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Rhewtani
Senior Scribe

USA
508 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2012 :  16:15:30  Show Profile Send Rhewtani a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Where in Faerun is the Endless Stair from CM8?

ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1754 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2012 :  16:37:52  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Technically, it's not. It's set in Mystara.

In practice, I think it's easily set in many places in the Realms.

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2012 :  00:25:28  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More Lore from THO on the Stair below.

In terms of where to put it, I think it can fit wherever you want it to go really. You just need to fill in the back story for the wizards featured in the module, or insert other names instead to keep the lore consistent.

Cheers

Damian

**************************

On November 18, 2007 THO said: I can tell you that The Endless Stair was Ed's "try out" module for TSR (as in: Ed, we need you to write lots of Realms stuff for us, so here's how we do modules. Try it, and we'll learn if you can write a module, while you learn how to do one in a week or so, okay?), so the stair was invented by Ed just for the module - - and later swiped by other TSR designers for use in the Time of Troubles, as "celestial stairways." So, no, it wasn't something the Crazed Venturers or the Knights ever explored in play. Ed DID have quite a few small, unguarded invisible stairs left behind from ruins that had fallen away from them, all over the Realms, that open into gates now floating in mid-air, which is a cool wrinkle any DM can use.

And Grimwald was an invented scapegoat among us, a "gremlin" we could blame for all manner of screwups and outrageous behaviour, who later made it into the published Realms as part of the Arcane Brotherhood. He was the only character Ed ever refused Bob Salvatore the use of, in the first few Drizzt books, because of what he meant to us, his gaming group. So thanking Grimwald was really thanking fate and our shared pratfalls.

love to all,
THO

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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Marco Volo
Learned Scribe

France
198 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2020 :  00:01:22  Show Profile Send Marco Volo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the Endless Stair (page 12), it is said twice that there are two "Scripts" (aka handouts) page 32 to give to the Players, but the page 32 of the PDF I brought on the DM's Guild only have Pregenerated characters on it.
Does anyone own the paper version of the adventure to tell me what these "Scripts" are ?
I think it would be very strange for TSR to let the text refers to something they finally cut.

Edited by - Marco Volo on 18 Oct 2020 00:02:53
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5986 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2020 :  07:37:13  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Script #1 is the bit of parchment on p.17 titled The DM Map 3 Tomb of Cheiromar, while Script #2 is the bit of parchment on the following page titled DM Map 4 The Seat of Power.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Marco Volo
Learned Scribe

France
198 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2020 :  08:07:12  Show Profile Send Marco Volo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Script #1 is the bit of parchment on p.17 titled The DM Map 3 Tomb of Cheiromar, while Script #2 is the bit of parchment on the following page titled DM Map 4 The Seat of Power.

-- George Krashos


As simple as that ! Thanks a lot George.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7237 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2020 :  08:11:51  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Was it not featured (as a "Celestial Stairway") during the Avatar Crisis, the place where Helm destroyed Mystra 1.0, later known as the "Pits of Mystra"?

And was it the same "planar stairway" used in the old Azure Bonds novels, the way into (and out of) Finder's near-the-positive-energy-plane prison?

[/Ayrik]
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5986 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2020 :  08:52:35  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed has told me it is an FR adventure with the serial numbers filed off. Must ping him to give us the Realms locations/people.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Thauramarth
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
682 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2020 :  17:58:39  Show Profile Send Thauramarth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Ed has told me it is an FR adventure with the serial numbers filed off. Must ping him to give us the Realms locations/people.

-- George Krashos

Dear Krash, when you do that, can you also ask if the Celestial Stairs are the same as the Infibnite Staircase from Planescape’s Tales of the Infinite Staircase?

Club Secretary of the Dragons on the Hill RPG Club of London, UK: http://dragonsonthehill.co.uk/.
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PattPlays
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162 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2020 :  04:52:59  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thauramarth

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Ed has told me it is an FR adventure with the serial numbers filed off. Must ping him to give us the Realms locations/people.

-- George Krashos

Dear Krash, when you do that, can you also ask if the Celestial Stairs are the same as the Infibnite Staircase from Planescape’s Tales of the Infinite Staircase?


My fan opinion is that the Infinite Staircase works best as a subtle back-roads where nobody important really treads. A winding quasi-space between all of the demiplanes and interdimensional tubes, accessible through cutely modest means. My staircase is one cr 0 commoners stumble upon while drunk in a tavern and spend a bender in various worlds before somehow stumbling home, wondering if any of it was real.

