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Demzer
Senior Scribe

849 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2013 :  19:57:23  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Well met, fellow scribes.

I bring today to you my musings on one of the characters most misunderstood in the entire history of our precious Faerun: The Archwizard Karsus.

To understand the following you need to, first and foremost, cleanse your mind of the spiteful mystran propaganda. Once you have done so, you can start to judge objectively my musings.

The Dire Situation of Netheril:
The entirety of Netheril (both the enclaves and Low Netheril) was facing imminent destruction at the hands of the phaerimm through their vicious life draining spells.
The people of Low Netheril were suffering the worst and the source of the problem was beyond their means of discovery making the problem itself unsolvable.
The priests and their churchs did absolutely nothing for the land or the people: for all their clamoring against the philosophical and theological positions of the archwizards no faith proved to be truly worthy to step up to the challenge and no deity came to the aid of the suffering population.
The archwizards kept to their floating cities and villas and if they didn't outright ignore the problem their attempts at solving it were uncoordinated and uninspired. The best among them fled to preserve their lives like Iolaum and Lord Shadow or ignored the problem preparing countermeasures to save only themselves like Larloch.
Only Karsus stood against the tide.
Only Karsus tried to save his people.
Only Karsus was ready to sacrifice everything for the Empire.

The Fateful Decision:
With his world falling apart, with his "peers" running for their lives and divided by petty disputes, with the "gods" doing nothing and watching thousands of people slowly go to their doom, Karsus took upon himself the responsibility of trying to save the day. He understood there was magic behind the destruction of the land, magic so strong that he knew he couldn't fight it, not alone, not counting only on his forces. So he came up with a simple yet elegant plan: the gods had the power to do something but since they where just idly standing by, letting catastrophe strike their flocks without blinking an eye, he was going to reach out and take that power from them and put it to good use. Since he was unsure of the effective power of the various beings that claimed to be gods, he decided to go after the one that had the best chances of giving him a weapon to use against the life draining magic, he went after the power of Mysrtyl. When all was ready the Archwizard Karsus, the only hope for his people, the lone hero, cast his spell ...

The Spell:
It worked. The spell was a marvel of Art and perfection and worked exactly how Karsus expected it to. There was only one thing the Archwizard hadn't considered, the selfish reaction of the petty "goddess" of magic. Mysrtyl simply couldn't let go of her power, she was too fond of it that she could not let go and she could not admit that one of those pesky and borderline atheist archwizards succeeded in what she and all the other "gods" thought impossible. So, instead of letting Karsus win the struggle and save his people, she decided that he was "unworthy" of wielding her power and doomed him and all the people of Netheril choosing suicide over powerlessness.

What followed, we all know, but since Karsus failed and the dead don't write history, all we have left is the propaganda of the mystran clergy and the denigration of Karsus' effort by those that fled the struggle and abandoned thousands to die.

The truth is: Karsus was the only one that made a stand to save his people and the entire Empire of Netheril, he didn't escape to save only himself or his enclave, he stood his ground for everyone else and paid the ultimate price.

His "hubris" was in doing everything he could to save his people.
His "folly" was in challenging the petty and selfish "gods" to save his people.
His doom and that of the people of Netheril was in the actions of the "goddess of magic", Mystryl.

If you're truly seekers of knowledge, seekers of truth, reject the false teachings of the mystran propaganda and pay homage to the sacrifice of The Archwizard Karsus of Netheril, the Hero who stood in defiance of the "gods" in a last attempt to save his people.

Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2013 :  20:08:39  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Thereís always two sides of a coin. Some call him an epic fail, while others laud him for his intentions, if not his means. Iím more somewhere in between. I admire, however, his sheer genius, likely superior to any archwizard living or otherwise, human or nonhuman.

Every beginning has an end.
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1834 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2013 :  21:26:50  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good stuff there. I too am a Karsus fan. I'm assuming that this is a spin you are using for your homebrew and that's all well and good. But, Karsus, along with the others who studied the Nether Scrolls were, to some degree, insane (this is canon, per Ed's responses here at Candlekeep).

