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52 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2018 :  13:45:43  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Has anyone made an alternative realms timeline? For example - no spellplague, no return of Bane (Xvim instead) and so on.

How would the realms have progressed from the realms of 'Cloak & Dagger'? Around 1368 DR.

The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

1977 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2018 :  03:45:46  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tolerate the timeline and just resurrect the npcs I like that they killed off and transport all the old ones (right down to those in the Volos guides right into modern realms. Admittedly it doesn't make much sense but I figure they will never fill all the holes they made by wiping the board clean.

My current projects are 1) writing up a new Zhentarim with several Manshoon controlling different branches, Zhents back in the Citadel, temple and Zhentil Keep and Yulash rebuilt. and 2) remaking Highmoon as a metropolis that arose when Tilverton was destroyed and the Shadovar took over Sembia.

So far I've not seen anything that directly controverts these so its kind of Alternative
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Senior Scribe

638 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2018 :  09:49:38  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm using basically (with changes "as I see fit", which may be retroactive for events/regions that have not come into play in my players campaigns) the canon timeline up until the start of 3E (so 1372-ish) and then made extensive changes as my players messed around with the world and I moved the pieces around them to suit my needs and my own personal vision of the Realms.

Are you interested in specific regions/cities/organizations?

I've had a big civil war in Cormyr after the Royal Family was thought wiped out in a massive coup (Alusair survived [at -7 hp] and is now Queen with no living close relatives), Thay united and taking over much of the eastern Realms exploiting a huge demonic "invasion" started in Rashemen, Thesk and the Great Dale (in truth the durthans were manipulated into unlocking all the demoncysts and bindings of the eastern Realms left over from the Narfell-Raumathar war, releasing hordes of demons which were the real power behind the strange "place magic" of Rashemen), Impiltur had a lot of problems with the demons too but the Lords managed to protect the King and counter an invasion prompted by Soneillon and finally kicked Eltab in the nuts sending him back for good (Soneillon is still around and kicking).
In the far south the monsters of Veldorn erupted and went on a rampage of carnage and destruction that annihilated Estagund and Luiren prompting a mass exodus of hins to the rest of the Realms and turning the island of Quelthiir into a big refugee camp (refugees with a lot of ships, hatred for the monsters and determined to take their homes back).
In the far north an army of demons, creatures of the cold and frost giants guided by Kostchtchie (exiled from the Abyss) razed Hartsvale, then Kostchtchie was betrayed and killed by his most powerful leutenants aided by agents of other demon lords and a new frost giant of great power emerged to rule the land, after clashing with the other clans of giants and the goblinoids of the Spine of the World both the frost giant king and Gerti Orelsdottir went down in a titanic battle that decimated the giant population of the Spine and prematurely stopped this growing threath to the North.
In Calimshan Syl Pasha El Pesarkhal has almost completed his takeover, reaching agreements with most of the powers of the region (most notably the Calephs Arcane) and crushing the rest (the Rundeen survive in isolated pockets but lost their overarching organization and their leaders), war is brewing with Tethyr while the Twisted Rune is caught up in a secret war with the returned Shoon VII, internal strife with some of the Runemasters trying to exploit external agents to get rid of their fellows, the whole organization closing in on the Shield of the Hidden Lord and Gargauth's survival in the Realms and Larloch ever so slowly moving to add one or more of the powerful undeads to his collection of servants.
Amn has had a very bad time with monsters, Cyricists and internal strife but the massive influx of money coming in from Maztica, the actions of powerful adventurers and the collective efforts of the Council of Six and the Cowled Wizards have secured the borders once again with Trailstone, Riatavin and Murann back into the fold.
After his own war with himself some of the Manshoons that survived are searching for a way out in various means, one has reached an agreement with Fzoul ceasing most of the strife within the Zhentarim and turning to higher purposes (world domination without being the mustache-twirling villain on the frontline with a side of spell research) while another, aided by Sememmon and Ashemmi in exchange of their freedom, has changed sex, took the name Apheirlarra again and "gifted" to Fzoul and Manshoon a Darkhold purged by Cyricists and on a spree of successes in the Western Heartlands becoming the lover and mistress of Manshoon (that knows who his mistress is/was). Fzoul is for the moment oblivious to the fact that he has two Manshoons to contend with at home now but is completely absorbed by the Zhentarim successes and schemes to care enough to triplecheck and Bane is pleased with him regardless.
The Harpers have their own problems with the schism and "policing their own" taken to a whole 'nother level by the meddling of Shoon VII, a series of unfortunate accidents and the rise of old and new evils all across Toril.
Shade is back after a major planar tear in Anauroch (caused by the destruction of an immense portal to the Abyss) sucked it back into this reality. After quick and bloody clashes with Zhentarims, Bedine, Harpers, Cormyr and the Chosens, the Shades reassessed the situation and are now playing the slow conquest of the world from the security of their floating fortress by sending and hiring strike teams against selected targets (which among other things is making the life of the Chosens and anyone that they hold dear pretty miserable) and strenghtening ties with the Sharrans all over the Realms (that went in a divinely inspired frenzy of activities upon the return of the archwizards). I handwaived away the phaerimm and sharn plotline as I didn't find to my taste yet two other almost alien species of monsters mastering magic beyond the mortal ken and all that jazz, I've got dragons, illithids and beholders for that ... and spellweavers if I want to go full retard.

