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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2011 :  19:27:59  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

His intent with this ritual was to basically become a god and destroy/reformat the entire world in his own arrogant and ambiguously "improved" image ... but the sudden arrival of 4E beat him to it.



Wasn't that the basic plot device in going from 2E to 3E in Vecna Lives?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2011 :  19:41:31  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting to note that there was a dread ring near Neverwinter. How close was the focal point of Myrkul from the Night of Myrkul's Eye to Neverwinter? Any chance it was near and it could be written up that he was trying to do a basic steal of Myrkul's leftover divinity, thus gaining enough of a leg that maybe he could steal Velsharoon's power? Was Velsharoon gone at that point yet or no? No timetable in front of me, so just wondering.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2011 :  05:21:08  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Yes, Velsharoon was long gone at that point. He died in 1425 DR.

Every beginning has an end.
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Firestorm
Senior Scribe

Canada
826 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2011 :  21:13:42  Show Profile Send Firestorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Arik

Who said his ritual failed?



The zulkirs and Aoth and Co. destroyed one of the Dread Rings. But Tam's diadem and staff should have rectified the loss. Malark used them as he tried to cast the Unmaking in a worldlet, a Chaos realm, that Tam created. However, Aoth, Barreris, and Mirror managed to kill the trecherous spy, and Barreris cast a spell that shattered both the diadem and the staff.

Here's what Tam said after Malark's death in Unholy:

quote:

"The Unmaking will never happen now," Szass Tam said. Aoth risked a glance skyward and saw that, in fact, the churn­ing vileness was gone. "We're all tired, in some cases wounded, our magic largely exhausted. And perhaps we've had our fill of revenge, killing the man who, at one time or another, betrayed each and every one of us. So I propose we go our separate ways. I promise you and your legions safe passage out of Thay."




The Diadem and Scepter would not have rectified the loss of the dread ring. They were merely tools which allowed him to control the pocket universe he created. Had he picked those up, he probably could have wiped the Zulkirs/Aoth/Bareris out much quicker. Bareris broke them to prevent him from gaining them, and that power, but Tam still managed to wipe the floor with them lol
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2011 :  11:59:42  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Firestorm

The Diadem and Scepter would not have rectified the loss of the dread ring. They were merely tools which allowed him to control the pocket universe he created.



The crystal staff (originally owned by Yaphyll) was not just for controlling the worldlet. Tam used it to create a nine-dimensional map that allowed him to see the connection of the Dread Rings, and like a surgeon, he painstakingly severed the tie of the damaged ring from the rest. And since the number of Dread Rings he erected were more than what's prescribed in Fastrin's book, they still worked despite the loss of one. So while the staff wouldn't have rectified the lost DR by itself, it was nonetheless instrumental for Szass Tam to see the pattern by which the DR's were laid and formulate an alternative.

Here are the details (which also show how mad and clever Szass Tam is) from Chapter Nine, pages 171-174 of Unholy:

quote:

Attuned as he was to the gigantic instrument he'd created, he'd felt it when one of the Dread Rings broke. Now that he was on the roof, at the very hub and linchpin of the dark circle, he could tell with certainty that, as he'd guessed, it was the fortress in Lapendrar that had surrendered its essential nature. Impossible as it seemed, his enemies must have prevailed against Malark, Tsagoth, and all the castle's other defenders. Now the symbol Szass Tam had defined on the face of Thay was warping, collaps­ing like a spiderweb with a critical anchoring strand severed.

The terrible irony was that Szass Tam had elaborated on the pattern in Fastrin's book and had built more Dread Rings than its ancient author suggested. He'd judged that in an endeavor like the Unmaking, one couldn't have too much power. But now, the loss of one perhaps unnecessary castle threatened to render all the others useless.
At first, no matter how he strained, he couldn't think of a thing in the world to do about it. Finally he closed his eyes. Centered himself and fought for calm. He was Szass Tam, and he didn't panic. He wouldn't panic now.

When he felt ready, he considered the problem anew with all the cold objectivity he could muster. And saw something he hadn't realized before.

The sigil the Dread Rings defined could never exist again—not in the conventional, three-dimensional world. But there were many more dimensions than that, even if people couldn't ordinar­ily perceive them. Were it otherwise, the mortal plane and all the higher and lower worlds wouldn't be able to coexist.

