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 Dendar The Night Serpent ToA "DLC"
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Pulsar
Acolyte

4 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2018 :  22:57:51  Show Profile Send Pulsar a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
(posted this on reddit but I figured you guys would know more forgotten realms lore than the guys over there hopefully this post isnt too long :P)

Hey guys so ever since Chris Perkins mentioned this juicy piece of lore in a Lore You Should Know broadcast for Dragon + i've been wanting to add a post Acererak plot for maybe levels 12-13 that had to deal with the following tidbit.

"During the Blue Age, when Toril was still a new world, the gods and the primordials fought for dominance. This Age came to a sudden stop when the primordial known as the Dendar the Night Serpent took the sun out of the sky. Eventually, the Elder Gods won the fight when the primordials were betrayed by one of their own: Ubtao the Deceiver.

Ubtao made an agreement with the rest of the Faerūnian pantheon to guard the Peaks of Flame for the day when Dendar the Night Serpent enters Toril and ends the world. As reward for this service, the other deities granted him sole control over Chult and agreed to leave his lands alone and never to spread their own religions there. Over time Ubtao's essence began to split into many nature spirits which now are spread across the jungle, one of these was the shadow entity Eshowdow. Shar recently absorbed Eshowdow, and it is believed this activity might be the beginning of the end for the agreement between Ubtao and the rest of the deities" -http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Ubtao

"In the Jungles of Chult, Dendar is known as the Eater of the World. Legends tell of how Ubtao, Creator of Chult, will battle the Night Serpent when she emerges through a gigantic iron door located beneath one of the Peaks of Flame and attempts to eat the sun. If Ubtao fails in his duty, the stories say Dendar will readily devour the sun and the doom of the world will finally arrive." -http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Dendar

Apparently there is a gargantuan iron door under the peaks of flame that Dendar is sealed behind and it was Ubtao's responsibility to guard it and keep it sealed. Apparently Ubtao's inflluence has lessened over the years and has made it vulnerable from what I can tell. Now attempting to release Dendar upon the world again sounds like something Acererak would find great entertainment out of. I was thinking that at the same time as he was incubating this dark god infant he was also slowly weakening the portal to where Dendar was banished. Now I do not want the players to fight Dendar herself (level 12-13 "DLC" adventure) and was envisioning a "hold the door/you shall not pass" final scenario trying to keep Dendar from fully coming through (maybe a weakened Avatar of Dendar?)

What I need help with is explaining how Acererak has been sabotaging this portal (i'm assuming with souls from the soulmonger that werent going to the infant god but I wanted a more sophisticated explanation than this unless someone has a better idea)

What types of things would adventurers in Chult come across that may hint towards there being a problem under the peaks of flames on top of the undead issue?

How to directly link Acererak to the problem once they confront Acererak in the tomb, does he cliche villain gloat about his accomplishments from the last few weeks or do they find his notes on the doorway to Dendar?

Has there been an official adventure from AD&D etc. that I can steal from about the peaks of flame and Dendar?

How can the adventurers bandage up the portal? Maybe beseech Ubtao for help? Maybe the Wizards of Thay have an interest in keeping the portal closed? Let them figure it out themselves? lol

What exactly would be leaking out from the fugue plane? What would "Dendar Spawn" be like?

Anymore tidbits of juicy lore surrounding this situation that I can use from someone who actually knows their Forgotten Realms lore would be appreciated as well!

TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
532 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2018 :  01:31:13  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So Dendar gets her fullest write up in 3e Champions of Ruin, but also in 2E Powers and Pantheons (which also has quite a bit on Ubtao and Sseth that should be of interest). 3E Serpent Kingdoms talks in greater detail about Dendar, Sseth, and the Peaks of Flame (a pretty darn good source that I think the 5E folks may have forgotten about). 5E Volo's Guide to Monsters also includes more about Dendar under the yuan-ti (both the role playing portion and monster stats portion). I want to say that Dendar appeared in one of the novels, but I can't remember for sure and don't think it was of particular import IIRC.

That said, you can generally find decent info on the Forgotten Realms wiki -- for Peaks of Flame see http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Peaks_of_Flame -- although sometimes the info is woefully incomplete.

Dendar is more about nightmares than souls. That said, there's nothing wrong with saying that the stolen souls of Acererak are still dreaming and having nightmares, but they aren't reaching Dendar, thus weakening the portal.
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Pulsar
Acolyte

4 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2018 :  01:33:17  Show Profile Send Pulsar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Dendar is more about nightmares than souls. That said, there's nothing wrong with saying that the stolen souls of Acererak are still dreaming and having nightmares, but they aren't reaching Dendar, thus weakening the portal."

