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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2018 :  15:28:03  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Aside from the energetic and inventive Seti (b. 1320 DR), what historical incarnations of Set are known?

Would Nezram the World-Walker have known of an incarnation of Set before his planar sojourn in 643 DR?

Would the Nezramites, his descendants, have had any run-ins with such incarnations in the centuries after Nezram's disappearance, considering that they lived 'east of Mulhorand', where Set is known to hold sway and his tower is said to lie within the Raurin desert?

Where was Set and any incarnations during the rebellion of the northern provinces of Mulhorand that led to the founding of Thay and the Red Wizards?

And so on.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 23 Jun 2018 :  16:28:00  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Similar questions to ones I have asked in the past. I couldn't find any answers in the lore so I made them up myself although I haven't thought of what involvement Set may have had in Thay's rebellion.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2018 :  17:09:09  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Similar questions to ones I have asked in the past. I couldn't find any answers in the lore so I made them up myself although I haven't thought of what involvement Set may have had in Thay's rebellion.


Given the real world mythology of Set/Seth and his association with frontiers, deserts, foreigners and outcasts, I would prefer to have Set, his incarnation and his cult to have been very involved in all kinds of foreign schemes against Horus-Re and the established order in Mulhorand.

It's a natural fit to have incarnations of Set foment revolution and rebellion in Mulhorandi provinces, plot with foreign power groups hostile to the Horus-Re dynasty and collecting in his service anyone prepared to work against Anhur, Horus-Re and the other god-kings of Mulhorand.

The way I view 'evil' gods is that their offer of aid and power often attracts the disenfranchised and disillusioned without other opportunities, angry rebels who have a legitimate grievence against the power structure that evil gods seek to topple. Those who deplore the tyranny of Gilgeam or the rigid class system of slave-exploiting Mulhorand can easily justify accepting aid from any source and the evil reputation of deities like Set or Tiamat are easily explained as propaganda from the power elite, intended to demonise any opposition.

Little in the way of temptation would be required to produce increasingly ruthless and violent champions from embittered victims turned revolutionaries against the establishment. After all, real world revolutionaries often have legitimate grievences and usually believe in selfless and high-minded ideals, but methods like assassination, treachery, terrorism and agitation have a way of leading to a bloody cycle with no winners.

Evidently, from his utter lack of any visible influence in modern Thay, Set was either uninvolved in the 10th century revolt that led to its founding or something happened that resulted in Thayans apparently favoring him no more than the other Mulhorandi gods. It would be interesting to know more about that.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 23 Jun 2018 :  17:54:41  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well I completely ignored real world mythology because I don't actually like it very much and because it may not be relevant to anything realmsian.

As Set was a real person until the current millennia (when he may have ascended to godhood although I'm not entirely convinced that is true), I tried to give him a personality and motivations beyond the Set is evil that we have been told.

I imagined Set to be ambitious but loyal to Mulhorand. His evil and vengeful behaviour only became established as a result of him being sidelined and ignored by the other "gods" of Mulhorand who didn't trust him.
He wanted to replace Ra and later Horus-Re so I would not have involved him in events that would carve the empire up into pieces unless he was in control of those pieces. I thought him distrustful of others, trusting only in himself and his abilities so I did not envisage him ever creating and incarnation, but he loved to control people so he had plenty of divine servants (a creature in the old empires sourcebooks I think).
I am undecided whether Set would ultimately relinquish the direct control over events enough to ascend to true godhood. I think in my version he is still roaming Raurin gathering power enough so he can conquer Mulhorand and rule it in person.

As for Nezram I decided on him being Set's son. I had slim justification for this in existing lore but it works for the backgrounds I have crafted for the "gods" of Mulhorand.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2018 :  18:25:42  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Well I completely ignored real world mythology because I don't actually like it very much and because it may not be relevant to anything realmsian.

While the Mulan deities have evolved from their mythological origins, I think it's pretty clear that they are supposed to have evolved from Earth gods of Egypt and Mesopotamia.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

As Set was a real person until the current millennia (when he may have ascended to godhood although I'm not entirely convinced that is true), I tried to give him a personality and motivations beyond the Set is evil that we have been told.

Why would you think that Set had ascended to godhood only within the last millenia?

He is unambiguously stated in Old Empires to be the brother of Osiris (as in real mythology) and is clearly a god when he slays his brother in -1,050 DR, or more than 2,400 years before most published versions of the Realms.

Indeed, in Powers and Pantheons, he is said to be the son of Geb and the long-forgotten Nut, which makes him pretty clearly born to godhood, not a mortal who ascended.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I imagined Set to be ambitious but loyal to Mulhorand. His evil and vengeful behaviour only became established as a result of him being sidelined and ignored by the other "gods" of Mulhorand who didn't trust him.
He wanted to replace Ra and later Horus-Re so I would not have involved him in events that would carve the empire up into pieces unless he was in control of those pieces. I thought him distrustful of others, trusting only in himself and his abilities so I did not envisage him ever creating and incarnation, but he loved to control people so he had plenty of divine servants (a creature in the old empires sourcebooks I think).
I am undecided whether Set would ultimately relinquish the direct control over events enough to ascend to true godhood. I think in my version he is still roaming Raurin gathering power enough so he can conquer Mulhorand and rule it in person.

I think that Set is about as loyal to Mulhorand as any scion who failed in his bid for power is to the area ruled by a competing dynasty would be. Judging by the historical record, that would be 'not very'.

After all, a splintered Mulhorand weakens the Pharaoh and provides a ready-made base of power for Set in one or more of the newly independent provinces. As a god, he's used to planning for the long term, so he'd not mind having to weaken Mulhorand for a few centuries in exchange for finally attaining supreme power there.

As for incarnations, I gather that the Mulan deities didn't necessarily choose to make them, they were born from their unions with other gods or with mortals. Besides, we know that Set does work through incarnations, as Seti, his current incarnation (b. 1320 DR), has worked all his life to further Set's schemes.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

As for Nezram I decided on him being Set's son. I had slim justification for this in existing lore but it works for the backgrounds I have crafted for the "gods" of Mulhorand.


I don't see any support for this idea and the 'Nezramites' (descendants of Nezram) do not appear to have any divine heritage. What was it that led you to decide this for your campaign?

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 23 Jun 2018 :  19:08:43  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had a huge problem with the delivery of the Old Empires sourcebook and the "gods". Gods travelling across the multiverse in space ships to rescue people but leaving their divine essence behind and then all the nonsense with incarnations and manifestations and the inconsistencies throughout the book. Nevermind the problems with Tiamat and Gilgeam. In the end I decided to discard it all as the misunderstandings of mortal sages and start again. Super powerful mortals come to Toril to liberate the Mulan and then rule over them as kings and "gods" until such a time as they tire of it and relinquish rule to their human scions before ascending to true godhood. Its much cleaner in my head.


