but less content and detail)
Dragon Magazine: issue 91, Issue #91, Issue #28
City of Splendor
Cult of the Dragon
The Code of the Harpers

novels:
Elfshadow
Bloodwalk

I could really use some help with any additional resources, references and other information I can find on him or his clergy.

Then I have quite the task in looking into how this would effect the worlds and the outer planes, and what other deities and powers might have an interest in helping or hindering his ambitions... that is, if they even become aware of it, before its too late.

Once I'm sure I have as many references as possible, I'll write up a more detailed overview for the campaign and post it here for comments and thoughts.

Thanks in advance.

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3723 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2018 :  13:07:10  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lots and lots of conjecture about Gargauth on these boards.

One thing i can add is something that Ed confirmed through his Hooded Lady (although confirmed by is usually a knowing smile).
So i postulated that the Cult of the Dragon founder Algashon was also a member of the Knights of the Shield and a secret follower of Gargauth. Ed said i was on the right track.

As for the story arc you are following, the means of Gargauth delivering Faerun to the hells involves the Imaskari Planar Barrier that Gargauth has spent the last few centuries researching (in P&P i believe). With it he can bar the worship of all other gods and become the sole deity of Faerun.


Everything else i have is my own homebrew. Dont forget to search on the name Gargoth as he is an alias of Gargauth (although in my version he is a separate but linked entity).

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Tigon
Seeker

USA
27 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2018 :  14:35:03  Show Profile Send Tigon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Lots and lots of conjecture about Gargauth on these boards.

One thing i can add is something that Ed confirmed through his Hooded Lady (although confirmed by is usually a knowing smile).
So i postulated that the Cult of the Dragon founder Algashon was also a member of the Knights of the Shield and a secret follower of Gargauth. Ed said i was on the right track.




oh indeed it was that thread of yours that I found through my google-fu that actually brought me to this wonderful place!

I just really think he's got all the makings of a great villian, especially when he could really have clergy/worshipers/operatives lurking/hiding/schemeing potentially anywhere.

Who's to say he doesnt have one up in the Night Masks, convincing them that he can help them overthrow the nobel houses of watergate and bring about their blood thirty empire? Or whisper to the Shadow Council that he can help them exact revenge on Waterdeep which simultaneously expands their grip of the western underworld? orrrr... the convince the malugryms that he can help them steal Toril to the Plane of Shadow (he can help them move it to 'another plane'), but instead twist their spell and send it to Baator?

The Red Wizards, The Rundeen... I could go on and on but, Garguath could be playing ALL of them against each other, and themselves only to do what he does best and betray them in the end to achieve his own goals... after all his portfolio includes: Betrayal, Political Corruption and powerbrokers.

Now say he was indeed successful in taking Faerun to the 10th Level. Isnt it said that the Lord of the lowest level of hell is the Ruler of all of the Hells and as such, he would surpass Asmodeous and become the Lord of Baator. Now say he subsequently convinced a large number of Asmodeous' followers on Faerun to not refer to him by name, but simply to worship the Lord of Hell (betraying Asmodeous AND his worshipers) once Gargauth became Lord of the 10th Hell, and the Lord of Hell, aaaaaalllll those worshipers now worshiping him... would he not then be reach divine status, potentially a greater god?

Another thought though, how would this impact the blood war? Would this draw the attention of the demons because a 10th level of hell could sway it in favor of the Baatezu? What's Gargauth's relationship with Graz'zt, who we know ALSO wants to create another layer for himself in the abyss? Is Graz'zt also the son of Azmodeous?

IDK there's just soooooooooooooo much that can be done with this, relatively little known entity.

Edited by - Tigon on 01 Feb 2018 14:35:50
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3723 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2018 :  21:04:05  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well my take on all things divine is relatively unorthodox when compared to the rest of the fan base but here goes.

Gargauth is a demipower and like all demipowers he is only partly divine. He is a physical entity possessed of powers that are extending into the realms of deityhood but he is not a true god. Gargauth has one body, he still possesses his own personality, and he lives on the material plane (most likely).

True gods conversely are an amalgam of their original personality which is gradually altered and subsumed by the beliefs of their worshippers until they eventually resemble whatever the majority of people believe about them (gods being creatures of pure belief). They have no physical body, they are an entity of pure belief, they live on the outer planes which are powered and formed by belief, they are aware of multiple things at multiple times in multiple phases of existence (but not all knowing and all powerful, just more knowing and more powerful than mortals).


Gargauth being a demipower means that he can do what he wants to, he is not bound by a portfolio (not that I use portfolios, a very arbitrary way to define an entity of belief and immense power), he behaves in a similar way to all devils, he wants to corrupt them, lead them towards evil, and in his case lead them towards worship of Gargauth. He does this by granting people power (or a means to acquire power) by committing evil acts, then when they achieve that success they desire he takes away all that he has granted and will only return it if they sell everything to him (including their soul).

