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Icelander
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Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  17:46:23  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
In detailing some required McGuffins for PCs adventuring in Unther, I want to introduce books of esoteric and recondite lore, blackest sorceries and Things Man is Not Meant to Know.

I don't know if any scribes are fans of Clark Ashton Smith, but I was considering books like his Book of Eibon or the Pnakotic Manuscripts, the G'harne Fragments, the Parchments of Pnom, the Book of Azathoth, the Testament of Carnamagos, the Necronomicon, Cthäat Aquadingen or the Cultes des Goules.

Their authors would then be scholars of the occult and esoteric, questers for forbidden antediluvian lore, men like Azédarac, Eibon or Malygris.

Ideally, I would like to connect a chain of references from the codex in possession of their allies into the distant, and, perhaps, andediluvian, batrachian past.

I'll put the newest tomes on top and some notes of their authors. What I'm seeking is suggestions for older works and authors that might be cited in these (and which parts of them might be based on).

The Pearly Halls Below: The translated Common title of a codex written in High Untheric ca 920 DR about the sunken parts of Unthalass, the still surviving magical seawall, now below sea level, and the strange undercity below the capital, dubbed Tamtuthalass. Written by the scholar mage Ahikibani, a sedentary and careful man of enormous erudition, but little industry. As a scholarly work, fairly well known and copied in several private libraries, as well as the palace library of Unthalass.

Remarkable chiefly for parts allegedly based on conversations with his more adventurous colleague Uzman Yar, who claimed to possess texts written by the archmage Nechushtan Raad, Lord of the Ebon Flame, that revealed great mysteries in the depths below even Tamtuthalass. Frustratingly vague on the exact nature of these mysteries, though hints suggest connections to a mythical female figure of great power and antiquity.

Notes and Observations on the Tomb of the Sukkal rabi'u (Grand Vizier): An aide-mémoire, with several maps and diagrams, kept in the early 10th century DR by the adventurer mage Uzman Yar and his ally, Atema Yayo, a priestess of Mask, on their quest for the tomb of the Sukkal rabi'u or Grand Vizier of Unther in the 3rd and 4th century DR, by the name of Umamaita Magâunô.

Details their discovery of the tomb and how to open it and circumvent the deadly traps and wards placed on it. From the book, Uzman, Atema and several other adventurers made three trips inside the tomb, carefully exploring and searching for a way to the inner sanctum, but the notes end before they ever reach it. Uzman Yar and his fellow adventurers are said to have disappeared on one of their adventures in 912 DR.

Book of Ebon Flame: The most famous work by the legendary archmage Nechushtan Raad, the Lord of the Ebon Flame, member of the infamous Black Flame mages of Unther and reputed pupil of the reclusive and unsavoury Uthman Naau. Written some time before 249 DR.

Copies of it are said to exist in the libraries of several Red Wizards and are highly prized by those who have them. Stories disagree about the contents, but undoubtedly there are many powerful spells of destructive nature, as well as possibly even darker lore.

Umamaita Magâunô, the Sukkal rabi'u (Grand Vizier) of Unther and right hand of Gilgeam in the 3rd century DR, is said to have taken possession of the original, after slayers in his service slew Nechushtan Raad in the 240s DR. Rumours claim that the book stored in the most secure room of Gilgeam's palace library was a copy, not the original. Copy or original, that book was lost in the destruction of the Time of Troubles, though evidence suggests that it was more likely stolen than destroyed.

The Journal of Nechushtan, Lord of the Ebon Flame: From hints in Ahikibani's 'The Pearly Halls Below', Uzman Yar almost certainly had read the Book of Ebon Flame, in whole or part, but believed that it contained nearly exclusively mystic rituals, spell formulae and glyphs of power, with only enough notes to enable comprehension of its contents.

Apparent quotations and suggestions from Uzman Yar about the personal opinions and experiences of Nechushtan Raad relating to the undercity of Unthalass and its mysteries suggest that he had read snippets of a different kind of work by the archmage. In a footnote, Ahikibani speculates that Uzmar Yar had in his extensive research about Umamaita Magâunô somehow come across materials quoting from the private journal of Nechustan, which would then probably have been seized by Umamaita along with the Book of Ebon Flame.

---

And so on.

I intend to stretch the chain backwards into the depths of time, as well as fleshing out these tomes and their authors a bit. I invite scribes to make suggestions.

Next I'll be looking for books authored by Uthman Naad, of evil and eldritch reputation (fl. ca 1st century DR), and his possibly apocryphal forerunner, Manishtushu of the Many Eyes (fl. 1st before DR or earlier).

I'm also wondering what sources of ancient evil and esoteric lore to connect with these authors and their books.

The nation of Eltabranar, under the rulership of the Lord of the Hidden Layer himself, which existed between 106 DR and 211 DR?

Narfelli demonbinding?

Narathmault or modern Dun-Tharos, which was already a place of dark power to the dark elves of the Sethomiir clan of Ilythiiri, long before the Nar ever emerged in the area?

Thayd and his Theurgist Adepts?

Imaskari scholars of the darkest and most forbidden magics?

Sunken horrors under the ocean, lost cities of the aboleth?

Pre-human batrachi sorcerers?

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Edited by - Icelander on 03 Jul 2018 11:37:55

Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  19:13:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's a BattleTech novel where a particular battle revolves around the capture of some important invention that is not described, other than to refer to the guy who created it. It was referred to as Professor MacGuffin's device.

I always really liked that one.

Hmmm, maybe a powerful spelltome that once belong to the wizard Althres Melguvyn...

I'd say, though, that if something is to function as a MacGuffin, there's not a huge need for detail about it. We never see what's in Marsellus Wallace's briefcase, for example.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 13 Jun 2018 19:18:06
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  19:15:29  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always like more unther ideas. I may steal your name for the intercity of unthalass if you don't mind (I don't recall if I came up with one yet)

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Icelander
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Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  20:17:17  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

There's a BattleTech novel where a particular battle revolves around the capture of some important invention that is not described, other than to refer to the guy who created it. It was referred to as Professor MacGuffin's device.

I always really liked that one.

Hmmm, maybe a powerful spelltome that once belong to the wizard Althres Melguvyn...

I'd say, though, that if something is to function as a MacGuffin, there's not a huge need for detail about it. We never see what's in Marsellus Wallace's briefcase, for example.


RPGs are fundamentally different from pre-plotted fiction where the author has control over every action and thought of all the characters, including the protagonists. An author can declare that the omniscient narrator never happens to mention a detail or the camera never shows it and be guaranteed that none the characters is curious enough to take a look. If a GM did that it would be the worst sort of railroading and would negate PC agency, eliminating any element of informed choice about what to do with the McGuffin.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  20:27:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

There's a BattleTech novel where a particular battle revolves around the capture of some important invention that is not described, other than to refer to the guy who created it. It was referred to as Professor MacGuffin's device.

I always really liked that one.

Hmmm, maybe a powerful spelltome that once belong to the wizard Althres Melguvyn...

I'd say, though, that if something is to function as a MacGuffin, there's not a huge need for detail about it. We never see what's in Marsellus Wallace's briefcase, for example.


RPGs are fundamentally different from pre-plotted fiction where the author has control over every action and thought of all the characters, including the protagonists. An author can declare that the omniscient narrator never happens to mention a detail or the camera never shows it and be guaranteed that none the characters is curious enough to take a look. If a GM did that it would be the worst sort of railroading and would negate PC agency, eliminating any element of informed choice about what to do with the McGuffin.



My point is that a MacGuffin, regardless of the medium it's used for, is a plot device. It's there to move the plot forward. You don't have to write a three-page backstory for something if it's presented to the PCs with it already established that the bad guys want it and if they get it, it's a Bad Thing. Sure, give them a few details -- but you're not likely to need more than a good description of its appearance and a sentence or two about what it does.

Again, look at Marsellus Wallace's briefcase. We never see the contents, no one ever says what's in it; all we know is that it's beautiful and a lot of people want it. It's a wonderful MacGuffin.

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Icelander
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Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  21:55:01  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

My point is that a MacGuffin, regardless of the medium it's used for, is a plot device. It's there to move the plot forward. You don't have to write a three-page backstory for something if it's presented to the PCs with it already established that the bad guys want it and if they get it, it's a Bad Thing. Sure, give them a few details -- but you're not likely to need more than a good description of its appearance and a sentence or two about what it does.

Again, look at Marsellus Wallace's briefcase. We never see the contents, no one ever says what's in it; all we know is that it's beautiful and a lot of people want it. It's a wonderful MacGuffin.


That assumes that there is a Plot, with designated Bad Guys, and that the motivations of the PCs are irrelevant beyond a simplistic excuse for action and violence. Basically, the PCs are assumed to be interchangeable with any other 'adventurer' characters and supposed to follow a predetermined plot, most likely with rails in place to ensure compliance.

That's not something I recognise as roleplaying. In roleplaying, there is a world, there are characters and the plot is what emerges from the choices of the players and the interaction of the PCs with the world.

As a GM, I have decided that various NPCs desire certain things, for a variety of reasons. Whether the PCs want to help them achieve their goals, prevent them from so doing, ignore them, trade with them, join them or do anything else is entirely up to them.

Besides, 'deciding what the McGuffin does' implies different things when it is a book. Books contain information. As such, who wrote it, about what and what he knew is fundamental to defining what a book does.

I know that Kurushumgal, the rebellious offspring of the Wise Lady / Queen of Tortures wants the journal of Nechustan Raad because he hopes it will contain secrets he can use to depose and destroy his mother, the mythical ruler of the undercity below Unthalass.

