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Beirnadri Magranth
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Posted - 17 Jan 2006 :  02:33:32  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
As some sages might know, I've been interested in the history of the Nether Scrolls. Obviously my quest for knowledge led me to researching Windsong Tower of Myth Drannor (Cormanthor) since it is the current location of the only known complete set of the Nether Scrolls.
Heeding the advice of one Mareka on these forums, I went ahead and downloaded the PDF "Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves" from the WoTC website. Now, on page 157 on the book (158 on the PDF version) there is a description of the actual complex known as Windsong Tower. I have some questions about the descriptions. Also, the problem I have is that the description doesn't physically make sense. I'm not just talking about some rooms on the inside being larger than they are on the outside but im talking about...

There are "four items of interest" from the outside. No visible entrances exist.
1- Windsong Tower, a 4-story stone tower.
2- Shadowsong Tree, a magically-altered Shadowtop tree north of the tower,"that held a 3-story building within its trunk and branches".
3- Windsong Aerie, the "3-story 50-foot-high external tree dwelling nestled among the branches of the great oak.." south of the tower "...that linked all of the buildings' top levels by wide rail-less spans of wood".
4- Tower Fence, surrounds the complex, "its solid silver g-foot-high spikes held aloft by interweaving arcs of silver carvings of lightning, fire , ice and snow, wind and even small simulations of various 'hand' spells".

(I'm trying not to breach that rule about quoting directly too much but... since it is necessary for the question and it is free I figure there's no harm done)

ok... so
Is the 2nd feature a building inside of the trunk of the Shadow top? This would make sense since even before being altered with magic the trees are 10+ ft diameter at their base. If so, then the tree would be over 90ft. tall (the normal adult height of the tree according to the FRCS). Maybe the building is inside the tree and branches hollowed out... hmm.

What is an "external tree dwelling" exactly? Is the Windsong Aerie just a building perched in the branches... like in Dinotopia etc.? Is the building 50ft. tall or is the "great oak" 50ft tall? are these wide wooden "spans" like catwalks? are the built or grown out of branches? If there are only 2 entrances (we'll get into this more later) then what is the use of connecting the tops of all the buildings.. what top-levels would exist on a building that was inside a tree? Does it only connect the top level of the Windsong Tower?

I can't even fathom what someone was trying to express with Tower Fence. Where I come from 'g' is not a number... unless the fence is 1,000 feet high!

'There are only two external portals by which to enter the complex'

1- An illusion-covered archway is at the base of Windsong Tower. It moves from clockwise during the day, following the sun and moon (East at dawn). "Entrants... know to approach this entrance invisibly along vertain paths." bc the courtyard is full of spell traps etc.

I don't haev a problem with this description of the front door. Sounds cool actually! but...

2- "The other entrance is an invisible open ramp that arcs from high up in the tree directly west of the [Windsong Tower] down toward the southern most balcony along Windsong Aerie..."

If that was all it said I would only be a little confused...
If the balcony is where the entrance is then some one could just fly up to it etc. Why would you start out on that tree? If it is the "southernmost balcony" then not only does the Aerie have more than one useless balcony with no entrance, but the ramp would have to curve around the aerie to reach that side!
But that's not all that was said!!

-"any who climb the aforementioned tree and step off a particular branch 30 ft. above the ground will fall onto the ramp and find themselves as invsible as the ramp itself."

So, the this ramp that, "arcs from high up in the tree" must first jump down to it from a branch that is "30ft. above the ground". This doesn't seem like it is very "high up" in any kind of tree I know... except maybe a cherry, maple or haha a dogwood tree! Anyway if you got to the branch above it why not just go to it? anyone?

-"This ramp alone led to an illusion-cloaked stairwell and entrance at the center of the roof Windsong Aerie"

Wait! So, what happened to it 'arching down to the southern most balcony'?????

- "The other external visible ramps are simply blinds or areas upon which birds or other forest creatures nest"

OoOh... The forest creatures who bypassed the spell traps...




Is it just me or does this description suck???
hahah ok I'm cutting my rant short because I'm eagar to hear replies and because im probably going to start exceeding someone's bandwidth with the amount of Smilies I've used

p.s. serious replies are appreciated!

