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 The Simbul and the Zulkir's War
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2126 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2018 :  04:57:56  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  Delete Topic
I just finished re-reading The Simbul's Gift for the first time since 2nd E was out and I'm left with one very big question.

If Lauzoril had the ability to call upon the Simbul for aid (as she allowed him at the end of the earlier novel), why would he not play the ultimate trump card when the Zulkirs gather to face Tam? You're a badass lich that apparently is better at all magic than anyone else? Well how about some silver fire right where the sun don't shine :D....

Seems to be a major oversight, especially since Tam taking over the country goes against Mystra's stated position of wanting the Red Wizards constantly competing with each other.

I apologize for admittedly being very behind the ball on this :)

Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
913 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2018 :  08:43:17  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My opinion: By the time the trilogy Undead, Unclean, Unholy or whatever it is called came to be WoTC stopped giving a damn about old novels or editors or anything like that. They just wanted to usher in 4th edition FR, Spellplague, have Thay be an undead land ruled by a Lich King. The author of the Haunted Lands trilogy (RLB) admitted to never having read The Simbul's Gift on Facebook's Forgotten Realms Archive group. He didn't bother to read one of the best/only novels set in Thay that deals with the Zulkirs and how they interact. It's such a shame but why the FR franchise went into such a mess around this time (from a novel/lore perspective) - I recognise the game as a ruleset is popular under 5e!
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Lord of Bones
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
78 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2018 :  09:43:37  Show Profile  Visit Lord of Bones's Homepage Send Lord of Bones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can understand why RLB didn't read previous works not mandated by WOTC. Authors shouldn't be beholden to unaddressed plot threads established in a single novel a decade prior.

That said, The Simbul's Gift is one of my favourites, so I was sad there wasn't a passing reference to its story. I just had it in my headcanon that Lauzoril called on her as he plummeted to his doom.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8030 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2018 :  14:08:38  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why would the Zulkirs not call on the Simbul to clear up their problem early in the war? It would make them appear weak and would probably incur just as much upheaval as the war with Tam. Part of the revolt was also proving who SHOULD rule Thay. That being said, I hated what happened, but it is what it is.

Why would he not call on the Simbul in the third book when they gather against Tam? Remember that in canon most people believed at this point that the Simbul was dead having faced off against "an avatar of Velsharoon" for several decades.

On Lauzoril "plummeting to his doom"...… I go an entirely different method. Feather fall.... minor spell... levitate... minor spell... fly... minor spell... There's no way he died from that. Now, did he get entrapped in that "mini-universe" for some time? Maybe.

I have to say, I loved the personification of Lauzoril in Simbul's gift as well. I wasn't big on some of the introduced concepts like the chairmaster or whatever he was called. I've actually continued some of it with Lauzoril's daughters, etc... into the future. This is one of the things we don't often see is information on the families of powerful individuals, unless they themselves are powerful individuals. For instance, did the other Zulkirs have children? Did they have a harem such that they might have multiple children from different mothers? I found it interesting that we found out some information on Aznar Thrul's bastard child in Maiden of Pain, which was another thread that kind of gets dropped. That being said, I myself didn't even read this novel until this year (which is 13 years after the release). I wonder about the families of other Zulkirs. We don't ever hear much about Dmitra Flass' relationship with the ruler of Mulmaster after the events of that novel, for instance.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
913 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2018 :  22:20:22  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord of Bones

I can understand why RLB didn't read previous works not mandated by WOTC. Authors shouldn't be beholden to unaddressed plot threads established in a single novel a decade prior.

That said, The Simbul's Gift is one of my favourites, so I was sad there wasn't a passing reference to its story. I just had it in my headcanon that Lauzoril called on her as he plummeted to his doom.



But in a fictional setting, the whole appeal is that there is continuity and canon lore that is adhered to. When you throw away that, the Realms isn't special or wonderful to me and a lot of other people. So ignoring "a single novel a decade prior" you ruin what makes the Realms magical.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2126 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2018 :  10:27:04  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 could understand if there was a large amount to read, but we're talking only a couple novels and a couple supplements.
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1328 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2018 :  15:19:27  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That IS a large amount for some people, tho.

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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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32103 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2018 :  16:18:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The author may not have even been aware of the prior lore. Once 3E came out, WotC stopped caring about prior canon.

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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1328 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2018 :  16:31:28  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I remember someone here saying that during TSR days, they paid some people just to be lorekeepers, but that this practice stopped when WotC bought D&D.

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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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32103 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2018 :  17:56:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Well, I remember someone here saying that during TSR days, they paid some people just to be lorekeepers, but that this practice stopped when WotC bought D&D.



It wasn't just that they stopped having someone as a traffic cop, they just decided that they weren't going to be bound by prior canon and started doing whatever they wanted. Obviously, some designers and authors were careful to stick to prior lore as much as possible, but that was no longer a mandate from above.

