Magic on Abeir?

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Jürgen Hubert
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Magic on Abeir?

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:01 pm

For my current Maztica worldbuilding project, I'd like to know what exactly the status of magic on Abeir is.

According to the wiki entry on the Weave, drawing on the Brimstone Angels novel "The Devil You Know" (which I haven't read), the Weave is absent on Abeir, making "casting magic in that world more difficult than in Toril". Which... makes all sorts of sense, since the Weave is part of Mystra, and Mystra is tied to Toril. According to someone who has read the novel, a visiting wizard was thus unable to cast any of their spells, though "inherent" magic (i.e. sorcerers) and "planar-based magic" (specifically, that of warlocks - although considering the nature of Abeir, it would surprise me if clerical spells did not face some restrictions) still work, as do magic items.

However, the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide states (on page 10) that the rulers of Halruaa - who are wizards of the highest caliber - predicted the Spellplague and deliberately shifted their nation to that world in order to save it from destruction. Which seems odd, if they knew in advance that they would lose all their abilities upon their arrival. For if they did know, the more likely course of action would be to evacuate their citizens (or at least themselves) to a "safer" region of Faerun.

Now, as far as I can see there are the following options:

- They didn't know and spent the intervening century in savagery. This strikes me as unlikely, since (a) if they were able to foresee the Spellplague they should be able to foresee that, and even if they didn't they should have sent some scouts to Abeir in order to prepare for the disaster.

- They didn't know but found out some way to adjust to their new world - or they did know and figured out a solution in advance.

So, what might their solutions have been? Obviously, this is pure speculation, but here are some of my ideas:

- They constructed special magic items in which they could store and trigger their spells, similar to the "spell matrices" of Earthdawn (which could exist both as astral constructs and as physical items).

- They were able to create regional "pseudo-Weaves" via powerful artifacts - this meant that they only had regional reach, but at least they had a secure "home base" from which they could expand and create more artifacts.


What are your ideas?
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Zeromaru X
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Re: Magic on Abeir?

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:42 am

Take the SCAG as the unreliable narrator, as the SCAG has many other errors of that kind when it comes to Abeir (the dragonborn have the creation myth of Arkhosia—an empire in the Nentir Vale/default 4e world, for instance). Ed Greendwood answered what happened to Halruaa, and is way different to what the SCAG says. Seeing that the SCAG has many errors about Abeir, this time I would get his answer as the canon one and the SCAG as the inaccurate beliefs of that dwarf that narrates the book.

You can check Ed's answer here and here.

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Re: Magic on Abeir?

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:51 am

While I have the greatest respect for Ed Greenwood's work, what counts as "canon" for the Forgotten Realms is not his decision, but that of the relevant line editor at Wizards of the Coast.

And the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide is the only true Forgotten Realms supplement for the current era (although the assorted adventures also provide some information), so I am loath to contradict it.
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Re: Magic on Abeir?

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:37 am

The problem with the SCAG is that contradicts novels that were written before and after the SCAG was released (as, for instance, all the line of novels in the Sundering series), as well as some other lore published for the Realms.

So, basically, if you want to follow the SCAG then forgot the novels, as the SCAG contradicts them all. So, per the SCAG, magic in Abeir works as in Toril (as the fact that magic works differently in Abeir is only brought up in the novels).

If you want to include stuff from the novels, then disregard the SCAG, for the same reasons.

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Re: Magic on Abeir?

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:13 am

I do want to prioritize the SCAG, but "magic works differently on Abeir because there is no Mystra and thus no Weave as we know it" still makes sense.

So perhaps Abeir does have its own equivalent of the Weave, but it has its own origin and works differently. You said elsewhere that the essence of slain titans were used to create magic items. Perhaps there was a titan of magic whose essence diffused into the world upon its death, and then people found out that they could work non-innate magic via this ambient essence... but accessing it (since it comes from death) requires a blood sacrifice, with the sacrifice coming either from the caster or some other living victim (including animals).

This would fit in very well with Maztican themes and hive me an excuse to come up with a "blood mage" specializatuon.

Does this contradict anything in the novel? After all, a visiting wizard would hardly know anything about this...
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Re: Magic on Abeir?

Post by Bardsidhe » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:52 am

For this, I would be inclinded to see that SCAG defines the changes of the era, as with almost all other editions being the herald of new era in the Forgotten Realms, and that SCAG, is 5E then it is clear that whatever the event that brought on 5E changed the magical default of the two worlds, I would say in this case brought them into alignment, as for magic not working for visiting mages in the past, this has precedent on other worlds in the D&D Universe, Dark Sun instantly comes to mind with their Preservers and Defilers, even if the world was "out of reach" to the other worlds in the D&D Universe (though from memopry the novel Tribe of One had some world hopping, but we are not here to talk about that)

I would assume that mages from Toril would loose their connection from the weave of Toril when they left the world and went somewhere where Mystra had no influence.
from memory this is what i beleive would happen to the Mages of Krynn if they left and visited Toril.....
I can't be sure without going through all my books.