He dropped his staff to clatter on the roof and summoned a different one, fashioned of clear crystal, into his hand. Once, it had belonged to Yaphyll, the greatest seer he'd ever known; he'd found it sealed in a secret vault in the Tower of Vision after the zulkirs had abandoned Bezantur. It was the best tool he possessed for what he had in mind, which was no guarantee that it was powerful enough.

He brandished the glittering staff and recited words of power, and an image of the realm's plains, plateaus, and mountains, the rivers, lakes, and seashore appeared floating in the air before him. Black dots designated the Dread Rings and the Citadel.

He spoke again, and the map shifted, although no one else would have seen it alter. That was because Szass Tam now viewed it in four dimensions, in a manner foreign to normal human perception.

And the experience was all but intolerable, like looking directly at the sun. As a necromancer, Szass Tam was used to contemplat­ing the bizarre, the hideous, and the paradoxical, but even so, this view spiked pain through his eyes and deep into his head.

He forced himself to keep peering anyway, until he had the information to make his calculations. Which revealed that four dimensions were not enough.

So he called for five and let out an involuntary groan. Five were much worse than four, exponentially worse, perhaps. And five weren't sufficient, either.

So it was on to six, and then seven. Whimpering, shudder­ing, and jerking uncontrollably, he wondered if the mere act of observation could kill a man, even if the fellow was already dead. Given what he was suffering, he suspected it could, but even so, he refused to relent. He'd always known he was risking his exis­tence by undertaking the Great Work, and if he perished now, so be it.

Eight dimensions. Then nine. And nine were enough. When he took the proper two-dimensional cross section of that curved and infinitely complex space, the surviving Dread Rings and his present location fell into the proper positions relative to one another.

He raised all his personal power and likewise tapped the reservoirs of mystic energy that were the Rings themselves. He wielded the magic like a scalpel, first cutting the tainted bonds that linked the healthy Rings to the ruined one. Then he destroyed the remaining ties.
The Dread Rings immediately threatened to fall out of har­mony, to lose their fundamental relationship with one another. Szass Tam locked them in temporary correspondence through sheer force of will. Next, using his power as if it were an etcher's diamond-tipped stylus, he inscribed new paths between them, connections that ran through nine dimensions and the empty places between the worlds.

Every beginning has an end.
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3750 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2011 :  01:17:38  Show Profile Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do know that it was very heavily implied in Gauntlegrym that he had created that one, since he sent that lackey woman (forgot her name, though I wish I could forget other things in that book as easily...) to ensure that Jarlaxle and Drizzt and co. could not put the primordial back down.

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2011 :  01:56:36  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

So in Gauntlgrym Szass Tam used a primordial as sacrifice to power a Dread Ring, (in the same way Vhostym used a deva to activate his Weave Tap)?

Every beginning has an end.
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Heartless_Hidetsugu
Acolyte

1 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2011 :  02:23:18  Show Profile Send Heartless_Hidetsugu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had the idea that Tam's goal was using the primordial in a way akin to the way the dwarves used it to fuel the forges of Gauntlgrym. I don't recall any mention of a way to sacrifice the primordial.

Since this is a thread on Dread Rings, I have something of a derp question. If I recall the plan in Unholy correctly, the Rings were a means of killing the gods. In Undead Tam was forced to bargain with Bane. My question is: Could Tam possibly direct the Rings only at those gods who may interfere with his goals, such as Bane or any others?
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2011 :  02:37:08  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Heartless_Hidetsugu

Since this is a thread on Dread Rings, I have something of a derp question. If I recall the plan in Unholy correctly, the Rings were a means of killing the gods. In Undead Tam was forced to bargain with Bane. My question is: Could Tam possibly direct the Rings only at those gods who may interfere with his goals, such as Bane or any others?



All the gods would most likely interfere except Shar. It was never mentioned that he Ritual was also meant to destroy the gods, just the world. As to the possibility, I say no. Weakening the gods temporarily, yes. But killing them all except Ao and Shar (and maybe a handful others)? No, that would be too much. And I think it would require more than Fastrin's Ritual to eliminate the gods. Even the High Ritual of some mortals managed to kill only one deity. Granted they're not as powerful as Szass Tam, but still...

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Ayunken-vanzan
Senior Scribe

Germany
657 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2011 :  15:45:33  Show Profile  Visit Ayunken-vanzan's Homepage Send Ayunken-vanzan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

All the gods would most likely interfere except Shar. It was never mentioned that he Ritual was also meant to destroy the gods, just the world. [...]