If this isn't a spin you are using as homebrew and is, in fact, what you believe to be true within the context of the setting, then I have to strongly disagree with your opinion on Mystryl's 'selfish refusal to relinquish' her power. First, it was HER power...not Karsus' and it wasn't his to take. Second, the Weave needs a moderator, something that only a very powerful deity can do...Karsus was doomed to fail in this regard as he didn't have the knowledge necessary to maintain the Weave. Third, Karsus was a 'victim' of his own culture and severely underestimated the god's position in the cosmology of the world. In short, he lacked true wisdom.

Like I said, I am a Karsus fan. He did what he thought best despite the dangers and deserves some credit for that. I also think that the current incarnation of Mystra should rejoin his body/mind/soul and allow him to make amends for the damage caused (something that I think he would be willing to do after 16 centuries of reliving that moment...assuming he isn't patently over-the-top insane at this point). She could test him over time and, eventually, elevate him to godhood as a guardian of the Weave and enforcer of sensible research.

Just my two coppers. Cheers.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36250 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2013 :  23:13:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure you can claim objectivity while casting someone else as a spiteful liar -- especially when contesting an account that wholly contradicts your own.

If this spin is something you're doing for your own campaign, good on you and have fun with it.

If you're trying to convince us that the canon accounts of what happened to Karsus are incorrect, you've got a lot of Realmslore -- including the write-up of Karsus -- that says he was not up to the challenge and even he realized that, albeit too late.

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Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

489 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  05:55:38  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I'm not sure you can claim objectivity while casting someone else as a spiteful liar -- especially when contesting an account that wholly contradicts your own.

If this spin is something you're doing for your own campaign, good on you and have fun with it.

If you're trying to convince us that the canon accounts of what happened to Karsus are incorrect, you've got a lot of Realmslore -- including the write-up of Karsus -- that says he was not up to the challenge and even he realized that, albeit too late.



Sure, he wasn't prepared to handle a massive responsibility like managing the Weave. But what made Mystra so instantly capable of managing the Weave when she ascended? Shouldn't it have crashed while she was still finding her way?
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1834 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  06:20:11  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mystra and Midnight were vessels of power from birth.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

849 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  08:12:48  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Alright, before this all goes up in flames ...

Everyone: this thread was made half seriously and half in jest to show that, as Dennins pointed out, each coin has always two sides.

I took the "Karsus' Case" because in a world were the gods are mysterious, beyond mortal comprehension and understanding an event like this is seen in the light of "powerful mortal trying to bash our oh so precious goddess" completely disregarding any analysis of the facts.

There is only one "historical truth" and it's that made up by saying: "Karsus was a fool, Mystryl had to save us all".

To that, i say: on what facts is this truth based? The answer is it's based on nothing.

The only hard facts are the crisis situation for Netheril, the fact that no one was doing anything meaningful to fight the impending doom and the fact that Karsus cast a spell and after a couple of seconds magic failed and everything came crashing down.

Then we have "history" come in and say that Karsus was doomed to fail because ... ? Because the gods didn't want to share? Because one of the most accomplished archwizard in the history of Faerun that created and successfully cast the most powerful spell ever (elven high magic has always been a cooperative effort and while the results were far greater in some cases each high mage involved put in less personal effort than Karsus in his spell) had less chances at managing the Weave than a farmgirl that was just learning to cast his first spells?

I mean ... most of us want to know what in the Nine Hells was the Dawn Cataclysm and then we hear this explanation about Netheril's fall and take it as gospel?

Anyway, if someone felt offended for weird reasons i apologize.
If someone felt i was trying to rewrite canon i assure you i wasn't trying, i was just pointing out that the story as told has some flaws and its heavily biased against Karsus.

And yes, all the capital letters, Hero, Archwizard and stuff were just to further drive home the point that with propaganda things can be twisted mightily, both for good and for bad.

Edited by - Demzer on 27 Aug 2013 08:26:15
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

849 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  08:25:08  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach
First, it was HER power...not Karsus' and it wasn't his to take.