There are lots of other "minor" things and enormous (and probably unpopular) changes to the Lower Planes but I think I've written enough already. I actually have a 20 pages long Word document with a 1373-1377 timeline (some events yet to come) and another with DR dates for events on the Lower Planes that goes from -325 to 1377 but the above is a summary of the biggest or rather most visible changes.

Edited by - Demzer on 12 Jul 2018 10:15:03
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

1086 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2018 :  23:52:28  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, a world without Spellplague will not change that much. The changes to the Realms to 4e were mostly because of the 100 years timejump. The Spellplague did only changed the geography and included Abeiran lands in Toril. If you want to see a World without the Spellplague, ignore those geographical changes and use the political situation depicted in the SCAG. The 5e Realms are still a posibility without the Spellplague.

Basically, ignore these events, and you will have a world without Spellplague. As I said, the world as described in the SCAG will not change that much.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 13 Jul 2018 00:00:45
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief

31406 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  02:46:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If I was running a Realms campaign, I'd pretty much ignore the 4E era. Here's the notes I've scribbled down. I've also come up with a respin on Shade's return, to explain why magic was different in the 3E era, compared to prior times. And it's almost a moot point, but the Leirans and their illusion on Selûne has always bugged me -- so I came up with a respin on that, too.

My Realms would deviate from canon around the 1370s era.

No Silence of Lolth or anything that came from that.

The Rage of Dragons would be expanded.

The Manshoon Wars would still be going -- mostly as a Cold War, but definitely in effect.

The Harper Schism would still be ongoing, too.

Shade would have still come back, but they wouldn't have been as wildly successful.

Selûnarra would have returned, as well, acting in part as a check on Shade (and otherwise just trying to make a place for themselves in the Realms).

The Thayan Civil War would have happened differently, resulting in the loyalist faction based around Szassy in Thay, and Thay-in-Exile operating out of Mulmaster, which they have all but taken over.

The Elven Crusade would have kicked serious fey'ri butt, but Myth Drannor would be more of an armed camp with decades of work ahead of them to reclaim it.

The Thunder Blessing would have returned magic to the dwarves.

Sorcery would be a recent discovery; perhaps even triggered by some recent event.

The cosmology would remain the Great Tree, and spelljamming would remain canon and viable.

None of the divine soap opera stuff from the end of the GHotR would have happened, and none of the 4E deific retcons would happen. Additionally, I'd do away with the Lathander-Amaunator-Myrkul thing, and have them all be wholly independent of each other. The Risen Sun heresy would eventually end, and most likely not well for its adherents.

