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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 17 Jun 2014 :  20:38:22  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have just created a twitter feed and facebook page

Twitter Feed:https://twitter.com/FRAltDimensions
Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005172404865&fref=ts

So now there are no excuses for people not getting involved because they don't use a certain brand of social media (I think I got them all).

I'm still busy working my way through a campaign arc for the Mulhorandi Conquest of Unther. I think I have the format sorted, now I just need to detail the various sieges and battles, when they happen, what happens, and other events happening around them (and side quests). So far I'm up to ten pages and about halfway.

If anyone wants to get involved but hasn't got an article of their own, then I am happy to collaborate with people on my latest article, its always nice to have an extra brain for various ideas.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11220 Posts

Posted - 18 Jun 2014 :  00:44:20  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Hmm, if I didn't know better, I'd say I'm being put forth as a changer of FR canon. I was just following the herd. See "Unapproachable East", p.191.

-- George Krashos



No, not calling you a changer of canon... just pointing out that if something were to make a good story, it would be "what happened to make this guy change so much". This is one of those little tidbits of lore discrepancy that can be polished and turned into something really good.

Another story I'd like to see is "Why did people think Queen Sambryl was such a powerful spellcaster?". You know, because she went from being an archmage to being able to only cast 2nd lvl spells. Did someone else pose as her? Was her body actually not her own for a while? Did she actually share her body with the soul of a former royal wizard? Was she drained by some powerful undead? Did she have some intelligent item that could cast spells, and using it she simulated being an archmage? If the change weren't so great, it wouldn't be a major thing, but to go from wiz 17 to wiz 4.... its noticeable

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 19 Jun 2014 :  11:49:44  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i have posted information about the mag on The Piazza forums and on Wizards of the Coast forums (might not have been the smartest thing to do but lets see what happens).

Can anyone think of any other forums that i can post on to get the word around.

I tried Enworld but you have to make so many posts before you can add any links.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2014 :  09:13:12  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3 is now available. Feel free to give any feedback (positive or not, although constructive feedback is more helpful).

Below is the link. It is also added to the first page of this thread (and my sig) and will be posted on Tumblr and the piazza, and paizo, and WoTC forums, and Enworld. So you shouldnt have any trouble in finding it if you want it.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx2yr4B9kIXPNDc4VUJtcDR3bE0/edit?usp=sharing

This issue signals the end of my focus on the Bloodstone Lands and a shift towards the Old Empires.

Just in case you missed the contents before, here they are again

Deities With a Difference: Tiamat
Ryan Rahuba Presents: Shifters – A Racial Description
Alternate Dimensions Presents: Damara – Higenzi the Witch
When is a House Rule Not a House Rule: Skills
Deities With a Difference: Bahamut
The Bloodstone Lands Adventure Path: Episode 2
Alternate Dimensions Presents: Damara – Order of Fallen Princes
Laerakond: The Barrier Mountains
Rulesword: Trimming 3rd Edition One Step at a Time
Alternate Dimensions Presents: Damara – The Bloodfeathers Lineage
The Knights Below: Adventure Path – Episode 3
The Knights Below: Campaign Journal

We should have two more collaborators onboard for issue 4 so if anyone wants to join in you wont be alone.

And if anyone can tell me the secret hidden across Issues 1, 2, and 3 they get a special mention in the next issue.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2014 :  11:45:16  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh and as a hint the secret is to do with Higenzi's unknown background

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2014 :  15:03:03  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, are you hinting that Higenzi and Zhengyi were the same person?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2014 :  15:14:45  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And first prize goes to George Krashos (and i'm rather thrilled that you actually read some of my magazine - although you could have guessed at the secret from the contents).

I realise it wasnt a very subtle secret, i did a bit of Lord Voldemort to come up with the name, but if it made people read the magazine in order to find it then hopefully it worked. (i'm pretty sure Ed uses a similar tactic by saying there are still 5 secrets outstanding in the Old Grey Box - although there probably are secrets still outstanding in that box since i reckon i found one last year).

Vaasa being a nasty monster riddled land i figured would have been even more wild in the first few centuries (before any human settlement occured).

