Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

Netheril: flying cities, ancient scrolls written on gold leaf, and just a little bit of hubris.
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night_druid
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Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

Post by night_druid »

I just recently got Anauroch in auction, and finally got around to reading it. And its immediately becoming obvious that Slade's vision of Netheril is vastly different than Ed's. Some of differences I've seen thus far:

* The Narrow Sea
Ed - Runs north-south from Ascore down to somewhere near Evereska.
Slade - East-west, cutting through a mountain range.
Note - it appears they realized they screwed up on this, so reconned that it ran N-S in ancient times, then had the creator race move it.

* Spellgard
Ed - a huge citadel at the western edge of the desert, the best preserved example of Netheril's power and home to an archlich from that land.
Slade - doesn't even mention it, nor its famous inhabitant.

* Magic items
Ed - Elminster found one magic item of Netherese origin: a pumped up version of the Instant Fortress magic item. Supposedly a "weak" item from Netheril.
Slade - pseudo magic items so Netherese can live like modern americans but rarely make permanent magic items

* Netheril's Heartland
Ed - the western edge of the desert
Slade - the NE corner of the desert, with most of their power in the central & eastern parts of it.

* The Lost Kingdoms
Ed - Do no appear to have any direct relationship to Netheril.
Slade - Survivors of Netheril.

* Demihumans
Ed - Central Anauroch was home to several rich cities of dwarves, elves, and even orcs(!)
Slade - Demi-humans kept their distance from Netheril, and have little interaction with it.
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Re: Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

Post by Big Mac »

night_druid wrote:I just recently got Anauroch in auction, and finally got around to reading it. And its immediately becoming obvious that Slade's vision of Netheril is vastly different than Ed's.
Interesting stuff. Are these the only changes or the main changes?
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Re: Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

Post by night_druid »

Big Mac wrote:
night_druid wrote:I just recently got Anauroch in auction, and finally got around to reading it. And its immediately becoming obvious that Slade's vision of Netheril is vastly different than Ed's.
Interesting stuff. Are these the only changes or the main changes?
Main ones I've seen thus far. The only other thing to add to the list:

Time of Netheril's Fall:
Ed - A bit vague, but it appears that Ed's Netheril fell sometime around 600 years ago.
Slade - Puts Netheril's fall around 1,500 years ago.
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Re: Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

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night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
night_druid wrote:I just recently got Anauroch in auction, and finally got around to reading it. And its immediately becoming obvious that Slade's vision of Netheril is vastly different than Ed's.
Interesting stuff. Are these the only changes or the main changes?
Main ones I've seen thus far. The only other thing to add to the list:

Time of Netheril's Fall:
Ed - A bit vague, but it appears that Ed's Netheril fell sometime around 600 years ago.
Slade - Puts Netheril's fall around 1,500 years ago.
That is a big difference. Far too big a difference to be a continuity error.

Did they perhaps word these definitions differently? Maybe the earliest event was the fall of Neteril as a power and the later event was the final fall of the last parts of their society.
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Re: Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

Post by night_druid »

Big Mac wrote:That is a big difference. Far too big a difference to be a continuity error.

Did they perhaps word these definitions differently? Maybe the earliest event was the fall of Neteril as a power and the later event was the final fall of the last parts of their society.
I doubt it. Ed's Netheril fell less than 500 years ago (its pretty clear in the introduction, actually), with survivors fleeing to Cormyr, Amn, and the Sword Coast cities (all of which didn't exist when Slade's Netheril fell). In Slade's version, Netheril was long dead and the desert had ceased growing by 1,000 years ago. The two just don't reconcile.
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Re: Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

Post by waylander39 »

Hmm, would I be right in saying that WOTC used Slade's version when factoring Netheril into the 3rd ed setting and ultimately, the Shades plotline? If so it raises even more questions about Ed's vision of Netheril and how it would have fitted in to the later plotlines?

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Re: Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

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waylander39 wrote:Hmm, would I be right in saying that WOTC used Slade's version when factoring Netheril into the 3rd ed setting and ultimately, the Shades plotline? If so it raises even more questions about Ed's vision of Netheril and how it would have fitted in to the later plotlines?
I think so, yes. I think Ed's Netheril was more a plot-device for the origins of several high-level liches and living mages (in particular, the lich of Warlock Crypt).
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Re: Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

Post by waylander39 »

I'd be very interested to hear what Ed had planned for Netheril and how it would have impacted on the Realms that we've all come to know and love. Would it have affected the Shades metaplot in any way or made any major impacts to the historical timeline?

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Re: Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

Post by Big Mac »

night_druid wrote:
Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:59 am
I just recently got Anauroch in auction, and finally got around to reading it. And its immediately becoming obvious that Slade's vision of Netheril is vastly different than Ed's. Some of differences I've seen thus far:
I took another look at this topic.

