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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2012 :  18:52:12  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

Remember though that only the 'incarnations' of those pantheons were slain in the Orcgate Wars. In 4E terms, it was more like the 'Aspect of Marduk' that was slain than Marduk himself. When the Imaskari planar barrier was dissolved, the true Marduk and the rest of the pantheon *should* have shown up in Realmspace immediately to challenge Tiamat, Gruumsh, etc... or at the very least reestablish contact with their mortal followers. But 3E reconned the cosmology and 4E changed it again so I guess it’s now pointless to indulge in these hypotheticals.


They would only have come back if they had significant number of worshippers left on in Realmspace.

Which most of them probably did not. After all, the temporal gap between the death of most of the Untheric pantheon and the Time of Troubles is equal to the temporal gap between a modern inhabitant of LA and the Olmec gods. Turns out that not many people in the world worship the Olmec gods any more.

There have been two millenia of Gilgeam, as eternal God-King with nearly unlimited power, systematically suppressing any religion he considered a threat to his own supremacy, in the last thousand years or so with ever-increasing ruthlessness and ferocity.

It's a wonder that any mention of the old Untheric pantheon survives and we can't rule out the possibility that while Earth-people have fairly good records on them, based on Mulhorandi ones, the Untheri records have long since eliminated all references to these gods, with a possible exception for Enlil as the 'deceased' and honoured father of Gilgeam and some apocrypha kept by tiny groups of antiquaries and cultists.

And even without invoking Gilgeam's tyranny and historical revisionism; do we have any reason to suppose that the Romans of -300 BCE had any real idea what gods their ancestors worshipped in -2600 BCE? Did any historical people before modern archeology, comparative linguistic, comparative linguistics and the whole host of other disciplines that we use to learn about the past have a good idea about the religious beliefs of those who preceded them by some hundred generations or more?

Even discovering what gods existed in the cultures that we descend from has been a major challenge for modern humans. Knowing their nature and attributes well enough so that someone could worship them* if he were so inclined has been impossible for a lot of historical divinities. And we have a lot of resources not available to marginalised groups of lower-class dissidents in Gilgeam's tyranny.

Even if magic can replace technology for archeology and even be superior in many ways, we shouldn't overlook the fact that unless a society has a massive economic surplus, the requisite spare time for specialisation in esoteric fields that have such a low probability for yielding any economic benefit is available to a far smaller group of people than now. Simply put, people today can afford to pay a significant number of their fellow men to study things that have no bearing on survival or even future prosperity, but which we simply find fascinating.

Toril may be richer than Earth during the medieval period**, but that doesn't make it equal to Earth over the last century. The records of things that happened a hundred generations ago will overwhelmingly be written by scribes working for someone with a political agenda, i.e. Gilgeam. Those trying, despite that hindrance, to reconstruct the old faiths, will mostly number among those segments of Untheric society which has the worst access to wealth, education and magic. They'll have the smallest slice and the pie will be much, much smaller.

I think it's a fair assessment to say that the Untheric gods that died in the Orcgate War simply didn't have enough worshippers to manifest in Realmspace, even after the dissolution of the planar barrier. Enlil had already chosen to leave, leaving his duties to his heir, and even if he hadn't, he wouldn't have had enough worshippers to come back.

This only leaves a few outliers, but for these more recently passed gods, members of the Faerunian and Mulhorandi pantheon had mostly appropriated any incidental worship available. Some groups of Untheri might call their god Ishtar, Ramman or Nanna-Sin, but their worship was going to Isis, Anhur (or Assuran) and Selune. In light of that, the original god had no power in Realmspace and thus could hardly arrive to contest the situation.

All the previous analysis has been written with the assumption that these gods were still in existence on other worlds. This is not necessarily true. Everything indicates that gods occasionally die, whether from lack of worship or other causes. It's been more than five millenia in Toril-time since their incarnations came here. Who's to say that in those five millenia, the gods that created the incarnation haven't evolved so far from their old forms and natures that they would have much chance at all to take back any worshippers in Toril? Or that many of these gods have not simply died from lack of worship?

If gods work anything like species, languages, cultures and memes***; the common pattern is that a lot of them come into existence after some stimulus event****, most of them die out/are subsumed/lost and a few of them become massively successful. Then repeat.

