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5E WotC Announces An Impending Announcement: New Setting, Storyline

Early this week, WotC announced on Twitter that today there would be some kind of announcement on their Twitch channel. Those who heard that announcement and tuned in were treated to an announcement that the new storyline will be announced at a live event in June.

The press release announcing the impending announcement also mentions a new setting, as well as the storyline, so it sounds like it might not be set in the Forgotten Realms (or maybe is in a new region - to 5E - of the Realms, such as Icewind Dale). The adventure and the setting might be the same thing, or they might be completely different things. Recently, WotC has released a bunch of settings: Eberron, Ravnica, Wildemount, and the upcoming Theros.

Fans of D&D will learn all about the new setting and storyline

The new storyline specifically will be revealed at 12pm PST (8pm GMT) on Thursday, June 18th.

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The June event will raise money for Comic Relief, and will feature celebrities including Brandon Routh (Superman), and will preview the brand new storyline. It takes place June 18th-20th. Other names involved include Felicia Day, Deborah Ann Woll, Amy Acker, David Harbour, Matthew Lillard, and more.


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 PRESS RELEASE



RENTON, WA – May 21, 2020 – People all over the world continue to stay safe by staying home, but that doesn’t mean the adventuring has to stop. Dungeons & Dragons is more popular than ever because it allows people to weave compelling stories together even when they’re physically apart through online videoconferencing. Now, Wizards of the Coast brings the stars to this virtual table with D&D Live 2020: Roll w/ Advantage. An amazing cast of characters led by expert storytellers preview the latest D&D storyline with live gaming sessions, all while raising money for Red Nose Day to help the most vulnerable children across the US and around the world, who have been so affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.The adventure begins 10:00am PT on June 18, 2020 and will run through June 20, 2020 at dungeonsanddragons.com.

D&D Live 2020: Roll w/ Advantage features big personalities playing elves, wizards and fighters to accomplish quests using their imaginations. Funny people like Brian Posehn, Kevin Sussman and Thomas Middleditch will work together to solve problems or, more likely, cause some hilarious new ones. WWE ® Superstars Xavier Woods ®, Tyler Breeze ®, Ember Moon ®, Alexa Bliss ® and Dio Maddin ® will contend with beefcake destroyer Jeremy Crawford, a.k.a. Principal Rules Designer for D&D. Deborah Ann Woll will lead a group of actors in improvising a way to help people in a fantasy world not that different from ours. And principal D&D writer Chris Perkins takes players

Fans of D&D will learn all about the new setting and storyline as well as accompanying new products plus tons of unique gameplay available on June 18, 2020. D&D Adventurers League has four new short adventures everyone can enjoy. By donating a small amount to Red Nose Day, fans will have access to sign up for D&D sessions with players around the world! During #DnDLive2020, fans will also be able to choose the character best suited to help the region through Reality RP, a mashup of fantasy storytelling, community engagement, and reality television.


 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Parmandur

Legend
So apparently there was a mind flayer compound in ID2 that I totally forgot about, but I didn't think the games were canonical?
Which books dealt with them in the frozen north?
The games seem to be considered canonical except when they are directly contradicted by a book, so...yeah, one Mindflayer compound historically in the region. And they can always show up anywhere. The frozen lands of Icewind Dale are well suited to a Mountains of Madness style story, at any rate.
 

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Icewind Dale 2, which does take place in Icewind Dale, apparently has an Illithid colony called Z'Hinda Cithadel in the Underdark of the region.
The Z'hinda Citadel is in a region of underdark near the Black Raven Citadel, which is in the Spine of the World mountains, something like 100 miles east of Icewind Dale.

Crenshinibon has passed through many hands, including illithids', but it wasn't in Icewind Dale at the time. Following the lore from the games, it didn't arrive in Icewind Dale until Behifet brought it to Easthaven in 1281 DR.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
The Z'hinda Citadel is in a region of underdark near the Black Raven Citadel, which is in the Spine of the World mountains, something like 100 miles east of Icewind Dale.