I decided on Nezram being son of Set mostly because it suited me. I'd made Set into the grand vizier of Mulhorand while Ra was the pharaoh. The mention of Nezram as the last being who knew how to create gemstone golems was strange since the Church of Thoth catalogue all magic, if they didn't have the secret then it must have been knowledge held only by the "gods" and so I decided to link Nezram to them personally and it also allowed me to explain why the font of time took Nezram back to that particular point in time.

Its all my own stuff and I don't expect anyone else to like it or agree with it. The canon material is too messy for my liking so I made something that is almost the same (so that anyone playing in my Mulhorand wouldn't notice the difference) but different enough that it makes more logical sense and provides more building blocks to expand upon things (mortals have a much more obvious effect on the world than a metaphysical god).



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LordofBones
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827 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2018 :  03:38:52  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The actual mythological Set was loyal to Ra and defended him against Apophis, then later buried the hatchet with Horus. In D&D, he's possibly still loyal to what he sees as his people, and probably to Ra, but loathes the rest of the pantheon.

It's just a lot of things don't really add up between his myth and game counterparts. He's got elements of Conan's Set, the snake god of Stygia, blended in with his mythological counterpart, and I don't think there's any mention of the Set-Beast in D&D. Poor Sebek got hit with the worst though, going from a respected and feared deity in myth to Set's cowardly toady in the game.
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2018 :  14:02:56  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's important to keep in mind that the real world mythological Set/Seth meant very different things to different ethnic groups and subcultures. He was a genuinely heroic god and one of the main deities of the pantheon in some parts of Egypt, but to the inhabitants who lived in different parts, he was a rival of their main gods and thus they attributed various undesirable traits to him.

And as Set/Seth was the god of foreign parts and foreigners, xenophobia and ethnic prejudice contributed to his demonisation. The hated foreign conquerors, the Hyksos, chose Set/Seth as the local equivalent to the head of their pantheon and worship of him was strongly identified with the Hyksos. After they were defeated, the already begun process of demonisation received a major push.

In later years (long after the probable date when the Imaskari would have taken their Mulan slaves), Set/Seth would gather to him most of the attributes of Apep/Apophis, who was viewed as the Enemy of Ra and the Lord of Chaos.

The Realmsian Set is very much based on Apep, as the R. E. Howard Hyperborian Set also was. This is not unreasonable, as the real world Set was indeed perceived this way after centuries of demonisation. It's from identification with Apep (and Typhon, in Greek) that Set gets attributes like being the personification of all that was evil, forms and associations with giant snakes or serpents. Apep/Apophis was indeed known as the Serpent from the Nile and Evil Lizard.

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Demzer
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Posted - 24 Jun 2018 :  14:28:42  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I couldn't find anything in canon relating to Set's incarnations and his other activities so the following is mere speculation.

I am somewhat convinced that Set was always the "black sheep" of the family but was tolerated because of his usefulness and because of the blood ties to the other deities (he was married to Nephthys). Some of the other members of the pantheon are noted as always opposing him and his plot (Horus, before becoming Horus-Re, and Bast for example) but he was useful to the pantheon as a check for the other evils of the world (Apophis, foreigners) and as the patron of Egyptians/Mulans that didn't identify in the ethos of the other deities (but were still subjects of the Pharaos and thus needed someone caring after them, which Set is noted as doing dutifully).

This is somewhat in line with the real-world myths we know about Set. But then the trip to Toril happened and all changed.
Set followed the rest of his family and undoubtedly helped against the Imaskari but he was faced, maybe for the first time, with non-divine powers that challenged those of his fellow gods and so he started to hatch his plots. At this moment (after the fall of Imaskar but before the Orcgate Wars) he is still a full member of the pantheon (even if despised by some) and free to act without much opposition.

Now (veering even more into musings without lore support) Set establishes his true headquarters in the old center of Imaskari power and starts studying their magic and artifacts (officially maybe in an effort to circumvent the Imaskari Divine Barrier, like his fellow manifestations were doing), he is still a senior member of the pantheon and the patron of a third of the Mulhorandi wizardry. In the course of his studies, aided by his theurgist adepts (you can see where I am going) he starts rediscovering the Imaskari planar magic.

I've yet to decide if he directly or subtly ordered the actions of the Theurgist Adepts or if he manipulated them into believeng the other God-Kings oppressed them (while they were probably trying to keep Set's machinations in check) and maybe he himself started mistreating and bullying them just to reinforce their opposition to the gods. Anyway his objective was to cause the rebellion and strike at his fellow God-Kings to give him the chance to take over the pantheon. After the first rebellion failed he pushed for the opening of the Orcgate and his plans came to fruition when Ra was killed by Gruumsh. For unexplained circumstances the Untheric God-Kings suffered the most out of the conflict and thus the Mulhorandi pantheon was not weakened as Set would have liked so he had to wait and prepare several more years (death of Ra -1071, death of Osiris -1050) but then he effectively launched his bid for power killing the other senior-most and most powerful Mulhorandi deity (Geb and Thoth, both senior to the others, were always less powerful and somewhat detached from the politics of the pantheon, Anhur was always a subservient deity) and trying to take over. It took the combined efforts of the rest of the pantheon, the only direct deific resurrection known so far (and the only one ever, discounting Ao's intervention) and Ra effectively magic-jarring Horus (changing completely his personality and adding his powers to that of the younger deity) to keep Set from succeeding.

His plans thwarted he escaped to his powerbase in the Raurin to plot again (note here that the rest of the pantheon know that he is there somewhere but no crusade was mounted against him, making it clear that his power was ans is still considerable) and may very well have been involved with the Red Wizards rebellion (but definitely under deep cover this time, as the Red Wizards were too much invested in their opposition to the Mulhorandi deities to accept open help from representatives of one, even if enemy of the others, because they had to prove their complete indipendence from the overbearing God-Kings).

The reasons for all of these musings is that before his attempted coup Set was still an established member of the pantheon, but I see him trying to move the chesspieces in place to allow his takeover. His powerbase in the Raurin and his patronage of (evil) magic makes it perfect for him to study the Imaskari lore (especially their planar knowledge) under the pretense of finding a way to take down the Divine Barrier (a task that supposedly most of the manifestations were pursuing, based on canon). In modern times, Hodkamset, one of the most powerful wizards of the Old Empires, is one of his most trusted servants (just one step behind his own incarnation Seti and more than his senior priests) making it clear that Set always held magic-users in high regard and employed them as his servants. Also, going by the game-mechanics definition of "theurgy" that we have, I find it fitting for the Theurgist Adepts to have been both arcane and divine casters and of the three deities that would allow and encourage this (Isis, Set and Thoth), Set makes the more sense as the patron of future rebels. After his plans failed despite all his efforts, his position inside the pantheon was so deteriorated that he went for a "f**k this" approach and started working also to take down the Mulhorandi Empire instead of only trying to take over it, thus I can see him covertly aiding the fledgling Red Wizards (with some of his own spellcasting servants acting under cover and facilitating the uncovering of "lost" spell knowledge dating back to the Imaskari). I don't want him to be the main mover behind the Red Wizards because that would reduce the extent of their achievement, but I definitely see him aiding them in small and subtle ways.

