Shadow Mage Question

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Raen Elvarasi
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Shadow Mage Question

Post by Raen Elvarasi » Sat May 23, 2020 10:17 pm

Would it be possible to make a Shadow Mage that draws their power from the Raven Queen? I know that Shar(And Vaehraun) are the Deities who reside over it. Though looking into, I found that a Shadow Mage can also be someone who loses a part of their mind- It seemed fitting, as the Raven Queen is known to take memories of the living, as well as having a distinct mastery over the Shadowfell, as well as Death(Being a God of Death and all that), and also having previously been a Sorcerer herself in life.

It could also be said that the same kind, or atleast similar magic could be obtained through Talfirian Magic, which draws upon the Weave to grant the user a connection to the Shadowfell. Though it's origin is dissimilar, it's end result shares similarity. Also, it's noted that this kind of magic was known to also manifest naturally through bloodlines, making it viable not only for Wizards, but also Sorcerers.

I'm curious to see thoughts on this. Feel free to criticize or correct anything I might have gotten wrong, or simply share your own opinions.

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Drowboy » Sat May 23, 2020 10:48 pm

Raven Queen and the Shadowfell aren't canon on Arelith, so probably not.
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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Raen Elvarasi » Sat May 23, 2020 10:51 pm

Ah, wasn't aware of that fact. Interesting. Kinda sad though. The Raven Queen is probably one of my favorite gods in Forgotten Realms Lore.

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Raen Elvarasi » Sat May 23, 2020 10:55 pm

It does beg the question of how any shadow magic exists outside of the Shadow Weave though. As naturally, those spells call upon the planar design through the Weave, if I'm not mistaken. Meaning spells like Darkness wouldn't exist unless you were able to access the Shadow Weave, or were a Cleric of Shar. It'd also eliminate the existence of Shades and other shadow creatures.

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Drowboy » Sat May 23, 2020 10:59 pm

Shadow mages are all Sharran here. 'Darkness' and 'Shadow' spells cast by non-shadow mages are just normal weave magic as it existed in 3E FR.
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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Raen Elvarasi » Sat May 23, 2020 11:06 pm

Ah. Interesting, though sad. Hate to see something with so much potential be tossed into such a small niche.

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Rigela » Sat May 23, 2020 11:54 pm

"Shadow magic" and "shadowstuff" (if you go by what the Tome of Magic talks about) is still a thing you can use/talk about in discussion with these sorts of spells and aren't reliant on Shar's Weave, using it to fuel illusions into quasi real things.
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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Raen Elvarasi » Sun May 24, 2020 12:07 am

Well, yes. Though I was under the impression that it was through the use of the Weave to tap into the Shadowfell in order to do so, as the Weave was the source of raw magical potential that existed almost everywhere. Saying that, removing the Shadowfell would mean that Shadow would have no origin and thus no potency. It would instead be just a natural phenomenon. Not exactly a harness-able force. In such a fashion, it also cuts out of being anything that would otherwise originate from the Shadowfell. Shades, Shadar-Kai, Shadow Dragons, etc.

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Raen Elvarasi » Sun May 24, 2020 12:16 am

It also cuts out a lot of lore and the like. The Talfir empire and the Shadowking, Shadowcasters, the overthrowing of the Plutonian god of Death...And technically, it would mean Shar never existed. As she originally resided in the Shadowfell. IDK. Seems like an odd bit of counfoundingly contradictory lore cutting. Like hot-gluing an engine back together and expecting it to be the same.

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by BHR55 » Sun May 24, 2020 12:52 am

The Shadowfell is created by Shar during the spellplague when she smashes the Negative Plane into the Shadow plane. She then sinks her palace into a new plane called the Towers of Night. Given Arelith takes place during an alternate reality 1372(groundhog day) the spell plague is still 100ish years off and the Shadowfell has not yet been created. As well as the Raven Queen and Shadar-Kai not being a thing yet(except when they are because FR doesn't make sense all the time).

Vhaeraun also doesn't have any control over the shadow weave. Cyric tried to have his seraph steal what he thought the source of the shadow weave was once once, before it was realized Shar actually controls it at will and that wasn't possible.

The Raven Queen also weirdly shares her portfolio with Shar in that she keeps secrets and memories, mostly those of loss. Along with ferrying the dead along to Kelemvor's wall. Supposedly Shar collapsed the two planes so that some of the souls of the dead would traverse closer to her home for her to mess with before Kelemvor gets them.

If I was a conspiracy theorist I would say Shar is just dressing up as yet another god on the weekends to appeal to people that don't want to be Evil. -joking

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Raen Elvarasi » Sun May 24, 2020 1:03 am

Vhaeraun worked with Shar, after she had made the Shadow Weave, and when he died, most of his followers turned to her, I believe. As far as the Raven Queen goes, she is indicated as being her own separate being, with a history to follow. She originally became as she is now after cursing some of her followers who sought power for their own gains, twisting the ritual and nearly destroying her as well as her followers(The ones I'm referring to become known as Nagpas). A handful of evil gods also tried to erase her from memory as she all-the-while took up a more abstract form of being through the damage caused by the ritual, and succeeded in retaining her identity to some degree through her remaining followers and her powers as a Deity.(Might have messed up some of that, but essentially, unless Shar, Selune's Sister is a half-dead God of Death, as given the title by other gods, I doubt it.

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Rigela » Sun May 24, 2020 1:08 am

The shadow plane exists, and is where standard "shadow magic" draws from instead of the shadowfell as well, to respond to an earlier point of yours. And is where "shadowcasters" would draw from, regardless of which weave they used.
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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Raen Elvarasi » Sun May 24, 2020 1:10 am

Ah. So the pre-existing version. That makes more sense. Is this set before the fall of the Netherese?

