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questing gm
Seeker

Malaysia
99 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2017 :  07:19:41  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I'm doing a little research on this magical radiation of the Underdark and have not found a lot of lore on it. Other than from Drizzt's Guide to the Underdark, the 3.x Underdark supplement, and the latest iteration (albeit corrupted version) in the Out of the Abyss module for 5th edition, are there any sources that I'm missing?

Was the true origins of the Faerzress in the Underdark ever explained?

Edited by - questing gm on 16 Oct 2017 07:21:05

Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3351 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2017 :  11:12:59  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Faerzress is said to be the byproduct of the processes that shaped the Underdark of Toril. It's the leftover energy of those processes, and it's in the form of "magical radiation". There's a series of novels where it is suggested that the Faerzress was created by the elves after the Crown Wars, in order to keep the drow in the Underdark. However, that makes no sense at all, since the Faerzress *far* predates those events (besides, that series of novels is full of other mistakes and inconsistencies, even huge ones, to the point that some gods/factions are basically unrecognizable, and that the whole plot falls apart to the slightest examination. It doesn't help that nearly all that happens in it has been either reverted in-world, or flat-out retconned).

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Edited by - Irennan on 16 Oct 2017 11:13:31
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10017 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2017 :  14:20:51  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, elves seem to like to take credit for stuff they didn't do.... makes people think twice before messing with them.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2017 :  06:33:43  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They're the clots of blood of a dead god...

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

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Hoondatha
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USA
2446 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2017 :  07:25:24  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Which series was that, Irennen? I think I know, but I'm not adverse to asking you to name names.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6106 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2017 :  08:35:07  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
War of the Spider Queen series. Uneven and a quagmire of lore.

-- George Krashos

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

Canada
7377 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2017 :  14:50:29  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's still possible that High Magic didn't create faerzress but did somehow change it. And we know that mythals gain their initial "spark" or "vital essence" or "sentience" or whatever from the voluntary sacrifice of an elven High Mage ... but what about one which (involuntarily?) sacrificed accursed drow or fiends? ... or one polluted by Lolth or other demons (or other Underdark gods/species) of immense power?

It might not be unreasonable to call faerzress a "Toxic High Magic" or a "Toxic Mythal". It does seem to be a "living" and perhaps even a "growing" thing, not unlike a mythal or Mystra's tangled Weave.

I wonder if the Underdark is actually something like Planescape's Border Towns or Elemental Vortices ... insofar as it has properties which somehow "blur" the boundaries between planes/worlds or it is (slowly) slipping from one to another. Faerzress seems very much like a "chaotic" and Lower Planar sort of thing, exactly the sort of dark and powerful magical radiation you'd find in the Abyss, infesting the Realms much like infernal Razorvine has infested Sigil. I'd even speculate that the Underdark is essentially an elven "Hell", very opposite to Arvandor or the Feywild - a place underground, without the sun or moon or natural light, without sylvan glades and "natural" life, without even "natural" magic, filled only with twisted darkened versions of plants and animals (and people) from the surface world - but it's somehow trapped in (under) the Realms instead of the Planes.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 25 Oct 2017 14:57:18
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3351 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2017 :  14:53:44  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

Which series was that, Irennen? I think I know, but I'm not adverse to asking you to name names.



Lady Penitent (although WotSQ has its large share of mistakes and warping, mostly in the books written by the ones who also wrote and edited LP).

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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3351 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2017 :  14:57:02  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

It's still possible that High Magic didn't create faerzress but did somehow change it. And we know that mythals gain their initial "spark" or "living essence" or "sentience" or whatever from the voluntary sacrifice of an elven High Mage ... but what about one which sacrificed accursed drow or fiends? ... or one polluted by Lolth or other demons (or other Underdark gods/species) of immense power?

It might not be unreasonable to call faerzress a "Toxic High Magic" or a "Toxic Mythal". I wonder if the Underdark is actually something like Planescape's Border Towns or Elemental Vortices ... insofar as it has properties which somehow "blur" the boundaries between planes/worlds or it is (slowly) slipping from one to another. Faerzress seems very much like a "chaotic" and Lower Planar sort of thing, exactly the sort of dark and powerful magical radiation you'd find in the Abyss, infesting the Realms much like infernal Razorvine has infested Sigil. I'd even speculate that the Underdark is essentially an elven "Hell", the exact opposite of Arvandor - a place underground, without the sun or moon or natural light, without sylvan glades and "natural" life, without even "natural" magic - but it's somehow trapped in (under) the Realms instead of the Planes.



