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Ambitious Hearts: Tales from the Forgotten Realms

Game Master Dogbladewarrior


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Yes, if you don't have a personal deity or only paid lip service to your deity you end up in the God of the Dead's domain after death either wandering around a grey purgatory city or mortared into the wall that surrounds it.

Kinda a terrible system for those who aren't particularly fond of any of Faerun's all too fallible and human-like pantheon, I hope a PC will come along and change it someday.


Dogbladewarrior wrote:

@-Sky-Captain Henry Klemp

You can play whatever type of character you wish, however, some effort should be made to integrate your character into the Forgotten Realms setting. In addition, I’m shooting to make the tone of the game at least somewhat mature and serious, there is room for comedy and the occasional oddball character, but I ask that it not be taken to disruptive levels in game.

With this new info gm i will go back to my 1st summation shes a lot darker in tone and a much better fit in the game world if thats ok.

thanks for the feed back.

so Sol-Alar De Xin Min is my submission


Sol-Alar De Xin Min wrote:


With this new info gm i will go back to my 1st summation shes a lot darker in tone and a much better fit in the game world if thats ok.

thanks for the feed back.

so Sol-Alar De Xin Min is my submission

Cool.


I'm a little rusty on my faerun pantheon. Isn't there an Elven moon goddess with travel and trickery in her portfolio?


Sparel Radtymah wrote:
I'm a little rusty on my faerun pantheon. Isn't there an Elven moon goddess with travel and trickery in her portfolio?

Sehanine Moonbow fits that description pretty well, is that who you mean?

edit: looking for a link to post.


This is her.


Dogbladewarrior wrote:
This is her.

That's my girl. Thank you. That's Sparel's goddess.


My character is all done up in herolab except the horrifically overpowered feats.

Alastair the Lich King.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
mark kay wrote:


Hum, but for that you should feel free to totally have your own kingdom of stuff and things, I'd put forward that your fellow might always be one of the magic using types attracted to settle in Korin's enclave.

*thinks*

Maybe you founded a big ol magical academy of your own within it or some such?

As long as Korin is open-minded and hands-off about vaguely well-meaning but somewhat heterodox arcanists, that sounds good to me. :)


What is the possibility I can have some continuity in my character from a previous game? I do know the realms a fair bit after adventuring there for the last 15 years or so, but my character is a bit tied to Golarion. I would be fine with popping him through a one way portal or having some sort of disaster that flung him across space and time. An outsider's perspective would help in aiding the cogs of change.

I do have a few concepts of what I would do if this avenue were unavailable to me, but I thought I would ask first.


Regarding the example domain,

I realize we don't need to follow that exactly, but how should handle levels for various NPCs.

I am taking Leadership, so those particular numbers are covered. But should we more of less use the rough levels you gave? Does it really matter the levels our NPCs have?

What about monstrous minions? I imagine we can't all have a dozen great wyrms, a horde of Solars, etc. What's reasonable here??


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Akor Scourgebane wrote:

The reason one is supposed to worship a deity in the Realms is if you not, and die, your soul is placed in that Wall of the Forgotten or something.

That's pretty much the only reason, I think.

That and the gods are fueled by worship. Stop worshipping them, they weaken. Which is also why the gods turn a blind eye to the idea of the Wall of the Faithless, because it punishes those who would diminish the gods through their lack of faith.

I don't know if you are still accepting applications but I'd be interested in putting together a character (a Waterdhavian arcane duelist). If it's too late, I understand, I've been a bit wishy washy about deciding whether I wanted to dive in or not.

Don't have the Genius Guide book though and am not going to buy it for a pbp, so if that counts me out, I accept that.


Sparel Radtymah wrote:
Dogbladewarrior wrote:
This is her.
That's my girl. Thank you. That's Sparel's goddess.

Yep, your welcome.


Thaddicus Marcaldor wrote:

What is the possibility I can have some continuity in my character from a previous game? I do know the realms a fair bit after adventuring there for the last 15 years or so, but my character is a bit tied to Golarion. I would be fine with popping him through a one way portal or having some sort of disaster that flung him across space and time. An outsider's perspective would help in aiding the cogs of change.

I do have a few concepts of what I would do if this avenue were unavailable to me, but I thought I would ask first.

Yes, characters originally from other worlds are acceptable.


Akor Scourgebane wrote:

Regarding the example domain,

I realize we don't need to follow that exactly, but how should handle levels for various NPCs.

I am taking Leadership, so those particular numbers are covered. But should we more of less use the rough levels you gave? Does it really matter the levels our NPCs have?

What about monstrous minions? I imagine we can't all have a dozen great wyrms, a horde of Solars, etc. What's reasonable here??

Basically you shouldn't have anything that is epic level like a solar or a great wyrm but all non epic material is open. In general what I would like you to shoot for is maybe half a dozen high level minions ( a pit fiend, an adamatine golem, a couple NPCs in the late teen levels, etc.)and a big horde of lower level mooks to serve you.


DeathQuaker wrote:


I don't know if you are still accepting applications but I'd be interested in putting together a character (a Waterdhavian arcane duelist). If it's too late, I understand, I've been a bit wishy washy about deciding whether I wanted to dive in or not.

Don't have the Genius Guide book though and am not going to buy it for a pbp, so if that counts me out, I accept that.

Recruitment will actually be open even after the game is in full swing, I plan on leaving the door open to anyone who wants to join at anytime.

Nah, the Genius Guide is optional, although it's lack will put you a bit behind the power curve compared to the other players but that is fine.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dogbladewarrior wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:


I don't know if you are still accepting applications but I'd be interested in putting together a character (a Waterdhavian arcane duelist). If it's too late, I understand, I've been a bit wishy washy about deciding whether I wanted to dive in or not.

Don't have the Genius Guide book though and am not going to buy it for a pbp, so if that counts me out, I accept that.

Recruitment will actually be open even after the game is in full swing, I plan on leaving the door open to anyone who wants to join at anytime.

Nah, the Genius Guide is optional, although it's lack will put you a bit behind the power curve compared to the other players but that is fine.

