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 Abeir-Toril: Two parallel worlds
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JohnLynch
Learned Scribe

Australia
243 Posts

Posted - 23 Dec 2018 :  23:22:36  Show Profile Send JohnLynch a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So I had a thought about the Abeir-Toril relationship. Good news for any theories we come up with is that WotC are unlikely to contradict them.

Canon on the Abeir-Toril Split
Canon says that the gods (Estalar) and the primordials fought before Ao stepped in and split Abeir-Toril into two worlds with one called Abeir and one called Toril. The gods (and a couple of primordials who became gods) received Toril, while the remainder of the primordials received Abeir.

But what if canon was wrong? What if there was no splitting of Toril and the two worlds had always been split apart?

It is canon in the Forgotten Realms that parallel worlds exist. This is where alternate versions of the same world exist, with an event in history that causes the present to be different (sometimes with a big difference and other times with a small difference).

The Event that Changed History Across 2 Worlds
What if the war between the Primordials and the Estalar is the event that changed between Abeir and Toril. On Abeir the gods were killed and the Primordials won. On Toril the Primordials were defeated (likely because some of the Primordials on Toril sided with the Estalar).

What this Means Practically Speaking
It's a trope in science fiction that the same people will exist across two parallel universes regardless of how different the history is. So the benefit of this version of the Abeir-Toril split is that you can have any alternate history versions of any PC or NPC suddenly appear. If they find a way to cross over from the Abeir universe (either on purpose or by accident) then there can be cases of mistaken identity or imposters taking over other people's identity.

DM of the Realms: A blog for my Forgotten Realms adventures.

Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1251 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2018 :  02:58:32  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Are you impliying that there are parallel world clones of the Drizzt clones out there? What a nightmare...

More seriously, thought, I have a similar theory: Abeir is what Toril would have been if elves hadn't defeated dragons. I mean, both worlds have a similar prehistory: in both worlds there was a fight of dragons vs giants (or Dawn Titans, in the case of Abeir), and when dragons won, they built great empires.

Then, some elves came to Toril and toppled the draconic empires... But, there were no elves in Abeir to do the same. There, dragons still rule over the world.

So, there is another divergence point: lack of elves in Abeir prehistory.


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 24 Dec 2018 03:00:50
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JohnLynch
Learned Scribe

Australia
243 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2018 :  05:38:12  Show Profile Send JohnLynch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Are you impliying that there are parallel world clones of the Drizzt clones out there? What a nightmare...
Next megaevent for the Forgotten Realms: [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Verse]Drizzt-verse[/url]. We've already had the [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clone_Saga]Clone Saga/Wars[/url] with Manshoon.

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

More seriously, thought, I have a similar theory: Abeir is what Toril would have been if elves hadn't defeated dragons. I mean, both worlds have a similar prehistory: in both worlds there was a fight of dragons vs giants (or Dawn Titans, in the case of Abeir), and when dragons won, they built great empires.

Then, some elves came to Toril and toppled the draconic empires... But, there were no elves in Abeir to do the same. There, dragons still rule over the world.

So, there is another divergence point: lack of elves in Abeir prehistory.
I've got another take on that. What if the dragons died out in the war with the giants in Toril's history? They're defeated. But the victory wasn't total for the giants and their civilisations also fell. Then when the elves came to Toril they discovered portals to Abeir. They started traveling to Abeir to discover what's there and that's when they encounter the Dragon Empires and war begins. Both sides dealt serious blows to each side. The dragons started suffering serious losses and so they performed a powerful ritual which destroyed the Weave on Abeir using wild magic. This wild magic had a backlash effect against Toril and made travel between the two worlds much, much harder. Those dragons who remained in Toril were stranded there without any way of returning home and went on to make Toril their home.

DM of the Realms: A blog for my Forgotten Realms adventures.
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1251 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2018 :  14:07:37  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is a great plot twist, thought I'm going to stick to my idea. Elves had problems dealing with your common everyday variant of a red dragon in the Realms. I cannot picture them defeating the unique dragons of Abeir (many of them are the likes of Gauwervyndhal).