Quite a long post already, anyway I want just to add the following regarding Nezram and the Nezramites:
- Nezram may have had contacts with Set church, probably in the form of a cautious courtship coming from the church as he was a powerful arcane caster that removed himself from Mulhorandi society on purpose (he effectively exiled himself and made himself an outcast, probably to escape the same restrictions on magic research that the Theurgist Adepts and the Red Wizards decided to rebel against). But I don't see this courtship going anywhere since he was too disinterested in politics to be useful to the church of Set or to willingly aid them (and too powerful to convince or coherce into aiding);
- the Nezramites knew of the Sarrukh exploring the ruins of their ancestor tower since the end of the 600s (see Serpent Kingdoms "plots and rumors" section for Okoth) and any involvement (peaceful or violent) between them and the church of Set would have inevitably meant (in my view) that the church of Set would eventually find out of the Sarrukh's existence too. Instead we know that the Sarrukh made themselves known to the church of Set only during the Time of Troubles;
- I personally find it strange that a powerful green dragon suddendly appeared in a land full of blue, brown and brass dragons, without lush forests or jungles, just to destroy a wizard tower and then retreat in a mountain range in the middle of a desert, I think the lawful evil creature may have been an agent of Set sent to destroy and loot Nezram's tower in the hope of gathering magical lore that the wizard previously withold from the Setites but was now made available (sort of) by his disappearance, and this would be the only point of contact between Set's agents and the Nezramites;

I hope this long post makes sense, if not apologies but I'm following the World Cup while writing.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 24 Jun 2018 :  16:09:21  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As to Set's involvement with the Thayan uprising, I wouldn't be surprised if some elements of Set's church were involved. However, the people of the region were getting fed up with religion as part of the premise of their rebellion. They didn't want a church telling them what to do. Of course, they did still work with some other churches, but they were Faerunian churches which tend to not have as many requirements. Another major problem to Set being involved would have been the fact that his religion at that time was outlawed, and so his church would have been persecuted by the establishment. Still, I do see there being SOME involvement. For that matter, there was the city of Pholzubbalt (spelling?) aka the boneyard. It had been filled with Mulan necromancers, and it emptied around the time of the Thayan uprising (so on can assume that they joined Thay). I wouldn't be surprised to find some followers of Set amongst them. I would also bet that this city also held many followers of Nergal who left Unther and that this place had some kind of ties to the Great Barrow in which Nergal's body and that of his family was interred, as the two are very close.

On the idea of Set being involved with the Theurgist Adepts, I don't like that idea. It puts way too much foresight on him and the fact that Ra will be killed. In the orcgate wars, he could just as well have been killed himself. However, I can see him getting involved with the remnants of the theurgist adepts AFTER the orcgate wars (many of whom I bet went on to Pholzubbalt). I can also see his followers occupying old Imaskari areas and researching trying to bring down the godswall. That is a good idea.

As to the term Theurgy, I'd prefer to tie the Theurgist Adepts to the concepts from the 3e Tome of Magic. Therein exists a society known as the Theurgian society. Its for binders, and my belief is that the theurgist adepts were wizards, sorcerers, warlocks, binders, dread necromancers, and "theurges" who mix these (so, some may have been ultimate magus, some anima mages, some eldritch theurges, etc...). If they held divine casters, I'd recommend them to be of the type known as Archivists from Heroes of Horror. If the Theurgist Adepts held any priests I'd bet they were either Faerunian OR possibly something like priests of Nergal, and more than anything make them deities of knowledge and/or forbidden magics. In fact, the reason that Nergal and his family were interred elsewhere after the orcgate wars may have had something to do with Gilgeam uncovering ties between Nergal and the Theurgist adepts after Thayd's fall. We may even find out that Nergal didn't die at the hands of orc deities, much as how Marduk fell to Tiamat. Heck, maybe Assuran killed Nergal as vengeful justice, having uncovered Nergal's plots. I know some may point out that all the lore says that Nergal died at the hands of orc deities, but the same lore also says that Marduk died at the hand of orc deities, and we know that it was Tiamat that killed him. Or it could be true... Assuran stepped aside and let an orc deity kill Nergal because he knew Nergal had been plotting with Set, a tragedy of justice.

Anyway, back to Theurgy and the Theurgian Society from 3.5e Tome of Magic:
we have this concept
Formerly scholars and philosophers, the Theurgians are binders who contact vestiges to attain a deeper understanding of reality. According to their detractors, such information is not meant to be known, so the Theurgians are considered the most heretical binder group of all.
and this one
PLAYING A THEURGIAN
You’ve been branded a heretic, a heathen, and a disrupter of the balance, but those labels were applied by the ignorant. Your enemies fear what they cannot understand and destroy that which you pursue to preserve their close-minded ways.
It’s not that you don’t believe in the gods; you simply don’t believe in their servants. Clerics, paladins, and their ilk obfuscate the Truth and hide behind their own narrow interpretations of the relationship between mortal and immortal. Through callous persecution, they force you to take drastic measures to protect yourself and those dear to you.


This would seem to fit the motto of the Theurgist Adepts. One might have the Theurgian Society in Tome of Magic having formed FROM the Theurgist Adepts even. I prefer the other path.



BTW, some of this I had written up in my version of Thayd's history in which I had him become a vestige. I know later lore from Ed in the Ask Ed scrolls has Thayd acting much like a Suel Lich in which he "burns out bodies". My take there has been that Thayd became a Vestige... Thayd ESCAPED with the aid of some of the wizards who become involved with the Thayan uprising (my version would probably include Ythazz Buvarr, Velsharoon, Zhengyi, and Jorgmacdon), but in doing so, he had to function like a Suel Lich... so he was riding/hopping bodies, until he eventually took over a dragon. Then when Peleveran fell, there was a dracorage, and somehow in this period Thayd was lost (and became a vestige again).

Here's the story I created:

Thayd was a powerful member of the Imaskari whose abilities in planar travel had led him to many other worlds. In doing so, he had discovered many different cultures of magic and had brought this learning back to his homeland. Due to his own culture's mistrust of divine beings, whom he believed wished to enslave their followers, Thayd soon found himself to be a prominent member amongst the Theurgian Society an another prime world. In particular, Thayd's studies into other prime planar theories had discovered that other worlds often shared similar stories of powerful beings that could be contacted through pact magic. This led him to test his theories by trying to contact the same vestiges from within different Crystal Spheres.