Cool, thanks!

Can I take 3 extra normal boring feats instead?

Also, you list stronghold options and retainers -- does that mean the leadership feat is not necessary if we want various followers/cohorts?


Ok, been doing some thinking, and keeping with whats been said, and now I have a couple more questions lol.

From what I understand, now whats legal to choose from is whats on www.d20pfsrd.com? Does that include the 3rd party stuff?

For the HOpF, should we treat those as being gained at 20, or can qe treat them as being gained earlier in our lives/careers?

And I'm a little confused on resources. Is there an actual limit on our resources or is it more of a 'reasonable limits please' type of situation.

Right now I'm toying around with the idea of a character whose goal is becoming a god, since it seems we are past the time of troubles. Offing Kelemvor would be ideal...I never liked him much anyway, and the dead get a bit of a raw deal in Faerun imo. Might be nice to fix that, even if that means making my girl Mystra a little sad.


Going to pull out sorry, just do not think I can give this game the time it needs. have fun every one.


DeathQuaker wrote:


Cool, thanks!

Can I take 3 extra normal boring feats instead?

Also, you list stronghold options and retainers -- does that mean the leadership feat is not necessary if we want various followers/cohorts?

Sure!

No it is not necessary, the Leadership feat I've ruled simply grants minions that are die hard loyalists.


Krigare wrote:

Ok, been doing some thinking, and keeping with whats been said, and now I have a couple more questions lol.

From what I understand, now whats legal to choose from is whats on www.d20pfsrd.com? Does that include the 3rd party stuff?

For the HOpF, should we treat those as being gained at 20, or can qe treat them as being gained earlier in our lives/careers?

And I'm a little confused on resources. Is there an actual limit on our resources or is it more of a 'reasonable limits please' type of situation.

Right now I'm toying around with the idea of a character whose goal is becoming a god, since it seems we are past the time of troubles. Offing Kelemvor would be ideal...I never liked him much anyway, and the dead get a bit of a raw deal in Faerun imo. Might be nice to fix that, even if that means making my girl Mystra a little sad.

Lol, sorry, I’m not trying to be confusing, some clarifications:

Yes, any pathfinder material can be used as long as I can reference it (it’s on the website).

Yes you gained the feats at 20th level.

There is no hard limited on resources(beyond no epic material), it’s a “be reasonable please” situation, which I know is subjective but think along the lines of each high level resource doing something to contribute to your storyline and not just being a faceless power source (like each level 15+ minion having a name and a story). Also, I’d prefer players not start with the power to simply steam roll over all the realms right off the bat i.e being served by thousands of adult dragons ridden by thousands of powerful spellcasters.

Cool, attaining Godhood and reordering the multiverse is a good character goal.


Sol-Alar De Xin Min wrote:
Going to pull out sorry, just do not think I can give this game the time it needs. have fun every one.

No prob, take care.


Hmm.. thinking of maybe a Winter Witch. Baba Yaga has been around for many editions of D&D and is a known multiverse traveller, so shouldn't be much of a stretch for her child or whatnot to show up on Faerun.


I think I'm going to go with the master spy idea. She has multiple personas and nobody knows which one is real. She's what you'd call morally ambiguous and has a network of rogue types who report to her.

Could definitely use some suggestions for location though. Not as familiar with the realms as some. :)


Have you decided what will happen when PCs and their organizations conflict? I was in a game very similiar to this in the past and the DM quit after realizing what a headache it would be to police all the legitimacy of pvp whether direct or indirect, as some people would be upset with him no matter what.


Sheet is about 90% done. I've got to add minions, flavor text, and a few other things. Feel free to look it over and give draft feedback.


A master spy would do well as a member of the harpers. You could be located almost anywhere or even multiple places.


Warsor wrote:
Have you decided what will happen when PCs and their organizations conflict? I was in a game very similiar to this in the past and the DM quit after realizing what a headache it would be to police all the legitimacy of pvp whether direct or indirect, as some people would be upset with him no matter what.

Yes, it is inevitable that PCs will cross paths and occasionally be drawn into conflict with each other. The thing I’ve always said is that I love character vs character drama but hate player vs player drama, though I realize that the latter will likely happen as well at some point.

Basically how we will handle it is like this: Because the players have such large narrative power and the fact that no real rules balance exists at these levels and with these powers players should simply have an ooc conversation about how the story will go and decide between them how the tale should happen. Hopefully a fun story will be told and all is well.

If the players cannot reach a consensus with each other naturally I will step in and attempt to moderate. If no outcome can still be agreed upon I will be forced to make an arbitrary decision that will likely either be a rather unsatisfactory and metagamy separating of the characters stories or if that is not possible a simple dice roll to see what happens.

It is indeed a real headache to deal with things like this for a DM so I ask that you do your best to work together and have fun. Character conflict need not be player conflict and even characters becoming nemeses can be great fun if handled with light hearted good humor and a goal of mutual entertainment.


lynora wrote:

I think I'm going to go with the master spy idea. She has multiple personas and nobody knows which one is real. She's what you'd call morally ambiguous and has a network of rogue types who report to her.

Could definitely use some suggestions for location though. Not as familiar with the realms as some. :)

You can invent and detail your own city/lair if you wish and then based on the theme of the city I could recommend where it should be placed or alternatively a city like Waterdeep would work well as it is a great place to be embedded as a master spy and has lots of traffic and resources.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hey Sparel, I sent you a PM ystrdy, did you get it or did it get lost?


My response got eaten. I'll reply again when I get home.


Ok got my horrifically overpowered feats, now just need a good location in Faerun to set the kingdom. I sadly am only familiar with a few things FR and do not want to step on toes or change any of the well known places I know. (Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter, Amn)


What's you character again??


Sparel Radtymah wrote:
Sheet is about 90% done. I've got to add minions, flavor text, and a few other things. Feel free to look it over and give draft feedback.

Yep, it's looking good.


For the record,

I have extentsive knowledge of th Realms and can offer all sorts of advice, guidence, etc for PCs who need help fitting in.

