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The Live-Action Film Trilogy
Dammodar's infamous blue lips are a result of the drug Sannish.Sannish stains the lips blue. In the sequel he mentions problems with controlling his urges, at the time a reference to his undead form of sustenance but possibly also a problem that he's been having since he was alive. This would also explain how Profion controlled him, since it's made by distilling wolf's milk, something Profion could harvest via summon monster spells. Sannish itself is essentially magical opium, making you immune to pain but causing wisdom damage, meaning that the fighter Damodar would become more easily addicted since his will save is already so low and could only get lower from there. In Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God his lips are normal, since he was undead, which are immune to negative drug effects.
The Film is literally adapted from the game that the cast played before shooting.Think about it. What would you do if you had to write the script for a film based on the world's most famous role-playing game? No matter what you write, it will end up being vastly different to at least somebody's idea of the typical campaign, so what do you include and what can you leave out? At the same time, you have a group of people who are about to try acting in this film, who need to know what their characters are like so that they can act their parts convincingly. What better way to help them play their role than with a role playing game that their characters are in? And if you're going to play a Dungeons & Dragons campaign before filming anyway, coming up with all that plot, why not use it?
The film isn't really happening.It's just a group of friends actually playing D&D. The discrepancies between the events and the source material can be explained as the group altering the game to suit their interests or to keep certain member from exploiting its flaws and breaking the game or they might instead be doing JUST that to screw with a particularly antagonistic Dungeon Master). The characters are actually being played by a group of friends. Snails seems dumb and out-of-place because it's his first time and really doesn't how to play. Profion is so deliciously hammy because that's how the DM portrays him. The characters seemingly dissolving into light/teleporting at the end is just them getting up from the table after finishing the game or just taking a short break.
The Film is an artistic documentation of the most expensive LARP in human history.
The Book of Vile Darkness is actually a prequel to Dungeons & Dragons and Wrath of the Dragon God
The Fourth Edition setting will be destroyed by the Undead.In the default setting of the Fourth Edition, there's a grim dimension only reachable by magic and named the Shadowfell. Almost devoid of living creatures, it teems with all manner of undead, and characters who die end up there before fading away. Fine so far, it's a standard mythical "Land of the Dead". Except that every detail of the ordinary world is mirrored in the Shadowfell. Every ordinary building has a Shadowfell ruin and every port has a silted-up equivalent choked with rotting equivalents of ordinary ships. Obviously Shadowfell is not some magical dimension, but just the future after a disaster that killed everything without doing much large-scale damage. The buildings are ruined not because of mystical corruption, but because they've been sitting around for decades without maintainance. Presumably the disaster was a Zombie Apocalypse, with magical side effects that keep resurrecting dead characters decades later. All the magic that takes people into the Shadowfell is actually time travel. It naturally follows that the all-wilderness dimension known as the Feywild is just the past, before the invention of agriculture.
The Planescape cosmology demands the existence of the Ordial Plane.The Rule of Three determines everything that structures the Outer Planes; the Unity of Rings says everything works in circles. We have the Material Planes, the Inner Planes, and the Outer Planes (yay, Rule of Three). The Astral Plane connects the Prime Material with the Great Wheel of the Outer Planes. The Ethereal Plane connects the Prime with the Inner Planes... so what connects the Inner and Outer? Rule of Three says there must be three transitive planes; Unity of Rings says there must be something connecting the Inner and Outer Planes. Thus, the Ordial Plane: a transitive plane that connects energy with belief. The origin of souls? The true seat of divinity? The source of divinity? The home of the Lady of Pain? Couldn't say, since no portals ever lead there - but maybe Her Serenity wants to keep it that way...
The Primordials of Fourth Edition aren't as big dicks as they made out to be.Sure various demon lords are former Primordials, but it wasn't until Tharizdun created the Abyss they sprung up. It's likely that they had the capacity for good and evil like the gods, but it became a fight between two factions, where both sides had to resort to some pretty awful tactics to try to win. Granted, they wanted to destroy the world (or let it be destroyed by the Elemental Chaos), but the world didn't have life on it until the gods put it there (and presumably the elemental creatures like the Giants and Titans would be able to survive the resulting cataclysm, given that many are found in the Elemental Chaos). Or hell, the whole "them willing to let the world be destroyed" might have been a smear campaign, and while some were willing to destroy the world as part of the natural order, others might have been willing to let it play out, but got caught up in a brutal war. But the gods made sure to only tell of the former Primordials. And in the few pages this troper read in the Forgotten Realms Campaign setting, the various Elemental Gods have been retconned into Primordials.
