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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2021 :  19:18:20  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Crypt of the Shadowking (1363 DR)


Iriaebor Lore
Dark labyrinthine sewers far beneath the city, a crack in the sewers under the Bron’s palace (a ravine / chasm / opening ????) leads down to a rough stone natural cavern even further beneath the city, with a further chasm in it with a red glow emanating from it, a voice (the Shadowking) emanating from the chasm. [prologue]
Bron, city lord. [prologue]
The Shadowking can restore all wounds, animate the dying [prologue]
Iriaebor is the farthest point up the River Chionthar that ships can travel, merchants forced to unload goods and transfer them to overland caravans heading to Sembia and Cormyr. This is what makes Iriaebor rich [1]
Great ironbound gates in the south wall [1]
Gates unguarded before Cutter was in charge, merchants and travellers arrived day and night, now the gates are guarded day and night [1]
Cutter, rules Iriaebor from the High Tower [1]
New City below the Tor, has broad, tree lined avenues [1]
The Tor, a narrow hilltop, lies in the centre of the New City, half a league long and rises 300 ft above the ground. The Old City covers The Tor. Within 100 years of the city founding all space on the Tor was taken and people had to build towers (build up). After several centuries the Old City was a profusion of tall spindly towers bound by bridges that arched precariously between them [1]
A narrow road winds back and forth up the steep southern face of the Tor. [1]
Normally the city’s streets are as busy at night as during the day with jongleurs, merchants, nobles, and thieves.
Sign of the Dreaming Dragon, inn on the very western edge of The Tor, half the building juts over the precipice, supported by a maze of stout oaken beams anchored into the Tor. Three stories, half timbered, gabled roof. Intricate sign of a green dragon sleeping on a mountain of golden treasure. Common room, fireplace, wooden bar. Jolle owns the inn with his wife. Walled garden kept behind the inn, secret door (marked by a wrought iron arch overgrown with morning glories) that leads into a narrow alley behind the wall. Serves a foamy red ale, Estah’s own brew [1,3,9]
Jolle, stout, curly haired halfling, nut brown eyes. Owns the Sign of the Dreaming Dragon inn with his wife [3]
Estah, halfling woman, healer, owns the Sign of the Dream ing Dragon inn, married to Jolle. Brown eyes, broad rosy cheeked face. Owns a magical silver amulet (augments healing), given to her by her mother, engraved with the symbol of Eldath, Goddess of the Singing Waters. Married Jolle a few years after the Fellowship of the Dreaming Dragon disbanded. Has 2 children, Pog and Nog. [3]
The Wandering Wyvern, inn , serves a good drink and a good nights rest. A blocky, comfortable looking building with the High Tower looming above it. Innkeep is a nervous little man. Located on or near the Street of Jewels [1]
The former Bron disappeared about a year ago [1]
Cutters rule started immediately after Bron, started out okay but more laws were made each day that curtailed more and more freedoms [1]
Silver tower above and azure river, the traditional symbol of Iriaebor Cutter added a crimson moon rising behind the tower [1]
Guards of Iriaebor wear a black leather jerkin with the symbol of Iriaebor emblazoned on it [1]
The Street of Jewels, leads on to the Street of Lanterns in the Old City. Street of Lanterns is an unsavoury part of the city. [1]
The High Tower stands upon the highest part of The Tor, made from the same dark stone quarried from the The Tor. Much blood shed in its construction, those who laid its foundations were long dead when the last stone was of the turret was set in place. [2]
The wall of the first quarry used to make the High Tower collapsed killing a score of workers and Eradabus the first city lord. A tale well known in the city. Stones of the top half of the High Tower are a slight different shade to the lower half as a result. [2]
Eradabus, first lord of Iriaebor, often laboured beside its workers as a gesture of goodwill [2]
Melsar, second lord of Iriaebor, began a new quarry to finish the High Tower [2]
Lady Saresia, third lord of Iriaebor, the High Tower was finished during her reign. Held the first Argument in the vast great hall. [2]
Meeting in the High Tower is called an Argument [2]
Ravendas and the Zhentarim had taken over the city of Iriaebor about a year ago [3]
The Prince and Pauper, a discreet gambling den on the Street of Lanterns, looks like an abandoned building. Owned by Cormik. Frequented by nobles, merchants, etc. Secret chamber hidden beneath it [3,19]
Cormik, nondescript looking man, wears ostentatious clothes and a black eye patch. Owns a number of expensive Sembian tapestries and a jewelled stiletto with a key hidden in the pommel. Cormik is a fence of property and information, is able to intercept messages headed for Lord Ravendas [3,4]
Cormik has agents in Berdusk and Elversult making deals for weapons and money [6]
Jad and Kevrek, massive warriors, guard at the Prince and Pauper, carries a shortsword and knows how to use it [3]
Dario, dark haired young man, works for Cormik. Cormik thinks of him as a son. Slain by the shadevari who mistook him for Caledan (he was wearing Caledan’s cloak) [4]
Half the population are starving, all goods coming into Iriaebor leave by caravan heading east (Darkhold????). Ravendas keeps the Council of Lords in her pocket and the Merchants Circle dangling by their purse strings. Trade agreements are not profitable but accidents befall those who do not comply [4]
Zhentarim kidnap people in their homes and anyone out after dark. They end up in the dungeons and never seen again [4]
Excavations deep beneath the Tor, press gangs used in the work [4]
A few merchants, guild masters, and lords of the council did stand up to Ravendas when things started to go bad. Ravendas had them all hanged [4]
There are small, isolated pockets of resistance in Iriaebor. They meet in basements and abandoned towers in secret. They are not connected but Cormik knows about them and could funnel messages and supplies to them [4]
Ravendas has tax collectors on the roads gathering harsh tariffs from all who try to avoid Iriaebor. The money is delivered by wagon every evening through the East Gate [5]
Guards on longer ride patrol on the roads outside Iriaebor. Bandits and brigands increase as a result [5]
Brim, one of the Zhent guards in Iriaebor. Slain by Mari???? [5]
Avdis, Zhent, counts the tariffs. Flabby, middle aged, rat like nose and beady eyes. Obsessed with money [5]
Countinghouse, a tall tower in the shadow of the High Tower [5]
Warship in the docks burned down by the resistance [6]
Every blacksmith within 50 miles is making weapons and armour for Ravendas [6]
Ravendas has the weapons trade under control [6]
North Gate, sheep driven through it for slaughter [7]
Many of the Zhentarim in Iriaebor worship Cyric (from Darkhold????) [7]
Fountain Square, a central plaza, renamed Scarlet Square by Ravendas. Two gigantic statues of grey stone (30 ft tall), one a stern looking man, the other a regal woman. Named the Grey Watchers, supposedly found by Ravendas in a keep in Sunset Mountains, placed on opposite sides of the square watching each other. Priest of Cyric able to animate the statues through the circlet crowns they wear (they glow purple during this) using an amulet made of dark steel, if blood spilled on the amulet the statues run amok [7]
Free Market in the New City
Tunnels beneath Iriaebor extend for miles, Ravendas has around 1000 people excavating the tunnels
Purple Masks thieves guild of Iriaebor, most of its members have been avoiding Ravendas (she costs them lots of money and is untrustworthy). Purple Masks guild located beneath the Temple of Selune. Members clad in grey, wear a silken violet mask. Labyrinth of tunnels and chambers beneath the temple, elaborate and richly decorated headquarters.
Tembris, member of the Purple Masks guild. He did work for Ravendas when she first came to Iriaebor (kill the Bron????). Old man, mute from birth (which is why Ravendas hired him), Ravendas cut out his eyes as a reward for his work
Temple of Selune, built of pale marble, graceful columns support the intricate facade, behind which is a lofty tapering spire. Mahogany doors at the entrance open onto a long column lined hall with teakwood prayer boxes (large enough to kneel in) lining one wall (one prayer box is the access to the thieves guild). Located on the Street of Runes [8,10]
Guildmaster Bock in charge of the Purple Masks guild, massive (fat) man. Has been proposing marriage with Jewel (Ferret’s grandmother) for the last 20 years, she keeps saying maybe
Ravendas’ torture chamber deep beneath the High Tower [9]
Since the resistance began Ravendas had been routinely capturing members of the Purple Masks guild and interrogating (torturing and killing) them for information [9]
Street of Runes is on the eastern side of The Tor [10]
Morhions tower is located on the Street of Runes near the temple of Selune. He moved there after the Fellowship disbanded. Looks dilapidated, abandoned, and overgrown with vines. Illusions make it look abandoned. There is a magical portal beneath the tower, created by a powerful conjurer many years ago, Morhion can create and link other portals to this one [10,17]
Captain Breldurn and Sergeant Drim of the Zhentarim [18]
Kyana, a slender dark haired woman with large catlike eyes and Talim, a young boy with red hair, young thieves of the Purple Masks guild [19]
Erisa, young woman of Iriaebor, captured by Ravendas and put to work in the catacombs [20]
Lord Bron was found trapped in the dungeons and reinstated after the Zhentarim were removed [epilogue]


