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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2014 :  18:06:00  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gyor

Telmont is no more a villian then Obama or George W. Bush. Everything Telmont does is for his people. Undead armies vs. Drone Strikes that kill civilians more often then not. Shadow Magic vs. Cluster bombs.

Telmont is just trying to enact Shade's manifest destiny. He has scarificed much for his people. He worked hard to save as many of his people as possible.

Just some perpective.
As all things are, villainy is a relative term. Telamont is indeed a hero in the eyes of his sons and the whole of reborn Netheril. After all, with his leadership, they survived the Fall while many of their fellows died.

Consider, however, that while Telamont's intention can be justified by the concept of birthright (they, as part of pre-Fall Netheril, used to inhabit most of the Sword Coast, and therefore, they're just reclaiming what's [arguably] rightfully theirs), manipulating and killing thousands of people, even the innocent, just to get what they want is hardly "heroic."

Every beginning has an end.
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Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

486 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2014 :  20:20:46  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gyor

Telmont is no more a villian then Obama or George W. Bush. Everything Telmont does is for his people. Undead armies vs. Drone Strikes that kill civilians more often then not. Shadow Magic vs. Cluster bombs.

Telmont is just trying to enact Shade's manifest destiny. He has scarificed much for his people. He worked hard to save as many of his people as possible.

Just some perpective.



Real world politics aside, your argument doesn't have a leg to stand on. Telamont is launching a war of aggression against Cormyr and the Dalelands, neither of which had any intention of fighting the Shadovar. Telamont also conqered Sembia, which never showed any inclination of wanting war with Shade.

Telamont became a hero to his people by protecting them from the horrors of the Shadowfell for centuries. His wars with the malaugrym and the phaerimm were just wars, because he was protecting his city. Even when Shade first returned to Faerun, you could argue that the battles with Evereska and Cormyr were just the result of a misunderstanding (possibly, because I remember very little from the ROTA series).

With his recent exploits though, Telamont is absolutely a villain. He's grabbing power for its own sake, and destroying the lives of others to do so. That's never ok.
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2572 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2014 :  22:31:43  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten

With his recent exploits though, Telamont is absolutely a villain. He's grabbing power for its own sake, and destroying the lives of others to do so. That's never ok.



As far as I can see, it is ok in RW.

I too see him as someone who tries to improve his nation, even if it means bad things for its neighbours. It is villainous, but at least it brings to the table a motivation that is more compelling than ''mwahaha, I'm ebil and want to be powerful and rich!!!'', which too many villains use to explain their actions (even tho according to what you say about his recent activities, this may no longer be the case).

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 16 Jan 2014 22:33:07
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Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

486 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2014 :  01:04:40  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten

With his recent exploits though, Telamont is absolutely a villain. He's grabbing power for its own sake, and destroying the lives of others to do so. That's never ok.



As far as I can see, it is ok in RW.

I too see him as someone who tries to improve his nation, even if it means bad things for its neighbours. It is villainous, but at least it brings to the table a motivation that is more compelling than ''mwahaha, I'm ebil and want to be powerful and rich!!!'', which too many villains use to explain their actions (even tho according to what you say about his recent activities, this may no longer be the case).



Not sure if you've read the Twilight War series by Paul Kemp, but Telamont's motivations are addressed. One of his sons asks him if he's comfortable having sacrificed everything (including his wife, whom he loved dearly) for "empire". Telamont's response was "What else is there?"

As with most dictators, Telamont has done an excellent job of making people believe that he's killing and plundering to further the cause of all the "little people" in his kingdom. But that's BS. This is about Telamont getting what he wants, and nothing else. Even his sons are treated brutally when they are not successful in carrying out his wishes.

Since we're using real world examples, Telamont is like the mafia. I've heard many people talk very negatively about today's criminal underworld. They will lament that the street gangs and drug cartels who rule today don't have the same "code of honor" that the mafia once did.

They get sucked into the atmosphere of films like "The Godfather", and they see the mafia in a romanticized light (this is also done with pirates and Wild West outlaws). In reality, these guys were scumbags, just like today's street thugs. But they wore suits, and many of them spoke intelligently and showed signs of cultural sophistication. People get deceived by this, as if killers who wear Armani suits and attend the opera are any more worthy of admiration than killers who listen to Lil Wayne and sag their pants.

In FR's fictional world, guys like Drasek Riven or Artemis Entreri would be treated like common criminals by society's elite. Someone with Telamont's wealth, education, and refinement would be treated as a social equal by the elite. But they are really all the same: murderers and thieves with some degree of a personal moral code. Telamont just has more style about his villainy (which is why I'm rooting for him in the war with Cormyr and the Dales).
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2572 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2014 :  02:01:14  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten


Not sure if you've read the Twilight War series by Paul Kemp, but Telamont's motivations are addressed. One of his sons asks him if he's comfortable having sacrificed everything (including his wife, whom he loved dearly) for "empire". Telamont's response was "What else is there?"