We call this process evolution, but the key thing that this word is missing is the fact that most of the change isn't caused by things gradually becoming other things by a series of tiny changes. It's caused by an explosion in diversity that is then pruned away, leaving, in the end, mostly one kind of thing occupying each niche. The vast majority of species, languages, cultures and memes die out, because change happens by blind chance throwing out every variation and then just retaining the few which hit on some lucky combination.

And if anyone is wondering how I can use 'blind chance' to describe a process cleary guided by gods, I'll just remark that societal change is clearly guided by humans, but the complexity happens to be so great that predicting it on any useful timeframe is essentially impossible, so the effect is precisely the same as that of blind chance. As gods are competing against other gods in their 'economy/ecology', the complexity rises as a square of their intelligence and activity*****, meaning that they'll be as thoroughly incapable of understanding what makes the system tick as we are.

*And for the worship to be directed toward even vaguely the same god.
**It is, significantly so. Real wages compared to costing of living are astronomical, though the distribution of wealth is of course very unequal.
***And they should, being composed of an edifice of individual memes termed a memeplex and forming an integral part of the larger memeplex we call 'culture'.
****Usually a dramatic and catastrophic one, clearing away most of what was there before and opening the way for speciation or the memetic equivalent.
*****Because predicting the actions of others is easier the less they are able to do (rocks are very predictable without outer stimulae) and the less they are able to change their behaviour in response to what they think you think of them. Infinitely smart gods just create infinitely complex plans against the others, leaving them all infinitely confused.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2012 :  16:01:50  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Damn it!

Monument of the Ancients scuttles some of my theories for the Mujhuri. While I appreciate the little snippets of lore in the back, the origin given for Myrkul has an element that makes me very, very sad.

In -339 DR, Bedine suddenly appear in Aunaroch, transported there by a one-way gate. This event is easily connected to the wider 'Scattering of Fate', a massive event whereby huge sections of Zakhara had their peoples; advanced, learned, proud, rich people, but fractious and warlike; scattered so far across the world that they will not meet again until they have forgotten their strife.

Apparently, this scattering favoured certain areas over others, for the Bedine arrived in the desert and in the Raurin, there had also been people of a distinctly 'Midnani-esque' culture and language. The civilisation of which they had been a part* had fallen '1000 years ago', which puts its fall at around ca 350 DR, which didn't sound too bad for them having arrived in -339 DR. After all, this civilisation was stated to be founded right after the fall of Imaskar, so even if the 'Midani-esque' people had arrived there almost seven centuries before the fall, it's at least marginally plausible that the place would have retained the original Mulan gods and some of the names of rulers.

I had planned to reconcile the disparities between the 3e FRCS, 3e Shining South and the 2e Horde CS, not to mention the clear 'Midani-esque' names among the Mujhuri people and their use of 'Midani/Alzhedo-esque' titles, by considering that when the -339 DR Midani people landed in the Raurin, they migrated north and south, with those who went north arriving in the Mulhorandi dominions of Murghom and Semphar and those going south ending up in the Raurin realm of Bakhar, then verdant and fertile due to the magical spring irridating its lands.

Original titles and names in use in Semphar and Murghom, I had planned, would have been a mix of various Imaskari titles and names, the languages of those of their slaves** who were not Mulan***, the idiom of surviving free 'Imaskari' (possibly including people originally belonging to tribes related, but ethnically and linguistically distinct at the time of settlement of the Nemrut, from the original Imaskari) who were not among the hated Arficier and their relations, i.e. the upper class, some Durpari settlers who had moved in after the fall (but less than you'd think, because of the formidable natural barrier and the terrible state of the Durpari tribes after the fall) and some influences from those tribes of the Taangan who had been associated with Lower Imaskar rather than Upper Imaskar****.

Therefore, the significant 'Midani-esque' or to be blunt 'pseudo-Arabic' (with more than a few hints of post-Islam Persia for Semphar) flavour of Murghom and Semphar would be explained by these -399 DR immigrants who, including among them their own aristocrats, scholars, leaders and warriors, immediately formed a a strong nucleaus for anti-Mulhorandi resistance. Mostly asserted through living their own lives without interference, of course, not through senseless warfare against a stronger foe.