Uh ... yes, why? She was standing there watching her faithful die, she didn't even try to stop the phaerim and their magic and when Karsus came knocking for a chance at a last gambit she choose to go out with a bang instead of surrendering her power.

quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach
Second, the Weave needs a moderator, something that only a very powerful deity can do...Karsus was doomed to fail in this regard as he didn't have the knowledge necessary to maintain the Weave.



And this is said by whom? Mystryl? She didn't even anticipate the creation of the Karsus Avatar spell nor prevented its casting. So much for divine omniscience ...

quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach
Third, Karsus was a 'victim' of his own culture and severely underestimated the god's position in the cosmology of the world. In short, he lacked true wisdom.



Agreed.
In fact i'm not saying he would have succeeded.
Probably instead on "the Fall" we could have had something like "the Big Blow-Up" with Karsus exploding like a nuclear bomb and Anauroch turning into a magical wasteland.
Maybe he could succeed in dispelling the life drain spells but would have gone insane in a matter of days/months/years.
Maybe he could become a more Azuth-type god of all magic.
We don't know because Mystryl took action.
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

849 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  08:36:36  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I'm not sure you can claim objectivity while casting someone else as a spiteful liar -- especially when contesting an account that wholly contradicts your own.



Yes, i agree, the OP came out a lot more polarized than i first thought but i left it this way on purpose as a sort of provocation.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
If you're trying to convince us that the canon accounts of what happened to Karsus are incorrect, you've got a lot of Realmslore -- including the write-up of Karsus -- that says he was not up to the challenge and even he realized that, albeit too late.



Eh ... that's what Elminster told us through the Most Esteemed Sage of the Greenwood, and Elminster is none other than one of the most powerful servants of Mystra, i don't know we can have a more biased report.
Maybe a phaerimm, but probably they tell the tale saying Karsus was their buddy and the whole Fall thing was their own device.

Anyway, as i said, if this stirs too much trouble i'll cease and desist.

Edited by - Demzer on 27 Aug 2013 08:37:53
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1834 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  09:08:53  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Uh ... yes, why? She was standing there watching her faithful die, she didn't even try to stop the phaerim and their magic and when Karsus came knocking for a chance at a last gambit she choose to go out with a bang instead of surrendering her power.


I'm speculating here but at the time Mystryl was a CN deity who governed not only magic but also knowledge and creativity (among other things). It's likely that she couldn't act against the phaerimm or the working of Karsus' spell because it would be anathema to her portfolio (as in stifling the use and creation of magic, learning of new knowledge and the overwhelming creativity of a brilliant mind).

Per Ed (on more than one occasion), the goddess of magic denies little when it comes to the Art. Why would it have been any different with Mystryl? In fact, it seems it would actually be LESS likely with Mystryl.

quote:
And this is said by whom? Mystryl? She didn't even anticipate the creation of the Karsus Avatar spell nor prevented its casting. So much for divine omniscience ...


Actually, I believe she DID anticipate the spell. As goddess of magic she would have been aware of it and we know that the Terraseer was aware of the inevitable use of the spell (or at least that catastrophe was coming). There is even some evidence that Iolaum was aware that something was about to happen. It IS canon that gods are aware of major events regarding their portfolios prior to their occurrence. Whether or not they can prevent them is another matter.

I will agree that her reasons for not preventing them are somewhat mysterious...it's not as if a god were moving against her (meaning that she just couldn't outsmart said deity before disaster). So why not prevent a mortal from casting a spell to disastrous effect? We can only speculate. I cite my above reasons for that and add to it the idea that maybe she believed it was best for mortals to see what over-reaching oneself in the Art can do. Who knows? The ways of the gods are mysterious and not for we mere mortals to fully comprehend.

quote:
Yes, i agree, the OP came out a lot more polarized than i first thought but i left it this way on purpose as a sort of provocation.


I don't mind a bit of provocation now and then. But I fail to understand the reason for knowingly 'provoking' what has been accepted (and backed up by Ed more than once) canon? Your OP brings many questions up that could be used to great effect in a campaign...I mean just think if such a heresy existed in Mystra's church, especially in the aftermath of the Spellplague. Folks could go around preaching that the goddess isn't what she appears and cares nothing for innocent folk and the abuses of magic...and many would follow them. But doing so just to stir the pot is, well, HERESY!

