D&D 5E Obelisks? [spoilers YES]

darjr

I crit!
Jorohdan on his Vecna and obelisk vibe. This time he points to things in the new Planescape adventure.

Interesting that he brings up “The Endless Staircase” too.


Also note that the Phandelver adventure I don’t think was supposed to tell us the whole secret of the obelisks.
Quoted from below Chris said Phandelver would explore more not that it would answer it.
Chris Perkins said that the adventure would "further explore the mystery of the obelisks that have cropped up in so many of our adventures."

So, finally some information on this new campaign coming out in Q3 this year. I cut and pasted most of the below from here, but it looks like it is what is in the general release.

The next Dungeons & Dragons adventure will pay off a story hook teased in multiple campaigns over the course of the past decade. Today, Wizards of the Coast announced the full title to the next campaign adventure, which will be released in "Q3 2023." The new adventure is titled Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk and will feature the black obelisks that have appeared in multiple Forgotten Realms-based adventures dating back to Out of the Abyss. In a D&D Direct video released today, D&D principal story designer Chris Perkins said that the adventure would "further explore the mystery of the obelisks that have cropped up in so many of our adventures." Perkins noted that the adventure would return Phandelin, where an obelisk begins to unleash monsters on the small town.

The black obelisks first appeared in Out of the Abyss and appeared in four adventures released between 2015 and 2020. The 2020 adventure Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden revealed that the obelisks could alter time and reality and were tied to a mysterious group known as the Weavers. The secret to making the obelisks were later stolen by the classic D&D villain Vecna and then were used by the Netheril Empire as a contingency plan in case something ever befell their empire. One of the potential endings for Rime of the Frostmaiden involves the players actually getting caught in the obelisk's magic and traveling back in time, which seemed like an intriguing plot point but was never followed up on.

After the release of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, the D&D design team moved away from the Forgotten Realms for subsequent campaigns, leaving many to believe that the obelisks' mysteries were wrapped up in 2020, which is a shame because their origins seemed to open up even more story hooks that teased Vecna and a secret group of mages. Given that Vecna will be returning as the main villain in the 2024 adventure (which was also announced in the D&D Direct), it's possible that the obelisks will be a great lead-in to sending players on a collision course with one of D&D's most iconic villains.


I did not play the two listed campaigns so I do not know much about the obelisks, but did soo some mentions from the same Comicbook.com site linked above from 2018 when they speculated there being some sort of future tie and said that Mearls could not comment. Anyone have more information or care to speculate on them.

I am wondering if the new campaign will be a republish of the Lost Mines adventure to level 5 and then take on something with these obelisks and the far realm.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Jorohdan on his Vecna and obelisk vibe. This time he points to things in the new Planescape adventure.

Interesting that he brings up “The Endless Staircase” too.


Also note that the Phandelver adventure I don’t think was supposed to tell us the whole secret of the obelisks.
Quoted from below Chris said Phandelver would explore more not that it would answer it.
That is some quality Lore speculation. I think that material from Turn of Fortune's Whel will definitely playna part.in the Vecna stuff and how WotC approaches Lore canon moving forwards. Echoes of the First world? Variants Ala Loki or Everythign Everywhere All at Once?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
@darjr for your reference, this is what the Phandekver book has to say about the obelisks:

OK, so after the Shattered Obelisk campaign ends, we get the following info in the "What Next?" section for further Adventuring (along with a list of other Adventures with these Obelisks and ideas on how to play with them, but that isn't super relevant here):

"The shattered obelisk is only one of several similar obelisks around the world. All are powerful artifacts with dangerous magical effects, although no two have the same powers. The earliest extant examples of these magical obelisks can rewrite reality on a grand scale."

"A mysterious group called the Weavers created the obelisks to undo great calamities - often hurling a region or an entire world back in time before the calamity occurred. One of these ancient Obelisks appears in Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden."