Asmodeus is not a god.Asmodeus is supposed to have rebelled against the god he served and been imprisoned in the Nine Hells, along with his devils. Fine so far. Except that in the fourth edition he has become a god, unlike in the previous editions. There are several problems with this. If the other gods could imprison him, surely they could prevent him from achieving divinity. And if they couldn't, what's he still doing in the prison? It's more logical to assume Asmodeus is merely pretending to be a god, as part of an elaborate scheme to escape. That assumption makes no changes to the game mechanics either.
Iron Heart Surge is a manifestation of Spiral Energy.First of all, the move is pretty much just a raw surge of passion that overcomes stuff effecting you, which is a lot like how the robots in TTGL work. In addition, thanks to the vague wording of the effect, Iron Heart Surge can be used to end anything that effects you in some way. This can allow you to: do the impossible, break the unbreakable, touch the untouchable, see the invisible, ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAH! Not to mention that if misused, it could indeed destroy the universe. Imagine if a Warblade were to use Iron Heart Surge to end the Sun to stop its gravity and light from effecting him. There are countless ways in which Iron Heart Surge could cause catastrophic damage to the universe; ending godly magic, ending universal or planer effects, ending various laws of physics even! The only time this doesn't work is when a DM invokes Rule 0. They stop this horrible destruction and make things more cynical as a result. It follows then that DMs are the agents of the Anti Spirals, put here to stop this kind of power from being misused.
In past editions, the reason why the devils and demons had such huge numbers advantages compared to the good outsiders was because of Always Chaotic Evil racesThink about it: there are a large number of fast-breeding monstrous races with short, violent lifespans. If the Orcs and the Kobolds and the goblins kept breeding and getting killed, then their souls would continuously be making their way into their domains. So as more souls come into hell and the abyss, more souls become fiends, thus replenishing their stock.
The Wall of The Faithless prevents Asmodeus from being restoredIn an earlier rulebook, it was stated that Asmodeus consumed the souls of those who refused to believe or follow the gods. If he were to get enough, he would eventually recover from the wounds of his Fall. He would even send his Avatar out to cause unbelief. Now, Myrkul created the Wall For the Evulz, but it has stopped Asmodeus from recovering in this fashion.
The Golothoma has a symbiotic link to the Vashta NeradaYeah, OK, Doctor Who WMGs are overdone, but hear me out. The golothoma is a critter that eats you with its shadow (you can see it from a link on this page). Now, most people would just say that's magic. This troper disagrees; the golothoma obviously has a bond with the Vashta Nerada, which devour individuals caught in the shadow and provide some of their components to the golothoma, which in return provides them with a safe spawning ground (let's compare: a tree, a horrific giant snake monster...).
The Multiversal transition to Fourth Edition was caused by...
The yugoloths have no plan for the Blood War.It was commonly hinted at in Planescape that the Neutral Evil fiends, the yugoloths/daemons, were manipulating both the Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil sides for their own benefit, with a mysterious plot to bring both under their control and thus take over the universe. But I don't think they really do. That would be too lawful. The devils wage the Blood War so they can conquer the demons and take over the multiverse; the demons fight so they can overwhelm the devils and utterly destroy creation. But the yugoloths? They don't care—they don't want to own the multiverse or destroy it, they just want to spread evil however they can. It doesn't matter if the devils or demons win—either way, the yugoloths will gladly ride before their hordes like the Four Horsemen, bringing pain and fear to everything in their path. And that's what makes them the most frightening of the fiends: The devils want to own you, and the demons want to destroy you, but the yugoloths just want to make you suffer.
Each of the known yugoloth lords from Planescape correspond to one of the Four Horsemen.Building off the previous WMG, and inspired by Pathfinder. I agree that Charon is the Horseman of Death, but aside from him, the other three horsemen match up to existing yugoloths from Planescape. Anthraxus is Pestilence; Mydianclarus, Lord of the Wasting Tower, is Famine; and the General of Gehenna is War.