My theory that Bane 2.0 is actually Xvim taking his daddy's name would be true.

That's the major, off the top of my head stuff. For minor notes:

All of the Lords of Waterdeep I've written up (and the one I mentioned but never wrote up), plus my Realmsified warforged, would be part of my Realms. Ditto for any other NPCs I've come up with, like my legless traveling wizard who has a thousand conflicting backstories, or the priest of Torm who is a very displaced Warhammer 40k Space Marine, or my accidental draconian, or anyone mentioned in my Hooks...

Speaking of the Hooks, there would also be miniature griffons, particularly in Waterdeep. I am still enamored with my "falcat" idea -- housecat-sized griffons, kept as pets and status symbols!

I'd make most of my Hooks canon, actually. I really liked some of the NPCs and concepts I came up with for those.

I'd also have shifters and changelings, like Eber-whatsit, but in much, much smaller numbers and with a different backstory -- changelings would simply be the offspring of half-doppelgangers and the like, and shifters would be those who have lycanthropic parents or ancestors, but didn't inherit enough of the lycanthropy to fully change. Of course my warforged would be in the Realms, too. Living Constructs of the Realms: Wooly's Warforged

Hlaavin and several other Unseen were been destroyed, but in such a manner to not reveal awareness of the range of his activities. Tayn Silbur (from one of my Lords write-ups; he's a psionicist who took over the body of a greater doppelganger) has taken over. Unseen operates much as before, though Tayn periodically arranges discovery/destruction of 'gangers so that they don't gain too much.

My Thayan Civil War begins with Szass Tam magically dominating a couple of the other zulkirs, in a subtle power play. He's trying for another, but that other realizes what's going on and blows the whistle. Some of the zulkirs rally to Szass, some line up to oppose him.

Szass manages to hold on to power at home, but his opponents flee Thay. They basically take over Mulmaster, and make it the capital of Thay-in-Exile (just a working name). Using the income generated by the Red Wal-Marts, they continue to oppose Szass and his buddies.

Both the Loyalists and the Exiles claim to be the real Thay, and both want to rule a united Thay. Both sides have the other side infiltrated, and in the confusion, just about every other power group in the Realms has gotten involved -- some to support one side or the other, some to encourage both sides to kill each other off, some use one faction to advance their own goals, and some just to get some money/magic.

So we wind up with two very driven groups, fighting over something no one else wants, and with oodles and oodles of potential for intrigue and adventure.

And yes, there is more than a little influence from BattleTech with Clans Wolf and Wolf-in-Exile going on right there!

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Great Reader

2980 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  02:53:18  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If I had to run the Realms proper, rather than a game inspired by them, I'd implement most of the changes that Wooly describes too.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page:
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Master of Realmslore

1822 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  19:04:43  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with Wooly (thanks for the handy list!) on most points.

I think the shades are more interesting/dangerous without the official return of Shade. Selunarra likewise remains hidden to most of Faerun.

I also expanded the Rage of Dragons. I have dates of previous rages & flights, going back to the first one, and tied these into some published events like (iirc) the fall of Keltormir etc. I have one campaign seed for a Realms in which the dragons rebuild some of their old empires following the destruction of the dracorage mythal, but otherwise the dracorages continue into the future for me.

Sorcery isn't a recent discovery in my games, but the idea is intriguing.

I suspect the Great Wheel will always be my cosmology of choice.

I like the idea of primordials as beings of power which aren't gods, and I think the retcon of the elemental powers to primordials is workable and logical, so it's reasonable for there to be other primordials as well. The other 4e deific retcons have no place in any of my Realms. Gods marrying? Gtfo. I'm also inclined to agree with Wooly re: the Lathander-Amaunator-Myrkul thing (tho that has *some* appeal) and the Risen Sun heresy.

I haven't read the Thay novels yet, so I don't have an opinion on that storyline.