This, good sir, is not correct at all. As I mentioned earlier, many scribes here in this hall think of Tam's plans in terms much too tame.
As the most esteemed R. L. Byers wrote:

quote:
[Bareris:] "The original book contains instructions for destroying everything. All life. The land, sea, and sky. The gods themselves." (Unholy, p. 29)

"What mattered our lives now? When our world had been torn from us? Folk wept, or drank, or stood staring out over the land, wondering what new horror each dawn would bring."
Elender Stormfall of Suzail

"Anyone can kill deities, cause plagues, or destroy organizations. It takes real skill to make them live on."
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2011 :  16:10:56  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayunken-vanzan

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

All the gods would most likely interfere except Shar. It was never mentioned that he Ritual was also meant to destroy the gods, just the world. [...]



This, good sir, is not correct at all. As I mentioned earlier, many scribes here in this hall think of Tam's plans in terms much too tame.
As the most esteemed R. L. Byers wrote:

quote:
[Bareris:] "The original book contains instructions for destroying everything. All life. The land, sea, and sky. The gods themselves." (Unholy, p. 29)




It was Bareris who said it, or to be more accurate, it was Fastrin who first said it. Never did Szass Tam mention it. What Szass Tam himself said is that he would destroy the world and remake it according to his liking. He had already made some revisions of Fastrin's notes, like the number of Dread Rings he needed, that it's possible that such part of the Ritual's intended purpose he also modified. If he'd perform the Ritual with a manifest goal of destroying all the gods, even Bane would renege on his promise---Bane would no doubt take him instead of giving him five centuries more.

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Ayunken-vanzan
Senior Scribe

Germany
657 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2011 :  16:44:15  Show Profile  Visit Ayunken-vanzan's Homepage Send Ayunken-vanzan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis
It was Bareris who said it, or to be more accurate, it was Fastrin who first said it. Never did Szass Tam mention it. What Szass Tam himself said is that he would destroy the world and remake it according to his liking. He had already made some revisions of Fastrin's notes, like the number of Dread Rings he needed, that it's possible that such part of the Ritual's intended purpose he also modified. If he'd perform the Ritual with a manifest goal of destroying all the gods, even Bane would renege on his promise---Bane would no doubt take him instead of giving him five centuries more.



Ah, but it doesn't matter who said or wrote anything. The ritual itself was meant to destroy everything, even the gods themselves. If it were realy able to do that is another question, even the zulkirs doubted that but conceded it would be bad enough. And they admitted even if it would work the way intended, the gods could not be trust be wise enough to intervene (p. 48-49).

So, did Szass Tam think it would even destroy the gods? I think, yes, given the talk he had with Malark and later Aoth. If the ritual would only destroy the world without the gods, it would leave Szass Tam floating in the primal chaos with a bunch of very angry gods at hand he would have had to deal with. Nothing indicated that. After the destruction Tam would build a new world after his liking -uncontested by any other being.

And Bane? Either he did not knew what Szass Tam really intended to do, or he did not care. As other scribes in the halls pointed out, Bane did not acted very wise or proper to his state in Unholy.

Edit: And why did Szass Tam so willingly agreed to become a servant of Bane 1000 years later? Because in case of success by concluding the ritual it wouldn't matter at all -there would be none left to claim the service anymore.

In conclusion: The dread rings were build to be used in a ritual intended to destroy everything, the world and the gods including Ao, in a catastrophe making the spellplague look like -as we say in Germany- a children's birthday party. If that was possible is another question and quite unclear, but we should not make the mistake to underestimate Tam's plans.

"What mattered our lives now? When our world had been torn from us? Folk wept, or drank, or stood staring out over the land, wondering what new horror each dawn would bring."
Elender Stormfall of Suzail

"Anyone can kill deities, cause plagues, or destroy organizations. It takes real skill to make them live on."
Varl

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Edited by - Ayunken-vanzan on 19 Aug 2011 17:03:49
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2011 :  17:01:23  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayunken-vanzan

Ah, but it doesn't matter who said or wrote anything. The ritual itself was meant to destroy everything, even the gods themselves. If it were realy able to do that is another question, even the zulkirs doubted that but conceded it would be bad enough. And they admitted even if it would work the way intended, the gods could not be trust be wise enough to intervene (p. 48-49).