Mundane and fantastical. That's my staircase.

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Seethyr
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Posted - 19 Oct 2020 :  05:04:30  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From what I recall, that adventure had a proto-version of the hakeashar which would definitely allude to the Realms around Mulhorand, Unther or Chessenta.

Follow the Maztica (Aztec/Maya) and Anchorome (Indigenous North America) Campaigns on DMsGuild!

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Edited by - Seethyr on 19 Oct 2020 05:06:43
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TheIriaeban
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USA
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Posted - 19 Oct 2020 :  15:48:10  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thauramarth

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Ed has told me it is an FR adventure with the serial numbers filed off. Must ping him to give us the Realms locations/people.

-- George Krashos

Dear Krash, when you do that, can you also ask if the Celestial Stairs are the same as the Infibnite Staircase from Planescape’s Tales of the Infinite Staircase?



This is on page 17 of the 2e adventure For Duty and Deity:

"The base of the Infinite Staircase (also called the Celestial Staircase by those who know of its existence on Faerūn) rises from a chamber in Selūne's palace Argentil, on the plane of Ysgard."

"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."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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sleyvas
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Posted - 19 Oct 2020 :  15:56:51  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Regarding the Celestial Stairway, I always thought it was basically an interpretation of the Bifrost Rainbow Bridge. When it was introduced in the Time of Troubles, Helm (aka Heimdall) was standing at the top of a big rainbow colored staircase that extended to the realm of the gods (or at least my memory is saying it was rainbow colored once it was "seen"... maybe it was invisible?). I'd interpret it as yet another portal nexus setup by someone for getting to the outer planes with open ended where there are "branches" coming off it and touching on the real world. I'd also wonder if these don't create themselves and destroy themselves spontaneously (coming and going with little more than a whimper), or only become active at specific times under certain circumstances.... almost like the "world tree" growing limbs into the real world and occasionally having its limbs "shake" due to "celestial winds".

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 19 Oct 2020 :  19:29:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Regarding the Celestial Stairway, I always thought it was basically an interpretation of the Bifrost Rainbow Bridge. When it was introduced in the Time of Troubles, Helm (aka Heimdall) was standing at the top of a big rainbow colored staircase that extended to the realm of the gods (or at least my memory is saying it was rainbow colored once it was "seen"... maybe it was invisible?). I'd interpret it as yet another portal nexus setup by someone for getting to the outer planes with open ended where there are "branches" coming off it and touching on the real world. I'd also wonder if these don't create themselves and destroy themselves spontaneously (coming and going with little more than a whimper), or only become active at specific times under certain circumstances.... almost like the "world tree" growing limbs into the real world and occasionally having its limbs "shake" due to "celestial winds".



I dunno about the portals spawning and despawning spontaneously, but I do agree that the Celestial Stairway should be a multiple-destination kinda thing.

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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 19 Oct 2020 :  20:57:49  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Regarding the Celestial Stairway, I always thought it was basically an interpretation of the Bifrost Rainbow Bridge. When it was introduced in the Time of Troubles, Helm (aka Heimdall) was standing at the top of a big rainbow colored staircase that extended to the realm of the gods (or at least my memory is saying it was rainbow colored once it was "seen"... maybe it was invisible?). I'd interpret it as yet another portal nexus setup by someone for getting to the outer planes with open ended where there are "branches" coming off it and touching on the real world. I'd also wonder if these don't create themselves and destroy themselves spontaneously (coming and going with little more than a whimper), or only become active at specific times under certain circumstances.... almost like the "world tree" growing limbs into the real world and occasionally having its limbs "shake" due to "celestial winds".



I dunno about the portals spawning and despawning spontaneously, but I do agree that the Celestial Stairway should be a multiple-destination kinda thing.



Put it this way... a portal ending may last millenia and be always open to someone who knows how to use it... it may last only a night once per century... it may only open AFTER someone closes down another portal somewhere else.... It may only work once and then its destroyed... Essentially, there's no need to define that every link for the celestial stairway follows the same rulesets, other than that they go to some kind of "roughly" centralized place and then that place has connections to "elsewhere". If they aren't created "spontaneously" then perhaps its simply the gods moving them. I would not put such power in the hands of mortal beings though for the celestial stairway (other planar nexii... maybe..). I also wouldn't make it like fey crossroads, as I wouldn't put the whimsical fey in charge of it.... however, gods like Helm might put their own angels or einheriar as guardians over an entrance (and if a celestial stairway goes to a dark and evil place, perhaps this is simply to stop the unprepared from getting themselves killed).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7237 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2020 :  00:34:08  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Remember that mileage doesn't apply to the planes.