Some questions for Dogblade:

1) at this level, can we expand the list of spells that can be made permanent?

2) I'm using the gestalt feat to gain levels in Ranger. If I choose the animal companion, can I be allowed something a bit beefier or maybe add a few templates on to a normal comanion, so its not a auto death in a serious combat?


Warsor wrote:
Ok got my horrifically overpowered feats, now just need a good location in Faerun to set the kingdom. I sadly am only familiar with a few things FR and do not want to step on toes or change any of the well known places I know. (Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter, Amn)

I think in the case of a lich run kingdom your placement should depend largely on who you want your neighbors to be and what type of relations you would like, alternatively, you could set yourself out in the boonies somewhere if you'd like to remain undisturbed from a political point of view. Depending on what you'd like I can recommend a few places.


Alastair a Necromancy wizard, Lich. I had an idea for him having usurped a kingdom from a young impressionable king who was being groomed for paladinhood but its hard to fit something like that into the setting I only know a little about. He is intelligent, well spoken, and practical but would demand fealty from the living who he ruled over. His undead would be his personal guard and army though he would be quite willing to negotiate treaties and alliances with other races monstrous or not.


Akor Scourgebane wrote:

For the record,

I have extentsive knowledge of th Realms and can offer all sorts of advice, guidence, etc for PCs who need help fitting in.

Some questions for Dogblade:

1) at this level, can we expand the list of spells that can be made permanent?

2) I'm using the gestalt feat to gain levels in Ranger. If I choose the animal companion, can I be allowed something a bit beefier or maybe add a few templates on to a normal comanion, so its not a auto death in a serious combat?

Yes, definitively. Even in average powered games I usually allow that, although in this case I'm not gonna to police each addition, use what you like.

Hehe, yeah a 10th level ranger companion is gonna get slaughtered at this level, and since you have access to higher level monsters anyway in this game go ahead.


I'm going to look over spells and see what I might make permanent beyond the normal list. I'm open to ideas from the group though. Remember I have clerical spell also.

Regarding good and evil characters:

So I was going to be a Harper (good). We also have a of lich. How's that going to work for plotlines? Granted I may not kill him on sight because he's the lesser evil, so to speak. However, are we going to be enemies? Pvp? Reluctant allies? Healthy rivals ala Xavier/ Magneto?


Dogbladewarrior wrote:
Krigare wrote:

Ok, been doing some thinking, and keeping with whats been said, and now I have a couple more questions lol.

From what I understand, now whats legal to choose from is whats on www.d20pfsrd.com? Does that include the 3rd party stuff?

For the HOpF, should we treat those as being gained at 20, or can qe treat them as being gained earlier in our lives/careers?

And I'm a little confused on resources. Is there an actual limit on our resources or is it more of a 'reasonable limits please' type of situation.

Right now I'm toying around with the idea of a character whose goal is becoming a god, since it seems we are past the time of troubles. Offing Kelemvor would be ideal...I never liked him much anyway, and the dead get a bit of a raw deal in Faerun imo. Might be nice to fix that, even if that means making my girl Mystra a little sad.

Lol, sorry, I’m not trying to be confusing, some clarifications:

Yes, any pathfinder material can be used as long as I can reference it (it’s on the website).

Yes you gained the feats at 20th level.

There is no hard limited on resources(beyond no epic material), it’s a “be reasonable please” situation, which I know is subjective but think along the lines of each high level resource doing something to contribute to your storyline and not just being a faceless power source (like each level 15+ minion having a name and a story). Also, I’d prefer players not start with the power to simply steam roll over all the realms right off the bat i.e being served by thousands of adult dragons ridden by thousands of powerful spellcasters.

Cool, attaining Godhood and reordering the multiverse is a good character goal.

Just to say, some of that third party stuff is really, really awful so um, yeah.. I suppose I'm just noting. Granted we're already using such things anyway.


Just curious,

How detailed does our minions need to be? The high level ones that is? I understand name, some background, race/class/levels, but how much more beyond that?

I don't really wanna have to fully stat up half a dozen or more mid to high level characters, unless I must.


I like to think of Alastair as civilized evil. He is powerful and nigh impossible to kill but he can promote his agenda through diplomacy rather then simply killing his enemies. I don't really have any conquer the world goals in mind so as long as your not trying to liberate my kingdom or destroy me we can have non agression pacts.


Akor Scourgebane wrote:

Just curious,

How detailed does our minions need to be? The high level ones that is? I understand name, some background, race/class/levels, but how much more beyond that?

I don't really wanna have to fully stat up half a dozen or more mid to high level characters, unless I must.

I'm buying hero builder when I get paid Friday for Just that reason.


Warsor wrote:
I like to think of Alastair as civilized evil. He is powerful and nigh impossible to kill but he can promote his agenda through diplomacy rather then simply killing his enemies. I don't really have any conquer the world goals in mind so as long as your not trying to liberate my kingdom or destroy me we can have non agression pacts.

Diplomatic evil is preferable to chaotic murderous evil. :-)


Akor Scourgebane wrote:

Just curious,

How detailed does our minions need to be? The high level ones that is? I understand name, some background, race/class/levels, but how much more beyond that?

I don't really wanna have to fully stat up half a dozen or more mid to high level characters, unless I must.

All I would really like is for them to be slightly fleshed out from a storyline point of view(enough so that they can have a relationship with you, their master, beyond just being a mindless minion, although really that doesn't take too much) the only time the statistics will matter to me is if you'd like to take them along on one of the games epic events.


Did a bit of a writeup on Korin and relationships/opinions on some Realms faiths/power groups/people, I'll put it (and the backstory again for completeness) in a post pending sign off on it. Send to the GM via pm.


There's also a Forgotten Realms Wiki that contains clickable maps (e.g. here) and information on the history and lands. It might help get a handle on things and help figure out where you'll want to be located.

My Winter Witch, for example, will likely be ruling a land in the far north, perhaps near Rashemen (where there is a ruling caste of Witches). Or maybe the other side, somewhere in the Nortwest, Spine of the World kind of thing (although I'm not sure I'd want to meet Drizzt or his crew who may or may not be in the area).