Yet, enough to develop a language independent from Muhorandi (which remained, however, the official language and the one most literature was written in, to conform to 3e lore in the FRCS) and to later adopt the religious teachings that made their way through the Durpari traders that started arriving in numbers once that realm had rebuilt civilisation.

Thus, the common folk and provincial nobility are devoutly 'Mujhari'***** in religion and culture, whereas the urban populations and the nobility installed by Mulhorandi power are more likely to speak Mulhorandi in some or all of their daily dealings, worship the Mulan****** gods and read literature brought from Skuld. Each group, however, is immersed enough in the culture of the other that they coexist mostly peacefully and the wise emirs in the towns manage to follow both Mujhuri and Mulan customs in their public appearances and proclamations, just as the wise provincial chiefs take care to speak to representatives of the Pharoah in their Mulhorandi and to offer pious prayers to a Mulan god or two as a blessing. After all, is not all part of the Adama, including the gods of the Mulan?

The source of my sadness, however, is that if Myrkyl Bey al-Kursi was Crown Prince of Murghom some time before an escapade in North Faerun in -351 DR, it puts what is clearly a 'Midani-esque/Alzhedo-esque/Arabic-esque' name in Murghom preceding the Scattering of Fate. Worse, it puts such a name on the throne, meaning that these people who speak a language apparently unrelated to Imaskari and the Mulhorandi of their suzerains are either a conquering upper class or a well established part of the society well before the -339 DR date I had imagined.

I realise that I can postulate an earlier arrival, by land or by magic. But I dislike inventing multiple exotic, yet strangely similar explanations for disparate events when a single one would seem to do.

Also, if they arrived by land, the modern mix of societies, ethnicities and languages in the Shining South and Utter East becomes even harder to explain with convincing logic. If they walked through, they ought to have settled more salubrious areas before crossing impenatrable desert. And if they did settle, we would have to imagine yet another RSE which destroyed any culture they had there before the Ulgarthians found a nearly empty land in ca 350 DR and the Ffolk found Mar, seperated from Zakharans culturally and in appearance by enough so that in our world, I would be confident of proposing a divergance point in the several thousands of years.

While I suppose I could claim that Zakharans settled the area shortly after the fall of Imaskar (and the descendants they left in the Utter East therefore had time to change to Mar), this would not go very far toward explaining why their language continued to evolve in tandem with Midani for as long as it took Proto-Proto-Indo-European to evolve into such varied languages as Bengali, English, Icelandic and Spanish, despite the presence of several other language groups in the area, one of them the language of their conquerors and rulers for thousands of years, and the conquest of these lands on numerous occasions by others.

In general, the less time between the arrival of Zakharans in the Raurin and the present time, the better. More plausible that way that we'd see all these similarities in culture and what langauge we are given.