Gargauth will as you have suggested, have agents in every organisation he has come into contact with in the last 300 years (I picked this date deliberately because I think Gargauth has been trapped in Peleveran since he was first summoned to Faerun by the Illythiiri). So the Knights of the Shield, the Orthodox and Unorthodox Church of Bane and the Cult of the Dragon all definitely have agents of Gargauth in their ranks. The governments of Amn, Tethyr and Calimshan are also likely infiltrated as well.

This infiltration will likely be in a form similar to the Knights of the Shield in that he seeks to acquire people that desire power at any cost who he can then manipulate so they gain their desire through him and his agents and then lose it all unless they become beholden to him. This pattern repeats endlessly until Gargauth has people in place at the top of every organisation.




If you are interested then here his the history I have for him. It leaves massive gaps because for long periods we have absolutely no information about him which leads me to believe he was prevented from doing anything (i.e. he was imprisoned).

1 - Gargauth is one of the many creatures summoned to Faerun by the Illythiiri during the Crown Wars.

2 - Gargauth is imprisoned beneath the place that will one day become Peleveran - in a similar fashion to what happened at Narathmault.

3 - The dwarves of the Gold Rift found a settlement in what will become Peleveran and after a few centuries they dig deep enough for one of their number to become possessed by Gargauth. Gargauth uses his powers to turn everything he touches to gold and causes the corruption and downfall of the dwarven city. Unfortunately Gargauth cannot venture beyond Peleveran and the possession of his first victim ends abruptly.

4 - Unther settles Peleveran and Gargauth possesses one of the wizards investigating the Pit where he is imprisoned. Gargauth manipulates many of the Untheric wizards into constructing a key to try and release him from his prison using knowledge the Untheric wizards have gleamed about Imaskari magic (portals and barriers etc). The key doesn't work as he had hoped and part of Gargauth becomes tied to the shield as well as the Pit.
The possessor of the shield begins to take on Gargauth's personality and form and calls himself Gargoth. He eventually heads north when Peleveran is conquered by the Shoon Imperium.

5 - The Shoon Imperium take the Shield of the Hidden Lord back to Calimshan/Tethyr. It is acquired by Uldoon and taken north to Torsil. It is later studied and reinforced by Hilather who buries it amid ancient tombs in an uninhabited region of the western heartlands

6 - The Shield called out to the blood of Gargauth and found Tithklar Illehhune. From there Algashon Nathaire acquired it and sent Tuelhalva Drakewings to Peleveran.

7 - Tuelhalva Drakewings shattered the Pit where Gargauth was imprisoned but again it didn't work as expected. Gargauth is now trapped wholly within the Shield of the Hidden Lord which was augmented by Hilather to prevent him escaping and making it indestructible and impossible to detect or locate using magic.



Gargauth is now a demipower trapped entirely within that shield and is completely hidden from everyone and impossible to destroy. Its the perfect place to hide.

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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1233 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2018 :  15:48:43  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I remember Gargauth, the dreadfully insidious Tenth of Nine, possessing somekind of gauntlet that holds the powers of a powerful fiend called Astaroth, whom he duped in an infernal political struggle.

A theme I used was the gradual transformations of his agents into devils; at first the new outlander seems very cordial and well spoken, but after a few weeks more and more infernal traits can be seen from beneath he hood. After a full year the agents disguises wear of completely, showing their reddish skin and single horned fiendish visage, hopefully while in a position of power and influence.

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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2933 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2018 :  18:39:17  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like this. Start out as a Tiefling, then transform into a Half-Fiend, then Full Devil. With one catch. It makes you TOTALLY devoted to the Hidden Lord. That is why Asmodeus Banished him from the Nine Hells. The Hidden Lord was offering Promotion to certain Devils and creating an Army ABSOLUTELY LOYAL to him.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5001 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2018 :  23:14:23  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Well my take on all things divine is relatively unorthodox when compared to the rest of the fan base but here goes.

<big snip>

Gargauth is now a demipower trapped entirely within that shield and is completely hidden from everyone and impossible to destroy. Its the perfect place to hide.



That doesn't work solely because in FOR4 "Code of the Harpers" (p.26) he is described as "wandering the Realms" and mentioned as appearing when summoned by Banites.

The Shield is exactly as described in "Cloak & Dagger" - a conduit for Gargoth, not a prison for him.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1007 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2018 :  23:45:02  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
IIRC, the prison stuff comes from the SCAG. So, even if you take that as canon and not a contradiction to former lore, that is something that happens post-Spellplague.

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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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5001 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2018 :  02:56:21  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

IIRC, the prison stuff comes from the SCAG. So, even if you take that as canon and not a contradiction to former lore, that is something that happens post-Spellplague.



Nothing like the deux ex machina Spellplague and Sundering to explain away everything.

I stand corrected. Thanks Zeromaru.

-- 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
3723 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2018 :  08:38:33  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Well my take on all things divine is relatively unorthodox when compared to the rest of the fan base but here goes.

<big snip>

Gargauth is now a demipower trapped entirely within that shield and is completely hidden from everyone and impossible to destroy. Its the perfect place to hide.



That doesn't work solely because in FOR4 "Code of the Harpers" (p.26) he is described as "wandering the Realms" and mentioned as appearing when summoned by Banites.