I also know that the PCs have Uzman Yar's Notes and Observations and know where to find Umamaita's tomb and even how to get into the inner sanctum. Whether they choose to go there and look for Nechustan Raad's journal and/or the Book of Ebon Flame is up to the players.

And if they do find the books, they are likely to study them and try to find some use for any information they find. Perhaps they'll wish to look for information that would help to fight the Queen of Tortures. Maybe they want to find treasure. Or they want to try to learn ancient and powerful spells. Or discover answers to ancient mysteries and learn the truth behind various myths. Perhaps they'll want to learn secrets Man Was Not Meant to know.

In order to decide, the players need to know not just what the books look like or whether they give a bonus to something. They need to know what information it is possible to learn from them.

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Edited by - Icelander on 13 Jun 2018 22:04:23
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Icelander
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Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  22:22:39  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I always like more unther ideas. I may steal your name for the intercity of unthalass if you don't mind (I don't recall if I came up with one yet)


Certainly, you may.

-thalass is obviously from the Greek root for the sea, though the original word may be pre-Greek in origin. In any case, reasonably plausible that the word has a similar meaning in Untheri as on earth, as Unthalass is known as the City of Pearls and it would be reasonable for pearls to have an Untheri name that meant 'Gems of the Sea'.

Tamtu means 'the deep, abyss, the sea' in several Semitic languages, including Akkadian, which is most plausible as the language that the language that was spoken by those Mulan who worshipped the Babylonian gods.

Tamtu Unthalass would then mean something like 'The Deep under the City of Pearls' and over the centuries had been corrupted into Tamtuthalass, which with a slightly different pronunciation could also mean 'The Depths of the Ocean' or even 'Abyssal Ocean'.

I've proposed a Common moniker of 'The Pearly Deeps', due to the glowing, enchanted pearls and other gems in the ancient magical wards and the seawall which exist in my version of the undercity (explaining how there can be any undercity below the sea level of a port city). These pearls and gems dot the undersides of several old buildings and temples, as well as walls, and not only give illumination, but also enable a strange form of agriculture in the undercity.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 14 Jun 2018 :  00:22:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, my thoughts are just to throw out some ideas from actual realms lore and make up book titles to go with it, and then it could be developed more. If that's not what you're looking for, just clarify

So, a book surrounding the Utter East and the binding of Tartyron (from the video game blood & magic). Then possibly a later book detailing the blood wars and when he got released.
Breaking the Circle of Order, Secrets beneath the Land of Fire
Chaos Unbound, the release of Tartaryon
The Bloodforge Wars

Then maybe books detailing the Untheric view of the Orcgate Wars and Thayd
Erkalla Reborn, the secret burial city of Nergal
Rise and Fall of the Great Enemy, Thayd
Secrets of the Surviving Theurgist Adepts

Maybe a book on Pandorym and another book linking him to Entropy

Secret Weapon of the Artificers, Pandorym
Burning Witchweed, the rise of Luthcheq's Karanok family
Datharathi Crystal, a study of the Rise of Plangent Limb Replacement

possibly even linkages of Pandorym to some of the gates in the area... which given that Thayd had involvement in it and was Imaskari...

A treatise on Shandalaur, the Mucklestones, and other planar nexi of the East

Rise of the Red Wizards, a story of Halruaan Exiles
Learning in the Garden of Eternity, a treatise on Dread Necromancy by Velsharoon the Vaunted
The Founding of Thay and creation of Eltabbar by Jorgmacdon Odesseiron, first Zulkir of Conjuration
Dreams of Lalthar, The True Story of the Council of the Black Star and the Formation of the Modern Day Zulkirate by Ythazz Buvarr

Pholzubbalt, City of Mulan Shame

Dun-Tharos and the Dark Rise of Narfell by Garthelaun Darakh "the Goreslayer"

Divine Origins, A Study of Jergal's Renunciation, Mellifleur's Accident, and Karsus' Folly by Larloch, Sorcerer-King of Jiksidur Enclave


Then just because the complete book of necromancers had so much lore tied to a similar culture
Ereshkigal and Inanna, Exile of a sister
Sahu Island, and the founding of the city of Nycopolis by the First Necromancer King, Uruk Kigal
The Iron Spires of Ereshkigal, city of Serene Death
Blood & Magic, a history of the Necromancer Kings
Vermissa and the Cult of Worms, fall of the Empire of Thasmudyan

and there were some actual books mentioned in the Complete Book of Necromancers such as
Kazerabet's Art of Necromancy, and The Nycoptic Manuscripts, and Nebt Bhakau's Book of Shadows

Maybe something detailing the Sarrukh involvement in the lands long ago

Something detailing the summoning of Eltab and the creation of demoncysts

Something detailing the witches of Rashemen binding Eltab

Something detailing the founding of Eltabranar

Something detailing the rise of Peleveran

Something detailing the fall of Peleveran and Gargauth's and the Cult of the Dragon's involvement



Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 14 Jun 2018 01:22:15
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 14 Jun 2018 :  02:52:08  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

My point is that a MacGuffin, regardless of the medium it's used for, is a plot device. It's there to move the plot forward. You don't have to write a three-page backstory for something if it's presented to the PCs with it already established that the bad guys want it and if they get it, it's a Bad Thing. Sure, give them a few details -- but you're not likely to need more than a good description of its appearance and a sentence or two about what it does.

Again, look at Marsellus Wallace's briefcase. We never see the contents, no one ever says what's in it; all we know is that it's beautiful and a lot of people want it. It's a wonderful MacGuffin.


That assumes that there is a Plot, with designated Bad Guys, and that the motivations of the PCs are irrelevant beyond a simplistic excuse for action and violence. Basically, the PCs are assumed to be interchangeable with any other 'adventurer' characters and supposed to follow a predetermined plot, most likely with rails in place to ensure compliance.

That's not something I recognise as roleplaying. In roleplaying, there is a world, there are characters and the plot is what emerges from the choices of the players and the interaction of the PCs with the world.

As a GM, I have decided that various NPCs desire certain things, for a variety of reasons. Whether the PCs want to help them achieve their goals, prevent them from so doing, ignore them, trade with them, join them or do anything else is entirely up to them.

Besides, 'deciding what the McGuffin does' implies different things when it is a book. Books contain information. As such, who wrote it, about what and what he knew is fundamental to defining what a book does.

I know that Kurushumgal, the rebellious offspring of the Wise Lady / Queen of Tortures wants the journal of Nechustan Raad because he hopes it will contain secrets he can use to depose and destroy his mother, the mythical ruler of the undercity below Unthalass.

I also know that the PCs have Uzman Yar's Notes and Observations and know where to find Umamaita's tomb and even how to get into the inner sanctum. Whether they choose to go there and look for Nechustan Raad's journal and/or the Book of Ebon Flame is up to the players.

And if they do find the books, they are likely to study them and try to find some use for any information they find. Perhaps they'll wish to look for information that would help to fight the Queen of Tortures. Maybe they want to find treasure. Or they want to try to learn ancient and powerful spells. Or discover answers to ancient mysteries and learn the truth behind various myths. Perhaps they'll want to learn secrets Man Was Not Meant to know.

In order to decide, the players need to know not just what the books look like or whether they give a bonus to something. They need to know what information it is possible to learn from them.



No, my assumption is that when you said you wanted a MacGuffin, you meant that you wanted that which a MacGuffin is defined as: "an object or device in a movie or a book that serves merely as a trigger for the plot." Again, Marsellus Wallace's briefcase -- what's in the case, what it can do, and how it got in the briefcase -- that's all immaterial. The whole movie is about the struggle for that briefcase, not what's going to happen once someone has unquestioned possession of it.

I've no issue with wanting detailed descriptions of things, so that those things can serve as further roleplaying hooks/clues/motivations. I'm just saying if the plot isn't revolving around the item, with its mere existence being the hook, then it doesn't meet the definition of a MacGuffin.

In other words, I was looking too closely at that one word and going from that.

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Icelander
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Posted - 14 Jun 2018 :  11:15:17  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
sleyvas, thanks a lot for all these great suggestions!

As it happens, the PCs are wondering whether the Queen of Tortures that rules the undercity of Unthalass is merely a very clever lamia noble who makes use of myths and legends to bolster her reputation or if she might actually be what remains of the ancient deity Ereshkigal.

Complicating that is that it is far from impossible that a monster who uses the name and mythology of a gone-but-not-forgotten-deity might come to believe her own PR and once she has been feared and propitiated for centuries under that title, that might easily provide a way for such a divinity to return.

While the Queen of Tortures does not appear to have a clergy, as such, and no temples are raised to her, local Unthalass lore, especially among the slaves and lower classes, blames a lot of diseases, misfortunes and curses on the malice of her and her offspring. Pregnant women, the parents of young children and those who must be away from the home at night carry amulets to protect themselves from her attentions and any dwelling where people sleep will usually have engravings or figures of protective spirits at the entrances to keep her and her servants away.

When infants die in the cradle for no apparent reason, the humbler folk of Unthalass whisper that the family has offended the Queen. Few indeed will even speak her more derogatory title, the Queen of Tortures, except among trusted friends, inside a protected dwelling, instead preferring to refer to her by some euphemistic moniker like the Wise Lady. All sorts of predatory beings, serpents and monsters are said to trace their descent to her, from the primeval sea serpent Azag to any night spirits that assail decent folk.

Her eldest daughter Abyzou, the Lady of Stillbirth, is said to have been born dead and to exist in hideous travesty of life, causing miscarriages and birth defects among the women of Unthalass. The second daughter, Akhkhazu, the Seizer, is said to have died at birth or soon after, but come back in demon form to become the progenitor of the lilitim, rapacious flying hags with bird talons (known as harpies in the Heartlands), who steal away young men who travel alone at night, for their own unspeakable purposes.

