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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4019 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2018 :  20:43:07  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not saying he isn't the Godson, but I also see no reason to state it as fact (yes it is fact in canon but canon has been rewritten several times and this could easily be done and adequately explained). The truth of parentage in medieval times is subjective at best.

If Xvim was not Bane's son he would and likely did gain a lot from claiming to be his son. In my version he is Bane's son (although I've got Bane as a tiefling as well from one of the dynasties of ancient Narfell.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1544 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2018 :  21:19:58  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We know that Myrkul was in life Myrkul Bey al-Kursi, Crown Prince of Murghôm.

I find it credible that Bhaal might in life have come from somewhere near Semphar, given that he's known under a native name in Guge and that the Old Man of the Mountain ruled over a powerful centre of his faith in the Endless Wastes. Still, that's not conclusive evidence and certainly the concentration of Bhaalspawn on the Sword Coast suggests a link to there, perhaps to Calimshaan.

I've found numerous references to Bane having been born on another Prime Material Plane than Toril, so I would favour him being a tiefling or cambion born elsewhere. I can certainly see him arriving on Toril in connection to Narfell, however, though I should want to retain the link with Thurgabanteth in Chondath provided by the Swords of the Iron Legion.

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Edited by - Icelander on 09 Aug 2018 21:21:05
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4019 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2018 :  22:58:25  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well George already penned Bhaal's origin as an arcanist of netheril.

Regarding Bane I can't recall ever reading a quote that says he was from another plane (apart from 4e, which often discounts FR lore so I often discount 4e lore).

I've read in many places Bane is a mortal (extraplanar beings are usually not classified as such). His fathering of a cambion (Iyachtu Xvim with either a greater tanarri or a fallen paladin) means he is likely of fiendish blood). Although Faiths and Pantheons says he was human.

Thurgabanteth is a supposed former mountain in Chondath where Bane first entered Faerun. However it is from a tome (the Black Book of Chondath I think), and there is nothing to say the source is accurate, likely written by a follower of Bane and probably edited by other followers (all earth based holy books have been greatly edited).

Chondath did not exist until way after the fall of Netheril and Bane was present during Netheril's fall so he couldn't have first arrived when Chondath existed.


My idea is that he was related to the royal dynasty of Narfell (not necessarily born on Toril, and maybe not even on the Material Plane). He met Myrkul on his travels and followed him to Netheril where they encountered Bhaal. Together the three began harvesting divine energy from semi-divine beings in a bid to attain godhood. Leaving when Netheril fell.


The Dark Three I think were involved in the events in Jhaamdath. When that empire also fell they travelled again until they ended up confronting Jergal and dividing up his divine power amongst themselves.

At this point the Dark Three part ways. Bane returned to Faerun in Thurgabanteth and set about trying to create his own empire in the Vilhon Reach (which I'm tying to the Goblin Wars in that region). Driven out he moved east and tried draining a few of the godkings of Chessenta to gather more divine power. Ultimately he confronted Assuran atop Mount Thulbane and both vanished.

I don't think it contradicts anything. The appearance and growth of his church is not dependent upon him being a true divine being (him being semi-divine and still wandering the realms but performing awesome feats will still garner worship). His familial origin is from Faerun but he could also have been born and raised on another plane.

If Myrkul and Bhaal are originally from Faerun I thought why not Bane.

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Edited by - dazzlerdal on 09 Aug 2018 23:00:19
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1544 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  00:09:12  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Well George already penned Bhaal's origin as an arcanist of netheril.

Oh?!

Where is that to be found?

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Regarding Bane I can't recall ever reading a quote that says he was from another plane (apart from 4e, which often discounts FR lore so I often discount 4e lore).

quote:
Originally posted by Old Empires p. 14

Within this expanse are desert, ruins,
mountains, fertile fields, and cities that
were great 2,000 years before the first
stone was place on Waterdeep, before
the Zhentarim ever unleashed an evil
scheme, before Bane was even aware
that the Realms existed
, a time when
the world was young, even to the elves.
The words Mulhorand and "eternity"
are the same in the language of the Mulhorandi.


quote:
Originally posted by Ed Greenwood's Stormlight (Kindle edition, position 477)

She fought closer to the shame and the trembling fear he so hated, that made him seek tyranny over others. This fear tasted like the tang of iron in blood, but came from a place weirdly different than Faerun. The mortal who had become Bane, so long ago, had come from . . . somewhere else, and still had secrets that he was fighting wildly to keep from her, secrets that he would keep hidden at all costs.


quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I've read in many places Bane is a mortal (extraplanar beings are usually not classified as such). His fathering of a cambion (Iyachtu Xvim with either a greater tanarri or a fallen paladin) means he is likely of fiendish blood). Although Faiths and Pantheons says he was human.

