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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2124 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2019 :  05:18:58  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Has there ever been a discussion here about the connection between the god Baldur (Norse god of beauty) and the city Baldur's Gate?

Is there any? Has anyone ever asked?

Seethyr
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Posted - 09 May 2019 :  05:24:44  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Has there ever been a discussion here about the connection between the god Baldur (Norse god of beauty) and the city Baldur's Gate?

Is there any? Has anyone ever asked?





I think that the name "Baldur's Gate" comes directly from its founder, Balduran. I don't have the year handy, but apparently he made it to the northwestern continent of Anchorome, stole a ton of riches, came back and built a wall. He actually headed back a second time and got killed by poscadari elves or something else. Now there is a bay called the Bay of Balduran all the way over there as well.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 09 May 2019 :  05:27:35  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I know that stuff - which I first remember from the book in the video game...

I'm just wondering if Ed ever said "yeah, I named it after the God on one of my maps. 30 Years or so later I changed that" or something.

Basically its too unique of a name to just be coincidence in my mind.

That would be like Thor's gate or Odin's gate being accidental - doesn't seem right.
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Seethyr
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Posted - 09 May 2019 :  06:24:46  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Yeah, I know that stuff - which I first remember from the book in the video game...

I'm just wondering if Ed ever said "yeah, I named it after the God on one of my maps. 30 Years or so later I changed that" or something.

Basically its too unique of a name to just be coincidence in my mind.

That would be like Thor's gate or Odin's gate being accidental - doesn't seem right.



Interesting, I never thought there might be a connection, but that seems likely now. As long as there’s no bridge named after Heimdall I’m not going to pick up on it lol.

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sleyvas
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8008 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2019 :  14:38:30  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Yeah, I know that stuff - which I first remember from the book in the video game...

I'm just wondering if Ed ever said "yeah, I named it after the God on one of my maps. 30 Years or so later I changed that" or something.

Basically its too unique of a name to just be coincidence in my mind.

That would be like Thor's gate or Odin's gate being accidental - doesn't seem right.



I've wondered many a time on that, but then they came out with the lore of Balduran. Especially it being a "gate", it made me wonder if there might not be a celestial staircase, etc... in the area. Also given that the worship of Tyr and Helm (cough... Heimdall) were RELATIVELY nearby in the area where Jhaamdath was also made me wonder if there wasn't a point at which northmen had come to Faerun.

Which THAT could bring up... why DID Balduran head off sailing towards Anchorome? Was it because he was seeking his homeland or the lands of his parents or grandparents that were spoken of in "myths"? We do have the quandary from the old Savage Frontier that kind of hints that the Illuskans and Ruathym peoples may not be "the northmen". The first mention of the "northmen" in GHotR is in 64 DR. I know that I have a tendency to get confused on the various tribes of "Viking like" people in FR, but it seems that we have "the northmen" and "the Illuskans" (and the Illuskans go on to Rashemen as "the Rus" and to the Shaar as to help form the "Arkaiun"... and then further east possibly to Ulgarth and the Utter East).

Also, just to add a little bit more to all of this... there is in canon a temple to Balder in the Forgotten Realms. The Desert of Desolation modules were made part of FR when they were adapted. Within the "Cursed City of Stone", also known as Medinat Muskawoon, there is a ruined temple of Balder (there's also temples of Horus, Prometheus, Tyche, Dunatis, Untamo, Osiris, Ra... so, Greek (though Tyche was also Netherese), Norse, Celtic, Finnish, Mulhorandi). Now, some will say that Desert of Desolation isn't canon for the realms since it was originally written for elsewhere, but it was officially adapated as FR canon (you have the Raurin Desert filled with Raurindi, Durpari airlancers, Planes of Purple Dust, mentions of Semphar and Mulhorand and the alamber sea, etc..).

FROM Savage Frontier, pointing out the the "northmen" came from somewhere southward and pushed the Ice Hunters farther north
In the far west, men also dwelled - wise, clever primitives called the Ice Hunters. They lived their simple lives on the Sword Coast since time beyond reckoning, countless generations before Netheril's first founders set foot on the Narrow Sea's western shore. Yet this peaceful folk fell prey to another invasion. From the south came crude long ships to disgorge a tall, fair-haired, warlike race which displaced the Ice Hunters from their ancestral lands.

This race , now known as the Northmen, spread their farms and villages along the Sword Coast from the banks the Winding Water to the gorges of the Mirar. Their fierce warriors drove the simple Ice Hunters further and further north, forced the goblinkind back into their mountain haunts and instigated the last Council of Illefarn. Within 500 years of the Northmen's arrival, Illefarn was no more... its residents had migrated to Evermeet.

From the Sword Coast, Northmen sailed westward, finding, claiming and establishing colonies on the major western islands of Ruathym and Gundarlun, eventually spreading to ail islands in the northern sea. Others migrated northward, past the Spine of the World and became the truly savage barbarians of Icewind Dale.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 May 2019 :  15:59:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The simpler explanation would be that Balduran was named for Balder... Or that it's just a coincidence.

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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 10 May 2019 :  00:16:31  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I speculate that Balduran may be a descendant of said deity, one in which the bloodline is a bit diluted but still stronger than the norm. Thus, he becomes a heroic character in his day, but not so much that he is immortal or otherwise unkillable. In the video game, he shipwrecked on an island of werewolves. I assume he lived on as a werewolf for a time, but I don't think there's anything in the game that actually states that.