Therefore Zhengyi would have had a vested interest in clearing it out a bit so he could set up his own kingdom. I also noted the end of the opposition to the Zulkirate and the creation of Damara tied up quite nicely so i just linked the two together, and then created the history around the idea that Zhengyi was steering Damara towards a course that he wanted.

Since you spotted it first you can have a special mention in Issue 4 (assuming you want it).

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11220 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2014 :  02:50:42  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know its not uncommon for sex changes in the realms, but Zhengyi was a man and the Higenzi you described was a woman. If I were to link the two historically, it would be to have Higenzi be a relation (cousin, daughter, wife, etc...). I'd be hesitant to shape the entirety of Zhengyi's existence around Vaasa and Damara too. Just because his last major role in the realms was there doesn't mean his life was built there. He was an ex-red wizard. It may have been simply that he was trying to make a foothold from which he could extend his influence into Dun-Tharos (thus his stopping after securing the top half of Damara).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2014 :  03:47:24  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I did like the notation that Vaasa got its name from a marilith named Vaas. Stealing that.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2014 :  03:51:31  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

It may have been simply that he was trying to make a foothold from which he could extend his influence into Dun-Tharos (thus his stopping after securing the top half of Damara).



Vaasa is an odd place to base yourself if you are making a play for Dun Tharos. In the forest itself or somewhere like Hark's Finger would make much more sense. My (very) vague thoughts on Zhengyi don't link him with Dun Tharos and ancient Narfell but do link him with the ancient, ancient dragon kingdoms and due to timing, with the Cult of the Dragon.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2014 :  08:42:52  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i consider there no higher honour than having two esteemed fellow scribes such as yourselves read my work and then find something worth borrowing.

As for Vaasa and Zhengyi. I decided to have Zhengyi go into hiding because of the Zulkir putting down all opposition to their rule. Assuming Zhengyi was on the losing side then it is quite likely he would be hunted by the Red Wizards wherever he went.

I made him hide as a woman because the Red Wizards would be looking for a man. Zhengyi is already a 100+ year old lich so to make him look like a withered old Nar woman would not be too much of a stretch. Plus with Zhengyi having a patron in Orcus (and i made him a relative) it is not unlikely that Zhengyi has ancient Nar heritage so may know Narfell quite well.

I actually envisaged Higenzi using very little magic during her time in Damara (deliberately so as to hide herself from anyone hunting for her). The secret level in Bloodfeathers Palace was built using labourers (not magic) and contained good old fashioned spy holes to keep an eye on events in the castle. Higenzi's disguise was likewise non-magical using prosthetics and makeup. That way anyone with a detect magic spell would find very little of interest in Damara or in Higenzi.

Of course my version of Vaasa revolves entirely around Telos and the Warlock Knights. They were such a good idea from the future timeline it seemed a shame not to include them, plus Vaasa needed something to give it an identity. It was a barren, poisonous, hostile land and i felt that Telos fit the bill for being the primary reason for this. Then of course Zhengyi being linked to Orcus who was linked to Narfell who were linked to binding powerful creatures (Eltab) seemed a good enough link to send Zhengyi after Telos and then i could have the Warlock Knights and Telos and the Voice of Telos all in one go.

I realise they are tenuous links but there was such freedom to work in Vaasa that i could pretty much come up with whatever i wanted and not violate anything in a sourcebook (although i managed it a few times but that was deliberate).

I'm sure Zhengyi had other goals but his first goal was secure Telos' power for his patron, his own goals revolved around creating a kingdom. After that who knows what Zhengyi wanted to do because his plans were interrupted. He was a lich after all so he could afford to play the long game and had many centuries to put events in place to get what he wanted. How was he to know Gareth Dragonsbane would show up.

Oh and one of my proof readers reckons he recognises the name Vaas from somewhere so i may have unconsciously stolen it from an existing FR name, but i couldnt find a mention anywhere. Just thought i should mention it. I also used the noble house Bel Maris to name the Beaumaris River that was included on the 4e map of Vaasa.


And for those that want to continue reading the magazine there is another semi-secret hidden across issues 3, 4, and 5 but i wont be giving out any hints for this one since George got this answer so fast.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2014 :  08:48:22  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Out of interest i'm dying to know what people think to my attempt at solving the whole Tiamat debacle (her arriving twice in the Realms, and her many, many deaths).