Oh wow I can totally use this thanks so much! Definitely will look into the books too!
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
322 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2018 :  02:24:20  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

So Dendar gets her fullest write up in 3e Champions of Ruin, but also in 2E Powers and Pantheons (which also has quite a bit on Ubtao and Sseth that should be of interest). 3E Serpent Kingdoms talks in greater detail about Dendar, Sseth, and the Peaks of Flame (a pretty darn good source that I think the 5E folks may have forgotten about). 5E Volo's Guide to Monsters also includes more about Dendar under the yuan-ti (both the role playing portion and monster stats portion). I want to say that Dendar appeared in one of the novels, but I can't remember for sure and don't think it was of particular import IIRC.

That said, you can generally find decent info on the Forgotten Realms wiki -- for Peaks of Flame see http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Peaks_of_Flame -- although sometimes the info is woefully incomplete.

Dendar is more about nightmares than souls. That said, there's nothing wrong with saying that the stolen souls of Acererak are still dreaming and having nightmares, but they aren't reaching Dendar, thus weakening the portal.




Just today I finished the House of Serpents trilogy by Lisa Smedman, where Dendar figured pretty prominently. If you can track them all down cheap (I did, online - less than $4 apiece) they might be worth your time to read, if nothing else than for a bit of inspiration and campaign flavor. The names of the books are:

Venom's Taste
Viper's Kiss
Vanity's Brood
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Pulsar
Acolyte

4 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2018 :  02:37:45  Show Profile Send Pulsar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That sounds interesting Viking i'll look into it! Also maybe I can have a chwinga tag along with the party at some point for the majority of adventure and is actually some fragment of Ubtao in disguise (think beggar who is really some benevolent god testing the character of a person). When the characters are trying to figure out a way to reseal the door I can have the Chwinga hint towards a solution or hand them some artifact to help.
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
532 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2018 :  18:25:03  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Glad to be of help. And Viking Legion thanks for reminding me a bout Lisa Smedman's excellent novels. That's probably what I was thinking about.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2018 :  19:16:45  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

So Dendar gets her fullest write up in 3e Champions of Ruin, but also in 2E Powers and Pantheons (which also has quite a bit on Ubtao and Sseth that should be of interest). 3E Serpent Kingdoms talks in greater detail about Dendar, Sseth, and the Peaks of Flame (a pretty darn good source that I think the 5E folks may have forgotten about). <snip>
I can totally understand this - I do it myself, all the time. I think of Serpent Kingdoms as a book solely on reptile-kind, and forget that it also doubles as a regional sourcebook for the Chultan peninsula (and gives info about other regions as well - three of which got their own maps, but were included as web-enhancements that never made it into the regular WotC Art & Map Gallery - hence so many people forgetting their usefulness as a regional source).

So many times - while mapping - I've been like, "too bad there's no sources about this place", and then I recall the SK book (usually by going to the FRWiki, and it lists it as a source - that's happened to me more times than I care to admit). I don't know why its so easy to forget this book, when its such a wonderful and thorough resource.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 13 Jan 2018 19:19:30
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3139 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2018 :  23:17:53  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-When I read Marvel's Chaos War a while back (Wow, almost ten years ago? Where does the time go), the main villain immediately made me think of Dendar:

http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Amatsu-Mikaboshi_(Earth-616)

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6977 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2018 :  01:06:40  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bear in mind as well, a lot of these prophecies may be misunderstood. For instance, Ubtao/Qotal may not be protecting the actual sun. One might even wonder if the disappearance of Lathander and Ubtao around the same time might have been something to do with Dendar. Thus, Amaunator showed up. However, Lathander may be rebirthed, like a phoenix now.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2018 :  01:07:18  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After reading that - and the entirety of the Chaos War entry as well (what a confusing mess!) - that guy sounds to me a lot more like The Elder Elemental Eye, especially considering that one of his most basic (primal?) forms is a giant floating eye. An eye with a slit in it, like a serpent... many of those primal (pre-universe) type beings have a reptilian aspect. Sounds a bit like LotR Sauron, as well.

