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Valmour
Seeker

27 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  17:41:26  Show Profile Send Valmour a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I am currectly reading the 3rd book in the Elminster series. I know that he was born 212 DR and with the Sundering book coming out, I think the time frame is around 1470...

Does Greenwood ever explain why Elminster has lived for centuries? He is human...

Aulduron
Learned Scribe

USA
343 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  17:55:01  Show Profile Send Aulduron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He's Mystras Chosen and full of Silver Fire. He's basically immortal.

"Those with talent become wizards, Those without talent spend their lives praying for it"

-Procopio Septus
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Valmour
Seeker

27 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  18:23:46  Show Profile Send Valmour a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In The Temptation of Elminster, it talks about Silver Fire, but I guess it did not grasp what Silver Fire was...
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3949 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  18:40:56  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Silver Fire prolongs his life...but I would not call him immortal.

He became a Chosen of Mystra at a relatively young age, and didn't appear as an old man at that time.

As he now appears quite aged, I think his life is simply very long.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Valmour
Seeker

27 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  18:54:49  Show Profile Send Valmour a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But there have been multiple Mystra's right...

How would they all know of Elminster and favor him? Now, this is my thought process with reading just a first few Elminster books... I am just trying to rationalize this while I am reading. Humans=short life span, but Elminster is different. If this is explained in the book some time, I would be fine with that, but so far it has not and 500 years has elapsed.
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  19:09:18  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Think of the Silver Fire as something that connects each Chosen to the Weave of All Magic.

The Weave is Mystra.

As new beings ascend to Mystra's divine mantle of power, they gain the power to control the Weave and an awareness of all that's connected to it, including Mystra's Chosen.

That said, keep reading. Some things will be explained and other mysteries will rear up and demand to be thought about too.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33482 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  19:55:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Page 10 of The Seven Sisters:

quote:
The Chosen are immune to disease and other afflictions as if permanently enjoying the benefits of drinking elixirs of health. Death from natural causes becomes impossible.


It also says:

quote:
Most folk in the Realms who know of the existence of the Chosen are aware that they command powerful magic and that they are immortal unless killed outright. Age alone does not kill them by the gradual collapse of their bodies -- they simply do not wear out.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 26 Feb 2013 19:56:14
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7064 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  20:11:17  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mystra's Chosen are effectively immortal. Specifically, they do not age, not unlike druids heirophant. Elminster's apparent physical age might be a deliberate choice, or it might even be caused by the countless little magical aging and draining effects he's been exposed to over many centuries.

Barring any mucking around with time travel and prophecies, Elminster would have only personally known the first Mystra who "Chose" him and the newer Mystra/Midnight who succeeded her.

He may have also lived for many years within Myth Drannor or another mythal which halts or slows aging.

[/Ayrik]
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Aulduron
Learned Scribe

USA
343 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  22:25:20  Show Profile Send Aulduron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Each Mystra has been the same, only different. There is always some part of the original.

"Those with talent become wizards, Those without talent spend their lives praying for it"

-Procopio Septus
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7064 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  22:26:55  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But Elminster is ephemeral regardless whether Mystra is eternal.

[/Ayrik]
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The Masked Mage
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USA
2152 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2013 :  23:32:58  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There have been 2 Mystra's since Elminster's birth, call em Mystra and Mystra 2.0. To best answer your questions about Chosen, you should read FOR 6 - The Seven Sisters. This source has a section about Mystra and her Chosen. Another source that touches on this peripherally is The Secrets Of The Magister.

As far as Mystra's relationship to Elminster, its constantly evolving. However, a good rule of thumb is with old Mystra he was servant/friend/lover and with Mystra 2.0 he is more of servant/slightly feared teacher/trusted elder. Also, keep reading the Elminster Books. In addition to the one you're reading in which Elminster learns about Mystra and his powers and his limitations, two books touch on your questions a good deal.

