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Headscratchers: Forgotten Realms
  • The ending of R.A. Salvatore's novel Passage to Dawn features a touching scene in which a messenger spirit appears to Drizzt Do'Urden to inform him that his father's spirit is in a better place. All well and good, but it is problematic in face of established Realms lore, which holds that the souls of traitors to their faith (the False) and those without faith (the Faithless) are sent to The Underworld for punishment. Zaknafein paid lip service to Lloth, which makes him the very definition of a False soul.
    • I haven't read the book myself(I've read the early drizzt books and the later ones, but not the middle), but as I understand it, Cadderly is the one who set up the messenger spirit ritual thing, correct? Possible that Cadderly staged the whole thing to spare Drizzt the grief of knowing that his father is either slowly melting into a wall, or is at the mercy of either Kelemvor or Lolth.
      • Prior to 3rd Edition, which occurred in-universe due to the Time of Troubles, souls went to planes based on their alignment. In other words, Zaknafein went to the plane of his alignment which was probably CG at the moment of his death.
      • The Time of Troubles was the 1st to 2nd edition transition.
      • Still, Zaknafein died before Drizzt even left the Underdark while the Avatar Crisis only hit after Bruenor and his clan had already retaken Mithril Hall. In chronological order there are at least five books and a fair number of in-universe years separating the two events.
      • But the Wall of the Faithless did exist in pre-Avatar Crisis realms. It's not someting Kelemvor put up to be a dick, it's something Myrkul put up to be a dick. There's no indication that Zak worshiped any of the goodly deities and he certainly didn't worship Lolth. He might have worshiped Vhaeraun but we don't get any indication of that, either. By all rights, he should be just another brick in the wall by now.
  • On a similar note to the above, where do Nay Thiest types go? That is, those who don't disbelieve the existence of the gods (like the Faithless) or feign piety without actually having it (like the False)? Example: Artemis Entreri admits that he knows the gods exist, but due to his Freudian Excuse he doesn't pay homage to any of them. When he eventually dies and his soul flies the Material Plane, does he get stuck in the mossy wall/wind up as a servant of the then-current God of Death, or does he just wander around the Gray Planes forever?
    • I'm pretty sure they count as faithless; they believe the gods exist but they don't have any faith in them.
      • Ah, cool. Kelemvor is pretty chill as far as Gods of Death go - supposedly he gives you leniant/cushy jobs-for-eternity depending on your offenses - so it's possible to get off fairly lightly if you don't mind being a messenger boy forever.
  • Or, since this is a polytheistic setting, what about people who worship more than one god? For example, a merchant who trades in food might offer prayers to Chauntea (agriculture), Waukeen (trade) and perhaps even Umberlee (the sea) if he ships goods via water. It can't be expected that everybody in the world is henotheistic (acknowledging that there are many gods but only worshiping one). After all, other than highly specialized people (clerics, paladins, etc.) most people have more than one focus of concern in their lives, and all of the gods in the Realms have very specific portfolios. Your average person's needs cannot all be handled by any one god.
    • The gods in question argue/barter over the soul in question. This can be seen in a novel in Kelemvor's court; a man donated coin to one god, but died a heroic death qualifying him for service to another god, so both gods argue over in which god's realm the soul belongs.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Of Toril Continent and Earth Continent.
    • Faerun is Europe.
    • Zakhara is Saharan Africa.
    • Kara-Tur is Asia.
    • So what is Toril Continent of North and South America, Antarctica and Australia? Or better yet what is Earth Continent of Maztica, Anchorome, Katashaka and Osse?
      • Maztica is the South/Central America counterpart, Anchorome equates to North America, Katashaka to Sub-Saharan Africa, and Osse to Australia.
  • Gonna go all old school for this one; Kelemvor Lyonsbane the mortal. His curse that turns him into a panther if he helps people out of the goodness of his heart. First, that is the most awkward, unnecessary, clumsy justification of Jerk with a Heart of Gold I've ever seen. Secondly, the curse itself is stupid; there's a scene where Kelemvor's stuck in Bane's Lotus Eater Machine; he's reading a book that paints him as a great hero. He knows this hasn't happened yet, and thinks it may be prophecy. Then he reads a passage about him saving the whole god damn world and dismisses it as nonsense, not out of any reasonable assessment of his abilities, but because there's "No reward that could satisfy the curse". Now, beyond the fact that he just said that saving the world that he lives on isn't an act of self interest, this guy who's supposed to long to be heroic thinks he would refuse to save the damn world because he'd turn into a panther and kill someone. That's Jerk with a Heart of Jerk if I've ever heard it.
    • The curse is a 'wild' curse; his ancestor was cursed to turn into a panther if he ever took money for a action (or something similar to that). Other parts... don't make sense.
    • No, what Kelemvor was saying wasn't that he didn't want to save the world, but that he didn't see how he'd be able to do so since he couldn't conceive of a reward big enough to satisfy the curse; his mistake was in a) not realizing saving the world he's on is indeed in his own best interest b) not considering that if he didn't save the world because there was no reward big enough it would matter little that he turned into a panther and killed someone since they'd all soon be dead anyway and c) not considering that the book could be depicting a time during which he was no longer cursed. So, Idiot Ball all around, but it isn't proof of him being a jerk. Nothing says heroes have to be intelligent, and in many ways Kelemvor wasn't.

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