The staircase might have a metaphorical or symbolic connection to the Realms instead of a "physical" one. As in it simply appears in staircase-like places and forms as suited, not necessarily always the same thing in the same place. Descriptions in Planescape lore are conflicting - suggesting the Staircase either assumes whatever form fits into each place or that it is difficult to recognize because of infinitely changing forms.

It is a sort of transitive plane in itself. And it's basically just as dangerous to the unwary as the Mists of Ravenloft or the Lady's portals in Sigil. Each segment of the staircase looks like (and connects to) a staircase in some world, and whole flights or decks or galleries of stairs (along with the places they connect to) are constantly changing. If the staircase is constantly changing and the locations the staircase connects to are constantly changing then it makes sense that the locations themselves are constantly changing - that there is no fixed place where the Infinite Staircase will always be found.

You could simply use the same old stairway you always use, start climbing up to the tower or down to the cellar, but realize after a flight or two that something is different, realize after turning around that it doesn't make sense, maybe find your point of entry no longer exists or somehow goes somewhere else, find yourself stuck wherever the staircase takes you.

While others might simply find the normal staircase in the normal place, leading as expected to the tower/cellar. They can even follow you moments later, but find the stairs don't lead to you (or more precisely, to where you have gone).

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 20 Oct 2020 00:58:30
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PattPlays
Learned Scribe

162 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2020 :  02:56:32  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Remember that mileage doesn't apply to the planes.

The staircase might have a metaphorical or symbolic connection to the Realms instead of a "physical" one. As in it simply appears in staircase-like places and forms as suited, not necessarily always the same thing in the same place. Descriptions in Planescape lore are conflicting - suggesting the Staircase either assumes whatever form fits into each place or that it is difficult to recognize because of infinitely changing forms.

It is a sort of transitive plane in itself. And it's basically just as dangerous to the unwary as the Mists of Ravenloft or the Lady's portals in Sigil. Each segment of the staircase looks like (and connects to) a staircase in some world, and whole flights or decks or galleries of stairs (along with the places they connect to) are constantly changing. If the staircase is constantly changing and the locations the staircase connects to are constantly changing then it makes sense that the locations themselves are constantly changing - that there is no fixed place where the Infinite Staircase will always be found.

You could simply use the same old stairway you always use, start climbing up to the tower or down to the cellar, but realize after a flight or two that something is different, realize after turning around that it doesn't make sense, maybe find your point of entry no longer exists or somehow goes somewhere else, find yourself stuck wherever the staircase takes you.

While others might simply find the normal staircase in the normal place, leading as expected to the tower/cellar. They can even follow you moments later, but find the stairs don't lead to you (or more precisely, to where you have gone).


Precisely this. Yes, the stairs rise out of Argentum's halls but that location is in no way the Celestial Staircase of realmslore. The staircase is a facet of nature, just like any god with a domain. It is a space-filling-curve fractal pattern weaving between all things extraplanar. If you want to have a holy megastaircase to heaven guarded by your gods, sure. Just don't lazily conflate it with the simplistic beauty of the Infinite Staircase.
The base of the staircase in Argentum (as per the titular module, which I have run) is the only one place where you can always find the stairs. If they were not the creation of this layer of Ysgard, then they are willingly embraced by and protected by the denizens therein. It's a planescape construct for player use, and not a fundamental piece of realmslore. The staircase involved in the time of troubles is absolutely not the same stairs- that, or the presence of gods on these stairs warped their ever-changing forms to the gods wishes when Ao sat his guardian upon them. Only a being such as he could take hold of the infinite fractal stairs switching this way and that and form them into a single staircase to the outer planes. Doing so would make sense, if he wanted to intentionally kneecap all planar travel for the duration of the time of troubles. However this would be theoretically felt on all planes, so the idea is still absurd to me.

: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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Ayrik
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Canada
7237 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2020 :  06:06:25  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think it might actually be the Celestial Staircase of Realmslore.

