[5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

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[5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Zeromaru X » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:21 pm

Or that is what is heavily implied in this video.

Seems she is now related to all the new elven lore they are going to talk about in the Mordenkainen Foam of Toes :lol:

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Zeromaru X » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:24 am

Jeremy Crawford delves more into the new backstory of the Raven Queen, the Shadar-kai and the Nagpas (yeah, now Nagpas are elves, as well)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYou87fg1f0

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Tim Baker » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:00 am

Considering my current 5e PC is a warlock whose patroness is the Raven Queen, this sounds like it will be immediately useful.
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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Big Mac » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:26 pm

Is this actually a change or is it a clarification?

Is there 4e canon that suggests that the Raven Queen was not an elf?

If it's more backstory rather than a reboot, I can't see this being anything other than good.

How is the Shadar-kai thing playing out? That seems like a bigger deal (if they are a playable race).

The Nagpas thing kind of reminds me of the Netherse (from Forgotten Realms) and the trouble they caused when they tried to drain power from the goddess of magic. Would you consider raiding ideas from pre-fallen Netheril, to work as the situation before the Raven Queen was destroyed and recreated?
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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Havard » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:09 pm

Zeromaru X wrote: the Shadar-kai and the Nagpas (yeah, now Nagpas are elves, as well)...
Thanks for mentioning that the Nagpa will be returning to 5E. I could have misunderstood, but I thought the Nagpa were simply connected to the Raven Queen rather than being actual elves?

Nagpa are one of my favorite races, up to this point being a uiniquely Mystaran race. I like their Mystara origins better than the Raven Queen tie in, but it is nice to see another nod to a Mystara race.

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Big Mac » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:20 pm

Havard wrote:
Zeromaru X wrote: the Shadar-kai and the Nagpas (yeah, now Nagpas are elves, as well)...
Thanks for mentioning that the Nagpa will be returning to 5E. I could have misunderstood, but I thought the Nagpa were simply connected to the Raven Queen rather than being actual elves?
The impression I got was that the Nagpa were supposed to be part of the Shadar-kai, and that they cast the spells or carried out the ritual that got the entire community shunted off of the Material Plane.

But, maybe I misunderstood. What did you think Jeremy Crawford was saying in the video?
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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:11 pm

In 3e, shadar-kai were a race of fey who attempted to bind the material plane and the Plane of Shadow together. Their ritual was interrupted by mortal heroes and the backlash poisoned their souls, leaving them bound to the Plane of Shadow and cursed to lose them to its depths.

In 4e, shadar-kai were a race of humans who, fearing death thanks to the predations of Nerull, made a pact with the Raven Queen upon her ascension, gaining long lives in exchange for service to their mistress.

From Dragon #372:
Chris Sims wrote:Shadar-kai were once humans, native to the world. They were all members of an extended tribe who called themselves Shadar-Kai. These early humans had seen the abuses Nerull, once god of death, perpetrated on the souls who passed into his power. They also feared the unknowable reaches of death into which most souls pass even now. When the Raven Queen slew Nerull and ascended to godhood, in an age now largely forgotten, the Shadar-Kai struck a deal with her.
In 5e, shadar-kai are an elven subrace. According to the Unearthed Arcana column, "Once they were elves like the rest of their kin, but now they exist in a strange state between life and death, their skin pale and their bodies marked by piercings and eerie tattoos."

According to Mike Mearls in the video above:
Mike Mearls wrote:"The shadar-kai obey her, they follow her, they're very faithful to her, and they're about as old as she is. How she actually came to be, there's a lot of different stories, it's not exactly clear what may have created her but it's clear the shadar-kai are somehow attached to it and they serve her will, they are tied to her. The shadar-kai were once elves and so the Raven Queen may have once been an elf herself, it's not exactly clear right now what her relationship might be. You do have this idea that Corellon Larethian, you know, the elves springing from his divine blood. And the elf pantheon essentially being the most powerful of the elves rising to godhood because they have the divine element in their blood and so there's some suspicion that she's somehow tied to that, that that might be how she might have attained this cosmic position. There's also some thought that maybe there's this kind of cosmic tragedy, that she didn't actually intend to become the Raven Queen, she intended to be something else, and something went wrong, and now she's trapped in the Shadowfell and that her weird obsession with souls and plucking souls and bringing them to her and commanding the shadar-kai might actually be in some strange way her trying to escape her predicament."
As you can see, he's pretty vague here. He doesn't say the Raven Queen was an elf, but he suggests she might have been. On the other hand, he's saying this isn't clear and there are a lot of different stories that might contradict this.