*But not founded, however. It was founded by what seemed to be Mulan, but it was not ruled from Mulhorandi. The lack of explanation for the origin of the 'Midani-esque' people who had later joined these Mulan and who were mentioned as being clearly racially and culturally distinct from the Durpari in the area, led me to favour an origin involving magical transportation. In particular, this was tempting because they were not stated to be natives of Murghom and Semphar, but distinct from them as well, having become their own 'ethnicity', the Raurindi.
**Judging from the Mulan, both Untheric and Mulhorandi, having retained languages, religions and cultures for 2 millenia of slavery, the Imaskari must have been extremely disinterested in civilising their slaves (or at least, some groups of them), and to allow them to mostly rule themselves when not working. We can postulate that strict magical wards prevented them from various activities considered potential threats to the Imaskari and they were not doubt prohibited from carrying arms, but it appears that they spoke their own language between themselves and lived somewhat apart. Paradoxically, being incorporated into Imaskari culture as a free, if lower- or at most (or non-pure bloods and/or non-artificers) middle-class citizen might have been more damaging to a people's language and cultural identity.
***Unless belonging to what was no doubt a somewhat favoured subclass of Imaskari society, their military. I'm vaciliating between ruling that a special middle-class of 'barbarian' warriors existed in the Empire, nominally free, or saying that they had slave warriors. I think I prefer the former, given how slave warriors are a Zakharan and Calimshan thing already and in real history, was usually only a rather rare supplement to having free, if ethnically distinct, warrior classes. I'm not saying that the Imaskar Empire never used warrior slaves in its extensive history (indeed, I imagine that they do), but that these were generally not the bulk of their army in numerical terms nor the most valuable units of martial power to complement the magical.
***An intriguing canonical puzzle, working out what these people would have been like and where they would have come from. Has to fit with not only the lore for the world before Imaskar, but also be logically consistent with how things developed after its fall.
****On the assumption that the Rashemi, Sossrim and Raumviri, at least, represent peoples displaced by Imaskari expansion or absorbed into it and later using knowledge gained under its rule to form their own states, I postulated that the early steppes of -7,100 were far from ethnically homogenous. The bronzed skin and epicanthic folds of the modern Taangan/Tuigan were certainly represented, but their settlement of the steppe from the east is likely to have been a gradual process and unless there is some secret of which I am unaware, almost has to have been carried out without the overwhelming military advantages which allow the rapid ethnic displacement of one mobile group over another in recorded historical times. By that I mean that even if early Taangan had tamed wild horses, the process of domesticating and then adopting them as beast of burden and cavalry mounts cannot have been started. That is, if it was begun, some powerful reason is needed to justify why the nomadic horse people did not spread all over the world. In our history, the horse was so domesticated in 1500 BC and inaugurated an era of rapid societal change and upheaval which hasn't stopped since. Basically, if the Taangan had useful cavalry horses in -7,100 DR, a time during which nothing suggests that any other human culture had even started settled acriculture, any land not held by giants (few by that time), dragons (no longer ruled great realms), elves (specific terrain requirements which don't tempt nomadic herdsmen that much anyway) and dwarves (ditto) would have ended up under them (and thus, the Imaskari). Thus, the horses of the steppes at that time must have had something which limited their utility in conquering the world on a massive scale. I've tentatively postulated small size as well as a slight shift in personality, with them being more independent and less hierarchical. This would allow taming them (to conform to the statement that the Taangan herded them) without them being easily domesticated or having as much military impact (except through later, directed, Imaskari effort to provide their subjects with cavalry mounts).
*****Simply the local name for the Way of the Atama, substantially admixtured by traditions of hospitality, a warrior nobility, tribal organisation, an odd combination of stoicism and fervent romanticism and competing traditions of reverence for learning and a tradition of fierce anti-intellectualism; all of these being brought from Zakhara and fitting well into local culture.
******For Semphar, especially, these may be joined by Faerunian or Kara-Turan imports. Mulhorand is far away, they are situated on a trade route and they were recently conquered from the East.

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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2012 :  22:27:17  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My view of Murghom was formed in large part by the 2nd-Edition Horde boxed set, which paints the nation in a decidedly Ottoman Turkish light. The name Myrkyl Bey al-Kursi was simply a reflection of this Turkish flavor. Of import to me at the time, was to link Myrkul’s origin to a region outside the heartlands. The specific name was a secondary matter. In fact, I’m inclined to think of “Myrkul Bey” as a title, something akin to “Azal’Lan / Azalin” in Greyhawk/Ravenloft lore.

I sympathize with your situation though. I have upon numerable occasions formulated what I perceived to be a plausible and evocative backstory for a segment of Realms history only to discover later that its contradicted by some nugget of lore I was previously unaware of. Such is the life of a designer. In such cases, you simple have to readjust to account for the new bit of information. Such is the woe of playing in a shared world.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2012 :  23:26:33  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, Myrkyl Bey is great as a name for a Murghomi in that misty era of its prehistory.

After all, both the Semphari use of 'Atabeg' and the modern Taangan use of 'Beg' for chiefs in certain tribes indicates that either the root word was originally Imaskari or that it was a Taangan word pre-empted by the Imaskari for some of the chieftains who served them. In either case, it makes perfect sense that Murghom would choose to call their ruler 'Bey' from the very beginning or, as you've postulated it, use it as the title for the Crown Prince while the ruler bore another Imaskari-influenced title.