----

Initial character plan is Witch (Winter Witch) 10/ Winter Witch 10. The three feats I'm looking at, at the moment, are Mental Paragon, Gestalt (Sorcerer [Boreal]), Prestigious (Souldrinker). But they could be subject to change.


Hokay, just to put it all again in one place and to add some recent stuff signed off on as far as a sample platter of Korin's relationships/opinions on various Realms groupings..

Korin's Background:
Korin Telemar, Paladin 6/Rogue 4 (swashbuckler archetype)/Eldritch Knight 10 (the magic user feat gives all the spellcasting capacity needed for that prestige class, went the thought, taking fighter gestalt as well)

Not all in the heady days of Netheril were driven by ego and love of power. For some fewer, though no less ambitious than their brethren, the birthright, will to power and opportunities of the Netherese empire meant a life lived on the great human adventure. And for a handful even fewer than those, that sense of opportunity came with a sense of gratitude for having it, that if they were going to go on the great human adventure, then everyone else would get to come along for the ride (even if they had to be dragged kicking and screaming from whatever misguided barbarity they were otherwise clinging to).

A moral Netherse perspective is, after all, still a /Netherese/ perspective.

And it was perspective firmly held in the heart of Korin Telemar, son of a proud family that traced itself all the way back to the founding, to the first families that showed a potential to learn magic, born himself into a golden age of magic and empire. Each generation since bade to exceed those that came before. Korin pledging to do so by in elevating himself, elevating mankind as a whole to the impossible heights only Netheril could bring them to, to have the ambition of Netheril made into the sterling virtue of the world.

And he trained himself to this in the flying city of his family, in all the ways a son of Netheril should. In craft and spell, in the warp and weft of magocratic imperial society. He spoke with a passion and conviction that came from within yet resonated as if from beyond, preaching his dreams. Ground was not always fertile, but the sheer scope of them was at least always admired as appropriate for an archwizard.

His problem then was not his brethren within, but obstacles without. Orc hordes, Phaerimm, Fiends. They stepped on his dreams, and would have to be pushed off of them. He trained himself anew, to war, to the blade. He gathered followers and fought as fiercely as often as he quested to innovate. For the empire did not have a standing army per se, so much as mage champions with inclinations to scouring and a penchant for throwing magic and followers into those inclinations. Young Telemar was acclaimed amongst them, and if he tinged his victory celebrations with the occasional odd (though certainly moving) speech, well, the Telemars were always a little quirky.

Where he fought, he spread knowledge, understanding, artifice, exhorted men to rise above themselves and rally to fight with him. He was a defender and civilizer, and where his foot tread, Netherese law, culture and peace took hold ("Is there any other kind?" Korin would himself opine. Netherese ego and dominance travelled with him besides)

But as he fought, he had a sense of the threats facing the world more than most. Saw the wreckage of stillborn civilizations. Knew more than magelords sequestered in flying cities how dearly on the edge of a knife the world sometimes balanced.

A lesser man might have despaired at such grim lessons and ruined majesties. Korin Telemar was Netherese. This was a challenge.

Sword and staff in hand he tread over the expanse of the world, saving everyone he could save, living to save them, fighting to save them, and on several ocassions, dying to save them. It built a legend around him and the followers at his back. A legend besides that whispered sometimes of an almost audible "click" you could even see in his eyes. A sense of a decision made that for all that his hand was reaching out, that a man or beast could not, would not be saved, would not better themselves, step away from a path of ruination of those with whom they shared the world. And then as, relentless as he was a savior, he was an implacable destroyer.

Oh, it was always honourable. He would never transcend himself and man with him if he dirtied himself, weighed down his soul with grime. And dirtying himself was the easy way through besides. What proper Netherse shamed himself with that sort of path? I mean really. But all the same, it was a canny, cunning and thorough destruction he would rain down within those boundaries, perhaps even because of them.

And in that way he gathered the daring to his banner and walked them to every height and depth of the world, to marvel at wonders, learn knowledge, behold horror and cast it down. In moments where blades did not rise and fall he was ever yet besides the innovator in spell, philosophy and thought. He blazed a trail fiery enough to hope that all would not simply follow, but branch out from it to their own. He covered himself in triumph to show his empire how it might do the same.

And yet all the same, in both lifting up and inspiring the good and casting down threats, there was a sense of it never quite being enough. There was a sense of the world still turning on an axis fragile enough that it could yet fall long before it could rise. But that was alright, for that too was a challenge, one that could be met. For he had gathered followers and given them an ethos, a dedication to guarding man to inspire him to reach a shining potential, to encourage an ambitious virtue that a bold hand could reach out to claim a better tomorrow. In him to channel it all was the glory of Netheril, and the lore of the world (and a nearly complete collection of the Imaskarcana that would be lost again soon after the working it would be put to, it should be said).

And so though he needed power yet, power was out there to be claimed by the daring, the thorough, the right. It was besides an age where demigods rose and fell after all, and his devotion to conceptual goodness had done much to sanctify his blazing soul as is. Demipowerhood seemed well within the hand of a man.

It was no small risk all the same, however measured and rigorous, in which artifacts were used and scattered, armies gathered, and terrible battles fought as intricate rituals unfolded. But in the end the power and divinity was his, an unheralded accomplishment to resonate across the ages. (And later mingle embarrassment with pride as its legacy. For what he did on a much lesser scale and through calm, measured, extended effort and sacrifice put an idea into a later mage's head to do something on a scale of sheer madness. But ahh.. what if Karsus had succeeded? Well, succeeded more lastingly then)

Divinity unfortunately proved to be something of a raging disappointment. He was acclaimed across his society, his personal followers turning themselves to a divine tradition, but there was the crushing weight of rules and regulation constricting him now. It was not that he disliked Mystryl, she had a certain style. And he appreciated that his great working had a legitimate possibility all of its own, for all that she had blessed its end result (a later admission that had he failed, there was a fear of what he might try instead was flattering besides). These were heady, early days yet in Dweomertor, of wild research, theory and debate, good natured and seeking. But all the same, under the bindings of the gods, his options did not widen, they narrowed. And as a god, he came to see how much more fragile the state of the world truly was within a larger reality. But even still, this was a challenge, and he was a son of Netheril yet.