Dragon Lance is getting a Fourth Edition book
The Forgotten War Was Instigated By The GodsIn Ullabar's writeup in Monster Manual 3, it's said that he used to be simply a living planet, but was banished to the Far Realm by the gods simply because he was designed by the Primordials, and his his current alignment is because he's on an indiscriminate Roaring Rampage of Revenge. From that, it can be assumed that the other stars were also burned by the gods, and collectively hate them because of it. The reason why the Forgotten War is called that is because the majority of them don't actually hate mortals, and want to avoid collateral damage.
Lolth is Asmodeus' Distaff CounterpartOr Asmodeus is Lolth's spear counterpart. Think about it. Lolth was a goddess, Asmodeus was an angel. Lolth betrayed her patron out of envy, Asmodeus slew his patron out of pride. Lolth failed but was cast into the abyss to become a demon. Asmodeus succeeded, but his plan backfired and he was cast into hell to become a devil. Lolth regained divinity through sheer force of will, Asmodeus claimed divinity through his own cunning and manipulation(or, in forgotten realms, sheer dumb luck and being badass enough to kill a god). Asmodeus is the patron saint of lawful evil, Lolth is the poster girl for chaotic evil. They each have their own chosen people(devils for Asmodeus, drow for Lolth), and in a weird way, the societies of those people are very similar. Also, Lolth maintains a form of seven monstrous spiders and one beautiful drow woman, and it was suggested that Asmodeus's form of the most handsome devil was a projection made by his true form of a giant serpent(though that seems to have been dropped).
Graz'zt is Asmodeus' son.It's established in pre-4e sources that Pale Night, among the most horrible of the obyrith lords, is the mother of Graz'zt. However, in 4e, Graz'zt is stated to be an Archdevil who lead an army into the Abyss and eventually went native. Now, some sources suggest that Asmodeus was drawn into the Abyss at some point to mate with Pale Night, so it's possible both storys are true; Graz'zt is the son of Asmodeus and Pale Night, Asmodeus got custody, so to speak, and eventually sent his son to conquer his mother's homeland. However, his innate chaotic nature due to his demonic ancestory caused him to become influenced by the Abyss and embrace his demonic heritage.
They didn't pattern 4e after MMORPGsThe biggest complaint is that 4e is like playing an MMORPG. Those people are thinking in the wrong direction. Powers that even when they miss do damage? 5 alignments? It's rather obvious when you think about it, they're both owned by the same company, 4e is patterned after Magic: the Gathering. 5e will introduce Dominaria as the default setting, and you will get to choose between the colors. On the other hand, by using the colors, that will be vague enough to stop the catterwauling of who's playing their alignments right. Except for black. Banding will still be overly complicated to be any good to anyone.
Residuum in 4e is the Philosopher's StoneRituals work by expending a given amount of gold, astral diamonds, or residuum, causing it to vanish and the magical effects of the ritual to take place. Gold in the D&D world isn't elemental Au, it's an alloy of some other, worthless substance and Residuum. When casting a ritual using gold, the caster alchemically separates the residuum from the base metal and the residuum is expended. Astral diamonds might be a solid, crystallized form of the same substance.
He Who Was . . .
Wizards of the Coast is actively working to kill off the Forgotten RealmsIn every new book about them, at least one major remaining landmark is utterly annihilated for no clear reason. Even R.A Salvatore, one of the people who apparently hates the new direction of the realms, dropped a Volcano on Neverwinter in the middle of his first Neverwinter book, killing everyone in the city.
The Lady of Pain is the Creator of the Dungeons & Dragons multiverseThis theory is hardly new, but heck, I felt like stating it anyway. The Lady of Pain is the creator and ruler - the overgod - of the entire D&D multiverse. The Phlogiston, the Crystal Spheres, Oerth, Abeir-Toril, Krynn, Athas, Mystara, Eberron, the Planes... she created them all. She's enigmatic; nothing is known about who she is or where she came from. She refuses to tolerate worshippers. She won't let gods in her city - which is located at the centre of the multiverse. Perhaps the reason for this is because if a god usurped her they'd become the new ruler of existence. This, of course, is precisely what Vecna sought to do.