I realise i completely divorced the death of Orcus from the FR timeline but it was never an event that took place in FR anyway and it added nothing to the setting so i felt there was no harm in sidelining it so it could have happened at any point in history, and indeed never needs mentioning in FR because it is an event for another campaign setting.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2014 :  14:12:41  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A snippet of one article from issue 4.

This article focuses on the Mulhorandi-Untheric pantheon that were merged together by continuing the development of the Mulhorandi conquest of Unther.

This new much stronger pantheon should be able to better resist the Faerunian pantheon and should now be able to properly contest for worshippers in Chessenta.

Rollcall of the Gods
Anhur: War, Battle, Conflict, Thunder, Rain, the Sky, Weather, Storms, Lightning
Bast: Hedonism, Sensual Fulfilment, Lust, Excess, Cats, Pleasure Seekers, Festhalls
Enlil: Unther, Law, Order
Geb: The Earth, Miners, Minerals, Mines
Gilgeam: Madness, Physical Prowess, Undeath
Hathor: Childbirth, Motherhood, Fertility, Children, Music, Dance, Poetry, Fate
Hoar: Revenge, Retribution, Poetic Justice
Horus-Re: The Sun, Rulership, Kings, Life, Mulhorand
Isis: Magic, Marriage, Rivers, Love, Good Magic
Marduk (Bahamut): Good Dragons, Metallic Dragons, Wisdom, Enlightened Justice
Nanna Sin: Protection from Evil, Defence, the Moon
Nephthys: Grief, Wealth, Trade, Commerce
Osiris: Harvest, Nature, Agriculture, Underworld, Death, the Dead, Justice
Sebek: Hazards, Crocodiles, Werecrocodiles, Wetlands
Set: Darkness, Evil, Desert Storms, Drought, Snakes, Murder, Destruction, Rot, Predators, Carrion, Betrayal, Evil Magic, Ambition, Poison
Thoth: Knowledge, Learning, Neutral Magic, Scribes, Science, Engineering, Secrets, Invention
Tiamat: Evil Dragons, Chromatic Dragons, Greed, Rebellion

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2014 :  20:39:31  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think I just got banned by WoTC from their forums for posting about this project.

Man they are touchy.

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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3662 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2014 :  21:55:36  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So they are against even sharing one's own idea about the Realms?

WTH, If they actually banned you for it, that would suck a lot.

Edited by - Irennan on 09 Jul 2014 21:57:32
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2014 :  09:22:39  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually as it turned out i just forgot what email address i signed up to the forums with.

But when they have a (perhaps historical) reputation for deleting accounts and banning people for anything they dislike who can blame me for jumping to the wrong conclusion

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2014 :  10:39:52  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just thought i would add another teaser from issue 4, and one of my reasonings why the capital of Mulhorand is called Skuld (meaning city of shadow).

Matet and Semktet: The gods of the Mulhorandi, Untheric, and Akanic pantheons all travelled to Toril in separate space barges constructed in a joint effort between their most skilled gods. The Akanic pantheon travelled in the Galley of the Gods as constructed by Enki. The Mulhorandi pantheon travelled in a great war galley named Matet and led the way for the three space barges using the artefact known as the Beacon of Light.
The Matet means “Light of the Stars” in the Mulan language, and it was a wondrous sight to behold. A huge metallic galley filled with armaments and defences enough to take on any threat they encountered in the void above. It was also blessed with an intelligence all of its own and possessed the ability to repair itself of the damage it sustained.
Travelling through the great void was not without its own trials, and the pantheons faced centuries of peril and epic adventures. Along the way their spacecraft suffered much damage so that once they reached the planet Toril their vessels were but a shadow of their former glory.
The Muhorandi vessel was renamed Semktet (“Shadow of the Stars”) as it neared it’s destination it passed through a dark nebula that had once been the home of Shar long ago. Something within this nebula infested the barge giving it a dark and evil personality of its own, the ship’s form changed to a simpler, plainer, shadowy vessel more befitting its new name.
Upon reaching Toril the Mulan gods liberated their people and set them free wandering the land for a new home. Unwilling to leave Semktet behind, the Mulhorandi gods dragged it across the plains for miles before settling on the eastern shores of the Alamber Sea.
There they thrust Semktet deep beneath the earth and set atop it Re’s great tower with the Beacon of Light atop it so that Semktet would be forever under guard. Unfortunately great tragedy struck the Mulhorandi over the years, Re was killed in the Orcgate Wars, and the Beacon of Light was stolen from its sentinel position.
Now Skuld, the City of Shadow is in danger of becoming closer to its name than the inhabitants could imagine.


