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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1965 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  04:13:15  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
In the Erevis Cale trilogy, Drasek Riven uses Black Speech. Apparently a gift from Mask, he uses it to cause pain and nausea in his enemies. Are there any other uses for this? Mechanically speaking, where can I find more information? Is the Black Speech different than Abyssal? I looked in the BoVD, but couldn't find reference there.

edit: A more thorough search of the BoVD did reveal a little lore, but I thirst for more. Sorry for the confusion.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out


Edited by - Fellfire on 27 Mar 2011 04:24:56

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7968 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  05:17:51  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is the similarly vile Black Speech of Mordor, of course, so foul and unholy that studying the language led to the corruption of Saruman the White, turning him into the bad guy we all love from the movies. But that's Tolkien, not D&D. (It's also a gross oversimplification, as Tolkien fanatics are likely to point out, yet it's not untrue.)

I don't know anything about black speech in D&D settings, I'd even forgotten about it until reading your post, Fellfire. It might be one of the lower planar tongues. It might be a primordial/divine language of "uncreation" and great power, perhaps known only to evil powers, perhaps known only to Shar and her proxies.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 27 Mar 2011 05:24:08
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4211 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  06:02:53  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To find out more...perhaps try the Book of Vile Darkness. It has a Mature Rating however; and as I don't know the ages of people here, I would advise against anyone not an adult actually reading the book.

Not sure if it is Black Speech or Dark Speech (haven't pulled that book out in a while); but it is a required ingredient in some Evil descriptor spells as well as having some powers all of its own.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3286 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  06:36:05  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ask Paul.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7968 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  07:03:01  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good advice, Brimstone. Done.

[/Ayrik]
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1965 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  07:46:54  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Arik. That was my next step, I thought I'd see what my fellow Scribes may've known.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7968 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  07:55:56  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, you reminded me that I was curious about the Black Speech. I recall briefly noting it as something interesting, then dismissing it as probably being some D&D tidbit from unfamiliar (newer) lorebooks. Apparently I'm not the only one who wondered what it is, where it came from, and what it does.

Drasek always struck me as being the "darkest shade" on Mask's Chosen palette, the least constrained by moral consequence, the most likely to betray Mask or backstab his way through the ranks. Mastery (and practical application) of Sauron's Black Tongue of Mordor doesn't seem entirely out of character for him.

Mask is also a complex being, his darkest aspects are truly evil indeed. I'd suspect that giving his servant Black Speech would be intended to serve some dark purpose, even if only to more tightly bind Drasek's loyalty in some future novel.

Nothing is ever simple when dealing with the Shadowlord ... does he still hold the portfolios of intrigue and deception?

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 27 Mar 2011 08:11:17
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Elfinblade
Senior Scribe

Norway
377 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  08:28:34  Show Profile Send Elfinblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Nothing is ever simple when dealing with the Shadowlord ... does he still hold the portfolios of intrigue and deception?


Did you read the Twilight War books? I would not give away spoilers without your consent Arik.
As far as i know, Mask lost the portfolios of intrigue and deception to Cyric some time after the Time of Troubles. Not entirely sure where i read that, could have been Prince of Lies or Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7968 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  08:53:03  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elfinblade —

Yes, I've read the Avatar series (including Prince of Lies and Crucible), the Erevis Cale trilogy, and the Twilight War trilogy ... plus The Ruins of Zhentil Keep, the article in Dragon #277 and (most of) the Sembia: Gateway to the Realms series. I followed Erevis' career quite avidly, though my shade-worship has toned down in recent years. Worry ye not about spoiling me, though such concern is appreciated and also serves other scribes who may yet prefer to remain unspoiled.

I know that Mask lost some of his power (and portfolio of intrigue) to Cyric. But since Cyric has turned into a buffoon god of insanity, delusion, lies, and deception and gone through some (well-deserved) hard times I wonder what "officially" happened to divine intrigue? It almost seems to me that the portfolio was reassumed by Mask, because no matter what his official credentials might say he most certainly seems to still behave like a god of intrigue in later novels. The scope of his powers and interests seems to include far more than mere skulking thievery; he makes good use of secrecy, disguises, illusion, deception, treachery, assassins, lies, and ambition. He's also delightfully conversational and even seems a little fatherly and forgiving. Plus of course he apparently hates and fears (and covets) Shar's power. Finally, he has the uncharacteristic ability (among the older powers of the Faerūnian pantheon, anyways) to "think like a mortal" and see beyond his portfolio blinders. Or is it that he simply has "hidden" portfolios?

I'm still a little unclear about godsbane, my understanding is that the blade is one of Mask's avatars. In fact, it was something of the embodiment of the intrigue which Mask divested. Who has it now? Has Mask reclaimed it, and if so, has some portion of his power been "touched" by Cyric's madness?