The book states that the Faerzress has its current property of interfering with teleportation and divination because the elves created it like that. Which just doesn't make sense, because they didn't. They could have given it the ability to interfere with teleportation, but they certainly didn't create it.

IMO, it would be more logical to assume that the Faerzress would actually enforce planar barriers and make planar travels (or superposition) much harder, given the way it interferes with teleportation magic&similar.

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Edited by - Irennan on 25 Oct 2017 15:03:27
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7377 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2017 :  15:08:10  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not trying to say that the Underdark (and the faerzress which helps profoundly define it) are planar constructs, I'm only trying to say that they appear (to my understanding) to be a good fit within planeslore.

I can understand elves wanting to make faerzress impede teleportation/tranportation magics - if they meant it to be something like an exile and a prison then they wouldn't want their drow cousins to easily escape it through magical means. I can understand them wanting to make it impede divinations since it would remove the ugly blot of drow from their magical sight. The drow themselves have made much use of exploiting these magical properties to their advantage.

But I do find it odd that the involvement of elven High Magic can be criticized/condemned (because it "makes no sense at all") while also accepted as the explanation for faerzress being resistant to teleportation/transportation and scrying magics. Not consistent to have it both ways unless the explanation goes deeper.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 25 Oct 2017 15:10:20
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3351 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2017 :  15:14:23  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik


I can understand elves wanting to make faerzress impede teleportation/tranportation magics - if they meant it to be something like an exile and a prison then they wouldn't want their drow cousins to easily escape it through magical means. I can understand them wanting to make it impede divinations since it would remove the ugly blot of drow from their magical sight. The drow themselves have made much use of exploiting these magical properties to their advantage.


Once you look at it, tho, the Faerzress doesn't even prevent those spells from being cast. If you are proficient enough, you can get around it. And most drow and elven spellcasters tend to be (EDIT: Nvm, 5e made it easier, in 3.5 it was much harder. That said, given that the condition only kicks in when the distance of teleportation is larger than 1 mile, I think that it wouldn't affect teleportation from the Underdark to the surface, which would make this kind of limitation rather inefficient. You could move up in the Underdark, starting from the Upper region--Menzo can be found there, for example, 3 miles deep--and then warp a raiding party on the surface, if that's what you want to do. Or even yet, just move to a zone not affected by Faerzress).

quote:
But I do find it odd that the involvement of elven High Magic can be criticized/condemned (because it "makes no sense at all") while also accepted as the explanation for faerzress being resistant to teleportation/transportation and scrying magic. Not consistent to have it both ways unless the explanation goes deeper.



Why? I said that it doesn't make sense that the elves created it because it far predates the Crown Wars (or even their arrival on Toril). They could have modified it, as you proposed, but that wouldn't make sense either (assuming that we had reports of faerzress already interfering with teleportation before the end of the 4th Crown War).

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Edited by - Irennan on 25 Oct 2017 15:25:07
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2017 :  23:26:32  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't say THEY modified IT - more like, they modified the way a specific group of people react to the already-existing energy of it. That would make more sense (like how I don't think the Imaskari bypassed Ao's 'laws of Realmspace', but rather, piggy-backed onto them).

When desiring to make changes with magic - if one of the things involved is too powerful or all-pervasive, then instead change the nature of the thing you are desiring a reaction from.

In the case of The Drow, I think its more of an addiction (at this point). The change in skin color was actually a byproduct of taking out the chlorophyll-like substance in elven skin* (Elves - CANONICALLY - require sunlight; they get sustenance from it). By denying them the ability to absorb sunlight (even we humans absorb and use some of it), it altered their entire body chemistry. Thus, 'Faerzress' is a very poor substitute, but it keeps them alive. It also changes their nature (I have a theory that those nodes are really just leftover globs of primordial), which are why drow are so nuts.