"No one knows anything about the Weavers because the evil wizard Vecna stole the secrets of the obelisks and used them to erase the knowledge of the Weavers from existence. The lore of how to create the artifacts then seeped throughout the world. The most notable obelisk builders were wizards from the now-fallen empire of Netheril."

"Netherese obelisks vary in appearance. Although always tall obelisks that narrow to a pyramidal top, they vary in height (from a dozen feet to many dozen feet) and substance (from obsidian-like stone to an unknown black metal). None of these obelisks were as powerful as those created by the Weavers, but they could nevertheless enact great and terrible changes, such as empowering the ritual in this adventure."

There is also a picture of two Spell Weavers (below), despite this text being the only thing about them in the book. The obeliak in Icewind Dale had some of this same info, but one of the potential endings is that the PCs end up being thrown back 2000 years into Netheril! It certainly feels like a set-up for something timey-wimey, like the Dalek-Time Lord war...

20230923_120108.jpg
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
So, to the back to the OP a bit: we now know that the Vecna campaign will tie into and revisit Adventure sites from the past 10 years, could we be returning to Omu and so in, following these Obelisk locations?

Been reading up on the Spell Weavers, and boy howdy there is some potential there.

Apparently, there is one canonically "surviving" Spell Weaver, who had ascended to godhood in the FR: Jergal, the ancient God of death, who also coincidentally taught the Netherse how to magic, and played a significant role in Baldur's Gate III more recently.

Could he be an enemy of Vecna? Could Vecna have learned secrets and lichdom from Jergal? Ed Greenwood is on record that Jergal is the greatest puppet master villain of the FR.

Maybe the Spell Weavers built the Infinite Staircase, and it is related to the Obelisks?
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Here's an interesting vit from the FR wiki, summarizing lore from an old erk Mona Ecology article:

"Others believed that the spellweavers discovered that at the beginning of things, all planes and worlds were united in a single, balanced reality—before being broken by the whims of the gods. Proponents of this theory thought that the weavers tried to return reality in this balanced state, by building nodes as "anchors" of sorts to bring the planes back together. But the power of "infinite infinities" being merged back together was too great, and the procedure failed with terrible consequences."

Echoes of the First World?
 

pukunui

Legend
So, to the back to the OP a bit: we now know that the Vecna campaign will tie into and revisit Adventure sites from the past 10 years, could we be returning to Omu and so in, following these Obelisk locations?

Been reading up on the Spell Weavers, and boy howdy there is some potential there.

Apparently, there is one canonically "surviving" Spell Weaver, who had ascended to godhood in the FR: Jergal, the ancient God of death, who also coincidentally taught the Netherse how to magic, and played a significant role in Baldur's Gate III more recently.

Could he be an enemy of Vecna? Could Vecna have learned secrets and lichdom from Jergal? Ed Greenwood is on record that Jergal is the greatest puppet master villain of the FR.

Maybe the Spell Weavers built the Infinite Staircase, and it is related to the Obelisks?
I didn't know that about Jergal, but that certainly explains his appearance!

I note that he can potentially appear in a cameo capacity in Turn of Fortune's Wheel, which may have been another easter egg of sorts (like the Whispered One reference).
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Here's an interesting vit from the FR wiki, summarizing lore from an old erk Mona Ecology article:

"Others believed that the spellweavers discovered that at the beginning of things, all planes and worlds were united in a single, balanced reality—before being broken by the whims of the gods. Proponents of this theory thought that the weavers tried to return reality in this balanced state, by building nodes as "anchors" of sorts to bring the planes back together. But the power of "infinite infinities" being merged back together was too great, and the procedure failed with terrible consequences."

Echoes of the First World?
Or the Ordial Plane.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I didn't know that about Jergal, but that certainly explains his appearance!

I note that he can potentially appear in a cameo capacity in Turn of Fortune's Wheel, which may have been another easter egg of sorts (like the Whispered One reference).
I think they seeded Planescape with years of hints at things they are doing or even juat thinking about doing.
 


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