Akor Scourgebane wrote:
He can do this outside the flow of time. He can spend nigh endless time doing that there and no time will pass in the real world for him doing so. He could note that he spends decades on end at that and only need to just note that, as no actual time will pass because he does it all during time stop.
It's, even with followers and armies and what have you, more than a bit much.
Neverminding that there's no plausible reason everyone else who could do it, which are a lot of people even just in the world, wouldn't do it either. It opens a door as far as just simple setting logic that doesn't seem like it should be opened. There's stuff you can go "well we can just say that doesn't happen" and then there's.. this.
It just seems like it's too much.
Sparel Radtymah wrote:
That's uh.. I'm moderately certain that's not really the intent as far as something like using time stop in a demiplane. It otherwise makes for that any caster with 9th level spells and a way to be ageless (be it the immortal discovery feat, undeath, or what have you) can now crank out magic items at seeming rapid fire, limited really only by money and feats.
I realize we're supposed to be high end and all, but even for that, it seems a bit much. It's not like there aren't a bunch of casters in the Realms who couldn't do that either.
It was a thing the fellow mentioned during the recruitment thread, between that and the latest demiplane thing I was just wondering where this stuff was coming from.
Right, Timeless I know from, but Timeless wouldn't provide a demiplane of infinite time to work on magical items while no time passes in the real world while you work on them.
Sparel Radtymah wrote:
Just to ask.. how are you doing all this stuff with demiplanes? The one with the permanent time stop for magic item making, this thing. I've been looking at the Create Demiplane spell and it doesn't seem to cover this sort of thing, unless I'm missing something.
As I mentioned earlier I'm willing to shift the game towards a more classic DM run play style for those who want the structure and consistent scene setting from another player but I'm going to have recruit some straight up co-DMs to make that work given the amount of material involved and my sometimes wonky RL schedule.
I guess to say it more directly.. if it's basically just a series of personally written novels where everyone talks about how they awesomely succeed at their own goals and various opponents are defeated/fall into line/are converted because I just decide they are, regardless of their own heft or plot significance, and then ocassionally we get together to interact with a main plot. I'd.. really be uncomfortable with that. It's definitely not what I was thinking this would be like.
I had thought it would be more.. I suppose traditional is the word, where we are certainly attempting high scale things, but we don't just ourselves note their success or failure, that there's moderation and interaction with it, the element of unpredictability to roll with and factor in that comes with things having something of a game element as opposed to an "it happens this way because this is how I want it to happen" element.
I mean, for instance, Korin wants to raise up more enclaves. I had pictured this as something I need to work for as far as coming up with strategies, presenting them to such as is running the game, working at them thereby, so forth. If it's really just something I can ultimately go "it happens", well.. that would feel awkward.
Or.. Korin wants to try and convince all the people of Halruua to embrace their ancient Netherse heritage hardcore styles. I'd rather that not be something that ultimately just boils down to my saying "and then it happened" no matter how prettily or with extra detail I might dress up saying that.
I'd basically prefer major npcs to be run by the DM, is what it is. I don't want to determine their actions and responses myself, it would feel, well, wanky, to put it more bluntly.
I'm totally cool to outline what my plans are and how I intend to pursue them, and etc, but I don't want to only self determine how they go, if you follow.
I suppose the way I'm looking to put this is.. I'm not really inclined/comfortable to npc the major high muck a muck npc cast of the Realms vis a vis my character, just of myself. I'm certainly fine to note how his followers, his city, etc. gets by, and certainly of people and things below his scale but beyond that feels a bit, I don't know.. presumptive? A bit "I'm so awesome", if that makes any sense? I was kinda hoping for more DM input when it's on that scale.
That's a bit.. I dunno, it's a bit closer to just being outright freeform than I was thinking this was going to be. Was that the intent?
THere's also Jhamdaath, though they were more all about the mind powers.
Oh! And Narfell and Raumathar besides.
Hrm, so, I would suppose everyone going for a Netheril influenced vibe, we should probably talk out things like character backstories, if people knew each other and interacted back in the day, that sort of deal.
Korin I generally picture being born in Netheril's golden age at its apex, probably -1600 DR or so, ascending to godhood around 1450 after a big ol stretch of fightan round the world, as it were.
I don't suppose we can make some sub thread to talk this all out or something, or use skype or what have you to otherwise avoid clutter..
Yeah, up north is gonna feel pretty full
Well, Akor will probably be busy mixing it up in Cormanthor, and I think a few other people will be about in other places. Lord knows any Harper players are probably going to be busy with, well.. Akor, really.
And I do intend to dip to Cormyr and Halruua at decent clip with Korin, so there should probably be some breathing room in the North.
Lord Manticore wrote:
I think, just from what has been said so far, the intent is more that we can specify how we like (subject to approval) as far as towns/villages and the like, and have room to note a big ol pile of followers besides, but that taking the leadership feat marks out from such the whoa super loyal no matter what segment.
And yeah, the DM noted that taking +5 inherent across the board is fine.
From what has been talked out so far, it seems to be a bit of, everyone is in places in Faerun relevant to their interests, and they may or may not already know from each other/run into each other as they pursue those interests and or big plot things come up. Or simply may be famous enough to be known of generally.