Elminster In Hell has a lot of flashbacks that offer little moments of insight into Elminster's evolving relationship with Mystra and Mystra 2.0. The other book, not officially one of the Elminster series (though I think WOTC should get their act together and add it to the group for future publications) is Shadows Of Doom - I think of it more of Elminster's Doom. This book tells the story of how Elminster served as Mystra's Proxy between old Mystra's death and the ascension of Mystra 2.0. Basically, Mystra uploaded herself and her power into Elminster in the moment of her death. This is also Elminster's second great temptation. He has to choose to not attempt to use Mystra's power, which means he can't even use his own power, lest he lose control and the whole Weave spin out of control forever. His lack of perfect stewardship of the Weave in this time is the reason magic was wild all over. I look at this as if Elminster was another Karsus, albeit an unwilling one and one wise enough to know he lacked the ability to control the power in his grasp.

I think the mourning/hope scenes from this book are arguably the best written work about Mystra. The sadness of her Chosen and their strength in her absence, coupled with their support of lesser mages (lesser mages being the Archmages of the Realms) is what really cemented the Chosen in my mind as crucial.
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Tanthalas
Senior Scribe

Portugal
496 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2013 :  00:32:32  Show Profile Send Tanthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to read that Shadows of Doom book then. I only started reading Realms novels in the last few years, so I only read the Elminster series books, Shandril's saga and the Knights of Myth Drannor.

I'm looking forward to the Elminster Sundering book for some answers to questions I had at the end of Elminster's Rage.

Sir Markham pointed out, drinking another brandy. "A chap who can point at you and say 'die' has the distinct advantage".
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3949 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2013 :  00:42:24  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Even with Wooly's fine quote, I can't bring myself to see Elminster as Immortal. Long-lived yes; but magic should not wear out his body if he is a Chosen of the Goddess of Magic. His age may be a choice, that much I can concede...but as Ed Greenwood initially envisioned him, I don't believe he was supposed to be Immortal in the sense of eternal and undying...and thus he was exceedingly long lived to me as he appeared in so many magazines and the Old Grey Box...you know, that thing that came first that I so strongly cling to in my desperation to keep my vision of the Forgotten Realms as it was when my first party met the Sage Elminster instead of the Chosen Elminster in the little village of Shadowdale when they needed to know something about an artifact (not a magical artifact, simply an ancient object).

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Aulduron
Learned Scribe

USA
343 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2013 :  00:46:02  Show Profile Send Aulduron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess that depends on the definition of immortal

"Those with talent become wizards, Those without talent spend their lives praying for it"

-Procopio Septus
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Light
Learned Scribe

Australia
231 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2013 :  03:03:15  Show Profile Send Light a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

He may have also lived for many years within Myth Drannor or another mythal which halts or slows aging.


Wait... are you saying that living within Myth Drannor will stop you from aging?

"A true warrior needs no sword" - Thors (Vinland Saga)

Edited by - Light on 27 Feb 2013 03:03:29
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

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Posted - 27 Feb 2013 :  03:13:33  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
The powers granted by being a Chosen of Mystra ensure that they are immune to all disease and other afflictions... and dying from natural causes is said to be an impossibility. We also know that Chosen never need any amount of sleep and have the ability to survive without any food or drink for a period of up to seven days at a time.

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Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5835 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2013 :  04:57:15  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Light

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

He may have also lived for many years within Myth Drannor or another mythal which halts or slows aging.


Wait... are you saying that living within Myth Drannor will stop you from aging?



Yes, it's one of the powers of the mythal around Myth Drannor. See the "Cormanthyr" accessory and "Ruins of Myth Drannor".

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2013 :  06:43:13  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aulduron

Each Mystra has been the same, only different. There is always some part of the original.
Yup.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Quale
Master of Realmslore

1757 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2013 :  10:57:30  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elminster's like grand maester Pycelle
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2013 :  15:49:58  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I was expecting THO to chime in, but then I read Wooly's and Sage's posts, and I understand why she hasn't.

My two cents: a Chosen's age and lifespan are best determined by the nature of his patron. Mystra is magic, and magic is eternal. So . . .

Every beginning has an end.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2013 :  16:57:16  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Heh. Ask and ye shall receive, Dennis. Or, be careful what you ask for . . .