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 24 Dec 2018 14:09:22
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31911 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2018 :  14:49:48  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First of all, let me preface this by saying I could not stand the Spellplague or anything connected to it. I regard it as poor storytelling done to drive sales, instead of being done to benefit/develop the setting, and I think it was a massive retcon, as well. And I think primordials are a needless complication in the already complex divine setup.

I say this not to bash the Spellplague, though, and not to wage yet another battle of the edition wars. Instead, I say this to give some perspective to how I'd spin things: my approach is more concerned with reconciling pre-4E lore and fixing retcons, rather than just accepting the retcons as new canon.

Now, with the proper context/warnings given...

I like the idea that the worlds had always been separate... But I would argue against them being parallel. Look at Laerakond/Returned Abeir -- the shape and placement of the landmass doesn't match anything that was on Toril before the Retcondering happened. In my mind, parallel worlds mean physically identical worlds where everything started the same, but then history diverged in a major way, at some point.

Now, it is also canon in FR lore that other worlds exist. To me, it's far easier to have Abeir be just some random world that the primordials of Toril fled to.

Better yet, maybe the earlier info about the Dawn War is not entirely correct: maybe the primordials arose on Abeir, and for some reason tried to flee to the first world they came across -- Toril. The Dawn War was actually the gods trying to repulse that incursion.

The whole Spellplague thing could have been a second attempt at this incursion, or it could have been the failing of some sort of barriers that existed between the two worlds causing some seriously unforeseen circumstances.

Or perhaps the primordials were from some unspecified, unknown world. The fecal matter hit the ventilation device, and they had to flee. They discovered Toril (perhaps following a few primordials that had previously settled on Toril), and tried to flee there, en masse. The gods of Toril were fine with a handful of primordials taking a few isolated, unwanted niche spots, but not with a horde of them -- so they fought until the primordials threw in the towel and found another world, which they named Abeir.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 24 Dec 2018 14:55:49
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7849 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2018 :  16:06:16  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Honestly, I don't have a problem with the twinning of the worlds. Back in first edition, all primes were one. Then they became crystal spheres. Then they became each their own prime with their own private outer planes and astral, which mirrored other outer planes in many instances (hells, abyss, etc..) but each having their own special outer planes. Then Eberron was introduced with outer planes that randomly rotated "into closer orbit". Then 4th edition changed things again. Now 5th edition has them changing again.

In all this, having the forgotten realms having gotten split is something that can work for me. What I raise the question of is, was it only a splitting in two? For instance, we have this concept of a border ethereal. We have a concept of the shadowfell where it mirrors the forgotten realms at places. We have this concept that the feywild also mirrors the forgotten realms to a degree. Then there's the idea that portions of the realms have been mirrored into Ravenloft.

So, did something happen (not necessarily as presented) which split the world into many fractures.... and some of these "fractures" joined with other planes (i.e. a portion joining together with similar fractures to make the shadowfell and feywild), while Abeir became a lone "fracture".

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6752 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2018 :  22:49:22  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Feywild (and Shadowfell, and Ravenloft) all "mirror" the Realms to some degree. They've interacted with, overlapped with, blended with, mixed and transposed portions to and from each other over time. The planes are constantly in motion, their points of contact (and points of divergence) are also always in motion, planar domains are sometimes separated with sharply defined boundaries and othertimes gradually blur apart into each other. Every plane has unique properties, natures, "laws of physics" and "laws of magic" ... so when different planes do connect it can cause violent upheavals (apocalyptic cataclysms and worlds in collision) or gentle ripples (metaphorical and symbolic transferences, dreams and visions, misplaced travellers and strange localized quirks). I don't think Abeir and Toril are especially notable in this regard.

[/Ayrik]
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JohnLynch
Learned Scribe

Australia
243 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2018 :  23:48:18  Show Profile Send JohnLynch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

First of all, let me preface this by saying I could not stand the Spellplague or anything connected to it. I regard it as poor storytelling done to drive sales, instead of being done to benefit/develop the setting, and I think it was a massive retcon, as well.
That's completely fair and an attitude I've taken before. However my first Forgotten Realms game ever was set post Spellplague and that is the era I have (much to my disappointment) spent the most time playing in.

