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 Why didn’t Shade return to Faerun sooner?
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2337 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2021 :  11:25:44  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My only point was that for about a decade there we had Shar without the "Shar wants to annihilate everything" bit - which I would guess was at least inspired by Thardizun. It was a shift, and a relatively major one to my view. Then another six or so years later, we add onto that the shadow weave and the Shadovar and Shar is much more powerful and influential than we ever knew.

Now, all these things made Shar more interesting, I'd say, but WAY too powerful. It simply makes no sense that there is a goddess among the pantheon that wants to destroy everything (and thus destroy all the followers of every other god thereby destroying them too), that is not "locked up" like her predecessor, or at least watched constantly. Also, why would Ao not intervene. He created everything, and she wants to destroy everything. Why would he let her do that?

Very similar to what they did with Lolth. Demon, to lesser goddess, to greater goddess controlling an army of other gods. Allowed by Ao to brake the rules gods follow because she is a rule breaker.

Not really a fan of that line of logic.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10851 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2021 :  12:40:46  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, when I liked her it was when she was "the lady of loss" who was about being the person that grieving people turn to. She was the voice that whispered in the darkness, etc... Talos was lord of destruction (granted it was more of a burning fires, lightning storms and volcanos exploding destructions), and I always felt that the shift in 3e to being a take away of some of Talos' power. That's part of why when I saw Talos was gone in 4e and I started up some of my ideas of "the gods being in Abeir", I actually picture Talos aiding gods that would have normally have been his enemies.... because he saw Shar would have tried to gobble him up. So, better to help Mystra in a mad attempt to strip the shadow weave from Shar.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35573 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2021 :  15:38:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

My only point was that for about a decade there we had Shar without the "Shar wants to annihilate everything" bit - which I would guess was at least inspired by Thardizun. It was a shift, and a relatively major one to my view. Then another six or so years later, we add onto that the shadow weave and the Shadovar and Shar is much more powerful and influential than we ever knew.

Now, all these things made Shar more interesting, I'd say, but WAY too powerful. It simply makes no sense that there is a goddess among the pantheon that wants to destroy everything (and thus destroy all the followers of every other god thereby destroying them too), that is not "locked up" like her predecessor, or at least watched constantly. Also, why would Ao not intervene. He created everything, and she wants to destroy everything. Why would he let her do that?

Very similar to what they did with Lolth. Demon, to lesser goddess, to greater goddess controlling an army of other gods. Allowed by Ao to brake the rules gods follow because she is a rule breaker.

Not really a fan of that line of logic.



Actually, even though 2E gave Shar the motivation of wanting to return to darkness, that was it -- she had that motivation, but we didn't see her acting on it.

Not only that, but given that motivation, destruction was only a means to an end -- I think if there was some other method available to return darkness to all of Realmspace, she'd've been all over it.

As noted earlier, Shar basically appeared twice, in all of 1E and 2E -- in 4 comics books, during the Avatar Crisis, fighting Selűne, and then a note about her killing Ibrandul. That's pretty much all we see Shar do, for two entire editions.

Mask also didn't have any connection to Shar, before 3E.

It was 3E where she became the primary evil of the setting and became a multispheric entity interested in destroying all of existence, and it was also 3E where her focus shifted from Selűne to being all about fighting Mystra. The same time the focus shifted to all things shady was when Shar suddenly became Big Bad #1 for the setting.

So while there are definite parallels betwixt 3E Shar and Tharizdun, that was all a 3E development. 2E Shar was a Goth emo kid sitting in her room by herself, not doing much of anything except snarling at Homecoming Queen Selűne.