As with most dictators, Telamont has done an excellent job of making people believe that he's killing and plundering to further the cause of all the "little people" in his kingdom. But that's BS. This is about Telamont getting what he wants, and nothing else. Even his sons are treated brutally when they are not successful in carrying out his wishes.





I haven't read the Godborn yet, so I didn't know about that. I've always pictured Telamont a little more idealistic: not a good guy, ofc, but someone whose reasons were not simply ''I must rule the most powerful nation evah. Why? Because power''. Meh...

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 17 Jan 2014 02:01:29
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Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

486 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2014 :  05:27:53  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten


Not sure if you've read the Twilight War series by Paul Kemp, but Telamont's motivations are addressed. One of his sons asks him if he's comfortable having sacrificed everything (including his wife, whom he loved dearly) for "empire". Telamont's response was "What else is there?"

As with most dictators, Telamont has done an excellent job of making people believe that he's killing and plundering to further the cause of all the "little people" in his kingdom. But that's BS. This is about Telamont getting what he wants, and nothing else. Even his sons are treated brutally when they are not successful in carrying out his wishes.





I haven't read the Godborn yet, so I didn't know about that. I've always pictured Telamont a little more idealistic: not a good guy, ofc, but someone whose reasons were not simply ''I must rule the most powerful nation evah. Why? Because power''. Meh...



I beg you to read the Godborn! Its excellent. Really, all the Sundering novels so far have been top notch. I think WOTC is really bringing its A game for 5e. Kemp doesn't make extensive use of Telamont, but he gives him depth. So while Telamont is a power hungry archwizard, he's not at all like Szass Tam or Manshoon. He's a three dimensional villain, for sure.
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2572 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2014 :  10:42:20  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten

I beg you to read the Godborn! Its excellent. Really, all the Sundering novels so far have been top notch. I think WOTC is really bringing its A game for 5e. Kemp doesn't make extensive use of Telamont, but he gives him depth. So while Telamont is a power hungry archwizard, he's not at all like Szass Tam or Manshoon. He's a three dimensional villain, for sure.



I will read it, I've always liked Mask and I'm quite fond of returned Netheril (even tho their uber-ness is not that appealing, IMO).

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/
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Owesstaer
Seeker

Luxembourg
26 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2016 :  16:19:28  Show Profile Send Owesstaer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cyric! I do not think there is anyone as powerhungry and ruthless as him. The creation of the Cyrinishad tops it all.

Elaith on the other hand I do not consider a villain. An anti-hero rather
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Sunderstone
Seeker

37 Posts

Posted - 01 Oct 2016 :  19:20:31  Show Profile Send Sunderstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Iakhovas or Szass.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29704 Posts

Posted - 01 Oct 2016 :  22:44:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Owesstaer

Elaith on the other hand I do not consider a villain. An anti-hero rather



He's had people killed to keep them quiet, and in one of the books, deliberately murdered someone when the guy made the mistake of saying he couldn't believe the Serpent was letting him live... Elaith has tempered his evil somewhat, I think, but I'd not go as far as calling him an anti-hero.

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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1357 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2016 :  01:29:02  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
Elaith is a villain, plain and simple. He is a crime lord who pursues his own desires and interests in direct opposition to anyone and everyone.

The only reasons it is easy to sometimes forget this is that 1) he considers elven interests his interests, and in turn takes up causes that seem moral for questionable reasons, and 2) he had a close personal relationship with the royal family of Evermeet and feels a direct connection to Arilyn, and so maneuvers to protect her interests as well.
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1357 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2016 :  01:31:21  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
Karsus was definitely not a villain - he over-reached in his pursuit of power, but before that he was a pretty stand up, if very haughty, guy.
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1357 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2016 :  01:43:27  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 think the only real choice, if we are talking about the fiction side of the Forgotten Realms, among those offered is Manshoon. The biggest reason is he continually goes up against the most powerful characters in the Realms and is still swinging. More importantly, he has been featured in MANY novels and just as many RPG products. Manshoon is not going anywhere and I will bet that he is featured in more novels yet to come. I can't say as much for anyone else.

Larloch would be my #2 only because he has been a constant boogeyman from the very beginning and has made an appearance or two in fiction.

Kymil would be #3 because he had good long term evil and (accidentally) made some great evil progress with Zoar's death and the attack on Evermeet.

Szass Tam has the lack of fortune to be featured in one of series that I thought was terrible, and seems to be to have been written to achieve the goal of its conclusion rather than have a story that traveled its own path to a conclusion that made good sense. I really liked the Szass Tam presented in Spellbound. His fiction self was a let down of the countless RSEs era.

