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Posted - 20 Jun 2018 :  22:30:18  Show Profile Send Fineva a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I'm assisting an author in the d&d 5e production of season 8.
My job is to research background of Netheril, Red Wizards and earlier versions of magic that would allow a wizard to rise to god hood.
The Chult adventures stopped a "soulmonger" collection device intended to raise an atrophy to god hood. Though it was stopped fighting continues over research and pieces of the item for nefarious purposes.
In addition dead in Thay is a plot line where even chosen are being drained of God power to facilitate the lichs
Finally, Netherese ruins and the recent worm that walks plot have occurred (Kyuss)
I need earlier stuff that might fit, even Netherese like Larloch and Karsus may have left notes.
Help my research, please point me to areas in Candlekeep from whatever era might do good


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Posted - 21 Jun 2018 :  00:31:50  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
IF Larloch left any notes on any matter of this topic, it would have been in either his warlock crypt or the ruins of his old enclave.

KArsus's notes: Good luck it is cannon that all copies of his spell are destroyed( wiped permanently from all knowledge) and with them; I would imagine, his notes too.

there is Ioluam though, his longevity spell will increase one's lifespan but it will not achieve godhood.

in the 3.x waterdeep book there is a sorcerer with another spell that functions like ioluam's longevity but im not to familiar with it.

iirc there is also a spell somewhere that would turn a bound or willing participator into a half fiend, if one were to turn into an evil god this would be a good place to start.

past that i'm not too sure as I dont own any of the older books past a few of the 2e books and a good deal of the 3.x ones.

edit: karsus's avatar is in the netheril arcane age 2e book and ioluam's longevity is too, though the latter is in the lost empires of faerun 3.x.

from what I remember is that karsus's avatar spell stole the power of a god, but didnt make you one.

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

My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit

Edited by - sfdragon on 21 Jun 2018 00:39:37
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Posted - 21 Jun 2018 :  02:33:13  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There have been multiple instances of spellcasters becoming gods via magic. I'm going to cover something with my favorite two in detail before moving on to others

Mellifleur is one instance, though his was an accident, in which the lich ritual he was using tapped into a god's imbuing of another individual with the power to become a "demigod"

Specifically, the lore we have on Mellifleur from the 2e Monster mythology says

Of all these beings, the most extraordinary tale is that of Mellifleur, the Lich-Lord. Mellifleur was an ancient wizard who had faithfully prepared his magical road to undeath, and dutifully enacted the magical rituals with great care. What he did not know was that a major god of evil - who varies from pantheon to pantheon in different versions of this myth - was just about to raise a mortal priest to become a demigod through divine ascension. A great backwash of god-magic resonated with Mellifleur's rituals, and the wizard became a demigod instead. Thus, the Lich-Lord came into being by mistake, a glorious irony. Illithid sages have an extraordinary variant of this tale, claiming that the event involved a collective impulse among the gods themselves, so that several evil gods in different worlds were all carrying out the same operation at the same time, and their combined magical effects, summed and transformed, raised Mellifleur not just to deity status but to the status of a lesser god. This would explain why in the Greyhawk campaign, Neruall is said to be the deity who created Mellifleur; in Toril, they say Bane, and in other worlds, other dark names are invoked. One thing is for certain: to survive, Mellifleur has to have his avatars oppose the actions of the dark deity who created him, lest his own being be diminished and the evil god recapture and absorb Mellifleur's power. The Lich-Lord must oppose certain evils to survive. On occasion, it is said, some deities of neutral good in particular actually aid him, to avoid the greater evil of the greater god triumphing. Evil fights evil, aided by good to maintain division

So, in the above, we have established for realmslore that Mellifleur exists in the realms. We have it that he stole his power from Bane as Bane was trying to raise up a mortal priest via "divine ascension" of some sort. While they use the term "demigod", I'd more than likely bet that what Bane was doing was creating a Banelich, which was a lich much like a chosen, who is imbued with some of Bane's own essence.

We also know that the alias of Mellifleur is USED by Velsharoon... but at the time of Velsharoon's ascension in 1368 DR, Bane was dead, and we're told that Talos helped Velsharoon ascend. So the presumption from this is that Velsharoon has taken over Mellifleur's role in realmspace. Thus, Velsharoon and Mellifleur are not the same being, and Mellifleur came first.

My take is that Mellifleur is actually somewhat of a psychotic force. I think that the illithid sages "almost" had the right of it when they made their notes. The part where I think they messed up was where they said "at the same time". I believe that multiple different individuals in different crystal spheres have enacted the ritual that stole the power from EITHER another deity's ascension themselves OR another deity trying to raise a follower to demigod/Chosen/Exarch/Proxy <insert god's name>lich and/or "some special relation to the god" status. Thus, "Mellifleur" is actually a collective mind (much like the illithids, which may be why they were interested). Each phylactery is tied to an aspect of Mellifleur (i.e. each mortal that "ascended" to join the Mellifleur godhead via ritual provided their own phylactery). Within a given crystal sphere, each "aspect" of Mellifleur acts in accordance to its own needs but has knowledge of the larger force whenever they focus upon it.

