View Full Version : DM Help Forgotten Realms, King of Shadows, Illefarn Empire

2015-10-11, 05:00 PM
Recently started playing through Neverwinter Nights 2 and its expansions again, out of boredom, but also because I missed some of the parts of the games, and after mentioning it to a few of my players in my group, they came up with an idea that I also would find pretty fun to try:

Run a sort of "prequel" campaign set in the ancient Forgotten Realms when the Illefarn Empire was still intact, that culminates in the creation/rebellion/banishment of the Guardian (King of Shadows).

I volunteered to run it, however, I encountered several issues with the setting/planning the campaign.

1) Is there any in depth information on what the world looked like during the time when Illefarn creatued their Guardian? I have read the entries on it in the Forgotten Empires and Cormanthyr books, but it still left several questions unanswered.

2)How large was the Illefarn Empire, and what was their actual politic/racial attitude? From what Ive read, it was an alliance of ancient Dwarven and Elven Kingdoms, and no other races were a part of it, so far as even completely avoiding contact with outsiders.

3) Is there a creature/template/NPC somewhere that accurately represents what The King of Shadows actually was? the best I can figure is an extremely advanced Nightcrawler, with possible class levels/templates added on, but I want it to feel accurate, not a "counts as" boss.

4) Is there anything about Faerun/Forgotten Realms from so far in the past of the Campaign Setting's known timeline that I need to take into account for this? I am familiar with the basics of the setting, but very detailed specifics may be something Ive missed.

2015-10-11, 06:41 PM
I should note that in order to answer your questions I may have to spoil parts of NWN2, so for those who haven't played it. Some plot points may be ruined for you.

Basing all of this off of what I remember about NWN2

1) That's probably because it's supposed to be a mysterious part of history. If they explained everything about the Illfarne, then it would stop being a mystery. There would be no excitement in exploring an Illfarne ruin. So make up whatever you like. Honestly, you can mold Forgotten Realms to fit with your cannon. No one is going to stop you.

Assume the world looked pretty much the same. After Illfarne the only other major event was the Time of Troubles, I think, when God's walked the prime. So geography may have been shifted when they blew up mountains and such. But I doubt any player is going to call you out for not having a "lore accurate map". Because as long as they're having fun, they won't care.

2) It expanded all along the sword coast at least[i]. They did have a massive empire connected by the song portals. There were humans in Illfarne. The King of Shadows was human originally IIRC.

Do you mean outsiders as in, like, demons? Cause that would be entirely up to you. If by outsiders you mean you mean foreigners, then yes. I mean, you can't have a empire THAT big and not have contacted another country. (Unless your playing like, Sid Meier's Civilization on an island map or something....) ANYWAY, the biggest rival of the Illfarne I believe were the Nethereese, and the whole reason they created the guardian in the first place was to protect themselves against a possible invasion by them.

3) Don't stat him, period. If he has stats, then he can be killed. And if he was killed it would go against the cannon you are trying to adhere to. As it took an army, a ton of wizards, and an great wyrm dragon to [i]seal the king of shadows. And only like, 8-9 guys to kill him, a few centuries later.

If you don't care about that. Then the simplest solution might be to just make him a night walker with class levels in say... Warblade and sorcerer? Maybe make him gestalted. For shadow form that is. Maybe for Guardian form you can take the nightwalker abilities and make them them have the opposite effect.

4) Not really, like I said. The Illfarne and the Nethereese were the "mysterious empires of the past" in Faerun, so so as long as you include what is already established as cannon, feel free to make up whatever you like. As long as it makes sense.

2015-10-13, 07:33 PM
Hmm, that was very helpful info, some of which I never even thought of, mainly because I am a little out of date on Faerun/Forgotten Realms history. I may need to reread a lot of the material, especially the history and timeline specifics to refresh myself on some of this before commiting to running this adventure.

Although, maybe the forums can sorta make me a cheat sheet of sorts to speed up my knowledge on the Realms.

What would the world have looked like before the established timeline in the FRCS?

What dieties existed back then? I know that between the various forms of Mystra, the Time of Troubles, and [insert random reason a diety died here] that the pantheon of the Realms has undergone many shifts and reformations, but not well enough to know that X diety existed Y millenia ago.

Is there a full blown world map of Faerun/Abeir-Toril/The Sword Coast anywhere? I have honestly only have ever seen the maps from the various novels/video games in the setting, and havent taken the time to fully scope out the full planet.

Any tips for something like this, maybe from another DM that has tried a similar atempt and such a world? I feel like this project could very well be the largest thing ive ever come up with, as far as having to prepare for ahead of time, I usually am a pretty heavy "seat of my pants" DM.