Content of the article: "RotF has HUGE lore ramifications"
Spoilers inbound for Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. DMs only, players beware.
(Mods, I couldn't find a sub rule about spoilers so I'm just going for it.)
Secret of The Obelisks
In this adventure, we learn the secret of the obelisks that have appeared in other fifth edition adventures published by Wizards of the Coast, including Tomb of Annihilation and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage.
The first group of these magical obelisks were crafted by a secret society of spellcasters called the Weavers. Theses obelisks could alter reality on a grand scale, sending a region or an entire world back to an earlier time (effectively erasing part of history). These obelisks were constructed to counteract the effects of calamitous spells and cataclysmic events.
An evil wizard named Vecna stole one such obelisk and used it to erase the obelisk's creators from existence. Vecna also stole the knowledge needed to create new ones. The knowledge later came into the possession of Netherese wizards, who built similar obelisks of their own. They believed that if some catastrophe destroyed their empire, these obelisks could help restore it. Unfortunately for them, most of the obelisks built to protect Netheril were stolen or otherwise lost over time, as were records of their purpose and information about how to activate them.
How does this affect the specific campaign? I'll leave that for you to find out.
How does this affect the Forgotten Realms as a whole?
WotC just introduced a Factory Reset button, going all the way back to when spell levels went above 9 and the Forgotten Realms contained unexplored territory.
They also specified that this isn't merely time-travel for individuals, but potentially for certain regions. You could reset Chult but keep Waterdeep, or vice versa.
Do I think they're going to do another massive 4e-style overhaul? My gut says no. It didn't work for them last time, and it clashes with their general approach to 5e publications (familiar setting, familiar concepts, revisiting/republishing familiar adventures).
That being said, they've got to do something with these obelisks, right?
It's also worth noting this isn't just restricted to Forgotten Realms. Although Vecna is known in FR lore, he started in Greyhawk. And I'm pretty sure these obelisks showed up in non-FR books as well…
So instead of a setting revamp, could this be the path to core rule expansions? Epic level spells, return of Chronomancy (merged with Wildemount's Chronurgy?), etc.
Feel free to speculate wildly.
EDIT: Fixed the spoiler formatting.
- Potential hometown/stronghold for my Hill Dwarf Cleric in Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign?
- Mage now has a viable Desert Obelisk deck in standard… I think?
- Making a campaign based around a demonic cult. What’s a good, creepy demon or god to choose?
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