Its rumored that Thayd setup portals to the Theurgist's Library from Toril, though where these portals terminated and if they still function is unknown. These rumors also suggest that a spell-enshrouded trap was placed upon one of them by the Mulan manifestation of Thoth during the uprising of the Mulan slaves against their Imaskari masters. Thayd was studying in this other prime material plane when said uprising occurred, so he was caught off-guard when his mystical wards began to alert him to the fall of Inupras. Unfortunately, he was not prepared for the trapped symbol where he appeared on the other side of the portal, which set off a spell of imprisonment that placed Thayd in suspended animation and trapped within the world.

More than a millenia passed but eventually a powerful anima mage of the Theurgian Society rediscovered lore on the lost portal to Toril and their former ally, Thayd. Hoping to gain more power, the Theurgian passed through the portal (its trap having long since lost its power) and divined where Thayd was and used a spell of freedom. Little is known of what happened next nor exactly how much time passed. What is known is that eventually Thayd discovered exactly what had happened to his people, and his wrath was great. Still, he knew that he was still only one man and he knew that he must gather power and make alliances again before confronting the Mulan Incarnations who had usurped his old homeland.

The path to his rise in power is muddled, though its rumored that he gathered followers from the Mausoleum City, Pholzubbalt, as well as powerful mages from the surrounding territories. Calling themselves the Theurgist Adepts, they started a war with the empires of Mulhorand and Unther. Utilizing powerful evocations, foul necromancies, and the binding of powerful fiends and elementals, Thayd and his Theurgist Adepts quickly seized the northern portions of both empires. The native nar people of the area find themselves in a quandary, as some prefer their new masters, while others find their new masters abhorrent. Many Nar tribesmen find pact magic and its simplicity alluring and become seduced by its power, joining the leagues of the Theurgist Adepts.

Realizing that they would need slaves to hold his newly formed empire, Thayd built a keyed portal to another prime plane containing an empire of fanatically religious orcs. However, he feared to bring over adult orcs, because he did not want to risk religious insurrection as his forebears had. Therefore, he and his Theurgist Adepts raided the world in lightning strikes, taking only the youngest of orcs back with them (knowing full well, that it would only take a few years for them to reach adulthood as opposed to human slaves). The older orcs were either sacrificed to their demon allies or turned into undead to further aid the Theurgists' war efforts.

The exact culmination of assaults which ultimately led to Thayd's fall is undocumented, but its said that the incarnations of the gods finally rose up against him and the Theurgist Adepts. After days of battle, which had cost him his contingencies, his corpse hosts, many of his simulacrums, many of his most powerful magic items, and even forced him into the body of his clone in his laboratory, he found himself in desperate straights. He did not have the time or resources lined up to perform the ritual of endless night which would allow him to become a lich after he died, but he did have a scroll of a phylactery link spell which he'd first learned of in the Theurgist's library. It combined that art of wizardry with the power of pact magic to create a temporary link between the caster and a vestige phylactery, such that if the caster were killed his soul would be transferred to the phylactery, but it could return to the original body if it were healed to consciousness. Knowing that his remaining two simulacrums awaited him in his final safehold and could use limited wish spells to restore his body, Thayd cast the phylactery link spell then used scrolls of contingency and teleportation upon himself, quickly grabbed a few staves and wands, renewed his vestige bindings, and then set about to re-memorize his spells. Unfortunately for him, Thayd would not have time to restore his roster of arcane magic before his enemies rediscovered him, and his spell of teleportation failed him due to the power of a weirdstone which the Incarnations had brought with them to counter the Imaskari planar magics. His body bled out on the floor even as his soul transferred to the vestige phylactery and all he could do was hope that it would return to a healthy state somehow as time passed. Unfortunately, twenty four hours later, Thayd learned that there was a previously undocumented drawback to the phylactery link spell which he'd cast, when his soul was transferred to the place between life and death where vestiges reside.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 24 Jun 2018 :  16:12:20  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

I am somewhat convinced that Set was always the "black sheep" of the family but was tolerated because of his usefulness and because of the blood ties to the other deities (he was married to Nephthys).

I don't see any reason for Set to have been viewed as the black sheep of the Mulhorandi pantheon for the first millenia and a half after the war against the Imaskari.

I would prefer for the Set of this era to have been viewed in the same way as Set/Seth was viewed in real mythology from the probable time period when the Imaskari led the Mulan into slavery, i.e. the end of the Old Kingdom, as a great lord, powerful warrior and a rival of Osiris and Horus, but one of the strongest pillars of Atum or Ra's rule.

Remember, depending on where in Egypt someone was from, let alone what time period it was, the myths were completely different and the supreme god was whoever was most important locally. That could be Amun, Atem, Horus, Osiris, Ptah, Ra or Set/Seth, depending. So I imagine that after the defeat of the Imaskari, the various kingdoms of the Mulan set up on the lands of their defeated masters had all sorts of pantheons and the supremacy of Re was not a settled matter for a number of centuries.

By the time it was, I think that Horus, Set and Osiris were all regarded as important lords under Re, but that which of them would succeed him was a hotly disputed issue and that Set had no fewer followers than the others. More, maybe, counting the population of the provinces, considering that Set was a much more reliable master for them than the others, giving good lordship to whomever supported him.

Basically, I don't think that being a ruthless and scary tyrant was counted against Set, seeing as that it the standard behaviour of any claimant to absolute power and if done in a predictable, competent manner, seems pretty reasonable in comparison to kindly but absent minded rulers (where actual authority is loose and local lords and even foreign invaders are free to behave in a shocking fashion without fear of reprisal).

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Some of the other members of the pantheon are noted as always opposing him and his plot (Horus, before becoming Horus-Re, and Bast for example) but he was useful to the pantheon as a check for the other evils of the world (Apophis, foreigners) and as the patron of Egyptians/Mulans that didn't identify in the ethos of the other deities (but were still subjects of the Pharaos and thus needed someone caring after them, which Set is noted as doing dutifully).

Note that the young Horus and Bastet were both notoriously flighty and would probably have opposed anyone who represented traditional Mulhorandi values, good sense and long-term planning.

Set, along with the other senior members of the Mulhorandi pantheon, Re and Osiris, was Lawful. They represented tradition, respect for seniors, the long view. Horus and Bastet were most likely chaotic at that time. I am unsure about Anhur, whether his personality was the same at that time or whether he took over the rebellious role of Horus when that god was more-or-less subsumed by Re. I'd wager that Anhur was always passionate and concerned with individual heroics, but that he also recognised the need for the supreme god to have a cooler head than his foremost warrior.

Note that Anhur was one of the most powerful figures in Mulhorand during the First Empire and only later lost his power. Personally, I like the idea that the General of the Gods supported the tried-and-true battle leader Set as the new supreme god of Mulhorand, over the less warlike Osiris (mostly a vegetation god before his death) and the callow young Horus, even wilder than Anhur himself.

I favour a scenario more resembling the original myths, where Set, Osiris and Horus contented for the throne by competing for the favour of the other deities, not with violence (at least not at first) and where Anhur leaned to Set, though he would not have supported violent action against other Mulhorandi deities.