Snake Lore
Lord Steward of Iriaebor [4]
Former thief, imprisoned in High Tower, escaped into city sewers and fell into the chasm near the Crypt of the Shadowking. Was dying and allowed the Shadowking to heal him in return for eternal service [prologue]
Dark, close cropped hair, sharp features, small beady black eyes [2]
Can conjure up the image of a killer using the blood of his victim [4]
Has nightmares about the shadowking sat on the throne of dark steel
Has an opaque, polished crystal as large as an egg, darkens with a command word and allows him to speak to the shadevari. It is an ancient magic device that allows communication with its twin (the shadevar holds the other crystal) [8,17]
Can force a victim to spill his secrets using the blood of his victim [9]
Controls the shadevar [13]
Sunlight causes, pain, weariness, and dulls his mind, ever since his possession by the Shadowking [13]
Can fire bolts of burning emerald light from his hand [13]
Hears the voice of the Shadowking in his head constantly [13]
The Shadowking urged Snake to seek out Ravendas, make himself useful to her, help her gain control of power in Iriaebor [13]

Ravendas Lore
Calls herself Lord Cutter in Iriaebor [2]
Tall, shoulder length hair the colour of spun gold, dusky blue eyes, smooth pale skin [2]
Lord Ravendas of the Zhentarim [2]
Old foe of Caledan Caldorien [2]
7 years ago Ravendas raised an army to conquer Hluthvar. Caledan and the Fellowship of the Dreaming Dragon defeated her and she fled back to Darkhold [4,10]
Has a son with Caledan (Caledan doesn’t know about), pale skin, dark glossy black hair, green eyes. Called Kellen, owns a set of reed pipe, has the gift of shadow magic, when he plays music the shadows move. 8 years old [6]
Sister of Kera, 5 years older than Kera [6,14]
Daughter of a famous mercenary (Flaming Fists????), ambitious. (Was she Zhentarim when she helped Caledan stop the Zhent assassin in Baldur’s Gate????) [14]
Has been searching for someone with shadowmagic for years according to the harpers [18]
Seven years ago Maderon was Ravendas’ lover [18]
Ravendas learned of the Nightstone over a decade ago, she tried to ensnare Caledan but he spurned her advances [18]
Ravendas impersonated Kera nearly 9 years ago at the Running Stag inn in Berdusk and seduced Caledan (without him ever knowing the truth, Ravendas told Kera though) [18]


High Tower Lore
Wall with battlements surrounds the High Tower [2]
Great iron banded gates in the surrounding wall [2]
Ancient (and forgotten) storm drain leads through the High Tower encircling wall [18]
Hall of Argument located in the High Tower, where the city lords meet. Takes up the entire ground floor of the High Tower. High ceiling covered with frescoes, countless arches, graceful vaults, a thousand torches and a polished stone floor [18]
Secret tunnel in the dungeons known only to the Purple Masks thieves guild [18]

Mari Al’Maren Lore
Dark auburn hair, wiry, strong [2]
Owns a curved, gleaming sabre [3]
Prime Master in the harpers is Belhuar Thantarth [3]
Sent by the harpers to spy on Lord Ravendas and the Zhentarim, find their weaknesses and a way to drive them from the city, and search for Caledan Caldorien [3]
As a child, lived with her parents in Elturel. They died of fever (plague????) and Mari lived on the streets for several months until winter when Master Andros the harper found her
Master Andros lived in a cottage (near Elturel????) with Mari, was too old to travel for the harpers anymore. He died 3 years ago and Mari joined the harpers soon after


Caledan Caldorien Lore
7 years wandering the realms, 7 years since he left Iriaebor [1]
Angular face (almost wolfish), green eyes, broad shoulders, large bony frame, dark hair [1]
Used to be a harper
Once a bard, but hasnt played a note since leaving the harpers [1]
Wears a braided copper bracelet (marriage symbol), and a patchwork, midnight blue fur lined cloak [2]
Buried a woman with summer golden hair seven years ago [2]
Used to play a set of reed pipes [2]
Used to live in the Sign of the Dreaming Dragon inn when he was a harper [3]
Estah is Caledan’s oldest and truest adventuring companion [3]
Formed the Fellowship of the Dreaming Dragon, six adventurers (including Caledan) that he had gathered during his time as a harper and they decided to join Caledan. They all lived in the Sign of the Dreaming Dragon that Estah still owned. The Fellowship disbanded 7 years ago [3]
7 years ago Caledan slit the throat of a nobleman named Maderon (Caledan had his own reasons for wanting Maderon dead, Maderon was Ravendas’ lover). Maderon owed Cormik a lot of money and was going to have Cormik killed instead of paying. Cormik knew about the assassination plot (although Caledan didn’t know that) and had a plan to relieve Maderon of his entire fortune before killing him first (how????)[4]
Harper tales say he foiled a plot by the Cult of Bane to seize the throne of the Empire of Amn, how he freed an army enslaved by a bloodthirsty Calishite sorceress, how he rescued hundreds of children kidnapped from Waterdeep and forced to work in a goblin prince’s mines [5]
Shadowmagic / music is an inherited ability, runs in the family [6]
Caledan and Kera were due to get married, to travel to Berdusk and swear vows in Twilight Hall. The day before the journey the Fellowship got word of Ravendas raising an army of goblinkin outside Hluthvar. The Fellowship drove two rival tribes to attack one another and the goblinkin army destroyed itself. Caledan captured Ravendas but Ravendas convinced Kera to release her and Ravendas then strangled Kera. Caledan broke with the harper and the Fellowship that day [6]
Once with the Fellowship raided a caravan of an Amnian merchant who was running slaves to Thay [7]
After Ravendas murdered Kera, she fled to Darkhold and Caledan followed her and actually managed to sneak into Darkhold. Morhion followed him (despite being ordered not to), he infofrmed Ravendas that Caledan was coming to kill her (now Caledan would not be able to and have to abandon his plans). Morhion escaped into the dungeons where Caledan was hiding. Morhion made a bargain with a black spirit named Serafi and escaped with Caledan. Caledan never forgave Morhion [10,19]
12/13 years ago Caledan was sent on a mission to stop an assassin in Baldur’s Gate sent to wipe out the Council. It was on that mission he met Ravendas. She was a commander (in the Flaming Fists????) that helped him secretly infiltrate the council chambers and stop the assassin. The assassin was Zhentarim (they were ready to step in and take control / stabilise Baldur’s Gate in the ensuing chaos). Kera was a shy girl at the time [14]
Later Caledan returned to Baldur’s Gate and Ravendas was leader of the Flaming Fists (how, local leader beneath the top leaders perhaps????). This time Caledan noticed Kera (who was now a woman). Kera wanted Caledan to take her to Berdusk and the harpers [14]
Caledan and Kera met Ravendas again 8/9 years ago and she was consumed with a lust for power and tried to convince them to join her. They learned Ravendas was now a member of the Zhentarim. [14]

Fellowship of the Dreaming Dragon
Estah met Caledan more than a dozen years ago on his first mission for the Harpers to Iriaebor to the Sign of the Dreaming Dragon inn. Estah had only just bought the inn. Over the next year he was in Iriaebor a lot and then asked her for help as a healer. [6]
They met Morhion Gen’dahar of Iriaebor first, a mage of considerable power. Always strange and secretive. Tall (taller than Caledan, very handsome, with fine noble features, shaggy eyebrows, golden hair past his shoulders, deep blue eyes. Has limited foresight ability by gazing at runes. Morhion spent the last 7 years working as a court magician (at the court of the High Lord Bron) to earn a living. To escape Darkhold Morhion made a pact with a ghost of a man (Serafi) in archaic armour with sharp features and a cruel mouth they met beneath the fortress of Darkhold, every month when the moon is full Morhion must bleed himself and the ghost drinks the blood [6,19]
Then ferret, more rogue than hero. Small wiry man, dark beady eyes, thin nose. Ferret and his family are independent of the Purple Masks guild. Grandmother, Jewel, head of Ferret’s clan of thieves, scary. [6,8]
Then Tyveris, a great warrior but gentle soul. Same height as Caledan but much larger, thickly muscled arms and chest, dark coppery skin, obsidian black eyes. Tabaxi chultan. Left Chult with his sister Tali to join sailors promising to train them in swords as mercenaries. More than half the chultans died in the journey, Tali among them. Tyveris was enslaved to a Calishite sorcerer as a mercenary, Caledan and the Fellowship freed Tyveris and his fellow warriors and Tyveris joined the Fellowship [6,7]
Tyveris went to Everard Abbey after the Fellowship disbanded, sleeping in their stable. Abbes Melisende taught him to read and he joined the order 4 years ago [7]
Kera last, a woman of true beauty within and without, sun golden hair. Kera and Caledan were in love, they song marvelous duets. Murdered by her sister Ravendas [6]
Ferret was trapped in the Crypt of the Shadowking (dead????) [21]
Tyveris became advisor to Lord Bron [epilogue]

