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The Spellplague, called the Blue Breath of Change by the inhabitants of Returned Abeir,[1] was a disaster that struck Realmspace, the world of Abeir, and even the planes themselves on Tarsakh 29 of the Year of Blue Fire, 1385 DR, and was caused by Mystra's assassination at the hands of Cyric and Shar.[2][3] It continued for a decade, leading to the Wailing Years, during which arcane magic ceased to function and the planet of Toril was transformed.[4]

The diviner Yaphyll had a vision of the event:

"The white queen is troubled but can't say why. The black queen hates the white and gives the assassin a black coat. The assassin steals upon the white queen. She can't see him gliding through the shadows. The sword screams. The white queen falls. Her city falls. Stones fall in the cavern to crush the soothsayer. The tree burns and thrashes in agony. Branches break. Branches twist and grow together..."
  — from a vision by the diviner Yaphyll[5]

In her vision, Yaphyll referred to Mystra as the white queen and to Shar, goddess of the night, as the black queen. Cyric, god of murder, was the assassin, Savras, the god of divination, was the soothsayer[citation needed], and the city, cavern and tree symbolized the ordered structures of magic crumbling into chaos.[6]

The Plague Edit

After Mystra was killed, the Weave, the universal structure of arcane forces, was destroyed[3] and was replaced by Cyric's own madness, that became a "physical" force after being bolstered by the corrupting energies of a Far Realm portal opened by Shar to destroy Dweomerheart, believing that she could control the Weave after destroying the plane of her former enemy.[2][7] Without the Weave, the Shadow Weave was unable to be maintained and collapsed as well. The breakdown of the Weave was felt by all wizards across Faerûn.[3][2]

The corrupted madness of Cyric defiled what arcane forces remained from the dissolution of the Weave, resulting in a new magical source of defiling arcane energy in the form of blue flames, that destroyed Dweomerheart and continued to spread across the multiverse.[2][7]

Since the Spellplague was born from the defiling powers from the Far Realm, a plane that existed outside of Realmspace, not even Lord Ao had the power to stop it once it started.[7]

The Storm of Blue FireEdit

The Spellplague manifested in Toril as a storm of blue flames in the Mhair Jungles, west of Halruaa, and quickly grew to a massive size.[4] Halruaan wizards, having divined the death of Mystra and the destruction of the Weave, were able to use the energy of the blue fire to save most of their kingdom by shifting it into another world, Abeir.[8] However, the remaining Halruaan lands in Toril were laid to waste due to the heavy wild magic activity in the area, and Sespech, the Golden Plains, and the Nagalands were transformed into an unpredictable and surreal place, dubbed the Plaguewrought Lands.[2]

The blue flames also infected portals and planar gates, spreading even further across Toril.[2] Almost every part of Faerûn was affected by the Spellplague and certain areas were eliminated entirely, while others were created anew. Thousands of spellcasters were either destroyed or went insane due to the collapse of the Weave after Mystra's death.[4] In Cormyr, a third of the War Wizards were either killed or driven mad. Those who survived lost their ability to use arcane magic.[4] Other continents, such as Kara-Tur and Osse, were affected by the Spellplague as well.[9]

It was through the planar gates that the Spellplague traveled across time and space, and reached the world of Abeir.[2] In that world, the Spellplague first appeared in Gontal, the southwestern region of the continent of Laerakond, where it made contact with ancient Glaur, the fortress of the Primordial Nehushta.[10][11] The fortress detonated when the "Blue Breath of Change" ran through it, in an explosion as potent as the Tearfall, rocking the entire planet of Abeir and creating the Glaur Barrens where the old fortress once stood.[11] Laerakond was torn apart in a powerful earthquake, and a portion of the nation of Skelkor, were the capital of the dragonborn nation of Tymanchebar was located, was torn asunder and disappeared amid the blue fire.[12]

That region, where the city-citadel of Djerad Thymar was located, crashed on Unther, still enveloped in the blue flames. Many believed the Untherites and the Mulhorandi occupation forces were obliterated in the explosion that created the Black Ash Plain,[13] but actually Unther was instead transported to the world of Abeir.[14] However, it was transported to the lands of Shyr, the equivalent continent to Faerûn in Abeir.[15]

The rest of Laerakond was sent to the Trackless Sea, were it subsumed the lands of Maztica. Maztica was transported to Abeir, and Laerakond, which became known as 'Returned Abeir', remained on Toril.[16]

EffectsEdit

Effects on arcane magicEdit

  • Despite the efforts, with the structure of magic out of balance, many spells failed[17] or produced unreliable results.[2]
  • Most permanent magic items, such as artifacts, were left intact at the end of the Spellplague but charged magical items were either destroyed, warped, or simply ceased to function. Items with dormant magical qualities, which were manually activated, were largely unaffected by the Spellplague.[9]

Effects on the GodsEdit

  • Savras died as a result of the dissolution of Mystra's home plane, Dweomerheart.[4]
  • Nobanion tried to save a pride of lions in Gulthandor from oncoming blue fire. He came in contact with the blue fire, and it mutated him into a dark and bestial lion with a mane of blue flame.[23]

Effects on the planesEdit

  • Most of the Outer Planes were either destroyed or merged with others, creating the Astral dominions. Entirely new Astral dominions also arose because of the Spellplague.[25]
  • Dweomerheart itself was dissolved.[4]
  • The Spellplague pulled back the Feywild into Toril's proximity, reopening the paths between the two planes again.[26]
  • With his new found godly power, Asmodeus took advantage of the planar instability to hurl the Abyss to the Elemental Chaos in a attempt to end the Blood War.[2][19] Asmodeus failed however, as throwing the Abyss into the Chaos didn't stop the Blood War, although it stalled it by a hundred years.[27]