Sammaster was cool, but a briefly "resurrected" bad guy who now seems to be dead again.

The Gods / Devils are all out for me. Supernatural powers are not villains in my mind.

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Sunderstone
Seeker

37 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2016 :  02:52:48  Show Profile Send Sunderstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage


Szass Tam has the lack of fortune to be featured in one of series that I thought was terrible, and seems to be to have been written to achieve the goal of its conclusion rather than have a story that traveled its own path to a conclusion that made good sense. I really liked the Szass Tam presented in Spellbound. His fiction self was a let down of the countless RSEs era.






I really liked Szass Tam in Red Magic.
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1357 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2016 :  07:05:23  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 thought he was heavy fisted even way back then with all his 'Harpers are stupid because they have no powerful leader but I still collect their badges' stuff.
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Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

486 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2016 :  16:32:08  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sunderstone

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage


Szass Tam has the lack of fortune to be featured in one of series that I thought was terrible, and seems to be to have been written to achieve the goal of its conclusion rather than have a story that traveled its own path to a conclusion that made good sense. I really liked the Szass Tam presented in Spellbound. His fiction self was a let down of the countless RSEs era.






I really liked Szass Tam in Red Magic.




Tam is amazing. I've never read Red Magic, but I will look for it. My first exposure to him was in The Crimson Gold. He was awesome then, and I loved that Kemp later used the Uskevren family in his Twilight War novels. For me, Tam is easily one of the most well written, competent, and likable FR villains.
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Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

486 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2016 :  17:05:04  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Elaith is a villain, plain and simple. He is a crime lord who pursues his own desires and interests in direct opposition to anyone and everyone.

The only reasons it is easy to sometimes forget this is that 1) he considers elven interests his interests, and in turn takes up causes that seem moral for questionable reasons, and 2) he had a close personal relationship with the royal family of Evermeet and feels a direct connection to Arilyn, and so maneuvers to protect her interests as well.




Excellent point. You and Wooly really hit on something important. Fans will often complain about the generic good vs. evil setup, with no nuance or "shades of gray". We hear lots of whining about the chaotic evil, Lolth type psychos who just do evil for its own sake. (Ironically, everyone I know who complains about these characters loves the Joker.)


But modern authors are boxed in to a certain extent. We've all heard the stories of writers who were horrified at their work being grossly misinterpreted, and even used to justify actions they morally oppose. So I think authors sometimes go over the top in making villains evil just to be clear. Why, you ask?


Because modern readers are obsessed with antiheros. They look for reasons to like and sympathize with edgy characters, no matter how awful they are. If writers show any nuance to an evil character, fans jump on that to prove he/she isn't evil.


Are you an assassin who won't kill children? You're clearly a good guy who fell into a bad profession. Are you a slave trader with a soft spot for dogs? Same thing. Are you a ruthless tyrant who's a decent father? You're really a good guy. Right up until the last Game of Thrones finale, you had plenty people arguing that the almost cartoonishly over the top evil Queen Cersei was morally gray because she loved her children. You don't get moral brownie points for loving your own kids!!


For many fans, the only type of character they will accept as evil is foaming at the mouth, chaotic evil, destroy the whole world kind of villain. Neutral evil and Lawful evil aren't even recognized as evil most of the time, so writers wanting to establish a truly villainous character must make him Chaotic evil. And even then, a convincing sob story will have people putting him in the morally gray camp again.
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Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

486 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2016 :  18:37:08  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

I think the only real choice, if we are talking about the fiction side of the Forgotten Realms, among those offered is Manshoon. The biggest reason is he continually goes up against the most powerful characters in the Realms and is still swinging. More importantly, he has been featured in MANY novels and just as many RPG products. Manshoon is not going anywhere and I will bet that he is featured in more novels yet to come. I can't say as much for anyone else.

Larloch would be my #2 only because he has been a constant boogeyman from the very beginning and has made an appearance or two in fiction.

Kymil would be #3 because he had good long term evil and (accidentally) made some great evil progress with Zoar's death and the attack on Evermeet.

Szass Tam has the lack of fortune to be featured in one of series that I thought was terrible, and seems to be to have been written to achieve the goal of its conclusion rather than have a story that traveled its own path to a conclusion that made good sense. I really liked the Szass Tam presented in Spellbound. His fiction self was a let down of the countless RSEs era.

Sammaster was cool, but a briefly "resurrected" bad guy who now seems to be dead again.

The Gods / Devils are all out for me. Supernatural powers are not villains in my mind.






The problem with Manshoon is that he's become like Apocalypse (the comic book X Men villain). He's been used so many times as a punching bag that he's lost his menacing aura. If you've ever watched pro wrestling, you know that the top guys aren't scripted to lose very often. Why? Because while a guy like the Undertaker may be huge and scary looking, his whole gimmick loses any edge if he loses every other match.