Jeremy Crawford, in this video, is more explicit that in the particular story he's telling, the Raven Queen was originally an elven sorceress.
Big Mac wrote:Is this actually a change or is it a clarification?

Is there 4e canon that suggests that the Raven Queen was not an elf?
I don't think that's the right way of looking at it. I don't think the very different origins of the Raven Queen in 4e can be said to be clarified by the information given for 5e; nor do I think they can be said to have been changed.
Jeremy Crawford wrote:It is said there was a mighty elf queen who saw this chaos that was going on among her people, among elves, and she thought, "If I could marshal enough magical power I could not only ascend to godhood but I could help restore order to my people," an order that at that time Corellon and Lolth seemed incapable of providing.
In 4e's Divine Power, the original race of the Raven Queen isn't specified. She was simply a mortal sorcerer-queen of unspecified race. When she died, Nerull deemed her a worthy consort and named her Nera, after himself. She discovered the means by which Nerull held the souls of dead mortals in thrall and seized this power for herself, and then by freeing almost all those souls she grew powerful enough to defeat him.

What I think Mike Mearls was saying is that this story is still true and valid for Nentir Vale, but it's not the story they tell on every world. On Oerth, Nerull is still alive and still answers his priests and grants them spells, and on Toril they don't acknowledge Nerull at all, so they don't tell a story there of the Raven Queen slaying him. Instead, they tell the story that Jeremy Crawford tells about an ancient elven queen.

That doesn't mean the Raven Queen of Nentir Vale has now been revealed to be an elf, or that they've changed her backstory so that she was always an elf. It just means that on some worlds and in some cultures, they say she was an elf, but that's not necessarily the case everywhere.
Big Mac wrote:The impression I got was that the Nagpa were supposed to be part of the Shadar-kai, and that they cast the spells or carried out the ritual that got the entire community shunted off of the Material Plane.
The shadar-kai were elves in this story. They hoped the Raven Queen would grant them a path back to Arvandor. The nagpa were evil wizards who attempted to steal power from the ritual being conducted by the shadar-kai and the Raven Queen. He didn't say these evil wizards were shadar-kai or elves.

The nagpa may or may not have been elves. The shadar-kai were a group who were followers of the Raven Queen, while the proto-nagpas were an unaffiliated group who tried to take advantage of their ritual.

According to Dragon Magazine #157's "The Voyage of the Princess Ark" by Bruce A. Heard, nagpas were created when at the climax of a civil war in the nation of Varellya one of the princes conjured an Immortal to slay his rival, but the Immortal turned on them and turned the nation into desert, cursing its citizens to be eternally reborn as twisted vulture-creatures. If you assume the unnamed Immortal they attempted to summon was the Raven Queen (or her Mystaran equivalent, such as Nyx), the story isn't necessarily that much different. My 3e conversion of the nagpa is here.

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Havard » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:24 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:According to Dragon Magazine #157's "The Voyage of the Princess Ark" by Bruce A. Heard, nagpas were created when at the climax of a civil war in the nation of Varellya one of the princes conjured an Immortal to slay his rival, but the Immortal turned on them and turned the nation into desert, cursing its citizens to be eternally reborn as twisted vulture-creatures. If you assume the unnamed Immortal they attempted to summon was the Raven Queen (or her Mystaran equivalent, such as Nyx), the story isn't necessarily that much different. My 3e conversion of the nagpa is here.
That is a great way to reconcile the mythologies! :)

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Zeromaru X » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:30 am

In fact, 4e specifically stated the race of the Raven Queen in Dragon 427 (in the article "Channel Divinity: Nerull"). She was a human sorcerer-queen, and one of the first mortals who had learned wizardry directly from Corellon. So, making her a elven sorcerer queen is a contradiction/retcon to this previous origin story. Don't mind her being an elf, tho.