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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11220 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  11:10:31  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just wondering, where did you come up with the term for the third pantheon (i.e. Akanic)? I must admit, I somewhat favor the idea of there being a third pantheon corresponding to the Babylonian gods (although the Sumerian and Babylonian gods could easily have been their own pantheon... the 1st edition deities and demi-gods says they're from the same place similar to Roman/Greek mythos). Anyway, was it it any way related to Akanul? That would be my only worry... because isn't Akanul entirely an Abeiran name?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11220 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  11:41:03  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, in searching on Enlil, I just found a term Akkadian which seems to have some ties to Babylonian gods. Maybe that's where you got it? Which could be interesting though if Akanul was originally Torilian and it transferred to Abeir and now back to Toril... the fact that its filled with genasi COULD have some actual ties to these people being transferred over and their gods NOT. Perhaps they started worshipping the primordials AND mating with elemental beings in order to "come closer to their new gods". Might be a stretch, but might be a good twist.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11220 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  11:45:05  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

A snippet of one article from issue 4.

This article focuses on the Mulhorandi-Untheric pantheon that were merged together by continuing the development of the Mulhorandi conquest of Unther.

This new much stronger pantheon should be able to better resist the Faerunian pantheon and should now be able to properly contest for worshippers in Chessenta.

Rollcall of the Gods
Anhur: War, Battle, Conflict, Thunder, Rain, the Sky, Weather, Storms, Lightning
Bast: Hedonism, Sensual Fulfilment, Lust, Excess, Cats, Pleasure Seekers, Festhalls
Enlil: Unther, Law, Order
Geb: The Earth, Miners, Minerals, Mines
Gilgeam: Madness, Physical Prowess, Undeath
Hathor: Childbirth, Motherhood, Fertility, Children, Music, Dance, Poetry, Fate
Hoar: Revenge, Retribution, Poetic Justice
Horus-Re: The Sun, Rulership, Kings, Life, Mulhorand
Isis: Magic, Marriage, Rivers, Love, Good Magic
Marduk (Bahamut): Good Dragons, Metallic Dragons, Wisdom, Enlightened Justice
Nanna Sin: Protection from Evil, Defence, the Moon
Nephthys: Grief, Wealth, Trade, Commerce
Osiris: Harvest, Nature, Agriculture, Underworld, Death, the Dead, Justice
Sebek: Hazards, Crocodiles, Werecrocodiles, Wetlands
Set: Darkness, Evil, Desert Storms, Drought, Snakes, Murder, Destruction, Rot, Predators, Carrion, Betrayal, Evil Magic, Ambition, Poison
Thoth: Knowledge, Learning, Neutral Magic, Scribes, Science, Engineering, Secrets, Invention
Tiamat: Evil Dragons, Chromatic Dragons, Greed, Rebellion




Mask is an interloper god of Mulhorand.

Personally, I'd recommend Siamorphe as an import as well (but not following the Mulhorand-Unther war), possibly some of her worshippers joined up with the Mulhorandi on a divine mission to return Unther to proper noble rule or somesuch. She doesn't need a strong presence, just merely be a growing and accepted one.

I'm not sure how I'd feel about Enlil coming back. Horus-Re fills his role as ruler of the gods, and nothing I read of Enlil shows him as a god of law/order (more rain/agriculture/sky) . Nanna-Sin I have less problems with.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11220 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  12:01:54  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, and perhaps it would be interesting if the goddess Ma'at returned after the Sundering (she was daughter of Ra, wife of Thoth, and we all hear Osiris weighing people against their following of ma'at). She was a goddess of justice and truth, so she could fill the role of law and order you were trying to fill with Enlil. Of course, it would draw away from Osiris a bit, but she could be a servant deity of his as well. The fact that Osiris encouraged people to "follow Ma'at" could explain that he was trying to "raise" this deity from the dead (perhaps she died in the Orcgate wars or against the Imaskari).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11220 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  13:13:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, the more I think on it.... what if Siamorphe were to take on the alias of Ma'at, under the principles of living a good and noble life. It might even be revealed that she is in fact the goddess in the Faerunian pantheon and that somehow she had been deluded into thinking her name was different.... maybe even by Leira.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11220 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  17:10:50  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and what with the red knight's followers helping so much with the clearing of Unther.... having her accepted into their pantheon as an aide of Anhur's would make sense.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2014 :  21:29:17  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow so many questions. I will try and answer them all.