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema

Kentinal
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Posted - 17 Jan 2006 :  03:25:27  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beirnadri Magranth


4- Tower Fence, surrounds the complex, "its solid silver g-foot-high spikes held aloft by interweaving arcs of silver carvings of lightning, fire , ice and snow, wind and even small simulations of various 'hand' spells".

the g-foot = 6-foot spikes, something that occurs sometimes as a result of scaning.
quote:



Is the 2nd feature a building inside of the trunk of the Shadow top? This would make sense since even before being altered with magic the trees are 10+ ft diameter at their base. If so, then the tree would be over 90ft. tall (the normal adult height of the tree according to the FRCS). Maybe the building is inside the tree and branches hollowed out... hmm.

As written indeed the trunk of the tree has rooms inside it. Rising three stories. There might be some out builds, platforms included in the branches as well.
quote:


What is an "external tree dwelling" exactly? Is the Windsong Aerie just a building perched in the branches... like in Dinotopia etc.? Is the building 50ft. tall or is the "great oak" 50ft tall? are these wide wooden "spans" like catwalks? are the built or grown out of branches? If there are only 2 entrances (we'll get into this more later) then what is the use of connecting the tops of all the buildings.. what top-levels would exist on a building that was inside a tree? Does it only connect the top level of the Windsong Tower?

Some Elven cities, buildings are built on the branches and arround the trunk of the tree, as oposed to building inside the tree. Without looking at map I infer the South tree has no internal constuction. The walk ways appear to be elf made, planks of wood, that are supported by ropes. Most catwalks have rails these walkways do not appear the have them, but yes the concept is the same, a man (err elf) made birige. The walkways could very well be part of defense system, picture 100 elven archers shooting arrows at you from them. *wink* Again with out seeing an official map it is hard to know entire plan of system. Also the two known enterances might refer to the compound that are known about, after all we are discussing three buildings and each must be able to be entered in some manner, though Volo, or who else wrote this report only knows some of the information of this fortress.

Edit: Description does appear to offer some problems, but the portals clearly are way to bypass magical defenses that might be geared to creatures with Int 3 or better, that would not stop brirds.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon

Edited by - Kentinal on 17 Jan 2006 03:28:03
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 17 Jan 2006 :  03:53:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some of that was extra-dimensional space. It's not an uncommon feature in mages' towers or other highly magical locales: drop in an extra-dimensional space or two, and that little broom closet is now large enough to house a king and his retinue.

In fact, from pages 159 and 160 of the aforementioned text (boldfacing mine):

quote:
The grove lies within the Solarium, an upper chamber of Windsong Tower, though it is neither pointed out nor easily found. The room exists in a pocket dimension between the top level of the central tower and its roof;

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 17 Jan 2006 03:59:20
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Hoondatha
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Posted - 17 Jan 2006 :  14:04:37  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It was a common feature of other mage colleges in Myth Drannor at the time as well, having the inside be larger than the outside I know of at least two others that also had that feature, but I'm away from my books at the moment, so I can't get the specific names.

And I though Fellowship of the Ring did a pretty good job of showing how you could have buildings built into trees, something that I'd always had trouble wrapping my head around too.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Beirnadri Magranth
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Posted - 17 Jan 2006 :  17:34:57  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
thanks all!
yeah, i wasn't confused about the extradimensional spaces... just the ramps. I'm still confused about that second entrance. The ramp that arcs DOWN to the south balcony and to the center of the roof of a 50ft building at the same time.... from less than 30ft tall ramp.......


extradimensiaonal spaces can be as big adn confusing on the inside which is why there could only be those two entrances. they are connected on the inside. I'm just confused bc there are two mutually exclusive descriuptions of that darned ramp!

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema
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Kentinal
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Posted - 17 Jan 2006 :  19:01:35  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
". This ramp alone led to an illusion- cloaked stairwell and entrance at the center of the roof of Windsong Aerie."

The Stairway starts at the low balcony (or at leat lower then 30 feet, arcs can be gradual ones)

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Beirnadri Magranth
Senior Scribe

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Posted - 17 Jan 2006 :  22:59:15  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
hmm thanks for that idea! that at least is physically possible!

also i was guessing that since they are called portals.. that the entrances are actually magical portals not just doors. they could lead anywhere inside the buildings....

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema

Edited by - Beirnadri Magranth on 17 Jan 2006 23:01:00
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Kentinal
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Posted - 17 Jan 2006 :  23:40:19  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Err that was a quote about the stairwell existing.