The Lady of Pain is Lorraine WilliamsTyrannical, arbitary, hates the gods (the creators of games), and prefers followers who are literally incapable of talking back (the dabus). In the end, one of the creators' pet characters attempts to overthrow her, and ends up "fired."
The Wall of the Faithless is not evilThe wall is just there. No god made it. It is a natural part of the cosmology and if the gods were to remove it, the results would be considerably worse. The gods aren't enslaving people by using the wall as a threat to make them worship them; through worship, they are in fact rescuing people from the wall.
The Far Realm is the Warp from Warhammer 40,000.
The Aboleth win.In fact they rise from the sea to wipe out all life. Their civilization goes pretty well, until they fall into a race-wide state of Who Wants to Live Forever? and end up seeding the Earth.
Fifth edition will dumb down the much beloved fourth edition, which was perfect in all its forms.Well, considering how this has been the reaction towards every edition change, it stands to reason this will happen again. Sure you can look at every previous edition and notice all the gigantic flaws with balance, lore, and logic, but people like Xe better, so it must be the highest quality one bar none.
Mayaheine is supposed to literally be Joan of Arc.Lessee. She's described as having auburn hair and blue eyes, which fits a lot of popular depictions of Joan. She was a "paladin of Pelor from another world", which makes a lot of Woolseyism-style sense when you consider Pelor's faith is often depicted in canon as being a lot like Catholicism with the serial numbers filed off, and would be easier to explain to the locals that way. She was brought to Oerth specifically for her martial and tactical prowess, which Joan obviously has. And her domains of Protection, Justice, and Valor (and her motto of "Fortitude within and valor without") certainly fit with Joan's own depictions. And it makes a certain amount of sense that a god of the sun would save a holy woman from burning.
Asmodeus caused the SpellplagueAsmodeus is something of an expert when it comes to deicide. He manipulated Cyric and Shar into killing Mystra(not particularly difficult given their hatred of her), so that in the aftermath he could kill Azuth and achieve apotheosis from his divine essence.
The animated series
Tiamat is Venger's mother.She's the only thing in the entire Realm he's scared of, including other dragons and Dungeon Master. And Venger clearly didn't get his looks from his dad. If Skitty and Wailord is possible...
Dungeon Master is a god — specifically, Bahamut.That would explain a lot about Venger.
Dungeon Master was the previous VengerHe assumed his current appearance after the previous Dungeon Master died, perhaps by his hand.
Venger killed a previous VengerOr some other Evil Overlord or Archmage. "The Dragon's Graveyard" contains evidence. Look at Dungeon Master's trepidation ("So, it has come to this...") when the kids decide to kill Venger, and his reaction to their sparing him. They narrowly avoided a road that Dungeon Master's last pupil went down.
The kids are dead and in HellThink about it. You don't go to some magical other-world when the Roller Coaster you're on crashes unless you die. Why hell? They're constantly being jerked around by the Dungeon Master. They lack adequate means to protect themselves. And they're constantly teased with the prospect of going home, but never make it — the curse of Tantalus.
The kids can't return because they belong to the Realm.Earth was just a place to protect them until they were old enough to put up a fight, or a place where they went by accident. They won't return because they are needed in the Realm. Yeah, it's like the whole The Twelve Kingdoms storyline; but hey, there's a probability!
Eric is the only one who's not aware that they're in a cartoon.Or at least in some kind of fictional work. The other kids, DM, and probably Vengar are aware that they're in a fictional TV show; hence, they are particularly brave, given their situation. For example, the kids know they can't die because they're kids. Vengar is pissed off all the time because he knows he can't win and because the Rule of Drama means he can't die until the show is over. Eric is the only one who isn't in on the joke, hence his cowardly behavior. Since he doesn't know that the kids can't be in any real danger, he's scared out of his mind and can't understand why the others aren't feeling the same way.