It's the 'al-Kursi' to which I object, as that seems to tie it specifically to Zakhara (or Zakhara through Calimshan), extra-planar contact with a place where Arabic is spoken or the third and worst option; a bizarrely specific linguistic evolution whereby a few hypothetical speakers of an ancient East Semitic* language previously exposed for two thousand years to any number of unknown languages, none of which appears from our sources to be identifiable as similar to anything which influenced our world's Semitic languages in their evolution, would then over the next four thousand years independently evolve a language where the naming traditions were identical to our modern Arabic, a Northwestern Semitic language.

As it is, however, canonical that this was his name in a time at the very least slightly before -350 DR and perhaps very long before that, we will have to work with it. Do you have a theory on how land formerly held by the Imaskari Empire, devastated by Mulan speaking Mulhorandi and Untheric and finally left alone for 600 years while surrounded by similarly devastated Imaskari survivor states could have come to have a Midani-speaking (or at least formerly speaking) royal family in that time?

The lands of Durpar and Ulgarth had fallen into barbarism and are poor candidates for supplying new colonists, as it is stated that it civilisation is not rebuilt in those lands until some 300+ years after our period. Reading between the lines, I would presume that the devastation wrought by the disintigration of civil power and consequent rampaging bands of either (or both) former slaves or former soldiers of the Empire came close to wiping them out, that the Mulan almost finished the task and that the survivors probably avoided anything reminding them of either for a long time.

Also, hunter-gatherers without such technologies associated with 'higher' civilisations as methods of generating a significant food surplus, storing that surplus and domesticating several fantastically expensive camels have no chance of crossing the Raurin to colonise Murghom, even with the best of will.

A land-based colonisation effort by some power within Zakhara is theoretically possible within this time. On the other hand, it would require some careful explaining to skate around the fact that Ulgarth was extremely thinly populated even eight hundred years after this and Durpar shows no sign of an colonisation by a technologically advanced invader in the era, as that would have resulted in a civilisation emerging there earlier, albeit not one speaking Durpari.

Personally, I would look toward fallen Nog and Kadar for the origin of a noble family with a West Semitic name and the possibility of producing a necromancer of great power and ambition. If the family travelled to Murghom by magic specifically to raid Imaskari ruins for forbidden lore and found the locals could not stand up to their magic and so made themselves rulers, that would provide a sufficient explanation for all the observed facts without introducing too many additional complications.

Then we merely postulate the rest of Myrkyl's family suffering fates of varying gruesomenes at the hands of each other and the rising Crown Prince and him then rejecting a meager throne over a provincial backwater in favour of his grand quest. Depending on how old you are comfortable with making Myrkyl in his mortal life, this could even have taken place shortly before the Mulhorandi reconquest in ca -1,500 DR, neatly explaining both the docility of the Murhomites of that day and why Myrkyl never tried to use the resources of his rightful fief to help with his quest.

*Not only are the particles commonly theorised to have evolved into the definite particle 'al-' absent in East Semitic languages, but the Akkadian lexicon is without articles of any sort and even should they have been developed, such use of them would have been alien to the syntax and word order. In fact, lack of articles, the SOV as opposed to VSO word order common to most other Semitic languages and the extensive use of suffixes to form statives and modified nouns are among the major features distinguishing Akkadian from the other Semitic languages. The prefix definite particle 'al-' must rate as exceedingly unlikely as an independent innovation by Akkadian speakers.

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Edited by - Icelander on 01 Mar 2012 23:27:19
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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
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Posted - 01 Mar 2012 :  23:40:46  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

It's the 'al-Kursi' to which I object.
Aaah. I don't recall how I derived the name, but likely it was just something that sounded suitably "turkish" to me as an ignorant westerner .

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2012 :  00:35:51  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

It's the 'al-Kursi' to which I object.
Aaah. I don't recall how I derived the name, but likely it was just something that sounded suitably "turkish" to me as an ignorant westerner .


Unfortunately, Turkic is in my opinion just the right feel for quite a lot of the early Taangan. On the other hand, you must take care to seperate modern Turkish from Turkic languages before the adoption of Islam and Arabic script, the use of Arabic as a language of prayer, and the diffusion of Arabic through Persia as a language of scholarship, government, diplomacy and military uses.