In any event, Mask (as written in recent novels) seems quite versatile and complex; no simple god of thieves and shadows; the ultimate purpose of his boons (including the gift/curse of Black Speech) are likely never as plain as they may seem.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 27 Mar 2011 09:09:41
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Elfinblade
Senior Scribe

Norway
377 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  09:56:59  Show Profile Send Elfinblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik


I know that Mask lost some of his power (and portfolio of intrigue) to Cyric. But since Cyric has turned into a buffoon god of insanity, delusion, lies, and deception and gone through some (well-deserved) hard times I wonder what "officially" happened to divine intrigue? It almost seems to me that the portfolio was reassumed by Mask, because no matter what his official credentials might say he most certainly seems to still behave like a god of intrigue in later novels.



Indeed. In fact, in my own homegrown realms campaign, Mask is very much the holder of these two portfolios. And i would like to think of him as a too smart meddler to simply have lost these coveted portfolios to Cyric. From what i've read about Mask in the novels, especially the wonderfully depicted Mask in the Kemp books, i can only assume and hope for a plot within a plot within a plot regarding Mask and the intrigue portfolio.



quote:
He's also delightfully conversational and even seems a little fatherly and forgiving. Plus of course he apparently hates and fears (and covets) Shar's power. Finally, he has the uncharacteristic ability (among the older powers of the Faerūnian pantheon, anyways) to "think like a mortal" and see beyond his portfolio blinders.



Perhaps some remnants of his mortal self still has some root in his being? Being made diving surely would strip away most of it, but there is a small part of me hoping some of what i`ve read has been parts of his old self, idiosyncrasies and worts and all, shining through. (i was about to say that it would make for a more believable god, then i realized the irony).


quote:
Or is it that he simply has "hidden" portfolios?


Hidden portfolios would be just how i envision Mask the deity. Scheming, plotting, moving pieces around the board, and not just, as you said, skulking tievery and picking the pockets of the other deities.

quote:
I'm still a little unclear about godsbane, my understanding is that the blade is one of Mask's avatars. In fact, it was something of the embodiment of the intrigue which Mask divested. Who has it now? Has Mask reclaimed it, and if so, has some portion of his power been "touched" by Cyric's madness?


Very interesting thoughts Arik. The notion that he has in fact been infested with parts of Cyric's madness is.. unnerving. I would also really like to know who has Godsbane now. Something for Ed?

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7968 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  10:07:28  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll wait a day or three before asking Ed. Godsbane has been much discussed by Candlekeep's scribes in the past so somebody is bound to enlighten us. Alas, Sage's gremlins have been feasting upon my missives to the search genie and are causing havoc with my google scrying orb, otherwise I'd pour through the scrolls myself. Perhaps this is Mask's doing? Is he also the god of suspense?

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 27 Mar 2011 10:08:42
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36779 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  14:38:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

Perhaps this is Mask's doing? Is he also the god of suspense?



I'll tell you later if he is or not.

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Firestorm
Senior Scribe

Canada
826 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  15:19:37  Show Profile Send Firestorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Drasek Riven seemed to me to be either a Dark paladin of Mask, or divine champion of Mask.

The Black speech to me was reminicient of a goodly paladin's ability to shout justice and empower allies with his words, but to the opposite effect.

Riven certainly had the "lay on hands" abiltity, which allowed him to heal himself and those he wished healed(only, using shadows)

And he was able to use smites and fuel is blows with divine power.
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Shemmy
Senior Scribe

USA
492 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  18:37:33  Show Profile  Visit Shemmy's Homepage Send Shemmy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Given the description in the BoVD regarding the language, I've always assumed that it was related to the first, pre-mortal and pre-divine fiendish tongue. A garbled, watered down version of some sort of proto-yugoloth or baernaloth language, insomuch as mortals could speak or understand it without exploding their brains in the process. The sort of language that makes a typical fiend bleed from the ears just listening to because of the power inherent in even that diminished version of the tongue, and that hearing it brings about subconscious echoes of the original creatures that spoke it and created the other fiendish races.

4e however retcons a ton of planar history and basic concepts, so the original context of the language from the BoVD and speculation on its nature thereof probably doesn't apply to a 4e game without some equally harsh ret-retconning.

Shemeska the Marauder, King of the Crosstrade; voted #1 best Arcanaloth in Sigil two hundred years running by the people who know what's best for them; chant broker; prospective Sigil council member next election; and official travel agent for Chamada Holiday specials LLC.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7968 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  19:05:58  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An entire language made of unholy power words?

[/Ayrik]
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1965 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  19:14:24  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
4e lore doesn't hold much interest for me. I guess than all there is to be found is in The Book of VD? I wonder about a connection between Black Speech and Truename magic from the ToM.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out


Edited by - Fellfire on 27 Mar 2011 19:15:07
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4211 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  19:20:29  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

An entire language made of unholy power words?



In a manner of speaking...yes.

However, as Shemmy noted, it is somewhat watered down. It is used in working some particularly nasty spells. It does have its own ability as well.

I won't quote it from the BoVD (as I think I'm not allowed); but I would encourage anyone that wants to make a TRULY Evil badguy to use the BoVD to do so.

This book doesn't just create someone with an Evil alignment, it creates a badguy that will have your players wondering if you need some psychological help...

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7968 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2011 :  19:23:48  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmphf. I don't need any NPCs for that. My players are already convinced I need psychological help.

[/Ayrik]
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