There was power out there in the multiverse, power and wonder. Magic raw and vital, the knowledge of the infinite. As his blade rose and fell he yet traveled, uncovered and innovated besides, re-enacting what he had done on the scale of one world, across planes of many. He was mighty and glorious, eldritch and primal.

He fought across the planes, across Hell, across the Abyss. It was not only Anhur that the Blood War learned to scatter before. His was a name cursed by the nameless in the outer darks. He reinforced the integrity of his world's reality as his clerics and paladins (and a few rangers, here and there) preached the glory and strength of aspiration. He was Telemar, God of Aspiration, an archwizard god for the Netherese, of the Netherese. Telemar, who put hand and will against the darkness of the world, sending it screaming back. Telemar, who taught men to elevate themselves to where they could blaze so brightly that there would be no place for darkness to return. Telemar, who took the promising even as companions to run headlong with him towards battle, exploration and new wonders alike, that they might return to the empire with a greater sense of the ultimate birthright before them.

But he lost track of matters within, so dearly focused was he on matters without. Oh, he was aware of the worsening external Phaerimm threat and had his own controls in place he was mustering towards it, thank you very much. It was difficult, unifying a society of egotists around a single point, cause and banner, but he was on his way to arranging it, calling on faith and friends and allies closer towards a rallying cry of the archwizards victorious. He had some awareness of the madness and power of Karsus, but he felt he could end run around it, that without the Phaerimm threat, there would be nothing exacerbating it. It was a mistake he would pay direly for.

The world broke thus, magic warping, then dying outright from Karsus’ madness and Mystryl’s sacrifice. And in the long moments where magic was gone, the sky rained cities as burning tears. But it was not in Telemar to watch in a useless, anguished frustration, as did the so called gods of Netheril (hate Aumanator you say? Telemar hates Aumanator with a passion, even as a memory). There was still magic in one place yet after all, inside of him. Magic he ripped out in desperation, reaching out his hands to save any he could, straining to hold cities aloft, to sweep out populations from them if he could not. For all the power he bled, he cannot say that he much accomplished anything. Allowed a city or two of a former companion to flee to the planes, perhaps. Ensured the presence of a few more refugees to doomed successor states, maybe. He could not say for certain, the pain of his bleeding out was beyond anything he had ever felt, for a time he believed he would simply die of it.

Diminished now, he found at last he could feel despair. Instead of teaching men to aspire, he taught them to be avengers, and in the years that went by he went through a cycle of creating an avatar to hunt the phaerimm, thinning their numbers savagely, then recuperating to build one anew when they managed to muster enough effort to destroy it.

His relationship with this “Mystra” was besides a strained thing, and he always had the sense that she would have been happier if indeed he had died completely in the fall. But the twisted legacies of magic warped and shattered plagued the world, and while she herself adjusted to her new station, she needed a warrior familiar enough with such matters to handle those concerns. He was content enough to lose himself to war.

His spirit was only lifted when after the passing of centuries, he could hear prayers from the nation of Halruaa, offered to him as a patron, offered by Netherese survivors. The nation was.. well.. let's be frank. Compared to the empire, the nation was a painful farce. And they learned all the wrong lessons from the fall of the empire, shackling their potential in ways Telemar frankly looked to with exasperation. But despite all the bonds they had placed on themselves, there they were, reaching forward all the same, going back on the great human adventure in all the ways they could be allowed, within their society. Taking again to the sky in ships, though not cities.

And if they were to go on the great human adventure, they wanted him along for the ride. He was touched.

He would raise a Halruaan up to a personal companion here and there as he did in days of old, share his knowledge, share the multiverse. It brought him through his traumas and sense of blood vengeance, his loneliness (the Halruaans, though a lovely people certainly, can never be thought of as Netherese. They themselves- sigh!- refuse to so think)

He was a god of aspiration again, though his relationship with Mystra never truthfully improved. Restraints on magic? On people? Look, yes, things got out of hand but that's no reason to cripple the souls of humanity. It's just a reason to be more careful next time.

His actions as an innovator and firebrand, spreading knowledge as he thought of it or obtained it, and when he could manage to arrange a clean opportunity for it did not much endear him to her, nor the conservative gods of knowledge and artifice. It ensured he would be kept in place as a demigod.

But not kept any lower, for in the rest of his time, he still did fight. And there was always something imperiling reality. They needed someone to fight. To run towards battle.

All the same, when Lathander caused the Dawn Cataclysm, of all the gods, there was Telemar applauding him yet and cheered "Of course good can one day win out forever. Evil only ever does when we tell ourselves the lie that good can't. That nonsense about then what would a heaven be for ignores that the proper answer about they wouldn't be people, they would be angels twaddle is 'they'll be even better when we're through'. Just be more rigorous next time."

And he much liked Torm, who was a stalwart ally in foiling yugoloth and banite plots alike.

It was an itchy sort of life though, the constant gnawing that he could be doing so much more, watching the world not rise higher with each new generation, but instead become less, and less and less. The occasional bouts of exile and grudging apology. The less that could also be said of his ‘divine superior’s’ degeneracies and strategies on chosen, the better.

He did what he could through his followers, kept a spirit of aspiration and daring alive in otherwise staid Halruaa, sponsored warrior orders through Faerun that held the line of the world as they walked in the spaces between and outside of it, accepted his place as patron of martial sorcerers such as the War Wizards, of the maverick geniuses and firebrands that looked to his example. But it had a certain stopgap feeling, all of it.

And then yet another damn apocalypse, and an even more dotty ‘goddess of magic’ and he had enough. This time though, this time at least was opportunity. The nether scrolls were out there. The world was out there, to lift mankind within it to the majesty they had been denied for centuries on end, kept down into a world too small for their wonder. And yes, he had to diminish himself to do it, be reduced. When the great call came to come home, he offered in reply a polite “thanks but no”, and chose for himself a mortal life. Well, mortal-y. Mortal esque. He was more or less, in a world of gods and monsters, reduced back to the power and intellect of the archwizard.