As for calling them portals, I suspect the useage is safe gateways into the complex though magical wards and other dangers, not moving to any point within the complax. Obserbers do not know how to get into the central tower, for example.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Beirnadri Magranth
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Posted - 18 Jan 2006 :  05:57:40  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

". This ramp alone led to an illusion- cloaked stairwell and entrance at the center of the roof of Windsong Aerie."

The Stairway starts at the low balcony (or at leat lower then 30 feet, arcs can be gradual ones)



i thought you were implying the staircase would be on the balcony and tghen lead up to the roof or something... and the way i imagined it... i could exist but why not just hop onto the balcony in the first place?
maybe these are jsut the ways to get to the entrance without setting of the wards. anyway

is there any info. out there on the current status of the complex? I read about it in cormanthyr:empire of elves, and it said that "currently" it is still used by a mage who guards the nether scrolls. later on the Wotc forum someone implied that it had been blown into the sky... some crazy stuff
anyway someone pointed me in the direction of the myth drannor box set adventure.... but theres no way i can get my hands on it.

Why is it so hard to find out a simple fact of whether this school was destroyed in the seige or not????
i checked in cormanthyr, the fall of myth drannor etc. and it is so mysterious! argh!!

and what section of myth drannor was it in???

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema

Edited by - Beirnadri Magranth on 18 Jan 2006 05:59:51
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Kuje
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Posted - 18 Jan 2006 :  06:47:36  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's so hard to answer because the lore isn't clear on if it was totally destroyed or not. The Ruins of Myth Drannor box set just says that the tower shot up into the air and it hasn't been seen since.

However, the extra dimension space still exists and the guardian still guards the remaining treasures, but getting in it is almost impossible since the tower is gone and you have to find the entrance to the dimension space.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

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Beirnadri Magranth
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Posted - 18 Jan 2006 :  18:02:42  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
or make one yourself?

oh and did the whole complex shoot into the air? or just the main tower? (like did the aerie go as well or was it just destroyed? by whom and when did this happen?

thanks!!

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema

Edited by - Beirnadri Magranth on 18 Jan 2006 18:03:41
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Kuje
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Posted - 18 Jan 2006 :  18:18:03  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beirnadri Magranth

or make one yourself?

oh and did the whole complex shoot into the air? or just the main tower? (like did the aerie go as well or was it just destroyed? by whom and when did this happen?

thanks!!



It just says the tower. And we don't know who did it but it was durring the attack on the city.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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Beirnadri Magranth
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Posted - 18 Jan 2006 :  18:23:23  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
thanks again! yeah I figured it would be vague... with my luck its probably nda as well

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

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Posted - 18 Jan 2006 :  19:01:19  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Only the Tower itself flew away. The remainder of the rest fell to ruin during the Fall or afterward.

Note that the destruction of the extradimensional spaces and rooms and whatnot is unlikely--only their easiest and known physical access points.

Thus, if you know exactly how things were set up in days of yore, you could have the possible chance of accessing those hidden rooms and the treasures within them.

And yes, I was being purposefully vague (as well as rushed on that deadline in time and cramped for space in words).

SES

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Beirnadri Magranth
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Posted - 19 Jan 2006 :  05:25:41  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks so much for responding since I knew you worked on Cormanthyr that 2ed book and a whole lot more! Interesting point that the magical accessways would still be tehre even without the physical anchors... would you by anychance be able to tell me where in the city it was? i know its listed in the myth drannor boxed set but i will never be able to get my hands on that! did you stop working for wotc in 2000 or something or are you still on?

lastly, if so are you guys probably doing more work with updating myht drannor or netheril stuff into 3.5?

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 19 Jan 2006 :  11:27:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beirnadri Magranth

i know its listed in the myth drannor boxed set but i will never be able to get my hands on that!


Actually, getting hands on that set may be easier than you think. I see it pop up on eBay every now and again, and Paizo.com should have it available for download for $4. If they don't have it, RPGNow will likely have it for a dollar more.

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Steven Schend
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Posted - 19 Jan 2006 :  13:05:05  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I could have sworn that I put it on the map in CORMANTHYR, but someone with access to it will have to check that for me (as I am at work). And much of that map in Cormanthyr was simply reverse engineered from the Ruins of Myth Drannor maps, so anything that was there in ruins had to be there in total for my work.