Eric is gay.Think about it. He's a teenager, but he's never shown genuine interest in a female character. The one time he's shown really liking someone, it's another boy who's just as snarky as he is. Chances are, he's got a crush on Hank. He touches Hank a LOT, far more than he does any other character. Unfortunately for him, Hank is straight. Eric's general unlikable attitude could be a defensive reflex to keep the others from getting too close and figuring out his secret. After all, in The Eighties, tolerance for known gays outside their subculture was even less likely than tolerance for complete jerks. The only female character he's shown getting along with is Diana, who is also a snarker and who has no interest in him.
Pure Is Not Good is in effect.Okay, so all the kids are good. And it is stated in canon that all the kids are pure of heart. But they can't all be pure good, or there would be considerably less dissension.
Presto can't get the Hat to work properly because he isn't giving it what it considers proper respect.It will not work consistently for him until he quits the silly cantrips for good.
Eric is braver than he looks.Not that that would be hard... But seriously, one common interpretation of his experience in the Celestial Tower is that he was most afraid of being humiliated, ridiculed, and/or outcast. But his place in the Cast Speciation and less-than-trustworthy instincts meant that he went through that sort of thing all the time. His fight-or-flight was always on.
Hank was going to hit a Heroic BSOD near when the series ended.His greatest fear is failure as a leader. His mission is to get everyone home, doing good deeds on the way. Failure Is the Only Option for the main objective, home. The math is clear. This could've happened after the broadcast finale or during "The Winds of Darkness."
Presto's hat is the Dungeon Master.DM has shown himself to be a borderline Trickster Mentor at times; being the hat and screwing around is how he gets his kicks off-duty.
Presto's hat is a Dungeon Master.That's a title, not a name, and we have seen "DM" and the hat at the same time. But the hat has the same great power and the same stubborn refusal to help in a straightforward manner.]]
Weapons of Power draw energy from their users.This is how a weapon that is not permanently bonded to its owner can still be an Empathic Weapon. Hank's bow is definitely empathic — there is no other way to get energy arrows to do so much. Presto's Hat is empathic if it isn't sentient, but Presto tends to put more thought into how he wants to word a spell than what he wants it to do. It also explains why Eric's shield doesn't consistently just dissipate magical/energy attacks, but sometimes transmits physical force towards him when doing so. It's user weakness or user error — maybe he wanted force feedback to be sure the thing was working.
If Eric stays an adventurer in the Realm long enough, then he'll become a Paladin.This one is popular with Fan Fic writers. Exactly how he will meet the alignment or religious requirements is left to the guesser.
Presto will be the next Dungeon Master.He loves magic just that much. Hopefully, he will be competent before he takes the position.
Presto will someday be able to do real magic without the Hat.Perhaps the Hat is an Amplifier Artifact. Perhaps it isn't, but he still has natural abilities that he isn't yet tapping. Either way, the potential might be there. This is automatically true if "Presto will be DM" is.
Hank's energy bow is literally made of gold.This idea is popular in fanfics (there may a Word of Dante about it somewhere). It is made possible because this cartoon was made in The Dark Age of Animation. Reasons:
Zandora (of the box) is/was Dungeon Master's wife.She is the only other being we've seen who appears to be of his species. She might be Venger's stepmom. Or his real mom, since pure Evil is known to disfigure people.
Venger can open portals almost at will.This is another one from fanfic. There were times when he could do it canonically, but we are speculating here that he could do it even outside those times. DM may or may not know this. Venger doesn't destroy the Earth (yet) because he has to take over the Realm first and because opening portals and leaving them not-quite-unattended is a good way to keep tabs on our heroes and their Weapons.
Bobby is related to Hank.The coloration is similar. Generally, when this is presumed true, Bobby and Sheila are at most half-siblings. Hank is unaware of the relation, natch.
The Shield is parasitic or symbiotic.And it's a considerably stronger bond than other Weapons have. When it isn't being actively used, it stores the bulk of its magic in its bearer. It draws it back out when it is being used. Eric has survived a few situations unscathed with an "inactive" shield that mere armor could not have protected him from, including a close brush with a fireball of Venger's in a situation when magic in items was dead but magic in creatures was not. Eric and Venger both became aware of the nature of the bond then. It would explain why Venger didn't just wait for the kids to go home in "Day of the Dungeonmaster," and why Eric didn't want the power of being a DM. His first thought on becoming DM was panicking about losing the Shield. If this is true, then it could mean trouble for Eric if he ever does make it home for good. If not before.