Cutter’s Laws
No ale after sundown [1]
Anyone breaking a law is taken away by the guards and never seen again [1]
Bow in the presence of Lord Cutter [2]

Other Lore
Age old sign of loyalty to cut off a fingertip and present it to a master. Only the Zhentarim still practice this tradition [2]
Mage in red robes (Red Wizard) summoned hell hounds to attack Caledan and Mari, then fired a fire arrow at Mari [3]
Anja, plump woman with bright black eyes and ruddy cheeks. Plays a wooden flute (she made as a child). Can do Shadowmagic / music, makes the shadows move when she plays the flute. Lives on plains on the edge of Anauroch (Tunlands or Pelleors Prairie, somewhere north of Iriaebor????). Survived 3 husbands and half a dozen droughts. Slain by a shadevari [2]
Garl, farmer, knows Anja. Slain by a shadevari [2]
A small village 15-20 miles north of Iriaebor. Dario knows a fair haired young woman named Adalae [4]
Ebrelias, old priest of Oghma at Everard Abbey north of Iriaebor [7]
Sindari, a native herb of Thay, no initial symptoms causes violent convulsions after 24 hours and death within minutes. Used as a poison, bitter after taste
Caravan cities, Iriaebor, Berdusk, Elturel were founded 300 years ago [9]
River Chionthar has been settled for millennia, the Talfir raised kingdoms that fell to dust centuries before folk from Cormyr crossed the Sunset Mountains to resettle these lands [9]
Loremaster Avros, priest of Oghma at Everard Abbey [9]
Loremaster Erill, a disciple of Oghma, lives in the Sunset Mountains, friends with Loremaster Avros, he has spent a lifetime studying and preserving rare books and may have copied the Mal’eb’dala [9]
Fortress monastery in the foothills of the Sunset Mountains northeast of Iriaebor. Headed by Abbot Derevel. The monastery library is not large but it does contain some rare books. Loremaster Erill made a copy of the Book of the Shadows several years ago before he died. The Book of the Shadows was taken by Morhion Gen’dahar a month ago who traded several rare tomes for it [10]
Abbot Derevek, tall, grey haired man with a kind smile and bright eyes [10]
Talfirian Eddas, a book containing many eddas (tales????) about the talfir [11]
Talek Talembar fell to a goblin arrow in the Year of the Lion (Cormyr Reckoning) in the Duchy of Indoria [11]
The Duchy of Indoria is mentioned in a history of Calimshan, the history of one of the ancient noble houses of Calimshan [11]
5 or 6 centuries ago the land west of Iriaebor, between the Winding Water and the River Chionthar was a favoured battleground of kingdoms looking to control western Faerun. Many of these armies came from Calimshan, before the founding of Amn [11]
Calishite lord led an army across the Chionthar and camped in Indoria [11]
A village called Asher is situated where Indoria used to be, in the Fields of the Dead [11]
Berdusk is 4 days hide ride from Iriaebor [12]
Fields of the Dead are 14 days hard ride from Iriaebor (only with good weather [12]
Centuries ago the Fields of the Dead were torn up by vast armies, thousands perished here. The low hills are said to be huge burial mounds where entire armies were entombed. With the rise of Waterdeep, Amn, and the Caravan Cities, the Fields of the Dead lost their strategic importance. Scars of ancient battle turned by ploughs [14]
Asher, a small cluster of dry wall houses and thatched roofs in a vale between two tree covered hills. One inn in Asher, a single story building set against the hillside [14]
Local tales say that Talek Talembar could turn back entire armies with a song [14]
Talek Talembar’s tomb located half a mile from Asher [14]
The Lonely Oak, a massive gnarled oak tree along in a massive field in the Fields of the Dead [14]
Birds and other animals avoid the burial fields and mounds in the Fields of the Dead [14]
Talek Talembar killed the chief of a goblin tribe in the Fields of the Dead so they filled him full of arrows (according to a long dead goblin). They stashed him in a cave in a ravine (to age before they ate him later) but they were in turn killed by their own tribe. [15]
Talek Talembar’s ghost haunts his burial site, he has forgotten the shadowsong. He faded after talking to Caledan [16]
Telsiak, a thick purplish liquid, a rare poison native to Amn, one drop (delivered via needle) was enough to stop the heart instantly [17]
The Running Stag inn in Berdusk [18]
Darkhold is older than the Zhentarim. Once it marked the southernmost border of a kingdom long forgotten [19]
Serafi, a knight of the kingdom that Darkhold was part of. He sought to usurp the throne but was discovered and sentenced to death. Doomed for all eternity to remain as a spirit / ghost. Serafi knows a secret entrance / exit from the caverns beneath Darkhold [19]


Harper Lore
Belhuar Thantarth, Master of Twilight Hall. Prime Master of Mari. Was a journeyman harper 7 years ago, now a master harper [3]
Harpers of Twilight Hall believe in giving new agents a trial by fire. [3]
Harpers of Shadowdale are more impromptu and secretive than Twilight Hall, take more care of their new agents [3]
Old Master Andros, used to be Mari Al’Maren’s mentor, told her tales of Caledan Caldorien [5]
The harpers knew about shadowmagic (that Caldorien possessed it) and the nightstone (how????), but did not know about Talek Talembar or the Shadowking [16]


Talfir Language
Mal = shadows [9]
Dala = book [9]
Mal’eb’dala = the Book of Shadows [9]
Altaro'eb'Telkadra = Year of the Lion [15]


Shadevari Lore
Super strong, super fast (can run as fast as a horse and deflect thrown daggers) [5,12]
Can’t enter cities, the smell is overpowering, causes madness. Track by scent [5]
Searching for those that can use shadowmagic. Caledan, Kellen, and Anja (dead) so he can slay them [7]
Can regenerate normal damage / blows [10]
Did not cross the River Chionthar on the way to the Sunset Mountains (why, could not cross????) [10]
Face is misshapen, covered with thick grey scales, two dark tusks curved up from its maw and a serrated dark horn sprouts from its brow. No eyes, only depressions where they should be. Two slit shaped nostrils, razor sharp retractable talons [12]
Tracks by scent [12]
Cannot cross water [12]
Shadevar are ancient, 13 in number, Bhaal discovered them and they served him for thousands of years but even he could not control them forever. Eventually Azuth himself banished them from the worlds of humans and gods (according to Morhion) [12]
The Shadevar know the location of Talek Talembar’s body (is this because Ravendas found it or because they already knew????), they were waiting for the Fellowship at the ravine cave. [16]
Bright light (sun, lightning????) cause excruciating pain to the Shadevar (they can see it, despite the lack of eyes) [16]
Can be killed if it’s heart is destroyed (the magic links to their heart) [16]

Book of the Shadows
Mal’eb’dala, The Book of Shadows. Ravendas asked Tembris to steal it for her (then cut his eyes out). The original Book of Shadows was destroyed in a fatal battle between two mages. All other copies has since been destroyed or lost. One copy was locked in the library of Elversult where it has lain for the last centuries, but the book was stolen from Elversult a year ago (by Tembris) [9]
An encyclopedia, may have had multiple authors over the centuries. Details many forgotten mysteries, describes terrible creatures, abominations of magic, swords of power, enchanted rings, etc [10]
Details Verraketh, a king that ruled a land east of the mountains and west of the sea. Verraketh, a ruler both feared and mighty.[10]
Skilled above all men was Verraketh in the art of sorcery, but such was the power of his dark magic that slowly it did consume him, flesh and soul. Verraketh was changed until he appeared as a man no longer, but rather as a being most hideous, his maleficent heart filled only with darkness. Thus it was that Verraketh came to be called by a new name—the Shadowking.' [10]
The Shadowking ruled for a long time and many other lands fell under his dominion [10]
"'... so began the forging of the Nightstone. It was a gem wrought by the hand of the Shadowking from his own essence, but it was not beautiful to look upon. Rather it was as dark and cold as death. With it the Shadowking meant to gain sway over the spirits of men and bring countless realms under his dire rule. '"Yet when the Shadowking first took up the Nightstone in his hand to wield it, he discovered that he had been tricked. The mute troll who had worked the bellows of the Shadowking's forge cast off his disguise, revealing himself as the great bard named Talek Talembar. In his rapture, the Shadowking had detected not the enchantment which Talembar had bound subtly within the Nightstone. The gem refused to obey its creator, but rather heeded only the power of the magical song which Talembar played upon his pipes. For seven days and seven nights the Shadowking wrestled with Talek Talembar, and the earth shook with the fury of their battle. But in the end victory belonged to Talembar. At the end of all things the great bard raised his pipes to his lips and played the shadow song, weaving its enchantment about the Shadowking and his dark creation, the Nightstone. The Shadowking bowed on bended knee to the bard who had defeated him. Then did Talembar bind his vanquished foe within a great crypt, and over the crypt he raised a cairn higher than a hill. And the power of the Nightstone was hidden away forevermore. [10]
Talek Talembar raised a great mound over the crypt of the Shadowking, a mound as high as a hill. The mount is The Tor [10]