Of course it matters. As I noted, Szass Tam didn't exactly follow Fastrin's notes. He made more Dread Rings than what's indicated in the long deceased mad wizard's notes. Others thought he followed the notes to the dot. So what others thought and said didn't mean it's what Szass Tam intended to do.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayunken-vanzan

So, did Szass Tam think it would even destroy the gods? I think, yes, given the talk he had with Malark and later Aoth.




I don't think so. Unless I read a page where he explicitly said it himself. The gods are not part of the things he plans to destroy. Besides, where in the multiverse would he get enough magical energy or power to kill Ao?

Every beginning has an end.

Edited by - Dennis on 19 Aug 2011 17:11:54
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Ayunken-vanzan
Senior Scribe

Germany
657 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2011 :  17:15:24  Show Profile  Visit Ayunken-vanzan's Homepage Send Ayunken-vanzan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You failed to address my arguments. Szass speaking of destroying the world is another way of saying "to destroy everything without execption".

But there is no need to battle over the issue. The ritual, as it is clearly stated, is designed to destroy everything, including the gods. There can be no doubt. If it is able to do so exactly is another question which even the books do not answer.

"What mattered our lives now? When our world had been torn from us? Folk wept, or drank, or stood staring out over the land, wondering what new horror each dawn would bring."
Elender Stormfall of Suzail

"Anyone can kill deities, cause plagues, or destroy organizations. It takes real skill to make them live on."
Varl

FR/D&D-Links 2ed Downloads
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Suru
Acolyte

7 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2011 :  22:34:39  Show Profile Send Suru a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What bothers me is Thay is pretty much on the other side of the continent compared to the sword coast. The dread ring in Neverwinter also makes no sense because Thay has bad relations with the Shadovar, which is basically between Thay and Neverwinter. Its very existance portrays that Thay is now a global empire, which isn't supported by any novel or campaign guide that I've seen set after the spell plague. Also geographically speaking its very close and would pose a threat to Waterdeep and Silverymoon, both of which are ignoring it. Its especially close to Waterdeep as its described as being south of Neverwinter, and the Mountains are to the North. (So its most likely a few days travel South East of Neverwinter).
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2011 :  06:32:05  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Suru

What bothers me is Thay is pretty much on the other side of the continent compared to the sword coast. The dread ring in Neverwinter also makes no sense because Thay has bad relations with the Shadovar, which is basically between Thay and Neverwinter. Its very existance portrays that Thay is now a global empire, which isn't supported by any novel or campaign guide that I've seen set after the spell plague. Also geographically speaking its very close and would pose a threat to Waterdeep and Silverymoon, both of which are ignoring it. Its especially close to Waterdeep as its described as being south of Neverwinter, and the Mountains are to the North. (So its most likely a few days travel South East of Neverwinter).



I asked Ed about that a couple of months ago, and, as expected, it's NDA. Maybe the rest of the world just don't believe his Ritual would work.

Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2011 :  06:34:02  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayunken-vanzan

Szass speaking of destroying the world is another way of saying "to destroy everything without execption".


You're entitled to your own opinion, of course. It's simply not what I believe his words meant.

Every beginning has an end.

Edited by - Dennis on 20 Aug 2011 06:35:15
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36784 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2011 :  14:34:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've not read the books, but given the limited data I have, I have to agree with Ayunken-vanzan. Even if destroying the gods was not Szassy's goal, destroying the planet would have accomplished it. Because all of the gods would have then been without their followers, and without followers, they have no power. It would not have been immediate, but that would have been the end result.

Actually... Again, given the limited data I have, I can see Shar supporting Szassy's goal, at least in part. She wants to destroy everything, so encouraging Szassy to destroy the world would be a big step in that direction. Of course, she then would have had to stop him from remaking it, but that shouldn't be too difficult for a greater power.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 20 Aug 2011 14:35:20
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2011 :  14:58:27  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

When you put it that way, then it's possible Szass means to destroy the gods. What I referred to in my previous posts is that the Ritual would not destroy the world and the gods immediately at the same time, like a bunch of nukes obliterating everything. And let us not forget Ao, the only deity who doesn't need worshipers and thus could endure even if the entire multiverse is annihilated.

Every beginning has an end.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 20 Aug 2011 :  15:03:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know whether or not he meant to, but it certainly would have been a side-effect.

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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2011 :  15:15:05  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I don't know whether or not he meant to, but it certainly would have been a side-effect.