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

849 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  10:05:49  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach
I don't mind a bit of provocation now and then. But I fail to understand the reason for knowingly 'provoking' what has been accepted (and backed up by Ed more than once) canon?



Because sometimes i'm stuck in my reasoning and need some little external help in understanding better the Realms.
And this seems the perfect place to express my musings and have someone else with a different point of view criticize them, expand them and, mixing things up, help me evolve my ideas.

For example, right now this:

quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach
I'm speculating here but at the time Mystryl was a CN deity who governed not only magic but also knowledge and creativity (among other things). It's likely that she couldn't act against the phaerimm or the working of Karsus' spell because it would be anathema to her portfolio (as in stifling the use and creation of magic, learning of new knowledge and the overwhelming creativity of a brilliant mind).

Per Ed (on more than one occasion), the goddess of magic denies little when it comes to the Art. Why would it have been any different with Mystryl? In fact, it seems it would actually be LESS likely with Mystryl.



Made me realize i was overlooking the huge difference in outlook and philosophy between Mystryl and Mystra(s).

This somewhat reaffirms my feeling that the Netheril debacle was more a failure of Mystryl than a failure of any specific human/phaerimm individual, Karsus included.

This leads me to think the change towards a more scrupolous or more good goddess of magic and the implementation of the Chosens was the divine reaction (Ao? The other greater gods?) to the failure of Mystryl that through her actions and inaction brought doom to the mortals and to Faerun so much that she had to sacrifice herself to patch things.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36250 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  10:59:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Alright, before this all goes up in flames ...

Everyone: this thread was made half seriously and half in jest to show that, as Dennins pointed out, each coin has always two sides.

I took the "Karsus' Case" because in a world were the gods are mysterious, beyond mortal comprehension and understanding an event like this is seen in the light of "powerful mortal trying to bash our oh so precious goddess" completely disregarding any analysis of the facts.


Fair enough. I was just asking because we've had people in the past that most vehemently argued a similar point, and were entirely serious about making the case that Karsus was more capable than Mystryl.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36250 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  11:00:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I'm not sure you can claim objectivity while casting someone else as a spiteful liar -- especially when contesting an account that wholly contradicts your own.



Yes, i agree, the OP came out a lot more polarized than i first thought but i left it this way on purpose as a sort of provocation.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
If you're trying to convince us that the canon accounts of what happened to Karsus are incorrect, you've got a lot of Realmslore -- including the write-up of Karsus -- that says he was not up to the challenge and even he realized that, albeit too late.



Eh ... that's what Elminster told us through the Most Esteemed Sage of the Greenwood, and Elminster is none other than one of the most powerful servants of Mystra, i don't know we can have a more biased report.
Maybe a phaerimm, but probably they tell the tale saying Karsus was their buddy and the whole Fall thing was their own device.

Anyway, as i said, if this stirs too much trouble i'll cease and desist.



Actually, a lot of it comes from the 2E deity books, which were not filtered thru Elminster.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  13:28:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"everyone lies, and gods lie worst of all." - Ed Greenwood.

I've been saying for years that Mystra was the 'tyrant of magic'; we know for a fact there were others methods for doing magic, and yet her church still insisted the Weave was the only avenue open to mortals. Lies... all lies...



As for Karsus, he was like FR's Tesla, and like Tesla, he died alone and broke. Intelligence does not = common sense.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11262 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2013 :  16:37:27  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I prefer an alternative story. It is somewhat supported by realmslore only in that we don't know exactly when Bane ascended, but we do know that it was in the few centuries preceding into 0 DR. I prefer that Bane ascended, and when he did so, a Narfellian mage named Mellifleur was changing into a lich and accidentally tapped into Bane's ascension and became the god of liches. Larloch then moved Jiksidur over to Narfell to try and find out about this ascension and also research Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul's ascensions. Karsus also found about this ascension to godliness, and he used "saving Netheril" as a scapegoat for his own pride. He wanted to prove he was more powerful than Bane, Bhaal, Myrkul, and Mellifleur.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1594 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2013 :  11:55:50  Show Profile Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer
Eh ... that's what Elminster told us through the Most Esteemed Sage of the Greenwood, and Elminster is none other than one of the most powerful servants of Mystra, i don't know we can have a more biased report.

