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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1363 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2019 :  20:40:36  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I have a few questions about this subject.

1. It's possible to actually travel through time in the Realms, or you can only "watch" events using time magic?

2. How divination magic works? It's the timeline of the Realms a fixed thing? Or one can change destiny?

3. What happens if someone travels to the past and changes something? Will history be changed or altered significantly, or the timeline follow the path of least resistance to allow history to happen as written, with little to no alterations?

4. And what happens to the offender? Do exist an entity or entities charged to protect the "sanctity of the timeline"?

I hope someone can help me with this.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4672 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2019 :  20:56:55  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I doubt there is an official answer. There are a number of time gates (one in Unther, one in Synnoria, a few others - read the Cormanthyr sourcebook for details), there was even an adventure in Netheril that involved time travel (How the Mighty are Fallen).

I myself prefer to operate under Terry Pratchett's method of time travel, time is a living thing and when you try to mess with it, it rearranges things so the same events happen (albeit with some subtle differences). Read the novel Night Watch for a good example of it.

So if you are destined to die in some heroic battle and you attempt to change events to save yourself then someone else would die the hero of the battle and is confused with you. But you still die in some trifling way that goes unnoticed by anyone (either in the same battle or immediately after). If you mess with time, it messes back and its not always nice about it.


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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1465 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2019 :  21:00:34  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There’s a big discussion about this in the Arcane Age supplements if I recall correctly. Don’t remember what it said.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32289 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2019 :  22:42:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In 2E, you could travel to the past, where you observe but not change anything.

Then, in 3E, there was a Portals In Time series, for the Perilous Gateways articles on the WotC site, where they didn't give specifics but did say that yeah, maybe the past could be altered. Not only did this ignore prior canon, the entire topic never came up again.

I, personally, prefer the easier -- and original canon -- version of time travel: you can look but you can't touch.

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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1363 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2019 :  00:21:07  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, I guess I need to get the Arcane Age books. Those are the Netheril and Cormanthyr sourcebooks, right?

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison


I myself prefer to operate under Terry Pratchett's method of time travel, time is a living thing and when you try to mess with it, it rearranges things so the same events happen (albeit with some subtle differences). Read the novel Night Watch for a good example of it.

So if you are destined to die in some heroic battle and you attempt to change events to save yourself then someone else would die the hero of the battle and is confused with you. But you still die in some trifling way that goes unnoticed by anyone (either in the same battle or immediately after). If you mess with time, it messes back and its not always nice about it.





This is what I called "the path of least resistance". The Legacy of Kain games use a similar way to explain time travel and such.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8207 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2019 :  03:03:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also the "Chronomancer" supplement from 2e. That's the most definitive on how time travel works. The stuff for Netheril time travel, etc... came just after it. There were all kinds of rules like you can't travel back and double your lifeline (essentially, you can't be in the same place in time twice or else there's a paradox... so no redos). Time was treated as another plane tied to each plane (kind of like how the ethereal was in 3rd edition). High level chronomancers could cut their lifeline or whatever and thus start breaking this rule. However time is also auto correcting. I once wrote a story about Sleyvas misunderstanding time magic and thinking that it hungers for a life if you "cheat" it of a life, and also sending someone back in time to actually trick himself into thinking that his wife had died so that his decisions wouldn't be changed.

https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Chronomancy


Loren Coleman (1995). Chronomancer. Edited by Matt Forbeck. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 978-0786903252.
slade, Jim Butler (Nov 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Storyteller Hero
Learned Scribe

USA
174 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2019 :  16:52:46  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Darkvision novel demonstrated the occurrence of parallel timelines being created in Realmspace when time is messed with. The perpetrator in this case is a being powerful enough to threaten gods.

Mystra's Weave likely also serves as a sensor net for any attempt to time travel more than a few moments, serving her well in her role as a protector of the timeline.

Labelas Enoreth of the Seldarine canonically has the ability to peer through time, and is possibly the Dr. Who of the deities.





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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1363 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2019 :  00:36:06  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If I'm reading the Cormanthyr book correctly, is possibly to create alternate timelines, though the punishment for the perpetrators is harsh. And there is really a lot of rules to avoid this to happen.

All those rules are tied to Mystryl/Mystra, though, so not so useful in the time I play (post-Spellplague Realms). On the other hand, it does means that the players have a lot of chances to change the timeline for their own ends.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8207 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2019 :  13:19:34  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That then becomes a serious break in how time is supposed to work. You either have one timestream to a plane and when you go back and change something, the ripples are moved forward in time OR you have that when you make a change an "alternate timeline" is created (and thus a twinning of worlds to a degree). While there may be some way to have both be possibilities, what exactly would make the one different from the other? I mean by this that the classic chronomancer model is that you go back in time, change things, and "time corrects around the change to make the least impact". By that, I mean you go back and kill the general X who leads an army... well, general Y leads the army instead. The "battle" still happens with a certain output, but whatever general X would have gotten is no longer the "path".