1 - I came up with the name Akanu and the Akanic pantheon from two separate places. First was the name of Anu himself, leader of the Babylonian pantheon. Second was the repeated reference to Akana/u across Chessenta (and not just for 4th edition lore), we have Akanax, the Akanul Plains, Akanamere, Akanapeaks. I figured it was more than just coincidence and had to have some importance. So I made up the importance.

When I read through Old Empires and about Gilgeam it made repeated references to Gilgeam rewriting history. Plus Ramman was said to have arrived from another nearby pantheon (last time I checked there weren't that many nations around in that time so either Ramman came from Jhaamdath, or he was from another Mulan pantheon - plus the Mulan are elitist and would not allow a foreign god into their ranks). So I decided to work in a 3rd Mulan empire that didn't contradict any written history, just changed which empire did it. Plus the separate Babylonian and Sumerian pantheon lists I found cemented the idea for me, it was even better that Gilgeam appeared in both so I had him originate in the Babylonian/Akanic pantheon and later more to the Untheric one.

The full history however will appear over issues 4 and 5 so people will just have to wait and see whether they like what I did with it.

2 - Enlil I made as a god of law and order for two reasons. The first is the article in Dragon Magazine 329. The second is the repeated reference to the Code of Enlil being the basis of law in Unther. I figured if it was important enough to mention then it warranted a representation in the god himself.

As for his return. I needed some more Untheric gods to return in order to bolster the merged pantheon (so that it can credibly resist the Faerunian pantheon). There are probably many more Untheric gods out there, Gilgeam is stated as having driven off or destroyed many gods of the Untheric pantheon so if I had names for more I would bring them back (without the names I stuck to the gods I knew existed and brought many of them back in some fashion or another). Enlil's sudden departure always struck me as unusual. You don't travel across the universe to rescue your people to then abandon them when things get tough, so I tied Enlil's disappearance to Gilgeam's madness and that allowed his return.

Again this will be elaborated upon in issues 4 and 5. And if I finish my campaign arc for the invasion of Unther then there should be enough detail for people to play through the whole event.

3 - Mask being an interloper is correct, as was Bane. However that does not make them part of the pantheon. The Mulan gods, like their people, are elitist. They do not like people in that don't swear obedience to their gods (the quote about beast cults in one of the books mentions they were destroyed because they would not worship the Mulhorandi gods). For me the Mulan will never allow Mask and Bane into their pantheon, the only reason those to can be worshipped in this pantheon is because the Tyranny and Thievery portfolios are unclaimed in Mulhorand/Unther.
Its like Chessenta being contested territory, the two pantheons cannot coexist, someone has to lose. If the Mulan let Mask and Bane into their pantheon then they lose. I reckon if the Mulan were to find out Marduk and Tiamat were actually from another pantheon (my alternate deity writeup in issue 3 explains how this happened) then they would eject them as well.

And that kind of explains why I didn't include any Faerunian deities in the Mulhorandi-Untheric pantheon. The Mulan deities simply wouldn't and indeed couldn't allow it. In Chessenta, Anhur and Tempus are fighting each other for control of the portfolio of war in that area. Isis and Mystra would be in contention in that area, Chauntea, Kelemvor and Osiris.

The two pantheons cannot mix because their portfolio's overlap. Chessenta is contested because it is a mix of worship, some worship Faerunian deities, some worship Mulan (although it is probably only Anhur and Hoar with any dominance in this area). There must be a threshold point of worship at which one pantheon gains total control in that area. By letting Faerunian deities into Mulhorand or Unther they are in danger of making those areas contested (dual pantheon powers don't present this problem).