The TOT is a hot issue for me. I think my resolution is to work up a framework for such events, and use it to run interested players through the Dawn Cataclysm or whatever other cosmic shifts we want to develop.

I prefer my phaerimm intelligent, not impulsive & stupid as portrayed in the novels. So they're still an invisible danger as portrayed in 2e.

Also working on making the Zhentarim a legitimately dangerous thing.

In general I go down some kind of mental checklist for each campaign... if the RSE is useful to the campaign, then it might have happened; if not, it didn't.

Edited by - xaeyruudh on 13 Jul 2018 19:06:58
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

1086 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  19:49:17  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also like Wooly’s idea of making your own timeline instead of following the canon, even if it’s of no use to me, as I don’t play in the 3e timeframe, I play in the post-Spellplague (4e) Realms. I’m going to ignore the events of 5e instead (most of them, at least). I mean, if I ever advance my super slow Neverwinter campaign beyond the year 1482, I will end up doing something similar…

For instance, I don’t like the changes they did to Neverwinter in 5e (NPCs sealing the Chasm without giving the chance to players to do it themselves is the most irking one, to me at least), and I’m seriously thinking about how I really like a green Anauroch, or the Kingdom of Many-Arrows. In fact, I’m tinkering with the idea that, as a consequence of the Spellplague, the North returned to be as dangerous as described in “FR5 - The Savage Frontier”, so Many-Arrows might survive thanks to sheer numbers of orcs living in the North, that not even the Alliance of the Silver Marches has the power to completely defeat (sorry, Bruenor, you will not reclaim citadel Felbarr this time).

I also like the idea of Myth Drannor reborn, so I’m planning to prevent its destruction in some form when that event happens in my campaign. One of my players is even planning ahead and trying to secure an alliance with an army of eladrin from the Feywild to help protect Myth Drannor (as he also knows about the city’s destruction and isn’t thrilled by the idea).

That also means that perhaps I’m changing the fate of my version of Netheril (that is more intelligent and clever that the canon Netheril—and idea I stole from here, BTW). So, with my Anauroch remaining green, perhaps my version of Netheril will survive. I’m thinking that the some intelligent nobles will betray the evil princes and stage a coup to seize the rule seats and then secure the survival of the empire by signing some pact of no aggression with the rest of the Faerunian nations…

I have problems with my Old Empires area, thought. I mean, I don’t mind the return of Mulhorand, but I also like High Imaskar. I guess, I can make them coexist. It’s no secret that I also prefer Tymather and Laerakond (Returned Abeir) over Unther and Maztica.

Also, I don’t mind Mystra again alive and well, but I don’t care about other gods and I prefer some of the 4e gods better. So, perhaps there will be no mass resurrection of gods in my campaign (only a few ones that I like from earlier editions, perhaps).

I think I’m going to steal some of Wooly’s ideas, thought, those related to the regions beyond the scope of my campaign. It will help ease the burden of world-building.

Nevertheless, this is all wishful thinking. I need to advance my campaign first…

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 13 Jul 2018 20:05:34
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

3184 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2018 :  03:47:12  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Ask 100 people, you'll get 100 different timelines.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerûn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerûn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

1086 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2018 :  00:36:54  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-Ask 100 people, you'll get 100 different timelines.

And that is good. You can steal ideas from a lot of sources

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Learned Scribe

127 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2018 :  13:32:32  Show Profile Send Dewaint a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I followed the official timeline 'til end of DnD 3.5 era, compressed and modified events, some events not happening at all, into a 5 year
range, now am using official new DnD 5e Material and just substract 100 years

My campaing is now running through 1391 DR meaning 1491 in official publications.

That way I have freedom to use all NPCs down to 2e as I like

Edited by - Dewaint on 17 Jul 2018 13:33:57
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Scots Dragon

22 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2018 :  01:06:49  Show Profile Send Scots Dragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-Ask 100 people, you'll get 100 different timelines.

Arguably more. I've worked on a few different possible approaches for the concept of an alternate 1370s-onward Forgotten Realms.
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