Of course, thanks to FR, Drizzt, and all the 'Drizzit Fanbois', we have Drow walking around on the surface now, which is NOT the way it was ever supposed to be. Thus, I think the curse has weakened over time, and/or the drow have started growing 'immune' to the corrupting effects of faerzress radiation. I think Drow have gotten so used to absorbing other kinds of energy, they can substitute other things for it now (this is my way of explaining why drow have changed in the last century). It could just be that the curse has finally ru its course, or because of crossbreeding their blood has become diluted (they take other elves and also sorts of nasty creatures - like humans - to their beds). In fact, the legendary 'drow promiscuity' may be an evolved (magical) defense mechanism - their bloodlines have gotten to the point where 'the universe' no longer recognizes most of them as true Drow. It probably happened over the course of the last few thousand years, but since Drizzt has been parading around topside - without keeling over dead - they've come to realize they can 'walk in the sun' once again.

He single-handedly caused a drow social revolution. He truly is 'Favored of Lolth'.


*I actually think its the other way around - their skin was changed so it would no longer absorb sunlight (which is odd, I know, because 'black' actually absorbs sunlight way better than lighter colors. Its an 'elf thing'). So whatever that chlorophyll-like substance is that elves have, its blocked in drow.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 07 Nov 2017 23:58:02
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3351 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2017 :  23:51:35  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I wouldn't say THEY modified IT - more like, they modified the way a specific group of people react to the already-existing energy of it. that would make more sense (like how I don't think the Imaskari bypassed Ao's 'laws of Realmspace', but rather, piggy-backed onto them).

When desiring to make chnages with magic - if one of the things involved is too powerful or all-pervasive, then instead change the nature of the thing you are desiring a reaction from.

In the case of The Drow, I think its more of an addiction (at this point). The change in skin color was actually a byproduct of taking out the chlorophyll-like substance in elven skin* (Elves - CANONICALLY - require sunlight; they get sustenance from it). By denying them the ability to absorb sunlight (even we humans absorb and use some of it), it altered their entire body chemistry. Thus, 'Faerzress' is a very poor substitute, but it keeps them alive. It also changes their nature (I have a theory that those nodes are really just leftover globs of primordial), which are why drow are so nuts.

Of course, thanks to FR, Drizzt, and all the 'Drizzit Fanbois', we have Drow walking around on the surface now, which is NOT the way it was ever supposed to be. Thus, I think the curse has weakened over time, and/or the drow have started growing 'immune' to the corrupting effects of faerzress radiation. I think Drow have gotten so used to absorbing other kinds of energy, they can substitute other things for it now (this is my way of explaining why drow have changed in the last century). It could just be that the curse has finally ru its course, or because of crossbreeding their blood has become diluted (they take other elves and also sorts of nasty creatures - like humans - to their beds). In fact, the legendary 'drow promiscuity' may be an evolved (magical) defense mechanism - their bloodlines have gotten to the point where 'the universe' no longer recognizes most of them as true Drow. It probably happened over the course of the last few thousand years, but since Drizzt has been parading around topside - without keeling over dead - they've come to realize they can 'walk in the sun' once again.

He single-handedly caused a drow social revolution. He truly is 'Favored of Lolth'.


*I actually think its the other way around - their skin was changed so it would no longer absorb sunlight (which is odd, I know, because 'black' actually absorbs sunlight way better than lighter colors. Its an 'elf thing'). So whatever that chlorophyll-like substance is that elves have, its blocked in drow.



That I know, their skin was directly changed by Coreelon's curse. It wasn't a side effect of exposure of Faerzress. In any case, those novels claimed that the telepor&divination-impairing effect that the Faerzress were made by the elves to trap the drow (in addition to the addiction-inducing effect), which is why I don't think that assuming that the elves restricted it to the drow would make it plausible.

As for it being an addiction (or needed to keep them alive), even back in 2e, the drow could go to the surface and normally live without faerzress (and without withdrawal symptoms). It's not a change caused by Drizzt's popularity, the drow were able to live on the surface even in Ed's realms (given that he created Eilistraee for his own setting). Before 3e, they just used to lose their innate magic resistence and powers (that are indeed caused by faerzress), until Liriel used the Windwalker to allow the drow to keep faerzress magic even when far from it. There have never been any mention of addiction anywhere except in that book, but it has essentially been retconned (like most of what happened in those books anyway).