In fact, just to make things a bit more intriguing... perhaps the ORIGINAL Mellifleur was an illithid elder brain which tried to enact a collective ritual via his illithid wizards (Alhoon) to achieve lichdom so that it wouldn't die. Perhaps THIS is why the illithids are SO against arcane magic that they cast out any illithid spellcasters. I wouldn't be surprised if the being that he drew the power from wasn't Maanzecorian (either during Maanzecorian's OWN ascension to godhood or when Maanzecorian was imbuing divine power upon an illithid).

So far, I'm betting I have noone having a problem with the idea. Now is where I'm betting we'll see splits. So, Mellifleur existed prior to the Time of Troubles as Mellifleur and stole his power from Bane. I state this because Bane didn't exist "after" the time of troubles (well, didn't for a little while). So, what happened with Mellifleur during and following the time of troubles? That opens up a whole realm of possibilities. So, let's throw out some of them in the form of a timeline I was working up:

1326 DR - The exiled Halruaan, Velsharoon the Vaunted, begins research on the rise of Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul. It is rumored that he visits Ironfang Keep and survives.

1345 - 1354 DR - The dread necromancer, Velsharoon the Vaunted, builds a tower, which he names the Tower Terrible, in the city of Soorenar in Chessenta. He then spends several years visiting Murghom and the Plains of Purple Dust seeking lore on the mortal life of Myrkul.

1358 DR - Time of Troubles - Using knowledge gained from the vestige of Karsus to gain better control over his arcane powers, the renegade red wizard, Velsharoon the Vaunted hunts down the avatar of Mellifleur inhabiting the body of a half-fiend lich rumored to be one of several grandchildren of the line of Garthelaun Darakh "the Goreslayer", fourth ruler of the Darakh Dynasty of ancient Narfell. Mellifleur is forced into his phylactery, and when the gods reascend, Ao does not allow Mellifleur's entrapped intellect to return to godhood for failing to properly serve his portfolios.

1359 DR - Intrigued by the machinations of his former ally and fellow renegade red wizard, Zhengyi the Witch-King of Vaasa, Velsharoon begins following the actions of Gareth Dragonsbane and company as they steal the wand of Orcus, slay an avatar of Tiamat, and soak the wand in its blood. Unbeknownst to Gareth and company, Velsharoon transports in and gathers a portion of the blood and bile of the dead avatar which have been infused with a remnant of the power of the wand of Orcus.

1364 DR - red wizards of the enclave of Soorenar, under the orders of Szass Tam, invade the home of the renegade red wizard, Velsharoon the Vaunted. This meets with disastrous results. The survivors, upon threat of utter annihilation, declare peace with the renegade red wizard and Velsharoon rewards them for their bravery by providing them several rituals involving undead creation. He however advises that the red wizards must not share these rituals with their cohorts in Thay "who have not dared enough in the field of necromancy". The red wizards request the protection of Zulkir Lauzoril against the wrath of Szass Tam. Lauzoril and the other Zulkirs chastise Tam for threatening the security of their enclave over a matter that he should have handled himself.

1366 DR - Velsharoon the Vaunted enters the Dire Wood of the High Forest. Although challenged by the arcanist Wulgreth and other magical obstacles, Velsharoon obtains a bottle of the pure heart's blood pumping from the Karsestone.

1368 DR - The renegade red wizard and Halruaan exile, Velsharoon the Vaunted, assaults an ancient ruin on Narfell's northern border, rumored to be named Jiksidur, possibly seeking ancient lore used by Larloch in his own lich creation ritual. Velsharoon slays a gold dragon and its cloud giant guardians. It is rumored that he butchered the dragon on the spot, taking its stone-filled gizzard and brewing it in a cauldron containing blood of the Karsestone, the mixed blood and bile of the avatar of Tiamat, and the bone powder of the former avatar of Mellifleur.
Several weeks later, using the Phylactery of Mellifleur and the Skull Staff of the Necromancer, Velsharoon performs a ritual to transfer the “spirit” of the god Mellifleur from the Phylactery of Mellifleur and into the vestige phylactery that is part of the Skull Staff of the Necromancer. The next day, Mellifleur's consciousness was sent to “the place where vestiges go”. Mellifleur then made a pact with the vestige of Karsus and transferred it into the vestige phylactery that is part of the Skull Staff of the Necromancer, and then establishes telepathic rapport with Karsus via the staff. Using the now cleansed Phylactery of Mellifleur as a focal point, in a modified Ritual of Endless Night, Velsharoon ascends to godhood with the sponsorship of the deity Talos. The red wizards of Soorenar are some of the first converts, and many former priests of Myrkul in Thay flock to the city in order to turn the land surrounding the Tower Terrible into a temple complex.