Actually, a lot of it comes from the 2E deity books, which were not filtered thru Elminster.

Not only the Deity books: the Netheril boxed set was not written by Elminster, but was based on Larloch's report to Szas Tam.

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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hashimashadoo
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1131 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2013 :  17:00:33  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Crown of Horns was what caused Netheril to fall, not Karsus. Archwizard Shenandra of Shadowtop Borough had found a way to counter the lifedrain spells of the Phaerimm in -342 DR. However, the Crown corrupted the research of another archwizard in that enclave, Shadelorn, that destroyed Shadowtop and all the magic within it just as Shenandra was about to cast the spell that would have saved the Empire.

When life turns it's back on you...sneak attack for extra damage.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2013 :  17:55:31  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good point...

It also proves that Karsus wasn't nearly as smart as he was full of himself, since someone else DID find a way to fix things without stealing the goddess of magic's power.

Also note that the Imaskari - and Sarrukh before them - both had and handled their own Phaerimm troubles.

Karsus was a dweeb.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3560 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2013 :  18:36:39  Show Profile Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If Karsus was so damn smart..the smartest of all Netherese....how in the nine hells didn't he fugure out what or who was the root cause and address that? That the one question noone has ever answered to my satisfaction and why I rank Karsus behind Larloch when thinking of ranking magical genius from netheril.
Instead he took the lazy route and went for the nuclear/all or nothing option......which while could have solved Netheril's woes for a time....would have really only benefitted himself in the end. So Karsus wasnt even an anti-hero let alone a hero.
.

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3560 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2013 :  18:38:56  Show Profile Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Good point...

It also proves that Karsus wasn't nearly as smart as he was full of himself, since someone else DID find a way to fix things without stealing the goddess of magic's power.

Also note that the Imaskari - and Sarrukh before them - both had and handled their own Phaerimm troubles.

Karsus was a dweeb.



LOL...more than a dweeb, he was a magical prodigy for whom power came to easy. it made him lazy and qucik to use his magical power vs. using effort and thought. I mean wht swat that fly off of your plate when you canhit it and the others in the room with chain lightning? you might need a new home, but the fly's gone right?

Karsus is like

Raistlin without sacrifying for his power....it's a wonder he did not do something much dumber, much sooner.

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963

Edited by - The Red Walker on 28 Aug 2013 18:41:25
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Mirtek
Senior Scribe

595 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2013 :  20:05:41  Show Profile Send Mirtek a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, according to the novels Karsus was a kind of autistic savant. He might dress like the village fool and not even manage to get the buttons of his randomly assorted dress into their correct holes, but he was such an arcane prodigy that everyone had to take him seriously nonetheless. NEoM also supports this by stating "Another facet of Karsusís personality also shined through to anyone who met him: He was stark, raving mad."

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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2013 :  15:25:05  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Whatever his intentions, no one can argue that the results were catastrophic and that he failed to take any preventative measures. I suppose he was too arrogant to consider the fact that he might fail.
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Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

489 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2013 :  21:48:26  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Red Walker

If Karsus was so damn smart..the smartest of all Netherese....how in the nine hells didn't he fugure out what or who was the root cause and address that? That the one question noone has ever answered to my satisfaction and why I rank Karsus behind Larloch when thinking of ranking magical genius from netheril.
Instead he took the lazy route and went for the nuclear/all or nothing option......which while could have solved Netheril's woes for a time....would have really only benefitted himself in the end. So Karsus wasnt even an anti-hero let alone a hero.
.



I actually don't think Karsus did anything stupid. We're never told that Mystryl, or any other god, is actually more intelligent or wiser than Karsus. Mystra, Kelemvor, and Cyric were never portrayed as being more clever than Karsus. In fact, Cyric's an idiot.