Also, her 4e origins weren't tied to the elven struggle (although she helped Corellon against Lolth during that war, so...). Her origins were related to Nerull. Fearing Nerull's actions and his ambitions to become "the King of all Gods", Corellon and Pelor, with aid of Sehanine and Moradin, strengthened her soul with more qualities than she had possessed in life: magical might, intellectual brilliance, shrewd discernment, unshakable courage, cold allure, and colder pride, etc. This was done for Nerull to become obsessed with her and make her a plaything to waste his time instead of trying to kill all mortals or follow his ambitions of being the "King of the Gods". The rest is as ripvanwormer said.

I know some worlds don't recognize Nerull, but they changed her identity by removing her connection to the god of death in this backstory. Yeah, Nerull in Oerth is still alive, so changing the story to make her spurn Nerull and defeat him in battle, stealing his powers and running from him/making him running from her, is a better way to handle the issue. In FR, she could have been the lover of Jergal.

I don't dislike this story, but for me this its not her origin story. Maybe is just the why she helped Corellon against Lolth after she was already the Raven Queen.

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Havard » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:17 am

Has the Raven Queen been incorporated into the Forgotten Realms now or are they specifically talking about the Dawn War Pantheon (Nentir Vale Setting)?

It is curious that they are holding onto all these elements that were not traditionally part of the FR.

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by ripvanwormer » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:04 pm

They seem to be going with the idea that she's a planar being known on many worlds but usually not considered a goddess. Instead she's an entity like the Lady of Pain, perhaps more powerful than the gods in some ways, though also a prisoner of her domain.

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Zeromaru X » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:26 pm

Yeah, what rip says. The Raven Queen somehow became so popular among the 5e fanbase (I guess, we have to thank Matt Mercer for this), and they basically were forced by the fans (not that they forced them, but the fans asked too much about her role in twitter and stuff) to add her to the mainstream lore of D&D. Quite the achievement for something that originated from 4e.

For what it seems, the whole Nentir Vale is on the road for this upgrade, as well.

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Seethyr » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:29 pm

I’m not for or against this whole “alternate mirror imaging” for certain events and entities in different worlds as of right now. It certainly allows you to use the good stuff from other campaign worlds in the one you choose to adventure in regularly, but in my Spelljammer/Planescape connective view of the multiverse it comes across as kind of weird that there’s a Raven Queen with a Nerull history in the running around in the Forgotten Realms. If they must use her because of fan demand, would it have been so hard to just use her history, but understand that the Planes connect each world and the feywild of Greyhawk or Nentir Vale is the same as the one in the Realms?
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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:28 pm

Seethyr wrote:I’m not for or against this whole “alternate mirror imaging” for certain events and entities in different worlds as of right now. It certainly allows you to use the good stuff from other campaign worlds in the one you choose to adventure in regularly, but in my Spelljammer/Planescape connective view of the multiverse it comes across as kind of weird that there’s a Raven Queen with a Nerull history in the running around in the Forgotten Realms. If they must use her because of fan demand, would it have been so hard to just use her history, but understand that the Planes connect each world and the feywild of Greyhawk or Nentir Vale is the same as the one in the Realms?
That sort of ties into the discussion we had in the Kezef the Chaos Hound thread. Can the same entity have a completely different history on other worlds?

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by MPA » Sat May 12, 2018 4:16 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:11 pm


According to Dragon Magazine #157's "The Voyage of the Princess Ark" by Bruce A. Heard, nagpas were created when at the climax of a civil war in the nation of Varellya one of the princes conjured an Immortal to slay his rival, but the Immortal turned on them and turned the nation into desert, cursing its citizens to be eternally reborn as twisted vulture-creatures. If you assume the unnamed Immortal they attempted to summon was the Raven Queen (or her Mystaran equivalent, such as Nyx), the story isn't necessarily that much different. My 3e conversion of the nagpa is here.
Nice concept, but I would venture to say that no mortal, of Abatu's level, could ever summon an Immortal the level of Nyx. I would hypothesize that creature in question was a lower immortal, possibly a Screaming Fiend (demon), given the demons coincidental birdlike characteristics. Either way someone thought it necessary to curse him for his presumption.
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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Zeromaru X » Thu May 24, 2018 6:31 am

The new story of the Raven Queen is ok. I have to admit I was worried about what they would do to her, but the change was good. They retconned not only her but also all the elven lore, though.