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Rigela » Sun May 24, 2020 1:15 am

1372, so just after Bane has risen again and before the Silence of Lolth.
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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Raen Elvarasi » Sun May 24, 2020 1:21 am

Hm, alrighty. Well, since I'm giving in, does the same rule apply here as for most D&D games for Deity Alignment? As in, if I picked Shar and went True Neutral(The original intent of this character), would it be do-able, or would I run into a restriction?

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Hunter548 » Sun May 24, 2020 5:38 am

Raen Elvarasi wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 1:21 am
Hm, alrighty. Well, since I'm giving in, does the same rule apply here as for most D&D games for Deity Alignment? As in, if I picked Shar and went True Neutral(The original intent of this character), would it be do-able, or would I run into a restriction?
There would only be a restriction if you had levels in a divine class (Cleric, Ranger, Druid, Blackguard, Paladin, Divine Champion, and probably something else I'm forgetting).
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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Wuthering » Sun May 24, 2020 5:39 am

No restriction.. You're not a divine character and TN is fine. You could technically play a LG Shar worshipping shadow mage and I'm sure someone out there has, though I think you'd have to do a bit of justification gymnastics to explain that.

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Hinty » Sun May 24, 2020 2:12 pm

The choice to call Shars weave the Shadow Weave was a major mistake, as it leads to this misunderstanding that it draws from the plane of shadow or has links to the plane, as well as confusion with other shadow spells.

There are a whole sub school of Illusions called Shadows (Of which the Shadow Conjuration spells are the most obvious examples in NWN) these spells consist of Illusions that draw a small amount of material from the Plane of Shadow to give the spell a physical presence to lend to the effect and include a part of the effect that is actually there and can not be ignored with a successful will save. On top of this there are whole lines of Shadow Conjuration and Shadow Evocation spells. The Shadow Weave has no connection to these spells, nor special bonuses. They are just spells like any other illusion.

In fact, the Shadow Weave has no amount of affinity what so ever to any kind of spell, plane, creature or creature template that involves the word Shadow. Certainly it can interact with them all, and indeed the sorts of personalities involved are likely to have interests in such things, and thus are perhaps more likely to interact with such things than other mages, but this is a matter of personalities of the practitioners, and not the magic itself. Seriously, for a setting and system that includes SO MANY things that resolve around the word Shadow, choosing to give the name to a weave that does not interact specially with ANY of them just boggles the mind.

Fun Fact: Technically you can play as a CG Divine caster that gets their spells from Shar in 3rd Edition, but only because she has killed Ibrandul, the old TN deity of Caverns and is still granting spells in his name.

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by magistrasa » Sun May 24, 2020 7:57 pm

Shadow Weave =/= Shadow Magic =/= Illusion Magic

The general lack of understanding of these differences has led to some hilarious moments of roleplay I've witnessed where Paladins have tried to smite a perfectly normal non-Sharran wizard because "HE USED DARKBOLT THAT MEANS HE'S A SHADOW MAGE"

Towards the alignment restrictions, the Church of Shar is actually pretty widespread in canon and includes followers from all corners of the alignment spectrum. There's even an order of neutral-to-good-aligned Sharrans called the Darkcloaks who went around helping people overcome trauma and used mental magics to treat PTSD and stuff. It's just, y'know, the main body of Shar's church is kinda trying to bring about the end of the world, so it's hard to see the positive aspects of her philosophy past that fact. In terms of using the Shadow Weave, so long as you're not actively working against the Church of Shar, you'd probably be fine to play a Shadow Mage. Since Shar has direct control over it and has been known to take it away from people she deemed unworthy, heresy could easily put you on a no-fly list.

That being said, considering Ibrandul is an aspect of Shar at this point in history (if he's even still a selectable deity), he should totally get Shadow Weave access, along with Vhaeraun and probably Mask.
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If I was a conspiracy theorist I would say Shar is just dressing up as yet another god on the weekends to appeal to people that don't want to be Evil
I have literally always believed this to be the case - it certainly wouldn't be the first time something like this happened in FR. Plus, Shar's spirit animals include ravens and crows!
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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Hinty » Sun May 24, 2020 10:02 pm

The Shadow Weave is Shars biggest secret reserved for her most trusted servants, at least in Cannon, clearly on Arabel she's loosed the restrictions there, but even so, followers of Ibrandul do not know he is dead, or that they are serving Shar, and she is likely working on a slow gradual corruption, so it is rather unlikely that many, if any of his clergy would get access, anyone that she feels she has corrupted enough, or the CE clerics that were already her type would be inducted into the secret of Ibranduls death and converted to Shars worship before they got access to the Weave.


Also given my long rant on the subject, it might seem strange for me to say, but it might help to have a DM clear up the matter of Shadow Weave - Shadow Magic links, given that on Arabel Shadow Weave gains synergy with Shadow Dancers and Shadow Weave Mages are one of only two classes that can locate Shadow Doors, or can do so with far greater ease than anyone else... the mechanics of the server absolutely seem to be that the Shadow Weave is strongly connected to the plane of shadow, and thus Shadow Magic and Shadow Illusions.

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Re: Shadow Mage Question

Post by Raen Elvarasi » Sun May 24, 2020 11:27 pm

I'm well aware that the Shadow Weave is not in fact part of the Shadowfell/Plane of Shadow. It's a construct utilizing the space between the weave to act as a negative to the normal Weave. Though it's magics are still similar to Talfirian Magic/Shadow Magic.

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