I might as well ask Richard...Who else knows better?!

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2011 :  15:54:09  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've not read the books, but given the limited data I have, I have to agree with Ayunken-vanzan. Even if destroying the gods was not Szassy's goal, destroying the planet would have accomplished it. Because all of the gods would have then been without their followers, and without followers, they have no power. It would not have been immediate, but that would have been the end result.
I'd be very careful with that assumption... especially given what Ed has said about gods and their followers before.

Besides, Toril isn't the only world to hold worshippers of Realms gods. Followers elsewhere in Realmspace and beyond would likely maintain some level of faith-power for the gods.

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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 20 Aug 2011 :  22:27:11  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Your observation suggests a frightening corollary, Sage. Toril isn't the only world to hold worshippers of Realms gods ... so it's also not the only world where Shar and Mask and Bane have (or had) divine power, it's also not likely to be the only world where Dread Rings exist. Engineering a complete reformat of the cosmos might be much more economical/simple (perhaps only possible at all) when installing/activating a distributed network of Dread Rings across multiple worlds. On a side note, part of this cosmic engineering project might involve the careful manipulation of localized pawns/agents, individuals like Szass Tam, motivating them with whatever mixture of fact and misinformation is required to get the job done and destroy the cosmos on schedule.

...

So a number of Dread Rings circumscribe a perimeter around Thay. But then a single Dread Ring is erected near Neverwinter. Magic is expected to defy rational explanations, so there's no requirement at all for this anomaly to fit the balance or aesthetic used in the rest of the model. If you assume some geometric/geographic symmetry then perhaps look beyond the borders of Faerûn to find the likely locations of other Dread Rings which complete the pattern - there might be any number of such rings, some located underwater, some located in overlapping border dimensions. There might be all sorts of mystical properties such as background magic levels, presence of unmined mithril ores, available Bane worshippers, latent magical capacity of local population, lack of contamination by dragons, presence of extra contamination by liches, whatever ... Szass Tam might have even picked Neverwinter exactly because it's entirely random and unassociated with his usual basis operandi in Thay. Besides, no in-setting rationale beyond "Szass is an insane megalomaniac" really needs to provide anything to maintain consistency at this point: he could have as likely become fixated on Neverwinter from a momentary whim as from decades of exhaustive magical analysis and preparation.

Of course there's really only one way to tell whether the Dread Ring ritual will do anything notable let alone whether it will succeed, and most people prefer to not perform the experiment. I wonder if Szass's Dread Ring ritual is related to apocalyptic events prophesized by other pantheons, such as the Norse Ragnarok (from which Tyr and Heimdall Helm in the Realms emerged).

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 20 Aug 2011 22:38:29
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 21 Aug 2011 :  04:36:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've not read the books, but given the limited data I have, I have to agree with Ayunken-vanzan. Even if destroying the gods was not Szassy's goal, destroying the planet would have accomplished it. Because all of the gods would have then been without their followers, and without followers, they have no power. It would not have been immediate, but that would have been the end result.
I'd be very careful with that assumption... especially given what Ed has said about gods and their followers before.

Besides, Toril isn't the only world to hold worshippers of Realms gods. Followers elsewhere in Realmspace and beyond would likely maintain some level of faith-power for the gods.




It's not the only world, no, but it's certainly where the bulk of the worship comes from for the bulk of the deities of the Realms.

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High

Australia
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Posted - 21 Aug 2011 :  05:04:59  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

It's not the only world, no, but it's certainly where the bulk of the worship comes from for the bulk of the deities of the Realms.

Aye.

I also recall a bit in the old RAVENLOFT material that essentially suggested that Bane still lived [even after his death in Realmspace during the Time of Troubles] because he had significant worshippers in the Dread Domains.

Nowadays, with the separation of the settings/cosmologies, such explanations aren't as certain.

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Dennis
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Posted - 21 Aug 2011 :  06:43:59  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

In Gauntlgrym, was it mentioned where else were the other Dread Rings erected? Or did Szass Tam intend to raise all of them around Neverwinter? How big is Neverwinter anyway? As I understand, the Dread Rings' location from each other have to be geographically precise. Given that its original location was Thay, which is a huge country, I would assume the new location would have to be as big at the very least, if not bigger. Also, is the plot of the Neverwinter series dictated by WotC to RAS, or was he given freedom to play with it, especially the use of the Dread Rings? If I recall it right, RLB didn't know that his Dread Rings were used in RAS's novels until some scribes asked him about it.

