Imaskarcana

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apotheot
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Imaskarcana

Post by apotheot » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:33 pm

Its been a year since anyone said anything in this forum, so I thought I would use a bit of necromancy.

What all do we know about the various locations and forms of the Imaskarcana? I know 2 of them were described in the Lost Empires of Faerun 3e book, I want to say there was a third in perhaps Underdark(?), but it has been ages since I looked at those books. Was there any others listed anywhere? Were they used in Convention Adventures, The Living Forgotten Realms Games, featured in some novel I am not remembering, or has anyone used them in home games?

I feel like Imaskar is a great Arcane Age style locale and time period that nothing much is known about.

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Re: Imaskarcana

Post by Sturm » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:56 pm

I think there are some info on Candlekeep: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9999
Also references and info in the wiki: http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/False_Imaskarcana

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Re: Imaskarcana

Post by ghendar » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:07 pm

apotheot wrote:
What all do we know about the various locations and forms of the Imaskarcana? I know 2 of them were described in the Lost Empires of Faerun 3e book, I want to say there was a third in perhaps Underdark(?), but it has been ages since I looked at those books. Was there any others listed anywhere?
Deep Imaskar was mentioned in the Underdark book, pgs 138-140

[EDIT] - Or just follow that candlekeep link
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Re: Imaskarcana

Post by Big Mac » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:59 pm

apotheot wrote:I feel like Imaskar is a great Arcane Age style locale and time period that nothing much is known about.
Your right. Imaskar is one of the big game changers in the history of the Realms.

And with the Imaskari kidnapping large numbers of Mulhorandi and Untheric people from other worlds (and their deities eventually following them) the Realms would have had less gods before those slave raids.

As well as Deep Imaskar there was also a colony founded in Anok-Imaskar so maybe some of those Imaskarcana found their way to Kara-Tur and helped the factions over there create new magical items.

High Imaskar might also have a couple of clues about how Imaskar worked.
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Re: Imaskarcana

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:09 pm

Sturm wrote:I think there are some info on Candlekeep: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9999
Also references and info in the wiki: http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/False_Imaskarcana
...and...
ghendar wrote:Deep Imaskar was mentioned in the Underdark book, pgs 138-140

[EDIT] - Or just follow that candlekeep link
It wouldn't hurt to compile the most useful information from Candlekeep and other sources.

Unfortunately Forgotten Realms Wiki doesn't have an Imaskarna article yet.
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Re: Imaskarcana

Post by ghendar » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:05 pm

One thing I'm curious about is, for lack of a better word, the etymology of various aspects of the Realms. For instance, when was "Imaskar" first metioned in a FR product? I don't believe it was ever mentioned (or perhaps not even created yet??) in any 1e product. As I recall, there is mention of the Plains of Purple Dust, ie Raurin. Is it a 2e thing? perhaps 3e? As I wrote above, Imaskar is mentioned in the 3e Underdark book. I have no idea if it exists in any 2e FR product.

I ask all this because increasingly I want to simplify the Realms, bring it more in line with the original gray boxed set and eliminate a lot of the later stuff that I feel bogs what I want my FR to be.
Last edited by ghendar on Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Imaskarcana

Post by apotheot » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:25 pm

The first time I recall Imaskar being mentioned was a throw away line in 2nd ed's Powers and Pantheons...though I confess to not having read all the Realms books/sources or in their proper order.
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Re: Imaskarcana

Post by ripvanwormer » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:59 pm

ghendar wrote:One thing I'm curious about is, for lack of a better word, the etymology of various aspects of the Realms. For instance, when was "Imaskar" first metioned in a FR product? I don't believe it was ever mentioned (or perhaps not even created yet??) in any 1e product. As I recall,l there is mention of the Plains of Purple Dust, ie Raurin. Is it a 2e thing? perhaps 3e? As I wrote above, Imaskar is mentioned in the 3e Underdark book. I have no idea if it exists in any 2e FR product.

I ask all this because increasingly I want to simplify the Realms, bring it more in line with the original gray boxed set and eliminate a lot of the later stuff that I feel bogs what I want my FR to be.
As you said, the gray box (1987) didn't mention Imaskar by name, but under the entry for Raurin it said, "Great and magical kingdoms were said to rule this land, and it may be their fall that first drove men into the lands of the Inner Sea and towards the Sword Coast."

Which sounds something like Imaskar, at least. If you're not going to call any of the "great and magical kingdoms" that once ruled Raurin "Imaskar," you still probably want to call them something, and the name Imaskar is just sitting there, available. Following the fall of Imaskar, the kingdoms of Solon and Bakar took their turns as masters of Raurin.

The Desert of Desolation supermodule (May 1987) also doesn't mention Imaskar by name, but says, "As a people, the Raurindi became nearly extinct when their lands turned to desert millennia ago." The real change is between how Durpar is portrayed in this module (as intolerant monotheists) versus how they'd be portrayed in The Shining South in the following decade (as tolerant pantheists).

Old Empires (1990) also fails to mention Imaskar by name. It says, "Two ages ago, it was the home of the first great kingdoms of Man, who grew to such power that they challenged the gods and triumphed. In that conflict, the entire region was ravaged, and the land is now virtually uninhabitable." Later sources like Powers & Pantheons (1997) would develop this into the war between the Imaskari and the avatars of the Mulhorandi and Untheric gods, which destroyed the Imaskari Empire and transformed it into the Raurin Desert. Old Empires calls what later sources would name the Imaskari Empire "the great kingdom of Raurin."

The Horde boxed set (1990) has a lot to say about Imaskar, however. "The earliest of all known records describes the great empire of Imaskar. Ruled by powerful wizards, this empire was centered in what is now the Raurin Desert. Its borders were vast, reaching from Khazari to present-day Thay and across the Shalhoond into the steppe. What caused its fall is unclear, but from its ashes rose Mulhorand, Solon, and Ra-Khati."

Also: "The Imaskari Empire is the oldest claimant to the lands of this region and is the ancestor of many of the nations that followed. Great and powerful, it was said to be ruled by a race of godless warrior wizards. In their time, the Imaskari produced great wonders of engineering, architecture, and subtle cruelty."

The Horde doesn't mention the Imaskari challenging the gods, as Old Empires had (and this later became the canonical reason for their demise), but it does call them "godless."

Remnants of the Imaskari Empire are everywhere in the Hordelands, and the languages there are said to be descended from Imaskari. There are said to be two types of Imaskari relic: the trap-filled ruin and the trap-filled artifact.

So it looks like the name "Imaskar" first appeared in 1990, during the early 2nd edition era. Old Empires didn't use that name but The Horde, published the same year, did.

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Re: Imaskarcana

Post by ghendar » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:28 am

That's useful information, thanks! I never bought The Horde box set so I was unaware of all that. I could still use the name Imaskar without attaching all the later baggage/bloat.
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Re: Imaskarcana

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:54 am

The Scepter of the Sorcerer-Kings from Book of Artifacts (1993) is said to have been created by the Netherese, but it might be more appropriate to retcon it as an Imaskari artifact. Powers & Pantheons relates that the Imaskari created a barrier that prevented the Egyptian and Babylonian/Sumerian pantheons from entering Realmspace using "a process similar to that employed by the Scepter of the Sorcerer-Kings").

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