Crypt of the Shadowking
Sealed by a 10 ft slab of solid onyx [20]
Vast circular chamber, floor made of solid onyx, perimeter lined with 13 massive buttresses carved with gargoyles and nightmarish friezes. Each buttress has an alcove filled with gems, wine casks, gold cups, or ivory figurines [20]
A ring of 7 huge columns, each resting on a basalt plinth surrounds the centre of the crypt [20]
A domed ceiling a dozen fathoms high with a single jagged crack running across it [20]
In the centre was a basalt dais bearing a flawless onyx sarcophagus carved to resemble the Shadowking, manlike shape but massive and twisted with gnarled arms that ended in claws and legs ending in hooves. His face was perfect and human but crowned with a pair of dark antlers [20]
Small wooden box of crude construction at the base of the dais, surrounded by a maelstrom of whirling shadows (with faces amidst the tatters of darkness) [20]
The Nightstone lies in the wooden box, a rough uneven stone that radiates pulsing dark energy [20]
Ravendas touched the Nightstone and two onyx antlers burst from her forehead, she was transformed into the Shadowking, the Nightstone laying at the heart of the shadowy creature (was the Shadowking trapped inside the Nightstone????) [21]
After Caledan played the 7 notes of the shadowsong the Shadowking exploded and the crypt began to collapse, the sarcophagus disappeared into the ground [21]
Ferret was trapped in the crypt of the Shadowking while the others escaped [21]


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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 08 Mar 2021 :  19:37:49  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That was a huge amount of lore.

A few thoughts

When did Ravendas turn to the Zhentarim and how did she find out about the Nightstone.

She heard about the Nightstone over a decade ago and at that time she was in Baldurs Gate 12 years ago when she helped Caledan infiltrate the council of Baldurs Gate and stop a Zhent assassin. Had she already heard about the Nightstone then and noted Caledan's use of Shadowmagic and so aided him to try and get him on side. Was she already a Zhent then and she sacrificed her own agent to get with Caledan.

She was the daughter of a famous mercenary and working as a commander in Baldurs Gate, i'm presuming this was with the Flaming Fists. She later rose a few years later to become in charge of the Flaming Fists, does this mean she is daughter to one of the known leaders of that group (Scar, etc).



The Shadevar appeared to know the location of Talek Talembar's tomb and was waiting for him. Apart from having a super scent power how could this be. Did the shadevar somehow remain around after the SHadowking's demise, if so that might be when Bhaal and Azuth got involved.



The Shadowking was created by the Shadowstar but no mention of it is made in this novel. He then creates the Nightstone or has someone or someones create it for him, only to then become trapped in it.

Curiously a huge and ornate tomb is erected around the Nightstone but unless Talek Talembar was in charge of the Empire of Ebenfar i do not see how he would have the time and resources to create this himself.

Did the Shadowking have this tomb erected in preparation for his own death or for the death of another or was it a place of worship for some dark god (although the ornate sarcophagus carved in the Shadowking's likeness suggests it was for the Shadowking).

Onto Curse of the Shadowmage next

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 08 Mar 2021 :  20:20:02  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One thing that bugs me is the crack in the crypt, seems to me that is how the shadowking is able to ensnare Snake, but how long has this crack been there, has the shadowking been able to subtly influence people from afar.

Have there been any earthquakes or volcanic eruptions in the past in this region.

The most obvious thing would be the time of troubles weakening the magic and the shadowking could crack it, but I'd prefer something a bit more long term.


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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 08 Mar 2021 :  21:00:56  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yep, lots of lore and lots of it in conflict with lore published elsewhere (FRA, VGttSC and Power of Faerun just to name a few). There are even internal inconsistencies that has made it difficult to come up with something that makes sense for Iriaebor. Maybe that is one of the reasons why nothing was ever published specifically about the city.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 08 Mar 2021 :  21:07:09  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

One thing that bugs me is the crack in the crypt, seems to me that is how the shadowking is able to ensnare Snake, but how long has this crack been there, has the shadowking been able to subtly influence people from afar.

Have there been any earthquakes or volcanic eruptions in the past in this region.

The most obvious thing would be the time of troubles weakening the magic and the shadowking could crack it, but I'd prefer something a bit more long term.





There are earthquakes mentioned in the 4e/5e timeframe but I haven't seen any during the 1300s. However, there was an artifact that was kept in Sshamath for a while that was throwing off wild and dead magic zones that could have made it to Iriaebor. It could have been an interaction between a wild magic zone and the magic of the Crypt that created the crack when it did.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 08 Mar 2021 :  21:58:53  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh goody, I love inconsistencies, they make the best realmslore.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 08 Mar 2021 :  22:52:37  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Oh goody, I love inconsistencies, they make the best realmslore.



A couple examples:

Ships in the river at Iriaebor. I have never heard of a barge referred to as a ship and unless those ships can fly or walk, they ain't going to be at Iriaebor (and them being there wasn't a "OMG, there are ships at Iriaebor!" moment). Iriaebor is the furthest barges can make it. That is per Ed (and his lore trumps the author's in my opinion).

I would have to assume that the map in FRA was either drawn by Ed or approved by him. A 100 foot wide garden at the far west end of the Tor would have been something easily seen on that map. FRA came out in 1990. Crypt came out in 1993. It would seem that the map was not referenced in the writing of the book. The book had Caldorian gone for 7 years. So, if the book takes place in 1363 (and that is the date in GHotR), that means that the garden was there in 1356 (since Cal isn't surprised by its existence when he returns) and should have been on the map and it isn't.

Edit: This may have come off harsher than I intended. There are some other interesting items. Here is an example:

Bock and the Purple Masks Thieves Guild: The Purple Masks operate in Elversult but were on the verge of being taken over by The Harpers in 1358 (listed in FRA). Since Crypt takes place in 1363 AND their base is under the Moontower, that leads to the conclusion that the Purple Masks in Iriaebor are Harper backed (Selune is one of the Harper gods). For what I am doing, I am taking it that Bock saw the writing on the wall when the Harpers took over his guild so he decided to go along and the Harpers let him stay. The Harpers later decided to have the Purple Masks challenge the Night Skulls (the Zhent-backed thieves guild in Iriaebor) and Bock, as an already known head of a thieves guild, would not have the Zhents immediately connect him with the Harpers.


"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Edited by - TheIriaeban on 08 Mar 2021 23:17:37
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 09 Mar 2021 :  09:31:54  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cant say i noticed the description of the garden in the novel.

The mention of a warship did seem odd, but looking around i think river boats came in a variety of sizes, from skiffs, to barges, to sailing ships.

Now travelling upriver all of these vessels would need to use oars, be poled, or dragged against the current but there is no reason why you couldnt have a ship carry 20 - 30 soldiers along the river (although the point of such a vessel would be limited and was probably just a show of strength on the part of the Zhents).

When i've finished the novels i'll have a look at the other lore, but your idea about the thieves guild works well enough. It does seem odd that the Purple Masks relocated from Elturel to IRiaebor and that the Night Skulls mysteriously disappeared.

I'm gonna guess that Ravendas and the Zhents used the Night Skulls to gain power and then eliminated or disbanded the Night Skulls because they were no longer needed in a town where the Zhents had total control (and Ravendas, while ambitious does seem a bit short sighted). Then something moved the Purple Masks from Elturel to Iriaebor (perhaps they were discovered or forced out by another guild - like the Shadow Thieves).
The only oddity is that Bock had been trying to marry Ferret's grandmother for over a decade but that could have just been part of his original plans to expand from Elturel into Iriaebor anyway.


JUst started Curse of the Shadowmage, new monster - Shadowbeasts. I'm beginning to think that mentions of Ebenfar as an Empire with armies, etc is a mistake, with creatures like the Shadevar and shadowbeasts at his disposal that he can make out of shadow why would he ever need an army of humans. In fact what would he ever need humans for except to use for his magic and feed to his creatures.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 09 Mar 2021 :  14:57:00  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Cant say i noticed the description of the garden in the novel.

The mention of a warship did seem odd, but looking around i think river boats came in a variety of sizes, from skiffs, to barges, to sailing ships.

Now travelling upriver all of these vessels would need to use oars, be poled, or dragged against the current but there is no reason why you couldnt have a ship carry 20 - 30 soldiers along the river (although the point of such a vessel would be limited and was probably just a show of strength on the part of the Zhents).

When i've finished the novels i'll have a look at the other lore, but your idea about the thieves guild works well enough. It does seem odd that the Purple Masks relocated from Elturel to IRiaebor and that the Night Skulls mysteriously disappeared.