If anything, I would say that both Dender and Mikaboshi are different aspects (from different universes), of the 'Elder Elemental Eye', which is really nothing more than the 'leftover consciousness' when the multiverse was born from the Primal chaos (Elemental Malstrom). Thats mostly from my homebrew - bascically 'GOD' ('The Force', whatever) was born/created when it was able to pull itself free from the rest of the chaos, and by doing so, it left behind 'The Other' ('The Nemesis', a being who loathes its own existence, and wishes nothing more than to return EVERYTHING back into the primal soup as it should be). So that very first 'GOD' split, and split again, and again, and again, ad infinitum, until we have the situation we have today. In fact, its split so many times that its psyche is now 'shattered' and its over-consciousness (the sentience of the Universe itself) is now comatose. Basically, the World Serpent (using some of the stuff from Serpent Kingdoms).

So we have the Great Wheel and the cosmic soap opera going on there, with most of them either trying to reform the first consciousness (GOD) by continually absorbing others and gaining more power (which would conveniently leave their own mind 'in charge' of all of creation), or they are working against that happening, because they prefer things left the way they are (these are mostly the 'evil' entities, but if you think about it, are they wrong? Do we really want everything to be reabsorbed back into just one thinking mass, all of us losing our own independent existence?) But both sides in that never-ending conflict (plus the few 'Gray Lords' who prefer to maintain the status quo) will work together to stop 'The Nothing' (a Never-Ending Story reference! ). In other words, while good vs evil is all well and fine, Xaos (primal chaos) is still spreading and corrupting parts of the universe, including many divine beings, like a vast, multiversal cancer. This is all due to the Shard of Chaos being forced into this reality from The Far Realms (that parts 4e canon).

So each time some powerful entity is corrupted, it becomes another 'piece' of the Xaos, which is how I see Dender and Mikaboshi (and a host of others). And there is no way of uncorrupting - once that happens, that piece is lost to the rest of the universe forever. And if too much is lost, the multiverse can destabilize and return to the primal Chaos is came from... precisely what the Dark God wants. To that end, the fight between good and evil is irrelevant, because Asmodeus is one of the strongest opponents to the End of the Universe. He likes he exalted position, and he also thinks he is the only one with the tenacity (balls, 'evil', whatever - the thing that makes a being able to sacrifice ANYTHING to win) to be successful in the end.

And he may be right. The collateral damage will be too much for most 'good' gods to handle.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 14 Jan 2018 01:08:15
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2018 :  01:10:55  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There was another storyline in Marvel with a primal 'serpent deity' coming back and trying to corrupt the whole world with chaos (something about it collecting 'brides'). I didn't follow the original storyline, but I had the What If comic about it ('What if the bad-guy won?')

Anyhow, that one has always reminded me of the Dender thing. There were also tentacles involved... and brides... the whole thing was a bit too Hentai for my taste.

EDIT:
I just found it - the god was Set, and it was part of the Atlantis Attacks storyline, so Marvel Set reminds me of Dender (although visually, it looks more like snake-version of Tiamat).

EDIT2:
And just now reading the Wikipedia entry on Marvel Set, he actually sounds like I could possibly blend him into Dagon, from the RW mythology and the Cthulhu mythos, and Dagon's 'partner' is Mother Hydra, which is sort of what Marvel's Set looks like. Maybe Set is just a more advanced aspect Dagon, but sometimes takes the more ancient 'hydra' form. I can definitely see an alliance between Set and Mother Hydra (Lamashtu in the Pathfinder game) - the 'mother of monsters' - considering Set's portfolio over many dangerous beasts (from 1eDD), it would be a natural pairing.

"Hail Hydra!"

EDIT3:
Just re-reading what I typed - What if 'Mother Hydra' is a more primal aspect of Tiamat? Tiamat and Set working together and being secret 'besties' (friends with benefits? ) could have a LOT of traction in the D&Dverse. They were the 'big bads' in the two Old Empires pantheons.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 14 Jan 2018 01:30:35
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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
459 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2018 :  18:07:05  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Glad to be of help. And Viking Legion thanks for reminding me a bout Lisa Smedman's excellent novels. That's probably what I was thinking about.



I seem to recall that Dendar was also featured prominently in one of the novels about Cyric. Was it Crucible? I remember the hero, armored by Gond himself, fighting Dendar alone as she hurled nightmare after nightmare at him (she regurgitated them).

You might also consider using these nightmare creatures...

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Also, please come join us on the Maztica Alive Yahoo Group:
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Edited by - Seethyr on 14 Jan 2018 18:08:54
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3139 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2018 :  03:53:49  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Marvel does adapt mythology pretty good.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Pulsar
Acolyte

4 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2018 :  00:22:25  Show Profile Send Pulsar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow definitely happy I came back to check up on this post! I can now fill my history and religion checks my players make with some great canon. Even some unclear lore to let them chew on.
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