I also wans't aware that elves were able to perform photosynthesis, but would like to know more about that.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2017 :  00:19:03  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now you guys have me thinking about this (not that my brain wasn't already running in 97 different directions). I had this idea about Faerzress nodes for a long time now - that they were some sort of 'laftovers' from when the world was made. The WotSQ series kinda alludes to that as well (although like usual, the elves are trying to take credit). S owe have this whole "ceadle of Life" and 'Magic Weave' thing going on on Toril, and Ed has said Magic = 'Life' (and thus, The Weave = Life).

But NOW I'm thinking magic is actually based on chaos, A world of 'Law' is a world of technology, which grows duller, and greyer, and less 'full of life' as time goes on. Pure (Raw/Heavy) Magic is pure, unfiltered Chaos. The Weave takes that Chaos and refines it into something mortals can use (without getting hurt). So in other words, the Weave is just 'refined Life Energy'. Also, now that we know about the primordials all hidden under our feet, I think Faerzress is what I have always though ti was - leftovers, but now I know from what. Call it chunks of meat, call it 'drops of blood' (to wax poetic, as some of our canon lore does), call it whatever you want, but those are 'leftover bits' from the Dawn War, and they are PURE CHAOS. A least, the Faerzress ones are (we also have elemental nodes, etc.)

Thus, magically oriented creatures -such as elves, and dragons, etc., are attracted to them "like moths to a flame". They can't help it - that high concentration of pure magical energy just makes them "Go cocoa for cocoa puffs". We even see that in the Liriel novels - that two-headed dragon is hanging around next to a node, even thought hats what's mutated her! She can't leave - its like an addiction.

Now, what if the thing Elves get from sunlight is Positive energy (radiant Energy, whatever)? Its a another flavor of magic thats been refined, like Divine Energy. Elves being magical creatures (due to their fey origins) need this magical energy - this 'arcane radiation' - to live. In fact, one can even say nature itself is 'magical' (which it is), because flora absorbs sunlight, and fauna eats the flora. Its just one more way all that good 'Life Energy' keeps moving around.

But what Corellon did - as the Elven God of Magic - was alter drow skin so it could no longer absorb magic (sunlight/radiant energy). They are banned from it. This is why they build their settlements close to faerzress nodes (which is canon) - they have to supplement their lack of radiant magical energy with pure, RAW magical energy (Chaos) from those nodes. And because its chaotic in nature, so are the Drow, and its also why they gained exotic abilities (they're basically mutants). Pure, unfiltered (Raw) magic is dangerous to living things (just as the old Plane of positive Energy would kill you) - its 'life run amok', which is cancer in a nutshell. Yet, it is addictive to magical creatures. The more magic potential of the being, the more they are drawn to 'nodes of magic'.

This ties into some other theories regarding the nature of magic I am putting together, so the timing here with this thread is perfect.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Nov 2017 00:27:23
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TBeholder
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2046 Posts

Posted - 12 Nov 2017 :  23:10:47  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Yeah, elves seem to like to take credit for stuff they didn't do.... makes people think twice before messing with them.

Also, after a while makes others dismiss wild stories about stuff elves actually did, but don't want any credit for it as more "when the world was young and we fought dragons barehanded moon in and moon out" tall tales?

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 12 Nov 2017 23:20:24
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cpthero2
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USA
2250 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2020 :  18:19:37  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Explorer Markustay,

That is a frickin' awesome idea! :) Which god though? ;)

Best regards,




quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

They're the clots of blood of a dead god...


Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
620 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2021 :  16:50:26  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THREADUS RESURRECTUS!

I was doing some research around Sshamath and drow magic items in general when something occurred to me: drow weapons and armor depend on faerzress to "function magically" just like quasi-magical items need to be near a mythallar. Is it possible that they are two versions of the same thing and that it is actually faezress that is radiating from a mythallar? Could that have been the tipping point for why elves really didn't like the Netherese and didn't trust them anymore. Remember, the elves were teaching them magic until the Netherese discovered the Nether Scrolls. Once that happened, the elves really didn't want to have anything to do with them.

As for drow items disintegrating in the sun while quasi-magical items do not, the mythallar could be "refined" faerzress so it is only in its "pure form" that it gets this sensitivity to sunlight.

Has this been discussed before?

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10017 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2021 :  17:39:37  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

THREADUS RESURRECTUS!