I imagine that many Imaskari cavalrymen were quite similar to our world's Turkic peoples inhabiting Central Asia. None of them, however, would have been Ottoman Turks with their extensive Arabic influence (and in the interest of assisting mental imagining, the modern Turks living in ancient Anatolia are actually minimally genetically related to Turkic people, instead mostly comprising the descendants of former Armenians, Kurds, Hebrews, Greeks, Assyrians, Arabs and Slavic people).

On the other hand, after the arrival of the Zakharans in Murghom, something resembling Turkish might well be spoken by some ethnic groups on the fringes of the area or on the neighbouring steppes.

*And in my opinion still a substantial part of even the modern 'Tuigan', for all that the majority of them is genetically related to the peoples of Shou Lung, i.e. equivalent to Earth's Mongoloids.

As I believe I noted earlier, I see the steppes (excepting smaller regions with different biomes, which could sustain smaller tribes with different livestyles) before the arrival of the Imaskari as sharing broad similarities in culture and way of life, in that over the last few centuries the indigenous peoples had all adopted the domestication of caprids to supplement their traditional hunting of any cervidae found at their latitude and wild horses, and that many of them had managed to tame enough wild horses to at least nudge the herds in directions preferable to the tribe.

Among these peoples were ethnic and linguistic equivalents to at least Earth's Proto-Indo-Europeans, Proto-Uralic peoples, Proto-Turkic and Proto-Altaic (traditionally Turkic is classified as Altaic, but there are nevertheless distinctions important enough to mention them seperately).

The 'pure' lineages of those ethnic groups not currently in the majority were concentrated somewhat away from the mingling of the tribal borders, particularly where geography provided natural barriers, such on the urheimat of the Tuigan and their cousins in the Chigidi and the western taiga forests of the Ama basin, the foothills of the Kora Shan for one group, the Katakoro highlands for another and the uplands of what would become Imaskar for yet another.

Eventually, at least, these groups would be incorporated into the Imaskari Empire to a greater or lesser degree and probably adopted a language called 'Imaskari' for use with their masters. Some populations would have resisted and though armed confrontation ensured merely a heroic end to that branch of the lineage, flight was still an option. The Imaskari would have had no reason to try to follow individual groups of nomads as they moved away from their lands. Even if they wanted to, there must be limits to the number of powerful arcanists and how many places they could be in at once.

At the fall of the Empire, the local languages of most of the groups who were incorporated would have been either lost or hopelessly assimilated into their own dialect of the 'Imaskari' language. Exceptions would be only those who had deliberately preserved their own language through oral transmission, probably in secret and most likely as part of an underground dissident movement of some sort. The most likely motive is the preservation of cultural aspects vital to the people's sense of self, i.e. probably forbidden religion and spiritualism.

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Edited by - Icelander on 02 Mar 2012 00:37:24
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Hawkins
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 06 Jun 2012 :  15:55:48  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Brian,

This scroll was recently resurrected, and I was wondering if you had any information on the origin of Realmsian halflings.

Thanks,
Hawkins

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

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Posted - 08 Jul 2012 :  19:51:38  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Brian seems to be taking a break, or is incredibly busy (which probably means good things for us down the line).

First, a comment: It works better if 'Al-Kursi' part is the title ('Bey' may have also originally been a title, denoting royalty, but has since become the surname of the main branch of the royal family of Murghom). 'Al Kursi' is probably a honorific meaning 'Crown Prince', or 'THE Prince' (same difference - it implies inheritance, as opposed to just 'Kursi' which could simply mean 'Prince').

Now, as for the temporal space anomaly (or time-glitch) - very simple; thats the title he is giving in current historic tomes. He could have very well been called something else back then (in fact, I'm pretty sure he was called a LOT of things...). Not only is this a practice we use here in the RW (we often call ancient rulers 'king', when that culture probably never even heard of the word), but this particular way of "sweeping continuity problems under the carpet" has been used before, and I have to say its a 'tried and true' method (in other words, what we modern Earth readers read in the sources and novels is just the way the facts have been interpreted to us so that we here in the RW can enjoy the Realms, and everything doesn't always translate well).