But they could handle all this massive power and responsibility as gods, because Ao made them gods. That's literally the only explanation we have for why they can handle godhood, but Karsus couldn't. I've never considered it a good one.
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hashimashadoo
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1131 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  14:36:58  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a lot of experience with people who have autism spectrum disorders. If he truly was autistic like Mirtek suggested, then he probably just got overwhelmed by the new experience and had a bit of a fit as he struggled to work it out.

Also, I imagine that managing the Weave would be a lot more difficult in that time than it was during the early days of the Era of Upheaval. This was before the second Mystra placed all those new restrictions on the magical energies that mortals could manipulate.

When life turns it's back on you...sneak attack for extra damage.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  16:00:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think it's because the mortal mind simply isn't up to the challenge, while the deific mind is. There is just so much information, and it's all rather complex... It's like expecting a grasshopper to do calculus.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 30 Aug 2013 16:00:57
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Lilianviaten
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Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  16:03:13  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mirtek

Well, according to the novels Karsus was a kind of autistic savant. He might dress like the village fool and not even manage to get the buttons of his randomly assorted dress into their correct holes, but he was such an arcane prodigy that everyone had to take him seriously nonetheless. NEoM also supports this by stating "Another facet of Karsusís personality also shined through to anyone who met him: He was stark, raving mad."





If Karsus truly was insane, which is quite possible, that further weakens the effectiveness of using Netheril as a cautionary tale about hubris. ONE WIZARD, in ALL of the Netherese Empire, who is already off his rocker, prepares and executes an ill-conceived spell for a REASONABLE (if not noble) PURPOSE.

Yet Netheril is supposed to be the ultimate example of pride's awful consequences. Also, Netheril is supposedly the crux of why elves don't believe humans have the wisdom to properly use powerful magic. Ah yes, the irony of a lecture on misusing magic from the folks who brought us the Sundering, the Dark Disaster, the genocide of Jhaamdath, the curse of the drow, and the rage of dragons. And according to the Lady Penitent series, the use of high magic by descendants of Miyeritar is reason why Lolth now rules the drow unopposed.
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Lilianviaten
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Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  16:06:56  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think it's because the mortal mind simply isn't up to the challenge, while the deific mind is. There is just so much information, and it's all rather complex... It's like expecting a grasshopper to do calculus.



I guess I could accept that better if there were more of a veil over the mystery of the gods. As it stands now, an oaf like Cyric could receive a divine spark through sheer luck, and suddenly his mind is more capable than Larloch's. It just doesn't sit well with me.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  16:52:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten

quote:
Originally posted by Mirtek

Well, according to the novels Karsus was a kind of autistic savant. He might dress like the village fool and not even manage to get the buttons of his randomly assorted dress into their correct holes, but he was such an arcane prodigy that everyone had to take him seriously nonetheless. NEoM also supports this by stating "Another facet of Karsusís personality also shined through to anyone who met him: He was stark, raving mad."





If Karsus truly was insane, which is quite possible, that further weakens the effectiveness of using Netheril as a cautionary tale about hubris. ONE WIZARD, in ALL of the Netherese Empire, who is already off his rocker, prepares and executes an ill-conceived spell for a REASONABLE (if not noble) PURPOSE.

Yet Netheril is supposed to be the ultimate example of pride's awful consequences. Also, Netheril is supposedly the crux of why elves don't believe humans have the wisdom to properly use powerful magic. Ah yes, the irony of a lecture on misusing magic from the folks who brought us the Sundering, the Dark Disaster, the genocide of Jhaamdath, the curse of the drow, and the rage of dragons. And according to the Lady Penitent series, the use of high magic by descendants of Miyeritar is reason why Lolth now rules the drow unopposed.



Well, Karsus wasn't the only example of hubris among the Netherese -- just the most prominent. And no matter the reason, his act was still folly -- if he had the power to steal divinity, then he had the power to deal with the phaerimm through other means.