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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The Sage
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Aye, it is.

The details for the Tower in Cormanthyr tell us it is located at S16 on the map.

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Beirnadri Magranth
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Posted - 19 Jan 2006 :  22:29:40  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
thanks again to all these replies! i hadnt seen the first short description of the tower in Cormanthyr but found it... yeah it is at s16... right near that noble house.
i wonder what life around there would have been like. especially during the seigesince there would have been huge battles to crush that complex next door as well...

maybe I'll have some of the pc's visit there in a dream-vision or something, so they can experience how tragic adn awe-inspiring the fall would have been.

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema
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Shining Heart
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Posted - 17 Aug 2008 :  21:59:13  Show Profile  Visit Shining Heart's Homepage Send Shining Heart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's more, new information about Windsong Tower in the Anauroch: The Empire of Shade (3.5E) adventure.

I'm confused about the purpose of the tower. All sources indicate that the tower was meant to teach magic to the elves of Cormanthor. However in "Anauroch", we learn about the Dark Diviners of Windsong Tower, a sect of Shar-worshipping diviners.
So what does that mean?
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Beirnadri Magranth
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Posted - 18 Aug 2008 :  00:29:26  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
ShiningHeart, do you have access to the other resources mentioned in this thread? I found them immensely helpful! I can't really tell you about what it says in Anauroch since I haven't bought that book yet but Windsong Tower was definitely a Wizards' Academy for ages and ages!
I' see I'll have to get that book now... and I'm kinda surprised I haven't already but anyways.

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema
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monknwildcat
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Posted - 20 Aug 2008 :  21:21:27  Show Profile  Visit monknwildcat's Homepage Send monknwildcat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's mention of the Dark Diviners of Windsong in the GHotR (684 DR Year of the Sundered Crypt), too. Something about the Book of the Black and Leaves of One Night and theft by Sharrans. Those Sharrans should have taken the Nether Scrolls....

No explanation of the title DARK DIVINER, though.

Hope that helps!
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Ashe Ravenheart
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Posted - 20 Aug 2008 :  21:38:43  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From Anaruoch:

The Dark Diviners came into possession of the "Book of the Black" and, through study and their own divinations, discovered a coming weakness of Shar and wrote the Leaves of One Night. This led to their being cursed by Shar and the Sharrans theft of the book. It sounds like Dark Diviner was just a title for Wizards/Oracles.

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

Ashe's Character Sheet

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Beirnadri Magranth
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Posted - 20 Aug 2008 :  22:13:53  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bah I'll have to check up on this. I haven't really examined the Nether Scroll history since '06 so I'm a little rusty on dates etc. I'll have to go back and see if any of the other sources mention Dark Diviners. I don't think the Nether Scrolls went by either of those names. Therefore, I'm kinda certain that the Dark Diviners never got their hands on it.

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema
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monknwildcat
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Posted - 20 Aug 2008 :  23:01:58  Show Profile  Visit monknwildcat's Homepage Send monknwildcat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Ashe!

Like Ashe said, the Dark Diviners are part of the "Shar ROCKS!" goth megaplot, although I'm surprised they weren't Sharrans themselves with appellation like Dark Diviners. Perhaps history so named them due to their role in the Leaves of One Night.

TTBOMK, nothing to do with the Scrolls, other than a plot using those with potential access to the scrolls in Myth Drannor.
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Ashe Ravenheart
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Posted - 21 Aug 2008 :  02:19:59  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Nether Scrolls were neither of these books.

quote:
The Lost Empires of Faerūn
Two sets of nether scrolls exist, each consisting of fifty individual scrolls. One complete set lies in the depths of Windsong Tower in the ruins of Myth Drannor, where it takes the form of a golden beech tree known as the Quess Ar Teranthvar (Golden Grove of Hidden Knowledge). The other set has been broken up and mostly lost.



Spoiler:

In the Anaruoch adventure/sourcebook, the Shades have stolen the Nether Scroll from Windsong and attempted to warp them with Shadow magic to learn their secrets. If successful, the heroes of the adventure prevent this from happening and the tree breaks apart, flinging the remaining scrolls to the far corners of Faerūn.

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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Edited by - Ashe Ravenheart on 21 Aug 2008 02:20:54
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