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The Masked Mage
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USA
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Posted - 10 May 2019 :  02:40:13  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

I speculate that Balduran may be a descendant of said deity, one in which the bloodline is a bit diluted but still stronger than the norm. Thus, he becomes a heroic character in his day, but not so much that he is immortal or otherwise unkillable. In the video game, he shipwrecked on an island of werewolves. I assume he lived on as a werewolf for a time, but I don't think there's anything in the game that actually states that.



I don't recall any mention that he lived on for long. Would have to play it again to be sure :P

On that note - I really liked the Dark Side Of The Sword Coast mod.
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sleyvas
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USA
8008 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2019 :  17:33:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

I speculate that Balduran may be a descendant of said deity, one in which the bloodline is a bit diluted but still stronger than the norm. Thus, he becomes a heroic character in his day, but not so much that he is immortal or otherwise unkillable. In the video game, he shipwrecked on an island of werewolves. I assume he lived on as a werewolf for a time, but I don't think there's anything in the game that actually states that.



I wouldn't go so far as to say descendant of the deity. I would go so far as to say "possible descendant of a culture that possibly worshipped many of the norse gods". The whole idea that the "northmen" came from the direction of Anchorome just fits so many other things in FR, and then throwing in that basically his whole reason for heading in that direction was to try and find his ancestral roots works. BTW, do we have anything that resembles dates for when that happened?


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4470 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2019 :  19:18:59  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I vaguely remember I had a try at narrowing down some dates for things in the western heartlands, but I don't know where I put it.

I think Ed said the northmen came via portals that were at the same latitude (the north south line, I forget which one is which) as the spine of the world.
No reason why they couldn't have appeared way to the west and north (which may be where anchorome is, I've not looked at that land). Then they must have gradually sailed south and west, landing on faerun around amn/tethyr and heading slowly north along the coastline.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 10 May 2019 :  22:46:02  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, so googling Balduran trying to find anything that resembled dates for Balduran's second trip, I came across the below. It mentions "The Cursed Lord of Anchorome" and that Balduran and his crew are attacked and then only after they start to leave its discovered that some have lyncanthropy. Do we have any more info on this cursed lord? I'm imagining he's cursed to be a werewolf. Which the norse mythology researcher in me just screams... would it be interesting if this cursed lord is Vali (i.e. Loki's son who was turned into a wolf by the gods, killed his brother Narfi, and then the gods used Narfi's entrails to bind Loki)? Noting that there's 2 Vali's in norse lore (the child of Odin and the child of Loki that becomes a wolf). Loki's OTHER children by Angrboda are the amazingly powerful Fenris, Jormungand, and Hela. His children by Sigynn may well be just divine blooded children (aasimar or tieflings, etc..)



from this site
https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Balduran
About three hundred years ago, Balduran sailed back to the wondrous lands he had discovered with a crew of two hundred. They were granted permission to adventure through the lands by the Cursed Lord of Anchorome and they gathered a great store of wealth.
“
...but 'his grace' has deemed me worthy to proceed through his lands. I am quite sure the two hundred-strong complement of the Wandering Eye aided in the decision.
”
— entry in Balduran's logbook
Upon returning to the city, they were attacked, presumably by the Cursed Lord, and one hundred and fifty men were killed. Balduran conscripted locals to fill his depleted ranks for the voyage home. There were incidents while at sea, the mood of the crew was getting worse, and the ship began to run low on supplies. Having discovered by accident what became known as the Isle of Balduran, the crew anchored off the northern half to replenish their supplies.

Around the time they reached the island, Balduran made note in his logbook that both the original crew and the crew he hired in Anchorome were beginning to exhibit the initial effects of what turned out to be Lycanthropy, unbeknownst to them that they were indeed infected with the curse.
“
...original men seem quite shallow in the face, quite different from the pallor of the new recruits, but all are most definitely ill...
”
— final entry in Balduran's logbook
Not long after landing on the island, the curse struck and fighting broke out. It appears, from eye-witness accounts, that some of the crew may have never contacted the curse and it is presumed that they were all killed in the ensuing conflict.
“
Galen died first, his throat torn open by one of the changed men. I couldn't tell who killed him, of course, since they were unrecognizable in their changed forms.
”
— Dradeel
During the battle the ship was beached and scuttled. This may have been on purpose to prevent the curse from leaving the island. With the ship destroyed and no other way to leave the island, the two strains of lycanthropes were left to fight amongst themselves for survival. When the fighting reached a standstill, the wolfweres took residence in the ruins of the ship while the werewolfs withdrew to the southern end of the island and established their village.
Dradeel, the guide for Balduran's adventures to Anchorome, was in charge of the landing party when the curse hit. Being an elf, the curse had no affect on him. He was knocked out by a lycanthrope in the fighting and when he came too the battle was over. He searched for survivors and found none.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Sammael
Seeker

21 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2019 :  21:39:14  Show Profile  Visit Sammael's Homepage Send Sammael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Honestly, not everything needs to be connected. Sometimes, a coincidence (similar name) is just a coincidence.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 15 May 2019 :  02:12:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sammael

Honestly, not everything needs to be connected. Sometimes, a coincidence (similar name) is just a coincidence.




That's my stance. Sometimes, trying to make a connection with something like this complicates things a lot more than is necessary.

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