Anyway I hope I answered your questions. I did plenty of research when writing up the old empires, but in the end what didn't work I discarded and then started again from scratch. Hopefully the end result (Old Empires in 1370 DR) is almost identical to the current one, but the theory and history behind it is where I usually differed.

Incidentally the hardest part of the entire project for me was deciding why Skuld was called the city of shadows (I nearly tied it to the Turami and made them all Shar worshippers but decided against it in the end).

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sleyvas
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USA
11220 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2014 :  11:44:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Wow so many questions. I will try and answer them all.

1 - I came up with the name Akanu and the Akanic pantheon from two separate places. First was the name of Anu himself, leader of the Babylonian pantheon. Second was the repeated reference to Akana/u across Chessenta (and not just for 4th edition lore), we have Akanax, the Akanul Plains, Akanamere, Akanapeaks. I figured it was more than just coincidence and had to have some importance. So I made up the importance.

When I read through Old Empires and about Gilgeam it made repeated references to Gilgeam rewriting history. Plus Ramman was said to have arrived from another nearby pantheon (last time I checked there weren't that many nations around in that time so either Ramman came from Jhaamdath, or he was from another Mulan pantheon - plus the Mulan are elitist and would not allow a foreign god into their ranks). So I decided to work in a 3rd Mulan empire that didn't contradict any written history, just changed which empire did it. Plus the separate Babylonian and Sumerian pantheon lists I found cemented the idea for me, it was even better that Gilgeam appeared in both so I had him originate in the Babylonian/Akanic pantheon and later more to the Untheric one.

The full history however will appear over issues 4 and 5 so people will just have to wait and see whether they like what I did with it.

2 - Enlil I made as a god of law and order for two reasons. The first is the article in Dragon Magazine 329. The second is the repeated reference to the Code of Enlil being the basis of law in Unther. I figured if it was important enough to mention then it warranted a representation in the god himself.

As for his return. I needed some more Untheric gods to return in order to bolster the merged pantheon (so that it can credibly resist the Faerunian pantheon). There are probably many more Untheric gods out there, Gilgeam is stated as having driven off or destroyed many gods of the Untheric pantheon so if I had names for more I would bring them back (without the names I stuck to the gods I knew existed and brought many of them back in some fashion or another). Enlil's sudden departure always struck me as unusual. You don't travel across the universe to rescue your people to then abandon them when things get tough, so I tied Enlil's disappearance to Gilgeam's madness and that allowed his return.

Again this will be elaborated upon in issues 4 and 5. And if I finish my campaign arc for the invasion of Unther then there should be enough detail for people to play through the whole event.

3 - Mask being an interloper is correct, as was Bane. However that does not make them part of the pantheon. The Mulan gods, like their people, are elitist. They do not like people in that don't swear obedience to their gods (the quote about beast cults in one of the books mentions they were destroyed because they would not worship the Mulhorandi gods). For me the Mulan will never allow Mask and Bane into their pantheon, the only reason those to can be worshipped in this pantheon is because the Tyranny and Thievery portfolios are unclaimed in Mulhorand/Unther.
Its like Chessenta being contested territory, the two pantheons cannot coexist, someone has to lose. If the Mulan let Mask and Bane into their pantheon then they lose. I reckon if the Mulan were to find out Marduk and Tiamat were actually from another pantheon (my alternate deity writeup in issue 3 explains how this happened) then they would eject them as well.

And that kind of explains why I didn't include any Faerunian deities in the Mulhorandi-Untheric pantheon. The Mulan deities simply wouldn't and indeed couldn't allow it. In Chessenta, Anhur and Tempus are fighting each other for control of the portfolio of war in that area. Isis and Mystra would be in contention in that area, Chauntea, Kelemvor and Osiris.

The two pantheons cannot mix because their portfolio's overlap. Chessenta is contested because it is a mix of worship, some worship Faerunian deities, some worship Mulan (although it is probably only Anhur and Hoar with any dominance in this area). There must be a threshold point of worship at which one pantheon gains total control in that area. By letting Faerunian deities into Mulhorand or Unther they are in danger of making those areas contested (dual pantheon powers don't present this problem).


Anyway I hope I answered your questions. I did plenty of research when writing up the old empires, but in the end what didn't work I discarded and then started again from scratch. Hopefully the end result (Old Empires in 1370 DR) is almost identical to the current one, but the theory and history behind it is where I usually differed.