And I'm pretty sure that Karsus's goal of saving Netheril was something added to the lore in 3E -- in 2E lore, he just wanted to become a god, which jives with the Netherese attitude that deities were just really powerful mortals.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  18:35:53  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hashimashadoo

The Crown of Horns was what caused Netheril to fall, not Karsus. Archwizard Shenandra of Shadowtop Borough had found a way to counter the lifedrain spells of the Phaerimm in -342 DR. However, the Crown corrupted the research of another archwizard in that enclave, Shadelorn, that destroyed Shadowtop and all the magic within it just as Shenandra was about to cast the spell that would have saved the Empire.




Hey, what source is this from. I'm highly interested just because I had an NPC of Thay named Daeronness Shendandra Tarsorek of Talos. I know its superficial (i.e. just the same first name), but it could be fun to play with the history (i.e. perhaps a child of hers fled to Halruaa and was amongst the original red wizards that led the mulan uprising.... perhaps the female children somehow interact with the spirit of their forebear... maybe something else... would want to know more to see where it takes me).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Demzer
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849 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  18:43:37  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
And no matter the reason, his act was still folly -- if he had the power to steal divinity, then he had the power to deal with the phaerimm through other means.



This is exactly the canonical bias against Karsus that i was trying (probably poorly) to point out. Your stated reason for why his act was folly is borderline nonsense as there is more than one way to skin a phaerimm.

He choose the one that looked fool-proof: get the power of the most powerfull being ever existed (as an arcanist the goddess of magic was probably the most powerful god for him, even if he claimed to not believe in the gods [and in the end he believed in them since he tried to steal their powers, that would be a nonsensical thing to do if you don't believe such entities are hav more power than you]) and nuke the phaerimm from orbit (or the Netherese equivalent).

Furthermore we know he succeeded in stealing the power from Mystryl, it was her reaction that doomed him to fail and Netheril to ruin. So Mystryl made the enclaves fall and Karsus gets the blame ...

His plan was working perfectly from his point of view:
- develop the spell (mostly done by the time he choose to cast it and finished without issues) CHECK;
- cast the spell CHECK;
- correct functioning of the spell CHECK;
Then Mystryl screamed "waaaahhh no it's mine!" --BAM-- history with bias against Karsus

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
And I'm pretty sure that Karsus's goal of saving Netheril was something added to the lore in 3E -- in 2E lore, he just wanted to become a god



N:EoM says that upon the departure of Iolaum Netheril fear and panic were widespread and "Karsus, feeling the responsibility for Netheril's future on his shoulders, felt that it was his duty toweld the nation back together."
He finished his work on the Avatar spell for this reason and then cast it.

Mind you, as Barastir pointed out, this is all from the writing of the selfish coward Larloch who fled on dragonback and wasn't even remotely trying to find ways to stop the phaerimm
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sleyvas
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USA
11262 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2013 :  18:48:02  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by hashimashadoo

The Crown of Horns was what caused Netheril to fall, not Karsus. Archwizard Shenandra of Shadowtop Borough had found a way to counter the lifedrain spells of the Phaerimm in -342 DR. However, the Crown corrupted the research of another archwizard in that enclave, Shadelorn, that destroyed Shadowtop and all the magic within it just as Shenandra was about to cast the spell that would have saved the Empire.



Hey, what source is this from. I'm highly interested just because I had an NPC of Thay named Daeronness Shendandra Tarsorek of Talos. I know its superficial (i.e. just the same first name), but it could be fun to play with the history (i.e. perhaps a child of hers fled to Halruaa and was amongst the original red wizards that led the mulan uprising.... perhaps the female children somehow interact with the spirit of their forebear... maybe something else... would want to know more to see where it takes me).



ah, and the crown of horns was involved.... in -342 DR??? Holy buffalo chips... yeah definitely where did this reference come from. If Myrkul was involved in the crown of horns creation as a deity, then this is the first piece of lore that I've seen that puts Myrkul as a deity PRIOR to the fall of Netheril.... so Jergal made his move before the fall of Netheril.

Noting from Volo's Guide to All Things Magical:

The Crown of Horns is a major artifact of the Realms, and legends give
it a prominent role in Netheril#146;s downfall. Created by Myrkul, the god
of the dead, the Crown of Horns was lost for centuries after the dissolution of the Netherese empire until found by Laeral Silverhand and the Nine.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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