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Sunderstone
Seeker

37 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2016 :  18:42:48  Show Profile Send Sunderstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

I think the only real choice, if we are talking about the fiction side of the Forgotten Realms, among those offered is Manshoon. The biggest reason is he continually goes up against the most powerful characters in the Realms and is still swinging. More importantly, he has been featured in MANY novels and just as many RPG products. Manshoon is not going anywhere and I will bet that he is featured in more novels yet to come. I can't say as much for anyone else.

Larloch would be my #2 only because he has been a constant boogeyman from the very beginning and has made an appearance or two in fiction.

Kymil would be #3 because he had good long term evil and (accidentally) made some great evil progress with Zoar's death and the attack on Evermeet.

Szass Tam has the lack of fortune to be featured in one of series that I thought was terrible, and seems to be to have been written to achieve the goal of its conclusion rather than have a story that traveled its own path to a conclusion that made good sense. I really liked the Szass Tam presented in Spellbound. His fiction self was a let down of the countless RSEs era.

Sammaster was cool, but a briefly "resurrected" bad guy who now seems to be dead again.

The Gods / Devils are all out for me. Supernatural powers are not villains in my mind.






The problem with Manshoon is that he's become like Apocalypse (the comic book X Men villain). He's been used so many times as a punching bag that he's lost his menacing aura. If you've ever watched pro wrestling, you know that the top guys aren't scripted to lose very often. Why? Because while a guy like the Undertaker may be huge and scary looking, his whole gimmick loses any edge if he loses every other match.





I've always preferred such characters to work through proxies and have an air of not sullying their hands when there were pawns available for such work. I like them to be visible in the story but from a pulling strings standpoint and attempt to achieve their end from developing competent lackeys to pursue their ends or confound the protagonist.

Edited by - Sunderstone on 03 Oct 2016 18:55:56
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1357 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2016 :  04:25:54  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
You should look into the Fzoul scroll Sunderstone for more on Manshoon in this regard, I'll just say that there IS another badder more secret Manshoon out there... somewhere. :)
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KraziJoe
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2016 :  13:48:39  Show Profile Send KraziJoe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

I think the only real choice, if we are talking about the fiction side of the Forgotten Realms, among those offered is Manshoon. The biggest reason is he continually goes up against the most powerful characters in the Realms and is still swinging. More importantly, he has been featured in MANY novels and just as many RPG products. Manshoon is not going anywhere and I will bet that he is featured in more novels yet to come. I can't say as much for anyone else.

Larloch would be my #2 only because he has been a constant boogeyman from the very beginning and has made an appearance or two in fiction.

Kymil would be #3 because he had good long term evil and (accidentally) made some great evil progress with Zoar's death and the attack on Evermeet.

Szass Tam has the lack of fortune to be featured in one of series that I thought was terrible, and seems to be to have been written to achieve the goal of its conclusion rather than have a story that traveled its own path to a conclusion that made good sense. I really liked the Szass Tam presented in Spellbound. His fiction self was a let down of the countless RSEs era.

Sammaster was cool, but a briefly "resurrected" bad guy who now seems to be dead again.

The Gods / Devils are all out for me. Supernatural powers are not villains in my mind.






The problem with Manshoon is that he's become like Apocalypse (the comic book X Men villain). He's been used so many times as a punching bag that he's lost his menacing aura. If you've ever watched pro wrestling, you know that the top guys aren't scripted to lose very often. Why? Because while a guy like the Undertaker may be huge and scary looking, his whole gimmick loses any edge if he loses every other match.





But when have the bad guys won? Sure they win some battles but never have they won the war.
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1357 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2016 :  00:47:02  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
What war? The majority of the successful long term characters in the Realms are "evil" - undead wizards for example. If a powerful character is older than about 500 years old in the Realms, it is either a dragon, a chosen, or evil. :P (A small handful of exceptions exist of course - please don't pile on "what about ____."
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KraziJoe
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2016 :  15:14:52  Show Profile Send KraziJoe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

What war? The majority of the successful long term characters in the Realms are "evil" - undead wizards for example. If a powerful character is older than about 500 years old in the Realms, it is either a dragon, a chosen, or evil. :P (A small handful of exceptions exist of course - please don't pile on "what about ____."


That's the thing. The bad guys never win...Someone always comes in to save the day from the bad guys...Let the bad guys win. Let them dominate for a time and work on that...The "war" meaning in every series, in the end, the good guys win and evil loses. Mix it up some!
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1357 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2016 :  20:29:38  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
You got your wish in Thay - Szass is head ghoulie-ghoul there after he won.
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