I now look at the Spellplague and all of that and ask myself "How can I use this to tell interesting stories?" and then go from there.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

And I think primordials are a needless complication in the already complex divine setup.
For me the primordials did exist and they did walk the face of Toril (unlike the gods who have never physically set foot on Toril and instead simply have worshipers on Toril). The whole Estalar vs Primordial War is simply a creation myth. The Primordials did engage in a war, but it was against the Creator Races rather than the gods. So for me, the primordials aren't part of the cosmology of Toril but are instead simply another ancient race that existed before the present.

In this way the gods who are "so called" primordials aren't actually primordials. That's simply a gross misunderstanding of how the cosmology works and was an attempt by scholar's to fit Abeir's mythos with Toril's mythos. It wouldn't be the first time scholars made such a gigantic blunder, after all they honestly and truly believe that in the 1200s there was a Time of Trouble where the gods fought each other and some were killed (they weren't in my version. Divine magic did stop working and so some religions were abandoned as a result of that).

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I like the idea that the worlds had always been separate... But I would argue against them being parallel. Look at Laerakond/Returned Abeir -- the shape and placement of the landmass doesn't match anything that was on Toril before the Retcondering happened. In my mind, parallel worlds mean physically identical worlds where everything started the same, but then history diverged in a major way, at some point.
I look at the history of Toril and see how it split apart from the super continent to it's current shape. In -31,500 it was largely all connected, then in -31,000 it split apart. This is the point I would use to start with the landmasses changing. Then across Abeir's history and Toril's history those changes would only continue to grow.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Now, it is also canon in FR lore that other worlds exist. To me, it's far easier to have Abeir be just some random world that the primordials of Toril fled to.

Better yet, maybe the earlier info about the Dawn War is not entirely correct: maybe the primordials arose on Abeir, and for some reason tried to flee to the first world they came across -- Toril. The Dawn War was actually the gods trying to repulse that incursion.
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Or perhaps the primordials were from some unspecified, unknown world. The fecal matter hit the ventilation device, and they had to flee. They discovered Toril (perhaps following a few primordials that had previously settled on Toril), and tried to flee there, en masse. The gods of Toril were fine with a handful of primordials taking a few isolated, unwanted niche spots, but not with a horde of them -- so they fought until the primordials threw in the towel and found another world, which they named Abeir.

Those work too. Not the direction I would go (because I want to explore parallel world counterparts. I'm a big sci fi nerd as well being a fantasy one ;)), but it certainly works and fits with the history of Abeir and Toril.

DM of the Realms: A blog for my Forgotten Realms adventures.
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1251 Posts

Posted - 25 Dec 2018 :  17:32:38  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JohnLynch

That's completely fair and an attitude I've taken before. However my first Forgotten Realms game ever was set post Spellplague and that is the era I have (much to my disappointment) spent the most time playing in.

I now look at the Spellplague and all of that and ask myself "How can I use this to tell interesting stories?" and then go from there.


I'm in the same boat. I started to DM with 4e, and the Realms sourcebooks of the time were my guidelines in my homebrew campaign (that was basically a mix of Nentir Vale, Forgotten Realms and Eberron stuff) and later my proper Forgotten Realms campaign, using the 4e Neverwinter sourcebook. By the time I became interested with the Realms as a setting (instead of as plunderable set of sourcebooks), my players and I were really invested in our campaign and our take of the 4e Realms (there were things that either I didn't like or understood at the time, so I ignored them or twisted them). I also grew fond of some stuff from the Realmslore of the time (Ed's work in Laerakond/Returned Abeir is a gem;one of the few things of 4e Realmslore worth keeping).

Currently, I trying to reconcile 5e Realmslore with my campaign, something that has become quite the challenge because of my players' opinions about 5e Realmslore...

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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