I can only recall it mentioned one time: when fallen Mystra tried to cheat Ao's punishment during the Avatar Crisis, seizing upon the staircase as a way to sneak back to the Outer Planes (presumably to access servants and power caches in her Outer Planar realm, to live in greater comfort and security, and to maybe get ahead of her still-mortal Faerunian rivals).

She could've instead cast a spell like planeshift or gate (just like any mortal spellcaster could have done) - and the resulting wild-magic surge would've been extremely dangerous or fatal (just as it would be for any mortal spellcaster) - far too risky for a vulnerable cast-down goddess to attempt when a nearby Staircase could offer a "safe" alternative.

Mystra 1E was the goddess of magic, mysteries, secrets, and arcane lore. And she was noted for being uncannily prudent - caching away "shards" of her power (in her Chosens and other places) - almost as if she had already seen her future events.
So even as a fallen goddess she would be uniquely positioned to still have the necessary knowledge to perceive or predict or provoke the next appearance of the Infinite Staircase. (Although she evidently hadn't seen this future with full clarity, lol, since Helm promptly aborted her escape attempt and smashed her into oblivion.)

Planescape lore grouped the Infinite Staircase into a category of oddball multi-planar phenomena (along with the Yggdrasil Tree, Mount Olympus, rivers like the Styx and Oceanus, etc). Maybe natural, maybe constructed, maybe quirks or flaws in the cosmos, maybe relics leftover from earlier cosmos, maybe eternal or maybe transient, maybe even "alive" in some weird way. And all known by countless names on countless worlds. Yggdrasil and World Ash and Cosmic Tree and World Tree are all different names for the same thing (or at least for different expressions of the same thing), Infinite Staircase and Endless Staircase and Celestial Staircase and Stairway to Heaven might likewise all be different names for the same thing.

Only clueless primes would try to understand the workings of impossible incomprehensible things, savvy planars just accept the cosmic landscape for what it is and try to think about how they can make use of it.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 20 Oct 2020 06:46:57
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PattPlays
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Posted - 20 Oct 2020 :  09:07:20  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I think it might actually be the Celestial Staircase of Realmslore.

I can only recall it mentioned one time: when fallen Mystra tried to cheat Ao's punishment during the Avatar Crisis, seizing upon the staircase as a way to sneak back to the Outer Planes (presumably to access servants and power caches in her Outer Planar realm, to live in greater comfort and security, and to maybe get ahead of her still-mortal Faerunian rivals).

She could've instead cast a spell like planeshift or gate (just like any mortal spellcaster could have done) - and the resulting wild-magic surge would've been extremely dangerous or fatal (just as it would be for any mortal spellcaster) - far too risky for a vulnerable cast-down goddess to attempt when a nearby Staircase could offer a "safe" alternative.

Mystra 1E was the goddess of magic, mysteries, secrets, and arcane lore. And she was noted for being uncannily prudent - caching away "shards" of her power (in her Chosens and other places) - almost as if she had already seen her future events.
So even as a fallen goddess she would be uniquely positioned to still have the necessary knowledge to perceive or predict or provoke the next appearance of the Infinite Staircase. (Although she evidently hadn't seen this future with full clarity, lol, since Helm promptly aborted her escape attempt and smashed her into oblivion.)

Planescape lore grouped the Infinite Staircase into a category of oddball multi-planar phenomena (along with the Yggdrasil Tree, Mount Olympus, rivers like the Styx and Oceanus, etc). Maybe natural, maybe constructed, maybe quirks or flaws in the cosmos, maybe relics leftover from earlier cosmos, maybe eternal or maybe transient, maybe even "alive" in some weird way. And all known by countless names on countless worlds. Yggdrasil and World Ash and Cosmic Tree and World Tree are all different names for the same thing (or at least for different expressions of the same thing), Infinite Staircase and Endless Staircase and Celestial Staircase and Stairway to Heaven might likewise all be different names for the same thing.

Only clueless primes would try to understand the workings of impossible incomprehensible things, savvy planars just accept the cosmic landscape for what it is and try to think about how they can make use of it.


To what benefit do we have to conflate the two? Just because they're both staircases does not mean they are equivalent. This Celestial Staircase is a strictly plot-oriented item to allow Helm to have his scene with the Goddess of Magic so that Elminster can res her later on. It's a *plot contrivance* curtailing to what I see as a single event.