Yes, mortal of fiendsh blood would work for me, as long as there was a time when he was unaware that the Realms existed.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Thurgabanteth is a supposed former mountain in Chondath where Bane first entered Faerun. However it is from a tome (the Black Book of Chondath I think), and there is nothing to say the source is accurate, likely written by a follower of Bane and probably edited by other followers (all earth based holy books have been greatly edited).

Chondath did not exist until way after the fall of Netheril and Bane was present during Netheril's fall so he couldn't have first arrived when Chondath existed.

He arrived within the modern day borders of Chondath, which at the time would have been Jhaamdath.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

My idea is that he was related to the royal dynasty of Narfell (not necessarily born on Toril, and maybe not even on the Material Plane). He met Myrkul on his travels and followed him to Netheril where they encountered Bhaal. Together the three began harvesting divine energy from semi-divine beings in a bid to attain godhood. Leaving when Netheril fell.

The Dark Three I think were involved in the events in Jhaamdath. When that empire also fell they travelled again until they ended up confronting Jergal and dividing up his divine power amongst themselves.

At this point the Dark Three part ways. Bane returned to Faerun in Thurgabanteth and set about trying to create his own empire in the Vilhon Reach (which I'm tying to the Goblin Wars in that region). Driven out he moved east and tried draining a few of the godkings of Chessenta to gather more divine power. Ultimately he confronted Assuran atop Mount Thulbane and both vanished.

I don't think it contradicts anything. The appearance and growth of his church is not dependent upon him being a true divine being (him being semi-divine and still wandering the realms but performing awesome feats will still garner worship). His familial origin is from Faerun but he could also have been born and raised on another plane.

Sounds about right.

Though I do note that Assuran/Hoar and Bane do not seem to have had an antagonistic relationship in any source of which I'm aware and that it was clearly Ramman who drove Assuran from Unther.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

If Myrkul and Bhaal are originally from Faerun I thought why not Bane.


Well, merely because Bane was established in old FR lore as having come from elsewhere.

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Edited by - Icelander on 10 Aug 2018 01:33:53
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4019 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  06:57:48  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I shall weave that bit in but my initial thought is that Bane was a potential rival to the throne of Narfell so was raised elsewhere (another planet -because Narfell had a link to another planet that was lost (If you read the bits about thakorskils seat across the editions) and kept ignorant of his heritage until he came of age (for his protection).

Assuran was driven from Unther, and I had him travel to chessenta to hide (explains why he has strong religious support there still) because chessenta was only loosely part of unther (it paid high taxes but most hated Gilgeam).

Having a fight doesn't necessarily lead to a lasting feud. Both churches claim their God won the fight and ascended to godhood at the top of mount thulbane (in my version). The games arose from this contest with mock battles held each year that became a sporting competition. Even evil people can take things light heartedly occasionally.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1544 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  12:25:14  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Where can I find a mention of Bhaal's origins as an arcanist of Netheril?

Given the etymological similarities of his name to the Semitic title Ba'al ('Lord'), I have always imagined him as coming from a place in the Realms where they speak a Semitic language or somewhere influenced by such languages. That means anywhere that was once a colony of Unther (Westgate, Wizard Reach, Shaar, etc.) or anywhere they speak Midani or a related language (Zakhara, Calimshan, former Shoon colonies, Solon, Murghom, Semphar, etc.).

In addition, the fact that (almost alone of Faerunian deities), Bhaal was not only known in Guge and the Endless Wastes, but worshipped in ancient and powerful institutions, argued for a strong connection with the area.

In fact, the lands of former Netheril were among the parts of Faerun where it had never occured to me to consider Bhaal originating from. I mean, all the Dark Three travelled there shortly before they achieved godhood, but I was unaware of any other connection.