As Anhur and Horus were friends, Anhur's lack of trust in his rulership would have hurt Horus deeply and could easily explain the almost irrational lack of amity between Horus-Re and Anhur in the millenia after the founding of the Second Empire. Anhur accepted the legitimacy of Horus-Re, as the will of the departed Re, but Horus could not forgive his friend for having considered him unsuitable as the supreme ruler before he became Horus-Re.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Now (veering even more into musings without lore support) Set establishes his true headquarters in the old center of Imaskari power and starts studying their magic and artifacts (officially maybe in an effort to circumvent the Imaskari Divine Barrier, like his fellow manifestations were doing), he is still a senior member of the pantheon and the patron of a third of the Mulhorandi wizardry.

Note that Set/Seth's tower and apparent home, not to mention center of power, was in Skuld until he failed to become the heir to Re's power. After all, if you believe that you should rule an empire, it makes little sense to isolate yourself from the center of power in it.

It was for the crime of being on the losing side in the conflict to replace Re that Set was exiled to the desert and fringes of Mulhorand.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

In the course of his studies, aided by his theurgist adepts (you can see where I am going) he starts rediscovering the Imaskari planar magic.

I've yet to decide if he directly or subtly ordered the actions of the Theurgist Adepts or if he manipulated them into believeng the other God-Kings oppressed them

Oddly, there have been few suggestions that Set possessed any kind of special mastery of planar magic. Thematically, I think I prefer Set to have the same disdain and hatred for the 'Great Enslavers' as other Mulhorandi and their deities, and have him study the sarrukh instead.

It explains why the Set of the Realms acquired the same association with reptiles and serpents as the real world mythology of Set/Seth did after he began to be perceived as an enemy of Egyptian society after the Hyksos and started to merge with Apep/Apophis in the public perception.

Of course, the mere fact that Set was associated with the desert, and to the Mulan, 'the desert' meant the Raurin, would also be a powerful reason for why he was demonised in Realms history.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

For unexplained circumstances the Untheric God-Kings suffered the most out of the conflict and thus the Mulhorandi pantheon was not weakened as Set would have liked so he had to wait and prepare several more years (death of Ra -1071, death of Osiris -1050) but then he effectively launched his bid for power killing the other senior-most and most powerful Mulhorandi deity (Geb and Thoth, both senior to the others, were always less powerful and somewhat detached from the politics of the pantheon, Anhur was always a subservient deity) and trying to take over. It took the combined efforts of the rest of the pantheon, the only direct deific resurrection known so far (and the only one ever, discounting Ao's intervention) and Ra effectively magic-jarring Horus (changing completely his personality and adding his powers to that of the younger deity) to keep Set from succeeding.

Mind you, an excellent case could be made that Set was the best available heir to Re at the time. I believe he himself expected to succeed Re and only resorted to murder when it became clear that despite everything he had done for the Mulhorandi, he would be overlooked in favour of a less capable, less proven heir.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

His plans thwarted he escaped to his powerbase in the Raurin to plot again (note here that the rest of the pantheon know that he is there somewhere but no crusade was mounted against him, making it clear that his power was ans is still considerable) and may very well have been involved with the Red Wizards rebellion (but definitely under deep cover this time, as the Red Wizards were too much invested in their opposition to the Mulhorandi deities to accept open help from representatives of one, even if enemy of the others, because they had to prove their complete indipendence from the overbearing God-Kings).

I think the reason for the lack of a crusade against Set was more fear of a civil war than a perception that he personally could resist all the rest of the pantheon.

Set still belonged to the pantheon, even if his claim to overlordship had failed. Horus-Re probably didn't have a firm grip on power and large swathes of Mulhorandi most likely had difficulty accepting the flighty Horus as an heir to the respected Re.

And, yes, I believe that Set would have been in favour of the much later revolt of the northern provinces, but that he planned to make use of them for his own purposes. Evidently, he failed, perhaps because he underestimated the extent of the deep-rooted opposition to the very concept of the theocratic society of Mulhorand among the rebels that formed Thay.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

- I personally find it strange that a powerful green dragon suddendly appeared in a land full of blue, brown and brass dragons, without lush forests or jungles, just to destroy a wizard tower and then retreat in a mountain range in the middle of a desert, I think the lawful evil creature may have been an agent of Set sent to destroy and loot Nezram's tower in the hope of gathering magical lore that the wizard previously withold from the Setites but was now made available (sort of) by his disappearance, and this would be the only point of contact between Set's agents and the Nezramites;

Agreed, Chathuuladroth would make sense as an agent of Set, especially considering that Set is also known as Typhon and that he has at other occasions negotiated allegiances with dragons (e.g. Maldraedior).

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

I hope this long post makes sense, if not apologies but I'm following the World Cup while writing.


Of course you were. My last post was written at half-time.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas

Edited by - Icelander on 24 Jun 2018 16:14:05
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

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Posted - 24 Jun 2018 :  18:44:01  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

I don't see any reason for Set to have been viewed as the black sheep of the Mulhorandi pantheon for the first millenia and a half after the war against the Imaskari.



Regarding the arrival of Bast into Toril Powers and Pantheons clearly states:
At that point, she was known mainly as Anhur's lieutenant in the eternal struggle against Set and as the patroness of cats, revered for their ability to keep rats from the precious grain of the Mulhorandi people and their eternal vigilance against the serpents and scorpions of Set

Which implies that also Anhur was already opposing Set at the time and that Set was not in good terms with the rest of the pantheon or in good standing with the majority of Mulhorand's population.

Powers and Pantheons also states, regarding Horus before his transformation (so before the death of Ra/Re):
Horus was manily concerned with supporting and protecting his family and seeking vengeance upon Set for the many past actions of treachery and murder he has perpetrated against Horus's family (Isis, Nephthys, and Osiris, especially)

Powers and Pantheons on the relationship between Thoth and Set:
He counts Set as his enemy due to his treacherous nature, his past betrayal's of Thoth's friends, and his distortion and perversion of knowledge away from it's pure form to twisted, evil uses.

So the established Faerunian canon regarding Set is that he was always evil and opposed to the rest of the pantheon but until he deliberately murdered Osiris he was tolerated.

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
Note that the young Horus and Bastet were both notoriously flighty and would probably have opposed anyone who represented traditional Mulhorandi values, good sense and long-term planning.

Set, along with the other senior members of the Mulhorandi pantheon, Re and Osiris, was Lawful. They represented tradition, respect for seniors, the long view. Horus and Bastet were most likely chaotic at that time. I am unsure about Anhur, whether his personality was the same at that time or whether he took over the rebellious role of Horus when that god was more-or-less subsumed by Re. I'd wager that Anhur was always passionate and concerned with individual heroics, but that he also recognised the need for the supreme god to have a cooler head than his foremost warrior.



I would not define Horus flighty (it fits Bast perfectly), but Anhur is and was definitely on Horus side, or better the other way around, as Powers and Pantheons states:
The deity Horus was impulsive, hot-headed, and considerably more likely to side with Anhur when he and Re came into conflict over allowing change than with Re, ...