The Shield is exactly as described in "Cloak & Dagger" - a conduit for Gargoth, not a prison for him.

-- George Krashos




Well i dont believe i have prevented those from happening, just slightly amended the circumstances.

Gargoth was summoned by the banites, not Gargauth and while Gargot is listed as an alias of Gargauth it does not mean they could not be two separate but linked beings.

Im proposing that the shield creates aspects of Gargauth out of those that carry it for too long. These creates look act and think like Gargauth. They probably think they are Gargauth but in reality they are pale imitations and are possessed of free will so are not controlled by Gargauth in amy way.

Gargoth was one such aspect and he wandered while Gargauth was still imprisoned in the pit. So i allowed for Gargauth to be wandering and imprisoned at the same time in a similar way to what was done with Eltab.


And as for the shield being a conduit and not a prison. It doesnt say it isnt a prison, and it still allows him to project himself through it so its still a conduit. Plus Hilather's demonshields are prisons and they may have been based upon Gargauth's shield so it makes sense to me for the Shield of the Hidden Lord to also be a prison o sorts.


Im never married to an idea, i just like reinterpreting canon slightly without changing anything. If Ed or yourself bring out new lore on Gargauth that makes the above impossible then i will change it. Spellplague "lore" doesnt count though (for anything).


And i hadnt actually read the SCAG about Gargauth so any connection was coincidental. Given my feelings about 5e i almost feeling like erasing everything i just did to prevent it resembling 5e in any way.

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Edited by - dazzlerdal on 04 Feb 2018 08:40:48
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6679 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2018 :  14:51:58  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just to note, the SCAG makes Gargauth a source of warlock patrons. One of the things I also did with my homebrew was to create for 5e an Occultist Binder variation of warlock that does not tie themselves specifically to one and only one "patron". Its meant to be like the 3.5e binder from Tome of Magic and/or the 3rd party Secrets of Pact Magic, wherein you make daily pacts with individual entities for certain powers, and said entities are vestiges. Tying his pit of maleficence to the wells of darkness in which are entrapped creatures who essentially become vestiges (noting both are created by Eric L. Boyd). The shield of the hidden lord may actually be a conduit to the place where vestiges are (now that is, its conduit may be "warped"). In fact, it may be something akin to a "blueflame" magic item now... just a thought.

Also, Wells of Darkness in Dungeon #148 by Eric L. Boyd is just a treasure trove of lore, some of which revolves around Astaroth. It also details some other demon lords such as Arlgolcheir who was destroyed by Khelben and Laeral together.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 04 Feb 2018 15:47:36
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Tigon
Seeker

USA
27 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2018 :  14:12:49  Show Profile Send Tigon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So in my quest to become the Speaker for the Hidden Lord I'm turning this thread into a bit of a project. There is a ton of vague information spread all about between sourcebooks, supplements, novels and magazines, but its all so... chaotic which would never be acceptable for the Tenth Lord of Nine. Order must be brought to the jou

I'm going to be continually editing and updating my first post in the thread here to compile all of the information I can dig up (with the help of the sages here).

The first post will be broken into three sections:


  • Section I
    This section will include only canon facts, with references to the novel, sourcebook, supplement, magazine (including page# if they are minor entries, but for things like Cloak & Dagger or Powers & Pantheons it may just reference the book). This information would include: Mentions of Gargauth, his church, the Shield of the Hidden Lord, the Knights of the Shield, Rathguul, and any other concrete ties, canon entries about the Hidden Lord. I'll be logging these the references in as close to chronological order of the Realms timeframes as possible with a note where this was mentioned, similar to a wikipedia reference section (which i could possibly move this portion to once its rather complete)


  • Section II
    This section will include factual canon references that have strong ties to The Hidden Lord, but may not be explicitly spelled out. We References such as the fact that we know that one of the methods to destroy the shield is: The Shield must be subject to a disintegration spell cast by the long dead Count Vizera Zahyra Bardson-Ithal, creator of the Shield of Silvam. And, we know that it is common that Artifacts can typically be destroyed by their creator or using methods similar to its creation (The One Ring for instance). This leads us to infer that in some manner Count Vizera Zahyra Bardson-Ithal could be the original creator of the Shield.


  • Section III

  • This last section would be more pure theorizing/conjecture that may be several theories making a long link: such as the theory I found elsewhere on this forum that Graz'zt may actually be the son of Asmodeous (and Pale Night) ( http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=15104 ) and was sent to the Abyss as an Infernal assault on the Abyss, but stayed there too long and was corrupted tied with the theory that Gargauth is certainly known to traffic with tanar'ri now (his consort is a marilith) so perhaps he was playing for both sides of the Blood War way back in -10300 DR. Clearly a theory like this is more farfetched but plausible none the less.


So please Sages, throw all of your input at me here as well as spread the word to others who may be knowledgeable or interested in the subject.

I'm also really curious to know what the Hidden Lord has been up to through the Time of Trouble, the Spellplauge and now through the (second) Sundering.

Edited by - Tigon on 15 Feb 2018 14:14:43
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