Diana does not need the Javelin for acrobatics. At all.The Weapon is still useful — its magic is concentrated enough to bat away other magic — but its primary power is basically to allow itself to be stowed in her fur bikini between uses. If she was carrying a normal pole, it would work just as well for most purposes.
Bobby and Terri are connected by a Red String of Fate.They will become a couple after he gets home. Never mind that he was no more than ten when he met her — it was meant to be.
Bobby's ninth birthday party in the Realm was not the first.He turned nine on Earth on the day everyone got trapped in the Realm. The misadventure disrupted the party. Once everyone got the hang of survival and Venger-dodging, and once it became clear they wouldn't get home fast, Hank and Sheila arranged another party. San Dimas Time was in effect. These minor changes would have the same general purpose as the major one. While Venger would likely get a kick out of wiping out America, his main priority is those pesky kids with the weapons. It would be much more fun for one or more of them to go home and then find there wasn't a home to go to.
The kids have lost their souls to DM.A natural extension to "The Realm Is Hell." By accepting and using the weapons, the Six are beholden to DM. That they probably couldn't have escaped Tiamat without at least some of those weapons doesn't help.
Presto has made a Deal with His Hat.Since 99% of his magic relies on it alone. You think it works bad for him now? It would've been even more recalcitrant if he hadn't made the deal, and he isn't dextrous enough for normal creative spellcasting. At least as things stand, the Hat has Mundane Utility as often as not; and at least as it stands, it rarely is a complete dud.
Eric really does have a little brother Michael
Eric used to have a little brother MichaelIt was before the others knew Eric. Eric was present when Michael died, and is too humiliated or ashamed of the circumstances for his brother to be one of his topics of conversation. It was an unnatural, violent death. This is, naturally, a Fan Fic theory.
Hank is from a broken home
Allowing Eric to carry the Shield is violating one or more laws of magicThe Weapons of Power are supposed to be carried by those pure in heart. But, for various reasons, and especially early on, he's rarely been better than an Anti-Hero as far as his behavior is concerned. Nevertheless, the Shield still works for him. True, he didn't keep it at the factory setting, but it works efficiently most of the time. Therefore, an exemption must have been made for him. Not all from Earth get Weapons of Power — Terri brought her necklace with her. Perhaps it was Because Destiny Says So — that might be canon. Perhaps the rest of the gang talked DM into it, directly or accidentally.... It is left as an exercise for the Wild Mass Guesser whether the Shield would have to be retrofitted by someone other than him.
Presto carrying the Hat violates one or more laws of magicOn theory that the magic that gave the weapons traveled in a straight line, and that Presto was not the original target. Since the original target was p0robably Eric if it wasn't Presto, this was allowed to stand.
Hank's Bow is using his spirit for ammoBecause ammo for bows is normally isn't built into the weapon, and because he can practically think his energy bolts into existence. He can think them out of existence — that is, make them disappear without firing them; presumably they go back into the spiritual quiver then. This would explain why Hank appears to have some slight character disintegration over the course of the series: the very purity of heart that granted him this weapon is what he must sacrifice to use it, and he doesn't always retrieve his arrows. If he were not so pure when he started out, things would have gone much worse by the end of season 2.
At the time of "The Dragon's Graveyard," Hank is almost as bad as Venger.Because the decision to shoot the restraints instead of Venger came almost at the last minute. Also, Hank was having something of a perverse streak, for him, around that time. He had betrayed his own heart during "The Traitor," three episodes prior. He would try to abdicate responsibility for Eric's continued existence and try to kill Venger again around "The Dungeon at the Heart of Dawn." It was a depressing time to be DM.
At the time of "The Dragon's Graveyard," Presto is as bad as Venger.This was hidden by incompetence, natch. Presto restrained Venger. He did it in such a way that, if Hank had done nothing, Venger would have died. So if killing Venger makes you as bad as Venger, Presto would be there. He had also walked out on his soulmate not long before. Yes, Status Quo Is God, but ouch!
