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 Why didn’t Shade return to Faerun sooner?
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DeBasilisk
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Posted - 14 Oct 2021 :  01:56:19  Show Profile Send DeBasilisk a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I’ve been re reading the Return of the Archwizards trilogy and I am a bit confused: the story makes it sound like Galaerons summoning ritual at Karse was needed to bring Shade back to Faerun, and it’s implied the Princes desired that end. Yet in Lords of Darkness and I believe other reliable sources it is said that in the weeks after the Folly Shade returned to Faerun on its own to explore the ruins of Netheril. How did it come to pass that Shade was entrapped in the Plane of Shadow afterwards, and why couldn’t the Shades just cast Plane Shift or some similar spell to return earlier? And how did Melegaunt get to Faerun if the other Princes were trapped in the Plane of Shadows? Trying to get a better grasp of the situation. Thanks!

Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 14 Oct 2021 :  05:16:54  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't believe that's ever really been addressed.

If I had to speculate, based on nothing at all solid, I'd say that immediately after the Fall, the nature of magic changed, and the end result was that when they returned the first time, they were losing a lot of power. They stayed as long as they could, but stepped back into the shadows before they lost too much power to be able to return.

Over the centuries, though, Shadow turned out to not be the best neighborhood. The Shades weren't being depowered like they were when they were in the Realms, but they were still expending a lot of power to stay alive and protect their city. After centuries of this, their numbers had dwindled to the point that they could no longer protect the city while staying in Shadow. Returning to the Realms was now more difficult, because the Weave had changed twice in their absence, and they'd lost a lot of the magical might they previously had. Hence, they had to send someone through to open the door from the other side.

That's my in-game way to explain it.

Out of game, I think that whoever wrote that Shade had returned earlier and then left again wasn't coordinating this lore with anyone else, and thus opened up a can of worms.

3E marked the beginning of WotC's turning away from worrying about continuity, and even though Shade and Shar became the primary nastybads of the setting, there simply wasn't any real coordination going on, any more. The nature of the Shadow Weave and how it interacted with the regular Weave was constantly being changed, to the point that Rich Baker once stated that the most recent book, out for mere weeks at that point, was incorrect on that particular topic.

It wasn't just that the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing, the individual fingers weren't talking to each other, either!

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Eldacar
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Posted - 14 Oct 2021 :  13:11:52  Show Profile Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DeBasilisk

How did it come to pass that Shade was entrapped in the Plane of Shadow afterwards, and why couldn’t the Shades just cast Plane Shift or some similar spell to return earlier? And how did Melegaunt get to Faerun if the other Princes were trapped in the Plane of Shadows?


A number of the Princes powerful spellcasters, but they had also become imbued with the very substance of the Shadow Plane. So had Shade itself. That likely served as an anchor holding them there in ways that Melegaunt, who was not half-shadow, was not.

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hashimashadoo
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Posted - 14 Oct 2021 :  23:55:09  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm pretty sure that it was under either Shar's or Telamont's (most likely Shar's) direct orders that they remained in the Plane of Shadow. The city did return briefly to Anauroch, only a few weeks after Karsus' Folly, but then returned to the plane of shadow and didn't come back for 1,700 years when High Prince Telamont realised that one city alone was incapable of defeating the phaerimm. Over those seventeen centuries, individuals could travel to Faerun, but had to get special dispensation to do so. The city itself was rendered incapable of doing so until Galaeron Nihmedu summoned it.

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Edited by - hashimashadoo on 15 Oct 2021 00:24:08
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Oct 2021 :  01:12:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hashimashadoo

I'm pretty sure that it was under either Shar's or Telamont's (most likely Shar's) direct orders that they remained in the Plane of Shadow. The city did return briefly to Anauroch, only a few weeks after Karsus' Folly, but then returned to the plane of shadow and didn't come back for 1,700 years when High Prince Telamont realised that one city alone was incapable of defeating the phaerimm. Over those seventeen centuries, individuals could travel to Faerun, but had to get special dispensation to do so. The city itself was rendered incapable of doing so until Galaeron Nihmedu summoned it.