Gilgeam's official proclamations usually blamed plagues and diseases on either foreign enemies or internal dissent, with Tiamat, the Nemesis of the Gods, a common target. Indeed, the Dragon Plague that devastated Unther two generations ago was widely blamed on a curse caused by the revival of worship of 'the demon Tiamat'.

The common people of Unthalass instead speak of Namtaru, the Lord of Pestilence, herald of the Wise Lady, who proclaimed a great culling long foretold. Some say that Namtaru is not merely her herald, but also her son by her long-dead husband, Nergal, the God of Death.

Certainly, to the few surviving cultists of Nergal, the Lord of Pestilence is a sacred figure, but it seems more likely that Namtaru is a title, rather than a name, as many different men, usually very old, very sick or both, have addressed crowds claiming to be Namtaru, usually dying shortly afterwards, either killed by soldiers of Gilgeam or by whatever diseases ravaged their bodies.

The sisters Anat-Mushus, the Lady of the Bow, and Tanit-Mushussat, Mistress of Serpents, hunt down and slay any enemy of the Queen of Tortures or anyone who offends them in any way. They are said to be sworn to chastity, or perhaps cursed to never know love or affection, and to hate any display of licentiousness, sensuality or romance.

Unlike their more ethereal sisters, who might be myths, these two beautiful and deadly creatures are known to exist and the Mulhorandi occupiers have placed a 50,000 gp bounty on both of them after a series of clashes with them. Official policy is that they are monstrous lamias who lair under the city and that their pretensions to legendary status and ancestry are mere fiction, but no one in Tamtuthalass has even dreamt of trying for the bounty.

There are other offspring, less well known to the populace on the surface, but spoken off in fearful whispers among those initiated into particular subcultures. The upper echelons of the criminal fraternities of Tamtuthalass, the undercity of Unthalass, all live in fear of Manungal, the Lady Stonesnake, who judges and punishes anyone who steps too far out of line and violates the unspoken supremacy of the Wise Lady over that strange settlement.

Magicians speak of Zaphon-Mutu, Ba'al kashapi or the Lord of (Evil) Sorcery, who appears to share many similarities with the Mulhorandi deity Set, known as Typhon in Unther. And in the chaos and unrest after Gilgeam's death, the bloodthirsty Marerru, the Lord of Takers, and his murderous ruffians, have taken to kidnapping and murdering at random anywhere within fifty miles of the city of Unthalass.

The PCs are very interested in lore about Ereshkigal and also in any legendary figures with serpentine attributes and/or a Mother of Monsters myth. They would also like to know where the God-Tomb of Nergal might be found, as local Unthalass legend has it that it is below the city.*

*Of course, local legends in many places in Unther insist that various God-Tombs are located at landmarks near them and the overwhelming majority must, of course, be wrong, unless the gods who fell in the Orcgate Wars were chopped into pieces and distributed equitably.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 14 Jun 2018 :  14:05:20  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Np, it was kind of fun to come up with the titles. On some of the rest that you posted,

Akhkhazu, the Seizer ~= Ahazu the Seizer?
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Ahazu
I only say that due to the similarity of names, but one was male and instead of lilitim, he had Varrangoin (intelligent Abyssal Bats) which had some arcanists, some binders, and some who mixed the two (i.e. anima mages).

Hmmm, but actually, I see this being in a wiki
Akhkhazu is a female demon from the Akkadic mythology. Her Sumerian name is Dimme-kur. She is also called "the seizer". She brings fever and plagues and is a member of a trio of female demons (Labasu, Labartu, Akhkhazu). Despite the fact the word "Akhkhazu" has a male gender, Akhkazu is often described as having a female nature.

It might actually be worth lifting and combining these two individuals (Ahazu, the Seizer, who is a demon lord/vestige and Akhkhazu). The sex issues could be an interesting thing in which it was hermaphroditic. Hmmm, in fact, during the era that "Wells of Darkness" was written, succubi were still considered demons only AND succubi could change sex to become incubi. It could stand to reason that maybe Ahazu the seizer is/was a powerful succubus. The idea of the lilitim in your story and the idea of the Varrangoin in the wells of darkness could both work, as Ahazu demanded victims (the Varrangoin were selling the wells of darkness as a prison for powerful individuals, but I could easily see there being some kind of need to periodically sacrifice normal individuals... maybe they even did it to "encourage" some prisoners to "talk").


BTW, I'm strongly intrigued with the idea of linking the "Pit of Maleficence" in the Cliffside city of Peleverai in the Shaar, as well as "the Dark Pit" aka Narathmault/Dun-Tharos (and an even older homebrew name Bheuristahl) to the idea of the Wells of Darkness. Given that Ahazu, the Seizer, tried to trap Orcus in the wells of darkness, and given Orcus' attention possibly later in Narfell/Dun-Tharos it works there, especially since the one novel we have about the area shows the tunnels beneath the Rawlinswood as some kind of trap for demons and devils both. Also, given Gargauth's involvement with both the wells of darkness in imprisoning Astaroth, that might also fit.

It might be fitting if the "Undercity" of Unthalass contains a similar "pit" of evil that leads to the abyssal layer that Ereshkigal ruled (because she is noted as a demon lord in the 1e monster manual 2), and perhaps she was exiled for establishing it? In fact, the 3.5e Monster Manual 3 says that there are at least a pair of Ak'Chazar Rakshasa active beneath Unthalass. This particular kind of Rakshasa is fascinated with necromancy, and if there were some kind of pit/portal/gateway that leads to a layer of the abyss ruled by a "Queen of the dead" (i.e. Irkalla/Erkalla/Ganzir) that might help explain things. Also, IF this IS an opening to the abyss, and these Rakshasa are "devils" and Tiamat is also a "devil" there may be some clandestine blood war things revolving around the pit with abishai in the area as well. Furthermore, IF this is a link somehow to the abyss and/or the Wells of Darkness somehow, it might also explain some of what Gilgeam did to get rid of the other gods... he had them entrapped in the Wells of Darkness. In fact, one of the prisoners of the wells of darkness in Dungeon #148 is Dahak, the three headed dragon spirit of death... who is also part of the 1e Babylonian Mythos.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 14 Jun 2018 14:30:35
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Icelander
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quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Np, it was kind of fun to come up with the titles. On some of the rest that you posted,

Akhkhazu, the Seizer ~= Ahazu the Seizer?
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Ahazu
I only say that due to the similarity of names, but one was male and instead of lilitim, he had Varrangoin (intelligent Abyssal Bats) which had some arcanists, some binders, and some who mixed the two (i.e. anima mages).

Hmmm, but actually, I see this being in a wiki
Akhkhazu is a female demon from the Akkadic mythology. Her Sumerian name is Dimme-kur. She is also called "the seizer". She brings fever and plagues and is a member of a trio of female demons (Labasu, Labartu, Akhkhazu). Despite the fact the word "Akhkhazu" has a male gender, Akhkazu is often described as having a female nature.

It might actually be worth lifting and combining these two individuals (Ahazu, the Seizer, who is a demon lord/vestige and Akhkhazu).

Ahazu the Seizer is clearly simply the simplified name of the Mesopotamian myth plundered for D&D purposes. Which a lot of demon names were.

For the purposes of my campaign, I see no pressing reason to mention Ahazu, although if it came up, it's plausible enough that certain word stems and syllables are shared between human languages, especially as it relates to mythology, and infernal speech.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

The sex issues could be an interesting thing in which it was hermaphroditic.

The Lilith/Lamashtu/Dimme/Akhkhazu/Abyzou archetype is so quintessentially female and linked to the fears associated with pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood that I cannot imagine why anyone would use the name for a male demon.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hmmm, in fact, during the era that "Wells of Darkness" was written, succubi were still considered demons only AND succubi could change sex to become incubi. It could stand to reason that maybe Ahazu the seizer is/was a powerful succubus. The idea of the lilitim in your story and the idea of the Varrangoin in the wells of darkness could both work, as Ahazu demanded victims (the Varrangoin were selling the wells of darkness as a prison for powerful individuals, but I could easily see there being some kind of need to periodically sacrifice normal individuals... maybe they even did it to "encourage" some prisoners to "talk").

Note that I'm using the Untheri (Akkadian) term 'lilu' (may be translated as 'night spirit') for what D&D calls harpies, as the description of the Mesopotamian monster fits these well. What D&D calls succubi and the more powerful version named 'Lilitu', I instead call 'ardat lili', which may be translated as 'Maidens of the Night Spirits'.

I'll have to think about what to call the Varragoin in Unther. Gilgidanu means 'bat' in Akkadian and perhaps something like 'demon bat' would work.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

BTW, I'm strongly intrigued with the idea of linking the "Pit of Maleficence" in the Cliffside city of Peleverai in the Shaar, as well as "the Dark Pit" aka Narathmault/Dun-Tharos (and an even older homebrew name Bheuristahl) to the idea of the Wells of Darkness. Given that Ahazu, the Seizer, tried to trap Orcus in the wells of darkness, and given Orcus' attention possibly later in Narfell/Dun-Tharos it works there, especially since the one novel we have about the area shows the tunnels beneath the Rawlinswood as some kind of trap for demons and devils both. Also, given Gargauth's involvement with both the wells of darkness in imprisoning Astaroth, that might also fit.

Yes, I've wondered about the connection, if any, between the Pit of Maleficence and Narathmault.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

It might be fitting if the "Undercity" of Unthalass contains a similar "pit" of evil that leads to the abyssal layer that Ereshkigal ruled (because she is noted as a demon lord in the 1e monster manual 2), and perhaps she was exiled for establishing it?