But there was power there all the same, and knowledge of old to be sought out and mastered as he hit the ground running. His followers and such of his former clergy as there were he rallied into a roving army at his back, though at times he still walked solitary paths. He plumbed the depths of the ruins of Myth Drannor and Imaskar alike. He distinguished himself in the Tuigan War, rescuing through sword and shield his beloved War Wizards of old that might have otherwise been left to dead magic field massacre. Though no longer a god, he was no less a patron.

Demon, daemon and devil that had been dissuaded from daring a god came in eagerness for a man, only to find eagerness in waiting for them and laying them low. Old enemies emerging from shadow were forced back, even as he made new ones. His habit of mocking the Red Wizards as some kind of tragic pastiche of a greater people was not endearing, especially, nor, in a duel over lost magics, his having caused one of the many deaths of Manshoon (he had to admit though, the stasis clone thing was extremely clever, even if it did get away from the fellow at the end there).

There was something refreshing about it all, not having to work through priests or pawns, his own hand in again. Rambling across the planes to defy Abyssal lords and chosen proxies alike (though getting mixed up in the multi planar rescue of Waukeen is something he still finds a touch awkward for the praise he gets for it from certain quarters. Yes, it was for the best to save her from Grazz’t’s clutches. On the other hand, he was always pretty ambivalent about the idea of “the god of chasing after shiny bits of metal that really only have value because society agrees they do.”)

In the end, through deed and might, briefly claimed artifacts and grouped potency, he took his first real step towards the glories he promised to bring back to the world, to elevate it by, to show that reach need not exceed grasp, and that need not be a concept owned only by evil. An enclave was found, restored, and raised, to the marvel of the world (well, to the marvel of some of the world, the deeply concerned misgivings of others and the hateful outrage of others yet).

He would have called it Golden Netheril, but it seemed early to claim the title with just the one city. Still, this would be the first of many if he had his way. He attracted seers, sages and mages with the promise of sharing in the workings and lore of the once god and forever archwizard victorious, of building a society such as had not been seen, a perfected creation of humanity’s greatest glory. Paladins and warriors found appeal in the notion of an entire people that would travel without fear to the heart of evil and lay it low forever. Aspiration then would be its name, purpose and promise. The great shining city trailed a wake of valor through the skies, scattering hordes of monsters, rallying forces in defense and counterstrike against Iakhovas and his hosts, even turning back a Thayan assault on Rashemen (“Don’t get me wrong, that country is itself in many ways unfortunate, but compared to Thay?”). Korin even, despite an archwizard’s misgivings towards gods returning to him, allowed for a certain presence of Lathander’s church, his old friend much enthusiastic about this particular project and Korin forced to admit Lathander was just damned likable.

It was not all victory and celebration of course. A message that there had been value in Netheril after all was going to be controversial at best, no matter how much heroism backed it. There was no small amount of friction between himself and the Harpers. He held no small disdain for a society emphasizing small kingdoms and decrying efforts towards empires. His outright giddiness at the freedom from his former master did not otherwise endear him to her chosen besides (but really, he only ever liked Alustriel anyway, who was at least trying to build something good and inspiring and vast. And those magical bridges into her city? Hey, those are pretty great as an achievement). An autocratic meritocratic magocracy, however noble, was to some, entirely unacceptable (“And what do you people honestly think Myth Drannor was and Silverymoon is? Oh don’t give me that look.”) Research into dragon magics and weave alternates, quests again and again for the lost Nether Scrolls unnerved those already inclined to look on this entire effort as madness besides.

But just as matters might have come to a head, the world turned over on its own. It seemed mocking, the return of literal blood kin in the form of Shade, initial rejoicing turning fast to borderline heartbreak. They even had a state faith (“Having some churches are fine. An actual enforced by law religion? Why? How! Why!”), of all the awful things, and of Shar no less. Look, yes, finding an alternate to Mystra’s weave, not a bad idea. Replacing it with Shar’s, terrible. And it’s not as though he doesn’t understand. Mystryl’s weave failed under the weight of its own mages, from a certain perspective. A Shade that needed to survive likely could not bring itself to rely on something it found so fragile. It tears at him that he truly can look at the litany of horrible decisions made from the most deceptively strong and corruptive of reasons, necessity, and understand each in turn. If only he could have done more at the time, saved more, it might not have been that way.

“Our world was dead, and you had fallen with it. What then blood of my blood would you have had me do? Could you have asked as much, of any other man?” It was a question that struck at him in the first of several anguished conversations with Telamont Tanthul. They found in them that each began to have that look you very rarely find, the haunting, hunted kind. Korin’s belief that he can find some way to reach and redeem his returned people stays his hand from deeper action against them, even as he has stymied some few of their plots. The belief of the Shadovar that Telemar can be brought around to be a part of a greater Netheril, their vision of Netheril, stays theirs, even as they have stymied some few of his. The race for the Nether Scrolls all the same now became a more earnest and deadly thing.

He might have done more in regard to the Shadovar in the first few days of their arrival all the same, but his attention was soon ripped from them to Cormyr’s travails. He had always sighed a little that Azoun never followed through on his initial post Tuigan war impulse to unite the Heartlands (“and we can all blame a particular band of musical dream cripplers for that one I wager”) but all the same, Cormyr was a beacon of many of the things he valued, and even if not in the way he would have done, it was a beacon all the same. He found he could love them for that. And now they were being ripped apart.

The fury of the archwizard was a terrible thing to behold, whole hosts of monstrous onslaught scattered and broken under storm of magic and bladecraft. Though in sparing the dragon kingdom a great deal of damage it might have otherwise suffered across its greater length, he was not present for the terrible battle where Azoun gave his life to put down the architect of the attacks. It grieved him, but furthered his resolve all the same to build a better world worthy of the lion of Cormyr’s sacrifice. While it has ranged across faerun, he has kept Aspiration somewhat closer to Cormyr in recent days, should they need aid, and as a slightly subtle discouragement to his kinsmen to attempt to ply influence there.