Crenshinibon has passed through many hands, including illithids', but it wasn't in Icewind Dale at the time. Following the lore from the games, it didn't arrive in Icewind Dale until Behifet brought it to Easthaven in 1281 DR.
The Crystal Shard merging with an Illithid is a later development in some Drizzt book, well after the original book.

100 miles is easily in bounds for an Adventure that had an Icewind Dale starting location. Candlekeep is 500 miles from Baldur's Gate, and the smoking crater of Eltruel is 200 miles from BG, and Avernus is in another dimension, and that's just the ground covered in one chapter of the Baldurs Gate book.

It's not that there are strong hints of a Mindflayer plot in Icewind Dale. There are strong hints of Mindflayers, and seperately strong hints of Icewind Dale. But they can be seen to work together, as with last year's hints if Baldurs Gate and Hell.
 

The Crystal Shard merging with an Illithid is a later development in some Drizzt book, well after the original book.
Indeed - a dead one, but that didn't happen anywhere near Icewind Dale.

100 miles is easily in bounds for an Adventure that had an Icewind Dale starting location
Yup, and there is no reason why the adventure needs to be ONLY Icewind Dale anyway. It could easily include The Spine of the World.

But a more interesting possibility has occurred to me. I don't think Faerun has ever been mapped north of the Reghed glacier. Which means it would be a completely new setting. Not to mention being an ideal place to locate At The Mountains of Madness meets Westeros north of The Wall.
 

Parmandur

Legend
But wasn't the chatter started after DiA was announced? Also, said chatter involved a major retcon to Bane, who for some strange reason abandoned his position as a greater deity after the second sundering and decided to strut around the realms with Bhaal and Myrkul as demigods (none of that playing into the storyline).

Mindflayers have a pretty solid presence in BG as is (check the description of the Dukes) so that already ties them into BG3 (if Larian don't play up that angle it will be a missed lore opportunity). What are their lore ties to the far north exactly? That's the first time I see them mentioned in that context.
As an example, check out these videos from 1-2 months before Descent into Avernus was announced:


And recently we've seen:

Lore You Should Know - Nautiloids
Lore You Should Know - Duergar
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
As an example, check out these videos from 1-2 months before Descent into Avernus was announced:


And recently we've seen:

Lore You Should Know - Nautiloids
Lore You Should Know - Duergar
If we are using the Lore You Should Know during this year for a pattern, here they are (I've filtered out the obviously Theros/Wildemount/Eberron related ones).





The Anarouch Desert one is pretty unrelated to this (it aint wintery there). Icewind Dale was of course covered, so it makes a lot of sense. And so were Nautiloids and Duergar, who may just be mentioned because BG3's trailer dropped.

So yeah, overall not a lot of hints. There have been plenty of mind flayer / Spelljammer hints beyond this, so it seems like the Icewind Dale could be linked to it, but could also be unrelated.

They'll probably drop more hints throughout the month though. And expect the actual book to leak through Amazon before they actually announce it, like always ;)
 

Parmandur

Legend
If we are using the Lore You Should Know during this year for a pattern, here they are (I've filtered out the obviously Theros/Wildemount/Eberron related ones).





The Anarouch Desert one is pretty unrelated to this (it aint wintery there). Icewind Dale was of course covered, so it makes a lot of sense. And so were Nautiloids and Duergar, who may just be mentioned because BG3's trailer dropped.

So yeah, overall not a lot of hints. There have been plenty of mind flayer / Spelljammer hints beyond this, so it seems like the Icewind Dale could be linked to it, but could also be unrelated.

They'll probably drop more hints throughout the month though. And expect the actual book to leak through Amazon before they actually announce it, like always ;)
Actually...the northern third or so of the Anarouch Desert is covered in permafrost, and based on the official map there is continuous ice between Icewind Dale and the Anarouch...might be nothing, though. Last year they interspersed BG related legit sneak peaks between segments about other things, like the lady of Pain. They maintain some noise to signal ratio, only obvious in hindsight.
 


Quickleaf

Legend
@Urriak Uruk On the surface, Icewind Dale, Duergar, the Anauroch Desert, and mind flayer nautiloids might not seem connected, but they're actually all tied together by the old Icewind Dale and Icewind Dale 2 computer games.