It's been established in my campaign that an unfathomably deep reservoir of fresh water exists below the city of Unthalass and that something dark and ancient slumbers in its deeps. The players suspect that it might be the original Abzu, the origin of the term 'abysss' and in some of the oldest Mulan myths, one of the two progenitors of life, along with the personification of salt waters, 'tamtu' or ti'amtum, otherwise rendered Tiamat.

The waters nourish the roots of an incredibly vigorous and fruitful tree growing in a subterranean grove and surrounded by a multitude of serpents. The tree radiates life, but there is a faint hint of corruption of some sort slowly seeping in through an unnatural spiritual taint in the waters.

Living not far from the surface of the water are kuo-toa who summon tanar'ri to aid them in battle and as you go deeper, there appear to be more mysterious monsters. In the depths there are vast, cool, unsympathetic intelligences.

Of course, Unthalass is canonically home to the Tiamat-linked 'Pit of Many Colours'. In my campaign, there is also some sort of Abyssal influence at the midden heaps where Unthalass's refuse and unwanted dead are dumped and a tribe of bestial, corrupted wererats lairs.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

In fact, the 3.5e Monster Manual 3 says that there are at least a pair of Ak'Chazar Rakshasa active beneath Unthalass. This particular kind of Rakshasa is fascinated with necromancy, and if there were some kind of pit/portal/gateway that leads to a layer of the abyss ruled by a "Queen of the dead" (i.e. Irkalla/Erkalla/Ganzir) that might help explain things. Also, IF this IS an opening to the abyss, and these Rakshasa are "devils" and Tiamat is also a "devil" there may be some clandestine blood war things revolving around the pit with abishai in the area as well.

I've linked the Ak'Chazar Rakshasa to another faction in Unthalass's underworld, as they find the more organised priesthood of Tiamat more congenial than the more primeval, atavistic figure of the Queen of Tortures.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Furthermore, IF this is a link somehow to the abyss and/or the Wells of Darkness somehow, it might also explain some of what Gilgeam did to get rid of the other gods... he had them entrapped in the Wells of Darkness. In fact, one of the prisoners of the wells of darkness in Dungeon #148 is Dahak, the three headed dragon spirit of death... who is also part of the 1e Babylonian Mythos.


That's Indo-Iranian, actually, not Semitic. Azi dahaka or Zahhak. Not attested in Babylonian sources, unless you mean Babylon as a province of the Persian empire a millenia or two after the period when the Untheri part of the Mulan people were led into slavery from Babylon by the Imaskari.

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BadCatMan
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quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

So, a book surrounding the Utter East and the binding of Tartyron (from the video game blood & magic). Then possibly a later book detailing the blood wars and when he got released.
Breaking the Circle of Order, Secrets beneath the Land of Fire
Chaos Unbound, the release of Tartaryon
The Bloodforge Wars



The Blood & Magic game offers quotes from various names that could be good to develop as local writers and books. While I had to assume "The Epic Urus" (after the Greek philosopher Epicurus) was a person (the names are all of people), it could as well be a local epic legend, perhaps about the Bloodforge Wars, or perhaps of bloodforge wars in ancient times. Meanwhile, the Great Mage is like the local Sun Tzu but also a teacher and engineer of bloodforge warfare; he has the most quotes and is the game tutor, so comes off as the major author on the topic.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 15 Jun 2018 :  11:21:29  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The PCs have decided that their next goal is the library of the tomb of Umamaita Magâunô, Sukkal rabi'u (Grand Vizier) of Unther from 230 DR to 326 DR, and, it is said, the its effective ruler in Gilgeam's name from around 240-297 DR.

The tomb is said to have been built at some time in the years between 280-320 DR and the Sukkal rabi'u was afforded a grand public funereal in 326 DR and then interred in secret.

One of the PCs has been there before and can confirm that the inner sanctum is constructed more like the living quarters of a living wizard than a tomb, including a substantial library. The only thing indicating that it is a tomb and not a wizard's home is that in place of a bed chamber, there is a massive onyx and silver sarcophagus.

The PCs are seeking one or more books authored by the feared archmage Nechustan Raad, Lord of the Ebon Flame, one of the founding members of the Black Flame mages in Unther. It is widely known among scholars of the occult that Nechustan Raad penned the sorcerous tome, the Book of the Ebon Flame, but the PCs are even more interested in a conjectured private journal he may have kept.

These books would have been written before the end of the Black Flame wizards and thus before 249 DR. And, obviously, no book written after 326 DR could have been placed in the library before the tomb was closed.

Sukkal rabi'u Umamaita was a generalist wizard with catholic taste in scholarship, though he spent much of his time governing Unther and therefore gave priority to works of history, geography, natural philosophy and political economics that could be useful to him in his work. In the latter part of his life, he had managed to place able subordinates he trusted in most positions and could devote at least some of his time to research without immediate practical applications.

Umamaita was sometimes said to be cold, distant and lacking in sentiment, but he was rarely accused of cruelty. He was an excellent administrator, even-handed judge by the Code of Enlil and to all appearances had no personal bias other than administering the vast Second Empire of Unther as efficiently as possible, despite the increasing ennui and disinterest of the God-King on the throne.

Umamaita carefully observed all religious laws and customs, for any religion legal in Unther, but was never known to express a personal preference. Indeed, during his tenure in office, historians consider him to have achieved a degree of mutual tolerance between Gilgeam's priesthood and the minority faiths still surviving in Unther, which allowed the minor faiths to contribute much more to Untheri society.

Later historians have sometimes speculated that Umamaita himself might have been a partisan of one minority faith or another, with occasional very quiet suggestions that he might have worshiped an outlander god or even been contemptuous of religions due to his long personal acquaintanceship with Gilgeam as the God-King sank into decline and decadence.

Certainly, the fact that the location of his tomb was kept secret and the priesthood of Gilgeam was allegedly not allowed to bless his final resting place, seems to indicate some irregularity of religious feeling for a man standing so high in Gilgeam's favour for so long.

I'm looking for books that might plausibly have been in Umamaita's library. Written before 326 DR, concerned with a subject that might interest him (or written by someone who did) and could have been acquired by the effective day-to-day ruler of Unther for much of the 3rd century.

Both mundane books that might contain historical facts that interest the PCs or players, and more esoteric ones, concerned with eldritch lore and magical secrets.

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Edited by - Icelander on 15 Jun 2018 11:22:09
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Icelander
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Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  14:07:57  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Which of these books would be plausibly found in a library stocked between 220-326 DR?

Obviously not those on historical events which happened after 326 DR. Books originating on geographical areas where there was limited trade and interaction with Unther at that time are much less likely.

I'm unsure how much contact there may have been with the Utter East during the Second Empire of Unther and I know little of the history of that land before the discovery of the Bloodforges.

It is quite likely that there would be an extensive selection of books covering the Shining Lands, given that the first Mulhorandi-Durpar Coin War breaks out in 317 DR and the Durpari would probably have been large trading partners and important to the foreign affairs of Unther in the decades leading up to that. Not to mention that the War of Claws with Eltabranar from 202-211 DR was fought near the Shining Lands and this necessarily would have brought the Old Empires into contact with Durpar, Var, the city-states of Estagund and the monster-led Veldorn.
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

So, a book surrounding the Utter East and the binding of Tartyron (from the video game blood & magic). Then possibly a later book detailing the blood wars and when he got released.
Breaking the Circle of Order, Secrets beneath the Land of Fire
Chaos Unbound, the release of Tartaryon
The Bloodforge Wars

Then maybe books detailing the Untheric view of the Orcgate Wars and Thayd
Erkalla Reborn, the secret burial city of Nergal
Rise and Fall of the Great Enemy, Thayd
Secrets of the Surviving Theurgist Adepts

Maybe a book on Pandorym and another book linking him to Entropy

Secret Weapon of the Artificers, Pandorym
Burning Witchweed, the rise of Luthcheq's Karanok family
Datharathi Crystal, a study of the Rise of Plangent Limb Replacement

possibly even linkages of Pandorym to some of the gates in the area... which given that Thayd had involvement in it and was Imaskari...

A treatise on Shandalaur, the Mucklestones, and other planar nexi of the East

Rise of the Red Wizards, a story of Halruaan Exiles
Learning in the Garden of Eternity, a treatise on Dread Necromancy by Velsharoon the Vaunted
The Founding of Thay and creation of Eltabbar by Jorgmacdon Odesseiron, first Zulkir of Conjuration
Dreams of Lalthar, The True Story of the Council of the Black Star and the Formation of the Modern Day Zulkirate by Ythazz Buvarr

Pholzubbalt, City of Mulan Shame

Dun-Tharos and the Dark Rise of Narfell by Garthelaun Darakh "the Goreslayer"

Divine Origins, A Study of Jergal's Renunciation, Mellifleur's Accident, and Karsus' Folly by Larloch, Sorcerer-King of Jiksidur Enclave


Then just because the complete book of necromancers had so much lore tied to a similar culture
Ereshkigal and Inanna, Exile of a sister
Sahu Island, and the founding of the city of Nycopolis by the First Necromancer King, Uruk Kigal
The Iron Spires of Ereshkigal, city of Serene Death
Blood & Magic, a history of the Necromancer Kings
Vermissa and the Cult of Worms, fall of the Empire of Thasmudyan

and there were some actual books mentioned in the Complete Book of Necromancers such as
Kazerabet's Art of Necromancy, and The Nycoptic Manuscripts, and Nebt Bhakau's Book of Shadows

Maybe something detailing the Sarrukh involvement in the lands long ago

Something detailing the summoning of Eltab and the creation of demoncysts

Something detailing the witches of Rashemen binding Eltab

Something detailing the founding of Eltabranar

Something detailing the rise of Peleveran

Something detailing the fall of Peleveran and Gargauth's and the Cult of the Dragon's involvement


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Demzer
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You are way better than me at names and titles so I'll just go with some suggestions for contents.