So what we get is the 'general gist of things', not a blow-by-blow 100% factual account (inaccurate 3rd party, even in sources that appear to be 1st person).

NOW for a Question:
I was just looking over the Vassa/Damara map (gorgeous, BTW), and I can't seem to find The Granite Tower in Vassa. Was it omitted, or is it something else now? It was featured in the RotAW series, and there is connected Vassan lore in the short story Darksword, which appeared in Realms of Shadow and one other anthology (I know that, because I never owned RoS and I read the story). It should be somewhere in the Bottomless Bog, or right near it (since the short story takes place in the bog).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Jul 2012 19:52:59
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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2012 :  17:55:28  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Heya Markus. The Granite Tower *is* marked on the Vassa map, but alas in the incorrect location. You'll see it on the map in the Galenas west of the Sunderlands and north of Sulasspryn. In my notes, I have the tower's location marked as unknown. Most likely I scanned through the RotAW looking for it's location, but failed to remember its inclusion in Realms of Shadow.

Upon reviewing Darksword, I'd agree that the Granite Tower should correctly be located in the Bottomless Bogs. I'd place the tower under the shadow of the West Galenas west of the Beaumaris River, and north of Delhalls. Darksword names this area 'Mountainshadow Bog'. I also see reference to 'Deadman Pass', which I'd place roughly northwest of the tower, above the village of Modurt

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14141 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2012 :  15:18:40  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow, can't believe I couldn't find it. While the map is beautiful, the unobtrusive color-palette for the labeling makes it a bit difficult to find stuff. Still, I wouldn't change it for the world; its a piece of art (unlike mine, which are merely informational).

Its also a simple fix: After the Spellplague hit, the tower moved. By whom or what no-one (outside the tower) knows.

One great thing about the 3e/4e transition - we can say whatever the hell we want and it won't conflict with canon.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2012 :  15:35:06  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, Mike's maps are fantastic and i always request him by name in my art orders. I love the maps so much that I had Sarifal and Vaasa printed on canvas at pictureitoncanvas.com. Both are now hanging on the wall in my rec room.

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The Red Walker
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Posted - 20 Aug 2012 :  00:46:38  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for everything concerning the Candlekeep seminar. The next best thing in the realms to witnessing Ed is probably watching the interaction with you and Matt. Otis clear your passion is second to none.

Just know it is appreciated by so many.

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"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1476 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2012 :  01:45:04  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

Remember though that only the 'incarnations' of those pantheons were slain in the Orcgate Wars.
They would only have come back if they had significant number of worshippers left on in Realmspace.

Which most of them probably did not. After all, the temporal gap between the death of most of the Untheric pantheon and the Time of Troubles is equal to the temporal gap between a modern inhabitant of LA and the Olmec gods. Turns out that not many people in the world worship the Olmec gods any more.
The difference is that these are priests of some gods from the pantheon. And after ToT for remaining gods it makes sense to invite in not only allies, but any other gods of their pantheon who aren't their enemies or rivals - simply to prevent interlopers from filling the empty portfolio niches, which may weaken positions of the pantheon as a whole.

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

Toril may be richer than Earth during the medieval period**, but that doesn't make it equal to Earth over the last century. The records of things that happened a hundred generations ago will overwhelmingly be written by scribes working for someone with a political agenda, i.e. Gilgeam.
Wait, I thought you'll point out a difference?

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And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2012 :  17:39:05  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It was great to meet so many of you at the Candlekeep seminar and elsewhere at GenCon this year. My only regret was having to leave the Candlkeep seminar earlier as I was feeling nauseous. Nothing a power nap couldn’t solve, thankfully.

Also, if you haven’t heard, the sourcebook Matt and I worked on last year “Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale” won a silver ENnie award. Though the entries are ostensibly set in the 4E implied world, most of you know by now that everything I write is inspired by or has nods to the Forgotten Realms.

As for the gods...they're ALL coming back so it's a moot point now anyway :)

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Irennan
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Italy
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Posted - 20 Aug 2012 :  17:52:06  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

As for the gods...they're ALL coming back so it's a moot point now anyway :)



ALL? Well, that's awesome news!