The Raven Queen is no goddess of death anymore (though she somehow has control over souls), she is now a goddess of secrets and memories. Her origins have been fully retconned, and Nerull isn't part of her background, and her new rival is Vecna instead of Orcus.

In this new origin, the Raven Queen was originally one of the primal elves (those that existed before Corellon cast out all elves for their "betrayal"), in fact a queen of some of them (modern day shadar-kai). She wanted to attain godhood so she could stop Corellon and Lolth from fighting, but thanks to some traitors in her ranks, the ritual went awfully wrong and she and her followers ended up trapped in the Shadowfell instead. She was almost obliterated, but she was able to use her incredible magical power to survive the catastrophe, fuse with some Shadowfell stuffs, and was transformed into a new being: the Raven Queen.

Those of her followers that survived the catastrophe eventually became the shadar-kai. The Raven Queen then turned against the traitors and transformed them into nagpas.

Since then, the Raven Queen has been collecting souls (those unlucky that wander instead of going to the Outer Planes and are trapped by her shadar-kai), striping them from their memories, emotions and secrets, and then releases them to their respective destinies in the Outer Planes. She has the biggest collection of secrets in the multiverse, so Vecna wants to control her so he can gain access to this wealth of knowledge. So far, he has failed.

Corellon and Lolth don't like her because both of them consider her a traitor, so she isn't part of the Seldarine or the Dark Seldarine. Some people also believe the Raven Queen is somehow allied with the Lady of Pain.

I have to reconcile this with the Dawn War lore, though, as is the lore I use for my personal campaign.

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Tim Baker » Thu May 24, 2018 7:12 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 6:31 am
The new story of the Raven Queen is ok. I have to admit I was worried about what they would do to her, but the change was good. They retconned not only her but also all the elven lore, though.

I have to reconcile this with the Dawn War lore, though, as is the lore I use for my personal campaign.
Thank you for sharing that. Those are interesting changes. They aren't bad, but as you said, they're hard to reconcile with the lore for the Nentir Vale. Even using a "from a certain point of view" filter, it's a bit challenging to go from the death, cold, and fate domains to secrets and memories.

Let us know what you come up with if you're able to synergize them.
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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by DMSamuel » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:35 pm

I am not happy with the changes. The Raven Queen was one of the truly new things created for 4e and I feel like they have taken that away and incorporated her into the Realms just because. *sigh*

It's okay, what they did, but I will be keeping her 4e lore - I don't play in the Forgotten Realms anyway, so I guess it doesn't hurt me at all, really, but it is disappointing to me that they ret-conned such an iconic-to-4e piece.
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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Zeromaru X » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:59 am

Neither I, after reading the whole thing. I have also mixed feelings about the lore Mike Mearls is creating for Nentir Vale (but at least that is his personal campaign and not something canon).

But as you said, my main campaign world is the Nentir Vale, so I don't have to use the FR lore anyways.

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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by Tim Baker » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:01 am

In the 5e game I play in, we haven't incorporated the Raven Queen material from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes into the setting. So the classic, Nentir Vale version of the Raven Queen remains my warlock's patron.
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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by BotWizo » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:40 pm

I don't understand why they moved the Shadar-kai to elves as well. We already have a bunch of different elf subraces. why another one? I thought the shadar-kai as a human sub race was nice.

I didn't think the game needed another elf subrace.
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Re: [5e] Raven Queen now is an elf

Post by DMSamuel » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:42 pm

I am in 100% agreement with you - WHY do we need another Elven race? Short Answer: We don't.
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