I was doing some research around Sshamath and drow magic items in general when something occurred to me: drow weapons and armor depend on faerzress to "function magically" just like quasi-magical items need to be near a mythallar. Is it possible that they are two versions of the same thing and that it is actually faezress that is radiating from a mythallar? Could that have been the tipping point for why elves really didn't like the Netherese and didn't trust them anymore. Remember, the elves were teaching them magic until the Netherese discovered the Nether Scrolls. Once that happened, the elves really didn't want to have anything to do with them.

As for drow items disintegrating in the sun while quasi-magical items do not, the mythallar could be "refined" faerzress so it is only in its "pure form" that it gets this sensitivity to sunlight.

Has this been discussed before?



That is very odd, within the past two months, in thinking about crystals and obelisks and mining primordial bodies.... while at the same time considering putting a mythallar beneath a cursed city in Anchorome that noone can find, but which powers magic items found there (to make it so that you could have lots of magic items in use by the creatures, but they just don't function for you when you leave).... I started thinking the same damn thing.

Then I started thinking "what if turquoise in Anchorome has different properties and it acts similar to faerzress?", since they have a spirit known as turquoise man, and perhaps they might refer to potent versions of it as skystone or somesuch.

Oh, and at one point a couple years back we were talking about how we have all these different "fields" of magic

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21947

By fields of magic, I mean mythallars, mythals, udoxias, faerzress, etc... they all are "radiating" an area in which they either empower magic items or empower living beings (or both). George and Eric also recently equated the spellweaver furnaces to mythallars in that DM's guild offering on Jergal. Then there's things like the Athora beneath Thay, the idea of Chardalyn, and these "obelisks" that are noted in 5e products to leak quasi-magical energy (I'm not sure if they mean that as a literal term or they were just being figurative). Over in Mystara (yeah a different world) the shadow elves hold "soul crystals" to be very powerful, and I believe they are in essence parts of a nuclear reactor or somesuch (and people that use soul crystals too much have mutated children).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 19 Feb 2021 18:02:38
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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
620 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2021 :  23:42:22  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

THREADUS RESURRECTUS!

I was doing some research around Sshamath and drow magic items in general when something occurred to me: drow weapons and armor depend on faerzress to "function magically" just like quasi-magical items need to be near a mythallar. Is it possible that they are two versions of the same thing and that it is actually faezress that is radiating from a mythallar? Could that have been the tipping point for why elves really didn't like the Netherese and didn't trust them anymore. Remember, the elves were teaching them magic until the Netherese discovered the Nether Scrolls. Once that happened, the elves really didn't want to have anything to do with them.

As for drow items disintegrating in the sun while quasi-magical items do not, the mythallar could be "refined" faerzress so it is only in its "pure form" that it gets this sensitivity to sunlight.

Has this been discussed before?



That is very odd, within the past two months, in thinking about crystals and obelisks and mining primordial bodies.... while at the same time considering putting a mythallar beneath a cursed city in Anchorome that noone can find, but which powers magic items found there (to make it so that you could have lots of magic items in use by the creatures, but they just don't function for you when you leave).... I started thinking the same damn thing.

Then I started thinking "what if turquoise in Anchorome has different properties and it acts similar to faerzress?", since they have a spirit known as turquoise man, and perhaps they might refer to potent versions of it as skystone or somesuch.

Oh, and at one point a couple years back we were talking about how we have all these different "fields" of magic

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21947

By fields of magic, I mean mythallars, mythals, udoxias, faerzress, etc... they all are "radiating" an area in which they either empower magic items or empower living beings (or both). George and Eric also recently equated the spellweaver furnaces to mythallars in that DM's guild offering on Jergal. Then there's things like the Athora beneath Thay, the idea of Chardalyn, and these "obelisks" that are noted in 5e products to leak quasi-magical energy (I'm not sure if they mean that as a literal term or they were just being figurative). Over in Mystara (yeah a different world) the shadow elves hold "soul crystals" to be very powerful, and I believe they are in essence parts of a nuclear reactor or somesuch (and people that use soul crystals too much have mutated children).



Interesting. What made me think of this is that Sshamath has no faerzress so all magic items created there are true magic items and not ones that require faerzress. Plus, with no faerzress, the drow nobles would lose their special abilities. So, would they have come up with an "enchanted house symbol" that would allow them the normal drow special abilities or would they just come up with different tactics that doesn't rely on them?

I just had an idea: what if they developed something like a Cormanthan mantle that could act as a replacement for those abilities?