I've seen it said more than once that Ed had said that for every plotline that was closed off, 2-3 more should be created. This, too, was something that was disregarded -- the abrupt ending of the Manshoon Wars and the sudden disregard of the Harper Schism were good examples of that.

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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
625 Posts

Posted - 15 Dec 2018 :  17:47:42  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm pretty sure RLB was unaware of the book. I seem to recall having that conversation with him.
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 11 Jan 2019 :  01:19:04  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are easier ways to deal with Szass Tam, Bane and the undead in Thay. Now many of the others are also undead and don't want the nuclear option but some of us hold it back just in case we wish to bestow the Ladys' gift (Beshaba) upon the rot that has set in, in Thay. Albeit you didn't hear that from me.

Thay Red
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
913 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2019 :  09:03:28  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Would have been so cool if they just left Thay for Thay and had Szass start up his undead lich world in Vassa and had that as the Frozen Undeead Lich Kingdom. Nothing is going on in Vassa and it has been under the rule of a Witch/Lich King before. Then Thay could have remained a mage-ocracy obsessed with Trade and under the Zulkirs and Szass could have been a major power player threatening the Realms and Thay from Vassa...at war with Damara and etc.

Sigh. If only!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32103 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2019 :  15:04:10  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I still think a Thayan Civil War between the Zulkirs, with Szassy ruling in Thay and a Thay-In-Exile based out of Mulmaster, working against him, would have been the best option. Years of roleplaying opportunities there, with every faction in the Realms getting involved against one side or both.

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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1812 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2019 :  08:24:33  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage


Seems to be a major oversight, especially since Tam taking over the country goes against Mystra's stated position of wanting the Red Wizards constantly competing with each other.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Why would the Zulkirs not call on the Simbul to clear up their problem early in the war? It would make them appear weak
And also, she's Simbul. But this doesn't really matter, because they shouldn't need to. Things were rolling there already.
Seeing how one of the top Imperialists switched sides should be enough for the Researchers to exploit the advantage and try pushing their agenda (economical dominance instead of Imperialists' failed expensive wars) more and more, and try to benefit from it (seize more of real power) as much as possible.
This doesn't cancel competition, and mostly gets them out of Simbul's hair, thus it's obviously in her interests to pounce on the first excuse and tip the balance a bit even without Mystra's involvement.

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

My opinion: By the time the trilogy Undead, Unclean, Unholy or whatever it is called came to be WoTC stopped giving a damn about old novels or editors or anything like that.

At best. With stupid reboots everywhere else stomping on the continuity "in your face" was a part of the whole point.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8030 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2019 :  20:13:00  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One thing to note with the Imperialist faction though that I've always thought interesting. Its leader was Lauzoril. He wasn't touting an Imperialist movement via armies. Most of the things that he was doing was Imperialist movements by political intrigue/spying, Imperialist movements by assassinating individuals secretly, offering aid to the enemies of enemies down in Unther/Threskel by providing aid in the form of food, etc...

Not that that has anything to do with why he wouldn't have asked the Simbul for help. If I were Lauzoril, I would be holding that card for something more important than loss of political power in Thay (for instance, what if Tam had taken Lauzoril's daughters... few red wizards would consider it worth the danger to directly confront Tam in that instance, but Lauzoril himself I could see in THAT instance saying "screw you all, I want my children back"). Also, in THAT instance (i.e. rescuing family), personally I don't see the other red wizards viewing him as weak if he used the favor, and some may actually give him some credit for being wily enough to "save that card for when it really matters".

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5492 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2019 :  00:21:14  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's a shame that with all the 5E retcons, that Thay wasn't returned to some normality.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2126 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2019 :  04:53:04  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

It's a shame that with all the 5E retcons, that Thay wasn't returned to some normality.

-- George Krashos



Indeed

I quite liked Tam back in the old days. He became less and less interesting as WOTC piled more and more power upon him and made Thay less and less a political hot bed. The undead trilogy was actually pretty good - the resolution with invinci-Tam was the only part I couldn't get down with.

Now I imagine how that chapter would have turned out with The Simbul burning through his magic and undeath with her silver fire. I would have liked that more.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8030 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2019 :  12:34:31  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

It's a shame that with all the 5E retcons, that Thay wasn't returned to some normality.

-- George Krashos



Not to any significant degree, but they have put forth the idea that they're trying to return to normality, with resentment and groups opposing Tam forming up... but yeah, that's entirely why I started looking at other more believable options. I mean if you are a living, breathing person, who wants to live in a literally dead land whenever every country near you (Aglarond, Rashemen, etc...) are now richer than life that your land is. I liked Thay more when it was full of gardens tended by slaves. At least then you get why the wizards want to be there.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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