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
Note that Anhur was one of the most powerful figures in Mulhorand during the First Empire and only later lost his power. Personally, I like the idea that the General of the Gods supported the tried-and-true battle leader Set as the new supreme god of Mulhorand, over the less warlike Osiris (mostly a vegetation god before his death) and the callow young Horus, even wilder than Anhur himself.



Actually the only canon hints that we have suggest that Anhur opposed Set and that he and Horus went along pretty well so your interpretation seems unsupported by the (sparse) lore hints that we have.
Regarding Osiris, keep in mind that he was always the Judge of Mulhorand and after his resurrection he simply extended his court to encompass the dead, but he was always the supreme judicial authority after Re.

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
I favour a scenario more resembling the original myths, where Set, Osiris and Horus contented for the throne by competing for the favour of the other deities, not with violence (at least not at first) and where Anhur leaned to Set, though he would not have supported violent action against other Mulhorandi deities.



I don't see this happening and also I consider highly realistical the situation depicted in the blurb about the eclipsing of the sun in Powers and Pantheons: Horus was completely overwhelmed by the deluge of divine power, knowledge and personality of Re and was out of the game, Osiris and Set were the senior-most and most powerful members of the pantheon and probably the only two interested in ruling the others for their own reasons. Set tried to force his hand by killing Osiris while Horus-Re was still in the making but the other deities opposed and blocked him long enough for Horus-Re to "be born" and finally exile him in the desert.

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
As Anhur and Horus were friends, Anhur's lack of trust in his rulership would have hurt Horus deeply and could easily explain the almost irrational lack of amity between Horus-Re and Anhur in the millenia after the founding of the Second Empire. Anhur accepted the legitimacy of Horus-Re, as the will of the departed Re, but Horus could not forgive his friend for having considered him unsuitable as the supreme ruler before he became Horus-Re.



Regarding this, there is nothing irrational: it's stated quite clearly in the sources that whatever Horus was, he was completely changed by the essence of Ra. The Horus that was friend with Anhur and Horus-Re the new Pharaoh of the Gods are completely different personas and that's why he clashes with Anhur, much like Ra did in the past.

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
Note that Set/Seth's tower and apparent home, not to mention center of power, was in Skuld until he failed to become the heir to Re's power. After all, if you believe that you should rule an empire, it makes little sense to isolate yourself from the center of power in it.



All the Mulhorandi gods had great temples in Skuld but if you check their main temples I believe you can get a better idea of where their power base was. Anyway I agree that in your vision it makes sense for Set to have his power base in the capital, but since I think he was already rotten at the time, him having a secret, different, power base in "his" desert makes sense to me.

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
It was for the crime of being on the losing side in the conflict to replace Re that Set was exiled to the desert and fringes of Mulhorand.



More for his crime of murdering a fellow deity, his own brother.

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
Oddly, there have been few suggestions that Set possessed any kind of special mastery of planar magic. Thematically, I think I prefer Set to have the same disdain and hatred for the 'Great Enslavers' as other Mulhorandi and their deities, and have him study the sarrukh instead.

It explains why the Set of the Realms acquired the same association with reptiles and serpents as the real world mythology of Set/Seth did after he began to be perceived as an enemy of Egyptian society after the Hyksos and started to merge with Apep/Apophis in the public perception.



Him lacking mastery of planar magic is why he had to study the Imaskari lore. Besides, his relation with the sarrukh starts in the Time of Troubles and it's them approaching him thus it seems to me a poor fit to justify his millenia old relation with reptiles and serpents that he seemed to have from the beginning of his Faerunian sojourn.

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
Of course, the mere fact that Set was associated with the desert, and to the Mulan, 'the desert' meant the Raurin, would also be a powerful reason for why he was demonised in Realms history.



True.

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
Horus-Re probably didn't have a firm grip on power and large swathes of Mulhorandi most likely had difficulty accepting the flighty Horus as an heir to the respected Re.



Beside not having a say in this matter, we have zero indication that the mortals had any problems at all with the way the succession was handled. There is no hint of tumult or civil strife in the history of Mulhorand, with the notable exception of the repeated (and ultimately succesful) attempts at indipendece of the magic users.

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
And, yes, I believe that Set would have been in favour of the much later revolt of the northern provinces, but that he planned to make use of them for his own purposes. Evidently, he failed, perhaps because he underestimated the extent of the deep-rooted opposition to the very concept of the theocratic society of Mulhorand among the rebels that formed Thay.



Agreed, that's why I think he played a biggest role in the uprising of Thayd and he may have tried to use the Orcgate Wars to purge the pantheon of any opposition and make his coup. But things didn't go exactly as planned and the next generation of rebels refused any contact with the representatives of Mulhorandi gods, so he could only play a minor role in aiding them.

As a note I would say that I'm fond of quoting and citing Powers and Pantheons because it together with Faiths and Avatars, both penned by Eric Boyd (the latter with Julia Martin) are the most reliable and solid sources regarding anything deific or pertaining to the churches of Faerun. So I tend to regard the lore coming from these two sources to be above any other source on these topics.

Edited by - Demzer on 24 Jun 2018 18:48:02
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 24 Jun 2018 :  22:20:30  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is why I abandoned the canon of the old empires. If you are taking the gods from Egypt and Mesopotamia the question of who and when becomes too difficult to answer. There are so many analogous gods between the various eras of each nation in Egypt and Mesopotamia that no one can be sure what myth is what anymore.

So I chalk it up to a mistaken scholar reading Eds works penned from Els tales and not being aware of the theory of coexistant multiformal panspermic convergent evolution that takes place across the multiverse. Who knows where Set and the other Mulan gods came from but it need not have been earth.

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Gyor
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Posted - 25 Jun 2018 :  02:28:17  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Set was loyal to Ra for all Set's Darkness, when Ra dies at the end of the Orcgate Wars, and Set comes into conflict with Orsis as to who succeeds him, that Set ends up exiled.

Set doesn't recognize Horus-Ra as Ra's rightful successor, so he continues to plot against him and other dieties.

His dark side becomes darker when he takes Sseth's place for a time and becomes a Yuan Ti God.

Then the Spellplague happens and Set seems to disappear and Zehir just happens along shortly before it.

The 5e DMG says Zehir is another name for Set.

Zehir seems to disappear just as Set reappears during the Sundering with a new manifestation/incarnation.

Ra (separate from Horus) has returned as well and because Set is loyal to the True Ra, Set is now back as a member of the Pantheon in good standing instead of exiled, the Pantheon having a unified front for the first time in millennia aside possibly from Mask.

And I can see Set in the process of protecting Ra, killing Apep and absorbing some of his dark power.

Perhaps Apep has been partly purged from Set, but not completely.