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 20 Feb 2021 :  02:23:35  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Huh, that's interesting. So, all the faerzress went "wonky" at some point apparently according to the wiki for that city. The actions of Liriel Baenre would give them their racial abilities, but prior to her doing what she did, yeah, you're right that city likely was lacking the natural drowic abilities. I wonder if it would be a good story if the city might not have ended up with a mythal just to give the dark elves the natural dark elven abilities (or possibly different abilities). That makes me wonder, do we actually know of any dark elven cities with mythals? Then again, they might not have been willing enough to cooperate to cast the epic magics.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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PattPlays
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Posted - 20 Feb 2021 :  06:12:33  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dark elves also get power from the energies of the middledark and lowerdark, I don't think Faerzress should be the be all end all of drow superpowers.

I get how it's such a pivotal part of realmslore- but with the deeper underdark being a planar nexus where borders grow thin, portals are abundant, and the Far Realm's influence is felt through the ruins of great magical empires of Aboleth and worse, it just feels like a multifaceted capability to absorb/abuse/manipulate magical powers would be important in order for Drow to have as much dominance in the deep underdark as they do.

If Faerzress were the single source of Drow 'racial power' (as in innate biological traits boosted by the environment) then wouldn't the various other intelligent superpowers of the Underdark have long since found a way to abuse this as a critical weakness of the Drow? I find it far more believable on cosmic scales that Drow in general are tuned to all sorts of magic in the underdark. Like a species with special digestive capabilities that allow them to consume a variety of strange sources of nutrition in a very specific but highly diverse environment.

Edit: (Underdark 3.5) Drowcraft: Drowcraft weapons were once quite common,but they have fallen out of favor in some drow cities. A drow-craft weapon is energized by local earth nodes and the sur-rounding aura of faerzress. As long as it remains within anearth node or a zone of faerzress,it grants its wielder a +2 luckbonus on attack and damage rolls, in addition to its normalenhancement bonus. Outside a faerzress zone (for example,aboveground), the weapon does not grant the luck bonuses, butit otherwise works normally.

Damn, I guess I'm not giving Faerzress enough credit having only known the 5e version. By the way, describing Faerzress is DIFFICULT! I've been describing it as a tangy not-quite-gas that flows and spreads out. The drow party member didn't grow up in the Underdark and has never seen it before, so it's awkward to describe that they see radioactive frequencies of it that the rest of the party can't discern.

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Edited by - PattPlays on 20 Feb 2021 07:34:23
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 20 Feb 2021 :  16:21:25  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

Dark elves also get power from the energies of the middledark and lowerdark, I don't think Faerzress should be the be all end all of drow superpowers.

I get how it's such a pivotal part of realmslore- but with the deeper underdark being a planar nexus where borders grow thin, portals are abundant, and the Far Realm's influence is felt through the ruins of great magical empires of Aboleth and worse, it just feels like a multifaceted capability to absorb/abuse/manipulate magical powers would be important in order for Drow to have as much dominance in the deep underdark as they do.

If Faerzress were the single source of Drow 'racial power' (as in innate biological traits boosted by the environment) then wouldn't the various other intelligent superpowers of the Underdark have long since found a way to abuse this as a critical weakness of the Drow? I find it far more believable on cosmic scales that Drow in general are tuned to all sorts of magic in the underdark. Like a species with special digestive capabilities that allow them to consume a variety of strange sources of nutrition in a very specific but highly diverse environment.

Edit: (Underdark 3.5) Drowcraft: Drowcraft weapons were once quite common,but they have fallen out of favor in some drow cities. A drow-craft weapon is energized by local earth nodes and the sur-rounding aura of faerzress. As long as it remains within anearth node or a zone of faerzress,it grants its wielder a +2 luckbonus on attack and damage rolls, in addition to its normalenhancement bonus. Outside a faerzress zone (for example,aboveground), the weapon does not grant the luck bonuses, butit otherwise works normally.

Damn, I guess I'm not giving Faerzress enough credit having only known the 5e version. By the way, describing Faerzress is DIFFICULT! I've been describing it as a tangy not-quite-gas that flows and spreads out. The drow party member didn't grow up in the Underdark and has never seen it before, so it's awkward to describe that they see radioactive frequencies of it that the rest of the party can't discern.