Eric often tries to get humiliated.Why, you may ask, when he seems to hate or fear humiliation? Simple: feeling fear and anger is better than feeling nothing when trapped in a crazy world. Those rare occasions when he has been most calm (as opposed to happy) are ones where he has appeared to abandon his survival instinct. The Shield needs that instinct to function. It clearly does not work on conscious will alone — magic energy works too fast. And it won't work on automatic unless he feels in danger — else, there wouldn't have been shapeshifting incidents. If he has a secret altruistic instinct, then — well, he's not going to be happy in this crazy world under any normal circumstance, especially if he might have depression. He might as well keep everyone else's negative emotions aimed at him when the forces of Evil aren't active. This would definitely have been Wild Mass Guessing during the original run of the series. There are signs that some Big Name Fans of this millenium believe variations on it.
Eric is secretly a Bogbeast.Okay. At the end of "Beauty and the Bogbeast," Eric changes back into human form. The accepted explanation then is that The Realm is what Eric hates most. Later that year, at the end of "The Box," he returns to the Realm more-or-less voluntarily (and almost misses the connection). There are several plausible reasons for this (which probably will be added to this list later), but let's throw this one in anyway... Eric was restored to human form with a magic necklace after he decided he could not stay on earth as a bogbeast. This item was shown to be used by one other creature — to make an illusionary form. (You think Kawamauga wanted to change back?) If that change was an illusion, then Eric missed his window for a true change back — DM made it clear there was a short deadline. Still, the nice thing about personal illusions is that you can hide what is causing the personal illusion if you like. We never see that necklace again, and neither does anyone else; Eric is passing for human. Some kinds of magic lasted longer than others on Earth in "The Box." The Weapons stopped working promptly, but Venger's spells still worked fine. Hank decided to return to the Realm because he was, um, concerned that Venger's magic would never wear off at all; Diana, Sheila, Bobby, and Presto were supporting their leader. We will presume that, for Eric, at least one of the illusion necklace or the biology hidden under it fell somewhere in between. We will also presume that he realized this about the same way Wile E. Coyote realizes he's standing on mid-air. Eric was not trying to rejoin his friends simply because he gave into The Power of Friendship, which was both generally assumed and nobler. Bogbeasts, like unicorns, do not belong to this world. Either Eric's vanity or his survival overruled his staying "home." This also explains why Eric as DM made it clear that he would not be taking that portal he created and why he couldn't give a reason the others accepted. He was unable to let knowledge be his Shield (book-burning doesn't count); he meant to die with this secret, and do it in the Realm so no one back home would learn it from the body.
Sheila killed Venger for real.At the end of "Citadel of Shadow," Sheila throws the Ring of the Heart and the Ring of the Mind at Venger. He disappears — and is never seen again. Note: this necessarily means "Requiem" doesn't happen.
Eric is secretly a Phantom Stalker.In this case, it would probably be a secret from him as well. These beings were seen in "The Garden of Zinn." They are "hard shadow" that can convincingly shapeshift. And they are nigh-indestructible. Eric places himself under the custody of Queen Zinn during this episode. He does not want to keep traveling. Queen Zinn is capable of creating and/or summoning these beings. Why make a copy of Eric as Cavalier? Two reasons:
The Bow lost its purity when Hank lost hisHe betrayed his own heart during "The Traitor." If the Bow had remained pure, he would not have been able to use his bow between then and his, um, change of mind.
Venger is a Tiefling.Makes sense. Horns, teeth, eyes. And it is canon in the Dungeons and Dragons lore. That is why DM can say Venger was his mistake. Remember, folks, when sleeping with a succubus, use a condom!
Eric is already Ret Gone in his original homeworld.The event that drives Eric to leave Earth again st the end of "The Box" is Venger threatening to destroy everything he has there. A couple of years later, we learn that Venger had the means to do this in the form of the Crystal of Chronos. And Venger is usually a villain of his word. Eric still exists in the Realm, and will continue as long as he stays there. He has been aware of the situation since his stint as DM. This likely took the old copies of Presto and Diana as well. Presto doesn't know. Diana learned while she was channeling Starfall.
If Kosar had been killed outright instead of wounded, then the others would have taken that portal Diana made.She was Hank's right-hand gal, after all. They rarely worried about her, and she rarely gave them reason to. Then they would wonder why she didn't follow them.