The Bhaalspawn provide a connection of some sort with the middle area of the Sword Coast, all of which was culturally influenced by Midani-speaking Shoon. Something made Bhaal select that area for his bid at rebirth and while this something could have been connected to events that occured while he was a god, it could also relate to his mortal life.

By the same token, the assassin order on the Endless Waste, led by the Old Man of the Mountain, seems in The Horde to be truly ancient and highly important to the deity. As in, if I had to pick the holiest slayers of Bhaal on Toril, that would have been my guess.

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
4019 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  13:32:10  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
George Krashos mentioned Bhaals origin in his Jergal article Lord of the End of Everything. It's not canon but modern canon isn't worth a p**s and I take George's work as gospel over anyone (except other FR greats).

As for naming similarities and presence elsewhere. People can travel to other planes and take worship with them. I tend to view far off enclaves of a religion as a mistake by the narrator, he visited the area and found a sect of assassins who venerated a murder deity and assumed it was Bhaal.
I also have my own theory where the multiverses is operating to a plan (like hitchikers guide to the galaxy) so each sphere keeps trying to reach the same endpoint in different ways and keeps creating the same elements of existence. So a being called Bhaal (or some variation of that name) keeps getting created through chance as the sphere tried to stick to a plan that has long since corrupted. These Bhaal can be spread over many millennia and thousands of miles and are all fairly similar but unique in their own way.
It's why there are several Banes and why he keeps returning after death, it's why there are Tyrs all over the multiverses (There were 5 on Faerun). It's not the same god all over the planets and planes, it's different gods that arise to fulfil the same purpose through a design in existence.


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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1544 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  00:32:20  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

George Krashos mentioned Bhaals origin in his Jergal article Lord of the End of Everything. It's not canon but modern canon isn't worth a p**s and I take George's work as gospel over anyone (except other FR greats).

Where can I read this article?

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

As for naming similarities and presence elsewhere. People can travel to other planes and take worship with them. I tend to view far off enclaves of a religion as a mistake by the narrator, he visited the area and found a sect of assassins who venerated a murder deity and assumed it was Bhaal.
I also have my own theory where the multiverses is operating to a plan (like hitchikers guide to the galaxy) so each sphere keeps trying to reach the same endpoint in different ways and keeps creating the same elements of existence. So a being called Bhaal (or some variation of that name) keeps getting created through chance as the sphere tried to stick to a plan that has long since corrupted. These Bhaal can be spread over many millennia and thousands of miles and are all fairly similar but unique in their own way.
It's why there are several Banes and why he keeps returning after death, it's why there are Tyrs all over the multiverses (There were 5 on Faerun). It's not the same god all over the planets and planes, it's different gods that arise to fulfil the same purpose through a design in existence.


The millennia and a half that Bhaal has been worshipped in Faerun has certainly provided enough time for his faith to spread to many cultures. It's just that in searching for the origin of a language or a mytheme (in historical linguistics known as the Urheimat), you search for a geographic area around which the greatest wealth of variations of that language or mytheme exist.

Hence, the theocracy of priests of Bhaal in the truly ancient realm of Guge and the Fortress of the Old Man in Sentinelspire are interesting finds that lead me to consider an ancient connection to the area for Bhaal. And the fact that Bhaal is known by different names in the area (e.g. Niynjushigampo in Guge, which I'd want to translate as 'Lord of Murder' in their language) supports an ancient native origin over a recently imported one.

Note also that Alaodin, the Old Man of the Mountain, was not just assumed by some Faerunian to be a worshipper of Bhaal. He was stated by the omniscient narrator to be a priest of Bhaal, in a place where Bhaal had been worshipped by a secret order of assassins for a very long time, and the text of The Horde specifically mentioned the effects on his temple and order of holy slayers of Bhaal's death in the Time of Troubles.

Add to that Bhaal's strong following in Thay and one might be excused for imagining an origin somewhere between Thay, the Sentinelspire and Guge, i.e. an area centering on the lands of old Imaskar, specifically on Semphar (just because it's roughly in the center of an imaginary circle drawn there).

I just haven't found anything in other sources that links Bhaal convincingly to other areas of the Realms as well. It's true that he's strongly linked to the Swords Coast and Boareskyr Bridge, but that's because of where he died.

Granted, Tethyr does seem to have strong connections to Bhaal's modern worship, which could suggest Shoon-ite roots or could just be a result of the recent upheaval in the area and the many, many assassinations that have been committed there in the decades leading up to Bhaal's death in the Time of Troubles.