But why was the city incapable of returning when it had returned before? That's the question.

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Ayrik
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Posted - 15 Oct 2021 :  03:51:56  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thultanthar's mythallar likely incorporated some kind of shadow magic or shadow stuff which requires exposure to the Demiplane of Shadow to recharge. Likewise, it might have been strained by exposure to post-Netheril post-Mystryl Realms - the new Mystra's magical Weave (and magical rules) might have somehow weakened or depleted it, perhaps leaving Shade vulnerable during most hours of daylight and darkness - so they left (again) as quickly as possible. And returned to the Realms (again) - as they originally/always intended - after many centuries only because it took them that long to solve that problem.

Melegaunt was unlikely the first traveller from Shade to the Realms. They probably always had spies and scries everywhere keeping tabs on Realmslore. Perhaps their return simply happened at the time it happened because they finally saw (or foresaw) the correct patterns of conditions and events to achieve success. When they arrived they knew exactly what to do, where to go, who to interact with, etc. They knew exactly where to find a lost mythallar (and the unique character they'd need to activate it, and the truename of the mythical kraken they'd need to defend it), exactly how to destabilize Sembia and neutralize other local/competing polities, exactly who to ally with, exactly who to attack, exactly who to avoid, etc. Obviously a lot (centuries, millennia) of planning and setup involved, Telamont was always exceedingly methodical and ruthlessly pragmatic in everything he could control, Shar was always impatient and insatiable in everything she could influence. It was just a matter of time, and that time just happened to be exactly when it happened.

[/Ayrik]
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 16 Oct 2021 :  07:48:07  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the better question would be why didn't shade move into shadow instead of crash.

1 archmage was enough to do it the first time (and in that moment the weave was failing) and they had like 8 to make it happen. Seems like a possibility they would have thought of and prepared for to me.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 16 Oct 2021 :  13:02:16  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I notice in the novels that they summoned the Arch-devil Mephistopheles. (Though seemingly for no particular reason, not at all part of the their plan, not even relevant to their plan until old Mephy started getting angry. Just an insanely powerful and powerfully insane thing for a villain to do, mwoohahahahaaa!)

According to Planescape lore, one can only perform such summonings on a Prime. Not on an unaligned demiplane plane like the Shadowfell. I don't know why they summoned Mephy on the Realms, it seemed pointless. But I do know they couldn't summon him on the Shadowfell, so if such summons were indeed a component of Telamont's grand plan then taking them to the Realms would be a necessary first step.

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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 16 Oct 2021 :  16:28:44  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Of note, especially when it comes to the Return of the Archwizards books, Melegaunt, Hadrhune, they're liars and scheming connivers. What they told Galaeron and others might not be the actual truth.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 16 Oct 2021 :  16:35:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

I think the better question would be why didn't shade move into shadow instead of crash.

1 archmage was enough to do it the first time (and in that moment the weave was failing) and they had like 8 to make it happen. Seems like a possibility they would have thought of and prepared for to me.



Actually, it may not have happened when the Weave was failing. They've given us multiple accounts for this.

I can't find the reference now, but there was one reference that had Shade stepping sideways into shadow earlier the same day, but before Karsus cast his spell. It was purely coincidental that both happened the same day, in that account.

One of the short stories in Realms of Shadows has the trip into Shadow happening as an emergency, to save the city from falling -- though this begs the question of how they were able to use magic when magic was offline. The Netheril box set also has the two events happening concurrently.

Lords of Darkness (the 3E one; curse WotC for the love of reusing titles!), however, has the city of Shade stepping sideways the day before (page 81). This happened independently of the Fall, which trapped them there for a few weeks. They were greatly surprised to see what happened to the old neighborhood when they first returned.