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DeBasilisk
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2021 :  17:05:51  Show Profile Send DeBasilisk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For what it’s worth, Ed Greenwood did designate Shar as one of the only four “Greater Goddesses,” in Dragon Magazine 54, 1981, on par with Chanteau, Mystra and Sune (page 8, “Down to Earth Divinity). It seems fair to say that even if she wasn’t envisioned as the big bad, she was at least one of the bigs from early on. And actually, you could say she was the big bad in one respect, since out of the four greater goddesses she was the only one with an evil alignment (NE).
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2337 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2021 :  00:43:05  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DeBasilisk

For what it’s worth, Ed Greenwood did designate Shar as one of the only four “Greater Goddesses,” in Dragon Magazine 54, 1981, on par with Chanteau, Mystra and Sune (page 8, “Down to Earth Divinity). It seems fair to say that even if she wasn’t envisioned as the big bad, she was at least one of the bigs from early on. And actually, you could say she was the big bad in one respect, since out of the four greater goddesses she was the only one with an evil alignment (NE).



Except even way back then you also had Bane, Myrkul, and Talos as "big bads" and Lathander, Oghma, Silvanus, Tempus, and Tyr as other greater gods. And none of those seemed too worried that Shar was trying to destroy them and everything else.

Shar was Darkness and Loss and Forgetfulness... none necessarily "big bad" especially when you read her "bio"

SHAR This goddess is said to be darkly beautiful. She is often worshipped by those made bitter by the loss of a loved one; in her dark embrace all forget, and although they forever feel loss, they
become used to such pain until they consider it the usual and natural state of existence. Shar battles continually with
Selune, slaying her often (i.e., every new moon), and is worshipped (or paid lip service by) all surface-dwelling beings who dislike light. Those who make or take disguises worship Leira, but those
who seek only to hide or bury something pay homage to Shar.

There is nothing really big and bad about that. She is actually more like the goddess of an odd form of emotional closure :P
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3653 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2021 :  03:30:46  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Yeah, when I liked her it was when she was "the lady of loss" who was about being the person that grieving people turn to. She was the voice that whispered in the darkness, etc...

-The book Mistress of the Night did a really good job capturing that in certain characters that appeared in the book. Really made a distinction between those kinds of cultists and the organized church of Shar, which drew on their pain and loss.

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

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

USA
10851 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2021 :  12:58:20  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by DeBasilisk

For what it’s worth, Ed Greenwood did designate Shar as one of the only four “Greater Goddesses,” in Dragon Magazine 54, 1981, on par with Chanteau, Mystra and Sune (page 8, “Down to Earth Divinity). It seems fair to say that even if she wasn’t envisioned as the big bad, she was at least one of the bigs from early on. And actually, you could say she was the big bad in one respect, since out of the four greater goddesses she was the only one with an evil alignment (NE).



Except even way back then you also had Bane, Myrkul, and Talos as "big bads" and Lathander, Oghma, Silvanus, Tempus, and Tyr as other greater gods. And none of those seemed too worried that Shar was trying to destroy them and everything else.

Shar was Darkness and Loss and Forgetfulness... none necessarily "big bad" especially when you read her "bio"

SHAR This goddess is said to be darkly beautiful. She is often worshipped by those made bitter by the loss of a loved one; in her dark embrace all forget, and although they forever feel loss, they
become used to such pain until they consider it the usual and natural state of existence. Shar battles continually with
Selune, slaying her often (i.e., every new moon), and is worshipped (or paid lip service by) all surface-dwelling beings who dislike light. Those who make or take disguises worship Leira, but those
who seek only to hide or bury something pay homage to Shar.

There is nothing really big and bad about that. She is actually more like the goddess of an odd form of emotional closure :P



At one point in 2e, when skills and powers came out, I came up with an idea that I threw into the history of Sleyvas. I had always had him as an anti-hero who turned dark because his wife had been killed by a paladin on accident while chasing a criminal in the marketplace. I added in that he had been cheating on his wife at the time, and that he'd gone to the temple of Shar to reveal his "dark secret" to try and relieve himself of this burden of loss. I want to say that I then wrote up a spell for that church, that if they know someone's deep dark secret that they can utter this spell and they become immune to that person's magic temporarily. It's a hidden spell that they use to either force someone to go do some dark act out of fear of the church, or serves as a means to protect the church from someone who might "wants to make sure his secret can never get out" later.

In that way, it gave their priesthood a really neat nuance.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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