That's only been my own read though.
And you know, from my understanding, you can be based pretty much wherever in the Realms as far as where your character puts out a shingle, though someone in Maztica will probably feel very alone after a while..
But yeah, tricky if you want to orient around the North. Still, like I say, if Halaster can do it, so can you! And maybe with about 95% less insanity.
Hrm. Imaskar isn't.. well, they're not anywhere north, they're more around Raurin.
Hum. You could always be Imaskari that fled the hell to the North when that place got stepped on? It worked for Halaster.
There's the Shoon, if you don't mind the whole Twisted Rune thing you probably then have to have an opinion on one way or another. Though they're similarly around Calimshan/Amn/Tethyr, which is at least closer to central Faerun, relatively.
As for evil alignments, I mean, Korin, you know, he's all up in being lawful good and such. It's not to say he can't have a polite conversation, and is generally capable of discussing magical theory with whoever, and he at least tries to see if someone can be reached first, but he's probably not going to be regularly palling around with such types. It's not as though he doesn't have things of his own to deal with (Shade, the Nether scrolls, Thay, casting a wary eye at the Harpers, helping the Steel Regent, goading vast societal change in Halruaa and to a lesser extent Silverymoon, so forth) as far as having to be all up in some other player's business though.
I suppose the best way to say would be, if someone's particular demense comes off more like Latveria when Doom is being written as the lawful evil guy who at least rules his own people wisely and well and with honour, Korin could more or less grudgingly leave off on that.
edit: and I mean, you know, he's cognizant of that if he ever manages to refound Netheril, the diverse nature of people makes for that not everyone within it will be good off the bat, he simply expects for them being able to operate respectfully within a larger socio-political framework that is such (though he also figures "fake it till you make it" will eventually take hold and all).
'twas something I mentioned wayy back on page 1, as far as it goes. Sorry?
I admit too many of such concepts and it starts getting a bit funky.
Korin that summary of all your views of the different neighbors and organizations was pretty amazing. I hate to ask but Netherese interests me, though it seems you've already established yourself there nicely. Where near it would be possible for me to set up kingdom? (Looks like most of us want northern kingdoms)
Well, being Enclave based means Korin can fly his city about like in days of yore, he just sort of favours alternating between Cormyr/Halruua/Silverymoon (the first being more central, the second being more south-ish). If he manages to raise up a second or even a third enclave city (which is a goal of his), he'll probably start looking at being more sedentary and claim actual lands somewhere.
Really though, if you want to have survived Netheril, don't feel as though you can't, I'm not going to say I completely own the idea. Admittedly if everyone starts doing it, it might get a bit out there.
But anyway, map of the Realms!
As far as it goes, Korin's gripe with a lot of other survivors of Netheril is they seem to have basically done nothing with themselves. Fat!Lich is a fat horrible lich who bloats around, Larloch collected a bunch of liches like pokemon and moulders in a mountain, Giant Brain is... a giant brain, and Immortal Barmaid tends bar. Shade is breaking his heart, but at least they're trying to do something with their lives, he can respect that, even as it anguishes him and he tries to talk them out of it.
In that sense, a fellow with a kingdom is at least doing /something/. Something evil that might have to be stopped with extreme prejudice someday, but, you know, something.
Anyway, if you want to be somewhere relatively near one of the places where Korin and his city float around with regularity, and also be relatively close to where the returned Archwizards of Shade and their place kick about, eyeing the map, there's a swath of empty land around a river just past the high forest, and just above the greypeak mountains. It's in the northern chunk of the map. You could pretty easily drop a kingdom in there and say one has been about.
If you also want more character involvement not so potentially antagonism based, you could always go with your fellow being an archlich (which are basically.. non evil liches, pretty much), but I don't want to discourage people from concepts they like.
Akor Scourgebane wrote:
It will be interesting to see how Korin and Akor interact, as I will be playing up the whole "elven supremacy" thing a fair amount, and doing my best to unite all my people and then go about removing non elves from the forests and natural places of the world. Especially the unnatural ones...
Korin just a touch believes that left to their own devices, the elves will perennially eat themselves like the orouboros, or at least that's his take on their history of civil wars, banishments and every so often self inflicted bloodbaths. Which is to say, he doesn't exactly 100 per cent care about stabby isolationists in the primal depths of a forest, barring them trying to blow up Faerun again. The world's big enough that he can live with going "so keep Cormanthor then, the world is huge, and you don't have the numbers to live anywhere else as a group and also sustain a society". That and he'd likely find it counter productive to get in the way of a frothing at the mouth Harpers/Chosen/whoever else that would rise up from efforts to kick out the Dalesmen, as far as how unwelcome his aid would likely be by them.
With /that/ said, if Akor was doing up his people Crown Wars style as far as forced unification, he'd care then, as far as deaths and suffering of the innocent and all such things. He might find the elves mildly jerktacular, but that doesn't mean their children and non combatants deserve suffering and to be crushed under tyranny.
And you know, if all the power groups in question were losing to the point where he could go "want some help?" without being told "screw you, narcissistic megalomaniac!" it might be something he'd then put his hand in.
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.
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 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.