However...
From For Duty & Diety:
"Like many of the powers, Waukeenknew of the Celestial Staircase (the Torilian name forthe Infinite Staircase) in Shadowdale and determined toclimb it. Torm, the god of guardians, confronted her and barred her way. Waukeen attempted to bribe Torm with his heart #237;s desire in order to let her and Lliira pass, but not surprisingly she failed to tempt the god of duty."

Uhhhhhg. I suppose this confusion is owed to Donovan and Carter. Though, I will concede argument for I know that those who wrote this adventure were referencing the Infinite Staircase explicitly and were doing their best to introduce the concept to Realms players. (Not to mention Waukeen was a player-creation being retroactively sold to fans here, I assume the entire work was very ambitious and risky to create.)

However that still makes me frustrated.
https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/a/af/Celestial_Stairway.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/400?cb=20180710124348
How can THIS be the inifinite staircase, "rising from Mount Waterdeep", when the stairs are meant to rise from Selune's realm? The entire concept of someone "GUARDING THE ENTRANCE TO THE INFINITE STAIRCASE" is going entirely against it's Chaotic Good origins and making it into some holy fixture of the divine structure. The staircase is said to show up where creativity and novel ideas are being had by mortals and planar creatures alike and it isn't some ridiculously simplistic Christianity parallel!

Edit: The wiki cites Shadowdale and Total Eclipse as insinuating that the staircase has some kind of "divine nexus".

"The individual stairways, invisible to ordinary people, could only be seen properly by gods or by very powerful mortals potent in magic."

This goes enirely against the original point of the staircase! The staircase is DEFINITIVELY the planar pathway for the everyday person who is creative enough to be blessed by it's appearance in their life! Being INVISIBLE to mortal eyes ENTIRELY DESTROYS the titular planescape module that introduced the concept!


https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Total_Eclipse
Edit2: Okay now I don't know what to think. This comic with the Celestial Staircase is dated at 1990 as a release date. Eight years before Planescape's Tales from the Infinite Staircase.

I guess the celestial staircase came... first? Planescape was released in 1994.. so.. the merging of the two was..
Huh.

Well, there's the source of our collective confusion. The Celestial Staircase came first. Huh. So when For Duty & Diety has players traversing the Infinite Staircase.. I suppose these authors wished to marry the two ideas together, I don't know- the 90's are not my specialty.

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Edited by - PattPlays on 20 Oct 2020 09:20:15
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 20 Oct 2020 :  10:38:18  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, it's "infinite" or "endless". So there's no "top" and no "bottom", it just goes up and down forever.

It has infinite entrances and exits. They could be simultaneously connected with simultaneous openings to infinite worlds.

I suppose it's possible that it's anchored in some places, known entrances and exits at known locations. In Selune's Realm, at Mystra's summons, etc, and these might somehow be "mapped out" or configured to always connect to known locations like Mount Waterdeep or Shadowdale. An infinite thing has infinite possibilities.

Curious to me that the Stairway wasn't mentioned in Realmslore much. The few mentions it did get were inconsistent, obviously contrived, and poorly conceived. By the same writing teams who created such wonders as the 2E Arcane Ages materials.

I'd almost suggest it has no "natural" connection to the Realms at all, and can only be accessed by magic. I'd even invent a Celestial Staircase spell (material component is a nonmagical staircase, which is not consumed when the spell is cast) to explain why it's been located in places inhabited by folks like Khelben and Elminster.

If the Celestial Staircase is a distinct thing then it might be a conduit which directly bridges the Faerun Realms with Mystra's Realm. Functionally similar to Mount Olympus. And it might be accessible (a granted power) for all of Mystra's Chosens.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 20 Oct 2020 10:55:40
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 20 Oct 2020 :  11:24:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays


Uhhhhhg. I suppose this confusion is owed to Donovan and Carter. Though, I will concede argument for I know that those who wrote this adventure were referencing the Infinite Staircase explicitly and were doing their best to introduce the concept to Realms players. (Not to mention Waukeen was a player-creation being retroactively sold to fans here, I assume the entire work was very ambitious and risky to create.)


Waukeen dates back to the OGB.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 20 Oct 2020 11:25:17
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sleyvas
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Posted - 20 Oct 2020 :  12:00:50  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Well, it's "infinite" or "endless". So there's no "top" and no "bottom", it just goes up and down forever.

