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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1764 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2020 :  23:39:01  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Dallison,

quote:
Its difficult to extrapolate exact positioning for the empires there without any geographic references (and the fact that all the continents are joined up before the Sundering. Isstosseffifil was centred around the anauroch basin, which is quite a way from the sword coast and Icewind Dale. Looking at later versions of the map in the pre official GHoTR i would guess that Isstosseffifil in -35000 DR actually covers only Anauroch and the High Ice (which wasnt present back then) as far north as the mountains and as far west as the high forest.


After reading your comment, examining the FRIA and trying my best to try to overlay, I believe you to be correct for sure. I can tell from the maps that the location of the Sword Coast and where Icewind Dale would be on that old map, puts it a good 800 to 900 miles away. It makes me wonder though: even though Isstosseffifil controlled the area you posited is far off from where the Plesiosaur was discovered at, I wonder if those creatures just lived in those area, apart from a controlling influence?

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34169 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  04:24:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It doesn't have to be with the Sarrukh's area of influence. It could have been an isolated workshop/research station/outpost. It could have been just one sarrukh active there or several.

Maybe this sarrukh research station created a new material, and some later event turn that new material into the so-called "black ice."

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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1764 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  06:40:39  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Master Rupert,

I concur there. The clearly controlled area of the empire is one thing, but plenty else could be going on outside of that strongly controlled area, just as you mentioned.

I actually really like the notion of a research station. Quite cool!

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5319 Posts

Posted - 23 Nov 2020 :  20:23:32  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I might have found that slight sarrukh link after all.

The Icewind Dale games introduce the Heartstone Gem, a green (although the description says amber the graphics show it as green) gemstone about the size of a head.

Its got amazing powers of divination, it projects an area of climate control, and it is incredibly difficult to use. Supposedly an artifact of Silvanite make although i will be changing that.

The Great Oak was linked to this Heartstone Gem, its an enormous tree that i presume is an Arakhora of some sort, although maybe not a true Arakhor, perhaps a super intelligent tree created through over saturation of magic.


In the roots of the Great Oak is a portal to Chult that is used by yuan-ti to gain access to Kuldahar.




So, in my Chult research i discovered some artifacts known as the Emeralds of Merrshaulk which i made a kind of prototype nether scrolls (basically portable weave anchors). The emeralds are of course green gemstones and they were lost when Merrshaulk fell, carried away by the Tashalar slaves 30000 years ago.

The Heartstone gem is of course a green gem, very large, very powerful, with a gateway to Chult nearby.

What if the Heartstone Gem was one of these Emeralds of Merrshaulk, spirited away by magic to the far flung corners of Faerun, and buried inside a tree to hide it.
The tree grows into an enormous oak tree and becomes semi-sentient and the guardian of this gem (with the ability to use it).

Yxunomei is a marillith supposedly which is a part reptilian demon. What if she was a sarrukh version of such a demon (the tanar'ri are just the most recent evolution of demons in the abyss, there were precursors before them and there are newer demons after). Yxunomei's ultimate goal could have been to retrieve the Heartstone Gem for her ancient masters (the sarrukh of Mhairshaulk). When she was summoned by Damien Morienus she stalks around Icewind Dale once Damien dies eventually stumbling across the legend of the Heartstone Gem. Her ultimate goal is to retrieve the Heartstone Gem and get it to Chult (she gets the gem but can't find an easy way to get to Chult without using the portal beneath the Great Oak).

While there are no sarrukh outposts in Icewind Dale there is a possible link to the sarrukh through the Heartstone Gem.


Not sure about Belhifet, i think him as a servant of Errtu makes sense for now as that explains his goal of retrieving Crenshenibon for his master or to use against his master.

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
797 Posts

Posted - 23 Nov 2020 :  20:45:54  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like how you used Yxunomei.
I wonder though, is she a Obyrith, or a Sarrukh that became a demon?

With Belhifet, I think either Icewind Dale 2 or the Dragon magazine established that "demon" was misnomer, with him being a devil (which makes sense, seeing he looks like 2e Pit Fiend without wings, especially his head/horns being similar:
https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/File:Anims-belhifet-animated.gif
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1odEiEm-mxQ/Xi6-FpQXKFI/AAAAAAAADUE/ZSz6HDU8BsE6ea9CeCWH7Q__4E3C2RLeACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/belhifetbanish.jpg
https://www.mojobob.com/roleplay/monstrousmanual/images/baatpitf.gif
http://archive.wizards.com/dnd/images/alumni_pitfiend_2b.jpg


Edited by - Baltas on 23 Nov 2020 21:03:04
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5319 Posts

Posted - 23 Nov 2020 :  21:17:42  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On to Dorns Deep and Severed Hand.

I figure Dorns Deep was originally an outpost of Gharraghaur, left abandoned for a long time. Then the fall of Ironstar leads to a group of dwarves led by the Doraunlor (Iron Hammer Lord) gradually moving west and north. They head to Mirabar first (which is an abandoned Gharraghaur hold as well, but its full of monsters), so they head up along the mountains and rivers until they find this warm valley in the Spine of the World with a dwarven outpost on the edge.

Doraunlor gets corrupted to Dorn and so Dorn's Deep is born.

Then around 894 DR elves from fallen Eaerlann arrive in the Vale of Kuldahar, pursued by orcs from Hellgate Keep. They get to the Fields of Slaughter and prepare to make their final stand when the dwarves appear and kill the orcs and save the elves, thus forging an alliance between the two.

The elves create the Hand of the Seldarine in honour of the dwarves that saved them. I reckon a number of the elves lived in Kuldahar near the Great Oak and the Heartstone Gem, but gradually retreat back to the Hand when humans arrive.