I'm gonna guess that Ravendas and the Zhents used the Night Skulls to gain power and then eliminated or disbanded the Night Skulls because they were no longer needed in a town where the Zhents had total control (and Ravendas, while ambitious does seem a bit short sighted). Then something moved the Purple Masks from Elturel to Iriaebor (perhaps they were discovered or forced out by another guild - like the Shadow Thieves).
The only oddity is that Bock had been trying to marry Ferret's grandmother for over a decade but that could have just been part of his original plans to expand from Elturel into Iriaebor anyway.


JUst started Curse of the Shadowmage, new monster - Shadowbeasts. I'm beginning to think that mentions of Ebenfar as an Empire with armies, etc is a mistake, with creatures like the Shadevar and shadowbeasts at his disposal that he can make out of shadow why would he ever need an army of humans. In fact what would he ever need humans for except to use for his magic and feed to his creatures.



It didn't really describe the garden but when they did the archery and apple thing, it says that the apple was "over 100 feet away". Therefore, the garden is about 100 feet wide.

Ed specifies that only barges can make it up that far. Now, you could have a "battle barge" but again, that isn't a ship. Whatever vessel makes it there, it would have to be shallow draft and not very tall (the river barges do have masts that can be lowered). You have the bridges of Berdusk to get under and there are some rapids just upriver there to contend with.

For my stuff, the main influence that allowed the Zhents to take over was Nathlar. He is in the FRA and is a level 19 illusionist. He had been formenting distrust in the government in the city for years before "Cutter" showed up. The Night Skulls were helping him to some extent and were really the true representatives of the Zhents during this (Ravendas was really only looking out for herself once she took over). The Zhents would really like to get their hands on her for a little interrogation and torture session.


"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 10 Mar 2021 :  14:03:57  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The amount of lore is vastly reduced in the second novel.

A few interesting passages though.

Firstly is the the shadowking needed to feed on living creatures to survive and that he devastated the surrounding lands to feed that need.

It also gives a timeline of sorts for verraketh. He's a bard, he finds the lump of metal, quenched it in a pool and makes a medallion. Then he becomes a famous musician, a noble lord, and finally a ruler and powerful magic user.

His only son Talek also becomes a powerful magic user.

Over the centuries Verraketh is transformed into the shadowking.

So the possibilities between the words are that Verraketh inherited or stole an existing kingdom, I think it more likely he became elder of a nomadic tribe.

He has only one son but could have had many daughters and grand children.

His nation becomes a wasteland as the shadowking feeds on every living creature in it or transforms them into his servants. He then starts conquering other lands and devouring them as well.


As for relatives. Talek was his only son but he could have had many daughters and many grandchildren, most of whom would need to be slain for there to be only a few descendants in modern day.

Its also curious that the shadowstar seemed to be powerful enough to make verraketh a super mage and transform him into the shadowking but was ultimately not enough and so the night stone was needed.

Even stranger, Serafi, the netherese spirit of darkhold seemed to know how to cure the shadowking transformation so it implies he was around during these events or he had a copy of the book of the shadows (where the incarnation to stop the transformation is held).




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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 10 Mar 2021 :  14:19:16  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison


It also gives a timeline of sorts for verraketh. He's a bard, he finds the lump of metal, quenched it in a pool and makes a medallion. Then he becomes a famous musician, a noble lord, and finally a ruler and powerful magic user.

Even stranger, Serafi, the netherese spirit of darkhold seemed to know how to cure the shadowking transformation so it implies he was around during these events or he had a copy of the book of the shadows (where the incarnation to stop the transformation is held).




So it is saying that Verraketh made the Shadowstar and not Gond and Azuth?

Does it say why Serafi was at the Darkhold when he died? Or when?

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 10 Mar 2021 :  14:46:29  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The wording is that Verraketh watched a falling star, he went to the crash site and found the lump of metal, quenched in a pool and fastened it to a silver chain making it into a medallion.

Its unclear whether he fashioned it himself or merely cooled it and stuck it on a chain but to me the quenching is part of the forging process so he made the shadowstar himself out of whatever the meteorite was.


As for Serafi, he was a netherese prince that tried to seize the throne of the Empire of Netheril and was sentenced to death for it.
Doesnt make sense given what we now know about Netheril. The Empire never had a throne to seize until the triumvirate during the shadowed age.
I think it more likely that serafi was a fleeing arcanist after Netherils fall and was part of a short lived successor state that he tried to overthrow.

If serafi was around after the fall of ebenfar then that might explain how he knew about the book of shadows and what was contained in. The fact that the book contains a spell to halt the transformation says to me that it was written after Ebenfar when people had to deal with verrakeths descendants occasionally turning into shadowkings. Verraketh would never allow such a book to exist during his lifetime.


So I'm thinking serafi was around after the fall of netheril and maybe died after the fall of Ebenfar.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 10 Mar 2021 :  15:55:46  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, maybe he was a member of House Orogoth? The survivors fled and hid. He may have been hiding in the High Moor and saw the whole Shadowking thing from beginning to end. Then, things got too crowded where he was and moved to the Darkhold where he finally died? Maybe it was the Shadowking's "area of death" that disrupted his life prolonging magic and that is why he finally died? He couldn't reproduce the original magic because things had changed enough after Karsus' Fall to where that spell just wouldn't work any more.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 10 Mar 2021 :  17:23:42  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well he was educated because he plotted against the ruler, if I recall eric and george have done some work on darkhold that involved the lich mentioned as being slain by manshoon being an early ruler of darkhold that was trapped there. I'd guess serafi tried to kill her and was executed.

His continuation as a ghost could indeed be down to lingering legacies of Ebenfar, he may have even possessed the book of shadows or a copy, and tried to use it in his bid for power.


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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 10 Mar 2021 :  17:34:29  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In fact, Serafi's first introduction is as a "dark spirit" which could be interpreted as him literally being dark as in shadowy as in a shadow, corrupted by the magic of the shadowking (even if he was long dead).

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ericlboyd
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Posted - 10 Mar 2021 :  18:15:11  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I think it more likely that serafi was a fleeing arcanist after Netherils fall and was part of a short lived successor state that he tried to overthrow.




Serafi is described as a knight. Could be eldritch knight, I suppose.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 10 Mar 2021 :  18:22:52  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very true, completely forgot about the armour, although any wizard should be able to wear armour if they want to, it just makes spellcasting more difficult (not impossible). The rules are wrong.

But yeah some form of armoured spellcaster makes the most sense as a warrior is unlikely to be able to overpower the ruler of netheril (or one of its successor states). And he knew about the spell in the book of shadows to stop the shadowking transformation which implies he knows about magic


I did note just now the Talfirian Watchers, statues in the reaching woods that guarded the roads of a talfir city.

It made me think about the Grey Watcher. I wonder if the watchers somehow repel the shadevar and other servants of the shadowking, and the sorcerers of darkhold used similar magic in their Grey Watchers to keep the forces of Ebenfar out of their valley (explaining how they could exist at the same time as Ebenfar). Alternatively the talfir could have taken that magic from darkhold after Ebenfar fell (as I doubt the talfir had that magic during Ebenfars existence otherwise the empire wouldn't have been such a problem).

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 10 Mar 2021 18:38:12
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 11 Mar 2021 :  15:43:42  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Curse of the Shadowmage is all over the place, geographical and continuity wise.

So the talfir create a city to await a child with shadowmagic. Unclear if this is before or after the horrors of the shadowking, i presume afterwards and it is just a sensible person realising that the shadowking's descendants might also have his gift.

Ebenfar is located in the centre of the High Moor. Now i'll assume it is not actually in the centre, but just somewhere in the High Moor, and it was probably just the place where Verraketh slept / lived rather than being the entirety of his empire because he claimed land as far away as Iriaebor.

Which brings me to the question, why was the Shadowking in Iriaebor forging the Nightstone, its a very long way away from Ebenfar. What was in Iriaebor that meant he had to forge the Nightstone there, why not do it in the High Moor.

So many questions, i hope they are all answered

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 11 Mar 2021 :  16:36:23  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The story gets weirder and weirder, the High Moor was once filled with a music, when the Shadowstar fell into the High Moor it was imbued with the music and that music was used by talek talembar to bind the nightstone as it has power over the shadowstar and the shadowking.


Now the idea of music filling the High Moor is odd, i wonder if the Shadowstar didnt hit one of the song paths of the elves or something like that.

The magic of the song path gets absorbed into the shadowstar and is then passed onto the shadowking and his descendants like a genetic magical ability. Much like the songs can be used to activate and deactivate portals so can the music be used to control the shadowstar and the shadowking and the nightstone and shadows themselves.

Its an interesting concept.