Given the supposed interest in history and geography of Umaimaita he may have had both the Gilgeam-revised epics on all the conquests of Unther (modern day Chessenta, the cities of the Wizard's Reach, the struggles against the dwarves of the Great Rift and the Elves of the Yuirwood) and the true accounts of those campaigns: involving the nitty-gritty details of the huge costs and human losses involved for Unther, tales of heroism by individual soldiers/officers on both sides of each conflict, private correspondeces between on-the-fields commanders and the burocracy in Unthalass asking for reinforcements and more resources and maybe ignored (especially for the conflicts that ultimately Unther lost).

Delving more into the esoteric, he may have exploited his position to glean all the informations available on the true burial of Nergal, supervised by Gilgeam himself, and penned this in a separate book, different from his personal journal.

Working on the angle of his supposed religious tollerance he may have stored religious texts pertaining to all the lost faiths of Unther, both dating back to the deities killed during the Orcgate Wars (thus century old dusty tomes recovered from tombs and burials where they were laying forgotten, detailing the necromantic rites of the church of Nergal or the star charts and prophecies of the church of Nanna-Sin) and to the deities later kicked out (I'm still trying to get an idea of exactly which deities were left in Unther after the massacre of the Orcgate Wars but whoever they might have been, they were kicked out).

Also, if any true or false recounting of the Orcgate Wars from the Untheric point of view exist, this may be a good place to have one or three.
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Icelander
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Posted - 03 Jul 2018 :  12:13:52  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Given the supposed interest in history and geography of Umaimaita he may have had both the Gilgeam-revised epics on all the conquests of Unther (modern day Chessenta, the cities of the Wizard's Reach, the struggles against the dwarves of the Great Rift and the Elves of the Yuirwood) and the true accounts of those campaigns: involving the nitty-gritty details of the huge costs and human losses involved for Unther, tales of heroism by individual soldiers/officers on both sides of each conflict, private correspondeces between on-the-fields commanders and the burocracy in Unthalass asking for reinforcements and more resources and maybe ignored (especially for the conflicts that ultimately Unther lost).

I should imagine he would have a lot of these, with particular detail involving the true accounts of events within his lifetime, such as the War of Claws with Eltabranar.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Delving more into the esoteric, he may have exploited his position to glean all the informations available on the true burial of Nergal, supervised by Gilgeam himself, and penned this in a separate book, different from his personal journal.

Umamaita had a horror of the undead and would be unlikely to be fond of Nergal. His known areas of expertise include philosophy, moral and political philosophy, political geography, the law, languages, general thaumatological theory, metamagic, abjurations, enchantments, glyphs, cuneiform and magical writings.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Working on the angle of his supposed religious tollerance he may have stored religious texts pertaining to all the lost faiths of Unther, both dating back to the deities killed during the Orcgate Wars (thus century old dusty tomes recovered from tombs and burials where they were laying forgotten, detailing the necromantic rites of the church of Nergal or the star charts and prophecies of the church of Nanna-Sin) and to the deities later kicked out (I'm still trying to get an idea of exactly which deities were left in Unther after the massacre of the Orcgate Wars but whoever they might have been, they were kicked out).

I don't recall anything in Old Empires or Powers and Pantheons that rules out Unther, like most other lands, having had innumerable godlings, demigods and even lesser gods in its history. The fact that they are not important enough to mention in a book written for 1357 DR doesn't mean that they weren't significant centuries before this.

Old Empires suggests many other gods than are written up there, of less power and importance, but still gods. And there is no reason to assume that their faiths were banned or persecuted until fairly recently in Unther's history, though the evidence suggests that worship of Gilgeam would have had social advantages in Unther from the eight century before Dale Reckoning.

The PCs would welcome any lore about ancient Untheri religion, given that they are trying to revive the Untheric pantheon. Granted, they'll settle for any decent pantheon using Untheric names and mythology, regardless of whether the actual powers in it have an Untheric origin or are just happy to adopt the trappings. And I'm guessing that one or more player is already considering a divine role for his own good self, given their work as emissaries of the gods and vessels of divine power.

The fire genasi sorcerer Abadas 'I Just Get These Headaches' Hussein spent last session conjuring an illusionary burning bush and addressing a scream of harpies (locally known as 'lilu' or 'lilitu') with a thunderous voice as the 'Lord of the Flames', 'Master of the Undying Fire' and the 'Voice of the Light in the Dark Places'. Then he took on a 9' tall form of a flames in a humanoid shape wielding a fiery sword and stalked out to Charm Monster all eight of the lilitim.

Abadas is something of a natural philosopher and cryptozoologist, extremely curious about exotic beings and unwilling to entertain the notion that there is any such thing as an innately evil species. He tends to approach every living thing as a potential new friend, but after he was soul-bonded with a sentient Charm Monster spell (his familiar), at least he's been convinced to use mind-control magic during the initial period of making the acquaintance of vicious predatory monsters.

His allies now include a band of sahuagin, a clan of wererats, a corps of mages trained in aerial combat (mostly apprentices) and a were-serpent exotic dancer (his lover). And, of course, the Legion of Nanna-Sin, who regard him as their Shagina ('General'), after he was bathed in the divine light of Nanna-Sin by physically entering the god-island on the Astral Plane.

The lilitim, like the sahuagin before them, are meant to become part of his ever-growing army, to be used to free Unther from the invading Mulhorandi. What he does with his most monstrous allies after the war, only the gods know.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Also, if any true or false recounting of the Orcgate Wars from the Untheric point of view exist, this may be a good place to have one or three.


There might well be, though such works would be viewed by Umamaita in much the same way as we regard medieval biographies of saints, i.e. as evidence more of the society and belief system of the writer than evidence about the life of the purported saint.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 03 Jul 2018 :  14:53:59  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

Which of these books would be plausibly found in a library stocked between 220-326 DR?

Obviously not those on historical events which happened after 326 DR. Books originating on geographical areas where there was limited trade and interaction with Unther at that time are much less likely.

I'm unsure how much contact there may have been with the Utter East during the Second Empire of Unther and I know little of the history of that land before the discovery of the Bloodforges.

It is quite likely that there would be an extensive selection of books covering the Shining Lands, given that the first Mulhorandi-Durpar Coin War breaks out in 317 DR and the Durpari would probably have been large trading partners and important to the foreign affairs of Unther in the decades leading up to that. Not to mention that the War of Claws with Eltabranar from 202-211 DR was fought near the Shining Lands and this necessarily would have brought the Old Empires into contact with Durpar, Var, the city-states of Estagund and the monster-led Veldorn.
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

So, a book surrounding the Utter East and the binding of Tartyron (from the video game blood & magic). Then possibly a later book detailing the blood wars and when he got released.
Breaking the Circle of Order, Secrets beneath the Land of Fire
Chaos Unbound, the release of Tartaryon
The Bloodforge Wars

Then maybe books detailing the Untheric view of the Orcgate Wars and Thayd
Erkalla Reborn, the secret burial city of Nergal
Rise and Fall of the Great Enemy, Thayd
Secrets of the Surviving Theurgist Adepts

Maybe a book on Pandorym and another book linking him to Entropy

Secret Weapon of the Artificers, Pandorym
Burning Witchweed, the rise of Luthcheq's Karanok family
Datharathi Crystal, a study of the Rise of Plangent Limb Replacement

possibly even linkages of Pandorym to some of the gates in the area... which given that Thayd had involvement in it and was Imaskari...

A treatise on Shandalaur, the Mucklestones, and other planar nexi of the East

Rise of the Red Wizards, a story of Halruaan Exiles
Learning in the Garden of Eternity, a treatise on Dread Necromancy by Velsharoon the Vaunted
The Founding of Thay and creation of Eltabbar by Jorgmacdon Odesseiron, first Zulkir of Conjuration
Dreams of Lalthar, The True Story of the Council of the Black Star and the Formation of the Modern Day Zulkirate by Ythazz Buvarr

Pholzubbalt, City of Mulan Shame

Dun-Tharos and the Dark Rise of Narfell by Garthelaun Darakh "the Goreslayer"

Divine Origins, A Study of Jergal's Renunciation, Mellifleur's Accident, and Karsus' Folly by Larloch, Sorcerer-King of Jiksidur Enclave


Then just because the complete book of necromancers had so much lore tied to a similar culture
Ereshkigal and Inanna, Exile of a sister
Sahu Island, and the founding of the city of Nycopolis by the First Necromancer King, Uruk Kigal
The Iron Spires of Ereshkigal, city of Serene Death
Blood & Magic, a history of the Necromancer Kings
Vermissa and the Cult of Worms, fall of the Empire of Thasmudyan

and there were some actual books mentioned in the Complete Book of Necromancers such as
Kazerabet's Art of Necromancy, and The Nycoptic Manuscripts, and Nebt Bhakau's Book of Shadows

Maybe something detailing the Sarrukh involvement in the lands long ago

Something detailing the summoning of Eltab and the creation of demoncysts

Something detailing the witches of Rashemen binding Eltab

Something detailing the founding of Eltabranar

Something detailing the rise of Peleveran

Something detailing the fall of Peleveran and Gargauth's and the Cult of the Dragon's involvement





Ah, I never saw your ask. A lot of this stuff, the actual dates are not documented (for instance, when did Peleveran form.. we only know when it fell). So, with that in mind, all the following are possibilities at present:


So, a book surrounding the Utter East and the binding of Tartyron (from the video game blood & magic). Then possibly a later book detailing the blood wars and when he got released.
Breaking the Circle of Order, Secrets beneath the Land of Fire

Erkalla Reborn, the secret burial city of Nergal
Rise and Fall of the Great Enemy, Thayd
Secrets of the Surviving Theurgist Adepts

Secret Weapon of the Artificers, Pandorym

A treatise on Shandaular, the Mucklestones, and other planar nexi of the East

Pholzubbalt, City of Mulan Shame

Dun-Tharos and the Dark Rise of Narfell by Garthelaun Darakh "the Goreslayer"

Divine Origins, A Study of Jergal's Renunciation, Mellifleur's Accident, and Karsus' Folly by Larloch, Sorcerer-King of Jiksidur Enclave

Since we have no idea when the Necromancer Kings Kingdom was, all of these are in play

Ereshkigal and Inanna, Exile of a sister
Sahu Island, and the founding of the city of Nycopolis by the First Necromancer King, Uruk Kigal
The Iron Spires of Ereshkigal, city of Serene Death
Blood & Magic, a history of the Necromancer Kings
Vermissa and the Cult of Worms, fall of the Empire of Thasmudyan

The Nycoptic Manuscripts from Complete Necromancer's Handbook and also Libris Mortis


Maybe something detailing the Sarrukh involvement in the lands long ago The Ba'etith, who were they and what is their legacy

Something detailing the summoning of Eltab and the creation of demoncysts The Creation of the Adamantine Seal, the lost art of Narfellian Dembonbinding

Something detailing the witches of Rashemen binding Eltab and the creation of the Everlasting Wyrm Telthor Binding Rituals and other Durthan Magics, including the Wychlaran Binding of Xavarathimius


Something detailing the founding of Eltabranar The Theocracy of the Crusaders of Myrkul, Eltabranar

Something detailing the rise of Peleveran... this might be right around its formation time OR it might have been a couple centuries later. The Cliffside City of Peleverai, Blessed city of Khass the Rain Lord


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 03 Jul 2018 :  15:03:49  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, and maybe a study by Faerunians that is outlawed in both Mulhorand and Unther (particularly Unther).

Deciphering the Stone of Kest, the true history of the Orcgate Wars, a story of Divine Betrayal

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 04 Jul 2018 :  15:56:37  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another book that I just found in Faces of Evil: the Fiends in looking up Lynkhab

Mors Mysterium Nominum - which is noted as "A big book of names"

Its also mentioned in this 3e article which details some other layers of the Abyss.

http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060620a&page=3

Also from the Fiendish Codex: Hordes of the Abyss page 138 regarding Apep is this book name, which is used "daily" by individuals to keep Apep bound in the Wells of Darkness

the Books of Overthrowing Apep

Also, in 4e Dragon Mag they started articles similar to the Demonomicon of Iggwilv, but these were focused on Hell, and were referred to as The Codex of Betrayal and detailed individuals from Hell. I have never read much on this, but I'm intrigued and may read through some of the 4e lore.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 04 Jul 2018 16:19:43
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Icelander
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Posted - 04 Jul 2018 :  16:44:35  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Ah, I never saw your ask. A lot of this stuff, the actual dates are not documented (for instance, when did Peleveran form.. we only know when it fell). So, with that in mind, all the following are possibilities at present:

When do you imagine Peleveran was founded?

Statistically, most polities last either a very short time, less than a generation, or, if they avoid a quick end, perhaps a few centuries. Anything more than five hundred years is a very good run and very few historical polities have survived as continuous political constructs for a thousand years or more (a case might be made for Ancient Egypt).

Without having given it much thought, I guess I assumed that Peleveran was founded a century or two before it was destroyed. Maybe around 500-600 DR, if it was very long-lived. Is there any canonical evidence that Peleveran was especially ancient when it was destroyed?

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Erkalla Reborn, the secret burial city of Nergal

That would be very interesting to the PCs, especially as local legends in Unthalass place Kur or Irkalla below the undercity of Unthalass, where Ereshkigal is believed to hold sway.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

A treatise on Shandaular, the Mucklestones, and other planar nexi of the East

Anything on planar nexi is inherently interesting, given the value of such for a great merchant house, which all the PCs in the campaign jointly own.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Pholzubbalt, City of Mulan Shame

Not an area of specific interest for Umamaita, but I suppose that a work of notable scholarship might have been acquired by him.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Dun-Tharos and the Dark Rise of Narfell by Garthelaun Darakh "the Goreslayer"

Would this Garthelaun 'the Goreslayer' Darakh have any relation to Garthelaun 'the Goreclaw' Darakh or his brother, Yannos 'the Slayer' Darakh?

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Divine Origins, A Study of Jergal's Renunciation, Mellifleur's Accident, and Karsus' Folly by Larloch, Sorcerer-King of Jiksidur Enclave

When do you imagine that work would have been written?

And the copy in the library, when would it have been made, and on what materials?

More likely than an original manuscript of a truly ancient work or even a faithful copy would be newer writings that refer to or quote a codex that was ancient when the writer acquired it. Or scholarly analysis of fragments of older books. At the very least, any copy of a millennia old work is likely to be a fifth-hand or more copy, painstakingly copied from aging parchment to preserve the lore longer than the materials could last. And, of course, any such process might preserve only what the current owner found important.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Since we have no idea when the Necromancer Kings Kingdom was, all of these are in play

Ereshkigal and Inanna, Exile of a sister
Sahu Island, and the founding of the city of Nycopolis by the First Necromancer King, Uruk Kigal
The Iron Spires of Ereshkigal, city of Serene Death
Blood & Magic, a history of the Necromancer Kings
Vermissa and the Cult of Worms, fall of the Empire of Thasmudyan

The PCs would be most interested in any work which mentioned Ereshkigal. Which means I have to determine how and when that name made it halfway across Toril.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

The Nycoptic Manuscripts from Complete Necromancer's Handbook and also Libris Mortis

Cyric is the Lord of the Dead in the Nycoptic Manuscripts. This makes them recent or astonishingly accurate prophecies.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Maybe something detailing the Sarrukh involvement in the lands long ago The Ba'etith, who were they and what is their legacy

Note that such works would be on a subject of unimaginable antiquity. No remotely paper-like substance is going to last even a tenth of the time from the Ba'etith to the third century of Dale Reckoning and even the longest-living beings regard that time as nigh mythological.

Any writings about the Dawn Ages and Creator Races found in the modern Realms are probably no more factual than real-world works on Atlantis, Lemuria, Mu, Númenor, Hyperborea or the Five Root Races of theosophist doctrine.

It would be remarkable indeed to find a scholar so well-informed that it could accurately name a secret society which existed thirty millennia ago. I'm guessing that those who know about the Ba'etith are mostly gods, immortal archmages with inscrutable goals, recently awakened sarrukh mummies or other similar beings, none of them exactly prone to dispensing their mysteries to mortals, to be written down in scholarly works.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Something detailing the summoning of Eltab and the creation of demoncysts The Creation of the Adamantine Seal, the lost art of Narfellian Dembonbinding

Something detailing the witches of Rashemen binding Eltab and the creation of the Everlasting Wyrm Telthor Binding Rituals and other Durthan Magics, including the Wychlaran Binding of Xavarathimius

It is almost inevitable that something of the binding of Eltab and the Everlasting Wyrm would be there, but whether any scrolls, codices or books on the subject contain erroneous speculation or accurate reporting is a different matter entirely.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Something detailing the founding of Eltabranar The Theocracy of the Crusaders of Myrkul, Eltabranar

Yes, I should imagine that Eltabranar was a subject of intense scholarly interest at the time of Umamaita's entombing. Books of history, politics, ethnology and magic would all have a very high probability of giving quite a lot of space to matters connected with Eltabranar, in light of its central role to Mulan affairs around the War of Claws.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Something detailing the rise of Peleveran... this might be right around its formation time OR it might have been a couple centuries later. The Cliffside City of Peleverai, Blessed city of Khass the Rain Lord


What ethnicity do you imagine that the Pelevarans were? What cultural influences were there?

Who do you imagine Khass the Rain Lord was and do you link him to any other gods?

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sleyvas
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On Peleveran, I haven't personally set a date as yet... and yes, it very much could be a short lived realm. It could also have been just the city for a LONG amount of time and only became a unified realm for a few centuries. I personally had some fun writing up some lore on the place though, and in doing so, having multiple inhabitants of the place that eventually became Peleverai, the Cliffside City. A book revolving around some of the EARLIER inhabitants of the place would also prove interesting... and may even revolve around the Wells of Darkness (with the Pit of Maleficence that held Gargauth possibly having ties to that layer of the Abyss).

On Khass the Rain Lord, he was something that BadCatMan introduced me to that's canon to the Shaar from the Complete Book of Barbarians. I'm specifically leaving him "unclear", as mortals don't know the truth behind gods. However, this is what I've written up for him.

Khass (also known as Enku, Khassu and Khanu): Shaaryan god of Clouds and Rain, male Fertility, Lord of the Palms, Keeper of Oases, Lord of Fishermen, Lord of Turtles. This god has primarily been worshipped by the Shaaryan people for the past several centuries and has been known little outside of the Shaar, the Raurin Desert, Ulgarth, the shining lands of Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden, and in ancient times the lands known today as “the Utter East”. Portrayed as a deity with palm trees for fingers, eyes that are giant coconuts, and an armored chest similar to a tortoise shell, there are whispers as to the exact nature of Khass. Some believe him a god, some a great spirit, some an archfey, some a primordial or elemental lord, some a powerful genie. There are various whispers as to his exact relationship as well to Ramman, Ishtar, and Ahorz/Assuran/Hoar the Doombringer. Some call him the father of the males (though some say only of Ramman) and sometime lover of Ishtar. Others call him some other form of familial relation (brother, cousin), whereas others say he is an aspect of Enlil, and some heresies say that Ramman and Assuran were split from him in the same manner as Tyche and Beshaba, but that somehow the original god survived. Some call Inanna his daughter, but not Ereshkigal who is her sister. What exactly is the truth is unknown, and the church does not acknowledge such ponderings, for they feel the god will reveal the truth in time.