In brief, there was DLC for Icewind Dale called Trials of the Luremaster which involved the party being teleported to Anauroch. There are also some hints that at the end of Icewind Dale, after the party saves Easthaven, they head for the warmer climes of Anauroch, but I can't remember those clearly it's been so long.

Additionally, in Icewind Dale 2 when you pass the river caves in Chapter 3 there is a duergar stronghold.

Also, there is a mind flayer citadel in Icewind Dale 2 called Z'hinda. This is more tenuous, as it's just the lair for an elder brain and mind flayer colony.

Some speculation: A "spaceship crashed in the frozen lands" is a sci-fi theme that is recurrently popular, and mind flayers would be the perfect opportunity to translate that into the fantasy medium. I even believe there was a streamed show or talk Chris Perkins gave years ago where there was a cloud giant city crashed in the northern lands and frozen over, so the seed is already there.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
The crashed spelljammer under the ice would be a nice nod to Barrier Peak and a possibly inspired by Lovecrafty ''Beyond the mountain of Madness'' with Mind flayers instead of whatever old ones lurked beyond the mountains. IIRC, the explorers found a ruined city where a civilization was built to shelter the an alien race that fled its own reality on the verge of collapse through mind controlling new bodies on our Earth....which is exactly the same story as the Illhitids!
 


Actually...the northern third or so of the Anarouch Desert is covered in permafrost, and based on the official map there is continuous ice between Icewind Dale and the Anarouch...might be nothing, though. Last year they interspersed BG related legit sneak peaks between segments about other things, like the lady of Pain. They maintain some noise to signal ratio, only obvious in hindsight.
Anarouch is a weird desert, bordering straight onto sub-arctic regions. I think the Atacarma is closest in the real world. It's a desert because there is almost no moisture, but it is not actually hot.

I don't think they will include Anarouch on the map. I'm guessing a region beginning just north of Luskan, stretching to the Sea of Moving Ice in the west, just touching Anarouch in the east, and extending right up to Toril's north pole in the north. I've come across the term Frozenfar used to refer to this region.

I managed to find this map, not sure of the original source, possibly one of the oriental adventures:


The existence of the Reghed (Great) Glacier suggests that unlike our world, Toril's north pole is an upland plateau (rumours that this plateau is called Leng can neither be confirmed nor denied). It also forms a natural barrier.

Hm, reminds me of something...

Players will need to get themselves one of these:
 

pukunui

Adventurer
@Paul Farquhar That map is from the 2e era FR Atlas.

Also,the ice cap looks like an upland plateau because it’s a thick layer of ice/glacier, and that one picture is an image of the cliff edge of the glacier (it’s not a wall).
 

@Paul Farquhar That map is from the 2e era FR Atlas.

Also,the ice cap looks like an upland plateau because it’s a thick layer of ice/glacier, and that one picture is an image of the cliff edge of the glacier (it’s not a wall).
Glaciers are subject to gravity - they flow down hill. If the polar region wasn't higher the glacier would not be there.

It's a good job it's not a wall, isn't it, no one would want to think WotC where copying... ;)
 



Azzy

Newtype
Glaciers are subject to gravity - they flow down hill. If the polar region wasn't higher the glacier would not be there.
Wait, are you trying to apply science to the Forgotten Reams? As if this were the only instance of Toril that couldn't exist in the real world (not even counting magic and all that). Sorry, you might be in for some good-natured ribbing here, Paul. :D
 

Azzy

Newtype
Icewind Dale already has black ice fueled undead in the MMO Neverwinter, so just generic ice zombies would be redundant.
 

Wait, are you trying to apply science to the Forgotten Reams? As if this were the only instance of Toril that couldn't exist in the real world (not even counting magic and all that). Sorry, you might be in for some good-natured ribbing here, Paul. :D
If magic, rather than gravity, is responsible for the Reghed glacier, that would mean it was deliberately constructed. Which would mean it is the Wall from Westeros!
 


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