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Re: Magic on Abeir?

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:20 pm

Okay, let's say that when Maztica (and Halruaa) came to Abeir, their wizards had to learn how to adjust to the magical "framework" of this new world. This wasn't a trivial task, but there were a number of different options to pursue. Maztican wizards, due to their cultural biases, came up with blood magic - i.e. empowering their spells via sacrifices of blood (Halruaan wizards presumably choose other options). Now that Maztica is back on Toril, these sacrifices are no longer necessary - but there are still many blood mages around who can use sacrifices to boost their spells in one way or another.
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Re: Magic on Abeir?

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:35 pm

Bardsidhe wrote:For this, I would be inclinded to see that SCAG defines the changes of the era, as with almost all other editions being the herald of new era in the Forgotten Realms, and that SCAG, is 5E then it is clear that whatever the event that brought on 5E changed the magical default of the two worlds, I would say in this case brought them into alignment, as for magic not working for visiting mages in the past, this has precedent on other worlds in the D&D Universe, Dark Sun instantly comes to mind with their Preservers and Defilers, even if the world was "out of reach" to the other worlds in the D&D Universe (though from memopry the novel Tribe of One had some world hopping, but we are not here to talk about that)

I would assume that mages from Toril would loose their connection from the weave of Toril when they left the world and went somewhere where Mystra had no influence.
from memory this is what i beleive would happen to the Mages of Krynn if they left and visited Toril.....
I can't be sure without going through all my books.
The problem with this approach is that The Devil You Know is also 5e. Its story (and the story of the previous novel, Ashes of the Tyrant) its tied with the plot of Out of the Abyss, a 5e adventure. So, whatever happened in those novels, is under the 5e paradigma.

BTW, here is the actual quote from the novel (chapter 20):
Mehen looked over at Farideh. She was staring at her up-turned arms as if someone might have etched a map there. “I don't have any spells,” she said. “I can... I can't feel the Hells or the Weave.”

“We can't cast magic?” Adastreia asked.

“Of course you can't,” Caisys said. “Pacts are sealed off. Weave doesn't exist. You get what you carried in, assuming it's self-contained. Weren't you listening?”

“You didn't tell us that,” Farideh said, her voice rising

Caisys frowned at her. “Well, I should've. No magic. No normal magic. Hope you remembered blades. Anybody have a bow?” No one did, of course. “Well, tluin and buggering Shar,” Caisys said. “This is why you don’t ask me to plan your little outings.”
and
In the third thousand years, Versveshardinazar, the Opaline Terror, mined the Verthishai Loech Ternesh down to its roots, seeking the relics of Merciless Petron. For centuries his slaves broke rocks until they found the corpse, and the precious remains of the Dawn Titan’s magic.

“Is this the ossuary of Petron?” Mehen whispered.

“How would I know?” Caisys replied. “I said don't touch them!”

Dahl scowled. “I wasn't touching them. I was looking at the striations.”

“Look from farther back,” Mehen said. He tasted the air, tapping his tongue to the roof of his mouth. “The Dawn Titans were the first of the tyrants of Abeir. Their relics are what magic Abeir has. Shestandeliath carries a fragment of the titan’s lungs—it built Djerad Thymar. Whatever's condensed into those bones is powerful. And you don't know what it does, so leave it be.”
So, only magic items, and the inborn power of dragons and primordials worked there (as the lungs of Petron were used to create the Breath of Petron, the flute-artifact that the dragonborn used to built Djerad Thymar; and dragons also had magic, as there is a dragon that could raise the dead in old Tymanchebar, according to one of the characters). I suppose, sorcerers also can, due to their magic being inborn. Psionics work fine as well, because that power is not only inborn, but also isn't tied to the Weave.

The power of the gods is also sealed, because Gilgeam is limited to use magic items to produce magical effects (from chapter 3).
The Son of Victory stooped beside Mira, and his advisors all crouched to stay as low as their leader. One hand on the amulet, he set the other on Mira's swollen ankle, met her eyes, and smiled that sea-cliff smile. The burst of magic that followed smelled of blood and hot steel and the midday sun on stone. For a moment, panic flooded Dahl, as if he’d been suddenly thrust into a battle. Mira cried out as the air filled with the sounds of marching feet.

Then all of it was gone. Mira flexed her ankle and shot Dahl a worried look. Gilgeam regarded her smugly. “Felicitations,” he said. “You are the first upon this plane to accept the blessings of the Son of Victory.”

Behind him, the priests shook rattles, and Dahl's pulse rattled along with them. There was no doubting the sudden presence of the divine in that spell—if the man wasn't what he'd claimed, then he was still powerful. A Chosen or perhaps a priest himself. He wished Farideh were here with her soul sight, and then took it back. Gilgeam's speech might not have mentioned tieflings, but he could guess he wouldn't make an exception. Suddenly Dahl was very glad Volibar had fled.
If you like, I'm tinkering a solution here: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21873

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