Incidentally the hardest part of the entire project for me was deciding why Skuld was called the city of shadows (I nearly tied it to the Turami and made them all Shar worshippers but decided against it in the end).




Ok, that absolutely makes sense for the name Akanic. As I look more at Akanul as well, that seems to be a new realmsian term for the name, not a Abeiran name of a transferred territory (the Abeiran territory was Shyr)

On Mask, they specifically let him in in exchange for Bast being allowed into the Faerunian pantheon, so its a little different than Bane.

I would really like to see Siamorphe in the Mulan Pantheon. Just throwing this out as an idea. This would be an idea for a returning Mulan Pantheon after the spellplague, btw. What if the Mulan Pantheon returns (i.e. Unther and Mulhorand come back), and they are a reinvigorated empire from their time in Abeir. They set their sights on reconquering Chessenta, Thay, and other surrounding territories. The followers of Amaunator in Chessenta who don't like the idea of Lathander may accept Horus-Re, and other gods may also be accepted. So, do you see it as a possibility that the Faerunian Pantheon may require Siamorphe to marry into the Mulan Pantheon as a means to form a truce? It would fit with her whole noble portfolio, and it could prove interesting in that they seem to be wanting to also portray the idea that the Chosen of Siamorphe feels she can't be involved with the Chosen of Helm due to her noble obligations (i.e. the goddess may be growing to love Helm <what happens in heaven is mirrored on earth and vice versa>, but she is obligated to her noble duties). It could even be something where they allow her into the pantheon to simply birth a child by another deity, who would then be raised by Hathor and Horus' mother Isis.... Just spitwadding that idea, but it might make sense, since the other female Mulan deities are either Horus' mother, aunt, or the servant goddess Halthor.... Horus might want it to be seen that he's not inbreeding.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2014 :  18:46:15  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well letting Mask into the Mulhorandi pantheon in exchange for allowing Bast into the Faerunian pantheon does not make sense to me.

Bast did not conflict with any portfolio of any Faerunian god so there is no way anyone could have stopped her. Mask likewise does not conflict with any portfolio in Mulhorand so he can move in freely without immediately pissing off any gods because they wouldn't notice a decline in their power when he moves into the area (although if any mask worshippers were discovered I bet they would be sacrificed pretty quick).

Multiple pantheons for the same races are geographical borders, so the faerunian gods cannot bar anyone from entering (especially since they have no recognised leader) any more than Horus-Re can stop another god from entering the Mulhorandi pantheon.

For me What stops a god from entering another pantheon is portfolio overlap. If you are a god of thieves and you try to gain worshippers in another area that already has a god of thieves then you are attempting to steal his worship and he isn't going to like it. Any actions of thievery go to him by default because he has the majority vote of worshippers in the pantheon, but any thief that names you as his patron sends power your way. All the original god has to do is kill your worshippers and he wins, whereas you have to get more than 75% of the population to recognise you as the god of thieves in order to win.


Some kind of exchange student swap with Bast and Mask just doesn't make sense to me and with this project if something doesn't make sense then I fix it.

As for allowing in Faerunian gods, in the 1370s timeline I have significant reservations with that because of the elitist attitude. The people and deities of the Mulan believe themselves superior to all others.

I personally wont be introducing the spell plague or any of the events, but if it did then it could go one of two ways.

1 - Mulhorand and Unther return and displace/destroy every being that exists there at the time (as happened with returned abeir). In this instance the Mulan deities would probably recognise they are so weakened that they need new blood to resist the Faerunian pantheon. By allowing dual pantheon gods (ie let some Faerunian gods into the Mulhorandi pantheon) they do not lose any power to the faerunian pantheon (because the gods they allow in are also members of the mulhorandi pantheon) and in so doing they increase their own power. Of course they would only let in deities whose portfolios do not conflict with any existing members.

2 - Mulhorand and Unther return but the existing people that already live there stay. In this instance both Mulhorand and Unther immediately become contested regions or depending on the population of the land before Mulhorand returned they may enter into a region that is part of the Faerunian pantheon. In the contested region instance there would be lots of clashes between churches of the various powers until there is a definitive winner. In the instance that Mulhorand returns into the Faerunian pantheon then there is only one outcome, the Mulhorandi powers have to merge with the existing Faerunian powers. Multiple powers with the same portfolios cannot exist within the same pantheon unless they are demi-powers.