Since you show some interest... this is what I have for the city itself that is in the Cliffside. This is written for my "United Tharchs of Toril" concept, and its written for Post Second Sundering with the idea that much of the city is inhabited by Crintri, refugees of High Imaskar, dark elves, humans, and some other races. Its not written for finality, so I need to work on it to put the current events in, but since you're looking for "old lore" it should work. I'm also turning this region into a place for the resurgence of some of the "dead" Untheric deities, but that's all post Sundering. A lot more information on the current state of the city I have posted elsewhere in my doc, but again, you'd rather "pre-spellplague"

Peleveria Cliffside City (approx population 24,000, roughly 30% human, 25% Crintri-blooded half-elf, 25% dark elf, 10% genasi (primarily those with an affinity for earth), 5% dwarf, 5% other races )
Notable Individuals/Residents: Halifaern Hazm'cri (Autharch managing the city),
Description The Cliffside city of Peleveria was created many thousands of years ago just after the collapse of the great cavern of Bhaerynden upon the dark elves of Telantiwar. Scrawled pictures upon the cavern walls beneath the Shaar, along with faded text in Seldruin and old Espruar, seem to indicate that a large object had struck the surface of the Shaar at a low angle of impact. This cause the creation of the great rift, cracked the faultline causing the landrise to rise even higher, and the creation of a tunnel beneath the Shaar that would eventually turn into the river Shaar. Survivors of Telantiwar who worshipped Lolth, Ghaunadaur, and Kiaransalee followed this newly created path or used oozes or undead workers to create emergency paths to see them and their people to safety. Eventually, they found their way to a cliff face, in what would become a small river gorge, along the landrise and began hollowing out the interior caverns and diverting a small portion of the river into this interior and growing fungus farms. This area also appeared to be a strong source for faerzress energy and a strange source of darkfire magic, which many attributed to the object which had crashed down from the sky. Over the next few centuries, they began small raids upon the dwarves of the Great Rift and the wild elves and gnolls of the plains of the Western Shaar, but they were careful to hide the path back to their new home.

Eventually, the dwarves and elves of the surface land worked together to track the drow to a cave opening behind a waterfall in the landrise. They found an aesthetically beautiful, yet disturbing city on the interior, filled with poisonous spiders, dark elven zombies, skeletons, mummies, and banshees, as well as traps filled with oozes, slimes, and gelatinous cubes. The dwarven and elven invaders managed to drive the dark elves out, but only after great loss of life on their part. Meanwhile, the dark elves escaped with a sizable number of gnoll slaves to help them rebuild elsewhere in places such as Vaerndoun and Llurth Dreier. It was then that the elves and dwarves took up residence themselves in the river gorge, adding further openings on the exterior walls of the river gorge and creating a winding system of aqueducts to bring water into small interior ponds and wells.

To commemorate this building of elven and dwarven cooperation, they erected a giant, hollow copper statue of an elf and a dwarf midway down the length of the gorge and connecting both sides. The dwarf was naturally shown to be in larger scale, as is common in statues created by their race, so that the two figures would reach the same height. The two figures, an elven female and a dwarf male , held their arms skyward and supported a great brazier, atop which was a twisting sculpture of writhing flame, decorated with flickering faerie fire-like lights that slowly changed their hue from a deep purplish indigo at dawn, vibrant blue in the early morning, a verdant green just before midday, a deep yellow at highsun, a rich orange in the afternoon, and finally soft red and pink hues as the sun sets. Throughout the night, it gives off a soft, violet glow which gives off enough light to make out the many cave-like openings along the landrise in this river gorge.. When it rains, the sky above the entire gorge is filled with wavering and intermixing rainbows, and it is believed that this is a later blessing bestowed by Khass the Rain Lord. The interior of the two structures contains stairs which connect the two sides of the river gorge, and a small platform of flat rock suitable for massing fifty or more individuals anchors each side. These platforms are decorated in the style of the culture that lived on that side of the cliffside city, green elves on the north and dwarves on the south. In addition, the girth of the dwarven statue allows for numerous additional areas in which doors could be opened and arrow slits cut, allowing for equipment such as ballista and mangonel batteries for repelling the occasional marauding dragon, roc, or other large, magical beast. Much smaller but similar wall sconces fill the inner city of Peleveria to this day, many with continual flame spells that mirror the colors of the statue-bridge.

Then came a dwarf who sought to increase their own personal power through making deals with fiends. A young dwarf runelord, Bathak, passed over by his father for his younger brother to be Thane, came upon the black pit, and upon staring into its interior, his mind shattered. He heard whispers of power, if he would only draw her sign and accept the presence of Aym, Queen Avarice, she would allow him to burn his enemies. Bathak then slit his brother's throat and tossed his lifeless body into the seemingly bottomless pit filled with reflections of stars that did not exist above it. Little is known of what happened afterward, other than that the city was set aflame and the caverns were filled with fiends. The city was abandoned and believed to be cursed, but not before runic wards were enacted to cage the horrors that had filled it.

It would be millenia before the city would once again become inhabited. This time it was humans from several different tribes and races who discovered the city. The wards covering the city had eroded to the point that they allowed the fiends to wander farther afield, though they could not summon their fellows nor translocate themselves anywhere except back to the cliffside city. Still, they could hunt and kill. They could rape. They could make bargains for power, both foul and contemptuous. Their impact was quickly and severely felt.

The human tribes of the region were incensed, and they would not be satisfied until every one of the fiends living in the city were slain. Luckily, the number of fiends had been reduced over time through internal strife, such that achieving this goal was not insurmountable. With the magical aid of a Shaaryan-blooded spirit shaman by the name of Peleveria and an Arkaiun druid-mage named Gavar, they had tracked several fiends back to the city. Working together to summon the Great Spirits of Khass the Rain Lord and Ishtar of the Flowing Rivers, the two spellcasters offered themselves bodily to serve as vessels for their god-like magnificence. After becoming imbued with their power, they then summoned a small army of minor air, water, and storm elementals, with which they did aid the humans' entry, capture, and cleansing of the cliffside city amidst a powerful rainstorm. In so doing, they did collapse some tunnels and force a small portion of the river Shaar to exit out of tunnels on both the north and south cliff faces past the giant statue-bridge which spans the gorge. In a final act of purification, Peleveria did use the power of Ishtar to redirect a stream of holy water from these newly created rivers to flow throughout the cavern complex and into the black pit from which the fiends had come. So long as this trickling stream would continue to flow, the black power of the pit would be contained.

So, it was decided that the tribes would join together and make a new home with the druid-mage Gavar as its king. Their king then named the city Peleveria, after its first queen, and he did both marry and impregnate her on the spot with the blessings of Khass the Rain Lord and Ishtar of the Flowing Rivers still upon them both. They would form a line of mixed-blooded humans of both Arkaiun and Shaaryan descent, but possessed of a natural power which manifested itself in their line as powerful sorcerers and battlemagi.

Compared to their own tribal squalor, this city was amazing, despite the damage dealt it during its previous fall and the current cleansing. Combining a mixture of dark elven, dwarven, and elven artistry and stonework, for many it was like nothing they had ever seen before or even imagined. So, the tribal peoples of both Shaaryan and Arkaiun descent happily took up residence in the ancient cliffside city and began building farms at the top of the landrise. Under the rulership of the descendants of Gavar and Peleveria, they peacefully expanded north and east, absorbing small tribal units to form a small kingdom which would become named Peleveran.

In recognition of their aid and to gain their favor, carvings representative of Khass and Ishtar, intertwined in the act of lovemaking, surround the falls created on the north and south cliff faces. These openings have ample space in the surrounding caves which have allowed for additional caves to be built along these new streams. It was not uncommon for expecting mothers and their families to move into these caves in the weeks leading up to the birthing of their children, for it was expected that they would receive the blessings of these great powers in doing so. All newborns so birthed were cleansed with the waters of this stream, and the water left over from this cleansing was used in a ritual to rejuvenate the mother.

And so it was that time passed, and the kingdom of Peleveran solidified. The lands of Peleveran became tree-cloaked fertile lands with the blessings of Khass and Ishtar, and soon the worship of Grumbar and Silvanus also spread amongst the people. Relations with the elves of the Chondalwood and the dwarves of the great rift were renewed, and trade between their kingdoms was successful. The population of the cliffside city of Peleveria blossomed, and caverns which had not been used for millenia were repurposed to support families, granaries, reservoirs, tribal cooking and dining areas, bazaars, smithies, and numerous other roles. This also involved some occasional work to repair old facilities, which also led at one point to a small tunnel collapse in 1001 DR (the year of the Awakening) that temporarily shut off the stream leading to the northern cliff face, as well as the stream leading into the Dark Pit of Maleficence.