It has infinite entrances and exits. They could be simultaneously connected with simultaneous openings to infinite worlds.

I suppose it's possible that it's anchored in some places, known entrances and exits at known locations. In Selune's Realm, at Mystra's summons, etc, and these might somehow be "mapped out" or configured to always connect to known locations like Mount Waterdeep or Shadowdale. An infinite thing has infinite possibilities.

Curious to me that the Stairway wasn't mentioned in Realmslore much. The few mentions it did get were inconsistent, obviously contrived, and poorly conceived. By the same writing teams who created such wonders as the 2E Arcane Ages materials.

I'd almost suggest it has no "natural" connection to the Realms at all, and can only be accessed by magic. I'd even invent a Celestial Staircase spell (material component is a nonmagical staircase, which is not consumed when the spell is cast) to explain why it's been located in places inhabited by folks like Khelben and Elminster.

If the Celestial Staircase is a distinct thing then it might be a conduit which directly bridges the Faerun Realms with Mystra's Realm. Functionally similar to Mount Olympus. And it might be accessible (a granted power) for all of Mystra's Chosens.



I'd recommend against a mortal cast spell and instead go for a contrivance like ... just to throw out an idea to see how well it sticks on the wall... whenever an avatar is sent from a god's realm TO the mortal world, it creates a celestial stairway connection at the point that the avatar "touches down". That could explain away something like the connection from Selune's realm to Waterdeep, because she had an avatar in the city. Similarly, perhaps the place where Mystra 1.0 tried to go into the heavens was where the GIRL who was Mystra when Mystryl died was sitting (I don't think we've ever been told where that physically was, correct, and the Helmlands COULD easily fall within the bounds of the edges of Netheril).

Of course, that idea is literally off the top of my head, and if someone has a better idea, I'm all ears. The main reason I'd recommend against a mortal contrivance is that mortals would tend to make something very efficient to them, or at least making something with some kind of design goal to it.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
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Posted - 20 Oct 2020 :  15:46:21  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It could always be what 2E rules called a 10th-level wizard spell or a Quest-level priest spell. Which is to say that it would have very high stat requirements, very high level requirements, excellent-relationship-with-your-deity requirements, and special attention/intervention (permission) from Mystra (or Azuth) to be cast successfully.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9656 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2020 :  15:59:09  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

It could always be what 2E rules called a 10th-level wizard spell or a Quest-level priest spell. Which is to say that it would have very high stat requirements, very high level requirements, excellent-relationship-with-your-deity requirements, and special attention/intervention (permission) from Mystra (or Azuth) to be cast successfully.



That I could buy as well, though in that case the question becomes why? I mean, was Khelben doing that much traversal using the Waterdeep one that it was worth it versus other planar travel mediums? Also, it opens up the question of why would a paranoia ridden person like Khelben (stress on like, because it could be anyone of sufficient power) want to open a "backdoor" so close to home at a spot that's actually advantageous for an enemy (i.e. up on mount waterdeep). Then again, Halaster could open it or someone else. For myself, its easier to believe that gods just don't give a damn and let the things get created in order to move around quickly, but mortals would be a lot more careful with such things. The point for me is moot though, as I've never used the mechanic. ITs just easier to explain any lack of forethought for placement with "well, Selune wanted to come to Waterdeep, and so that's where she put her foot down first. She then went to some bar". Then after some time the residual magic of the avatar's passing fades and the portal just disappears (how long that takes might depend on how "strong" of an avatar they sent or some other willy nilly mechanic that people come up with.... maybe its weeks, maybe its days, maybe its years, and maybe its millenia... and maybe if a got uses it multiple times it becomes semi-permanent).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7237 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2020 :  17:35:13  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't answer that properly.

Because a spellcaster of that level could already cast fly, teleport, planeshift, gate, and worldwalk sorts of magic. And probably have a small arsenal of magical trinkets which could do much the same. Along with enough wealth and affluence to hire some of the fastest ships and magics (or mages with magics) in the world.

In short, a level 20+ character would almost certainly have a whole lot of ways to get around which don't involve climbing endless stairs.

[/Ayrik]
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1423 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2020 :  21:49:40  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Master Krashos,

Were you replying to Great Reader Ayrik in terms of the serial numbers filing off? I was thinking the same thing as he was regarding that staircase being the one that was ascended during the ToT.

Best regards,



Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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