That being said, I can see there being a possibility that with epic magics one COULD somehow create an alternate timeline.... effectively creating a new world. This could be possibly seen with the elven sundering. But what does this mean exactly? It doesn't spawn a new crystal sphere I wouldn't expect. Does the "new" timeline have the same outer planar and inner planar connections? Where does the "soul energy" come from that inhabits the "alternate timeline", since you now have effectively duplicated every inhabitant of said world? Will you run into a situation wherein the two worlds start to "collide" and try to overwrite one another or the inhabitants feel compelled to destroy their counterpart (see the TV show fringe and starz recent TV series Counterpart)? CAN the two worlds ever contact one another at all? IF there still exists the ability to go to the outer planes, can someone for instance leave world version A, go to the outer B instead of A?



Also, this is the official statement relating chronomancy to Toril from Chronomancer (granted this is from 1995). Its from page 87 of the chronomancer product. I mention it to show the stringent steps that they're showing that might come into play to stop time change (for instance, avatars appearing to kill said person):

Forgotten Realms / Kara-Tur / Al-Qadim / Maztica campaigns: Toril has many powerful forces devoted to keeping its history intact. Elminster, Khelben Arunsun, the Seven Sisters, and many other powerful wizards have been granted certain undefined powers from Mystra, goddess of magic, to prevent chronomantic spells from working in their vicinities. Supernatural or priestly agents of Deneir and Oghma (Toril's gods of history, so to speak) are believed able to follow a chronomancer's trail and undo any damage he has done. Finally, a chronomancer who seriously disrupts history is likely to encounter an avatar of the most directly concerned deity, which will likely result in the abrupt termination of that chronomancer's life.

Other than this, chronomancers are known to make limited low-key trips through time in Faerun, Kara-Tur, Zakhara, and Maztica. Native chronomancers are usually devout followers of both a deity of magic (e.g. Mystra) and a deity of time or history (e.g. Deneir or Oghma), serving as historians and information collectors. Ancient empires such as Netheril, Raurin, Mulhorand, Narfell, Raumathar, and Cormanthyr might have known of chronomancy or time travel, though this did not prevent their fall. Most wizards here refer to Temporal Prime as the Plane or Demiplane of Time.



Finally, as mentioned in the above, there are time gates mentioned in the Cormanthyr boxed set. You can read some on that here.
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Time_gate

Wooly also mentioned the portals in time series

Finally, the original Old Empires product mentions this artifact

Font of Time: This powerful artifact is located somewhere in eastern Mulhorand. Little is known about it, except for a few words in the Unique Mageries, a book of spells belonging to the wizard Nezram:
#147;Of all the artifacts created by the ancients, the most marvelous and terrifying was the great Font. This was a pearl-white pool, contained in a milkcolored crystal that appeared in a mirage in the eastern wastes. The waters were too bitter to drink. But if one looked into the font in the light of a full moon, one could see scenes from the antiquity of Mulhorand that one would swear were real. And indeed they are. For if one concentrates on that image#151; ...but I shall say no more, in hopes that none shall follow where I have traveled.#148;

No knowledge exists about the origin of the font, except in the archives of Thoth. The font of time can enable any who look into it, during a full moon only, to see images of Mulhorand in the days of its original empire. It is possible to possess the body of an individual from that image, and thus experience life in Mulhorand at the height of its power. To return home, one must find one#146;s way to the font at the time of the new moon, when it is possible to look
back at one#146;s self, and return to one#146;s own form.


One thing I will note about this font of time that they DON'T draw as a conclusion... it very much has ties to the fullness of the moon, and that makes me wonder if this artifact has ties to the goddess of the moon. I'm not necessarily talking Selune here when I say this. Hathor "The nurturing mother, the quiet one, the dancer of fortune, she who is there for those in need" is the goddess of "childbirth, motherhood, folk dance, music, poetry, the moon, fate" in the Mulhorandi pantheon.
PERSONALLY (i.e. my homebrew), Hathor as a cow headed goddess is related to a little discussed being unheard of in the Faerunian pantheon (or whom they always relate to someone else). She is the same as Bhalla in the Rashemi pantheon (who the faerunians think is Chauntea). This being is related to the "norse" concept of the great cow that preceded everything (Audumbla) and licked the forefather of mankind from the rime that was present during creation, and in my metahel pantheon, she will be referred to as Audum-Bhalla. This same being may receive some power as Fate within Zakhara and/or might have been the goddess known as Bala of the Tidings (goddess of music though "tidings" also means bringer of news/information and therefore she may have been an oracle/diviner/history deity as well) in the land of Fate. In my view, this puts a spin on a deity found in multiple pantheons in a way that makes them mysterious and also a bit outside the control of Faerunian pantheon's infrastructure (but that the Faerunians are trying heavily to stamp out). This same deity could work well as a not much respected "mother goddess" deity for races such as minotaurs, yak men, etc... as well as races that have no gods mentioned (such as the ibixian goatfolk and/or hybsil)