This opens up a lot of holes for stories here. For instance, we know Orcus "died" and we know that canonically his wand was destroyed (and in theory, Kiaransalee erased his name). With the above we have it that the essences of Karsus, Mellifleur, Orcus, and Tiamat would thusly all be tied in with Velsharoon's ascension to godhood (and of course Talos). We also tie this to the place where Vestiges go, and we have the whole storyline where Tenebrous/Orcus comes back as some kind of shadowy being. He kills Maanzecorian, the illithid god, using "The Last Word". We also tie this to the wand of Orcus, which Tenebrous is desperate to find in order to return, almost like its also some kind of phylactery/vestige phylactery....

Here is my take on the Skull Staff of the Necromancer under 3.5 ruleset

Artifact: Skull Staff of the necromancer (Imaskari artifact) - Powers of Skull Staff:
Spells: command undead at will, gentle repose at will, animate dead 3/day, create undead 2/day, control undead 2/day, finger of death 2/day
+1 quarterstaff, unholy, vile, souldrinker, ghost touch, sure striking <note +5 with greater magic weapon)
increases the number of hit dice of undead controllable by caster to 10 HD per caster level

The Skull Staff of the necromancer also functions as a Vestige Phylactery (see Tome of Magic) and a Soul Lens (see Tome of Magic)

The Skull Staff of the necromancer provides a +4 bonus to binding checks to bind a vestige (this bonus becomes +6 if binding Balam)

(Int 19 Wis 10 Char 19 AL NE Ego 31 Communication: speech, telepathy Senses: 120 ft darkvision, blindsense, and hearing
Languages: Abyssal, Infernal, Celestial, Draconic, Aragrakh (Old High Wyrm), Imaskari, Roushoum, Mulhorandi, Untheric and reads magic
Lesser powers: detect magic (at will), Staff has 10 ranks in Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (history:Imaskar),and Knowledge (the planes)
Greater powers: magic circle against good at will, fear 3/day
Special Purpose: Defeat/slay divine spellcasters Special Purpose Power: wielder gets +2 profane bonus on saves

The Skull Staff of the Necromancer is a powerful Imaskari artifact wielded by several Lord Artificers before the fall of Imaskar. It was constructed by a powerful anima mage named Murghos who very commonly bound the vestige known as Balam to himself. As a result, Murghos was influenced over time by Balam to hate the servants of the gods (even moreso than the norm for an Imaskari). Murghos created the Staff of the Necromancer as a tool with which to strike at his hated enemies. Over time, Murghos transformed himself into a lich, using the staff as his phylactery. After a few centuries more, Murghos felt his hold on this plane loosening and Murghos began the ritual to invest himself with even greater power as a demi-lich. However, something went wrong with the ritual sacrifice (some believe that the vestige of Balam that was in the staff's phylactery at the time had something to do with this) and Murghos' soul was wrenched into the place where Vestiges reside and the demi-lich's skull became fused to the staff (thus its new name of "The Skull Staff of Necromancers") . However, a small portion of Murghos' own sentience remained trapped in the staff, endowing it with even greater magical power and turning it into an artifact.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Posted - 21 Jun 2018 :  03:10:44  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and in the above, my view of Velsharoon is that he's multi-classed in 3.5 as 5th wiz (non specialist) / 1st dread necro/ 10th ultimate magus / 1st binder / 10th anima mage / 3rd loremaster / 2nd archmage
class level 32

Moving on
There was also believed to be a ritual in a book ... the Book of Fastrin the Delver... we're told in Unclean by Szass Tam that it was found by Fastrin when "Netheril was Young"... but in Undead we're told by an ancestor worm/gravecrawler that Fastrin and his kingdom were around "not so very long after the fall of Netheril" and that this kingdom was in the Sunrise mountains. I choose to believe that the ancestor worm is more correct. This ritual is "the ultimate act of transmutation" as it allows you to take in all the potential of everything and recreate the entire world with yourself as a god. This involved Szass Tam and his machinations.

My take on this: Leira wasn't killed by Cyric. Leira instead was absorbed by Mask as Godsbane, because the two were in service to Ao to work against Shar's machinations to become an overpower that could challenge Ao. Leira then infected Cyric's mind and encouraged him to write the Cyrinishad, one of the greatest lies ever told, and one which shattered the mind of a god by making him believe the lie... and thus Leira was reborn as the Cyrinishad. Afterward, Leira manifested an avatar in the form of the Book of Fastrin the Delver. She had possibly manifested in this book form previously (leading to Karsus' Folly and Fastrin's own kingdom's destruction). Ultimately, this ritual involves the drawing in of large amounts of energy, which can then be transferred to another being. It does not do what Szass Tam believed, but then that's the point of the lie (it should also be noted that Szass Tam was canonically not in favor of Leira according to one short story). In the case of Szass Tam's ritual, this energy was used to help restore the original Mystra (or maybe it was Mystryl?). If one wanted to put an interesting spin on it, one could even say that Karsus' ritual had ALSO empowered Mystra... by depowering Mystryl.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 21 Jun 2018 03:13:48
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