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Edited by - Icelander on 11 Aug 2018 00:43:27
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5187 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  04:16:37  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Keep in mind that when the Faerûnian pantheon coalesced, it incorporated and subsumed many smal, regional pantheons and so a local “god of murder” is going to be known by its local name even after another deity has taken them over in the deific tumult (outside of mortal understanding) that occurs when this happens.

— George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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TheIriaeban
Seeker

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  05:53:20  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Old Empires, pg 14 when talking about the Geography of Mulhorand: "Within this expanse are desert, ruins, mountains, fertile fields, and cities that were great 2,000 years before the first stone was placed on Waterdeep, before the Zhentarium ever unleased an evil scheme, before Bane was even aware that the Realms existed, a time when the world was young, even to the elves." That would seem to confirm that Bane is not from The Realms.

"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."
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1544 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  06:14:22  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Keep in mind that when the Faerûnian pantheon coalesced, it incorporated and subsumed many smal, regional pantheons and so a local “god of murder” is going to be known by its local name even after another deity has taken them over in the deific tumult (outside of mortal understanding) that occurs when this happens.

— George Krashos


Absolutely.

I'm entirely in favour of regional names for deities and mortals often having difficulty perceiving whether cults worshipping gods by different names are worshipping the same god under these names, different aspects of one deity or different gods entirely.

I'm simply seeking clues to the mortal existence of Bhaal, as we know Myrkul's mortal name and profession. As I noted, I've not noticed any clues in published Realmslore that suggests Bhaal might have been a Netherese arcanist in life. Nor, honestly, does Bhaal strike me as etymologically similar to those Netherese names I've come across in various supplements, whereas it is pronounced exactly like a title that would presumably have been common among the Untheri section of the Mulan.

Ba'al Mutu / Ba'al Mot / Bel Mot / Baal Mawet / Baal Mat / Bhaal Mawt / Bhaal al-Mawt ('Lord Death' or 'Lord of Death') sound to me like plausible linguistic variantions that make appropriate forms of the title for the Lord of Murder in a variety of Untheric-, Rauric-, Alzhedo-, Muhjari- and Midani-speaking areas. Bhaal might then well have been adopted as a shortened form of the deity's title and from there grew into the proper name for the deity in the modern Realms.

There is ample real world precedent for deities coming to be known as 'Lord' or 'the Lord' and losing any unique proper name they might have had, after all, including one who came to be known as Ba'al / Baal ('Lord') in exactly this manner. For mythology nerds, it's also fun to note that Mot ('Death')' the God of Death, slew Ba'al ('the Lord'), a benign god, in an Ugaritic legend.

Bhaal's divine name as member of the Faerunian pantheon being a title with a simple meaning of 'Lord' also seems to fit with the third member of the Dark Three and his name. The inner monologue of Bane's avatar in Stormlight suggests that that deity views his moniker as a title or appelation with the common English meaning of 'Bane', not merely a name that hapens to sound like it. Something like: 'They name me FOE. How apposite.'

The Dark Three as I might venture guesses at them in life:

Bane: A mortal with some kind of fiendish blood from another world than Toril, a powerful warlord. Name as a mortal unknown, but might have been Bane and might not. For that matter, he might even be linked by blood or cosmic synergy to an Outer Planar deity also named Bane, never a mortal and only present in the Realms through the mortal Bane, who achieved godhood there.
Bhaal: A mortal either from Calimshan / Shoon Empire / Tethyr or a post-Imaskari realm like Semphar or Solon, a powerful assassin. In life, might have been regarded as a hero before entering onto his path with the Dark Three.
Myrkul: Myrkul Bey al-Kursi, the Crown Prince of Murghom, a powerful necromancer.

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4019 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  12:40:54  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To get hold of George's article you just need to PM me your email and I'll send it along (or George, he will of course have a copy). It's good stuff, very useful for building stuff in Netheril and imaskar

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1544 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2018 :  16:22:03  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I noted that in the Forgotten Realms Adventures book, the ceremonial knives that Bhaal's priesthood carry were specifically noted as being of an 'Eastern' design.

This lends some support to the idea that the people of the Heartlands of Faerun might view the faith of Bhaal as having some ancestral connection to eastern lands.

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