Highly mobile all the same, his “flying meddling platform” otherwise often frequents about Silverymoon, where lore is traded, Halruua, where the restless are gathered and glories preached and otherwise anywhere else Korin Telemar might move people forwards on the great aspirational adventure.

Korin and the wider world, a sampling of relationships and opinions:
Cormyr: It wasn’t all that long ago that the War Wizards viewed Korin as a patron deity, and his actions as a mortal cemented him as a mentor figure to them yet, and a hero to the nation as a whole. Much beloved for his actions in sparing the nation the worst of recent monstrous onslaughts, Korin has established several treaties of trade and information sharing with his enclave and the purple dragon kingdom, along with mutual permanent embassies. He can be found with decent frequency in the company of the Steel Regent and her new court mage as they still establish themselves, attempting to lend them what credibility he can thereby. He also makes the occasional tentative noise about training the currently very young heir to the throne as an archwizard, as the boy grows.
He even ponders, once he can raise up a second enclave, to establish it in a more fixed sense in the lands past the Stormhorns, drain, alter and claim the marshlands there, establish his Netheril as a neighbour nation.

Silverymoon: Home of the only Chosen Korin ever really liked (see below), and current focal point of a growing political body, Korin sees Silverymoon as something to continue to at least notionally encourage, even if they are a bit gentle overall for his tastes. His once sizable temple there turned to an embassy of his enclave, Aspiration itself can sometimes be found floating nearby, trading in magical lore and materials obtained from the planes or far off locales of various stripes.

Halruua: Where in much of the rest of the world, Korin is a crusader, here he is a preacher. If he can shake the dust and stagnation off himself after all and reclaim a measure of greatness, so too can the last of great Netheril’s children. Indeed, much of the population of his enclave are expatriate Halruaans inspired by his message to aim higher, to take hold of the glory that is theirs by right and make the world radiant with it.

Which is not to say that he is universally beloved across the nation, no few view him as an extremely unfortunate personage, at best. Exhortations to reclaim the legacy of a magically damned society can only serve to condemn their own, to some. There are those who viewed his (admittedly not unpopular nationally) faith as having been little more than a golden road to ruin, and his actions as a man have not done much to change their views. Still, it is difficult to entirely refuse offered lore and bold deeds, and a hand reaching out not to motion to kneel, but to invite to join him, to dare the horizon in cities of mystical brilliance. For many Halruuans, there is something long dormant in their blood that stirs at the promise.

The Harpers: Korin Telemar dreams of vast, great societies, ever expanding. The Harpers hold up small, petty kingdoms balanced with the natural world as their ideal. That alone would be a cause of friction, but there is also their penchant for manipulation and secrecy and a slavish devotion to beings he has little regard for, and a dead elven civilization he found something of a hypocritical joke at best (see below). The Harpers are to him, a symbol of utter defeatism. A living cynical proclamation that humanity is apparently somehow fundamentally, spiritually deficient, because the idea of dealing with them straight, of encouraging their growth is some heinous anathema. What is the point of defending humanity, only to routinely hobble humanity? What is accomplished in fighting for the survival of man, if you do not also fight to help them be worthy of survival? How can anyone truly claim to care for a people they have no real faith in?

For their part, the Harpers have little love for a man who encouraged Azoun’s more imperial impulses and counsels similar notions to his descendants, who strives for a rebirth of Netheril, amongst other grand (and they would say, mad) dreams.

Myth Drannor and the Elves: Setting aside a lingering suspicion that these were the thieves of the Nether Scrolls at a time when his people needed them the most (and perhaps Karsus’ desperate mad acts in the name of salvation might have never been thereby), Korin has all the same had a difficulty with the elves. Largely for this idea about elven “maturity with magic” that must be heeded and how great a tragedy that we stupid fumbling humans did not. Maturity. The elves. The people who blew up the Torilian supercontinent. The people who decided the way to get out under the thumb of dragons was to turn them into an every few years continental rampaging force of devastation. The people who slew countless innocents along with the guilty in the destruction of Jhamdaath, sinking an entire chunk of Faerun. Who blasted whole swaths of landscape in the Crown Wars. This is the magical maturity of the elves. And yet it is Netheril that his former master and her ilk point to as some archetype of hubris and poor magical choices.

Worse yet, the elves kept their ease of high magic in the face of all these acts, whereas the unfortunate acts of one lone madman burned away the heights of magic from all of humanity for quite some time as far as Mystra’s consistency of judgement.

And there’s Myth Drannor particularly, held up as some ideal civilization. Myth Drannor, which was more accurately an ephemeral lie barely held together by one man’s reign. His complete failure to convince much of anyone to believe as he, that his civilization had not truly taken hold with anyone was made manifest within moments of his death as feuding, murder and widespread corruption took hold in a way that could have only been possible had they been festering for ages. Had the Army of Darkness not rolled along, the civilization would have consumed itself. This is the ideal to admire? This is the elven rule the men of faerun should hope and pray they get to be lucky enough to be subject to once again?

Even Silverymoon has managed to sustain the ideals they govern themselves by across several rulers, and one day he’d like to convince them to accept they are simply a better civilization than Myth Drannor ever was, and how greater they could be if they stopped holding themselves to its standard, instead of their own.

It’s not to say Korin hates the elves. It’s not to say he hasn’t fought alongside them, fought to save elven lives even. It is to say that he finds idealizing the elves suspect at best, odious at worst, and a terrible trend that such in the world of men hold to are in need of being talked out of.