I wont rant about what I think will happen in the next edition, but if it is not either option 1, 2a, or 2b then someone didn't do their research.

If you want Siamorphe and Red Knight in the Mulhorandi pantheon then it is possible in both scenario 1 or 2 which should make you very happy. But in 1370, Mulhorand still thinks it is an invincible empire and for me that means no Faerunian power would ever be admitted (i'll pretend Mask didn't happen).

But this is of course all entirely my opinion.

As an aside, I don't think genetics apply to gods. As beings of thought and belief they are no longer material beings and so they could impregnate their "daughter" without genetic issues since they have no genetics.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2014 :  10:25:30  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another snippet. This time detailing the avatar of the returned lesser power of Gilgeam. I figure that if you are going to bring back a dead god he should not be the same as he once was.

Avatar
Gilgeam has one avatar; a naked, barrel-chested, giant of a man with a pale green pallor to his skin and the scars of huge teeth marks all over his body.
This rotting behemoth is a juggernaut in physical combat, capable of titanic feats of strength and rage that few other gods can match.
He also exudes a nauseating stench that can slay most lesser beings he encounters.
His personality and face change between at least four distinct beings that vie for control of any avatar.
First is the master of undead. This being is capable of animating the nearby dead into any unintelligent form of undead that he desires and can control as many such beings as exist. His touch slays instantly and he desires nothing more than to spread undeath to everyone he encounters.
Second is the raging lunatic. This being constantly froths at the mouth and is capable of incredible feats of strength and endurance driven by his madness. He is in a permanent state of frenzy from which he cannot escape and will attack and attempt to kill anything that he feels is threatening him (merely looking in his direction qualifies as such to his insane mind).
Third is the tyrant. This vestige of his last living personality is capable of command over any mortal being which Gilgeam can see. The command is absolute and he can order suicide if he should wish so. This avatar desires control over everyone and everything and still believes he is the rightful ruler of Unther.
The last vestige is Gilgeam the hero. This vestige is a part of his original personality before he was completely corrupted by Ilneval’s blade. He is remorseful for his actions in the millennia since then and constantly apologises for any action (even sitting down). He is deeply depressed and will sit and do nothing most of the time. This effect is sympathetic in nature and drives those nearby into states of deep depression (which have sometimes been so extreme as to stop the sufferer from breathing).
These four personalities usually change on a minute to minute basis, but some have been known to remain dominant for several days, particularly the hero aspect of Gilgeam.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2014 :  16:49:08  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A relic from my article about Tchazzar, its just an idea of how i think he managed to return to life after the Time of Troubles.

The Ring of Tchazzar: What was once a Ring of Tiamat, this artefact was altered by the disruption of the Time of Troubles. It now holds a piece of Tchazzar’s divinity, and should he perish it could be used to bring him back to life once more.
In fact this has already happened. Shortly after the Time of Troubles, a draconic servant of Tiamat the Dragon Queen found the ring and foolishly put it on. The creature was transformed over several years into Tchazzar himself who still wears the ring to this day.
The Ring of Tchazzar enhances the wearer’s abilities just like a Ring of Tiamat would. But should another dragon put it on then it will be transformed into Tchazzar by the curse of the ring.
Tchazzar does not know if this will occur while he is still alive, and so makes sure to wear the ring at all times (the last thing he wants is to have to battle another version of himself). Upon his death though, Tchazzar has given instructions to his clergy to gift it to the first dragon they find in order to hasten his return.
In this way the ring acts like a deific phylactery for Tchazzar and is another reason why he has not chosen to return to the Outer Planes, because he does not think he can be killed even if he remains bound to Toril.

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Zireael
Master of Realmslore

Poland
1190 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2014 :  17:31:14  Show Profile  Visit Zireael's Homepage Send Zireael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll definitely be grabbing issue 4, I love your thinking behind the Akanic pantheon.

SiNafay Vrinn, the daughter of Lloth, from Ched Nasad!

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2014 :  20:46:10  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well I hope it lives up to your expectations.

The Old Empires has been rather a lot of fun to try and inject some life into that region.

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