The lore passages quoted by Wooly need one tiny grace note of amplification: Chosen CAN physically wear out from silver fire damage or from "Weave stress" (overtaxing themselves in Weave-wielding while the Weave itself is being locally damaged), but not from "normal life" (the breakdown of organs, muscles, etc. due to "old age"). However, they can and often do wear out mentally . . . that is, they just can't take all the grief and loneliness anymore (by loneliness, I mean losing friend after lover after family member that they outlive, over and over again), and all the nastiness they've seen.
That's what El and Storm were referring to, throughout the Sage of Shadowdale trilogy, when they said they were just so tired. That's why a certain female elf Chosen, of Ardeep, didn't last as a Chosen.
And that's why the Chosen who DO last for long, long time periods are . . . odd. Mentally odd, in the view of most mortals who see enough of them to judge.

All of the above comes from notes I've made from Realmsplay with Ed, and during extensive discussions with Ed. This is one topic that fascinated us (Ed's "home campaign" players), that we've talked about a lot, over the years.

And yes, the "Chosen" of Mystra (both Mystra's and Mystryl) are a little different than the "Chosen" of other deities, thanks to the nature of the Weave and Ao's commandments. The Chosen of Mystra have more autonomy from their patron deity than other Chosen, who can almost always be stripped of their status and destroyed on a whim by the deity who raised them to being Chosen. Mystra's Chosen can defy her in limited ways, and she is constrained (in ways that are NDA and so must remain mysterious) in how she can act against them.

So, yes, Valmour, Ed has explained Elminster's longevity, in little bits and pieces and hints, in scores of places in published Realmslore, down the years.

love to all,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2013 :  02:25:53  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 The Hooded One

... Chosen CAN physically wear out from silver fire damage or from "Weave stress" (overtaxing themselves in Weave-wielding while the Weave itself is being locally damaged), ...
Interesting.

My lady, a further query... Can this "Weave stress" actually result in the actual physical death of a Chosen if it were to occur in the same period of the greatest stress of the Weave? Say, like the Spellplague? Could a Chosen so completely and utterly physically exhaust him/herself to the point of death while he/she was casting powerful spells at the time the Spellplague fell upon the Realms?

[I'm thinking, specifically, of a similar scenario I once read about Doctor Strange in an old issue of the Marvel Team-Up comic book... where the Sorcerer Supreme's casting of a epic spell at the time of great peril to the very structure of reality brought him to the verge of physical death.]

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7064 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2013 :  21:50:15  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mortal vessels are just not made well enough to withstand immortality or immortal powers. That's actually sort of a central premise in Planescape: Torment.

A concept I've sometimes seen in (non-FR) fantasy is "godshatter". Basically, a mortal who serves as a conduit/avatar/etc for a godlike power typically becomes permanently damaged in some way ... perhaps a visible physical alteration, or an invisible mental one, or some kind of intangible yet very profound spiritual scarring. Vinge's scifi actually features a character who is resurrected (actually purpose-designed and built "from scratch" with component atoms) to serve for a short time as what D&D would call an avatar - this character was a remarkable individual who spent most of his time as an "avatar" being a sort of catatonic vegetable while his merely-human brain thrashed and struggled very inefficiently to slowly form god-worthy thoughts and cognitive processing.

[/Ayrik]
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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2013 :  05:35:57  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Mortal vessels are just not made well enough to withstand immortality or immortal powers. That's actually sort of a central premise in Planescape: Torment.
I disagree. That's probably why I love the Mistborn series. Vin gave up the gift of immortality and absolute power in The Well of Ascension, not because she was a mortal and was afraid she couldn't bear the burden of such power and responsibility, but because of some fundamental moral questions: If a good and kind keeper (archivist) like Rashek could turn cold, uncaring, and to some extent, evil because of what he "believed" in, upon acquiring "godhood," what guaranteed her that such power wouldn't do the same to her? Was she intrinsically "good" enough?

Every beginning has an end.
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qstor
Seeker

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2020 :  23:49:31  Show Profile  Send qstor an AOL message Send qstor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's cause WotC wants to keep him around for 5th edition

"There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom" G'Kar

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