Not everything should be visible. I don't think you should be able to see faerzress (unless I'm missing something and they wrote up that you can in 5e). I picture it akin to nuclear radiation in some ways, and dark elves have just adapted to absorbing the energy and their body uses it.

By the way, as long as we're talking about underdark elven races and their ties to crystalline energy.... earlier I mentioned the shadow elves of Mystara and their "soul crystals". It is interesting that they are taught a lie by their god, that "soul crystals" contain the souls of shadow elves, but in truth they allow one to tap radiance energy. Only the upper echelon of their church knows the truth, and they know that the lie is spread to encourage zealous recovery of soul crystals if they're stolen by an outside race. As messed up as that sounds, I wonder if Lolth might not spread a similar lie of some sort to encourage her people to protect areas of faerzress, and maybe they don't actually need it to keep their racial abilities. For instance, might faerzress energy warp the mind, making one paranoid, chaotic, and crazy ambitious almost like a drug. This might explain some of Eilistraee's and Vhaeraun's calls to come to the surface.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 20 Feb 2021 :  17:50:02  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Huh, that's interesting. So, all the faerzress went "wonky" at some point apparently according to the wiki for that city. The actions of Liriel Baenre would give them their racial abilities, but prior to her doing what she did, yeah, you're right that city likely was lacking the natural drowic abilities. I wonder if it would be a good story if the city might not have ended up with a mythal just to give the dark elves the natural dark elven abilities (or possibly different abilities). That makes me wonder, do we actually know of any dark elven cities with mythals? Then again, they might not have been willing enough to cooperate to cast the epic magics.



If any drow city could have a mythal, it would be Sshamath but I am not sure if the level of cooperation is there. I CAN see that they would have something that would replicate some kind of abilities. The city is known for its magical research and over its 2,000 years of male-dominated history, SOMEONE would have looked at the "loss" of racial abilities. Especially when it comes to the arcane ruling class there. It would have to be something that couldn't be lost or stolen. Maybe a magic tattoo?

Edit: What about something made of zardazik? That would allow the person to have it inside their body. It would be a ceremony that is performed where the zardazik is used to cut the wielder so it can phase inside them and then it couldn't be stolen. I am just not sure it would still be able to pass along any sort of enchantments to the person containing it.

Oh, just had another idea. What if some of these zardazik items are like kiiras and are tied to a familiy bloodline? I could REALLY see a city ruled by mages having something like that tied to each school, too.

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Edited by - TheIriaeban on 20 Feb 2021 18:02:10
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PattPlays
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Posted - 21 Feb 2021 :  02:42:29  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Huh, that's interesting. So, all the faerzress went "wonky" at some point apparently according to the wiki for that city. The actions of Liriel Baenre would give them their racial abilities, but prior to her doing what she did, yeah, you're right that city likely was lacking the natural drowic abilities. I wonder if it would be a good story if the city might not have ended up with a mythal just to give the dark elves the natural dark elven abilities (or possibly different abilities). That makes me wonder, do we actually know of any dark elven cities with mythals? Then again, they might not have been willing enough to cooperate to cast the epic magics.



If any drow city could have a mythal, it would be Sshamath but I am not sure if the level of cooperation is there. I CAN see that they would have something that would replicate some kind of abilities. The city is known for its magical research and over its 2,000 years of male-dominated history, SOMEONE would have looked at the "loss" of racial abilities. Especially when it comes to the arcane ruling class there. It would have to be something that couldn't be lost or stolen. Maybe a magic tattoo?

Edit: What about something made of zardazik? That would allow the person to have it inside their body. It would be a ceremony that is performed where the zardazik is used to cut the wielder so it can phase inside them and then it couldn't be stolen. I am just not sure it would still be able to pass along any sort of enchantments to the person containing it.

Oh, just had another idea. What if some of these zardazik items are like kiiras and are tied to a familiy bloodline? I could REALLY see a city ruled by mages having something like that tied to each school, too.



*gaaaasp*

Do we think the Illithyr coastal city that fell into the ocean in the Sundering could have had a mythall?

