Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Black Age of Bane - Some Quick Thoughts

Here are some ideas I have had in the past couple of days that I am too tired to compile into a proper post:
  • The Thayan Banites have "stolen" Szass Tam's Dread Ring ritual. Rather than building towers, they will carve out temples of Bane from solid stone - like the real world church buildings at Lalibela in Ethopia - which will be in the shape of Bane's new unholy symbol. Indeed, the layout of this symbol if it could somehow be viewed from space. (Beholders - or, at least, death tyrants - are doing the work of carving out the stone with their disintigrate eye rays.)
  • There has been a new schism in the Zhent ranks within Darkhold. The Banites have allied with Thayan Banites and purged Darkhold of the Cyricists with the aid of beholders.
  • Now there are renegade Cyricist Zhents all over the Western Heartlands - including Elturgard- seeking a living as mercenaries or bandits, anything to survive. 
  • Certain Cyricist strifeleaders have taken up residence in the Reaching Wood where they plan to help the gnolls summon an aspect of Yeenoghu which the Cyricists will secretly control. The ritual to do this was taken from Darkhold.
I'll tidy these up at some other time.

A Zulkir's Revenge
At the end of the War of the Zulkirs - as written by Richard Lee Byers in Unholy, the third book of The Haunted Lands trilogy - Szass Tam transformed Nevron, the Zulkir of Conjuration, into a mane and banished him to the Abyss.

This is an idea inspired by the Rise (or Death?) of a Demon Lord series of posts (and later eBooks) on ENWorld by Blackdirge where his protagonist was a former wizard from the Forgotten Realms (I'm not sure if he was a Red Wizard - I do not recall) that died, rose in the Abyss as a mane but rather than having lost his memory and former powers, found that he still commanded magic as he did before his demise.

What if the same thing happened to Nevron?

Nevron now exists in the small, bloated body of a mane but he still commands formidable magic. He is weaker than he once was but still represents a significant threat. Made even more evil (and chaotic) by his rebirth in his abyssal form, he possesses only two drives: survival and revenge. And, of course, the target of his desire for revenge is Szass Tam.

I am thinking that Nevron has a fundamental understanding of how Dread Rings work. Perhaps he has provided that information to the Banites in Thay to allow them to construct their own version in Elturgard.

Alternatively, perhaps he has also provided that information to the durthans of Rashemen. Rather than building their own Dread Ring, perhaps they seek to corrupt the Dread Ring that Szass Tam plans to build there (the basis for my planned Dread Rings of Thay campaign) so that, rather than unmaking reality, it brings the Wychlaran and other forces of Rashemen under durthan control.

Another alternative relates to my plans for the Knights of the North campaign. What if Nevron provided the same information to the returned - and weaker - clone of Manshoon? Would creating a Dread Ring - even if only a weaker version - allow Manshoon to increase his power?

Like the idea of the return of Manshoon, I can see this idea of A Zulkir's Revenge - with Nevron the mane as the antagonist - providing a sub-plot to a number of campaigns. I will definitely play with this idea some more.

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