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 28 Aug 2019 14:23:02
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1363 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2019 :  20:04:33  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

That then becomes a serious break in how time is supposed to work. You either have one timestream to a plane and when you go back and change something, the ripples are moved forward in time OR you have that when you make a change an "alternate timeline" is created (and thus a twinning of worlds to a degree). While there may be some way to have both be possibilities, what exactly would make the one different from the other? I mean by this that the classic chronomancer model is that you go back in time, change things, and "time corrects around the change to make the least impact". By that, I mean you go back and kill the general X who leads an army... well, general Y leads the army instead. The "battle" still happens with a certain output, but whatever general X would have gotten is no longer the "path".





That's interesting. And the Chronomancer sourcebook seems to be a must get for my campaign.

Mind, the Cormanthyr sourcebook says that each timeline is its own reality altogether. It has its own outer/inner planes, material plane, gods, etc. It seems, even the gods are recreated during the change in the timeline, and so they are not aware of the alternate timelines. In fact, the book says that each game a DM runs in the Realms is located in a different timeline from the one of the official products.

Anyways, the time traveler of my campaign isn't one of the players, it's the villain. He is a shade archmage who is trying to prevent the fall of Netheril (the Shadovar Netheril, I mean). The players are just trying to take the chance and try to change "the future" (the Second Sundering; as you may be aware, they don't like the 5e Realms). Right now, they are using the hints the villain drop and time magic to see into the future to see if they would "allow the villain to win".

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 28 Aug 2019 20:06:48
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6836 Posts

Posted - 07 Sep 2019 :  12:18:53  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Chronomancer and the other Arcane Age supplements are the definitive sourcebooks.

Time travel in published Realmslore usually has rules and limits which are contrived to serve the needs and goals of the narrative.

They usually follow the "time is a river" analogy. The idea is that small things can be changed but the flow and momentum of big things just swallow them up without much effect. Maybe Baron Billy overwrites Baron Bobby in the history books but they both accomplished exactly the same things in their lifetimes anyhow. Maybe the assassination gets averted but the Princess just dies in her sleep two nights later. Maybe a mysterious champion suddenly appears to deliver victory in a crucial battle but the army is defeated in an ambush on the way home. History remains more or less unchanged in all but insignificant details which are like eddies caught in the current, time just flows along pretty much the same path and reaches pretty much the same destination. Apparently certain luminaries (such as Mystra, Elminster, etc) all work towards policing time and preventing any substantial tampering.

The "time is an arrow" analogy basically asserts that history is subjective - a time traveler could kill his own parents before they met but still cause no paradox because he's deflected the timeline onto a new path but he hasn't affected the path of the past which brought him there.
The "time is a snowball" analogy basically asserts that small changes lead to great changes - things keep on rolling unstoppably forward and diverging and clumping into new patterns until history becomes something entirely different.
Neither of these approaches is used in published Realmslore because they'd allow a single errant character to muck around all of Realmslore beyond recovery.

It's worth noting that the notion of parallel timelines allows for all these temporal analogies to exist together (and even to cooperate or competewhen historical events are crucial to the story). The core rulebooks even suggest such things when offering options for dealing with badly worded/greedy/selfish wish spells.

The presence and (nearly) unerring accuracy of divination magics does strongly imply a (nearly) deterministic future. Which is logically inconsitent without a (nearly) deterministic past (since the present would be the future when viewed from the past). So maybe the tapestry of all history past, present, and future were, are, and will be eternally fated.
But Realmslore has allowed for divinations to be proven false. Usually when they're vague, cryptic, or confusing enough to allow for differing (mis)interpretations. Even the mightiest overgods lack true omniscience and make mistakes, even the lowliest mortals can impose their indelible will upon the cosmos.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 07 Sep 2019 12:56:42
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1363 Posts

Posted - 07 Sep 2019 :  17:21:14  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Apparently certain luminaries (such as Mystra, Elminster, etc) all work towards policing time and preventing any substantial tampering.




Yeah, this is what I've read. Most time, the timeline is watched over by Mystra, and Elminster et all police chronomancers and stuff. Thing is, however, that these forces are either dead or severely weakened in my "current year" (1480 DR). This makes this particular time frame easy to manipulate by any chronomancer.

So far, the only "time cop" the PCs have met is Vajra (current Blackstaff), who is the one who hired them to stop the time traveler.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6836 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2019 :  04:16:27  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Death isn't much of an obstruction when dealing with time travel. Elminster might be dead now but he was alive during the past timeframe a time traveler from elsewhen could be trying to change. Indeed, if Elminster was a time traveler himself then his past self (or even multiple time-displaced instances of him) might be encountered anytime in the past or future whenever needed to preserve the integrity of a history well beyond his own lifetime.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 08 Sep 2019 04:22:47
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