:The world's greatest OOTA fan/critic: :"Powder kegs within powder kegs!": :Meta-Dimensional Cheese: :Why is the Wand of Orcus just back?: :We still don't know the nature of Souls and the Positive Energy Plane: :PC on profile, Aldritch Elpyptrat Maxinfield: :Helljumpers, Bungie.net: :Rock Hard Gladiator, RIP Fluidanim, RIP Pluto: :IRC lives:


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sleyvas
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Posted - 21 Feb 2021 :  15:47:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Huh, that's interesting. So, all the faerzress went "wonky" at some point apparently according to the wiki for that city. The actions of Liriel Baenre would give them their racial abilities, but prior to her doing what she did, yeah, you're right that city likely was lacking the natural drowic abilities. I wonder if it would be a good story if the city might not have ended up with a mythal just to give the dark elves the natural dark elven abilities (or possibly different abilities). That makes me wonder, do we actually know of any dark elven cities with mythals? Then again, they might not have been willing enough to cooperate to cast the epic magics.



If any drow city could have a mythal, it would be Sshamath but I am not sure if the level of cooperation is there. I CAN see that they would have something that would replicate some kind of abilities. The city is known for its magical research and over its 2,000 years of male-dominated history, SOMEONE would have looked at the "loss" of racial abilities. Especially when it comes to the arcane ruling class there. It would have to be something that couldn't be lost or stolen. Maybe a magic tattoo?

Edit: What about something made of zardazik? That would allow the person to have it inside their body. It would be a ceremony that is performed where the zardazik is used to cut the wielder so it can phase inside them and then it couldn't be stolen. I am just not sure it would still be able to pass along any sort of enchantments to the person containing it.

Oh, just had another idea. What if some of these zardazik items are like kiiras and are tied to a familiy bloodline? I could REALLY see a city ruled by mages having something like that tied to each school, too.



OOOOOOooooooo.... I don't know where to take it yet, and not necessarily with this particular topic, but that idea of using zardazik to implant prepared magical objects in a person (and not just tools and weapons).... that's got some merit. Thank you. I want to think on that a bit. While this soft metal may be rare in Faerun, it might be more common in some other parts of the world as well.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TBeholder
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2046 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2021 :  17:49:37  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Huh, that's interesting. So, all the faerzress went "wonky" at some point apparently according to the wiki for that city. The actions of Liriel Baenre would give them their racial abilities, but prior to her doing what she did, yeah, you're right that city likely was lacking the natural drowic abilities.

Unlikely. Nothing said "they lost SLAs", which would be important enough to mention.
And there was that tavern, Lukhorn's Gullet, with serving girls using levitation all the time like it's an elevator.
Thus my interpretation is: concentrated faerzess sources faded out. Background level is here, it keeps quasimagic items stable and working, but the drow can't infuse high-powered ones (+5) any more.
And then mid-powered... It's not catastrophic yet, but everyone can see where this rolls.
Meanwhile, SLA still work, because this doesn't require high concentrations of faerzess, just no disruption by sunlight.
So the Sshamathan drow more and more invest both in "conventional" arcane training and SLA training. SLA also give an edge, but limited. Then it's not just nobles who get another tier of abilities.

IIRC, Sshamath founded by those who ran from Llurth Dreier in time? (was it originally in Polyhedron #140?) This would explain a lot.
Also, could justify some extra quirks, due to having a ready focus for their paranoia: That Which Lurks ever encroaches, be vigilant - burn its oozes!
This can be dovetailed into aggressive research on SLA enhancements, even before the faerzess trouble.
Something along the line of SLA feats in D&D3.5 Drow of the Underdark, but with damaging effects too. Since the drow have 2 light-based SLA and there are known light based effects harmful to fungi (or plants and fungi).
Lolth won't be very fond of light-based powers, but hey, those are studied explicitly to fight her rival and don't mesh well with the Vhaerun's portfolio either, and then there are darkness-based powers on the same path... so why not?

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

If any drow city could have a mythal, it would be Sshamath but I am not sure if the level of cooperation is there.

Didn't the description specifically say they have some serious wards, near-mythal in total power, but still fall short of a mythal?
quote:
It would have to be something that couldn't be lost or stolen. Maybe a magic tattoo?
[...] It would be a ceremony that is performed where the zardazik is used to cut the wielder so it can phase inside them and then it couldn't be stolen.

Not tattoo, there were one-shot "body weapon" enchantments. Likely to be more common with House rivalry out of the way and lots of wizards, yes.
As to the items, drow House Insignia are personally attuned, so they have a starting point. Permanent magic items are expensive either way.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 25 Feb 2021 22:30:22
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