Other effectsEdit

  • The Spellplague affected the landscape, making the ground rumble and heave up and down like the surface of the sea.[3] Curtains of blue flame swept the landscape, reshaping the land by cutting crevasses or lifting and sculpting the plain into hills and ridges.[28] Shards of earth wrenched themselves free and became earthmotes.[29]
  • Waves of azure fires appeared everywhere, killing whatever they touched.[30]
  • Political upheaval across the land that resulted in many attempted coups, invasions, and uprisings. Especially against governments and nations that had relied heavily on arcane magic for defense or controlling their population.[31]
  • In 1386 DR[4] large parts of Abeir and Toril switched places (small, almost imperceptible parts had been switching places since the Time of Troubles but this event was markedly more noticeable).[32] A portion of Shyr violently changed places with large sections of Chondath and western Chessenta. Displaced genasi quickly set about creating a kingdom of their own, Akanûl.[4]
  • Southeast Chessenta was also obliterated by the creation of the Underchasm.[13] Chessenta survived and prospered - though its beloved ruler Tchazzar disappeared without a trace.[33]
  • Chult became a large island when most of the Chultan Peninsula was cut off from the mainland.[35] Much of Samarach was drowned, its survivors spellscarred, and the yuan-ti realm of Serpentes fell. The city of Mezro collapsed and its ruins became occupied by the undead remains of those who didn't make it out in time. Ubtao's barae were lost and the jungle became home to massive monsters from Abeir.[36]
  • Evermeet was pushed into the plane of Faerie, leaving behind a pale shadow of what the island of the elves used to be, though the isle's residents could move back and forth from Faerie to Faerûn at will.[37]
  • The Shaar became a wasteland called the Shaar Desolation.[35]
  • The region surrounding the Great Rift became the Underchasm.[35] Bits of what used to be the Underdark began to float above the Underchasm as earthmotes.[29]
  • The halfling realm of Luiren was submerged underwater, becoming the Gulf of Luiren in the Great Sea.[35] In the century since that great disaster, the waters receded, and stories told by travelers from the south told of halfling communities that survived as island redoubts.[39]
  • Lantan was hit by massive waves and flooded, killing, as it was thought, all of its inhabitants.[40]
  • The Misty Vale was devastated by blue fire, though the wild elves that occupied it survived. Known as Elfharrow, it was fiercely defended from all intrusions.[41]
  • The illusions that cloaked the settlements on Selûne failed, revealing them to those on Toril.[4]

AftermathEdit

By 1395 DR, the majority of the effects of the Spellplague had come to an end and most arcane magic had returned to a semblance of normality, with a handful of major changes to the way spells are cast.[4] The Empire of Netheril came across the Lost Vale and displaced the saurials there into the Underdark.[42]

By 1479 DR, areas of Toril still affected by the Spellplague were referred to as Plaguelands.[43]

By 1480 DR, the Spellplague had ended with the event known as Mystra's Return. The Weave was resurrected with the goddess and magic became what it was before the Spellplague, though some areas with lingering effects from it remained.[44]

In 1482 DR Lord Ao began the Second Sundering, as a way to restore the worlds of Toril and Abeir of the ravages of the Spellplague.[45]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 200. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Richard Lee Byers (March 2008). Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7869-4783-6.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Brian R. James (2008-02-27). Spellplague: The Wailing Years. Dragon Features Archive. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2008-04-14. (Registration required to view.)
  5. Richard Lee Byers (March 2008). Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7869-4783-6.
  6. Richard Lee Byers (March 2008). Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 75. ISBN 978-0-7869-4783-6.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Living Forgotten Realms, ADCP6-1 The End and the Beginning adventure, page 137.
  8. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Richard Baker (August 12th, 2008). The one and only "Ask the Realms authors/designers thread". Retrieved on January 29th, 2017.
  10. Richard Baker, Robert J. Schwalb (February, 2012). Heroes of the Elemental Chaos. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 78-0-7869-5981-5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Bruce R. Cordell (May 2009). “Gontal: Dominions of Nehu”. Dragon #375 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 78.
  12. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 212. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 186. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  14. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  15. Erin M. Evans (October 4th, 2016). The Devil You Know. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 978-0786965946.
  16. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 87, 200. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  17. Richard Lee Byers (March 2008). Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7869-4783-6.
  18. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 53. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  20. Erin M. Evans (December 2015). Ashes of the Tyrant. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 398–399. ISBN 978-0786965731.
  21. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  22. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  23. Richard Lee Byers (Feb 4, 2014). The Reaver. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 206–8. ISBN 0786964588.
  24. Thomas M. Reid (July 2009). The Crystal Mountain. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 978-0-78695235-9.
  25. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  26. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  27. Erin Evans (October 2014). Fire in the Blood. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 0786965290.
  28. Richard Lee Byers (March 2008). Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7869-4783-6.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  30. Richard Lee Byers (March 2008). Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 978-0-7869-4783-6.
  31. Rich Baker (December 2007). “Countdown to the Realms: Year of the Ageless One”. Dragon #362 (Wizards of the Coast).
  32. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  33. Richard Lee Byers (May 2010). The Captive Flame. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 100–102. ISBN 0786953969.
  34. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 138. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. Fold–out Map. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  36. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 102–103. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  37. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 132–133. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  38. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 163. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  39. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  40. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 162. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  41. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 122–123. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  42. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 112. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  43. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  44. Ed Greenwood (September 4, 2012). Elminster Enraged, loc. Kindle 4836. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0786960299.
  45. Paul S. Kemp (2012-08-20). The Sundering. Retrieved on 2016-12-13.

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