The elves and dwarves make some of the best magic items in the north (which is why i picked dwarves from Ironstar), but as they find more and more of their magic items in the hands of nearby orcs they become suspicious of each other and the alliance breaks down.

When an orc horde arrives later the elves and dwarves stand alone and fall alone. All i need is a suitably timed orc horde. There is just before 955 DR with the horde from the Orcgates Affair, but that is a bit soon for elves and dwarves to make awesome magic items (i figure they take a long time to craft).

After that there is Uruth Ukrypt which is a bit too far south and i can't see any reason why they would know about Kuldahar Vale.

There is 1090 and the orcs of the Battle of the Bones but that is even further away.

1131 DR is an orc horde that assails Longsaddle but is destroyed by a single Harpell. Its possible this came from the Spine of the World and headed south but it might not have been that large if a single mage destroyed it.

And then finally is 1235 DR the year of the Black Horde which is very possibly big enough in size and came from the Spine of the World, but its very late in the day, although it might provide another link to Belhifet who could have taken up residence in the abandoned hold immediately after.


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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5319 Posts

Posted - 23 Nov 2020 :  21:29:54  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes i'm going with Belhifet being a devil of some kind, providing a link to the portal to the nine hells in Easthaven.

He is a bit like Gargauth in that he dabbles with demons to get that extra edge. If he serves Errtu then Yxunomei (who maybe also served Errtu) could have exposed him and got him thrown out of Baator while she then got exiled by Errtu.

I dont think Yxunomei as an obyrith works, i think keep her as a demon, but i vaguely recall demons like the Palrethee from Monster manual II were a proto version of a Balor that has been replaced. So whatever Yxunomei is she is made from a sarrukh soul and it is different to a marillith, older, less adaptable, being replaced by the marillith. And then there are the Loumara, a new type of demon in the abyss that has the potential to replace the tanar'ri.


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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
797 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2020 :  04:30:06  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Yes i'm going with Belhifet being a devil of some kind, providing a link to the portal to the nine hells in Easthaven.

He is a bit like Gargauth in that he dabbles with demons to get that extra edge. If he serves Errtu then Yxunomei (who maybe also served Errtu) could have exposed him and got him thrown out of Baator while she then got exiled by Errtu.

I dont think Yxunomei as an obyrith works, i think keep her as a demon, but i vaguely recall demons like the Palrethee from Monster manual II were a proto version of a Balor that has been replaced. So whatever Yxunomei is she is made from a sarrukh soul and it is different to a marillith, older, less adaptable, being replaced by the marillith. And then there are the Loumara, a new type of demon in the abyss that has the potential to replace the tanar'ri.





This makes sense - Gary Gygax even set precedence for precursors/pro-Balors like Palrethee in his Gord novels with conflagrati and their Prince Pavlag, with possibly Palrethee being meant to be a "canon" version of conflagrati, like Kadrum was of the Prince of Balors Marduk:
https://greyhawkonline.com/gord/outer.html#pavlag
https://greyhawkonline.com/gord/outer.html#conflagrati

Curiously, it does seem Demogorgon himself (as well as possibly Zuggtmoy and Juiblex) being rather Proto-tanar'ri/pre-tanar'ri, at least in late 2E and 3E lore.
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1764 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2020 :  18:12:28  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Dallison,

Wow. So, I want to make sure I am getting this right. Icewind Dale has an oak, with that green gem in it. That green gem is an artifact (the Heartstone Gem) that creates portals to Chult. I mean, I know the connection you are shooting for between the Heartstone Gem being an Emerald of Merrshaulk. I am just wanting to confirm that the Heartstone from your research opens a portal to Chult.

Thanks, and best regards,





Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5319 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2020 :  18:24:46  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Great Oak has a portal to chult in its roots according to the wiki which I presume takes a steer from icewind dale 2. The Great Oak and the Heartstone Gem are linked somehow but it's not really understood or explained. Together they seem to project the aura of warmth that protects Kuldahar.

Arakhor may be able to create portals themselves as a defence mode. Thus far every Arakhor we have details of involves a portal to somewhere (Grandfather Tree has portals to the abyss in its roots, the Hosttower has excellent summoning capability and portals to a demiplane where the ancient ones reside).

Because it suits my needs I've made the link to Chult at least involve the Heartstone Gem. I'm thinking Arakhor are like huge, intelligent, tree elemental of the most powerful kind. The presence of the heart stone gem in this tree fro so long awakened it and made it powerful and like a pseudo arakhor.

When the heart stone gem is near the tree it remains awake and powerful, when it is moved away the tree loses power and intelligence until it becomes a tree again. The portal to chult was probably at least partly influenced by the gem and its origin. The aura of warmth is likely a power the tree possesses rather than the gem itself but only while the gem is nearby.

As a proto weave anchor the emeralds of merrshaulk project their own miniature weave, so this tree is highly attuned to that proto weave, like the netherese that got innate magic powers from being born near mythallar for centuries, or like people from ravens bluff getting innate magic powers because of the presence of the annasherion.

Most of the above is all my own musing however so feel free to ignore it, I'm just making links with obscure and explained lore to try and make sense of very lore broken computer games.

Not quite figured out what to do with that valley of shadows or the cultists of myrkul or the forgotten god yet.

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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1764 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2020 :  19:12:06  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Dallison,

Thanks for the clarification. That makes sense.

I really like the idea of connecting Chult with that Arakhor. In fact, that does add in some value to the notion of that Plesiosaur being up there if that portal is there to Chult.

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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