I prefer the Lords of Darkness account. It's the most recent and it dodges the issue of how Shade alone could be saved through magic when none of the other enclaves could. To reconcile this account with the ones making the trip to Shadow concurrent, simply add that Lord Shadow left a big illusion behind so no other arcanist would realize what he'd been able to do. When the Fall happened, the illusion dissipated (perhaps with a burst of shadows), and this -- coupled with a lack of the enclave hitting the ground -- made witnesses think the enclave went somewhere else.

My workaround aside, though, this is one of the reasons I've not liked Shade. It's tied to the Shadow Weave, which kept getting explained differently; it's tied to Shar, who went from a back-bench bad guy to the main source of evil in the Realms (either directly or through Shade); and because there are conflicting accounts of the single most important event in Shade's history.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 16 Oct 2021 16:38:06
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George Krashos
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Posted - 17 Oct 2021 :  08:34:44  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For what it's worth I wasted my breath when FRCS 3E was in development trying to get the powers that be to understand that the appearance of a major flying city of Netherese archwizards was not a particularly low key situation and would have major ramifications. I suggested that they have Shade return, and crash into the sands of Anauroch. The few survivors could disperse into the surrounding regions (setting up foes and intrigue in the lands all around Anauroch) as well as creating a new "dungeon" for all to explore. My comments were met with e-silence. Little did I know that that the book department tail was wagging the RPG dog - the Return of the Archwizards novel trology was already written at that stage. Not that they told us. And so the escalation of Realms events continued ...

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 17 Oct 2021 :  15:01:37  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Little did I know that that the book department tail was wagging the RPG dog - the Return of the Archwizards novel trology was already written at that stage. Not that they told us.



Sounds about right. Why tell developers the single most important thing that happened in a setting for about 2000 years. Its not like that would effect literally every product from that point on or something.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 17 Oct 2021 :  16:03:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

For what it's worth I wasted my breath when FRCS 3E was in development trying to get the powers that be to understand that the appearance of a major flying city of Netherese archwizards was not a particularly low key situation and would have major ramifications. I suggested that they have Shade return, and crash into the sands of Anauroch. The few survivors could disperse into the surrounding regions (setting up foes and intrigue in the lands all around Anauroch) as well as creating a new "dungeon" for all to explore. My comments were met with e-silence. Little did I know that that the book department tail was wagging the RPG dog - the Return of the Archwizards novel trology was already written at that stage. Not that they told us. And so the escalation of Realms events continued ...

-- George Krashos



There were two things that really bugged me about those novels...

One was that any white hat that wasn't written by Troy Denning was portrayed in the worst possible light -- making tactical blunders, ignoring the advice of those familiar with the situation, etc. Anyone not created by Denning himself came off as an idiot, in that trilogy.

The other thing was that there was a lot that changed from 2E to 3E -- and when the RotA trilogy was announced, I thought it was going to be the same kind of "transition" story that the Avatar trilogy had been. It would have been the perfect method for changing how magic worked in the Realms and why it was suddenly more widely available. Instead, though, WotC went with the "it's always been that way, but no one knew about it!" explanation that is simply too nonsensical to even qualify as weak.

I came up with my own spin on Shade's return and having that return change the nature of magic... It only took me a few minutes to think it up, and it would have been something that could have been done in the novels without changing much of what was in there.

The fact that they had the opportunity to explain changes to the setting and opted not to do so says a lot.

I recall there was an official explanation that "We asked, and people said they didn't want another RSE, so we didn't make one."

I find this deeply suspect for four reasons.

One -- How a question is asked can sometimes influence the answer. "Do you want another RSE?" without any context is going to get a different answer than "Do you think we should have an event that explains major changes to the setting?"

Two -- Not explaining changes was way, way easier than explaining it. And at least two places where they could have easily explained changed were not used, and quite frankly, some of the changes, like going from the Great Wheel to the Great Tree, would be nearly impossible to explain.

Three -- At that time, I was checking the Wizards site multiple times a day and I was buying their stuff regularly. Wherever this "survey" of Realms fans was, I never heard any mention of it until they said it was why changes weren't being explained.