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Edited by - Dennis on 21 Aug 2011 07:31:30
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Brimstone
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Posted - 21 Aug 2011 :  07:21:14  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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Alystra Illianniis
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Posted - 22 Aug 2011 :  23:40:42  Show Profile Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


So in Gauntlgrym Szass Tam used a primordial as sacrifice to power a Dread Ring, (in the same way Vhostym used a deva to activate his Weave Tap)?



Not as a sacrifice, more like an engine. His Dread Ring actually woke it up and freed it from its prison, so it would have simply run rampant through the Realms after escaping the forge, had it done so. Since it was only partially awakened, it never left, and they were able to re-imprison it. Which is not to say that it could not still get loose, given the nature of the prison....

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BEAST
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Posted - 23 Aug 2011 :  22:55:28  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I get the chance, I'll post a bunch of relevant references from Gauntlgrym on the Neverwinter Dread Ring, chronology, and Szass Tam's apparent rationale.

Short Version (sans quotes):

CHRONOLOGY:

Gaunt. says that Sylora Salm and another began prep'ing land in Thay for a Dread Ring in 1448 DR.

That particular site was called "the newest Dread Ring" in 1451 DR.

This seems to imply that multiple Thayan Dread Rings are supposed to have existed by 1451 DR.

Sylora Salm ensures that Mount Hotenow erupts in 1452 DR, destroying Neverwinter.

In 1462 DR, we're told that the Neverwinter Wood Dread Ring has only recently begun to take shape and release undead monsters in large numbers into the area.

So in both of the cases mentioned, there seems to be a delay between the lieutenants' preceding carnage and the subsequent actual formation of the Dread Ring--~3 years in Thay, and ~10 years in the Neverwinter Wood.


AUTHORSHIP OF THE NEVERWINTER WOOD DREAD RING:

There is talk of the Neverwinter Dread Ring being credited to Sylora Salm, a lieutenant of Szass Tam's, since she was instrumental in implementing the volcanic eruption.

But because of all the Thayan courtly intrigue mentioned in the novel, it's possible that this is just the result of petty, personal credit-claiming and blame-laying, rather than actual truth.

And if you consider the chronological delay between carnage and Dread Ring-formation that I cited above, it's possible that Szass Tam himself is the one who actually, belatedly initiated the Dread Rings in both cases, rather than his lieutenants.

What does he care who gets/takes credit, as long as it gets done in the end?


RATIONALE FOR THE NEVERWINTER WOOD DREAD RING:

The novel indicates that Szass Tam: 1) hates the Netherese agents working along the Sword Coast North, 2) wants to gain a hold on the Sword Coast North himself, and 3) wants general carnage and "the end of the world". The archlich and his lieutenants seem to be all over the place when it comes to their intentions for the Neverwinter Dread Ring.

It's possible that Szass Tam merely used the idea of hatred for the Netherese agents simply as a ploy to get lieutenants like Dahlia Sin'felle--who was raped by Shadovar as a child when they pillaged her elven village in the Neverwinter Wood--off their butts in Thay and into the Neverwinter area.

Not all that many people or Shadovar are actually killed by the volcanic eruption, and yet, Szass Tam patiently waits for a decade for the Dread Ring to take shape, just the same. Sylora Salm takes this as personal favor from her patron. But it could be that the real answer is that Szass Tam was thinking big-picture, rather than worrying about the low initial body count.

There are several passages in the book where the volcanic eruption is referred to as "the end of the world". On its surface, this sounds hyperbolic, as the eruption was only a localized, acute act of destruction, and it doesn't even result in that many dead. But it could actually be a bit of foreshadowing or in-story hint of a different, truer goal for the Dread Ring beyond the more-clearly stated one of merely giving the lich a foothold along the Sword Coast North.

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
--Drizzt Do'Urden (The Pirate King, Part 1: Chapter 2)

<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">

Edited by - BEAST on 23 Aug 2011 22:56:17
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Dennis
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Posted - 24 Aug 2011 :  07:06:28  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Hmm. So it wasn't mentioned whether Szass Tam intended to erect more Dread Rings in Neverwinter? This would lead to another possibility: maybe the Dread Ring in Neverwinter was just a diversion; maybe the real Dread Rings are somewhere else...

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