Soon afterward, news of a ghost dragon named Ragflaconshen which had been discovered by priests of Abbathor was being sent to the cult of the dragon. However, the messenger somehow totally confused the information on the location, which was beneath the Turnback mountains north of the Tortured Lands near Anauroch, and instead reported that the ghost dragon was in the city of Peleveran. There are those who believe that Gargauth caused this misinformation in order to lure Tuelhalva Drakewings to to the Dark Pit of Maleficence, which is believed to have ties to the wells of darkness in the abyss. One of the dwarven priests was a priest-binder who it was said habitually formed a pact with the dwarven vestige, Aym, Queen of Avarice. It is thought that Gargauth's connection to Astaroth, himself a vestige after Gargauth defeated him, somehow enabled Gargauth to obtain information on the actions of the priests via the vestige of Aym. If this is true, then Gargauth has access to a powerful source of information gathering that few others have even begun to contemplate. Using other resources, which are unclear at this time, he either altered the memory of the location in the messenger of the Cult of the Dragon, coerced the individual to change the story, or was capable of seizing control of the individual even from within his entrapment, and thus it was the Tuelhalva Drakewings found himself in the capital city of Peleveran and seeking out the Dark Pit of Maleficence.

It would take nearly seventeen years for Tuelhalva to gather the resources and personal power to enact the ritual required to free Gargauth from the Dark Pit of Maleficence. There are those who believe that this is because Gargauth himself had been entrapped in the Wells of Darkness himself that this casting was so complex. The truth of this matter is unclear, but what is known is that in 1018 DR, Gargauth was freed from the Dark Pit of Maleficence, and upon becoming free he summoned a horde of hellspawn to serve Tuelhalva in seizing the throne of Peleveran. As Peleveran fell to the armies of baatezu, the great fiend of the pit flew north, whispering lies of Tuelhalva destroying an ancient undead dragon king he had found in the ears of the leadership of the Cult of the Dragon. Within a month of Tuelhalva's coronation, a Rage of Dragons descended on Peleveran, and when it passed not a trace of that nation nor Tuelhalva remained.
So it was that the cliffside city of Peleveran fell into ruin once again. With its fall, the worship of Khass the Rain Lord also fell on hard times. Some even whispered that the avatar of Khass had been killed in combat defending the capital and slaying several dracoliches himself. Many of his worshippers had died, and there was no new generation to take their place, and so slowly the god grew silent. Over time the tribes of the surrounding land would slowly encroach upon the territory, for from the ashes the land itself did recover, but it never flourished as it had during the age of the kingdom of Peleveran. The city of Peleverai itself was considered to be cursed, and it was whispered that those who visited it were soon captured and sacrificed to devils. So it was that it would take over four centuries and desperation for humans to once again enter the city of Peleverai.



Ilphomar Manaq'oya, Khazir of Arcane Craftsmanship, was once the right hand man to Lord Artificer Qhapaq of High Imaskar. During the events of the sundering, the city of Skyclave fell under the assault of the mighty wizard, Nezram, the World-Walker, and his army of mages. Nezram had blamed the High Imaskari people for destabilizing the region by moving, through some unwitting use of the celestial nadir, the Palace of Purple Emperor atop where Skuld, the ancient capital of Mulhorand, would have been. In essence, Nezram blamed the High Imaskari for much of the devastation and exchange of lands caused during the spellplague. In fact, some in the Tharch of Peleveran openly wonder if in fact Nezram is correct. During the tumult of the assault, Ilphomar led a large population of Imaskari artificers and their families from High Imaskar by ordering a flight of twenty redwings, giant dragonfly-like creatures, to land their gondolas and carry the fleeing citizens southward. These gondolas operate using a trick of Imaskari magic which creates an extradimensional space within its interior, allowing for the transport of scores of individuals or a large amount of cargo.

In total, 14 redwings survived to transport their people to the Tharch of Peleveran, holding to the simple hope that the people of this returned land would welcome them. Over 500 Imaskari, of which half their number were arcane spellcasters, managed to make the transfer. They have tentatively been allowed to join the Tharch of Peleveran and given homes within the cavernous cliff system that is old Peleveria. In return, they are expected to use their engineering and magical skills to improve the ancient city. Many of these individuals were immigrants from Deep Imaskar within the last two decades, and thus living in the darkened environment of this cliffside city is not unusual to them, and they have begun making themselves at home in the northern cliff face. Their redwings with their extradimensional gondolas have become a common site transporting goods and people between Upper Peleveran, Lower Peleveria, and Peleveria Cliffside City. Secretly, Zulkir Lauzoril and his fellow Aulkirs plan to mine the minds of these Imaskari for news of the changes wrought upon Toril during their absence, and so they set their own people to serve as aides to these transplanted folk, meanwhile spying upon them and gaining their trust.




Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 04 Jul 2018 17:09:02
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sleyvas
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Posted - 04 Jul 2018 :  17:36:49  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Erkalla Reborn, the secret burial city of Nergal

That would be very interesting to the PCs, especially as local legends in Unthalass place Kur or Irkalla below the undercity of Unthalass, where Ereshkigal is believed to hold sway.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Dun-Tharos and the Dark Rise of Narfell by Garthelaun Darakh "the Goreslayer"

Would this Garthelaun 'the Goreslayer' Darakh have any relation to Garthelaun 'the Goreclaw' Darakh or his brother, Yannos 'the Slayer' Darakh?

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Divine Origins, A Study of Jergal's Renunciation, Mellifleur's Accident, and Karsus' Folly by Larloch, Sorcerer-King of Jiksidur Enclave

When do you imagine that work would have been written?

And the copy in the library, when would it have been made, and on what materials?

More likely than an original manuscript of a truly ancient work or even a faithful copy would be newer writings that refer to or quote a codex that was ancient when the writer acquired it. Or scholarly analysis of fragments of older books. At the very least, any copy of a millennia old work is likely to be a fifth-hand or more copy, painstakingly copied from aging parchment to preserve the lore longer than the materials could last. And, of course, any such process might preserve only what the current owner found important.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Since we have no idea when the Necromancer Kings Kingdom was, all of these are in play

Ereshkigal and Inanna, Exile of a sister
Sahu Island, and the founding of the city of Nycopolis by the First Necromancer King, Uruk Kigal
The Iron Spires of Ereshkigal, city of Serene Death
Blood & Magic, a history of the Necromancer Kings
Vermissa and the Cult of Worms, fall of the Empire of Thasmudyan

The PCs would be most interested in any work which mentioned Ereshkigal. Which means I have to determine how and when that name made it halfway across Toril.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

The Nycoptic Manuscripts from Complete Necromancer's Handbook and also Libris Mortis

Cyric is the Lord of the Dead in the Nycoptic Manuscripts. This makes them recent or astonishingly accurate prophecies.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Maybe something detailing the Sarrukh involvement in the lands long ago The Ba'etith, who were they and what is their legacy

Note that such works would be on a subject of unimaginable antiquity. No remotely paper-like substance is going to last even a tenth of the time from the Ba'etith to the third century of Dale Reckoning and even the longest-living beings regard that time as nigh mythological.

Any writings about the Dawn Ages and Creator Races found in the modern Realms are probably no more factual than real-world works on Atlantis, Lemuria, Mu, Númenor, Hyperborea or the Five Root Races of theosophist doctrine.

It would be remarkable indeed to find a scholar so well-informed that it could accurately name a secret society which existed thirty millennia ago. I'm guessing that those who know about the Ba'etith are mostly gods, immortal archmages with inscrutable goals, recently awakened sarrukh mummies or other similar beings, none of them exactly prone to dispensing their mysteries to mortals, to be written down in scholarly works.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Something detailing the summoning of Eltab and the creation of demoncysts The Creation of the Adamantine Seal, the lost art of Narfellian Dembonbinding

Something detailing the witches of Rashemen binding Eltab and the creation of the Everlasting Wyrm Telthor Binding Rituals and other Durthan Magics, including the Wychlaran Binding of Xavarathimius

It is almost inevitable that something of the binding of Eltab and the Everlasting Wyrm would be there, but whether any scrolls, codices or books on the subject contain erroneous speculation or accurate reporting is a different matter entirely.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Something detailing the founding of Eltabranar The Theocracy of the Crusaders of Myrkul, Eltabranar

Yes, I should imagine that Eltabranar was a subject of intense scholarly interest at the time of Umamaita's entombing. Books of history, politics, ethnology and magic would all have a very high probability of giving quite a lot of space to matters connected with Eltabranar, in light of its central role to Mulan affairs around the War of Claws.




I get lost when people start responding to individual responses, etc.. so just going to leave the quotes I'm thinking about and respond to all down here. I talked about Peleveran and my take in the last response, so I'll take that out.

I knew the Ereshkigal / Sahu / Nergal stuff would catch your interest. As to HOW the information made it to Unther, that's not real hard to posit if one considers how much information people in Mulhorand may have on say Waterdeep. However, given the cultural significance of Ereshkigal, I could definitely some of the people of Unther as being interested in this area and possibly hunting down information.

The nycoptic manuscripts are in fact supposed to be valid premonitions, much like the ones that Savras' chosen (the Prophecies of Alaundo) wrote and those written by Shar's chosen (The Black Chronology)... so yes, it may be very accurate... or it may be flawed...

On the lore of the ba'etith... I agree, this information should be written from a scholars viewpoint, but a scholar thousands of years later trying to "figure out" some lore on the the Sarrukh.. and probably getting things wrong, much as our own sages here often come up with an idea and then discover "that can't be right". You could use it however you will though, and could maybe throw in nuggets that might drive PC's to check out things. Maybe it leads them into looking into beings such as Apep and Dahak?

On the witches of rashemen and their rituals... use this as you see fit. Maybe it leads your party into researching telthors... maybe into researching ghosts... maybe it leads them down the path of researching vestiges... maybe it leads them into Peleverai (before it WAS Peleverai) and they find out that the witches made a deal with Gargauth. If your party shows no interest, its just a name for a book that you can have given them.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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