FR3 Anauroch: The Empire of Shade by Greg A. Vaughan, Thomas M. Reid and Skip Williams was published in 2007. I'd be interested to see if they have sided with Ed or Slade over the things you say are different. :?
night_druid wrote:
Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:59 am
* The Narrow Sea
Ed - Runs north-south from Ascore down to somewhere near Evereska.
Slade - East-west, cutting through a mountain range.
Note - it appears they realized they screwed up on this, so reconned that it ran N-S in ancient times, then had the creator race move it.
If the Netherese had access to spells like Mavin's Create Volcano and Proctiv's Move Mountain, I think they could probably move The Narrow Sea themselves...if they wanted to.

Would there be any tactical advantage to diverting a sea from the mountains? Would it open up a mountain pass? Alternatively, would moving the sea create a natural barrier that could help defend a Netherese city or outpost in the Ascore or Evereska area?
night_druid wrote:
Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:59 am
* Spellgard
Ed - a huge citadel at the western edge of the desert, the best preserved example of Netheril's power and home to an archlich from that land.
Slade - doesn't even mention it, nor its famous inhabitant.
I looked this up on Forgotten Realms Wiki. It used to be called Saharelgard.

It was so interesting, that I decided to start a Saharelgard (later called Spellgard) topic to see if it is possible to retcon Saharelgard into the Arcane Age material.
night_druid wrote:
Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:59 am
* Magic items
Ed - Elminster found one magic item of Netherese origin: a pumped up version of the Instant Fortress magic item. Supposedly a "weak" item from Netheril.
Slade - pseudo magic items so Netherese can live like modern americans but rarely make permanent magic items
Hmm. Page 116 of The Winds of Netheril says this:
After the Fall wrote:Magical Items

Quasimagical items became virtually useless after the fall, since their source of power—the mythallars— was destroyed. A few of the regular magical items that were created during the time of Netheril became artifacts, such as the Crown of Horns and the Scepter of the Sorcerer-Kings. Creating magical items once again became a vitality-draining ordeal that few wizards wished to subject themselves to.
So that section isn't saying that there are very few permanent magical items. It's saying that most of the regular magical items didn't become artifacts (but a few did).

So if a pumped up version of the Instant Fortress is a weak Netherese item, then it could just not be one of the artifacts.

(Maybe I should start another topic about Netherese magic items. :) )
night_druid wrote:
Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:59 am
* Netheril's Heartland
Ed - the western edge of the desert
Slade - the NE corner of the desert, with most of their power in the central & eastern parts of it.
The capital of England moved from Winchester to London, in the past. Could the "capital" of the Netherese Empire have moved, at all? :?

If there were a bunch of Arcanists all trying to build better cities than each other, I can see the leading parts of Netheril being dependent on which specific Arcanists were alive in a given year.
night_druid wrote:
Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:59 am
* The Lost Kingdoms
Ed - Do no appear to have any direct relationship to Netheril.
Slade - Survivors of Netheril.
Did Ed specifically say they didn't have a direct relationship to Netheril, or did he just not mention one?

I'm wondering how many refugees could travel from one place to a new community and merge into that community, leaving little apparent evidence that they came.

(We had a lot of Welsh dairy farmers come to London in the past and there are a number of Welsh churches around. But I don't meet any Londoners with Welsh accents who say they are 2nd or 3rd generation Welsh people. They just look and sound like everyone else.)

If agents of the Phaerim were actively trying to hunt down the surviving Netherese, it would make sense to abandon old accents, take up new regional dress styles and pass yourself off as being from the new community.
night_druid wrote:
Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:59 am
* Demihumans
Ed - Central Anauroch was home to several rich cities of dwarves, elves, and even orcs(!)
Slade - Demi-humans kept their distance from Netheril, and have little interaction with it.
Hmm. I'm not sure it says that for all the races.

Dwarves seem to be quite welcome, according to page 15 of The Winds of Netheril.

Elves and half-elves seem to loose their elven abilities in or under floating cities (for reasons Slade doesn't seem to explain). So I can see them mostly sticking to the other parts of Netheril.

Gnomes seemed to have gotten the bad end of the stick (according to Slade) until they refused to work for the Netherese. So that suggest that they have better relations at the end of the Netherese era. But I've not seen where the turning point is supposed to be yet.

Things seem to be the opposite way with halflings, who lived with the Netherese, but then got fed up being treated like second-class citizens. Presumably, if a lot of ordinary Netherese humans could learn magic they would look down on other races that seem to only have mundane talents. :?
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Re: Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

Post by Seethyr »

Pardon my going by memory here, those books are hidden in my attic somewhere now.

Didn’t the river change course because the Netherese tried to drown out the Phaerimm? And isn’t that why they started the lifedrain which essentially created the desert?

Also, I believe the GHotR officially has the end of Netheril occur at the moment Karsus cast his Avatar spell which was around -340 DR. That’s now closer to 2000 years in the past than 500 or even 1000
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Re: Netheril: Ed vs. Slade

Post by night_druid »

Seethyr wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:56 pm
Pardon my going by memory here, those books are hidden in my attic somewhere now.

Didn’t the river change course because the Netherese tried to drown out the Phaerimm? And isn’t that why they started the lifedrain which essentially created the desert?
Naw, it was the lizard creator race that did it. It was a retcon in 3e days (I want to say Serpent Kingdoms); I think they realized the canon conflict and tried to resolve it.
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