Lots and lots of minor issues with the Curse of the Shadowmage story though

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 11 Mar 2021 :  17:01:00  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are so many inconsistencies as to drive one mad. Here is another example from Curse of the Shadowmage pg69:

"The years turned into centuries, and the magic of the Shadowstar began to transform Verraketh until he was a man and a mage no longer, but a thing of pure and evil magic, which folk in fear named the Shadowking." Morhion regarded his two listeners solemnly. "I think you both know the rest of the tale. Seeking dominion over all men, the Shadowking forged the Nightstone. But Talek Talembar defeated his father and sealed both Shadowking and Nightstone inside the crag upon which, an eon later, Iriaebor was raised."

So, according to this, Iriaebor wasn't even founded yet and won't be for a long time (eon). But earlier in the same book, it was mentioned that the Nightstone was found 1,000 years after it was buried. So, that means that the stone was buried around 363 DR. But, Ed specifies in So Sayeth Ed that El's nehpew, Moeblur Taetyn, was trapped in a stasis trap under Iriaebor over 1,000 years prior to 1337. That piece has this to say about Iriaebor:

"In time he came to Iriaebor, and hired on as a cellarer there (intending to stay only long enough to fill his belly and stay warm during the winter months) in a tavern. Whilst rummaging for long-forgotten bottles in an undercellar, he found a loose stone behind which was an even deeper cellar. Being Moeblur, he had to explore it without delay-and so found a long-hidden Netherese tomb."

So, in 337 DR, Iriaebor existed and had been there long enough to have "long forgotten bottles" in a tavern cellar. Even if that "long forgotten" was only 5 years, that pushes Iriaebor's existence back to at least 332. Even if the burial of the Nightstone was pushed back to 331, that is not an "eon" of time if Iriaebor had to have existed by 332.


"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 11 Mar 2021 :  18:33:13  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i believe i can have a go at explaining that one.

YOu just have to excuse Ed for using the name Iriaebor when he meant to refer to it by another name but for ease of understanding used the modern one.

Settlements appear to be founded and refounded time and again over the top of older settlements because they are good places to settle.


The Netherese settled the region when they arrived before and after -339 DR. At the time i reckon the talfir were nomadic, but they learned civilisation from the Netherese.

So Iriaebor, being located at a river confluence is a great place for a settlement (nice fertile land around it from the flood plains). The Tor itself may not have been, but its likely that many netherese settled here and built growing town of sorts.

I'm going to imagine they struggled to survive against the goblinoids and giants of the region, but had some help from the fortress of darkhold (which was also ruled by a netherese arcanist).

Then sometime around 90 DR Verraketh became the SHadowking and started hunting his and neighbouring lands to extinction. I'm willing to bet he scoured the lands along the Winding River first forcing the talfir south and west, so may have reached the River Chionthar and its settlements sometime over the next 50 years.

Which means Iriaebor (need to give it a new name) was a target from 140 DR onwards and likely empty within a few decades.

Now the Shadowking was defeated around 323 DR and the talfir come flooding back to the old settlement which now has a huge tor poking out the middle of it. So by 337 DR this would be newly settled land again amid the ruins of the old netherese settlement. Athalantar is felled in 342 DR and so Els nephew could have arrived anytime around then and discovered the long forgotten netherese bottle .



As for the name. Iriaebor is an oddly constructed name, three vowels that dont normally get used together. I believe this can be a clue to Iriaebor's old netherese or Talfir name.

Talek Talembar becomes Calen Calendir. So we can swap I's and As. R's are the same. T's are swapped with C's in what seems to be an alphabetic confusion so we could do something similar as what happens between welsh and english so B and T are swapped. In the end we could end up with something like Arai's or Aray's Tor. Aray being the name of a netherese arcanist that ruled here before the shadowking drove him away and the Tor added to the name because the Tor appeared suddenly.

The later arrival of Cormyreans and Sembias centuries later warp the language again and it is altered to Iriaebor.



Just my thoughts. Settlements and kingdoms being abandoned and settled and resettled many times over the millennia is a common realms occurrence and can be used to solve so many inconsistencies (plus its a favourite trick of George and Eric - Impiltur, Phalorm)

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 11 Mar 2021 :  19:20:32  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Curse of the Shadowmage (1364 DR)

Other Lore
The Darkling Hour, the time of thieves and wizards, after the moon has gone but before the sun has risen. [prologue]
Events of the Shadowking had taken place 2 and a half years ago [1]
Raystingers, flat boneless animals (fish???) that trail behind whiplike barbs filled with poison. Found off the coast of Amn during warm tides [2]
Expensive Amnian carpets [3]
Magestone, a dark pebble bearing the runic symbol of magic. Tests magical ability of an individual, sparks when held (burns the runic symbol into the skin). Those that do not possess the Gift are wounded (sometimes slain) by a magestone [3]
Ravendas stole the Book of the Shadows from the library of Elversult when she began her search for the Crypt of the Shadowking [5]
Serafi of Darkhold knows the secret to save Caledan (how????), he will tell Morhion in exchange for his body (Serafi will possess Morhion’s body and Morhion’s soul will depart – he will die) [5]
Renegade Harpers (those that discard their pins and refuse orders), every harper is obliged to hunt them down [6]
Two migrations came to the Caravan Cities region after the talfir and Ebenfar. The first came from the East, crossing the Sunset Mountains. A few centuries ago a new wave of settlers from Cormyr and Sembia settled the region [6]
Stiletto is a new power in the underworld of the Western Heartlands. He appeared two years ago and risen to power quickly. He is taking control of more and more criminal operations [7]
Many gateways scattered across the Realms, you can travel between them if you know the right spells
The Dusk Road leads from Corm Orp to Iriaebor to Elturel
Gibberling lair in a cave network near Corm Orp. Over 100 gibberlings have laired here for a long time. [9]
Thief etiquette says that wandering thieves must be welcomed into guild property / territory for a single night. After that they are fair game [10]
Red amnian wine [11]
Believed to be lots of gold in Mount Ghaethluntar (frozen forest) [12]
Jewel and Cormik get married and run Ferret’s criminal empire from Iriaebor [epilogue]
Iron blocks magic, useful to store enchanted objects [epilogue]



Iriaebor Lore
Kadian, street urchin, big man, broad shoulders, pale hair, graceful movements (his mother may have had a touch of elven blood) [prologue]
Dragon’s Eyes, a gambling den at the intersection of the Street of Jewels and Street of Lanterns [prologue]
Mari and Caledan found a spy in the High Tower (Caledan killed him), he could have been Zhentarim [1]
Since Harvestide there had been a dozen grisly murders in Iriaebor, each victim horribly mauled, each victim not a nice person (from nobles to thieves). Caledan and his shadows have killed them [1]
Barbed Hook, a tavern in the New City on the waterfront. A dilapidated building fashioned from the overturned hull of a barnacle encrusted galleon [2]
Zhentarim were plotting to take over Iriaebor, operated out of the Barbed Hook tavern and a secret room behind an iron door [2]
Darkhold had once been part of Netheril and 2000 years ago Serafi had tried to seize the throne. He was executed for treason but persisted as a ghost. Morhion made a pact with Serafi to help him and Caledan escape from the catacombs of Darkhold [3]
Cormik, one of the most powerful of the criminal underworld lords in Iriaebor [6]
The towers of the Old City are connected by bridges, many of them are crumbling and in ill repair, some are walked only at great peril. It is possible to walk from one end of the Tor to the other without ever touching the ground. Merchant stalls and vendors ply their trade on the bridges [6]
Jewel Talondim (Ferret’s grandmother) owns an invisible tower (accessed by an invisible bridge) in the Old City. 93 years old, but looks about 30, apparently the Talondim women age gracefully (elvish blood, magic longevity ????). Has a slight foot drag due to age or injury [7,11]
The Talondim Clan are an independent family of thieves not affiliated with any guild. Normally such independents are eradicated by guilds but the Talondims are unusually powerful thanks to Jewel, so the guilds try and ally with the Talondims [7]
Morhion’s spire raised 3 centuries ago by a powerful mage. The mage placed a powerful gateway beneath the spire. The gateway is a powerful artefact eons old. Serafi knows the gateway is powerful (is it Netherese in origin????)


