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    Canonfire :: View topic - Anazander
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    Anazander
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    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3202
    From: Michigan

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    Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:33 am  
    Anazander

    Anazander was an ancient (or at least not contemporary) paladin first mentioned in The City of Greyhawk boxed set, and again in From the Ashes. From those sources we know that he was Suel, a follower of Heironeous, and an "inveterate traveler to other planes and slayer of evil creatures of all sorts." He's best known for the relic associated with him, the Torch of Anazander, "made of an unknown matte gray metal, tipped with a fire ruby ringed by chunks of rosy quartz which had runes enscribed in them in an ancient, and unknown tongue." The Torch was discovered by the adventuring party now called the Fellowship of the Torch in the Underdark level of a dungeon in the eastern Cairn Hills.

    Has anyone developed or used this in their campaigns?

    One possibility that occurred to me was to adapt the 2nd edition adventure A Paladin in Hell, making Anazander a paladin who retrieved the Vallis Crystal, a stone that contains an entire imprisoned world, from Asmodeus long ago, incorporating the stone into the Torch of Anazander (it may be the rose quartz rather than the fire ruby). When he died the Torch was eventually interred beneath the Cairn Hills, either because he was buried there or a successor was, in the hope that it would be safe from the evil forces that still desired the Vallis Crystal. A Paladin in Hell begins when a temple of good is pulled into Hell during the funeral of a famous paladin. This doesn't work with Anazander, since he's not a contemporary figure, but it could be the funeral of Nastassia Aiareni Nightstar, the member of the Fellowship of the Torch who bears the Torch in battle today. She's a lawful good fighter/mage, not a paladin, but I think she could still be slotted into the adventure effectively in the post-From the Ashes era when she's a relatively famed adventurer (although A Fighter-Mage in Hell doesn't have quite the same ring to it). I'd keep Emirikol the Chaotic as an associate of Nastassia rather than swapping in one of the Fellowship's own mages. The temple pulled into Hell would be Greyhawk's Temple of Rao (although Anazander worshiped Heironeous, Nastassia worships Rao, and that seems to be fine; the Torch requires a lawful good wielder but is otherwise non-denominational). Members of the Fellowship and other allies and well-wishers would have been in attendance at the funeral, drawn into the pits of Hell with her.

    Any other ideas?
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 24, 2008
    Posts: 122


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    Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:35 pm  

    If I read your variation correctly, Asmodeus wants the Torch because it incorporates the Vallis Crystal, and he wants the Vallis Crystal so he may corrupt the world held therein.

    Might you want a connection between the world held within the Vallis Crystal and the various gods and powers of Greyhawk? Perhaps a linkage to Rao?

    The world within the Vallis Crystal is identified as “imprisoned.” Two ways to read this is that the world was isolated by those outside of it (offense) – or that it was isolated by those within it (defense). Perhaps the creatures of that world within are “imprisoned” within the barriers they themselves have made under an incessant onslaught of evil?

    Perhaps magic worked normally on Vallis and throughout its crystal sphere. Then such magic started to fail, a failure caused by Asmodeus (perhaps in a fashion similar to the divination “black out” caused by Vecna in Vecna Lives!). Visitors from beyond then occasionally appeared, offering their special knowledge on how to again acquire such magical power – but for a price set forth clearly in a contract to be signed in blood. Understanding the forces at work, the Rao (under a local alias) worshiping priests of that world used the last of their magic to seal off their world and wait, however long, for help from outside to come, reasoning that if calamity and evil could come from beyond, so too could rescue and salvation. And so in the Vallis Crystal world the fundamental tension continues to be between those who profess to serenely and peacefully abide, and those few who seek more power through pacts with remaining visitors from beyond left behind when the barriers were erected.

    The Torch may prove to be a conduit into the world for the forces of good, and perhaps is the conduit for the forces of good within Vallis to reach out into the multiverse.

    Just an idea.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: May 12, 2005
    Posts: 876
    From: Woonsocket, RI, USA

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    Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:29 pm  

    The only issue I have with Anazander is his temporal placement. As a Suel paladin of an Oeridian deity, he must originate from a time and place when the races comingled. (Keoland would be the earliest such example.) I'd estimate he couldn't be more than five or six centuries old, which I wouldn't call "ancient".
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3202
    From: Michigan

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    Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:05 pm  

    DMPrata wrote:
    The only issue I have with Anazander is his temporal placement. As a Suel paladin of an Oeridian deity, he must originate from a time and place when the races comingled. (Keoland would be the earliest such example.) I'd estimate he couldn't be more than five or six centuries old, which I wouldn't call "ancient".


    Anazander, remember, is portrayed as an explorer, "an inveterate traveler to other planes." His embrace of Heironeous is meant to be an extraordinary exception to the norm.

    I think if he came from a time and place when the races had already commingled, he wouldn't be Suel, but a member of a hybrid culture. From the Ashes calls Anazander's choice of Heironeous as his patron "a true rarity," which I don't think would be the case if Oeridian culture was something his people were familiar with. He could be from Lendore Isle or the Scarlet Brotherhood region and perhaps only be a few centuries old (I think his Torch has been under the Cairn Hills for a while), but if he were Keoish I imagine he must have been from the very early days of Keoish settlement, before the Oeridians and Suloise had much to do with each other. The Keogh entered the Sheldomar circa -354 CY, just after the fall of Vecna, so 940 years ago (counting back from 585 CY) doesn't seem an unreasonable number in that scenario.

    So while I think he could have been a relatively recent man of pure Suloise descent in some region with little Oeridian contact, I think he could just as easily have been from the ancient Suloise empire and learned of Heironeous during an expedition to the Oerid lands far from his homeland, or even while exploring the outer planes.

    The word "ancient" doesn't have a precise definition, but I imagine that in the Flanaess it generally applies to the Great Migrations era or before.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
    Posts: 343
    From: Aspedri

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    Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:59 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    The word "ancient" doesn't have a precise definition, but I imagine that in the Flanaess it generally applies to the Great Migrations era or before.


    Ancient history could best be described as that for which some events are known to have occurred, but the details and the context are generally not understood. The latter is usually because of the fragmentary evidence still available, or its limited utility (a king list, or a dedicatory inscription).

    Within the Flanaess it would have different definitions. Among the Oeridians, history might be divided between one or several segments:

    Age of Myth: pre-Migration period
    Age of Heroes: Migration period
    Age of Aerdi: Rise of Kingdom of Aerdi
    Age of the Great Kingdom: Rule of Nasran (CY 1) to present day
    I usually assume the Oeridians only seriously begin to record their history in the Age of Aerdi, and anything before that would be ancient.

    In the Sheldomar, however, the cultural influence of the Suel might have a different impact:
    Classical Period: Pre Rain of Colorless Fire
    Migration Period: Struggle for survival in the Sheldomar Valley
    Modern Period: Founding of Keoland (-392 CY) to present day

    With fewer upheavals, the Keoish might not perceive something as Ancient unless it took place during the days of the Imperium, and depending on what the salvaged, maybe it would have to go far back into the days of the Imperium.

    For the Scarlett Brotherhood, their may not even be an "ancient" as they see themselves as continuing the traditions of the imperium.

    The short version of all of this is that the time frame of ancient will vary by region.
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