So I have an adventure in mind for much later in my campaign, in which the Lords of Dust attempt to release Bel Shalor from the Silver Flame and the players attempt to thwart them. A pretty basic hook really. The problem I'm running into is I'd like to come up with what the LoD would need to do in order to extinguist the Silver Flame, or at the very least render it ineffective long enough for Bel Shalor to escape.
Anyway, I assume there's nothing cannon on this, so I thought I would turn to the community to see what they have done/would do. Basically, if you're the Lord's of Dust, how do you go about freeing Bel Shalor?
There are planes that enhance/diminish freedom, so the right conjunction could be a good start. The flame binds many fiends, all over the place, so having cultists attack those wards in many places might weaken it. An eldritch device smuggled to the right place and activated is a good mcguffin.
Other options might take advantage of the connection to Tira Mirron. Rituals involving her descendants might be aimed at making her falter in her hold on the fiend.
Depending upon how important Bel Shalor is specifically, a fiend might be able to free him by allowing itself to caught by the Flame.
Hmm, to free Bel Shalor would likely involve manipulation from within the Church. The Shadow in the Flame represents evil done in the name of good, so in order to make him strong enough to break his chains, encourage overzeal throughout Thrane and Aundair, perhaps even beyond.
Then again, I've always been of the mind that the Shadow remains in the Flame itself because he desires to remain bound, he's exactly where he wants to be.
Regardless, if the Lords of Dust actually want to -extinguish- the whole Flame, one has to remember that the Silver Flame isn't just the actual fire burning in Flamekeep, but a force truly spanning Eberron. If the Lords of Dust extinguished that world-spanning force, they would release all of the Overlords at once, something they would most certainly want, their ultimate goal, a very longterm goal that may not be so immediate, perhaps attained via diverting the souls within the Flame somewhere else.
However, if it was just Bel Shalor they're currently planning to release, via extinguishing the Flamekeep manifestation, they could manipulate the Church into going into a crusade against say-... Undeath, which would lead them to attack Karrnath, then they would encourage overzeal to the point of the deaths of thousands of innocent Karrnathi, and a restart to the Last War.
From the top of my head, they would likely do something more subtle than that. If you wanted to go the simpler route, you could involve a ritual, perhaps say it requires the release of Melysse Miron, the sacrifice of Jaela Daran or something along those lines.
Something else to consider is that the Rajahs are bound by Prophecy. They can be released when a specific set of events fortold by the Prophecy comes to pass. So extinguishing the Flame in Flamekeep could be as simple as saying events X, Y, and Z came to past and the Prophecy told that the sun would be eclipsed and all the light in the land of Khorvaire would falter. Or something. Those 'X, Y, Z' events could be anything really, the firstborn son of the Lord of the Dagger is slain by the Daughter of Storms or something vague and easily manipulated by you.
Making the PCs speculate about what the Prophecy means could be fun.
The section of the LoD that I'm using are for the moment only after freeing Bel Shalor, so he would be the focus. Thank you all for the suggestions. They gave me a lot to think on and caused me to do some internet searching regarding Melysse Miron because I hadn't actually heard of her. One thing I found that I couldn't find a 'cannon' source on was the Eberron Wiki page about the Overlords says that some people claim Bel Shalor is not actually trapped withing the Flame, but instead within the petrified body of Melysse Miron in Dreadhold. I looked at the Dreadhold article from Dragon a while back, and while it had information about Melysse, it doesn't suggest the Shadow is inside of her; so I was wondering, is that just an incorrect statement on the Wiki or is there actually a source with more information on this theory and where it came from? Would it even really be possible for a Rajah to indwell a human?
Rajahs are spiritual beings. They could posess or be trapped within almost anything.
Remember also that being trapped by the flame does not imply that it actually dwells within the manifested part in Flamekeep unless you specifically want it to on your particular campaign. As Aelth pointed out, its a force throughout eberron.
The "shadow in the flame" refers more to the dark or potentially corrupted part of the flame as a whole: it does not have to imply anything about the physical location of Bel Shalor.
It would be possible for a Rajah to dwell inside Melysse-... She was locked away because if she was killed they believed she would return in another form like the normal Keeper, could be that Bel Shalor appears in another body.
In my Eberron, I like to think the manifestation in Flamekeep -is- Bel Shalor. That the Flame can only physically manifest due to the impurity caused by the Rajah within. So I prefer to think he's in the Flame itself, though it would be good to get Melysse involved with the plots somehow.
So what I'm getting is that a plot to release Bel Shalor would be less about putting together the appropriate doomsday device or eldritch machine and more about finding a portion of the Prophecy that indicates a set of circumstances in which he would be able to escape, and then working to bring about those circumstances. And as Bel Shalor is about betrayal and doing evil in the name of good, actions of that nature would weaken his bonds in the same way that the Dragons believe that their meddling can weaken the bonds of Tiamat.
Like so many things in Eberron, it seems like it's really about having agents in the right places to nudge circumstances into just the right alignment.
One thing to keep in mind, the silver flame as we know it is essentially the physical/magical manifestation of the energy poured out by the couatle while binding the overord. To say that again, the silver flame is based on couatle magic/power/energy. Perhaps one way to help snuff it out would be to have something specifically designed to nullify couatle magic?
Eh, thats if you want to go with the MacGuffin thing. Manipulating the events of the Prophecy seems far more in tune with the Lords of Dust. Perhaps in order to extinguish the Silver Flame, the Keeper must be cast into it by a traitor who blah blah blah blah.
It could be interesting to say that Bel Shalor is slowly corrupting the individual couatl whose spirits compose the Flame, which are thus being ejected from the Flame one by one... and when enough are ejected, the entire Flame will collapse. At which point the campaign comes up with dealing with the damage being done by evil couatl and finding a way to turn them back to the light.
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