I think it would be interesting to have some dark Gods and demons from Egyptian myth as Demon Lords in Mulhorand, like Apep, Ammut, Kek, and so on.

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Demzer
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Posted - 25 Jun 2018 :  09:14:00  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

This is why I abandoned the canon of the old empires. If you are taking the gods from Egypt and Mesopotamia the question of who and when becomes too difficult to answer. There are so many analogous gods between the various eras of each nation in Egypt and Mesopotamia that no one can be sure what myth is what anymore.



Well, that's why we have proper Realms sources.
I tend to favor those above more generic material (setting neutral books like the 1E Deities and Demigods or Planescape sources like On Hallowed Grounds) and move to the other sources only when the information I seek is not in the Realms-specific ones.
Real World myths come as distant thirds but that's just my approach to things.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

... the theory of coexistant multiformal panspermic convergent evolution ...



...?

I honestly don't know if I'm looking at some genius level insight into the Great Beyond or we are just making up words now ...
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 25 Jun 2018 :  10:21:17  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just made it up although I think the words are real.

It's my own theory about the multiverses and how it behaves and why each sphere has striking similarities in form, flora, and fauna (without the other idea of all creatures coming from a single source planet and seeding the other spheres - which contradicts many of the events in FR and other settings).


The idea is that the original universe was running to a particular plan or blueprint. This is the universe that the illithids came from and the immortals boxed set was set in. Ultimately it was destroyed by a huge vortex (the entire universe)

But that wasn't the end. The plan still continues but in smaller fractured spheres that are now part of the multiverses. Each time a catastrophe happens the multiverses fractures again and a new sphere is created.
Each sphere is trying in its own way to evolve according to the blueprint of the original so most spheres will evolve their own versions of dragons and orcs and goblins and humans and elves. It also evolves to have similar events (the descent of the drow for instance). Some of the similar crop of people and even gods evolve to exist on these separate spheres.
If a species or a God moves to another sphere then that interrupts the natural evolution (the plan doesn't care how the item in question came to be on a sphere only that it exists, it also doesn't care if they die prematurely).

So on multiple spheres we have different versions of orcs and dragons and humans and elves that all look similar (or sometimes not) and that all have similar (Or not) origin stories but most likely evolved independently.
It's a mess because some species and gods and individuals did migrate from other worlds but I like it that way (it increases unpredictability in the system).

So the Mulan gods did not necessarily come from earth. They came from any number of other spheres were the Egyptian gods also evolved. They have different personalities and histories that may be similar or may not.

And based on that theory I justify my own explanations for why my version is different to real world mythology (and slightly different to the published realmore), but to a person running a game or playing in a game there is no noticeable difference except that I can provide more concrete evidence of what these people did and their motivations and their history and their effect upon the world. The Mulan gods as they are in Mulhorand have done nothing for 1000 years or more.

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Icelander
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Posted - 25 Jun 2018 :  10:28:34  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

This is why I abandoned the canon of the old empires. If you are taking the gods from Egypt and Mesopotamia the question of who and when becomes too difficult to answer. There are so many analogous gods between the various eras of each nation in Egypt and Mesopotamia that no one can be sure what myth is what anymore.

The challenge of a published setting, instead of an original one, lies in assuming that canon is accurate, but in adding to it or interpreting it to suit your campaign. It's analogous to historical fiction, assume that recorded history is correct, but that it may be lacking important (secret) details and the analysis of it might be faulty.

Besides, in any plausible setting with people who feel like people, there will be a nigh infinite variety of myths and different names for each deity. Horus might be the son of Re in the accepted myth in today's Mulhorand, but he's also the son of Osiris and Isis or Nut and Geb. All the versions are true, for a given value of true, because 'brother', 'sister', 'son' and 'husband' are imperfect translations of divine concepts that have little to do with biological reproduction. Not to mention that the beliefs of the worshippers shape deities, meaning that such relationships can change over time.

I believe that the 'natural' form of deities in D&D worlds are incorporeal metaphysical entities, sustained, nourished and developed through the faith of their mortal followers. Successful, enduring deities do not have full volition, reasoning or personality in the sense a mortal person does. They can't, because they live under a different paradigm.

This is why divine schemes often seem less than rational to human minds and despite the awesome power and mysterious sources of knowledge possessed by the gods, the human followers may not always be wrong.

Possessing the power and mind of a deity while being locked in a mortal form subjects a being to conflicting influences. They experience time and causation linearly, through their person-shaped form, but their memories and natures are assailed by the expectations of their followers.

This is, I believe, why the Mulan deities had difficulty handling their existence, either giving up on the physical existence like Enlil did, isolating themselves from mortals as the Mulhorandi manifestations did for most of their existence or growing mad like Gilgeam did.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

So I chalk it up to a mistaken scholar reading Eds works penned from Els tales and not being aware of the theory of coexistant multiformal panspermic convergent evolution that takes place across the multiverse. Who knows where Set and the other Mulan gods came from but it need not have been earth.


Tempting as the theory seems, in light of certain irregularities in the mythologies, I don't like it. I'll grant that I also don't like the fact that I can't find any time and place in Egypt's history where Bast (under that older form of her name) was a protective cat deity, not the original fierce big cat war goddess, at the same time as Ra (using that form of his name) was the chief god, with no mention of Amun or a fusion with Horus (which clearly wasn't the case when the Mulhorandi gods arrived, at least).

First of all, under the name of Bast, the goddess was a fierce lioness associated with the sun, sort of the Lower Egyptian version of Sekhmet. By the time she had become a domesticated protective goddess associated with rodent-hunting cats, she was known as Bastet, a diminutive ending that reflects her domestication.

As well as that, Anhur was an Upper Egyptian god and Bast was a Lower Egyptian one and any kind of relationship between the two represents a fusion between the different mythologies of Egypt that seems to belong to a different millennium of Egyptian history than the rest of the deity writeups in the Realms. Anhur only makes sense as the husband of Mehit, as his very name refers to his bringing her from a distant place (Nubia).

But I think that for the original conception of the 'Forgotten Realms' to make sense, the gates to Earth have to had some historical impact for there to be something to forget. A few meets of wizards and an Earth-based librarian in the present day doesn't account for the Realms being 'forgotten' in Earth, but known before. The visits of the Imaskari to a world without magic, featuring ethnic groups astonishingly like those of our Earth, seem like the best candidate for a really big historical impact. Also, when this was discussed before, I think someone came across a canon sentence that directly linked the Mesopotamian part of the Mulan to the city of Babylon, which seems good evidence that it's not just convergent mythology, but also shared geography.

It's possible to link cultural reverses and, with a bit of hyperbole, temporary 'Dark Ages' in the Ancient Middle East from ca -2,200 to -1,750 BCE, to some catastrophe lost to history. Granted, we know it probably wasn't world-hopping wizard slavers in actual real reality that ended the Old Kingdom of Egypt and Hammurabi's Babylonian Empire, but it's good enough for a fictional background.