Shadow Monsters
Shadowbeast, fangs, talons, and horns, two red eyes [prologue]
Created only in the presence of light (light needed to cast a shadow????) [3]
Shadevar, grey hide rough like stone, onyx barbs protrude from its forearms and sternum and backbone, featureless face with two small slits for a nose and two depressions where its eyes should have been, a slit mouth filled with countless needle teeth [10]
3 Shadevar around Hills Edge, searching for Caledan and Mari [10]
Shadowsteeds, hazy, indistinct shapes of black smoke, resemble a hybrid lizard / bat, big enough to carry a shadevar [10]
Shadow creatures can be created by the shadevari as well as the shadowking [15]
Shadow creatures can merge together to form greater creatures. For instance shadow hounds merged to form a shadow dragon [16]

Kellen Lore
11 years old, but looks like a 7 or 8 year old [1]
Black hair, grey green eyes, slight build [1]
Lives with Caledan at the Sign of the Dreaming Dragon [1]
Shadowmagic, always appears at least once in every generation [1]
Has the Gift and shadowmagic [3]

Shadowking Lore
Great sorcerer named Verraketh, eventually his dark power transformed him into the Shadowking [1]
Ruled Ebenfar for centuries from his dark throne, lay waste to all the lands around, drew strength from the destruction of living things [1]
Forged the Nightstone deep in a mountain cave. The Nightstone could control all shadows, including those within a man’s heart [1]
When the Shadowking tried to use the Nightstone, one of his trolls threw off his disguise and revealed himself as Talek Talembar a great bard. Talembar bound the shadowsong into the Nightstone as it was being forged so the Nightstone obeyed Talembar. The Shadowking and Talembar fought night and day for a year. Talembar wrested the Nightstone from the Shadowking and thus the Shadowking was defeated, he then raised a great cairn over the crypt of the Shadowking [1]
Caledan is transforming into a Shadowking [5]
A falling star fell to Toril, a bard saw it and journeyed to the crater finding a piece of metal which he quenched in a pool of water and made it into a medallion on a silver chain. From that day his fortunes changed, he became a famous musician, a noble lord, the ruler of his own land. His name was Verraketh Talembar. The medallion granted him great magical power over shadows which was passed onto his only son Talek Talembar (who became a bard and sorcerer in his own right). Verraketh did not age, he became known as the Shadowmage and his kingdom was called Ebenfar [6]
Over the centuries the Shadowstar transformed Verraketh into the Shadowking. Then the Shadowking forged the Nightstone and Talek Talembar defeated the Shadowking and sealed the Shadowstar and the Nightstone in the crag upon which Iriaebor was raised [6]
Talek Talembar renders as Calen Calendir in the post talfir language of the region. This became Caledan Caldorian in cormyrean [6]
The Shadowstar was stolen from the Crypt of the Shadowking (how????) and now lies in the possession of the thief named Stiletto [6]
There is an incantation in the Book of the Shadows that can reverse the Shadowking transformation before it is complete
Shadowking possesses the ability to warp and shape flesh, stone, wood, anything with a thought (unconsciously can shape things according to his emotions) [13]
The Shadowstar can be used to create onyx black marble [14]
The Shadowstar can teleport the wielder (it teleported Ferret to a hill north Soubar) [14]
The Shadowstar makes the wearer very lucky [14]
The Shadowstar makes the owner very possessive of it [14]
The Shadowstar can make magic doors [14]
Ebenfar (the capital????) lies at the centre of the High Moor. Serafi knows about its location [15]
The Shadowstar is linked to the shadevari [15]
Shadevari are older than the world, beings of pure chaos, they were tricked by Azuth who used illusion to make them enter a prison and then locked them in using the Shadowstar (made by Gons) and hurled into the outer cosmos. The Shadowstar returned to Toril and was found by Verraketh who vowed to release the shadevari once he was powerful enough [17]
Shadevari known as the Eyeless Ones
In some Talfir dialects the word shadow and shadevar are the same [18]

Corm Orp Lore
Little village, most residents are halflings that live in burrows but some humans live in stone houses surrounding the village commons [4]
Tam Acorn, halfling [4]
Pel Baker, makes sugarberry pies, lives and works near the centre of Corm Orp [4]
Harvest Festival held in Uktar [4]
Old Quince Piper, grandfather to Ali Bramble, currently unwell, plays the flute at harvest festival [4]
Rin Miller, middle aged halfling [4]
Ali Bramble, granddaughter of Quince Miller [4]
Caledan journeys to Corm Orp, his music brings the shadows to life and they start to kill the villagers and animals [4]
7 days travel (by horse) north of Iriaebor
A score of stone buildings clustered around a wide point in the Dusk Road. The low hills around the vale are filled with halfling burrows
The Green Door, a comfortable stone building inn, it extends into the hill behind it with rooms for halflings and humans
Estah grew up in Corm Orp and is considered a local hero

Easting Lore
trading town. Dwarves come down from the Sunset Mountains to sell the metal they forge in Easting but lately the dwarves have not been coming and Easting trade is drying up. [4]
The dwarves were being captured by orcs, led by an orc named Gtharn. The orcs were forcing the dwarves to make weapons and armour for them. Mari freed the orcs and slew Gtharn [4]

Magic Language
Avarra – Open
Bahadra – Close

Talfir Language
K'sai'eb'mal – on the Nature of Shadows [12]

Berdusk Lore
Twilight Hall, stands on a green hill in the centre of Berdusk, consists of a number of stone buildings clustered around a central courtyard. Much of the compound lies below ground, including the twilight hall itself for which the place is named [10]
The Great Hall beneath the harper compound, an ingenious dwarven construction hewn out of the rock, resembling not a cavern but a dusky primeval forest, with countless columns carved to resemble trees (their stone branches supporting the ceiling), walls covered with lifelike leaves of copper and gold, a floor of mottled green and brown marble [10]

K’shar Lore
Best Hunter (assassin) in the harpers [10]
Joined the harpers 20 years ago, spent much of that time in the Heartlands hunting Zhentarim, Red Wizards, or goblin leaders, whoever the harpers command he hunts [10]
Bored with his work (unchallenging), thinking of leaving the harpers [10]
Skin colour is a deep burnished bronze, golden eyes, colourless (white???) close cropped hair, unusually tall and thin but graceful, has slightly pointed ears and tilted eyes hinting at elvish ancestry [10]
Ordered to slay Caledan Caldorien (and Mari Al’maren if she interferes) [10]
Able to run as fast and as far as a horse (how????) [10]
Half elf [12]
His grandmothers people were persecuted because of their abilities – like seeing in the dark – acquired from generations of living underground [12]
His grandmother was a drow who loved a green elf of the forest (a slave) and bore him a daughter even though she herself was killed for it. His mother was outcast from the drow city and came to the surface where she was killed by humans [20]

Hill’s Edge Lore
Crawling with Zhentarim [10]
Has at least 6 inns [10]
The Five Rings, an inn on the western edge of town, harpers stay here and Zhentarim are not allowed. Owned by Faladhar a red faced man who dislike Zhentarim[10]

Triel Lore
Fortified town located where the Dusk Road meets the Trade Way, serves as a way station for traveling merchants, a cluster of cottages and storehouses surrounded by a sturdy stockade of stone and wood [11]
Beris, youngest of 20 mercenaries in service to Lord Elvar [11]
Sarig, veteran mercenary in service to Lord Elvar [11]
Lord Elvar, an overlarge man with beady eyes and a piggish upturned nose, rules a region that includes Triel, dislikes strangers, switches religion every tenday [11]
Tales that the King of the Dead comes as a dark man riding a pale horse [11]
At least one inn [11]

Talis Lore
Talfirian Watchers, stone statues, built by the talfir a thousand years ago to guard the ancient roads (runs south from the Reaching Woods) [12]
Ruined remnants of a talfir city in the Reaching Woods around the river, named Talis. Home to an old woman named Isela [12]
Talis is full of traps that uses peoples magic against them. A pyramid topped by a golden orb, those with the Gift that touch it activate the trap and fall into a pit that closes over [12]
Heartroot, a small black seed that flowers into a purple plant but only when placed on the chest of someone with heart difficulties (used to treat arhythmias and heartstop????). The plant cures heart problems quickly and then becomes brittle and falls apart (does the plant produce more seeds when it flowers????) [12]
Great oracle, leader of his people a tribe of the Talfir, journeyed to the Reaching Woods and foretold of a child marked by magic who would come on a quest to stop and great darkness and decide the fate of the Talfiric people. He declared someone must await the child and so the city of Talis was built. [12]
Isela gave Morhion a leather bound ancient book (K'sai'eb'mal, on the Nature of Shadows) and a silver ring inset with a violet gem [12]
The silver ring is able to imbue items with magical power to defeat shadow creatures more easily. It enchanted the walls of a tower to prevent shadow hounds from entering and enchanted their weapons to kill the beasts [16]
The silver ring separates shadows and shadevari into light and dark (how????) [20]

Soubar Lore
Soubar, a sprawling tent city, seasonal trading town on the harsh plains south of the Forest of Wyrms with only 30 or so permanent structures in winter. In summer its population increases a hundred fold due to merchants etc, by fall only swindlers, charlatans, and thieves remain [13]
Goris, trader, thief, bully that frequents Soubar [13]
Stiletto’s base of operations is in Soubar [14]
Stiletto is Ferret [14]
Ferret left his criminal empire in the hands of Jewel and Cormik while he went to rescue Caledan [15]


Ebenfar Lore
Located in the High Moor [15]
A bridge made of onyx created by magic [18]
Two gigantic basalt colossi crafted in the form of shadevari [18]
The High Moor was once infused with music, some claim it was an echo of the gods. When the shadowstar fell into the vale it became infused with that music becoming part of it. Thereafter the music had power to quell the shadowstar. Talek Talembar used that music in the shadowsong to defeat the Shadowking [18]
The Shadowking, when he was alive, was able to damage the music of the vale [18]
The centre of Ebenfar is located in the impact crater of the Shadowstar [18]
The Valesong, generated by a river of lava beneath the vale heating steams of water that rise up through fissures (lava tubes) and make an organ like hum [18,19,20]
The Throne of Ebenfar sits atop a gigantic basalt pillar in the centre of the impact crater [18]
Underground rivers provide the water that steams onto the lave and rises out the fissure. One river sealed behind a door of unusual metal operated by a lever carved with runes (unrecognisable to K’shar – not elvish????) [20]
The Valesong killed the Shadowking and melted the Shadowstar. Caledan emerged from the Shadowking and cast Serafi into the Abyss (losing his shadow magic in the process). The Shadowstar cooled into a new medallion that Kellen now wears [21]

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 11 Mar 2021 :  19:35:12  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Didnt enjoy the second book quite so much, mostly in my mind the story of the shadowstar and the shadowking didnt work, and it was a lot lighter on lore.