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 20 Aug 2012 17:52:25
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The Red Walker
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Posted - 20 Aug 2012 :  18:28:14  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
ALL is an awfully big word......so I am looking forward to seeing what Mystral has been up to. She cant be happy with that last two goddesses of Magic....

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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Irennan
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Italy
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Posted - 20 Aug 2012 :  18:32:49  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just want to see Bhaal tearing Cyric apart, while Leira has fun screwing his mind... and three Mystras could scare the crap out of Shar (and now Lolth too)

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 20 Aug 2012 18:36:06
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 01 Sep 2012 :  18:43:30  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Brian, have you - along with your brother, BC, Erik, etc - ever considered creating your own forum?

I've been giving the CKC a lot of thought lately, and I really don't see Candlekeep ever moving forward at all (in all senses of the word).

I'm just wondering if you guys ever thought about that. Maybe Candlekeep II should be something else entirely.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
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Posted - 02 Sep 2012 :  16:35:36  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My formost desire would be to nudge the powers-that-be to get a new Candlekeep Compendium going again. But if that is just not possible, then I am very much in favor of seeing a new Realms fanzine arise. My brother does have RPG forums at loremaster.org. Perhaps we might initiate something there.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 03 Sep 2012 :  00:29:26  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sounds like a plan.

I can scrap my idea for a 'Library of Perpustakaan' now.

(thats the Candelkeep-like place in the southern part of K-T, which I have always imagined to be 'Candlekeep East', not just in theme, but an actual connection between the two).

EDIT: The 'Perpustakaan Compendium' just didn't have the right ring to it.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 03 Sep 2012 00:30:36
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Hawkins
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Posted - 03 Sep 2012 :  18:09:43  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It would be cool if WotC would support something like pathfinderchronicler.net where while none of the writing is considered canon, the writers are encouraged by Paizo to write their fan fiction and become better writers. I got the first volume of their works at PaizoCon.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 03 Sep 2012 :  20:55:27  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is my thinking as well.

Create a separate site that would have both official approval (and final say) that is just dedicated to creating realmslore. Nothing would be canon unless the material was reproduced - in whole or in part - on the WotC site, or in book.

In other words, breaking the CKC off from Candlekeep proper. It would work pretty much the way it always has, but give WotC ownership of the material to avoid any legal hassles. It would be a buffer between CK and them. That way, anyone who is unhappy about WotC gaining control of their creations can just continue to wait around for WotC to give some sort of permission to the CKC to continue (which, I fear, will be never).

Of course, as part of that agreement, some sort of compensation should be in order for material that gets used elsewhere. That should be incentive for WotC to back such a project - they can pick and choose from already written articles as to whether they want to make that lore official or not. Its almost like having a 'fluff buffet'. The articles can also be tweaked before they become official (which provides yet another layer of continuity).

Its almost like combining the 4e LFR with the CKC (and even the 'CORE' concept).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
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Posted - 04 Sep 2012 :  02:15:34  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Create a separate site that would have both official approval (and final say) that is just dedicated to creating realmslore.
I don't really see how this differs from the position Candlekeep currently finds itself in. We're essentially a separate site, and we're awaiting official approval.

How does your proposal suggest anything different when you'd still have to be granted that approval by Wizards... just as this Candlekeep is waiting for?

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14141 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2012 :  00:49:37  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Because I am suggesting that WotC be given final say, and ownership.

I proposed just such a paradigm a long time ago, when we first ran into this problem, and several people here (including wooly, IIRC) were vehemently against it. Of course, this was at the height of the anti-WotC backlash.

So what I am suggesting is continue with the CKC, but detach it from Candlekeep proper (for legal reasons), and give them the sort of 'creative control' they had over the LFR in 4e.

Or it could just continue as-is, here, which I'd prefer, but then I think some sort of accord with WotC needs to be reached. Personally, I just don't see the need for it, but obviously others here do. We either need to move forward, or find some other way. The clock is ticking, and if we don't make the first move, someone will beat us to it.

Or worse, no-one will... and FR won't get the love it deserves when 5e is released.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Matt James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
908 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2012 :  03:43:51  Show Profile Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would be happy to head it up, Markustay.
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