So I'm satisfied it was Earth, though that leaves open questions of whether it makes sense to speak of the Earth or if an Earth might make more sense.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 25 Jun 2018 :  10:41:07  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well given the canon in late 3e and any of 4e and 5e I'm now happy to rewrite parts of parts of canon so long as it has no change on the people and places of the setting itself. Cause and effect are different and the cause is often a matter of perspective (and there are multiple instances of cause being changed in canon across editions)

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Icelander
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Posted - 26 Jun 2018 :  10:52:21  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Well given the canon in late 3e and any of 4e and 5e I'm now happy to rewrite parts of parts of canon so long as it has no change on the people and places of the setting itself. Cause and effect are different and the cause is often a matter of perspective (and there are multiple instances of cause being changed in canon across editions)


I'll grant that I'm playing in the Realms prior to any 4e materials and view any DR 1400s materials as irrelevant to play in the DR 1360s and 1370s.

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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 26 Jun 2018 :  11:11:47  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well I'm sure you can find many of examples of rewritten lore (again not the effect but the cause) in canon realmslore (look at anything to do with the nether scrolls or any region developed across the various editions.
3e changed the cause of many things to "Shar did it" (Or some other god) it's not hard to believe worshippers of Shar claim their God did x y and z but nobody can really verify such a claim so the real cause remains unpublished and secret.

Even if a particular person did something it may not be known that they were manipulated by another or that one event was just a chain of events orchestrated by others. Magic allows people to appear as other people, modify memories of witnesses even persuade people of a different "truth" so the scope for altering things is massive as long as the same result is apparent.


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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 26 Jun 2018 :  20:20:31  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gyor

Set was loyal to Ra for all Set's Darkness, when Ra dies at the end of the Orcgate Wars, and Set comes into conflict with Orsis as to who succeeds him, that Set ends up exiled.

Set doesn't recognize Horus-Ra as Ra's rightful successor, so he continues to plot against him and other dieties.

His dark side becomes darker when he takes Sseth's place for a time and becomes a Yuan Ti God.

Then the Spellplague happens and Set seems to disappear and Zehir just happens along shortly before it.

The 5e DMG says Zehir is another name for Set.

Zehir seems to disappear just as Set reappears during the Sundering with a new manifestation/incarnation.

Ra (separate from Horus) has returned as well and because Set is loyal to the True Ra, Set is now back as a member of the Pantheon in good standing instead of exiled, the Pantheon having a unified front for the first time in millennia aside possibly from Mask.

And I can see Set in the process of protecting Ra, killing Apep and absorbing some of his dark power.

Perhaps Apep has been partly purged from Set, but not completely.

I think it would be interesting to have some dark Gods and demons from Egyptian myth as Demon Lords in Mulhorand, like Apep, Ammut, Kek, and so on.





Hmm, I had forgotten that part about basically all the Mulhorandi gods being reverted back to their state prior to the Orcgate Wars. Yeah, that does put a rather interesting spin on things.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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LordofBones
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Posted - 27 Jun 2018 :  01:40:16  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think Apep should be a demon lord. He's the boogieman of an entire pantheon; I strongly disagree with his demigod status too and firmly believe he should be a kind of cosmic being like the Olympian Titans currently stuck in Carceri.

The Mulhorandi pantheon tolerates Set because he has the goodwill of Ra and faithfully defended the elder deity from Apep's ceaseless assault. Even in modern times, the Night Hunters of Set ceaselessly hunt down and root out cults and cells of Apep-loyalists, purging them from Faerun with spear and spell.
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 04 Jul 2018 :  16:37:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Regarding Apep... we have some canon information on him and what's happened to him (at least canon to D&D in general). Its in Fiendish Codex: Hordes of the Abyss, and it actually has to do with the Wells of Darkness. Basically, Apep is entrapped in the Wells of Darkness (much like the Untheric being Dahak)

From page 138 of Fiendish Codex: Hordes of the Abyss
Apep: A Gargantuan blackstone gigant (Fiend Folio 21) in the form of a great six-armed pharaoh guards the pool of Apep, the King of Serpents of the Pharaonic Pantheon (Deities and Demigods 141). Apep’s divine enemies believe the 100-foot-long serpentine demigod to be the ultimate manifestation of evil and bound it to the Wells of Darkness to prevent the end of existence. Each day, worshipers of the pantheon intone passages from the Books of Overthrowing Apep, compendia of true names, mutilation rituals, and power-draining incantations designed to keep the creature locked away forever.

and just since I mentioned it, from Dungeon #148, Wells of Darkness Adventure, page 66

Dahak: The great three-headed dragon spirit imprisoned here delighted in devouring the flesh of lawful good creatures, and today requires such a sacrifice before granting an audience to those who seek his wisdom. The serpent belongs to the Anurian Pantheon, one of the earliest human religions to develop upon the Great Wheel. Led by the lawful neutral sky deity Anu, this pantheon imprisoned Dahak here to prevent his relentless attacks that threatened their hold upon their subjects. Dahak knows the secrets of weather control and venomous serpents. He willingly shares this lore with those who offer fresh sacrifices, but supplicants must manage to avoid the carpet of snakes that writhes upon the platforms leading to his pool

Interestingly enough, this means a "being" from the Mulhorandi Pantheon revolving around snakes, and a "being" from the Untheric/Anurian Pantheon revolving around snakes... both got imprisoned in the Wells of Darkness. I wouldn't try to say they "are the same being". I would try to say that someone maybe had an agenda. Who that was (and how many "beings") well, that could make for a really great story. We do know that Gilgeam did force many Untheric gods away. We also know Ramman ran off Assuran of the Three Thunders for some reason. Then there's the whole Set thing... and Nergal dying and being buried far from Unther (and Nergal supposedly had a "son" according to LEoF).

Then just for those not familiar with the Wells of Darkness, this is some info from the Fiendish Codex: Hordes of the Abyss regarding the Wells (more can be found in Dungeon #148). Honestly, I had not been aware that there was more info on the Wells until today.

THE WELLS OF DARKNESS
Layer Number:
73
Ruler: Unclaimed
Traits: Finite, strongly evil-aligned
A series of pools on the 73rd layer of the Abyss—the eponymous Wells of Darkness—contain some of the most vile and accursed prisoners in all the multiverse, let alone the Abyss. The inky black liquid of the pools somehow restrains those submerged into it, preventing escape but allowing a very primitive form of telepathic communication that serves only to prove that the captives have not yet been erased from existence. Escape from the Wells of Darkness has occurred in the past—at the order of the Court of Woe or the act of a greater deity, for example—but such events are so rare that those who follow the history of the Abyss can name all known escapees from memory: Bayemon of the Unhealing Wound, the marilith queen Shaktari, Siragle the Ineffable, and vaunted Zzyczesiya. More important are the demons and godlings still bound within the Wells, tragic, half-remembered villains so reprehensible that their fellow demons or followers bound them here for all time.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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