Mystra: They didn’t see eye to eye exactly all the time, but Korin was in his own way devoted to Mystryl. He probably even loved her, a little. Her successors, a great degree less devoted to them. And these days, not at all. He supposes it would be more fair to reserve judgement on the most current replacement fairly new to the post, but ultimately she seems intent on holding to the overall stances of her immediate predecessor. Still, other than the occasional thought towards developing magics entirely free of the notion of the weave and its sometime issues, he does not put as much thought to her as he once did, compared to her chosen and the like. He is free of her, Ao, and divine politics, and the very rules they all exist by prevent them from being able to directly interfere with him, which is as he likes it. That said, her formal worship (he’s not the type to regulate people’s private behaviours so long as they do no harm) is spectacularly banned from his enclave, and he is only happy to go on at length as to why devotion to her is something she does not deserve.

Azuth: Ironically, Korin still much likes Azuth. Rather, he likes Azuth as he was. The irrepressible Azuth, the unstoppable Azuth, he would call him, the great man who fought for every measure of power he had, who dared his might as a man against gods. What was not to like about Azuth? Well, that he became unbearably staid and conservative after such heady days, of course. Still, there were better times they both remember, shared researches, vigorous magics. Even in the later, more strained eras enough good feeling lingered between them that it was Azuth who would talk Mystra around into ending Korin’s various periods of exile, and Azuth who he could debate with and still have it be good natured. Azuth himself seems to find Korin’s decisions tragically inevitable, even as Korin despairs of Azuth’s continued unquestioning service to forces that are not worth his time. Each wishes the other would just find some way to change, and that they will not have to take more unfortunate actions if they do not. It is all sad smiles of regret, with them. Korin’s forbiddance of his faith in Aspiration was done with an extreme reluctance.

Lathander: If Korin would have ever worshipped a god (and he’s not about to of course), it would have been Lathander. What is not to admire? Cheer and hope and daring. The ever striving to a better world and the honest belief that it can be realized. Unflagging optimism and creativity. When he can, he sends aid the way of the sun god’s faithful, and Korin is regarded as a friend of the church, and a friend of its god no less (who still dragoons him into his own plans, just now and then. Korin would like to say no, but come on, it’s Lathander, how do you say no to someone that likeable?). Should the efforts of the Risen Sun heresy and their goal of transforming Lathander to Aumanator ever come to Telemar’s attention, he would regard it as a brazen attempt to murder his friend. His fury would likely be boundless.

The Red Wizards of Thay: Children re-enacting a society greater than they can ever know as some kind of grotesque tragicomic walking atrocity. Even did they not personally offend him, their sheer evil would encourage him to ponder gathering might enough to lastingly destroy them and conquer their lands to ensure they stay destroyed. For their part, the Red Wizards would like to capture the Netherese survivor alive that they might rip from his mind every last bit of lore and secrets he holds.

The Zhentarim: Given Manshoon’s functional removal from the organization, someone as blatantly “triumph of good” as Korin has less conflict with them than might be expected. If nothing else, someone else out there that whatever Manshoons are running around still have a grudge against is something the Zhentarim very much need by way of distracting them. Korin himself has other priorities right now than the Black Network. Which is not to say that such things will always be so, but for now they are something of ships passing in the night.

The Chosen of Mystra: The entire Sammaster incident more or less sums up his overall perspective on this staggering mess. What in all the gods did Mystra think was going to happen when she took an obviously mentally unstable mortal, pump him full of divine power, and then boff him ontop of it (yes, at the time he said that aloud to her. Yes, he was exiled to Limbo for a year over it. Totally worth it, opined he). And that she outright bred her own minions otherwise is full of unfortunate implications. Nevermind that these people are responsible for the whole Harpers fiasco.

They are the smug, superior arch manipulators, working to keep humanity in a tiny little box and call it saving them. At least Bane is an open tyrant!

He has never much liked them, and in the centuries in Mystra’s service that necessitated occasionally aiding them at her behest, it was always extremely grudging. There was a glimmer of potential in that Khelben fellow at one point, perhaps, but he surrendered his soul to the falsehoods of necessity and pragmatism. Generally speaking, they return his dislike, and have lately mingled it with wariness and suspicion over his current courses of action.

The lone exception to this would be Alustriel and the bright wonder of her dreams. There was something almost helplessly captivating about her strength of spirit (get your mind out of the gutter, he’s neither Mystra nor Elminster to be unable to admire someone for their heart and mind without lusting after their body). He did much to aid her city when she took the reigns of it (and is thereby still thought of well there) and otherwise invited her along the dizzying variety of his demigod travels. They still look on each other with fondness, sharing an impulse to civilization building, if an extremely different view on how to go about it. Though the Lady of the Silver Marches has lately developed an annoying belief about “saving” Korin and healing the breaches between him and the “forces of good”, he tries largely to ignore that as best he can. He doesn’t need saving. He already saved himself, thank you.

The Other Netherese Survivors: As noted, Korin’s relative relationship to the returned Shadovar is pained and hesitant. As far as the rest? Two indolent liches, a bunch of sentient skulls, the lord of a degenerate underground cesspool of a community (see; bunch of skulls) a giant gods damned brain of all things and an immortal barmaid. He grants the barmaid being inoffensive, but he occasionally feels an urge to wipe the remaining stain on the heritage of his motherland clean as far as the rest of that motley assemblage. It helps that all but the barmaid are generally disgustingly evil besides.


Next thing I'm working on is a writeup of his enclave/city.


lynora wrote:

I think I'm going to go with the master spy idea. She has multiple personas and nobody knows which one is real. She's what you'd call morally ambiguous and has a network of rogue types who report to her.

Could definitely use some suggestions for location though. Not as familiar with the realms as some. :)

If you're looking to go with moral ambiguity, you might want to look to the Amn/Tethyr/Calimshan area (secretive merchant oligarchy/feudal kingdom/arabian-y group of city states, respectively), it's a hotbed of various competing secret societies all seeking overall shadow domninance and intrigues you could be mixed up in with your own organization.

If you can find it, Lands of Intrigue is a 2e product that pretty nicely delves into the first two nations and Empires of the Sands the last one. They're basically all in the same geographical chunk of the continent and fairly mixed up with each other.

It's an alternative to the Harpers anyway, who are more good aligned than ambiguous, and would be something of belonging to them, instead of being a thing of your own self, if you're looking for that.

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