So the SHadowking was created by the Shadowstar, presumably the influence of the SHadevari over a prolonged period of time or an escalation in Verraketh's powers until he could work a transformation on himself (many of the Shadowking's powers seem to involve warping of physical matter).

With the Shadowstar the SHadowking can call a Shadevar into being, but these are not the Shadevari of ancient times (it was explained as they are avatars but that doesnt work because the Shadevari arent gods, more like these are imitations).

So Snake must have originally used the Shadowstar to call the first Shadevar into existence, or that Shadevar was already loose in the realms. If he did have the Shadowstar then why did he bother to put it back in the tomb, and if he didnt then how did he call the Shadevar.

The next issue i have is why did the SHadowking bother with the Nightstone at all. He has the Shadowstar, a clearly superior artefact that allows him to work incredible magic, creating shadowy black onyx stone on command, enchanting bridges to last a thousand years, teleporting vast distances, and summoning shadevari. And yet he creates this nightstone to control every living creature on Toril although its not clear that was its actual power, it only ever appeared to do one thing - act as a prison for the SHadowking. Perhaps it was his phylactery.


Talis is an odd one, the talfir appear to have the magic necessary to destroy shadows and shadevari, one can only assume they developed this after the fall of the Shadowking (otherwise they would have been able to defeat him easily). THen there is the prophecy about a child of shadowmagic, i'm wondering if this is not a corruption of a cautionary tale advising the talfir to beware the descendants of Verraketh because they can become the SHadowking.


Did not like the Valesong, a huge set of natural panpipes made in the place exactly where the shadowstar crashes to toril, talk about the ultimate of coincidences. I'm thinking the metal door and runic rod is actually a dwarven contraption and the shadowstar crashed into a mixed elven / dwarven settlement. I believe the dwarves of dardath settled the High Moor and may have built beneath an older Miyeritar settlement long buried so perhaps the shadowstar crashed into the elven settlement ruins and smashed the song path / portal into the ground and into the dwarven ruins underneath which Verraketh then sealed by closing one of the doors and trapping the leaking songpath.

I wonder if Verraketh was actually trapped in Ebenfar and had to return here every few days to recharge (otherwise why bother to put the throne here and turn of the Valesong).




I think a significant piece of work to puzzle out Ebenfar is what's needed.


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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 11 Mar 2021 :  21:35:38  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And serafi is definitely a sword mage or eldritch knight or a wizard that can wear armour. He draws on morhions life force to cast a spell at one of the shadevar.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 12 Mar 2021 :  00:15:55  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

And serafi is definitely a sword mage or eldritch knight or a wizard that can wear armour. He draws on morhions life force to cast a spell at one of the shadevar.



Serafi's story nicely fits in with the timeline I had created for the Darkhold (used to be called Fjelltobyrdfestingheim). For what I assembled, Serafi is very likely from Wreathe. The Netherese, in their eyes, took over the keep in -543 (after Wreathe was destroyed because they needed someplace to send their hunting parties from). Of course, the giants there at the time don't see it that way. So, Serafi would have died around -543 (that puts it at 1,907 years prior to Curse of the Shadowmage or about 2,000 years ago).

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 Mar 2021 :  14:37:33  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fallen Fortress (1361 – 1362 DR)

Carradoon Lore
Lakeview Street turns south onto Boulevard of the Bridge [prologue]
Temple of Ilmater [1]

Ghost Lore
Ghost’s spirit recalled from the afterlife (hell) by the Ghearafu, he returned as an undead creature [1]
Ghost can now become insubstantial at will [1]
His touch causes rapid aging and death [1]
Feeds off emotions and fear [1]
Twice during his long life Ghost had permanently exchanged bodies [1]
The Ghearafu possesses an evil sentience [2]
Ghearafu, made of a gold mirror and a pair of mismatched gloves (one black, one white) [5]
Ghearafu created millennia ago by denizens of chaos (the Abyss????) [9]
Ghearafu, destroyed by the fires of an ancient red dragon (Fyrentennimar) [9]

Edificant Library
Vicero Belago, resident alchemist, thin wiry man [1]
Headmaster Avery Schell (slain in previous book) [1]
Histra, priestess of Sune [1]
Headmistress Pertelope is dying from her failed transformation [2]

Castle Trinity
Aballister has an extra dimensional space that the originally created when he was at the Edificant Library [4]
Hydra, manticore, chimera, golems, and a young black dragon under Aballister’s command [19]
Dorigen has stood beside Aballister for many years [19]
Castle Trinity is abandoned by Dorigen who orders the soldiers to disperse to Carradoon and the goblinoids and giants to return home [25]
Dorigen goes to the Edificant Library to serve a penance [25]
Aballister is dead, sucked into the ground on another plane [24]

Snowflake Mountains Lore
Fyrentennimar, Nightglow the name of a dreaded mountain peak. Tales two centuries old of the mountain that glows in the night visible from the Shining Plains. Galladel knew of old Fyren (an old red dragon) two centuries ago [5,6]

Other Lore
Dragonbane spell, old created by wizards and priests millennia ago, creates an invisible wall that dragons cannot cross [7]

Cadderly
Aballister killed his mother by accident during one of his experiments [23]

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 Mar 2021 :  14:41:49  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Fallen Fortress was almost not worth the read in terms of lore. I have to admit my brain shut down about chapter 14 and i glazed over the fight scenes (which extended right up to chapter 24)


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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
2007 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2021 :  15:33:50  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Ebenfar is located in the centre of the High Moor. Now i'll assume it is not actually in the centre, but just somewhere in the High Moor, and it was probably just the place where Verraketh slept / lived rather than being the entirety of his empire because he claimed land as far away as Iriaebor.





The exact location is shown on the map at the beginning of the second novel.

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2021 :  10:15:57  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well it looks like Prince of Lies is where it begins with gods appearing in person and messing around with Faerun.

Normally i would just ignore this completely but it strikes me that Cyric may actually not have truly ascended and so his presence on the Material Plane is actually his presence.

What i mean is what distinguishes a demi / quasi power from a true god (lesser and upwards). The answer from what i can tell is that a demigod is limited to a single body, and that single body is their material form, they havent yet ascended to become part of some outer plane domain and separate their soul / essence.

This appears to have occurred several times in realms history. The Untheric and Mulhorandi gods had power far beyond traditional demigod levels but were still in a material body. The Dark Three absorbed the power of multiple demigods and elder powers and remained in mortal form for quite some time.

So what if Cyric did not properly ascend, what if he remained in a single material body (i'm guessing the easiest way to ascend is to die but that must be scary as hell). What if having all that power trapped in his body is what drove him mad and allowed him to succumb to such magic and deceptions as godsbane and the Cyrinishad.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2021 :  16:24:10  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Random thought, Godsbane the sword (although noted it was not called Godsbane until after the Time of Troubles) could be used to permanently destroy souls, outer planar creatures and even Jergal.

Cyric used it to drain some of Jergal's life and he seemed genuinely afraid of being destroyed by it.

Now Jergal is a demigod at this point and should be all but immune to magical items of any kind.

However, thanks to recent works we have 7 daggers created to slay demigod like beings. Could it be that GOdsbane is one of these daggers of Rdiuz.

As a further twist. Ochir Naal was slain 1400 years ago, he is known for corrupting a series of dwarven daggers from Delzoun to allow them to combine and enhance their capabilities around 1900 years ago. Giving him a lifespan of at least from -600 DR to -100 DR.

Could it be that Ochir Naal also found at least two of the daggers of Rdiuz and experimented with combining them. These two combined to form a shortsword (rose in hue) that possessed an intelligence.
Now the wizards of Rdiuz had access to one of the Imaskarcana so they had a repository of Imaskari lore at their fingertips. I wouldnt be surprised if the seven daggers of Rdiuz were named after prominent Imaskari artificers and so one of the daggers could have been named the Imask dagger.

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