Four -- They then proceeded to hit us with what felt like weekly RSEs, which is a curious thing to do if they knew we didn't want them.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 17 Oct 2021 16:04:53
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 17 Oct 2021 :  16:23:20  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always said the novels should be taken as only one possible outcome of the event, not as the actual canon version of the event.

For me I see no reason for Shade to return, instead they send agents (which i'm sure is hinted at) into the world for centuries looking for legacies of Netheril to rebuild their power, acting in the background, assassinating archmages and slowly working to subvert the weave anchors and turn them into shadow weave anchors.

The whole trilogy is not one i'm looking forward to, i'm sure it will be full of deus ex machina and mcguffins and plot armour as thick as a politician, all of which i hate. Even worse is characters acting out of character, things that didnt need to happen being forced to, and plot threads tied off that i wanted to use with no new ones created to replace them. If a god turns up and wins the entire battle i wouldnt be surprised, and if it doesnt i would be asking why not because at this point in the realms publishing it is established that they do that kind of thing all the time.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 17 Oct 2021 :  16:55:11  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I liked the trilogy overall - I like when I don't see things coming and I def did not see the first book's story happening ahead of time. Like Wooly, I also did not like how many characters were portrayed as idiots.

One scene that sums that up for me is when Melegaunt goes to talk to the elders/high mages, he 1) knows so much about the sharn wall he can fix it 2) knows about high magic to the extent that he knows he needs a circle of 3 high mages (I assume for a ritual of compliment) 3) is too stupid to know he is talking to a elder elf. Seriously? Totally ignorant of elves but knows their deepest secrets. Nonsensical in my mind.

Also, why are elven elders ignorant of the Phaerimm? They live right next to Anauroch, were around during Netheril, but just missed the part where the Archmages figured out the source of their troubles? More importantly, the phaerimm are all over Myth Drannor and somewhat common knowledge among elf-friends (like El and other Chosen), but they are still some big mystery in Evereska? How does that work?

Tack on to that the most common plot of FR - an young, rebellious youth (elf) saves the day by ignoring the wisdom of the elders and learning some forbidden or ancient magic... (seriously, that's the plot of so many books now it hurts) That left a bit to be desired.

Also - this was another stage in the Shadows are cool bandwagon that seems to never end. So many things to choose from and it comes back to friggin shadows over and over and over and over. UGH.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 17 Oct 2021 :  16:55:54  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-Of note, especially when it comes to the Return of the Archwizards books, Melegaunt, Hadrhune, they're liars and scheming connivers. What they told Galaeron and others might not be the actual truth.



This is something that I think very much needs to be said about a LOT of things. Whether its people lying OR people being incorrect. Oftentimes, the "sages that know" are guessing based on things they've seen or heard without actual "knowledge" about what occurred. As I've pointed out in previous instances, someone teleporting away, turning invisible, and being disintegrated might all look very similar... especially if someone's not paying a lot of close attention to that particular spot in that particular second. That's just a basic example, but it does a good job of showing how vastly different things may be than what they are perceived to have happened.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 17 Oct 2021 :  18:14:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Also - this was another stage in the Shadows are cool bandwagon that seems to never end. So many things to choose from and it comes back to friggin shadows over and over and over and over. UGH.



It was the start of that trend, for WotC. Shar barely got any airtime at all, in 2E, except for the Lunatics story arc in the AD&D comic -- and even then, her attentions were focused on Selūne.

It was 3E where WotC took that hard turn to ALL SHADOWS, ALL THE TIME! and kept the spotlight firmly on Shar, while having Shades lurking under every rock.

They also made Shar a multispheric deity, which makes absolutely no sense at all, given that she was originally described as just wanting to return to the silent darkness that originally existed in Realmspace.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 17 Oct 2021 :  20:52:47  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not just Shar - Shadows

Before that series was the Shadowking books with "shadow magic" and the Malaugrym books. Admittedly very different shadows, but we had shadows, and then WOTC went, "oh yeah? hold my non-fat mocha latte."
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sleyvas
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Posted - 17 Oct 2021 :  23:50:53  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Not just Shar - Shadows

Before that series was the Shadowking books with "shadow magic" and the Malaugrym books. Admittedly very different shadows, but we had shadows, and then WOTC went, "oh yeah? hold my non-fat mocha latte."



And the novel down in Chessenta with the Imaskari who was into shadows ... think Shadow Stone.

Admittedly, just prior to all this, I was into Shar. I still like her, but yeah, she's a bit overused.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 18 Oct 2021 :  02:07:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Not just Shar - Shadows

Before that series was the Shadowking books with "shadow magic" and the Malaugrym books. Admittedly very different shadows, but we had shadows, and then WOTC went, "oh yeah? hold my non-fat mocha latte."



Thanks to Shade, WotC made sure that the concept of shadows was tied to Shar, making shadows, Shade, and Shar different parts of a single whole.

...What's really odd about this is that Mask was the one who held shadows as part of his portfolio.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 18 Oct 2021 :  07:29:13  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They also - basically - made Shar Thardizun (I know they have now put Thardizun into the realms as the Elder Eye and Ghaunadaur - seamlessly mixing up 3 gods into one :P) in that Shar wanted to "destroy all that is" instead of just being the Lady of Loss and Mistress of Night and eventually forgetfulness
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 18 Oct 2021 :  10:38:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

They also - basically - made Shar Thardizun (I know they have now put Thardizun into the realms as the Elder Eye and Ghaunadaur - seamlessly mixing up 3 gods into one :P) in that Shar wanted to "destroy all that is" instead of just being the Lady of Loss and Mistress of Night and eventually forgetfulness



She always wanted that, but just in Realmspace. And it wasn't destruction for destruction's sake, but a return to the quiet darkness that existed at the beginning of Realmspace.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 19 Oct 2021 :  04:42:42  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

They also - basically - made Shar Thardizun (I know they have now put Thardizun into the realms as the Elder Eye and Ghaunadaur - seamlessly mixing up 3 gods into one :P) in that Shar wanted to "destroy all that is" instead of just being the Lady of Loss and Mistress of Night and eventually forgetfulness



She always wanted that, but just in Realmspace. And it wasn't destruction for destruction's sake, but a return to the quiet darkness that existed at the beginning of Realmspace.



I don't think that is the case. Its possible that I missed it, but I just double checked the OGB and the Adventures and the Campaign Settings... none say a word of that. I think it was a mid-2nd E addition to the mythos.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 19 Oct 2021 :  05:23:35  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

They also - basically - made Shar Thardizun (I know they have now put Thardizun into the realms as the Elder Eye and Ghaunadaur - seamlessly mixing up 3 gods into one :P) in that Shar wanted to "destroy all that is" instead of just being the Lady of Loss and Mistress of Night and eventually forgetfulness



She always wanted that, but just in Realmspace. And it wasn't destruction for destruction's sake, but a return to the quiet darkness that existed at the beginning of Realmspace.



I don't think that is the case. Its possible that I missed it, but I just double checked the OGB and the Adventures and the Campaign Settings... none say a word of that. I think it was a mid-2nd E addition to the mythos.



Faiths & Avatars states that Shar and Selūne went to war because Realmspace was originally dark and cold -- and Selūne arranged for sunlight for Chauntea. That was what set Shar off.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 19 Oct 2021 :  06:13:47  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yep, just like I said, mid 2nd E.

OGB (1E) was 1987. 2E released in 1992.
Faiths and Avatars came out in 1996.
3rd Edition released in 2000.

Exactly mid 2E :)
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 19 Oct 2021 :  11:04:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Yep, just like I said, mid 2nd E.

OGB (1E) was 1987. 2E released in 1992.
Faiths and Avatars came out in 1996.
3rd Edition released in 2000.

Exactly mid 2E :)



I don't see how it matters. It's a 2E book and remains one of the best sources of information on the gods.

Just because it was the first comprehensive source to say something doesn't mean what it was saying was something newly created.

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